1 2 3 Previous Next 75 Replies Latest reply: Nov 28, 2013 5:16 AM by FF8240
snerkler1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi,

As the title suggests I have a few queries about swapping from PC to Mac. Firstly I've been informed that you can't directly compare speeds, processors, RAM etc of a PC with a Mac as MAcs run quicker, but is there a way of knowing what an equivalent mac is compared with a specific spec PC. I understand PC specs but not sure how they translate to Mac. For example, my current Laptop has Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz processor with 4GB RAM (I'm wanting to improve on this spec), what would the equivalent Mac be?

 

I use my laptop for Full HD video editing and use Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9, and have found out this is not compatible with Mac. The only equivalent software I've seen for Mac is Final Cut Pro X, but I'm not prepared to pay £199 for this, especially considering the fact you can get Sony Vegas..... Platinum 11 for £30. Therefore I would need to partition my Macbook and run windows 7 (unless someone can recommend a good video editor for Mac which is much cheaper). Is it free to install windows 7 on a Mac or do you have to buy software? If so how much is it? Would it still recognise AVCHD?

 

One issue I have with Sony vegas on my current laptop is that it takes ages to render HD video, it can take hours (literally) to render 10mins of video. I don't know if this is down to the OS, RAM, processor or Hard drive, or something else. When editing I only have this one program open as using any other program (even the internet) is painfully slow. Would having a quad core i7 processor and 8GB RAM speed up the rendering process? Do Macs speed this process up, or if you are running it in windows mode would it be exactly the same as running it on a PC?

 

When ripping music to the Mac can you only rip in AAC/ALAC or can you rip it as MP3 so it's more 'universal'? I have music systems that can't read AAC :-/

 

Finally, when having a quick 'play' with a MacBook in store (PC world) I noticed that when I opened new Windows/apps the window did not fill the entire screen, and when you opened up further windows/apps you could see them stacked over each other a bit randomly. Can you change the setting so that the windows fill the entire screen, and can you set it so that this happens as default?

 

Sorry for all the questions, but I want to make sure a Mac's right for me before forking out thousands of pounds.

  • 1. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)

    Macs are the fastest, but make sure that you get 8 GB of RAM for your editing projects. This will help with the rendering process.

     

    Yes, running Vegas in Windows would be exactly as it is on a PC. In fact, it would be better, as the Windows installation would not include all the crapware that kills system resources.

     

    You will have to buy a copy of Windows for your installation.

     

    You can use any music file format on a Mac, but make sure you are using the right software.

     

    You can easily make the windows fill the entire screen by resizing the window or simply pressing the green button in the top left. Whatever size you choose, it will be that way the next time you open the application.

     

    Overall, your new MacBook Pro will be lightening fast compared to what you are using now.

     

    Good luck!

  • 2. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    Whatever you have heard about Mac's being faster then PCs with the exact same hardware is completely bogus.

     

    I have a brand new MBP with a i7 2.2Ghz CPU and a new Dell Latitude notebook running Win 7 with a i5 2.4Ghz CPU both with 8GBs RAM and both with a SSD as the OS drive and even though the Mac has a i7 Qaud core they both run about the same speed.

     

    My one year old i5 quad core desktop running Win 7 is faster then both of them.

     

    Take everything said about Mac's being faster and lasting longer then PCs with a grain of Salt. It's all Apple (Mac fanboy) hype.

     

    Just look at this and other Mac forums. If they "Just Worked" these forums would not exist.

     

    Buy what you like, Mac or PC, and be happy with your choice. It's all about how you use it.

     

    Good Luck with whatever you buy.

  • 3. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)

    Yes, the OP should buy whatever they want, Mac or PC.

     

    However, the OP has come here to ask Mac questions.

     

    A Dell Latitude is not a notebook for video editing, and it is not supported as such by any of the major software developers.

     

    You would need a Dell Precision for editing.

     

    A Mac will run Windows far better and faster than any Dell for the simple reason that Windows on a Mac is a clean, no crapware installation. Any Dell comes with several pounds of bloatware.

     

    If you want a Kia, buy a Dell. If you want a Mercedes-Benz, buy a Mac.

     

    This is not a fanboy opinion, but an easily verifiable fact by reading computer reviews and sales figures.

     

    Good luck!

  • 4. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)

    Physically, a MacBook Pro will last longer because it is made of durable anodized aluminum versus cheap cracking plastic on PCs.

