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  1. #1
    Powder River Imaging EOSThree's Avatar
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    Mac or PC and which one?

    My HP pavilion is starting to show it's age. It hardly has the power to perform two tasks at once. It's time for a new machine.

    After having a Vista PC at work I can hardly stand the thought of using a machine with this horrible OS on it. In fact I had a ticket from Sam's club to purchase what looked like a really good machine 2.4, 4 gig ram, 512 video memory, 350HD, in my hands and couldn't stomach the thought of Vista and put it back.

    This has me leaning toward a mac. Thing is, I don't know anything about them except that most people that have them love them, and most people that have them don't really know a whole hell of a lot about them.

    In my research into Macs, I notice as a rule they don't have as much RAM as a top of the line PC and they cost a lot more.

    I am currently looking at a MacBook Pro 2.4, 2 gig ram, 256 video memory, 200HD or 2.5, 2 gig ram, 512 video memory, 250HD. They both cost a lot more than a PC does with the latter costing $400 more than the former with marginal increases. I guess I am looking for someone to tell me more about the differences in processors and how much will doubling my video memory will do. I know nothing of how a Mac works.
    Rule books are paper they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal. --Ernie Gann--
    What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. --Oscar Wilde--

  2. #2
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    I have seven macs, everything from a 7600/132mhz dinosaur to a 2.6 mhz quad core mac pro. I can say from experience, if you are buying a mac, get the best model they have. I think Apple tends to have its largest profit margins on its low end consumer models. If you are going for a desktop mac, get the fastest mac pro they have. I paid 2,500 bucks for mine and consider it money well spent. I got two dual core 2.66 ghz intel xeon processors with a 4mb cache per processor on a 1.33ghz bus fed by a 3gb per second sata hard drive. Though it only came with 1 gig of ram, I thought this was plenty, multi-layered photoshop files opened instantly, or within several seconds. The mac pro I have uses expensive ram, though I added 4 gigs for under two hundred bucks (comp usa went out of business) I think this is a potential issue for some people.

    I could go on about the mac pro quad cores but I see you say your looking at a laptop. The Mac OS is based on BSD unix and they are improving it all the time. I think overall, it is a solid platform. Bear in mind, most people own pcs. Macs and pcs handle color much differently. This will be an issue. You will have to learn about how your mac handles color and then change the profiles so that your color remains constant wherever it is viewed. This is a pain, but it does allow you to fine tune a pictures output exactly across a wide array of media. The only mac I would buy is the top end desktop model, but if you do buy a laptop, I would suggest you get the best they have, as I am sure this model offers the best value just like the desktop models.
    "I don't like lizards", Frank Reynolds.

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  3. #3
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    I use a Mac all day long at work, and go home to a PC. I have no trouble going from one OS to the other. About a month ago I bought a refurbished HP Quad Core (2.2) Media Center machine with 3gig of RAM and 640gig of HD space, and Vista Home Premium for $550. The price was the big selling point! I love it so far. I was very worried about going to Vista after hearing all the negatives about it, but I haven't had any problems with it.

    I also love my Mac at work. If I had the $, I may have switched to a Mac at home, but I really couldn't justify or afford the cost. Not to mention I would have had to replace my PC software for a Mac version. That can get expensive in a hurry too.

    The Mac vs PC debate is just like the film Vs digital debate. There is not right or wrong answer, it's just whatever you like better and works for you. Either system will work fine for you, but it all comes down to what you prefer.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    I work on a PC and have a PC and Mac at home. I use the Mac for everything now. No a big learning curve. I think Mac is better FOR ME.

    What do you want to do with the computer??? Photos only? Game on-line? Work stuff?? That will have a lot to do with a recommendation. I bought an I-Mac. 20" and 2.4 Core 2 Duo. I put the RAM in myself as it is EASY and only cost me $190 ish for 4 gig on line. The screen is great and I have had NO problems at all. I use mine for photo stuff and video stuff. I also use it to surf web and some productivity (excel and word, with some powerpoint).

    If you can get a student discount you can cut the difference from PC to Mac alot. Also, if you do not need the top of the mine everything, get what you need. You will not spend as much and will get everything you want done efficiently.

