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Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18
Best Final Cut Pro/Final Cut Studio for G4 without CoreImage??

Hello: I have a late model DP G4 but cannot upgrade my videocard because I use OS9 a lot and the Geforce4 Ti was the final card made for it. Most things in Tiger still run great, but I found a copy Final Cut Studio 2 and while it says it should be compatible, and installs OK most of the apps including Final Cut Pro refuse to start-up.

What would be the latest version that would likely run in Tiger with an older card?

P.S. I currently have FCP3 and it runs fine, but was wondering if Express or version 4 in FC Studio would be better if they run.

Thanks!!

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davisdelo's picture
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Joined: 2016 Oct 31

Most of what I know about Final Cut compatibility has come from here:

http://elvirasweeney.com/oldmac/Final-Cut-on-an-old-Mac.html

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

Thanks VERY Much - that's just what I was looking for.

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

Actually am realizing that the old Girl just isn't fast enough for HD video. I got Final Cut Pro 6 running after checking all the bug-fixes online and while it does pretty well for SD, HD (especially in H.264) is just too slow. So will keep video work on the Linux and Windows boxes, and leave the G4 to do the apps it does really well.

davisdelo's picture
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Joined: 2016 Oct 31

Editing anything in an output format like .H264 is going to be rough and severely limit the tools available to you in FCP. I can edit 720p on my 1.5Ghz PowerBook and 1080p on my DC 2.3 G5, but only after converting into a FCP native format like ProRes or Apple Intermediate Codec. Editing video on modern machines is still preferably done in ProRes, it's so much more efficient. Try transcoding your video to a production format like ProRes or AIC and give it another try. What are the specs of your machine?

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

It's a decent MDD with LOTS of upgrades, but trying to render 1 minute at 720p (from the original H.264 MP4) was going to take 30 minutes. It is a badass for old-style MP4 (have converted my entire DVD collection and it does it like Boss even when I'm working on other stuff, but anything newer just runs bad. OpenShot in Linux is CRAZY-Fast, and there are more than a few other OpenSource ones. Had just wanted to give it one final try, but was not its stomping grounds.

Still runs CS4 and TenFourFox with 40+ tabs open all while watching a DVD on twin screens, so still does lots of fun stuff.

davisdelo's picture
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Joined: 2016 Oct 31

Yikes, reminds me of the old start-render/go-to-bed workflow. I've got a dual 1Ghz 2GB MDD here that I can play around with and see if there's a specific FCP setup that is more workable. I find archive.org is a good resource when researching what capabilities these older machines have, here's Apple's "creative" page from when these MDD's where top of the line: https://web.archive.org/web/20030210113934/http://www.apple.com:80/creat...

It's neat to see what people were doing with them back then. And even though the MDD's can run newer FCP versions, it looks like FCP 3 was made to shine on these machines https://web.archive.org/web/20030401093304/http://www.apple.com:80/final...

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

GREAT LINKS - I love archiving these to show Nay-Sayers/Haters.

I don't think the system is underpowered, just the H.264 drivers (THANK GOD fore CorePlayer!!).

I've upgraded all my drive-cables to SATA, have a big fast Scratch-Disc, SSD for boot-drive and it really shines for most things (can even do macros on Phoshop CS4 for HDR 32-bit Images over 9,000 pixels wide with no trouble), but it seems like what Apple did for HD/H264 was to push all the heavy rendering over to OpenGL on newer video-cards - which is AWESOME, if you are setup for it.

Have actually though about getting a better one (like a GeForce 7800GS BFG) and swapping it for big renders, but it is a lot of hassel when a pretty crap Linux-Box can outmatch it anyway for H.264 because the drivers are so much better.

So will just let HD video drift to newer platforms. LIke I said, for SD (especially on old-style MP4) it converts really fast and very high-quality even while lots of other stuff is running, so will just let it do the stuff it's really setup for.

