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A SIMPLE BLOG OF A SIMPLE MAN including teaching, photography, independent film, writing, music, living in a foreign land, the HARD FACTS of life, and a sprinkle of tounge-in-cheek comedy.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A NEW MAC... ANYONE?


Steve Jobs and the Mac team have moved on to greener pastures with a whole new range of Apple Computers that use the new Intel processors over the old Power PC (ie. G5 Power Macs & older PowerBooks). Why, is not the topic of this post but which? Which one should I buy? A new MacBook Pro (all the rage!), a much cheaper, simpler MacBook (similar to the beloved iBooks) or an Intel Core Duo iMac (powerful consumer based desktop)???

As most of you already know, I wrote and directed an indy film "Night Walker" right here in Tokyo through 2005 - 2006 and although mostly finished with the production phase I have yet to begin the post-production phase of editing the movie together. Through past experiences I have learnt that editing is challenging (to say the least), time consuming, expensive and requires various software know-how and a great machine that is powerful enough to pull it off.

Thankfully, Apple Computer have (for some time now) been delivering computers to the market that are powerful enough to do just this as well as providing the software (cheaply in some cases). I started out video editing in 2003 on a G3 (blue and white) iMac using iMovie and this I must say was a revolution of sorts to me as I never dreamed it possible! Some time after (Dec 2004) I bought a new iBook G4 (what I am writing on now) and again continued to use iMovie to edit and hone my skills.

However, now the time has come to get serious and move away from iMovie and enter the world of Final Cut Pro Studio (a great pro user 4 in 1 movie editing software from Apple). In order to do this however I needed to once again update and buy a new Mac and the new generation of Intel Macs came just at the right time for me. So, over the last month or so I have researched the new macs (pros and cons) throughout many forums, discussion boards, websites and user reviews. Below is what I have found and what has led me to make my final decision (a personal choice based on hours of research).

I have decided to purchase an 20 inch Intel Core Duo Imac customized with the following technical specs:

  • 20 Inch Widscreen TFT active-matrix liquid crystal display
  • 2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor
  • 2 GB 667 DDR SDRAM (ram memory)
  • 250 GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
  • ATI Radeon x1600/ 128MB VRAM (video/ graphics processor)
Why have I decided on an Intel iMac over the MacBook Pro (the rage)? Well, its quite simple really...
  1. I customised my iMac to either match or surpass the MacBook Pro specs and power. I also saved over ¥150, 000 (about US $ 1,500) in the process.
  2. I don't need another laptop (i have the Mac iBook G4 which is my baby!)
  3. The screen is much larger and clearer and overall it is stunning to look at.
  4. It has more hard drive space (over twice the amount of the MacBook Pro).
  5. It runs cooler (very cool) due to the increased air circulation space.
  6. The hard drive is more powerful (7200RPM versus 5400RPM)
  7. It runs Final Cut Pro Studio with more speed and efficiency.
  8. I spent 3 hours at the MAC store in Ginza putting the Intel iMac through various tests.
  9. The Mac Geniuses and Specialists at the Mac store assured me that it runs FCP extremely well and is the better machine overall than the MacBook Pro.
  10. And, it has excellent user ratings as opposed to the very poor ratings for the new MacBook Pros (read more about this below).
Coupled with this fine purchase I will get a big discount on Final Cut Studio (¥36,000 off!) for purchasing the new Intel iMac and my Editing Studio will become a reality and the real work of post-production will then begin...

For more info on the MacBook Pro (user complaints) and iMac (user praises) please visit the following links:

MacBook Pro
http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/macbookpro/index.html#jun03
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=507992&tstart=0
Intel iMac
http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/Apple_iMac_Core_Duo_20_inch_2_0GHz/4852-3118_16-31661466.html?tag=uoreturn
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=204960

The above views are totally mine, independently researched and in no way associated with Apple, Steve Jobs or directed at you (if you are a recent MacBook convert).

I hope this blog article and information provided will help others to make a informed choice when looking at buying a new Mac too cause they aren't cheap and there seems to be some real LEMONS out there (even in Mac stores).

Good Luck and may the Mac gods be with you!

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