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-   -   mac v PC laptops... speed? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/final-cut-suite/24443-mac-v-pc-laptops-speed.html)

Glenn Chan April 17th, 2004 07:10 PM

It looks like this thread is going to turn into a religious debate. ;)

Anyways, I don't think I'm going to try to argue about the stability of each system although I'll point out some ways to improve stability on both platforms:

1- Choose good software. Some pieces of software aren't that stabke. Premiere Pro when it came out sucked, I don't know now after it has gotten patches (I don't follow Premiere, I only demoed it). FCP3 without patches was very unstable IME. Haven't used FCP4 but it was also unstable when it came out (from user forums). Vegas seems pretty stable (few people report crashes, a few report some minor bugs). I don't know much about Avid, don't know about Edition.

2- Updates can break your system, so wait for other people to upgrade first. Quicktime and OS X upgrades in the past have broken a lot of FCP users setups. Updating windows through windows update will break Avid.

3- Research your setup before you build a PC. For example, Premiere has been very problematic with the hardware acceleration boards. Certain VIA chipsets are not suitable for editing.

4- Firewire 400 drives sometimes run into problems with dropped frames. Getting another firewire card I heard works well. Otherwise there are reasonable workarounds (export to an internal drive). Get the drives with the oxford911 chipset (FW400 only).

Glenn Chan April 17th, 2004 10:24 PM


toshiba $2799 at best buy...
mac can be cheaper.
Anyone have experience with Sager laptops? On the surface, they seem to be much cheaper than Apple notebooks. Looking at barebones configurations comparing a 1.6ghz Centrino Sager NP3760-S (15.4" display) versus the 1ghz 15" Powerbook. Differences:
processor- 1.6ghz Centrino is very roughly equal to 2.4ghz (assuming 1.5X clock), and the Powerbook roughly equal to a 2.0ghz Pentium if being really generous (equiv. performance = 2X clock). The Centrino is definitely faster.

RAM- Sager is cheaper, apple seems to be overpriced with the upgrades.

Hard drive- apple upgrades overpriced again. Sager has 60GB 5400rpm versus 60GB 4200rpm on the Mac.

optical drives- they have different brand drives, but Sager is cheaper if you want to upgrade to a DVD burner.

warranty and support- Sager has 1yr standard (no phone help I believe), Apple has 90day support + 1yr warranty.

firewire- Sager needs a PCMIA card, I assumed it costs $135 (I have only a vague idea of what these cost, and the rest of the cost covers hassle and effort)

video card- both have a 9600pro. They might be different...?

Size, weight, battery life- ???

ergonomics- ? (keyboard and mouse styles usually depend on taste)

Price- $1925 versus $2398 ($473 difference). I did not consider total cost of ownership.

Once you start adding in extras (RAM, bigger hard drive) or want higher performance, the Sager laptops start to pull ahead very quickly. On the surface, it seems like a Sager laptop is cheaper than a Mac. In fact the Sager is rougly equivalent in speed to the top of the line powerbook (major differences between the two laptops though of course).


Joe Cirino April 17th, 2004 10:47 PM

"RAM- Sager is cheaper, apple seems to be overpriced with the upgrade"

So buy your RAM somewhere else. Any apple person would tell you that....also the firewire is a 4 PIN and not a 6 PIN. Who wants to deal with add on cards....sounds like the 80's.

Again people, you can not compare an Apple to a PC. Why do people continually do this? Its like comparing apples to oranges based on the commonality that they are fruits. Yugo cars compared to VW bugs can be contrasted based on price, but they are totally different cars. I can not for the life of me understand the logic in spending 2k on a sub par computer and compare it to an Apple and say that the $400 is a savings. Sager laptops are cheap computers that are priced for the budget in mind. They are not Pro computers. Geez. One would actually consider spending 2k on an off name computer and not even consider an Apple. Herd mentality.

Listen to the testimonies of mac converts, they have experience with both systems....
Please dont confuse my passion for anger, its just that I have seen many people regret buying a PC after using a Mac....and im actually sick of seeing people herding to buy Microsoft products, as if that is the only solution.

Glenn Chan April 18th, 2004 12:22 AM


also the firewire is a 4 PIN and not a 6 PIN.
I took that into account and simply assumed it costs $135 to add 6-pin firewire to the laptop. I didn't notice the laptop already had 4pin firewire (IEEE1394)... which is ok for cameras but probably not for FW drives.


Again people, you can not compare an Apple to a PC. Why do people continually do this?
Because people have to decide between buying one or the either! They both are supposed to do the same thing.

Anyways... I don't see this discussion going much further. You gave some irrelevant and/or unsupported arguments ("not pro" "off brand" "priced for the budget in mind" "herd mentality" [people think that microsoft is only solution]) which don't really say whether one or the other is better and why.