Loosing acceleration for OS9, or worse-yet putting up with Leopard is just not worth the sacrifices I.M.O. ;0p

The big thing on these is to keep a backup power-supply as they are pushed pretty hard on these (especially if using an ADC monitor) and trickier to have repaired then most other PSUs.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

In my MDD2003/G4 i've the official Mac-edition G5/AGP-8x ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 64MB graphics card, CoreImage compliant. Everyone says the ATI 9800 card is compatible with the 9600 and much more faster, but alas my particular 9800 purchases have failed. The 9600, while AGP-8x and CoreImage, was like the slowest one of those, the least expensive and most plentiful, still it processes like twice as fast as AGP-4x cards.

CoreImage can instantly be tested using the Dashboard app in OSX Tiger or Leopard. When CoreImage is active, there'll be a water-ripple effect filling the screen when any new Dashboard "widget" gets activated/brought online. Without a CoreImage graphics card, no dashboard splash effect.

The ATI 9600 AGP-8x card has one DVI and one ADC display ports, but the ADC power pins don't align between G4 and G5 model AGP slots, and since I ditched my OEM power supply unit for an ATX industry standard version, I don't have ADC power any longer anyway, so it turns out DVI can be extracted from the ADC port using a simple chipless dongle thingy, making my ATI 9600 card dual-DVI ported. THO there are slight differences in the ADC vs DVI protocols such that slightly different "palettes" of screen resolutions get offered up, for example.

The ATI 9600 has valid drivers at least as far back as OSX 10.2 Jaguar/Smeagol - but no drivers for OS9. Swapping graphics cards frequently, for software needs, is not reasonable. Without drivers, There is faster 2D graphics in OS9, Apple DVD Player won't work, but there is some 3D gaming. Anything which uses QuickDraw3D instead of OpenGL often adapts "software 3D" mode automatically and plays correctly, Tomb Raider 2 or 3 is like the most sophisticated 3D game I've identified which I can play in OS9 No-GPU. I can also play OS9 3D games in the "Connectix" Sony PlayStation emulator.

AGP-8x cards don't allow powering on the G4 computers until their AGP pins numbers A3 and A11 are disabled. The initial approach is to tape over these pins using scotch tape cut carefully with an xacto knife. Some cards have low ohm resistors on A3 trace and A11 trace in which the resistors (sometimes zero ohm like a fuse) can be removed to switch off the A3 and A11 signals, without worrying about tiny pieces of tape falling off and getting stuck inside the mobo AGP socket. AGP pins A4 and B4 are the USB channel extending out onto the ADC port, unused by DVI, so I've also experimented disabling these unused USB open-channel for potential security benefit.

Graphics card will probably have little effect on using "HD" video editing/transcoding tools though because the bottleneck G4 systems have is CPU thruput. HD video *playback* is a different story, better graphics cards can indeed help the MDD2003 accomplish that.

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

I've installed 2- Radeon 9800 Pros successfully in G4s (one in a Digital Audio) and one in an MDD for my brother). Both worked fine, but as you say toward the end or your post, you have to disable the 8X pins (I usually just take an Exacto-knife and slice them on the board to avoid getting a bunch of sticky tape debris in the slot). They work GREAT. On the Digital Audio, the difference is especially noticeable in OSX itself, and games like Halo that technically shouldn't work with a DP 533MHz (runs GREAT).

In most tests, however, not involving CoreImage, the Geforce Ti 4600 I have is neck and neck with the 9800 Pro (per xlr8yourmac) and since it is literally the most powerful card for OS9, it doesn't make sense for me to swap cards, but having worked in a DV environment (Wedding Videos), the difference in FCP 5/6 and Final Cut Studio is MASSIVE with a CoreImage card (300% or more), as the system can push most all heavy math to the GPU via AGP bus and it actually becomes tolerable, but I just don't do enough of it to justify doing the swapping or getting a second Mac (ideally a G5 2.3GHz XServe to run headless via window-sharing, or MUCH better an Intel Xserve).

