“Workstations Buyer’s Guide” article

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    • #44415
      AvatarMoab Man
      Participant

      Just got done reading the article. While it had great content for hardware needed at different levels of editing, but I want to know if they were they trying to scare people away? What I’m talking about is the quoted prices at the different levels of computer you might consider. Not sure if they are shopping in Beverly Hills for diamond encrusted computers, but those dollar figures were ludicrous for what a person was getting in computer hardware. (I can’t say one way or the other for the Small Budget Professional systems)

      And this line, “You can see transfer speeds up to 4.8Gbps as compared to USB 2.0 with transfer speeds of 480 Mbps.” Yeah right, as someone who is using USB 3, you won’t even close to that. Sure, it’s the theoretical capability of USB 3.0, but you won’t even see half that speed in the real world.

      I love Videomaker and the tech articles, but I expected better of the article. Prices – WAY HIGH and could effectively scare someone away from getting in the proverbial video editing pool. The info on USB 3.0 – Videomaker is one of my go-to references to give me the real scoop and not the quoted spec not seen outside of laboratory testing. Please don’t quote the advertisers spec – tell me what I will REALLY see in performance.

      Again, love the info and articles, but that article needs to be reeled back in fromouterspace.

    • #186008
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      Actually, overall based on the structure of the pricing levels, I found them to be fairly realistic from my personal experience in recent purchases. While anyone with some shopping experience and knowing exactly what they want, need and can budget for, can find possible “deals” the uninitiated among new incoming “industry or independent players” will often be shocked at the actual real costs of getting into a system that will do what they want or need.

      Rather than sugar coat actuals I think it is wise that information err on the side of high dollars rather than, as has happened to me in past purchases, knocking off a base price that doesn’t come near what the REAL costs are when the true needs are realized and additional dollars have to be spent to get up to the operational efficiency, power and speed needed or desired for anticipated production focus.

    • #186009
      AvatarCharles
      Participant

      I have a question about operating systems, I have heard that Microsoft has quite a bit of stuff going on in the background all the time and Macs are more streamlined. I am going to upgrading my system in the very near future and I am really considering getting away from Microsoft and found that for comparable systems the Mac to be less expensive. I will stay with Adobe products as I work in print and video, any suggestions/advice?

    • #186010
      AvatarMoab Man
      Participant

      EarlC, I recently bought my new computer and paid ~25% less than the “Low Budget” but have the computer of the “Serious Amateur” build. My numbers quote is referencing using a PC and not a Mac. As I think about it those prices would be inline with purchasing a Mac. Good discussion and I do concede the point of not low bidding it, but I wonder if they were quoting Mac prices?

      Charles, PC’s do have a lot going on behind the scenes. The two types of computers work like this. The PC to operate needs all of its pieces working for the whole of the machine to work. As a “piece” corrupts, then you see things like the slowing or bogging down of the system.

      A Mac on the other hand is like a multi-plugin powerstrip. The power strip is the bare bone operating system. Each one of the plugs is some extension of the system that you might want to run. As you need that part of the system it “plugs-in” to the power strip. Now one of the beauties of the Mac is that if the plug-in corrupted in its operations then it will just fall off the powerstrip without taking the whole system – PC freeze up.

      I love the architecture of the Mac computer vs the PC, but can’t justify the price. I use a built PC and all its does is video editing… NOTHING ELSE. I have no problems and I think that is because I recognize thevulnerabilityof the PC computer and don’t add anything to possibly corrupt it. IF I were a professional editor like a number of folks here, if it were my livelyhood, then I absolutely would spend the money on the Mac.

