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April 4, 2013 at 11:38 AM #55915
April 4, 2013 at 2:46 PM #206824composite1Member
You looking to buy straight up or build? If looking to buy you've got tons of options depending on what you a) want and b) have the skillsets for. Except for the OS Mac's and PC's use most of the same gear (Mac's still don't use AMD CPUs) so the hardware isn't an issue. If you work crossplatform again there are few issues (obviously FCP, Motion, Apple color are Mac only while Sony Vegas and the sony line of Audio Workstation products are PC only.) However, most crossplatformer's convert all video clips to quicktime and audio to either AIFF or WAV seeing how most advanced NLE programs can use both. So the only other potential issue is storage.
If you go with Apple your HDD's will be formatted in FAT32 the venerable formating system. Apple has added tweaks to help it not be pesky as it used to be (like severe file size limits!) There is fortunately, the HFS+ format (for use with Mac external drives) that will get rid of those pesky file limits. With PC storage is no issue because there is no need for a separate storage format between your internal and external drives. Everything will be in NTFS and you won't have to deal with file size limits (unless you make some crazy large clips in 8k!)
Once more where the 'rub' comes in is working crossplatform. Apple (with some tweaks) will allow you to view pc files (NTFS) but not write them. On a PC (with MacDrive software) you can open, view, edit and transfer files from a PC formatted drive to Mac formatted drive then back. You can also use the 'eXFAT' format to prepare an external drive (only) for use between OSX and Win7 and Vista Sp1 (Win8 most likely supports this too.)
Lastly, between the two the biggest difference is cost. You're going to pay more for an Apple at the lower to mid-level range of computers. However, when you start getting into the higher and pro realm, both Mac and PC workstations will set you back. Building is an excellent option and if you know what you're doing it's worth the effort. However, do your research before you buy. Computer components can get truly expensive when trying to build a machine that will do high-end work. You can build a 'Hackintosh', but unless you are truly expert in building computers and are fluent with Mac issues (as you will receive zero tech support) I would advise against it.
On the software front, tons of choices. All the professional grade NLE software lines are good. However, the one that in my opinon wins out is the Adobe CS Suite. Primarily because no matter what other software you're thinking about getting, you'll end up buy elements from Adobe anyway. Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects (way better than Motion) and Flash are industry standards. If you plan on creating any of your own graphics (still or motion), creating post-production special effects or whatever you'll need most if not all the programs I just mentioned. Most solid thing about Adobe's setup is; Premeire Pro works seemlessly with them all. And the ACS is crossplatform big-time. Another bennie is Premerie can import FCP and Avid Media Composer project files! Now FCP and Vegas are cheaper, but there's a major discount when you buy ACS in the suites so you get a lot of bang for your bucks.
So that's it in a nutshell. Do your research, don't shoot your budget in the feet, choose wisely and enjoy….
April 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM #206852JosephParticipant
I won't get into a lot of details… but my two cents says go all Adobe (best integration and massive pro tools) on a high speed PC with an NVIDIA graphics card so you can take advantage of CUDA GPU accelerated operations.
Get a top of the line Intel chip (latest i7 at a minimum,) no less than 16gb memory (more if you can,) and a powerful GPU. Oh, and multiple, fast hard drives. If you can get an SSD to run your software from that would be helpful.
Food for thought…
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