Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › PC or Mac for computer
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January 6, 2009 at 9:02 PM #40201AnonymousInactive
So I’m looking to buy a new computer and editing platform. I’m currently using an older version of Adobe premiere. Anyways, my budget is about $3,500 – $4,000 and I currently get student discounts on either Final Cut Studio 2 or Adobe CS4. Should I go Mac or PC? Any help or suggestions would be great.
January 7, 2009 at 1:02 AM #172813AnonymousInactive
I’m somewhat of a beginner, but I run a small business out of my home, and my last two computer purchases have been macs. (imac and a macbook pro) I have not been disappointed. Less problem with viruses, little if any learning curve coming from PC, and overall a good performer.
As far as the video editing – I like Final Cut, and have very limited experience with A CS4. I think it comes down to personal preference. Which platform will you work best with.
Another decision you need to make with the hardware is the whole SD or HD question. You’ll need hardware that will handle the HD if you go that way. Just something to think about. Also, think about upgrading anytime you are looking at computer hardware. How easy is it to add memory for example.
This post will likely generate some very strong opinions on both sides.
January 7, 2009 at 1:07 AM #172814EarlCMember
This will start a war, I am sure, but…
While I have no particular animosity toward PC or PC based editing software, my brief experiences with them have always been that they were difficult for me – either in routine maintenance, software installation, upgrading or simply overcoming major learning curves.
On the other hand I have been using Macs and related software since the 512K days and having that kind of background and experience, I have found the hardware and software overall to be a familiar, dependable and highly productive and intuitive combination.
Taking advantage of your student discounts, the usability of the Mac OS, hardware and Final Cut Pro editing programs, I cannot imagine you regretting going that direction. In fact, I have a close friend in the business who won a complete PC and Premiere package (lucky guy) at an event. Being an IT guy he felt he should move from the PowerPC G4 and set up an editing environment using this newfound computer wealth.
He turned the Mac over to his wife, fought with the PC stuff for a year and mid-summer of ’08 jumped back to Mac with an 8-core 2.8 Mac Pro and FCP. To my knowledge he has not cranked up the PC, except for puttering around on the internet, since – and is talking about dumping the G4 and getting a Mac Pro for his wife – as the both shoot and edit.
January 7, 2009 at 1:46 AM #172815
total machead here…..
run 4 computers, apple tv, heck I even give my wedding clients thier work on apple tv’s and ipod classics…..
I’ve only ever had one mac go dead, and one call to apple and they authorised an out of warrenty logic board replacement for free, on a well used imac….. no hassles, just fixed it and said thanx for being such a loyal customer….
January 7, 2009 at 2:58 AM #172816RobParticipant
I prefer macs. I dunno what their deal is with monitors though. Their new ones have a glass surface, which is annoying due to glare. It surprises me that Apple would make a product like that. They didn’t even need to make new monitors…..
January 7, 2009 at 5:29 AM #172817jerronsmithParticipant
I suggest buying a MAC since the OS comes with bootcamp and can install the windows OS on a separate partition on the HDD. This effectively makes it two computers at once. If you don’t like bootcamp there are several other applications such as Parallels that allow you to run the Windows OS inside of the MAC OS. This makes a MAC a far more flexible machine than a PC is. The question of whether to use the Final Cut studio or Production Premieum CS4 is more difficult though.
Both are intended to be full service solution for your media projects. You can edit, add effects and titles, create or sweeten sound and author to disk with either solution.
The Adobe bundle is more powerful as a whole because it offers more powerful and industry standard applications such as Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator and Flash, and because the disk authoring program can author blu-ray disks, but if you don’t need or can’t use those tools they are irrelevant.
January 7, 2009 at 8:31 AM #172818brandon0409Participant
I agree with what many are saying above. BUT
If you are completely comfortable with PC (Windows) and you want to get the best system, buy a MAC and install Windows on a separate partition, as Jerronsmith mentioned. MAC’s have a much more stable hardware system because they aren’t Frankenstein machines like nearly all PC’s are. Causing incompatability issues with hardware, fault, blue screens of death… you know the drill.
