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FCP 7.0.3 on 10.5.8...upgrade to Snow Leopard or leave alone?

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david soriano
FCP 7.0.3 on 10.5.8...upgrade to Snow Leopard or leave alone?
on May 29, 2012 at 4:45:06 pm

I have been running my MacPro 3.1 QuadCore dual Xeon on 10.5.8 for a couple of years now with no issues. I run FCP 7.0.3 and Adoble CS 5.5.

I ordered the Snow Leopard upgrade disc assuming i would do an upgrade but began having reservations after doing research about how to go about it.

Now i am seeing i will likely have to wipe HD and re-install FCP7 to upgrade to 10.6.3. And even then, obviously, there could be some issues.

Should i just leave well-enough alone(i have no plans to upgrade to FCPX) or are there benefits i'm not even aware of that should lead me to upgrading OS?

I though about even leaving computer at a Mac Store and have them do it for me...cost not an issue if it means getting it done right and sans headaches.

Appreciate any input.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: FCP 7.0.3 on 10.5.8...upgrade to Snow Leopard or leave alone?
on May 29, 2012 at 5:51:17 pm

What's on Snow Leopard that you need/want to run?

I ran FCP 7.0.3 on Snow Leopard for a year or two with little to no problems. I have it installed on 10.7.2 without any issue as well. No matter what you do you;re stuck on an unsupported OS (10.5.8 or 10.6.X) with unsupported software (FCP 7.0.X). If there's a feature you want/need on Snow Leopard or some other software that requires Snow Leopard I'd move up. If not, and you're fine on Leopard then stay with it. If it ain't broke don't go fixin' it!

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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david soriano
Re: FCP 7.0.3 on 10.5.8...upgrade to Snow Leopard or leave alone?
on May 29, 2012 at 7:50:41 pm

did you just install Snow Leopard over existing FCP7 or was it more complicated than that?


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Ryan Holmes
Re: FCP 7.0.3 on 10.5.8...upgrade to Snow Leopard or leave alone?
on May 29, 2012 at 8:22:13 pm

I've done it both ways. I prefer a fresh install, but you'll have to reinstall all your apps, preferences, shortcuts, etc. So you could try to do an in place upgrade and see how it runs. If it seems sluggish then wipe it and start fresh. My recommendation:

(1) Download Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper (both free) and make a clone of your existing, working hard drive (or use Time Machine)
(2) Upgrade to Snow Leopard by either an in place upgrade or a fresh install.
(3) Download updates

FCP7 should run fine under Snow Leopard. That was the last supported OS for FCP7. However, you should make frequent backups of your drives because you never know when that one plugin will mess something or a hard drive fails or a power surge cooks a drive or . Having a .dmg of your existing working hard drive insures that you aren't down for more than the time it takes to run out and buy a new hard drive.

Carbon Copy Cloner:
http://www.bombich.com/

Super Duper:
http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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david soriano
Re: FCP 7.0.3 on 10.5.8...upgrade to Snow Leopard or leave alone?
on May 30, 2012 at 2:11:17 pm

thanks...i run Time Machine on to a seagate FreeAgent drive, so should be covered there. I just don't know if it's worth trouble...i shoot on EX-1 so codec is supported and everything runs smooth. Don't see upgrading to CS6 any time soon. I just don't like getting too far behind on system OS upgrades, either.


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Phillip Todd
Re: FCP 7.0.3 on 10.5.8...upgrade to Snow Leopard or leave alone?
on May 30, 2012 at 12:59:38 pm

Yo David!

Like you I was running 10.5.8 and FCP 7.0.3 for a long time on my 2009 MBP 17". No issues and I was happy.

Then I did 2 jobs with my GH1+GH2 and later 2x GH2 cameras using the AVCHD codec and did the post myself. Both jobs had a lot of static shots with people talking in a relatively controlled indoor environment. Both jobs were transcoded using L&T to ProResLT upon ingest.

On the first job only when I got to the color correction did I notice some ugly graininess in the dark greys. I thought I was pushing the codec too far. On the 2nd job I noticed some ugly graininess and strange macro-blocking in the dark blues after ingest! After a lot of experimentation it turned out that QT 7 was the culprit and was creating the macro-blocking. Upgrading to 10.6.8 and continuing with FCP 7.0.3 was fine and the footage looked beautiful, like it had played out of the camera directly on my Dell Supersharp via HDMI in. I didn't even have to reencode. It was as if there was something in the AVCHD codec that QT 7 could not "compute" and display properly.

It was early in the project and I was under a time deadline, I did a SuperDuper dupe for insurance and installed 10.6.8 on top of my 10.5.8 install on the MBP HD. It ran well but towards the end of the project during CC FCP would crash ca. once a day. At that point my laptop was just overwhelmed with the effects, so I can't say if it was due to the OS or not. I have recently started to think I should back-up, wipe the drive clean and do a clean install of everything, especially if I want to go to FCPX.

In the end I realized, with new cameras coming out every 5 seconds and new codecs almost as fast I couldn't expect QT 7 (unsupported) to keep up with a camera newer than the last QT 7 update. That is why you should upgrade as soon as you can. That was 3 months ago for me and I am starting to think to upgrade to Lion already.

Hope it helps.

Phillip Todd
Cinematographer
Philadelphia - NYC - Zurich

http://vimeo.com/philliptodd


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