• Hi folks.

    I'm an amateur lighting designer at a local theatre planning to use Isadora in a couple of upcoming productions and need to buy a new laptop on which to run Izzy.

    I will also be using the laptop for other purposes (CAD, photo editing, website design) and as I already have a lot of windows software, a windows laptop seems the obvious choice.

    Looking through the forum discussions, I get the impression that mac seems to be the platform of choice so I'm wondering if windows would be the right decision.

    Are there windows users out there who can reassure me or indeed mac users who strongly feel I should change?

    Any advice regarding hardware spec would also be much appreciated.

    Thanks, Barry

  • Beta Platinum

    Been working on PC for 16 years. Switched to mac 6 months ago and I never looked back. For me its a different world, the money you spend more for mac is worth. Regarding hardware: DMX King works great for DMX out. If your lightdesk can receive MIDI, that works also great for syncing shows.

    All the best,

  • Hi,
    I've been using PC for years, Switched to mac 5 years ago because of Final Cut Pro and Isadora.
    It's like Alex said "a different world", but I don't regret (just maybe actual apple policy about new macbook pros...), OsX is a great OS.


  • i couldn't afford a Mac for many years, so started working with Izzy on PC. moved up to Macbook Pro in 2010 when i had a big edit job to do and wanted to use FCP, now i have gone all Mac, with a mini and a new retina MBP. whenever i dig out my PC for a particular project that runs Izzy in an installation, it struggles in ways that the Macs don't.

    the added bonus of the new mbp is the ability to run 3 (different) projectors simultaneously without a datapath or matrox box, (2 x thunderbolt and 1 x hdmi ports) and a plug & play dmx out directly from Izzy via a Lanbox. (i have an LCE, which takes up one of the thunderbolt ports, but the LCX will run from USB)
    oh, and Qlab is mac-only. if you're working in theatre, this has to be an advantage.

  • I made the switch from PC to Mac in 2005! It was expensive (required new software) and took about one week to master the touchpad. Qlab, Izzy, Adobe Creative Suite, Resolume, Processing, UNITY3D, Blender, iPhone4 and MegaSegDJ is my toolset. My next purchase will be a Mac Mini, Thunderbolt dock and Blackmagic video capture for a virtual reality simulation I'm working on.

  • add 27" Cinema display, Matrox triplehead and BenQ projectors to my toolset list.

  • Funny, I went the opposite direction. I was on mac for many many...um...many years. When FCPx came out I made the switch to AVID and Premiere. The graphics cards options available on the PC for things like adobe's Mercury Playback Engine and Davinci Resolve are just so much greater. In addition Touch Designer is insane and it is PC only. In my view, Windows 7 is an amazing OS to work with from a production standpoint.

    Having said this, video in Isadora on windows takes some figuring out with hardware decoders. I also dearly miss Quartz Composer, and I do feel like it would be nice to have a better integration with the GPU in Isadora. I imagine this is coming in the future for windows. All in all, though, I really have not looked back on working on the Mac.

    The new Asus G750JH with the 780M in is a great buy. I just purchased one for a show I am doing and it is a really powerful machine for the price. Only caveat is that you have to buy W7 PRO and install it if you don;t want W8.

  • I use all PCs and have been using Isadora since 2002.  Haven't had any problems, and haven't had to buy new peripherals as they transfer to the different operating systems.  Haven't had any desire to switch to Apple.  No problems with power or communication between machines.  I run Ableton Live and Isadora on the same machine, use remote and local sensors in live performance situations.  Mark is great about keeping Isadora in good working order for Windows and Apple.

  • Thanks for all the replies. I'm still undecided but price might be the deciding factor unfortunately.

    So... if I went down the MBP route, could I get away with a 13" with only the integrated graphics card (going up to the 15" with dedicated card is pushing my budget)?

    Thanks again, Barry

  • Hi there ! Excuse my english, I'm french. Here is my point of view, my experience Considering audio and midi, Mac is friendly, PC is messy. The Core Audio/midi environment on Mac really facilitate communications between programs or/and hardware, and often on Pc world you have to find tricks, or programs made by passionnates geeks. But that kind of little app is fragile... Mac is my best choice

  • Hello,

    as i work allways on mac (but have to realise a softedge projection with a little warping on a PC System) - i would like to ask if there is anybody who can recomend a PC System which will work for two full HD files (HD Projectors) with softedge and warping...just one file in loop no fades ect....(also maybe a dual head or a built in graka with 3 outputs???)....

    Thank you!

  • Tech Staff

    It doesn't sound to taxing on the system. So I think you probably have many options available.

    Budget will be a possibly the largest factor.

  • Hi Bodo, that's a quite easy setup.

    As DusX sayed budget is a big concern, also some infos about how it will be used ( 24h/24h 7/7 loud/silent etc... )

  • Thank You guys - yes indeed the budget is the largest factor - 800€ for a mac mini was to much it has to be something like 500 - 600€...

    it will run in a installation 10h/day -> 7 days/week and yes should be as much silence as possible...

    i thought a shuttle pc with two graficcards and 1 ssd? - which graficcards? which motherboard / processor?
    ciao Bodo