     

    PC companies make almost no money on notebooks. It is clear that they cut corners.

     

    Add AppleCare, and there is just no credible comparison.

     

    I digress from the OP's questions, but the nonsense of some needed to be addressed.

  • 5. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    > is there a way of knowing what an equivalent mac is compared

    > with a specific spec PC.

     

    There are some benchmarks, but how accurate the comparison is remains doubtful.

     

    I'm with Shootist007 on this one -- much of the stuff you hear is crap. I use both Macs and PCs (both laptop and desktop), but my main machine is a Mac and I use Macs whenever feasible. Not because they're supposed to be faster, though.

     

    My general advice is this. Get whatever machine is best for your bread-and-butter work. If that requires you to use a Win-only video editor, then buy a PC. Yes, of course you can run Win on your Mac, but there are some issues, so don't complicate your life.

     

    > my current Laptop has Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz processor with

    > 4GB RAM

     

    That's old, more like a 2006- or '07-vintage MBP.

     

    > Is it free to install windows 7 on a Mac

     

    Windows is not free to install on anything. You need to buy a licence to use it. Many (but not all) PCs include in their price the licence for a version of Win. Naturally, that is not the case for Macs. If you want to run Mac OS X and Win concurrently, in addition, you need to buy a virtual machine, such as Parallels. But if you just want to boot your Mac under Win, you only need Boot Camp, which is bundled with the OS, so you don't need to buy anything else.

     

    > Would having a quad core i7 processor and 8GB RAM speed up the

    > rendering process?

     

    A more powerful processor would definitely speed it up; by how much, that's another matter. It depends on many factors, including how well the software is written.

     

    > Do Macs speed this process up, or if you are running it in

    > windows mode would it be exactly the same as running it on a PC?

     

    I shouldn't expect to see a significant difference, all other factors being equal.

     

    > When ripping music to the Mac can you only rip in AAC/ALAC or

    > can you rip it as MP3 so it's more 'universal'?

     

    Oh, come on! Of course you can. You may have problems on Macs with some WMV or WMA files, but MP3 or open-source projects like FLAC are not an issue.

     

    > Can you change the setting so that the windows fill the entire

    > screen

     

    Any new Mac you'd buy comes with Lion, and Lion has a full-screen mode. I suggest reading John Siracusa's review of Mac OS X v10.7 in Ars Technica before you make up your mind.

     

    <http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2011/07/mac-os-x-10-7.ars>

     

    > I want to make sure a Mac's right for me before forking out

    > thousands of pounds.

     

    And that's exactly what you should do. So take your time, and ask all the questions you can think of before buying.

  • 6. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    snerkler1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all the replies. Interesting read and some conflicting opinions. Apart from speed, there are a number of reasons I'm thinking about Mac, one of the main ones being that I've done Windows for the past 20 years ish and so fancy a change. The other reason is that I like Apple products and their build quality. I have an iphone 4, and plan on getting an iPad when one is released with Retina display.

     

    With regards to the music file query, what I really meant is can you RIP to MP3 using itunes or would you need some other software? If you need other software can you get it free?

     

    With regards to the Dell laptops mentioned for editing video, would the XPS ones not be sufficient?

     

    If you partition the Mac to run windows can you access all files from both, or can you only access the files on that partition? i.e. If you have video files saved on your mac partition can you run video editing software from the Windows partition and use files from the Mac partition?

     

    I've found some other Mac video editing software, final cut express, which I assume is a predecessor to Final Cut Pro X, but I can get it for £40 rather than £199. Obviously the Cut Pro X is a newer better version, but would express be sufficient for simple video editing and DVD creation? At the end of the day I'm using an old version of Sony Vegas (Platinum 9), and other than running slow it does what I need (Cutting and transitioning video footage, tweaking the sound, adding overlay music, and creating DVD's with chapters).

     

    Just to clarify, to run windows you need Windows 7 software for Mac and Boot camp (which is part of the Mac OS)?

  • 7. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    snerkler1 wrote:

     

    some conflicting opinions

    Isn't democracy great?

    what I really meant is can you RIP to MP3 using itunes or would you need some other software?

    Yes, that's what I understood you to mean. And the answer is, as before, yes. Do you really think, this day and age, any consumer computer OS would come without it?

