Description image

Dude, You Gettin' a Dell? Former Apple Editors Choose 'Yes, Bro' over Mac Pro for Performance

Something weird is going on. We know the Mac Pro hasn’t had a substantial upgrade in some time. We know that something is looming over the horizon, but we don’t know what, exactly. We also know that Apple will probably over-charge us for it (or it wouldn’t quite feel right for anybody). And while it may not be fair to fault a machine that’s still quite hefty and robust for losing to brand new ones in spec tests and benchmark performance — just what are we waiting for here? Should we even be waiting for it at all? How much incentive to hold out for Apple remains when you can build your own Mac Pro, build your own specialized editing PC — or, for instance, as a recent StudioDaily feature shows many video editors are doing — switch to powerhouse Dell solutions?

Don’t take it from me — take it from these guys:

This is actually quite nostalgic for me, because I did my very first “movie editing” on a Dell desktop machine (on software called Roxio Videowave) — but from the sound of things, play time’s over. It’s hard to believe an industry leader — and one in our industry, as well — in both hardware and software would fall as behind as Apple has in this fairly significant niche, for any reason. The tech mantra of Moore’s Law doesn’t leave a lot of room to play catch up, nor treat the recently obsolete very kindly — assuming Apple still cares. Whatever the reason, the delay goes on and on, so it was only a matter of time before some significant population within that fairly significant niche made the switch to that other platform.

According to Jason De Vos of StudioDaily, Dell hired a neutral third party (a company called Principled Technologies) to perform relevant benchmark tests on the most powerfully configured Mac Pro and Dell Precision T7600 possible with $12,500 per machine with both using Intel Xeon processors. To test the type of hardcore number-crunching that comes with video editing, the study used Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, renderin’ up all kinds of mess. At this point you may be able to guess the outcome:

The results showed the Dell Precision T7600, featuring Intel Xeon processors, outperformed Apple Mac Pro by up to 96.5% on video production tasks and is up to 28 times faster than the Mac Pro! For example, to render an entire work area for an AVCHD four-layer video, the Dell Precision T7600 with an Intel Xeon processor took only 13 seconds to do what it took the Apple Mac Pro more than 6 minutes to accomplish.

But this wasn’t some fluke test. The average time saved, incorporating every single test that was run, was 79 percent! Can you even imagine if you had that kind of time back in your day? If you do heavy video editing you could literally be wasting your day by working on a Mac Pro. And don’t forget, you get all that power at the same cost!

But it’s not just hardware and machinery, these things come in conjunction with Apple’s snoring and Adobe’s opportunistic body check to FCP in the NLE market. Nobody’s post solution system is all well-rounded or smoothly integrated as Adobe’s. All the right components are in place for mass exodus and even public outcry from loyal users — though with solid alternatives such as Dell’s really growing into place, at least there’s no risk of moral panic.

Furthermore, if Apple’s decision to “participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution” truly will extend all the way to its ground-to-a-halt Pro line, now’s as good a time as ever to switch. Lock-in is the rigor mortis of progressive development for both the creator and his/her tools by entrenchment in that which is legacy — and if Apple is determined that it’s best they bow out of the video editing hardworld and softworld, you may find yourself recalling those classic Dell commercials in ways you really never expected to.

With some murmuring today that Microsoft may be looking to purchase Dell, things may get a whole lot more interesting in the near future.

Have you guys noticed a shift like this local to your own work and workflows? Do you see this as the changing of winds, or just a drop in the bucket until Apple releases something big?



We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 150 COMMENTS

  • I feel vindicated for not switching over to apple system years ago, I love my DIY windows machine. Will be building another later on this year.

  • I read Lenovo is making some good laptops as well. I never used them.

  • A lot of apple hostility coming from this site.

    • I don’t about that; I’ve seen quite the favor for Apple on many other articles… perhaps just this author?

      • That’s so Apple fan-boyish… If you don’t like the message, attack the messenger. Grow up, smell the coffee and get to work…

    • I think there’s just a lot of alternatives covered here. There’s just no Apple fanboyism happening.

    • A lot of hostility comes from Apple. I like the way you cry, appleboy.

    • I’m sure a new Mac Pro will be up to snuff in specs, but the Mac Pro is a fairly closed system in terms of upgrade options.

      Furthermore, if Apple doesn’t care about their NLE being the standard of processionals, they may not care either about their professions line either. My guess is if more production companies start jumping ship, it may just motivate the launch of a new Mac Pro.

    • A lot of fanboyism coming from some comments.

  • This is part of the reason Apple’s stock fell 10% yesterday. They’re not coming out with anything new or exciting, just continually updating what they already have.

    • BS…you should look at the gaps between there “new or exciting” product releases…

      Ipod – 2001
      Iphone – 2007
      Ipad – 2010

      • Re-inventing and selling the same thing to people.

        I call your BS and raise you more BS.

        • Exactly – you can keep changing the size and shape of the same thing, but it’s still going to be just that: the same piece of hardware.

          They had such a great growth in the years you pointed out because there were very few (if any) alternatives that were as innovative at the time as Apple’s. Couple that with the lawsuits they continually file against other companies, and it makes sense why they’ve remained king of the hill for quite some time. The rest of the market is catching up and able to do it cheaper with similar (if not better) results in many areas.

          Apple is all about simplicity for the user, which I’m all for, but refreshing their product line every six months and calling it “the greatest thing we’ve come up with yet” is ridiculous.

          Watch this:

          Now, let’s be real: it took them 11 years to conclude this? This isn’t innovation, this is common sense that they’re selling as the next “wow” factor for their line of products.

        • Terence Kearns on 02.2.13 @ 10:10AM

          Agreed. Was just thinking that to myself. The Apple execs are obviously making more money out of the domestic market (with their 17 models of iOS devices) so they’ve decided to let their professional market die on the vine. They have NO IDEA how short-sighted that is since there is a lot of product streaming power they will lose by doing that.

