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A Sure Way To Speed Up Your Computer Video Editing
What's the biggest complaint with today's DTV systems? Ask 100 DTV enthusiasts and you'll get 100 identical answers. They're too slow!
Rendering a single special effect on a 225MHz, 604E PPC (Generation 2) at 640x480 size takes approximately two minutes. Rendering a single change (that's one change) to a nearly finished two-and-a-half-minute Premiere 5.0 project (on that same 225MHz 604E computer) can take up to an hour! At that speed, unless you're getting paid by the hour, you quickly give up and settle for good enough instead of perfect.
Enter G3 (Generation 3), the latest PowerPC 750 CPUs. G3s process instructions up to eight times faster than original Power PC 601s. In theory, two-minute special effects should take only 15 to 20 seconds on a G3! Instead of an hour, movie builds should take less than 10 minutes! Imagine how great it would be if you could cut your daily commute from one hour to 10 minutes.
But that's only half the attraction. With computer prices dropping daily, used and reconditioned Power Mac 6100av/7100av/8100av systems can now be purchased for about $500. Spend another $500 on a G3 upgrade, and for about $1000, at least in theory, you end up with a very fast DTV computer at a remarkably low price.
Sound interesting? It did to me, so courtesy of Newer Technology, I installed a 240MHz MaxPowr G3 upgrade into a minimum- configuration Power Mac 8100/80av. Then I worked on an all-new Premiere 5.0 project (from start to finish) to see whether hands-on practice would prove this reasoning to be correct.
All models in the 7100av/8100av family have three NuBus expansion slots and one PDS (processor direct slot). The PDS is normally occupied by the Apple AV card containing S-video In, S-video Out, and a 32-bit computer monitor connector. The G3 processor upgrade goes in the same slot. To install it, you have to remove the AV card and remount it, upside down, on a metal bracket, which then plugs into the middle NuBus slot. The NuBus connection is strictly mechanical. The electrical connection is made via a ribbon cable that runs from the bottom of the AV card to the top of the G3 card.
What you end up with is an inverted U-shaped arrangement of cards. The AV card points up. It plugs into the ribbon cable connected to the G3 card. The G3 card points down and plugs into the PDS slot on the motherboard. It sounds deceptively simple, but we've probably all read mixed reviews (in other magazines) about the difficulty of G3 installations. Now that I've installed one, I can tell you exactly what the problems are.
First, the G3 card is much longer than the Apple AV card. So, while you release the card latch and pull straight up to remove the old card (easy/obvious), you cannot push the new card straight down to install it. The G3 card must go in at an angle and then you have to swivel it …