1 2 Previous Next 43 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2011 3:28 PM by Darren Kelly RSS

    What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?

    kd58 Community Member

      I am a student and I have about $3000 to spend on a computer. I would like to go with a Mac.

      I say this so you can answer understanding that I'm not a professional, but would like to be one day.

      So I want to get the most for my money and be able to edit my film from my avchd camcorder.

      I would like it to it to run fast and later to learn After Effects.

       

      Can someone suggest a Mac configuration that would be around my budget and have good performance?

        • 1. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
          Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

          Here's some information that will help you to make an informed decision:

          FAQ: What computer and components should I buy for Premiere Pro or After Effects?

          • 2. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
            RjL190365 Community Member

            Unfortunately, the Mac that you will need will cost you far higher than your $3,000 budget. This is because the only Mac Pros with the recommended specs (as far as storage, CPU and RAM) will cost you at least $5,000. And none of the Macs of any size is available at all with an Nvidia GPU, so as of now you're stuck with an ATi GPU or an integrated Intel graphics. (In CS5.x, the MPE GPU accelerated mode works only with Nvidia GPUs - and does not support ATi GPUs at all. Thus, a system with an ATi GPU will be permanently stuck in MPE software-only mode unless Adobe decides to support OpenCL with a software update.)

             

            As for that $3,000 budget for the Mac, you're stuck with a configuration that has a paltry 3GB of RAM (nowhere near enough, IMHO, to run CS5.x) and no more than two hard drives - and then, only with the slowest of the first-generation quad-core CPUs (a 5500-series Xeon that IMHO performs no faster than an i7-920). And Apple charges you an astronomical $225 just to upgrade from 3GB to 6GB (still not enough RAM to run CS5.x at its desirable speed). Upgrading from 3GB to 12GB would have put you over the $3,000 limit for that base Mac Pro configuration (the upgrade from 3GB to 12GB costs $525, while an upgrade from 3GB to 24GB costs all of $1,275!).

             

            So, if you want to have any decent hardware (such as ample RAM and multiple hard drives and a decently fast CPU and Nvidia GPU), you have no choice but to go with a Windows 7-based PC. And forget about the iMacs, MacBook Pros or any of Apple's all-in-one systems: They cannot accommodate more than one fast hard drive - period. (Adobe requires at least one fast internal hard drive in addition to the OS drive as an absolute minimum just to run CS5.x to anywhere near the average user's satisfaction.) Plus, their GPUs are non-upgradable.

            • 3. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
              jasonvp Community Member

              ked50 wrote:

               

              Can someone suggest a Mac configuration that would be around my budget and have good performance?

              You have a few of choices, but you may need to breach your $3k ceiling.

               

              The first is to buy EBay.  Seriously.   There are some excellent deals on 2009-era Mac Pro 4,1s on EBay.  But make sure you save $700 or so for the nVidia card you'll want to add to the machine, along with some extra cash for DDR3 memory and a disk or two.

               

              The second is the lowest of the models in the Mac Pro range (I have one under my desk here at work).  With your student discount, you should be able to get one for about $2300 or so.  Add the aforementioned nVidia Quadro 4000 card for ~$700 or so and you're at your $3K ceiling.  But...  You'll want to add at least another drive to it, and more importantly a LOT more RAM.  Fortunately, neither of those things needs to be purchased from Apple.  Any SATA drive will work, and you can pick up very high quality and very inexpensive RAM from Other World Computing for your Mac.

               

              If your goal is to run OS X and it doesn't need to be on a Mac, then consider building a Hackintosh.  This takes a bit more work, but there are tons of resources on the 'net, like this one, that explain all the steps necessary.  Most of them even have buyers guides so you end up getting the right motherboards, peripherals, etc.  For $3K, you could build a smokin' hot Hackintosh that will likely outperform all of the current Mac Pros in CPU speed and raw number crunching.  The only thing they'll have over the Hack is dual processor support; that is assuming you don't assemble a Xeon Hack.

               

              Good luck, and don't be discouraged by the Mac nay-sayers on this board.  I generally /dev/null most of what they say. :-)

               

              jas

              • 4. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                Scott Chichelli Community Member

                mac naysayers eh???

