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Mac Thread, What Mac would you recommend in Technical; We a going to be starting a BTEC Media course in September. Students will be doing things like Video and ...
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    Whitestar's Avatar
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    What Mac would you recommend

    We a going to be starting a BTEC Media course in September.

    Students will be doing things like Video and Audio editing, animation, filming etc. Also I think they will be doing some Hi-Def stuff.

    I know macs are industry standard in the media world and was wondering what macs would be great for the job at hand, but will also last us at least three years.

    I havn't been told what the budget for this is yet.

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    Rozzer's Avatar
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    I would say getting the entry level Macbook Pro. But it can depend on how much money you have. Only reason i suggest getting a laptop because ease of movement for media with cameras. We started of with 3 powerbooks here and they are still using them happily.

    Ross

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    gaz350's Avatar
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    we are doing a similar course (big budget to get them going) we went for a bunch of mid range iMac's although if it was my choice i would have added a few laptops in the mix too

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    I would go for top end imacs with 4gb ram inside :-)

    Get some HD camcorders for mobile filming. If they are to export the finished results you may need a DVD burner where the low-end educational versions only come with a CD-RW and DVD reader.

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    Whitestar's Avatar
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    So I wouldn't need to get Mac Pro's then.

    Mid to high end iMacs would do the job?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitestar View Post
    So I wouldn't need to get Mac Pro's then.

    Mid to high end iMacs would do the job?
    Unless you are doing really heavy editing like hour plus runtime full HD movie editing you should be just fine with the lower end Macs. That and for Mac Pros you will also need a budget equally suited to buying a fleet of small cars if you are talking about a full suite of them.

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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    I have a current generation 24" iMac with 4GB of RAM and it works a treat when it comes to editing HD Video.

    A Mac Pro would be the ideal choice but it all depends on the budget you have set aside.

    I think for your scenario you would need a mixture of high end iMacs and Macbook Pros (for their portability).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitestar View Post
    We a going to be starting a BTEC Media course in September.

    Students will be doing things like Video and Audio editing, animation, filming etc. Also I think they will be doing some Hi-Def stuff.

    I know macs are industry standard in the media world and was wondering what macs would be great for the job at hand, but will also last us at least three years.

    I havn't been told what the budget for this is yet.
    We started Media Studies last year and our's manage the course on MacBooks. They have 15 of them in a mobile classroom. Dual boot to XP for network stuff and MacOS for the media stuff. They seem to be getting the work out of them.

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    I think the only reason you would need to go to Mac Pros is either a display larger than the maximum 24" iMac and also additional HDDs giving more than 1TB in space.

    Other than that i can't really see any reason to move across to the Mac Pros from the iMac range. Remember if you don't already have decent sized displays to hand you will also need to grab some on top of the Mac Pros which will increase the price as even further.

    Plus the iMacs could save you space without the need to have a box on the floor.

    I don't know how noisy the Mac Pros are but if they are any where near the noise of the G5s then i would definitely go for the iMac range. :P

    The Laptop range is also a option but the graphics cards on the Macbooks may not be up to the HD job. I don't know the answer to that as i ain't got any HD footage to edit and make the machine work hard. May be the Macbook pro but then you are into iMac price territory.

    Plus the iMac are a little more difficult to nick as i had my Macbook pro stolen last year.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    When you are talking about Mac Pro I would also think about what software you are going to use.

    If you are using iMovie (try to use iMovie HD, not the version that comes with iLife 08 ... it can be downloaded if you need it) the MacBook or iMac is good. Even a Mac Mini with a large external drive (minimum of 7600 RPM) would do at a push.

    If you are using Final Cut Express then a MacBook or iMac maxed out with RAM is what you need.

    Final Cut Studio ... MacPro ... definitely. If you chat with a local Apple Solutions Expert they will be able to give you good advice and it is rare for them to screw you over by overspeccing ... they want repeat purchases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitestar View Post
    We a going to be starting a BTEC Media course in September.

    Students will be doing things like Video and Audio editing, animation, filming etc. Also I think they will be doing some Hi-Def stuff.

    I know macs are industry standard in the media world and was wondering what macs would be great for the job at hand, but will also last us at least three years.

    I havn't been told what the budget for this is yet.
    It is a con that Macs are Industry standard... they aren't.. I would suggest a Core 2 Duo PC with 4gb RAM and Serif Software for the Media Course... Ecomomic... reliable and good...
    Last edited by Grommit; 20th May 2008 at 02:00 PM.

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    Yep .. you can do it on PCs too ... it all depends on whether this course is going to be used to progress into something more.

    If there is no progression then using windows based machines would probably do the trick (possibly even easier for some people to manage), but if it looks as if it will grow (perhaps a further, more advanced course, or perhaps pushing these skills further down the schools so they do video editing in KS3 so then need more high end for this course) then yes based on MacOS would be good.

    As for the hardware ... yes ... running it on Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM is good ... it applies to both windows and Mac OS X :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitestar View Post
    Students will be doing things like Video and Audio editing, animation, filming etc. Also I think they will be doing some Hi-Def stuff.
    As others have pointed out, the whole must-have-a-top-range-machine for video editing idea is from about 5 years ago. Pretty much any machine can handle basic video editing now, although you can do fancier stuff and/or more quickly with faster machines. We were considering Mac Minis for our new media suite, although the art teacher has now decided he would prefer Windows machines. I was aiming for a basic Mac Mini (quoted £550 each including screen, keyboard, mouse, VAT from Ollis) with some kind of external storage. I was thinking of hacking the case a little to include an eSATA port and then getting one of those snazzy Mac-esqueue external drive boxes per machine.

    Forget processing power, in a school environment your main concern is going to be storage size/performance/availability. If you store video footage locally on machines then every child has got to remember which machine they're using each lesson, and you've got to have permissions set up on each machine so they can't fiddle with each other's work (unless they're working in groups, of course). Perfectly doable via a bit of scripting. I'm aiming for a distributed RAID system, with each client machine in the room contributing a block of filespace over the network to a central server which aggregates that storage into a RAID array and serves it back out as a file system. Seemingly DRBD compiles on Mac OS X (well, on "BSD-like systems" I think the documentation says) so this should be very doable. Not quite sure what I'm going to do on Windows.

    Serif's software is very good, and good value for money, offers some good, different, features over Adobe CS3. I seem to remember the two suits came out about the same for whole-school licensing, though. Probably not worth buying individual licenses for machines as it soon gets to the point where you might as well just buy the site license. One option we're looking at is to buy Photoshop/Premier Elements.

    Might be an idea to go along to your nerest Apple store and have a play. Kingston / Oxford Street if you're near London, not sure where else.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Whitestar's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input guys.

    I will probably settle with a mid to high end iMac.
    I just have to wait and see what the budget is.

    Storage isnt really an issue.
    Student data is stored an a 2Tb NAS instead of on a server.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitestar View Post
    Thanks for your input guys.

    I will probably settle with a mid to high end iMac.
    I just have to wait and see what the budget is.

    Storage isnt really an issue.
    Student data is stored an a 2Tb NAS instead of on a server.
    How many students will be working on the systems? 2TB isn't an awfully large amount...

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