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Power Mac G5

Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 1:04am

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Serpent

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OK, I am going to get a Power Mac G5. What specs are needed for video and graphic design stuff?
Will 2.0 GHZ really make a difference over 1.8, cuz it sure does price wize, but then again
Is 512 MB RAM good enough and I'm not a good computer person, so what exactly is RAM? And when Apple says for Motion that they reccomend 2GB of RAM, what exactly do they mean, is it needed?
I think 160GB Hard disk space is fine.
I am probably sticking with the NVIDIA FX 5200 Ultra Graphics card, right?
2 17 inch displays. Or one
DVD-R/CD-RW drive, hands down.
And is the built in video card good enough?
And should I get the "reccomended" system requirements for Motion, cuz I am getting that , and thats a must. That would make my computer come out to $4,500 with one 17" screen! Ok, just basically give me the system I need, and I am not pro, as you can see, and am only 14 years old, and am definitely getting motion.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 1:18am

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Gibs

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Rating: +1

Well, I don't know much about Mac systems, but I do know a lot about PC parts.

512 MB RAM is pretty good for most video work, but I might think about getting 1 GB if I were you. When they say 2GB recommended, it's not needed, but it will run well with that amount. Being a good program or not, though, it's absurd that the recommended amount of RAM is 2GB. Oh, and RAM is temporary memory that the computer uses to store running programs and temp renders and stuff.

160 GB Harddrive will be fine, but you might want to consider getting one small drive (40GB) and a larger one. That way you can run the OS and all your programs off of the smaller drive, and store all your footage and stuff on the other drive.

FX 5200 will be fine.

If possible, I would go with two 17 inch monitors (or one 19 inch!). You will have a lot more space to lay out all your applications, which is especially nice for video programs.

The graphics card is the video card.

But throwing $4,500 at a video editing machine for an amateur is insane. So really, a lot of those features would be nice (dual monitors!), but are overkill unless you are truly serious about this stuff. So think about it before you spend all this cash on a hobby like this. smile
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 1:44am

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Serpent

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Well, I am serious about going pro in video when I get older, and I will use the computer for other stuff is well. Thanks thought Lloyd!
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 1:50am

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Serpent

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What about the 1.8 vs. 2.0 GHZ issue, what is the difference, is 1.8 good enough? I now have 800 MHZ and don't mind that too too much, it is a tad slow, but 1.8 GHZ is more than twice that fast. Do you guys think I am better off with 1.8?
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 1:52am

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Brettsta

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Rating: +1

the 1.8 is fine!
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 1:57am

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Serpent

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Ok, cool. Thanks Bret.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 2:01am

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Serpent

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So, my new Computer comes out to: $4,117 on the apple.com store. Now to start savin pennies as a wise man once said (ssjaaron I believe.)
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 2:06am

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er-no

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Rating: +1

Be warned, I believe the new higher specs of the next range of updated G5's will be announced soon and that might mean the price will drop for the 2Ghz machine.

Thought you might like to know that smile

Last edited Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 2:08am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 2:07am

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Gibs

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er-no wrote:

Be warned, I believe the new higher specs of the G5 will be announced soon and that might mean the price will drop for the 2Ghz machine.
And the 1.8 Ghz machine! biggrin
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 2:08am

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er-no

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Lloyd66 wrote:

er-no wrote:

Be warned, I believe the new higher specs of the G5 will be announced soon and that might mean the price will drop for the 2Ghz machine.
And the 1.8 Ghz machine! biggrin
Well.. obviously wink
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 2:30am

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Serpent

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Yes I would, do you know when?
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 4:36am

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Aculag

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Rating: +1

Serpent... do you have enough G5's to share with the rest of the class?
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 4:53am

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Magic_man12

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Hey


I dont know about in high school - but you can get student discounts on mac's. Unfortunately it might just be for post secondary - but look into it

-MAGIC
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 8:35am

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er-no

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Serpent wrote:

Yes I would, do you know when?
Wait a few weeks, that's my advice. I'm not too sure on any specifics. Although apparently a 3Ghz version will be announced/released with some better specifications (Dual Layer DVDRW drive). I'd wait just a bit smile
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 9:54am

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Joshua Davies

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Rating: +1

Indeed, the G5s are apparently going to be upgraded very soon - there was a delay with this upgrade but the current spec G5s are not being made anymore with reseller just getting rid of Apple's stocks.

