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Post Production setup

Posted: Thu, 8th Mar 2007, 11:58pm

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doppelganger

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ok over the past few days I've decided that I'm going to totally redo all my post equipment, including going from pc to mac so here it goes:

13" MacBook
2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
1GB memory
120GB harddrive and 5400 rpm
Double layer Super drive (whatever that is)
Final Cut Express preinstalled
+
Elab lite

TOTAL: $1,648.00 (not including tax & shipping)

Is there anything you would change or do differently besides get a MacBook Pro cause thats a little out of my range and I want a laptob to edit on the go. Thanks
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:11am

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cinemafreak

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1 dollar budget wrote:

ok over the past few days I've decided that I'm going to totally redo all my post equipment, including going from pc to mac so here it goes:

13" MacBook
2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
1GB memory
120GB harddrive and 5400 rpm
Double layer Super drive (whatever that is)
Final Cut Express preinstalled
+
Elab lite

TOTAL: $1,648.00 (not including tax & shipping)

Is there anything you would change or do differently besides get a MacBook Pro cause thats a little out of my range and I want a laptob to edit on the go. Thanks
Looks ok, but I'll give you a head's up about the hard drive. If you do as much video editing as I do, 120GB will fill up relatively fast. Since macs can't be upgraded to include more hard disk space, you may run into a bit of a problem.

You still haven't answered my question as to why you want to swithc to mac. Not that I have something against macs, I've worked with macs for years and have used final cut pro a few times. It's just that I want to know your personal reason for doing so. Have you had experience with macs? Why wouldn't you want to spend your $1,648 on a decent pc (yes, it will be better than the laptop mac for the price) and buy Vegas Pro off of academic superstore?
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:14am

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TimmyD

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NO.

Christ, this is the third topic about this sort of thing in the past two days. Read through these other topics:
http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=28189
http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=28216
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:17am

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Garrison

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13" screen is going to be frustrating with that little of screen real estate.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:30am

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doppelganger

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sorry... i was kinda preoccupied, anyways the reason i want to switch is

1.) Final Cut express (i find Vegas Movie Studio (not vegas video) anoying at times)

2.) the color is better...or so people say( but thats just a minor reason)

3.) I have an intel celeron and find it stupid to spend $300+ on upgrading to duo and then spend $200+ on Vegas Video and then another $110 on Elab. then spend another $100+ on other upgrades (graphics card, memory, ect.) When I could just buy a mac with a better editor and already has an intel 2 duo for $1648 (MacBook & Final Cut)

and I just dont like pc's very much i dont know why i just dont, i'd rather have a mac

and the MacBook screens dont get bigger than 13" (atleast i think so)
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:36am

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TimmyD

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Get an iMac.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:44am

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Serpent

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TimmyD wrote:

Get an iMac.
Ah, you've enlightened me. Your logic is revolutionary.

Seriously, Macbooks and Macbook Pros are great. iMacs will be a little faster, but they sit on your desktop. Maybe he wants to have access to portable editing and computing.

If you are going for color, go with the gloss screen. But for the love of God, order it with the VGA converter. If you want to sit down and do some editing, 13" is not going to cut it with Final Cut. You'll need a second monitor. (Make sure any monitors you will have access to are VGA if you go with the VGA converter.)

Also, the superdrive is the disk drive. Superdrive allows you to burn CDs, DVDs (R and RW), and playback CDs and DVDs.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:47am

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TimmyD

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I've enlightened him with two links to infinitely helpful topics that have been posted within the past three days. 'Nuff said.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:52am

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doppelganger

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thanks serpent and your right i do want to edit on the go like in the car and i'm pretty sure i cant take an imac in the car. and thanks for telling me what a super drive is that saves me the money of buying a dvd burner. thanks i'll probably keep the flat screen moniter i have right now and buy a vga converter but this screen is only 15" not much bigger.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 1:14am

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Serpent

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Two small screens is better than one and can even be better than one big screen.

I appologize for not looking through the threads Timmy. The first thread didn't justify iMac vs. Macbook all that well, but the second one did. I never really looked into regular Macbooks, but I am sure they'd suffice for basic stuff. It wouldn't be the best in the world. But if you can afford it, try and go for a Macbook Pro. Schwar pointed out the suckiness of the video card in the second thread. But I use an ATI 9600XT (very sucky) and it runs Motion fine (the most graphic hungry application that wasn't a game that I use, also Cinema 4D).

