Digitalfilms by Oliver Peters
I work a lot with a local college?s film production technology program as an advisor, editing instructor and occasionally as an editor on some of their professional productions. It?s a unique program designed to teach hands-on, below-the-line filmmaking skills. The gear has to be current and competitive, because they frequently partner with outside producers to turn out actual (not student) products with a combination of professional and student crews. The department has five Mac Pros that are used for editing, which I?ve recently upgraded to current standards, as they get ready for a new incoming class. The process has given me some thoughts about how to get more life out of your aging Apple Mac Pro towers, which I?ll share here.
To upgrade or not
Most Apple fans drool at the new Mac Pro ?tube? computers, but for many, such a purchase simply isn?t viable. Maybe it?s the cost or the need for existing peripherals or other concerns, but many editors are still opting to get as much life as possible out of their existing Mac Pro towers.
In the case of the department, four of the machines are fast 2010 quad-cores and the fifth is a late 2008 eight-core. As long as your machine is an Intel of late 2008 or newer vintage, then generally it?s upgradeable to the most current software. Early 2008 and older is really pushing it. Anything before 2009 probably shouldn?t be used as a primary workhorse system. At 2009, you are on the cusp of whether it?s worth upgrading or not. 2010 and newer would be definitely solid enough to get a few more productive years out of the machine. read more...