PDA

View Full Version : Thinking about possibly buying a PC for editing... I need your thoughts




budha
Jun 22, 2009, 09:14 PM
Hey guys,

Money is tight, I'm a young editor and I need some advice. I really need a mac pro to start doing serious graphics work etc. (I currently have an older MBP w/ FCS2)The problem is, I don't have the 3500 dollars to build a top of the line system as well as purchase the newest FCS3 coming out soon.

The more I read, the more I'm seeing that I can build a really bad ass PC machine for around 1200 bucks that can handle everything I throw at it and then some.

I personally love final cut pro, but every review of premiere pro CS4 says that it is extremely comparable to final cut (I can get the entire production suite from adobe for $350 through my school).

I will definitely keep my MBP but what do you guys think?

Am I completely nuts for even considering this, or does it sound like a smart move for me? This would be my home editing system ONLY for editing nothing else.



iMeanIt
Jun 22, 2009, 11:40 PM
I’m an aspiring professional chef. ‘Money’s a little tight right now, so I’m thinking of buying 4 (or 5, or 6) high wattage hotplates so I can do some serious cooking. If I do it right, I don’t think anybody will know that their food wasn't cooked on a professional cookstove……

bigbossbmb
Jun 22, 2009, 11:44 PM
1) why do you need a "top of the line" Mac Pro to get into "serious graphics work"? what can you not do on an octo 2.26 or a refurb octo 2.8? what are you not able to do on your MBP? (I'm not saying the MBP is capable of everything, it isn't... but answering these questions will give you the basis to determine your best upgrade choices)

2) why do you need to upgrade to FCS3 as soon as it comes out? it'll probably have bugs and won't be stable til .1 or .2...I'll probably stay at FCS2 for a few months unless there are features in FCS3 that I need right away. also, since you're a student you'll get FCS3 for about the same price as CS4.

I think you might be focusing too closely on the spec sheet and not the actual capabilities of the Mac Pros.

LethalWolfe
Jun 23, 2009, 03:00 AM
I’m an aspiring professional chef. ‘Money’s a little tight right now, so I’m thinking of buying 4 (or 5, or 6) high wattage hotplates so I can do some serious cooking. If I do it right, I don’t think anybody will know that their food wasn't cooked on a professional cookstove……
It's the artist not the instrument. Do you think the reason food tastes good at a four star restaurant is because the chefs use really nice spoons?


Lethal

lighthouse_man
Jun 23, 2009, 04:28 AM
You don't have to own a Gibson to learn how to play the guitar seriously, you can do it on your 100 buck Squier.
And so I agree with the others, you will need it when you can no longer do what you want to do on your current system. I can still edit HD on my 5 year old G4 Powerbook and I do sometimes.
To win time over rendering time or while handling big files, if so is the case, is only justified in my book if you actually work and make money and have to submit projects under deadlines or simply can afford it with the money you're making.

You seem to have an itch to buy it.
That would not take any amount of reason to change your thought...
You will probably continue looking for answers until someone tells you to get it and then it will be justified.

Jon-Luke
Jun 23, 2009, 04:38 AM
You could quite happily run Adobe Pemiere CS4 on your MacBook Pro 2.2GHz is fine, just try to have at least 4GB Ram - Then you could just get some good external drives with Firewire 800 and some good monitors and you would be away - no need for a PC or a Mac Pro - Or you could sell your laptop and get a new 17" with as powerful a CPU as you can afford and gradually add more ram etc as you get more money.

More and More editors are doing there editing work on laptops and then bringing in the EDLs to professional online suites, but I have worked on one or two projects that where finished on laptops and they look just fine.

Personally I prefer Adobe Premiere CS4 to Final Cut because I was trained on it and in my opinion certain things are easier to do on Adobe Premiere and the Mac version works just fine and is very stable.

arjen92
Jun 23, 2009, 05:51 AM
what about a psystar pc. Or make your own pc with mac os x. It's called a hackintosh.

TarangSwaroop
Jun 23, 2009, 05:54 AM
I will definitely keep my MBP but what do you guys think?

Keebler
Jun 23, 2009, 07:29 AM
how old is the mbp? as someone suggested, maybe buy some external HDs and then put bootcamp with CS4 on it if you want the windows version or just use the mac version.

there are fantastic refurb's mac pros around too. much cheaper than the 3500 and will still do the same tricks.

you can get a pc for cheaper no doubt, but in my experiences, Windows and the software, were simply not solid enough ie. crashes, glitches for me to do production work.

Maybe that's changed, but the difference in price b/n the 2 platforms is null once I take how solid mac os is (or was at that time - still solid for me, but again, not sure if Windows has changed). I know a colleague who uses Windows and he still has issues. Not sure if he's the standard, but I haven't had any.

