#1 Posted by MikeHawk (382 posts) -

I know this is more of a question for Tested, but on the last This Is Only A Test, Will and Norm answered a similar question. So I thought I would get a different point of view. Anywho, I'm going to college next fall and I'm trying to plan out what technology to bring with me. My major is graphic design/communication with a concentration in film studies. Obviously I'm going to need a computer that can handle heavy video editing (and of course gaming), but I'm not sure specifically what I should get. My dad is willing to spend about $2,000 for one to be custom built, and I will also have a summer job. Should I get a very high end desktop PC for the video editing and a dual core netbook for portability and note taking? Or would I be better off just pumping it all into a beefy laptop or mobile workstation? Also, can I get away with dual-booting windows 7 and Snow Leopard?

#2 Posted by artofwar420 (6251 posts) -

Dual boot? Isn't that easier if you get a Mac lappie? Because I haven't heard of any simple solution to dual boot Leopard with a Windows system. That right there narrows down your options. Someone correct me.

#3 Posted by TheHBK (5463 posts) -

Windows 7 works awesome on the Mac. 
Now, I dont know what you would consider powerful enough for what you want to do, but go with the light laptop and desktop combo.  A laptop is a godsend in college and when you want to get together to work with friends on stuff you will appreciate it, because face it, you will have classes besides film and communication.  I dont see why you would need to spend 2000 bucks on a PC, so just go for half and half.  Get a iMac and Macbook pro if you want, but I would go with PC just because it is a lot of money saved for the same horsepower.  Unless you really want to use the iMovie or final cut or whatever. I dont know shit about video editing.  But also, check with your schools film program and find out what they use and if they give discounts on the software that they use. Also, lots of schools do give discounts on Windows if you choose to go the Mac route and put windows on the bootscamps.

#4 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -

I've heard good things about HP's Envy and Dell's XPS laptops. A MacBook Pro is a fine choice as well.

#5 Edited by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -

I've got a MacBook for University (not my choice). 
 
Not a single day goes by without me wanting to throw this piece of shit in the rubbish. Just get a Windows laptop, there is zero benefit from choosing Apple's overpriced crap.

#6 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -

go for the PC for heavy power/gaming, and pick up the laptop for note taking/projects. No point in dumping a bunch of money into a laptop that is most likely going to break before the PC and has a lower return on investment.

#7 Posted by MikeHawk (382 posts) -

I would rather not buy a mac and dual boot with, i'd rather do the other way around. I am very anti-Apple when it comes to actual computers (I just bought an ipod touch, those are fine), so I don't want to use OSX unless I have to. My school isn't very picky on what I use, but I know they use avid. They also have an entire lab of Macs, which makes me wonder if dual-booting for final cut is worth it or not. I also want to go with windows because of the more bang for my buck, so I guess it looks like it's not worth having Snow Leopard.
 
@TheHBK said:

I dont see why you would need to spend 2000 bucks on a PC, so just go for half and half.
Why would I not want to? I want it to be high end for my 4 years of college at least. Wouldn't building a cheaper desktop lower the usefulness of it in the long run?
#8 Posted by fwylo (3556 posts) -
@beej said:
" go for the PC for heavy power/gaming, and pick up the laptop for note taking/projects. No point in dumping a bunch of money into a laptop that is most likely going to break before the PC and has a lower return on investment. "
This is the correct answer.
#9 Posted by hunkaburningluv (568 posts) -
@MysteriousBob said:
" I've got a MacBook for University (not my choice).  Not a single day goes by without me wanting to throw this piece of shit in the rubbish. Just get a Windows laptop, there is zero benefit from choosing Apple's overpriced crap. "
boo-hoo 
 
I love my macbook pro - does everything I need it too. 
 
 
as someone who uses windows and OSX, I've never understood some of the apple hate ......
#10 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

MacBook Pro with Windows 7 Dualboot.

#11 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

get something to dual boot with. you can do both programs on one. you could always use the university's computer web to do homework....
 
this is just me but i think that windows photoshop is better than macs ones.

#12 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10482 posts) -

As someone who is always pro-PC and anti-Mac, I say buy a PC. 
 
But as someone who actually knows a little bit about these things, I know that it's really hard to get Mac OS running on a PC, so if you have to buy a Mac, I won't hate you too much for doing so. 

