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Oliver Peters
Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 2:55:33 pm

Since things have been quiet on the debate front and Tim needs the page views ;-)

http://www.cnet.com/news/dell-tries-stealing-creative-pros-away-from-apple/

I work in one TV station shop where corporate engineering made the edict after the FCPX launch to not buy Apple products. This was for all stations in their group. They shifted from an FCP7/MacPro/XSAN-centric environment to Dell and Adobe. Only the graphics folks have special dispensation.

Reasons for the shift weren't X completely - although that was the last nail in the coffin for them. Rather it was because they weren't happy with the support they had received for FC Server, XSAN and their Xserve RAIDs. As a user, I have mixed emotion about working on the Dells, but they seem to be generally OK for their needs.

Thoughts?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Charlie Austin
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 3:40:31 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Since things have been quiet on the debate front and Tim needs the page views ;-)"

lol. I'm sure the Dell is just fine, but that article was classic FUD. X is iMovie pro? 2012 wants it's meme back... ;-)

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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David Mathis
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 3:49:20 pm

Windows belong on a house, not a computer! ;-)


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Shawn Miller
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 6:10:02 pm

[David Mathis] "Windows belong on a house, not a computer! ;-)"

Unless you want run a machine with two CPUs as well as multiple GPUs.. :-)

Shawn



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Gabe Strong
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 3:52:51 am

[David Mathis] "Windows belong on a house, not a computer! ;-)"

Unless you want run a machine with two CPUs as well as multiple GPUs.. :-)

Shawn

You can do that with a 2009 Mac Pro

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 10:57:10 am

[Gabe Strong] "You can do that with a 2009 Mac Pro"

Yes, you can, but it will be bandwidth-challenged and with a RAID and I/O card, you'll be out of expansion.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Shawn Miller
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 4:48:52 pm

[Gabe Strong] "[David Mathis] "Windows belong on a house, not a computer! ;-)"

Unless you want run a machine with two CPUs as well as multiple GPUs.. :-)

Shawn

You can do that with a 2009 Mac Pro"


What's the latest CPU chipset supported by the 2009 Mac Pro? Also, would I be able to drop newer nVidia cards into that machine... say, like two GTX Titan Blacks?

Shawn



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Andrew Kimery
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 9:09:46 pm

[Shawn Miller] "What's the latest CPU chipset supported by the 2009 Mac Pro? Also, would I be able to drop newer nVidia cards into that machine... say, like two GTX Titan Blacks?"

OWC's CPU upgrade program has the 3.33GHz Quad-core Nehalem CPU as the fastest offered. If you have a 2010/2012 MP you can go up to the 3.46GHz 6-core Westmere chips.

You can drop in two Titan Blacks, but you'll need to buy an external PSU to power them. I'm not sure how big the Titans are, but you might be down to a single PCI slot if the Titan in Slot 2 also blocks Slot 3. You'll also have to flash the cards (or pay someone to do it if you don't have the right gear/knowledge) if you want them to be fully functional. Non-flashed cards don't show the Mac OS boot screen (the screen is black until the login window shows up) so if you need to do any diagnostic/trouble shooting (such as booting into Safe Mode, Recovery mode, etc.,) that happens before the OS launches you'll need either a flashed GPU or an official made for Mac GPU.

With regards to hardware, Macs only appear to be DIY friendly because they are so DIY limited. Given the current crop of nearly factory sealed computers what can you really DIY? If you want to do some DIY stuff with a an old MP you can, but you run into many 'gotchas' because Apple isn't big on supporting hardware that wasn't originally available for the machine. Even to do something as simple as adding eSATA and/or USB 3 ports via a PCI card takes leg work because some cards work fine while others are flakey as heck. Recently the SuperDrive on my Mac Mini died and I thought, "no problem, I'll just get the USB SuperDrive." Nope. If the Mac shipped with a SuperDrive then it can't use the USB SuperDrive. I've read you can modify a text file in OS X to disable this 'feature' but I really don't think you should have to hack the OS just to use the external SuperDrive.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 9:31:17 pm

[Andrew Kimery] " Even to do something as simple as adding eSATA and/or USB 3 ports via a PCI card takes leg work because some cards work fine while others are flakey as heck."

I recommend this card:

http://www.caldigit.com/Fasta-6GU3pro/

I've put in several without issue. Simple and plug-and-play. A recent installation is running an OWC 4-drive (spinning disk) USB3.0 RAID array. It's clocking around 250 read/write. Not blazing, but more than good enough for 1080p editing.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 9:47:15 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I recommend this card:

http://www.caldigit.com/Fasta-6GU3pro/"


That's the one I went with and I've been happy with it. A friend of mine with an '09 Mac Pro bought a 4 port USB 3 card (can't remember which one, but brand name w/good reviews) and has had nothing but problems with it.


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Shawn Miller
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 10:00:35 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "You can drop in two Titan Blacks, but you'll need to buy an external PSU to power them. I'm not sure how big the Titans are, but you might be down to a single PCI slot if the Titan in Slot 2 also blocks Slot 3."

That's disappointing, the Titan cards take up two slots. I had been toying with the idea of purchasing a Mac Pro for my next major computer upgrade, but I never saw a hardware configuration that I liked. Now that I'm using a GPU renderer with Cinema 4D, Macs are officially out of the running, due to single CPU and limited options for multiple GPUs.

Shawn



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Andrew Kimery
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 10:21:47 pm

[Shawn Miller] "That's disappointing, the Titan cards take up two slots. I had been toying with the idea of purchasing a Mac Pro for my next major computer upgrade, but I never saw a hardware configuration that I liked. Now that I'm using a GPU renderer with Cinema 4D, Macs are officially out of the running, due to single CPU and limited options for multiple GPUs."

You could do what some Resolve users do and use an external PCI box to get more slots.


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Shawn Miller
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 11:11:25 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "You could do what some Resolve users do and use an external PCI box to get more slots."

I've never used one, but it seems like a decent solution to limited card expansion. I would still be limited to a single CPU though...

Shawn



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Gabe Strong
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 2:09:15 am
Last Edited By Gabe Strong on Jul 23, 2015 at 2:17:06 am

[Andrew Kimery] "OWC's CPU upgrade program has the 3.33GHz Quad-core Nehalem CPU as the fastest offered. If you have a 2010/2012 MP you can go up to the 3.46GHz 6-core Westmere chips."

You can totally 100% use that 3.46GHz 6-core Westmere in the 2009 Mac Pro. As a matter
of fact, that's what I am running in my 2009 Mac Pro that I am typing this on. It took me
almost 10 whole minutes to switch out the stock quad core 2.66ghz for the hex core 3.46 ghz.
If you are interested you can read about it in my blog here:
http://www.alaskacameradude.blogspot.com/2015/07/macgyver-pro-upgrade.html

If you have the 2009 'dual' quad core Mac Pro, you can upgrade to dual hex cores.
It's a little harder as the 2009 Mac Pro 'duals' used 'lidless' CPU's and the 2009 Mac Pro
'singles' used off the shelf CPU's. I personally would not try to remove the lids on the CPU's.
However if you are interested, Erik Naso posted about upgrading his 2009 'dual' quad core Mac Pro
and how he did it (with a kit from a reseller) here:
http://eriknaso.com/2015/03/21/upgrading-the-processors-on-my-early-2009-ma...

