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Thread started 25 Nov 2010 (Thursday) 01:41
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Build a computer or buy an iMac

 
paintballkidz
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Nov 25, 2010 01:41 |  #1

I do HD video editing, working with the after effects and premier. How ever my HP laptop can't handle the footage from my 7D at all, playback is horrible lagging, scrubbing in the timeline and playing footage in the time line, you can forget about.
I'm looking to build a media production machine,
Doing everything from HD video rendering, special effects in after effects, photoshop/graphics design. I have been looking into a 27" imac for around $2000 with 4gb ram 512mb video card i3,
or a tower with 1gb video memory, 12gb ram, i7 for $1400.
Any recomendations? I want to be able to edit footage smoothly


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Nightstalker
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Nov 25, 2010 02:17 |  #2

Hey man, it's good to know that I'm not alone.

I'm going through the exact same debate at the moment but I'm looking at the i7 iMac instead.

The concern that I have is that according to the Adobe web site Premiere in particular seems to be optimised for the nVidea range of graphics cards and the iMac all use ATi cards that are from what I understand not upgradeable.

I like the look of the MAC in general but this may be because I've never had one before and am just bored with Windows. I can't figure out why I want a MAC but for some reason I do.

Interrestingly enough, I priced up a 27" i5 iMac and compared it to a similarly specified i5 PC and found the prices to be almost identical - although I must say that the 27" IPS screen accounted for about 50% of the overall cost of the iMac so the iMac is not massively over priced - shame it doesn't come without the screen as I'd be buying something that I already have. Can't believe that Apple don't offer a system without the screen that would compete on price directly with the equivalent PC.

Am definately going to be following this thread.


  
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twofruitz
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Nov 25, 2010 02:54 |  #3

Solution is simple.

i7 930 (and overclock up to 4ghz)
12gb ram
128gb SSD
GTX470 (it supports CUDA)

Will smack the top of the range dual processor macbook pro desktops away in any situation; guaranteed.


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MaxxuM
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Nov 25, 2010 03:06 |  #4

paintballkidz wrote in post #11342999 (external link)
I do HD video editing, working with the after effects and premier. How ever my HP laptop can't handle the footage from my 7D at all, playback is horrible lagging, scrubbing in the timeline and playing footage in the time line, you can forget about.
I'm looking to build a media production machine,
Doing everything from HD video rendering, special effects in after effects, photoshop/graphics design. I have been looking into a 27" imac for around $2000 with 4gb ram 512mb video card i3,
or a tower with 1gb video memory, 12gb ram, i7 for $1400.
Any recomendations? I want to be able to edit footage smoothly

This is a big step. First, is this CS5? Will you be switching to FCS? Are you in production ATM?

I'm using a Mac Pro and i7 MBP for local tv production work and I use FCS and AE. I used to use CS3 and switched to Apple because our local station used it and it was logical for memto do the same. Since then I haven't looked back. CS5 is a different animal though. It's 2 1/2 generations ahead of FCS so the rendering engine is a lot stronger. Not so much lag or crashes in large HD projects as in CS3.

If you want to chain because you are tired of Windows or like Apple software options better then I'll be more than happy to answer more detailed questions. If you want a Mac because the look nicer or think they'll improve your quality of work, then I would stick with getting a new i5 or i7 PC. It's all about what you'll enjoy, more than what's better.


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paintballkidz
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Nov 25, 2010 04:13 |  #5

I'm not looking to get a mac because it looks nice, I hate people that do that. I am going into film production, and it seems like the standard machines people use to edit footage etc is on a mac. I'm kinda torn, I want performance, super fast rendering, smoooooooooooooooth scrubbing through footage and adding effects with out bogging down the footage.

How about:
i7-950
16gb ram
GTX470
128gb SSD

budgeting $1500~ ish
i don't know too much about computer parts, but I know how to build them.
I'll probably be running CS5 master suite


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toxic
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Nov 25, 2010 05:35 |  #6

Would an SSD really do anything? Presumably your footage will need a larger drive...all the SSD will do is load your programs faster. That's $200 to save a couple seconds, unless you like to shut down your computer every night instead of standby. If budget is a concern, buy one later.

