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Avatar of Matthew Greeson
Matthew Greeson on May 14, 2012 at 12:01 am

I want to get a new computer to edit movies on, but I’m not sure what to get. I will most likely get a Mac because they seem to be the best in video editing. I also want to use Final Cut Pro X to edit. Any suggestions on a Mac?
Right now, I want to try to keep it under $2,500, but I’m looking at either a Macbook Pro or an iMac.
What is everybody else using?

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on May 14, 2012 at 3:24 am

Well, A few questions first.
Any reason you want a Mac other than FCPX?

Many people in the creative world seem to think Macs are supreme when it comes to computers. I will probably be flogged for saying this but, they really aren’t spectacular machines. They tend to be over priced and under powered.

You will pay double the price for a Mac than you normally would for a pc with the same exact specs.

I know there’s a lot of Mac lovers out there that always claim that PCs always crash and breakdown and what not. But honestly, I have had more trouble with my brand new 12 core mac pro at work than I have my 12 core i7 Lenovo. Sure Macs look pretty but at the end of the day, that is really the only difference.

Ok, enough Mac bashing. If your a windows guy right now, I would encourage you to look into windows. You will get way more machine with your budget. And if your looking into doing any kind of video with your computer power matters more than looks. The CPU and RAM are the two most important aspects of your hardware purchase. Those two things will make the biggest impact.

If you are a Mac guy, well then there’s probably no changing your mind. That’s totally cool. If you love using Mac then that is perfectly fine. Choose the one with the best specs vs. the best price. The iMacs will tend to heat up faster because the LCD is right on the CPU and mother board. The MacBook will be more portable. if you don’t need portability I would get a the non-iMac desktop version. There’s more power and upgradability there.

And then there’s FCPX… any reason you want to go the final cut route?

Apple burned a lot of professionals with this newest release. It’s not really cut out for professional use anymore and people have been abandoning ship in droves in favor of the Adobe Suite. The Adobe video programs (premiere, prelude, & after effects) are much faster and streamlined than FCP ever was, and is quickly becoming the new industry standard.

I’d encourage you to read some professional reviews on FCPX. I think you might change your mind.

In the creative world there is a lot of marketing done to convince us what tool is the best. Some companies are really great about partnering with colleges and convincing professors to teach with their tools. Then the students get “taught” what platform is the best.

Do the research and look at the raw specs and real user reviews of the hardware and software you choose. Don’t buy into the hype, or that’s all you’ll end up purchasing.

Avatar of Dylan Jones
Dylan Jones on May 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm

^ i love this response though there couple of things i would like to add. I use to be a huge Apple fan boy, now i love both PC’s and Mac’s. Macs are over priced, yes, but people do buy them for a reason. My favorite perk on a Mac is just the functionality of them. I feel on a Mac i am more organized and can find files quicker than i would on a PC.
If someone tells you that Macs do not get viruses, that is completely not true. Macs are less vulnerable to virus than PC, But as time goes on, Mac viruses are becoming more and more common.
Also, how many other Apple products do you own? iPads, iPhones, Apple TV etc. Apple products work beautifully together. I have also wanted to use Final Cut Pro, But currently i am using Adobe which i would recommend. CS5 is great and CS6 looks amazing. like i said before Apple products work great with each-other, it’s the same with Adobe, The Adobe suite works amazing together. For the most part i have used Adobe on a Mac but have began using it on PC’s, they worked pretty good on both. If money is an issue then the PC route might be best, then latter you can step your toes into the Mac world.

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on May 15, 2012 at 1:48 am

All great points to take into consideration, Dylan.

Avatar of Connor Justice Norvell
Connor Justice Norvell on May 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm

i would recommend a mac, for obvious reasons, however, they are correct, you can get a much better machine, for half the price.
if you have the money, get a mac, if not, buy a windows computer (acer, lenovo, dell, etc)
and you can even put mac on that computer using boot camp or a similar software.
so you get the best of both worlds

Avatar of Dylan Jones
Dylan Jones on May 15, 2012 at 6:59 pm

building it also can save you money, if you or a friend knows how to :D

Avatar of Kiah Graham
Kiah Graham on May 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

Hey guys, I just want to say that personally I am a Mac guy. I like PC’s very much also and can never get the argument on which one is better. Anyway not on subject. Personally I think it depends. If you want a more powerful computer for less get a PC. If you like the mac operating system and have used it for a while get a Mac. I will probably always be a Mac guys simply because it was the computer that I first learned to use. I use FCPX and really don’t have a problem with it. Sure I think that something like premiere pro is more professional but I think you have to ask yourself if you really need that for say $500 more. It really just depends. Go with what feels right to you :)

Avatar of Jared Charles Choate
Jared Charles Choate on May 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I’ll add something. I have a 15″ MacBook Pro. There are two versions you can get as far as actual processing. You can get the better one for the price you listed. I have both OSx Lion and Windows 7 on this machine. It runs great. But I have experience with iMacs. I personally do not like them at all. They seem to run slower and be more prone to crashing and lagging. It really depends on what you are comfortable using though as far as the OS. However, I have to say I have heard nothing but bad reviews for Final Cut Pro. People say that it’s not worth the money at all and it’s worth getting Adobe Premier and or After Effects. I am a major Apple fan but I have to say, they do not do well with their additional softwares.

Avatar of Josiah Clark
Josiah Clark on June 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Gotta love that even a PC vs. Mac debate is a friendly discussion on FilmPunch, rather than the cuss-fest it is anywhere else. Haha. Moving on:

I personally love both Macs and PCs. I prefer websurfing and word processing on PC, but I like production tools (for video, audio, and graphics), better on Mac. Originally, Final Cut was one of the big reasons I was going Mac myself, as I had used FCE4 for several years and knew it well. Then, FCPX came out, and I made the move to the Adobe Suite.

I’m not going to stick with the Adobe Suite topic for too long, but I will note that in my opinion, it’s hands-down the best value software package you can get. You’re getting an awesome editor in Premiere Pro, (though it does crash now and again,) along with awesome programs like Photoshop, After Effects, and Flash. Get the Production Suite, and you’re pretty well set in the realm of software.

Now, if you were to decide to go with the Adobe Suite, (which, if you’re a student, like I am, you can get at a massive discount!) you are no longer in the Mac-only field, as Adobe sells PC and Mac versions of their software. So it’s all up to preference. I personally like using Macs more than PCs, after having used both for several years.

I’ll add one last thing: it’s not about your operating system, it’s about your workflow. People get way too caught up in PC vs. Mac, and too little concerned with “which is best for me?” For me, Mac works awesome. I have a great workflow on my machine. If you have used Macs and find they work better for you, go for a Mac. If you’re more of a PC guy, go with PC. Whatever fits you best will give you the best results, because you’ll be able to work with it better.

Good luck!

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

@josiahclark Those are great points! The hardware and software are just tools. It doesn’t matters what works well for the next guy, it matter what works well for you.

If you’re able to get XYZ done faster and with better results on windows movie maker then use that. Who cares what tool you’re using so long as it works for you.

Now if your tool is slowing you down then you should consider other options. (which if you’re using Windows Movie Maker there’s a high probability that you’re probably struggling with it and not living up to your potential)

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