And finally, if any of you are serious about upgrading an older Mac Pro and would like
to be able to get advice on CPU's, GPU's, SSD's, other upgrade options from people who
are actually doing it, you should look into joining this group....some very knowledgable people
posting about stuff like the above mentioned Titan 12Gig GPU's and USB 3 cards that work,
as well as different ways to install SSD drives here and even how to remove the lids on the CPU's
for the 2009 'dual' quad core Mac Pro's:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mac.Pro.Upgrade/

Yes, you only have the expansion options that
are in the Mac Pro (4 slots), but you can do more with these machines than many people
realize.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 7:24:39 am

[Gabe Strong] "Yes, you only have the expansion options that
are in the Mac Pro (4 slots), but you can do more with these machines than many people
realize. "


Thanks for the info Gabe. I might do one last round of upgrades to my '09 MP to keep in viable for a bit longer. Not ready yet to decide whether or not I want to make the jump back to Windows.


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Gabe Strong
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 24, 2015 at 4:26:18 am
Last Edited By Gabe Strong on Jul 24, 2015 at 4:26:50 am

Andrew,

You are lucky in that you have a 2009. The 2009 Mac Pros are basically
identical to the 2010-2012 Mac Pro's.....the newer ones just have different
firmware. After you 'flash' the firmware as detailed in my blog, you not only
can install CPU's that the 2010-2012 Mac Pros use, but also use the faster
1333Mhz RAM instead of 1066Mhz RAM. Unfortunately, the same isn't
true for 2008 and earlier Mac Pro's.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 10:32:49 am

Yosemite belongs in California, not in Cupertino.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 3:53:53 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on Jul 21, 2015 at 3:55:10 pm

Hey Oliver,

Having converted many Mac users to Windows in the last few years in my positions in sales and consulting, I've seen Dell make such attempts before. As you may recall, Mr. Biscardi wrote a review about a Dell workstation he was given a few years ago when FCP X left him underwhelmed with Apple and its software and hardware.

In a nutshell, Dell makes good workstations, however, the company is very large, and because they are business centric and not at all video centric, they can prove to be very difficult for post pros to deal with from a support standpoint.

FYI, one could easily argue that Apple and HP also suffer from the same issues, and that video professionals who don't buy through an integrator are all left on their own, because all manufacturers are basically ignorant of the needs of those in the video biz. And, they would be correct - this is precisely why value added resellers exist, and why many facilities are willing to pay a bit extra for the value of that support.

Now, back to Dell specifically, if you know Windows inside and out, or if you have a dedicated IT team at your facility who do, then Dell machines are as good as any other, but short of that, I'd say buyer be beware, unless you have loads of time to wait in Dell's support cue, which ultimately still may not pay off.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:43:10 pm

Just finished building my own Windows PC for fun. Lemme tell you it wasn't.

Haven't touched Windows much in the past decade but was surprised/dismayed to find much of what was bad about it then is still around now. You haven't really lived until you've chased cryptic DLL's...

I salute those folks who have made Dells work where Macs once did. The accounting department is surely happy as heck. But from the user perspective I'll bet it feels like moving from Elysium to Cairo.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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Bill Davis
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 6:14:02 pm

And on the other end of the spectrum, I ordered a fully loaded but totally stock MacBook Pro last month and it runs FCP X like butter.

The 1TB SSD inside it is wicked fast - like this fast:


Which just means the experienced FCP X editor does not have AS great a need for customized and esoteric hardware. Of course, better hardware means a more fluid and better creative experience for the content creator, always has and always will, particularly with the chase for larger rasters still going strong. But it's hard to argue against the fact that a stock Mac combined with the regular App store FCP X is anything but a very powerful production system, directly off the shelf.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 6:14:55 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Haven't touched Windows much in the past decade but was surprised/dismayed to find much of what was bad about it then is still around now"

Didn't you read the "article"? Shoulda just bought a Dell.

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Tim Wilson
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 6:54:15 pm

I dunno, I was one of "those" Apple guys from the late 70s. I took delivery of my first Mac in February 1984. (My father was in charge of manufacturing, sales and distribution for Apple at the time.) I built my business 100% on Macs.

I was also on the board of my local Mac user group, and led the monthly meetings. Macmacmacamac, all day every day.

And I've never understood why Mac users have the first problem with Windows. I really truly don't get it. I find that using Windows after 30 years on Mac to be easier than trying to navigate the differences in the Netflix interface on my phone, TV, and Blu-ray player.

Since all you guys are smarter than me, maybe I'm just too inexperienced or dull-witted to understand how miserable I should be. I'm just not.


WARNING: CAR SIMILE

I mean, sometimes I kick myself for forgetting which of the family cars has the gas on the right and which on the left, or have to think about where the AC controls are in this one or that one, but I have much better things to be annoyed by, eg, almost everything. LOL

Unless you're complaining that Windows isn't as pretty, in which case, fine. LOL But otherwise, c'mon. The absolute quintessence of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt imo.


Anyway,

Here's why I'd always opt for HP over Dell -- HP is the only major computer company that has a large division devoted to developing computers specifically for the Media & Entertainment sector.

(There are a number of smaller whitebox developers who develop exclusively for this market of course. They often do stellar work. I'm not talking about them.)

You may not LIKE HP's stuff, or may not like that it can only run Windows, but I know a bunch of people there whose resumes looks a lot like yours and mine, and product managers who came from key companies in this space, brought to HP specifically BECAUSE the come from this specific space.

At other companies, including Apple, their domain expertise as end-users or developers of key products for this industry might not matter for their development or management work. At HP it does.

It's how they wind up with a product like Dreamcolor. They spent months at Dreamworks learning what a reference monitor in a film workflow needs to do, and worked with them on every iteration. Again, you may not like the outcome, but they understand what customer focus means.

Whereas Jobs famously, and relentlessly over the full sweep of his career, mocked customer focus as the domain of the soulless and moronic. His most insulting characterization of his competitors' computers is that they were designed by focus groups.

So he had contempt for customers, even more contempt for companies who catered to customers, and made stuff you like better. Go figure.

(I do think that this is changing under Tim Cook, who has reversed virtually every one of Jobs' approaches, and has doubled revenue and tripled profit while making Apple a better company.)

Anyway, I also love HP's support. Need a replacement part overnight? No problem. Not that I've ever needed a replacement part for a computer made by anyone. You probably haven't either. But you can find reports in the COW from guys who were shooting on location, far from home, and had FedEx on site with a new part the next morning.

