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FCP System hardware recommendations?

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Sammy Moir
FCP System hardware recommendations?
on Nov 19, 2010 at 9:35:48 pm

Hi, I'm looking for some hardware recommendations that will enhance a couple of my systems and specifically solve a couple of problems I'm having.

Currently me and a couple guys I work with produce HD videos for the web and commercials for broadcast. Our systems have evolved over the years and now that we are doing TV broadcast I feel it's time to get more serious about color. Up until now we have not used broadcast monitors for reference unless we are at some outside agency working on their systems. Our computers are pretty current however we still run into problems with stuttering playback of large HD files.

At different times we use sata drives, firewire 800 drives, or internal drives... stuttering seems to happen either way.

So the questions are these...

If you were building a FCP/AE offline system and wanted to have great color reference and be able to work on Big 1920x1080 files without stuttering... what would you buy? CPU, video card, monitors, etc...


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Michael Sacci
Re: FCP System hardware recommendations?
on Nov 20, 2010 at 12:38:10 am

[Sammy Moir] "and be able to work on Big 1920x1080 files without stuttering... "

FIrst and foremost you need to be looking at a fast RAID system. That is normally the bottleneck to playback stuttering.

Look at 8 day SAS enclosures and cards, these will also offer you redundancy of your files and projects.

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Joe Severino
Re: FCP System hardware recommendations?
on Nov 20, 2010 at 7:27:31 am

There are still a lot of factors that need to be considered. What codec is the HD footage in? how many lines of video are you trying to playback in real time at once? How long are your sequences & final projects?

I would recommend however:
MacPro (as of now an 8 or 12 core with as much CPU as you can afford, you cant upgrade the processor easily or without voiding the warrantee)
Lots of RAM (8-16 GB)
a RAID controller card with either Mini SAS or Dual Link Fibre Channel Interface
A RAID Cabinate that supports RAID 5 configuration populated with WD Black or enterprise drives.
An AJA LHi or AJA Kona 3 card (Kona card if you need 4:4:4 HD Playback
HD video reference monitor
ATI Radion Graphics card with 2 computer monitors

This is a very general idea and would need to be tailored based on specific needs

Mac Pro 3.2 GHz Dual Quad Core
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
OS X 10.6.3 (Clean Instal)
Final Cut Studio 3 (Clean Instal)
Logic Studio (Clean Instal)

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