Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Should I switch to the iMac
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June 8, 2011 at 7:14 PM #48204AnonymousInactive
I’ve got a fairly powerful PC right now, Intel i7 2.67GHZ, Radeon HD4670 Graphics 512MB, with 2 GB Ram running 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium. When I work in Sony Vegas Pro on HD Video I lock-up or crash with the BSOD. I had originally had the 64-bit version of Windows 7 with 6 GB of ram and I crashed even more often. It also seems like I have to restore to an old image every couple of months because some virus infects the PC.
Since I retired recently I no longer have to develop on Windows based machines and was considering moving to one of the all-in-one iMacs. My question is if I go this road and start editing HD video with Final Cut Pro should I then be in a blissful state of hardware stability or are you iMac users getting your share of lock-ups and crashes too. Hate to drop a couple Gs and go through a new learning curve just to have the same old problems on a new platform.
I would love to hear any and all opinions.
June 8, 2011 at 11:44 PM #198154EarlCMember
Lee, there’s good, bad and ugly with either platform and there’s no doubt that a bevy of PC enthusiasts and experts will point out that a stable and rock-solid system can be constructed for video production on a PC. I also saw your other post noting the extent of your aspirations and desire to remain essentially a video enthusiast/hobbyist.
The thing I get MOST from both posts is that you sincerely want to ENJOY what you do and be able to focus on the FUN of doing it, not the engineering feats and trouble shooting curves that some systems can throw at you. Right?
Based on that assumption, and having been a Mac user for a long, long time, I first have to say that NO system, program or platform is perfect and there will ALWAYS be times when for one reason or another ANY system will choke on something we feed it. BUT, I also have to say that in discussions with many friends who are PC based I hear a LOT more grumbles and complaints and hair-pulling sounds from them than I do my Mac friends. Though I DO hear a good bit from the MAC users who incorporate a lot of human error into their setups and operations.
I am NOT a Mac guru, nor could I be considered a power user. I only know that my experience overall with the Mac environment has been positive and when there HAVE been issues or problems, hang ups, spinning beach balls, even system crashes in the pre Leopard/Snow Leopard OS days primarily, it was due to something I did rather than the fault of the system.
With the power and ability, the potential processor speed and storage expansion, connections and the accompanying iMovie and related “i” series programs that come with the system, a $2K investment with a few hundred more for extra storage upon ordering, and that 27″ screen, the new iMac is going to be better than an entry-level platform for editing video.
What is happening also (and as per Grinner’s comments) is that Apple is doing some serious re-writing that will soon be manifested with its next level of OS, newer connectivity that third parties have only just begun to add, AND with the new FCPX that will be available for download in a few more months (I believe) for about $300, you might be well off to circumvent the FCP Studio series, even though I’m not that excited about abandoning the studio series, in favor of what’s coming soon via Mac.
This might also, if the rumors are correct, address your concern about ingesting some of the AVCHD footage you probably shoot, working with HD, and there are several worthwhile conversion programs “out there” Wondershare Video Converter Pro, among them, that will make conversion of your current library perhaps less painful … I’m not sure about batch conversion with that one, but probably it is available via Wondershare. I think the overall power and program applicability via the Mac, and the new better, faster, bigger iMacs will be a hard combination to beat and there is a lot to be said for the overall stability of this platform and its related software.
June 9, 2011 at 12:42 AM #198155Luis Maymi LopezParticipant
“NO system, program or platform is perfect and there will ALWAYS be times
when for one reason or another ANY system will choke on something we
That very true, my Mac had crash badly several times, mostly because I ask way too much at the same time (I’m a Mac abUser you know). Neither Windows nor Mac is better than the other, but I prefer Mac because is more stable, you don’t need too many upgrades and I like how the OS works (files, folders, the track pad functions etc).
June 9, 2011 at 1:19 AM #198156AnonymousInactive
I agree with Sarge. It has it’s problems but only a fraction (a very small fraction) of the problems found on Windows-based machines. I had previously been a Windows user since Windows 3.1. And with each and every incarnation the crashing and blue screen of death occurrences got worse. I finally converted to Mac. The biggest problem I’ve had has been FCP being glitchy until I got the update.
