Peter M Howard ::

wintermute.com.au

White vs Beige, Round 3

21November2005 [wishlist]
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White makes unexpected 3rd Round comeback

Apple played a little sneaky, showing its ‘education discount’ card - a saving of nearly A$600 on its low-end PowerMac G5 - bringing it firmly back into the game. I customised the G5 to my liking (dual 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB, 256MB nVidia 6600, and a 20” Apple Cinema Display) and hit A$4248.20. Then went to PlusCorp.com.au and, based on an Athlon 64 X2 system, customised with specs to match. With very similar offerings, (and in fact matching the LCD identically) I hit A$4189. There’s no educational discount involved there of course.

Now, if I want, Beige still gives me the option of further tweaking (read, cutting corners) to save a little. The monitor is the biggest issue — the Apple LCD is one of the more expensive, I could easily save a couple hundred dollars there, (or pull back to a 19” screen and save A$700). But, after doing a lot of research about CRTs and LCDs, I’ve concluded that it really is worth investing in a good LCD - they’re _much_ easier on the eyes (I am going to be sitting in front of the monitor all the time and would like not to go blind), and when I want to judge how a video I’m editing will look on a TV-screen, I should use a TV-screen and not just a CRT (which has way too much colour variation anyway). I’m not into publishing enough for the issue of screen and print colour variations to be a problem.

And even ignoring the price, I’m coming round to like the idea of not having to dual-boot anymore! Linux video editing just isn’t up to scratch (it’d work fine for a lot of stuff, but any serious work needs serious tools), and I’d hate to have to boot out of my ‘everyday’ OS to edit, when I want editing to be a part of my ‘everyday’ anyway!

Also, I gave Alienware a chance at competition here, and they came out matching Apple’s non-education pricing. So still a close fight, but between an educational discount and the sheer awesomeness of single-booting a workable Operating System, White is looking like a winner in this fight.

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