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Old September 12th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #1
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Read and tell me should I buy a Mac

hi,

I am a NEWBIE to mac stuff but most of my peers in the photography/film scene are telling me "GO GET A MAC!". I really wanna if there's enuff reason for a PC user for the past 15 yrs to switch to Mac.

This is where I am coming from.

1) A prefessional photographer that rely a lot of my works on photoshop 7.

2) Will be very likely to go into short film DV production/editing very frequently in the future

3) Only have money for either 1 x laptop OR 1 x desktop but not both due to limited funds. Would prefer a laptop as I find it easier in sales pitches to show my works in my laptop (or hook up to a projector)

4) Do pple do DV NL editing on a laptop? Does its smaller size compared to a desktop makes DV NL editing processes more prone to crashes? (this sounds like a dump question but i have to get it off my chest)

Should I get a mac??

Some other questions I have on mac, which are what some of my peers claim.

1) A 900mhz Mac processor is as fast as 1.8ghz Pc processor. (at least in graphics/DV processing) True or false?

2) OPen a 1G file on a PC with only 128ram...most likely gonna crash the process, but opening a 1G file on a Mac with only 128ram will not crash the mac. True or false?

3) The iBook can do NL editing as well as any PC premiere base, all esle equal. true or false?

4) I can buy a iBook with 128ram, then add my own rams myself (which should be cheaper than getting Mac to do it for me), just that I am gonna void my warranty.

5) Given a choice, FCP is a better software over premiere.

Do give me any experience you have that may help me make my decision of either a PC laptop or the iBook. I came here after reading pple flaming each other in the other "Mac vs PC" forums, so pls, ONLY professional facts and advice will be very appreciated.

THanks!
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Old September 12th, 2003, 11:34 AM   #2
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Here's my 0.02

Your comfort and familiarity with OS and software packages that you've already been using is going to dramatically outweigh any differences between the system level performance of PC's vs. MAC's.

No one buys a specific computer because it has the XYZ cpu in it. People buy a specific computer because it run the software the user wants to run, because that software does something the user wants to do (edit video, photos, etc).

If you love FCP, get a MAC. If you love Vegas, get a PC. If the software you want is cross platform, get the system you will be more familiar with (or the one that offers the most features/performance per $$$ - but this is often hard to quantify). The only reason to switch to a new system would be if the new system can run software or supports hardware the other system can not.

If you don't know what software you want to use, do some more research, try them out on your friends' systems, read reviews, etc.

You can do DV editing on the laptop, but I suggest adding an external hard drive (USB 2 or FireWire) to store your raw video files. Most laptop hard drives are slower and smaller than drives you would put in a desktop.

1) A 900mhz Mac processor is as fast as 1.8ghz Pc processor. (at least in graphics/DV processing) True or false?

I have no idea. If you're rendering large projects, most likely you will need to start the render, go to bed, and come back in the morning, for any system, so who cares?

2) OPen a 1G file on a PC with only 128ram...most likely gonna crash the process, but opening a 1G file on a Mac with only 128ram will not crash the mac. True or false?

In my experience with Vegas/PCs, this is false.

3) The iBook can do NL editing as well as any PC premiere base, all esle equal. true or false?

I think this is true, depending on your definition of 'as well as'.

4) I can buy a iBook with 128ram, then add my own rams myself (which should be cheaper than getting Mac to do it for me), just that I am gonna void my warranty.

You won't void your warranty by adding your own RAM to the iBook. iBooks come with graphical instructions for how to upgrade the memory.

5) Given a choice, FCP is a better software over premiere.

Personal taste. I like Vegas. I don't claim it is 'better' than anything else. Just good for what I want to do.

Good luck!
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Old September 12th, 2003, 11:44 AM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ong Wan Shu : hi,

I am a NEWBIE to mac stuff but most of my peers in the photography/film scene are telling me "GO GET A MAC!". I really wanna if there's enuff reason for a PC user for the past 15 yrs to switch to Mac.

This is where I am coming from.

1) A prefessional photographer that rely a lot of my works on photoshop 7.

