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11/21/2006 11:01:16 AM · #1
Ok... Here it is... I am a computer programmer and I have been on PC's forever. I am VERY biased about PCs but yes, I have experienced my share of problems with them over the years. Now my IBM Thinkpad is getting tired. Even though it has served my faithfully (and did a great job at it) for many years now, it is time to upgrade... I want to try a MAC. I am absolutely not convinced that a MAC could be faster than my PCs, but I want to try it. I believe that it *could* be more reliable, but not faster. I want to experience it for myself...

Since I know squat about MACs, I need your help. What laptop is a good deal for performance vs. "the buck"? I want to do heavy PS processing as well as audio recording. What should I look for? How available are MAC parts and upgrades? etc...

*** Please do NOT start a MAC vs. PC war in this thread. We have all seen those many times before and we're all sick of it. Same goes for Canon vs. Nikon.***

So come on MAC people, give me advice! THANKS!
11/21/2006 11:13:38 AM · #2
Well I am Mac junkie... I just love them and for some heavy PS processing I say the new Macbooks are awesome, here are the specs for the two top macbooks
(2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB memory, 80GB hard drive1, Double-layer SuperDrive)

and for the macbook pros are even faster for photoshop work or whatever else you want to do, I just love my macbook photoshop runs nice and fast, no complaints at all. Photoshop will probably be even faster on the next version because it will use the new chip more

macbook pro specs

macbook price and specs

by the way I have the macbook and just love it very fast no problems at all

hmm for upgrades not sure, when I had my g4 cube a while ago I upgrade it and made it really fast (another company made that computers upgrades)

when I had my powerbook and I killed my hard drive I upgraded and replaced it

for audio recording not sure never did it..... so check out apples garage band not sure if that something you looking for

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 11:25:08.
11/21/2006 11:19:28 AM · #3
No real reason to stick with a PC unless you ever run Windows related items such as MS Access which might not run so well in the Mac/Windows emulation (so I hear). Good luck. I expect you've made the right decision.
11/21/2006 11:32:28 AM · #4
Hmmm... From the specs I read, the hard drive's rpm is pretty slow. It is only 5400... I need at least 7200 for recording.

As far as audio software I am ok, I use Cubase SX 3 and Pro Tools (both work for Mac).
11/21/2006 11:33:59 AM · #5
Also... Does anyone know where I can buy a Mac in Ottawa, ON?
11/21/2006 11:39:31 AM · #6
Originally posted by pineapple:

No real reason to stick with a PC unless you ever run Windows related items such as MS Access which might not run so well in the Mac/Windows emulation (so I hear).


There IS no emulation. Apple's Boot Camp allows Windows to run natively on any current Mac if you choose to install it. With Crossover software, you can even run Windows applications natively WITHOUT installing Windows.

Macintosh parts and upgrades (RAM, hard drives, etc.) are typically standard PC components, and often much easier to install and configure.

The "low-end" MacBooks are very capable machines, with fast hard drives and Core 2 Duo processors, and will handle just about anything you throw at them. Stepping up to a MacBook Pro gets you a bigger screen and dedicated graphics card, which is important for gaming or Aperture, but the built-in MacBook video is no slouch. The MacBook Pro can even drive a 30" LCD monitor. You also get FireWire 800 and an Express Card slot, and that might be a consideration for video or high-end audio. There are little things that might make a difference to you, such as the ambient light sensor in the MacBook Pro- as the room lighting gets dimmer, the keyboard illuminates itself so you can keep working.

Try HERE for prices.
11/21/2006 11:40:55 AM · #7
Originally posted by candlerain:

Also... Does anyone know where I can buy a Mac in Ottawa, ON?


Apple Store on line or MacMall if they sell in Canada. Macs will all be the same price within a few dollars everywhere.

On the Apple site they have good deals on referbs.

Good luck.
11/21/2006 11:49:52 AM · #8
if you check out the //forums.macnn.com/ you can find a lot of info on upgrading RAM and putting 7200 rpm drives in the new laptops.

i definately think that OSX tiger kicks the snot out of WinXP, I work on a mac, wife just switched over with a Macbook, and at home i use a XP system.

Before OSX came out, i would have put my money on NT, or XP, but it is my favorite now. I have always worked on both.


11/21/2006 11:53:22 AM · #9
I am not a true expert but more a tech/gadget lover....Anyway I always had the fastest PCs and have had a decent Mac now for a year...