          I’m not happy about it because it means we will be back to a Microsoft dominated world if that happens – and judging by the epic fail of Windows 8, that’s not good for the industry.

          Jobs is gone, and so has the vision.

          And I am NOT an apple user or a Jobs fanboy. Happen to be a Windows 7 user.

      • Steve Jobs dies, now they’re resting on their laurels. When will there be a substantial update to OSX? It’s been essentially the same for years and years.

        • I half agree and half disagree – I don’t expect much crazy new changes to iphone/ipad. They’ve got it working well. If a big change comes, it will take a little bit. More than a few years. The retina in the macbooks is a big deal.

          On the other hand, why is the macpro line treated like an unwanted child? They could easily have come out with an editing powerhouse last year that would put this argument to rest – or at least put it back to the same argument of mac vs pc from 5 years ago.

          There is for sure some laurel resting going on, to some degree.

        • Apple was screwing up long before Steve Jobs died. I think other companies have simply caught up with Apple and are eating them for lunch at the moment. Time will tell whether or not Apple gets it together and shows some innovation in it’s product line again.

  • While I don’t doubt that Dell’s offerings are faster (Apple hasn’t *really* updated theirs in almost three years now, they had better be faster) I feel the results in this test are somewhat cleverly exaggerated. If you look at their methods, for some reason they are using the 2010 model, though I am quite sure the 2012 update was shipping by mid-August. They use an NVIDIA (and thus CUDA capable) card in the Dell, the Mac has an AMD card, which won’t give nearly the performance benefit in CS5.5.

    The other interesting thing is the machine is not equally spec’ed on any other hardware; if they had matched as closely as possible, the Mac Pro is almost $3000 cheaper. Just food for thought.

    • Agreed. They’re comparing the latest, greatest Dell to a Mac Pro that everyone knows is quite out of date… the AMD graphics card is pretty inexcusable and makes up a huge portion of the difference. There are several nVidia cards available for the Mac . But yes, until there is an all-new Mac Pro, Apple’s top-end pro hardware is definitely going to lag behind.

    • thanks for injecting some reason in this discussion.
      people here seem to ignore the fact that that youtube video is a Dell commercial.

  • This is a great article, if for no other reason than the line “renderin’ up all kinds of mess.”

  • I currently work on a dell laptop and I’m loving a every minute of it. I push it pretty hard and though it’s not completely decked out to handle some high power rendering and playback it performs very well with full HD footage and high frame rates.

  • I got laughed at 2 years ago for purchasing a Dell T7500, installing a CUDA gaming card and editing on PPCS5 by Apple and FCP snobs. Now 90% of those same people are using PP and saving up for a PC that is half the price of a Mac Pro and is much faster. I’m all about saving time and not about being a fanboy to a certain brand.

  • Advertising?

  • ok, beisdes the fact the tests are totally borked due to lack of CUDA card on mac… just wait until you actually try to use a PC in real production work. win 7 networking is a nightmare that doesn’t work. I wasted to so much time trying to get it to work. want to HFS+ on mac, spend an extra $79 or nothing. write NTFS on mac ? no… not hacks.

    oh cross platform codec that both macs and PC’s can write ? none except DnxHD which I don’t care for. there are so many workflow stoppers in this day and age its painful that simply should not exist.

    so reality is this article is nothing but troll baiting based on some really bad tests

  • john jeffreys on 01.24.13 @ 8:37PM

    It’s been sooo trendy to hate apple lately

    • Maybe it’s because they sit on a $100m+ of profit they squeezed out of all of us? Money that’s not being reinvested… So the buck literally stops at Apple…

  • I would probably choose a hp laptop over one from dell. I have nothing against dell but as I already have a z820 workstation which is so amazing and fast I would also choose one from them

  • I’m using a 2012 Mac Mini with upgraded 16GB ram, dual 24″ monitors, and it handles everything just fine. Unless you’re doing heavy graphics stuff you really don’t need anything better for video editing at this point. (yes I work with RED footage). Let’s face it, most people waste more time on facebook than waiting for stuff to render in final cut.

    • john jeffreys on 01.24.13 @ 9:41PM

      there is no “waiting” for render times in fcp anymore, it does it in the background. but i guess people are too busy thinking junky homemade PCs are better to know that

      • Maybe you should make your own to see how wrong you’re. I can make PCs that are reliable that will smoke a Mac for a fraction of the cost.

        • john jeffreys on 01.25.13 @ 3:34AM

          I did, I built one and it lasted a few years before blowing up. Also built a cad-machine for my father’s office and a gaming machine for my friend.

  • I’d love to know what Koo, Joe Marine and the rest of the NFS staff use as workstation.

  • It’s seems the only people who are mad are Apple fanboys.
    I used to be an Apple fanatic but after I used a Dell professional
    Workstation I made the switch. Apple does not care about you. Some of you guys are
    in denial. If you must only use a Mac then Hackintosh is the way to go.

    • john jeffreys on 01.24.13 @ 9:43PM

      Do you really think DELL, a giant corporation with its #1 priority being PROFIT (as opposed to Apple, who knows that the real profit comes from good design and service) cares about you? Their customer service is outsourced to a third world country. At least if my mac breaks I can take it to the local apple store.

      • You do realize that Apple is one of the largest corporations in the world, right? Not actually your friend but a large corporation.

      • The only time I contacted Apple for service the first thing they asked if I had a Apple care pack. I didn’t have one, so they refused service. Now just who cares about money first and foremost?

        • john jeffreys on 01.25.13 @ 3:36AM

          Thats funny, because they always replace the unit for free if it is your first time. Maybe you were giving them attitude :P I had an iPod that just fried one day, took it to the store, they threw it into a bin and gave me a new one, free. Another time, my notebook’s battery failed and they replaced it for free (but told me the next time it would be 100 dollars). And I have never bought applecare. I guess it also depends on how good of a mood the reps are

          • As an over-paying customer, I reserve any right to act like a bozo if the damn products don’t do what they’re supposed to.

