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Author Topic: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?  (Read 8830 times)

keemikpoiss

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 12:05:14 AM »
Quote
Build a custom PC with $3,500

Disclaimer: I like shopping with other people's money.    So, here is how I would spend $3500:

MOBO:             ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 (w/1394 port)            $360
CPU:                Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E (6-core)                $540
CPU cooler:   CORSAIR Hydro series H50                                               $60
RAM:                CORSAIR Dominator 16GB DDR3 1600 (4 x 4 GB)     $180
VIDEO:            NVIDIA Quadro 2000  1GB GDDR5                                 $390
SDD:               Samsung 840 PRO 256 GB                                              $240
Storage:  Hardware RAID-5 with 3 disks
                         3X WD VelociRaptor 500GB 10000 RPM 6GB/s          $450
                         Adaptec RAID 6405 4 ports 512 mb cache 6GB/s      $375
Case:              Antec P280 Super Mid Tower                                           $110
PSU:               CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W                                 $140
Input:              Logitech MK550 Black USB RF Wireless                        $70
Display:         Dell U2413                                                                           $575

TOTAL:                                                                                                        $3490

P.S. I built a cheaper/weaker version of a similar setup for Photoshop and Premiere work last Summer for myself and have been most happy with responsiveness and performance.

P.S.2 Just saw that faster and less power-hungry Kepler-based Quadro cards were announced and will be available later in March for $599.  Would thus love to suggest NVIDIA┬« Quadro┬« K2000 2GB GDDR5 but this breaks the budget.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 12:38:38 AM by keemikpoiss »

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 12:05:14 AM »

that1guyy

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 12:22:34 AM »
Regardless of how you feel about Conan, and his hair, this video sums up many editors experiences with FCPX.

Conan O'Brien Editors: Apple Final Cut Pro X Is Easy To Use

It's been over a year since FCPX released, and Apple has restored all missing features and added a few more awesome ones. Anyone who says FCPX isn't a professional software suite is ignorant and probably hasn't touched the software recently. It is quite fast.

lilmsmaggie

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2013, 01:34:35 AM »
I recently built my own photo editing PC and then helped my nephew build one for himself.

I think you can build a PC that will do what you want.  You may even discover that you need two.  But it just depends on your needs.  Do you need mobility or does a workstation make more sense?  Do you have the time and patience for a DIY computer build project?  Its not exactly difficult and shouldn't take more than 8 hrs. start to finish.

Two problems with the iMac and the MacBook Pro or laptop.  Heat and upgrade path.   Think long-term use.

Heat is a computers worst enemy.

With a desktop/workstation, its much easier to upgrade or expand when you have the cash and time.
If you decide to go Mac, go with a Mac Pro.  You might decide you need and/or like the flexibility and mobility a laptop gives you.  Work on the go, final edits on Mac Pro ...  all comes down on how you want to work.

Here's a DIY option to the Mac Pro:  http://www.motherboards.org/category/877/mac-killer

Use Newegg, Microcenter and Amazon to source parts.  I like using Newegg because you can place items in a cart as a list with a name for example:  BuildOne and save it latter for comparison or part substitution.  This way, you can source the parts on Newegg, and compare the costs of different configurations.

After about a month of researching and comparing costs, I believe I spent less than $1700 last year on my particular build.  Granted I caught a few sales but it just goes to show that you don't have to spend $3500 unless you really want to.


Motherboard:  ASUS Maximus Gene V microATX
CPU:                  Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4Ghz
CPU Cooler:     Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Memory:          16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X series DDR3
GPU:                 EVGA GeForce GTX 570
Boot Drive:      Samsung 840 series 256GB SSD
HDD1:              Western Digital Black 2 TB 7200 rpm
HDD2:              Western Digital Green 2 TB Intellipower
Optical Drive:   ASUS 24x DVD burner
Power Supply: Seasonic X650 Gold
Case:                 Silverstone Temjin TJ04-E (comes standard with 3 case fans)

I went with a microATX gaming board and a mid tower case for features, air flow and ease of cable management.   The mobo will handle dual GPU's to handle video demands and supports 32GB of memory.

The case isn't exactly a tool free case but its USB 3.0 compatible and I liked it.  I may decide to add another SSD as a scratch disk for Photoshop and/or LR4.

If you feel comfortable DIY, I say go it.  For video editing, I'd go with the i7 3770K and 32GB of memory.

