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Should I go Mac or PC (comfortable on both)
You'll get more for your money with a PC, especially if you build it yourself. Plus, you'll be able to interface better with the rest of the computing world, which is also PC (except for those few insignificant rabble rousers who actually use a -gulp- Mac.)
And Windows 7 really rocks!
I just ordered the components for 2 high end PC's. As I mentioned in the thread, one can purchase 2 excellent no-compromise high-end PC's for less money than one comparable Mac Pro. Windows 7 is better than OS X in my opinion and Final Cut has only one feature I like better than Premiere... The "Log and Transfer" when dealing with Panasonic P2 MXF files. Final Cut makes a QuickTime copy so you don't have to deal with MXF's folders and bits and pieces of video files. Hopefully CS5 will include a similar feature.
Things are definitely getting brighter for us PC editors.
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I would not perse trust Jim, since he flunked the PPBM benchmark, but he has a point. You get better value with PC than MAC. Charles just listed the PC's he got and they were top-notch for a very attractive price. Better than Jim's PC.
For AVCHD get a really good system. It requires quite some muscle. i7-920 overclocked is around minimum with 12 GB RAM and a good disk setup. How to get the best from a PC? Some guides...
Sorry - topic shift.... maybe a new thread?
The "Log and Transfer" when dealing with Panasonic P2 MXF files. Final Cut makes a QuickTime copy so you don't have to deal with MXF's folders and bits and pieces of video files. Hopefully CS5 will include a similar feature.
I would be a bit interested in knowing / discussing your workflow considering your statement. I use mxfs and its a breeze compared to FCP 'Log and Transfer' workflow. (BTW. I have used both )
I am also interested in the systems hardware specs you built up on. I have Harm Millards already because I also am building a new system based on Windows 7 etc..
Here is what I ordered:
Motherboard Processor Combo:
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
2 oz copper PCB & support 3 SLI/ 3 ATI crossfire(limit 2 per customer)
Original Price: $557.98 Discount: -$30.00 Combo Price: $527.98 x 2 = $1055.96
CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
$239.99 x 2= $479.98
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail:
$144.98 x 2= $289.96
Memory: Crucial sold in 6GB kits:
Crucial Ballistix 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL3KIT25664TR1608 - OEM
Hot Swappable Hard drive Enclosure:
SUPERMICRO CSE-M35T-1B Black 5 Bay Hot-Swapable SATA HDD Enclosure - Retail:
$104.99 x 2= $209.98
Raptor 150 hard drive for system:
$179.99 x 2= $359.98
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Pioneer Blu-ray Burner & True Image 2009 Combo Deal:
Pioneer Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer Model BDR-205BKS - OEM:
Pioneer DVD Burner:
Pioneer Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 40X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache IDE CD/DVD Burner LabelFlash Support - OEM:
4 640GB Internal Hard Drives
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$74.99 x 4= $299.96
$3477.51 total for both
Related to the Panasonic MXF files, to be honest, I'm taking our Mac guy's word for it related to Final Cut's better handling with the "Log and Transfer"
Here is the frustration we have with Premiere's (CS4's) handling of Panasonic p2 MXF files:
1.) We're a busy office and need to rely on Premiere being open in order to see small thumbnails of the MXF files in the built-in "Media Browser". It's more difficult to find a particular MXF "shot" in Windows Explorer than it is for other formats such as DV NTSC AVI's.
2.) We have a lot of these MXF files and have found that organizing them for quick reference is more time consuming than organizing other single-file video format types.
3.) You can't rename the files without messing up the link to the various components, eg. audio.
4.) You can't export these files from Premiere to a suitable (not excessively compressed) re-editable single-file format for the purpose of giving the file a logical easy to find name rather than the generic eg. MXF134R201P nonsense.
5.) You can't write metadata directly to the file/files.
6.) Adobe Bridge only shows generic icons of MXF files.
7.) The thumbnails in Premiere's "Media Browser" are too small to really get a good idea of the clip's contents.
I hope I missed something. The owner of our company has threatened to buy Macs because of a new project coming up that requires better handling of these files.
And of course, our Mac guys really like to rub this one in. Please let me know what you don't like about the way Final Cut handles MXF's
Your 7 points are a good overview of how solid state camera makers (not just Panny) have muffed things up by not using the MXF container as it was designed, one file holds everything. Another example of the technoidiocy we have to put up with (right along with a 1.77:1 HD aspect ratio when the norm is 1.85:1).
However, item 4 seems doable using Lagarith or UT codecs.
I just discovered and tested the Focus Enhancements MXF converter. It will convert MXF's into a single QuickTime file that imports into Premiere without need to render. It can join several files into one and files can be renamed. The odd thing is, QuickTime player will not play the files and "Bridge" won't play the video or show a preview. I'll take a look at it with G-Spot.
Thanks for all of your advice. I just spoke to the powers that be and I have to (for corporate IT reasons) purchase either a Dell or a Mac. I quickly speced an alienware from dell which seems like it should have the horsepower I need can someone tell me if they see any issues with this.
CHASSIS COLOR Cosmic Black, Alienware Aurora Chassis PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7 920 (2.66GHz, 8MB Cache) OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, 64bit, English VIDEO CARD Single 1.8GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 260 MEMORY 9GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - (3x 1024MB + 3x 2048MB) HARD DRIVE 500GB - SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 7,200RPM, 16MB Cache HDD ADDITIONAL HARD DRIVE 1TB RAID 1 (2x 1TB SATA-II, 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache HDDs) OPTICAL DRIVE Dual Drives: Blu-ray Disc (BD) Burner (Writes to DVD/CD/BD) and DVD-ROM SOUND CARD Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ Titanium MONITOR 23" Dell ST2310 Full High Definition Monitor KEYBOARD Alienware TactX™ Keyboard MOUSE Alienware TactX™ Mouse WARRANTY AND SERVICE 3 Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis - Important Information
Only remark is to get an extra disk.
It will convert MXF's into a single QuickTime file
Now if only Focus would make that an AVI, which is what 80% of the computers on the planet prefer...
Or hell, even another MXF with everything in one file would do.