  • Just watched a commercial.

  • Anthony Marino on 01.24.13 @ 9:47PM

    Seems like an amazing unit, a little much for my needs. 13 seconds? 1-2 minutes are fine for me with my single i7. Hell if its even that much slower, its probably more like a 40-45 second different between the single i7 and duel Xeons. I’m not exactly sure but I was surprised by the benchmarks regarding duel Xeons vs i7 for basic video editing. Premiere pro with 4-5 layers a 3000 dollar system won’t put you too far behind in render time behind this beast. Of course If you do heavy grades, have tons of drives, cgi well then im pretty sure the dell hits the mark. It’s definitely a fun to read about. And to the few who put apple out of the race I’d choose my words wisely. Apple just got surpassed by Mobil oil again. Apple’s huge, they can do anything they want.

  • Started using Apple computers in college four years ago, had been using PC since birth. I will never look back to the McDonalds computing of the PC flavor. I make my living doing Apple administration now. I have Mac Pro with Dual Four Cores, 16GIG memory, 4 1TB drives striped in a RAID array. The kicker, how about a 4Gbs fibre connect into 70TB XSAN, not to mention 2 LED Cinema Monitors. The point being, if you have the money to spend, nothing compares to APPLE. Usability and Design is king, don’t lie to yourself. Why hate on a company that champions these ideals, builds an OS on top of a rock-solid UNIX back end. The comment about redesigning a new OS, really? What is so absent from the current OS that is destroying your computing experience, lol. Oh yeah I forget, playing Call Duty, pffff.

  • worthless article from a purely journalistic perspective, regardless of the subject matter.

  • Never heard of any of those production companies. This is a pitch video Dell is trying to sell to the niche editor market. If they claim everybody is moving over maybe they will?

    I don’t care about brands or any of that crap, if it works the best for my workflow and I’m not talking exclusively about render times, then I use it.

    And as of right now, it’s not a Dell.

    Guess that would make a boring pitch video though.

  • I love Apple, but this days I find it hard to defend the platform. I do believe Apple no longer cares for the pro user :(. Those were the days.

  • I’m an Apple fan but they dont seem to care about pros much anymore and I’m thinking more and more that my next system will be a PC. I love the quality and design of macs. PC’s just dont feel the same. It reminds me of driving a BMW. It just feels sooooo good. But lately we lost the performance and now have only design.

  • I will use an outdated mac pro just for the os. I dont know, it just feels more efficient for me. Plus, I have the 2010 8 core model, and it is nowhere close to being slow yet…

  • trackofalljades on 01.25.13 @ 1:36AM

    There’s every reason to believe that the new workstations Tim Cook swears are coming will be announced at WWDC.

    That’s in the middle of the summer.

    Apple might do really well to rethink that likely plan, and hold one of their little “events” sooner rather than later. The ship is looking better and better to jump from all the time.

  • The background rendering is really a much required feature which Apple has introduced in FCPX but in Premiere Pro one is not required to think about rendering until the final phase. The need for background rendering was a must for FCP as seeing those red lines and “Unrendered” in previous versions is damn irritating.
    FCPX is definitely a noticeable improvement over FCP 7(ignoring GUI) but its not worth the premium paid for Mac Pros. Premiere Pro with a workstation from HP or Dell or custom one performs way better for the money spent.

  • Ha Dave Dugdale wasnt approached by Dell.

  • What’s more important aside from any Apple vs PC debate here is the mention that Microsoft is looking to buy into hardware (purchase Dell). Once that happens we’re on our way to a new powerhouse (duopoly) that won’t be for the better in terms of choice and pricing. Old dogs learning new tricks. I’m sure them guys in Redmond are paying close attention to those in Cupertino and are trying to copy their strategy of locking-in the customer. Scary thought…

    • I don’t think MS will go that deep into Dell. They just want to keep it alive, because it’s their portal to a lot of business. I don’t think they’re eager to become a big hardware player. Could be wrong, though.

  • Today Apple is an expensive-toy maker.

    I have no doubt that a sizeable portion of pro users (not just video editors: anybody who needs performance) will fly away from them. A few years ago they had the FCP card to play: if you wanted to use that, you could only use Apple hardware. Now that’s gone, and they’re an incredibly long stretch behind in performance. Way to go, Apple!

    • Exactly. I write this comment on my iPad and because of the many filmmaking aps, my next phone is likely going to be an iPhone, although I hope someone here at Nofilmschool will do a post on what filmmaking apps are available for Android/Samsung.

      • Android apps for filmmakers? Not many, I must say. I’m an Android user and this is a sizeable cause of envy towards iphone users. Then again, my phone is 95% as good as an iphone, and it cost me 1/3 of the price. That extra 5% is not worth that many $$$ for me.

  • It’s already been proved the author is not a fan of Apple (and he admitted it in the comments previously).

    I’m no fan boy, but I don’t see the reason to post such a anti-apple story unless it is clickbait.
    And as others have said, the test in the article is a nonsense anyway.

  • I bought a refurb 12-core MacPro in October when it became clear Apple wasn’t going to be releasing a new MacPro any time soon. It was expensive (I added memory & SSDs), but it remains a good buy. Why?

    Software infrastructure.

    I happen to prefer FCPX to PPro, Aperture to Lightroom and Mac OSX to Windows. Since I spend 70% of my working life processing the stuff I get on shoots, this is more important to me that a factor of 2 in raw speed.

    I can cheerfully edit RED footage natively with acceptable playback and render times even without a Red rocket and get through editing the couple of thousand Hasselblad RAW files I sell each month… with enough CPU cycles spare to be able to launch a couple of new video-and-stills heavy commercial websites as well.

    But Apple- don’t let it get to a factor of 10 in raw speed, because then the balance will have tipped for me.