If you are comfortable with Adobe there is a version for PC and MAC.
I think it just comes down to what you are comfortable with (System wise).
I use MAC and FCP personally.
January 7, 2009 at 3:32 PM #172819NewBirthProductionsParticipant
MAC with CS4 can’t go wrong.
January 7, 2009 at 3:36 PM #172820NewBirthProductionsParticipant
Put windoze on a mac….. Arrest that man.
January 7, 2009 at 3:41 PM #172821
“Put windoze on a mac….. Arrest that man.”
so much for virus protection…
January 7, 2009 at 3:44 PM #172822
the image link doesn’t seem to work…
January 7, 2009 at 6:15 PM #172823composite1Member
Okay, what are you most comfortable using? What setup will give you the fastest work pipleline with the most quality of work for the least amount of money? If you go with an OS, will you have to retool and rebuild your NLE setup from scratch? My outfit uses built in-house PC’s (Frankenstiens that kick mad gluteus thank you) and we’ve done quite well with them. However, everyone I work with has used one platform or the other or both simultaneously. Yeah, you can put win os’s on a partitioned mac and you can put mac leopard os a pc (sacrilege! blasphemy! not on windoze? it’s the end of the world!) AHHHHHHHH SHADDDUP!
Look, computers are tools period. You can take the money in your budget and build your own to your specifications. Just do your research (god forbid a professional doing research) and push the envelope. Or, you can play it safe and buy something pre-built. There are tons of companies that build computers so you don’t have to get your hands dirty with an in-house build. If you go with a PC, look for companies that build workstations. Consumer grade ‘puters are cheap but not designed for serious editing and graphic work. That and they’ll have a dumptruck load of proprietary software you don’t need (or want.) As far as PC os’s go, hands down WinXP Pro, then Vista Business everything else by MS is just loaded with crap you don’t need. My collegues who use Linux swear by it, but software is still fairly limited. Concerning Mac’s, there are some good models to choose from and they have a good track record but don’t believe the hype. Mac’s crash and sometimes get hit with viruses (Norton Antivirus was invented for Mac.) Just be prepared to fork over some cash to get one. My mentor who was the staunchest Mac Guru flipped from the os with the advent of win 2k and hasn’t looked back.
Are PC’s better than Mac’s, are Mac’s better than PC’s? NO. You acertain what your requirements are and make the choice on what’s best for you and your workflow. Be advised; it’s great you get student discounts on software, but you get those because the expectation is you are only doing student level work. Software companies fully expect you to upgrade (i.e. purchase) to the professional level software when you start working for profit. So just spend the cash up front on the highest level of the non-student version you can afford and get it over with. The last thing you want is the ‘software nazi’s’ hitting you with a suit. No matter what platform you pick, you hopefully will select what works best for you and will allow you the greatest amount of collaboration with your potential clients and collegues. And forget about any of this ‘tribal’ nonsense concerning mac’s and pc’s. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are laughing at the ‘dispute’ all the way to the bank.
January 7, 2009 at 6:16 PM #172824jerronsmithParticipant
The Windows operating system on a MAC is a necessity for some of us since there are many programs that don’t run on a MAC. For example of the three main 3d programs only Maya can run on the MAC OS.
January 7, 2009 at 7:02 PM #172825BruceMolParticipant
I feel compelled to defend my Windows choice!
I slipped into the video making business, as most of us seem to have done, through a hobby interest. But Im a Windows guy, since the Windows 3.11 and 286 computers. I stayed with Windows because there was always some techy willing to solve my problems at work and I wasnt, until getting into video, a power user. Until I started my curriculum design business (which manifests itself mostly in video) I was a travelling computer instructor for the local medial region; mostly MS products which I know inside out.
