MAC or PC (Classic Old question but Very Important)

Anonymous (not verified)

Now you can hv PC with Intel Core i7 or xeon quad core dual processor with 1 GB HD graphix card... despite this, keeping in mind the future, do you think, if anyone one wants to invest for a professional edition setup, should he go for MAC or PC? software requirement ADOBE CS5, FCP both.....


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"software requirement ADOBE CS5, FCP both....."

Your only option is to use a Mac because you can't run FCP on a PC...unless you run a hackintosh, which I don't recommend.


H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

With program suites like CS5 or Avid and others you can use either a mac or pc. Parts are the same now for either so the only real diff's are the OS' and software that is specific to either like FCP and Vegas to name a few. With the cross-platform programs you can work in concert with others who have similar programs regardless of Win or Apple OS. Even with the specific software programs, there exists the ability to work cross-platform by merely agreeing upon a codec that is common between the programs like .mov or .avi as just a couple of options. If you're not working cross-platform, then there really isn't much need to sweat which platform to use.

However, if you are planning to work professionally the cross-platform possibility will need to be seriously considered. Fortunately, more than enough pros work with the major NLE programs and have experience with more than one so workable solutions are not tough to create. Any good editor these days is expert in at least one of the majors and has a working knowledge of one or more. I myself use Avid, Premiere and Vegas. I have a working knowledge of FCP.

From my experience the decision of 'which way to go' is highly subjective and specific you your skill level, purchasing potential, region and comfort level with either OS. I've worked professionally with both platforms over the years and chose the PC platform for economic and technical reasons. My firm builds all of our graphic, audio and NLE workstations. I figured since I was going to be tearing into my systems anyway, it doesn't make sense to pay for a mac when we were going to be doing our own tech support.

So you should be asking yourself similar questions. Nowadays, the 'big 3' HP, Dell and Apple have comparable gear at the pro level and you'll pay similar money for a high-end workstation (maybe a skosh more for an HP or a Mac.) Tech support is in the similar range for all three and since XP windows has been a stable platform no matter what the Mac Propaganda Machine will tell you. So once more you're back at square one and will just have to decide which way you want to go. Some don't decide and integrate both platforms into their workflow. I personally think that's a pain because I like to operate the basic controls on an 'instinctual level' whenever I'm switching back and forth there are fundamental (yet small) differences between the two OS' that get to be aggravating when cranking towards a deadline.

Though I do enjoy makin' fun of my 'Macky' friends, either choice is viable. No matter which way you go, you're still going to have to 'open an artery' to pay for everything you need to get going.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"I am not sure why you need FCP though, there are other NLEs out that can provide the same level of functionality and quality."

For $1000 Final Cut Studio comes with software for editing, color grading, audio editing, motion graphics, encoding, and DVD authoring. I don't know of any other package that provides all that at such a low cost.

Not trying to be an apple fanboy here. I just think you get the most bang for you buck with FCS.


H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

"I love the tight integration between After Effects and Premiere via
Dynamic Link."

Much as I hate Adobe's customer service and registering hassles, the 'DL' makes much of that worthwhile. I'm a huge Avid fan, but working with the Adobe Suites are no joke when it comes to getting graphic/vfx intensive edits done. Right now the only real advantages FCP/S has over CS whatever are ProRes and Apple Color. On the other hand, though a bit more labor intensive you can do some serious color work in AFX. Now if BMD will pull their head out and make a PC-friendly version of Da Vinci....

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"And when you factor those prices in with the cost of FCS3 it becomes
much more expensive than just going with the Production Premium CS5 set
up alone."

lol, that is a great point. I never thought of that because I only ever looked at the Adobe Design package since I already have FCP.

"I haven't work with the newer versions of FCP and Motion so I am not really sure how tightly integrated they are."

Generally you send your timelines to Soundtrack Pro, Color, and Compressor, but with Motion you create the animation and simply drop the Motion project file into your timeline. That's how you elimiate having to render out of the GFX program, although, I think that workflow is best used when your graphics aren't finalized. Once they're finalized I think it's still best to render out of Motion and bring the new .mov into FCP.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"But what advantages does it offer vs. just editing different codecs in a timeline."

A lot of HD formats today use Long GOP compression - formats from AVCHD to XDCam. While it's nice that they record small file sizes, they don't always hold up well in post production and they are more processor intensive. Transcoding to ProRes gets you out of a Long GOP codec, and while it doesn't make your image initially look better, it will give your image a little more head room if you're going to do any some intense color grading or compositing. (Of course, transcoding to ProRes for compositing is not nearly as good as planning ahead and choosing to shoot HDCam, AVC-Intra, DVCProHD, or ProRes)

It's also a better mastering codec because it's 10-bit, full-raster, and uses 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 subsampling. Even if you shot something like DV, at least mastering to ProRes will maintain the quality of your graphics because DV uses 4:2:0 subsampling and will cause aliasing.

In addition, because it's 10-bit, full raster, 4:2:2 or 4:4:4, it will maintain a high quality image. But here's the awesomeness: while maintaining that high quality, it will have a MUCH lower data rate. So if you choose to shoot HDCam SR, which in the past was captured as 10-bit Uncompressed, you can now capture as ProRes and still maintain the quality of uncompressed video. No need for an $8000+ RAID anymore.

"Rob what do you like working with more After Effects or Motion."

I use Motion more, but only because I hate doing motion graphics and I turn to it as little as possible. Motion does what I need it to do, although, I do own After Effects just in case. After Effects is no doubt the more superior program. Motion certainly isn't a bad program, though. It can do most of the things After Effects can do, and do them just as well. But I think a true motion graphics guy will take After Effects over Motion any day. Actually, a true motion graphics guy probably knows both programs, hahah.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am

Anybody can build a house with a hammer and a handsaw. Same goes for editing with any of the given platforms/OS/NLE software approaches. Ease of use varies, but experience provides sound approaches to developing skills.

In all reality, the question is moot.