                 

                well it dont get much better on Apple than this... and its still a dog compared to a windows system thats less than 1/2 its price

                 

                Premiere Pro CS5 Version 5.5 Testing

                Mac Pro 2010 Dual 12 core 2.93GHz

                24GB 1600 CL 9

                Quadro 4000

                2 WD 1Tb Sata 64 Meg Cache 600 Drives in Raid 0

                Video material - AVCHD 1080P 24 Frame Each Cut to 30 minutes of material

                Export Codec - H264 HDTV 1080P 24 Preset Default

                4 Effects per Layer - Fast Color Corrector, Brightness & Contrast, Video Limiter, Sharpen

                Each Layer Scaled to 50% for 4 frame PinP view.

                3 Layer - 42:24

                4 Layer - 44:05

                 

                I7 2600K 4.7 GHz

                16GB Blackline 1600 CL 9

                570GTX

                4 WD 1Tb Sata 64 Meg Cache 600 Drives in 2 Raid 0 arrays

                3 Layer - 30:46

                4 Layer - 33:36 <----  25% faster for 1/2 the cost...

                 

                a mac naysayer...

                • 5. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                  jasonvp Community Member

                  Scott Chichelli wrote:

                   

                  mac naysayers eh???

                   

                  well it dont get much better on Apple than this... and its still a dog compared to a windows system thats less than 1/2 its price

                  The assumption that you're making is that there's no other reason to have a Mac.  Perhaps folks actually like OS X as an operating system and environment, instead of Windows?  Perhaps people do multiple things with their computers and find Windows painful and laborious because of it's cruddy UI?

                   

                  Were someone to buy a single-tasking, video-editing-only (using PPro) rig, then perhaps a Windows system would be best.  I'd say the same thing to anyone assembling a gaming rig - buy Windows.  But some of us do lots of thing with our rigs, and Windows just doesn't suit us.  I won't make the assumption that the OP is like that, but I also won't make the assumption he isn't. :-)

                   

                  jas

                  • 6. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                    Scott Chichelli Community Member

                    ok i will bite..

                     

                    please do inform me what professional software you think runs better on apple

                     

                    as a now recently former Apple dealer who said the same when we were dealers (pointless to be one now) aside from Logic/DP there is no reason to own an Apple.

                    Final CutX is an embarressment, all cross platform software runs better on a windows system

                    if one still had snow leopard with FC (older)  then its worth keeping around just for the rare need. but to buy new today? please do enlighten me as to why?

                     

                    bear in mind we do both pro audio and pro video so i have benchmarks of most common software so dont say pro tools.

                     

                    if its about mucking around the internet and fooling with the "i" crap then maybe a mac mini as a 2nd system.. not as the main.

                    many editors have a work system and office system,

                     

                    Scott

                    ADK

                    • 7. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                      jasonvp Community Member

                      Scott Chichelli wrote:

                       

                      ok i will bite..

                       

                      You're doing more than that.

                       

                      please do inform me what professional software you think runs better on apple

                       

                      Which part of my post said anything about "professional software"?  Did you read the part where the OP noted he's a student?

                       

                      If you haven't grown up in a Unix environment when it comes to computers, then you won't understand.  And no amount of me posting my decades of experiences will convince you otherwise.  For you, the computer is a tool.  And that's fine; use it as such.  For me, the computer is an environment where I do a bunch of stuff in.  Sometimes that means running professional-level applications.  Sometimes it means hacking together some shell scripts or C code.  Sometimes it means ssh'ing to other Unix servers (or network gear) to do some remote work.  Sometimes it means just reading email [snip]

                       

                      Whoops, that was an ad-hom.  My apologies.

                       

                      You're not going to get it, so I'm not going to try to explain it.  But do try to understand that OS X, since it's built on top of a Unix platform, does all of these things much more smoothly than Windows does.  If that doesn't apply to you, great.  It doesn't.  It does to me.

                       

                      jas

                      • 8. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                        Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

                        I just deleted a personal attack from the previous message. I'll delete any post after this one that contains a personal attack.

                        • 9. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                          kd58 Community Member

                          Oh, I should also explain that I don't have any "build your own" knowledge. I can up my budget to $5000, but I am constrained to either go with a Dell Precision or go to the Mac Store on the Mall.

