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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Is a G5 OK for FCP editing?

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sannpet's Avatar
Member Since: Nov 10, 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
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Mac Specs: Power Mac G5 Dual, Powermac G5 Quad, Mac Book, Powerbook, eMac, and a PC.

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I need advice from experienced FCP users regarding hardware. My computer (PowerPC G5, 2 GHz, 512 KB L2 cache) lacks grunt for capturing HDV. It drops frames.
I am considering spending a small fortune and buying the latest Mac... about AU$5,000.
But then I thought... hey, maybe I should just up the ram on my existing Mac. It only has 2.5 GB ram at the moment, and it can take 8 GB.
My question is... will this much Ram make a notice-able difference? Will it be able to handle HDV capture without dropping frames?
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ALWAYS state your software version when asking a question. I'm going to assume FCP Suite 6 for my response.

How do you know you have dropped frames? Have you analyzed the clips in FCP? This is a very old post at the LAFCPUG site and may not apply, but search for the word 'dropped' and review that paragraph.

I believe HDV is now captured and edited natively in FCP so you should have the bandwidth to grab it. As I recall my brother who also has a G5 tower hasn't reported any serious issues with his HDV camera, but he has only used iMovie HD.

I'd look at other bottlenecks before blowing 5Gs. For instance; are you connecting the camera directly to the Mac or through a firewire chain of devices that includes the capture drive, are you capturing the content to your primary drive or a secondary drive, have you got some other CPU intensive application running or some high network activity, have you got other applications open that are using a lot of RAM?

This link might be of interest to you.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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Member Since: Nov 11, 2008
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Not more than 6 months ago i was working at another production company and i was using their G5, pretty much same specs as you, and i was editing DVCPRO-HD on FCS 6 with no concerning problems. I remember i also edited some HDV projects, and i also don't recall having important issues with it. Of course, in both cases, editing was slower in that G5 than it was on any Intel Mac, but i was able to edit just fine.
Now, i don't know what kind of work you'll be doing, but if you just want to edit HDV on FCP 6, and are concerned about budget, i would recommend you get a new iMac rather than spending 5k on a Mac Pro. Of course, if you'll later be using Motion, or After Effects, or move up on media format, then i would say you should go for the Mac Pro.
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