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I need a Intel Mac Platform with Tower expandibilty


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#1
McGonicle

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Ok guys, I wonder if you could help me out. If I sound frustrated, I appologise, but I have to admit that I find Macs the most frustrating system in the world, but due to the fact that a key member of staff in my company is trained on Final Cut Pro, and we have a project to complete which requires a great deal of expertise, we have to stick to that platform. However, the client has requested that we supply the video in an HD format. We have been running tests and it is clear that the G5 that we are currently using is simply not man enough for the job. In order to get the project finished and be able to do simple things like review raw footage in real time, we need to have a higher performance machine, which has space for PCI slots and at least 4 SATA drives in a RAID array.

I have already been over to the incredibly helpful people at macworld.com and taken a slating because I said that I needed an Intel Mac only as a transitory phase while we move proper to Windows, and *shock horror* commited the cardinal sin of saying that I would buy an Intel version of the Mac OS X and run it on PC hardware if that was what I needed to do to get a machine with PCI slots and 4 gigs of RAM.

All I want is a platform that can run OS X, can run Final Cut 5.1 and can do it on Intel hardware, and has expandibilty in the form of PCIs or PCI-X or whatever the enhanced version of the slot is called. I'm hearing the earliest a tower version of the Intel Mac will arrive is probably early next year, which is not much good to me as I need to buy a machine in the next month.

I had decided to force our editor to work with Premiere on a PC, but then hearing about the introduction of boot camp, I thought, we coudl do this project on the Mac side, and then just use it as a Windows machine afterwards.

But I'm still tempted by the idea of building a custom PC and trying to get OS X to run on it. It is so frustrating becasue the ealry beta of OS X ran fine on my domestic PC (which was exactly the same setup as the development platform, down to processor and motherboard... that one had plenty of PCIs and PCI-X!). However, the recent releases are just locking up on my machine, so i don't think it is going to be a viable option. Unless any of you guys can set me straight? Is there a site out there yet that give you a how to for building a Mac Intel custom build from scratch? All the components and everything?

Anyway guys, any help would gratefully received, but I'd liek to avoid going down the road I did on macworld. If fancy a laugh, my one and only thread at:

http://www.macworld....sb=5&o=&fpart=1

Maybe I was being harsh, but those guys, they were not very helpful.

p.s. (in the thread on the macworld board I made out we were starting our business out as I didnt think they would be as eager to help me move format if they knew we were already established. I thought they would be eager to sell the mac format to me. But I know a lot of you guys are strongly into the multiboot and the foundation of this forum was guys trying to get )sX86 running on custom build PCs, so I can take a more straight up tack with you guys, and you wont judge me :()

#2
A Nonny Moose

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They're not going to be helpful because you already have the best editing software around in Final Cut Pro (and it will never ever ever run on Windows). Premiere just doesn't cut it and you can max out a G5 tower with 16 GB of RAM, which will make anything run a ton faster. You can also case mod the G5 to accept a total of four SATA drives, giving you the exact specifications you need. My question therefore, is "why reinvent the wheel?"

#3
McGonicle

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The G5 can't handle the HD streams though, either as they come out of the camera or as decompressed full 1080i streams, and the intermediate format generates video below the standard acceptable to our client. Either way, we are getting massive slowdowns even when we borrowed ram to test the highest spec we could jig together. It's just not up to the job. We've seen a Windows based Matrox and Premiere solution that looked great handling HD material in real time, but as we have not got the training booked up for Premiere until after this project, it is not really an option at the minute. And if we could stick with Final Cut it would be ideal as it would take a great deal of time for our editor to reach the same level of proficiancy on another package.

The general steer we have been getting has been to forget it when it comes to HD on the G5 series Macs, and that the only long term solution was Intel based machines, be them Window or Mac, supported by a hardware video solution, as the processors are going to be lagging behind for the forseeable future.

#4
CSMatt

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I would look for a solution that's less illegal, especially if you don't want to end up going out of business because of lawsuits.

#5
Swad

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Welcome to the Forum, McGonicle - hopefully we can help you out! (BTW, you're certainly not alone in your situation!)

First, with regard to building your own box, I'd suggest poking around the Genius Bar. Here's a good thread about building your own box from scratch: http://forum.osx86pr...?showtopic=7393

I'll let others with more video expertise address your other issues.

#6
McGonicle

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Welcome to the Forum, McGonicle - hopefully we can help you out! (BTW, you're certainly not alone in your situation!)


Ah man, thanks for the link, that is fantastic! This is the sort of stuff I'm looking for. I knew you guys would help me out :( I was starting to get really frustrated with the whole thing! It woudl be great if some video guys posted their experiences as well.

Cheers man!

#7
Swad

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Check out our Pro Video forum (under Multimedia) as well - if you had a question about optimizing, etc, those folks would know. There are quite a few threads about FCP there already!

