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Old September 28th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #1
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Mac, PC, Desktop, Laptop...uh, help.

First off i'm appreciative of the existence of this forum. Even though i'm a new member i've already found a wealth of information and people willing to help one another out. I really look forward to being able to contribute.

Not sure if this is the right forum, anyways...

Alright, so i looked through the threads linked in the "which mac to buy" thread and am still having a tough time deciding what i need. It seems that the powerbook is adaquate for editing video, but should be bought only if portability is required as the desktops run circles around it.

Then when determined that a laptop is necessary, the iBook might even be the one to get as you save much more money than you lose in performance. Then when thats determined you might not want to get an iBook or Powerbook because of the new tech that's comming around the bend. So...

I'm looking for a laptop to surf and write on, but i also want to do very basic video work (nothing serious, think: faux commercials). Now i'm deciding whether to get a powerbook to take care of both at once, or if i should get something like a Dell 600m or 700m or iBook for the writing and an iMac or personally built PC for the editing. Given this, i have a few questions:

Since my work is only begginer, and nowhere near high-end even for the amateur, should i just go for an all in one with the iBook or Powerbook?

I don't mind waiting till early next year for new mac tech to come out, is that really an option to seriously consider?

I'd like to spend no more than 2500 bucks, is this feasible?

Should i go for PC or Mac?


A little more on the video work i want to do. I interned for a local commercial production house and did work for them, but they lost my resume reel. So i decided the best idea was to make my own. The main purpose is to film a number of fake commercials, so i'll be doing short filming with basic editing and music overlay.

But i'd alos like to use the equipment to play with and see what i can get out of it, so i'll probably film shorts and skits as well as various traveling experiences. I'm not looking for anything too fancy, but i want the presentation to be palatable.

Last edited by Abhay Yadav; September 28th, 2005 at 09:31 AM.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 11:06 AM   #2
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You will get lots of "biased" information when you talk computers!!!

Some things to consider.... a new Mac comes with software for video editing, DVD production and music production in the box, included in the price. And it sounds perfect for your needs because it is very easy to learn and yet produces excellent results. It also work with HD, if you need it.

Have you considered the pre-owned market? I use a dual G4 FW800, and it is really fast with video and DVD burning (but obviously not as quick as the G5's).

Whatever you do, get lots of RAM installed and make sure you have a really big, fast hard disc. My 320G is 80% full after only a few months (and it's really hard to trash those experiments!!).

As to waiting for the "new" Mac technology, well, you can spend your life waiting for what's just around the corner. I guarantee that within two months of purchase, something newer will be announced!! If you want to get started now, buy something now. Ok, over to the PC crowd....
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Old September 28th, 2005, 12:22 PM   #3
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thanks for your reply. What are your opinions on powermac vs. iMac? it seems, with the little knoweldge i do have, that a powermac would be suitable for my situation, but i don't want to buy one if a G5 is going to come out. And the only reason i bring up the new tech thing, is that in the threads i've read, many people have stressed that the intel/apple deal means a far superior powerbook is about to be released.

Now if 'about to be released' means in a year, i aint waiting, but if it means January 06, i'll probably hold out.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #4
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iMac is the home user end.... "powerMac" is the professional end (these things are reportedly used in 80% of sound studios & the majority of publishing houses... artists don't want to fanny about with nursing a computer! They want to get on with the job) The G5 has been out for a long time, but only in desktop models. That is why (so rumour goes) Steve Jobs dumped the present chip manufacturer.... they could not deliver a G5 chip for a portable (they're liquid cooled in G5's).

Rumour has it that a MacTel will be out in Jan 06, but a low end one to ease the bedding in process. They are likely to cost less than the present line up because of the lower chip price.

Personally, I don't think the nuts and bolts of the engine in a car need thinking about... that's for the engineers. What matters is the driving experience and the reliability. Which is why I love Macs!! Told you you wouldn't get an unbiased opinion :)
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Old September 28th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #5
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Hehe, so what you're saying is that you like Mac? :)

You mentioned the new Jan06 mac, what about a new laptop from mac? And would it be more expensive you think than the current price of powerbooks?

