Advice on buying PC for PS and Video editing


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beachbum

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#1
hi all,

need advice on buying computer for mainly photoshop usage (chief consideration), and of course running microsoft stuff like Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Project...(secondary consideration).
me currently using PS5.5 on laptop (PIII 700, 256RAM), and it seems usable to me. My files are currently no larger than 6-7mb, in TIFF mode.
forsee in future will be dealing will larger files size of 30MB/file and possible dealing with digital video editing too.

I am looking at buying a new computer and need advice on the following questions:

1. Mac or PC (i assume PS works the same on both platform. If that's the case, why people still use Mac??)

2. what configuration? from mother board, CPU, RAM, HDD, graphics card, monitor (LCD vs Cathode), input/output ports (USB 2.0 vs firewire..etc), CDR, DVD....

Hope i am not asking for the moon, as my budget is around $3k only... hehehehe :embrass:

me not very familiar with computer hardware so need help from fellow clubsnapper.

thanks in advance!! :)
 

Darren

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Jan 16, 2002
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#2
S$3K is very adequate to get you a new PC with all the trimmings ;)

For example, just configured this off the Dell website

Pentium 4 2.4Ghz Processor
256MB memory (333MHz DDRAM)
80GB HDD
64MB GeForce4 MX video card
DVD+RW/+R with CDRW drive
Firewire interface + video editing software
Sound Blaster Live
Keyboard, Mouse
WinXP Professional
15-inch LCD Monitor

---> S$3,415

If u take away the LCD monitor, possible less than or ard S$3K.
 

beachbum

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#3
darren, thanks for your reply.

what about the platform. does the platform matters even when you are using the same software? e.g. Adobe PS and Microsoft Office suite???

btw, is 3K too little to buy even the mouse for a Mac?
 

Bluestrike

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#4
Dualies!!!!
hehehee

get dual processors !!!!
def worth it!!!!
*Darren... AMD!!!!*

Tyan
AMD MP
512MB DDR2700
2x20GB RAID 0
1x10GB(for Finish Product)
DVD+RW/+R
Audigy (firewire)
ATI 8500
19" CRT monitor
 

beachbum

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#6
Originally posted by ckiang
If you are heavily into graphics and video, it makes a lot more sense to get a G4 Powermac. :) :devil:

Regards
CK
yeah... i know a lot of people dabbling with graphics and video use Mac, but why?? how is it superior to using PC, esp when the software e.g PS, is available for both platform??
 

Darren

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#7
Originally posted by ckiang
If you are heavily into graphics and video, it makes a lot more sense to get a G4 Powermac. :) :devil:
hmmm.... this may turn into a Mac vs PC flame thread, but please elaborate how much more sense it makes to get a G4 Powermac vs a Pentium 4 or Athlon PC..... with concrete examples, benchmarks, comparative price guides, etc.

Not anti-Mac, far from it, would love to have a Mac, and i used to sell Macs to graphic houses .... basically, boils down to the questions of "What can a Mac do that a PC cannot?" and "Isn't a PC much cheaper given the required functionality?"

;)
 

#8
Originally posted by Darren
hmmm.... this may turn into a Mac vs PC flame thread, but please elaborate how much more sense it makes to get a G4 Powermac vs a Pentium 4 or Athlon PC..... with concrete examples, benchmarks, comparative price guides, etc.

Not anti-Mac, far from it, would love to have a Mac, and i used to sell Macs to graphic houses .... basically, boils down to the questions of "What can a Mac do that a PC cannot?" and "Isn't a PC much cheaper given the required functionality?"

;)
Firstly, I am no Mac user. So my comments are based on what I've read and what I've tried myself personally in showrooms, etc. ;p

The Mac has everything you need to do video and graphics, right down to colour management built into the OS. (which is lacking on a PC). FireWire is also supported right out of the box (since FireWire is an Apple technology anyway), so you can do video captures, etc without having to buy a firewire board. Software for that is available freely (a bit like MovieMaker on XP, but then, that isn't available for 98/2k users).

On the same clock speed, the Mac is also said to perform better than the equivalent Intel/AMD CPU. How far this is true, I don't know. But definitely not lacking.

On the digital photography front, iPhoto is a great tool. I am still looking for a PC equivalent, which somehow no one ever produced. Programs like ACDSee can't really compare to iPhoto for its functionality. The thing has a nice feature for you to create custom books from your photos. All these for free. If you are using OS X. Windows XP's built-in image viewer can't beat it either.