  • P.S. I should say that the limit to a lot of my work is the speed of the Mk1 Monkey Brain making the editiorial decisions, not the speed of the machine. Sure, I need to render when I’m done making decisions, but that’s fine- I queue up all the exports to do when I need a break.

  • Honestly, I’m a Apple fanboy. I really really am. I’ve always rejected stuff like (specially) Dell, just because they made really crappy computers back in the days. I even hated Android, not anymore though. I really think that there’s a lot of things iOS and Mac can learn from one and other. And I really like what I see here. What Dell did was really smart. By jumping in the game because Apple has the lack to support the creative industry. Which is a shame really because their products are really, I think, reliable.

    For 1600$ you have a powerhouse working machine. Hey and if you just want to use it for video production, why the hell not right? It’s so much cheaper than a regular Mac, so why the hell not.

    • quote: “It’s so much cheaper than a regular Mac, so why the hell not.”

      Because Windows, that’s why. :-P

      • You obviously haven’t used windows lately. I do so heavy editing and in over 18 months I’ve never experienced a crash using windows 7. I’ve saved thousands by switching back to PC (mainly because of Premiere). Money which I’ve invested in hard drives and memory.

  • David Sharp on 01.25.13 @ 8:15AM

    I’ve already dropped Final Cut Studio 3 in favor of Adobe CS6, and I am about 2yrs away before getting a new machine is fully justified. As much fear and doubt as I have in Apple with their secrecy, and uncertainty, I really don’t want to deal with the headaches of working in Windows again. There is one dark horse I am hoping for. Google! Save us.

    • hopeful guy on 01.25.13 @ 9:03AM

      Indeed! I am hoping that Adobe adds cloud-based processing/archiving and a browser-based interface for their Creative Cloud service, so we can all use CS6.5 on our $199 Chromebooks.

  • It’s silly to compare anything to the Mac Pro – it’s so embarrassingly outdated at this point.

    I give Apple until the end of 2013 to release a new one, NOT just a lazy update, otherwise I’m afraid I will have to abandon ship for my next desktop hardware purchase. That being said, I still don’t know of a laptop that is even remotely comparable in quality to a MBP.

    • Asus G75VX – especially with the GTX 670MX. Nice build. Lots of power. Room for two SSD. I’m taking that over a MBP

      • I have been using the G74S laptop with Adobe CS5 for the past year now…don’t think I’ll make my way back to a Mac for awhile after using this computer. I’ve never had After Effects or Premiere have a bad render to date…or even a crash from any of the programs. Very satisfied.

      • I’ll add to that the excellent N-series of asus. Great design and build quality, same power as the mac book pro (a bit better even in the gpu compartment). Oh, and did i mention half the price?

    • I’ve been using an Alienware M18x laptop (distributed by Dell) for almost 2 years now, and I can tell there is no way back to a Mac Pro. The power under the hood of that monster laptop is just amazing for working on video editing and compositing, on set, or in your editing room with up to 3 screens (internal + HDMI in/out + display port). The chassis is built for 1 SSD + 2 HDD (2 Tb of storage), 2 nvidia graphic cards in SLI (aka 375 to 780 cuda cores for Premiere or After Effects !). I divided my encoding time by almost 10, especially on H264 codecs and compositing shots. And it’s the price of an high end Apple MBP for a far better config. Moreover the programmable retrolighted keyboard shortcuts are really useful (copy / paste / undo, etc…). And it’s well ventilated so a 10 hours overnight encoding will not make it burn ! That’s one of the MBP flaws (many motherboards fried because of overheating).

  • The Mac Pro is not really outdated so much as people want to claim. Apple sits atop a rather long list of system integrators that have chosen to NOT IMPLEMENT this current round of Xeon CPUs. The Romley E5 platform was more than a year delayed, failed to live up to the originally claimed speeds, consumes upwards of 40% more power than the previous generation, is 35% more expensive than the previous generation, and has a memory speed issue that Intel has been unable to properly address. Real world performance puts my top of the line HP Z820 at about 15% faster overall than my 2010 12-core Mac Pro. I love my Z820 and think it’s a great system…. That said, it hasn’t been the greatest purchase. It’s a power hog and somewhat temperamental. It’s the first system I’ve bought in close to a decade that hasn’t been able to ROI itself in the 8 months I’ve now owned it. I have nearly $15K sunk into it, not including monitors, RED Rocket or Decklink cards or things I already owned and transferred to the system. As configured at the moment with all of those things, it’s probably a $22K computer setup.

    Intel was supposed to release the next iteration of Xeon CPUs sometime toward the end of March. That may not be happening now. It seems like it’s going to be September or October. So those integrators who skipped this generation of Xeon are really feeling the pressure. I know Apple is feeling it for sure. They were feeling it before, more so than most PC vendors, because Apple fanatics usually don’t understand the hardware aspects as much. They just saw that Apple had not upgraded the Mac Pro in over 2 years and there was public outrage. Never mind that HP or anyone else had not updated their Xeon towers either, Intel had not released anything new to upgrade them with. In a way, it’s probably best Intel is behind schedule (again). It gives me more time to ROI this Z820 pig before I feel compelled to buy another workstation.

  • Did they perform this test with the stocks graphics card in the Mac Pro!? Then the outcome of this would be a “little” skewed to say the least.

    For me it’s more about the OS. Nothing in the near future will get me to use Windows unless Microsoft finally makes some bold moves. MS managed to disappoint me over and over and over again and they simply don’t seem to have any idea about designing good software with great UX. Windows 8 has many great improvements over Win 7 but how do these help me if the OS structure is still a huge mess requiring one to fix basic functionality with 3rd party programs that may break with the next update?

    I went for a hackintosh an think it’s a good compromise. Good operating system on affordable and user replaceable hardware. If Apple just wasn’t that greedy, I’d still have a Mac as my main machine but they act as if upgradeability, design and user friendliness excluded one another. While this may be true to a certain degree, I don’t believe it’s impossible to build a machine that meets all three criterias.