I have suffered less downtime/lag/speed issues with the Mac than any PC I ever owned. I strongly suggest trying it..I was doubtful at the beginning and now love Macs.
11/21/2006 12:07:46 PM · #10
A Mac is no faster than high-end (but not a gamer's) PC. They use the same processors and basic architecture. We've got two older (PowerPC) Macs and a bunch of Dell PCs. The Dell's are faster in this case, but the Macs are more enjoyable. I'm dumping my main PC (3.2GHz Pentium 4, "hyperthreaded", with 2GB RAM) for an iMac this winter -- I know I can fall back on Parallels to run XP within OS X if I need it, but so far I've found Mac equivalents for every PC program I use except for a few specialized Electrical Engineering CAD packages. For photo use there is no problem at all and I've found Mac software better than PC. I've actually been using my old 12" iBook for lots of the photo work in preference over the Dell.
11/21/2006 12:33:18 PM · #11
My only reason for not getting a mac at the moment is the lack of a native version of photoshop. Once that gets there (some time next year) I'm going to be seriously looking again. I'm not thrilled by the prospect of having to re-buy Photoshop, but I'm also assuming I can upgrade a PC CS2 to a Mac CS3 when it comes available for the $150 or so upgrade price, rather than another new version.

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 12:34:12.
11/21/2006 12:42:28 PM · #12
not sure if cross platform upgrade is possible :S

who know why it should make a difference :(

"Can I upgrade from one platform to another, such as from Windows to Macintosh or vice-versa?
You used to be able to do a cross-platform upgrade if you purchased directly through Adobe, but this information has been removed from Adobe's Web site. You will have to contact Customer Service to find out if this is still offered."

taken from
HERE
11/21/2006 01:08:32 PM · #13
Originally posted by leaf:

not sure if cross platform upgrade is possible :S


That wouldn't be good.

I might be getting a mac book pro duo to play with for a month or so to see if I like it. But it is more about the software these days

11/21/2006 01:20:42 PM · #14
As a note of encouragement. I have been a heavy PC user since the first IBM PC (8086) was introduced, but a couple of years ago I switched to a mac for my own personal use and have not ever regretted that decision. At the time I called Adobe and negotiated a cross over upgrade and they gave me a very reasonable deal.

As to performance, my current powerbook is just over a year old and performance is fine for everything I have tried except Aperature. If I was going to buy today, it would be the 15" macbook pro. The 17" is cool, but just two wide for the amount of travel I do with it. Sitting side by side, the mac 15" LDC blows away the one in my ThinkPad and has worked surprisingly well for photo editing.

An odd think happened when I switched to the mac. I quit dinking around with computer and started to focus on the cool think I could create with it. This may sound a little silly at the moment, but I'm curious to hear if you don't notice the same thing.
11/21/2006 01:28:00 PM · #15
Originally posted by Gordon:

My only reason for not getting a mac at the moment is the lack of a native version of photoshop. Once that gets there (some time next year) I'm going to be seriously looking again. I'm not thrilled by the prospect of having to re-buy Photoshop, but I'm also assuming I can upgrade a PC CS2 to a Mac CS3 when it comes available for the $150 or so upgrade price, rather than another new version.


I have CS2 on an 800Mhz G4 with 1.25GB RAM running OSX and I found that by dedicating 1GB of RAM to PS and giving it a big scratch disk, performance improves greatly.

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 13:28:15.
11/21/2006 01:30:13 PM · #16
Originally posted by Nusbaum:


An odd think happened when I switched to the mac. I quit dinking around with computer and started to focus on the cool think I could create with it. This may sound a little silly at the moment, but I'm curious to hear if you don't notice the same thing.


I noticed the same thing. I much prefer using the computer to working on the computer.

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 13:31:15.
11/21/2006 01:31:55 PM · #17
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Gordon:

My only reason for not getting a mac at the moment is the lack of a native version of photoshop. Once that gets there (some time next year) I'm going to be seriously looking again. I'm not thrilled by the prospect of having to re-buy Photoshop, but I'm also assuming I can upgrade a PC CS2 to a Mac CS3 when it comes available for the $150 or so upgrade price, rather than another new version.


I have CS2 on an 800Mhz G4 with 1.25GB RAM running OSX and I found that by dedicating 1GB of RAM to PS and giving it a big scratch disk, performance improves greatly.


Yeah, but on a G4, it is running natively. The performance of the rosetta universal binary on the Intel Duo's seems to be leaving a lot to be desired (most particularly, to desire an Intel binary...)
11/21/2006 01:32:02 PM · #18
FYI, apple stores are having a "special event" on friday 11/24... in the past this has usually meant 10% off on all ipods and computers. likely will be the same this year.
11/21/2006 01:34:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Nusbaum:


An odd think happened when I switched to the mac. I quit dinking around with computer and started to focus on the cool think I could create with it. This may sound a little silly at the moment, but I'm curious to hear if you don't notice the same thing.


I noticed the same thing. I much prefer using the computer to working on the computer.