    Just my .02

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  5. #5
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by ciddog91
    I
    If you can get a student discount you can cut the difference from PC to Mac alot. Also, if you do not need the top of the mine everything, get what you need. You will not spend as much and will get everything you want done efficiently.
    l
    FWIW, PCs have student discounts as well. No matter what you do, Macs are expensive. It's like buying a BMW instead of a Honda: same function, more expense. By the way, the worse thing about Vista is its reputation. Macs, especially Leopard, has problems and bugs as well. No technology is perfect.

    My recommendation is to actually work with a Mac before buying. Aside from all the fanboy hype that has always surrounded Apple products, the OS is definately different and not necessarily better or worse. I personally hate the Mac UI, it seems extremely restricted and limiting to me. Others love it. Make sure the software you use everyday works on the Mac, forget about virtualization. Don't spend the big bucks unless you are very sure you like it and it's worth the extra cash.
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  6. #6
    Powder River Imaging EOSThree's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    I don't game much, if I do it's usually very simple stuff. If I go the Mac route I will also install XP with parallels desktop, right now I have too much invested in PC software to go cold turkey. I would do mostly photos with it, some movies, and general computing.
    Rule books are paper they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal. --Ernie Gann--
    What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. --Oscar Wilde--

  7. #7
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    I'm in basically the same boat as reverberation. I own a total of five Macs, anywhere from the dinosaurs to the desktops to a MacBook Pro that strongly resembles your first option.

    However, unlike reverberation, if I had to have just one, it would be the MacBook. I find it too indispensable as both a field notebook and a portable base of operations. I often find myself away from home for 2-3 weeks at a time, and don't have anywhere near enough memory cards for unrestricted shooting for that long a timeframe. Also, genealogy is a pursuit of mine, and there are few institutions that are willing to loan 150 year old books, so much of the work is done in the libraries (etc..) themselves. With the notebook, I have the option (sometimes) of scanning documents as well as photographing them.

    My advice would be to consider more Ram and possibly more HD space. If you install XP on a two gig machine, you essentially have a Mac OS and XP with one gig of Ram each. Parallels. by default, will split the Ram and allocate half to each system. While it does the same for HD space, it will allow either OS to use unused portions of space allocated to the other OS. Add the fact that external HD's are getting cheaper all the time, and the HD isn't as big a deal.

    - Joe U.
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  8. #8
    Powder River Imaging EOSThree's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    Thanks all for your replies. I went with a Macbook Pro 2.5ghz core duo, 2gig(will prolly upgrade to 4 soon), 250 gig HD, Nvidia 512, 15" glossy. After looking around at software, switching licenses, etc. I am re thinking dual booting XP. It looks like I can get 80% or so of what I am familiar with without having XP. The book should be here Tuesday.
    Rule books are paper they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal. --Ernie Gann--
    What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. --Oscar Wilde--

  9. #9
    Almost There...... ciddog91's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    Nice choice. I think you will be happy with it. I know I am with mine.
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  10. #10
    Powder River Imaging EOSThree's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    My Macbook Pro showed up yesterday. Initial impressions are very good. The fit and finish is fantastic, beautiful, the little extras are fantastic: magnetic power cord, lighted keyboard, built in camera, multi trackpad, aluminum enclosure, etc etc.

    I am having a little trouble with the switch in operating systems: a couple of mistakes installing programs, no right click, differences in scrolling, program compatibility, etc. Overall this is a pretty nice machine, although I have felt nearly the same way about my last two PCs too. One thing that has me a little worried: the optical drive is fairly noisy. Mac has addressed this noise on it's site and basically they say it's normal. I have a year warranty and I am still debating Maccare.
    Rule books are paper they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal. --Ernie Gann--
    What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. --Oscar Wilde--

  11. #11
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    If you go to System preferences> Keyboard and Mouse you'll find a checkbox that allows you to put two fingers on the trackpad and click to get the right-click.

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    Oh, and if you haven't already discovered this EOSThree, hit apple+esc (together) from your main screen.

    Lots of fun options there.

    Did someone say "slideshow"?

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

  13. #13
    Almost There...... ciddog91's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    Medley,

    I just tried it and I learned something new with my Mac.. Thanks.....
    Phil
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Mac or PC and which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by ciddog91
    Medley,

    I just tried it and I learned something new with my Mac.. Thanks.....
    Phil
    No problem. I hate to admit it, but I discovered this completely by accident. Then I spent the next half-hour trying to figure out how to do it on purpose.

    The slideshow aspect is really great for those impromptu affairs, but I also enjoy having the previews for every movie playing in one place. It makes movie night a much more informed choice.

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

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