Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

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Nick Lear

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Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostWed Mar 08, 2017 6:32 pm

This is a question for those who have made the switch - how annoying was it?

Like many of you, I need to buy a computer (my iMac was stolen) and for my budget (around $2500) I can get a much better spec on a Windows box. And better spec = time saved if you're having to transcode h264 rushes.

[For spec lovers the quotes I have for $2500 (NB South African prices, stuff is much more expensive here)
PC = 4.2 GHz kaby lake i7, 8GB 1070, 16GB DDR4 RAM, small SSD + 1TB HDD + 27” Dell U2717D monitor. iMac = 3.2 GHz Skylake i5, 2GB M380, 8GB DDR3 RAM, only HDD, 27” monitor

I've been a Mac user 15 years now, but was a Windows user for 10 years before that.

The main thing I've thought of so far is the keyboard is different for functions like copy and paste - on a Mac the command key is next to the space bar whereas on a PC keyboard it is at the far left. How many things are there like that you have to relearn the muscle memory for?
Win Pro 10, i7 4.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, RX 480 8GB VRAM, Resolve 12.5.5.026 + Macbook Pro Mid 2012, i7 2.3GHz, 8GB RAM, 1GB VRAM GT650M, Resolve 14.0.0b.020
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Mads Johansen

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostWed Mar 08, 2017 8:28 pm

If keyboard is the main issue, I would look into something like this. It allows you to change the function of keys, so it becomes more familiar.
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Chip.Murphy

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostThu Mar 09, 2017 2:32 am

The switch isn't bad. The lack of prores encoding is frustrating but cineform works fine, if your clients accept it.

I have a p9x79 and 3930k from a few years back (sold my mac pro cheesegrater) that works fine (built directly from the Resolve Config Guide). If you follow the Resolve PC config guide (x99) you'll be fine for a few years, sans GPU updates.

You'll get used to the keyboard changes quickly. Windows 10 is incredibly refreshing and imho, windows explorer is snappier than finder.

Also, if a client gives you an XML project that from a Mac hard drive, you can remap the drive to emulate /volumes/$harddrivehere/ easily (just need an hfs+ driver).

TLDR: make the switch, but lack of prores encoding hurts.
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Adelson Munhoz

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostThu Mar 09, 2017 4:40 am

For ProRes encoding in PC, use the combination of anotherGUI with ffmpeg:

http://www.stuudio.ee/anothergui/

https://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

It has batch rendering, simultaneous threads and presets management. And It's free.

In fact, works way better than Adobe Media Encoder and Quicktime Pro encoder.

In Resolve, render in any format you want (AVI Cineform, DPX, TIFF or PNG sequences) select a preset, drag and drop over AnotherGUI, click "GO!" and that's it.

ffmeg, in addition, supports ProRes4444

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Marc Wielage

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostThu Mar 09, 2017 7:14 am

MixingLight.com (which is normally a pay site) has a free download on the pros and cons of switching to Windows from Mac. I have to say, even as a longtime Mac user (30 years this year), I'm getting ready to dump the piece of crap Trashcan Mac and go with a PC, just due to render glitches and the inability to upgrade the GPU.

https://mixinglight.com/portfolio/mac-p ... moving-pc/
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Sam Steti

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostThu Mar 09, 2017 4:40 pm

Marc Wielage wrote: I'm getting ready to dump the piece of crap Trashcan Mac and go with a PC, just due to render glitches and the inability to upgrade the GPU.
Never understood the motivation for a pro to go for a trashcan, given that even the form factor only can show we won't be able to upgrade anything... [nothing to do with you of course, just sayin in general]

Beside that, anyone can see on barefeat that a legacy macpro tower with proper double GPU inside* wipe the floor with the thrashcan
*(don't even talk about an external PCIe enclosure)

Nowadays, due to the lack of nvidia 10xx series webdriver for Mac, things obviously change...
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DiDi Lin

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostMon Mar 20, 2017 5:10 pm

We have the similar background, 15 years on apple and preview 10 with pc.