My one story about Dell came from QA at a company you may have heard of. There was a lot of pressure to qualify Dell workstations for customers who felt that both HP and Apple were too expensive.

The problem at the time (and may still be, but I don't know) is that Dell components were so commoditized that you really couldn't know for a fact what you were testing. For one round, the GLUE on the FANS was failing, so the fans were winding up in the bottom of the case pointing in some random direction, and computers were overheating and crashing.

So in the scheme of things, I'd rather pay a little more and get more, just as Apple has trained me to. LOL

But that's the thing. Jobs-run Apple had open, repeatedly and publicly expressed contempt for customers, and made stuff that you prefer to the results of the passionate devotion to media & entertainment customers, so really, why NOT go with Dell, who neither hates customers nor has any particular interest in this market.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 9:21:06 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Anyway, I also love HP's support. Need a replacement part overnight? No problem. Not that I've ever needed a replacement part for a computer made by anyone. You probably haven't either. But you can find reports in the COW from guys who were shooting on location, far from home, and had FedEx on site with a new part the next morning."

I took a Mac to an Apple store several years ago to have a MBP logic board replaced. I had to go the mall, and my computer had to go back and forth to Texas. It took a few days to get back.

I had an HP tech in my office, parts and tools in hand, the morning after the motherboard in one of my EliteBooks failed.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:49:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I took a Mac to an Apple store several years ago to have a MBP logic board replaced. I had to go the mall, and my computer had to go back and forth to Texas. It took a few days to get back."

I had my 2009 Mac Pro at the Apple Store a couple of years ago. They had the machine well over 10 days trying to troubleshoot what was ultimately a bad logic board. During that time they blamed the video card, blamed the RAM and even damaged one of the Xeons. Fortunately all was made right and the cost was downright reasonable for the logic board.

I had asked whether changing the logic board would require reserializing all of the software (which I knew it would). The tech said, "No, why should it?". When I got it back there was a lot of reinstalling and cleaning up to do. And of course, plenty of e-mails to plug-in companies to get them to deactivate stuff so I could properly reinstall it.

Of course, if I had only had Apple software, then his answer would have been sort-of correct. There, the App Store would have only seen this as a new machine under my name.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 7:41:36 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Just finished building my own Windows PC for fun. Lemme tell you it wasn't. "

I hear you. That's why I wouldn't build a PC any more than I'd build a Hackintosh. I think it's worth paying a company like Apple or Dell or HP in my case to do what they do.


[Noah Kadner] "Haven't touched Windows much in the past decade but was surprised/dismayed to find much of what was bad about it then is still around now. You haven't really lived until you've chased cryptic DLL's... "

I've been using Windows workstations as my daily drivers for almost four years now. In all that full-time usage, I have chased exactly as many cryptic DLLs on my PCs as I have cryptic .kexts on my Macs (which I do still have and use, too) -- which is to say none.


[Noah Kadner] "I salute those folks who have made Dells work where Macs once did. The accounting department is surely happy as heck. But from the user perspective I'll bet it feels like moving from Elysium to Cairo."

An HP Z840 actually costs (and weighs) more than a comparably equipped nMP. A tricked-out Z840 gets you a lot more and costs a lot more. It's been my experience over the last four years that Windows on good hardware "just works" exactly as much as Macs do.

There's actually quite a bit about Windows that I've come to appreciate more than Mac OS. I think it's pretty telling that El Capitan is borrowing window management functionality that's been in Windows for the last decade. (Cupertino, start your photocopiers?) From this user's perspective, a lot of the current Windows-hate from "creatives" is misplaced and largely prejudicial.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 8:20:57 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on Jul 21, 2015 at 8:23:01 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I think it's worth paying a company like Apple or Dell or HP in my case to do what they do.
"


Walter, I'm surprised to hear this from you - the companies above are NOT in the business of building purpose-built "turnkey" video workstations, they are in the business of building workstations for business, medical, government, and military use, which are then repurposed for video applications.

No one who elects to purchase a professionally built edit station should assume that means purchasing direct from the manufacturer - manufacturers simply don't know enough about the demands of video - this is why VARs (value added resellers) who specialize in building and maintaining video systems exist.

When Tim suggests HP has a department that specializes in video support etc., I don't believe he is speaking from personal experience, but rather from HP's marketing materials. HP will fix your workstation, but if there's anything else wrong, drivers, add on peripherals, networking, etc., their technicians will not touch it.

As someone who has sold many HP workstations, including a special line-up of supposedly purpose-built turnkey RED workstations, I can tell you, there is no such thing as a true "turnkey video workstation" sold direct from HP or any other of the big three. So, anyone reading this who wants a real turnkey solution should contact a reseller who sells turnkey solution - manufacturers are NOT in that business, period, end of story.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 9:18:51 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Walter, I'm surprised to hear this from you - the companies above are NOT in the business of building purpose-built "turnkey" video workstations, they are in the business of building workstations for business, medical, government, and military use, which are then repurposed for video applications. "

I don't think most people here actually need turnkey video workstations anymore. Look at the number of people completely happy with a COTS 5K iMac for editorial.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:33:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't think most people here actually need turnkey video workstations anymore. Look at the number of people completely happy with a COTS 5K iMac for editorial.
"


I do think Macs come closer to being ready to go right out of the box, and Macs are definitely easier to work with on a DIY basis (DIY=do it yourself), but for the basis of this conversation, trust me, there are more people here that should be purchasing turnkey systems from "real" integrators who aren't, than the other way around, and until you work on the other side (sales/support) you'll never really know.

Keep in mind, hardware companies ONLY fix their hardware, they don't fix software and they don't fix peripherals. And, most issues are NOT typically with the computer hardware itself, but rather with integration of software and peripherals. So, when getting all warm and fuzzy about HP, Dell, or Apple replacing motherboards and such, that's a very tiny, tiny part of the support necessary for most post professionals.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:40:40 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Keep in mind, hardware companies ONLY fix their hardware, they don't fix software and they don't fix peripherals. And, most issues are NOT typically with the computer hardware itself, but rather with integration of software and peripherals."

Quite true, but definitely an issue with Apple. Let's say you have an older machine and you've steadily updated it. You have a problem and take it to the Genius Bar. They determine it needs to be wiped and a clean OS installed due to OS corruption. In that case, they will only bring the machine back up to what was "current" for that machine. If the machine is old enough to be considered "vintage", then they will not install the current OS. That's up to you.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:54:23 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Quite true, but definitely an issue with Apple. Let's say you have an older machine and you've steadily updated it. You have a problem and take it to the Genius Bar. They determine it needs to be wiped and a clean OS installed due to OS corruption. In that case, they will only bring the machine back up to what was "current" for that machine. If the machine is old enough to be considered "vintage", then they will not install the current OS. That's up to you."

Absolutely true Oliver... This is why I lump all three major manufacturers together in this discussion - not one of them really knows the needs of video editors when troubles exceed the most basic of common hardware issues.

