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I can't say it's the BEST out there, but my Macbook Pro 2.6 Ghz Core 2 Duo / 4GB RAM / 17" Hi Rez screen (1920 x 1200) / 7200 RPM - 200 GB drive / OS X Leopard 10.5.3 totally rocks the house. I run Final Cut Studio2 / AE CS3 / PS CS3 / Ill CS3 / Cinema 4D R10.5 Studio Bundle / Avid Express Pro and it kicks a$$ & doesn't crash...ever.
Hey Joey, I just got one of those MacBook Pros last Firday, exactly the same config as yours. They do scream! I got the My Book studio edition 1TB FireWire 800 External HD for under $300, so I'm all set except for maybe Mokey or something else for motion tracking. I've got FC Studio 2, and will be running Shake and Maya on it to work on the movie "Robot Land" so hopefully it will continue to perform well. I'm coming off a PowerBook G4 so anything seems faster, but this new system is so sleek and there's practically no wait time for apps to launch. The only problem I had was getting Migration Assistant to copy my old stuff to the new machine, but it worked great the second time, with a little better prep on my part.
Now I'm getting up to speed on the "Red" digital camera editing work flow for the inaugural OpenCut.org editing contest. It's going to be a wild June!
On the flip side, I got my wife a new Dell Inspiron after her Sony laptop died, for under $1000 with tax, and it screams with Adobe CS3 too! I turned off UAC (User Account Control) in Vista Home edition, and it runs much better than XP ever did, without the annoyng UAC popups. It's not a laptop though. :)
Bottom line: Embrace Mac, Dell, Leopard, and even Vista, but avoid Sony.
Oh wait, this is regarding AE 7. I'm not sure that it will run on Leopard, and I'm pretty sure it won't run on Vista, so get new hardware, but use the older OS if that config is available. Tiger should run fine on a new Mac. If you're on Windows, you can still run it on a new Intel-based Mac with BootCamp and Parallels installed. I haven't done it yet, but might in the future. If you want a Windows-based laptop, get one with a fast hard drive (7200 RPM) and 4GB of RAM and that offers FireWire 800 external HD ports (is that Mac only?), with the option of Windows XP over Vista for AE 7 compatibility. Don't try to install XP on a Vista system. In my experience they don't play nice together. You really should upgrade to AE CS3 for the new features, depending on what you need to do.
does the MacBook Pro run windows xp programs? I know there's some issues with vista.
If i stay xp pc i'll try going HP with 4 gig ram and see if i can get a quad processor. any problems with dual processors?
was kind of looking at this one
The HP looks good, but I don't think AE 7 runs on Vista. Make sure to do thorough research before you buy. Also check the customer reviews on Amazon.com. They've been very helpful to me. For the MacBook Pro to run Windows programs, you have to buy and install the Bootcamp and Parallels apps. I don't know the details since I've never done it, so check around. There are probably other threads on this forum about it, but the Apple forums may have more.
Thanks much for advice.
Another vote for a MacBook Pro here - they really are the Rolls Royce. But you pay for the distinction.
Just to clarify, you can run Windows natively on a Mac using Bootcamp (free with Mac OS) or using emulation software like Parallels or VMware Fusion.
"If i stay xp pc i'll try going HP with 4 gig ram and see if i can get a quad processor. any problems with dual processors?"
No quadcore laptops yet... I'm waiting...