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Is Mac the ultimate computer for Graphic Design?

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April 13, 2010 10:29:11 PM

I couldn't find where else to ask the question and this was the only place that had mac on it.
In my experience since high school, we always used macs for any web design, graphic arts, video, photo, and etc.
I have had several suggestions(several sources) that I should just build my own computer esp. for all the above.

I just wondered if anyone thinks that building a workstation pc is worth it, instead of just getting a Mac? I might be able to swing a lower price with a pc but then I would just be losing out on quality.

Real quick I started college last semester and I am going to start classes that I am going to need something sufficent. I do graphics and all sorts
of design in my spare time, but I haven't been as serious about for over 5 years. Back when I had copys of the adobe software.
Anyways I am jumping back into more and more and a MAC or MAC Book just sounded like the route to go, so thanks for some feedback.
April 13, 2010 10:47:58 PM

You could always just dual boot; as far as performance is concerned your dollar would go a lot farther building your own pc.
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April 13, 2010 11:33:17 PM

The belief that mac are better for graphics and design stuff may have been accurate many years ago, but now I think it'd be more truthful to say that they're absolutely not. The mainstay of graphic application, photoshop, lags a long way behind on the mac compared to the capabilities of its PC version. Things like GPU acceleration (you'd need a mac pro and expensive vid card for that anyway on a mac) and 64bit still aren't available on the mac version of photoshop, and Steve Job's constant pathetic little digs at Adobe could very well reach a point where adobe drops or delays developing the mac version more than they already do.

The huge amount of software available for windows make it a far more flexible platform, but that also means that there are more badly written programs too. If you limit yourself to only a few applications (as you're forced to with mac) then its no contest, a PC is going to be far better so long as you avoid the abundance of 'crashy' and bad apps (like iTunes, god that thing is bad).

Also, it pays to remember that if you get a mac you'll immediately turn into one of those dribbling fawning macfans who won't shut up about their shiny toy computer and how everyone else should use one for no real reason, rather than just using whatever is more suitable for the job at hand.
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April 14, 2010 12:18:32 AM

Well I found some other forum threads and people where saying that a mac is an over price pc, that the all the hardware is exactly the same just different OS. And from what I read they advised to just build a pc.
I currently am building a computer, but its intension was to build a gaming machine. I haven't bought any parts cause I am waiting to what happens when amd comes out in 2 weeks.
If i were to go with a pc instead, is there any thing inperticular that I should get?? I figured that the ws cards were meant for this purpose but
I don't know if a couple of 5870's are good enough?
So can you tell me what kind of parts should I be looking for, cause i haven't really looked into at all.

My main focus on the bulid is Graphics, Web, Photo edit, Music(recording and playing), video edit, GAMING, and so forth. So I assume that either a Intel or 6 core AMD would be the right choice cause of mulit tasking, it is going to be needed.
Thanks I might need to change the thread to new system build, but I guess it doesn't matter.
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April 14, 2010 11:57:56 AM

The way things are going between Adobe and Apple right now you may just find that a PC will be the better choice soon for graphics work.
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April 14, 2010 1:26:10 PM

I read an article about that, cause adobe bought a local company for 1.8 billion in november so they have been writing a lot about that.
I I think that apple is dumb, why wouldn't you let publishers like for apps, use the new software, all the apple crap is dumb to me, thank
god I am a PC!!
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April 15, 2010 2:13:14 PM

Ijack said:
The way things are going between Adobe and Apple right now you may just find that a PC will be the better choice soon for graphics work.


I'd disagree with you there if you prefer to work in Corel applications (like me how exciting!). You're much better off using a Mac if you go Corel. Corel Windows software is more buggy than Windows ME on steroids.
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April 16, 2010 6:43:09 PM

Ijack said:
The way things are going between Adobe and Apple right now you may just find that a PC will be the better choice soon for graphics work.


This might be true if Adobe was a big company relative to Apple. Adobe has a market value of $17billion and Apple has a market value of almost $250billion. Adobe would be an easy hostile takeover target for Apple if worse came to worse.

Regarding the original question as to what is better suited for graphics...Windows or Mac?...I would tip my hand towards the Mac OS. The entire OS from the early days on has been designed with the graphic artist in mind. In the world of Mac, everything revolves around graphics. Windows machines have comparable graphics only if you buy comparable components...this includes a nice monitor...and you may want to calibrate your graphics using a Huey or Spyder. My Windows box is a nice graphics station, but I still go to the Mac for final clean-up and printing. With the Mac's you also get LED monitors.

For the person who above who wants to do recording as well as graphics, then I would not even hesitate with recommending a Mac. The Mac comes out of the box ready to record, and GarageBand is a sweet application to use for such. The newer Mac's also have dedicated 17w per channel audio amps that are fairly decent sounding for an integrated audio system. Again, I use both for recording and the Mac was ready to go out of the box, but I had to do some modifications to get the noise level down on my Win box.
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April 16, 2010 10:00:48 PM

Yeah I do believe you I have used macs a lot in the past. In highschool my teacher swore by them(5 years agoish) and when I wanted to get into video game making the ITT mainly used Macs. I had a chance for a little older one but never jumped on it, by now it would be so out of date.

The only reason I want to use the PC is cause I am building one right now and if I could just take the money I would spend on a Mac then I would have one hell of a machine.
The biggest problem I have with the Mac is that if I ended up with just it, I wouldn't have a gaming machine. I might be out dated on this but last time I checked they don't really make games for macs like they do for pc. This is a couple year old thought so I am not totally sure how it is now.
I considered a Mac Laptop Pro, cause I could save some cash, and this hella fine girl has one, and I asked to use it last night, and I would say I
was impressed, she did say it cost over 1500, but either way it was quite the machine. I should ask her out and have her get me one lol.