Photoshop 7 is available for the mac platform and it runs FASTER than a PC.
Scroll down to see specs
http://www.apple.com/powermac/performance/

2) Will be very likely to go into short film DV production/editing very frequently in the future

Not a problem. Apple makes FCP that can edit from analog sources to HD.
Read all about it
http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/


3) Only have money for either 1 x laptop OR 1 x desktop but not both due to limited funds. Would prefer a laptop as I find it easier in sales pitches to show my works in my laptop (or hook up to a projector)

You can buy a Titanium Powerbook (Laptop) Prices range from $1599 to 3299
and all of them come with Firewire.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/71801/wo/FU1TypXwlSSs2LuVoQY18vQyhO5/0.0.7.1.0.5.21.1.1.1.1.0.0.1.0

4) Do pple do DV NL editing on a laptop? Does its smaller size compared to a desktop makes DV NL editing processes more prone to crashes? (this sounds like a dump question but i have to get it off my chest)

Yes people do. Read the stories here how they do it and why.

http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/stories/

Should I get a mac??

Yes! Get a Mac.

Some other questions I have on mac, which are what some of my peers claim.

1) A 900mhz Mac processor is as fast as 1.8ghz Pc processor. (at least in graphics/DV processing) True or false?

True
http://www.apple.com/powermac/performance/

2) OPen a 1G file on a PC with only 128ram...most likely gonna crash the process, but opening a 1G file on a Mac with only 128ram will not crash the mac. True or false?

Not sure of that one.

3) The iBook can do NL editing as well as any PC premiere base, all esle equal. true or false?

It can, but I recommend the Powerbook instead, since you're going to do professional work. The iBook is more for homeuse.

4) I can buy a iBook with 128ram, then add my own rams myself (which should be cheaper than getting Mac to do it for me), just that I am gonna void my warranty.

Is true. Warranty WILL NOT BE VOID. The manual tells you how to upgrade the memory step by step etc.

5) Given a choice, FCP is a better software over premiere.

Yes it is. Has more features. Take the quick tour for comparison.
http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/quicktour/


Do give me any experience you have that may help me make my decision of either a PC laptop or the iBook. I came here after reading pple flaming each other in the other "Mac vs PC" forums, so pls, ONLY professional facts and advice will be very appreciated.

THanks! -->>>


I hope this helps you on makking your decision.
BTW: DO NOT BUY A MAC just because someone tells you to or because they swear by it. Buy it because you've done the research and you truly believe that Macs work better for your line of work.

--William
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Old September 12th, 2003, 01:35 PM   #4
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If your goal is to do NLE with FCP on an iBook, you've probably got troubles from the start. iBooks use G3 processors. Requirements for FCP 4 is G4 processor and 256mb, with 512mb recommended (I think, 512mb may be for RT effects). A 1GB file won't crash OS X with it's protected memory, based on UNIX. But you will hear a lot of hard drive thrashing as it writes the files to virtual memory.

I would not call an iBook with a 900mhz G3 processor equal to 1.8ghz PC. It might be, but I doubt it.

It sounds like your a student. Apple offers educational discounts on most of their computers. The discount is only available through their online Apple Store.

I teach FCP editing at the school I teach at. We don't teach Vegas editing or Premiere. The school is fairly small and had to make a decision between offering Avid editing or FCP and went with FCP. I didn't have a lot to do with the decision, but I think it was a good one. The students are very excited about learning FCP and while most are PC users, they pick up the Mac in a day or two. FCP and the Mac OS are very intuitive. But OS X and XP share many similarities.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 02:19 PM   #5
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i use a 15" powerbook for my editing and fcp

the screen size is ok, you might wanna get another monitor, but for now im ok with the screen

for editing, and photoshop work, i would recommend getting the powerbook like..as they use the g4 chip.

and photoshop 7 is available for os x....i love it
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Old September 12th, 2003, 10:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
1) A 900mhz Mac processor is as fast as 1.8ghz Pc processor. (at least in graphics/DV processing) True or false?
For Photoshop, Mac processors (G4) are slower than a Pentium while they are at lower clock speeds. digitalvideoediting.com ran a shootout for this. The 3.0/3.2mhz Pentium with hyperthreading clearly beat out a dual processor 1.42 G4. It's partly Adobe's fault (photoshop is not optmized for dual processors) but that is not really relevant. Final Cut Pro is optmized for dual processors (about 70% faster with the 2nd processor).

So... performance depends on BOTH the program and the computer.

