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Well, After Effects is a 32-bit app, so it really doesn't matter the 'bitness' of your OS. Adobe has revealed that Photoshop CS4 will 64-bit on Windows, but won't be 64-bit on Mac until CS5. If that applies to After Effects remains to be seen.
I don't think 64-bit is as much as issue with After Effects compared to Photoshop. The ability for AE to spawn multiple copies of render engines means all your RAM will be efficiently used as each engine can access 3-4GB RAM. In an 8-core box, that adds up.
Personally, I like Mac. Quicktime is the digital glue that holds all your digital media together. And it's safe to say that Quicktime just works better on Mac.
I run both platforms. Not much in the current suite of CS3 products works very well with most versions of Vista but the CS3 products do work with some.
CS3 Generally works very well with on Intel Macs.
Here's my Windows vs Mac system maintenance experience for the past 2 years.
I've had no maintenance issues except for one bug with a update for QuickTime that caused renders to stop after 10 minutes. Solved with an update. General system and disk maintenance, nothing more than an occasional cleanup and permissions repair which took less than 10 minutes. Viruses detected and cleaned 0, spyware detected and cleaned 0. Printing problems, network problems, connectivity problems, wifi problems all NONE. Biggest scary moment, upgrading the OS to Leopard. Went completely without a hitch.
Backup's from Time Machine are easy and flawless. I did restore one machine that I fouled up by installing some beta software. Turned out that I could have fixed without doing a system restore, but I did one anyway just to try reverting to the state just before I installed the beta software that screwed up the right click functionality of my mouse. Initially TimeMachine had a problem restoring and it was predicting more than 50 hours for the restore, but after I removed several other usb devices and only connected my backup hard drive to the system the restore was complete in under 2 hours. TimeMachine isn't very quick at the restore process but the restore went just fine and I've been using that machine without problems since then.
Let's start with viruses and spyware detected and cleaned. Too many to count.
I use Norton Ghost to keep a disk image of my boot sector so that I can do complete system restores to a known good point in about an hour instead of spending about a day and a half restoring the system. That said, I"ve done a complete system restore by wiping out the C drive and using Ghost at least 6 times in the past 2 years. The system restore was necessary because of slowdowns, increased instances of crashes, and other problems that were too troublesome to fix by other means. After each restore I ran the suggested updates, updated the drivers, service pacs, and ran software updates for all my software, including the CS3 suite which took about 2 to 3 hours, then ran a new Ghost image so I'd have a clean starting point when the next troubles arrived.
Backups are handled manually because automatic backups that I have found seem to conflict with software and won't run without problems while I'm working.
BTW, my Windows machines run XP not Vista.
As far as speed goes I can't tell much of a difference between machines with similar processors and memory.
I much prefer working on my Macs. I even run XP on one of them using Parallels software accessing a bootcamp partition and my mac seems more stable running Windows XP than my similar PC.
It's up to you, I don't want to start a platform war here, but if I could get cross platform upgrades for some of my PC only software and switch them to Macs I'd have the PC boxes on e-bay the next day. While Apple and the intel Macs haven't been perfect, they have required so much less maintenance and been so trouble free that I much prefer to work on them.
That's just my 2 ¢
Nice rig, but I can forsee a necessary upgrade before 10 years.. You'll probably want more cpu cores and ram before that.. Boxx already has a 8 quad core system (32 cores).. In 5-10 years, we may all have that...
The videocard will probably need to be upgraded as well, but that should be easy to swap out, unless they change interfaces, PCI/AGP/PCIe.
Cracks me up... "I wont be brain washed by the usually less than techie sales people." Um, you mean Mac Geniuses, right?
Can you run CS3 (or CS4) on Visa 64 with Boot Camp? That would solve the issue, and you could still cross platform... I have no idea about this, and was hoping you did...
How do you find Parallels, and what sorts of programs do you use with Parallels. Some of the video editing software I use from Reallusion is only good on Win machines. Do you do video editing on Parallels, or can it handle such tasks? My plan was to use Boot Camp and Mac Drive to see MAC drives the from the win partition. My understanding is that you can drag and drop files from Win to MAC, just not MAC to win natively. That is where MAC drive comes in.