Last edited by Abhay Yadav; September 28th, 2005 at 03:43 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #6
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Computers are getting faster all the time anyways. About 2X speed every two years. Where it would make sense to hold out is where a big performance jump is just around the corner (i.e. next 3 months or whatever). Otherwise you'd just be waiting forever.
You can check mac rumor sites for information on when the next greatest thing is coming out. I don't think an Intel-based or G5 laptop is coming out anytime soon, but I don't follow the mac rumor sites.

Computers depreciate in value extremely fast so I would not buy more than you need/want.

2- One thing I like about Macs is that they are easier to use.
The programs generally make more sense / are more intuitive.
You don't have as much computer configuration problems with hardware.
Dont have to worry about spyware or adware.
If your workplace uses FCP, it may be good to have a Mac for that reason.

Downside: There a few quirks with interacting with PCs, i.e. the file format is different which is a mild issue for external drives (doesn't cost you more than $60).
Some PC software is not available on Mac. For video production, the Mac more or less has everything.

3- If you really want to mess around with computers, PCs definitely can have much better price:performance.
It's a combination of economics / finding a good deal, and sometimes it helps to be able to install PC upgrades.

4- If buying a Mac, you can save money by installing particular upgrades yourself. The documentation I've found is really good.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 12:31 PM   #7
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Abhay, I'd go with Glenn's suggestion. Try for a start. They have good news, links.

I think the next laptops will be cheaper, but may still not compete too well with PC's. The CPU is only a bit of the machine.

At the end of the day, if you want to get a job done, it's the software interface and the hardware reliability that matter. Apple score very well on those points.

There aren't that many external hardware issues. I've not come across that many. My Nikon still camera interfaces seamlessly. My LaCie drive is pre-formatted for Mac, not PC. The only glitch I have is dumping my XM2 video direct to the external hard drive.

Like Glenn says, there is likely to be a quantum leap in the next few months. If you can hang on, it may be worth the wait.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the informative replies. Looks like i'll be waiting a few more months to get the new laptop line. I will be going for the laptop though, so that much is decided. I guess i'll just use the money i accumulate in the meantime and prepare myself for a camera purchase, but thats another thread altogether...
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Old September 30th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #9
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Using Powerbook 1GHZ

Hi, thought I'd chime in here. I've done a lot of editing on my Powerbook G4 1ghz, 786 MB ram, etc... Any DV material will work great. I've used iMovie, FCP 3 through 5, even Avid DV express. I haven't tried HD yet - I expect there to be some serious problems, though, so I'm trying to figure out if I need a iMac G5 for HD, or if I gotta go full-bore on a dual G5 tower.

If you just want to edit standard-definition DV, ANY of the newish macs, iBooks, Powerbooks, etc. will do just fine. For example, when Final Cut first got going it was running on single-processor G4's at 400 mhz.

Get yourself a fat external hard drive, a lot of RAM, and go nuts. As for waiting for the next speed bump: it's going to take a long time for Apple to upgrade their speeds, since we all know IBM ain't exactly going to go crazy producing the next G5 upgrade, now that they've been kicked off the team. Same goes for a G5 low-voltage chip for portables. It'll never happen. Apple is riding out the lull on the strength of iPod sales, upgrades to their operating system, optimizing the living daylights out of everything, and so on.

Can you edit your DV on a 12-inch iBook? Definitely. There ain't a new computer out there nowadays that can't handle DV editing, provided it has firewire and 512+ ram. Hope that helps. Hi Def, well...that's another story.
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Old October 1st, 2005, 06:04 AM   #10
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Let me make this easy. Your lifestyle will appreciate the advantages of a laptop and a single system to maintain.

Get any G4 ibook or Powerbook with a Superdrive for burning DVDs. As mentioned, a Mac comes with the A/V software you will need. Add FCP Express for multi-track editing. Add MSFT Office for Word etc. Upgrade Memory to 512MB minimum if it isn't already 512MB. Get 120GB drive or better. Click the SALE tag at the bottom of the Apple Store website to access factory refurbished models. Save a couple hundred bucks.

Stop fretting over future Macs. You never want the first models. Get one now and in a couple years get the latest and greatest.
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