Good luck and have fun.
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bvukich

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 01:55:59 AM »
You definitely get more bang for the buck with a PC.  I don't do video, but here's the base for my new PC I'm building for photo editing:

Shuttle SZ77R5 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007UZO3F6
Intel Core i7-3770 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SZ0EHE
32GB DDR3 1600 MHz http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0068ZWZY0
Crucial m4 256GB SSD http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085J17UA
GeForce GTX 650 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00966IU4M

~$1150

I haven't decided which direction I want to go on monitors yet, probably either a pair of Dell U2410 or U2412M monitors.  Those are about $400 and $300 each respectively.  Or I may go with a single 30".  I'd prefer 27" but I insist on a 16:10 display, so that's not happening.
Bulk storage will be a few 3TB USB3 drives (which are only about $110 each these days).

All said and done I'm looking at about $2k and change, which doesn't get you much in the Apple world.

Thats a solid build. I hope you dont mind, but I may propose a slightly different setup. The thing I value most in a custom built computer is the motherboard. The option to choose from the thousands on the marker make it possible to customize everything to the fullest. I would start with a Corsair 300R/Antec 900 or others depending on your budget. Those cases are optimized for airflow and will allow for the coolest temperatures. Couple that with a 500-750w power supply (depending upon needs). I recently built a computer where I got a corsair 300R and a corsair 650w builder power supply together for $75, but those deals are hard to find. Then all you have left to match the bare bones setup is a motherboard. The best for the price is the asrock z77 extreme4 (or extreme 6 depending upon needs). I promise you would not be disappointed with this setup.

Also, check out the intel i7-3770k processor. For barely any more money, you have full control of the overclocking capabilities. Place a cooler master hyper 212 heatsink on that with arctic silver thermal compound and the temperatures will be unbelievably low.

Whichever route you go, have a great time building it!

I've been down the big, loud, heavy case road before (in fact I'm sitting next to an Antec P182 right now); this time I'm going in the opposite direction.  Small, light, moderately quiet, and portable if needed (without a sherpa).

sheedoe

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2013, 02:31:10 AM »
I would recommend a custom built PC. You can really pack some serious hardware for $3.5K. As a matter of fact, I just completed building my first custom PC a couple of weeks ago and loving it! My build is listed below. It came out to about $3.5K (not including monitors). I really shopped around for parts and it took me about 2 weeks to get all the parts I needed. For example, I bought the 3930K CPU for $450 (brand new) and the GPU for $520 (brand new) both from eBay.

 Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 Full Tower Case : $140
 Thermaltake Grand 850W Gold PSU: $150
 EVGA GTX Classified 680 4GB GPU: $520
 Asus P9X79 Pro Motherboard: $320
 Cooler Master 212 Evo CPU Cooler: $30
 2x Western Digital Black 4TB HDD: $600
 Samsung 256GB 840 Pro SSD (Main/OS): $240
 Samsung 512GB 840 Pro SSD (Scratch drive): 520
 G.Skill 64GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory: $320
 Intel i7 3930K 3.2 GHz Hexa Core CPU: $450
 LG 14X Blu-ray Writer: $55
 USB 3.0 5-in-1 Memory Card Reader: $30
Keyboard & Mouse: $80
Windows 8 Pro: $85
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 02:36:21 AM by sheedoe »
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Hillsilly

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2013, 04:15:49 AM »
...I haven't decided which direction I want to go on monitors yet, probably either a pair of Dell U2410 or U2412M monitors.  Those are about $400 and $300 each respectively. 

FWIW, I recently picked up a U2412M.  I'm impressed.   I know there are bigger, better and higher resolution monitors out there, but for $279, they are very good value.
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Sith Zombie

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2013, 06:09:19 AM »
Regardless of how you feel about Conan, and his hair, this video sums up many editors experiences with FCPX.

Conan O'Brien Editors: Apple Final Cut Pro X Is Easy To Use

HAHAHA that's sooooo funny, thanks!
I'm still on an older version of final cut but I'v been wondering what the uproar about final cut pro x is about, and looking at some of the screen shots in that video, i can see why. It looks like freeking imovie, it's totally different!
For the OP: In your position, I would pick a beast PC, you'll save a lot of money and can upgrade the machine in time. Also, you have a lot more software options for the 3D side of things. For video, yes there's Avid but I used that for 2 years and hated it, very clunky, difficult to learn. They might have updated it by now but there's prob a ton of alternatives on PC.
I personally use Macs, I find the OS a lot easier to use. It thinks like I think, I felt like I was always fighting against Windows. I do a ton of photo editing and a bit of video and I think macs are great for that, but if your doing a ton of professional vid and 3d stuff then I say go PC. Not because you can't do it on a mac but because it's a heap more expensive if you want to and theres not as many software options.