Rick and Navarro...
Do either of you have any experience on older MAC's? Do they seem to work well over time? I have no experience with this...
> Mac Pro Vs WIN
> All things being equal, which would you rather have. Let us do a comparison of specs:
> Mac Pro mobo
> 2x 3.2 GHz quad core harpertown
> 8-16Gb of Kingston FBDIMM RAM DDR2 800
> Quadro 5600 or 4xATI's (don't get hung up on this, imagine you could choose any available card)
> 3TB of storage
> NEC 30" professional display (the one you can rotate)...
> Intel Skull Trail mobo
> 2x 3.2 GHz QX9775
> Coolit MTEC maintenance free peltier/liquid cooling
> 8Gb of Crucial FBDIMM DDR2 800
> Nvidia 9800GX2 (don't get hung up as I stated before, imagine with any card you would want)
> 6TB of storage (with 2 hot swappable drive bays)
> NEC 30" professional display (the one you can rotate)...
> Now forget the price tag (if you can) and I am looking for a rig which will stand the test of time, which will allow me to get the best possible performance with any available video editing software / basic 3d animation software. This needs to work over time. I don't want to do a lot of major hardware updates for either rig, other than perhaps video and/or peripherals.
> Now don't forget Mac has boot camp.
> The windows rig I can overclock.
> I am looking to go 64 bit to get access to the extra ram, even though I am not thinking it will be that huge an improvement over 32 bit, from some experts I have talked to.
> I am a long time windows user, but I am going to the mac store this weekend to 'check it out' and don't worry, I wont be brain washed by the usually less than techie sales people.
> So, what do you think?
> Performance over time value, based on the two operating systems...
> Cost/Performance value has some input. I don't want to totally waste money here, but try and focus on the longevity of the rig. This is going to be my last rig for 7 to 10 years (with a few hardware upgrades along the way, but probably no new mobo).
> Experience with video editing in both OS would obviously be an advantage here. And, of course, feel free to share your opinion on video cards.
Well, there's just no such thing as a future proof box. The second you
plug it in it's obsolete.
The one thing people always seem to holler about in the Win vs Mac
snowball fights is virus's. I just can't help wondering what they are
doing with those machines, cause after years of use, I think I had maybe
one virus. And that was my fault. The dang things have mostly the same
rules as vampires. You have to invite them in. Since it's a production
machine, my web browsing is pretty much limited to known sites where I
get resources for the job. Email, well, so long as I resist that
overpowering urge to click willy nilly on every unexpected attachment
promising amazingly long stamina for any and all ladyfriends, it seems
virus free as well.
As for my Mac. Downright dam sexy looking machine. Stable, except for
some Adobe CS3 burps, but thats Adobe, not Mac. Quiet. Man this thing is
quiet. I do like Parallels for the occasional win apps I use, so thats a
plus, being able to go both ways with out rebooting.
Video card? I don't do 3D work, so its not a real consideration. Decent
dual display is all I need.
I do find the muti processor functions for AE a real benefit. Really
really really speeds up those complex previews. The AE bump is pretty
much the main reason I put a Mac Pro on the desk. But for tromping about
out in the field, I'm using an inexpensive Win Laptop.
Forget future proof. No such thing. Just useful tools.
> Can you run CS3 (or CS4) on Visa 64 with Boot Camp? That would solve
> the issue, and you could still cross platform... I have no idea about
> this, and was hoping you did...
> How do you find Parallels, and what sorts of programs do you use with
> Parallels. Some of the video editing software I use from Reallusion
> is only good on Win machines. Do you do video editing on Parallels,
> or can it handle such tasks? My plan was to use Boot Camp and Mac
> Drive to see MAC drives the from the win partition. My understanding
> is that you can drag and drop files from Win to MAC, just not MAC to
> win natively. That is where MAC drive comes in.
About the only hitch for Parallels is that it won't interface with a
firewire port. I can mount USB devices, and any Win program will run
normally. Its a little slower than running it native, and I suspect, but
don't know for sure that programs that can render multi processor may
not be able to take advantage of that.
