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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?" :)

Mac or PC dilemma, friends are trying to sway me.


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dave343

 
Member Since: Jul 17, 2007
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A bit of background, I've been a hard core PC user for the last 10+ years, lived my life sworn to PC's. I'm an A+ PC Tech so I work with them everyday. To me the PC is a safe zone and the Mac an unfamiliar territory.

In the last year or so I've stopped using my computer (PC) to play games and use it now primarily for web surfing, video editing here and there (want to do more) and pictures. I say more because I really want to get into video editing and creating movies however on my PC... it can be a nightmare sometimes. I hook my Sony DV cam up using USB 2.0, and resort to using (don't laugh) Windows Movie Maker to grab the video. Once I have it, I've been using Nero to burn the fottage to DVD and it converts it to whatever format on the fly. Now creating menu's and all the nice fancy stuff... I don't even bother getting into because it's well... painful unless someone wants to say otherwise. The most frustrating thing about the video editing is the codecs because if I encode a movie in one format... my relative/friend may not be able to read it, and it's annoying. Frankly, after working 8-9hrs at work, the last thing I want to do is come home and muck around with codecs... and lately it seems to be a reacuring nightware I wish would just go away.
I was in a Mac store a few weeks back and was playing around with the iDVD. I noticed the "One Step DVD" but didn't think it could be that simple. After talking to the sales rep and him showing me it was infact that easy, I was blown away. I was amazing that it grabs the video from your cam and sticks it on a DVD, and creating menus... that's even more simple and it seems there's so much you can do. Anyways, I was sold. This is how simple it should be, in my eye's anyways.
So for the last few weeks I've been spending my time playing around with iDVD and watching tutorials on youtube while I get ready to make my iMac purchase.
So, fast forward, here's my dilemma... I was going to purchase an iMac Core 2 Duo, 2Ghz, 1GB ram, ATI x1600 128MB with DVDRW in the next few weeks. My buddie's however are he|L bent on stoping me telling me for that the price of the iMac $1480-CND with Tax I could get a HP Core 2 Duo Quad with 2GB ram, 400gb hd and a 256MB Geforce 8600GT, and that includes a 19" widescreen. Now since I've been a PC user for the last 10+ years there's almost an internal war going on in my head lol, I'm lost as to what to do. I don't want to regret any purchase. As for games... I wouldn't mind playing some of the next gen titles, eg; Crysis or Bio Shock but as a side note, I've been using my Xbox 360 mostly for gaming.

So... can anyone help me out in my decision? Am I going to get alot of benefits from switching? or should I just research programs that "might" work for video editing on the PC. I really want the iMac, it's just a hard desision as (1)for the same price you can get an HP Quad core, and (2) I"ve been a PC user for the longest time, it's almost like an addiction and it's hard to pull away. I feel like I'm in a safe zone with the PC and moving to the Mac is unfamiliar territory. On the Mac side, I've now seen how easy it is and fun to add/create DVD menu's and slidshows and stuff on the Mac. Plus, they look 10times better than any PC case. Help give me reasons to switch, (and add comfort... I feel so safe in the PC zone.)

Thanks in advance for any input, sorry for the long post. Cheers.
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Ge64

 
Member Since: Jul 06, 2007
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Well, the iMac also includes a widescreen, plus its in a much smaller and prettier package. What many people here say and whats basicly true is that Macs are not for gaming. However, you already have an appropriate console for that purpose and gaming isnt your number one priority so that makes it less of a problem.

I think in your case the most important reason to chose an iMac is the OS. Web surfing, video editing and pictures are some of the main things Mac OS X was made to do easily, and if those are your primary activities then Mac OS is for you.

On a side note, if youre samewhat patient and you dont want to regret your purchase (which you wont, by the way), I heard there was an upcoming upgrade for the iMac line where you get better hardware and the prices remain the same, and pretty soon afterwards all Macs will ship with Mac OS X Leopard when it is released.

