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  1. #1
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

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    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!
    Good Afternoon Every one, well thats what it is on this side of the world. Dubai.

    I'm looking to switch from a PC to a Mac this month, and need the advice of all 'been there done that's" around.

    I'm a graphic designer, and most my needs were fullfilled by my humbly configured pc, but sooner than later, I am setting up my own online T-shirt store - (similar to threadless) which basically calls for more specs and a hefty system.

    Most of my work will involve using Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator extensively, mainly readying designs for submission to print. Tons of designs mind you.

    I'm a little stuck up with what specs of a Mac would require. Considering I have little or no knowledge of macs. As of what I know, A lower confirgured mac can do the job of a highly spec'd PC.

    Now comes where I need your help.

    I'm definately looking to opt for a 27" imac, but what specs, which option, I need your help.


    options.jpg
    Which one?

    Do I need SSD? will having an i7 make that much of a difference as compared to i5? how much do i expand my memory, I'm thinking 16gb perhaps? What processor?


    All your feedback is appreciated.

    thanks in advance,
    Hiten Nainaney

  2. #2
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!
    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 24, 2011
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    Maryland
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    3,733
    Specs:
    March 2011 15" MBP 2.3GHz i7 Quad Core 8GB Ram | Mid 2011 27" iMac 3.4 GHz i7 16 GB RAM 2 TB HDD
    I believe that either of the iMacs you're looking at will do the job, but faster is almost always better. Here are some benchmarks that will help with your comparison shopping.

    'mid 2011' iMac - Core i7 vs Core i5 - Pro Apps

    Those will give you a feel for the difference between the machines.

    I don't think you "need" an SSD (I would opt for the 7200rpm HDD though) - and you should upgrade your RAM yourself, both of which will save you some money that you could put towards the i7 machine if you wanted. Take a look at those benchmarks.

  3. #3
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
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    2011 27in iMac i5 3.1GHz, AMD 6970, iPhone 4, Wi-Fi iPad 2
    Welcome to the forums Hiten!

    I personally opted for the 1999 model. I got it with base specs. I recently did a DIY upgrade so now I have 12gb of RAM. For RAM definitely leave it with stock and upgrade it yourself. It's really easy and far cheaper than buying it from apple. Only thing you don't get is warranty coverage of those after market RAM sticks (Everything else is still covered)

    For the high end model the i7 is probably not going to give you a huge performance boost over the i5. All you will be getting is .3 GHz of clock speed and hyperthreading. Hyperthreading basically means you have another 4 virtual cores so you theoretically process 8 threads simultaneously. However, your application would need to be programmed to take advantage of it.

    The gpu in the 1999 model is definitely going to help you out down the line and will hold up for a while.

    As for a hard drive- the ssd will definitely make everything run faster. However for your purposes I would say you would definitely need an ssd and hdd combo set up. Whether you opt to have the hdd internally of externally is up to you. I say if you can afford the 600-750 dollar upgrade for the ssd/hdd combo then go for it as it will be extremely fast and last you a long time.

    At the end of the day though- I honestly think the ssd may be slightly overkill for what you need, but then again if I could have afforded it at the time I defintiely would have purchased one myself. Get the best for what you can afford.

  4. #4
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
    Aug 02, 2011
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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    Iphone 4 Black, Ipad 2 White and coming soon Imac 2011, 3.1Ghz i5 :D
    Thanks for your quick replies boys.

    Thanks for the benchmarks Brian, they did give me a better understanding of the performance levels.

    Stmfa, thanks for your input buddy, I wish I could've gone for the combo package as well, but I do need to consider the costs of Adobe suite, which by itself is for $1300/-

    Like you guys mentioned, a DIY ram upgrade would be the best option.
    Could you guys point me towards what RAM I would require and an approximate cost.

    Thanks guys, really appreciate it.

    It's hard to find the right advice around here, without any official apple stores around. Only distributors and agent, who are just trying to make a buck, like everyone else.