I run the entire CS3 Suite on Parallels as well as a bunch of browsers to check my web work, and MS office. I ocassionally run Vegas. I've also got Commotion and C4D. Most of the work I do in windows on my mac is with C4D because I only have a windows license.
I have no problems at all with C4D on the Mac/Windows but my heavy duty 3D stuff I still do on the PC's
As for the comment on viruses, I haven't gotten infected, I'm just talking about the catches that McAffee does just about every time I open my e-mail or browse the web. Warning, Warning, Warning happens all the time on my Windows machines. I can't ever recall seeing a warning on the Mac. In fact, most of the time I have virus protection turned off on my macs and only run a check about every 2 or 3 months. I've never been warned about anything suspicious.
The best boxes are the ones that are optimized for the tasks at hand. There are about a zillion combinations for windows machines with hardware and software so if you're building your own machine you're walking in uncharted territory. If you decide to go with a PC I'd check out various manufacturers and check out their warranty and support. You want a PC builder that provides their own system driver updates and doesn't send you to the supplier (NVIDIA) for example when you end up with a display driver problem.
Apple care is great, it's very inexpensive, and it lasts about as long as you want to hold on to a box if you are planning to make money with it. Alienware, Boxx and several others build very good PC's. When I started out with PC's I always built my own. I'd never go down that road again. My time is just too valuable to spend days trying to configure all of the components.
"You want a PC builder that provides their own system driver updates and doesn't send you to the supplier (NVIDIA) for example when you end up with a display driver problem."
I wish HP would send me to the supplier (NVIDIA) so that I can get up-to-date drivers for my laptop videocard, as opposed to the 2004 drivers I'm forced to use.. But I guess that's the nature with laptops...
You'll notice that I didn't recommend HP...
I won't rehash what's been said, just that my own experience is almost identical to Ricks. I use Macs and PCs every day. Speedwise, they are about on par, but the Macs just behave themselves more and require less maintenance. I buy Applecare extended warranty with all my Mac hardware, so when the 3 year warranty expires you're usually close to considering hardware replacement anyway. The case engineering, drive bays and standard ports on the Mac Pro are just beautiful - the best I've seen to date on any hardware.
I have an XP Bootcamp partition for any Windows-only things I need to do, but find I will always defer to the Mac when I have a choice.
Upgradeability is not a realistic consideration with any hardware, in my opinion. I expect each machine to last 3-4 years and then be replaced. By 3 years, the types of RAM, card interfaces and such tend to change so much that component upgrades are painful rather than productive. After 3 years my A system becomes my B system, and I buy a whole new A system. That's the reality of the disposable world we live in.
I also agree with Rick about pre-built PCs. If you choose the PC route, go with a known manufacturer who has tried and tested configurations. Trying to isolate a conflict between random hardware devices in a PC can waste days or more.
I also strongly recommend Nucleo Pro on either platform. The ability to hit render and continue working is priceless.
If you're new to Macs there are a few "gotchas" for which you have to watch out.
I've been using them for about 15 years or more and just recently got burned with data loss by the fact that dragging a folder to a partition to merge its contents with another folder that has the same name, overwriting files with the same names, it doesn't merge the contents, but overwrites the entire target folder. So, if some files in the target folder do not exist in the source folder (the one being dragged) they are gone! On Windows, when you do that, the folders are truly merged and any files in the target folder are preserved if files with those names do not exist in the source folder. Lucky for me I had a backup of most of the lost files.
Another Mac quirk is the requirement to authenticate with your user name and pw whenever you want to do an install or delete certain items. It's actually worse on Mac than on Vista since you can turn it off in Vista. On Mac you can't turn it off, which makes it more secure, but more like "big brother" too. It's especially annoying when testing installers!
Otherwise, yes Macs are more stable and less trouble than Windows-based PCs, and they have the power of Unix!
Couldn't you just login as the root user to bypass this?
