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These days HD video is becoming more and more widely available.  Especially with the introduction of the R3D One, and Scarlet, HD acquisition has become a standard in the film industry.  This means to process all those beautiful 4K images you need a very fast tower/ edit suite.  Time to shop around this holiday season, but which one to pick up? Apple MacPro Tower, or a PC equivalent?

Over the years I have been using both Apple’s MacPro Towers and various PC’s to accomplish all my post-production needs.  However, as we start to move into the 64bit era of Avid MC 6, Adobe CS5.5, FCPX,  and 64 bit operating systems like Windows 7, and OSX Lion. I find myself looking to upgrade this holiday season.

Apple’s MacPro towers are robust and feature some Intel’s fastest Xeon processors from a single 2.8 Quad – Core to the higher end Two 2.93GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores).  They are really powerful workhorses. However they have not been updated since about mid 2010. That means going forward into 2012 they are really starting to look long in the tooth. There are also many rumors suggested that Apple may even kill off their MacPro line as their sales have fallen drastically.

On the PC side there is the Hewlett Packard HP Z800 workstations. These new PC can be configured with Intel 2.13 GHz Xeon Quad – Core, to 3.33 GHz, Intel Xeon Six-Core for huge HD video crunching power.  These machines have been running and supporting high-end broadcast set-ups for years. They have also run Avid, and After Effects workstations, so experiences has taught me they are up able to handle all that HD footage with ease.

Now it comes down to buy now or later. Well If you are looking for machine right now I would consider looking at the HP Z800 as they are more recent and can be cheaper. (Based on your configuration).

However if you must have a Apple MacPro Tower, I highly recommend waiting as they are in need of an update. Buying them now only to have a tower from mid 2010 may not be the greatest idea. It has been also rumored they may just kill off the MacPro Tower, which in that case, you may end up with unsupported hardware.  Also another good reason to wait is a new rumor that has popped up claiming that Intel’s latest processors may just show up in a newly refreshed MacPro Tower in early 2012.

Either way If you must have an Apple you should wait. If you need a machine this holiday season take a good look at the HP Z800.


 The holidays are coming – get ready with the right technology. Ideas, tips and more from Intel® Canada bloggers only at Intel® Canada’s Facebook page.

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