    • #186011
      Avatar210pe
      Participant

      I am not real sure where Moab Man is coming from but the two operating systems are more alike than dis-alike. Underneath both are more or less a Unix based system. Mac has chosen to use more the POSIX “standard” (if there really is such a thing) while Microsoft has not. As far as “going on in the background” that is a little general to answer. All modern operating systems have a lot going on in the background because they multi-task – because that is what we demand. The only real difference between a modern PC running the latest 64-bit operating system and a Mac running the latest version of the Mac OS is the look of the operating system and the software each will run. They use the same processors and almost identical hardware now. There is very little difference any more. (Mac people will say different but they always try to compare a 4 year old PC running WinXP to the latest Mac running SnowLeopard)

    • #186012
      Avatarwyvern
      Participant

      I use PC for editing professionally and currently use my PC for internet surfing, email and pc gaming. I’m moving to a more stable editing system that have a limited budget so I decided to stick with PC instead of Mac. I also wanted to customize the graphics card to be one recommended by Adobe for CS5 and couldn’t see that could be done in the Apple lineup. Is there a way to get customized graphics cards in Apple’s line up? How about the Imacs?

      I desired the new Imacs but because of price and customizing needs I decided to go with a PC and found that I could get a screaming machine for under $1500. I plan to keep it as a dedicated editing machine and keep it offline and game free.

    • #186013
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      The original post was actually about an article in the May 2011 issue of Videomaker magazine, questioning the validity of estimated costs for various levels of workstation power and capabilities based on the need from entry level to professional of the video producer, and some of the connectivity and hardware involved, and I suppose, to a lesser degree, the operating systems would come under such discussions. I didn’t notice that the article or the original post, however, had much to do with another (yawn) PC vs Mac debate.

    • #186014
      Avatar210pe
      Participant

      Wow this seems to be the response I always get on this forum no matter what I post. I think this will be my last post and I will just read from now on. Thanks for the help from most of you over the past year or so.

    • #186015
      AvatarMoab Man
      Participant

      210pe you are correct that they are very similar in there logic and use much of the same equipment. The core of the system, or the “kernel” of a Mac as it’s called is what also makes Macs so much harder for viruses to infiltrate and keeps Macs stable. Personally, I love my PC but can acknowledge a better tool where it’s better.

      Now that I am done digressing… EarlC, sorry that it got off topic. I too hate PC vs Mac debates.

    • #186016
      AvatarCharles
      Participant

      Earl, I was just asking advice before dunking $4000 on a mac; did not mean to get anyone’s panties in a bunch. 210PE, thanks for the information as I have only seen a Mac once.

    • #186017
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      I wasn’t targeting you, Charles, or even 210pe, specifically. And you both were totally cool, generally speaking. Consider that I mostly was trying to head off the potential for it becoming such, and not really intending to admonish you guys. Sorry that I didn’t make my intent clearer.

      Most know I am a Mac centric operator/user but I honestly would, if I had the working knowledge of a PC go that route to save a few grand. It’s just that I have no serious computer engineering skills and would be lost if any of the stuff I tried to set up in a PC environment stopped cooperating with some of the other stuff.

      SEE what you guys made me do! Now I WENT off topic πŸ˜‰ just kidding, and my panties have not a wrinkle in them πŸ™‚

    • #186018
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      “I want to know if they were they trying to scare people away?”

      Moab,

      I personally thought the high-end prices were low-balled a bit. Bottom line is; if you are like Earl and must depend totally upon your machine and 1st or 2nd party tech support you should expect to pay some level of premium for your workstation and support. My company builds all of our NLE’s and graphic computers. Occasionally I look at pre-built jammies because Co’s like HP, Mac and Dell make some rock-solid rigs. However, currently we can build a rig that has more ‘lateral’ power for much less. Yet, we can do that because of our experience and expertise in working with computers. Now that we can unofficially build our own mac rigs, that’s not an issue either.

      You are correct though, with some knowledge and shopping around you can find some great deals even with Mac’s sold outside the Mac Store. Not everyone is well versed on what to get and how much this stuff should cost (just look at the mass of ‘What ____ should I buy?’ posts we get around here.) Giving them some real-world numbers on what to expect is good.