#13 Edited by Jams (2959 posts) -
@MikeHawk said:

" I know this is more of a question for Tested, but on the last This Is Only A Test, Will and Norm answered a similar question. So I thought I would get a different point of view. Anywho, I'm going to college next fall and I'm trying to plan out what technology to bring with me. My major is graphic design/communication with a concentration in film studies. Obviously I'm going to need a computer that can handle heavy video editing (and of course gaming), but I'm not sure specifically what I should get. My dad is willing to spend about $2,000 for one to be custom built, and I will also have a summer job. Should I get a very high end desktop PC for the video editing and a dual core netbook for portability and note taking? Or would I be better off just pumping it all into a beefy laptop or mobile workstation? Also, can I get away with dual-booting windows 7 and Snow Leopard? "

I feel like I'm pretty qualified to reply here so I'll give it a go.  If I were you, I'd get a powerful PC (something with a core i7) for video encoding and a midrange video card for hardware acceleration (for stuff like after effects). You could get 1 Apple computer for $2000 or one equally powerful PC for around $1200. That would give you some extra money for like a $400-$600 laptop/netbook for any notes, etc. 
 
OSX is pretty cool and stuff and it'll probably do everything you need it too, but Windows will be able to take care of anything you need just as well if not more so. 
 
Edit: The qualifications being I use computers for audio and video editing and I just bought an iMac i3 and I have a Gateway FX6800 that I bought a year or so ago for $1200 that has a core i7 920 that encodes video really fast. I don't know I've been using this mac for like 5 days now and I really miss the PC (even though it's just in the other room).
#14 Posted by ComradeKritstov (693 posts) -
@artofwar420 said:
"

Dual boot? Isn't that easier if you get a Mac lappie? Because I haven't heard of any simple solution to dual boot Leopard with a Windows system. That right there narrows down your options. Someone correct me.

"
I don't know if this counts as simple but it's the only solution I'm aware of. 
 
http://www.hackintosh.com/
#15 Posted by MikeHawk (382 posts) -
@jams:  ok, that seals the deal then. That was what I was thinking on doing, I just wanted Giant Bomb's approval. Thanks!
#16 Posted by mordukai (7133 posts) -
@MysteriousBob said:
" I've got a MacBook for University (not my choice).  Not a single day goes by without me wanting to throw this piece of shit in the rubbish. Just get a Windows laptop, there is zero benefit from choosing Apple's overpriced crap. "

#17 Posted by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

This year for uni I have my gaming PC and a netbook for taking to lectures. You can't do anything on it other than word processing, excel and such but that's all I need it for so it works great. Means I only have to carry a 10 inch notebook when others have 14-17 inch laptops that do everything my pc does but worse.

#18 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

You'll be getting far worse performance-per-dollar investing into a high-powered laptop so definitely go the high-performance desktop + low powered notebook route. As far as I'm concerned portable computer devices like netbooks and laptops should serve as no more than glorified notepads as their value and reliability are abysmal, so you'll want to spend as little on them as possible. If you can you should just invest everything into the desktop.  
 
Oh, and if you're going into graphic design DEFINITELY get Nvidia GPUs as their CUDA API blows everything out of the water. There are comparable open-source solutions with AMD GPUs, but they never arrive in a timely manner and typically have erratic stability and compatibility. 
 
It's going to be very hard to keep a high end PC for years without upgrading it in between. Hardware prices drop about 40% per year (amounting to 1/2 reduction in value over 2 years) so even if you bought a $2,000 bleeding edge PC today, it wouldn't amount to more than a mid-end PC by the end of your program. The best way would be to spend ~$1,000 now on a solid high end PC (price point where you typically get the most performance per dollar), and have some money left over to upgrade it halfway through. 

#19 Posted by Giantsquirrel (601 posts) -

I've got a ~$1200 desktop and an iPad with wireless keyboard for note taking. Works fine for me.

#20 Posted by EpicSteve (6471 posts) -

Mac Book Pro is the answer. You need to be mobile with reliable tech.

#21 Edited by Kombat (2205 posts) -
@MysteriousBob said:

" I've got a MacBook for University (not my choice).  Not a single day goes by without me wanting to throw this piece of shit in the rubbish. Just get a Windows laptop, there is zero benefit from choosing Apple's overpriced crap. "

I wish people would give coherent reasoning for their dislike of a product, rather than spewing their rage and leaving it at that. 
 