                           

                          What is an OS drive? Do I need to get two hard drives?  It sounds like I need to get a Nvidia GPU to be able to use the Mercury Engine, and  I need lots of RAM.

                          • 10. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                            Scott Chichelli Community Member

                            oh i am so sorry i didnit realize we were doing chocolate vs vanilla, red vs blue.

                            i thought we were doing facts not opinions. so you would be correct no need to continue.

                             

                            from the OP

                             

                            I would like it to it to run fast
                            around my budget and have good performance?

                             

                            thus the comments based on fact for cost vs performance. rather than flavor options based in opinion and personal preference.

                            silly me.

                            • 11. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                              Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

                              > What is an OS drive? Do I need to get two hard drives?  It sounds like I need to get a Nvidia GPU to be able to use the Mercury Engine, and  I need lots of RAM.

                               

                              The "OS drive" is just referring to the disk that your operating system is running on.

                               

                              Yes, you should have at least two hard drives. Please, go through the resources that I pointed to before, which explain this and other crucial matters:

                              FAQ: What computer and components should I buy for Premiere Pro or After Effects?

                              • 12. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                Scott Chichelli Community Member

                                constrained to get Dell or Apple?

                                • 13. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                  kd58 Community Member

                                  Why do you need two hard drives?

                                  • 14. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                    Scott Chichelli Community Member

                                    you need really a minimum of 4

                                     

                                    1) OS and programs

                                    2) Media drive (work capture)

                                    3) export drive (final output)

                                    4) external back up dont think for a minute this is not important

                                     

                                    with avchd you really shoud have drives 2 and 3 in raid 0 (or higher raids like 5,6)

                                     

                                    Scott

                                    ADK

                                    • 15. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                      Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

                                      > Why do you need two hard drives?

                                      That is answered in the resources that I've pointed you to a couple of times. The short answer is that you slow things down by reading from and writing to the same disk at the same time; you speed things up by preventing that.

                                      • 16. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                        RjL190365 Community Member

                                        Like Todd stated, you slow things down by reading from and writing to the same disk at the same time. This is made worse by the fact that SATA (the hard drive interface all recent pre-built systems use nowadays) is an interface that's only half-duplex (meaning that the interface allows transfers in only one direction at a time), not full-duplex. But even with a full-duplex interface, the bi-direcional transfer speeds both between buffer and host and between media and buffer are reduced by half.

                                         

                                        The end result is that you might end up with an expensive system that performs slower in encoding and exports than a three-year-old cheapo system that has the proper number of disks.

                                        • 17. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                          JSS1138 Community Member

                                          Perhaps folks actually like OS X as an operating system and environment, instead of Windows?

                                           

                                          Now that's just crazy talk. http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum/images/smilies/crazy.gif

                                          • 18. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                            Jac Godsman Community Member

                                            After reading this thread, I'm a little confused.  I have an iMac (details below) that isn't a 64bit system and I use Premiere Pro CS5.5.  I edit AVCHD files in PPro CS5.5.  I store my MTS files on an external hard drive.  I capture and save to the same external hard drive.  I haven't had any problems so far.  Should I expect problems? 

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                            Hardware Overview

                                             

                                              Model Name:iMac
                                              Model Identifier:iMac7,1
                                              Processor Name:Intel Core 2 Duo
                                              Processor Speed:2.8 GHz
                                              Number Of Processors:1
                                              Total Number Of Cores:2
                                              L2 Cache:4 MB
                                              Memory:4 GB
                                              Bus Speed:800 MHz
                                              Boot ROM Version:IM71.007A.B03


                                             

                                            Graphics/Displays:

                                             

                                            ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro:

                                             

                                              Chipset Model:    ATI,RadeonHD2600

                                              Type:    GPU

                                              Bus:    PCIe

                                              PCIe Lane Width:    x16

                                              VRAM (Total):    256 MB

                                              Vendor:    ATI (0x1002)

                                              Device ID:    0x9583

                                              Revision ID:    0x0000

                                              ROM Revision:    113-B2250F-212

                                              EFI Driver Version:    01.00.212

                                              Displays:

                                            iMac:

                                              Resolution:    1920 x 1200

                                              Pixel Depth:    32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)

                                              Main Display:    Yes

                                              Mirror:    Off

                                              Online:    Yes

                                              Built-In:    Yes

                                            Display Connector:

                                              Status:    No Display Connected

                                            • 19. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                              RjL190365 Community Member

                                              Jac,

                                               

                                              You are lucky for CS5.5 to have even run at all. CS5.5 requires a 64-bit OS and a 64-bit CPU just to even run at all. Therefore, you should expect major problems, especially since the CPU, GPU and disk configuration are all below Adobe's minimum requirements to run CS5.5 at all.

