Help me justify

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Boe11, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Boe11, Mar 13, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    Boe11 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2010
    I realize that these ramblings contain issues that have been around for a long time. There is and always has been an Apple tax, I know this. I also know that within that "tax" there are many advantages and intangibles that are often overlooked. I know there's no real resolution to this, I just want to rant a bit...

    I'm a few months away from graduating college. I've been working as an editor (mostly sony vegas pro) during my time as a student. I'd like to work as an editor once I graduate.

    Last year I decided that I should migrate over to final cut as a lot of editing jobs i'd been scouting wanted fcp experience. Now, I was formerly a pretty avid gamer. I used to attend and occasionally host lan parties at various venues. I started building my own gaming PCs when I was about 14 and had been enjoying it since. It worked well for being an editor, as I could have a powerful gaming machine that also worked great for editing. I'm not a hardcore or daily gamer anymore, but a group of RL friends and I still enjoy the occasional evening or weekend day of BFBC2, MWF2, SC2, etc.

    First I just snagged a 13" macbook pro in addition to my gaming machine, to learn the ropes of FCP. Well I really fell in love with the design, and started to look into a more powerful macbook pro (15" i7) thinking that it could cover all my bases and that I could sell my desktop to cover the increased cost.

    For the most part, it did. It worked well for FCP and I was learning the ropes, but I was always a little bit bitter that it was at the cost of gaming performance. I kept my head down and kept telling myself "should gaming really be a priority?". That usually worked, but then I decided that an iMac would better suit my needs. I really enjoyed it as well, but of course it wasn't without limitations either.

    So then the new macbook pros were rumored and I decided to sell my iMac in preparation for the release. In the mean time, I used (still am) a windows laptop I had for doing my school work and various internet tasks. The new machines were announced. Like the rest of the community, I liked some features and mourned the absence of others.

    I decided to just take the plunge and ordered a high end 15". As there was a couple of days before the BTOs usually shipped, I eagerly waited and fantasized about the new machine. My mind raced as usual and I made a horrible mistake. I decided while I was waiting for it to ship, I'd go to newegg and assemble a list of parts for a desktop PC, just for kicks.

    Lets see...I just paid 2300 for a laptop, I wonder what kind of PC i could build for that money. Sandy bridge 2600, add to cart, gigabyte 1155 board, check, XMS vengeance series...hmm better make it 16gb, guess I'll use my 80gb intel ssd for the os, better toss a 2tb drive in for storage, check, video card...ohai xfx 6950! I have a 23" samsung led monitor, better toss in 2 more for good measure, 850w modular Corsair psu should do the trick, how about a case... O.O silverstone fortress ft03 you make me happy in the pants...

    Okay! that should do the trick, can't wait to see the tally on this rig. Wait, what?! 1700?!

    SB 2600
    80gb intel ssd
    2tb hd
    16gb memory
    xfx 695X video card
    3 23" led monitors
    badass case

    For 600 less than I just paid for a laptop that was substantially less capable...but I could unplug and move. Desktops get you more bang for the buck than laptops. This obviously isn't a new or shocking revelation. But once I saw the kind of performance and potential I could have for substantially less money, it became a lot more real. I was in the midst of a tsunami of emotion... I cancelled my MBP order until I could make sense of all of this!

    So that feeble attempt at text acting is basically my dilemma in a nutshell. I'm having a difficult time -all of a sudden- justifying this purchase. At present time, I rarely ever move my machine, though I do like having the option. The portability at this time, isn't a great incentive. BUT, once I graduate I'll likely be doing freelance editing to start out, which may require on-site edits and the ability to move my machine more easily.

    The big differentiator is obviously the software. I really don't have a preference between windows and os10. I think they both work fine. But if I go back to a windows desktop, I of course won't be able to use final cut, outside of a hackintosh solution which I'm not really interested in messing with. That seems like a deal breaker, but then I keep reading that many editors have switched to premiere now due to its ability to handle DSLR footage natively (though I can't really say I've had a problem converting it to pro res). So then I start to think that maybe I should just focus my efforts on Adobe and it further complicates the decision. Then the rumors of the new FCP surface that makes it sound like they're going to blow the lid off the editing world. Bah.

