Mac Pro: Take Two

kinnon —  November 11, 2006 — Leave a comment

The switch over to the Mac Pro was not as seamless as I had originally thought…or hoped.

I did the transfer from my previous Mac to the Mac Pro – which took a couple of hours. And at first, everything seemed great. Every piece of software I opened seemed to work fine. Until I hit After Effects*. Along with Final Cut Studio and Photoshop, After Effects is the most important piece of software on the Mac Pro.

I spent the next four hours trying to solve the problem. (It appeared to be an OpenGL 3D conflict.) I searched Google for answers. And found a bunch. The only one that helped was the one I began yesterday morning, and the one that consumed my day. I reformatted the hard drive and started from scratch. And this meant looking for software and finding all but Photoshop CS2, an Adobe download from earlier in the year. I thought I’d have to do the “wait on the phone for an hour” routine to speak to someone to sort it out. Instead, I used Adobe’s online chat system, and 12 minutes later was downloading my software.

I popped out in the afternoon to grab three 500Gb Western Digital SATA Drives to mount in the Mac Pro’s removable drive slots. (I then spent half an hour looking for a Philips screwdriver, which turned out to be right beside my desk – most of my tools are in storage or at the cottage.) This process was significantly simpler than I’d expected. It took about five minutes to attach the drives to the caddies and install them into the Mac Pro. And five minutes later I had a 1.4TB RAID1 video drive available on my desktop. Using the AJA Kona System Test (which works without AJA hardware), the drives appear fast enough to handle DVCProHD footage.

What shocks me is that I spent $700 CDN to create a 1.4 Terrabyte RAID. This from someone whose first non-linear editing system featured 18 gigs of SCSI storage that cost the company $9,000 – and that’s just over a decade ago. (TigerDirect has the WD5000KS 500Gb drives for under $200USD, each and I found them for $177USD yesterday elsewhere.)

Not every piece of software that I want on the Mac Pro has been added yet. And I need to contact the good people at Roxio and Particle Illusion to download new versions of their software (I can’t find those backups as it turns out), but I’m impressed with the speed and flexibility of the new Mac Pro. And looking forward to editing my brains out in the next couple of weeks.

UPDATE: *Here’s a link to a good article on making After Effects run smoothly on a Mac Pro.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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