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Old September 28th, 2014, 11:54 PM   #1
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I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

I have owned two laptops since I started video editing in 2006. Both MacBook Pro's (the model most recommended by videographers, musicians and graphic designers at the time) and the first serving me well for five years of frequent daily usage and travel. To this day it is only the keyboard which doesn't work and it still can wheeze into action to serve as a hard drive.

The second I purchased in 2011 and a couple of months ago I was hit by that malady whereupon the screen turns blue when using a program like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro (7) which requires a lot of memory. A local Apple service centre said it would need a new motherboard costing a third of the price of the laptop so I took it to Phantip Plaza, a famous Bangkok IT Mall full of computer stores and specialist repair shops.

It spent almost two months here. The repairmen first had to wait for a new graphics card to arrive from China but it turned out this was a misdiagnosis and by the time I went to collect it, the laptop was completely lifeless and dead. I was refunded and tok it back to an official Apple store who confirmed that it had any of its innards stolen.

The new OS I hated anyway, it put more focus into pretty transitions and looking fancy then simply functioning and doing its job. Apple have lost the plot and are hopefully facing the decline they deserve due to their incessant greed and patronizing and unnecessary changes and updates, gradually taking freedom away from the user - the one thing they once prided themselves on doing the opposite.

In short - I need a laptop that is suitable for us creative types and is reliable that is NOT an Apple product.

I figured that here would be the best place for recommendations.

Budget $1000 or under.
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Old September 29th, 2014, 01:52 AM   #2
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

There is another choice, Linux. Linux is mainly GUI operated now, so is easy to use when changing over from another OS. It's lighter and faster than Windoze and works well on older hardware too. There's a distribution for everyone. I use it all the time, I have done for a couple of years.

I would suggest buying a used high spec. laptop, preferably with Windows 7 installed and install a Linux distribution as a dual boot OS beside it. It really is easy now, most distros have auto partitioning and will install beside Windows with no manual help.

As a first distro I would suggest ArtistX, it has almost every artistic application available for Linux "out of the box". As with many Linux distros, it can be tested as a live CD before installing. And, of course, it's free!

Just my two penn'orth.

Dave
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Old September 29th, 2014, 01:58 AM   #3
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Thanks Dave for presenting a third option.

I've only heard of Linux but it definitely sounds worth looking into.

I'm starting here:

Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old September 29th, 2014, 02:34 AM   #4
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Baker View Post
There is another choice, Linux. Linux is mainly GUI operated now, so is easy to use when changing over from another OS.
If you want to change to another OS the first question you need to ask is what software you will be planning to use, lots of popular software doesn't run natively on a Linux OS so in those cases a Windo(ze)ws OS would be a much wiser and better choice.

Cameron; I suggest you first make a list of the software you are planning to use and what type of camera files you are going to edit and based on that you have to choose the laptop, some NLE's and codecs have very specific hardware requirements, if you buy just based on the price you might end up with another negative experience.
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Old September 29th, 2014, 02:37 AM   #5
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Noa makes a good point. Linux still holds only a few percent of the overall OS marketshare, so not a lot of software that you might be used to will run natively on Linux. Certainly most mainstream NLEs won't.

There's nothing wrong with Windows 7, it's plenty fast and will run 99% of software that you will likely be using.
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Old September 29th, 2014, 03:05 AM   #6
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
If you want to change to another OS the first question you need to ask is what software you will be planning to use, lots of popular software doesn't run natively on a Linux OS
Often said and perfectly true, but there is a Linux alternative for everything that can be done on Windows. Cameron won't have any favourite Windows applications since he wants to ditch the Mac OS, so he will have to get used to new ones in any case.

If you read my post correctly, I am suggesting an OS that can run on a Windows computer as an alternative to Windows, but Windows can be booted if preferred and also an OS that can be tried out, totally free, by running it as a live CD and then installed if liked, again totally free. Full choice with no risk! What's wrong with that?

Dave
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Old September 29th, 2014, 03:15 AM   #7
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Lightworks is currently the only professional NLE that will run on Linux. Other software choices (unless into servers etc) are probably limited, but include Gimp and Blender instead of Photoshop and After Effects.

