12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2011 2:22 PM by thewhitedog

    Advice Needed... which is better?

    borntalent Level 1

      Hello...  I am not a computer 'genius", but not a complete "computer idiot' either.  I have a question, and then I will give my reasoning, because maybe it matters in the decision.


      Which is better, a PC (Gateway) with 6GB Ram, i5 processor, 1.5TB HD  or an Imac 4GB Ram, i3 processor, 1TB HD??


      Basically, I have had a Dell 2GB Ram desktop for 7 years, which suited me fine. I ran CS3 on it with no problems.  I recently had a virus, and had to swipe my computer, and when I re-installed Adobe, my Premiere Pro will no longer allow me to edit properly (audio plays fine, while video lags and skips around during viewing).  I know it is time to get a new computer either way, and a few friends have told me that I really shouldnt be running Premiere Pro on 2GB of ram, and suggested at least 6GB.


      I found a Gateway for $650 on bestbuy site with the above specs... but then someone I know, told me I would be better with an Imac with the specs above.  Is that possible that a 4GB mac would run better than the 6GB PC?


      also..  will CS3 work on the Windows 7 PC, but if I get Mac system I will be using CS5.


      I use Photoshop, and Premier Pro for simple music video editing (5-6min videos).  I do not do anything major..but want to at least be able to view what I am doing.



        • 1. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Both are not advisable. Look here: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5: System Requirements


          i5 is around 30 times slower than a fast system, i3 is even slower and especially on MAC's, probably around 50 - 60 times slower than a fast PC. Check out the results here: PPBM5 Benchmark


          For further background, click the overview tab at the top of the hardware forum and start reading the articles available.

          • 2. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
            borntalent Level 1

            I checked out the System Requirments Link (the other link was very confusing)...

            It suggests only 2GB Ram (4GB recommeded) and Intel Core Duo.


            The computer I was looking at has 6Gb Ram, and Intel core i5.  Isn't this "more" than what is recommended?  I amnot an expert on processors..but I know the Ram is definetly more.  I thought this processor would be better than what is listed, since it is "newer".


            I currently have a Dell Dimension 3000 with 2Gb Ram, and the Intel Celleron, and it was running "ok" until it died.

            • 4. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              1 - what kind of video do you edit?


              SD (MS DV AVI type 2) or **maybe** even HDV will edit... albeing slowly


              Something like AVCHD will be so slow as to be effectively unusable


              2 - only one hard drive is going to be REALLY slow


              My 3 hard drives are configured as... (WD = Western Digital)
              1 - 320G WD Win7 64bit Pro and all programs
              2 - 320G WD Win7 swap file and video projects
              3 - 1T WD all video files... read and write


              Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing
              You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions
              Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work
              You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand
              A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for easy video editing
              One hard drive is not as good as two which is not as good as three

              Never EVER use a partition !!!

              • 5. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                borntalent Level 1

                Thanks for the responses.

                I have a Sony DVD-403 video camera, and I take the raw .VOB file from the camera using "Sony Picture Package" program that came with camera.  I then dump the file into Premiere Pro CS3.


                I have a few external hard drives...Are you saying that I should have one of them connected, and use the video files from the external HD while editing??

                • 6. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                  Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                  Since 9 chances out of 10 your external hard drives are USB connected to your computer.  These are totally useless for editing, ok for archiving.  An absolute minimum editing system must have two disk drives with the editing drive a directly connected full speed 7200 rpm drive. Do not go with the Mac solution as it is slower than the PC and Adobe Premiere runs slower on a Mac than on an identical hardware-wise computer.


                  If you take a look at the PPBM5 Results page you will find 2 I5 Intel processors listed but no one has bothered to even try to run on an i3 based system.  Also if you want to run Premiere CS5 the magic sweet spot where Premiere runs fastest is slightly over 12 GB of RAM

                  • 7. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                    RjL190365 Level 5

                    Actually, Harm, some of the quad-core i5 systems are hobbled by an insufficient amount of RAM and slow disks. In fact, both of the i5-2500 systems in the PPBM5 list had only 4GB of RAM - and the one with the 2500K was running the original release of CS5 (5.0.0), which is buggy. In either of those two cases, the MPE performance is also below par. In a properly tuned configuration, the i5-2500(K) should have been about 20% to 25% slower overall than an i7-2600(K) in a stock-to-stock comparison.



