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Any help appreciated

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GregAny help appreciated
by on Jul 11, 2006 at 6:57:59 pm

I really could use some advice here as to what to buy to build a M100 HDe system. I've been editing on a G4 1.42 for several years, and the time has come to move on. My plan is to have a dual boot G5 with both Media 100 HDe and Final Cut Pro, both using the same AJA OEM.

Currently I edit on Beta SP and DV, with the hope of editing on HD in the future. But for now let's say Beta SP. Should I wait for the Mac Intel desktop?

If you were building this system, what would you buy?

Would G-Raid drives work for me?

What else would I need to buy as far as any sata cards or ATTO? How much RAM would I need?

Thanks for all of your help.


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Kieran MatthewRe: Any help appreciated
by on Jul 11, 2006 at 11:06:55 pm

Hi Greg,

Again, no answers as such, but more observations.

1. RAM - get as much as you can afford. I would say at least 2gb but the more the merrier.

2. I would look to a SATA drive solution like the G-SATAs rather than the G-RAIDs. I would imagine that two G-SATAs (i.e. four discs) raided together under OSX with a 4-channel SATA card would give you enough bandwidth for uncompressed SD (Beta SP and DV) and probably have a good stab at the new compressed HD available in V11. This is the route I am planning to go, but I have no direct experience - perhaps someone else can jump in here ?

3. The MacIntels - I know it is tempting and in fact I too am dithering about waiting until Aug 7th, but consider these points,

a) The Media 100 application is not yet universal and the "road map" hasn't mentioned it, so you won't get the full benefit for media 100 (you will for universal FCP though). It may even have issues as Quicktime would probably need to run under Rosetta (anyone with SW and a Macbook Pro want to jump in?)

b) No-one has had their hands on a "Mac Pro" to test hardware configs - not even AJA. Sure it might work straight away, but why have the grief of waiting for updated drivers etc ? Add to that the fact that media 100 has always been slow to approve new hardware configs, prefering to soak test. Again why have the hassle of being an unpaid test site ?

c) Even with Apple's high standard of build quality, first generations are often fraught with design flaws that get ironed out over time.

So my advice would be wait until Aug 7th and see what happens. Boris himself told me that he didn't reckon that Mac Pros would be a factor for them until next summer. If they do get released, weigh the pros and cons with all the facts at hand.

I myself am nervous about buying effectively out-of-date hardware like the ppc G5, but it is proven technology, and the sum of several years development. It is the hardware V11 is running on right now, and has been approved by media 100.


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johnRe: Any help appreciated
by on Jul 12, 2006 at 6:10:23 am

i would go further

wait until the WWDC announcement and then pick up yourself a cheaper G5
with more RAM than you had expected.

G6, so what really!

Will it make any difference for the first 6-8 months? Hardly likely.

Quicktime will be buggy and Media 100 will be kept in the dark like
AJA as to what can be delivered. We know what G5's can do right now

obviously, my five cents worth


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GregRe: Kieran Any help appreciated
by on Jul 12, 2006 at 8:24:35 pm

Thanks for all of your input. You've been a tremendous help! I do have another question for you.

What's the difference between a G-SATA versus a G-Raid? Will both work on a Mac G5 if I have a dual boot with FCP5.1 and Media 100HDe?

The reason I ask, is I recently bought a G-SATA 320 GB with a Sonnet 4x4 card. My thought was to convert to SATA instead of replacing my failing SCSI drives on my G4 with Media 100i 8.2.

I've never made the move, as I need to update my OS, and everything has been working well on my curent system, so I've been afraid to update the OS, and add the SATA card.

I contract for a client who uses GRaid 500 drives on a FCK HD system. They seem to work flawlessly.
I'm confused as to when you would buy a Graid versus a G Sata. Any thoughts?

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Kieran MatthewRe: Kieran Any help appreciated
by on Jul 12, 2006 at 8:47:12 pm

Hi Greg,

G-SATAs are faster so you get better throughput for demanding things like real time effects and multilayering etc. A two disc G-RAID has problems providing the throughput for compressed media 100 360kb media if it includes a real time dissolve. Even compressed HD applications are quite data hungry so I'd go for as much bandwidth as you can.

The reason that you might want G-RAIDs (I have two myself) is that they are accessible from all macs that have firewire including say a 12inch powerbook G4, whereas a SATA solution would mean putting a card in each mac and would preclude the powerbook.

As I said before, I'm no expert on drives so it might be wise to seek some other opinions before commiting. That said the G-RAIDs & G-SATAs make great portable drives (I use them to carry projects between my home & office suites) so it won't be a disaster if you end up trying either solution and then upgrading if you find it doesn't meet your needs in the future.

Hope that helps!


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