If you don't want to wait (I would as the speed increase is meant to be quite big and the video cards / DVD drives much better) then the dual 1.8 is a very good machine, better value than the dual 2GHz. Forget any single processor G5s.

Motion is going to do a lot of stuff in RAM to be as fast as it is - its worth noting that the demos that have been put up will show it running on the fastest Mac you can get so a dual 2GHz with 8GB of RAM I expect. I really would go for 2GB of RAM if you want to get the most from Motion but remember that buying RAM with you machine from the Apple online store is normally more expensive than buying it from a third party.

160GB is a fine amount of space to start with and there is addition space inside the machine to fit a second drive if you need it. Unlike the PC the Mac doesn't really care if your system drive is your video drive as well so just the one drive is fine for starters.

The video card should be fine (although this is one of the things which will be updated soon) so don't worry too much about that. My guess is that Motion does most of its stuff in hardware so better video cards could give better performance providing you have the RAM to back it up. The demo machine was probably using an ATI 9800 so that is about 40% faster than the 5200 - I think the only time this will show when you add lots of filters and effects so its not like the 5200 won't be able to handle most things. Again its hard to tell not having a final version of Motion to hand. It could be that the demo was shown on a NEW G5 yet to be released or the new ATI Professional GFX card which would be WAY faster than the 5200 but I don't think Apple would do that because it would annoy lots of people if Motion doesn't run really fast on current machines.

You should consider the Formac ( http://www.formac.com ) range of screens. They are nearly as pretty as Apple's own monitors and very nearly as good - that doesn't mean they are anything but great its just Apple make the best in the business. At 17" I would say go for the Formac version because it should be much cheaper and 99% as good.

Dual G5 1.8 (unless you can wait)
Standard Video Card & HD
2GB RAM (buy the extra 1.5GB from a third party)
1 or 2 Formac 17" LCD screens
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 7:32pm

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jbanker

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Good advice so far.

However, here is what I recommend:

From Apple Store:
Dual 1.8 G5
512 RAM
160 Gig HD
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
Approx $2500 (or $2345)
FCP $1000 (or $500)

Third party:
160 Gig HD
Approx $150

Get yourself a 17 inch CRT monitor from wherever ($ almost nothing)

This is a minimum system I would recommend, but you can upgrade it at anytime. This system will work great! I know this because it's close to what I have. I bought last Oct/Nov:
Dual 2.0 G5
512 Ram
160 Gg HD
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
FCP
Then I borrowed an old 17" CRT and some Sony speakers I had, which were good speakers. Next, I bought another 160 Gig HD for all video capturing and rendering. A second drive is very important. (Check the FCP forums and ask any questions you have...you'll get lots of info there.)

Connect your 17" CRT, put in your new drive, install FCP (set your scrratch disk to your new drive). You're good to go.

This is what I did and it works great. I'll be getting Motion when it comes out. At that time I'll purchase more RAM - from crucial or ramjet.

One last note, wait until after WWDC at the end of June. There might be new powermac announcements, if not go with the Dual 1.8!

jbanker
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 8:40pm

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Serpent

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Woah schwar, thanks. You were the main guy I was lookin' for to answer my quetstions and you really helped. +1 and a lot more thanks. When are the demos coming out and where do I get them?
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 8:43pm

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Serpent

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PS- Where is the best place (US) to go to get my G5 upgraded from 1 to 2 GB of RAM and do you think that is the way to go?
Posted: Sat, 5th Jun 2004, 8:02pm

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andrewlogan

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you prolly only need a 1.8 with 1 gig of RAM and a 5200, that should be able to run every program capably for the next 5 years.
Posted: Sat, 5th Jun 2004, 8:04pm

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Gibs

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Except that Apple recommends you have 2GB for use with Motion. So I wouldn't think 1GB would be adequate for 5 more years.
Posted: Sat, 5th Jun 2004, 8:09pm

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Joshua Davies

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Next 5 years is a long time. Windows next OS is meant to require 2GB minimum RAM and thats in 2006. With processor speeds increasing as they are (I expect there will be a large speed jump over the next few years with all the progress IBM are making with multi core processors) I think new machines in 2004 are going to feel very slow by 2006.