But then, do you plan to make money at this? Is this for a hobby or a job? Maybe it will start out as a hobby, then turn in a career. If so, maybe the pc is the route to see if you really like the editing world and then, if you want to continue, do a few jobs to start making some money to buy a mac pro?

budha
Jun 23, 2009, 07:39 AM
I probably should have put in more detail with this. I apologize.

I am 23 and have one more year in college. I plan to be a professional editor/videographer in the next few years. I will probably use my new rig for side jobs/contracts.

I want to start using AE all the time to start learning how to do really serious/in depth projects.

My current MBP can not really even handle motion that well (2.2 C2D 128mb of VRAM)...so I feel that it is holding me back.

I do not want to use premiere CS4 over FCP6, I am only considering that because I could save a lot of money by building a top of the line PC and using premiere instead.

*I noticed a few of you suggested just getting a used mac pro. I would consider that, but what is the latest model I should consider buying? I know not to get a G5, but if I put a good enough graphics card in there, will it perform well when doing large AE/Motion projects?

What does a typical decently priced used mac pro go for online? I've gone on Ebay etc and most of them were over 2k. Why buy a used one when the new ones are 300 more?

greentree_uk
Jun 23, 2009, 07:59 AM
Umm, exactly what kind of an amazing pc can you get for $1200 I'd like to see the specs.

Consultant
Jun 23, 2009, 08:27 AM
Bad to go with pc as there are various limitations with windows.

Get an iMac.

bigbossbmb
Jun 23, 2009, 10:50 AM
What does a typical decently priced used mac pro go for online? I've gone on Ebay etc and most of them were over 2k. Why buy a used one when the new ones are 300 more?

because that would be $300 you don't have to spend... you really have to distinguish about what you NEED to get the job done and just get that. My suggestions would be to get a new stock Quad from Amazon, invest in a few hard drives for scratch disks, and wait until your freelance stuff pays enough to cover the upgrade to FCS3.

iMeanIt
Jun 23, 2009, 12:03 PM
It's the artist not the instrument. Do you think the reason food tastes good at a four star restaurant is because the chefs use really nice spoons?


Lethal
Touché Lethal! So your vote is to go with the home-built PC.

However, as a professional editor with almost 30 years experience, I cringe at the thought of working on tools that make me feel like a technician (PCs) over those that make me feel like an artist (Macs). If one truly aspires to do something well, I believe one should surround themselves with tools that inspire instead of frustrate.

I’ve edited film, 2-inch quad, Umatic, Betacam, Convergence, Ampex Ace, Grass Valley, CMX, Avid, Media 100 and EMC for news, documentary, entertainment, dramatic, training, commercial and industrial formats. My Niece who will start in a Big-10 digital media program this September also has very limited funds. My advice to her is the same as I would give any beginner in the field – Mac! Artists shouldn’t have to fight with their tools.

A 24inch iMac with 8GB RAM and FCS (with educational discount) would be my recommendation to budha for a system that would enable the creation of “4-star” content on a “2-star” budget.

surfmadison
Jun 23, 2009, 12:59 PM
As a long time Windows user I was hesitant to buy an Apple, but from what I read, FCS2 was a great program, and Apple's were supposed to be the best. So I went out and bought a 2008 Intel MBP.

We all the know the cost of FCS2 and what MBP's cost. There is a big Apple tax for the MBP. A similar notebook from any other major manufacturer with close to identical specs. is $1000 less. I have considered upgrading to a MP, but the Apple tax is even more, maybe $2000 or more for the same specs. as a Windows based computer.

Onto the fighting with software. I have two notebooks. My MBP and a four year old Windows machine, both sit side by side. I only use the MBP for video, so it isn't loaded with crap or even get much use. The hours I have had to spend on hold with Apple or reloading Compressor, reloading FCS2, and even the OS (twice) is way more then I have ever spent with my Windows machine running XP. I have never had to call Microsoft because a software program won't run.

Compressor has stopped over a dozen times. It launches, but the job never starts. Apple has a nifty troubleshooting guide on all the files you have to delete just to try and get it to work. If it doesn't, then you reload. If that doesn't work, delete all FCS2 and reload that (as you all know there goes your day). If that doesn't work, reload the OS. There goes another day of loading the OS and all the software that it trashes.

Then DVD studio won't burn DVD's. In fact, I had to go out and buy an external DVD burner because I can't get the internal burner to work. Neither can Apple. Spent hours on the phone with them. There are lots of hits on Google with the same error, but Apple is of no help. In fact, since my warranty is up, they won't even talk to me on the phone anymore unless I pay them money!!

Fighting with your tools? I would say that I have fought more with my new MBP in one year (ten times over) then I have with my Windows machine. I was really thinking of getting a new MP when the new OS comes out, but I can probably get a new faster Windows machine and Adobe Premier for less then the cost of a MP???

knello
Jun 23, 2009, 12:59 PM
Umm, exactly what kind of an amazing pc can you get for $1200 I'd like to see the specs.

