FORUMS: list search recent posts

G4 Mac Pros as file servers

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Mark Petereit
G4 Mac Pros as file servers
on Jul 27, 2010 at 2:32:20 pm

For the last two years we have shot sermon video at our church using a single JVC HD camera (720p), captured on our 8-core Mac Pro using a BlackMagic Decklink HD Extreme.

Recently we added two more JVC HD250's, where we're recording to tape (studio is under construction -- live switcher isn't in yet). We're syncing timecode on all three cameras before the service, but now we have to use FireWire to ingest the HDV since the HD-SDI doesn't carry timecode (either that or the BlackMagic card isn't able to read timecode from HD-SDI.)

And since we don't have a RAID (yet) we can't edit in multicam anyway. [DOH!]

This morning I had an interesting thought. We have an old G4 Mac Pro sitting in a closet. What if bought another old G4 Mac Pro and added BlackMagic capture and GigE cards to each? Sync TC to all three BlackMagic cards and live-capture video from all three cameras to the three separate Mac Pros.

So now I have my primary 8-core Mac Pro with one camera's footage on a local drive. The other two camera angles are on the two G4 Mac Pros, networked through a GigE switch.

Would the GigE network provide enough bandwidth for me to edit 720p multicam on the 8-core?


Return to posts index

Alan Okey
Re: G4 Mac Pros as file servers
on Jul 27, 2010 at 2:54:21 pm

[Mark Petereit] "We have an old G4 Mac Pro sitting in a closet."

No, you don't. You have a Power Mac G4. The Mac Pro has Intel CPUs, whereas Power Mac G4 and G5 models have PowerPC CPUs. FCP 7 won't run on non-Intel machines. Yes, some people have hacked it to run on the G5, but it won't run as well or support ProRes capture. As for the G4, just forget it.

[Mark Petereit] "What if bought another old G4 Mac Pro and added BlackMagic capture and GigE cards to each?"

The Power Mac G4 only has PCI slots. Even the oldest generation of Blackmagic capture hardware requires at least PCI-X slots, which weren't introduced until the Power Mac G5 was released. The latest generation of capture cards use PCI Express, which was only featured on the very last model of Power Mac G5. All Mac Pros have PCI Express slots.

You'd be much better off saving your money for a used Mac Pro - the first models can be found for a little over $1000 these days, and they are infinitely more capable and expandable than the Power Mac G4 or G5.


Return to posts index

Mark Petereit
Re: G4 Mac Pros as file servers
on Jul 27, 2010 at 3:24:31 pm

Nuts! I was hoping to breathe some new life into that old G4. Thanks for correcting me!

OK, so lets say I find some great deals on a couple of G5's. I had no intention of installing Final Cut on the older systems, since BlackMagic's Media Express software can capture to ProRes. I would just use them as capture devices/file servers.

I guess my bottom-line question is: would the network be fast enough to allow me to multicam edit three 720p angles, the ProRes file for angle 1 being local to my edit machine, and the files for angles 2 and 3 were on two separate Macs connected over gigabit ethernet?


Return to posts index


Alan Okey
Re: G4 Mac Pros as file servers
on Jul 27, 2010 at 3:54:24 pm

[Mark Petereit] "OK, so lets say I find some great deals on a couple of G5's. I had no intention of installing Final Cut on the older systems, since BlackMagic's Media Express software can capture to ProRes. I would just use them as capture devices/file servers."

That might depend on which model of G5. ProRes capture is extremely CPU-intensive. If I recall correctly, it was only supported on the last high-end model quad G5, so you may be limited in which model you can consider.

I can't answer your question about multicam editing three different 720p ProRes angles from three different machines via gigE, but it sounds like it has the potential to be a performance bottleneck.

You will experience much smoother editing performance if you put three dedicated hard drives in your Mac Pro editing system (leaving the fourth drive as a dedicated OS and applications drive), create a RAID-0 (striped) volume using Disk Utility, then put all of your footage on the RAID volume and edit the project with all files stored locally.


Return to posts index

Mark Petereit
Re: G4 Mac Pros as file servers
on Jul 27, 2010 at 4:10:11 pm

[Alan Okey] That might depend on which model of G5. ProRes capture is extremely CPU-intensive. If I recall correctly, it was only supported on the last high-end model quad G5, so you may be limited in which model you can consider.

OK, now I'm crawling WAY out on a limb, but don't the BlackMagic cards do the ProRes conversion in their hardware? (Or am I confusing that with the Aja IO devices?)

[Alan Okey] You will experience much smoother editing performance if you put three dedicated hard drives in your Mac Pro editing system (leaving the fourth drive as a dedicated OS and applications drive), create a RAID-0 (striped) volume using Disk Utility, then put all of your footage on the RAID volume and edit the project with all files stored locally.

Yes, I agree. I was just trying to streamline my entire workflow. Capture 3 HD streams simultaneously (live) and use the files in place, avoiding the time it takes to transfer the files.


Return to posts index

John Pale
Re: G4 Mac Pros as file servers
on Jul 27, 2010 at 4:28:35 pm

[Mark Petereit] "OK, now I'm crawling WAY out on a limb, but don't the BlackMagic cards do the ProRes conversion in their hardware? (Or am I confusing that with the Aja IO devices?)"

No. They do not. Thats AJA, and only the AJA iO HD...not the Kona.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]