Friday 2 March 2007

Avid Media Composer on Apple MacPro

or... a whole new way of looking at this software for Mac vs PC thing.

In April last year Avid announced the new Media Composer software-only version. Later it shipped. In Mac and PC versions in the same box. Both separate. We just bought two last week.

The PC version and Mac version have Avid 'qualified' systems as OK by Avid. On the Mac front the MacPro is still not qualified and in beta. The Mac version can hence run only on a Quad G5 or at best on a Dual G5. Not a MacPro, not a iMac, not a MacBook Pro.

So I did a study on 'qualified system' spec.

Avid's qualified system is (quoting from Avid's site)

Microsoft ® Windows ® XP 32-bit Edition (SP2)
Dual Dual-Core Intel ® Xeon ® Processors 5150 2.66 GHz, 1333 FSB, 4 MB L2 cache
2 GB DDR2 ECC FBD SDRAM (2 GB minimum, 3 GB recommended for HD and complex workflows)

The 5160 3.00 GHz processors also supported
NVIDIA Quadro FX1500 256MB PCIe or the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3500 256MB PCIe

And the new MacPro is (quoting from everymac.com)

two Xeon 5150 "Woodcrest" Dual-Core processors, 4 MB of L2 cache per processor.
OR
two 3 GHz Dual Core Xeon 5160 processors
Both have
ECC DDR2 FB-DIMM and has 4 Mb L2 cache

Graphics is NVidia GeForce 7300 GT but you can optionally get an ATI Radeon X1900XT or even a NVidia Quadro FX4500, the same one that the PC is qualified with.

Further, if one considers laptops, then Avid's qualified systems are...

HP nw8440 Mobile Workstation
HP nw9440 Mobile Workstation

An nw8440, from HPs site consists of...

CoreDuo T2600 2.16 GHz, 667 MHz bus, 2 Mb L2 cache, DDR2 SDRAM. 15" screen, ATI FireGL graphics with 256MB VRAM,
OR
Core2Duo T7400 2.16 GHz, 667 MHz bus, 4 Mb L2 cache, DDR2 SDRAM. 15" screen, ATI FireGL graphics with 256MB VRAM,

and a nw 9440 from HPs site consists of...

CoreDuo T2600 2.16 GHz, 667 MHz bus, 2 Mb L2 cache, DDR2 SDRAM, 17" screen, NVidia Quadro FX1500M with 256 MB VRAM.
OR
Core2Duo T7400 2.16 GHz, 667 MHz bus, 4 Mb L2 cache, DDR2 SDRAM, 17" screen, NVidia Quadro FX1500M with 256 MB VRAM.

On the Mac front,

And the older CoreDuo 15" MacBookPro is
2 GHz Core Duo T2600, 667 MHz bus, 2 Mb L2 cache, PC2-5300 DDR2 RAM and Radeon X1600 graphics,

and the newer Core2Duo 15" MacBookPro is
2.16 GHz Core2Duo T7400, 667 MHz bus, 4 Mb L2 cache, PC2-5300 DDR2 RAM and Radeon X1600 graphics, 128 MB VRAM

So the specs match. Desktops and laptops.
As for iMacs, they are T2600 and T7400 so they 'count' as laptops, more or less.

So if I load up the PC version of Avid Media Composer on the Win partition of a MacPro, MacBookPro or an iMac Intel...

Will Avid Media Composer 'see' the Mac as a PC? I'm trying to find out if anyone has actually tried this. I have access to all these systems and am waiting to pinch a free Avid MC MojoSDI to try. If it does then that opens up new way of looking at this Mac vs PC thing for us creative professionals.

We no longer need wait for the Mac version of anything. Just Boot camp to Windows and run the PC version. What a coup!

Incidentally, the www.everymac.com, that I've mentioned above is a great web site which has exact specs of each and every Apple Mac ever made. You can look up your old 9500s and 8100s and the first PowerBook or even, if you're as old as me, a MacSE (which my parents used).