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Thread: Is this the end of my rope?

  1. #1
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    Default Is this the end of my rope?

    So my classic G4 has stopped capturing footage into FCP 5.1. Then it stopped recognizing my firewire drives. Since I burned out my internal firewire bridge years ago through hotswap buffoonery, I ASSumed that it must be my firewire PCI card. My hypothesis seemed to be confirmed by troubleshooting my DV deck and camera on a 12" G4. Dumping the FCP prefs and resetting my system settings also proved fruitless, so I went out and bought a new Qstor firewire card at Fry’s (the only one that said OSX compatible on the box). Now the computer will recognize the disks, but still refuses to capture.

    My partner and I have been weighing the pros and cons of upgrading this machine or buying something (used) new. Here are our main concerns: we're poor, but we need a reliable machine to run video apps including FCP, After Effects, Flash, and the omnipresent Photoshop. I need to upgrade in one way or another to take advantage of Motion and Shake. While I need a laptop upgrade (I'm still using a G3 clamshell. Yes. Graphite. It's adorable, but barely breathing), the desktop is the necessity since I would be constantly using this machine, and I feel like my work would burnout a laptop double time. Buying a new machine seems to be logical, especially since I would probably keep the G4 as a Photoshop horse. So, what do you folks think? Should I still be dumping money into this box (a processor upgrade is in consideration)? I've read the threads comparing the G5 and Mac Pro, but will a G5 suffice? How are they holding up over time? Any advice/direction will be supremely appreciated.

    This forum is the best teacher I've had!

  2. #2
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    Just a quick thought to get the ball rolling.

    If your apps are not all universal - and being financially challenged - you are likely not jumping into new Adobe CS 3 (or any other high end software) the day it comes out....then it might make sense to stick with a PPC box like a used G5. You should be able to get at least a couple years out of it, but most importantly get all the life out of the expensive software....which can be an even bigger investment than the hardware.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
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    My G5 is almost 4 years old and still going strong (knock wood) It's a rev A Dual 1.8 PCIX model

    If you get a G5 they have 3 models of motherboard PCI, PCIx and PCIe, make sure you get one that will work with any cards you may need
    Damien,

  4. #4
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    So, I have to buy a laptop for a job. I'll be capturing and cutting DV footage with FCP 5.1, probably about and hour or so of footage a day, which will be stored on a LaCie D2 1 TB drive. Then I'll be burning it out to DVD. I'm deciding between a refurbished G4 and a Macbook Pro. Any recommendations?

  5. #5
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    Well, I have an early MBP for my work machine, and I love it. We also just bought about 10 base model MBs, (not Pros), and I have to say I would be happy with one.

    If you need the video card oomph, and as I recall you do for FC suite, or if you need screen real estate, or the FW800 port, or the PC card slot, then the MBP is your only choice.......or a late model G4 PB may do too.

    Based on where everything is going, I would vote for the MBP over the PB. If you can pick up a PB for a song.....say half the price of a MBP, then it makes it a tuff call if you still need to pinch pennies.

    Regardless of which way you go.....don't put too much faith in your LaCie big drive. We saw an awful lot of folks with issues with those things over the last couple years. Be careful, and consider some different, more robust hardware.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  6. #6
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    about that LaCie D2 .... make sure you keep a great backup. LaCie, particularly that model, is well known for sudden death syndrome.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the warning. I'll make sure to keep a complete video library at all times.

  8. #8
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    Any word on the 256 video card versus the 128 card? I'll be running FCP, Shake, and After Effects...recommendations?

  9. #9
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    Dear friend,

    Quote Originally Posted by mmaccora
    Any word on the 256 video card versus the 128 card? I'll be running FCP, Shake, and After Effects...recommendations?

    It all depends how intensive you think you are going to use the graphic capabilities on that MacBook Pro.

    I'd say that with a 128MB VRAM graphic card, if for some reason, you need to push large chunks of video data, the system can use part of the physical RAM installed, thus you may want to make sure you've got at least 2GB of RAM on that MBP.

    Fortunately MacGurus and/or CRUCIAL can provide you with that extra 1GB at somewhat less than the US$ 175.00 Apple wants to charge you with.

    BUT, if you think that not even the 3GB RAM outfit will be of any or little help, then makes more sense going for the 256VRAM specced MBP. Given the price of the RAM expansion, it would be a cheaper solution.

    However, said that, IMHO the new MBP will be a major step forward in your computing performance.

    Your mailage may vary.

    Good luck.
    Costa
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    Ab ovo usque ad mala

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