Power Mac G5 — Pro Tools|HD Requirements

For Pro Tools|HD 1, HD 2, HD 3, HD 2 Accel, and HD 3 Accel Systems

With Pro Tools 6.9.1 for Mac OS X 10.3.8 (Panther)

Supported Power Mac G5 Computers

Dual G5 Processors

Single G5 Processor

Dual 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5
(first generation model M9393)
1.6GHz Power Mac G5
(model M9020)
Dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5
(first generation model M9032)
1.8 GHz Power Mac G5
first generation model M9031 only
Dual 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5
(second generation model M9454)
Dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5
(second generation model M9455)
Dual 2.5 GHz Power Mac G5
(second generation model M9457)


Not Qualified with Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel Systems

  • Second generation Single 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5 (model M9555)
  • Qualified with LE systems only

Dual Processor G5 & 2 GB RAM Required with the following:

  • D-Control
  • Avid Mojo

Not Tested with Avid Mojo

  • Second generation Dual 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5 (model M9454)

April 27, 2005 Power Mac G5 Models — Not Compatible with Pro Tools 6.9.1 for Mac OS X 10.3

The following Power Mac G5 models (introduced April 27, 2005) ship with Mac OS X version 10.4 (Tiger) installed. Please see System Software below for additional information on Pro Tools 6.9.1 system software requirements and Pro Tools 6.9.2 for Mac OS X version 10.4.

April 27 Power Mac G5 Models — Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) Only

Dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 (third generation model M9747)
Dual 2.3 GHz Power Mac G5 (model M9748)
Dual 2.7 GHz Power Mac G5 (model M9749)

Additional Requirements

System Software

Pro Tools 6.9.1 will not work with the Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" operating system. A free compatibility update for Mac OS X 10.4 is now available for Pro Tools|HD users with Pro Tools TDM 6.4 or higher software:

System RAM Requirements

  • 512 MB minimum
  • 1 GB (1024 MB) or more highly recommended
  • 2 GB or more required for D-Control or Avid Mojo systems

1 GB or more recommended for sessions with:

  • Large amounts of audio, large DSP engines, high edit density, or large DigiBase databases
  • A large number of installed plug-ins
  • Options like MachineControl and DigiTranslator 2.0

More RAM increases overall system and Pro Tools performance. OS X does not require minimum or preferred RAM settings for Pro Tools as RAM is dynamically allocated.

iLok Authorized Plug-Ins

Although not required with Pro Tools installation, an iLok USB Hardware Key may be required for installation of some plug-ins and optional software applications.

Supported Expansion Chassis

Storage Requirements

Digidesign has officially qualified all of the Power Mac G5 models listed as supported for use with Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel systems with the following storage:

  • Serial SATA (internal)
  • SCSI
  • FireWire

For detailed information, please see the following:

SCSI Accelerator Cards

For maximum track count, Pro Tools|HD systems require the use of a qualified SCSI HBA card. The following SCSI HBA cards are qualified with the Power Mac G5 models listed at the top of this page.

Control Surfaces & MIDI Interfaces

Dual Monitor AGP Graphics Cards

All dual monitor cards which ship as standard equipment with qualified Apple Power Mac G5 models at the top of this page are supported with Pro Tools 6.

Apple Cinema HD Display (30" flat panel)

The Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display has been qualified with Pro Tools 6.9.1 with the following AGP graphics card:

This AGP graphics card does not block the adjacent PCI slot, and allows the use of all 3 PCI and PCI-X slots

Not Tested by Digidesign with Apple Cinema HD Display

Apple has qualified the following AGP graphics cards for use with the Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT DDL AGP Graphics Card
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL AGP Graphics Card

Due to size of these NVIDEA AGP graphics cards, the adjacent PCI or PCI-X slot will be blocked and reduces the number of available PCI or PCI-X slots from three to two.

Maximum Performance Guidelines

Energy Saver Settings for Power Mac G5

Processor Performance

For optimal Pro Tools performance, you must set Processor Performance (located in System Preferences > Energy Saver > Options) to "Highest". Updating your Mac OS may reset this to the default setting: "Automatic". After updating your Mac OS, check to make sure this is set to "Highest".

Apple's Mac OS help documentation provides the following info on Energy Saver Processor settings:

  • The PowerPC G5 processor in your Power Mac G5 can run at various speeds. The default setting for this feature is "Automatic", which allows the system to run the processor at full speed when required, and at a lower speed during periods of light processing activity. Certain real-time applications, such as audio creation or gaming, may perform optimally when using the highest processor performance setting. You can change the processor performance setting in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences.

