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Jack Wu

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I want to invest in a new computer just for photo and video editing. I can't decide between Mac or PC. I am familiar and can navigate with both systems but would like to know what everyone's thoughts are and why one is better than the other. Thanks
 

Kevriano

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I think it comes down to budget. Apple are generally considered the be all and end all for editing, but you can get some blinding Windows PC's for far less money. Unless you really want an all in one (not a fan personally, you can't easily swap HD's or upgrade) then iMac etc is the way to go, but I'd rather buy a really good screen and a tower and save myself1k in the process. BTW I am a Mac fan, I started on Mac and still have an iMac, but all of my editing is done on a Windows Laptop at the moment.
 

Clix Pix

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I've been using Macs since 2005 and my current editing machine is a 15" 2018 MacBook Pro: i9, 1 TB SSD. 32 GB RAM, Vega 20 discrete graphics..... It is positioned on a stand and connected to an LG 4K Thunderbolt 3 monitor, and I use the Apple BT Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse II. For me this setup works very well and offers more flexibility than an iMac or other desktop. I can simply unplug the computer from the monitor and away we go.....

Apple is now in the process of making a shift from Intel processors to their own SOC (System on a Chip) and have released the first M1 machines, which are very fast and which have outstanding battery life. I haven't seen one yet, but those who have them love them. The M1 MacBook Air is based on the entry-level Intel MBA and is fanless, while the M1 MBP is based on the 13" entry-level Intel model. Both come with just two ports, which for me is insufficient since I use external drives fairly extensively for archving, storing, and working with my images and often have two external drives plugged in transferring files between them.

For editing, I am currently using DXO PhotoLab 4 and I also use Topaz Sharpen AI, Topaz Gigapixel AI and Topaz Denoise AI, with Photo Mechanic for quickly reviewing and culling images. My machine handles all of these easily.

It's been years since I've used a Windows machine, so can't really speak to that, but I will say that for me, Macs are excellent for editing images and doing other things as well. I especially appreciate the synchronicity among my various Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, a second Mac), which is useful for sharing data and images as well.
 
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Jack Wu

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I think it comes down to budget. Apple are generally considered the be all and end all for editing, but you can get some blinding Windows PC's for far less money. Unless you really want an all in one (not a fan personally, you can't easily swap HD's or upgrade) then iMac etc is the way to go, but I'd rather buy a really good screen and a tower and save myself1k in the process. BTW I am a Mac fan, I started on Mac and still have an iMac, but all of my editing is done on a Windows Laptop at the moment.
Thanks, Kevriano for the input. I currently use MS Surface Book and Macbook Pro. I find that I use my Surface Book for everyday stuff but when comes to doing anything photo or video related, it is very slow. As for my Macbook Pro, I've had it since 2013 and it is still running fine. I don't mind taking it with me when I'm on the go but because it is an older Macbook, the battery is starting to go out and Apple wants to charge me way too much to replace the battery. That's why I figure it's time to invest in an actual desktop. Do you mind sharing what Windows Laptop you are using and what specs?
 

Jack Wu

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I've been using Macs since 2005 and my current editing machine is a 15" 2018 MacBook Pro: i9, 1 TB SSD. 32 GB RAM, Vega 20 discrete graphics..... It is positioned on a stand and connected to an LG 4K Thunderbolt 3 monitor, and I use the Apple BT Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse II. For me this setup works very well and offers more flexibility than an iMac or other desktop. I can simply unplug the computer from the monitor and away we go.....

Apple is now in the process of making a shift from Intel processors to their own SOC (System on a Chip) and have released the first M1 machines, which are very fast and which have outstanding battery life. I haven't seen one yet, but those who have them love them. The M1 MacBook Air is based on the entry-level Intel MBA and is fanless, while the M1 MBP is based on the 13" entry-level Intel model. Both come with just two ports, which for me is insufficient since I use external drives fairly extensively for archving, storing, and working with my images and often have two external drives plugged in transferring files between them.

For editing, I am currently using DXO PhotoLab 4 and I also use Topaz Sharpen AI, Topaz Gigapixel AI and Topaz Denoise AI, with Photo Mechanic for quickly reviewing and culling images. My machine handles all of these easily.

It's been years since I've used a Windows machine, so can't really speak to that, but I will say that for me, Macs are excellent for editing images and doing other things as well. I especially appreciate the synchronicity among my various Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, a second Mac), which is useful for sharing data and images as well.
Thank you Clix Pix for your input. I've heard about the new M1 chip in the new Macbook and am actually quite impressed with it. Because of Covid, I've not had the opportunity to go to an actual store and play with a physical unit to see how well it functions. I did think about buying a 13-inch Macbook Pro with the new M1 chip but thought that since I don't do lots of traveling and editing at the same time, maybe a desktop would be better for now since a desktop always seem to be faster than a laptop or am I misled?
 

