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Learing FCP Studio...What Mac should I buy?

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Matthew Thompson
Learing FCP Studio...What Mac should I buy?
on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:53:11 am

Im an Avid Editor and Im ready to purchase a new Mac to learn FCP Studio. I am torn between a MacBook Pro 17" and an IMac 27" (quad-core).

I have heard of alot of people tell me that if I am using my Mac professionally I should get a MacBook pro or Mac Pro. But the spec of the IMac 27" is very good and would run all the software I need.

Am I missing something? Can someone shed some light?

Thanks in advance.


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Robb Harriss
Re: Learing FCP Studio...What Mac should I buy?
on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:23:07 pm

"professionally" means a lot of different things. In my world it means Mac Pros that can take external cards, multiple monitors, HDSDI i/o and the VTRs that go with those formats. But a lot of people run around with a laptop and do everything with firewire. I also use the laptop, but that's for carting projects home to work on. Where do you fall in the spectrum?

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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walter biscardi
Re: Learing FCP Studio...What Mac should I buy?
on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:30:17 pm

You have to tell us how you plan to use it. What formats do you plan to use, and what external equipment do you have to connect to?

The 27" iMac is an incredible computer and can certainly run Studio very well in a professional environment. We're installing four of them in our new facility, but those compliment the 4 Mac Pro / AJA Kona 3 systems we're also going to be running.

By itself, we could not run just 27" iMacs in our shop as we require hardware like the AJA Kona 3 boards. But as a compliment to those, they will work fine, though we returned our i7 iMac after discovering a major flaw in the ethernet cards in both that model and the i5. We had to step back to the 3.33 Core Duo 2 model so it will (hopefully) work correctly with our ethernet SAN. I'm actually in the process of installing Studio 3 onto it right now.

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/1087/apple-i5-and-i7-27-imacs-do-not-supp...

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/1092/i5-and-i7-imac-ethernet-controller-u...

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Matthew Thompson
Re: Learing FCP Studio...What Mac should I buy?
on Apr 16, 2010 at 4:50:03 pm

I will be using the machine as a stand alone computer for freelance jobs. I will be using external hard drives for editing (as they will be supplied by clients) and I would like the capability to capture direct from tape via firewire. I do not need SDI connections for this machine.

I aware that on all Macs I will need to buy a break out box (like the Matrox Mx02 mini) to view an interlaced picture. I am just wondering if there is anything I am missing if I purchased the IMac'27".



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walter biscardi
Re: Learing FCP Studio...What Mac should I buy?
on Apr 18, 2010 at 3:44:10 pm

[Matthew Thompson] " will be using external hard drives for editing (as they will be supplied by clients) and I would like the capability to capture direct from tape via firewire. I do not need SDI connections for this machine. "

Well then you will need the proper connectivity for any hard drive your client might bring you. This includes eSATA which gives you the fastest transport.

How do you plan to deliver these projects? When you say freelance editing you're only going to deliver digital files, you don't plan to deliver anything on tape format if required? If the job does require delivery to a tape format, do you have a plan in place to do so?


[Matthew Thompson] "I aware that on all Macs I will need to buy a break out box (like the Matrox Mx02 mini) to view an interlaced picture. I am just wondering if there is anything I am missing if I purchased the IMac'27". "

The ability to upgrade your system as requirements dictate. With the iMac you get what you get. With the Mac Pro you can swap out graphics cards, add video cards, add RAM, add hard drives internally, etc as the jobs dictate. If you need to be flexible to meet your client demands, the Mac Pro wins.

And you need a video card / breakout box for more than just interlaced video. The FCP Canvas is a degraded image and you cannot truly judge your work unless it is connected to a proper video display. This requires a video card or breakout box. With the iMac your choice will be one of the MXO products.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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