Though I fully support Windows desktops, I find that Mac laptops are about as good as it gets. Even with the out-of-sight Apple tax.
#22 Edited by Kombat (2205 posts) -
@MikeHawk: An Apple laptop is what you want, perhaps even a 27" Core i5 iMac, which is just slightly below the $2000 budget you've declared. At this point, while there's still a pretty big gap, the differences between Windows and Mac are steadily becoming moot. Where gaming is concerned, both Valve and Blizzard support OS X natively now. I think that can only speak for good thing sto come for Mac users that want some gaming options.
#23 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

One thing to keep in mind is the desk space your dorm/apartment will give you. I know for me, using a desktop would have been a hassle given how the size of the room/its layout. But most school's don't have dorms as small as ours. 

#24 Posted by MikeHawk (382 posts) -
@HarlequinRiot said:
" One thing to keep in mind is the desk space your dorm/apartment will give you. I know for me, using a desktop would have been a hassle given how the size of the room/its layout. But most school's don't have dorms as small as ours.  "
I've seen a couple dorms on my college visit, and they seem fairly large. I'll just have one roommate, so I think there will be enough room
#25 Posted by Burzmali (452 posts) -
@MikeHawk: Booting OSX onto a nonMac is a huge pain in the ass. When I started developing for the iPhone last year, I didn't have a Mac and tried to put Snow Leopard onto my laptop and desktop. After many, many hours (40+), I was only able to get it working on my desktop. Even then, half of the programs I needed to run just kept crashing. Unless you have the exact hardware used for a hackintosh, booting OSX on a nonMac is nearly impossible and a big headache. 
 
I know why you would want a Mac, but you can do video editing without any problem in Windows 7. I'd go with what others have suggested: get a good desktop for powerful editing/gaming and get a decent notebook or netbook for mobility. I'd personally avoid netbooks because they aren't good for much of anything other than document editing and web browsing (and casual gaming, I guess). You can get a decent netbook for $250 to $300, or you can get a decent notebook for about $400 (mine was $430). Notebooks are heavier and larger, but they can at least give you some truly mobile computer power. Also, allocate $40 or so for a good sized flash drive. I have a 32 gig one that is invaluable for transferring docs to other computers that don't belong to me. And for syncing files between computers, get Dropbox.
#26 Edited by cnlmullen (900 posts) -

You might know more about running OS X on a PC than I do, but for serious video editing the industry standard is Final Cut Pro, which is exclusively on OS X. Adobe Premiere can run on windows but it probably won't be the same program your professors will be teaching.  Almost all graphic design, at least at my college and my brothers college, is done on Macs. 
 
Maybe a $1700 iMac and a $300 netbook? You can use Bootcamp and get Windows 7 on your iMac for games, but that kind of screws you when it comes to future upgrades (not to mention computational bang for your buck).

#27 Posted by Purple_Proletarius (170 posts) -
@cnlmullen said:
" You might know more about running OS X on a PC than I do, but for serious video editing the industry standard is Final Cut Pro, which is exclusively on OS X. Adobe Premiere can run on windows but it probably won't be the same program you professors will be teaching.  Almost all graphic design, at least at my college and my brothers college, is done on Macs.
I'm in a similar boat with OP, I'm going off to college next year to study Poli Sci/Communications, and I need a laptop. It won't be used for games, mostly a lot of photo and video editing and producing on top of word processing, email, etc. So far I've been using my father's desktop PC, which is a pretty nice set up. I've been using Vegas Pro, some After Effects, Photoshop, and Lightroom. So I'm probably going to roll with a Macbook Pro, but I'm kinda hesitant seeing as they cost so much.
#28 Edited by cnlmullen (900 posts) -
@Purple_Proletarius: If you don't do much PC gaming that seems like it could be a good decision -- I know lots of people, especially in creative majors, who only use Macs. 
 
Personally, I don't do much video editing so I stick to windows with a PC I can upgrade and play games on without rebooting.
#29 Posted by Raven10 (1727 posts) -

Final Cut is the industry standard, and Adobe programs are designed for Mac first. Generally I'd say go for PC, but in the two industries you are getting into I would definitely go with a Mac. I Core i5 iMac is under $2000 and should get the job done just fine.