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Author Topic: PC or MAC  (Read 13166 times)

sct69

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PC or MAC
« on: December 21, 2011, 04:33:59 AM »
Long time viewer, short time member, first time topic poster.
I'm about to start a new job that will require me to travel & fly a fair bit. I am wanting to purchase a laptop to process my images on the run. I was wondering what would be your recommendations?
To date I really only post to the web. However I would like a screen that gives as true a colour representation as is possible in a laptop. (Can they be calibrated?). I would like to keep the cost under 1.5K, run PS and or LR. Hard drive space is not a major issue as removable drives are cheap enough these days. Do any of you process solely on a laptop or do you keep your image processing completely too your desktop?

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PC or MAC
« on: December 21, 2011, 04:33:59 AM »

te4o

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 06:00:14 AM »
On a MacBook Pro "15" quad with 16Gb RAM from OWC you almost have the processing capacity of a big Mac Pro from 2009/10... The display doesn't have hardware calibration but no laptop or iMac has it. Colour accuracy is not really given but enough for web. Think of a fast interface for an external HD eg eSATA or USB 3 if PC or Thunderbolt storage.
Aperture and PS +\- NIK do a very good job together on my Mac-s. I do all PP on my Mac Pro because of the 24 GB RAM I crammed I to it and because my MBP 17" is now 6 yrs old. Would never buy a 17" again.
I am happy that the PC phase is behind me.
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Crapking

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2011, 06:38:13 AM »
Possibly a Mac Fan boy but I switched to a MacBook Pro, 2.66 iCore 7 with 4 GB RAM and never looked back.  I use PS CS5 daily with Aperture on this device with barely a noticeable lag c/w with my MacPro - for which I use the 27 LED screen for final touch ups prior to enlarging. I also use iPhoto as my family JPG backup viewer for the devoted wife - she makes Christmas cards and the occasional book, but hush, hush don't tell anyone ;)
C/w with my 'old' office PC, circa 2009 well there is no comparison - the Mac clearly starts up faster, processes faster and never crashes, so put one vote down for the MacBook Pro.
With the newer generation now offering the SSDs for your iOS and startup drive- it is a no brainer.
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gmrza

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2011, 07:14:23 AM »
For me, some of the biggest benefits are around colour management being more seamless - even on Windows 7 some weird stuff seems to happen when you have calibrated your monitor using a Spyder.  I find that from time to time Windows is running using the wrong colour profile - especially after unlocking my screen it can take several seconds until the display is using the correct profile - highly irritating.
The other big benefit to me, of a Mac, is having UNIX under the hood.  That means that open source tools are easier to use than on Windows, and you have ready access to scripting languages like Perl.  I am also a big fan of rsync.
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JR

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2011, 07:23:01 AM »
Since you will be travelling, I would suggest looking into the Mac Book Air.  I just bought the fastest model for my wife and it beats my Mac Pro which is just two years old!  Which ever laptop you end-up getting, make sure you get a solid state drive, it makes all the difference.

At home I am still flip flopping between Mac and PC since I have both because it is cheaper for me to buy performance on my PC since I build them myself.  For a laptop though, I would not even think about it:  Mac all the way.
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wockawocka

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2011, 07:39:16 AM »
Macbooks are awesome on the move.

Main workhorse is a PC though.
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Maui5150

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 07:56:51 AM »
All depends.  For screen size, I agree with one poster, if you are using it while traveling 17" can be too big, especially with planes these days.  If you are using it more in hotels, and the like, a larger screen can be nice. 

I tend to like PCs because they are more upgradable, even the laptops.  I generally have build my own PCs for the last 15 years and as often as I have heard MAC this and that, when thinks like Blu-Ray come out, I just slap them in, where on a Mac, not so much. 

I want a faster machine, I just swap processor.  I want a really faster machine, I swap motherboard and CPU.  I double or triple my processing power every couple of years for around $400. 

I think the Mac books and the like are a lot smaller and thinner, so if size is an issue, then it might be the way to go.  I think when it comes to newer technology, it is easier to add new cards, swap drives, etc, on a PC based machine.

