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Old June 22nd, 2005, 02:48 PM   #1
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Worth Moving to Mac?

Is it worth moving to Mac, now that they are switching over to Intel chips? They will probably be supporting the current PowerPC chips for a year or so after the switch, but would it be smart at all to do?

How long do mac users go between computer upgrades or new computers, I know PC users upgrade often, but I always assumed Mac users got longer usage times out of their machines? Would buying a mac now be a stupid move?
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:32 PM   #2
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I think PC users only upgrade more often cause it's slightly cheaper (Seemingly) and they get more options faster - not cause they need to upgrade. I used to upgrade all the time. Then after a number of years I realised that I didn't need all the grunt, so why not put money towards, camera, tape stock, feeding actors, my house ;)

If you were going Mac now, I don't see a problem. I'm sure that when the switch hits highend desktops, they will be faster than the G5's now, but will that matter if the machine is fast enough for you? A highend Mac now, would scream for video stuff, so I really don't see a problem. Now I've said that, I was half thinking of going Mac, but decided the cost was a little high (As I said, I didn't really need to upgrade) - no real business reason, and when the switch was announced, I definately decided to wait for a year or so to see. But this is dictated a lot by the work I do.

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Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:35 PM   #3
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I've thought about going to Mac too, but with the switch would come a lot of leraning curves in software, purchasing new software, and if you're like me, I use multiple platforms. I'd love to get a mac for the field and use my pc desktop for editing, but the problems above still exist. I build my own desktop systems so I can put what I want into them. So that gives me some solice.

Woohoo, my 100th post!
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:49 PM   #4
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What switch?

Maybe I'm ignorant, but what switch is being refered to?
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian K Jones
Maybe I'm ignorant, but what switch is being refered to?
Brian:

Read this thread http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45738 to learn about "the switch." Be prepared to feel the heat this topic has generated as it is vigorously, but professionally, debated on the thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Pearson
Is it worth moving to Mac, now that they are switching over to Intel chips? They will probably be supporting the current PowerPC chips for a year or so after the switch, but would it be smart at all to do?

How long do mac users go between computer upgrades or new computers, I know PC users upgrade often, but I always assumed Mac users got longer usage times out of their machines? Would buying a mac now be a stupid move?

I think Aaron is absolutely correct in the fact that your decision to switch or upgrade (at any time) should be based on the benefits it will bring to your workflow and whether or not it makes financial and business sense. If you can afford to move to a mac-based workflow, you'll gain great benefits over the next several years. Even after "the switch", Apple will continue to support the "old and antiquated" PowerPC G5s for years.

I've edited on Mac-based AVID systems and then on PC-Based AVID systems. I liked the Mac-systems better (until the System 8 and 9 days-yikes). Now, with the matured (or maybe maturing) Mac OS X operating system, I am a happy mac user once again. If you are already proficient at editing in AVID, Premiere, or Vegas, your learning curve will not be as great with FCP5. Once you are competent on one platform, picking up another is much faster.

I now use Apple systems and software almost exclusively. I do have one WinDell system remaining that I keep around for testing websites on Intel-based machines. I'm not a Windows or Intel hater. I've supported large Windows-based WANs at my previous job. It's just that now that I am out on my own, I could make the decision to go Windows or Mac (or anything else) and I happily chose Mac!

I'm currently in the process of converting to an all-digital workflow (yeah, that'll take awhile) and here is the equipment and software I'm using:

Sony HVR-Z1U, PowerMac Dual G5 W/FCStudio 5, PowerMac Dual G4 w/FCExpress HD, Shake 3.5, Adobe CS2 Pro...and often pure luck!

This is just my humble opinion. Good luck and have fun!
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:35 PM   #6
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Can't really support switching or not, but I can say that I switched out of frustration with the stability of my Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 and Matrox RT.X100 setup. I've had my mac for a little over a month now, and Final Cut Studio for 2 weeks. So far so good, not a single crash (keeping my fingers crossed). I'd say go on the gut feeling of what you want and can afford. If you are having trouble with or feel your current setup is holding you back in some way... switch.

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Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:15 PM   #7
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Switching from Vegas to Final Cut might be a little weird. Vegas operates very differently from other video editing programs.

2- Rick, I would look at what you need to do.
If you need to handle particular formats (i.e. HD), a Final Cut setup has significant cost savings compared to other systems.
For SD resolution, it kind of comes down to taste/preference. You might want to attend user's group meetings and/or try to get a hands-on demo to get a feel of the various systems available.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:45 PM   #8
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I've been producing a corporate video for a client the last couple of weeks. This entire week so far I've been in the edit suite with an AVID on Windows....a few blue screen's of death later I couldn't wait to get home to my G5 OSX. It's rock solid compared to Windows 2000 or XP.

Just my opinion, but Windows overall has to many issues because they don't have any idea who's making hardware out there. You buy a system that's made all over the place and then you've got Windows laying on top of it all. It's bound to blue screen...and it does. However, my Mac feels like it was all made under one roof (I know that it isn't)...it just feels much more solid.