      Too many times amateurs or the uninformed just run out and buy the first thing that catches their eye. Often they pay too much for something that is not suited for what they need. Those looking to move from the intermediate to advanced level equipment need that ‘this thing costs how much!?” wake up call so they will take the time to seriously look at what they want versus what they need within their budget. When you’re doing work that’s bringing in the rent money, you’re going to need gear that’s going to do what you need and hold up while you’re doing it. That quality of gear is going to cost money.

    • #186019
      AvatarMoab Man
      Participant

      “Too many times amateurs or the uninformed just run out and buy the first thing that catches their eye.”

      Or they are the employee at the local Best Buy telling a consumer… “the processor speed doesn’t matter anymore because they now have multiple processors so the ghz means nothing.”

      Good discussion from everyone.

    • #186020
      AvatarMoab Man
      Participant

      Hollywood movie editors, and you pro’s around here, is Mac the predominant machine? I don’t know anyone at that level of video editing, but I do know that professional level of photographers and they all love their Macs for some of the same reason’s mentioned above.

    • #186021
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      “… Is Mac the predominant machine?”

      Moab,

      Way back when Apples were the primary setup. That started to change around ’01-’02 when Avid and Adobe broke off their exclusive deals with Apple and started making software and workstations based on PC’s. Avid primarily with their Symphony network arrays and when Adobe made their Production bundle PC only. Around the same time Sony took Vegas from being an Audio Workstation program to NLE standalone software.

      There are still purists in the industry who believe if you aren’t using a mac and FCP you’re not serious. If you look at many editing job posts, the majority want expertise in mac’s and FCP. However, it’s a mixed bag now particularly since Apple incorporated Intel CPU’s and as was mentioned the hardware being used by macs and pc’s are identical.

      The major networks still use Avid PC’s, and some use Sony Vegas in addition to Premiere Pro. On the other hand, boutique type editing houses generally use macs. Independent film companies tend to use either or both.

      My company uses PC’s primarily because we build them though I used to build mac clones back when it was okay to do so. That and there isn’t any mac logistical support less than a 100mi trip from us but there are many PC based shops within that range. Now that it’s possible to build a ‘Hackintosh’ with available parts now, there might be a possible mac build in our future.

      Really though, it’s truly what works for you and the software you’re most comfortable with. If you’re an FCP or Vegas user, your options are limited to mac or pc as they are not cross-platform. With Avid, Adobe and a few others, you have the option of using either or all the above. Thing is; it’s easy to work cross-platform these days. All it takes is to decide on the working format and you’re off.

    • #186022
      AvatarPJ
      Participant

      Though I’m not sure what this discussion has lead to, I have to agree with Moab Man to a certain extent here. The prices they were giving out were pretty outrageous for the specs they provided with the category.

      I don’t have much room for examples because my magazine is back at home, but a computer I bought for $800 dollars completely out performed some of the computers they said would normally cost $3,000-$4,000. Now I realize that they were speaking about computers bought completely built and from big corporations that have jacked up their prices because they can and still stay equal with macs, but it was still absolutely nuts. I don’t have too much room to talk, so I won’t say much. However, no matter which way you look at it, it wasn’t the best constructed article and is one of those that may be true for maybe 3 months before it is absolutely outdated. I applaud Videomaker for writing an article on priceranges of editing systems, but bang for your buck was severelydisproportioned. That or I guess “professionals” aren’t very thrifty. I will say that the upper end of the price range was fine, their views on the lower levels of the ranges they provided is what surprised me.

    • #186023
      AvatarPJ
      Participant

      I feel like Videomaker would have done a better job to try to explain the components to look for when you are buying a video editing system and instead provide education on what RAM does and how much you should look for depending on which category you are in (amateur, prosumer, professional). And do that for other components of the computer system such as processor and graphics cards. This way the reader could figure out for themselves which computers were the best purchase or not when they are shopping.

      The article becomes more timeless if they would’ve handled it that way. Instead, the article felt like Videomaker was just being sponsored to show different computers that customers could buy at different price ranges.

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