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chrisgrieve

 
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hi dave 343, welcome to the forums,

i dont know too much about movie editing, but i have heard and seen from my friend that it is really simple and awesome, also the iMac is basically made to do all your primary requirements and more very easily.
The one big feature that sets Macs apart from windoze pcs is OS X. it is just truly amazing. so simple and effective. and as you will probably read throughout these forums from other switchers it is easy to get grips with.(even for die hard pc users)

in the end it is your decision, also as said above, there are rumours going about that a new iMac is to be released (when we dont know but hopefully very soon)

hope you make the right choice.
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cgchambers

 
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Hi Dave 343,

I also have been a longtime PC user/tech etc. I have my MCSE, A+, etc. Using a Mac at home was the best choice I ever made. It just plain works, all the time. I have had zero problems since the switch, and have switched serveral users PC's I service regularly. (family, I am sure you understand)

Now I still have a PC, a beast of one. A dual quad core HP workstation with 8 gigs of RAM and a 640mb video card. It is currently unplugged sitting in the corner. Thats how happy I am with my decision to go with a Mac.

Good luck with your decision.
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smurfy

 
Member Since: Apr 19, 2007
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If a game comes out you realllly want, just grab a copy of Windows and install it on your Mac with Apple's handy Boot Camp program.
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Village Idiot

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
If a game comes out you realllly want, just grab a copy of Windows and install it on your Mac with Apple's handy Boot Camp program.
Sorry, but the x1600 isn't exactly a good gaming card.

The 8600 gt stomps it in every way shape and form.

Also there's a huge difference between anything 8XXX from nvidia and anything else that is currently in a mac. DX 10 compatibility. Sure, there's not a huge market for utilization right now, but there are games in development, and once they start dropping, you're going to have to have a DX10 compatible card to play anything new...

So if you're planning on gaming and don't want to have to hope that the mac you're wanting to buy is upgradable to support what ever games you want to play, you're either going to have to buy it now or less than a year from now.

No if you don't plan on playing many new games and aren't really worried about, then buy the iMac. If you do how ever, want a mac and still want the capability to game, wait until they start dropping DX10 cards in them...

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opus_az

 
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I'm an IT manager in a company with almost all PCs. I recently bought a Mac for my home because of the added security and because, since OS X is only available on Macs, it's the only way for me to learn OS X. I have Parallels installed with virtual WinXP and Ubuntu machines - a Mac was the only way to have all three OSs on the same machine.

I don't think Windows is more prone to crashes than OS X, but being and IT tech my Windows was always configured properly from the start.

I enjoy working with OS X (24" iMac) especially being able to unbox it, turn it on and immediately start working on it. No anti-malware to install, no service packs, critical updates, etc. I also like the ease of program installs/uninstalls that OS X provides. Copy into and out of the application directory and you're done, most of the time.

With its Unix underpinnings, I expect to be able to expand into some interesting stuff with OS X, with scripts etc. OS X is geared to the casual home user in my opinion, but that doesn't mean power users don't have anything to do.

OS X has little to offer when it comes to databases. There's still not an Oracle client for the Intel Macs, and I think there's only a third party client for MS SQL Server and MySQL (I might be wrong about MySQL)

In the end though, an OS is just an OS. If it provides you the programs you want, and a little enjoyment without undue trouble, then go with it, be it Windows or OS X.

Anyway, FWIW...
O.

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Alexis

 
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Quote:
So, fast forward, here's my dilemma... I was going to purchase an iMac Core 2 Duo, 2Ghz, 1GB ram, ATI x1600 128MB with DVDRW in the next few weeks. My buddie's however are he|L bent on stoping me telling me for that the price of the iMac $1480-CND with Tax I could get a HP Core 2 Duo Quad with 2GB ram, 400gb hd and a 256MB Geforce 8600GT, and that includes a 19" widescreen. Now since I've been a PC user for the last 10+ years there's almost an internal war going on in my head lol, I'm lost as to what to do. I don't want to regret any purchase. As for games... I wouldn't mind playing some of the next gen titles, eg; Crysis or Bio Shock but as a side note, I've been using my Xbox 360 mostly for gaming.
Yes, a PC may be a bit cheaper, but you're actually paying for a machine that can run Windows AND an operating system which is immune to viruses and spyware and a lot more pleasant to use. You're paying a bit of a premium for style and quality, that's true, but Macs are nice machines that make you feel like you've bought something special, not just an anonymous box.

