College Computer Advice

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    • #48055

      I am a Senior in highschool right now and will be going to Ohio University majoring in Video Production and minoring in film. All of my life I have been a heavy Windows and PC guy, using Sony Vegas to edit. At the college and most everywhere else, the OS of choice is Mac. I sure would love to get a mac and final cut pro, but I know my family simply cannot afford paying $4,000 dollars or more for a decent editing system. Right now I am considering making a ‘Hackintosh’ by building a powerful PC for around $1,000 dollars and installing Mac OS X on it, the power of that computer would probably cost $6,000 Mac dollars.

      The next issue after that is obtaining the actual video editing suite. $999 (student discount) for Final Cut Pro is way over mine and my parent’s budget after already buying a new computer. Is it worth it for the full suite? Or should I simply get Express? There are many labs open, probably with the full suite installed, in the video production building that are open 24/7. So maybe Express would do it’s job for me? There are many factors to consider and I am still unsure if I should purchase windows or mac, get Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express, resort to pirating? Who knows?So I am here to ask your opinions! OS X or Windows? Should I buy an actual mac or make a hackintosh? Pro or Express? Is it worth it to pirate it? What do you, yourself use? Are there any cheap alternatives that I am unaware of? Any advice would be appreciated!

      Also, I am new the Videomaker forums, is this is the wrong category, go ahead and move it!

    • #197630

      I would stick to your gun and edit with Sony Vegas Pro on a decent Windows computer. Windows Vista’s a tradeoff, but Windows 7 is much better. Windows XP is what I use, and is still the best Windows choice. What type of video are you editing? If it’s 1920×1080/60p video and youwant good preview, then I would get a large Desktop and build yourself a system. Otherwise, I’d simply purchase a fast (Dell) laptop or desktop. You usually run into more problems trying to upgrade than simply getting a fast system.

      I edit with Sony Vegas Pro 10 on a 2.33GHz CentrinoDuo 2GB RAM 150GB 7200rpm HDD system. It was already upgraded, but you can still buy it this fast. The hardrive (I recommend 7200rpm) is a more manageable upgrade.

    • #197631

      Hey, I’m a sophomore video production major at OU (small world huh?)

      I’m PC all the way through, and if that’s what you’re used to, I would say stick with it. I like being able to choose my computer parts, and get high power for low cost. My editor of choice is Adobe Premiere, and I got the student discount and paid $350 for the Production Premium CS5 package. A cool feature with CS5 is the ability to edit in Premiere, then move the timeline to FCP using XML files. This way I can edit in my dorm where I am most comfortable, then port my edits over to the computer lab for finishing up in class.

      At OU we have two labs with 20-some brand new iMacs, so you’ll have plenty of access to Macs and FCP, no worries there. OU heavily heavily heavily pushes Mac and FCP, but I say use another program so you’ll be proficient in both. My 2 cents!

    • #197632

      Well IMO, if you’re attending a school thathas Mac’s &Final Cut Pro in house, then it would would be a good idea for you to at least get Final Cut Express and a Mac to use during your studies. I would not ditch your PC and Vegas (I use both Vegas Pro10 on PC andFinal Cut Express on iMac), as I agree with Ryan3078 and that one should have as much cross platform training as possible, especially when you graduate and transfer into the workplace. It will make yourself more marketable.

      If you decide to go to the full FCP Suite, then check out BH Photo’s website. They have the full version (non EDU)for lessthan Apples EDU discount. Right now it’s $799 with some training DVD’s. They also have a respectable 21″ imacfor less than $1200. You can get a 13″ mac pro on their EDU site for less than $1400. I have no affiliation with them, but I buy all my stuff there. They always have great prices and great customer service.

      FWIW, I’m running FCE4 on a 27″ iMac with an intel core 2duo @ 3.06ghz & 4gb memory. I amediting HDV & AVCHDmaterial, but with FCE’s intermediate codec, it makes thingssmoother to edit. It’s doing all I need it to do for now. If you have plenty of access to FCP at school, then I’d stick with FCE for now and do your rough cutting with it and finish graphics, color grading,output, etcwith the schools systems.

      Oh, and one more thing,regarding “pirating” the software. That’s an easy one to answer for me. NO, DON’T DO IT. But only you can make that moral decision for yourself.


    • #197633

      Unless there’s an academic requirement to learn how to use a certain software because it’s part of the curriculum, you’ve got leeway. If they already have workstations available, just learn on those and use them as required. If you’re not inclined to purchase a mac (like I wasn’t when I was in filmschool) then get a PC setup (preferably a laptop) with enough juice to do your basic legwork when you can’t get on a school workstation. However, to be fair Hog’s suggestion of an inexpensive mac (used) with FCE on it will get you in the ballpark.

      But if you’re set on staying PC (which I did) you’ll just have to setup your workflow to coincide with the mac workflow. All your video clips will be in quicktime so get NLE software that will allow you to work in QT without any hassle (Media Composer, Premiere Pro, Vegas Pro) all work in congress with QT. Also, you’ll need an external HDD or two to work back and forth between your rig and the mac rigs. Make sure it’s formatted to FAT32 because mac’s to my knowledge don’t recognize NTFS formatted HDD’s. Also get yourself a copy of ‘Mac Drive’ so you can work with mac files on your pc. It won’t let you install an run mac-based programs btw! Only the files from compatible mac software, like Word and many others.

      The main thing to consider about purchasing a rig to use in school is; what will you be working with primarily when you get out? Odds are you won’t fall right into a gig that pays well enough to keep up your mac ‘lifestyle’ and or you may end up moving to where there is little or no support for mac’s but tons for pc’s. The cool thing is working cross-platform is easy these days so you get what you want. Just be prepared to work with it for a while after you graduate until you can generate enough cash to ‘refit’ your gear.

    • #197634

      “FAT32 because mac’s to my knowledge don’t recognize NTFS formatted HDD’s”

      I’ve never heard that, but it does seems true due to the globalization, yet copyright. Anyway, my Maxtor 1TB HDD (brand new) was formatted to NTFS. Maybe only Windows is capable of doing so.

      A Mac would have to format the drive to FAT32, which would cause me to lose all the maxtor stuff.

    • #197635
      Luis Maymi Lopez

      You can read and write an NTFS drive on Mac by using an NTFS software from Tuxera. It works great and you will not need to reformat your drive.

    • #197636

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