    The draconian in me basically equates going back to a PC with placing an emphasis on gaming and tomfoolery when I should be focusing on honing my craft and preparing for my career.

    The ultra realist in me basically equates my spending 2300 on a Mac with buying a computer that appeases the Apple lifestyle marketing and the modern pretentious hipster that I secretly want to be, when a PC equivalent would work just fine for less money.

    What I'm really concerned with is starting my editing career off on the right foot.

    Anyways, rant over I guess. I'm not really looking for an answer, just wondering if anyone else has gone through this kind of difficulty in justifying their mac purchase, and how they resolved it / what they decided.

    Thanks for listening :'(

    - a somewhat obsessive chronic overthinker
  2. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Go with your gut, buy what flips your switch, and stop second guessing yourself:eek:
    I left the PC world at the age of 59, I am 63 now, a rabid geek and fanboy, I never looked back,research everything, and buy what I like.:cool:
    I suggest you do the same, and burn the hair shirts!:D
  3. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Well said. I hope to be using apple still when I'm that age. It really makes you wonder where theyll be decades from now..
  4. iceblade macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    Why do we go to college? Why do we spend the extra money? We go so that we can become better at what we want to do, and make more money in the end.

    You wanted me to justify your macbook purchase, so I intend to give it an attempt.

    You need portability starting off your career. You're right, you'll probably do a lot of on site edits. One reason I got my MBP (albeit, 13") is so that I could edit pictures/videos wherever I might be. You don't want to have to say to a customer, "Hold on, let me go back to my office before I can give you any idea of what it'll look like." No, you'll want to say "Hey, give me 30 minutes, and I'll get a little something worked up so you can see where I'm headed, and see if you like it." That has the possibility to put you ahead of other editing companies/editors that have to go back to an office.

    When you are making a decent living as an editor, you can build your gaming rig. The MBP you are talking about sounds like it is decent. Bootcamp W7 and play your games. Maybe you can't crank it all the way, but you should be able to play game with a decent level of graphics.

    You said you know that desktops have better bang for the buck. Thats all you're seeing, is better bang for the buck. I think you knew that subconsciously even when you started picking hardware at Newegg. Additionally, you know about the 'Apple tax.' Neither of those should surprise you, if you think deep down.

    With a mac and bootcamp, you can use all the editing suites you come across... You won't be left behind using inferior tools (whether legitimately inferior, or just a theoretical mind game).

    Get the MBP. Invest in your future. There will be time for games later... And really, you can still play some games now.

    Was that somewhat effective?

    I know where you are coming from. I faced the same issue (and honestly, I still do sometimes). I'm not an editor, rather a business student. I still like to dabble in the video/photography stuff though. Additionally, I am an over thinker as well. Its a blessing and a curse!

    Hope that helps, and I hope you are happy with whatever you end up deciding!
  5. Boe11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2010
    Thank you, gentlemen.

    Iceblade. Your comments were effective and you made some excellent points. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that sometimes wrestles with these ideas. You're right though. I can do everything I want or might need to do, going with the macbook pro. If I go the PC route, I will be potentially limited and may end up regretting it or missing opportunities as a result.

    There will always be time to build another gaming PC down the road.

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Will be ordering the mac this week :)
  6. Barnzee macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    When I first ordered my Macbook Pro I didn't even take it out of the box for like a week. All I could think of is how stupid I was to invest this much money in a laptop.

    Needless to say after about one week of using OSX my thoughts shifted to
    "why haven't I made the switch to mac sooner, these machines F**kin rock!"

    I am now a Mac user for life, so what If I can't play games maxed out. The aesthetic value alone is worth it.

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