Kevriano

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Thanks, Kevriano for the input. I currently use MS Surface Book and Macbook Pro. I find that I use my Surface Book for everyday stuff but when comes to doing anything photo or video related, it is very slow. As for my Macbook Pro, I've had it since 2013 and it is still running fine. I don't mind taking it with me when I'm on the go but because it is an older Macbook, the battery is starting to go out and Apple wants to charge me way too much to replace the battery. That's why I figure it's time to invest in an actual desktop. Do you mind sharing what Windows Laptop you are using and what specs?


Sure. I'm running a 3 year old HP ENVY, 17", Intel i7-6700 HQ 2.6 GHz, 16gb RAM with an NVIDEA GForce GTX 950M Graphics Card with 4GB dedicated RAM, 500GB SSD. It's plenty powerful enough for Photoshop CC with Topaz for Denoising, even a full sixed RIV file will process in a minute, so that's not bad. It's only downside is the small HD, and I'd like a better screen, though it is a full HD display. I literally only use it for photos and web browsing so it's stripped as bare as it can be.
 

cucar

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I want to invest in a new computer just for photo and video editing. I can't decide between Mac or PC. I am familiar and can navigate with both systems but would like to know what everyone's thoughts are and why one is better than the other. Thanks

I'd recommend building a powerful desktop PC as you will get the most value for your money. A high-end CPU, RAM, GPU, and a fast drive (along with some changes in Lightroom preferences) will give you the utmost performance. Maybe you can start here: https://www.pugetsystems.com/recomm...ightroom-Classic-141/Hardware-Recommendations

I am using the 16-inch, 2019 Model MacBook Pro with 2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9, 64 GB 2667 MHz DDR4, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 GB, and 1 TB internal drive which I paid over $4500 and Adobe Lightroom still manages to bring it to its knees when I work with uncompressed raw files. I am a tech guy so I have been using MacBook Pros for over a decade but imagine what kind of PC could be built with that much money.

Also as a tech executive in the business for 20 years, I'd highly recommend against buying a first-generation Apple Product; M1 chips in this case. Apple rarely gets it right on their first-gen products. Avid MacBook users remember the butterfly keyboard disaster. Having said that, data (good reviews so far) speaks for itself and I am honestly quite excited about Apple M1 Chip; especially after Intel's massive quality issues and severe permanent bugs in their CPUs.
 
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Osval

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Now you have the new Macs with M1 processor. For what I've read, they are amazingly fast. I've seen the prices and they are really afordable.

I've always used Windows (Dell Latitude E7450 with i7 Processor with external monitor and keyboard) and I'm quite happy with it. Only photos, not video.

As said before, the best option is to make your own beast. I think it's the best option if you are in a budget or you want to improve it as long as you use it.
 

Drewid

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...and my non technical review of MacBook Pro is its a lovely piece of furniture, it feels well made and my current laptop is 2014 vintage and still going very strong. January will bring me the new M1 version, I know already I will love it! My old laptop will be used to travel with me when I'm allowed out again!
 

Jeff A

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I have always been a Windows guy and still provide support for Windows users. In addition, I have a good number of Apps that are not available on the Apple OS. Also, I don't have the financial luxury of running on two operating systems. I bought a new PC this year because I was shooting and editing 4K drone video. I pulled out all the stops and bought an all out PC from Dell along with a gorgeous 27" 4K monitor. I paid $2200 for the whole thing. It's fast quiet and boots up in a Heartbeat. Having a 4K monitor litterally changed my TV viewing habits because I have yet to get a 4K TV. Jack, PM me if you want to chat and I'll give you my phone number, as we are in the same state. :cool:
 
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liggy

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I’m not super hardcore regarding processing images but I’m definitely picking up a new M1 chip Mac Mini and a 3840x2160 Thunderbolt 3 monitor to go with it. Will just rely on external drives and cloud for storage.

 

Clix Pix

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Update to my earlier post: On December 26th, I checked the inventory of my local Apple store and they had exactly what I wanted -- the M1 13" MBP with 1 TB SSD and 16 GB RAM. I promptly ordered it online and took advantage of their courier service so that an hour and a half later there was a young man from the Apple store at my door, holding a bag containing the box with the new machine!