Sources are now pointing at August 7th being the release date for the next gen iMac. It will probably have similar specs to the MacBook Pro (GeForce 8800 etc), so I'd wait until then.

As for upgradeablity - Macs hold their value so just stick it on ebay in 3 years time and you won't have to pay much extra for the next Mac.
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Aaagogo

 
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trade ur friend's mac for your pc for a week and you will know the difference when you switch back from OSX to windows platform.

1st thing 1st, is how to convince your friend to give up his mac os for windows platform for even 1 day.

everyone can tell you how great the mac os runs, but only yourself will be able to feel on your fingertips how great the mac os truly is.

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dave343

 
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If I got the macbook, 2ghz, 1gb ram, dvd-rw laptop, would it provide the same performace as the iMac I'm looking at? Just in terms of video editing, pictures, web surfing?
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Levi

 
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If you're wanting to start taking video editing seriously, then I strongly suggest a Mac.

You've already said you're impressed with how simple yet beautiful iDVD is, and that's just the beginning. That's just one feature of one application in the entry level software. Wait 'till you start playing with everything else a Mac has to offer.

When your main priority is Photoshop work, spending more money on a Mac than a higher specced PC isn't necessarily the best move; but with Video Editing, the Mac platform offers the best working environment. It doesn't matter how fast a PC will run Windows Movie Maker, or how much cheaper it is... you're still going to end up with awful results (and probably have a pretty painful time doing it).

You won't regret getting a Mac.
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vxd

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
Yes, a PC may be a bit cheaper, but you're actually paying for a machine that can run Windows AND an operating system which is immune to viruses and spyware and a lot more pleasant to use.
It's not Immune. There is just no Viruses for OSX yet.

Yeah I say wait. Imac will be updating soon.
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xstep

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave343 View Post
If I got the macbook, 2ghz, 1gb ram, dvd-rw laptop, would it provide the same performace as the iMac I'm looking at? Just in terms of video editing, pictures, web surfing?
The Macbook does not have a dedicated graphics chip, so no, it will not have the same performance as the iMac you are looking at, when it come to graphics. Unfortunately you would have to upgrade to the Macbook Pro which is a lot more expensive.

Yes, you can do video editing on the Macbook, but even iMovie may take advantage of the better graphics engine of the other machines. When available, many graphics intensive items take advantage of the dedicated graphics chip because that is part of the application frameworks built into the OS. So when applications use those frameworks, they gain that benefit for free.

As for gaming, only consider a model with a dedicate graphics chip.

As others have noted, there are rumors starting to heat up that a new iMac is coming out soon. I would expect at least a graphics engine upgrade. Who knows, maybe it will come with that quad core you mention, since Apple has no machine like that in that price range. Although I doubt that.

There are many video editing programs available for Windows so I don't doubt you could find something decent. There are also several DVD makers available too. The thing is, Apple is very good at making difficult things easy or easier. You could research these options if you end up waiting to see what the new iMac has to offer.

I see the online Apple Canada store offers refurbs. That is a good way to keep the price down, or get more for your money. You do have to be knowledgeable about the models though.

If you're really hot for a Mac, then give it a try.
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xstep

 
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Originally Posted by opus_az View Post
OS X has little to offer when it comes to databases. There's still not an Oracle client for the Intel Macs, and I think there's only a third party client for MS SQL Server and MySQL (I might be wrong about MySQL)
Here are some possibilities.

Openbase has been around since the NextStep days and is cross platform.
Frontbase has also been around since the NextStep days and is cross platform.
Filemaker the old Mac database that also runs on Windows.

This link has some info on open source possibilities and has links regarding front ends.
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Alexis

 
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It's not Immune. There is just no Viruses for OSX yet.
6 years + thousands of virus writers in the world and no viruses = as good as bloody immune.

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By the end of 2005, there were 114,000 known viruses for PCs. In March 2006 alone, 850 new threats were detected against Windows. Zero for Mac. While no computer connected to the Internet will ever be 100% immune from attack, Mac OS X has helped the Mac keep its clean bill of health with a superior UNIX foundation and security features that go above and beyond the norm for PCs. When you get a Mac, only your enthusiasm is contagious
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