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Help switch from Mac to PC, FCP to Premiere

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Thread started 25 May 2012 (Friday) 15:48   
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DCMP
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I am switching from my mac units back to PC for budget concerns. While this new machine is intended to allow me to do serious filter work in PS, I do a good bit of video editing, feature length sometimes. I am also switching to Premiere from FCp to integrate my workflow for when do color grading and effects. So I understand the advantages of certain Nvidia cards, despite their being overpowered for PS use. What I am down to now is pre-built vs prebuilt vs self built.

I am interested in Alienware products for the reliability and size of the company. The exact reason i suspect I'll stay away from a smaller prebuilt like Cyberpower. I've never built my own from ground up, but I'm willing to try (been away from PC world for 6 years, but I'm a former Win98 tech. So i should be able to catch on). What makes me hesitate about building my own is lack of warranty and support. And extended warranty.

So, Is this Alienware rig acceptable for 1750? How would you rebuild the system (if self bought I'd start with a 570 or 580, instead of the 550)? Are PC components today as prone to random fail as i am used to from my past? What would you do for a core i7 Nvidia build?

And THANK YOU for your time and nerd skills. Mine have gotten soft, pampered by mac. But I am trying.

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7-3820 (Quad Core, 10MB Cache) Overclocked up to 4.1GH
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
MEMORY 16GB Quad Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz
VIDEO CARD 1.25GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560 Ti
HARD DRIVE 1TB SATA 6Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
MONITOR No Monitor
SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
WIRELESS & BLUETOOTH 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR USB Combo Adapter
OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability

Post #1, May 25, 2012 15:48:32


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MCAsan
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Solve the Mac budget concerns by doing a Hackintosh. You can get far better performance than any iMac and many Mac Pros by running 4 or 6 core Sandy Bridge. If you stick with 4 core you can also do Ivy Bridge that runs on less power.

The week after I retired I saw the Windows 8 Beta....and immediately planned my migration back to Mac. I had one of the original Macs back in the early 80s.

Post #2, May 25, 2012 16:11:17


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DCMP
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I'm a little hesitant to run a Hackintosh as my main business comp. My own personal box to mess with, yup, I'd try it. but not for the main editing bay.

However, I WAS impressed with boot camp stability. If I run a hack am I limited to apple driver supported hardware?

Post #3, May 25, 2012 16:51:35 as a reply to MCAsan's post 40 minutes earlier.


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MCAsan
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Yes....but I don't see that as a serious limitation. I am running an Asus Mobo while the Gigabyte brand is more common for Hacks. You can use virtually any Radeon video board as Apple uses Radeon. I have a LG optical drive that is supported. I boot from 128 SSD and use 2TB drives internally...all backed up to a 3TB Time Capsule. My USB 2 and 3 ports are supported.

Post #4, May 25, 2012 17:23:27


Canon EOS 5DIII | 24-105f4L | 17-40f4L | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L | 100 f2.8L Macro | Canon EOS 7D | Tamron AF 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD| Canon Speedlite 580EXII | Gitzo GT-3531S | RRS BH-55 | Lexar 32GB 600x & 1000x CF cards | Lexar USB 3 reader
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Hen3Ry
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MCAsan wrote in post #14484967external link
Yes....but I don't see that as a serious limitation. I am running an Asus Mobo while the Gigabyte brand is more common for Hacks. You can use virtually any Radeon video board as Apple uses Radeon. I have a LG optical drive that is supported. I boot from 128 SSD and use 2TB drives internally...all backed up to a 3TB Time Capsule. My USB 2 and 3 ports are supported.

I agree. I have had two Hackintosh quads running without issue for well over a year. However, to be honest, I'm currently having an issue getting four monitors (two HDMI and two DVI) running on my latest Hack build, but it's probably operator error in sorting out the order of installing OS X video drivers (I think). In fact, when this machine is done it will be a triple boot machine: OS X Lion, WIndows 7 64 bit and Windows XP 32 bit. The Hackintosh Boot Manager (Chimera) will be driving OS selection. Both W7 and XP already see the four monitors.

BTW @ the OP - I'd get an SSD if I were you. It's especially helpful on Adobe applications that use scratch files.

Post #5, May 25, 2012 21:41:26


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DCMP
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Interesting! Thanks for the Hackintosh idea, although I'm getting little enough sleep researching this as it is! :)

I am trying hard to stay with Nvidia for mercury engine playback, serious help on certain work I do.

Will running Hackintosh limit virus activity, like Mac does vs PC?

I really want a 2 ssd/ 2 hdd setup, certainly getting at least one. I'm looking into motherboards now. Heard good things about ASRock. GAGH! i was set on a simple 2.8 quad mac pro for so long, and now I spend all my free time hunting this info down. Thanks for the assist guys!

Post #6, May 25, 2012 22:27:17 as a reply to Hen3Ry's post 45 minutes earlier.


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MCAsan
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A Hack running OS X would likely have the same exposure/risk to virii as any native Mac running in the same environment. Needless to say, always run firewalls and take over basic precautions with any computer. When I ran Windows, I never let a site set a cookie without my permission. And I only let cookies be set to do an online purchase or something similar. As soon as the transaction was done, all cookies were cleared.

Post #7, May 26, 2012 06:20:36


Canon EOS 5DIII | 24-105f4L | 17-40f4L | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L | 100 f2.8L Macro | Canon EOS 7D | Tamron AF 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD| Canon Speedlite 580EXII | Gitzo GT-3531S | RRS BH-55 | Lexar 32GB 600x & 1000x CF cards | Lexar USB 3 reader
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Moppie
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Windows 7 has cleaned up a lot of the problems that Windows used to have, mostly be removing the users ability to let things install themselves and making sure when people do want to install something.