Premiere CS5 takes advantage of CUDA for certain operations, so I suppose a Nvidia solution is preferable, unless Adobe has mentioned the possibility of OpenCL support.

You might wanna consider a 2009 Mac Pro... http://www.costcentral​.com …_Mac_Pro/MB871L​LA/U83343/ (external link). Nvidia graphics options are limited right now, though- couple Quadros or a GT120 if you buy new, 8800GT or GTX285 if used.




  
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Nightstalker
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Nov 25, 2010 09:28 |  #7

My situation is complicated also by the fact that my son is very keen to get into Graphic / Multimedia design and again MAC seems to be the industry standard.

Mac Pro allows the use of high-end graphics cards and iS an highly scaleable solution but my eyes bleed whenever I look at the cost / specification.


  
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danpass
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Nov 25, 2010 10:02 |  #8

Apple does seem to be The Standard when it comes to A/V work


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Tony-S
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Nov 25, 2010 13:04 |  #9

paintballkidz wrote in post #11342999 (external link)
Any recomendations? I want to be able to edit footage smoothly

Build a hackintosh.


"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

  
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tkbslc
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Nov 25, 2010 13:08 |  #10

Macs are somewhat standard, but the software is the same on PC, too. If you learn the industry standard software on a PC, you can go to work on mac with maybe 1 days adjustment time, so nothing to worry about. Macs used to have a HUGE advantage with graphics work due to their RISC processor design, but now that they use the same intel hardware, it is merely OS preference.


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Tony-S
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Nov 25, 2010 13:29 |  #11

tkbslc wrote in post #11345018 (external link)
Macs are somewhat standard, but the software is the same on PC, too.

Final Cut is only available for OS X.

Macs used to have a HUGE advantage with graphics work due to their RISC processor design, but now that they use the same intel hardware, it is merely OS preference.

I'm not sure where you get your information, but it is incorrect. Macs have not used RISC cpus for many years now (PowerPC architecture). They are just like any Win PC in terms of components, although their standard feature set is substantially more than entry-level or bare bones Win PCs.


"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

  
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MaxxuM
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Nov 25, 2010 15:19 |  #12

paintballkidz wrote in post #11343288 (external link)
I'm not looking to get a mac because it looks nice, I hate people that do that. I am going into film production, and it seems like the standard machines people use to edit footage etc is on a mac. I'm kinda torn, I want performance, super fast rendering, smoooooooooooooooth scrubbing through footage and adding effects with out bogging down the footage.

How about:
i7-950
16gb ram
GTX470
128gb SSD

budgeting $1500~ ish
i don't know too much about computer parts, but I know how to build them.
I'll probably be running CS5 master suite

A 470 and SSD are a little overkill, IMO. RAM may be too, depending on what you're going to be doing. I hit 12GB on my Mac Pro every once and a while, usually because I'm using Photoshop, Aperture & Compressor at the same time. I've never been near 16GB and I do hour long HD movies that take all day to put together. On my MBP, I reach 8GB very often, so I have to be careful or something will crash (usually Photoshop for some reason).

CS5 is pretty good. Nothing wrong with it at all - I think Avatar was made on CS5. Though, that isn't saying much when you're using $20,000 green screen plugins :) CS5 is more expensive than FCS, if you want to match features. For Mac's, the i7 27" is the video man's machine. Every thread you can toss at rendering video will help. I'm not up on Adobe's rendering tech, but I'm sure it's not bad. After Effects uses the GPU a good bit, but not for everything. If I had to choose which to put more money into, CPU or GPU, it would always be CPU. The second thing I consider is hard drives. If you're going to be doing this a lot, you're going to run out of HDD space fast if you keep your projects after they're done. On my Mac Pro I use RAID5 with three 1TB drives and a fast boot/OS drive. Then, I have a Drobo with three more 1TB drives for archival and QMaster (sharing video for proxy & multi-processing files) on a gigabit network. I have a FW800 500GB HDD for just Time Machine backups of the OS (only). Even then, I'm actually running out of space. I've had to start create HD images and delete all the project files. My Fx, B-Roll and sounds HDD has now turned to two 1TB external's; I haven't even backed those up yet because I don't have the room :(

So, GPU would be my third worry. Anything in the $100 range would do, perhaps in the $150 range if After Effects was going to be a primary program. Otherwise, unless you plan on a specialty plugin or software that takes direct advantage of the GPU, I would not spend more than $100-$150 (probably nVidia).