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2013, 06:09:19 AM »

lilmsmaggie

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2013, 01:39:19 PM »
A few additional points.  Check out the Dell and ASUS IPS monitors.  They're both less than $400.  You're not restricted to a Full or Midtower chassis.   I was originally going to get the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E but because I was planning on future expansion, I went with a midtower chassis. 

There are a couple of Youtube videos of a build using the Temjin TJ08-E: 

Photo Editing Workstation Build [March 2012]

and here:

IvyBridge Build Intel i5 3570k ASUS Maximus V Gene Z77 Part 1 of 2

Finally, the other advantage:  With a DIY build, you're not confined to a particular OS.  You can install Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows.  You could run both Mac OS X and Windows.  Whatever floats your boat.
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Botts

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2013, 02:33:35 PM »
Finally, the other advantage:  With a DIY build, you're not confined to a particular OS.  You can install Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows.  You could run both Mac OS X and Windows.  Whatever floats your boat.

As an individual who has gone down the hackintosh path before, if you want to run OS X on a custom built machine, you really want to build the machine for OS X.  Also, you'll have to be ok with not applying OS updates until they're tested by the hackintosh community and some other instabilities.

Next, you have to determine how valuable on site editing is for you.  I have had an iMac, and now run a 15" retina MBP.  The ability to have solid computing power while on site is invaluable.

Finally, the iMac and retina MacBook Pros have Thunderbolt and therefore the ability to add PCIe expansion cards.

All said, if you want to edit on the go, the retina MacBook Pro is the best option.  If raw processing power in the office is key, the DIY machine is going to be the cheapest, but the iMac, and OS X are sleek and operate day in, day out.  Bootcamp will run Windows flawlessly on any Mac too.
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cayenne

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2013, 03:30:42 PM »
Hi,
I am sort of a mediocre video maker. I write, shoot, and edit everything myself. This past year I have put more passion into film making. I have bought new equipment and been watching a lot of videos from professional film makers and their tutorials.

However, the one major problem I have right now is my computer. Right now for editing I use an old Lenovo PC which barely does the job. For one I work on an Adobe Platform. On my current PC I can't operate AE without having to render the entire project every 10 seconds so it doesn't lag. The same with Premiere. Although I upgraded my Video Card a couple years ago, I finally need to ditch this computer.

I've spoken with a couple of film maker friends and they each said something different, So I've come to a conclusion with three options. 1) I can get the new 27" iMac with custom hardware which comes to about $3,500 2) Get a MacBook Pro with the Retina Display with custom hardware which also is in the $3,500 range and 3) Build a custom PC with $3,500. Right now the MacPro is not considered as one of my options due to very high pricing with custom hardware.

Now, Although I work on an Adobe Platform, I would like to try Final Cut. But that is not really that important. Also, eventually I would like to start 3D modeling with 3Ds Max or similar, which I heard to be a PC software.

What I would like to know is what each of these 3 options are good for. I am really confused and I need to purchase something before the beginning of April. THANK YOU! :)

Also I Forgot to mention, right now I shoot with a Sony Nx5u and the Canon 5D Mark lll but eventually I will upgrade to something like either the BlackMagic or the RED. the computer would need to support these formats without lag and possibly support something like DaVinci Resolve for color correcting.

I shoot with a 5D3, I have a late 2011 Macbookpro, hooked to a Dell U2711 IPS monitor....it works pretty well. I do use FCPX and Davinci Resolve. I generally shut down either FCPX or Davinci, to save resources, and at times while both applications were in version upgrades out of sync, the roundtripping xml wasn't working properly, so had to do work arounds with that.

I maxed out my macbookpro from factory, except for the RAM which I installed 16GB myself.

It works pretty nicely. I may sell the Dell U2711....and get two of the Apple 27" monitors, they are the same exact IPS panel, but with the Apple ones, they are thunderbolt, and I can daisy chain them for dual monitor setup (I can't do that with Dell displayport setup).

