A Good Change: Switching from Apple to a PC-Based Video Editing Workflow

“Change is neither good nor bad. It just is.” I’ve never agreed with that saying, especially when it comes to video editing.  Sometimes change is good. Sometimes it’s bad. And yes, sometimes it just is.  At Industrial Media Arts, we live by our editing machines so we don’t take change lightly.

Having been abandoned by Apple over the last few years on the hardware side (bad), and then turning to the release of Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) (worse) more recently, we started to consider looking for a new solution for our editing needs. This is not a minor issue in our shop. We had been using all Apple equipment and products for all our editing from day one. We had grown accustomed to the workflow and “work arounds” of our systems, but things felt stale and slow.

The recent announcement of a new desktop Mac Pro piqued our curiosity for a few moments, but after looking at the design and specs it became clear that it was not the machine we had hoped for. While the unique design (shape) looked interesting, it was evident that our furniture would have to be updated to accommodate the odd shape and the limited graphics cards along with other components would not meet our workflow needs (bad).

Enter Dell and NVIDIA. They invited us to participate in a Video Editing Advisory Program, which allowed us to test a workstation for a limited time. They seemed very confident that we'd see a big improvement in our workflow so we jumped at the chance.

So, a few months ago a new Dell Precision T7600 with three internal hard drives, a NVIDIA Quadro 5000 graphics card, tons of RAM, two 24-inch monitors, and a nice wireless keyboard arrived. We set the system up and loaded Adobe Premier Pro (fortunately we had already been using it) and started to work with it.

Since we do such a wide variety of projects, our schedule consists of a morning training video; by noon we’re on to an interview; and in the afternoon it’s branded entertainment. Consequently, we need an editing machine that’s fast, versatile and customizable. The Dell Precision T7600 workstation with an NVIDIA Quadro 5000 fits that bill on every level. The differences in workflow from our previous system were minor and everyone made the adjustment quickly. Now our biggest challenge is that everyone wants to use the Dell instead of our old machines.

The benefits of switching to the Dell T7600 have been numerous such as, faster rendering, easy of use, less crashing, the ability to use new codecs and plug-ins, it’s quiet, plus many more. However, what this “change” has brought to our company is a new excitement. We no longer have to wait for things to render. Instead, we can have the time to be more creative, try new things, and interact with our clients more often.

So our change to Dell and NVIDIA has been great!  We’re more efficient, more creative, get to spend more time fostering new business, and we actually get sleep now.  So, change can be good. So much so that we’re cleaning house and switching to an all Dell shop. 

About the Author: Doug Cwiak