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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

Disillusioned Mac desigener switches to Windows


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mogwai
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I am web/graphic and also a mac-die hard for the last five/six years. But sadly i had to buy a pc recently due to several issues which other designers and power users using a mac will surely understand. Admit it, since OS X appeared every pro is getting frustrated and getting less work done. I hoped that the release of tiger will improve things but everthing seems to get worse.

I have a quicksilver 733 G4 with 1.25g ram, its a good machine, well above OS X minimum requirements. But since i got my PC my productivity quadripled in every aspect being print and particularly the web. When you work in the design business the important thing is to have snapiness and you need speed to change your artowork over and over again until you are happy with the result. From what i hear, even from users with the latest G5 things are going bad. I receive a mailshot every week from my local mac retailer with second hand g5s for sale. Apple should worried about this and shouldn't waste its time coding widgets. Forget all benchmarks, and let's have a look at these important apps

Photoshop
Everthing done on a mac in photoshop can be done twice as fast as on a PC, Photoshop and most adobe software is bloated OK but the mac versions are a shame. Everthing from clicking on an icon in the main toolbar to the Save for web feature is more snappy on a PC, Not to mention opening files, using large brushes and i can go on.

Freehand
Freehand is probably the best software in terms of its speed and responsiveness in doing the basic stuff. I must say, i prefer using freehand on mac but the MX version appears to be sluggish when compared to older mac versions while on pc is still fast as before

In Design
I sometimes contemplate how huge magazines are done with indesign on mac, laying out a simple 3 gate flyer is a pain with this software on mac, its a shame because its the most powerful dtp software. It lacks speed and somtimes feels like your workin in slowmo. Using Indesign on a pc the story is by far different. It is blazingly fast and its a joy to use it, even when you have complex layouts

Dreamweaver
Comparing the PC version to the Mac version its like comparing a ferrari 360 modena to a TANK. It is usable on a mac, but nowhere compared to the productive level you can achive with it on a pc. I did large projects with dreamweaver on both Pc and Mac and i can say that while the mac version is somewhat decent, i wouldn't suggest any young webdesigner to get mac unless he plans to hand code css/html in BBedit or similar software.

Flash
With Flash, i have indeed touched the bottom. I bought the Pc because i couldn’ stand flash on the mac platform anymore. I had to find a solution and apparently there is no other solution than buying a PC. No release has been decent enough to be used on a production level. A simple task like moving the slider on the timeframe makes me cry. what about the library, working with gradients and the general whole look and feel. And im not going to mention the hopless flash player on the mac. Every flash player for every mac browser is crap when compared to a pc. Simply open a flash site on safari or firefox and minimize it and continue working wioth another app. You will see a noticeable performance reduction that you won’t bear.

Using fonts on OS X
A Designer is not like a MS word user which selects arial 12pt and he is happy. We need to change, browse, scale and god knows what when it comes to fonts. Once it used to be fun but nowadays choosing a font on mac is a nightmare. Comeon you mac-diehard designers reading this, ADMIT IT. Changing fonts in PC applications is blazingly fast, why this is not the same on mac 

This is what I had to say as a disillusioned designer working on mac. I had to switch to a PC. If you want to just browse the internet and play with cool icons then stick to your mac, but if you want real-world production there is no the option right now then getting a pc. And sadly enough, the new intel based macs seem to hinder the promise of a fast mac platform for years to come.

Just for the record my pc is not a powerful one, it’s a 1.6mhz wth 512k ram which compares as approx year of manufacture with the G4
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Not to be rude but frankly both those computers kinda suck compared to today's standards. I'm wondering if you have even tried photoshop on a new G5 at all or just go with what you hear?
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Agreed, that is a poor comparison at best. Even my 6 year old G4 desktop (1.3Ghz) would do better than that and it would be a much better comparison for the 1.6Ghz PC too. If the comparison had been between a G5 or an Intel Mac and a comparable PC, I'd agree. One has to wonder why he didn't invest in an upgrade (RAM and Processor) for the Quicksilver before jumping back to the PC.

