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Mac VS PC (Junk under the trunk)

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Nick Falangas
Mac VS PC (Junk under the trunk)
on Jan 15, 2012 at 9:53:08 am

Alright so seeing how Apple's compatibility is extremely limited with the quality of graphics card it is able to accept and also the fact that the most that the mac pros are pumping out as far as the CPU is only Two 2.93GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere”

hmmm ...

besides the LED screen... Why would someone doing 3D work every want to work on a mac when PCs have an advantage with all of the high end graphic cards and also the ability to install CPU:

six 3.9 intel processors under the hood??

I mean holy cow??? Am I missing something here??


Are we limited in FCP or Premiere with how much processing speed we can use?? For example rendering color corrected footage and chroma keying?


I am just not understanding how MAC is even considered a competitor with the junk under the trunk in comparison to PC...


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Mac VS PC (Junk under the trunk)
on Jan 16, 2012 at 3:17:25 am

Admittedly my preference is on the PC side of things, but there some very good reasons to stick with a Mac.

1) Once you get to a certain point the speed of the box isn't as critical as the speed of the operator. Adobe Premiere may be a fastern NLE than Final Cut Pro, but retraining myself to use it breaks my muscle-memory with FCP, and it only takes a few extra crashes to negate any speed boost. When working in ProRes Final Cut is pretty stable. Working with MXF XDCAM/QT H.264 in Premiere hasn't been as stable in my experience.

2) Exporting on the backend matters...sometimes. Often an export can run in the background while working in another application. If it's too large to be done in the background chances are it's a lunch break or overnight render anyway, at which point it doesn't matter how fast it exports as long as it's done by the time I get back to the computer.

3) RAM is a huge factor. You can load a MacPro up.

4) Changing platforms can be costly. If you have a pile of FCS projects, Motion documents, etc. switching to a PC means many assets will need to be rebuilt, or you could to go back to the Mac for any old projects that need to be updated. Now you're rebuilding a lot of assets or you're maintaining two systems. If you start talking about rolling this out to several editing seats the costs add up pretty quick. MacPros may be expensive towers, but 3.9GHz chips don't come without a premium either.

5) Apple computers tend to last longer. If you need to buy two towers over 10 years instead of three or four that can change your bottom line. If you're doing a lot more cutting than animating five years isn't out of the question for a computer, particularly with a few strategic upgrades.

6) The CPU/GPU isn't always the bottleneck. Q-Master (segmented processing in Compressor) is the only thing I can get to peg all 24 logical 2.66GHz processors in my Mac, and even to get that I'm going from one RAID-5 to another RAID-5 transcoding footage. Without two separate RAID boxes do you think I'd be pegging the CPU? Pulling data off of a spinning disc will always be slower than data flying throw a chip. You can talk SSD all you want, but with the storage requirements for video this isn't even close to being affordable.

The PC may have some more guns today, but a computer is only as strong as the weakest link. If changing platforms makes you the weakest link it doesn't sound like a good choice. If the weakest link is a storage solution both computers will have similar performance. Same is true for RAM. Programs that aren't multithreaded will have some benefit from the added clock speed, but OSX's Grand Central Dispatch is pretty likely to still gave Apple the advantage. Numbers aren't everything. There's a lot of work being done using MacPros right now. Don't expect this to change overnight because there could be a minor performance benefit in going to PCs.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Mac VS PC (Junk under the trunk)
on Jan 16, 2012 at 3:46:57 am

[Jeff Meyer] "The PC may have some more guns today, but a computer is only as strong as the weakest link. "

BTW Jeff, don't forget how much easier it is to clone, partition, and thus juggle apps around on the Mac side.

The same procedures on the Windows side have been made vastly more difficult, because Microsoft is after all a software only company. That difference can be huge whether you're a large facility or a small one-man operation.

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Al Bergstein
Re: Mac VS PC (Junk under the trunk)
on Jan 16, 2012 at 3:49:25 pm

While I tend to agree with most of what has been said, a minor nit. David, I've been working on both platforms, still doing a bit of FCP 7 work, and I've found that Windows7 has improved the cloning, etc. quite a bit over earlier versions. It's really quite trivial and not any harder than doing it under the Mac OS, but maybe I'm more technical than most. And copying programs for underlying backups of certain increments seem to be much more easier and flexible.

But I think the graphics card issue of the OP has been really less of an issue than CPUs and the underlying code for efficient use of 64 bit and endless RAM. But maybe I'm missing something.

I agree though that perhaps this is a better discussion on the Adobe boards,to get a sense of what's the difference. There was already one article recently that pointed to great advantages of speed when changing platforms on Adobe to Windows, but hey, this is a FCP board, and there really is no way forward with FCP7 projects other than to bail. Maybe Apple will announce a new tower soon??? It is January after all! If so, we can only hope it runs an older version of the OS!

And yes, I've found that stability under FCP/Prores/AppleOS is better just staying put on projects where I can. But that's fewer and farther between.