I am very pleased and impressed with this machine, which is nearly as fast as my 2018 machine with its 32 GB RAM! I am not planning to use it for editing images very often, but have tried a few just to see and it handles my uncompressed 61 MP RAW files from the A7R IV just fine. Apple has really hit this one right out of the ballpark -- an outstanding little machine!
 
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Jeff A

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When choosing a monitor, please remember, size does matter and the older you get, the more it matters.
 

Reciprocum

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You made the wrong question, the question that really matters (and is harder to answer...) is what software are you going to use to do your edits. The editing software of your choice might only be available for one of the platforms and that solves the question for you.

My MacMini (late 2018 model, i5 6-core, 32GB RAM) has been the most unreliable computer I have ever used/owned in my entire life (IT guy myself for 30y, I DYI assemble/build all my non-Mac PCs myself), by now it has surely amassed more crashes/reboots than all my previous computers combined.
Every single time the MacOS is upgraded somethings breaks, either the editing software crashes all the time (until the software vendor release an updated version a few months latter) or, worse, the external e-GPU stops being recognized altoguether and throws you into CPU based GPU hell.

One thing I do advise you regardless of your final Mac/Win PC choice: do make sure you have at least one Thunderbolt-3 or USB-4 port available (crucial for shutlling pics/videos in/out and do regular backups without tying you for hours) and you boot from a 512gb+ internal NVME (non-SATA !) SSD drive. Avoid spinning (and noisy) HDDs altoguether and settle only for SATA SSDs as secondary (non system/boot) bulk storage (SATA SSDs now cost the same per MB as SATA HDDs).

As for M1 Macs, again, its up to software support: do NOT pick an M1 (or M1X) machine until your software of choice has a native M1 version released. Do NOT believe the Apple PR BS/hype of the x86 "emulated native speeds" for non M1 software, you will regret it.
 
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Jeff A

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You made the wrong question, the question that really matters (and is harder to answer...) is what software are you going to use to do your edits. The editing software of your choice might only be available for one of the platforms and that solves the question for you.

My MacMini (late 2018 model, i5 6-core, 32GB RAM) has been the most unreliable computer I have ever used/owned in my entire life (IT guy myself for 30y, I DYI assemble/build all my non-Mac PCs myself), by now it has surely amassed more crashes/reboots than all my previous computers combined.
Every single time the MacOS is upgraded somethings breaks, either the editing software crashes all the time (until the software vendor release an updated version a few months latter) or, worse, the external e-GPU stops being recognized altoguether and throws you into CPU based GPU hell.

One thing I do advise you regardless of your final Mac/Win PC choice: do make sure you have at least one Thunderbolt-3 or USB-4 port available (crucial for shutlling pics/videos in/out and do regular backups without tying you for hours) and you boot from a 512gb+ internal NVME (non-SATA !) SSD drive. Avoid spinning (and noisy) HDDs altoguether and settle only for SATA SSDs as secondary (non system/boot) bulk storage (SATA SSDs now cost the same per MB as SATA HDDs).

As for M1 Macs, again, its up to software support: do NOT pick an M1 (or M1X) machine until your software of choice has a native M1 version released. Do NOT believe the Apple PR BS/hype of the x86 "emulated native speeds" for non M1 software, you will regret it.
I'm afraid Mr Wu has not been online here since December. We may never know HIS answer.
 

Reciprocum

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I'm afraid Mr Wu has not been online here since December. We may never know HIS answer.
And I was not around in December (only signed-up in Jan) but wanted to leave my opinion as many others might have the exact same Q.
 

AlphaWorld

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Tony
I want to invest in a new computer just for photo and video editing. I can't decide between Mac or PC. I am familiar and can navigate with both systems but would like to know what everyone's thoughts are and why one is better than the other. Thanks

Like you, I am familiar with, and can use, both. I have used both with Photoshop, starting with Windows, then Mac, then Windows, and currently Mac. Both work fine. My current setup uses an iMac with a calibrated Benq SW-320 as my primary working screen for photo editing.

I've introduced one small change into my latest configuration, though; I have both a touchpad and a mouse connected to the iMac, with the touchpad on the left and the mouse on the right. I use the two pretty much interchangeably, but I find some operations feel easier on the touchpad, and others on the mouse.

To be honest, I'd rate using a calibrated screen as more important than the operating system. And using an SSD to hold the image set that I am working on - it makes quite a difference to download from memory card to SSD, then work through hundreds, even a thousand or so, images, versus doing the same on hard drive. Once I'm done, I copy the images off to magnetic storage, but for the editing passes, definitely SSD.
 
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