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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?" :)

Want to get a Mac...help me decide.


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adiliegro
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Hi guys...

First post here. Im a photographer (digital) and am currently using a PC for my editing. I do a LOT of work in PSCS and C1 as well as Dreamweaver and Flash and my PC just isnt cutting it. It crashes a lot and Im losing work because of it. I used the Mac in college (graphic arts major) and that puppy never crashed and never bogged down. I guess Im just tired of the crap from the PC.

What is the least Mac I would need to get to do wedding/portrait editing, business, internet, etc? Can someone give me some advice on which one I should look to get? What paripheals, etc? Keep in mind, I have always been a PC guy. I cant afford the dual G5, so please tell me what I can do on a budget.
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MacMan3.0
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Welcome to the Mac Community!!!,

well seeing as that my parents baught my computer, i would say that the people here can help you with pricings a litle better than i, but a nice ol trip to ur local mac distributer(if worse comes t worse, londondrugs) would do u good. they could give u a brief idea of what u need and definatly what they have to offer. my experiences is that most (not all) indepentent mac stores do a pretty good job in being fair and reasonable about prices and sales.

another good idea is to check the apple online store to see whats availiable that has to do with your occupation. and of course you have us(mac fourm community). if u run into one of those nasty salesmen and u think they may be over charging, general mac question, or just want to talk, just post and i'm sure u'll be able to get lots of responsises. now i just totally assumed that you have done none of this, then again i have been known to be wrong on serveral occations. But anyway, Welcome again to the macintosh community and family and i hope u enjoy ur user friendly, (relitivly) crash free, stay
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witeshark

 
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As long as you beef up the RAM a bit, the G4 Macs can easily handle photo work
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MoltenLava
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What kind of PC do you have right now? Setting a reasonable expectation is very important. If you post the current PC configuration, people can recommend a Mac config that's comparable or better in terms of performance.

I have a dual 1GHz G4 PowerMac and 2.4GHz HT P3 PC. For some tasks PC is faster, and for some other task Mac is faster. Photo editing is rather CPU intensive, so my recommendation is get at least 1GHz dual G4. Try to stay with dual processor models as much as possible. Dual processor models do not exhibit "lags" as much, and will feel a lot quicker. If you search eBay, you'll find one for around $1000 or so.
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m1k
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Well, PowerBooks are powerful and they are portable, but since you're on a budget you can probably get a lot more performance out of, say, a dual 1.25GHz G4. Maybe an iMac even? I don't really know a lot about photo editing, but the G4 tower, the iMac G5 (which is surprisingly cheap nowadays) and the PowerBook G4 (if you can afford it, by all means get it).

So how do they stack up?

The G4 tower is quite expandable, it's got quite a lot of power (G4's are pretty damn awesome, they're pretty close to the low-end G5's). If you're getting the G4 tower, I suggest getting a 1.25GHz dual G4 and beefing up the RAM to at least 512MB. The G4's aren't bad at all, and if you beef up the RAM they're pretty damn good. Also keep in mind that the G4 tower is more expandable than the rest of the suggestions.

The iMac G5 is also quite good. It's damn cheap considering it has a G5 processor and comes with a friggin' LCD display, for like $1300. A good suggestion would be the iMac G5 with at least 768MB RAM. You need more RAM than the G4 tower because a dual G4 is more powerful than a single G5 by far. The iMac is quite a good option, since you don't have to buy a monitor and it's pretty good in terms of performance.

The PowerBooks are awesome, if you're willing to pay. My 1.33GHz PowerBook G4 12" with 512MB RAM can handle pretty much anything, but then again I don't really do much image editing. But when I do, maaaan, my PowerBook screams. A beefed-up PowerBook doesn't have as much power as either the G4 tower or the G5 iMac, though, but it's still pretty darn fast, and portability is also quite a bonus. You'd be surprised how nice it is to have a portable system.


So, what are your choices? The dual G4 is the fastest, and most expandable, of the three. And you can get it for a discount since it's been discontinued. But it's the second most expensive. The iMac G5 is still pretty fast, but it's really cheap and comes with a built-in LCD display, which always rocks . The PowerBook is probably the least fast, and most expensive (), but it's damn portable, which is surprisingly, well, cool.

It basically comes down to what you're willing to pay for, and what kind of performance you want. If you want top performance at a reasonable price, go for the PowerMac G4. If you want good performance at a rock-bottom price, go for the iMac G5. If you want OK performance at a premium but with the added benefit of portability, which is huge, get the PowerBook G4 (12" or 15"). Just be sure to get at least 512MB of RAM for whatever system you're getting.

Good luck!
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adiliegro
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Thanks guys...Right now Im running a 1.2 ghz Celron processor with 512 megs of ram. I do have two Maxtor ext hd hooked to it. 17" monitor.
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m1k
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Whoa... A 1.2GHz Celeron is pretty bad...

In comparison, pretty much any Mac will seem 3x as fast as your PC. Do you find your PC adequate for what you have to do?
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ryanmt

 
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Adiligro-

You need to run at least a intel 4 processor with 1gig! If you have the money get a powerbook!
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