What Laptop to Buy.

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    • #40256

      Hey guys I’m thinking of buying a new laptop and need some help and reccomendations.

      I’m a Television Broadcasting Student and I will pretty much be using every multimedia software you guys use for the next 2 years on this laptop; FCP (mac only, I know), AVid, Protools, Adobe CS3/4, 3d Studio Max just to name a few. I know you guys will probably tell me to go for a desktop but I do a lot of editing on the fly (yes 2 hour bus rides to and from school) and i already have 2 old desktops at home.

      I was leaning the 15″ macbook pros at 2.53Ghz (might get the 2.8ghz) which runs at about just under $3000 however I’ve always been a PC and only have used macs at school but i’ve been slowing coming around since I got an Ipod Touch for christmas. One other reasone I’ve been looking at the MB Pros is that I will HAVE to do most of my video editing on FCPro for the next 2 sems, and The real selling point for me is that I can Also install Win XP with bootcamp. I don’t want to have to buy a PC laptop with Vista preinstalled (.. but if i must..).

      What do you guys think, Should I buy the 15″ MB Pro (Convince me not to). If i do should I get the the 2.53ghz or the 2.8ghz for $278 more. I also want this to last me for at least 3.5 years, ideally 5 or even 6.

      If not a MBP then what laptop do you specifically recommend that will last me for the next 4years. Should I get one with Quad core? I’ve been browsing a lot of PC laptops but I really dont know which one to get.

      Im looking at the price rage of about $2000 or under but will consider anything up to$2800

      Keep in mind I may also be doing some gaming on it but it’s not at all a priority.

    • #172987


    • #172988

      It’s the weekend mate, give people some time to respond.

      Me personaly i would get a Hal 9000

    • #172989

      haha isn’t that 8 years outdated.

    • #172990


      To find out ad nauseum about pc vs mac, you should check out the other posts on this site. This has been discussed so thoroughly you should be able to make a firm decision. The only advice I’d mention on Vista is get one with Vista Business SP1. Other than MS dropping the ball advertising the OS, VB is a solid and worthy replacement for XP Pro. If can spare the change, move up to quad core and 64-bit no matter what platform you use. So much better than 32-bit, never going back.

    • #172991

      thanx for the serious reply. i didn’t mean for this to be a mac vs pc debate at all. what i was looking for was wheter if i can get a pc laptop that is run the apps listed above just as good or better than the MBP at the same or preferably lower price. I just wasn’t sure which pc laptop to get because there are so many and it was just so much easier for me to research about MBP because only apple makes them. I don’t know or keep up with computer hardware as i use to when i was younger and all the duo, quad, octo, ddr3, 4, 5, L2 cache, 64 bit, 128bit, mumbo jumbo is making it hard for me to make a decision. anyway any good pc laptops to do audio, graphic, video, 3d editing you can reccomened in particular. and whats the big diff with 32 bit vs 64 bit when doing what i need to do with editing all that i need to.

    • #172992

      well im going into film industry next year too a community college and they recomend Mac Book Pro all the way. Im not a big fan of mac i love the problems with a pc but you can practicly install vista or windows 7 witch is comming soon and it would run like a pc. I heard that all the pros go with mac cuz its reliable and you really dont need to get rid of nasty viruses you get some times on pc. But the down side of Mac is i dont know if it will run games as good as a pc. over all if your going into the video industry get a mac for oyur first lap top because the Pc lap tops for video are expencive.

    • #172993

      ‘im going into film industry next year too a community college and they recomend Mac Book Pro all the way’

      Well, I’m ‘in’ the film industry and I’m telling you that’s just hype. With apple you just get ‘Apple flavor’ ’cause it’s the only one that authorizes the ossoftware and specific hardware to be made. It wasn’t always that way. Mac’s can also get viruses and are great ‘carriers’ of viruses because though they may not be specifically attacked, because mac users are lulled into a false sense of security many viruses piggyback on mac units until theyare plugged into a ‘friendly’ network. Many of the ‘pro’s’ you describe have either used macs since their inception (myself included) or have had training using apple technology (many schools and universities have apple’s on hand.) Apple has just been around the industry longer, that’s it. No matter what anyone says, they aren’t ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than pc’s. I’ve had the misfortune of working with mac’s that were a pain out of the box and others that were workhorses. Same with pc’s. When someone will finally take all the good things from mac’s, pc’s, and linux and make a laptop that’s the equivalent of the AK-47 (leave it in the mud for a month, pull it out, unclog it and it fires), I’ll roll with that and won’t look back. Jeez, enough already.

      On the serious side, if you really want a pc laptop and you have a requirement to share files cross-platform then you can always pick up a copy of Mac Drive to install on your unit. I’ve used it at various times over the years and though you can’t install apple based software on your pc, it takes away any excuses concerning file sharing with macs particularly if you’re using cross-platform software. Besides, all of the pro NLE software will allow you to output into a format compatible with mac’s or pc’s anyway.