You do say that "I have seen many people regret buying a PC after using a Mac". There are some flaws with that argument:
A- It's an incomplete comparison. You have to consider the people who don't regret buying PC and the regretful people who buy Macs. You have to compare overall satisfaction. Now it may be true in real life that people who buy Macs are more satisfied, but your argument doesn't prove that and is still fallacious.
B- The people who read these boards are not the same as people you know and a PC could be a better choice for them. People who read these boards may know more about computers than the average joe (and not screw em up) and may be less likely to encounter problems by knowing about potential ones beforehand.
C- Just because they regret the purchase doesn't mean they made the wrong decision. People are not always rational and they may regret their decisions even if they make the right one. A person could decline to buy a warranty and regret it when their purchase breaks down. Now it could be an argument in favor of buying a Mac (you're less likely to experience buyer's remorse), but that's kind of dumb and may not apply as much to people who read this board.

Now it could be that Macs are a better choice. The main argument for Macs are that they're more reliable (some also argue they're easier to use). I don't see this thread going much further unless people chip in with some good evidence in favor or against that. I sure as hell didn't contribute much evidence to prove or disprove that. That being said, this should be my last message in this thread. If anyone has some good solid evidence on the relative reliability of each (in the context of Jerry's question, which laptop would be the best for him)... I'd like to know.

Joe Cirino April 18th, 2004 09:25 AM

Glen please, appealing to logical constructs, validity and cogency is not necessary in a mac vs. PC debate where the content is mostly experience, emotion, and preference. So funny.

""I have seen many people regret buying a PC after using a Mac", in a logical debate. -There are some flaws with that argument: A- It's an incomplete comparison."

You are turning this into a logical debate which by the nature of logical construction, opinions can't be logical. Hilarious.

Is'nt this thread about Mac vs. PC for video editing? Are not my opinions expected?

"If anyone has some good solid evidence"

Evidence (were not in court) can also be opinion through expirience when talking about choices.
Have you ever used an Apple?

Glen...continue using whatever you use. You wouldn't understand anyways. For some reason, you found my opinion as an attack against you, which IS illogical. Geez.

Glenn Chan April 18th, 2004 12:10 PM


Have you ever used an Apple?
Yes I have. Based on my experience, Macs suck because of the people I know who've had half their iMovie2 project disappear (half their clips disappeared). That is totally unnacceptable and takes away from any good points about Macs. However, this doesn't mean you should avoid Mac because:
A- You can't generalize well based on my limited experience (small sample size).
B- I might just be biased and forget bad things that happen on PCs. I don't remember anything as catastrophic maybe except for Premiere 6's inability to print to tape properly without patching, but that wasn't nearly as catastrophic.
C- You will likely choose a working combination of hardware and software. Not all Apple products are unreliable as iMovie (or maybe it's more stable now). You can ask about working combinations on forums like this one or over at lafcpug.org (LA FCP users group)

Anyways... I don't see myself adding much more to this thread so I'll stop here. (really!)

Joe Cirino April 18th, 2004 12:36 PM

"Yes I have. Based on my experience, Macs suck because of the people I know who've had half their iMovie2 project disappear" Did YOU ever use an apple.

Humorous. iMovie2 is like 3 years old, iMovie is up to 4 now. I used a XP box just a week ago, a little different in era. Your attempted analogy of generalizations is short of making your point. LOL

Im glad you also live in the real world. One can always agrue from improvment to perfection, but this is not what you were trying to do....were you?

Again, you buy a mac because of OSX. So let me ask you more precisely: Did you ever use a mac with OSX? On second thought and edit, dont even bother responding (which you seem to not want to but continue)...im wasting my time.

Cheers as we leave in peace.

Josh Brusin April 18th, 2004 02:13 PM

imovie? Don't get mad at apple for some free software issues. Look at the whole. Find me a 64bit machine that offers a USABLE 8gb of ram and a proprietary workflow that operates in 64bit space and then talk... I find it can be compared to certain avid workflows. Granted this is not a laptop conversation. If you want absolute power stick to desktops... that the workflow applies to your laptop too is realllly nice. Look at Final Cut Pro HD and Motion... www.apple.com I'm excited.

Alex Ratson April 18th, 2004 04:27 PM

AHHHH, you guys are making this wonderful, friendly forum look like DPReviews! We do not need to be throwing jabs at each other for their opinions.
I know from personal experience that if you buy the best Mac with FCP4 and the Best PC with the NLE software of your choice and attempt to compare the two platforms vary likely the deciding factor is going to be what program you prefer to work in.
If someone tells you that Macís never have down times then they are vary lucky. I have seen and dealt with as many Mac problems as PC problems.
Buy what you like not what others like.