Al


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Mac VS PC (Junk under the trunk)
on Jan 21, 2012 at 3:46:12 pm

[Jeff Meyer] "1) Once you get to a certain point the speed of the box isn't as critical as the speed of the operator. Adobe Premiere may be a fastern NLE than Final Cut Pro, but retraining myself to use it breaks my muscle-memory with FCP, and it only takes a few extra crashes to negate any speed boost. When working in ProRes Final Cut is pretty stable. Working with MXF XDCAM/QT H.264 in Premiere hasn't been as stable in my experience."

You can use FCP shortcuts directly inside of Premiere Pro which will get you 80% of the way there. I also disagree that the speed of the system isn't as critical as the speed of the operator. In the case of FCP7, you are forced to transcode nearly all of the time. Therefore, you can be a slower operator in Premiere Pro and still finish faster because of FCP's transcode workflow. Also when creating final outputs AME always can work in teh background allowing the operator to move on to the next project.

[Jeff Meyer] "2) Exporting on the backend matters...sometimes. Often an export can run in the background while working in another application. If it's too large to be done in the background chances are it's a lunch break or overnight render anyway, at which point it doesn't matter how fast it exports as long as it's done by the time I get back to the computer."

True, but watch folder workflows and overall speed do make a difference. Many times the render time is neither 5 minutes nor overnight but usually somewhere inbetween. Therefore, speed and background rendering DO matter.

[Jeff Meyer] "3) RAM is a huge factor. You can load a MacPro up."

Sadly, not as much as you can on your typical PC. I haven't checked in with what the latest max RAM is for Mac Towers, but with HP's of two years ago, you could load up 192GB of RAM. Granted, you could almost buy a house for the cost of 192GB of RAM, but the point is you can really load up a PC more than a Mac. Last I checked, Mac towers had 32GB MAX. I'd guess they are at least 64GB of RAM now.

[Jeff Meyer] "4) Changing platforms can be costly. If you have a pile of FCS projects, Motion documents, etc. switching to a PC means many assets will need to be rebuilt, or you could to go back to the Mac for any old projects that need to be updated. Now you're rebuilding a lot of assets or you're maintaining two systems. If you start talking about rolling this out to several editing seats the costs add up pretty quick. MacPros may be expensive towers, but 3.9GHz chips don't come without a premium either."

Absolutely true. I'd stick with a Mac if this were the case. However, you could still change platforms and render where necessary. What I found fascinating is that you can import a Motion Project dynamically into Premiere Pro. Weird, but kinda cool.

[Jeff Meyer] "5) Apple computers tend to last longer. If you need to buy two towers over 10 years instead of three or four that can change your bottom line. If you're doing a lot more cutting than animating five years isn't out of the question for a computer, particularly with a few strategic upgrades."

Agreed if you purchase a whitebox PC but not necessarily if you're purchasing a quality PC system like an HP or BOXX. I've had HP's for at least 5 years and they're still going strong. If you build your own, chances are you know how to take care of it. Bottom line, you pay extra to get a Mac - do the same for your next PC and you will get the same return.

[Jeff Meyer] "6) The CPU/GPU isn't always the bottleneck. Q-Master (segmented processing in Compressor) is the only thing I can get to peg all 24 logical 2.66GHz processors in my Mac, and even to get that I'm going from one RAID-5 to another RAID-5 transcoding footage. Without two separate RAID boxes do you think I'd be pegging the CPU? Pulling data off of a spinning disc will always be slower than data flying throw a chip. You can talk SSD all you want, but with the storage requirements for video this isn't even close to being affordable."

Again, I'm sorry but I disagree. I can get many apps including some non-Adobe apps to peg all of the CPU's in either a Mac or PC. Basically, any legit 64-bit app that needs the horsepower will take it. I will say that the disk drive needs to be looked at more as people move to 64-bit aware apps as that CAN be the bottleneck.

[Jeff Meyer] "The PC may have some more guns today, but a computer is only as strong as the weakest link. If changing platforms makes you the weakest link it doesn't sound like a good choice. If the weakest link is a storage solution both computers will have similar performance. Same is true for RAM. Programs that aren't multithreaded will have some benefit from the added clock speed, but OSX's Grand Central Dispatch is pretty likely to still gave Apple the advantage. Numbers aren't everything. There's a lot of work being done using MacPros right now. Don't expect this to change overnight because there could be a minor performance benefit in going to PCs."

Agreed in general though Grand Central Dispatch is just a fancy name for a bit traffic cop. Any 64-bit OS is going to have it and Windows 7 does too. I do think you're really talking about the differences of a 64-bit OS and that I think is something to look at. As a guy who regularly uses both daily, I don't really see much difference, though I tend to feel that a) Mac UI is still superior b) PC's are faster. So, it becomes a question of what do you want more - smoother experience or more power? That's always what it comes down to for me.

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Mac VS PC (Junk under the trunk)
on Jan 16, 2012 at 6:28:26 am

Umm... This is the Final Cut Pro Forum for Final Cut Pro discussions. Final Cut Pro only runs on a Mac.

Doesn't matter how specked up a PC is Final Cut Pro isn't compatible.

Might be better posting over here; http://forums.creativecow.net/adobepremierepro

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
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http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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