GFX cards double in speed every year as well which isn't going to help. Standard HD storage will be measured TB rather than GB within a couple of years as well. The best plan is to get the best you can afford as that way it will last the longest - its not like it'll suddently stop working but give it a few years and it'll feel very very slow.
Posted: Sat, 5th Jun 2004, 8:21pm

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DigiSm89

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Heh, don't forget the 4-6GHz cpu requirements as well!
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 12:19am

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andrewlogan

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Well, 5 years was a bad guess, but speculation is useless. I'm basing my guess on my midrange powerbook that is 3 years old and can still run Final Cut pretty capably. I doubt computers will advance quite as fast as you imply. Microsofts next OS will probably be delayed beyond the expected release, after all, software release dates do fall behind occassionally--hint, hint...
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 4:48pm

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DigiSm89

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Well, they have delayed most of their OSes so I guess it's easier to assume that Longhorn will be back a bit.
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 5:27pm

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Gibs

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It's already been delayed two years, as it's original release was supposed to be in 2004. I don't see them pushing it back much more than that.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 2:37am

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Gibs

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Hey Serpent, the new G5s are out. 2.5 Ghz starting at $3000! biggrin
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 2:43am

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Aculag

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No no... DUAL 2.5Ghz.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 2:56am

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Gibs

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My mistake! biggrin
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 5:50am

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sidewinder

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Is anyone here concious of the fact that spending $4,000 on a computer is a gargantuan waste of money?


Serpent, how are you payong for this computer? Are your parents buying it for you? Do you have the money? Do you still need to make the money?

Also, buying a top-end computer now so you'll have something to use in the future when you "decide" to go pro is not how you go about buying technology. Computers get old quite fast, and are usually only suited to run the software that has been devellopped in the same time period as when the computer was bought.

Finally, if you're only buying a mac so you can use motion, let me reiterate how much of a bad idea that is.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 6:41am

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Bryce007

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I agree with sidewinder entirely. for less than that you could get a dual xeon or athlon fx PC with even better video card, soundcard, monitor ETC...

Apples are great, but if your just using it to make short film for the internet and friends, the incredibly expensive and somewhat un-upgradability of them makes the pc a better choice i would say.

after effects 7 will crap on motion.

AND, im not starting one of the much despised mac vs. pc debate. definately no one respond to this post.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 2:39pm

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er-no

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It's not a waste of money if brought for the right reasons. Just give it a lil think before you spend all that money, in my case... if you wanna use Final Cut Pro 4 and all the other editing programs. And also work on the best OS.

Get a Mac. smile
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 2:52pm

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Joshua Davies

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AfterEffects 7 won't crap on Motion at all - its a very different program for a start. They are not direct competition at all (hence the price) but I can't see AfterEffects staying on the Mac too long as both FCP and Motion support AE plugins, and Motion is lots faster then AfterEffects is gonna be for a quite a while.

Secondly, buying a top end Mac might be overkill - a dual Xeon or Athlon FX might not quite give you the speed of a dual G5 for video editing but it will give you everything you need for learning. I always buy the top of the range Mac when I do buy so that it will last me 2-3 years without upgrading. My current Mac is coming up to 3 years old and only now is it beginning to feel a bit slower than I would like.

The new G5s are a bit of a let down - the video cards should be better for a start but this makes hardly any difference unless you're playing games or using 3d software. The digital in/out sound is very good as well as firewire 400/800 but it would have been nice to see something really new. Atleast the 2.5GHz dual is now miles ahead in the power race.