But if you can't afford a Macbook Pro, consider the iMac or go to the nearest Apple store and open up FCE on the computers they have that you are interested in. It should open up with a default project (if it doesn't, it's on the HD somewhere). Give it a test run and see if it can do all the tasks you desire at a reasonable speed. Try exporting video clips, playing back, rendering different things, etc.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 1:25am

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doppelganger

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alright i'll look into where some apple stores are thanks
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:40am

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cinemafreak

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sorry... i was kinda preoccupied, anyways the reason i want to switch is

1.) Final Cut express (i find Vegas Movie Studio (not vegas video) anoying at times)
fair enough, but why not upgrade to Vegas Video instead of FCE?

3.) I have an intel celeron and find it stupid to spend $300+ on upgrading to duo and then spend $200+ on Vegas Video and then another $110 on Elab. then spend another $100+ on other upgrades (graphics card, memory, ect.) When I could just buy a mac with a better editor and already has an intel 2 duo for $1648 (MacBook & Final Cut)
Well according to your math it would be cheaper to upgrade your pc instead of going to mac. Something tells me you will outgrow this macbook quickly, and then you will regret your decision to switch platforms (or save up money for a better mac).

Also, I don't understand the significance of editing "on the go." Most people who edit in the field to it because they have to, not because it is prefered. I find it much easier to edit on a larger screen in a little room rather than in the car or out in the sun.

and I just dont like pc's very much i dont know why i just dont, i'd rather have a mac
Have you ever used a mac before? I like them too, but as I've said before they are a little expensive. If I could start all over again I might start with a mac, but now it doesn't make since to switch considering the amount of money invested in my pc and pc programs. Are you much of a computer gamer? Because if you are I wouldn't recommend the mac.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:44am

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Thrawn

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Hey there

I just wanted to tell you for a heads up that (unless you previosly owned one) Macs are a bit hard to get the hang of if your switching from PC. Atleast in my experience.

BTW has anyone heard that macs can run windows?? Or was the guy at the apple store lying to me...
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:49am

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doppelganger

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the reason i dont want to upgrade to vegas video is because its basicaly movie studio with some upgrades so it feels the same. and yeah i'v used a mac my tv class at school all we have a macs and final cut. I know this is going to sound stupid but i dont like staying in the same place for several hours at a time, sometimes if its a nice day i like to go outside or go into my den or media room with my family and stuff but i still want to edit my movie so i cant because i have a desktop. Now some people are going to say what my friend keeps telling me "why dont you just get a dell laptop" well because i dont want a dell laptop i want a MacBook with Final Cut. and the reason i dont want to spend $2500 on a better Mac or spend it on a pc is:

1.) I want Final Cut

2.) I'm getting a car in the next year or so and I kinda wanna save for that to

Last edited Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:53am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:52am

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TimmyD

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Well, get a MacBook Pro, I guess. That'll do what you want, it combines portabiliy and functionality, just don't expect to be able to play many games on it.

Thrawn: Macs can run Windows. Fully natively too.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:54am

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doppelganger

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i dont play games on the computer anyways, thats what i have a nintendo wii for
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:54am

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Lithium Kraft

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To get a laptop for video editing already confines your upgrading options enough, and to make a Mac laptop basically removes any ability to upgrade in the future at all. This will be a problem, especially for video editing, as

I can understand your want for the mac interface but video editing requires brute force and throughout my experiences PC's beat the crap out of Macs in the price/performance category. Not to mention upgradability. Also PC's can overclock (just ask the fxhome team, they run Core 2 Duo E6600's at 3.1ghz).

A Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4ghz) chip (can overclock to 3ghz stable): $300
2GB of good Memory: $250
Any basic graphics card: $20-30

Also may I note that the desktop Core 2 Duos are much faster than their laptop counterparts, trust me, my friend has a macbook.

Each one of these pieces of computer hardware will absolutely destroy anything inside that macbook, for a fraction of the price.

Hard drive space is another factor. You can get a nice 320GB 7200rpm 3gb/second drive for under $100. With that macbook you're stuck with the 120gb for good.

You can still go ahead and get a mac, but to be honest anyone else in my situation that needs as much power as they can get for a low price would definitely take the PC route. I built my own system with the same processor and 2gb of ram and it has blown me away with speed. Video editing and gaming are amazingly fast. Unless you're aiming for portability, which is a different factor.