Pro Tools Does Not Support Sleep Mode

In the Macintosh System Preferences, launch Energy Saver, click the Sleep tab, and disable all Sleep features. Set "Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive" to Never. Do not manually put your computer to sleep when running Pro Tools.

Known Incompatibilities & Issues


AVoption|V10 is only compatible with Windows XP


AVoption|XL is not compatible with Pro Tools 6.4 and higher. Do not install Pro Tools 6.4 or higher on an AVoption|XL system.

Additional Issues

  • Auto Delay Compensation requires a substantial amount of system resources, especially in large sessions. If audio record and playback are failing due to DAE error -9073 when Auto Delay Compensation is enabled, try turning Auto Delay Compensation off for better audio record and playback performance
  • Looping playback on a very large session containing lots of automation, plug ins and sends may cause -9073 errors if Delay Compensation is on. (Item #46815)
  • A regular GUI counter pause when playing back a large number of tracks while using Delay Compensation. (Item #47070)
  • In an 88.2/ 96kHz or 176.4/192kHz session, the number of mixer channels available per non-Accel card DSP will decrease by 50% when using Delay Compensation (Item #47265)
  • Using the long Delay Compensation engine may increase the time that surround routing changes will take (Item #47351)
  • The Movie Offset feature affects both the QT Movie output to DV and the Onscreen movie
  • If users want to use Japanese fonts in their sessions, they will not be able to use HFS (standard) drives – only HFS+
  • Use of "Continuous Scroll with Playhead" with LCD monitors may result in a flickering gray area located to the left of the session start point
  • Sometimes when opening a session that was based on a PT 3.2 format session, the following error may occur when Restoring IO paths: Time type mismatch occurred in "Time_Typed.cpp" line 370. A reboot may be necessary if this occurs
  • System instabilities and performance issues can occur when using MIDI control surfaces in conjunction with Pro Tools 6 and 3rd party MIDI interfaces. For best multiport MIDI performance, we recommend using Digidesign's MIDI I/O.
  • The JSK synchronizer is not compatible with Pro Tools using Remote Mode (Item #43046)
  • When playing DV video out the FireWire port to a Canopus ADV-100, if the Canopus is connected to a Firewire drive containing a bridge chip made by Initio it may drop frames (flash black) during playback. To correct this, connect the Canopus directly to the CPU's Firewire port. (Item #46806)

Incompatible with Power Mac G5 due to 5.0 volt limitation:

  • SCSI64 Kit (included ATTO Express PCI-DC card is not compatible)

Third-Party PCI Cards Incompatible with Power Mac G5

  • ATTO Express PCI-DC SCSI card
  • Aurora Igniter, IgniterRT, and IgniterLT (manufactured before Spring 2003)

Older versions of the Igniter, IgniterRT, and IgniterLT card are not electronically or physically compatible with the Power Mac G5, as they are 5 volt-only cards. You can tell if your card is compatible by examining the edge connector. If there is only one "slot" in the PCI edge connector, it is the older style 5 volt-only card. For details on how to upgrade to the newer IgniterX card, go to:

Other Digidesign PCI cards are not compatible with Pro Tools|HD Systems or Power Mac G5

Previous Digidesign PCI cards are incompatible with Pro Tools|HD systems. You cannot combine Pro Tools|HD and these PCI cards, either in the CPU or an expansion chassis. Doing so will cause crashes, or the CPU will simply fail to boot. The following Digidesign cards are not compatible with Pro Tools|HD systems for Mac OS X or Power Mac G5:

  • MIX Core card
  • MIX Farm card
  • MIX I/O card
  • d24 card (Pro Tools|24 core card)
  • DSP Farm card (Pro Tools III/Pro Tools|24)
  • Digi 001
  • Audiomedia III
  • Pro Tools III Disk I/O
  • Pro Tools Project card
  • Project II card
  • SampleCell II cards

The following Digidesign hardware is also not compatible with Pro Tools|HD systems:

  • Universal Slave Driver
  • Video Slave Driver
  • SMPTE Slave Driver
  • SampleCell II TDM Module
  • 882 I/O
  • 888 I/O

Additional Information

Digidesign Compatibility Documents Index