If you don't know when you're gonna get serious with video buying a G5 might be a bit extreme as sidewinder said. A cheaper PC or a cheaper Mac might be all you need for the next 2 years to get you going - then spend the money on a quad processor G6 smile
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 6:46pm

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sidewinder

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My sentiments exactly.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 5:09am

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andrewlogan

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True all around, and as for the Xeon charge, it may be in your best interest as a prosumer, but otherwise reference below:
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 9:46am

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Joshua Davies

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Its easy to look at the charts that Apple puts up and think the dual 2.5GHz is twice as fast as a dual 3GHz Xeon at everything - this isn't true. Some applications are far more optimised on the Xeon processor (Lightwave for instance) and here the 2.5GHz G5 is only slightly faster, while the other G5s are slower than the Xeon system. Who knows if Lightwave will get fully optimised for G5 - we'll have to wait and see.

This is the case with most software - you need to check before you go wild about how fast the G5 will be. The G5 isn't short of raw power, the dual 2.5GHz is about 50-80% faster than a dual 3GHz Xeon - but raw power counts for nothing. Unless the software you are using is optimised for G5 it might not be as fast as it is on the PC - Photoshop CS is optimised for G5 and you can see the advantages of that above.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 5:20pm

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Gibs

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I read that the dual 2.5Ghz G5 only has 1.25Ghz per processor. Is that true? (It was from a reputable source)
Posted: Sat, 12th Jun 2004, 12:34am

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Pooky

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Well you could always wait for PearPC to perfect itself and use that smile
Posted: Sat, 12th Jun 2004, 1:24am

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Joshua Davies

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No you source is wrong Lloyd66 I'm glad to say.

The dual 2.5GHz is 2 x 2.5GHz 64bit G5 processors. The 1.25GHz you have read about is probably the speed of the front side bus which feeds each of the 2.5GHz G5 processor. This is the fastest front side bus in the world - Intels best runs at 800Mhz. Either that or your source is about a year and a half out of date and thinks the top Mac is the dual 1.25GHz G4.

http://www.apple.com/g5processor/architecture.html

The G5 really is the cutting edge of processors - hence a 2GHz G5 performs quite a bit better than a 3GHz Xeon at most tasks. Therefore a dual 2.5GHz G5 systems really is very very quick.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 9:39pm

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Serpent

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Does this sound good to you guys?

Summary
• Dual 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
• 2GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 4x512
• 160GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
• ATI Radeon 9600 XT w/128MB DDR SDRAM
• 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
• Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English
• Mac OS X - U.S. English
• 2 17" Formac Monitors
Subtotal $3,943
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 10:10pm

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Pooky

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*Faints

That is one mega machine!
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:11pm

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sidewinder

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No, that sounds bad. It sounds like you are throwing away a lot of money.

Please, tell me where you're planning on getting 4 grand?
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:12pm

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Pooky

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I was talking about the system, not the price smile
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:14pm

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Aculag

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You should have said "That's one Expensive machine!" Or, "that's one Mega Price!", then.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:15pm

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Brettsta

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I think you are overdoing it. 1 monitor is plenty for now, especially if you get the middle or biggest monitor. I also think 2 gb of ram can be put down to 1, and youll still have a fine computer. You can also get a smaller harddrive for now, and then get an external later on, when you need it.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:16pm

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Joshua Davies

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To be honest, if I could buy that machine at that price in the UK I would get it tomorrow... somehow...

In the UK you would be talking £3500+ so about $7000+ for exactly the same thing.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:18pm

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Aculag

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Actually, the hard drive is pretty good sized for video stuff. When I bought my computer it only had 80, and I ended up needing another one very soon.

But, yes... one monitor should suit you. I have a 17" studio monitor, and it's worked fine.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:25pm

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Serpent

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OK, thanks guys. You all helped a lot.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2004, 11:41pm

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Pooky

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Showoff biggrin
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2004, 6:03am

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sidewinder

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Schwar, you guys gotta pay $7000 for a machine that costs us $3000?!

Dude, just tell me to buy it for you, and then ship it overseas, and you can compensate me.



Serpent, you still haven't told me how you plan on paying for a four thousand dollar computer...
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2004, 8:44am

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Joshua Davies

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Then they charge us import tax which makes up the difference I think, otherwise I would send you the money today sad
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2004, 1:49pm

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Serpent

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I have been saving for a while. Plus, I am going to start a job.