"Another Mac quirk is the requirement to authenticate with your user name and pw whenever you want to do an install or delete certain items. It's actually worse on Mac than on Vista since you can turn it off in Vista. On Mac you can't turn it off, which makes it more secure, but more like "big brother" too. It's especially annoying when testing installers! "
That works for most installers but not all of them. One installer quit during install while logged in as root. It seems a little risky somehow since that might make the installed app act strangely when logged in as myself due to root permissions issues. I vaguely remember being warned not to install applications while logged in as root. Plus, you have to enable the root account to do that, and that is discouraged by Apple and many sys admins, for security reasons...
Well, yeah, obviously. I was just trying to help you around your problem. That being said, the two things you warned about as "gotchas" have never bothered me on any level.
"you have to enable the root account to do that, and that is discouraged by Apple and many sys admins, for security reasons... "
Thanks! Not many people spend all day installing apps. :)
The worst gotcha when coming from the Windows world to Mac is of course the default "Replace All" behavior of the Finder. If you're used to easily merging directory trees by drag and drop on Windows, it can come as a shock to find that you've just overwritten a lot of data with the same action on Mac. I was just recently bitten by this for the first time on Mac after many years of using Macs and Windows side by side...of course maybe it has happened before and I didn't notice. I lost most of my iTunes music last November because of that stupid FInder behavior when I stupidly tried to merge a small iTunes collection from one account with my main iTunes collection containing thousands of songs by just dragging the folder from one partition to another. The little warning dialog didn't really convey the gravity of the situation so I clicked Ok, then suddenly I had all this extra free space on the target drive. ;)
Definitely backup your data. It saved my ***!
I still can't believe that on macs you STILL can only resize windows with the bottom right corner. WTF...
Thanks for the tip, plumeragent. Whenever I'm forced to use a mac, I'll have to remember that...
Yes, that gets annoying. I wonder why they won't let you resize from any edge? Maybe there's a way to turn it on somewhere.
What I don't like about many Windows apps is the restrictive main app window with nested document window. I like Apple's style where all the windows float separately, though that can have drawbacks when it comes to moving things around, and you have to get used to the ever present menu bar at the top of your screen.
I usually dislike that, but sometimes see its benefits.. Usually I find it too easy to switch to different apps/windows.. And I dislike the ever present menu bar at top, but that's probably personal preference..
One major plus for Mac, it's just damn-easy to fix anything that's wrong, especially network connectivity issues, wireless, etc. Also, configuring the OS is simplified, sometimes a little over-simplified, but there's not a lot of digging needed to get to the features you need to tweak. With WIndows, they seem to make it more difficult to find and change settings with each new release of the OS...very little consolidation or features, too many features that I'll never use, redundant settings, etc., etc. Compare Internet Explorer's settings to Safari's. Of course IE has to fend off millions of viruses, so I guess they've developed a more complex defensive strategy for everyday browsing. ;)
As a Mac user for 12 years, I have never had a virus / never had to worry about the internet. I plug in scanners / printers / firewire drives / flash thumb drives / keyboards / mice and they just work immediately (well...after they dumped useless Serial ports and went to all USB).
With the Intel machines, the speed has significantly increased and you can now run any software including Windows on them (via Bootcamp) without any performance loss (yikes...remember Virtual PC?).
My studio is dumping half a million dollars worth of Avid PC's (2 DS Nitris's and 2 Adrenaline HD's) for 4 fully loaded 8-Core Final Cut Studio HD suites with Final Cut Server. We still have money left over for a 3 bedroom / 2 bath home.
Macs just work...and today they work FAST.
Well, a late comment: Macs stink just as much as Windows, they just stink from different corners. There are fundamental design flaws in both operating systems. However, Macs have a tendency to be less sensitive to user error simply because the underlying UNIX principles were designed to be safer to begin with (back then in the computer stone age...)
The rest is just a matter of perception. Neither the "felt" better user-friendliness and performance nor the supposedly superior safety of Macs hold up to scrutiny according to "neutral" studies. Especially the latter is a very dangerous misperception and mostly simply based on that the lower market penetration of Macs makes them less attractive for "the evil ones", but the more popular Macs get, the more is that bound to change and there are clear signs of that already happening.