    Thanks once again.
    Hiten Nainaney

  5. #5
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!
    EvenStranger's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2010
    Location
    Virginia
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    844
    Specs:
    Currently 13" Late 2010 MBA, 4GB/128GB; Early 2011 13" MBP, dual core i7 2.7ghz, 4gb ram, 500gb hd
    I always try to recommend a long term view when purchasing a new computer for business. The difference in the two systems above is $300. If you use the computer for three years, that's $100 per year, $2 per week. That's for a faster video card with more VRAM and a 15% bump in processor speed. Could those improvements in hardware help you justify an increase in cost of $2 per week? In addition, might the added performance provide an additional six months to a year of service before purchasing a replacement? That brings total costs even lower.

  6. #6
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
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    Specs:
    2011 27in iMac i5 3.1GHz, AMD 6970, iPhone 4, Wi-Fi iPad 2
    Well it can't hurt to dream right?

    Anyway,

    You can go with RAM from
    RAM Memory Upgrade: Dell, Mac, Apple, HP, Compaq. USB drives, SSD at Crucial.com

    It's what I recently purchased, and I don't think you'll need anything over 12gb of RAM for what you're doing anyway. It ran me about 70 dollars shipped for 8gb of RAM. Installation is very easy as well.

    You'll also want to invest in a minimum 1TB external hard drive for backups in case you hadn't considered that.

  7. #7
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
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    Iphone 4 Black, Ipad 2 White and coming soon Imac 2011, 3.1Ghz i5 :D
    Quote Originally Posted by StMFA View Post
    Well it can't hurt to dream right?

    Anyway,

    You can go with RAM from
    RAM Memory Upgrade: Dell, Mac, Apple, HP, Compaq. USB drives, SSD at Crucial.com

    It's what I recently purchased, and I don't think you'll need anything over 12gb of RAM for what you're doing anyway. It ran me about 70 dollars shipped for 8gb of RAM. Installation is very easy as well.

    You'll also want to invest in a minimum 1TB external hard drive for backups in case you hadn't considered that.

    Not one bit mate, all men of action are dreamers!
    70$ is not bad at all, quite cheap comparing what apple charges you for the same.

    Though, I agree on the 1tb external hard drive. I'm very much tempted and lured by the thunderbolt storage system. But then again, way out of my budget as of now. $999 ! That's insane!

  8. #8
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
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    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Posts
    8
    Specs:
    Iphone 4 Black, Ipad 2 White and coming soon Imac 2011, 3.1Ghz i5 :D
    Quote Originally Posted by EvenStranger View Post
    I always try to recommend a long term view when purchasing a new computer for business. The difference in the two systems above is $300. If you use the computer for three years, that's $100 per year, $2 per week. That's for a faster video card with more VRAM and a 15% bump in processor speed. Could those improvements in hardware help you justify an increase in cost of $2 per week? In addition, might the added performance provide an additional six months to a year of service before purchasing a replacement? That brings total costs even lower.

    Rational argument! Very rational I must say.

  9. #9
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!
    chas_m's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    I have to point out that between the two Core i5 computers the OP is considering, the only REAL difference between them is the video card, and the OP said nothing about doing any 3D design work, so the video card at that level is more or less moot.

    Personally I'd pick the cheaper of the two and beef up the RAM to 8GB or higher. That and a nice FW800 backup drive (and the Adobe software) and I'd say you're in business.

  10. #10
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    I have to point out that between the two Core i5 computers the OP is considering, the only REAL difference between them is the video card, and the OP said nothing about doing any 3D design work, so the video card at that level is more or less moot.

    Personally I'd pick the cheaper of the two and beef up the RAM to 8GB or higher. That and a nice FW800 backup drive (and the Adobe software) and I'd say you're in business.
    Now this is where I get confused, I sure agree with your suggestion. But then again, as Far as ive read, in the long run, it's best to have the i7.

    What are your thoughts on that?

    regarding the work that I do, Its mainly photo editing and vector graphics, which i assume consumes mainly the RAM? Do correct me if im wrong.

    Thanks,
    Hiten

  11. #11
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!
    chas_m's Avatar
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    Computers used for business TEND to have a shorter "life cycle" than personal-use computers -- mainly due to the need to stay up-to-date on new software and technologies. As a longtime print veteran, I'm telling you right now you're going to replace this brand-new Mac in five years, tops. For tax reasons if for nothing else.

    Given that perspective, I don't think it really matters that much picking the i5 or i7. Both will seem "slow" five years from now, the i7 somewhat less so.

