Confused....why would anyone in "graphics" buy an Intel Mac now?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macdon401, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. macdon401 macrumors 6502

    macdon401

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    #1
    ...I may be wrong but from what I have heard, a MacBook Pro or a dual Tower running Rosetta is quite a bit slower than PPC Mac's when running Adobe CS, which by all accounts are the main apps for graphic's professionals...me included! And I hear Adobe is not releasing a Universal version till late 07!
    Is this a reasonable accessment of the situation or am I totally off base?
    And with all the"moo's". "whines" heat, battery expansion and other nightmares I have read here I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want a new Intel Mac until all of these glitches have been worked out???
    Nice looking Mac's with Frontrow but slow and noisy don't appeal to me!
    R
     
  2. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a

    SheriffParker

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    Location:
    The land of love
    #2
    I've heard that with 2GB of RAM in a mbp, photoshop runs better than on a G4... so people upgrading from a powerbook will still see a slight increase in speed.

    But I think a lot of people are waiting for CS3. Apple will definitely see a flood of pro machines go out the door when Adobe finally gets its act together. ;)
     
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #3
    There are no Intel Mac towers yet, except for the prerelease development systems Apple already took back months ago.

    Start times for the emulated Adobe software is a little pokey, comparable to a G4, but the programs generally run just fine once started. Adequate RAM makes an enormous difference.

    If the platform doesn't appeal to you, you should buy something else. But most people who end up choosing the platform aren't looking at it simply based on benchmarks, usability is much, much more than that.
     
  4. ffakr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    Um.. isn't this a non-issue?

    Designers are expected to buy 'pro' machines. Apple doesn't yet offer a Pro desktop with an Intel chip. Aren't you jumping the gun a bit?
    Don't you suspect that most professional graphic artists and designers were also probably not shopping for iMacs back before Apple announced the switch to the Intel processor?
    Sure, in reality, a 20" iMac is a good machine even for graphic work but that isn't the market segment that the iMac is designed to fill. The Powermac is STILL available.

    Look at this another way too..
    The benchmarks I've seen with CS2 have been pretty half assed. I've yet to see a good, real world workflow comparison between an emulated Intel environment and a native PPC Mac.
    From our experience, emulation works quite well. Emulated apps, given enough memory, run great.. much better than on top of the line G4 systems but not as well as on nice G5 systems.
    Now consider, the first Intel systems that are going to be marketed to designers will be much nicer than the current systems (which are mobility chips and chipsets). The Core2 systems seem to be faster per clock and they scale much higher. The high end Core2 chips will clock up around 2.6 GHz compared to the 2.1GHz Core Duo chips we have now. They are also 35-50% faster per clock.
    I think you'll find that emulated Photoshop will run just peachy given enough memory when the real intel desktops get released. Don't judge the state of affairs by comparing Apple Pro PPC machines vs. Intel Consumer macs.

    jmho,
    ffakr.

    Edit: Woodcrest was released yesterday. That's the Core2 Xeon for 2-chip (4 core) servers and workstations.
    Woodcrest clocks all the way up to 3GHz with 4 MB of shared L2. The faster chips have a Front Side Bus running at up to 1.33GHz (compared to 667 MHz on the current Core Duos in the iMacs). They also use Fully Buffered DIMMS which increase memory bandwidth, maximum ammount of memory physically supported (not an addressing issue) and FBD also lowers latency.
    No one is sure yet but the next Apple Towers will use Conroe ( a cut down, single cpu dual-core version of this chip) or the Woodcrest. This processor, depending on the benchmark, appears to be a moderate to significant upgrade to the existing core processors. More bandwidth.. better per clock performance, more Cache, and clock speeds that scale up 40% higher on the high end. It's safe to say that the top tier Core2 Conroe and Core2 Woodcrest processors will run up to 60% faster on the high end compared to the high end Core Duos (the ones we currently have).
    Even with Rosetta, we should see performance on Conroe and Woodcrest systems that are on par with G5 systems. These are very nice processors. Intel is starting a price war too so they are quite reasonable. They uniformly meet or even blow away the P4 Extreme Edition, the top P4 Xeons and even the best Opteron and Athlon FX systems in benchmarks. It's a good time to be using Intel chips. AMD won't have an advantage again until 2007 when everyone goes Quad core. AMD's solution is more elegant.

    ffakr.
     
  5. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    There probably aren't a whole lot of graphics professionals buying Intel Macs right now, but it has less to do with Adobe not releasing CS3 until 2007 than it does Apple not having a professional desktop Intel Mac.

    In the wonderful world of corporate business, upgrades are often times timeline based, and not the timeline of Apple and Adobe. They are planned for years in advance, and when the money's there, you buy the best equipment that money will buy. Sometimes there's some leeway; sometimes there's not.

    Our budget at the hospital had us upgrading about a month ago. Fiscal year ends in July, and if we didn't spend the money, we lost it. We don't have Adobe upgrades planned until 2008, I believe.

    Sometimes there are more important things than when software and hardware companies are going to release their equipment.
     
  6. odedia macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 24, 2005
    #6
    All of apple's pro apps are universal. Not everyone use Photoshop only.
     