Everything else is pretty irrelevant. 64bit is not the holy grail and application support on that end leaves a lot to be desired and in terms of future proof there's only one truth: A system bought today will be surpassed by a better system tomorrow. Buy what you need right now, not what you think you will need in two years.
I think that the cost of ownership is an often overlooked factor. PCs can be cobbled together, custom built, upgraded pretty much all with parts from NewEgg. When you buy a Mac, you're pretty much bound to Apple for everything.
There should not be any issue with viruses on an NLE. NLEs are never connected to the internet, in a production environment. Ours aren't and we've never had this issue arise.
With Adobe dropping support for Apple systems, there are some significant software performance issues on the Mac now. It is better to run Final Cut Pro, if you want fluid performance.
This is a changing environment, but the general rule of thumb is, if you're not afraid of dealing with tech configuration and hardware, and knowledgeable enough to build your own systems, then PC hardware of high quality will give you excellent performance and service life and reliable operation for 2/3 the cost of a similarly-configured Mac.
When you buy a Mac, you're pretty much bound to Apple for everything.
Uh...no. That's a very closed-minded opinion. Only an uneducated consumer buys a fully loaded Mac from Apple and pays through the a$$ for it. I buy all RAM from 3rd party, monitors from 3rd party (non-Apple monitors), graphics card upgrades from 3rd party, drives from 3rd party, peripherals (tablet / pen / mouse) from 3rd party, RAID card from a 3rd party (should I go on?). The base case of an OctoCore is a render monster. Well worth the price tag as I will save so much time screaming through projects and enjoying the experience as well. Macs are just fun to work on / with.
NLEs are never connected to the internet, in a production environment.
Uh...not true. Only PC NLE's are not connected to the internet for fear of virus meltdowns. I have Firefox up and running along with Fetch / After Effects / Photoshop / Final Cut Pro & Cinema 4D and I have never got a lick of performance drain or a virus. For a Designer / Editor, it is essential to have that internet connection on the NLE box so I don't have to move to another machine to grab FTP downloads / uploads, client server access for up / downloads, etc. Once again, here, Mac wins IMHO. Productivity & performance in one machine.
the general rule of thumb is, if you're not afraid of dealing with tech configuration and hardware, and knowledgeable enough to build your own systems, then PC hardware of high quality will give you excellent performance and service life and reliable operation for 2/3 the cost of a similarly-configured Mac.
That may be your rule of thumb, Mark...but not THE rule of thumb. Another benefit to owning a Mac - purchasing Applecare for 3 years of coverage gives you a one-stop service line for issues rather than 20 different PC vendors. You can walk that machine into any Apple store and get it fixed or replaced. I would hate to have to be in the middle of a major project and have the box go down & have to blow countless hours troubleshooting it myself - having to figure out which driver is incompatible with which app. Not to mention Leopard is way superior to Vista as well (here it comes...B)).
So, you can open your box, load it with 3rd party stuff, and Apple will still service it all? I thought that voided Mac warranty...
I coworker of mine (mac user) said it'd be voided if he even installed Bootcamp (when it was still Beta...)
^ I must agree with Joey, here. I simply can't imagine working WITHOUT internet connectivity these days - it would impede my productivity enormously to have to switch machines for FTP, email, resource-hunting (stock material, fonts etc). Not to mention OS and software upgrade management, which would be a huge pain to manage from standalone updates these days.
My current MacPro has third party RAM, 2 x Dell monitors, 2 x LaCie external RAIDs, 3 Seagate internal drives that are RAIDed, Blackmagic Decklink card, ATTO SCSI card, an Mbox2 external audio box, a Wacom tablet, and a Canon printer and scanner connected to it. And no, this does not void the Apple warranty in any way.
>With Adobe dropping support for Apple systems, there are some significant software performance issues on the Mac now.
What support has Adobe dropped for Mac? With Premiere/Soundbooth/Encore back on the Mac for several years now, the only app I can think that's not supported is Audition, along with OnLocation, which has never been Mac compatible. But both those apps can be run on your Mac with a Windows installation anyway. Many current benchmarking tools show that MacPro and MacBookPro are among the best performing boxes available for running Vista.
