I have been using a Nikon D7000 to shoot video at 1080p and it is brilliant, but I found that my Mac tower cannot deal. I just completed a longer project that nearly killed my computer (and me). It is a piece regarding a proposed High School building project for the Ayer Shirley Regional School District (you can view it here, if you want) that runs 32 minutes, 49 seconds. Until this piece, I had not attempted to edit anything longer than 5 minutes or so and had not experienced any huge issues with my computer. I have been worried about my computer for a bit now, however, as it is a 2009 Mac tower (geeks: 2x3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 10GB RAM, ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB, running Mac OS 10.7.5); sometimes the fan runs non-stop or I have to start it twice to get it to boot and there are other little funky things that cause me to fret about the potential of a failed motherboard or some other catastrophe. I have been walking a thin line with the machine and have had my fingers crossed that it will continue to survive because Apple seems to have forgotten the creative professional in its zealous product releases. The iPad was released April of 2010 and there are four generations already (five if you count the iPad mini). There have been no significant upgrades for the towers in a couple of years. One unhappy professional has created a Facebook page demanding answers from apple — Joe Marine writes about the issue on the nofilmschool site. Every time I go to Apple’s site to check on purchasing a new machine, I become quite frustrated. They are expensive and are not really all that much better than the tower I currently own. Worse, when I look through the refurbs, they often list 2009 models (I usually buy refurbs because the price on towers from Apple is so high).
When I tried to edit my hours of 1080p footage on my old tower, the shortcomings of my old Mac became all too evident. Of course, I left the edit to the last minute so I was already in a panic and then when my machine kept choking on the file sizes, I thought I would pull every last hair out of my head. Anyway, I finally completed the piece, but not without a lot of heartache and pain.
Shortly after I complete the project, I am at my oldest son’s soccer game and I start talking to the parents of another child on the team. It turns out Dad, Mike, works for Lens Pro To Go in Concord (check them out — it’s a very cool business that rents photo/film/video gear through the mail). I had never talked with them about work, but it turns out that they are media pros and Mike clues me in about what folks who are frustrated with the lack of professional level Macs are doing — building their own machines, dubbed “hackintosh.”
I search the information superhighway for “hackintosh” and am delighted to find exactly what I am looking for on the nofilmschool web site — a build, step-by-step, for a video editing hackintosh. I have never built my own computer. Generally, I like to use technology rather than build it. But, in these trying times for pros who continue to want to use Mac, it is the only solution. So, off I go to start building my hackintosh, which I have dubbed The Frankentosh Project.