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What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?

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Kyle MacDonnell
What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 3:10:47 pm

Hello All!

I am trying to get my independent producer thing going. I bought a new iMac i7 which I am returning because it is too slow. All my software & experience is with Mac OS.

Question: What kind of hardware am I looking at to use AE & FCP in a timely, professional manner?

Any advice will be appreciated.


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walter biscardi
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 3:16:10 pm

To slow for what? We're cutting documentaries and episode television with iMacs here in our shop. My 27" iMac screams through After Effects CS5.

What are you trying to do? The iMac is actually a great editing workstation.

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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Kyle MacDonnell
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 3:30:37 pm

It just took me 48 hours to convert 2 hours of HD to SD in AE CS4. It takes me 1 to 2 hours to convert 1 minute of AVCHD to apple ProRes... I'm having a hard time picturing screaming speeds on an iMac!

Maybe my computer is defective; It's no faster than my laptop & I just rebooted & my finder windows have question marks on the menu bars?!?


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walter biscardi
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 3:37:25 pm

[Kyle MacDonnell] "It just took me 48 hours to convert 2 hours of HD to SD in AE CS4. It takes me 1 to 2 hours to convert 1 minute of AVCHD to apple ProRes... I'm having a hard time picturing screaming speeds on an iMac!"

Oh, well for conversions, yeah, it's going to be slower. I thought you meant just for editing and compositing. I do composites of 50 to 100 layers in AE and renders are no problem on the 27"

If you need to convert HD to SD, then you want hardware like the AJA Kona LHi or Kona 3 and those require a Mac Pro. If you go that route, get the fastest Mac Pro you can afford, minimum 8GB RAM, ATI 4870 card.

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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John Fishback
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 4:06:40 pm

Walter's advice is excellent. Another thing to look at whether using the iMac or MacPro is that Compressor and AfterFX are setup properly to use multiple cores.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Shane Ross
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:07:19 pm

Which AVCHD camera? The new SOny NXCam and FCP don't work that well if the clips are longer than 10 min. I had the same issue...a 20 min clip took 3 hours.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Kyle MacDonnell
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:50:33 pm

I'm shooting with a T2i & I had some .mts files from a Canon HF 10 which I initially converted to QT in CS4 encoder. FCP didn't like some of those files & crashed when I put them in the timeline. I wound up converting the .mts files to QT using iSkysoft. I eventually made single Pro Res movies out of each camera. They are about 100gb each, I'm thinking this was a mistake to make such big files. There are spots on my timeline that hang up for several minutes. I'm also having problems with sound partially disappearing from dvds that I'm outputting from FCP.

I just noticed that apple isn't listing my new i7 iMac for sale on their web site, only the i5 & i3!?!


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John Fishback
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 6:04:27 pm

ClipWrap is another way to re-wrap mts files. They have a trail version. Maybe it'd help.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Kyle MacDonnell
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 6:10:36 pm

Not sure if I'll be using .mts files again, but I need to figure out the whole transcoding thing!


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Michael Sacci
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 11:05:00 pm

I'm converting T2i footage all the time, even on my 2nd gen MBP which is slower than new iMacs and it converts the H264 (they are not AVCHD) into prores in about 2-3x so a 5 min clip will take about 10-15 minutes.

How are you converting the files.


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Kyle MacDonnell
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 6, 2010 at 11:21:09 pm

I converted the camera files to pro res on my laptop, before I got the i7 iMac, now that I think about it.
On the i7 iMac, I've had sluggish editing, rendering & burning of DVDs on both HD & SD. I converted HD to SD using CS4 Media converter. So far everything seems to take about the same amount of time that it takes on the laptop, but the laptop is much better for viewing streaming video online...


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Martin Curtis
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 7, 2010 at 7:03:10 am

Shane, someone else here noted that NX5 files recorded using PCM audio was slowing down transcoding markedly and using AC3 audio instead resulted in transcode time of 3x realtime.


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Martin Curtis
Re: What Kind of Hardware Is Good Enough?
on Aug 7, 2010 at 10:46:54 am

[Kyle MacDonnell] "It takes me 1 to 2 hours to convert 1 minute of AVCHD to apple ProRes"
That's odd and very slow. On my 2.8 GHz Core2Duo iMac I can convert 1080i AVCHD from a Canon HFS10 into Apple Intermediate Codec (at around 135 mbps) in real time.

[Kyle MacDonnell] "I just rebooted & my finder windows have question marks on the menu bars?!?"

That means that apps have been moved from where the Finder expects to find them and the dock can't update their location. If you haven't been moving apps around, this could indicate an operating system fault. If this is a new Mac, I'd take it in to the Apple store to get them to take a look, or at least give their phone support a go.


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