      As for which pc laptop to get, you haveone mainstream options and one ‘off the beaten track’ option.

      Mainstream is to buy an ‘off the shelf’ laptop from one of the big names like Sony, HP, Dell or Alienware. These units will be like most macs in that their pre-built with no customization. You just base the pre-installed features on what you need/want.

      Off the beaten… is to go custom built. I am not familiar with whether Sony does custom built units, but HP, Dell and Alienware will customize you up to the point of hardwiring it to your brain. Another custom option (that will be cheaper) is to get a custom built workstation style laptop from an outfit like Systemax. I’ve personally had custom units built and only get customized units for my company. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting and how powerful it is. Also, you have the benefit of Sh*** canning all that bundled software that pc’s and mac’s love to toss in. That stuff doesn’t belong on a professional tool. The drawback about custom laptops is a Roman aluded to, hard core customizing will take you into the same price range as comparable macs.

      Concerning the tech ‘mumbo jumbo’, the only things that should concern you are the requirements youneed/want to run your programs. Whether on a budget or not, get the most RAM and the fastest processor you can afford. The best options right now are a quad core cpu and at least 2 GB of RAM (4 is better). Get a good-sized harddrive (160GB or bigger) so you’ll have room for software and doing edits and graphics. Far as graphic cards go, make sure your potential card is compatible with the NLE/graphics software you intend to use. Another caveate for using an XP or Vista-Bizpc is you don’t have to deal with that FAT32 file size non-sense. I can’t tell you anything about Win7. I’ve learned to stand clear of betas until they get the software solidified.

      Lastly, the ‘big diff’ between 32 and 64-bit OS’ is the ‘width’ of the ‘bus speed’. Simply put, you get twice as much info passing through a ‘bigger tube’. 64-bit is 2x ‘wider’ than a 32-bit bus. If you’re just using your system for ‘plain business’ or goofing around like that slacker kid in the ‘I’m a mac’ commercial, 32-bit is definitely for you. However, if you are doing serious graphic, motion graphic, audio production, animation and video/film work 64-bit is the ‘shining path’ awating you. Provided you have the proper system and hardware requirements to accomodate a 64-bit OS, imagine a world of faster render times, smoother playback and wonderfully large files ‘dancing through your system with little or no difficulty. We just built a 64-bit system and from now on all of our production units will follow suit.

      So those are some additional things for you to consider.

    • #172994

      wow awsome post. helps a lot. I already knew that the industry prefers Macs and it doesn’t get viruses jazz was just a myth. but i’m sorta forced to work with macs cuz our editing suites are all equipped with them so i figured might as well get some practice and i wouldn’t have to go to school everytime to edit.

    • #172995

      I don’t know how ‘awesome’ my info was, but I’ll say thanks anyway. Last I’ll say on the topic; yes, mac’s get viruses, just not as many. The Unix code Apple has based OSX on has been hacked (rather quickly from what I understand.) Currently, since the vast majority of networks on Earth are NT (Windows) based, hackers have far more targets of interest than with mac’s and Unix based networks. However, the recent attacks on OSX came about primarily because apple and their fans have been shooting their mouths off about mac’s being ‘impregnable’. As mac’s continue to regain popularity (everyone forgets about how apple got bailed out by microsoft years ago) targets of interest will grow and hackers will turn their attention to them and the anti-virus and security software companies will grow that much wealthier.

      Concerning your getting a mac because your ‘editing suites are equipped with them’, when I went back to get my grad degree the school I went to was like so many others (pc for networking, mac for graphic and video work.) I had the same dilemma as you, however I knew that once I got back to my company, there was no support for mac hardware or software (nearest applestore 140 + miles) so I got a pc. It worked out because most of the software used was crossplatform. The only PIA I had to deal with (other than listening to people whine about why I wasn’t using a mac) was dealing with mac’s antiquated FAT32 file system. The solution was two external harddrives (1 FAT32, 1 NTFS) which worked out well since I could do my offline work on my laptop at home and finishing on either a mac or a pc whichever was available. Now to be fair, they had mac’s with FCP, but since it wasn’t cross-platform I didn’t bother with them. If apple ever pulls it’s head out and allows FCP to go cross-platform, I’ll probably put it on a future system. Since the school was working primarily with Avid products, I had Xpress Pro on my laptop and could go from that to a Media Composer (mac setup) or to a (insert sound of angelic choir here) Symphony array (pc) with my harddrives in tow.

      The only extra thing I had to do was actually ‘think’ and ‘plan’ on how I would interface with the tools I was using. Funny thing was, everyone was amazed I could get so much done ‘without having a mac’. So now whether a potential client or collaborator is ‘pced’ or ‘maced’ up I can still work with them. Like I said, get what you can ‘do the most damage with’ and can afford and can support after you get out of school. Just keep in mind, it’s a cross-platform world out there. FCP wasn’t always the industry ‘Fav’, sooner or later something better, faster, cheaper will come along (Vegas) and before you know it the ‘industry’ will be all about that.

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