It was time for me to buy a new laptop, and I just couldn't convince myself to purchase the New Macbookpro. So I took this opportunity to jump ship back to PC to give it a try. I am using an MSI now, and it performs similar to my iMac 5k maxed out or maybe even faster.

The first 2 weeks was a bit rough. But now, I am sticking with PC. The only thing that was truly painful isn't about the UI. It is actually migrating the data! Since I had all the drives setup with OS extended, I had to reformat most of my old drives so I can read on PC and Mac. And the Drobo that I am using now can only work with one OS system. I have also read that you need to be careful working with exfat. I work with external SSD and I always make sure I eject the drive properly when I am on the go. Or there might be chance of data corruption. I think it happened once that I lost my work on resolve. Not sure what exactly happened, but I lost power on my computer and my work was gone. Like I can't even find the project.

I think if its a desktop, it would be more solid.

Other then that... I think PC is actually great!!!
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Nick Lear

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 8:08 am

I must admit, the switch (1 week so far) has not been as bad as I feared. I think I do have some old Windows muscle memory that has come back. I think I even prefer the position of the control key to the apple key.

Also, things like the BIOS look so much nicer than I remember! But Windows is surprisingly similar, although definitely improved. The main thing I actually notice is that the system fonts for the Resolve menus look very budget to my eyes compared to the Mac version.

There are a few things that I haven't worked out yet, like frame by frame audio scrubbing isn't working for me. But I was pleased to see my custom keyboard map transferred ok.

I'm using the Paragon HFS+ software trial to copy files over and then I will reformat my drives.
Win Pro 10, i7 4.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, RX 480 8GB VRAM, Resolve 12.5.5.026 + Macbook Pro Mid 2012, i7 2.3GHz, 8GB RAM, 1GB VRAM GT650M, Resolve 14.0.0b.020
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Dermot Shane

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 1:06 pm

DiDi Lin wrote: The only thing that was truly painful isn't about the UI. It is actually migrating the data! Since I had all the drives setup with OS extended, I had to reformat most of my old drives so I can read on PC and Mac. And the Drobo that I am using now can only work with one OS system. I have also read that you need to be careful working with exfat.


notes;
- i use Paragon's HFS+ to read/write Mac formatted disks on my PeeCeeee's, well worth the $20
- i useTuxera on my Mac's to write NTFS, again well worth the small cost
- fixing ExFat if the table gets corrupted can be problematic, be very careful about removeing the disk from the OS before disconnecting
- make DRP's constantly (yesterday i made 5 of them) Davinci projects and related autosaves can be unstable, even backing up the entire database has resualted in a faliure to restore - DRP's are solid
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Nick Lear

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostSun Apr 02, 2017 5:02 pm

I actually got really fed up with my new keyboard and replaced it with an Apple USB number pad one. I also did decide to swap the left control and command (windows) keys with the Sharpkeys app (thanks for that link). I realised I did have a very well worn muscle memory for things like apple-Z and I also still have a Mac laptop, so it's easier to go between.

A note on the Apple keyboard - I found that most keys worked straight away, basically all bar about half of the function keys. I did experiement with installing the Boot Camp keyboard driver - see this video but NB read the comments as well - you can't use the latest file, and you need to change a registry value to get the function keys:


I found this did get me back all F keys bar F14 (which is annoying as I use F13-F15). I decided I didn't want one other bit of software on the PC, so I got rid of it (again needed the comments section of that youtube clip to even do that.)

I'm happy with my current set up.
Win Pro 10, i7 4.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, RX 480 8GB VRAM, Resolve 12.5.5.026 + Macbook Pro Mid 2012, i7 2.3GHz, 8GB RAM, 1GB VRAM GT650M, Resolve 14.0.0b.020
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostMon Apr 03, 2017 1:34 am

Sam Steti wrote:
Marc Wielage wrote: I'm getting ready to dump the piece of crap Trashcan Mac and go with a PC, just due to render glitches and the inability to upgrade the GPU.
Never understood the motivation for a pro to go for a trashcan, given that even the form factor only can show we won't be able to upgrade anything... [nothing to do with you of course, just sayin in general]

I bought it more than 3 years and have billed many, many thousands of dollars of work in that time and had many happy clients. My philosophy is generally not to tell people how to work or how to live, especially when they're not asking for advice.