     

    Connoisseurs look upon iTunes' MP3 encoding engine with something akin to disdain. If you want top-notch MP3 encoding you use LAME, which you can compile on your own Mac, or download as a binary. You can even use it with iTunes, or use it with another app, such as Max or XLD. IOW, it's pretty much the same as on Win.

    to run windows you need Windows 7 software for Mac and Boot camp (which is part of the Mac OS)?

    To boot your Mac under Win, you need Windows 7 (just plain Windows -- there's no "Windows 7 software for Mac"). I believe this doc should give you all the details you need:

     

    Mac 101: Using Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp

    <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1461>

  • 8. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    LukeD wrote:

     

    Yes, the OP should buy whatever they want, Mac or PC.

     

    However, the OP has come here to ask Mac questions.

     

    A Dell Latitude is not a notebook for video editing, and it is not supported as such by any of the major software developers.

     

    You would need a Dell Precision for editing.

     

    A Mac will run Windows far better and faster than any Dell for the simple reason that Windows on a Mac is a clean, no crapware installation. Any Dell comes with several pounds of bloatware.

     

    If you want a Kia, buy a Dell. If you want a Mercedes-Benz, buy a Mac.

     

    This is not a fanboy opinion, but an easily verifiable fact by reading computer reviews and sales figures.

     

    Good luck!

     

    Physically, a MacBook Pro will last longer because it is made of durable anodized aluminum versus cheap cracking plastic on PCs.

     

    PC companies make almost no money on notebooks. It is clear that they cut corners.

     

    Add AppleCare, and there is just no credible comparison.

     

    I digress from the OP's questions, but the nonsense of some needed to be addressed.

     

     

     

    Ok lets addrees some of this.

    But First Thank you fane_J. A voice of reason.

     

    A Dell Latitude can have as good video card as a Dell Precisions. And if I wanted I could change the video card I ordered with my Latitude to any that is available for that model at time of production.

     

    A Mac comes with either Video card A or B and can NEVER be changed. Even if it goes bad the only way to change it is to Replace the complete motherboard which includes both the CPU and GPU. They are Soldered onto the Motherbaord. Nor can you ever upgrade the CPU because it is Soldered onto the board. You can on a Dell notebook.

     

    Have you ever heard that you can format any hard drive on any computer and install the OS clean without the makers included FREE (read that KWrap) software? Well you can. And I am sorry but Mac's also come with K_Wrap ware. Photobooth? iChat? and especially iTunes. And some of the Mac software you can't uininstall.

     

    The reason a Mac will run Windows is because they Use the Same Hardware. Better then a dedicated Windows PC? No I am afraid not for one simple reason. You can not wipe the drive of a Mac and install Only Windows. You first have to install OS X then partition the drive and install Windows. You HAVE TO USE Apple supplied software to access some of the hardware included in a Mac. Also you can only have that One partition for Windows. Try to make a second partition and you break both Windows and OS X.

     

    My Dell Latitude is ALL Metal. Not one plastic piece to the case. If you ever looked inside a MBP you would see many plastic pieces.

     

    No PC makers make money on notebooks, just where did you get that. Notebooks are not Printers where the manufacturer makes money on the Ink they sell.

     

    My Dell came with a 3 year warranty, mail in, included with the original cost. And I could of gotten Accidental Damage Next Business Day On Site service for somewhere around and extra $200. Dell Complete Care Warranty.

    That is far less then I paid for the Applecare warranty for my MBP and I can't get Accidental Damage or On Site Service for a Mac.

    No credible comparison, Again just where do you get that. With the Dell I don't have to Make an Appointment to have it looked at and then be told it isn't covered.

     

    An YES some this nonsense had to be Addressed.

    Which is not digressing from the OPs question.

     

    Thank you.

  • 9. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    The build quality on a Mac is not better then what is on a good PC notebook.

     

    Yes you can Rip to MP3 with iTunes.

     

    Yes the Dell XPS, or any higher end PC notebook, would do video editing as good if not better then a Macbook Pro.

    Also the MBPs only have 2 or 3 USB ports, depending on which size MBP. 13 and 15 inch onlu have 2 USB ports and they are close together making using both at the same time hard without having a USB hub (with a small male end) connected to one of them. the 17" model has 3 USB ports. None of the 2 or 3 USB ports are USB 3.