                                              • 20. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                Bill Gehrke Community Member

                                                Are you running the Windows version under Boot Camp or are you running a Mac version?

                                                 

                                                "Consequently, officially, Apple supports only the 64-bit version of Windows 7 just on the following Macs and these Macs likewise "can use" the 64-bit version of Windows Vista:    

                                                iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 21.5" (Late 2009)   

                                                iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 27" (Late 2009)"

                                                 

                                                Could not find anything on your 2.8 GHz machine

                                                • 21. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                  Jac Godsman Community Member

                                                  Hi RjL & Bill, thanks for your replies - I received this piece of info from forum contributor Colin Brougham:

                                                   

                                                  "The Core 2 Duo line is 64-bit, so you're definitely using a 64-bit system. While you may not have encountered issues, you're probably going to run out of headroom really soon. This will become even more of a factor with AVCHD. You can probably pull of a simple single-layer edit, but once you start piling on other clips, graphics, effects, and so on, you'll quickly get bottlenecked. Your system doesn't have a CUDA GPU, so hardware MPE is out of the question, and you won't be able to add one either. As long as you don't have really high expectation of stellar performance, it's workable, but know that at some point you're going to be drumming your fingers on the table waiting for a render or export to complete, and you're going to start shopping "

                                                   

                                                  So, because I want to be able to do fancy stuff with Adobe CS5.5 and take full advantage of the entire Master Suite, using AVCHD, what I'm wondering is, do I have to now buy the latest iMac? (*It has to be a Mac b/c I've purchased the Master Collection for Mac).  Could I have some suggestions please as to which Mac to buy, with what essential capabilities (i.e. I believe I have to get an 8GB version to be able to get all the benefits of 64 bit), will doing this take care of everything for me?  Do I need to know anything about GPU?  Will I be able to take full advantage of the CS5.5 Master collection, using AVCHD files and produce excellent quality videos if I buy the latest Mac?

                                                   

                                                  The latest iMac:

                                                  27-inch: 3.1GHz

                                                  • 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
                                                  • 2560 x 1440 resolution
                                                  • 4GB (two 2GB) memory
                                                  • 1TB hard drive1
                                                  • AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB
                                                  • 22. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                    Jac Godsman Community Member

                                                    I've learned that for best performance, I need 24GB of Ram (at the very least for smooth running - 12), multiple and fast CPU's, fast drives (a workstation that can instal multiple disks - does this mean external disks?  I'm unaware of a computer being able to have multiple disks installed if they're not external ones....?), a top-of-the-line graphics card (I'm assuming that's a GPU)....   I don't know about MPE performance and the best CUDA processing features to go for etc....

                                                     

                                                    This is pretty crazy!  And this is just to be able to run CS5.5 properly (regardless of whether you're using AVCHD files)  So they really need to say on the ad, you'll probably need to buy a new computer and other extras if you buy our software...

                                                     

                                                    I still don't understand if I can achieve all this just by buying one computer or whether I'll have to buy extras to have installed on it...

                                                     

                                                    I hope someone can please help.  I need this information pretty fast.

                                                     

                                                    thanking you in anticipation

                                                     

                                                    Jac

                                                    • 23. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                      Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                      I'm unaware of a computer being able to have multiple disks installed if they're not external ones....?

                                                       

                                                      You should come by and see my system. Two internal BR burners and 17 internal hard disks with space for two more.

                                                       

                                                      Here is a picture of a similar system:

                                                       

                                                      DSC00039.jpg

                                                      • 24. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                        jasonvp Community Member

                                                        Jac Godsman wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Will I be able to take full advantage of the CS5.5 Master collection, using AVCHD files and produce excellent quality videos if I buy the latest Mac?