Anyways I am still in pre trial with this build so I have conjured up any schemes on what to get, only hypothetical choices and either its
920 X58 or Thuban 890FX, Same Price, Performance still un known on the X6 but logically 8 cores 4 real and 4 virtual, would be comparable with just 6 cores. If your doing exactly 6 projects then it would probably smoke it, but if its not multi threaded then if they come out with a 920 X6 multi threaded
then IDK what to get.
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April 17, 2010 2:09:03 AM

amdfangirl said:
I'd disagree with you there if you prefer to work in Corel applications (like me how exciting!). You're much better off using a Mac if you go Corel. Corel Windows software is more buggy than Windows ME on steroids.

You use Corel Draw/Paint Shop?!?!?!?
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April 17, 2010 2:24:09 AM

No I plan on getting the new CS5 Master Collection with my higher education discount so I can get it for 899 which is a steal of price considering the photoshop cost 1000 alone.
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April 17, 2010 6:03:51 AM

Shadow703793 said:
You use Corel Draw/Paint Shop?!?!?!?


Corel Painter 11 *shudder*

I remember 7 and X the best.

X would crash for no apparent reason and it would corrupt your drawings open at the time. I hogged RAM like there was no tomorrow and it was more unstable...
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April 17, 2010 3:02:45 PM

Refreshing to see a thread involving a inquiry about Mac not degrading to *Macs sux* or *PC's are L33t!* I admit i have not truly used a mac or even do much graphic work , but from what i read a PC would serve you best.If gaming was not a concern then a Mac would be a better option ,but ultimatly it is up to personal prefrence .On the Intel vs AMD side of things , Intel on a clock per clock basis is faster , but the question is will you notice a "correct me if i'm wrong here" 7% difference ,also AMD's mobo's imho are more feature rich.


I have to admit the X6 gots me all excited, 6 cores for under 400$ (hopefully) and with the newest board , drop in compatibility and USB 3 amongst others is a good deal.Anyways enough torturing you all with my bad grammar and english, jus my 2 cents and Cheers
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April 20, 2010 5:11:41 AM

I have been using a macbook pro for graphic design for the past three years and doing day-to-day photoshop, illustrator and flash work (anything from advertising to web design/development) it is still running strong with its C2D 2.2 ghz with 8600m gt and 4gb of ram. I also play games occasionally and it runs games like Battlefield Bad Company 2, Modern Warfare 2, Age of Conan, WoW and other games on low/medium settings with little lag. I am however going to be building my own rig soon with the intention of making it a "hackintosh" so that may be an option for you as well. Working on both OS X and windows 7, I would say that I like them both pretty equally, so it is really a preference. In my opinion though, Mac machines are overpriced for the hardware you get, and you could get a much more powerful windows machine for much much less.
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April 20, 2010 5:23:17 AM

When I point out to my film/photo friends at my university that Macs are over priced PC's, they fire back about the "superior" quality of the case. I then Show them my sexy lian-li and they never argue with me again.

Save your self the money and build a PC, careful though most film programs require you to work with final cut. So find out first if your university has required mac specific programs.
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April 20, 2010 1:37:44 PM

Not many programs are Mac-only.

However, back in the day I do remember the Mac specific ones ~ Photoshop being one.

I guess creative companies can't be stuffed to change their workflows... meh
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September 1, 2010 6:28:16 PM

I'm a graphic artist and have worked on both PC's and Macs (sometimes both at the same desk at the same time). I am also an avid gamer - so here goes:

Mac Pro's and Con's:

1. Macs are better for graphics - specially using the Adobe products. Photoshop is quicker on a Mac (I'm talking manipulating large photoshop files here, they still cause PCs to stop and think before processing). Now - don't get me wrong you can run the same Adobe programs on PCs and if you've never been on a Mac you probably won't know that its handling those files slower. Macs also natively open up more types of files then PC's do, and you can always install a virtual PC on your mac if you want to run PC programs.

2. Macs come ready to handle graphics, video and music right out of the box. Mac's don't come with all that pre-loaded shareware / trial crap on it. Mac's don't become obsolete as quickly as PC's do. I think (my opinion) that the OS operating system on Mac's is much cleaner and less buggy then Windows.

3. Mac gaming: Its true that there are more games created for PCs then Macs. You have some good games out there that are made for both platforms (World of Warcraft - or actually any of Blizzard's games) and many others. However, it's only the tip of the iceberg compared to the games available for PCs. If you want to buy a Mac, and know going in that you will be doing some heavy gaming - then I suggest you upgrade the graphics card at purchase.

4. Macs very rarely get any viruses. In fact i have not had a virus on my Mac in over 7 years. Yes - I run a protection program just in case that should change.

PC Pro's and Con's:

1. PC's are cheaper, more programs are written for them (including games).

2. It costs less to upgrade them. You can just replace parts as you need to - to keep them up to speed. (Not really a possibility if you are considering an iMac)

2. You MUST, MUST, MUST run a virus protection/keylogger protection program on your PC...MUST!

3. Windows... if you like Windows you're fine! If you, like me, think its one of the worst operating systems ever - then this would be a "con" and not a "pro"..lol.

So - neither would be a bad choice. I would always recommend a mac first for any graphics person, however a PC might be best for more available programs.
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