For example, anyone who goes to visit a so-called Apple Genius when issues arise with a FCP system knows well, not only do the geniuses NOT know how to troubleshoot FCP and FCPX, they are forbidden to do so by Apple management, who put the fear of God into their employees about what they can and cannot deal with.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Jim Wiseman
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:39:47 pm
Last Edited By Jim Wiseman on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:43:04 pm

Don't know about others, but when I arrive at a stable system with the software I am using at the time, I clone it to not one but at least two drives, and shelve them. Have since 10.6.8 and FCP7. Now up to Yosemite and associated software. It is then a very simple matter to replace the internal drive if necessary and apply the clone or reestablish the SSD boot. As I have said before, I have 4 systems on my 2012 Mac Pro Tower with double and triple backups on HD's. No trips to the Genius store needed. There isn't one here anyway. But a good Apple authorized service provider that does free on site for my two Pros under Applecare is twenty minutes from here. Needed a power supply a couple of times over the last 10 years for the towers. No motherboards yet. BTW, I was an Apple authorized VAR for 10 years with Avid and Media 100. I certainly don't deprecate the value of a good VAR.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1, Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Pro X 10.2.1, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.6, Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4K, Blackmagic Teranex, Avid MC, 2013 Mac Pro Hexacore, 1TB SSD, 64GB RAM, 2-D500, Helios 2 w 2-960GB SSDs: 2012 Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz, 24Gb RAM, GTX-680, 960GB SSD: Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 16GB RAM 250GB SSD, Multiple OWC Thunderbay 4 TB2 and eSATA QX2 RAID 5 HD systems


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 10:27:41 am

It's certainly true that VARs add value, but if the narrative is "you can run a Mac yourself, but you should only buy a PC from a VAR," that's where I would disagree. If you can manage your own Mac, you can manage your own PC. Yes, it'll be different, but I find a lot of Mac users who complain about how difficult Windows is to maintain (it's not) have simply forgotten how much they know about Macs.

There are levels of support, with Noah's DIY build at the bottom, my HP in the middle, and your VAR-tuned workstation at the top. You usually get what you pay for. Choose according to your needs.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 11:03:10 am

[David Roth Weiss] "And, most issues are NOT typically with the computer hardware itself, but rather with integration of software and peripherals."

David, I've been thinking about this a lot.

In my experience, most issues people have are either educational issues or purely software issues (bugs/bad documentation), not "integration of software and peripherals." These kinds of issues should be solved by the developer's support team (ha).

Let's understand what VARs do a little better. What kinds of problems can you call your VAR with and get immediate help? What kinds of problems will they be unable to assist with?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 8:16:31 pm

[Walter Soyka] "n my experience, most issues people have are either educational issues or purely software issues (bugs/bad documentation), not "integration of software and peripherals." These kinds of issues should be solved by the developer's support team (ha)."

Walter,

But, which "developer's support team" are you referring to?

Users who have as you put it, "educational issues," typically don't have a clue what is at the root of their issues - due to their lack of knowledge they tend get bounced back and forth between developers. You have software developers pointing at the hard are developers, and vice versa. This is precisely the shortcoming of DIY troubleshooting and DIY support, and we see that here on the Cow all day, everyday.

As I've said before, if you have more time than money, do it all yourself - you'll lose creative time, but you will save money.

On the other hand, if efficiency and creativity are your goals, get to work and leave he integration and troubleshooting to the pros.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 8:32:42 pm

[Walter Soyka] "n my experience, most issues people have are either educational issues or purely software issues (bugs/bad documentation), not "integration of software and peripherals." These kinds of issues should be solved by the developer's support team (ha)."

Walter,

But, which "developer's support team" are you referring to?

Users who have as you put it, "educational issues," typically don't have a clue what is at the root of their issues - due to their lack of knowledge they tend get bounced back and forth between developers. You have software developers pointing at the hard are developers, and vice versa. This is precisely the shortcoming of DIY troubleshooting and DIY support, and we see that here on the Cow all day, everyday.

As I've said before, if you have more time than money, do it all yourself - you'll lose creative time, but you will save money.

On the other hand, if efficiency and creativity are your goals, get to work and leave he integration and troubleshooting to the pros.

[Walter Soyka] "Let's understand what VARs do a little better. What kinds of problems can you call your VAR with and get immediate help? What kinds of problems will they be unable to assist with?"

Any VAR worth his/her weight in salt, who sells a turnkey solution, should be able to fix just about an issue remotely, other than a hardware board or card failure, which of course requires replacement of the bad hardware. They simply remote in to a workstation or server to troubleshoot from anywhere over the Internet, and because they assembled all the components and software, they are much better at troubleshooting systems than end users or the developers who supply individual components of a system.

Do you understand this now?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 24, 2015 at 10:05:22 am

[David Roth Weiss] "because they assembled all the components and software, they are much better at troubleshooting systems than end users or the developers who supply individual components of a system."

I agree with you here.

I'll take this a step further and point out that VARs will be delivering thoroughly tested and vetted configurations. You can ask a guy on the Internet like me what computer to buy for After Effects, and I can tell you what computers we use here; you ask a VAR, and they can describe their own tested Ae performance over a much larger range of hardware.

But my question is this: isn't there an entire class of problems a VAR can't solve? Do you really feel that more users are stopped by conflicts between their hardware and their software, or by pure software bugs that can only be solved by the developer?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:15:52 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:23:46 pm

[Walter Soyka] "But my question is this: isn't there an entire class of problems a VAR can't solve?"

Walter, you seem to be missing one VERY important point, VARs have to support what they sell, and that can be terribly expensive if the VAR is not on top of every detail. So, no good VAR sells untested configurations, because they would be shooting themselves in the foot, because customer support ties up personnel, cash, and resources.

Unlike DIYers and even manufacturers, VARs who specialize in media & entertainment have vetted their turnkey systems and ALL software and hardware before it's delivered, because they simply can't afford to support untested solutions and the enormous risk and cost of possibly having them returned.


[Walter Soyka] "Do you really feel that more users are stopped by conflicts between their hardware and their software, or by pure software bugs that can only be solved by the developer?"

Software bugs are always going to happen, and of course those can ONLY be fixed by the developer. No one, VAR or DIYer, can fix bugs, so I'm not sure what that's really part of the discussion.

However, just as there are some people here who nearly always seem to know what to get and what to avoid, VARs stick with known working OSs, software versions, and hardware, and are very conservative about switching, for the reasons I mentioned above... i.e. - they can't afford to sell experimental configs unless a customer demands it, and then a good VAR will have the customer waive the responsibility for the untested components.

FYI, there are many companies out there selling all kinds of overclocked systems for gaming and even VFX, but those systems tend to fail in professional editing environments, because they can't standup to the intensive pressures of full-time post-production. These types companies are NOT the types VARs I'm referring to, and they are not those who tend to advertise here on the Cow either.