Last edited Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:56am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 2:55am

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Serpent

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cinemafreak wrote:

Also, I don't understand the significance of editing "on the go." Most people who edit in the field to it because they have to, not because it is prefered. I find it much easier to edit on a larger screen in a little room rather than in the car or out in the sun.
Heh, some people are around much more than in another person's car, or outside in the sun... Anyways, I have found myself wishing I could edit when I was on vacation in different places around the world, on airplanes, at school, hotels, even sitting on the couch watching TV or in my bed. Desktops are fairly planted and are somewhat of a hassle to bring places. When you think about portable editing, you need to be open minded to other people's lifestyles, not just yours. I would kill to be able to edit on the go--30 minutes during school lunch, hanging out with my friends, travelling, etc.. I'd take a top-of-the-line Macbook Pro over my Powermac any day. I'd just get a seperate mouse. I have to wait until college though.

EDIT: LithiumKraft, keep Mac PC debate out of this. It is entirely personal preference. You say PCs can be more powerful for the price. I argue that all reasonably priced (or higher) Macs are great in terms of power for video editing. Now it all comes down to software, style, or any other factor one might consider.

Last edited Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 3:02am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 3:00am

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FXhomer13983

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"Since Macs can't be upgraded to include more hard disk space, you may run into a bit of a problem."

For what it's worth, this statement is untrue. Mac laptops, like any laptops, can be upgraded with bigger hard drives. There are up to 160GB drives available for Powerbook G4 models, and up to 200GB drives available for MacBook Pro models. MacBooks can also be upgraded similarly.

The installation appears to be fairly simple, based on this link (but be advised, doing this yourself might void your AppleCare Warranty):

http://www.andybiggs.com/blog/?p=53

You can also get it done for you. In New York, there's Apple Authorized Service Center that installs customer supplied hard drives for U.S. $130. That's a reasonable price, so you should not pay more than that (or the equivalent, if you're not in the US.) There are a couple of places that you can ship to Mac laptop to for 24-hour upgrades for about $250-$300 (they suppy the drive.)

Another option would be to buy an external hard drive. 160GB, 200GB, 250GB - they make some pretty big ones these days, and they cost relatively little. A quick internet search should turn up a wide selection.

The big drawback between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro is the former's lack of dedicated video RAM. Read this link for a good side-by-side comparison:

http://debris.com/journal/1452

Another MacBook drawback, in my opinion, is the glossy display. I hate glare on my screen, and glossy screens = lots of glare.

As for the "PC vs. Mac" debate: I have used both, and I personally prefer Macs for pretty much everything (except gaming, which I don't do much of so I can't really comment on that.) In general, I find Macs to be more reliable, with a cleaner interface. They have plenty of processing power and, if you have to, you can run Windows XP and Vista on any Mac with an Intel processor. So a current Mac is essentially two computers in one, which certainly doesn't suck.

I also find that, feature-for-feature, Macs and PCs are pretty close in terms of value. Macs seem to be so much more expensive because they come with a lot of standard equipment. Configuring a base PC to match a standard Mac would result in a more narrow price difference.

If you really want to stay within a reasonable budget, look into refurbished MacBook Pros at the Apple Store online. I recently saw a nice 2GHz dual core model for about $1399. That's only $400 more than a brand new MacBook ($300 more than a black MacBook). It might be worth a month of macaroni and cheese dinners to blow the extra cash on a better machine.

And from my personal experience, a refurb Mac is every bit as good as a new one, only a LOT less money.

Whatever you decide, good luck!
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 3:00am

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Thrawn

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1 dollar budget wrote:

I know this is going to sound stupid but i dont like staying in the same place for several hours at a time, sometimes if its a nice day i like to go outside or go into my den or media room with my family and stuff but i still want to edit my movie so i cant because i have a desktop.
Yeah thats understandible. I want to get a portable laptop/macbook for the same reason. If only I had money... think

TimmyD: Thanks for the comfirmation. Now I really want to get a mac of my own...
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 3:02am

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doppelganger

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if i need more harddrive i can get an external harddrive. its not like im stuck with 120GB forever
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 3:31am

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TimmyD

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Editing using an external harddrive is actually extremely recommended by Apple, at least when using Final Cut, so that would actually be really smart to do.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 3:43am

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cinemafreak

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I'm getting a car in the next year or so and I kinda wanna save for that to
yeah, in your dreams...

