Dual 3.0 - any complaints? praise?

Posted by unamalatesta 
Dual 3.0 - any complaints? praise?
November 21, 2006 01:08PM
Got a demanding show coming up and I'll be dealing with seriously complex bin organization, so I need a lot of realestate, screen-wise, for that (plan on 30" & 23" displays) -- plus I will be dealing with hundreds of hours of footage, cutting offline as DV 25.

It's time for an upgrade and I'm looking at a 3.0. Anyone with this machine have anything to say? FCP 5.0.4 running okay on them?
Re: Dual 3.0 - any complaints? praise?
November 21, 2006 02:50PM
It's the video card, not the computer that drives those displays. So plan on what is latest and greatest at the time you purchase. Since this is DV and you got lots of it, I'd spend my money on HDs and a kick ass video card rather than a spanking new Mac Pro.

And do a papaer edit before you bring in 100s of hours of DV.

Michael Horton
Re: Dual 3.0 - any complaints? praise?
November 21, 2006 04:16PM
Right, good thinking. Along with myself, I've got two producers -- producing paper edits -- and an assistant for the duration of the project for assemblies, and then I'm cutting on a pretty intense schedule.

I'm with you on the video card, but I'm looking ahead to my shows after this offline. My next show is DVCPRO HD, then I've got second show overlapping with that which is HD, and I plan to use the Blackmagic HD Extreme. In other words, with this machine, I'm thinking toward the next 8 months of shows, and the extra power will come in handy. I'm just interested to know if folks who've purchased it are pleased with the 3.0.
Re: Dual 3.0 - any complaints? praise?
November 22, 2006 12:24PM
I have a quad 2.66 macPro, and am somewhat ambivalent about it, but mostly like it.

Expectedly, it is much faster than my dual 1GHz Quicksilver 2002, but the MacPro isn't as fast as I had hoped.

Be aware that if you go with it, FCP 5.1.2 is required, because it's a universal app. Order that now, because the upgrade is only done by mail.

Buy hard drives anywhere but from Apple and fill the baby up. The sata 3.0GB drives will install in less than 5 minutes - all of them. it's that easy. And cheap. And very fast.

Buy RAM. Mine came with 1GB, and it's not enough. I added another 2GB, for a total of 3GB, and the system is better, but as i said, it still doesn't smoke the way I thought it would. From what I've read, there is some question as to whether or not these systems/software can use more than 4GB unless they're multitasking, but they'll hold 16GB of rather expensive RAM. Be sure and get the type with the large finned heatsinks - it's important.

Buy the ATI radeon GFX card. I have the GeForce and wish I'd gotten the ATI. It's worth the extra money for the speed. Specifically, this seems to be because FCP's FX are apparently going to something called "fxplugs," which are Motion effects that work in FCP. The use the CPU on the graphics card, hence the need for the better card.

Decide now how to monitor your video. As you may already know, HD won't travel on the firewire port, so many of us are using the second monitor as a preview monitor. This is actually not good - it's a terrible representation of what's in the real world. So you'll probably also need either an Aja/Blackmagic card, or possibly an adapter that is specific to the ATI cards (some ATI cards will allow a DVI-I port to be split into analog component, but I haven't done it and don't know if it works). This adapter will not work on the GeForce, because it uses a DVI-D port which only digital.

Rosetta's not all that bad on a MacPro. I use Photoshop and the rest of the CS suite, and it's very manageable on these fast systems.

iDVD really rips with this system - apparently it's optimized for the Intel systems. Quicktime Converstion encodes are also fast.

The build quality is first rate, as is the design. a very easy system to work on. although, I am having a problem with the GeForce graphics card. I'm working that out now.

Everything has been stable - one or 2 FCP crashes, but nothing earth-shattering. less than my old system, for sure. No crashes since I got the additional RAM.

Overall, I'm happy with the system, and I'm expecting (and desperately hoping) that OSX 10.5 will optimize things for this hardware, and make it perform the way the specs make one believe it should.

best of luck!


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