Though I hate to mention names, Alienware (now a Dell owned company) is the classic example of the kind of company I am referring to. Companies like this sell a lot of hype, while editors need rock solid performance, reliability, and knowledgable video-centric support.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 24, 2015 at 7:11:14 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Walter, you seem to be missing one VERY important point, VARs have to support what they sell, and that can be terribly expensive if the VAR is not on top of every detail. So, no good VAR sells untested configurations, because they would be shooting themselves in the foot, because customer support ties up personnel, cash, and resources."

David, in the very post you're responding to, I wrote an entire paragraph about how VARs thoroughly test the configurations they sell.

Also, some software developers qualify off-the-shelf systems (such as those from Apple, HP and Dell) with specific software versions.



[David Roth Weiss] "Software bugs are always going to happen, and of course those can ONLY be fixed by the developer. No one, VAR or DIYer, can fix bugs, so I'm not sure what that's really part of the discussion."

I'm suggesting that a great many of problems people here face right here on the COW are pure software issues, not hardware/software integration issues, that a VAR cannot solve.

We should be very clear about what a VAR does do and what a VAR cannot do.

And we should demand better support from our developers, but that's a separate topic.



[David Roth Weiss] "FYI, there are many companies out there selling all kinds of overclocked systems for gaming and even VFX, but those systems tend to fail in professional editing environments, because they can't standup to the intensive pressures of full-time post-production. "

I assume you're referring to BOXX on the VFX side, but I don't quite understand what you're getting at here. VFX is vastly more demanding on a workstation than editorial is.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Tim Wilson
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:31:34 pm

[Walter Soyka] "isn't there an entire class of problems a VAR can't solve? Do you really feel that more users are stopped by conflicts between their hardware and their software, or by pure software bugs that can only be solved by the developer?"

There's an entire class of problems a VAR can't solve AND pure software bugs that can only be solved by the developer.

If you think of it as a Venn diagram, there's a part of Creative COW that exists within each of those circles, and a significant part outside them.

For example, both the VAR and the vendor assume specific configurations that a user might change, for a variety of reasons. A software update from the previously installed version, an OS update, an untested use case (say, new camera formats, or multiple formats that hadn't been mixed in QA), firmware updates for video cards, as well as the "bugs" in the VAR's configurations exposed by new scenarios, or bugs in the software that might be exposed by a VAR's optimizations based on THEIR OWN testing.

There's also the issue of who's going to address any of those, or even ferret out the source of the problem. That too is the realm the COW lives in. Thousands of use cases pass through here on a daily basis, and we as a collective know more than any VAR or vendor possibly can. Not through lack of diligence on their part, but from lack of scale.

That too is why we live beyond R TFM. There are no manuals to address the reasons that led to the COW's existence and that fuel her continued growth.

So really, our experience from 20 years of this (20 years in June in fact) suggests that no vendor and no VAR can address every problem, especially the ones that they never imagined would exist.

In general, I'm still going to place my confidence more in computer vendors who aggressively develop for this market with a tremendous amount of customer input, rather than vendors who wave a hand over us to focus their development nearly anywhere else while we hope we can opportunistically, nearly accidentally, benefit from it ourselves.

That certainly played out with Apple's development of the new Mac Pro, which, based on reports in forums across the COW, may have benefitted HP almost as Apple as people here found their needs more directly addressed there.

By no means a universal experience of course, and off the beam of the topic of Dell vs. Apple. I think it generally points to the reasons why IT departments and company management frequently favor Dell, though. The needs of this market are generally not part of their evaluation process, and it's not like some people here aren't doing just fine with Dell...and indeed, doing just fine with Apple and their at best marginal eye on our market. It just happens to be a margin that quite a few folks heartily embrace when forced to consider alternatives.


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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 11:37:41 am

Hey David,

[David Roth Weiss] "When Tim suggests HP has a department that specializes in video support etc., I don't believe he is speaking from personal experience, but rather from HP's marketing materials. HP will fix your workstation, but if there's anything else wrong, drivers, add on peripherals, networking, etc., their technicians will not touch it."

With all due respect to your own experiences, I disagree with this. My HP ZBook pro works like a dream for Adobe CC and HP is keeping me very happy with pushing out drivers and notices. The Laptop itself is a portable video workstation (as suggested by HP directly when I discussed it with them), and HP built it for that purpose. So you may not have found the department within HP, but they do exist and they are very good at what they do.

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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David Cherniack
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 1:16:53 am

I have to agree mostly with David (DRW). If you have the time, know-how, and patience you can build a brilliant PC editing workstation that will run rings around just about anything. It's not that hard. But there are VARs out there specializing in video who will save you the frustrations (minor and otherwise).

The idea that Windows is inferior to MacOS is just ideological twaddle. Both have their strong and weak points. But inside your cross platform NLE the experience is the same. If you object to the seconds spent in the OS before you launch - or to Explorer instead of Finder for copying files then there's little help for you. The Fires of Hades await you on your death. St. Peter has little use for fanboys inside the Pearly Gates. He doesn't mind OS preferences...OTOH I hear he's partial to tracks.

David
http://AllinOneFilms.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 1:48:09 am

[David Cherniack] "I have to agree mostly with David (DRW). If you have the time, know-how, and patience you can build a brilliant PC editing workstation that will run rings around just about anything. It's not that hard. But there are VARs out there specializing in video who will save you the frustrations (minor and otherwise). "

I'm not sure why there's any discussion of a DIY PC. Both Dell and HP has small-and-medium business units. Configure the machine you want from their specs and you are done. Pick up the phone if you need advice. Just like buying a Mac Pro, but with more options and a much better warranty. Or, if you really want something more specialized, there's Boxx.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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David Cherniack
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 2:03:43 am

[Oliver Peters] "Or, if you really want something more specialized, there's Boxx."

Or Puget Systems.

HP business computers are great and I love the 24 hr on site service. But the fact remains that if you know what your doing and don't mind the odd burp or two you can save a bunch of money by DIY.

David
http://AllinOneFilms.com


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Richard Herd
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 6:26:18 pm

Crazy. I was just looking up some stuff after last week's project proved weak sauce on my Mac Tube AMD Fire Pro D300 CS6.

Having said that, I am considering a big move to something like this

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-fx-chassis/pd

or

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-vrtx/pd

Is this too much?


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 8:23:33 pm

As if on cue, here is a recent article about a Mac users of 23 years going with an HP Z series.

http://motionworks.net/making-the-switch/


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 8:58:30 pm

And just for the heck of it here is an article about Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media upgrading a 2009 MP as opposed to buying a nMP.

http://www.onerivermedia.com/blog/?p=1572


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 9:27:37 pm

[Charlie Austin] "but that article was classic FUD. X is iMovie pro?"

I think calling it FUD short-changes the article. There is pretty even praise and criticism of both Dell and Apple. The iMovie comment is from a user.

Granted, as someone with one foot on the publishing side, I can certainly recognize an article that's skewed towards an advertiser and away from a non-advertiser. Nevertheless, the central point is true - Apple, through its own strategies - allowed a market that they once owned to open more widely to competitors. Both in hardware and in software.