I know what you mean about the icons and folders sweeping around the screen with the current Mac OS, I normally use Windows 7 and have been using the Mac at the company where I'm currently working.
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Old September 29th, 2014, 03:49 AM   #8
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

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Originally Posted by Dave Baker View Post
Full choice with no risk! What's wrong with that?
I have gone through several linux distro's both as dual booth with windows but also with only linux installed but my experience with Linux is that it is for advanced users, it can be easy to use depending on what distro you install but if it goes wrong you need to have knowledge of how to use the terminal. I have had my fair share of issues with Linux, often driver related, mostly fixable but again only with a extensive knowlegde of code you had to enter into the terminal to get things working again. Sometimes it was just a minor issue but resulting into a system that did not want to boot anymore and while a Linux expert friend managed to get it working again quite easily it is not something I want to deal with in daily use. That's why I find Linux systems a quite high risk to use when your income depends on it and when you don't know how to maintain it.
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Old September 29th, 2014, 05:13 AM   #9
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Fair enough Noa. I tried Linux as a main OS a few years ago and had similar experiences to yours. Worst of all, video editing was still at the very simple stage, so I paid up for Windows 7 and went back to Vegas.

Now it's very different. The terminal is only necessary on very odd occasions. I have not learned command line working, nor do I intend to. If there is a problem, almost certainly someone will have written the code for fixing it, just copy and paste. The only specialist knowledge needed now is how to use a search engine.

My favourite NLE, Kdenlive, is now a very capable package and I have come to prefer it to Vegas.

I guess if my income depended on it I would be sceptical too, but I am not suggesting Linux only, but alongside Windows until, or if, he likes it.

When I came over to Linux this time, I was determined that I would do it as a Windows user who knows nothing about Linux. Either that, or back to Windows. Well, I'm here to stay, it works for me.

There are several Linux distros that are easy to install and so Windows-like to use you won't believe it. They all have forums where, if anything goes wrong, it can be discussed and a fix found. Naturally nothing ever goes wrong with Windows, does it?

Mint, Ubuntu and its derivatives like ArtistX, openSUSE, PClinuxOS to name a few, are all suitable for beginners.

Dave
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Old September 29th, 2014, 05:36 AM   #10
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Quote:
Naturally nothing ever goes wrong with Windows, does it?
Well, when I started using windows 7 I didn't have any issue with it at all, it was rock solid until recently, when I had to install a cheap ATI graphics card, there is also a driver related issue as for the first time in years I get BSOD's after longer editing sessions, I can see in the error reports it tracks back to a driver problem, I have tried everything but the problem keeps popping up now and then. A correctly configured system, no matter if you use apple, linux or windows will run trouble free but it's always the weakest link that can bring an entire system down. I won't switch to Linux though but will buy a Nvidia card instead :D
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Old September 29th, 2014, 06:13 AM   #11
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

I no longer video edit full time, however I still occasionally need to be able to use Final Cut - which I guess I wouldn't without a Mac but I7d be willing to purchase and learn:

Adobe Premier
Photoshop
Logic Pro (or something similar)
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Old September 29th, 2014, 06:28 AM   #12
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

What type of codec does your videocamera use?
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Old September 29th, 2014, 06:40 AM   #13
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

I forgot the user that helped me on this forum. But some one guided me to set up Sony Vegas to be completely crash free.

I am absolutely terrified of my PC catching a virus or anything whereby I will need to give it a 'fresh' install of Windows.

My work flow is so smooth now on my i7 I absolutely love it. It is easily the perfect 1080p editing machine. I can use multiple layers / tracks and edit lag free.

I should of filmed myself making all the changes for future reference but I didn't ...

I don't think I will ever upgrade until my clients require me to change ALL my cameras to 4K in which case my NLE and my PC will be upgraded as well.
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Old September 29th, 2014, 08:27 AM   #14
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Quote:
it put more focus into pretty transitions and looking fancy then simply functioning and doing its job
My thoughts exactly when it comes to the Apple operating system. I can easily be more productive on Windows 7.

Andrew
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Old September 29th, 2014, 10:22 AM   #15
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Re: I am done with Apple - what Windows laptop would you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Poole View Post
In short - I need a laptop that is suitable for us creative types and is reliable that is NOT an Apple product.

I figured that here would be the best place for recommendations.

Budget $1000 or under.
For that budget I would build my own pc desktop and then turn it into a hackintosh with a dual boot windows 7. Best bet is to find a motherboard that is well supported for hackintosh conversion. You really get more bang for your buck with your own build. If you aren't comfortable with the hackintosh conversion, try to find a used one. Both operating systems have their own advantages.
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