Right now, it seems that the G5 1.6 (basic one) is slower than a DP1.25 G4. The 1.6mhz G5 isn't a really good value anyways (clearly the DP2.0mhz G5 is the best price/performance).

I'm not too clear on prices but it seems that PCs will give you better raw price/performance than Macs. There are also some Mac-related expenses that PCs don't have (less software choice).

Quote:
5) Given a choice, FCP is a better software over premiere.
In my opinion, Final Cut Pro 3 has a clear advantage over Premiere 6.0/6.5. I don't know how FCP4 compares to Premiere Pro. digitalvideoediting.com gives a glowing review for Premiere Pro. On the PC there is also Vegas Video, which is very powerful and allows a lot of control over your image with color correction and color curves. Vegas Video, Final Cut Pro, and Premiere Pro (have yet to try that) are all great programs. Depending on the type of work you plan on doing there might be an advantage of one NLE over another to help you choose. Some of these programs have free demos (like Vegas). If you are doing basic editing (cut and dissolves, add titles) then all of them are fine.

For print work and such the Mac has colorsync which lets the monitor reflect what your work actually looks like. This is a definite advantage over PCs for print design and such.

Both are good platforms. A Mac costs more but people argue that it is more stable and easy to use. Both platforms DO have bugs and crashes (both the OS and programs like iMovie, Premiere, Final Cut, etc.). I've had kernel panics with OS X, so it isn't crash proof as some people claim it is. A Mac I would say is harder to mess up. It's hard to get a virus or spyware. Consumer Reports found that Mac users have about half the problems as PC users do.

I find a Mac is easier to use than a PC. I consider myself good at computers so windows isn't hard to figure out for me. Other people might find Macs a lot easier.

For software selection, my experience is that PCs are better. I use the Mac for a lot of video work but find myself using a PC for tasks like web broadcasting and encoding for web or VCD. For certain specialized tasks (which you may not need!), Mac software will cost more or not be as good. For playing games the Mac is of course not as good.

My general feelings are
both platforms are powerful/fast
both have great software for video editing and they both have Photoshop
Macs cost more
Macs are quality (easy to use, likely more stable/reliable and less frustrating)
Mac software selection is not as great (for some things only)
Macs look nice :)

If you have the money, you probably can't go wrong with a Mac. A PC could be less productive. Both platforms are good anyways...
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Old September 12th, 2003, 10:38 PM   #7
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The G5 could change everything though...! You have to wait until it comes out and people have some experience with it so you can tell how fast it is (Apple benchmarks are lies) and how stable it is.
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Old September 13th, 2003, 03:06 AM   #8
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a mac is like a fine european sports car
expensive, but the ride is worth it
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Old September 13th, 2003, 03:31 AM   #9
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That's funny Alan but not a good analogy to tempt someone in to buying a Mac. European sports cars are at the most unreliable, try driving a Lotus Elan for a day without it breaking down. Ever sat in a Lamborgini Contach or a Ferrari F40, far from comfortable and you can't see squat. Think it's as easy to drive a straight cut gear box without syncro-mesh gears, certainly aint like the Turbo-hydro 700 4-speed in the family Lumina.

High-end Macs are certainly high-performance, but so is a high-end PC.

Shu, a Mac is deffinately a great machine for photo/video work but as was mentioned earlier a 900 iBook with 128 MB of RAM isn't going to cut it and I think iBook the RAM max is only 600MB. A low-end Powerbook with at least 1GB of RAM would be what I would use for a minium.

On the PC side there are a number of laptop PCs that would do the job as well from companies such as Dell and Gateway. Most of these feature 2.4+GB CPUs and can handle 1GB+ of RAM.

Either way, Mac or PC, you'll need to add an external hard drive as the internal ones just aren't big enough and in some cases fast enough (<5400 rpm drive speed) for storing large video files.
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Old September 19th, 2003, 11:45 PM   #10
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Hi Wan Shu, pleasant surprise to see you in this forum. How did your film shooting go?

Amateurs and professionals alike have been doing very well on all sorts of Wintel and Mac configurations.

I don't think a straight "should" or "should not" answer is very helpful, but can share my own feelings as another person looking to complete personal short film projects in the future.

I'm looking to purchase my own Mac system in the future primarily for video-editing. The decision is influenced by my previous experience with FCP 1.x (G4s 400Mhz) in a classroom setting and then currently using my girlfriend's ibook 800 with iMovie 3.