For personal use that would be nice. I think I'm going to find though that a mac doesn't let me do the things I need to do for work, unfortunately. My boss has already had to do two OS reinstalls on his macbook due to problems and the office apps he's using are crashing a bit too frequently.
11/21/2006 01:36:34 PM · #20
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Gordon:

My only reason for not getting a mac at the moment is the lack of a native version of photoshop. Once that gets there (some time next year) I'm going to be seriously looking again. I'm not thrilled by the prospect of having to re-buy Photoshop, but I'm also assuming I can upgrade a PC CS2 to a Mac CS3 when it comes available for the $150 or so upgrade price, rather than another new version.


I have CS2 on an 800Mhz G4 with 1.25GB RAM running OSX and I found that by dedicating 1GB of RAM to PS and giving it a big scratch disk, performance improves greatly.


Yeah, but on a G4, it is running natively. The performance of the rosetta universal binary on the Intel Duo's seems to be leaving a lot to be desired (most particularly, to desire an Intel binary...)


Well, as Shannon mentioned below, you can always run the PC version using Crossover software.

The way I heard it described, by a PC guy no less, was "I've just seen the best PC ever, and it's a Mac."

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 13:37:12.
11/21/2006 01:40:10 PM · #21
Originally posted by Spazmo99:


Well, as Shannon mentioned below, you can always run the PC version using Parallels.

The way I heard it described, by a PC guy no less, was "I've just seen the best PC ever, and it's a Mac."


Again, I don't want to run a semi-crippled version in a virtual machine, with the overhead of a booted guest OS. That's fine for little apps that don't need a lot of memory or do much swapping.

Photoshop in parallels runs about 25% -33% slower than natively, just FYI (i.e., same machine, bootcamp/ running XP, vs in Mac OS-X via parallels)

and I don't want to reboot every time I want to edit a picture. Photoshop CS2 is already too slow for my liking on 1DII RAW files, on a dual core 2.4GHz AMD system, with 3Gb memory.

I guess that'd be another $100 on top of the Mac purchase, to get a WinXP license, then add on a parallels license, to run photoshop a whole lot slower than my current system. It isn't a compelling argument right now. I'd like to have a Mac, but my main performance limiting app is Photoshop, and currently the situation is a mess on the Mac. When Apple get a decent build working natively, it'll be a better argument.

Here's a macworld quote on photoshop performance:
Even using applications that perform very complex computations, like Photoshop CS2, you’ll see good results. I applied a complex mesh image filter to the same image on the Core Duo mini in three different environments: in OS X (running CS2 via Rosetta, since Photoshop is not yet a Universal Binary application), in Windows XP under Parallels, and in Windows XP running natively via Boot Camp. As you might guess, the Boot Camp XP machine was the fastest, taking 36 seconds to apply the filter. Close behind it, though, was the Parallels XP machine, at 44 seconds—only eight seconds slower. Trailing badly, at 77 seconds, was Photoshop in Rosetta on OS X. So for now, if you are a Photoshop power user with an Intel Mac, you may be better off running it in Windows on your Mac, either via Parallels or Boot Camp. Of course, you’ll need to own a second copy of Photoshop to take advantage of the additional speed.

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 13:46:57.
11/21/2006 01:54:58 PM · #22
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by leaf:

not sure if cross platform upgrade is possible :S


That wouldn't be good.

I might be getting a mac book pro duo to play with for a month or so to see if I like it. But it is more about the software these days


What you can do though, is download the Trial version of the Mac software once you get your Mac and then upgrade for teh $150 from that.
11/21/2006 01:58:43 PM · #23
And for the OP, the most power will be found in the Macbook Pros as far as laptops go. But the Macbooks are a really great machine too. I run an iBook right now and it's plenty fast to handle Photoshop and other applications at the same time. And my computers about three years old now, so I believe the new specs are even better.

Upgrading's not a problem. You can add more RAM super easy...I've done it myself and I don't even know how to hook up a PlayStation to the TV. Harddrives are a bit more tricky, but plenty of electronic/computer stores can install them and get them for you nowadays.
11/21/2006 02:03:51 PM · #24
Originally posted by ladyhawk22:

What you can do though, is download the Trial version of the Mac software once you get your Mac and then upgrade for teh $150 from that.


But I don't have a Mac license to upgrade. I have a license for the PC version. How would downloading the trial version help with that ?
11/21/2006 02:32:29 PM · #25
Originally posted by Gordon:

My only reason for not getting a mac at the moment is the lack of a native version of photoshop. Once that gets there (some time next year) I'm going to be seriously looking again. I'm not thrilled by the prospect of having to re-buy Photoshop, but I'm also assuming I can upgrade a PC CS2 to a Mac CS3 when it comes available for the $150 or so upgrade price, rather than another new version.


I just upgraded to an intel mac, and the performance hit wasn't nearly as bad as I thought with CS after I bumped the RAM up (although I have to convert my D200 raw files to DNG files to open them). That being said I'm waiting for the new version of PS before upgrading, but I've been skipping the even number upgrades since I bought PS 3.0.
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