Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Which Mac should I buy? ( No Answer,   1 Comment )
Subject: Which Mac should I buy?
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: ibcdb-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 12 Jul 2004 22:42 PDT
Expires: 18 Jul 2004 19:09 PDT
Question ID: 373341
I want to buy a Mac so that I can use Final Cut Pro HD.  I know I want
a tower, but I'm not sure what kind of processing speed I need or how
much RAM is sufficient.  Also any suggestions on accessories you can
make would be greatly appreciated.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 13 Jul 2004 17:15 PDT
Hello ibcdb -

Can you let us know what you'd like to spend?



Clarification of Question by ibcdb-ga on 13 Jul 2004 19:31 PDT
I am an educator so I know that qualifies me for certain discounts. 
For example I know I can get Final Cut Pro HD for $500 instead of
$1000.  With my discount, I would like to spend $3000-$4000 for the
entire system (tower, display, accessories, protection plan, Office
for Mac, Final Cut Pro HD, Virex, ... that's about all I can think

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 14 Jul 2004 02:20 PDT
Hello Ibcdb,
I suggest that you look at the minimum system requirements for Final
Cut Pro, they could guide you in choosing and purchasing a system. You
can find them at Apple's website here:

Clarification of Question by ibcdb-ga on 14 Jul 2004 11:05 PDT
Thank you techto, I have been to that site.  The reason why I asked my
question is because when I spoke with an apple representative, they
sold me a line that basically says "the specs given to run the program
are the minimum required to actually run the software...once you get
your video into the computer and start making edits and transitions,
you'll need more RAM and memory to actually make it perform the way
you want it too."

I'm not sure if this is true or not, hence my question "how much
processing speed and RAM do I really need to have a good Final Cut Pro

Hope the clarification helps and thanks for your interest.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 14 Jul 2004 13:23 PDT
Hello -

Are you looking for subjective opinion or objective analysis?


Clarification of Question by ibcdb-ga on 14 Jul 2004 16:50 PDT
Dear jbf777,

I suppose I'm looking for a little bit of both.  As far as the
processing speed and RAM portion of my question, I want to know what
is actually needed.  I am more of a software user and don't really
have a clue as to what I need on the hardware side of things.  For
example, on the apple site listed above (thanks, techtor) it states
that I need a 350MHz processor in either a G4 or G5 computer.  Well,
the sales lady I spoke with strongly recommended a G5 with dual
1.8GHz.  Is this needed?  Similarly, the spec sheet says I need 384MB
of RAM and again the sales lady had me down for 2GB.  Again, not sure
of this is a low, medium or high guesstimate.  I want to be able to
use all of Final Cut Pro?s special features and don?t want to be
limited by the speed of my computer or disk space.

Regarding the accessory side of my question, a subjective opinion
would be greatly appreciated!

Clarification of Question by ibcdb-ga on 15 Jul 2004 12:30 PDT
In response to zachga's comment below, I would like to mention that
while I know the 23" HD screen would be the best choice for someone
creating HD video?s, I am willing to hold off on that purchase (since
it's quite a chunk of money) and upgrade my screen later.

Thanks zachga for such a supper comment!
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Which Mac should I buy?
From: zachga-ga on 15 Jul 2004 02:46 PDT
To be honest with you, I'd have to agree with the Mac-Rep, I believe
that the alotted memory in the graphics card, the chip, and the CPU
speed needs to be much higher than the minimum requirements,
especially for HD video shooting. I have configured a system that I
believe will be adequate and barely within your budget, and I'll
explain why.

First off, when it comes to apple products, it's very hard for any
third party vendor to sell overstock inventory at a reasonable price
because their profit margins are already too low. That's why, when
apple unveiled the new Aluminum Displays and discontinued the old,
vendors such as MacWarehouse can only sell the older displays for $200
less than the new products. As a Mac owner, my benefits have always
been that my depreciation of my computers overtime is incredible low
comparatively speaking, thanks to apple for diminishing the markup on
their products as much as possible. As a student, much like you are an
educator, there are no third-party vendors that can match the prices
we get using our education discounts.