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 07:56:51 AM »

briansquibb

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 08:22:14 AM »
All depends.  For screen size, I agree with one poster, if you are using it while traveling 17" can be too big, especially with planes these days.  If you are using it more in hotels, and the like, a larger screen can be nice. 

I tend to like PCs because they are more upgradable, even the laptops.  I generally have build my own PCs for the last 15 years and as often as I have heard MAC this and that, when thinks like Blu-Ray come out, I just slap them in, where on a Mac, not so much. 

I want a faster machine, I just swap processor.  I want a really faster machine, I swap motherboard and CPU.  I double or triple my processing power every couple of years for around $400. 

I think the Mac books and the like are a lot smaller and thinner, so if size is an issue, then it might be the way to go.  I think when it comes to newer technology, it is easier to add new cards, swap drives, etc, on a PC based machine.

+1

Seems too many things break when a new OS/feature is loaded on a MAC.

Jettatore

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 08:30:46 AM »
This has got to be one of the touchiest subjects in all of computing.  But I'll try to explain the real world differences and some points with as little bias as possible.  First, it is simply down to user preference and budget.  Macs cost more for the exact same thing, plain and simple.  That is not some sort of slander to Apple or Apple users, that is just simply a fact.  There is also nothing in the end result of your work that you can achieve on a Mac that couldn't be done on a PC for 1/2 to 1/3rd of the price.  And with only a few exceptions the software you use to edit your work are identical on both systems.  So it's almost entirely an operating system environment/preference that you are paying the difference for.  If you cannot stand Windows/just have to have an OSX OS, well then there are almost no two ways about it (at least not legally) you have to get a Mac.

Macintosh computers run on the exact same hardware as Windows and Linux PC's.  The difference is that the OSX operating system will only legally install on machines that are built by Apple.  Windows and Linux operating systems can be installed on any compatible hardware, including machines built by Apple.  This style of software (e.g. OSX) is known as proprietary software.  Proprietary allows Apple to release only a small handful of system configurations to the market over the years and then only ever have to worry about keeping compatibility between system configurations working smoothly across these small handful of few variations.  This gives the perception that Macs just run great, which is often but not always true.

Windows on the other hand (as well as Linux) support a near infinite combination of system components, developed and configured by a myriad of developers and re-sellers.  If you know what you are doing yourself, or choose your manufacturer/seller carefully, then a Windows machine can be just as stable and smooth as any Mac, and if you shop properly, it can cost less than 2/3rds to 1/2 that of a Mac desktop or laptop.  That's how extreme the price markup is, for the exact same (or often even more powerful) hardware.

This is not to say that there aren't plenty of PC re-sellers that charge very high prices, equal to or worse than Apple for the exact same underlying components.  There are plenty who do.  The difference is that on the Apple side of things, there are no alternatives, only Apple.  On the PC side of things, there are an infinite number of alternatives.

So if cost is an issue and or having OSX as your OS is no virtual requirement for you, then the way to go is a well built PC from a reputable re-seller who's retail markup is not nearly as absurd as the rest, and there are plenty to chose from, otherwise, you have only one choice and it's a take it or leave it decision.

These guys sell desktops as well, but take a quick look at their laptop offerings, and compare them quickly to Mac Book Pro's, http://www.ibuypower.com/IbpPages/Notebook.aspx  The price differences are staggering, on average the systems are 1/2 the price for an equivalently or more powerful machine.  And these devices are fairly well regarded among PC users, I'd take one in a heartbeat.  They sell desktop machines as well at reasonable prices however for desktops, I always build my own piece by piece from various online retailers.  The difference between a desktop and a Mac Pro desktop is quite often 2/3rds the price and often you get more powerful equipment as well on top of a 2/3rds price discount when going for a PC.

skitron

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 09:48:39 AM »
I'd say first decide what apps you want to run, then shop screen technology. If you still have a choice of OS after nailing these two down, it really becomes a matter of preference. I'd definitely view the app and screen as the primary considerations and the rest as just a platform to support the 'core' of what you want to do. This is similar to the approach I take for my audio studio, decide the app and the I/O, then build around them.
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awinphoto