You can get a Quad core i7 with 8GB of RAM for $1200 at sites like newegg.com

Consultant
Jun 23, 2009, 01:12 PM
As a long time Windows user

That's abnormal. I bet you messed something up or did not bother to get the computer checked out.

LethalWolfe
Jun 23, 2009, 01:52 PM
Touché Lethal! So your vote is to go with the home-built PC.
My vote is not to obsess about the tools.


However, as a professional editor with almost 30 years experience, I cringe at the thought of working on tools that make me feel like a technician (PCs) over those that make me feel like an artist (Macs). If one truly aspires to do something well, I believe one should surround themselves with tools that inspire instead of frustrate.
IMO an artist isn't defined by their tools and not everyone is inspired or hampered by the same thing. And if you've never been frustrated by yer Mac then I don't think yer pushing it very hard. I don't think a day goes by when I don't hit something that makes me mutter, "Please, for the love of god, let this be fixed in SL and FCS 3.":p


Budha,
What is it exactly that you want to be able to do that you can't currently do? Are you not able to meet client needs because of the machine? Is it so slow that you miss deadlines? Or do you just want a faster machine because you think you need a faster machine? While new stuff is always fun to get I work w/people that make awesome looking stuff and they work with older PCs and older G5s.


Lethal

thejadedmonkey
Jun 23, 2009, 02:03 PM
Umm, exactly what kind of an amazing pc can you get for $1200 I'd like to see the specs.

Well, considering my silent PC is faster and higher spec'd the the imac we bought (around the same time), and about $800 less then the iMac, I would assume you can build a really great rig for $1200.

budha
Jun 23, 2009, 02:32 PM
Lethal,

I want to start doing very intense animations with AE that will be in HD resolutions. My current MBP can not do this without stuttering and almost completely slowing down to nothing. I have 4 gigs of ram too btw.

Its not that I have clients yet, but I will in the future. I just want whatever computer I use to be able to handle 3d space and have decent render times. My MBP runs FCP6 absolutely fine, it is just the programs like motion/AE that it has trouble with.

Also, the IMac is not an option. It has all of one firewire 800 port and that's it. I'd be better off just getting a higher end laptop if I went that route. There is no room for future upgrades aside from ram/HD.

Bakey
Jun 23, 2009, 02:36 PM
As a long time Windows user I was hesitant to buy an Apple, but from what I read, FCS2 was a great program, and Apple's were supposed to be the best. So I went out and bought a 2008 Intel MBP.

...

Fighting with your tools? I would say that I have fought more with my new MBP in one year (ten times over) then I have with my Windows machine. I was really thinking of getting a new MP when the new OS comes out, but I can probably get a new faster Windows machine and Adobe Premier for less then the cost of a MP???

Oh come on behave!!

Seriously... On hear say you went out and purchased a MBP simply because "they were supposed to be the best". Did you not feel the compelling need to ensure that the kit you were about to invest in did the job?

There are Apple stores and video retailers all over the place where you could easily have spoken to a "specialist" or even given the kit a dry run - seriously ma man, why on earth did you switch in the first place only to be considering switching back?

In all my days of linear and non-linear editing I've never felt more confident in "getting the job done" since I switched to Mac way back many moons ago. As one of the previous posters already mentioned, you seriously need to get your machine sorted because it really doesn't sound right at all!

There's no doubt that FCS and MacOS have issues - but for the love of the big fella upstairs, they're much less than in the Windows world...

I'm truly speechless!! :eek: (Well kind of!)

CaptainChunk
Jun 23, 2009, 03:32 PM
Hey guys,

Money is tight, I'm a young editor and I need some advice. I really need a mac pro to start doing serious graphics work etc. (I currently have an older MBP w/ FCS2)The problem is, I don't have the 3500 dollars to build a top of the line system as well as purchase the newest FCS3 coming out soon.

The more I read, the more I'm seeing that I can build a really bad ass PC machine for around 1200 bucks that can handle everything I throw at it and then some.

I personally love final cut pro, but every review of premiere pro CS4 says that it is extremely comparable to final cut (I can get the entire production suite from adobe for $350 through my school).

I will definitely keep my MBP but what do you guys think?

Am I completely nuts for even considering this, or does it sound like a smart move for me? This would be my home editing system ONLY for editing nothing else.

Okay, let's look at this logically...

1. Nobody knows exactly when FCS3 is coming out. Rumors expect a concurrent release with Snow Leopard (arrival date also uncertain). But what happens if FCS3 is released months after Snow Leopard? That's possible, too! With that said, FCS2 is still a very capable suite of software. Though there are several things I'd like to see it do better, never once has it held me back from completing a job and getting paid. Again, it's the artist, not his tools.

