You must be joking

Busselton lightning 1991 © PJ Croft

I’ve spent a fair amount of time this morning quantifying the cost of a powerful PC for video editing, which is what I’m doing.

I’ve just built a Core i7 quad core PC which shows up as having eight processors (it actually says 8 threads). It has 6GB of fast RAM, 1.5TB of hard drive apart from the 80GB boot drive, a ‘good enough’ graphics card, lots of SATA, USB and Firewire on board, 6 channel audio, a dual layer DVD burner, networking and all the other goodies.

I already had case, monitor, keyboard and mouse and wireless network card, but all up, it cost me $1235. I’m using the free copy of Windows 7, but this is cheap!

I mention this because a friend is drooling over wanting a new Mac Pro with Final Cut Pro for serious video editing. I’ve just done the costing for comparison.

The Mac Pro with 2.66GHz Xeon quad core processors (giving the same 8 threads) and 3GB of RAM, 1TB of hard drive (only one drive) and pretty much the same for everything else too costs $5217!!

That’s for half the RAM of the PC ( another 3GB costs another $300, which is double what my 6GB cost!). Another 1TB of hard drive adds $239. There’s no wireless networking for this price, it’s extra, and just about everything else is extra. Want RAID? That’ll be another $1400!! In my PC, it’s included free.

You don’t even get a monitor for your $5 Grand!

I’m saying I can build and equip an at least equivalent PC running Windows 7 with 2TB of RAID hard drive space and all extras, with a 24″ LCD monitor for about $2,000.

Add Final Cut Pro Studio at $1549 versus Edius Pro at $900 plus some FX extras and the PC is a bargain by comparison. It’s no contest. I don’t believe the Mac is $4000 better.

Think about it, son. PC

Mea Gulpa

ET modified © PJ Croft

Another update on BlueGen.

Sorry, I seem to have misread the specifications. They mention a figure of 17KWh and I assumed that was its capacity, but I’m afraid it’s only 2KW. That’s still good, but it means it would struggle at tea time in winter.

To work out the capacity you need, just add up the power demands of your appliances. For example, at this moment I’m using the computer at 350W (max), monitor at about 80W (guess), amplifier at about 10W (estimate), two fridges at about 250W each (guess) and two CF lights at 5W each. That makes 950W, which is easily within its capacity.

But at dinner time on a cold night, a typical family would add another 6x 9W CF lights, two stove hotplates at 500W each, possibly the oven at say 1000W, one TV at about 400W (maybe two TVs if kids), a heater of some kind at 2KW and possibly the kettle at 2KW for short periods.

That makes 5400W (5.4KW) with bursts up to 7.5KW. Bang. No way could the BlueGen supply that. Of course, you must have a gas supply so the stove could be gas and so could the heating. That takes 4KW out of the total and brings it back to within the BlueGen’s range, but if you have to buy new gas appliances, it bumps the initial capital cost up considerably.

Air con in summer is another matter. There are no gas air conditioners, so if you have even a 2.5KW aircon, you’ll need mains to run it.

This is not as rosy as I thought. I might email CFCL and see what they say about it. All this applies equally to solar power, by the way, except that BlueGen supplies you with hot water as a byproduct for ‘free’, whereas solar needs a separate water heater of some kind at extra cost.

Cheers, PC

PS the photo above was a table ornament that I’ve put through an ‘art’ filter.