    It does include a Thunderbolt port for which there are very few accessories and they are expensive. You have to have a special adapter to connect an external monitor and then you can only use either VGA, DVI ot HDMI to connect one extra monitor. And those adapters connect to the Thunderbolt port. Meaning that if you use a external monitor you can't use that port to connect other devices. And it has a Firewire 800 port which is basically a Dead technolgy. Go try and buy Firewire or Thunderbolt devices. Very hard to find any.

     

    On my Dell 14" Latitude it has 4 USB ports, a VGA port, a HDMI port, a Express card slot and a eSATA port. and they are all spaced so you can us all of them at the same time.

     

    Windows can not read Mac formatted drives. Mac can READ but can NOT WRITE to NTFS formatted drives. So if you were in the Windows you could not access the Mac partition without a aftermarket software installed.

     

    OS X come with a video editing program, iMovie, but it sdoes not at this time come with any Movie burning software. It use to come with iDVD but was removed in this version of OS X. You can get other aftermarket software to burn Movies to DVD discs.

     

    Yes OS X Lion only allows you to install Windows 7 and Yes OS X comes with Boot Camp which is what you use to partition and install Windows on a Mac computer.

     

    Good Luck in you search and decision.

  • 10. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    snerkler1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Many thanks for you frank and honest answers, very interesting read. One of my biggest problems is seeing these devices 'in the flesh', as where I live in the UK it's very difficult. We don't have any Dell stores, and the only stores that stock dell only stock the very basic Inspirons, therefore I have no idea on feel and build quality of the higher end dells. I bought my current Dell Studio 1555 without having seen one, but have to say for the most part was/am very happy with it, especially the feel of the keys. Transporting it in the top box of my motorcycle wasn't the best idea though (even though it was in a padded case/bag) and it's now looking worse for wear.

     

    Back on track, IF I do decide to go down the MBP route and want to use SOny vegas and so need to partition the Mac, is the software that allows file sharing between the 2 partitions free? If it's not is it expensive? If I have to buy windows, plus then this extra software it might just be cheaper to buy the Cut Pro X.

     

    Has anyone any experience with the final cut express software? Does it do everything the sony vegas does (or that I need it to do as mentioned above) and does it come with movie burning software that allows you to create DVD's with chapters etc? I see from the spec it's compatible with AVCHD so that's fine.

     

    Can you run Microsoft office from a Mac, or do you have to partition it and run office from a windows partition?

     

    Cheers

  • 11. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    The one thing I do like about my Macbook Pro, compared against the Dell I have, is the keyboard. But as I use the Dell mainly for work I have an external keyboard, mouse and monitor connected 95% of the time.

     

    You can also use a virtual Machine software package to install any version of Windows on Top Of the Mac OS. Although for video editing I'm not sure that would be the best.

    You will also need to upgrade the RAM to at least 8GBs. Whether you go the virtual machine route or partitioning the hard drive.

    But do NOT buy it from Apple when you order or buy the Mac. You can get it aftermarket at 1/4 the cost that Apple charges and Apple gives instructions on how to change it right in the user manual.

     

    I have never used any of those software packages as I don't do much video and if I did I'd use Photoshop Extended as I already own it.

    Could be that Sony software will run without problems in a Windows virtual machine as it seems that software is only distributed with Sony cameras. But as I said before I've never used it or even heard of it before.

     

    As to the Final Cut software you should check whether the lower cost one even runs on OS X Lion as Lion does not support older programs that originally ran on Power PC CPUs, the old Apple Mac CPU before Apple switched to Intel, and in a PPC emulator on older Mac versions of OS X with Intel CPUs.

    you might buy it and find out it will not even install on the new OS X Lion OS.

    As to what is comes with ??????

     

    You can run any version of MS Office on the Windows side, whether in a virtual machine or in its own partition, and you can run MS Office 2011 for Mac on the Mac side.

  • 12. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    snerkler1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again. What do you mean by virtual machine?

     

    I have a copy of Microsoft office 2010, is this not compatible with OS X Lion?

     

    Is this a common trend with Macs and old software not being compatible? It must get quite costly if when you update (get a new) Mac you have to buy all new software. With Windows they usually have some compatibiltiy with newer OS's. For example I can run software designed for XP on Windows 7.

     

    When you say not to buy from Apple, are you talking software or the MBP itself? As far as I'm aware the only place you can buy customised Macs from is the Apple Store. Electrical stores only stock the basic models, none of which have 8GB RAM, and all of which are more expensive than buying from Apple.