Seriously though, unless your parents have alot of money to spend on insurance you aren't gonna get your own car in the first year of driving.

Use that money to buy the new camera you keep talking about.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 3:53am

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ben3308

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There's nothing like takin' a crap while doing some SC grading tests and script checks. Ahh, mobility!
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 11:38am

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doppelganger

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Quote:
I'm getting a car in the next year or so and I kinda wanna save for that to


yeah, in your dreams...

Seriously though, unless your parents have alot of money to spend on insurance you aren't gonna get your own car in the first year of driviing
ok... you know nothing about me. you dont have to be a millionare to pay for insurance. its not like im getting a brand new car. you really have no right to say what im getting and not getting. im not an idiot i talked it over with my parent... oh and by the way theres this thing called a job that im getting pretty soon. so yeah i am getting a car
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:17pm

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Joshua Davies

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I can understand your want for the mac interface but video editing requires brute force and throughout my experiences PC's beat the crap out of Macs in the price/performance category. Not to mention upgradability. Also PC's can overclock (just ask the fxhome team, they run Core 2 Duo E6600's at 3.1ghz).
True, the Core 2 Duo can be overclocked easily and you maybe gain 10-15% more performance from doing so but many people could give you reasons why you get a much larger performance increase by running Final Cut Pro rather than Windows editing software.

We run Premiere Pro 2.0 on our beefy PCs (3.15GHz Core 2 Duos) and FCP on our MacBook Pro (2.16GHz Core Duo) and FCP is FAR faster than Premiere Pro 2.0. Its not all about GHz.

We've also not had your experience with desktop C2Ds being much faster than the mobile version (in Macs or PCs). We've seen around a 5-8% difference when the mobile version isn't power saving.

In the end if you save up and get even the standard spec Mac Pro (Dual 2.66GHz Dual-core Xeon) it will eat our 3.15GHz Core 2 Duos alive running FCP in Mac OS X or Premiere Pro 2.0 in Windows and cost just about the same spec Dell box (but you can run both OS on the Mac) - great value if you ask me.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:40pm

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pdrg

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My 2p - get a fast disk - 7200RPM makes a big difference over 5400 for startup time if nothing else. I upgraded my laptop, worth every penny smile
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 12:48pm

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Kid

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Another thing you can do if you want to edit all around the house is get a decent desktop mac/pc that will be upgradable and good for editing and then get a really cheap laptop and remote control it over wifi. Then you get the best of both worlds. I really think buying a laptop for editing be it mac or pc is a bad idea. It will be out of date before you know it and you will be really kicking yourself.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 8:01pm

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cinemafreak

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ok... you know nothing about me. you dont have to be a millionare to pay for insurance. its not like im getting a brand new car. you really have no right to say what im getting and not getting. im not an idiot i talked it over with my parent... oh and by the way theres this thing called a job that im getting pretty soon. so yeah i am getting a car.
Jeez, don't take it personally. It's just that I don't think you ought to be formulating your budget on the idea that you will be buying a car during your first year of driving. If you parents want to buy you a car, then more power to them.
Posted: Fri, 9th Mar 2007, 9:08pm

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pdrg

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Kid wrote:

Another thing you can do if you want to edit all around the house is get a decent desktop mac/pc that will be upgradable and good for editing and then get a really cheap laptop and remote control it over wifi. Then you get the best of both worlds. I really think buying a laptop for editing be it mac or pc is a bad idea. It will be out of date before you know it and you will be really kicking yourself.
Initially I was excited at this idea - made sense to my first mind, buy big ugly cheap tin and stuff it full of power-chomping full-speed processors, disks and other whatnots.

But a bit more thought drew me away from this idea - if you remote control, you're working on a low-res, lagged version of the screen as the RC software screenscrapes, compresses, sends, recieves, decompresses and paints the laptop screen. Brilliant way to work for almost anything but video editing. In my opinion. But feel free to prove me wrong - if you have this setup working satisfactarily for frame-accurate editing and decent colouring, I'd be keen to know what set-up you've got!
Posted: Sat, 10th Mar 2007, 10:40pm

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SilverDragon7

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Why ELab Lite? why not ELab pro?
Posted: Sat, 10th Mar 2007, 10:59pm

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doppelganger

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sorry i ment to say Elab pro cause its only $40 more and i'll eventually get an hd camera