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Optimal CPU for FCP7 & HD footage? Old MacPro or new iMac?

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shawn convey
Optimal CPU for FCP7 & HD footage? Old MacPro or new iMac?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 1:04:01 am

Hello,
I have a big project coming up and the editor is using FCP7 (rough cut has been created and all footage (300hrs) has been logged using FCP7)

I have been told that the new mac architecture does not really help the performance of FCP7 and that there is little difference between the new (Black) MacPro's and the Old (silver) MacPro's...

So I guess what I am asking is:
What is the best set up if we are editing on FCP7 with footage from a 5D mrk3 and a EOS 300
optimal RAM / CPU / etc....
I am on a budget so I can't afford any interfaces etc... I am trying to decide if it makes more sense for me to pick up a used silver MacPro and optimize it for the edit OR if I should use my 3.5 GHz i7 27" iMac with 32 GB of RAM instead...

I should also mention that I do have a DROBO 5D dedicated to the footage.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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Shane Ross
Re: Optimal CPU for FCP7 & HD footage? Old MacPro or new iMac?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 1:30:20 am

[shawn convey] "I have been told that the new mac architecture does not really help the performance of FCP7 and that there is little difference between the new (Black) MacPro's and the Old (silver) MacPro's..."

Correct. FCP does leverage processors, however. and those processors are better.

BUT!!! ANd this is a big but...

Newer computers ship with the latest MacOS...Yosemite. FCP 7 isn't fully supported under that OS. It wasn't fully supported under the previous OS either...because it was discontinued before either was released. SO it doesn't work well. Compressor 3, that comes with FCP 7, for one example, doesn't even work at all. You'll need to get the latest compressor. OH...if you can get it to install. You might need to run a terminal hack to get the installer to even work.

That being said...an older computer running 10.7 or 10.8 will be your best bet. Gotta have an OS that supports the software, otherwise you'll have issues. And you don't want issues.

[shawn convey] "What is the best set up if we are editing on FCP7 with footage from a 5D mrk3 and a EOS 300
optimal RAM / CPU / etc...."


An iMac made 2013 or earlier, with an older OS...10.8 was the last to support FCP. I run it on a 2012 MacBook Pro...and it's pretty solid.

NOTE: Convert ALL of that Canon footage to ProRes 422 before editing. Log and Transfer will work with the C300 files...if you get the L&T plugin for the C300. But the Canon 5D Mk3? Nope...that won't work. You'll need to use Compressor, or 5DtoRGB, or EditReady...or MPEG STREAMCLIP.

[shawn convey] " if I should use my 3.5 GHz i7 27" iMac with 32 GB of RAM instead... "

Yes...use that. Please tell me it is running 10.8 or earlier...

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


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shawn convey
Re: Optimal CPU for FCP7 & HD footage? Old MacPro or new iMac?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 2:12:18 am

Thx for the quick response.

So in your opinion my
iMac
27-inch, Late 2013
3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB

With an OS of 10.8 would be the ideal set up?

Right now I have 10.9.5 loaded on it... but I would be willing to do a clean install downgrade if you think that is the right way to go...
I would rather not but I have been working on this doc for 6 years and will be flying an editor from Berlin to work on the the fine cut and I want to be certain that everything is running as smooth as possible when she arrives.

While I have you attention would you have any advice on a secondary monitor for this set up?
thanks!


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Shane Ross
Re: Optimal CPU for FCP7 & HD footage? Old MacPro or new iMac?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 5:09:22 am

[shawn convey] "With an OS of 10.8 would be the ideal set up?"

Yes...because everything works.

[shawn convey] "Right now I have 10.9.5 loaded on it... but I would be willing to do a clean install downgrade if you think that is the right way to go..."

Compressor is broken in 10.9...and FCP isn't supported on that versions. Some things may not work. And on a large project you don't want questionable performance...you want a rock solid system.

[shawn convey] "While I have you attention would you have any advice on a secondary monitor for this set up?"

Well, I use DELLS, but they are old. HP ZR2440w is good. You'll have to get a thunderbolt to DVI adapter for that though. Using those at work.

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


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