  • The articles I read said that Microsoft would take a position in a private Dell purchase, ie. buy a bit of a private Dell, not the whole thing.

  • I want to have hope for this to be true, but there’s a big, hairy monster in the corner – Windows! At my company we have been doing a ton of testing on Windows 8 recently (not specifically for video editing), and I have to say from what I’ve seen that I’m not excited about the future of Windows.

    • All this people complaining about Windows, of course most of the Top systems does not run the peace of ****. Do your research. They offer Linux on Precision systems, and Linux is also the only option for maxed configs as W7 supports for example only up to 192GB of RAM (and yes, those babies can do lot more).
      And if you start again with the line that Linux is “not user friendly” for you, you probably deserve the Windows.

  • and can someone tell me what operating system they are running – cause I’m sure it’s not windows 8

  • Dudes- not getting a Dell- at least not yet.

    I’m not going to pretend I even do half the compositing and motion graphics work some of you do. I am in college. I shoot on a DSLR. I will work in film when I graduate, and use current gigs as a way to help pay for some of the expenses of school. Thing is, I was made to buy Apple back in 2008 when I decided to attend a private school for a year that required its students to own an Apple computer.

    After that, I was hooked. Owning my first Macbook Pro opened so many creative doors for me. I was always mechanically minded, and never really known as creative. This changed that. I can attribute pretty much every thing I’ve done creatively in my life to having bought into the OSX ecosystem and it’s solidified my place in the media business. Romanticizing over.

    When it’s all said and done, my next purchase of computer will be worth more then all that I have in hardware and software combined on OSX. I know 4k is here, my clients are getting bigger and are in need of motion graphics. With all of the above being said, if Apple doesn’t step up and solidify itself in the professional world with hopefully the next release of the Mac Pro, they’ve lost me. I will be singing the same tired song of many people who have been in this business longer than I have been alive. I’m coming to a giant point of change in my creative life, and if Apple fails to innovate for professionals, they love me, my money for my ipads, iphones, ipods, Macbooks, Apple TVs, etc etc. I will move out of the ecosystem and start anew. I’m giving them till August.

    Sorry if this was a tldr; getting off my soap box.

  • on 01.25.13 @ 10:18AM

    I haven’t seen much change in the post facilities I’ve spent time in recently; they’re all still Mac-based. I’m in desperate need of an upgrade but until my finances catch up with that need, I’m stuck still using my outdated equipment.

    That said, I’ve been debating with a colleague who’s very much technologically minded as to whether I should buy a laptop, build a PC or stick with a Mac and, though he’s seen some great features with Adobe Premiere, until Hollywood really makes a major change, Mac is still probably my best bet. (Hollywood as the figurehead for the way the Industry runs will always be the obstinate party)

    My colleague suggests I get a fairly recent iMac and continue from there.

  • Also about the journalistic integrity of this site- beginning to question it a lot lately- this was an advertisement.

    • I agree. It would be a devaluation to continue seeing this kind of commercials on nfs.

    • If it isn’t an advertisement, it’s lazy journalism (basically just publishing a press release). Either way it’s a little sloppy and I don’t like it.

    • If NFS praises the Mac: it’s ok. If they somehow hint that a Windows machine is good: it’s advertising.

      You MacHeads… honestly: lighten up !

  • We’ve already switch from FCP 7 to Adobe CS6. Too much fumbling around by apple with fcp to justify long term use of the platform. I think a big issue for current apple users in switching hardware is how do you get 1 for 1 rollover for all the other software purchases made in the apple ecosystem. That would be the main deterrent I think in making a full jump especially if there aren’t as seamless transfers between OSx and windows as Adobe. I guess we will see what apple has to say with their next Mac Pro installment. For now the hackintosh will have to do.

    • David Sharp on 01.25.13 @ 12:23PM

      I think there is another factor that is kind of kept every one tied to the mac is the heavy reliance on ProRess in the TV world.

  • I just hate Windows. If a workstation was only used for video and not the rest of my life than yes, this would be an option. However, I interact heavily with the internet and the internet is no friend of Windows and now with Windows 8… I don’t really think I like that environment. This is all based off my need to use a computer for Work, Life and Hobbies. I have a MackBook Pro

  • Before trashing your mac tower, lets not forget that you can slap an Nvidia GTX 680 (pc version) into your mac tower and get blazing fast speeds in both CS6 and Davinci. This is without flashing the card, only some minor tweaks needed. Currently I’m running the 570 with 2.5 gig of ram purchased for $250 at the time. I rendered a feature length film with TC Burn in 45 minutes using Adobe Encoder. It had taken compressor 3 hours to do this same task. So there’s still life left in my 2008 mac tower yet. At least for another year.

  • Speed is not everything. DELL systems do not run Final Cut Pro or Smoke (unless you install Linux), which makes this a tough argument, depending on your workflow requirements.

    Simply saying, “Switch to Premiere, AVID or something that runs on Windows” is not an option for many post production professionals or facilities.

    While I appreciate the article, it is obviously biased toward the marketing side of the business and not the practical workflow we’ve all built around tens of thousands of dollars and hours of our time as editors, compositors and post production professionals.

    • David Sharp on 01.25.13 @ 1:42PM

      Just about the only thing FCP/Mac does that a windows based Premiere and Avid can’t is ProRes output. Even then as long as the customer does not require ProRes, then the argument for staying with FCP/Mac is just personal preference. Avid, FCP, and Premiere all basically do the same thing, I know I’ve used them all except smoke. Entrenched Brand Loyalty can be a bad thing sometimes, it can lead to a complacent product maker.

      • Lack of ProRes is a big deal, as that’s the 90% video format for all modern editing (in my experience).

        • Avid MC 6 can do ProRes out. I don’t know if that comes native or as a result of having Final Cut installed on the same system.

      • I can handle ProRes in Sony Vegas on my PC… but usually use Cineform for all intermediates anyways.