#8
Urbz

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Hey,
I know what it feels like to need to upgrade but to be caught, we need new computers for graphic art puposes and nothing is really suitable for our budget (until bootcamp is perfected...imacs would be what we're looking for hardware-wise).
Might I suggest you tough it out for just a few more months?
Here's why:Woodcrest, Conroe and Merom are intels upcoming processors based on the new "Core" architecture. They are gonna be the fastest chips around... Now here's the deal. The new architecture cannot be upgraded to completely from existing chips.
Merom is the successor to the core duo, and it'll add 64-bit to the mix along with 4MB L2 cache.
Woodcrest is gonna be the most powerful (with more than 2 cores) but made for servers.
Conroe is what'll probably be in the next PowerMac (Mac Pro?). It's rumored to be the most powerful chip yet, and it is said that it will set AMD back by a year.
(find out more with google, and this page at wikipedia)
Now that we have our processors down, what's interesting is that Intel announced last week that they're gonna be moving faster than we all thought: all three of these processors are now scheduled for Q3 2006. That means this summer. Go here for more details.So hopefully, This means you will be able to get your hands on one of the most powerful computers anywhere this summer from Apple and it'll also run windows with boot-camp.

Just my opinion! :blink:

-Urby

#9
macprodan

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Lol, set AMD back by a Year i think not.

Netburst is a Brilliant Arc, and will be back one day. all intel is doing is taking the IBM/AMD route of Less Mhz and More done Per Cycle.. until there is silicon that can handles crazy high speeds.

I bet AMD has some stuff up there sleves as well, that we dont know about. gotta keep the Evil intel on thier toes.

#10
A Nonny Moose

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Lol, set AMD back by a Year i think not.


Yeah, I mean AMD is still working on "faster, smaller, and cooler" processors (at least AMD got the "do more work per clock cycle" part already). How the hell can they set back even more than they already are

#11
bluedragon1971

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The G5 can't handle the HD streams though, either as they come out of the camera or as decompressed full 1080i streams, and the intermediate format generates video below the standard acceptable to our client.


LOL. Yeah, sure. That's why soooo many movies and TV shows are edited on Windows. :D

I would look for a solution that's less illegal, especially if you don't want to end up going out of business because of lawsuits.


I second that! Anyone running a business on illegal software is just begging for legal trouble.

#12
McGonicle

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Hi guiys, thanks for all you help so far, it is really appreiciated.

LOL. Yeah, sure. That's why soooo many movies and TV shows are edited on Windows. :hysterical:
I second that! Anyone running a business on illegal software is just begging for legal trouble.


Machines set up for editing TV programmes and Feature Films are bolstered by masses of extra hardware. Our G5 can handle standard resolution PAL video quite well. If we are working with standard DVCAM streams (which, for quality reference, is often used for out of studio news reports on local news stations) then we are working at a data rate of about 20 gigs an hour. With HD 1080i uncompressed we are working at about 400 gigs an hour. The throughput is too much for normal playback off of Firewire 400 drives, and our tests show its too much for Firewire 800 too. And thats when watching unedited video. If we have any crossfades then it completely goes to pieces. There is no point us trying to upgrade our existing G5 with supporting stream handling hardware, which will represent the biggest investment in the machine to date, when it is on the verge of obsolessance, and the likelyhood is any hardware will not be compatible with a future PCIe machine. And incidently, we don't produce TV or Film material (yet) we mainly produce promo material for investment companies and in house safety videos etc. Most of the people in our area of the market seem to be working with Premiere or Avid Liquid based solutions.

In regards to legality, if i buy a copy of the Intel OS X, then how am I breaking the law? I don't think the clauses they are supposed to have in their EULA will carry much weight in court. They have no more right to force me to use their OS in their own built machines than Epson have to get me to use their overpriced catridges in their printers. Should I go for a self build Mac compatible I'll quite happily invite representatives from Apple to my business premisies to inspect my machines, and if they choose to take action against me, I will quite happily see them in court. The exposure for my company would be fantastic, and I could make a great deal of mileage out of it. I'm sure the courts would see there being some sort of restriction of trade taking place. Since the Industrial Age there is a history of people taking parts of things and reuseing them in different applications. The person who originally designs and sells that part has no control over the actual application of that part. I don't think they would dare take anyone to court as the likelyhood is that the TPM would be ruled illegal and they would find that their machines are finally recognised as what they are... PC's in lingerie.

#13
Swad

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Should I go for a self build Mac compatible I'll quite happily invite representatives from Apple to my business premisies to inspect my machines, and if they choose to take action against me, I will quite happily see them in court.


I'm fairly certain you'd win too... but that's for another thread.

I do agree with urby's comment, though - it might be wise to postpone spending a considerable amount until the actual Mac towers come out (likely) at WWDC. They will probably be able to outperform the hacked OSx86 versions, due to their supported nature.

#14
munky

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McGonicle... or McGonagall? :hysterical:

Anyway, I would recommend waiting until 'real' intel pro desktop macs come out, cos you really dont want legal trouble for your company. if you cant wait, max out your G5.

#15
myzar

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Well the real reason to wait is that you can't build something able to touch your g5 until conroe is released, that will be the first good intel cpu after years. There's no point to spend any money on the dead netburst arch now

#16
Menno

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The Quad 64Bit G5 with 16GB of ram doesn't do the job?

