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My first Hackintosh for Video Editing


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#1
acrosx20

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Think this is the place to post so here we go. I've recently started shooting on the Red One Camera and after trying to edit one project in Windows XP, I threw in the towel and decided it was time to start using the magic of Apple and Final Cut Pro. I don't have the money to spend on a Mac Pro and I also didn't like the idea of having limited control over the hardware so I tried finding an alternative. As I was looking around for a solution I saw Psystar's site but didn't like the configurations they offered so I started wondering if I could build my own machine. I stumbled on insanelymac and here I am four weeks later with the new boxes of computer parts on my living room floor about to be built. I'm trying to achieve several different goals with this build so I figured I would share my experience.

Goals:
Build a system that can Run OSX Leopard
Be able to edit at least 2K red footage in Real time
Install and utilize a video deck card for true color correction
Overclock CPU with 4GHz being the goal
Use CUDA with CS4 and hopefully OCL in Snow Leopard to take advantage of GPU for transcoding R3D files to a variety of different outputs and codecs including h264 .mov files
When System is not being used for Editing, contribute computing power to both GPUGRID and Rosetta@home for helping to find cures for cancer, Alzheimer's, AIDS, and other viruses and diseases.
Have a one of a kind looking Mac

Components I've decided on:
Mother Board: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 $171
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (Fry's had the Qx9650 on sale for 600 today but I opted against it) $230
Video Card: EVGA 8800 GT KO $250 purchased in Nov '07
*I haven't heard of any definitive success for the GTX 200 Series so I am waiting to upgrade to something in that family after the release of the GTX 285 and GTX 290 in January (Price drops and more options) Hooray for CUDA and OCL!
Memory: 2 Kits of OCZ2G8002GK OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit $50 total
*Will be upgrading to 8gb of either DDR2 1066 or 1200, just haven't decided which brand to go with
Hard Drive: Western Digital 500GB SataII $80
*I also have several different IDE drives on standby if drivers aren't working immediately

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Gaming Case $79
PSU: Zalman ZM850-HP HP 850W PSU $180
CPU Fan: Zalman 9700NT (Keeping the old AMD 64X2 6400 Case in a blue theme and the New Intel with Green) $50

Tax and Warranties $135
Total Spent so far $1225

Future Add-ons once system is up and running:
Some type of Firewire 800 peripheral adapter
Some type of Black Magic Deck Link Card

I would love any input, thoughts, comments, or criticisms on this machine and route I have embarked on as this is a new journey for myself. I'll continue to post pictures and give updates of the build. Thanks to everyone for making this community as awesome as it is.

#2
ProjectEnder

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Nice Build, but there where some better place to put your money.
(I work as a Tech/Editor for a Post-Production house)

When dealing with Red and 2k Editing, or even 4:4:4 Editing (which is only HD1080 but much bigger Files then Red) its not so much the processor, yes that does make a diffrence, as much as it is the RAID and the RAM 4GB of Ram (in a real mac) can barely handle a hour long HD show. with only 2 RAID drives striped as one.

Components I've decided on:
Mother Board: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 $171
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 $230
Video Card: EVGA 8800 GT KO $250 purchased in Nov '07
Memory: 2 Kits of OCZ2G8002GK OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit $50 total
Hard Drive: Western Digital 500GB SataII $80

Future Add-ons once system is up and running:
Some type of Firewire 800 peripheral adapter
Some type of Black Magic Deck Link Card

MB is good 2 16x PCI-E slots
Proc nice and powerfull

Memory, DDR2 is easiest but get out of the 800, get some 1066 at 2GB a stick giving you 8GB easy, at the least
Hard Drives, get more.
Best Hard Drive set up would be 1 Sata for all of your OS and Apps
then fill all your left over Sata plugs with huge drives RAID them as one big one.
(Never Store OS+App on the same drive as your Editing material slows the system down)

By getting that huge raid set up this allows the system to (Say you have 5 Drives RAID as one)
Read and Write 5+ Times faster. and when dealing with 2K from Red and 4:4:4 from 1080, you need as much speed as possible.
It took a raid of 15 Drives to do 4:4:4 with out any problem (iam sure i could do it with less, but the Raid case would only work with all 15, External)

for your upgrades. dont get Decklink, nothign but problems on my end. we have 3 DeckLink cards that we pulled out of all our mac cuase they did not work as well as the AJA cards do. get a KONA 3.