Happy debating

PS: just because Imove2 is old compared to 4 dose not mean it is not in use. One Mac installation I am working at still has not upgraded from version 2 and they are running OS10.2.8.

Joe Cirino April 18th, 2004 05:43 PM


"just because Imove2 is old compared to 4 dose not mean it is not in use"

Alex, prehaps go back and see the context why even iMovie 2 was brought up. Yes, you are correct in saying both systems can have problems. Its just that Microsoft OS is crap. Its that simple. Thus the reason for any mac vs. Pc debate. The integrity of the OS is the major difference of the two. Its enought for me to not consider anything other than an Apple...for now at least.

Alex Ratson April 18th, 2004 06:42 PM

I find it hard to believe that a OS such as win XP Pro is crap. In fact as I type this post up on my XP machine as we speak I can not think of a time that XP or 2000Pro has let me down in a way that OSX has not. They both are stable if used properly.
IMHO the reason that PCís tend to be unstable in the mass is due to incompatibility of hardware. It is so easy to just go out and buy the essentials and throw it together. I once was one of those home brew folk and I paid for it. After learning my lesson I now build a PC around the intended task (Say Avid). If you build your PC or buy it as a turnkey unit you should have a machine that is as stable as the equivalent Mac.
Now I understand you are vary proud of your Mac and will respect you for having such pride. In return I am hoping you will do the same to the other PC folk around hear and not burn their opinions. Letís try and keep this thread going in a productive manner and not get bogged down in preaching our none productive opinions into each otherís monitors.

Happy Laptop Hunting

Mac and PCís are like Red and Green Appleís, they both taste great.

Joe Cirino April 18th, 2004 07:01 PM

That was sweet.

Ok, all is fine now. (omg)

Josh Brusin April 19th, 2004 10:32 AM

new powerbooks came out today as well... as did Motion.

Win XP isn't crap but Panther is engineered with apps like FCP in mind... not servers, office apps, etc...

Joe Cirino April 19th, 2004 01:54 PM

Thanks Josh, now it all makes sense to me. ;-)

Mike Butler April 20th, 2004 09:44 PM

This much is true about choice of platforms: A lot has to do with personal taste, and what a person is most familiar with, but my $.02 worth is that "speed" can be measured a lot of ways.

Let me tell you a story. I have been using both platforms since the mid-to-late-1980's (yeah, I'm an old f@rt) so I can't be accused of prejudice. The 3-year-old Mac on my desktop gets worked like a stolen mule every single day, and has been cutting video (with FCP) from day one, basically right out of the box, and believe me I am no technician...I only drive the car, I don't have a clue how to fix it. Conversely, the newer IBM Pentium 4 on my other desk (which I am using right now to write this) has NEVER been able to use Avid or Premiere successsfully, because the add-on Firewire card (standard right out of the box on all Macs) will not talk to the camera, so DV capture is out of the question. I have had every I.T. technician in the building try to make it work, while I merrily edit video in FCP (which is not available in a Windows version). So which is faster, working IMMEDIATELY or NEVER? Oh yeah, and speaking of personal familiarity, since I have been working exclusively in FCP for the past 3 years, I'm not sure I'll be jumping up and down to use Avid when they do get that other machine fixed.

Anyone who sits down and compares the printed numerical specs of computers without considering all the factors is kidding himself. I can buy a computer with an extremely high stated clock speed for very cheap that will never do the work I ask it to do.

Of course, there is no such thing as a computer without downtime, but I'll tell you which one I'll bet my career on...heck, I do every day!

In fact, I have even grown comfortable using the little Powerbook for editing...apart from the other advantages it has for the road (size, weight, standard Firewire on the motherboard, built-in Wi-Fi, neither of which requiring PCMCIA add-ons, ) it has been very reliable. Plus on the few occasions I have needed help, the 3-year AppleCare which is transferable to the next owner (I bought it used) has done the trick, usually getting you up and running right over the phone wherever you are. That's a good feeling when you're on a gig 3000 miles from home.

When you're in my position, time is money, and failure is not an option (yeah I know, two cliches in a row) and these little Apple computers have paid for themselves many times over. Of course, your mileage may vary, especially if you're one of those technician types who are good at (and even enjoy) tinkering with or even building your own equipment. Kinda like the car guys I know who love to have the hood up and playing with the engine, trying new carburetors or camshafts or whatever.

Me, if I were going down the Wintel road, I'd take Alex's advice and buy a turnkey unit from a seller who supports it 110%, which I would have done with this PC if my I.T. procurement people didn't have their own way of doing business (only certain IBM models are approved, Win2K only with approval for XP pending, etc.) This practice of cobbling things together with add-on bits is a too risky for me...as Alex says, "the reason that PCís tend to be unstable in the mass is due to incompatibility of hardware..."

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