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

How much memory needed for 50" vid?


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steelhead

 
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Dear experts,
To make and edit a 50-minute video (on Final Cut), I read that I should have 4 GB. My iMac has 2 GB. If I get an external hard drive (to use with Firewire 500) with 1 TB, would that suffice, or do I need 4 TB?
Thanks for any tips!
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johnnyFIVE

 
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you are comparing two different things.

You dont need a larger hard drive you need more system memory or, RAM.

I am not sure how easy it is to upgrade the RAM on an iMac yourself, if you have the new one it probably uses DDR2 and that stuff is really cheap.

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Nethfel

 
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Your title is a little confusing in terms of this portion -

50"

" is used in two different reference frames that most people know - inches and when used in measuring angles it references seconds (ie: degrees, minutes, seconds of a given angle). It's not usually used as a reference of time in video.

I'm assuming you're actually looking to edit a 50 minute video?

For basic editing, you can get away without upgrading your RAM. I edit 1-1.5hr projects on a Macbook that only has 2GB of ram, you should be fine RAM wise - at least as long as you know you will not have as many real time effects available, and you will have a limit to projects in some of the other apps with FCS (I think motion reaches some hard limits with regard to RAM, but most of my motion projects have been very small so I haven't run into them yet). More RAM will make the overall editing process more enjoyable, but it won't necessarily be required for you to edit a basic video.

Also, what johnnyFIVE said is quite correct, your mixing two separate things to try to come to an answer of what's needed. Plus, there is no Firewire 500, you will either be using FW 400 or FW800. Your external drive, once you have configured FCP to use it, can act as a scratch disk to hold your captured video and the various renderings you will need to do during the editing process.

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D3v1L80Y

 
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Video files are generally larger files.
If the actual time of the video is longer, then the file size is typically even larger.
(This is not always the case, but as a general rule it applies).

When you are editing video (especially larger files) you'll need more available HD space if you are working on the project locally.
Not only will you need space to store the original files, but you'll also need to space for the project files as well as the final output.
Depending on how you export the final piece, you could use up quite a bit of HD space before you're through.


Now, of course the OP used the incorrect term for HD space ( There is NO "memory" on your Hard Drive ) but we all knew what he was talking about regardless.

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johnnyFIVE

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
Video files are generally larger files.
If the actual time of the video is longer, then the file size is typically even larger.
(This is not always the case, but as a general rule it applies).

When you are editing video (especially larger files) you'll need more available HD space if you are working on the project locally.
Not only will you need space to store the original files, but you'll also need to space for the project files as well as the final output.
Depending on how you export the final piece, you could use up quite a bit of HD space before you're through.


Now, of course the OP used the incorrect term for HD space ( There is NO "memory" on your Hard Drive ) but we all knew what he was talking about regardless.
you would have to be editing a lot, a lot, of 50 minute files to necessitate a 4TB hard drive, or even a 1TB hard drive for that matter. Even at something ridiculous like blue ray quality.

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Nethfel

 
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Not really Devilboy - a lot of people are under the impression that 4 gigs is required to edit in FCP and he was referencing his RAM up until he was mentioning the external drive - which means one could not be sure exactly the issue he was referring to - but as he brought up RAM first, it would make sense that the OP was concerned that they had enough RAM to be able to edit video in the first place. As the OP never referenced how much HD space they have in their system, and never asked about how much storage would be required - only ram use - it would make sense that they were really asking about RAM, and confused the use of HD space for RAM.

Also, completely ignoring that single external drives are not available in 4TB configurations, the largest (consumer accessible) drive is 2TB unless using a RAID array of some sort.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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steelhead

 
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Dear experts,
Thanks for these patient replies; as my post indicated, I'm a bit clueless. So, with 2GB on my iMac, would an external hard drive of 500GB (using Firewire 800, is what I meant) suffice for a fifty-minute (not inch) video , or do I need more, e.g., 1-2 TB on the external drive?
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Nethfel

 
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500GB will be more then enough, even if you're using High Def video for only a 50 minute video (of course, unless you have 10 hours of source footage, then you'll run into a problem). Now, if you're using standard def, you'll be editing with hours and hours and hours and hours of video before you'll fill up that drive. Even now when I do a quick project on my Mac Pro (sometimes I forget my external drive at work ) I use a 320gig drive, and it works out pretty well (of course, unless I have a ton of source footage, but I usually have 1-1.5 hr source to trim to 50min - 1hr final video.)

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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BenB

 
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To run FCP smoothly, yes, 4GB total RAM for sure. If you're editing HD material, you really want to look at 8GB RAM. FCP will use up to 4GB of RAM by itself. The OS will use up to 4GB of RAM by itself. Thus, the 8GB RAM minimum recommendation. HD material takes up much more CPU time, and thus the more RAM you have the smoother and easier (and more stable) FCP will run.

2GB min in the FCP tech specs is marketing hype. Yes, FCP will run with only 2GB of "available RAM", for very short SD projects. But you get into HD, and if you don't have 8GB RAM, don't hold your breath for the fastest, most stable system.

As for hard drives, if you can get a 1TB, get it. It'll have faster read/write/seek times than a smaller drive. The larger the drive, the faster it spins, the faster it's heads fly, the faster it's controller board runs, the more of the FW800 data pipe it takes advantage of.

FW800 for some HD formats, some HD formats (codecs) will bog down a FW800 connection. What flavor of HD would you be editing? I.E. what camera is it coming from?

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