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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

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mahatmamanic

 
Member Since: Jan 10, 2007
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I am considering switching to Mac, and I thought I might come and ask a bit of advice from the faithful I read the Buyers' Guide, but it looks to be a bit out of date and I thought I might briefly describe my needs and expectations in a computer and get some feedback.

So...I've been a computer geek since I was 5, when my parents got one of the first IBM PCs. I cut my teeth on DOS and Basic, and I am now a professional engineer.

In recent years, I generally have run home-built systems, with Windows on one partition and some flavor of Linux/BSD (most recently Ubuntu) on another.

I do a fair amount of work from home, and need my machine to be able to run professional-grade development tools. I am also (of course) an avid gamer, and need a machine that is capable of playing games at reasonable display settings.

Between these two things, there has in the past always been something keeping me from buying a Mac. Also, the few times in the past I tried using a Mac (not since the 90s) I found them frustrating and non-intuitive (yeah yeah I know). I have, however, been hearing rumblings for a while about how a Mac might now be able to meet my needs, and I've been hearing good things about usability for a few years now.

I won't say that money is no object in buying a new system, but I am also not broke...I am willing to spend reasonably large amounts of money to get high performance, but I am not willing to spend what is usually an inordinate amount of extra cash to get to the very pinnacle of the performance curve.

As far as peripherals, I already have high-end USB compatible gear for most everything. My monitor is starting to look a bit shabby though, and I would be willing to look into getting a new one if there was something particularly tempting out there.

So, all that being said, can you offer me any advice or suggestions? What hardware and software would be a good fit for me? What kind of cash outlay would I be looking at? What will the biggest shocks/joys/letdowns upon switching? I need to be able to do development work, gaming, use my current peripherals, and get as close to the Cost/Power sweet spot as possible.

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and Brutus is an honourable man
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rman

 
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For me you did not give enough information about your requirements.

As in what professional grade development tools are you speaking of?
What are your real expectations for this system?

What are the many peripherals you will be using?

Since I use both windows and OS X, I find OS X more intuitive, in your case that maybe a problem. These are just a few of the question.

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Kash

 
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If you want a desktop, then you're pretty much "stuck" with either an iMac or a Mac Pro. iMacs can do a lot of productivity work as they're not exactly slacking in the specs department. However, don't expect high-end graphics for your games as the only two real video cards available for the iMac are the X1600 and the 7600GT. These will do fine for most games a year old and will give you decent graphics for newer games. Keep in mind that you WILL have to dual boot with Windows as Parallels can't handle 3D...yet.

The Mac Pro has the option for the X1900XT, which is a very capable video card that can play some of the latest and greatest games at very high settings. Here's the problem with the Mac Pro, it's not cheap, not by a long shot. One of the benefits of the Mac Pro is its expandability.

iMacs start at $999 for the base 17 inch model and max out at $1999 for the top-of-the-line 24 inch model. Good thing about this is that the screen is integrated, so there's really no extra costs just for basic functionality, at least hardware wise. The Mac Pro, on the other hand, starts above the most expensive iMac, so you can tell where that will lead you, especially considering that it doesn't come with a monitor.

Mac Pros are designed for professionals (hence, the Pro), which is why they are so expensive. iMacs are more for the average consumer. Looking at your post, I would have to say that a 20 or 24 inch iMac will fit you just fine. But if you're a big gamer, then I would have to say the Mac is NOT for you.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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The only thing "out of date" in that thread is the names of the machines.
The content is still very much accurate and reliable. All anyone needs to do is substitute the "power" series labeled machines with the "pro" labeled machines and that is about it. :black:

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Sachsr1

 
Member Since: Nov 25, 2006
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Rather then spending alot on a machine that can run all those apps and game I would recommend a cheaper solution. Try out a mac mini or a macbook, and keep your PC for the other apps u need to run. Macs aren't known for their gaming abilities, and to get decent graphics you would start looking at $2000 and up for a 20-24" iMac or a Mac Pro.
I saw you were an engineer and you need to run professional software so I'll guess CAD? or something similar? That's a windows only app I believe, so you would have to run windows on your mac most of the time.

Maybe you wanna start out with mac mini and a switch so you can use your PC keyboard/mouse/ monitor. Also you could get a Macbook, or a used Apple to get to know how it works. You could use it as a e-mail, web, and iLife machine.

One thing I've noticed about this forum is people aren't gonna lie to you to get you to buy a Mac. They will come out and tell you that a Mac may not be right for you. If you do choose to get a Mac take a good look at the low ends Mac, and how you may use them.
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MacHeadCase
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There are CAD titles available for Mac and there is a website that specializes in news and reviews on them, Architosh.
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