Previously I tried Premiere 6.0 on a PC and didn't quite like it. Again, that's my own experience. I am sure many people are doing productive work with that. I'dnt say one is better than the other.

Then again, Adobe Premiere Pro may be an option for you if you want to stick to Wintel machines.

This are just my personal preferences - as mentioned earlier, you really ought to try out more systems before making the investment in hardware and software.

The FCE offer with new Macs is attractive as well.

I've seen enough users working with ibooks and powerbooks for video-editing on the move. Some professionals use iMovie with ibooks - whatever is adequate to get the job done.

Do check out the general and video-editing forums at www.macuser.org.sg if you want more localised information.

If you did not end up getting that ibook from Lance, the new powerbook updates are attractive, in addition to the older powerbooks than are offloaded for the new ones.

Another possible alternative might be to hire a video-editor, though you don't get a new computer in the end! Otherwise, the Mac investment you make should still prove itself worthy in the photo-editing and marketing department.

Cheers and best.
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Old September 20th, 2003, 02:05 PM   #11
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hi Mike,

have we met before?
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Old September 21st, 2003, 06:44 AM   #12
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Hi Wan Shu,

Yes we have, but on very few fleeting occasions. Sorry I'm pretty shy. Anyway, I first read about your dream to make films on your website a while back and then saw your actors audition notice on Offstone. So it's good to know you are progressing with your film when I came across your post here.

Am going away for an extended period, and hope to start work on my first short when I return.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 09:38 AM   #13
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Even though I am making the switch in about 2 months. I really hate false information.

First of all, when you say "PC" you have to be more specific. You said "PC's" crash. This is false. Unless Crash means something else to you. Cash means the whole computer freezes up and you need to turn it off and back on again. That is what crash and a bomb means basically.

(Windows 98 was not crash proof and that is where all the mac users say Windows crashes.) But notice they NEVER say anything about Windows NT or XP.)

Well since Windows NT. Windows has been crash proof. I used Windows NT, then Windows 2000, then Windows XP. And guess what? I've never had an operating system crash ever. If there is a "CRASH" at all, it is completely related to hardware. Could be dirt, dust, or you installed the wrong hardware driver. But they don't CRASH just out of the blue or crash because you are trying to open up a 1gig pic with 128 megs of ram.

There is such thing as hardware that doesn't make your computer crash. And there is such thing as crash proof Operating Systems. Windows NT and newer definitely has this protection.

On another note. OF COURSE Apple will say they are faster, you are reading it right off the Apple website. Apple will always say they are off the scale compared to Intel.

Here's some other news and something to be happy about switching to a mac. Recently there was a TEST in PC Magazine. It was the G5 verses the 3gig Xeon. The test ended in almost the same result. It wasn't "off the scale" like Apple makes it look with their charts on the website. It was just about the same speed. But apple had to move the bar a little more for marketing.

Anyway, there are many reasons to switch to a Mac, the crash stuff I wrote above are not some of them.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 10:43 AM   #14
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The biggest downside of going to Mac: you limit yourself both software and hardware wise. There's never been anything that was Mac that I envied or was not available for the PC. However, you will often see Mac users saying they wished something PC was available for Mac.

The biggest upside to going Mac: you become part of an elite club of users that all keep trying to convince each other that Macs are better than PCs. Haha, I'm saying that in jest although it's somewhat true. My good friend is a big Mac user and we always throw these jabs back and forth. To each his own I always say. Just realize that with Macs you are somewhat limiting your possibilities in exchange for less potential problems - since there is so much PC stuff there's always the potential that things don't work well with each other.

My .02.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 11:39 AM   #15
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There is a Mac club atmosphere that you have to account for if you are doing any creative work on computers. If it is print, then definitely you will always run up against people who are exclusively Mac and make it very difficult for a PC user to integrate their work with them. There is no real technical reason that collaboration isn't just one extra step (GraphicConverter is standard on OSX) but I've never really met a Mac user who is willing to budge without a lot of negotiation. I was exclusively Mac several years ago and I know how it feels to be part of that Mac ghetto. Now, if I had the money I would probably get a Mac just so I can experience its video tools and run it side by side with my PC for my other stuff.
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