PC or Mac?

I see that many are using Resolve, some Lightroom…. And a lot of folks using Raspberry Pi cameras to capture. I need a new machine anyway and I’m trying to decide between PC and a Mac with the M2/M3 chips…. The Mac seems pretty incredible performance wise compared to some relatively expensive and complex PC builds. I won’t really use the computer for much else except video and photo editing. But it will need to support the scanner…. I’m assuming most of the software isn’t compatible with Mac? Or doesn’t it matter?



…it’s complicated :smile:
If you plan to use a sensor/camera directly to a PC (or Mac), that would be a primary consideration on what to use. If you plan to use the Raspberry Pi with an HQ sensor for the scanner, and are looking at the machine for processing/post-processing, you have options.

I am a long time Windows user (now Windows 10), and last year got tired of the updates that constantly broke my old machine. I had been experimenting with some linux distributions, and finally decided to set a dual boot, and it was like if I bought a new machine. Had a few items that work better (or only) in Windows (Fujitsu scanner, and Foscam security camera), so it was worth keeping it as a second OS. The best distribution I found for my needs was ubuntu-mate, and it is easy to install and to use (Freecad, Kicad, VisualStudio).
The best post-processing in my opinion is with Davinci Resolve (even the free version). Given the performance of Resolve in the M-series, I am considering a Mac for my next processing machine.
Hope these tips help narrow your path. Cheers!

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I’ve made the switch in 2010 and have used iMac 27, MacBookPro 2012, MacBookPro 2019 (Intel) and since a year a Mac mini M1. I’m using FCPX with Compressor and probably will switch soon to DavinceResolve. Editing is a joy on these Mac’s. I’ve built the T-Scann8 and T192/DS8 scanner with RPi camera’s and that is running well with the MBP2019. The Mini M1 has some “challenges” when installing software in terminal mode. I finally got ffmpg installed but opencv not (yet), so I can’t use it for the T192/DS8 scanner. Success with your decision!


Interesting…. I’m leaning heavily towards a picam setup for capture as I’m only going to process 8/S8 for the foreseeable future. And resolve for all my editing/grading is the plan. I do have other boxes that are old if I need a windows machine though. I am concerned about the nvme drives being soldered into the board and wear when used for editing. I guess that’s why folks recommend storing the video projects on another disk to work on them that’s external.

Hi @Jcr159,

Technically the work can be done satisfactorily with either a Windows or Linux PC or a Mac.
In my opinion it is more a question of our personal tastes.

If you plan to use the Raspberry Pi, consider that the official operating system for the nanocomputer, Raspberry Pi OS is a variant of the Debian Linux distribution.

Personally I have been using PCs with Linux for more than 20 years.
I have recently replaced my old tower PC with a high performance laptop. The improvement has been notable, especially in terms of consumption, heat generation and noise.

On the laptop I have installed Arch Linux, but I also keep dual booting Windows 11 that came with the computer.

The capture job is done flawlessly using my own DSuper8 software which is posted on this forum.

However, recently I have had a nasty surprise.
I have installed DaVinci Resolve ver 18.5, which initially runs fine, but when the program is running for say 10-15 minutes, it suddenly crashes and the computer reboots.

It hasn’t happened to me with any other software. I would like to think that DaVinci Resolve is a software that pushes the computer to the limit of its possibilities and the blockage is caused by an excess of temperature.

If you plan to use DaVinci Resolve you should choose a machine that can run this software without problems.

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The best performance with the Rpi4b is with a USB3 drive, SSD for speed, as reported in other posts. For performance, it is cost effective to make one with an M.2 to USB-C enclosure like this one. The enclosure comes with USB-A and USB-C adapter/cable. (When selecting one, look for good heatsink, otherwise your M.2 will slow down).

A simple workflow is use the RPi4b to scan image-sequence, then move the M2 drive/adapter to the processing PC

If there is a concern on the drives, you can also use another USB-C (or Thunderbolt) drive (or enclosure) for the output files of Resolve. It may also be a more cost effective than the built-in larger drive option in the Mac. That is particularly suitable if your output video format is something light (H264 or H265). If performance is not an issue, and the encoding format is light, the one USB-C with the image sequence can also be the output, in that case there may be a bit of a bottle neck.

This is a good point, and also I did not mention. Not all software works well with the Ms cpu. For example, Kali linux works well with intel-macs, not yet with Ms. In my case, I do not plan to give up the intel/ubuntu-mate machine, and between the two, just about everything I use is covered.

Cheers and happy buying.