That being said, if what the PC does is better for you, then good for you!


mogwai
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If you visit a couple of agencies you'll still see scores of quickilver 733g4s, not everbody can afford the latest G5. And all software i mentioned have minium requirements well above a qs 733 with 1.2gb of ram. I heaven't put my hands on a g5 but the amount of pros i heared moaning about them are something apple should worry about
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Minimum requirements do not = good performance in most cases. Photoshop never ran anywhere near decent on my Mac until I hit the 1Gb of RAM point.

Like I said, as long it works for you, then good for you.


mogwai
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And adding to my last reply the issue here is not the hardware, i think its the OS X and how software houses are optimizing the software for OS X.
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OSX is very much a memory hog, so it could hardware (RAM) related. Like I said, photoshop never really ran well on my machine until I put 1Gb of RAM in it.


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Well you have what.... $2000 invested in Mac software there? Might as well buy a newer Mac and see what performance is like.

Honestly your complaints are outside my area so I will take your word on that, but it seems like a pretty old system there. Finally I sure hope you mean a 1.6 GHz system with 512Mb of RAM.
mogwai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggss
OSX is very much a memory hog, so it could hardware (RAM) related. Like I said, photoshop never really ran well on my machine until I put 1Gb of RAM in it.
On a PC with the 1.2 Gb at work, i run photoshop with god knows how many apps , flash, DW, FTP, a dozen browser windows, If you do the same even with a very good mac like a 1.3Ghz pumped with ram (whihc we also have at work) you won't get the same performance.
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Ok. I don't use PS very often, but I do tend to have a lot of Apps open at once (I use tabbed browsing so 10 Windows are not all individual Windows), including FTP, MAIL and others without many issues.

Using PS does put a much bigger strain on the processor than anything I use on a regular basis and the fact that I don't use it a lot may have a lot to do with my performance perceptions. Oh, and I would not call my machine a "good Mac" for what you are doing. I would consider mine "adequate" at best. A G5 or an Intel box would be a "Good Mac".


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I am a student doing graphic design and would consider myself a "power user". Having used all of those programs on both PC and Mac for years, I will say that the programs open faster on PC's, but in my case they have ran much much better on macs. I have a 17" 1.67 GHz Powerbook G4 with a Gb of ram and have no trouble running multiple programs at once. As far as the font thing goes, if you want to overload your pc with fonts and have to sift through a million of them, thats fine. Since I only use specific fonts for my designs I keep the ones I dont use disabled, and honestly how hard is it to open fontbook or suitcase and disable or enable a font. It takes almost no time at all, so you must be doing something wrong. You could argue that because I am a student im not in the real world, blah blah blah. The fact is I work with real deadlines, multiple projects at once, and I have multiple classes on top of that. If you prefer PC's to do your design work then thats fine, but I dont think its the mac causing problems, just how you use it.

To compare, my pc is a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 with Hyper Threading and 1Gb of ram and my Powerbook still runs the programs better.
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Well first things first, I am glad you found a system you are more productive on. After all, if you can get your work done better that is great.

However—I would take exception to Apple needs to be worried that pro' users are becoming disenfranchised with Mac OS X and Macs in general. I only have a PowerMac G4, Digital Audio so architecturally the same (see my sig) but the upgrades make a huge difference.

Photoshop: Runs like a dream. This is CS2 by the way. It also runs excellently on a PowerMac G4 1.4GHz as I tried the Encore ST 1.4GHz upgrade before settling on the dual processor.

Do remember you are running a Quicksilver Mac or were on a very slow ATA-66 hard drive bus. Trust me, that cripples performance, even more so if you have the original 5400RPM drive. I moved up to an ATA-133 Striped RAID controller and two modern 7200RPM WD Caviar drives and it outstrips any PC I have used or indeed any Mac I have sat at (non RAID based ones this is!). Boot time is about 15 seconds from startup chime to usable Finder. Photoshop launches in under ten seconds.

Before upgrading the hard disk controller, the Mac was like you describe your old QS G4 being.

Freehand: I don't use Macromedia software so I'll nod with what you say! :flower:

InDesign: I agree it is very good on a good Windows PC. I disagree however that on a Mac it sucks. Sat before me now is a 150 page book with colour interpersed fairly heavy text and layout for a book and this Mac is ripping along with smooth scrolling, quick refreshes, no lag, quick saves. It's a joy to use and the best DTP package—as you say. I am using CS2.

