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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 26, 2011
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    Mac vs Pc for graphics
    Hi guy.

    Im looking to spend around 4000 but want the top spec mac. I will be using it for graphics and video. Can anyone suggest what would be ideal that would not need updating anytime soon? I know that for graphics and video you need a lot of Ram. Can this be added in a mac in the same way as a pc or does it need to be bought with it pre loaded?

    Any help would be great. I don't need a graphics tab or anything. Just a top notch system.

    Would a mac be best or shall i stick to what i know and get a pc built??

    Thanks guys.


  2. #2

    Ctrl-Opt-Del's Avatar
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    The Switcher Hangout would be the place to ask this (Community Suggestions and Feedback is for members to make suggestions about the site, not to get suggestions on purchases); but, as I saw your post, I'll give a quick answer.

    Macs are excellent for graphics, and come pre-assembled with good GPUs; but most do have the small problem of lack of easy upgradability, if that's something you'd require. The two most commonly purchased desktop variants - iMacs & Mac Minis - are pretty-much as-is, with the graphics being an integral part of the device.

    Obviously the two kinds of MacBook are pretty-much the same as any notebook when it comes to upgrading graphics.

    The only option that would give you the potential to easily upgrade in any practical fashion would be a Mac Pro, being the only Mac that is still constructed in the form of a "tower", with swappable "cards"; for your budget of ~4000 you could get the basic 12-Core version, or upgraded versions of the Quad-Core or 8-Core variants.

    Mac Pro - Buy a New Mac Pro Online - Free Delivery - Apple Store for Business (UK)
    For my purposes as an engineering graduate; Windows is respectable (& generally necessary), Linux is admirable (& often useful), OS X is enjoyable (& requires no further justification, although plenty could be given)!

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Thread moved to more appropriate sub-forum.

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  4. #4

    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DjJacko2k11 View Post
    Hi guy.

    Im looking to spend around 4000 but want the top spec mac. I will be using it for graphics and video. Can anyone suggest what would be ideal that would not need updating anytime soon? I know that for graphics and video you need a lot of Ram. Can this be added in a mac in the same way as a pc or does it need to be bought with it pre loaded?

    Any help would be great. I don't need a graphics tab or anything. Just a top notch system.

    Would a mac be best or shall i stick to what i know and get a pc built??

    Thanks guys.

    The Mac Pro would be ideal for what you're looking to do. And with a hefty budget of 4000, you can get quite a high spec Mac Pro with plenty of graphics and processing power.

    You can also buy the Mac Pro with the standard amount of ram and add more later, up to 128GB I hear!
    -Evan

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    2011 MacBook Air, i5 27" IMac, 2010 21.5" IMac, 2010 Mini, 2011 13" MBP, IPhone 4, Airport Extreme
    MacPro (The Tower, not the MacbookPro Laptop), is what you want. Everything is upgradeable.

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Another vote, naturally, for getting a Mac Pro, Handles up to four internal hard drives, two super drives, upgradable gfx card etc etc.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7

    robduckyworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini_mi View Post
    MacPro (The Tower, not the MacbookPro Laptop), is what you want. Everything is upgradeable.
    Not everything. You cant upgrade the motherboard, Power Supply or CPU.
    If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
    Join us in the IRC! How? Add me on Steam, Origin or PSN (Vita): robduckyworth

  8. #8

    Shikarnov's Avatar
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    I know that for graphics and video you need a lot of Ram. Can this be added in a mac in the same way as a pc or does it need to be bought with it pre loaded?
    Adding RAM to any Mac I've ever had (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, PowerMac G5) has always been a snap. No problem at all. In this area you should be fine.

  9. #9

    TheMacMania's Avatar
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    yepp, 2 years ago as a mac newbie i added a ram to my mac and was absolutely fine - no worries there. plus mac is the best to buy when working with video, etc
    My Mac Journey! Tips and Tricks I share with you - http://www.themacmania.com

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    To be honest if I was spending 4000 on a high end machine now for graphics work I would not get a Mac.

    Yes, you can get a Mac Pro for 4000 that will perform well. It will however be outperformed but a Windows based machine assembled for half that.