[David Roth Weiss] "Now, back to Dell specifically, if you know Windows inside and out, or if you have a dedicated IT team at your facility who do, then Dell machines are as good as any other, but short of that, I'd say buyer be beware, unless you have loads of time to wait in Dell's support cue, which ultimately still may not pay off."

I think for a single user, it's all the same. For a larger facility with networking, then Mac OS is easier in the middle size (4-5 stations). But, you get a large enough installation, you'll need a SAN or IT specialists with both Windows and Mac OS.

[Tim Wilson] "The problem at the time (and may still be, but I don't know) is that Dell components were so commoditized that you really couldn't know for a fact what you were testing. For one round, the GLUE on the FANS was failing, so the fans were winding up in the bottom of the case pointing in some random direction, and computers were overheating and crashing."

In my own experience, I've been quite happy with HPs and IBMs (back when Avid Symphonies started out on the IBMs). Dells - so,so. I like Dell monitors a lot and their mobile workstations are pretty decent. But if you want robust, then HP is the way to go. For all-in-ones, the HP Z1G2 blows away the iMacs. But, we aren't talking cheap.

[Walter Soyka] "An HP Z840 actually costs (and weighs) more than a comparably equipped nMP. A tricked-out Z840 gets you a lot more and costs a lot more. It's been my experience over the last four years that Windows on good hardware "just works" exactly as much as Macs do.
"


If I only needed to run Avid, Adobe or Blackmagic products, this would be the way to go for best performance.

[Andrew Kimery] "And just for the heck of it here is an article about Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media upgrading a 2009 MP as opposed to buying a nMP."

I've upgraded a number of MP towers (SSD and beefier GPU), I would say it's great for everything EXCEPT FCPX. It helps, but the results are not as good as with a brand new MacPro (trashcan), iMac or MBP.

Personally, I prefer Mac OS and Apple machines. However, I have had far more component failures with all the Macs I've owned and/or used than the PCs. This includes at least 2 logic boards on different Macs. Never had that be the case with the PCs.

OTOH, anytime I priced out the machine I wanted, the Mac version was either cheaper or at the same price level.


- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jim Wiseman
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:11:51 pm

I'm certainly not in Hollywood or San Francisco any longer, but I get on site service for my Mac Pros here on little Kauai in Hawaii, at least under Applecare, cost covered. Sold and supported Avids and Media 100's on Macs and another system on Windows. No comparison that the Windows systems, both the computers, IBM and Intergraph, and Windows system software caused me many more headaches than Mac hardware and OS. YMMV.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1, Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Pro X 10.2.1, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.6, Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4K, Blackmagic Teranex, Avid MC, 2013 Mac Pro Hexacore, 1TB SSD, 64GB RAM, 2-D500, Helios 2 w 2-960GB SSDs: 2012 Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz, 24Gb RAM, GTX-680, 960GB SSD: Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 16GB RAM 250GB SSD, Multiple OWC Thunderbay 4 TB2 and eSATA QX2 RAID 5 HD systems


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 10:38:15 am

[Jim Wiseman] "I'm certainly not in Hollywood or San Francisco any longer, but I get on site service for my Mac Pros here on little Kauai in Hawaii, at least under Applecare, cost covered."

Apple's on-site support is limited: it's desktops only, it depends on the location of an Apple-authorized service center (which have all been killed in my area by Apple's own retail stores), and Apple may request that you replace things with "readily available parts" first.

But your point is true that Apple does have on-site repair.


[Jim Wiseman] "Sold and supported Avids and Media 100's on Macs and another system on Windows. No comparison that the Windows systems, both the computers, IBM and Intergraph, and Windows system software caused me many more headaches than Mac hardware and OS."

I'm sure that's true, but Intergraph and IBM have been out of the workstation market for a long time now. One of my contentions in the platform wars is that a lot of anti-PC Mac users are making judgments based on real experiences with significantly older versions of Windows. I think a lot has changed, and it's evident in Windows 7 and later.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 6:45:43 pm

I have the same 2009 Mac Pro and agonized and analyzed about doing what Marco did or getting a new Mac Pro. Because I was about to cut a RED raw feature I opted for the new Mac. While I like it and the Thunderbolt raids I have attached, it's not everything I hoped for in the performance department. Sadly when I got back from location and tested out some of the footage on my old Mac it was fine and I realize I should have just done the upgrade.

Now with Resolve 12 on the horizon I've decided to sell the new Mac Pro once this show is fully wrapped and use the cash to upgrade my old Mac Pro with a GTX980, PCIe drive and more RAM AND also upgrade my PC with TitanX card and PCIe drive. And I should have some cash left for other little goodies like internal SSD's etc.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 7:57:55 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "Now with Resolve 12 on the horizon I've decided to sell the new Mac Pro once this show is fully wrapped and use the cash to upgrade my old Mac Pro with a GTX980, PCIe drive and more RAM AND also upgrade my PC with TitanX card and PCIe drive. And I should have some cash left for other little goodies like internal SSD's etc."

It's worth looking at the configuration of systems used on "Gone Girl". Last section here:

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/gone-girl/

Editorial machines were Mac towers with NVIDIA K5200 cards. SSD-based RAIDs for editing files. The PCs did the heavy lifting for AE VFX and R3D debayering. Not cheap, but a way to maximize this technology.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jim Wiseman
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 9:01:30 pm

Lance, exactly for reasons like this I got a 2012 Mac Pro tower while they were still available. Anxious to see Resolve 12 as well. Will use the 2013 nMP for FCPX. The tower is also convenient for multiple boot drives, given Apples proclivity for changing OSX every year and orphaning or deprecating certain software I find important. I can boot everything from 10.6.8 on up including El Capitan if I see a need for it when it is released.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1, Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Pro X 10.2.1, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.6, Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4K, Blackmagic Teranex, Avid MC, 2013 Mac Pro Hexacore, 1TB SSD, 64GB RAM, 2-D500, Helios 2 w 2-960GB SSDs: 2012 Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz, 24Gb RAM, GTX-680, 960GB SSD: Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 16GB RAM 250GB SSD, Multiple OWC Thunderbay 4 TB2 and eSATA QX2 RAID 5 HD systems


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 9:27:13 pm

[Jim Wiseman] "Lance, exactly for reasons like this I got a 2012 Mac Pro tower while they were still available. Anxious to see Resolve 12 as well."

Here's an idea of a real-world benchmark - rendering, not editing with RED. On one indie film project, I'm running a 2011 fast quad-core MP. Lots of RAM, a Sapphire 7950 card and a Crucial SSD for a boot drive. Media is coming from a MaxxDigital array connected via mini-SAS.

The film was shot on RED Ones, 16:9 4K. I edited in X with transcoded 1080p ProRes Proxy files (originally created in Redcine-X Pro). Towards the end, we dropped a few pick-up shots into the FCPX timeline directly from the camera raw RED 4K files. Although playback wasn't super fluid, it was good enough in X for the purpose of a few pick-ups.