June 9, 2011 at 2:12 AM #198157AnonymousInactive
Thank you Earl and everyone. I wasn’t even aware of FCP X coming out so your comments are an immense help. I am in the process of trying to educate myself for a fall purchase descision and this forum is proving to be invaluable. Thanks for taking the time to supply such well thought out and complete answers.
June 9, 2011 at 4:47 PM #198158composite1Member
I started out on macs (OS 7) and worked with them professionally until the early incarnations of OSX. I worked with PC’s from Win 3.1 until now which I have units with WinVista (pro) and Win7 (pro). The crashes and glitches I ran into with both platforms came either from ‘operator error’ or as Event said, ‘pushing the system far beyond it’s capabilities’. I’ve had the reverse experience with Windows in that the later versions have become far more stable.
Now the crashes I get come from the software I use (Adobe, can you hear me?) When I got out on my own as a pro, I couldn’t afford the same types of mac’s I used working with production houses and though I had been building Mac Clones, Apple shut down that process and I gravitated to PC and hadn’t looked back.
Ultimately, you have to go with what you feel comfy with and your wallet will allow you to get. Earl called it straight, with none of this stuff being perfect. And I’ll add that the ‘hair pulling’ and ‘engineering’ issues that come with PC’s stems primarily from ‘operator error’. All of which will strike a mac user (and often does) as well. Whether you purchase (the Apple Logo) a mac or buy another pre-built PC, if you don’t take care of it, take precautions to protect it, load it with crap and drive it into the ground, it’s going to give you trouble.
BTW, I answered your other post about transferring your files to a mac.
June 10, 2011 at 4:49 PM #198159210peParticipant
I’m really shocked to hear about a ‘blue’ screen on a Windows based PC. What hardware/software combination are you using to get that? I am using Win7 Pro now and Win Vista Pro before that and have never seen a blue screen with these operating systems no matter what I am doing. Stability should not be a deciding factor I don’t think any more. They run on the same ‘chips’ now – the two operating systems are much more similar under the hood now than most of us would like to admit. Pick the one that you like the interface because that is the main difference and Windows8 is going to be a lot different in the UI anyway.
June 12, 2011 at 4:48 PM #198160AnonymousInactive
I listed my specs in my initial post, I’m gladyou are not having trouble on your Windows platform but that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t get through a 3 hour editing session without crashing at least once or twice, so stability is the deciding factor. Since Mac is a closed system with it’s OS servicing a narrower range of software and hardware compatability practically a non-issue it would make sense that the Mac is a more stable platform. None the less editing hd video with multiple tracks is going to push any system pretty hard so I wanted to make sure I didn’t hear any horror stories from the Mac community before taking the plunge. I’m fairly new to vidio editing but not software or computers (I was a windows developer for 20 years before I retired) so I could probably take my machine apart piece by piece and application by application and maybe get some relief but that’s just not enjoying retirement from my point of view, that’s work. I’d rather just spendtwo orthree grand and get the best hassle free system I can to make my little movies and enjoy the good life.
June 14, 2011 at 4:24 PM #198161AnonymousInactive
I agree with Sarge as well.. I started video editing on a big expensive Dell tower as fast as it would get, running Adobe AE, Premiere Pro, etc.. along with the required scratch disks needed, a total of 3 drives that is. As my projects got larger I just couldn’t keep the system stable. Too many crashes, corrupt project files, it was just painful. So I decided to take the Mac plunge, I figured it could either be much better (as advertised by the community) or the same.. I also wanted to use FCP & Motion.. so I choose to make the switch. I bought a fast G5, FCP Suite and one FW400 drive.. instantly I was faster in editing.. that was then, and this is now.
With that being said, I run all my projects on a $1500 iMac running FCP 6 and I also have Adobe Master Collection CS5 running. Like Sarge said.. I feel OSX is much more stable than Windows, the file structure is better, the kernel is better. So in hindsight I’m glad I made the switch. This past week I was still smiling as I had FCP & Photoshop up and running editing a video for 4 days straight.. no issues. I’ve had issues for sure.. but nothing compared to my Windows days..