Anyway, just my 2 cents...going with Mac is smart if you want straight ahead rock solid performance. If you go Windows you run a risk depending on where you got the machine, what's inside it and who's supporting your problems.

The caveat? Macs cost more...no doubt about it. It hurt to pay so much for my Mac, but I've saved about 1 year of my life too!!!
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 10:37 PM   #9
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In my experience, Mac users (at least Mac-based video producers) upgrade every time Apple releases a major hardware update. Everyone I know except a musician who seemed perfectly happy with ProTools 3 got a G3 when the G3 came out then a G4 and then a G5. That works out to every 2-3 years, I believe. There's not much of an incentive to upgrade in between, assuming you buy a high-end machine initially. Check the specs on the "new" PowerMac G5s against the older versions, and you'll see what I mean. If you are planning to buy anytime soon then I don't think that should be a concern because by the time Apple gets around to switching everything to Intel, it will be right on the normal upgrade schedule anyway. It would probably be worse to upgrade immediately after the switch. I am guessing that using the Rosetta software with PowerPC apps will be much like running the "Classic" environment in OS X, and I couldn't stand that. Let us know whether you make the jump to our shiny brushed aluminum boxes.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 01:07 AM   #10
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I just remembered this: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/coreimage/ . In OS 10.4, this supposedly takes a lot of the load off the processor and application if you have the right GPU. I don't know if it would work as well as DNA - I've never tried either. But it's an attempt at hardware acceleration on the Mac.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 08:02 AM   #11
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Thanks Zach and everyone for all of your input and assistance.

I was in a Mac retailer's store yesterday playing hands on with Final Cut, Motion, and Soundtrack. It was nice, there are alot of things I really like about the suite. However I wasn't a fan of how much of the effects ( like simple dissolves) needed to be rendered, even with RT turned on the frame rate on the dissolves was low, but maybe it was because I was playing on a floor model that might have only had the 512 ram in it.

I should know in the next couple of days whether I'll make the move to Mac. If I do, it'll be a 2.7 G5 with 2.5gigs of ram and a Tascam FW-1884 control surface along with JVC's clamshell HDV/DV deck. I may also look into the AJA Io, or one of the decklink cards as well, but probably not until after I've worked on the mac as it is described above.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #12
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Rick:

I have dual G5 with 2GB RAM and have few rendering issues when in RT mode--it does happen on occasion though. The machine you tested probably had insufficient RAM to take advantage of the RT engine.

I would go back to the Apple store (if that is practical) and ask them what the tech specs of the machine you used were, and then ask them to test-drive FC Studio on a machine that will be configured the way you want.

It's a lot of money to spend. They should help you out.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 12:24 PM   #13
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I switched to Mac just before they announced the move to Intel. Let me just say that I'm really glad I switched.

Most of what I'm doing is transferring VHS to DVD (old home movies and the like). I haven't made the jump into doing this for money yet but I still wanted to get a decent workflow going. Let me describe the various the things I tried:

1. Capture via USB capture device, edit and author with Nero-1 project, I'm somewhat embarrassed by it now.
2. Capture via TDK IndiCapture, edit and author with Pinnacle Studio. Not bad, but lots of 8-hour transcoding sessions and issues with compression.
3. Capture via DVD recorder, edit with Premiere Pro 1.5, author with Encore. Getting better, but slow on my AMD64 machine. Still lots of transcoding.

There were lots of experiments in there trying to get the captured video into formats the editors could use. It took months to get one project done on each of those setups, because once it was transcoding, that was basically a day lost waiting for it to finish.

Once I switched to the Mac (dual 2.0 G5 w/1.5gb of RAM) I captured with the dvd recorder, used MPEG Streamclip to convert it to DV, and did my projects with the iLife apps (iMovie and iDVD). I finished 3 projects in 2 days this way. Now granted, they were not complicated projects (not much editing, a few transitions, and simple menus) but I felt much more productive.

Hope that helps.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 09:20 AM   #14
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Worth switching? It's all about the tools. If you want iLife programs, or better yet Final Cut, than you need to switch. I'm not a pro, but after years of fighting with various software/hardware combinations on Wintel to create DVDs of DV footage mixed with stills, I finally switched last February. For me, there is no going back. I bought a Mini, Final Cut Express & Photoshop CS & I've been having a blast. Now I'm shopping for a Power Mac G5. No way I'm waiting for the Intel based machines. I want to put some muscle behind these tools NOW!
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Old June 30th, 2005, 02:52 PM   #15
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New FCP User

I bought a dual 2.7ghz G5 with 2.5gigs of RAM and Final Cut Pro Studio today at lunch. That means Avid now has a sibling and must share it's room with a Mac...a non-Avid Mac. Will The Avid be asked to leave the house all together sometime in the near future? Only time will tell, but this experienced Avid editor was impressed enough to purchase FCPS.

Thank you to all who chimed in and answered questions about FCP for me. I know I'll be back here on a regular basis with posts concerning the new studio.
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