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Shawn Wyatt
FCP & Creative Suite on same computer
on Feb 3, 2011 at 5:06:46 pm

I am looking to upgrade my aging G5 2.5 with a new Mac Pro. I would like to be able to run both Final Cut Studio and Creative Suite on the same computer. Should I get the Mac version of CS5 or PC? Seems like it would be simplier to do Mac.

I want to get the Quadro 4000 to go in the new machine. I know Adobe recommends it for CS5 but will it do as well for FCP?

I would like to get a SSD for the OS and Apps but they are really expensive. Does the speed gain make it worth it?

Any new computer suggestions would also be appreciated. I would like to get a Westmere six core but that's really expensive also. I at least want a Nehalem. Is that the most bang for the buck?

Thanks for your suggestions.


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP & Creative Suite on same computer
on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:28:03 pm

[Shawn Wyatt] "I am looking to upgrade my aging G5 2.5 with a new Mac Pro. I would like to be able to run both Final Cut Studio and Creative Suite on the same computer. Should I get the Mac version of CS5 or PC? Seems like it would be simplier to do Mac."

I would absolutely get the Mac version. FCS and Adobe CS5 co-exist peacefully.


[Shawn Wyatt] "I want to get the Quadro 4000 to go in the new machine. I know Adobe recommends it for CS5 but will it do as well for FCP?"

Which apps are you using most?

On the Adobe side, Premiere Pro will get a huge boost from the Quadro 4000 (the only current qualified CUDA card for the Mac platform). Photoshop has GPU-acceleration for some UI tasks, but I think it's all OpenGL, so either a beefy NVIDIA or ATI should be fine. After Effects renders on the CPU, not the GPU, so your graphics card won't matter there.

In my experience, Final Cut Pro itself doesn't seem to care which graphics card manufacturer you use, though many GPU-based effects seem to perform better with ATI. Apple Color and Apple Motion both perform better with ATI.


[Shawn Wyatt] "I would like to get a SSD for the OS and Apps but they are really expensive. Does the speed gain make it worth it?"

There is a substantial performance boost with an SSD while using the system and bouncing around from task to task, but it will not improve your render times. My laptop has an SSD and I love it, so now I'm budgeting to get one for my workstation, too.


[Shawn Wyatt] "Any new computer suggestions would also be appreciated. I would like to get a Westmere six core but that's really expensive also. I at least want a Nehalem. Is that the most bang for the buck?"

There are some benchmarks at Barefeats [link] that may help you decide which configuration is best for your use.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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