Final conform and grade was done on this same machine in Resolve 11 from the native RED files. 23.976 project rate. Rendering out a self-contained 1080p ProRes4444 master ran at about 10-12fps at full debayer quality. Not earth-shattering, but fast enough on this machine to be not much of a problem. And most of those hardware upgrades are pretty midrange and very cheap these days.

Potentially your main point of failure on an older machine will be the logic board and/or power supply.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 11:06:24 pm

I agree Oliver - I really only have one more round of upgrades on the old Mac due to aging PCIe 2.0 and slow RAM - lots of bottle necks. The only problem I have with the new Mac Pro is the D700's are now getting their butts kicked by a single Titan X card. This is why I may move back to PC as main workstation if Resolve 12 is as good as it looks - it's so easy to stick a new GPU in every time there's a major increase in performance, which is often vs. being stuck with D700's with no upgrade path.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Oliver Peters
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 11:16:13 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "This is why I may move back to PC as main workstation if Resolve 12 is as good as it looks - it's so easy to stick a new GPU in every time there's a major increase in performance, which is often vs. being stuck with D700's with no upgrade path."

Of course, you could simply go to PC with Premiere Pro now, regardless of what Resolve is like.

The downside of the MacPro integrated design is the planned obsolescence and lack of upgradeability.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:07:23 am

While I'm a CC subscriber and past Premiere user/supporter, I've been underwhelmed by Adobe and PPro over the past year and CC2015 is not as good as I had hoped. But yeah, if I moved to PC full time I'd always have CC as an option. Though if Resolve 12 is not-ready-for-primetime I'd just stick with Mac/FCPX which I prefer to PPro.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Scott Thomas
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:25:28 pm

I follow John on Twitter. He's wasn't too happy last I checked because HP dropped the price of his system $1,000 *after* he bought his.


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Scott Thomas
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:33:50 pm

Where I work we have a bit of everything. We keep creative edit and graphics on Macs. Most other places we have HP.

We have a large on-air graphics system that is a mix of HP workstations and Dell servers. I had one of the RAID controllers fail on one of the Dells. After trying to get Dell support to help, they gave up and just bought the part off Ebay.

Dell on one call will tell us that we need to call a different number: "You are a large business, you need to call this number...", "You're a small business, you need to call this (other) number..."

I eventually had to call the vendor of the system and they we able to get Dell to do the right thing, but it shouldn't have to happen that way.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 22, 2015 at 1:40:20 pm

To each his/her own.

Ive gone through the ringer with both Mac and PCs as well as Unix.

I work closely with the IT department (corporate staff of over 3000 employees).

I deal (and manage) with Digital Signage which is forced to use PCs (over 200 player nodes) and a few Virtual Servers.

I will take my chances with Digital Creative Media any day on the Mac period.

Again to each his/her own.

Now of course for pure grunt Maya/Rman stuff, I use a BOXX/DELL combo :)


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Michael Gissing
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 2:15:05 am

I move from Mac OS to Win 7 to Linux Mint every day. Each has strengths and weaknesses.

Without a doubt the best bang for buck in a rack mounted facility like mine is to build my own PCs. Currently I have upgraded to a Titan X card in a four year old PC and just graded a 5k RED Epic job without playback issues. To get any where near that performance from a Mac I would have spent twice as much and without the easy graphics upgrade path that on board PCI slots gives.

I always build my own and always over spec the power supply and use on board RAID. If I was to buy an off the shelf server then HP over Dell most likely.


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Claude Lyneis
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 2:13:19 am

In my Bay Area film class this week, the teacher who works professionally as an AC and or data rangler said get a Mac if you want to work here because it is the de facto standard. This was focused on field work and not necessarily for desk top editing in post.
Good luck to Dell, they had enormous quality problems in the past and their reliability was terrible.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 3:40:37 am

[Claude Lyneis] "In my Bay Area film class this week, the teacher who works professionally as an AC and or data rangler said get a Mac if you want to work here because it is the de facto standard. "

Not even vaguely the case, even in Hollywood. It certainly WAS true, but it's simply not anymore. In much of Europe and Asia, it far skews toward Windows.

I say this having worked for two different companies selling both Mac and Windows software and hardware into markets around the world, including very heavily into Hollywood, and could see the numbers myself.

Here in the COW, the mix is about 60% Windows, 40% Mac. If anything, I would think that the Mac number skews high, because of the number of people who WORK on Windows, but SURF on Mac. I can't imagine that the there are many people working on Macs and surfing on Windows. :-)

Hey, if you want to use a Mac, use a Mac. There are ton of great reasons, especially for people who LIKE them. If you like them, don't let anyone try to talk you out of it.

But among your reasons for choosing Mac should NOT be that it's the de facto standard. It ain't.

BTW, if by "Bay Area film class" you mean "Bay Area Video Coalition," be sure to give everyone there my fond regards. They were pioneers of Mac-based community activist video instruction, and part of the very first FCP-focused user group, SF Cutters. Kevin Monahan, now at Adobe and a frequent poster in the COW, was one of the founders, and can tell you many a tale of the early days...

...including the time that he and I cut straight out of a BAVC meeting to see Sonic Youth at the Winterland. :-)

My regular visits to BAVC and SF Cutters over the years, starting in 1999 or 2000 (I forget), were among the best parts of my job.


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Gabe Strong
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 5:05:44 am
Last Edited By Gabe Strong on Jul 23, 2015 at 5:07:23 am

[Tim Wilson] "Not even vaguely the case, even in Hollywood. It certainly WAS true, but it's simply not anymore. In much of Europe and Asia, it far skews toward Windows.

I say this having worked for two different companies selling both Mac and Windows software and hardware into markets around the world, including very heavily into Hollywood, and could see the numbers myself.

Here in the COW, the mix is about 60% Windows, 40% Mac. If anything, I would think that the Mac number skews high, because of the number of people who WORK on Windows, but SURF on Mac. I can't imagine that the there are many people working on Macs and surfing on Windows. :-)"


So maybe a little bit of misunderstanding here? The rest of his quote that you responded too was

"This was for field work, not desk top editing in post".

Now seeing that, I'm not sure how statistics about the mix of windows and mac users on the COW or elsewhere
means a lot? It sounds like this person was talking about one very specific use of a computer....primarily mobile
computing in the field. I would presume for use in DIT type duties? In my (admittedly limited) experience, I have
never seen a windows computer used as a DIT station. These are not big hollywood projects I worked on....
stuff like Alaska Bush People and Survivor Alaska and American Eagle Outfitters. Of course, I'm sure windows laptops
are used....however.....this point made me wonder about something. I'm now wondering if the fact that Apple seems
to be so focused on laptops and 'mobile computers' to the point where many feel they are almost abandoning the mac pro
has anything to do with this perception? Might many places use an Apple laptop for 'in the field' DIT work but then back in the
edit bay, work on a windows box for the actual editing?