I use whatever's necessary to get the job done. If I had a choice, I'd use Resolve Linux provided it was affordable and could render ProRes.
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Jeff Brass

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostMon Apr 03, 2017 4:21 am

we run both macs and windows, and switch between them.

For Resolve, we could build a PC machine with a lot more grunt for a lot less then a mac equivalent.

in terms of operation differences, you'll most likely get used to the keyboard differences pretty quickly. I move between both several times a day and all no problems with keyboards. And it's quick and easy to google anything / keystrokes etc that your not familiar with.

Bottom line is - there are things I like about both, and conversely I regularly swear at them both so .....
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Sam Steti

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostMon Apr 03, 2017 7:55 am

Marc Wielage wrote:
Sam Steti wrote:
Marc Wielage wrote: I'm getting ready to dump the piece of crap Trashcan Mac and go with a PC, just due to render glitches and the inability to upgrade the GPU.
Never understood the motivation for a pro to go for a trashcan, given that even the form factor only can show we won't be able to upgrade anything... [nothing to do with you of course, just sayin in general]

I bought it more than 3 years and have billed many, many thousands of dollars of work in that time and had many happy clients. My philosophy is generally not to tell people how to work or how to live, especially when they're not asking for advice.

I use whatever's necessary to get the job done. If I had a choice, I'd use Resolve Linux provided it was affordable and could render ProRes.
This also my philosophy... unfortunately, it's not Apple's one, which is more interested in telling you how to work and think instead of giving you tools only.
For the rest, it's a bit off-topic but I don't think you would have billed less $$$ with another computer like a legacy macpro for example, especially because you'd used whatever needed to get the job done anyways...
I finally think that specifically for Resolve, it's better to have a bit more flexibility to build/upgrade Raid0 or GPUs some times, what becomes more complicated on a thrashcan.
Last edited by Sam Steti on Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Dermot Shane

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostMon Apr 03, 2017 5:06 pm

i bounce between mac and pc alll day long, no issues with kb shortcuts really.. it kinda fall naturaly to hand for me, i guess I really do not use the kb much on any of the windoze machines
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Danny Jenkins

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostTue Apr 04, 2017 6:20 am

One thing no-one has mentioned that I found super annoying was the forced Windows updates.
If you forget to set it up correctly from the start you will find your renders (or worse, client sessions) rudely interrupted by Windows updates (including reboot) with no choice to defer.

There are no settings that I'm aware of that I find satisfactory. The best possible solution you have is to allow a time at night for Windows to install the updates (a duration no less than 12 hours...) e.g. at any time from 8pm to 8am Windows may install updates and reboot. So you may want to manually 'check for updates' and install them before you go home for the night leaving your long renders ticking over, or you could find them interrupted. If you can remember to do that!!

You can also choose to defer updates indefinitely but I feel you will be missing out on important things you actually do want... but maybe not right when you're presenting to a client! I wish there was just an option where you received a notification that updates were ready, and you can press 'go' when you're not busy.

I've also found in some cases that the Windows updates screwed with my Nvidia drivers and it takes time to troubleshoot and fix. Something that seems less frequent on Mac.

Aside from that you may get a laugh out of the control panel icons and UI styles you occasionally stumble across that have been untouched since Windows 2000 or earlier... there are two Control Panels (modern one and old one) that seem redundant in a lot of cases - two places for the same settings does not make sense to me. It's like they half-designed the new layout but left the old stuff lingering in the background instead of fully integrating it.

If you can get used to these things that seem devoid of common sense then you'll be free to unleash the massive horsepower of a Windows box!

