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Media Pool 2017 Computer Buying Advice

Thinking about buying a new computer? Budget to spend as much money on a Windows PC as you would a Mac ($2000-$3000).

What about a new MacBook Pro!
Beware the USB-C connector.
Things to think about: Dongles, adapters, dilly-bops!!!

Display dongles
USB legacy adapter
Ethernet dongles
SD card adapter

So, no problem, right.

The new 13” MacBook Pro The new 15” MacBook Pro
Has 2 USB-C ports from which you have to…
1. charge your laptop
2. connect to a projector or monitor
3. sync you iPad and/or iPhone
4. connect your printer
5. connect external (backup) storage
6. connect your comfortable external keyboard and mouse
7. connect your drawing tablet
8. don’t forget your memory cards
Has 4 USB-C ports from which you have to…
1. charge your laptop
2. connect to a projector or monitor
3. sync you iPad and/or iPhone
4. connect your office printer
5. connect your photo printer
6. connect your main external drive
7. connect your external backup
8. connect a comfortable external keyboard
9. connect your trackball mouse
10. connect your drawing tablet
11. don’t forget your memory cards

Don’t sweat it, Apple may not have made it easy but that will just spread the money around. On the HUBS of 2017!

Crazy interesting under-laptop solution:
OWC’s solution
appleinsider.com’s review of owc

Non-standard hub:
Hypershop concluded a Kickstarter with a few neat solutions.

Standard hub:
Trendnet has a few solutions in the works as well.

 

You are going to buy one anyway, aren’t you? *sigh* OK, so here is what specs I suggest and why.

Size 15” More ‘future proof’.
The 15” has standard supported scaled resolutions and the 13” has horrible/odd supported scaled resolutions.
Artists need more than 256GB of storage so the 13” base model is pointless.
This is probably going to need to last for 4 years. So think of it as an investment into your sanity account.
4 USB-C connectors instead of 2. Two USB ports, Apple must hate their customers. That is like having space for a full-sized 101-key keyboard but only putting a tiny laptop keyboard in all that dead space.
And all this stuff below too.
Processor 2.9GHz The CPU is not at all upgradable so think of it as an investment into your sanity account. After all, this investment is probably going to need to last for 4 years or more.
Storage 512GB or 1TB The main storage drive is not easily/cheaply upgradable so factor in some room to grow.
Memory 16GB Memory (RAM) is not at all upgradable so buy all you can now.
Graphics Radeon Pro 460 4GB of video memory will help lower chances for buyer’s remorse. In the next 4 years more programs will take advantage of the extra RAM. Also, the GPS is not upgradable.

 

What about a new Windows computer!
Beware the variety.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft licenses their OS for many different form factors and intended purposes. A windows computer can range from $200 – $6000. That is a huge range to consider when shopping for a computer.

Things to think about: portability, investment & upgrade-ability

Generally, I would recommend a ‘gaming computer’-these tend to be be better in graphic intense applications. Again, this purchase is probably going to need to last for 4 years, so think of it as an investment into your sanity account.

The best place to get an idea of how much of a computer you will needs is to consult the hardware requirements of the software programs that you expect to be using.

Size/Screen  

 

Desktop Monitor;
24-32″ Monitor, 1920 x 1200, up to 4K.Tablet or laptop;
Options like a full-sized 101-key keyboard, foldable or detachable keyboard should be considered.Don’t forget touchscreens are the future AND THE FUTURE IS NOW.
Processor Intel i7, 2.9GHz or better

AMD Ryzen, R7

The CPU is often not upgradable so think of it as an investment into your sanity account. After all, this investment is probably going to need to last for 4 years or more.
Storage 512GB or 1TB The main storage drive is generally easily/cheaply upgradable but factor in some room to grow with your initial purchase.
Memory 16GB Memory (RAM) is generally easily upgradable depending on the vendor. Make sure you buy a system with 8GB of RAM minimum. I recommend 16-32GB of RAM.
Graphics AMD Radeon R9

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 or 1070

I recommend dedicated graphics. 4-8GB of video memory will help lower chances for buyer’s remorse. In the next 4 years more programs will take advantage of the extra RAM.

There are a number of pre-packaged systems that I would look at.

Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Eluktronics and HP’s business tablets for versatility (the Elite X2 for example).

There are a number of “Boutique System Builders” that I would defiantly recommend looking at. Boutique builders provide built-to-order systems that can be customized to best fit your needs and often provided more post-purchase assistance and upgrades.

CyberPowerPC, AVADirect, Origin, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Puget and Maingear to name a few.

 

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