    The Mac Pro range hasn't been upgraded in some time. It currently is supplied with Westmere based processors which are 2 generations behind Ivy Bridge. (Due out April/May)

    I assume you will be using Adobe CS? IT is the same on Windows as it is on Mac. You just want to pick whatever will give you the most grunt.

    With a Windows based machine you will get more grunt for less money.

  11. #11

    Ctrl-Opt-Del's Avatar
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    I think most of us have assumed that the OP was dead-set on getting a Mac rather than a PC, so the best advice possible in that context was given...
    For my purposes as an engineering graduate; Windows is respectable (& generally necessary), Linux is admirable (& often useful), OS X is enjoyable (& requires no further justification, although plenty could be given)!

  12. #12


    Member Since
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    Sue, you're overlooking many of the Mac's built-in advantages over PC systems that make it a) worth the money and b) still the standard for anyone serious about graphics in any graphics related field. Walk into ANY publisher, ad agency, printer etc ... and count the PCs. It won't take you very long.

    Among the advantages:

    1. Studies have shown repeatedly that Mac users are 30 percent more productive and a heck of a lot happier. Macs have 50 percent less downtime and require 1/20th (or less!) the number of technicians supporting them at large installations.

    2. The Mac has superior colour calibration and typography controls/support than Windows. Still.

    3. Simply put, OS X. This is a huge advantage for creative workers over Windows in so many ways large and small I can't even go into it here. Again, there's a REASON why the creative fields are heavily Mac-oriented, and it isn't because they like shiny things.

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctrl-Opt-Del View Post
    I think most of us have assumed that the OP was dead-set on getting a Mac rather than a PC, so the best advice possible in that context was given...
    Well then "most of us" should have read what the OP asked rather than assuming anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by DjJacko2k11 View Post

    Would a mac be best or shall i stick to what i know and get a pc built??

  14. #14


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Macs have 50 percent less downtime and require 1/20th (or less!) the number of technicians supporting them at large installations.
    Are you quoting the Apple commissioned IDC study from 1997 or is there anything more recent?

    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post

    2. The Mac has superior colour calibration and typography controls/support than Windows. Still.
    As I understand it Windows 7 colour calibration is equal to OSX. I know lots of professional photographers who work with Photoshop in a Windows environment.

    I don't know about typography - any professionals I personally know have never commented on this being an issue with Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    3. Simply put, OS X. This is a huge advantage for creative workers over Windows in so many ways large and small I can't even go into it here. Again, there's a REASON why the creative fields are heavily Mac-oriented, and it isn't because they like shiny things.
    I'm not an Apple fan and I am not a Windows fan. I believe a personal computer is a tool. I have a mixture of gear at home running on multiple platforms from multiple manufacturers. My next desktop PC is going to be a Mac (95% certain anyway). However for the task in question with the budget the OP has specified I just can't see how anyone can recommend buying a Mac Pro at the moment.

    I live in a city full of creatives - I have plenty of friends who work with Macs on a professional basis. I have an interest in tech and I have often asked them why they bought a Mac over a Windows based machine. Most of the time the answer is simply "well, everyone in the industry uses a Mac because they are better". That is a pretty nebulous and incorrect assertion. I don't think Windows machines are better by the way. It really comes down to what you need to do.

    If the OP is going to be doing graphics and video work then he needs to look at what software he is going to use. If he has to use Final Cut for work then he needs to get a Mac. If he is going to use Photoshop and Premiere Pro and anything else from the Adobe Creative Suite then they are exactly the same whether running on Windows or OSX. They will perform better on a Windows based PC compared to a Mac Pro and for less money. These apps will utilise CUDA acceleration allowing the GPU you use to do most of the rendering work. Upgrading the GPU in 12 months time will also be much more straightforward in a Windows based machine compared to a Mac Pro. Yes, I know you can upgrade the GPU in a Mac Pro but the choices are far more limited.

    Objectively a Windows based machine will perform better for less money and if using Adobe software the experience will be the same.

    If general OS usage is going to be the subjective measure then it comes down to personal preference.

  15. #15

    chscag's Avatar
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    @Sue de Nimes

    Well said. I love my Macs but I agree with you. I have personally used professional services for graphic design and other things that we need in our business, and each time, the services were using PCs not Macs. As a matter of fact, I don't know of one such service in my local area here in Dallas - Fort Worth that is using Macs.

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