New to Apple - what to get?

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Hi All!

First of all: apologies for my newbie questions.

My situation is that I want to swap to Apple from my current PC system, and I'm wondering what to get. I have never owned an Apple product before.

The main priority is speed, high data safety and productivity, not in the sense that I'm doing very complex work, but I want a system where everything happens in a nanosecond (well, almost...)

No matter what PC I've owned in the past it has always been somehow slow, long start up times for programs, system hangs for a small eternity when opening a large PDF or a large image file, etc. I've probably wasted at least a year of my life on that account. I'm totally fed up and just want something that works now.

The programs I'm using at the moment are:
MS Word
MS Excel
MS PowerPoint

Adobe Lightroom (a lot)
Adobe Illustrator (a bit)
Adobe Photoshop (a tiny bit)
Adobe Acrobat X (a bit)

+ various small apps like Evernote

Being able to do fast photo editing and sorting of large image files (raw) is very important.

I would like to start doing some simple video editing (mostly family videos) and I would like to be able to make simple hand-draws sketches also.

I would prefer not to have to use any MS products in the future, but sometimes I need to work with MS Word forms and wonder if iWorks will be compatible?


Cloud apps are more or less out of the question since my Internet is somehow slow and unreliable (live in 3rd World Country)

I'm thinking of getting the new 27" Retina iMac + a 13" MacBook Pro + various peripherals (Time Capsule, etc)

Regarding iMac: Ideally I would like to have an extra display, but the current Thunderbolt seems almost a bit obsolete, and a 5K stand-alone monitor seems to be nowhere in sight (and when it arrives even the new iMac will not be able to "pull" it, right?) Any thoughts on that issue? Should I just bite the bullet and get a Thunderbolt?

I would like to have a set-up where documents are backed up and automatically synchronized between laptop and desktop. All documents should be protected in an encrypted folder.

I would like to have a system where I can restore everything onto a new laptop (or desktop for that matter) with the click of a button if the old one breaks or gets stolen.

What should I buy and how should i set it up? I know this is a quite complex question but would appreciate if someone could give me some specific recommendations.

Budget: I'm willing to spend what it takes without getting into a complete overkill-solution.


Best regards,

El Jefe
 
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MacInWin

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You didn't mention if portability is important. If it is, a good MBP and an external monitor (the Thunderbolt is great, I have one) is a nice combination. Dollar for dollar, you get more machine as a desktop than as a laptop, so if portability is NOT important, the iMac will get you more machine for the price. If speed is key, get max memory and SSD instead of spinning drives for the fastest machine. You will pay for that, but if speed is critical, it can be worth it. You said:
I would like to have a set-up where documents are backed up and automatically synchronized between laptop and desktop. All documents should be protected in an encrypted folder.
If the laptop and desktop are both Apple and both on Yosemite, you can use iCloud as the sync mechanism. I don't know about encryption. Backup on Yosemite is called Time Machine, is free and works well. You cannot boot from a backup drive with TM, but you can do a full restore from it to an equivalent machine.

That's my 2¢.
 

pigoo3

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My situation is that I want to swap to Apple from my current PC system, and I'm wondering what to get. I have never owned an Apple product before.

You mentioned that you have never owned an Apple product before. Do you have any experience using an Apple computer…or using the Mac OS?

If so…great! If not…how do you know that a few weeks after you've spent all this money you won't be disappointed or disillusioned by the whole experience.

Just something to think about if you have no experience with Apple hardware and OS X.

- Nick
 
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Thanks Jake,

Portability is important so I will probably need both a iMac and a MBP. Also I am paranoid about breaking/losing one machine and being unable to work properly for some time (live in a place where I cannot get a replacement quickly)

Due to relatively low internet speed I will need a local backup via Time Capsule or similar - I assume that two computers can share the same device, right?

I would like certain folders to synchronize automatically between desktop and laptop, so that I can continue working on various projects when travelling, etc. without having to do any preparation.

I will max out both computers with RAM, SSD, etc to get ideal performance.

As far as I can see the combination of a MBP and the new 5K iMac is a bit less flexible than combinations of of a MBP and a classic iMac since the MBP will not be able to use the 5K screen.

One option could be MBP + iMac + Thunderbolt display. Does anybody have an idea how it would look having a 5K iMac with a Thunderbolt as second monitor?

As far as I can see a Mac PRO is probably a worse solution for me since I will have a much worse display than the 5K and probably not have any use for the extra CPU performance.

Any thoughts?

El Jefe
 
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You mentioned that you have never owned an Apple product before. Do you have any experience using an Apple computer…or using the Mac OS?

If so…great! If not…how do you know that a few weeks after you've spent all this money you won't be disappointed or disillusioned by the whole experience.

Just something to think about if you have no experience with Apple hardware and OS X.

- Nick

Valid point. But judging from what what I've heard hardly anybody regrets switching to Apple, or am I missing something? ;)

I've used other people's Macs and like what I've seen. I am relatively computer literate and don't anticipate any huge switching problems, and I am prepared for a bit of irritation initially :)

One thing that would make me regret switching would be if it takes 20 seconds+ to start Adobe Illustrator or if i can not switch between 40 Mb images without noticeable delay, etc.

But that would never be the case with a maxed out iMac, right?

EJ
 
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MacInWin

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You don't need Time Capsule, Time Machine can use any external drive. Yes, you can share two machines to the same backup drive, although it's more risky (If the backup drive fails, you lose backups to BOTH machines.)

Not sure what you were thinking in this:

As far as I can see the combination of a MBP and the new 5K iMac is a bit less flexible than combinations of of a MBP and a classic iMac since the MBP will not be able to use the 5K screen.
The two screens are independent, and I don't think the new iMac can be used as an external monitor for the MBP. I know the old iMac's cannot do that, and I'd be very surprised if the new ones could.

Again, with a Thunderbolt display, the resolution is different from both the MBP and the iMac. You can force them to the same resolution, but that's kind of defeating the purpose of having a 5K iMac. I don't know anything about the new iMac screens, but the current Thunderbolt is pretty impressive and the Retina screens are great on the MBPs, too.

I'll also second Nick's comment. That's a lot of money to plunk down with no experience with Apple products and OS X. You might want to at least try to play with something in the store before making the commitment.
 

pigoo3

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Valid point. But judging from what what I've heard hardly anybody regrets switching to Apple, or am I missing something? ;)

We have had folks post here on Mac-Forums before…stating that they were disappointed with Apple hardware & the Mac OS. Usually because the initial cost of Apple hardware is more than they are used to…and they don't like the Mac OS…because it is so different from the Windows OS.

Thus if this person (or person's like them) had enough experience with Apple hardware & the Mac OS ahead of time…there certainly should have been no surprises.:)

I've used other people's Macs and like what I've seen. I am relatively computer literate and don't anticipate any huge switching problems, and I am prepared for a bit of irritation initially :)

Ok…good deal. Sounds like you are fully prepared for the switch!:)

- Nick
 

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