Tip #1255: Criteria for Buying a Computer System

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1255: Criteria for Buying a Computer System

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The challenge is not the final export, but in assembling the pieces to create it.

Topic $TipTopic

Just a couple of minutes ago, I got this email:

“I need a [newer] system to work with now [while waiting for the new Apple silicon systems to be released]. What are your thoughts about using an external SSD with a 2019 mid level iMac 27?”

So, I sent this response:

“Smile…. Until you give me a clue about what you want to do with this gear, it’s pretty darn hard to offer an opinion.”

They then responded:

“Majority of work is for YouTube.”

I replied:

“Key criteria for any hardware purchase are: the speed you need to get things done, the NLE you are using, the frame size you are working in, and the codecs you are using. The distribution format is trivial.

“If you are at 4K and below, not emphasizing HDR and have reasonable deadlines, the 2019 27″ iMac is an excellent choice.”

I mention this conversation because it is a question that I get almost every day – and it’s the wrong question. When buying new gear, we need to have a reasonable idea of what we are using it for. In almost all cases, the end result is not where the work is – it’s in assembling and combining all the pieces.

A sports car, pickup truck and school bus are all potentially excellent vehicles, but only one will do a good job transporting 40 people from Point A to Point B.

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