OS - Until Windows 2000/XP, PCs tend to crash easily. Mac users tell me their systems don't crash as much. Of course, this is debatable. After all, there's this unofficial acronym from anti-Mac users -- MACINTOSH = Machine Always Crashes, If Not The OS Hangs. lol.

Most of the professional video software like Final Cut Pro (a friend working in a video house swears by it) is also Mac-only, as is audio workstation software like ProTools (which is only recently available on PC).

Then I dunno if it's me, but pictures displayed on the new iMac and the LCD CinemaDisplay monitors always tend to look better than any of the LCD monitors for PCs.....

Regards
CK
 

sriram

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Mar 10, 2002
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#9
Here we go:

The new Macs running MacOS-X are based on BSD Unix. If you have used a Unix system or a VMS system before you will know how stable it is. System crashes, memory corruption, instability and unreliability are not encountered. The core OS is designed correctly from the ground up, and it is a lot more stable, robust and efficient than Windows. (Read "The design of the Unix operating system", by Maurice J Bach). Oh yes, and you are not plagued by viruses.

As for CPU speed, due to the architecture of a PowerPC, it can beat a Pentium running at a much higher speed. Typically, a 600MHz PowerPC can process data at 3-4 times the speed of an equivalent 600MHz Pentium-III/IV. You don't need a ultra high speed 2GHz PowerPC. This translates into lower power consumption and lower cooling requirements. You also don't have to soup up your CPU to insane speeds like 2.4 GHz to get decent performance. If you have used the old HP PA-RISC 9000 series servers, you'll know what I mean. Their low speed (160MHz) machines could dance rings round my then state of the art Pentium-III (400? Mhz??)

CK already mentioned colour management. Apple's ColourSync is excellent. With MacOS, you have far less problems with system corruption, reinstallation, etc... which is very common with windows.

One major reason I'd get a Mac : MacOS-X delivers excellent performance under heavy loads, where windows crawls to a stop. Try editing a 62MB TIFF file and see what I mean. You can also test this out by running multiple programs in the background and looking at the response time. The OS scheduler and memory manager of MacOS is much better designed than Windows - it is derived from BSD Unix. See http://www.freebsd.org/ for the source code, specs and information on the scheduler and memory manager.

All in all, if I were to do it again, I'd get myself a Mac instead of a PC. MacOS-X makes all the difference.
 

wenghao

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#10
might as well configure a PC from shops in Sim Lim. Sure cheaper than dell.........
 

Zerstorer

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#11
Originally posted by sriram

As for CPU speed, due to the architecture of a PowerPC, it can beat a Pentium running at a much higher speed. Typically, a 600MHz PowerPC can process data at 3-4 times the speed of an equivalent 600MHz Pentium-III/IV. You don't need a ultra high speed 2GHz PowerPC. This translates into lower power consumption and lower cooling requirements. You also don't have to soup up your CPU to insane speeds like 2.4 GHz to get decent performance. If you have used the old HP PA-RISC 9000 series servers, you'll know what I mean. Their low speed (160MHz) machines could dance rings round my then state of the art Pentium-III (400? Mhz??)
This is true, but there is little reason to make clock for clock comparisons when what the user is interested in is the final result.

Though the AMD/P3/P4 are have lower IPC(Instructions Per Cycle), their raw clockspeed more than makes up for it. Don't know if anyone has any benchmark data available, but I thought I read somewhere that Macs have been totally surpassed in performance since the >Gigahertz machines started arriving.

As for the lower heat power requirements, its all part of the equation as well, at any given clockspeed, a higher IPC will also cause greater power consumption. The only reason why Macs can get away with tiny cases and limited cooling is because they are running at a far lower clockspeed compared to PCs. Though the newer PC processors do indeed consume more power, they are not significantly hotter due to the fact that finer production processes (0.18micron) result in chips that consume less energy in the first place. In fact there are P4s available now that come in puny cubes even smaller than the Mac equivalent.;)

I agree to your other points though, it's not just the hardware that makes the difference. Other things like the OS(stick to WinXP for PCs and you should be relatively safe) and software and colour profiling are important, but for a price and performance(speed) viewpoint, I think the PC clearly has a edge.
 

Feb 17, 2002
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#12
You can try reading up some benchmark reports done using photoshop and it will tell you why many graphics/video users choose mac....or mabbe not...:D

read the specs here and go to page 3 for the photoshop test

One big difference is that on a Mac, the Adobe Photoshop is tuned to work best with the G4 Processor, especially with the technology called Velocity Engine.

