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Advice - Buying a computer

I had a friend – who is a working musician – ask me for some advice about buying a new machine. They are starting to get into video editing for their business [think GoPro stuff].

Here is the advice I gave:


In general:

Stay with Mac. It’s FAR easier to edit videos on Macs. You can do some incredible video editing work with iMovie, but also check out Camtasia [paid]. Davinci Resolve [free version available] looks interesting as well – I haven’t used it [yet], but plan on it.

Questions to consider:

1) Laptop vs Desktop – portability vs power and expandability. You can always attach an external monitor to a laptop to make it easier to edit videos [VERY handy]. External mouse/keyboard makes life easier as well.
2) Get as much RAM and hard drive space as possible. RAM would be first priority – you can always add an external drive for more storage. Many laptops don’t allow you to upgrade the RAM, so what you have is what your stuck with.
3) After that it’s all budget related. Check out Apple refurb units [web search for “apple refurb”]. There are other reputable places that sell refurb units as well – MacSales, PowerMax are two I’m familiar with. MacofAllTrades is another
As for the Mac line – the Mac Mini and iMac lines would work well. Triplecheck the RAM on them, though – some of the models do NOT have user-upgradeable RAM, and adding RAM is the cheapest way to make a machine go faster.
For laptops, stay away from the Air for this purpose, which leaves the MacBook Pro. [The Airs are good machines, they just will be too frustrating to create videos on].
If you wanted to go Windows, I’d STRONGLY recommend NOT going the cheap route. You’ll spend more time fiddling with the system that actually getting work done. The same general principles re: RAM/hard drive space apply.

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