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So, here is my personal take on this question. However, let me prefix this by saying that I am currently using a MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro and I have been using Macs for the past 8 years. However, in my professional life, I also use Linux machines a lot and the occasional Windows machine.

First of all, I absolutely agree with the others in that in the end it is primarily a question of personal preference. No OS will prevent or even hinder you in digitising film scans. Some software may not be available on one OS, but in terms of film scanning, you will usually find an equivalent alternative that is available four your OS of choice. So I would recommend figuring out if you are set on using certain software, and if you are, making sure to choose a platforms that supports it. Two film scanning examples that don’t work on all OSs that come to mind are (a) Adobe software which to my knowledge does not work on Linux, and (b) AviSynth which is only available on Windows if I’m not mistaken.

Regarding hardware, I have found Apple’s Mx chips to be amazing! Not just in raw performance, but more so in their ability to do all this with such ease. My M1 Pro MacBook almost never gets hot or loud, yet everything runs amazingly fast, all while I’m not even connected to power for hours. That said, a well-specced PC will do its job just fine as well.

Personally, I’m not too worried about SSD wear anymore these days. I’ve never had one fail on me and I have never been easy on them. The NVMe SSD in my previous MacBook (a 2016 MacBook Pro) was still going strong after 6 years. In that time it was not only used for video editing, but also for many data intensive machine learning applications. One small caveat, however: My film scans involve saving about 70 GB of RAW files per 15 m roll of film, plus another 70 GB of TIFFs, all of which are deleted once the video file is generated … i.e. a lot of saving and deleting data. I usually do this on the external SSD that I also plug into my scanner. Only the video file ends up on my internal SSD. That said, the external SSD still works just fine after 2 years and well over 50 rolls of scanned film.

Hope this helps!

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Super helpful, thanks!

I guess the advantage of the Mac is that a laptop comes with a screen and I won’t “have” to buy a mastering monitor….

This phrase pretty well defines the behavior of my Linux machine… until I decided to run DaVinci Resolve.

Normally the operation is correct, the hum of the fans is inaudible, and the computer remains at low temperatures, for example the CPU at about 48º C.

As soon as DaVinci Resolve is launched, the fans speed up, the hum becomes very loud, and the temperature of the chips rises suddenly. In the monitoring software I have registered temperatures of 97º C.

I’d like to know if you’ve ever tried DaVinci Resolve on your Mac. Apparently some people are also having problems:


What follows is a later addition
I am testing running DaVinci Resolve on my old tower PC with the following features:

Operating system: Arch Linux
KDE version Plasma: 5.27.7
KDE Frameworks version: 5.108.0
Qt version: 5.15.10
Kernel version: 6.4.10-arch1-1 (64 bits)
Graphics platform: X11
Processors: 8 × Intel® Core™ i7-3770K CPU @ 3.50GHz
Memory: 11,7 GiB of RAM
Graphics processor: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER/PCIe/SSE2

Operation is perfectly normal and stable.
Totally normal temperatures the GPU at 41º C and the CPU cores between 46 and 50 ºC


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@Manuel_Angel, from memory Davinci Resolve required Centos and 32GB ram. I think there was also a minimum RAM on the GPU. I tried looking for current specs on their website but what comes up is specs for accessories. Resolve is particular about the Graphics card, and the memory, both on the CPU and GPU.

I run Resolve version 17 in Windows 10, with a vintage 2011 motherboard and Intel i7 4 core, 32GB ram, and a vintage 2018 ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX1660Ti with 6GB. The GeForce was added specifically to be able to run Resolve.

There will be high-fan activity at startup (when the GPU is taking over by Resolve) and when playing file sequences and when rendering. I have the free version, so cannot perform noise reduction or stabilization.

There may be an issue with Arch… although there are references of people running distros other than CentOS. But most likely it will need more RAM.

Hope this helps.


In principle, if you have a recent kernel and the necessary dependencies installed, certain software should run correctly on any Linux distribution.

The different distributions differ in secondary aspects, such as the way of installation, the package manager, the software repositories, etc.

What is clear is that DaVinci Resolve is very demanding software in terms of resources and, in this sense, there is no doubt that a generous amount of both RAM and memory for the GPU is of great help.

From what I have verified, a laptop, due to its very small size and low consumption oriented construction, is not a suitable machine to run software as complex and demanding as DaVinci Resolve.

My own experience shows this: my laptop, a modern high-performance machine, crashes, while the old tower PC runs the software without problems.

Thanks for your answer.