Stockholm Syndrome: 1 year on

It’s been one year since I bought my high spec PC so I thought I’d write a further review as I’ve had real time to play with it. You can read my original blog post (which has the specs) here Windows vs PC.

A quick update; the PC is still loud, unsightly and Windows 10 has the grace of an addict coming off heroin. Since my last review my Magic Mouse has stopped speaking to the bluetooth so I’m back to a wired mouse. My lovely bluetooth headphones have to be wired because if you turn them on to connect via bluetooth, I get the blue screen of death. I had to replace the graphics card (which is just bad luck) plus every so often I have to move the tower a mm or so to stop a frustratingly persistent buzzing sound.  

Windows 10 Machine

However, there have been some amazing discoveries. The biggest surprise is the sheer amount of heat the PC can create. Bare with me, this is a good thing! We are based in Scotland where, in the winter, we experience a lot of cold winds and even when it is hot, it’s never really that hot. At this time of the year (October) the heating slowly makes it way back on but not in the office this time. The PC pushes out so much hot air we have to sit with the window open. The PC also has an amazing amount of power so editing in 4K can be a breeze. I still don’t know of a Mac that can keep up which is the reason I bought it.

Where are we then? On buying the PC I thought that I would live a relatively trouble free life even with the points above. Calling it ‘shock’ or ‘frustrating’ is a bit of an understatement when I discovered that most of our issues (mac included) are because the software is the bottleneck and not the computer. I’m sure it’s not a surprise to hear that Adobe is the software I’m talking about. Be it; Premiere, After Effects or Illustrator, they are all pretty limited when it comes to using the full power of the computer. For example, when Premiere is playing an unrendered AE comp, it really struggles. For some reason it only ever uses around 15% of the memory and 27% of the CPU. When Da Vinci Resolve plays full 8K raw red files with a grade it uses 15% of the memory and 99% of the CPU. Is there any reason Adobe don’t want to use as much of the computer’s potential as possible? Anyone, anyone? This issue isn’t just confined to Premiere or After Effects. Illustrator is also dreadful. Anything simple is fine, but once you start working on a complex image, it coughs and splutter and eventually, becomes unusable. 

Do you have this issue? Did you shout at your computer like I did? Well, it’s the software you should be shouting at. Adobe are dragging the creative backwards whilst pretending to be at the forefront of design and technology. I moaned in my last review that the Mac Pro was old and outdated, which it is, but maybe they don’t need to upgrade just yet if the software can’t even keep up with the hardware.

So one year on I no longer use Mac or Adobe for my projects. Ailsa and Helen don’t have a choice and are stuck with Adobe, but I, who only edits, now exclusively use Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio for all of my projects. That way, my money is well used. The media management, edit, grade and delivery is more intuitive, cleaner and faster than anything that Adobe have ever produced.

So, if you are looking for advice, here it is; if you’re using Adobe products, buy the lowest spec PC you can find because anything more than that is pointless but, if you’re using Resolve, get a decent Mac or PC and you’ll have spent your money wisely.

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