^That said, I also agree with Mylenium above: ALL computers suck, so don't expect any platform to be perfect.
These days, a computer isn't a fully-functional computer without internet connectivity. The CS3 apps take internet connectivity for granted in their authorization scheme, don't they?
And David, there are some parts in Apple systems that aren't considered "user servicable". In the Mac Pro, this is pretty limited -- things like the logic board/processors, maybe the internal Airport connectors. For notebooks and (I think) the more consumer-oriented systems, internal drives have to be swapped out by Apple authorized technicians if you don't want to void the warranty. This is simply a function of case design. These machines are designed for compactness, portability, and heat dispersal, and easy upgrades can take a back seat (though RAM is still quite simple to install, in my experience).
The Mac Pro, on the other hand, is built to be perhaps the easiest system to upgrade ever. There are no tools required to install SATA drives -- the drive just slides in and snaps in place. It's embarrassingly easy.
Seems like major overkill. You working at ILM or on Michael Bay's newest? Why would you be overclocking a 3.2 g quad?
Go with Windows/PC- I do production work with a system not 50% of the power you detailed there (vista ultimate x64/intel e2180 oc to 2.3g/6gb ddr 2/radeon 2600hd). Win/PC is the way to go. A cadre of mac fanboys will tell you otherwise, but then fail to tell you about the laughable hardware conflicts in osx, the 'point release' requirements before certain programs will even install (when you need a patch for your os to run lightroom 1.4, for example, then your os is juvenile), or the unjustifiable (aside from cultish expectation and sense of belonging engendered by the collective ALL overpaying)cost of apple hardware.
XP/Vista will run all of your Adobe stuff and future Adobe stuff with no PATCHES necessary. If you want to feel like you're one of the few working outside the mainstream, then get the mac so you can join the fanboys. Otherwise, get the PC. MS doesn't have to mislead people by rigging benchmarks and using their high range hardware against mid range PC counterparts and declaring a win. It's like when Bush claimed 'mission accomplished' in Iraq 5 yrs ago.
Don't believe the hype. I can't force you to save a bunch of money and save yourself a ton of headaches by going with the PC, but I suggest you take my advice.
IMHO - Mac = occasional headaches, PC = daily hangover with vomiting. ;)
MyNameWasTaken: Dude. Chill out. The fact is that most of us that have been around for a long time know that we're all a bunch of spoiled brats. There's no reason you can't build up a PC or Mac and get some serious work done in a hurry. I've worked at studios with mostly PCs and those with Macs. It's all good. Lots of major work is done on both Macs and PCs.
If you've got more invested in the PC world, get a PC. Same for a Mac.
"Fanboy". Take that garbage somewhere else. Most of us here are pro users.
Great thread and sorry I cannot add anything of significant value to it because ...Its all been said here already...and I can relate from my experiences with both Platforms and Adobe Products running on both platforms. (Including a Boot Camped Mac)
I kind of like the balance of rational viewpoints (coming from professional users perspective) in the thread as they relate to user preferences for the platforms.
If I can add anything at all...here it is:
I found it really difficult (and impractical) to work cross platform and I really did give it a good try with a "Hybrid" suite that I set up. The issue I discovered was the proprietary nature of Apple to protect its "patch" ( Apple refuses to be fully "cross platform compatible" eg. QT)
>XP/Vista will run all of your Adobe stuff and future Adobe stuff with
>no PATCHES necessary.
*uggh* Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the new product manager for Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2009, Adobe Creative Suite CS5 and an assortment of other programs yet to be developed. The future is not yet here, but he certainly knows how it will be shaped.
Sorry, that's a bucketload of horsebunk. Windoze is just as patch-addicted as is OSX. You can't even install one patch before another and some silly audio driver or network extension may turn everything upside down. And forgive me for saying so, you are even more wrong as patching is common practice.
In my short 15 years of doing computer graphics I have worked on anything from SGI Irix, Linux, various Windows flavors, Macs down to specific server OSs and believe it or not - even in 1997 we already got a CD full of patches for IRIX every two months. So certainly this is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary or an issue with a specific vendor.