All that to say, you gotta do what’s right for you, what you’ve invested in software, etc.. Systems are much better now, from my experience (and I must add I make a living off Microsoft being a sr. network engineer) that the Apple OS is more stable for what I use it for.. end of story for me.
In the end.. it’s about theproduction, the video, , the project, the end result and does the passion of your project get conveyed to the viewer.. are you using what you have to its fullest.. or is there a training/learning issue that you need to gain an edge?
June 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM #198162AnonymousGuest
Yes you should switch to Imac. I have been running FCP 7 and Adobe cs5 on a 09 24″ Imac. Max out on ram 8 Gigs of memory. with a Lacie drive (1Tb). No issues like my old pc. love it.
June 16, 2011 at 12:47 AM #198163D0nParticipant
June 18, 2011 at 12:22 AM #198164artsmithParticipant
I have stuck with ‘Windows’, having passed-up the opportunity to purchase an I-Mac, through the University my wife worked for, upon her retirement. Those making the Windows/IMac comparison might be interested to know that all University IMacs came with ‘Windows’ pre-installed as standard.
However, I have a friend who uses a ‘Mac’, and comparisons have proven that I have access to so much valuablesoftware, that he doesn’t, that I am glad I did not make theswitch.I have seldom experienced the ‘blue-screen of death’ but I have had many unexplained crashes, (fewer from Magix MEP17P, however, than from any other software I have used). I installed monitoring software to keep track of what my CPU/Memory were up-to, and here’s what I found.Crashes tend to occur when the CPU gets into either a ‘loop’ situation (although it just-as-frequently sits and waits for some action which you are not providing so that it may continue), or becomes overloaded with an unresolvable queue of demands being placed upon it, all at once. Once the CPU is running as hard as it can, the last thing to do, is to start randomly banging on keys in impatience or frustration, in effect, adding more demands. I have many instances of my own computer, which is eight years old, and quite unremarkable, giving the ‘xxxxx is not responding’ signal, only to find that by waiting perhaps a minute, or less, the computer has prioritised the demands made on it, sorted them out, and managed to negotiate them in an orderly fashion to resolve the impasse.
Needless to say, all unnecessary running-processes should be shut-down when extreme demands are being made on your computer, as every unwanted process is alsoqueueing up for its share of CPU-time. The key, is regular maintenance, which is invariably overlooked, periodic cleaning of the registry, defragmentation of drives etc.A weekly hour, or so, is what it takes, and it means the difference between your computer chugging along like a well-oiled sewing-machine and endless trips to a serviceman, to have roughly the same things done for you.
I believe that IMacs come into their own when it comes to music, especially at a professional level, but I am undecided as to whether they have the advantages sometimes claimed for them, with video.
June 18, 2011 at 1:01 AM #198165AnonymousInactive
I must say i would recommend that you should switch to a imac ASAP. And i speak from experience, as fpr myself i have three. A 15 inch macbook pro, a 20 inch imac desktop, and my latest purchase the 27 inch quad core 2.93ghz 16gb ram ati radeon 5750 hd gpu. Like yourself i was undecided when i was on a windows operating system. But i needed a more reliable operating system. Because i do tons of editing and motion graphic designs. I use avid, final cut studio, adobe cs5 master collection, cinema 4d just to name a few.Now these are high complex programs, and i must say my system has never got a virus or has it crashed. Imac computers are the most reliable operating systems on the market today. And anyone who are into any major post production should have one.
June 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM #198166CharlesParticipant
I just made the switch to a Mac from a PC and I will never go back. I purchased a Mac Pro with two processors and 12 gig of ram from B & H for a lesser amount than from Apple and they even have the extended warranty. Plus, the same system in a PC format would have cost me twice as much. I still use Adobe products and even upgraded to CS 5.5 which seems more stable than CS 5. Another factor of switching to Mac, I was getting tired of all the updates from Microsoft that would reboot my system in the middle of the night when I had a video rendering.
I would switch to a Mac if I were you.
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