      • Telestream Episode 6 exports to prores in windows. Anything else?

        • ProRes is not “the 90% video format for all modern editing” so stop dropping fictitious statements to justify overrated FCP and Apple products. Hilarious!

  • Already there friends…have a MacBook Pro 17″ laptop that I got refurb, just in time apparently because they discontinued them this year! With 8G RAM, it will run vid apps pretty well, including my fave, PremierePro CS5.5, and of course the Mac OS is so sleek and enjoyable.

    But when I need some heavy lifting with no stuttering, and lots of leftover CPU power, I use my desktop DELL XPS Studio. This thing is badass, and in nearly 3 years, it still outperforms higher-end Macs that my friends have and cost HALF the price.

    HOWEVER, even though the interface is the same for Adobe programs, using a Mac OS has really made me hate Windows and how passe and childish it looks. So I just leave my Adobe programs running on the XPS so that I don’t have to even look at Windows at all. Ha!!

    All in all, I need both anyway for cross-platform usage, but I avoid looking at or using Windows whenever I can. It’s a good compromise because I absolutely need the speed and processing power value of the XPS system.

    • You’re saying that Windows looks childish. But that’s totally up to you really. Yes when you boot up windows for the first time you have this ugly see trough blue bar on the bottom. But you have a lot of configure options really. I personally love my windows bar. With a right click on it, you can enter settings and make it a lot smaller. Same goes for the pictograms on your desktop. If you right click on your desktop you can change your personal UI settings. I personally like to change it to NON see trough and then change the color from blue to pitch black. With these settings W7 looks very mature and proffesional. And ofcourse change your wallpaper to something smooth.

  • Is it possible to cut and paste in Apple Finder yet? Until that day I will stick to Windows thank you kindly.

  • Clayton Arnall on 01.25.13 @ 9:33PM

    I built a beast of a hackintosh 2 years ago now and it’s been going strong. For $3000 I had what would have cost $6500 if I built a Mac Pro with similar specs. It’s probably not for everyone since it involves some techy stuff to build, but all in all I think I’ll make another one someday. My internal 6 disk RAID 5 reads 500 MB to 1GB (with big Bs) per second which is just awesome for loading video footage into a project.

    I agree this test is kinda flawed though. They should use the SAME machine to do the tests – dual booting into each OS not using completely different machines.

    • Here’s my question- do you have to intall updates with caution? I guess a better way to put it- have you had a problem with reliability? I really want to build a hackintosh but am afraid it won’t run OSX natively and get me in all sortsa problems

      • because it makes the difference if I have to render 72 hours or 4 hours… that is what you upgrade for.
        Yes you do not need to replace your old crappy hardware for new one, if you can work with it, but if you start doing some high resolution high frame rate video or if you redden an 3D animated movie it makes the ****** difference if I have to spend a day working and wait for 2 days of rendering or if it is done overnight.

        And if you work as professional in movie making business you know that to huge amount of rendering time is often more costly than your whole working time, that is why you upgrade.
        To get more work done, to earn more money to buy more beer.

      • Clayton Arnall on 01.28.13 @ 12:33PM

        Yes you have to think about upgrading before you do it. Usually that means visiting the tonymacx86 site to see what the update brought and then they give you instructions on the best way to upgrade. Sometimes it’s as easy as just installing the update from Software Update just like a regular mac. Sometimes you might have to run an additional tool to install the update. I really don’t upgrade very often anyway though since half my software and plugins seems to break when I update as well. I only upgrade if there’s a feature I need, otherwise I just stay where I’m at.

      • you need minimal tech skills if you stick with the right hardware… i suggest you google tonymac… me think its the best place for non experienced hackintoshers to start

  • Oh my good..the littel kidyboys…

    my 12 Mac Pros do waht they can with twin xenon FCP NUKE….and so on.
    my 2 Hackintosh-unix-rdh-clones ( two overexpensive Crays) run in Hackintosh
    day night…no problems
    my 20 i7-w7-renderbombas do waht they should do in Maya and Houdini and and.

    Maya in work is same fast in osx w7 … if you can. if only an hometroll..not.

    where is the probleme?
    2015 we have more faster units…

    they are just cold silicon machines..


    but same is on CAMERA-FRONT… nobody makes any good movie somebody realy wants to see
    but all talkin about asspain of a versus b.

    this is a HUXLEX-ORWELL vs FAHRENHEIT- funny-kidy-boily-nonsense.

    ps: if something works perfect FOR WHAT DO YOU NEED TO UPDATE?

    because a marketing-no-souler did it say?

    the thing between left and right ear is CALLED B R A I N….

  • must be some parallel universe most commentors live on, either that or most of you are too stupid to get a computer running, I fear it`s the second case, the most stupid statement I read here so far was from some school kid who turned creative by using a macbook, absolutely hilarious and painfully stupid to even think about it.
    anyways, since windows 2000 came out I`ve virtually had no trouble working on PCs, only some hardware issues like a broken disk or so, but from the OS side things even got better to the point of perfection with win7.

    • I think the main problem is that Apple still offers in 2013 what was good a few years ago.
      I would love to see an PC compared with an Mac Book Pro that has the power that is necessary for 2013… but there is non.

      • You will have similar results. Because you can just buy a PC with the same hardware as a new Mac system. Or even better hardware if available. Both are great operating systems, so it won’t make to much difference in terms of performance. But if your interested you can of course find tests where they compare the 2 OS with similar Hardware on the web. Adobe works slightly faster on windows systems. In the end it’s more about the hardware and the workflow you’re most comfortable with.

  • That’s really interesting, so glad I saw this, as bought my wife a consumer laptop some years ago. Ironically, have been waiting to get my wife a tablet instead but this Dell has been indestructible even with three young kids playing on it. To be fair it is so under powered that I became to hate it, even when had borrow to write the odd email. Funny how one can judge a product not designed, for the 2013 general web experience today.