                                                        As we've discussed here multiple times: iMacs really aren't suitable for PPro from an expandability perspective.  PPro likes extra spinning media for scratch space, input files, output files, etc.  This is challenging with an iMac unless you pick up a (very expensive) Thunderbolt external RAID enclosure.  Thunderbolt is quite fast, but the few cases available that support it already come with drives in them; you can't buy them empty and add drives as you need.  This allows the case manufacturer to charge a premium for the drives.

                                                         

                                                        Further, you can't upgrade or compliment the graphics card in the iMac.  The GPUs Apple uses in the iMacs are all mobile (ie, laptop) GPUs, if I'm not mistaken.  The problem is: they're all from ATI.  If you get to a place where running the MPE in hardware mode would help your work flow, you need an nVidia GPU.  That's just not an option with the iMacs and given Apple's poison relationship with nVidia: probably never will be.

                                                         

                                                        For Macs, the Mac Pro is the better platform.  It's an expensive platform though, so I'd recommend looking for used ones on EBay if you can.  The challenge with the Pros, outside of their enormous cost, is that they all use Intel Xeon chips.  Intel doesn't update Xeon chips that often... the last update was in early 2010, and the next one won't be until spring of 2012.  Without updated Xeons, Apple doesn't update the Pros; they appear to be a very stagnate platform.  The current top of the line Mac Pro is using 2 6-core Westmere chips running at a fairly paltry 2.9GHz.  Were I buying a new Pro right now, I'd go for the single-processor 6-core that runs at 3.3Ghz.  Then add a PNY Quadro 4000 video card, lots of aftermarket RAM (way less than Apple charges), and however many disks I needed.

                                                         

                                                        jas

                                                        • 25. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                          kd58 Community Member

                                                           

                                                          you need an nVidia GPU.  That's just not an option with the iMacs and given Apple's poison relationship with nVidia: probably never will be.

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          jas

                                                           

                                                          I understood that you could upgrade your Mac with an nVidia graphics card?

                                                          http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-quadro-4000-mac-us.html

                                                          • 26. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                            jasonvp Community Member

                                                            ked50 wrote:

                                                             

                                                            I understood that you could upgrade your Mac with an nVidia graphics card?

                                                            http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-quadro-4000-mac-us.html

                                                             

                                                            Correct.  But that only works in the Mac Pros, not the iMacs.

                                                             

                                                            jas

                                                            • 27. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                              Jac Godsman Community Member

                                                              Thank you so much for alll this information.  Harm that was funny .  Jason, thanks for such an informative break down of the situation, informing me exactly what I need to do and exactly what I need to purchase.  It's a shame your post isn't a warning label plastered to Adobe's  'Buy your Mac Master Collection Now' button....   This is really disappointing as you can imagine...  I'm a bit dumbfounded.  I excitedly purchased the Master Collection (after working for several years with FCP).   After Final Cut X, Adobe made it sound so simple and logical to move over to PPro... They specifically targeted us FCP Mac users.  I mainly bought it for PPro and After Effects but I was excited to learn Flash etc. I obviously didn't do enough research and assumed too much.  But I also think that Adobe isn't advertising CS5.5 'fairly'.  My iMac isn't that old and it's quite powerful, if Adobe's advertising had said you'll probably have to buy a new computer as well, i wouldn't have purchased it.

                                                               

                                                              Thanks again for all your help.

                                                              • 28. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                jasonvp Community Member

                                                                Jac Godsman wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                My iMac isn't that old and it's quite powerful, if Adobe's advertising had said you'll probably have to buy a new computer as well, i wouldn't have purchased it.

                                                                 

                                                                Adobe has spent a lot of time polishing their professional applications up for the Windows operating system over the past 4-5 years, at the cost of letting the Mac versions suffer a tad bit.  If you remember: Photoshop's big move to 64bit was done on Windows first, quite a while before it was done on the Mac.  I'm sure there are a number of reasons for that... some technical, some political.

                                                                 

                                                                You can use an iMac.  It's just that things may seem a bit slower.  You won't be able to use the MPE in hardware mode without an nVidia GPU.  And in order to add extra spinning media, you'll have to use FW800 and/or Thunderbolt enclosure.  It's doable, it just won't be as quick or slick.