If your reasonably intelligent with your web browsing it is very safe. I haven't had a problem in years.


Building a hackintosh would be great, but your still building something that is not totally 100% meant to exist.

A simple OS-X update could kill it and give you down time, not desirable on a work station that needs to make money.

Adobe have a great list of supported cards for Premier Pro CS6 here: http://www.adobe.com .../premiere/tech-specs.htmlexternal link
(note the 560 is not on the list)


Your on the right track with wanting an i7, great processor. But, most of the really serious rigs are now running dual 6 core i7 XEONs, but that does bad things to your budget.

16GB of ram should be plenty, I can run Prem Pro and LR at the same time and it just fills up my 8GB.
Adobe recommended 16 if your editing multiple HD tracks and running other Adobe programs in the background.

Be ware of the network limitations with Windows Home Premium, its limited to how many computers it can work with on a network.

Post #8, May 26, 2012 08:52:14


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Hen3Ry
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Moppie wrote in post #14487198external link
Windows 7 has cleaned up a lot of the problems that Windows used to have, mostly be removing the users ability to let things install themselves and making sure when people do want to install something.

If your reasonably intelligent with your web browsing it is very safe. I haven't had a problem in years.


Building a hackintosh would be great, but your still building something that is not totally 100% meant to exist.

A simple OS-X update could kill it and give you down time, not desirable on a work station that needs to make money.

Adobe have a great list of supported cards for Premier Pro CS6 here: http://www.adobe.com .../premiere/tech-specs.htmlexternal link
(note the 560 is not on the list)


Your on the right track with wanting an i7, great processor. But, most of the really serious rigs are now running dual 6 core i7 XEONs, but that does bad things to your budget.

16GB of ram should be plenty, I can run Prem Pro and LR at the same time and it just fills up my 8GB.
Adobe recommended 16 if your editing multiple HD tracks and running other Adobe programs in the background.

Be ware of the network limitations with Windows Home Premium, its limited to how many computers it can work with on a network.

Actually, I think the limit is 10 concurrent connections, not total connections. I doubt you'll have a problem. A much more serious limitation is Home Premium's limitation of 16 GB. And if you are running a Hackintosh, you simply wait until the update issues (if any) are resolved. My machines are currently running OS X 10.7.4 without issue. Oh, and BTW - you are not required to accept system updates, and your Mac will not do them autonomously.

Post #9, May 26, 2012 11:33:30


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DCMP
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I do like the 560ti for it's overclocking abilities, and it has reliably been hacked for the mercury engine. It's the only card that Alienware sells straight out that conforms to my needs/budget (wanted the 570).

Thanks for pointing out the Win7 edition, I know I need pro. I'll have to double check that if i DO buy from there.

I'm thinking more and more about a self build. Having a hard time with motherboards right now. Am i correct that to do a double processor setup i need a server mobo? I'm trying to track this down, and I THINK that i can do a low end duo quad core for only a couple hundred more than a 6 core single processor machine.

Post #10, May 26, 2012 12:32:02 as a reply to Moppie's post 3 hours earlier.


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Moppie
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DCMP wrote in post #14487856external link
I'm thinking more and more about a self build. Having a hard time with motherboards right now. Am i correct that to do a double processor setup i need a server mobo? I'm trying to track this down, and I THINK that i can do a low end duo quad core for only a couple hundred more than a 6 core single processor machine.



I've built all of my last 4 computers, including one I put together yesterday to use in the office rather than working from home.

It does take time, you need 3-4 hours to put everything together.
And it does mean if something goes wrong your looking after it yourself, so you need to buy from a good shop that will look after you.

Here in NZ, if I buy from Dell or HP all support is done off shore, if I buy parts from my local shop then if something goes wrong they will replace on the spot just that failed part.
It means down time of 12-24 hours vs days or weeks to send it back to Dell or HP.


As an upside you get to choose exactly the best components for you needs and you get a much better understanding of how your hardware works.

I my computers to be just as important as my cameras so I want to know as much as I can about them, and have as much control as possible over how they are set up.

Post #11, May 26, 2012 17:53:57


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DCMP
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wow, this is always a tough part of my job.

Of my three options I WANT to build my own the most (which I just "built" in pcpartpicker.com). I like ibuypower.com for being damn close to building my own (HUGE list of choices, pretty good about making sure they actually work together) and for the warranty. I am still tempted by Alienware for the buy-and-forget aspect, and they are the only ones which may finance it on payments, allowing me to spend an extra 500 or so.

Funny part is, warranty and local purchasing options are reversed for me! I'm in Spokane WA, and despite its size (210,000) the closest we have to a dedicated computer store is Best Buy! I still cry over CompUSA closing retail outlets. We do have a couple good repair shops that i trust, but their building services are pricey enough to warrant looking into alienware all over again.

I agree about the importance of a good machine. I'm moving on from a 2008 3.0 8 core Mac Pro. A SUPER workhorse for years, but it's the last machine to not fully allow 64bit work. Programs run, just not efficient. But, back when I was a PC man (1990's through 2007) I worked and tinkered on "my baby". The Mac Pro was just my work box. I kind of look forward to that love again.

Post #12, May 26, 2012 20:08:42 as a reply to Moppie's post 2 hours earlier.


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