MACPRO OR LAPTOP FOR SEQUENCING

Discussion in 'Computers, Cabling & Other Miscellaneous Hardware' started by talk2coxie, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. talk2coxie

    talk2coxie Full Time Elf

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    Howdy all,

    I am going to need to invest in a new laptop to sequence on for 2017.

    Our IT guy at work suggest all things Apple for longevity and quality in their components. I have only ever had work issued laptop all windows and Microsoft based.

    Do any of you guys use a Mac book to sequence or have any input based on experience as to which works best?
     
  2. Madko

    Madko Full Time Elf

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    Are you going to use the laptop to run your playlist/sequence?

    I was doing it this way in the past years however moved to a Raspberry Pi this year and found it to be really reliable!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    talk2coxie

    talk2coxie Full Time Elf

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    Hi Madko,


    I have a Pi and plan on using that to run the show like you do. I've got a lot of learning to do on the Pi front however the laptop will only be needed for sequencing.


    Plus streaming Foxtel etc but not for running the show.
     
  4. cjd

    cjd New Elf

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    As far as xlights is concerned it doesn't really matter much. Any old laptop (mac, Windows or linux) will do the job fine but I would recommend getting a large screen as the more room you have will make things easier for sequencing

    Sent from my Nexus 9 using Tapatalk
     
  5. OzAz

    OzAz Full Time Elf

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    I wouldn't quite say "any old (windows) laptop" as you'll need one with a reasonable graphics card/chip that runs OpenGL.


    apple fanbois will always tell you to buy apple :D That said, someone demo'd using the new mac toolbar with shortcuts for xLights (think saw it on nutcracker forum) which looked quite handy
     
  6. cdjazman

    cdjazman Full Time Elf

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    My 2 cents worth is as follows;

    I have been in the computer industry for 20+ years. (selling, fixing, virus removal, road tech......)

    I have used various forms of laptop over the time - Windows, Apple, Linux.

    Apple are a great product - just not for me - I don't care for being locked down to apple that way....

    For sequencing I have used a Dropbox setup this year and have sequenced on a 4 year old laptop, 12 month old Lenovo Thinkserver and a 2 year old desktop. I have also done some sequencing remotely via teamviewer when quiet in the office.....(don't tell the boss....)

    I then have run the show from a Raspberry Pi which has handled all sequences and scheduling without an issue.

    The amount of times I have seen someone using a $2k laptop to do some web surfing and emails is amazing. For what you want to do with it a nice $6-700 laptop from MSY or similar would suffice.

    I would also add that the 4 year old laptop is running like new due to me upgrading the hard drive to a SSD (solid state drive) - less space but rejuvenated speed. Oh and Foxtel Go runs fine as well.....

    I am neither apple nor windows fanboy..... I am a fan of spending money in the right areas..... less on laptop equals more on led strips in my case.....
     
  7. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    You generally pay 15 to 30% for the exact hardware specs as a PC when buying apple/mac hardware. What you pay for is the heavily controlled operating system. Some love the controlled environment of a mac compered to PC.

    But the reality is most laptops will give you a good 5 years + regardless if its a mac or a PC so the longevity argument doesn't work that well.

    If you are on a budget and want to get the best bang for your buck hardware wise then get a PC. If you want simple stable platform with a fairly controlled enviroment compared to a PC then the mac is the choice
     
  8. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    I use a mac for sequencing. I use my 6 yr old iMac and my 4 yr old MacBook Pro. Different people have different ideas about mac vs windows and you would be fine with either. Personally I like mac due to the low risk of viruses for one. Whilst some may suggest you pay more for the mac due to it being "heavily controlled " ( yes I'm pointing at you eddy [emoji1]) I see it as being much more integrated platform when using different devices ( phone , tablet, desktop and portable) which is a convenience I never experienced with windows but do with mac and yes I'm willing to pay for it ( the difference in price is much less than it used to be). . The nice thing about xlights is that it works on both windows and mac very well. But when it comes to actually running the show, I use a Pi.
    Also I agree with the above statement about adding a ssd to an ageing laptop - it makes them run like new [emoji106][emoji16]

    PS. But If you want to use the machine for some hardcore gaming , then I'd have to say go windows [emoji851][emoji452]
    .
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    I have a Macbook Pro (2016), son has my old 2014 macbook air and my (2012?) Air is still used by a mate regularly. The Mac's are great, but honestly I did 99% of my sequencing on my PC, or on the Macbook Pro booted to windows. The hardware is absolutely brilliant and I know that most of the sequencing worked well under the Mac OS, the issues started to appear when I was swapping between the PC and Mac and using images and external videos in the sequence, and put simply links broke.

    This would not be an issue if I used just the PC or the Macbook Pro to sequence, but I tried to use both and it was not overly successful, so I ended up doing the basic sequencing on the Macbook (Using OSx and the Mac port of xLights) and then doing the matrix items on the PC and that worked perfectly for me.

    The Mac hardware is 10x better than any other laptop I have used, and when you use the Mac port of xLights the battery lasts ages - I was getting 8+hours of sequencing on a battery
     
  10. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    Oh, and that controlled environment has a lot of advantages compared to Windows, that Mac users see, but PC users dont. Firstly is that when you control software, or at least the operating system, and hardware you can make sure that stuff does not use power or CPU cycles unless it has to. For instance a direct comparison of xLights on Windows, Vs xLights on OSX - I get 2x the battery life under OSX, if not more. Same goes with Family Tree Maker, most of the Adobe packages and even video playback, and the only common factor is the operating systems - windows sucks the life (and power and CPU cycles) out of anything it runs on, and while thats fine on your desktop, it's obvious on a laptop when the battery lasts 4 hours vs 8 or more using OSX
     
  11. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    I used to be an extreme Mac Biggot. But windows 10 has learned a lot from Macos. I have both now.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    talk2coxie

    talk2coxie Full Time Elf

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    All valid points which I appreciate and will take on board when buying something. Thanks a bunch for your input :)
     
  13. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    I have a MacBook Pro from around 2009. I've always booted to Windows on it. I love the hardware and I don't mean the guts because the specs all look the same. It was the case machined from a solid aluminum block and the keyboard that had a better feel and the nicer looking display. The reversible magnetic power cord...still don't know why no one has stolen that brilliant idea. I still have never seen anyone else develop a laptop that doesn't feel like a cheap piece of plastic.
     
  14. dkulp

    dkulp New Elf

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    Most of this should now work fine as long as the images are in a subdirectory of the show directory (or in the show directory). I've done a bit of work to make sure that works fine.


    BTW: does your 2016 have the TouchBar? Have you tried the new TouchBar controls in xLights yet?
     
  15. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I have different priorities when choosing hardware. The technology is now advancing slower than it used to so I want something that'll last - something I can pull apart and fix if a component fails outside of its warranty period; Apple's laptops are pretty much sealed up. I bought my first touch screen laptop in early 2015. The touch screen is great for tasks like Google Maps and Apple offers no such thing. Considering these factors alongside the higher price point and it's clear that Apple's laptops are not for me.

    The only thing I really like about Apple's laptops is the quality of the display.

    Note that if you want to use Vixen, you'll need to run Windows regardless of your hardware.

    Despite all of this, if you're using it for sequencing (and nothing else) then most of these points are unimportant. Nothing is likely to fail if it is just stashed away on a shelf for most of the year, a touch screen isn't useful for sequencing, you can load Windows on it if you want to use Vixen and you don't need an excellent screen quality.
     

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