Also it might be a good idea to keep a super cheap mac around (mac mini) just in case a client drops over with a Mac formatted Thunderbolt drive.
Danny Jenkins
Work: HP Z840 2x14c | 128GB RAM | Quadro M4000, GTX 1080 | Quantum FC storage | tangent element
Home: Hackintosh i7 4930K 6c | 32GB RAM | 2x GTX780 | 8x2TB Areca RAID10
Previous SR2 Hackintosh: browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/45602
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostTue Apr 04, 2017 6:59 am

Danny Jenkins wrote:Also it might be a good idea to keep a super cheap mac around (mac mini) just in case a client drops over with a Mac formatted Thunderbolt drive.

I generally specify to clients that they use USB3 drives, which work on anything. We use MacDrive on Windows and NTFS for OSX on Mac, so we can go either way if we have to.

Thunderbolt is more of an issue on Windows, but there are PCs out there that work very well with Thunderbolt.
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Alex Blake

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 5:56 am

or use Acrovid's FootageStudio 4K .
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Alex Blake

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 6:11 am

Sam Steti wrote:
Marc Wielage wrote: I'm getting ready to dump the piece of crap Trashcan Mac and go with a PC, just due to render glitches and the inability to upgrade the GPU.
Never understood the motivation for a pro to go for a trashcan, given that even the form factor only can show we won't be able to upgrade anything... [nothing to do with you of course, just sayin in general]

Beside that, anyone can see on barefeat that a legacy macpro tower with proper double GPU inside* wipe the floor with the thrashcan
*(don't even talk about an external PCIe enclosure)

Nowadays, due to the lack of nvidia 10xx series webdriver for Mac, things obviously change...



exactly! as a budding colorist, am contemplating setting up my first system and now that the BMD finally released affordable control surfaces i am looking at the tech that is available right now.

what i found so far, is this--as i am not allowed to post URLs, you'll have to google it or PM me if you want to see the excellent review on youtube from this scottish dude that really breaks down all the info re the new AMD CPU.

check this out: AMD came out with its new flagship CPU that beats the pants off the Intel 7700K. so for less than a Apple trashcan you can build yourself a PC running Windows 10 with a AMD Ryzen 7 1700 OCed inside, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, with the fastest graphics card on the market atm: the AMD Radeon Pro Duo (well until AMD releases the Vega 10 later this year)--that's a dual GPU on 1 card giving you about 16 TFLOP in single precision. of course, the mobo has another PCIe slot for a 2nd card, so we are talking possibly 4 GPUs with a total VRAM of 16GB. a bit short there, i'd like to see 128GB at least in VRAM, but short of spending 10K on a Radeon Pro SSG with its 1 TB of NVM (on the card, yes i kid you not), we are stuck with current VRAM board limitations.

of course, power supply, liquid cooling, fans, internal SSDs, and external RAID plus a Thunderbolt adapter... well ok... perhaps you'll get the same price as a trashcan but 10x more performant. and upgradable.

AFAIK, it's no contest.
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: Switched to PC from Mac? How annoying was it?

PostFri Apr 07, 2017 7:22 am

Danny Jenkins wrote:One thing no-one has mentioned that I found super annoying was the forced Windows updates.
If you forget to set it up correctly from the start you will find your renders (or worse, client sessions) rudely interrupted by Windows updates (including reboot) with no choice to defer.
.


I don't do updates.

And yeah, I know, that sounds like heresy.

Our workstations have no connection to the www (just internal).
What I do is, I set up (hand massage) the OS and all programs, delete or disable everything I don't need, till it runs like butter. I only do updates, when there is any benefit (seldom), or when I plop in new hardware - so it's mostly drivers. This worked very well for us over the years.

I have a Win7 workstation running here without any update (besides new GPU drivers) since 6 years, like on day one.

If anything goes south, I have a mirror copy of the original installation on a separate drive, that I can throw in any time, and keep working, without the need of new installation.
http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

Set your zebras to 100%, ETTR and you're golden - and NO, you can't use TB as output for an external monitor, and you can't download the footy via TB ether.

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