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A single disk isn't going to be enough for HD editing. Even external drives won't help you here, as those FW800 drives are still much slower than an internal drive (or eSATA).
Just my experience, but I've found that a PC system that is comparable to a Mac Pro setup can be had for nearly half what the cost would be for the Mac Pro (of course, there is no Mac OS and no ability to run FCP, if you needed to do so).
You mentioned that you are seriously considering a Mac over a PC...what particular advantage are you looking to gain?
Advantage? Mmmmm. lol. Not sure. I think I've been watching too many of Mr Jobs adverts. No, seriously, I have a number of friends who have moved to Mac and have spoken very highly of it. Especially its stability and ease of use. Plus you can run all your Windows apps (if you need to) in a VM. I understand it's not a perfect world either in Mac land, but a change might have been good.
It's just a thought at this point, but if I'm not going be able to run CS4, then I'll just stick with my friendly Windows.
I would not switch to a Mac to run Premiere. If you are happy with Premiere and the PC world stay there and buy more storage space with the money you will save.
I think the inability to add another eSata drive on the iMac is a limiting factor. FireWire just is not the same. And that is coming from a Mac guy.
This was the general conclusion I had come to, but thought I'd ask a wider audience anyway.
Thanks all for your responses. :-)
>should I stick to the PC platform if I can't afford a Mac Pro?
I recommend that even if you can afford the Mac Pro.
IF the computer is for Adobe only then you'll get a faster more upgradable computer if you go with a PC. The Intel q9550 (2.87)is a great quad core that's only 300+. 200 for motherboard, 125 for case and powers supply, 200 hundred 8 gig of ram, 180 for a good video card, 150 vista 64 plus some hard drives say four WD640's for 80 each. That $1500 and your blazing on a PC.
Josh, You are right on the dot, I got the spec-system discribed above for 2500 with a 22" monitor (In Canadian dollars) The hard drive is 4.5Tb. This is a very solid and stable system running Vista 64. The only regrets is that CS4 creators did not take full advantage of Vista 64bit capabilities. Imagine only Photoshop is 64bit and uses all the ram available.
Let's hope that CS5 will be fully or more 64bit