    Thanks to this post will look to Dell for our video processing

  • ThunderBolt on 01.27.13 @ 4:11PM

    Koo/Joe why do you let Dave do posts that polarize? PC vs Apple, not such a good idea and not very productive. Reminds me of tabloid journalism and cheapens NFS brand. This doesn’t build community, it alienates.

    • We don’t write posts to polarize people, we write what’s going on and we give our opinions. I’ve written at least a dozen posts that have broken out into ridiculous conversations in the comments, so what you just said is totally baseless.

      • ThunderBolt on 01.28.13 @ 8:52AM

        Not really Joe, Dave posts two anti apple within a month. First post about apple gouging, with Dell having a machine better than any apple by an independent 3rd party. Nothing independent here. As Dave puts it: “Furthermore, if Apple’s decision to “participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution” truly will extend all the way to its ground-to-a-halt Pro line, now’s as good a time as ever to switch. Lock-in is the rigor mortis of progressive development for both the creator and his/her tools by entrenchment in that which is legacy — and if Apple is determined that it’s best they bow out of the video editing hardworld and softworld, you may find yourself recalling those classic Dell commercials in ways you really never expected to.” Rigor mortis, really?

        From Dell: “The switch is on.
        What’s the buzz from creative professionals switching from Final Cut Pro to Dell Precision™ workstations with NVIDIA GPUs? Smoother post-production workflow. Optimized for professional applications. Sheer processing power. It’s all about the tools it takes to grow and energize a business. Hear from the many video pros making the switch.” This isn’t propaganda? The backstory is a better read. How Adobe screwed themselves or better yet, if Microsoft buys Dell rigor will set in. Show me the configurations and a study done where financial gain isn’t the driver and then you can call this baseless.

        • For some reason people keep missing this from his first post:

          Let me be clear, I’m a long-time Apple user — and fan, to a point within reason — of both its hardware and software. Why is Apple the biggest thing in tech (read: “consumer tech,” short for), anyway? Because its goods always work very, very well, and they look damn sexy doing it. Equivalent-or-better hardware or open extensibility are way secondary to elegant-but-robust functionality in sleek chic. The ways in which Apple all but brands the pricing into each and every polycarbonate shell for retail is no secret (or even all that sketchy) per se — but it’s certainly interesting.

          2 posts out of 27 for Dave, and 2 posts out of 87 so far this month is hardly what I would call having an agenda or attempting to be polarizing. By saying baseless I’m referring to you saying we’re doing this stuff to get a rise out of people, when in fact very often we’re just trying to have a conversation. I hate the confrontations in the comments sections, but it’s going to happen because we’re a blog, not a press release site. We’re taking an angle on something, and by doing that, we are introducing our opinion. All human beings will introduce their own bias into anything they read, and if you think it’s anti-Apple, as opposed to us finding a story and writing a balanced opinion about it, then there’s nothing we can do about that.

          • ThunderBolt on 01.28.13 @ 10:05AM

            Look at the tone of Dave’s words, inflammatory, really? If I’m missing the context, it’s because statements should be framed to end confusion. Once again, if Dave is going to take an anti apple stand and even if this is opinion, provide enough credibility/facts/independent scientific studies to support statements. I’m really interested in seeing how each machine was configured and applied task.

            • He’s not taking an anti-Apple stance. Again, if you see it that way, I can’t help you. If anything, what you’re reading into is the collective frustration of video professionals that have seen Apple completely redesign its video editor, drop support for a number of software solutions, and fail to significantly update its professional hardware to match the competition. He doesn’t have to explain himself any more than he already has, the words are there, as are the backlinks supporting what he’s saying, and it’s all pretty clear to me, even if it’s not as direct as you personally would like.

              A fully configured PC will beat a Mac Pro in any benchmark – this is a fact, if only for the simple reason that Apple has barely updated the computer in two years, and there are only so many upgrades you can do to the machine without building a Hackintosh – which if you’re running a business with many machines, may not be the best solution.

              We didn’t conduct these tests, we just reported on them, and we aren’t even saying this is the final word on anything. If you like Apple, you’re going to buy Apple, even if a better solution exists elsewhere. If Apple does update its system this year and it’s just as powerful as anything else out there (or more powerful), we’re probably going to have posts talking about how great it is because if anything, we have a pro-Apple bias when it comes to computers, which Dave himself admitted.

  • I work with both Macs and PCs. FCP7 and Premiere CS6. Both have strenghts and weaknesses, but I prefer my Adobe PC rig. I’m comfortable with it, it has all the software and plugins I need and I know my way around it (and its quirks) with my eyes closed. I’m sure many guys reading this feel the same about their rig. So stick with it and stop criticizing people who think different (pun). The best tool is the one you master.

  • I wish there was a real alternative to macs in the real world. but unless you are a real geek it has to be Mac.
    This is not a real world test. Most of PC users I know they spend most of the time troubleshooting the machine and getting rid of viruses and just using that cumbersome OS.

    • Those pc users are either idiots or they go to too many sites trying to pirate videos and software without taking the proper precautions. I never get viruses that require me to spend time cleaning up my machine. I don’t really spend much time troubleshooting issues, but when I do, I don’t have to take it somewhere or order expensive proprietary replacement hardware…I just walk into Fry’s and I’m good to go. The OS…if you get rid of much of the pretty…user friendly useless stuff…W/OS runs fine. A take it with you video toolbox…the Mac still wins, but I can do it cheaper on a W7 laptop. A desktop video powerhouse…W7 pc. It seems a combination using both is currently the best solution.

    • In all my (many) years of using PCs (and MacIntosh, Apple 2E, C, and IBM xt/at) I have picked up fewer than a dozen viruses ever (and that includes the ones picked up by someone else using my computer…young kids and adult non-computer-literate friends/relatives). I am a mere self-taught enthusiast who uses a plethora of business and creative programs…and I use only free versions of security programs because the paid versions of the ones I trusted and updated religiously let in most of those viruses that i did fall victim to. And I cleaned up my own machines. I’m not trying to look ‘superior’ but I am trying to make a point.