                                                                 

                                                                I think the right direction for Adobe to go is to work on OpenCL coding of things like Photoshop. PPro, After Effects, et al.  That way they can make use of anyone's GPU, not just the CUDA processors on the nVidia cards.  I have no clue if that's even being considered, but I'm sure if it is, nVidia won't be too happy about it.

                                                                 

                                                                Good luck with whatever you choose.  As a die-hard OS X user, I'm not going to follow the general trend and migrate my video editing (or anything else for that matter) to Windows.  I am, however, interested in building a faster Mac than I have currently.  And with that, I'm working on a Hackintosh, but that's for another thread, another time.

                                                                 

                                                                jas

                                                                • 29. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                  Jac Godsman Community Member

                                                                  Thanks Jas - I understand that I can use a Mac, but if I want it to function 'properly' or perhaps 'professionally' is a better word (without crashing, creating broken AVCHD footage and a host of other problems) it needs to be a new computer (not the one I have). I need to be able to work effectively between PPro & After Effects and do a lot of compositing/motion graphics and ideally work with AVCHD so unless I spend a lot of extra money, my understanding is that I can't use CS5.5 'effectively' unless I buy a new computer.

                                                                  Unfortunately I don't have the skills like you to build a computer - you're lucky

                                                                  Jac

                                                                  • 30. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                    wonderspark Community Member

                                                                    I have a 2009 3.33GHz Quad Mac Pro that I use to edit HD video. It currently has 32GB of 1333MHz RAM, which would run at 1066MHz if not for the fact that I upgraded the firmware to the 2010 Mac Pro (5,1) firmware. It has an Areca 1880ix-12 RAID card and 8-bay RAID tower next to it. It has an ATI 5870 GPU.

                                                                     

                                                                    When I had only 16GB of 1066MHz RAM and internal three-drive RAID0, it handled P2 DVCProHD footage in multiple layers and effects with no problem, even with the ATI 4870 that came with it. I was able to complete a 104 minute feature-length movie on it like that. I found a used nVidia GTX285 1GB GPU, which helped Premiere, but not After Effects. Most of my heavy work is in After Effects, and I was only using Premiere for the more basic chopping, so I switched to the 5870 GPU and was happy.

                                                                     

                                                                    Then, I began work on another feature shot on Canon 5DMkII, 7D and Nikon D7000. I started seeing stutters and freezes. I added the Areca RAID card and built a 7-disk RAID3 with the eighth disk as a hot spare, and use the old internal 3-disk RAID0 as my scratch disk, since it reads/writes at ~330MB/sec sustained. That helped, but still not as smooth as it was with DVCProHD. Finally, I updated to 32GB of 1333MHz RAM and changed the firmware to take advantage of that. Now, it's all smooth as ever again editing the DSLR footage with layers and effects added. I think 32GB is a must.

                                                                     

                                                                    Now, having said all that, I'd build a PC if I were doing this from scratch today. You get more for less, plain and simple.

                                                                     

                                                                    If you want to build the best Mac Pro for the least money, here's what you do:

                                                                    Apple Store online right now has refurbished Mac Pros for $2039 and $2119. One is a quad 2009, the other a quad 2010. If you're not afraid to swap a CPU and run a free app that automatically upgrades the 2009 firmware to 2010 firmware, buy that cheaper 2009 model. If you ARE afraid of free apps that are known to work but are NOT afraid to swap a CPU, get the 2010. Either way, once you have Mac Pro with 5,1 (2010) firmware on it, buy a brand new boxed W3680 CPU from Provantage for $587 and swap that in. Now you have a 2010 Mac Pro with 6-core 3.33GHz for about $2600. Then buy 32GB of 1333MHz RAM from OWC for $440. You're up to that $3000 limit, but you can skate by with a cheap monitor and adding three hard drives to the internals of the Mac Pro for pretty cheap. You could get by with a $200 monitor, and three 1TB 7200RPM drives won't set you back too much if you shop. Say $3500 for a very capable Mac Pro.