I hope that helps. If you or any one need info on Video Editing Tech (specs formates, Encoding) feel free to PM me

#3
THEHAWKs

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acrosx20 if i was you i would look in to getting a intel Core i7 Setup for doing your Video editing i built a Core i7 system for doing audio/video and photo work i made a quick list Sub total $1,364.92

Posted Image

#4
Seepositive

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Nice Build, but there where some better place to put your money.
(I work as a Tech/Editor for a Post-Production house)

When dealing with Red and 2k Editing, or even 4:4:4 Editing (which is only HD1080 but much bigger Files then Red) its not so much the processor, yes that does make a diffrence, as much as it is the RAID and the RAM 4GB of Ram (in a real mac) can barely handle a hour long HD show. with only 2 RAID drives striped as one.


I do similar work....and this man speaks the truth. I have an 8 core Mac Pro that was about as good as an iMac until I RAIDed it and upgraded to 8gb of ram.

#5
Jeezoflip

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acrosx20 if i was you i would look in to getting a intel Core i7 Setup for doing your Video editing i built a Core i7 system for doing audio/video and photo work i made a quick list Sub total $1,364.92

Posted Image


core i7 for a kick ass gaming rig, but not for video editing. i would stick with core 2 quads or xeons if you can push it.

#6
MarioMac

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And a MacPro case :rolleyes:

#7
THEHAWKs

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core i7 for a kick ass gaming rig, but not for video editing. i would stick with core 2 quads or xeons if you can push it.


a Core i7 System is way better than a Core 2 Quad and you get more bang for your buck it really makes no sense spending over a 1,000$ on a Core 2 Quad System. when a Core i7 systems is only a few hundred more and can be twice as fast.

#8
JaE-V

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a Core i7 System is way better than a Core 2 Quad and you get more bang for your buck it really makes no sense spending over a 1,000$ on a Core 2 Quad System. when a Core i7 systems is only a few hundred more and can be twice as fast.


agreed, very well said. i went from a core 2 quad based system to the i7 and its almost like night and day, geekbenches well beyond a thousand and hits 4ghz with much less stress than the c2q's

#9
linuxhead

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ProjectEnder - good info about the RAID.

As for myself I put together a QuadCore system based on the same motherboard,
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DQ6, Q9450 Yorkfield CPU overclocked to 3.2GHz. There's no
way anyone can overlock it to 4GHz... some have done it to 3.6-3.8 but its not
stable. Its not really meant to overclock that much. 3.2GHz is the sweet spot,
I got the mega-ginormous Tuniq Tower 120 and the cores stay cool even when
pegged out at 100%.

I also got an all steel case, Cosmos 1000

Posted Image

I didn't skimp on the power supply and got the Corsair 1000HX 1000W power
supply (lists for $280).

4G Ram 1066

I recommend buying the XXXXXXX-NS Seagate SATA drives, they are workstation
quality SATA and rated more than then -AS.

I'm currently running Vista Business with Sony Vegas to edit HD, but looking to
learn Final Cut Pro and then eventually switch over to mac. I have a Canon
XH-A1 and a Libec 38M tripod, with two boom mics and a 15ft overhead boom
(good for crowd noises).

I would definately buy Mac hardware in the future but for now this will be good
to learn on. I have not yet gotten another drive to put osx86 but will be doing
soon. I was surprised to find out my motherboard is perfect for that ICH* and
realtek audio chip, etc.

I've read about the RedEye cameras they are nice.

I currently work in IT, my background is UNIX for the past 10 years, but i've done
black and white photography, image editing, etc for years so now I'm moving towards
digital video to do local projects on the side is my goal. I'm in learning phase and
hopefully do video full time or combine it with my own computer consulting.

I looked at Apples site and I am interested in Final Cut Pro and their apple hardware
certification.

Sony Vegas is a great package but its not taken seriously even though it is pretty
good at what it does (and does a few things FCP can't do). I look forward to entering
the Apple environment (hey an opportunity to do something different) with my Linux/Unix
background it will be a good fit.