Nightstalker wrote in post #11344057 (external link)
My situation is complicated also by the fact that my son is very keen to get into Graphic / Multimedia design and again MAC seems to be the industry standard.

Mac Pro allows the use of high-end graphics cards and iS an highly scaleable solution but my eyes bleed whenever I look at the cost / specification.

Most editing houses use Mac's in one way or another. Though their accounting offices almost always use PC's :) It's true, if you know OS X and Illustrator and Photoshop you'll go a long way to being hired at an editing house. However, using Illustrator and Photoshop on a PC will not disqualify you. Talent is talent, period.


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tim
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Nov 25, 2010 18:15 |  #13

A small SSD might help, just for program load times, but I guess most video is too big to fit onto the ssd. With plenty of ram it won't help much for swap, but it could help with scratch.

For the same money as a mac you'll get a faster PC, I don't think anyone disagrees with that any more. Platform is a personal choice.


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tkbslc
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Nov 25, 2010 19:06 |  #14

[QUOTE=Tony-S;11345099]Final Cut is only available for OS X.

And Sony Vegas is only Windows. There are many choices for both.

I'm not sure where you get your information, but it is incorrect. Macs have not used RISC cpus for many years now (PowerPC architecture). They are just like any Win PC in terms of components, although their standard feature set is substantially more than entry-level or bare bones Win PCs.

(Not sure you really read what you quoted)

PowerPC was a RISC architecture. Apple used it until they switched to Intel about 3-4 years ago. RISC processors always benched higher on Graphics and Video editing than Intel, which is how Apple became the default graphics choice. Apple does not bench higher than Windows based PCs on really anything anymore since the switch.


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MaxxuM
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Nov 25, 2010 19:52 |  #15

tkbslc wrote in post #11346191 (external link)
And Sony Vegas is only Windows. There are many choices for both.

That was in response to industry standards; in context. I think everyone knows there are PC and Mac only software packages out there. However, the point was that Mac's are currently the defunct non-linear editing machines used by video professionals. I don't know any editing houses or studios that use Sony Vegas Pro. Avid, Premiere (and AE) and Final Cut are the top dogs, with FC leading the pack by a good margin, though Adobe is making headway. That does not mean Vegas is weak or that it doesn't have it's good points. It's non-standard approaches to editing have alienated it from the mainstream media developers despite it having an excellent rendering engine (probably one of the fastest around).

Apple was/is not the computer of choice because of RISC architecture. It was more because Apple was geared toward graphics from the beginning. Plus, they had tons of support from third parties for graphics hardware and software early on. They dominated the market through saturation. From graphics cards to graphic's mice, they had solutions for artists start to finish. Adobe would not be around today had it not been for Apple. It's kinda funny though. When Job's came to companies in the late 90's with his hat in his hand begging software developers to write software for this new OS, most of them just laughed at him. Thus was born Final Cut (ok it's more complex than that, but you get the idea). The truly funny thing is, Adobe, in a round about way, should have been the owner of Final Cut.

Anyway, the point is, RISC has very little if anything to do with why Apple has done so well in the arts. And the main reason professionals use Apple today is because it's a very smart investment - even if it's a little expensive. Companies LOVE single points of contact for support. If your monitor goes bad, you call Apple. If Final Cut has a bug, you call Apple. If you media server fails, you call Apple. None of the software people blaming the hardware people and so on. When a studio is spending a million dollars a day on production, Apple makes a whole lota sense. It's the same with Avid. Avid solutions cost just as much or more than Apple's do. But, for some reason no one says a word about them. Hummm, very curious indeed.


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