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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:01 AM   #1
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What Computer for $2000 Budget?

My old system has died, so I'm in the market for a new one and have approval to spend up to $2K. My dilemma is PC versus Mac. I've always had PC's but I am willing to put a Mac on the consideration list this time.

I've been to HP.com, Dell.com and Apple.com and have noticed that Macs are very expensive compared to PC's. I'm happy with my 24" monitor, so I'd rather not buy an iMac, but the Mac Pro's start at $2700! For $1500 I can buy a screaming fast PC and upgrade the memory pretty cheap a year from now.

What's your opinion?
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:13 AM   #2
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For your price range the only choice is a PC.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:52 AM   #3
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That's right, at that budget you either go iMac or PC.

Unless you can find an Intel Mac Pro used on craigslist or something, I have seen some nice deals out there.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 10:41 AM   #4
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I just upgraded my PC to one of those cow machines. I found a quad core at Best Buy for a little over $700. It renders my output so much faster than my previous 2.5 mhz Acer. I couldn't be happier with the exception of getting use to the Vista environment versus the XP Pro that I was very use to. I can't believe that I can rendor HD output at a 2 to 1 ratio, that is for an hour of video it renders in 2 hours. I use to render hour long projects over night while I was in bed. Now I can start a render and go watch a movie and it will be done when the movies is over. I still don't like to multiplex my computer during rendering outputs or burning DVDs.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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If I would have a budget of $2K for a PC only (you can still use your "old" LCD) I would not buy something out of the box. I would rather use special parts and a quad extreme since they are a lot faster than the stock quads.
Nice RAIDs and fast system hard disks would be the priority. Don't forget a good cooling system not only for the CPU, also hard drives like it cold :-) and it helps to prevent data loss.

Axel, San Jose
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 02:16 PM   #6
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I guess I'm getting old. I've been a computer tech for 39 years and it just isn't worth my time to scrape together parts and roll my own when you just don't gain that much speed. Maybe if I were doing direct to disk video capture I would, but I'm a field shooter and won't be doing direct capture.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 02:21 PM   #7
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it's not just the speed, it is the amount of money you save...plus it's fun to build!
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 03:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. I was a bit on the fence, but now I'm leaning toward going to HP's site and configuring a machine to be happy with for the next 4 years (with some upgrades along the way). I'll probably go low on memory (system and HD) and immediately upgrade on my own to save money.

I was secretly hoping to find some very compelling reason to go Mac. They are just so cool but they really make you pay for it.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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The pricing for the MacPro is too high but somehow they wanna make sure you buy their products to run OS X :-)
The advantage of buying parts is not only the lower price, it's also, that you know whats in or what else you can put in later. I put together a machine last fall for a price that will not be even with that what you will pay for a OEM system.
With stock machines you never know how good is the power supply, you will not be able to overclock the CPU because the MoBo doesn't have the right BIOS and so on. It's nice for warranty issues but the freedom is not given :-(
But it depends on what you want to do.....

Axel
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 05:23 PM   #10
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You should be a little technically inclined to if you're going to piece one together. I also mean both hardware & software technically inclined.

If I was 20 or 30 years younger, there is no doubt in my mind I would be parts shopping. Wait until you get older, you may find that your outlook and views on things change just a little bit. Believe me, I've been an innovator & a risk taker most of my life. I had a computer support service on the side named Micro Innovations 25 years ago. That's history. Everyone has different views and what's right for one person isn't necessarily right for the next.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:46 AM   #11
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Matt you should look at Best Buy for the HP. I was at Best Buy and they had some really great deals for the same computer i found through HP's site which i couldn't find at that price.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #12
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What about an Apple Refurbished iMac 20", priced at $1250 and hooking up your 24" LCD as a second screen?

That would give you mucho real estate (perfect for video work) and leave you some money for RAM upgrades, software etc.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #13
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Building "your own" has a lot of disadvantages, not in the least that it's not cheaper and you can get a better system spec'd from an A-brand or (good) BTO (Build-To-Order) supplier. This will also give you less compatibility problems and hassles when things go sour.

The only justification in my opinion is when you have very specific needs (graphics card(s), interfaces, internal storage, etc.). Even then it is often preferable to "upgrade" a "out of the box" system.

I own a (small) IT company as well and although we're an exclusive Fujitsu Siemens reseller, I like the HP xw8600 workstations for editing. Even the previous series xw8400 and xw6400 (a little less extendable) were great. You can shop for some good deals on them too.

George/

P.S. Financing your system could also be an option and is often easier through manufacturers like HP or Apple.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #14
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on a related note, is a 7,200rpm disk drive fast enough to record HV30's 1920x1080p30?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #15
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First, this thread should have been posted elsewhere. That said...

I fairly recently went the build-your-own PC route, and while the specs of the unit were really great, and it wasn't as much as a Mac Pro, the realiability of the PC was very poor. It was my 3rd in 2 years, and I made the jump (back to) the Mac with a Mac Pro purchase. Best choice I've made in video production in the past two years.. not just computer choice, but overall production choice.

I'd recommend an iMac, hands down. They're powerful and inexpensive in relation to a Mac Pro. The Apple route has worked for me, and many others. Best of luck.
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