My first big paying video customer wanted me to capture video and do rough cuts for them, then give them all the files on a portable hard drive for their staff to tweak. They were using Windows for their office and Adobe Prem.Pro CS3. So I agreed, got an advance, bought CS3 for Windows (ka-ching) and got to work. It wasnt until I reached the limitation of my first camera a very nice little Panasonic 3CCD model that froze last winter while I was videotaping forklift safety in the snow, that I bought a Canon XHA1 (after much agonizing about tape, hard drive, SD, HDV).
Im not sure if an inexpensive Mac could handle HDV, but my 3 yr old AMD 3700+ Windows XP computer couldnt, even with a new video card and max RAM. So, my Christmas present to me was a quad processor Windows XP computer. Now I can do multi-line HDV. The limiting factor is not windows, but my understanding of Adobe products and a few glitches in their products nothing is perfect.
As for getting a Mac, I wasnt about to buy a Mac and then the software. I could have bought a Mac, and boot camp, but I would still have to buy Adobe for Mac I couldnt justify the price. As for viruses, the much touted advantage, none of my computers have had them for years.
As for usability though, sorry Microsoft, friends and family invite me over to too often to have a look and see what I think about something that turns out to be totally, and absurdly, too difficult.
January 8, 2009 at 7:07 PM #172826composite1Member
Wow! A 286? Man that’s ancient school! My very first computer was a Packard Bell 486 laptop with (count ’em) 4MB’s harddrive space! It had Win 3.12 (or whatever the last version was before win95) I loved it and hated it at the same time! I had worked with people who had apple powerbooks (or whatever they were called back then) and liked what I saw. Couldn’t remotely afford them though.
Caught a deal on the PB (though the tech was obsolete by the following year) for $1300 bucks and bought it on an installment plan. Just when I started getting the hang of working with 3.x’s GUI and DOS (hated it) I got a gig that did all of their graphic and video work on Apples. Liked them but again, couldn’t come close to affording one or the software to go with it.
When win95 got up and running suddenly my hardworking PB laptop was so obsolete it wasn’t funny. I used it only for word processing until I got what was then a ‘muscled up’ Desktop (Intel MMX CPU w/32MB of RAM ooohhh!) and later a compaq laptop (hated it) with win98. I still had one foot in ‘Apple World’ and the other in ‘Microsoft World’. Of course in ’98 Apple fixed it so you could run win98 on an apple partition (I know an obnoxious guy I worked with made all attempts to rub my nose in it). Which was cool I thought and then the MacDrive software came out (which I still use) and then I could open and work on files that originated on macs (even cooler and I didn’t have to pay for a mac which I still couldn’t afford.)
At the time you could build a ‘mac clone’ and I had found my way into getting one without ending up in ‘debtor’s prison’. Since I had helped do some field builds on the mac’s we used on location (workhorses they were) and I had support from my then mac guru mentor, I was confident in putting one together. Once I had picked out all the parts I wanted, Apple instituted their policy of ‘Apple shalt be the only manufacturers of Mac’s!’ Poof! However with Apple making it possible to run windows on their machines and MacDrive making it possible to work on mac files on a PC I dared hope that some enterprising engineer would take all the stuff I liked about both systems and create the ‘Utopian OS’ minus all the crap I hated about both. Sorry, no Utopia.
However, you could still build PC’s and I found it was quite easy to do. Toughest part was getting through the inital testing (which was more operator error than anything else.) But I found if you did good research prior to the build (duh) you would cut down on incompatibility issues. Funny thing though, not long ago Apple could no longer ignore the power of the intel chipset and made the switch. Typical of Apple they made it seem like ‘it was their idea all along’ and heralded to the world that ‘now the intel chip can reach it’s full potential’. Mac loyalists were ticked at the time, but as always followed the sound of the apple marketing drum. Those of us who had been using PC’s with intel chips doing graphic, NLE, motion graphic and animation work for years were saying, ‘Where the *&^%$ have you been?’ Hence my animosity (not toward mac computers nor ‘macies’) concerning mac’s marketing hype. Spare me the hoopla of why I should ‘join the tribe’. Just make a ‘spear’ that will get the job done and I’ll take it from there.
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