Besides, speaking as a professional, I would be wary about jumping right into a new software version the minute it comes out. I have to think about possible bugs and glitches that might impede my workflow and cause downtime. I don't envision myself upgrading to FCS3 until I'm completely confident in its overall stability.

2. As an editor, you also need to think about the time and effort spent learning the ins and outs of a completely different NLE. There's lots of similarities between FCP and Premiere, but also lots of differences.

3. College bookstores often have even better pricing than what you would normally see on a software publisher's academic price sheet. For example, a buddy of mine picked up FCS2 for $499 at his local bookstore - that's $200 cheaper than the academic version straight from Apple, an absolute bargain. Color alone was once a $25k application. If you feel compelled to buy FCS3 the minute it gets released, I would imagine the pricing would stay somewhat similar, perhaps a little bit more. But still...

4. Like mentioned before, there's nothing wrong with a refurb Mac Pro. The 2008 2.8GHz 8-core is the best deal, IMHO. At this point, I'd avoid buying a used G5 if you're doing anything with video. Just about about Intel Mac is faster by a significant margin and Snow Leopard won't support PowerPC anyway.

In the end, if you decide to jump into a Windows platform running an Adobe suite, I'm not one to criticize. Premiere has evolved into a serious NLE platform, but you just have to weigh out the pros and cons. I've worked in Final Cut (and some Avid) for years because a) they're familiar platforms and b) they're industry-standard, making it that much easier to collaborate with other trades in the business.

bigbossbmb
Jun 23, 2009, 03:47 PM
Lethal,

I want to start doing very intense animations with AE that will be in HD resolutions. My current MBP can not do this without stuttering and almost completely slowing down to nothing. I have 4 gigs of ram too btw.

Its not that I have clients yet, but I will in the future. I just want whatever computer I use to be able to handle 3d space and have decent render times. My MBP runs FCP6 absolutely fine, it is just the programs like motion/AE that it has trouble with.

Also, the IMac is not an option. It has all of one firewire 800 port and that's it. I'd be better off just getting a higher end laptop if I went that route. There is no room for future upgrades aside from ram/HD.

So you need faster disks and a better GPU... again refurb Octo/new Quad with a fast disk array and pop in a higher end GPU (I'm waiting to see how the 4875 boosts speed with OpenCL/SL).

RAM preview is your friend and real-time playback isn't going to happen for really complex HD animations...

surfmadison
Jun 23, 2009, 06:43 PM
Oh come on behave!!

Seriously... On hear say you went out and purchased a MBP simply because "they were supposed to be the best". Did you not feel the compelling need to ensure that the kit you were about to invest in did the job?

There are Apple stores and video retailers all over the place where you could easily have spoken to a "specialist" or even given the kit a dry run - seriously ma man, why on earth did you switch in the first place only to be considering switching back?


I'm truly speechless!! :eek: (Well kind of!)

Before I bought my MBP I didn't know too much about editing on a computer. My experience was back in the day of film and BETA tape. I did some research online and even went to the local Apple store. I can tell you one thing 100%. The people who work in the Apple stores know nothing about FCS2 or editing at the levels that are talked about here. If iMovie is all you need these guys can do the job, other then that the two local Apple store employees know ZERO about advanced editing, or even what the hardware needs are for serious editing.

I am using a stock MBP with eSata RAID, so nothing special. Since I only use the system for editing and haven't deleted files, etc. the computer should work. If I had a one in a million issue, why would there be troubleshooting guides on Apple's site on how to deal with some of the issue I have had. Why would the problem keep coming back, even after reloading the OS if there wasn't some sort of issue with either the software or hardware. I have spent countless hours troubleshooting with Apple.

For all you Apple elitist who think the Apple's are the only computer system worth using because Apple's don't crash, you are full of it. OSX and Windows both crash, don't lie to yourself. The main question is if it was really worth the Apple tax for this person to stick with Apple. If you are on a budget the answer isn't always Apple. Adobe has a very good Windows based 64 bit editing solution that can be had for less then what it would cost using an Apple solution. If $$$ come into the equation you really need to think twice about FCS2/3.

LethalWolfe
Jun 23, 2009, 06:56 PM
Not to derail the thread, but the problems you are describing surfmadison are not typical. Where I'm at now we have about 20 Macs in daily use for video production (MBPs, MacPros, and G5s) and we haven't run into nearly the number of problems you have had (and I've been here for three years). As you said, all computers have problems to varying degrees but the problems you've described w/your Macs are definitely abnormal.

As far as the 'Apple hardware tax' goes, it's not as big as people make it seem when you match machines feature for feature, and the 'Apple software discount' (FCS2 is easily $30k+ worth of apps for $1300) balances it out IMO.;)


Lethal