    • I never ever have a virus on my Windows 7 configuration. I use a free version of AVG. I think a lot of people are biased, because they used to have an old cheap windows family PC. They chose to upgrade to a new high priced mac system and were surprised about the difference in performance. It’s not something you can compare with, if you spend as much money on a Windows machine as you would on a Mac machine you would be surprised about the results.

      I work both on Mac and Windows systems and I think both are great operating systems. I prefer the windows workflow over Mac in terms of compatibility and user friendliness. Final Cut is outdated software which used to be a reason to work on Mac, but it’s only a matter of time when Premiere has fully taken over. Given all the upsides it has compared to FCP.

      All the remarks on windows being not stable or reliable are outdated as well. Windows7 is a masterpiece. I don’t mind working on a Mac or on a Windows system. It’s all ways dependent on what hardware your OS runs.

  • When Apple killed off FCP for FCPX, I switched to Premiere Pro and the whole Adobe package. My next editing system, now that I have a choice, will most likely be an HP Workstation, possibly Dell. Adobe will switch a user to PC at no charge.

  • Dufus apple people. It took them 15 years to figure out Apple is not a productive piece of equipment, it just looks cool, something pc builders haven’t learned to do on the opposite side.

  • Yes, I have seen a shift from Mac to Dell…me. My two old Dells finally went the route of any old motherboard. Any older-Dell owner know the issue with getting a replacement motherboard. So I gave in to the myriad comments I’ve seen about Mac and went (back) to a Mac after a couple decades’ hiatus. Have used it for several months now and kept telling myself I’d make the conversion with grace…someday. Now my business partner and I have two new Dell (desktops) on our short list of new equipment. He never left Dell/windows. I tried and decided I was going back home. I did not find the difference was worth the learning curve for so many new keyboard combinations, programs, etc., and I will be very pleased to get back onto a system that works the way I do. Sorry Apple. AND I can get exactly what I want/need for wa-a-y less; enough to purchase a good printer.

  • Erik Stenbakken on 01.31.13 @ 4:45PM

    Mac for me — for a bit. I had to soup up my old Quad-Core Mac with some SSD’s, more RAM, etc. All stuff (not accidentally) can be added to a newer machine. Remains to be seen whether that new machine is a Dell, HP, … or if Apple gets back to it’s roots… a Mac. But I will not languish forever. 11 months, tops.

  • This issue of late…Mac or Switch?, is a layered one for sure. And while you can have machines on either Platform that scream, using either Premiere or FCPX….and Avid too, (Mostly serious money making pro editors), Apple for years has represented a “Standard” of sort in the Digital Creative world of computing. Mostly in part do to the Operating System which is now described often as “It Just Works!” This is a major factor in editors loyalty to Apple Computers as seen in some of the posts here. I think for anyone doubting is Apple intends to completely discard the Mac pro Line in some form or another would be suicidal for Apple, however long it would take. But there are many signs that suggest otherwise. The iMac which is a great machine, can only be upgraded to 32Gb of Ram. Apple’s Pro-Res Codecs are becoming an industry standard. And lastly, well not really, but probably the most controversial aspect of all this is (Drum Roll Please)….Final Cut Pro X (10)!!! While some here in this thread will say things like “when Apple dumped FCP7 for FCPX…”, these are folks who, with the same emotions as even I had at first, still hold on to and really have no idea how good FCPX has become. Avid and Premiere were quick to take advantage offering huge discounts on their top products. But in doing so, it kind of sent a message to Apple users that maybe it was time to change Platforms as well. And I believe this is the crux of most of this issue. The reality is, and while I purchased a copy of Premiere 6, I remember someone posting”…remember Apple says its a work in progress!” And so I kept using it however frustrated at times. But in less than a year, Apple has updated FCPX…SEVEN TIMES!! And compared to Premiere, its just more pleasing and faster to edit on…by far. And on top of that, no other editor has more plug-in support…. Another reason why the Mac Pro is not dead. I think Apple’s patience will prove to be one of the smartest moves we’ve seen them make. Just look at in just the past 2 years and what they are saying is coming in the next. We now have 2,4, and 8k Shooters! There is thunderbolt now! Intel is about to introduce the Next/Gen Processors. If Apple had updated the Mac Pro, say..last year. It would almost certainly be passe in 2014!! I think its very important for all of us to have a bit more patience with Apple, as there are too many signs that abandoning a high machine for editors is just not an option, nor on the docket. As for Windows and Machines like the Dells, it will still come down to a matter of, if you can accept working on a Machine running Windows and think that working in Adobe Premiere is the best way to go. The truth is, its more in likely that a Windows guy/girl, might have a Mac too! But a Mac guy/girl, probably won’t want to have anything to do with a PC. I’m just saying!

  • Mac Pro sales to stop March 1 in EU countries

    I suspect that’s Apple’s excuse to NOT update the Pro.
    Oh, and first Shake, then Final Cut X and now the iOS-ification of OSX.

    It was nice while it lasted but gadgets make more money.

    Finally, after twenty years of Avid and FCP… can I admit that Premiere is a joy to use… still not absolutely convinced it will be solid like Avid (but what is?), but I still like it.

  • The guys I work within Hollywood sound/music have been going to the Macbook Pro and the Mac Mini instead, and have been jazzed with the results. Not sure where this fits in with the article conclusions.

  • Terence Kearns on 02.2.13 @ 10:15AM

    Sounds good to me. Perhaps more people will discover Vegas Pro :P

    Then again maybe not! LOL!

  • I’ve seen those same results from the outcome… but about 7 years ago from another comparison test. This is nothing new.

  • I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely loved
    every bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to look at new things you post…

  • Hi my friend! I want too say that thi article is amazing, great written and come with almost all significant infos.

    I would like to peer extra posts like this .