Linux/Windows OpenSource kinda changes everything though with how efficient the newer renderers are and at such low cost (in hardware and electricity). So best to leave PPC in what it did best (Small Power Architecture).

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

On the one G4 model prior to ADC, the Sawtooth, it can accept AGP-8x graphics cards unmodified, no cutting nor tape covers. The 8x incompatibility with G4 ADC systems is in the specifics of ADC itself ~ crazy stuff, Apple's fault.

PPC chips could have kept being updated, it is the smaller fabrication-process making chips both go faster and be more power efficient. The G4 744x chips are G4 shrunk down to 130 nanometer fab process, so these G4's can do upto 2000 MHz like the debut G5 chip also 130nm. 2400 MHz comes from 110nm transistors. If they kept going and made a 90nm shrinkdown of the G4, it would run at 2666 MHz same as 90nm G5 (2700 MHz thanks to liquid cooling, whoopie). 65nm chips can cycle upto 3200 MHz, 45nm chips do upto 3733 MHz, 32nm chips do upto 4066 MHz, 22nm chips run upto 4333 MHz, 11nm chips run upto 4800 MHz, and the fastest something like a 1nanometer chip fab can do is I believe 5333 MHz. If you plot it all on a graph it forms a real curve not jagged. There's no zero nanometer chip because zero width of individual transistors is undefined/non-existent. Most of the declared sizes of intel chips are lies. They were building 3.7 GHz 45nm chips and telling everyone these were 90nm when no one else had gotten smaller than 90nm yet. When Motorola couldn't get their actual 90nm chips anywhere near 3.7 GHz, it LOOKED like intel made chips better than everyone else. PPC became Too Good for the commonfolk, they got shutdown like DeLorean auto cars that won't rust?? POWERPC RISC is upto 2x more efficient than intel CISC, just like those Apple commercials said when they showed a Pentium2 being carried on the back of a snail (played to a Jimi Hendrix soundtrack). The public was forced to use intel and there was a fake news media campaign to promote them as better than PPC when really what makes folks like newer than PowerPC computers is the faster RAM and faster northbridge and faster GPU, the CPU has so little to do with it.

Gary's picture
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Joined: 2011 Jul 21

For me the best version of FCP was actually Adobe Premiere.

I was a diehard FCP user for several years. During that time I ran into the "General Error" dialog box several times. It happened often enough that I began taking daily backups of my project and its related files.

I was about 300 hours into my final project when the (expected) General Error popped up. I knew from previous experience that I had lost about 2 hours work. Do I restored the project from my backup.

When I opened the project it was completely empty. I went to the next backup. The project was completely empty! I tried a few more backups with the same result. Something buried deeply within FCP was corrupted and I never found out what it was.

There was nothing left except for a few test render movies.

My backups were worthless and I had to throw the project out. That was the day I switched to Premiere and I've never looked back.

Gary

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

I LOVE that first line! I have several VideoGeek buddies that COMPLETELY agree with you - especially since the Intel Switch. I think Adobe combining Premier with CS4 and up was one of the slyest industry moves ever. Since so many Apple users just go be CS Master Collection anyway, they are getting to try it (essentially for nothing).

I personally feel FCP is fast (when behaving correctly), but you're right about how much it sucks when it doesn't.

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

Just tried the Final Cut Pro 4 Express that just got put up here (http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/final-cut-express-4)

And realize this was the answer. Doesn't necessarily change the rules or limitations of the hardware am on, but makes the most of it, in a much lighter, peppier package. Also If I do have to work in HD on this systems (like post on 3D output or Flash to Video conversion, as long as am staying in Apple Intermediate @720p isn't bad - and can convert to H.264 on different machine or with FFMpeg if not in a hurry later).

I feel pretty dumb to have dismissed this before now!

davisdelo's picture
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Joined: 2016 Oct 31

You can really speed up your .H264 conversions with an Elgato Turbo.264.