#10
zulov

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Nice Build, but there where some better place to put your money.
(I work as a Tech/Editor for a Post-Production house)

When dealing with Red and 2k Editing, or even 4:4:4 Editing (which is only HD1080 but much bigger Files then Red) its not so much the processor, yes that does make a diffrence, as much as it is the RAID and the RAM 4GB of Ram (in a real mac) can barely handle a hour long HD show. with only 2 RAID drives striped as one.
MB is good 2 16x PCI-E slots
Proc nice and powerfull

Memory, DDR2 is easiest but get out of the 800, get some 1066 at 2GB a stick giving you 8GB easy, at the least
Hard Drives, get more.
Best Hard Drive set up would be 1 Sata for all of your OS and Apps
then fill all your left over Sata plugs with huge drives RAID them as one big one.
(Never Store OS+App on the same drive as your Editing material slows the system down)

By getting that huge raid set up this allows the system to (Say you have 5 Drives RAID as one)
Read and Write 5+ Times faster. and when dealing with 2K from Red and 4:4:4 from 1080, you need as much speed as possible.
It took a raid of 15 Drives to do 4:4:4 with out any problem (iam sure i could do it with less, but the Raid case would only work with all 15, External)

for your upgrades. dont get Decklink, nothign but problems on my end. we have 3 DeckLink cards that we pulled out of all our mac cuase they did not work as well as the AJA cards do. get a KONA 3.

I hope that helps. If you or any one need info on Video Editing Tech (specs formates, Encoding) feel free to PM me


I am currently editing a RED feature project on my Hack, and up until this evening I felt like the man when I ran into a show stopper problem.

I am running a GA-P35-DS3L Quad Q6600, 4GB Ram, ATI 3870 512MB, Blackmagic Intensity Pro system, with 10.5.6 Vanilla, FCP 6.0.5. My RED proxies play fine in FCP but the timeline clip icon shows an almost all white image, and when sending the video to Color, the video shows up almost all white. It totally screws my ability to color correct using the R3D files (the latest Color update gives you the ability to manipulate the Red metadata in Color, rather than having to do so in Red Alert and then rendering a Qtime). Having to do a preliminary color pass through Red Alert is a pain, and takes forever.

So there it is - I think I have finally hit a limitation to our beloved hackintosh....

I think it is the ATI 3870 creating the problem, but I currently have no other card to test this on. I doubt there is anyone else with this specific problem, but do chime in if you are.

#11
thx4dat

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I have read some comments in the i7 thread that said fcp didn't work for them an the i7 platform. Can any one verify with some further information?

Thank you

Edit:
oh and I read somewhere not to invest alot of money in a graphics card, that Apple development was investing many resources in OpenCL (http://www.insanelym...howtopic=152891)? or something like that, with the new snow leapord and that it would more that likely be implemented (very soon) into fcp.

Any thoughts?

Edit number 2:
I am very confused because many people are saying stay with the older core or xeons rather than the i7 but many benchmarks and reviews that I have looked at
(http://www.pathiksha...the-difference/

http://www.madshrimp...all-3ghz-61229/

http://www.legionhar....php?id=790&p=2

http://www.anandtech...l...?i=3448&p=1

http://enthusiast.ha...W50aHVzaWFzdA==

http://www.insidehw....uad/Page-2.html

http://www.hardwarez...e...=2738&pg=7)

It is my understanding that clock for clock i7 is faster than core 2 duo, that the only time the core2 duo competes is with extremely cpu intensive games and only if the i7 is chained down by limited graphics capability, up the graphics capability (sli GPU improvements) in the same test and the i7 then really slaughters the core 2 duo.

Is this a religious thing?
Emacs is better
no Vim is better
no Emacs is better

spit > punch > scratch > money > politics > knife > gun > canon > semi auto > bomb > nukes > good no more bipeds; bad no more anything

#12
blackfire920

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Any good raid card for hack + FCP ? I'm doing HDV 720/25P, D90 mjpeg & avchd, Current I'm on the sonnet silicon 3132...prepare for another build when snow kitty and FCP Studio 3

#13
thx4dat

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Any good raid card for hack + FCP ? I'm doing HDV 720/25P, D90 mjpeg & avchd, Current I'm on the sonnet silicon 3132...prepare for another build when snow kitty and FCP Studio 3


I am not sure about software raid but if you head over to http://www.insanelym...p...9505&st=500 about halfway down the page you will see this

I have a question… does SATA Raid works with this mother board and MacOS X ? :(

Thanks

No hardware RAID support.

regards,
MAJ


As you can see this is hardware RAID support, I am not sure if that includes RAID controlled by the OS. Also this is for the core i7 cpu and the gigabyte x58 boards. I tend to trust Digital Dreamer and Wolfienuke. They aren't often arrogantly wrong and if they are they try to figure it out without ego, very cool. They don't only have cool names but they have invested a huge effort in the i7 camp and seem to have the info for that realm. Very clever people.

#14
holyfield

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Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 is working fine with Snow Leopard. Easy to install and stable.





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