                                                                     

                                                                    The Mercury Rendering Engine still works well in Software Acceleration Only Mode, in my experience. I still rely heavily on After Effects, which works better on a fast ATI card like the 5870 over an nVidia card. Oh, and buy a decent UPS. At least an APC SUA1500 or equivalent. I found mine used for $25, and a new battery from APC was $100-ish.

                                                                     

                                                                    If you haven't already bought the Mac version of Adobe Production / Master Collection, I still say don't do a Mac. Do a PC, save money, and be happy. OSX isn't THAT great. I agree there's very little reason to go Apple at this point in time.

                                                                    • 31. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                      Keith_Clark Community Member

                                                                      Harm Millaard wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm unaware of a computer being able to have multiple disks installed if they're not external ones....?

                                                                       

                                                                      You should come by and see my system. Two internal BR burners and 17 internal hard disks with space for two more.

                                                                       

                                                                      Here is a picture of a similar system:

                                                                       

                                                                      DSC00039.jpg

                                                                       

                                                                      dad gummit harm, now i gotta change my pants! thats a monster!!!

                                                                      • 32. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                        Jac Godsman Community Member

                                                                        Thanks WonderSpark - I have printed off all the excellent advice that you and others have given me.  I'll seriously consider doing what you have suggested.  I think first I'll take my XHA1 off ebay and stick with FCP7 for a little bit longer....  you never know in that time, technology advancements in cameras or software may take some new delightful turn that solves all my woes   Thanks heaps everyone

                                                                        • 33. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                          wonderspark Community Member

                                                                          No problem. I have an XH-A1 as well. I have to say I'm spoiled when using footage from cards over tape ingestion.

                                                                           

                                                                          Also, I got 6-core envy and ordered the W3680 to replace my W3580. In a few days, my system will be as fast as it ever will be until I need to build a whole new system.

                                                                          • 34. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                            Bill Gehrke Community Member

                                                                            I can do Harm one better.  Here are 18 front panel removables with 2 Blu-ray writters and notice I have two empty hallf-height slots that if I moved things around could house 8 more 2.5" drives!  !

                                                                            X58-Disk-Drives.jpg

                                                                            • 35. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                              Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                                              Thanks Bill.

                                                                               

                                                                              That shows that a big tower can house a multitude of internal disks.

                                                                               

                                                                              In the Lian Li it can be either 19 x 3.5" or 13 x 3.5" plus 16 x 2.5" or 3 x 3.5" plus 40 x 2.5" or whatever combination you want PLUS 2 x BR burners.

                                                                              • 36. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                                Jac Godsman Community Member

                                                                                Yeah I feel spoiled to when I'm using AVCHD Wonderspark!

                                                                                • 37. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                                  Cardo45

                                                                                  Wonderspark - can you post your mac pro processor upgrade/5,1 firmware upgrade on youtube?  In the meantime, can you direct me to or provide me with info on how to upgrade the processors and firmware in a mac pro 5,1 2xQuad (e5620) 2.4 ghz.  I want to get two faster processors such as 2 Xeon 5680 (Hex Core 3.33ghz).  OWC offers this exact upgrade for my machine but the cost is $200 more than what i paid for my machine which is around $3600.  I apologize for posting this out of context reply on this thread, but it's rare to found those with such confidence in handling a DYI mac pro processor/firmware upgrade.  In respect to this thread you and/or if anyone else has info that will help me on this matter you can also email me callpaul11@yahoo.com.  Thanks!!

                                                                                  • 38. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                                    wonderspark Community Member

                                                                                    The firmware is very simple, thanks to a tool created by user "MacEFIRom" and found for free in this thread: http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.0.html

                                                                                    It's free to register for that forum, and once you're logged in, the tool is downloadable at the bottom of the first post. You can switch back and forth from 4,1 to 5,1 automatically and at will.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I used the instructions in this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1122551 to install my CPU. It's different for the dual processor Mac Pro, though. It has to do with CPU lids or something, and inserting certain sized washers to compensate for the height difference in order to prevent crushing the CPU. I have seen exact instructions, and I'll look for them.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: What do I need in a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS5.5?
                                                                                      wonderspark Community Member

                                                                                      Also found this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1024703 which has some good news for you 2010 Mac Pro owners. No more lidless CPU issue! That makes it very simple to just flip the latch open and swap the CPUs fearlessly.

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