That being said, I think in the near future for extra 'beef', I'm gonna spec out and build myself a Hackintosh.
There are a number of sites out there, but give this a read for a good start:

http://nofilmschool.com/build-a-hackintosh/

The new mac pros should be coming out soon, I think first of summer I'd heard?

I've not looked into it in depth yet, but I've heard the old, lowly mac mini is pretty powerful these days? It has quad core i7 cpu, up to 16GB (officially) RAM...but the graphics might be a little low?

I wonder if you could cluster a couple of those minis together? Hmm...might be a fun experiment, but I digress.
Anyway...give the link above a look.

HTH,

cayenne

cayenne

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2013, 03:33:00 PM »
All about specs and familiarity. If you have been using PC, I recommend sticking with it, otherwise you may face a rather steep learning curve.  If you have the ability (or a friend with the ability) to build the PC from scratch, you can get a MONSTER PC that would cost twice as much in MAC. AND you're talking about adding another $1000 for Final Cut Pro.  Stick with the PC.  I've used both and it all boils down to personal preference.

Err....Final Cut Pro X is only $300

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/final-cut-pro/id424389933?mt=12

cayenne

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2013, 03:47:58 PM »
All about specs and familiarity. If you have been using PC, I recommend sticking with it, otherwise you may face a rather steep learning curve.  If you have the ability (or a friend with the ability) to build the PC from scratch, you can get a MONSTER PC that would cost twice as much in MAC. AND you're talking about adding another $1000 for Final Cut Pro.  Stick with the PC.  I've used both and it all boils down to personal preference.

Err....Final Cut Pro X is only $300

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/final-cut-pro/id424389933?mt=12

cayenne

My mistake on the price. I was sticking to what I last paid for Final Cut Studio. (Or I should say, what my employer paid for it.)
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Axilrod

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2013, 04:23:53 PM »
Of course you can build a PC and get more bang for your buck, but if you have the money the new iMacs scream. 
Particularly the 3.4 i7 with Fusion drive and 2GB VRAM, benchmarks were similar to the Mac Pros from a couple years ago.  My mid-2011 iMac 3.1ghz i5/16GB RAM/500GB SSD scored around 9500 on Geekbench, the new one scored 14,300 (with only 8GB of RAM, might be a bit higher with 32GB)..  Retina MBP is around 12000, so it's quite a bit faster. 
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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2013, 04:23:53 PM »

dadohead

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2013, 04:25:49 PM »
You're going to need something that supports CUDA. Premiere Pro and AE are both accelerated greatly by NVIDIA cards. Now, you can get a boost with AMD cards via OpenCL with Mac Mountain Lion if you know how to hack it, but CUDA's definitely the way to go.

If you ask some of the Adobe video people privately what kind of system you should get, they'll tell you unequivocally a PC, even though they frequently demo on a Mac. Apple has historically specced older parts in their systems, especially the video cards. Ask any Mac Pro user about their video cards and hear the teeth gnash. The current Mac Pro has a 5870 as the top-of-the-line card. That card is nearly 4 years old! More and more of the heavy lifting in video systems is being done by the GPU, and less and less by the processors. Having a box you can switch out the graphics cards on future-proofs your purchase. With any PP or AE installation, a buttload of RAM and a hot GPU will be your best friends. And that's even truer for Resolve. 

As to FCPX; yeah, they fixed some stuff, but there's still no audio mixer and it has the organizational ethos of iTunes, which is to say it has no organizational ethos. All I know is that Adobe has tremendous outreach to editing groups, they listen to users, they implement user's suggestions, and they're very invested in creating the best suite of tools for video professionals possible. Apple? Apple doesn't listen to anybody.

Premiere Pro is really nice and the integration with AE is spectacular. Stick with it.

wle

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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2013, 04:59:37 PM »
If still considering a laptop, recommend looking at Lenovo -

http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/

I took delivery on a W520 Thinkpad about a year ago and am very happy with it.

When matching specs with a Macbook Pro at the time, the W520 was substantially less expensive. The current model is W530. Pricing for a W530 configured similar to my last year's model comes to around $2,000 now. That includes mid model selection for i7, 8gig ram, and 180gig SSD. I started pricing with the W530 model that includes built-in x-rite monitor calibration.



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Re: IMac vs MacBook Pro vs Custom PC for editing?
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2013, 04:59:37 PM »