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Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!

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Spencer Cook
Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 7, 2011 at 4:51:15 pm

Hello all,

I'm a long time Media100 user but this is my first post.

I am finally ready to upgrade to a brand new Media100 system (after several years of getting by with an old OS9, G4 version).

I'm thinking of using a new MacBook Pro for the computer, with Thunderbolt, and an MX02 MAX for I/O.

My questions... will the most powerful MacBook Pro be powerful enough (vs. a Mac Pro desktop)? What if any limitations on performance would I face if I used the MacBook Pro?

Second question... what kind of hard disk array would I need? Thunderbolt enabled?

Sorry if these are general questions but I'm kind of lost on how to proceed. I'm editing SD DVCAM right now but want to put together a system that would acommodate HD as I also plan on upgrading cameras in another year or so.

TIA for any advice or guidance you can provide!


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Peter DeArmond
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:24:24 pm

Hi Spencer,

Yes, the laptop is certainly powerful enough to run Media 100 Suite 2.1 (which you will love using). But unless your need is to do a lot of "in-the-field" editing, I would recommend an iMac over a MacBook pro. (Well, actually, I'd recommend a Mac Pro tower, but it sounds like you need a less expensive solution). Both the laptop and the iMac have Thunderbolt, but the advantage of the iMac is the much larger display than the laptop, and you can max out the RAM to 16 GB, whereas the laptop max is 8 GB. And yes, 8 GB is plenty, but that's just me -- I like to install as much RAM as I can. In either case I'd recommend the optional 7200 rpm internal drive over the 5400.

There are plenty of hardware enabled Thunderbolt RAID solutions out there.

As you may have heard, there's a lot of speculation and rumor that Apple will discontinue their Mac Pro towers. I would hate to see this happen, but with Thunderbolt you can still put together a nice, usable system.

Sounds like you need to accommodate SD legacy stuff for a while, but you'll love it when you finally go all digital. Good luck!



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Spencer Cook
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:53:45 pm

Thanks Peter,

I've been doing more research and I'm leaning toward the top-of-the-line iMac. The rumors about the demise of the Mac Pros along with lack of Thunderbolt on current models have me leaning toward the iMac.

Is there anything specific a Mac Pro Media 100 system can do that an iMac-based system can't do? Or does it basically come down to things like render time?

Thanks for all your help!

Sp


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Peter DeArmond
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:34:38 pm

Technically, yes, in one of the available PCI-e slots of a Mac Pro tower you can install a GPU, a card dedicated to graphics processing that is particularly useful if you're doing a lot of After Effects or 3D work. Thunderbolt is limited to four lanes of PCI-e bandwidth. A GPU will use all 16 lanes available in the PCI-e slot -- again, this is for high-end, multiple-layered HD and 3D stuff.

The practical answer (I think) is that the current version of Thunderbolt can easily handle your RAID I/O needs as well as additional monitors. I would think that a future version of Thunderbolt will have increased "bandwidth" to handle high-end GPU needs as well.



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Peter DeArmond
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:50:46 pm

I forgot to add that with a Mac Pro tower you can have 64 GB of RAM.

But getting back to your question, Media 100 is software based, so you can do anything that the software allows you to do whether it's on an iMac, a tower or a laptop. The difference is in speed and processing -- in what hardware you buy and how you configure it.



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Dave McCarthy
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:48:22 am

Media 100 Suite has not been qualified with any Thunderbolt AV card, so if you need a hardware solution today, you need a MacPro (with AJA, BlackMagic, or Matrox) or the 17" MacBook Pro (Matrox PC card slot).


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Spencer Cook
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 8, 2011 at 1:48:47 am

Doesn't Matrox offer a Thunderbolt option for the MX02? If so, is it just a case of Media100 not certifying it yet? Can we expect Media100 to do so soon?


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Dave McCarthy
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 9, 2011 at 7:25:06 pm

Well, qualifying a new interface is pretty involved. You should contact sales and figure out your best approach.


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Spencer Cook
Re: Putting together a new Media100 system... questions!
on Nov 9, 2011 at 9:32:30 pm

Good suggestion. Thanks Dave!


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