Dreamweaver: I don't use it like Freehand but your last sentence is just rubbish. I am sorry you have found your Quicksilver sucky in Dreamweaver but I have never, and I repeat never found Macs tripe for creating and managing complex web pages. I do use a mixture of hand editing for XHTML/HTML and PHP but also a number of other WYSIWYG solutions with CS2 and the process is seemless.

AFAIC, the playing field is level in terms of whether you use a PC or a Mac, but by no means is the Mac a distant relation from my experience on a modern-ish Mac. Remember your Quicksilver is based on an older 7450 G4 processor with less than complimentary L2 cache setup, no L3 cache, a small L1 cache, the slow ATA66 controller and I am hazarding the original 32MB Geforce 2MX card—which is slow by today's standard. Quartz 2D thrives on cards like the Geforce4 Ti/5200FX from Nvidia or the Radeon 9200 or later. It is a dream on my 9800 Pro.

Flash: I don't use this so can only go on what you say but I would hazard a guess that the Mac you had is hampering you.

Fonts: You know what you are bang on right. If you mean using InDesign with many styles set up on a 1GB RAM 466MHz PowerMac G4 with Radeon 9800 was anything to go by before I upgraded my hard drive controller and processor. Since that, it has been superbly slick and font management with FontBook beats Windows' standard almost unmodified since Windows 95 font management. Is there still a 1000 font maximum limit or has this been removed/resolved now?

Anyway—I reiterate I am very glad you found a solution that suits you better; and I hope it continues to be a good system for you.

What I do take exception to is the very blanket nature of your post that insinuates that designers like you, using Macs are somehow feeling handicapped by their systems. That is just not true to me and the many designers I know through those I have met and those I have worked with. The end result is that we stick to the Mac because it works very well for us. We all agree if we liked Windows more we would use it, but we find ourselves in this kooky position of being very happy with our Macs.

In my instance, I find my OS X 10.4 Macs liberating for my design work. Windows is far to claustrophobic for my liking. Mac OS X 10.4 is a heap of a lot better than OS X 10.0/1/2 were and when those were roaming the Mac world I stuck with OS 9.

But really, how can you expect a handicapped by today's standard Quicksilver 2001 to compete properly? I have the older Digital Audio G4 (it came out before your QS 2001) which at its core is the same as the QS 2001, and perfectly understand why the 733MHz is really hampering you, as I suffered that myself. As soon as I upgraded it all, it was like having a brand new Mac.

Anyway—hope your work comes along more smoothly now. But please don't assume that designers by default are pissed with OS X and Apple.

Vicky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogwai
On a PC with the 1.2 Gb at work, i run photoshop with god knows how many apps , flash, DW, FTP, a dozen browser windows, If you do the same even with a very good mac like a 1.3Ghz pumped with ram (whihc we also have at work) you won't get the same performance.
This has left me stumped and the only thing I can think of is that something must be wrong with that Mac. For a few weeks I ran the Sonnet Encore ST 1.4GHz upgrade in this very Digital Audio Mac with InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, web browser windows everywhere, email, FTP sessions, and probably half of MS Office knowing me and my knack of leaving things open and it didn't slow down at all; and it was very very slick.

Again, I will say this in an uncompromising and blunt manner, slow Macs suck when used in design enviroments just as much as a slow PC would. But again it is wrong to say all Macs regardless of spec are performance lack lustre.

And of course there isn't an immediate sense of 'salvation' through the Intel switch on this performance issue, changes like this take time for everyone to catch up. Witness the time it took for people to catch up and work with MS' NT archiecture. It took from NT 3.1 through to XP for it to really become a viable consumer alternative to the old 16bit/9x Windows environment.

When Intel native apps become available such as Adobe CS3 and whatever they do with Macromedia—then we have a much better idea of what the real performance is like.

Vicky
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I use suitcase and disable every font which i won't use in the near future, still the amount of fonts i have enabled on the mac are noweher compared to the amount of fonts i have on the pc, and every app from the ps to indesign fonts appear to be faster on the pc
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Then it must be your computer, on my PC when I sift through fonts especially in Adobe Illustrator it takes forever. On my mac, it just glides right through them no problem.

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