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Steven Belcher
Edit System Suggestions
on Apr 30, 2012 at 9:32:49 pm

I might not be posting this in the correct area... but I'm looking to upgrade our editing suite at the AFL-CIO with any necessary needs. Our main bread & butter is online videos/documentaries, as we rarely have any broadcast material. That being said, here's our current setup:

- MacPro 2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
- 12 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
- ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB
- 4TB internal RAID 0
- Matrox MXO2 LE system
- Samsung 46 Inch HDTV
- (2) HP Compaq LA2405wg monitors
- M-Audio Speakers
- Loud Technologies 802-VLZ3 Mixer
- 6TB external G-RAID
- Final Cut Studio 3
- Adobe CS5.5
- GenArts Sapphire v6

Any and all suggestions are welcome. What would you do to improve upon this system? We're also looking for good monitoring options for color correction.

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Steve Eisen
Re: Edit System Suggestions
on Apr 30, 2012 at 10:07:16 pm

Upgrade to Lion
Upgrade to CS6
If you do not have the Max option for the MXO2 LE, get the CompressHD card. Great for online h.264's.
Media Composer 6
RAID 5 setup (protection)
JVC, Panasonic, and Flanders Scientific for Broadcast monitoring.

Multiple internal boot system drives. Snow Leopard and Lion
Matrox MXO 2 drivers are different for SL (v2.23) and Lion (v2.5) and Media Composer 6 (v3.0)

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group

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Shane Ross
Re: Edit System Suggestions
on Apr 30, 2012 at 10:07:08 pm

Get Adobe CS6 Production Bundle when it comes out. It's a great step from FCP. Avid is more for broadcast work...but I think Premiere Pro CS6 with After Effects and Encoder will do you well.

Good options for color correcting when NOT going to broadcast? Computer monitor will be your best that is what most people will look at. Or the HDTV. I would recomment FSI monitors if you were going to broadcast.

Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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Michael Gissing
Re: Edit System Suggestions
on Apr 30, 2012 at 10:53:57 pm

If you are going to CS6 then you will get better results with an NVIDIA card not ATI. You might be able to keep the ATI for monitoring and add an extra NVIDIA just for the CUDA processing which helps Adobe to maximise RT performancce, especially with native codecs like H264. Check the Adobe website for hardware optimising recommendations.

Agree with all that you should have Lion on a separate partition so you can alway boot to Legacy FCP7 which I would leave on SL.

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Jeff Meyer
Re: Edit System Suggestions
on Apr 30, 2012 at 11:20:26 pm

My thoughts:
• RAID-5 for single-drive fault tolerance or a robust backup system. This should be high priority if all of your media lives on higher-risk RAID-0 arrays. Note that RAID-5 is fault-tolerant, but it is not a replacement for a proper backup.

• If you use filters/effects switch to Adobe CS and get an nVidia Quadro video card. CUDA powered effects are incredibly fast. If you use Final Cut Studio/Motion for your graphics the ATi 5780 is the fastest out there I believe. Adobe like nVidia, Apple likes ATi.

• If you go to Adobe CS you'll want as much RAM as you can afford. Adobe is 64 bit, so it can use all the RAM you can offer. I'd consider 20GB a baseline if you do graphics or multitasking in Creative Suite.

• If your G-RAID is firewire connected get an eSATA card. I get between double and triple the throughput out of my G-RAID over eSATA compared with firewire. The RAID controller for the G-RAID is in the drive itself, so a plain eSATA card will do it. I'm using the RAID controller for a G-Speed ES for my eSATA connection, but for a G-RAID there's no difference between that and a controller that doesn't have a RAID controller. If you do get a RAID-5 the G-Speed ES controller could also be used to give your G-RAID a boost.

• BluRay. I'm using a LaCie d2 for my MacPro at work. We thought there was merit in an external drive as we have Macbook Pros around.

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