The minimum requirements on Final Cut Pro is a G4 or G5 running @
least 350Mhz or faster. A system running OS X 10.3.2 or later,
soundtrack which is indeed a vital tool requires 500mhz single or
450mhz dual w/ 512MB RAM Minimum. DVC Pro requires over 1GHZ and each
of these additions total require 15GB's of Space, so let's look at my
affordable system that meets each of these requirements and includes
all the absolute necessities into this package. $4000 leaves very
little room for accessories.

In order to get an affordable high-performance system, you should
first consider a G4 tower rather than a G5. The Velocity Engine in the
G4's is sufficient enough to withstand your resources without the need
of the G5 architecture. I Picked the Single Processor 1.25GHZ PowerMac
G4 for $1199 base. I configured the system to contain 1GB of Ram
(judging by the configuration specific 2 DIMMs, you'll receive two
512MB Sticks) for an additional $202. I have NEVER seen anyone
practically use over 1GB of ram, while I'm sure this is possible, I
don't see too much more ram overly necessary. I stuck with the
standard 80gb Hard Drive and kept the standard ATI-9000 64MB Video
Card. The upgraded Nvidia GeForce 4 Titanium would run $90 more, and
while I would recommend it, there isn't any room in your budget for
it. The main reason why the budget has no room is the fact that you
simply must have a 23" HD Display. I'd find it quite ironic for you to
be using Final Cut Pro HD without a High-Definition Display. It seems
however there is no getting around the Education $1799 price for the
aluminum 23". Mind you, you can pay the same amount for the older
displays that match your computer with third party vendors as apple no
longer sells them. It matches your system and does the exact same
thing, it really depends where you choose to spend your money, apple
or third party, whichever suites you. Now, we have to move on, Apple
Care for the Desktop is $199.00, no getting around it. The Office 2004
Student/Teacher Addition is $149.99, and as you mentioned, the Final
Cut Pro HD is $500. Here's the invoice for the configuration:

 Power Mac G4    Z082   1-3 bus.days    Remove   $1,401.00   $1,401.00  
 Accessory kit  065-4385   
 ATI Radeon 9000 Pro dual-display w/64MB DDR  065-4390   
 Optical 1 - Combo Drive (DVD/CD-RW)  065-4392   
 Optical 2 - None  065-3389   
 1.25GHz w/ 1MB L3 Cache  065-4391   
 80GB Ultra ATA drive  065-4389   
 56K internal modem  065-3138   
 1GB DDR333 SDRAM (PC2700) - 2 DIMMs  065-4434   
 Mac OS - U.S. English  065-4386   
 Apple Pro Keyboard - U.S. English  065-4388   
 Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)    M9178LL/A   2-4 weeks   
Remove   $1,799.00   $1,799.00
 APP for Power Mac (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit    M8850LL/A  
3-5 bus.days    Remove   $199.00   $199.00
 Office 2004 for Mac - Student and Teacher Edition    T9188LL/A   1-3
bus.days    Remove   $149.95   $149.95

Final Cut Pro HD Academic    M9153LL/B   1-2 bus.days    Remove   $499.00 

Subtotal  Please note that your subtotal does not include sales tax or
rebates.  $4,047.95
 This configuration is for brand new products only. Apple is offering
a special Deals section that appears to be exempt of Education

The only other option is a preconfigured discontinued 1.6ghz
refurbished PowerMac G5 that will in the end run you close to the
same. If you choose to recieve the matching G4 display, they are
selling a refurbished model for $1699. This doesn't sound like a huge
savings comparatively speaking to the education discount, but the
retail list price of $2000 knocks of $300 on this baby, that's
actually a great deal. If you went with the refurbished monitor, I
could get this package for $3947.95 + Tax + Shipping( I see no
information for free shipping on orders over a given amount, and in
order to calculate, I must checkout).. Hope that helps, any questions,
feel free.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy