System Optimization FCP
The company I work for is looking at options for accelerating our workflow. We're shooting with an Panasonic HVX200P (720p60) and we'll soon be adding a Canon 7D (720p60). We upload to web and Youtube. Footage is ingested from the P2 as DVCPRO HD 720p60 and the 7D stuff will probably be left H.264, IIRC. Output is usually either WMV via Flip4Mac or H.264.
My mac is a single core 2.8ghz machine with 4Gb of ram. Data is stored on a 1Tb Buffalo drive over FW800. Ideally, we'll be getting new machines, but that will have to wait. in the immediate future, I'd like to see a RAID setup so the other editor and I can access the same stuff (not simultaneously) without unplugging a bunch of drives. If we go with a RAID 10 or similar setup, would we see any noticeable performance improvement in our editing process or compression times? Would our money be better spent on more RAM?
I've done a bunch of searches on here but I still don't really know if we might be able to squeeze more performance out of our machines. We'll hopefully upgrade in a couple of years but until then we need to make the most of what we have with less substantial investment.
Sorry if this is confusing...
Sorry, but nothing is going to help you substantially with just single core Mac. A raid will give you better realtime performance and maybe 1% faster encodes, if that, period. Save your money for a more robust Mac.
As far as sharing files, network the two computers and copy files between drives again to save money for that new Mac you need.
Remember, like gold, computer performance can't be created using alchemy, there is a price to be paid.
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[Jack Marck] " Footage is ingested from the P2 as DVCPRO HD 720p60"
[Jack Marck] "and the 7D stuff will probably be left H.264, IIRC"
Noooo... No no no. H.264 is NOT and editing codec. That is a big mantra around here. I say this about 5 times a day to people who shoot with SLRs and try to edit H.264. DON'T! Convert to ProRes. Unless you are mixing with DVCPRO HD, then convert to DVCPRO HD.
[Jack Marck] "in the immediate future, I'd like to see a RAID setup so the other editor and I can access the same stuff (not simultaneously) without unplugging a bunch of drives."
Simultaneous or not, if you want a Raid that both machines can access without unplugging cables, you are looking at a SAN (Shared Area Network) setup. What's your budget? Won't find one for less than $10,000.
[Jack Marck] "If we go with a RAID 10 or similar setup, would we see any noticeable performance improvement in our editing process or compression times?"
Raids get you more RT when it comes to higher data rate footage, or working with multiple streams (layers). If working with one layer of DVCPRO HD, you won't see much difference. ProRes? Yeah, vs FW800, you will see the diff.
[Jack Marck] "Would our money be better spent on more RAM? "
8GB of RAM is a sweet spot.
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This is great info, thanks!
If we crawled on our knees and begged, we MIGHT be able to get the bean counters to spring for a SAN system, but it sounds like that money would be better spent on a couple of new puters.
Is there a good book or website where I can learn the in's and out's of these systems from a technical standpoint? I'm pretty confident in my editing skills but in the words of the immortal Oddball "I just drive 'em man, I don't know what makes 'em work" We don't currently have a Moriarti either, would be a good position for me to take some initiative on.