Can read here on the impact on photoshop and here for those who are into processors..the techy stuff.

but...being realistic...you'd need to fork out alil more to buy a mac...as compared to a win-pc. but its an investment..:D
 

V

Verre Vrai

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#13
If you really want a system PURELY for image/video processing or editing, look no further than the Mac. If you wants to play games than get a PC.

If you have never use a Mac b4, go down to Funan 5th floor, there a shop at the corner with their Macs displayed. Go and see for yourself images display on a Mac LCD. It beats any PC LCD hands down :thumbsd: :thumbsd: :thumbsd:
 

Zerstorer

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Jul 8, 2002
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#14
Originally posted by Jimmy Liew
You can try reading up some benchmark reports done using photoshop and it will tell you why many graphics/video users choose mac.

read the specs here and go to page 3 for the photoshop test

One big difference is that on a Mac, the Adobe Photoshop is tuned to work best with the G4 Processor, especially with the technology called Velocity Engine.

Can read here on the impact on photoshop and here for those who are into processors..the techy stuff.

but...being realistic...you'd need to fork out alil more to buy a mac...as compared to a win-pc. but its an investment..:D
Well, the link you provided only serves to confirm what I believe.

All the tests are showing time taken(seconds) to complete a particular task and the G4 is lagging behind in every test.

Here's the photoshop tests:
http://www.digitalpostproduction.com/2002/07_jul/features/cw_macvspc23.htm
And the conclusion:
As you see, the dual Athlon is still the fastest PC we've tested, but the single Intel P4 2.53 GHz machine runs a close second, and even beats the dual Athlon on some of the tests. And, as expected, the Mac dual 1GHz G4 could not even come close to keeping up with these two PCs. Even though the P4 machine has only a single processor, it was easy for it to leave the dual-processor Mac far behind.
The P4 Dell workstation was the cheapest of the 3 systems, considering the fact that you can further save costs by DIYing it yourself, it really takes the cake on the price/performance issue.
 

#15
Hi Beachbum,

Here's my take, it depends on your needs/requirements.

What I can tell/deduce from your original post, you're a PC person, who is doing bits of image processing with Photoshop on a pentium laptop. So are you planning to go professional, or very serious on image processing and video editing?

If you're the typical home user, video/photo hobbyist, who needs to organise your home/hobby photos and cut video on VCDs/DVDs, go with whatever system you're already comfortable with. Your idea is to get down to work immediately. This is so esp if you have a budget, 3K may not be enuff for a Mac system. Besides, I reckon you already have a PC version of Photoshop (ahem), are you gonna fork out more $$ for a Mac version photoshop?

If you're a pro, or going pro, or really serious about colour matching and stuffs, I'll bite. Mac is probably a good choice. The industry has proven so. I agree from what little I know about Mac, their handling of colour management is better, though by no means easier to understand, than Windoze. As for BSD, it has a superior file system compared to NT, faster in fact under stress, like video editing/capture etc.

As for Dual processor PC, I'm not too sure, if your app doesn't make full use of multi threaded design, the performance increase may not be worth it. Maybe you can wait a while for hyper threading enabled CPUs to be out (likely the 3GHz and later) coupled with the new i845PE/GE chipsets; they may prove themselves to be more bang for the buck. BY then, the Dual-DDRs will be ready as well (maybe), giving even better performance (hopefully).

Hmmm... I hope I didn't step on anybody's toes here, esp those PC/Mac enthusiasts'.

Please don't flame, thanks :embrass:

<added>
Hmm... reading your post again, you said you're using PS5.5, would that be the Limited Edition that comes with your Digital Camera / Printer / scanner etc? Maybe you can try Photoshop Elements 2.0 if you're the occasional image editing user, PS is way up there in terms of price ;P Maybe you can provide more info about your profile, and usage level in the near future.
 

kawan

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#16
get a MAC,
and then get a WinXP Virtual Machine to run if you need it later as more & more internet files can only run on ipc..
and remember, you can't play most of the games in MAC..


but I still drool on Mac
:rbounce:

I setup a almost similiar config as what Daren's post
w/p DVD-R and firewire.. ~ $2k
 

J

JerChan

Guest
#17
Originally posted by beachbum
hi all,

need advice on buying computer for mainly photoshop usage (chief consideration), and of course running microsoft stuff like Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Project...(secondary consideration).
me currently using PS5.5 on laptop (PIII 700, 256RAM), and it seems usable to me. My files are currently no larger than 6-7mb, in TIFF mode.
forsee in future will be dealing will larger files size of 30MB/file and possible dealing with digital video editing too.

