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System recommedations for video conferencing?

Posted on 1997-01-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Howdy,

     I have been instructed to purchase a Macintosh computer for my workplace that will enable us to do video-conferencing.  I am an experienced Mac user, although I must admit that my knowledge of PPC-based systems is below average -- I only got my PowerMac 7200/75 eight months ago, and that is hardly top of the line.  I have never done any video-conferencing, so I don't know what the system requirements are for this (I assume they are above a 7200/75).

What are the most important things to consider?  Speed?  Is 180 MHz enough?  Chip?  Will the 604e give a much smoother video-conference than the 604?  How much VRAM or level2 cache is recommended?  I will be extending the capabilities by adding the camera and such -- will I need a few extra PCI slots too?

I would prefer that you answer from experience, either first hand or second hand.  I am smart enough to guess that the most powerful, fastest machine will give the best video-conferencing -- but can I get away with something less expensive?

Jerky

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the big video conferencing must-have is RAM, the more RAM you have the smoother the video playback will be, dont go below 64MB.  number two is processor speed, for smooth video conferencing you really should have a 604e, 180MHz or above (in my personal tests, my 604e powertower 180e runs 40% faster than my dads 604 powertower 180 (both 180MHz, but also due to his 512K L2 cache (mine has 1MB))).  number three is your graphics card, get a 128-bit card with no less than 4MB of VRAM (4MB should be plenty fast on a 128-bit card).  L2 cache also has an effect on the speed of the playback because of its ability to speed up the processor, a MB is excellent, 512K isnt nearly as fast.  i recommend getting a powertower 180e or 200e with a twin turbo 4MB video card. they both come with 1MB L2 caches, 3 PCI slots, and they just hammer.

as far as my video conferencing experience goes, i have an apple video conferencing kit and i use it quite often, to communicate with the guys at work (i work in a computer store).  weve tried a bunch of stuff and we all agree that my computer (powertower 180e) kicks royal ass when it comes to video conferencing.
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