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2011, 10:13:43 AM »
I used to be a hardcore PC guy but literally I could not save ANYTHING on the hard drive... because once a freaking virus hits... i'd lose all my photos... I got a back up hard drive that mirrored my C drive... My computer got a virus, guess what, my backup got the virus as well... and this is with norton and about 2 other antivirus sotfwares going... I had a second back up i'd drag and drop into... that was good but the instability and uncertainty of the PC killed my photography storage... I bought a cheap Mac Mini and ran PS and did what I needed off that until I had enough dough to pay for an IMAC... I am proud to say I've been virus free for nearly 4 years since the switch and haven't had to pay a penny for antivirus software...  It's expensive but well worth the switch in the long run. 
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iTasneem

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 10:49:58 AM »
I have Macbook Pro and it is awsome. Macbook air 11 is your friend of travels.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 03:29:27 AM by iTasneem »

superotaku78

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 10:58:16 AM »
I've been a PC user for 20 years and have seen the ups and downs of all the various versions of Windows.  I build my own systems because I like the potential power available for the money and it's a lot of fun too.  I'm also a big fan of Windows 7.  Saying all this, I just bought an 11" Macbook Air and it is by far the best computer I've ever used.  The solid state drive combined with OSX Lion creates an incredibly smooth experience even though it's only running a low voltage i5.  I'm using Lightroom 3 processing 5D Mark II RAW files.  I used to hate OSX and what I saw as its limits, but the newer version seems to have answered all my complaints.  I'm getting a refurbed 27" Apple Cinema in a couple of days so will see how well the Macbook runs at 2560x1440. 

So, my advice to you is to get a Mac if you need a laptop.  Check the Apple Store for refurb deals.  Their refurbs are basically new machines with full warranty.

Oh...and another benefit of Mac is the resale value is far beyond anything I've seen in the PC world. 

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 10:58:16 AM »

Jettatore

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2011, 11:02:57 AM »
I used to be a hardcore PC guy but literally I could not save ANYTHING on the hard drive... because once a freaking virus hits... i'd lose all my photos... I got a back up hard drive that mirrored my C drive... My computer got a virus, guess what, my backup got the virus as well... and this is with norton and about 2 other antivirus sotfwares going... I had a second back up i'd drag and drop into... that was good but the instability and uncertainty of the PC killed my photography storage... I bought a cheap Mac Mini and ran PS and did what I needed off that until I had enough dough to pay for an IMAC... I am proud to say I've been virus free for nearly 4 years since the switch and haven't had to pay a penny for antivirus software...  It's expensive but well worth the switch in the long run.

Learn to back up your files, which you have to do anyways, HDD tech is the same in both Mac and PC and is not reliable.  Norton is garbage software, don't use it.  Keep your work machine clean.  And for the money you saved if you go with PC you can buy 2 backup machines, and keep 1 of them offline entirely, making it nearly virus proof.  Or yeah, pay for the Mac which has less virus made for it because it only has 5-10% the amount of customers as Windows and isn't as big of a target.  But don't think that it can't get a virus or have a hardware malfunction and then not have proper backups of your work files and not have proper backup for your equipment.  In other words, I don't have these problems and I don't have a Mac.

Jettatore

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 11:07:41 AM »
I'd say first decide what apps you want to run, then shop screen technology. If you still have a choice of OS after nailing these two down, it really becomes a matter of preference. I'd definitely view the app and screen as the primary considerations and the rest as just a platform to support the 'core' of what you want to do. This is similar to the approach I take for my audio studio, decide the app and the I/O, then build around them.

What does screen technology have to do with anything?  Apple displays work on PC's and aren't even that good, I don't recommend buying one even for Mac users.  Lenovo (fairly pricey) makes laptops with better screens than Mac Book Pro's which are nothing special at this point, even the cheaper lappos I linked to have better resolutions than Apple Mac Book displays.  I half agree on the software side, but unless it's some sort of personal requirement/previous engrained preference then this is a no brainier.  The only people this is a serious question for are the technically illiterate (in which case yes, get yourself a Mac and just pay the fees but you will be worse off in the long run both $ wise and also your technical ability wise since you won't learn anything) and for people making a switch from Mac to PC which could be a challenge.

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Re: PC or MAC
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 11:07:41 AM »