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 5:41:16 am

[Gabe Strong] "n my (admittedly limited) experience, I have
never seen a windows computer used as a DIT station. "


I have no doubt that this is your experience. It's not mine.

There are definitely people in the COW with a broader global experience than mine, but in my previous jobs, with editors in the field all over the world, I saw plenty of them. There are also stories all through the COW library of people who are using Windows computers for DIT work, albeit almost exclusively with HP computers.

(In fact, one of my favorite stories about an overnight HP parts replacement was told by a guy in this very forum who was working on location in Brazil. The part came to his hotel, which was admittedly a few hours drive from his location...but it was there, waiting for him.)

Admittedly a lot of my observations are as anecdotal as yours, and no more or less valid. Again, I wholeheartedly believe your observation, and don't question it in the least. It just doesn't jibe with mine.


[Gabe Strong] "I'm not sure how statistics about the mix of windows and mac users on the COW or elsewhere means a lot?"
Not to be defensive, but I don't see how you can say that. We have 300,000 members, and average nearly 2 million visitors a month. Over the course of the year, from nearly 200 countries and territories. I can't imagine that anybody has a broader slice of the market to pull data from than we do.

And I'm not just talking about the ways that people visit the COW. I'm talking about how THEY talk about the computers they use for their jobs.

One reason I sometimes don't post for a while is that I read every post that goes up in the COW. Somebody has to, and it's me.

Most days, it's a couple thousand. On a day like the release of FCPX, it was a good many tens of thousands. It took me weeks to catch up that month.

But I'm tellin' ya man, Windows computers are being used for work in bountiful numbers, in every part of the industry, including DIT, video villages, and the like. I'm certain that Windows is at least equal to Mac in many (but not all) segments of the business, including in the field. In other parts of the business, including entire regions, Windows is much the majority.

I do understand your point that I may have responded to too narrow a part of Claude's post, and that may be true. But as I mentioned, the combination of my own observations, and what people in the COW say about the computers they use, including in the field, is pretty persuasive.

I certainly didn't mean to suggest that there aren't settings where Macs are the MAJORITY; this is certainly the case in much of Hollywood, but that's a long way from calling them the de facto standard in ANY market.

And please note from previous post, this is by no means a knock on Macs. My own video production business was built exclusively on Macs. I'm just saying.


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Gabe Strong
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 7:15:32 am
Last Edited By Gabe Strong on Jul 23, 2015 at 7:19:59 am

[Tim Wilson] "Not to be defensive, but I don't see how you can say that. We have 300,000 members, and average nearly 2 million visitors a month. Over the course of the year, from nearly 200 countries and territories. I can't imagine that anybody has a broader slice of the market to pull data from than we do.

And I'm not just talking about the ways that people visit the COW. I'm talking about how THEY talk about the computers they use for their jobs.

One reason I sometimes don't post for a while is that I read every post that goes up in the COW. Somebody has to, and it's me.

Most days, it's a couple thousand. On a day like the release of FCPX, it was a good many tens of thousands. It took me weeks to catch up that month. "


Well, I'm hoping you understand me here but....you are almost making my point. 300,000 members and 2 million visitors per month.
So how many of these people are 'only doing work in the field'? I'm just guessing here, but I think my guess is probably pretty
educated. And my guess would be that a large number of the people that visit the COW are editors. Taking huge numbers,
from 'a broad slice of the market' and trying to apply that 'broad data' to a very narrow segment can cause....let's just say
'mis-observations'. I remember in the late 1990's and early 2000's when I had all kinds of IT people trying to convince me
that NO ONE in the video industry used Mac's. The basis for this assertion? The fact that they had seen statistics that
Macs had less than 5% of the total computer desktop share. Never mind that 98% of those statistics were related to people
working in the business world that wouldn't know a a L cut from a paper cut.

In other words, I'm not saying Macs ARE the predominant DIT laptop. I'm saying that you can't infer they MUST NOT BE,
because of statistics based on tens of thousands of people (many of whom are not DIT people) who frequent this website.
It is quite possible you have access to statistics about what people on this site use their computers for that I don't, so
if that is the case I would take your word for it. But I don't even see a section on COW for DIT folks....I'm looking through
the forum right now and see nothing even close......which leads me to believe that again, you are taking anecdotal posts,
comments, and other things you hear to reach your conclusions. And your conclusion may be right.

My totally random observation was only that I personally notice most productions and production people 'in the field' (because lets
be honest, when productions shoot in Alaska they are definitely 'in the field' mode) are using Macs....and
I have an inkling that Mac laptops are much more popular than are their desktops. In other words, I'd almost expect
to see more windows machines when it comes to the actual work in edit bays. But that's not anything I would make a
statistical bet on either.....because I don't have access to any actual numbers just again anecdotal stuff I see.

Maybe a better way to get the message across would have been for the teacher to tell the film student....

"You should probably learn to use a Mac as well as a PC. Because in the video world, unlike the wider business world,
Macs are actually used in something at least approximating equal numbers to Windows machines...especially when
you are talking about laptops!"

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 7:32:45 am

Just to toss in my two cents...

In my neck of the woods (Los Angeles, mainly doc/unscripted and web content) the last time I remember seeing a PC-based NLE was a guy running Avid on a PC in 2006/2007. Even years ago when I was in the Midwest I only remember seeing 1 PC NLE (another Avid) in the half-dozen or so TV stations and post houses I went to. 100% anecdotal of course, but Macs are by far the platform of choice in my experience.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 10:59:42 am

After buying Mac and investing heavily in thunderbolt 2 storage, it hasn't been a possibility until now for us to consider moving back to PC, but with the HP range now supporting it, there is a way to do it without wasting £20k+ of storage.

Only problem is, we are using FCPX more and more, and for one particular project it is totally integral, and something Adobe cannot do....sometimes the extra grunt just isn't worth it when a machine and software hasn't let you down once in 2 years or so.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Walter Soyka
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 10:56:55 am

[Gabe Strong] "You should probably learn to use a Mac as well as a PC... "

That's good, sound advice. Both platforms have advantages.

The thing that gets me in this article is this quote:

"I will be anti-PC forever," she [Jessica Ruggieri] said of her disdain for Windows machines. She imprinted on the Mac lineage when she first learned how to use computers. "I'm very comfortable with it. Not only is it a beautiful workspace, it's beautifully designed, aesthetic and streamlined. Compatibility with Mac hardware and software [makes a Mac] one clean system."

If Ms. Ruggieri were a little more pro-Mac and a little less anti-PC, she might recognize that other systems aside from Macintosh have the characteristics she is vaguely describing.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Claude Lyneis
Re: Dell vs Apple
on Jul 23, 2015 at 4:05:21 pm

Comments not connected to BAVC. The suggestion to buy a Mac for field work was for those trying to get into paying gigs on smaller shoots around the Bay Area. A fully loaded MacBook Pro is a major investment for these students.
Anyway, I am enjoying the passion this subject generates on the COW.


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