                    I agree with you that a Mac solution is not recommended. This is because the current version of the Mac OS, with its relatively poor multithreading performance, is a sure way of making an i7 perform more like a Core 2 Quad.

                    • 8. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                      thewhitedog Level 2

                      While I don't agree that Macs are as inferior as some here claim, for your purposes an i5 iMac is certainly inadequate. The i7 quad core iMac is something else again; it can take up to 16GB of RAM, which is plenty for most applications. The particular i7 CPU in the iMac is also quite capable with a number of performance enhancing technologies on board. The big problem with the iMac, though, is that it comes with only one internal HDD; there is an added SSD option, but in my opinion it's still too expensive. For video you should have at least two internal drives and preferable three or four, as others here have said. External drives are generally slower, even if you use a FireWire 800 port. Sometime this year Apple may add a Thunderbolt port to the iMac, as they have to the MacBook Pro. This will be a game changer for external media, with unheard of flexibility in connectivity and the performance of Fiber Chanel at an affordable price. There are already external RAIDs coming to market with Thunderbolt connections. However, there is no date certain for such an iMac refresh.


                      For even semi-serious video you need some heavy iron, whether Mac or PC. There are some great Mac Pros available now with up to 12 cores on two 6 core Intel Westmere processors; however, even though I am a Mac fan, I'm sure you can build or get a BTO Windows PC with comparable specs for less. I suggest a minimum of four modern CPU cores to handle multi-threading and multi-tasking chores. At least two fast internal hard drives, four is preferable. And, of course, the more RAM the better, though this too will raise the price. You may not get the maximum RAM right away; the important thing is that the motherboard be able to support substantial RAM upgrades so that you can grow into it.


                      The challenge, even with PCs, is that a number of core technologies are changing right now. SixGb/s hard drives are becoming available but it would take a high-end and relatively new motherboard to support them properly. So, besides the question of which computer to get, you have to consider when to get it. If you need it right now, that narrows your choices somewhat because you cannot wait for these new technologies to come on line.


                      The most important thing to consider, though, is not to cheap out. Presumably you will be doing some real work on it, so think of this computer as an investment in your own future. Buy the most computer you can afford and a little bit more. Oh, and there is a new Version of Final Cut Pro coming out soon that will be Intel only and 64 bit capable, so Apple is moving ahead on this front, too. Remember, not all of Adobe's CS apps are 64 bit yet either. It's just one more technology in transition.


                      One point I will concede, however, is that Windows has better video drivers than OS X. Even on a Mac, running Windows in Boot Camp delivers better video frame rates than the Mac versions of the same apps running in OS X. So, for reasons of cost and better video support, a Windows PC is probably the way to go. PCs also have it over Macs in the number of options available. If you are not a techie yourself, I agree as well that it is probably a good idea to have someone who is built it custom for you. Of course, with a custom PC you won't get the kind of warrantee that comes from Dell or Apple, but the person who builds it for you will probably be able to service it as well.


                      Ultimately, of course, your budget is likely to govern the kind of PC you get more than your preferred specs. But even with Windows PCs you get what you pay for. A cheap PC is just that, a cheap PC. Inexpensive PCs are affordable because they use inferior components. Keep that in mind.

                      • 9. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                        Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                        thewhitedog wrote:


                        Of course, with a custom PC you won't get the kind of warrantee that comes from Dell or Apple, but the person who builds it for you will probably be able to service it as well.

                        I would have to strongly disagree with that statement.  If you go to a reputable custom video editing integrator like ADK you will get much better intelligent support than you could possibly get from any big box house.

                        • 10. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                          thewhitedog Level 2

                          Did I say anything about a "big box house"? I did not. Perhaps I should have explained further, but I had in mind the kind of small neighborhood business that specializes in building custom PCs and servicing them. The advantage here is that it could be serviced locally by someone with whom you have at least a nodding acquaintance. Local tech support is not to be dismissed lightly. Of course, you should check them out first; not all such businesses are reputable.

                          • 11. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                            thewhitedog wrote:


                              with a custom PC you won't get the kind of warrantee that comes from Dell or Apple, but the person who builds it for you will probably be able to service it as well.


                            Here your statement on what I was refering to as "big box houses"

                            • 12. Re: Advice Needed... which is better?
                              thewhitedog Level 2

                              You're an absolute genius at reading into a simple statement something that isn't there. In any case, I explained what I meant more precisely in my next post so there's really no reason to spend more time arguing about your misperception.