#17
DiaboliK

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i think i can boast 16.5gb of ram actually

#18
ProfessorF

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Ok guys, I wonder if you could help me out. If I sound frustrated, I appologise, but I have to admit that I find Macs the most frustrating system in the world, but due to the fact that a key member of staff in my company is trained on Final Cut Pro, and we have a project to complete which requires a great deal of expertise, we have to stick to that platform. However, the client has requested that we supply the video in an HD format. We have been running tests and it is clear that the G5 that we are currently using is simply not man enough for the job. In order to get the project finished and be able to do simple things like review raw footage in real time, we need to have a higher performance machine, which has space for PCI slots and at least 4 SATA drives in a RAID array.

I have already been over to the incredibly helpful people at macworld.com and taken a slating because I said that I needed an Intel Mac only as a transitory phase while we move proper to Windows, and *shock horror* commited the cardinal sin of saying that I would buy an Intel version of the Mac OS X and run it on PC hardware if that was what I needed to do to get a machine with PCI slots and 4 gigs of RAM.

All I want is a platform that can run OS X, can run Final Cut 5.1 and can do it on Intel hardware, and has expandibilty in the form of PCIs or PCI-X or whatever the enhanced version of the slot is called. I'm hearing the earliest a tower version of the Intel Mac will arrive is probably early next year, which is not much good to me as I need to buy a machine in the next month.

I had decided to force our editor to work with Premiere on a PC, but then hearing about the introduction of boot camp, I thought, we coudl do this project on the Mac side, and then just use it as a Windows machine afterwards.

But I'm still tempted by the idea of building a custom PC and trying to get OS X to run on it. It is so frustrating becasue the ealry beta of OS X ran fine on my domestic PC (which was exactly the same setup as the development platform, down to processor and motherboard... that one had plenty of PCIs and PCI-X!). However, the recent releases are just locking up on my machine, so i don't think it is going to be a viable option. Unless any of you guys can set me straight? Is there a site out there yet that give you a how to for building a Mac Intel custom build from scratch? All the components and everything?

Anyway guys, any help would gratefully received, but I'd liek to avoid going down the road I did on macworld. If fancy a laugh, my one and only thread at:

http://www.macworld....sb=5&o=&fpart=1

Maybe I was being harsh, but those guys, they were not very helpful.

p.s. (in the thread on the macworld board I made out we were starting our business out as I didnt think they would be as eager to help me move format if they knew we were already established. I thought they would be eager to sell the mac format to me. But I know a lot of you guys are strongly into the multiboot and the foundation of this forum was guys trying to get )sX86 running on custom build PCs, so I can take a more straight up tack with you guys, and you wont judge me :))



Ok, long time lurker, first time poster here. Bear with me.

I use mac's for video - never grappled with HD mind you, but I've got a couple of questions.

Why go all Windows? There are lots of houses here in Soho that use Windows for their accounts handling and admin, but rely on the G5 for editing. If it ain't broke why fix it?

I appreciate you may be reluctant to invest in a newer G5, like the quad core due to the initial outlay.
You might also think it's an 'redudant' arch - but it'll serve you well for at least the next 3 years, by which time far better fire-breathing quad, octo or what have you Intel towers will be around.

If you're serious about setting up a large scale RAID array, then why bother housing it internally? For the sake of portability and access I'd honestly say an offboard array would be a better choice.

There are fibre channel cards for the G5 which will give you the bandwidth you need or you can fit a single PCI card that'll give you SATA or PATA connectivity out the back of the G5. The Quad will easily take two 500Gb Seagates, giving you a terabyte to play with.

How many expansion slots do you need?

It might also be worth while importing the footage at a lower format than pure HD for the offline and using the EDL to perform an online with the source footage. Just a thought.

This is probably closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, but I honestly don't see anything there that requires you to move entirely over to Windows, especially if your editor is FCP literate.

Simple question would also be - how much is your business worth?
Is it less than investing in the correct platform for the task and keeping your staff happy?

Just my own point of view, but I can see no convincing argument for forcing Windows on your editor, or for demanding an Intel processor at this time. The G5 line and it's software won't disappear over night - the installed user base is simply too large to forget, certainly for the next few years.

Either way, hope you got it sorted, and I hope your solution hasn't caused too much grief.

#19
Shimms

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My opinion would be this:

For commercial work, stay legal. Buy a quad G5 PowerMac and run FCP on it. Yeah so in a year or two it will be outdated, well thats the cost of business.

Also isn't FPC still PowerPC only, meaning you'd have to run it through Roesetta on an Intel mac? I think (if thats the case, I'm really not sure), it would be better for now to run it on a PowerPC chip. The G5 isn't as bad as you seem to think, sure its no longer the newest from Apple, but people have been editting and creating on them for a while now, and doing just fine.

Alternatively you could spend some money and put together a white box with OS X illegally installed on it, and then hope it works, and have no support when it doesn't. I dont know, you say you've got a tight schedule, perhaps its best just to play it safe.

I forgot to mention in regards to storage - why do you need it all on board? Just chuck a fibre card in there and connect it to an xserve raid?

#20
ProfessorF

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FCP is now Intel native, FWIW.





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