I am looking at buying a new computer and need advice on the following questions:

1. Mac or PC (i assume PS works the same on both platform. If that's the case, why people still use Mac??)

2. what configuration? from mother board, CPU, RAM, HDD, graphics card, monitor (LCD vs Cathode), input/output ports (USB 2.0 vs firewire..etc), CDR, DVD....

Hope i am not asking for the moon, as my budget is around $3k only... hehehehe :embrass:

me not very familiar with computer hardware so need help from fellow clubsnapper.

thanks in advance!! :)
Tried to PM you, but your message box is full.
 

shawntim

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Feb 13, 2002
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#18
for this you can get it at $1500+++ at SLS.

Originally posted by Darren
S$3K is very adequate to get you a new PC with all the trimmings ;)

For example, just configured this off the Dell website

Pentium 4 2.4Ghz Processor
256MB memory (333MHz DDRAM)
80GB HDD
64MB GeForce4 MX video card
DVD+RW/+R with CDRW drive
Firewire interface + video editing software
Sound Blaster Live
Keyboard, Mouse
WinXP Professional
15-inch LCD Monitor

---> S$3,415

If u take away the LCD monitor, possible less than or ard S$3K.
since you're asking these questions, then I believe you are still a novice when it comes to computers. In this case, I suggest you get the most common platform with the most common tools to start off with. This will help in your learning curve.

You might not understand what is everyone talking about (the diff between PC and Mac), but don't worry. What's good for them, might not be good for you. Your budget is way way too luxurious. Right now, at SLS, for $1500 can get you a P4 1.8 Ghz with 512 meg ram or more, which is quite sufficient. READ - fast. It's not even slow, so don't worry about it. Don't think u'll need 1 gb, 2 gb RAM? so save the money first.

Besides, you will need more apps that those you've mentioned. Unless u know why you intend to choose a particular platform for it's benefits, choose one that has the *availibility:devil: of software.

Choose yourself, don't let others choose for u.


btw, for the same price, Macs get u half the power you can get with Wintel. If I were thinking of highend Mac, it would be $4K-6K already.
 

beachbum

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#20
Originally posted by ptlee
Hi Beachbum,

Here's my take, it depends on your needs/requirements.

What I can tell/deduce from your original post, you're a PC person, who is doing bits of image processing with Photoshop on a pentium laptop. So are you planning to go professional, or very serious on image processing and video editing?


yep. i am a current WinPC person and yes, i am looking at a machine that can handle professional level image editing/management work.

If you're the typical home user, video/photo hobbyist, who needs to organise your home/hobby photos and cut video on VCDs/DVDs, go with whatever system you're already comfortable with. Your idea is to get down to work immediately. This is so esp if you have a budget, 3K may not be enuff for a Mac system. Besides, I reckon you already have a PC version of Photoshop (ahem), are you gonna fork out more $$ for a Mac version photoshop?
yeah... 3k is definitely not enuf for a decent Mac system... i did a check and we are looking at around 5-6k....

If you're a pro, or going pro, or really serious about colour matching and stuffs, I'll bite. Mac is probably a good choice. The industry has proven so. I agree from what little I know about Mac, their handling of colour management is better, though by no means easier to understand, than Windoze. As for BSD, it has a superior file system compared to NT, faster in fact under stress, like video editing/capture etc.
i have yet to try my hand on a Mac, so i think i will really need to try out a decent Mac system to see if i prefer the handling....

<added>
Hmm... reading your post again, you said you're using PS5.5, would that be the Limited Edition that comes with your Digital Camera / Printer / scanner etc? Maybe you can try Photoshop Elements 2.0 if you're the occasional image editing user, PS is way up there in terms of price ;P Maybe you can provide more info about your profile, and usage level in the near future.
nope, its the full works, not LE. as i mentioned previously, i am thinking of gettting a system good enuf for professional level work - mostly photoshop. video can come later/optional. my chief concerns, other than performance, are:
1. price - Mac prices are really stretching it for me....
2. usability & learning curve - obviously asap is the best. But i don mind spending 1-2 weeks, 3hrs a day learning how to use the Mac optimally.
3. support - buying peripherals, after sales service, softwares (i don play games...so...), expert advice from usergroups....
4. integratibility - with the rest of the WinPC world (if i go Mac).
 

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