Mac's are best is you use lots of graphics and/or design packages. (Auto Cad, Photo editing packages, etc.)
P4 & AMD, well that arguement goes along forever, both offer good performance, just the AMD chips tend to be cheaper. The type you should pick is probably going to be to whether or not you are using programs which require high memory bandwidth. In which case if you have the cash then a P4 would be suitable. AMD chips offer great price/performance ratio compared to the P4.
AMD and P4 chips offer the best all round performance and compatability for most programs. (eg Word processing,internet surfing, programming, playing games.)
I may have missed something somewhere, but I am sure others will post.
First of all, don't the buy into the 'Macs are better for art/publishing etc' myth. Apple built up a strong professional userbase in the publishing industry years ago, but nowadays a Mac is not any more productive than a PC.
Macs look great and non-technically minded folk seem to find them easier to use. However, they are slower than the latest PCs (despite the high IPC rate of their CPUs [rather like the Athlon XP]). They are also ridiculously overpriced; when I look at what I can buy/build PC wise for the price of a Mac, there simply isn't any competition.
I'll leave the guts of the P4 vs AMD thing to the fanboys, but it is basically a question of money. AMD chips have a much higher price/performance ratio, but the P4 (especially the newer ones) has more perfomance and OC potential. However, this comes at a cost. Before Intel's latest price drop, I could have bought TWO Athlon XP2000 MPs AND a dual mobo for the price of a 2.53Ghz P4.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by CaptainNemo on 09/03/02 02:33 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Sorry, the MAC are still considered to be the best out of the box Art/Publishing machine. They are still used extensivly in architectural institutions. Why because for an equivilent PC spec out of box that runs multimonitors, (I have seen macs that run 4 monitors) and the control interfaces for AUtocad for macs (eg the mouse thing that I cant understand, with a special mat and what looks like an aiming target thing).
Personally yes p4's may be cheaper but I have seen mac's in the poorest of architectural places. (I aint talking about the g4 |Cube thing, that is a gimmick, I am talking about power machines)
oh yeah, BTW I don't own a MAC, Cos I am a PC man, but I did work experience in some architectural/engineering institutions. Yes these powerful machines are very expensive and in the case of the Autocad I have seen them run they are very different to any PC versions.
I believe though that maybe you would be better off with a P4 or AMD machine.
If you could post some of things you will be using it for then maybe we could help you decide between a P4 or AMD, also is cost an important factor or not?
I would have to disagree. The "does design and art work better" thing is a myth. No major production company that I'm aware of, be it ILM or Pixar or Sony ever used Macs as their main rendering cluster or workstation. They've all used proprietary RISC machines and have recently begun to shift to Intel-based machines because the price/performance ratio of x86 based machines nowadays has far surpassed that of proprietary servers.
The only people who actually do use Macs for such things are people who don't know dick about computers like musicians and the likes and buy Macs based on this myth (and prolly the fruity colors as well). And perhaps some art schools who don't require the power but have students (probably with black french barret's on) who aren't computer-literate, they may use Macs as well. As far as ease of use, Apple's close-form model really has a one-up on their x86 counterparts, but that's about it. Everything else is just marketing hype.
"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by imgod2u on 09/03/02 01:11 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
There is no reason why it should degenerate into a flame war.
I've used boths Macs & PCs for CAD (not professional stuff); I'm just tired of the myth that Macs can do things that a PC cannot and vice versa.
Any PC can run four displays; you just a rather expensive quad MMS video card from Matrox (financial institutions use these all the time).
The lens cursor is just a special mouse; Wacom offer their oversize tablets with the option of a conventional mouse for DTP or the lens cursor mouse for CAD. You can even get electronic drawing boards, which work on Macs AND PCs (shock horror).
Don't get me wrong; I like Macs (GUI has a few annoying quirks), but Mac fanatics and all of their marketed myths are intolerable.
I get annoyed easily when people come acting as if they skipped THG and just straight for the forums, so they can ask anything as remotely uninformed as asking the difference between Mac, AMD and P4, just like imgod2u answered for, ironically!
When buying an AthlonXP, please make sure the bus is at 133MHZ, or you will get a lower speed!
Macs are WAY overpriced, especially with what you get. All you need on a PC to outperforma a Mac is a top of the line P4 or Athlon XP and a Radeon 9700. That kind of setup will beat a Mac anyday and at much less cost.
the way i'd look at it is this:
if it's just going to be used for general things (web surfing, games, listening to music, email, etc). then i wouldn't consider a mac. you can get a pc for cheap that will do you nicely.
on the other hand. if you're looking to do work on it where you'll be spending 6-10 hours (atleast) a day on it, i'd say go to a local computer shop and mess around on a mac (compusa is an apple dealer) and see how you like it, i assume you already know what a windows box is like. i say this because being infront of a comp for that long of time can become increasingly frustrating and tedious if you don't FEEL COMFORTABLE in the first place. it's all personaly preference. some have grown up entirely on macs and wouldn't know where to look for their cdrom shortcut when they put a cd in (on mac it pops up on the desktop). others have used pc's all their life and wouldn't know how to switch between apps using the apple finder to save their life. yes price is an issue, but i have to think that if you're doing comp related work that requires that many hours, money might not be your first concern 8)
I did say I was not a Mac man, never used one, probably never will cos I build PC's from scratch, I like to know exactly what is put into my machine.
I am only repeating information I have been told about MAC's as I admit I know almost nothing about them. Also my older bro works doing artwork for sony, activision, Electronics arts and many other games manufacturers for the boxes. They only use MAC's in their offices for the artwork design.
I also believe that MAC's use Risc processors so maybe in the past when CISC(Pentium 4/AMD type) was difficult to make run at a faster speed because they were more complex, then RISC processors were actually faster which is probably why MAC was used for art because the core ran at a faster speed. RISC also had pipelines before CISC did.
Now however RISC and CISC processors run at the same speed (due to better manufacturing methods)they both have pipelining so that is why you get better perfomance.