PowerMac G5: What Configuration?


I`m going to buy the Dual G5 1,8.
What do you mean is neccessary for video editing (fcp), compositing (motion, shake) and dvd authoring (dvd studio pro)?

What do you think about:

  • Dual 1,8GHz PowerPC G5
  • 2GB RAM (not buying @ appple store)
  • graphics support: 64MB

a) I want to buy a raid-system but Ì don`t know how to konfigure one in a Mac. Can anybody help me, please?
b) I always thought that the graphic card is one of the most important components of a computer system. Yeasterday evening a multimedia user (little expert) told me that the graphic card is not really important for my work. If i would play games or do some 3d, then it would be different. What do you think about?

thx, tom


for final cut pro, motion, and shake, I suggest you get the best video card you can afford.
A big part of what makes apple’s apps (especially motion) so fast (real time effects) is the fact that they offload a lot of those proceses to the gpu on the video card.

as far as the raid setup goes, your options are primarily in 3rd party add-ins. Granted all of the hdds in powermacs (and even th imac) are sata now.


If you’re mainly editing with FCP or DVD authoring with DVDSP, the video card isn’t that important. Granted you pick up a few more real-time effects and such, but I believe if you’re main focus was these two tasks, then your setup is fine. My own personal setup is close to the one you describe and it works great (granted I bought it when the first rev of the Dual G5 1.8 came out). However, it you’re looking to edit SD or HD, things could get a little pricier. You’ll definitely need a faster hardrive to edit in Uncompress 10bit.

Motion definitely needs the ATI 9800 Pro or better. The real-time is mainly depend on GPU. If you need websites for reference, let me know and I’ll point you to some. Shake seems to be fine my setup but it’ll feel slow once you work on HD. I’ve composited a few pure CG SD shots and did a lot of roto with Shake, and it pretty speedy compared to AE or Combustion.

However, though I say the videocard is not that important right now, other than Motion, it will be in the future versions of the Apple Pro Apps. Apple’s plan is to use more of the GPU for the processing. From your configuration, it seems that you are on a tight budget, and that setup should do for now. If you can tell us exactly what type of work you’ll be doingand your budget, maybe we would be able to give you a more exact answer. Other than that, my advice would be get ram and faster harddrives first, then the graphic card.


A RAID system is VERY easy to set up. It’s an option in your Mac Disc Utility app - all you need is the additional hard drives.

I’ve NEVER had a problem.


First, see if you can grab a used dual 1.8 rev A so you can have the 8 ram slots. They are hard to come by but are much better than the rev b.

I am about to buy about the same setup as yours but for mainly 3D in Maya. I will go for the 6800 once the price drop or the X800 if its compatible with Maya.

Other point you can think about: buying 2 xxx gig HD from other vendors, put them in RAID and either sell the 80gig or use it as an external drive. Point is: dont upgrade the HD from apple, its almost cheaper to simply buy a new one… The new Maxtor D10 are great with 16 meg of cache.

You can also save by replacing the SD by a combo drive and then buy a SD and install it yourself and sell the combo. You can also save a few bucks by removing the modem…

As the video card. 6800 are hard to come by and your order may be delayed because of it so if you dont want ot wait, get a 9600 (or 9800) now and replace it later.

All in all, there isnt much difference between the 1.8 and 2Ghz model if you dont have to use PCI-X cards or lots of ram, the biggest speed factor is the videa card.

Happy buying, I cant wait to get mine…


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