  • 13. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
    Is this a common trend with Macs and old software not being compatible? It must get quite costly if when you update (get a new) Mac you have to buy all new software.

     

    This isn't that common... but it does happen.  Apple switched from using PowerPC processors to Intel processors about six years ago.  At that time, they included software that would allow you to run programs that were designed to run on the old processors.  They would run somewhat slower as the old processor architecture was basically being emulated in software.  This was done specifically so people that had software that ran on the older platform could still use their applications.  Apple only removed the ability to do this with the release of Lion last year.  They basically gave developers a good five years to update any applications.  Switching processor architectures is pretty uncommon.  I don't really see that happening anytime soon.  Even if Apple were to decide to go with AMD for example, it would still be an x86 chip.

     

    There are sometimes compatibility issues when updated versions of OS X are released (the same happens when there are new releases of Windows).  It's somewhat easier for software manufacturers to update their products in these cases.

     

    With respect to Shootist's comment about not buying from Apple, he was referring specifically to the extra RAM.  Apple tends to charge much more for RAM than your average online electronics store.  You can make that comparison yourself.  Price out the difference between Apple and your favorite retailer and you can decide on your own there.  Apple's RAM prices have been more competitive lately, but they still tend to be on the high side.... but you may think the difference is worth it for the convenience to have the RAM in there when you get it.

     

    No Microsoft products are "compatible" with OS X.  They must be run on Windows.  On a Mac, this is accomplished by installing Windows either via Bootcamp or virtualization.  Using Bootcamp, you basically set up a partition and install Windows.  The result is a multi-boot system which will allow you to boot either into Windows or OS X.  Each OS would be running natively on the hardware.  Running Windows this way would basically make your Mac a PC (while you're running Windows)... Windows will run just as well as it would on a regular PC with the same hardware.  The other option, virtualization, allows you to run Windows "within" OS X.  Basically, you are running OS X and then you can launch Windows as a program within OS X.  You can then run all of your Windows programs just as if you were running Windows on any PC.  The primary difference is that Windows is running within OS X.  As such, it's performance is going to take a bit of a hit (you're running both OS X and Windows at the same time).  Performance is acceptable to good for most applications when using virtualization... but some more demanding applications would benefit from going the Bootcamp route where the system is running a dedicated instance of Windows.

  • 14. Re: PC user wanting to swap to Mac has some queries.
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    A Virtual Machine is exactly what it sounds like. It is a "Virtual Machine" running inside, on top of, physical hardware and operating system. It uses Virtual Hardware to emulate normal hardware found in a physical computer.

     

    I run Windows XP Pro on both my Windows 7 PCs in a virtual machine, as I need to run software that will not run on Win 7, inside Windows 7 and I also have it installed on my Mac in a "Virtual Machine". I can have both Win 7 and XP running at the same time and have Mac OS X Lion and XP running at the same time on my MBP. Switching back and forth at will without ever rebooting the computer.

     

    No you can not install any Windows based software on  Mac without first installing a version of Windows in either a Virtual Machine or in a Boot Camp partition. The 2 platforms, PCs and Mac's, use a completely different operating system and the software willl only run on whatever system it was disigned for.

     

    But that is not to say you can't use a version of most software on a Mac as long as the maker makes a version that runs on the Mac operating system.

     

    Microsoft makes Office 2011 for Mac. It is specifically made to run on the Mac operating system.

     

    When I said Don't buy from Apple I meant any extra RAM or a bigger hard drive. Apple, here in the USA, wants $200 to upgrade from the standard 4GBs of RAM to 8GBs of RAM. You can buy 8GBs of RAM for under $50 and install it yourself and keep the original 4GBs and do with it anything you like. Stick in a drawer or sell it. If you buy that same amount from Apple when you purchase a MBP you will pay $200 for it and they, Apple, keep the original 4GBs.

    Same for larger and faster hard drives if they even offer any.

     

    The only place to buy customized Macbook Pro is online. Normal Apple stores or Resellers only carry the standard models. Although they may sell you extra RAM and a bigger hard drive at time of purchase and install it for you. But if that is done those extra parts are not covered under the Apple warranty or extended Applecare.

    Only parts installed by Apple are covered under any Apple warranty.

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