    To put it another way, I think the day Adobe comes out with a software package that CANNOT run on anything slower than an i7 is more than five years off.

    If you can afford it, "buy the best you can afford" has always been sound advice and remains so. If it's a choice between an i7 and stock RAM and an i5 and extra RAM, then I'll stick to my original recommendation.

  12. #12
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
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    Iphone 4 Black, Ipad 2 White and coming soon Imac 2011, 3.1Ghz i5 :D
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Computers used for business TEND to have a shorter "life cycle" than personal-use computers -- mainly due to the need to stay up-to-date on new software and technologies. As a longtime print veteran, I'm telling you right now you're going to replace this brand-new Mac in five years, tops. For tax reasons if for nothing else.

    Given that perspective, I don't think it really matters that much picking the i5 or i7. Both will seem "slow" five years from now, the i7 somewhat less so.

    To put it another way, I think the day Adobe comes out with a software package that CANNOT run on anything slower than an i7 is more than five years off.

    If you can afford it, "buy the best you can afford" has always been sound advice and remains so. If it's a choice between an i7 and stock RAM and an i5 and extra RAM, then I'll stick to my original recommendation.
    Thanks for your guidance Chas M.

    But these are my following choices:
    - Top of the line i5 27" or
    - standard 3.4ghz i7 27"

    I'm currently using a 3.2 ghz core 2 due pc with 4gb of usable memory, and a 512mb graphic card (don't know which one specifically_ though its an Nvidia)

    I could definately afford the i7 with a bumped up ram to 8gb, after stretching my resources, but my question is "do I really need that much?" Yes offcourse, I will get best of both hyperthreading and turbo boost, but then again, will using only photoshop and illustrator demand such levels of performance? If not, I'd rather save some on the top level i5 and get my self some other goodies to help with my work, a wacom tablet perhaps.

    What is it that you're using?

    Since you are a print professional, you'd be able to best judge.

    Also, regarding tax issues, no problem here, United Arab Emirates is a tax free country

    Do let me know.

    Your suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks Mate,
    Hiten

  13. #13
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

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    Bump!

  14. #14
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!
    chas_m's Avatar
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    I'm using older Adobe software on an older machine primarily, but I agree with your thinking.

    It seems to me that Adobe is generally very slow to catch up to hardware innovations, especially on the Mac side. In part this is deliberate (users like me), but in part I find them to be lazy.

    So, expecting that behaviour to continue, I believe it will be quite a number of years before they make versions of CS that will require something that goes beyond/doesn't work well with the Core iX family.

    Consequently, I believe that investing in CS5.5 and a Core i5 with money left over for RAM and goodies is equally attractive to going for a higher-end machine with less money left over for goodies. Given the finite work cycle of a business computer (3-5 years), the current Core i5 is probably more than good enough for anything you'll do with it in that time frame. Of course, you'll be very happy with either machine, so it really comes down to whether you need the "extras" along with the computer purchase or can the "extras" wait so you can invest in a somewhat more future-proofed computer?

    Either way, the computer WILL end up waiting on you more than you wait on it!

  15. #15
    New Switcher - PC to Mac for Business. Help!

    Member Since
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    Thumbs up
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    I'm using older Adobe software on an older machine primarily, but I agree with your thinking.

    It seems to me that Adobe is generally very slow to catch up to hardware innovations, especially on the Mac side. In part this is deliberate (users like me), but in part I find them to be lazy.

    So, expecting that behaviour to continue, I believe it will be quite a number of years before they make versions of CS that will require something that goes beyond/doesn't work well with the Core iX family.

    Consequently, I believe that investing in CS5.5 and a Core i5 with money left over for RAM and goodies is equally attractive to going for a higher-end machine with less money left over for goodies. Given the finite work cycle of a business computer (3-5 years), the current Core i5 is probably more than good enough for anything you'll do with it in that time frame. Of course, you'll be very happy with either machine, so it really comes down to whether you need the "extras" along with the computer purchase or can the "extras" wait so you can invest in a somewhat more future-proofed computer?

    Either way, the computer WILL end up waiting on you more than you wait on it!
    Brilliant Chas! That's all I needed to hear

    You've been of great help sir.

    Much Appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Hiten Nainaney

    don't know how this works here, but mods can close this thread if need be.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

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