View Full Version : Laptop V Desktop

Shot Renegade
04-26-2004, 02:39 PM
Hi guys, ok lets get this question out into the open. What do people prefer? Laptop editing system or desktop editing system and why? My personal opinion is desktop - with the view that it's much easier to move with the times with a desktop than it is with a laptop. Laptop upgrades can form big dent's on a poor man's wallet.
The other big question... which I know has probably been covered but am interested to see in a poll sense is Mac or PC...
Vote and let your views be known!

(sorry guys, modified the poll so it makes sense! Hope it works for you this time! :wink: )

04-26-2004, 02:43 PM
You are asking for two responses... you can only select one, from the poll :(

04-26-2004, 02:46 PM
Thanks for posting this question. I, for one will benefit from the responses. I've never used a mac before but I've been advised to purchase a mac for my project which is currently in preproduction.

Shot Renegade
04-26-2004, 02:59 PM
Sorry Zen, think I've cleared up the poll! My mind can't cope with polls - how worrying is that ;) Day Release!!!!!

04-30-2004, 11:46 AM
Well, right now, I use a PC laptop, but my next purchase will be a Mac desktop dedicated system. I voted with the one I currently use.

Shot Renegade
04-30-2004, 12:26 PM
I tell you, mac desktop dual G5 FCP with a Pinnacle Cinewave HD capture card... mmmmmmmm drool. Only costs $110,000 :)

05-01-2004, 12:57 AM
Voted PC Desktop.

Applications link with the rest of my network, and I am liking the 3 internal hard-drives I have on my editing PC. (One Windows/Games, one editing applications and business software, and one straight video drive).

I prefer PC, as pretty much anything available on Mac is also on Windows... but not the other way around. Actually, I think the whole Mac vs PC argument is pretty much moot ever since Adobe opened up to the PC market. Mac is no longer the only platform for graphic design/video, as it once was several years ago. (Personally, I think the only advantage Apple still has are the super-crisp monitors they come up with... but even they end up with PC equivs after a short while)

I prefer Desktops... as laptops (for me) are for fun/convenience. I just can't get any work done on a laptop. Almost anything "real" that needs to get done involves plugging in a wired device... monitor, external drives, external mousee, external tablet, external you-name-it. By the time you are ready to start serious work on a laptop, you may as well be at a desktop by the time you've plugged in all the "extras".


Comic Eater
05-07-2004, 08:20 AM
It seems people prefer a desktop PC over a desktop Mac. What programs do you use to edit on the PC?

05-07-2004, 08:38 AM
Definitely a desktop PC. My editing station is set up on a dual-CPU machine, and you can't find that in any laptop (that I know of.)

The second CPU comes in handy for rendering - very processor intensive stuff. Spooling the data out to a RAID helps with storage transfer speed - another feature you don't see in laptops.

Desktops have the added attraction of more robust BIOS which typically allow overclocking. I wouldn't attempt overclocking a laptop because of their inadequate cooling systems.

My dual-processor rig has gone through a few "active cooling" iterations. I built a custom cabinet for it with a 10,000 BTU air conditioner and digital thermostat. It worked great, the CPU's were running at about 30F under load. But the AC unit was just too damn loud.

Second iteration was running the motherboard immersed in R11 freon. Worked great, CPU's ran at about -10F under load. But the R11 ended up eating the capacitors. Bad news.

Third iteration was putting waterblocks on the CPU's. Great concept, poor design. The water passing through was only cooled by a radiator/fan combination. That doesn't move heat efficiently.

Fourth (and current) iteration was replacing the radiator with a pump in the toilet tank. Every time I flush the ambient water temp drops to about 60F (toilet is fed straight from the cold water line in the house) and it takes a while to raise the temperature - at which point the toilet is usually flushed again anyway.

I think I got off topic a bit... but for a whole bunch of reasons I'll go with a desktop PC any time.

05-07-2004, 10:11 AM
It seems people prefer a desktop PC over a desktop Mac. What programs do you use to edit on the PC?

I personally use Premiere Pro (and I know a few others here do as well). I quite like the program (and the ability to interface with any other adobe product is rather nice).


Fourth (and current) iteration

Have you tried using LN2 (liquid Nitrogen)? Supposedly that stuff works really well for this sort of thing. Never tried it myself though.

Shot Renegade
05-07-2004, 12:05 PM
I'm premiere based at the moment... which is a bit rubbish... but I'd like to move onto AVID... FCP looks nice but the mac world is a bit more expensive than I'm willing to dip into at the moment.

05-07-2004, 01:29 PM
We looked at liquid nitrogen but there are too many special considerations for something that cold. Others who have experimented with it found it's SO cold it deforms the metal components on the motherboard!

The wonderful thing about R11 is that it becomes volatile at around 85F. So as long as the temperature stays below that point, it won't evaporate. And because it's freon based, there's no residue from evaporation (remembering my wife yelling about spilling it on the carpet... no stains though, so I survived.)

For software, I waffle between Premiere 6.5 and Video Vegas. Both have strengths and weaknesses. I was Software QA Manager at AVID for a few years in the early 90's. Great systems but a heck of a lot more functionality than I'll probably ever use.

Shot Renegade
05-07-2004, 07:04 PM
Video Vegas! I've heard about that but never tried it... is it very similar in structure to premeire? And I'm guessing its for the PC world.
I've just blown 714 on a new base unit P4 3.0ghz (PC Desktop). Decided that I needed to move up on the editing world. But now I've got to choose between software, which is always the most difficult.

Interesting to see that The PC Desktop, is winning over the Mac Desktop. I guess the pc offers the best performace v cost in the triangle. With Mac is seems you have to spend spend spend before you reach anything even touchable, or am I wrong? What are people's thoughts on this?

05-07-2004, 07:46 PM
Oh, I hate to weigh in on the PC vs Mac debate. Enthusiasts of both sides seem so adamant about their favorite.

I've worked with both. Personally, I like both platforms for their strengths. Boiling it all down, I'd say if you want to dedicate a machine to a single purpose, like editing, go ahead and choose Mac. Where the Mac has always failed is the limited assortment of applications.

If you want to use the machine for many purposes like editing, bookkeeping, game play, or any of the thousands of other applications available for Windows, then choose a PC.

Of coure, all this kind of goes out the window if you change the discussion to Operating System. If you're going to run Linux with OpenSource software, either machine will do it well.

Video Vegas is much like Premiere. Most of the functionality is common, maybe it's the User Interface that's the main difference. I like them both, really.

You can download a demo version of Video Vegas 5 from this site: