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Author Topic: To mac or not to mac...  (Read 11882 times)
Geo
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« on: November 16, 2007, 02:54:12 AM »

HI

I'm in need of a new computer and as a graphics artist 2d/3d work I need good power/speed. So should I get a mac or build my own computer (you know buy bits put together)  every one says YES MAC IS REALLY NICE. but I'm a windows nub pretty much only os I ever used i did use linux for a few months but getting photoshop and stuff to run was a pain in th a$$. Now I do play a few games on my pc WoW type stuff and i could use boot camp to play on a mac. Its just... dare i take the leap over to a mac? I don't really like the cant upgrade part because I like to take apart my pc overclock it ect. Every company I interview at for graphics jobs says I will be using a mac and that don't bother me phtoshop is photoshop not matter what os its on (apart from ctrl key).

I just really don't know what to do.. I got about 4-6000 Euro I could spend on a new workstation but don't want to spend more than about 3500. I was thinking just buy a new 45nm inte 3ghz quad core 3-4 gigs ram and what ever nice video cards comes on early next year and a rapto 150gig as main hard drive. or get a mac..

Sad i just don't know what to get yet i really need a new pc soon...
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AndreZX
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2007, 03:29:08 AM »

Yeah, that's a tough question. Right now, high end quad core machines are about the same price for Macs and PCs, if you're buying from Apple and Dell. But if you're building your own PC, the price will be SO much lower than the Mac.

I'm with you, I actually can't stand the Mac interface/workflow/etc. Windows is just so engraved into my mind. And the upgrade thing is a huge deal for me too.

And unless you're using Final Cut or a select few other programs, anything you can run on a Mac is available for PC.

On the other hand, a Mac running bootcamp is the most versatile solution, software-wise, but definitely not hardware-wise.

Good luck making that call.  Grin
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Geo
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2007, 02:35:14 PM »

well I'm not going to buy till march 08 when rumors new mac pro will be out... will see reviews and buy what I want. Sad just i spent alot on pre computer upgrades. got a new REALLY nice pc case some HD cooling bays. shame to not use them...
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Geo
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2007, 07:52:39 PM »

Hmm also looks like 3ds max/maya only work on the mac using boot camp trying to skin a model switching between windows and mac osx seems a bit of a waste of time so looks like I will stick with xp for now Might get me a macbook some time...
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jbobforever
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2007, 09:27:26 PM »

Hey, I just went Mac. Got a Macbook (unfortunately not a Macbook pro which was a little out of my price range) because as mentioned, it is the industry standard for graphics design. Previously I had very limited experience with Mac, but I have to say I do love it. I find Tiger very stable (plan to update to Panther soon) and so intuitive  as far as the system goes; it was not at all hard to figure out and everything just seems to make sense. In hindsight I wish I could have waited a little longer to get a Macbook pro as it has a much better graphics card which is pretty much essential if you plan on using any of the big memory hogs like maya or even final cut. However it is great for Photoshop, Illustrator and even Blender. I plan on getting a Macpro As my main system  in the near future. (using the laptop as my go-between). This can be quite affordable if you decide to purchase a refurbished unit direct from Apple.
I also love PC and how upgradable it is but I find it a bit less stable, and even when properly partitioned, Windows does tend to slow down over time (not so with mac, even with many programs installed).

Mac Pros:
Fast
Stable
Efficient (well designed hardware as well as software)
Able to run more industry standard apps
Now on Intel chips (XP/Vista enabled)
No viruses for Mac to date!
OSX updated frequently

Mac Cons:
Expensive!
Less upgradable (hardware)
Stigma/Status of being a Mac owner??

Hope this helps with your decision.
Good luck!
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Geo
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2007, 11:29:52 PM »

I have been wanting a mac for a LONG time I'm fed up with windows even if I never get blue screen of death or virus (i know how to use my pc Tongue)

The main problems i have is price I don't want to spend 3000 euro on a mac just to find I can use it. like wiht 3ds max or maya + if i ever want to play a game on it say crysis it would not run to well and really a pc wiht windows the same spec about as fast as a mac.

Check http://retouchartists.com/pages/results.html  I ran that test on this pc and it took me 11 mins 6 secs. A new mac pro intel xeon 4x3.0 ghz :S i guess it should say 8x since is 2 quad cores. takes 23s and the windows spec one tasks 37s and that a pretty low spec pc a dual core 2.72 wiht 2 gigs ram. I would aim for a 3ghz quad core and 3-4 gigs ram... but again i find my self wanting a mac....

^^ I'm so stuck
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jbobforever
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2007, 12:51:09 AM »

If I could afford it, I'd get the Mac Pro right now.
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Geo
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2007, 01:19:15 AM »

how well dose boot camp work? is it like a perfect windows copy or is its all crashy and slow?
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jbobforever
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2007, 02:43:37 AM »

I personally haven't tested it out yet on this machine, only have had my MacBook 2 months and haven't found reason to put it on yet. I have however seen Bootcamp in action, and I have read a few reviews... Because Mac is now running on intel chips, xp/vista both run natively, which means there is no need to emulate drivers etc... It works just as well as it would on any PC. Like I said I've seen it in action, and it works perfectly. Mac has much higher standards in regards to program requirements (No offense to Window, like I said in a previous post, I have both) , thus anything they condone  is not only going to work, but work very well. Hope that answers your question.
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Geo
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2007, 09:28:41 PM »

well...

I made up my mind and I think I will get a mac pro next year when update to the line comes around thats if they don't cost billions of euros I been reading lots of reviews and Really seem like mac is a lot better than I thought I been running windows for years I know how to tweak the crap out of it but still windows lacks the powers I need for some stuff. so I will try a mac

I just hope new pro lines has nice stuff new gfx card would be nice but have to wait till January at macworld :'( and I hate to wait....
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cash68
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 06:56:14 PM »

Easy solution.  Get a 24" iMac.  With a core2duo, it can EASILY handle any photoshop work you throw at it.   In fact, the 24" iMac is faster than the base Mac Pro, but you get to enjoy a 24" screen the whole time!  Smiley

The best part about owning mac is RESALE VALUE.   People love to bitch that you can't upgrade them as easily (which apart from videocards, is bullshit, I can and have upgraded ram and HDs on every mac I've ever owned), but they forget that they hold their value MUCH better than PCs.   For example, I bought a G4 system with 20" cinema for $1600, 2.5 years ago.  I used it for 1.5 years, and sold it on ebay for $1300.   My current computer, a 24" iMac with 7600GT, cost me $2000.   If I sold it today, I'd still probably get $1600 or so.   

Also, bootcamp works flawlessly, I use solidworks and many other PC only programs without a hitch.   Bootcamp is not emulation, and it is JUST as glitchy and crashy as windows running on a real PC, since all new macs ARE real PCs.  They use the same videocards (different efi), same CPUs, same motherboards, same everything.   The ONLY difference is the OS. 

The biggest problem with macs are their videocards.  The mac mini is a joke, and the only way to get an upgradable videocard is to shell out the big bucks for a mac pro.  HOWEVER, there is a solution, which is exactly what my machine is:

24" iMac, previous generation (the white one), with a 7600GT.   I can play UT2004, Prey, and anything else I throw at it at full res with good (40+) frames.   I boot into windows, and played halflife 2 in surround sound at 1920X1200.   It's amazing.  It's quiet.   It holds resale value.  I can use both OSX and windows.   It has a remote to flip through my movies, music, photos, and play DVDs.  It has optical audio out, which I have hooked up to my ridiculous sound system.   Just a shameless plug, here's my current 'home theater desk', which replaced my entertainment center and TV.   I no longer have a TV in my house, just this 24" iMac and 1000 watts of vintage audio gear.  Muha.


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Drewid
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 08:20:22 PM »

Nice rig!
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AndreZX
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2007, 10:13:04 PM »

yeah, Cash68, really nice setup.

I do have to disagree with you on one point... the upgrade-ability of those iMacs. Sure, you can swap out memory and HDDs. But the cases are not meant to be easily pulled apart (I can do all upgrades on my PC by pulling off 2 thumb-screws) and they don't have the room to add multiple aftermarket PCI cards (tv tuner/capture, extra USB/Firewire, various network cards, extra video cards, anything you want, etc.)

In all honesty, you can't say that the Macs are on the same level as PCs in that regard. For most people, they're good enough as far as upgrades are concerned. But they're not as versatile as PCs, not by a long shot.

I agree with everything else you said, though, especially the resale value. PCs get absolutely HAMMERED on that side. For instance, I've got a 2.5 year old PC rig that I've got probably around $2,500-$3,000 sunk into, and I probably couldn't sell it for $700 now. But this was way before Macs could dual-boot, and my animation app only runs on Windows.

Ah well.
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Geo
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2008, 12:09:43 AM »

well Tongue I started this post last year and now......  ^^ I'm the happy owner of a brand new 2008 mac pro with the geforce 8800gt. And was well worth it. I also upgraded my screen to a 24" dell and got some sweet 5.1 speakers. Tongue i have to thank you guys for saying to get one even if now I get every one calling me a mac fan boy but for the speed and power its amazing Smiley hell with bootcamp I even get top score in vista so can run crysis in super high quality mode.

Long live the mac Cheesy
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Thanatus
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2008, 01:49:56 PM »

Glad it worked out. The 8800GT with the new G92 processor is nice, although it's otherwise the same as older 8800's, just higher clocked shaders, etc due to the decreased heat, power, space footprint of the 65nm process...

I guess I don't regret getting my iPod Video a while ago, but I still think in hindsight I would have waited for the Zune to come out.

You don't necessarily have to buy the overpriced hardware to use OSX, however.

The downside there is that there is potential for small bugs (like loss of sleep functionality), no support from Apple (although you should probably still be able to upgrade/update at least), and most importantly you lose the sleek design of an Apple enclosure.

I did this in a triple-boot configuration (Vista x64, Ubuntu 7.10, Leopard OSX) that works fine. I even ordered a copy of Leopard because it's not only according to law that I pay for the software I use, but it's just fair.

For a desktop though, I'm not biting: I like having my customized configuration, being able to overclock, and being able to upgrade whenever and however I want. Plus, despite what many think, Vista actually isn't that bad. I'll say that for one thing, it's pretty damn secure (but nothing comes close to Linux if you use it right).

If I could afford two desktops I'd probably have both for my purposes.

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