  7. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #7
    I don't know the statistics, but I'd wager quite confidently that more people use Photoshop than Apple's Pro apps.

    If you're in graphics and rely on Adobe/Macromedia heavily, there is no reason to get an Intel yet. It is much more effecient, cost and work wise, to continue using a G4 and definitely a G5.

    At the very least, upgrading from a G4 to a used G5 would be wiser right now.
     
  8. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    Location:
    around/about
    #8
    re: noise - the stink over mooing is a little overwrought. A lot of people seem to complain about it only because the machines are nearly dead quiet otherwise.
     
  9. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #9
    Graphics pros aren't the same as Video pros.
     
  10. macdon401 thread starter macrumors 6502

    macdon401

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    #10
    I agree with almost all the viewpoints made here, a good perspective on all fronts, thanks! I have my iMac G5 20 inch with 2 G's of RAM, and i am a professional Art Director and i am very happy with the performance ...just as a side note...I also Direct commercials and find i can do a pretty good rough cut on my machine...not for broadcast but for presentation to final online edits!!
    R

    ...but I am waitning for awhile till things iron themselves out..."MOOOOO' or not!
    R
     
  11. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #11
    It depends on how old their "old" system is. If photoshop+rosetta is just as fast, or faster than their current setup, then upgrading now (if they need a machine) makes sense. They get the same speed in photoshop, plus faster in everything else, and they can expect a big speed bump next year when CS3 comes out.

    I wouldn't consider myself a graphic artist or anything, but I do use the Adobe suite quite a bit, and my MBP runs photoshop benchmarks about 4 times faster than my old machine....so it's still a big upgrade, at least for me.
     
  12. ffakr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    You're really missing the big issue here. If an Intel iMac is a good solution for you, there's no reason to get a G5 instead of an Intel iMac.
    If you're well funded, if you need a full tower for expansion and gobs of memory then get a G5 tower. if you want or need a 24" or 30" monitor (and more importantly if you can afford one) then get a G5 tower. The dual-core towers are still very nice machines, they hold two internal drives, you can put in a Fibre Channel card and a CAD video card, you can put in 16GB of RAM.

    If, on the other hand, you've got a tight budget and 20" resolution is fine, at least for now (you can span two monitors on an iMac), then the Intel iMac is a much better deal. You can get a very nice 20" intel iMac with the 20" lcd for about the price of a low end G5 Tower (without a monitor). The iMac will be smaller, it will be plenty fast, it will use less power (and cost less to run and to cool.. computers dump energy into the work environment after all). The iMac will run all of your software fine now, though it won't run PPC native software as well as a G5. Of course, the intel Mac will allow you to finally run Windows only apps reasonably.
    Finally, Intel is the future. PPC will be supported for a long time, Apple's still selling software maintenance contracts for PPC machines so we have at least two OS updates and patches for those through the life of the 3rd major OS update. That doesn't change the fact that the future is Intel. The machines are very fast. All maintained software will ported Universal eventually.

    I think the important distinction here is what can you afford and what do you really need.
    If the imac form is acceptable..
    If there aren't huge memory or video requirements..
    .. then I suspect an intel iMac would be a fine design machine.

    On the other hand, if you're doing 3D work which requires the fastest video for live rendering and gobs of memory AND your software has to run as fast as possible.. then an Intel iMac is likely not appropriate for several reasons. Most likely, an iMac will never be appropriate AND you'll want to run your software natively (PPC on a PPC or wait until your apps go Universal).

    ffakr.
     
  13. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #13
    If you're into graphics - which I take as "professionally" an Intel Mac which does not run Adobe apps natively is not a good solution for you.
     
  14. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #14
    Illustrator CS and Photoshop CS run fine on my Mac mini dual 1.66GHz Core Duo, 2GB of RAM, here at work. I have a dual 1.8GHz G5 at home, 3GB of RAM for comparison.*

    I haven't run any benchmarks, as I'm not paid to spin horses (or whatever) all day. It's quick enough, and as usual the bottleneck is me (how much productivity is lost posting to MR versus Rosetta? benchmarks, please).*
     
  15. ffakr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #15
    I'm into graphics professionally in as much as I'm a Divisional IT Manager for a top tier University and I handle the support (and design) for the draftsmen that run the 'graphic design' group next door to me. I can do thier computer design work for them because I helped my wife get through the technology end of her Graphic Design degree. In fact, while we were both enrolled at the same university I taught Photoshop seminars to her class because the grapic design department didn't provide any formal instruction on how to use the software that they were required to master. :)
    I'm NOT a designer but I have more design experience than most IT people.

    There is absolutely no reason why a typical graphic design shop wouldn't function perfectly fine with 20" Intel iMacs with 2GB of RAM. Photoshop will work perfectly fine for most work. The reality is a lot of design work is fairly mundane, knocking out parts of images for use in layouts.. laying out documents in a design app (like indesign or quark).. production work like fudging around a 3x5" print ad layout so it will run in a new 4x6" ad space. These aren't fantastically intensive jobs. People are doing a whole lot of the same work now that they were doing perfectly well on their G4 towers. In fact, the last time I was up in my Wife's office, I think that was the first time I didn't see a G4 in the design department. They've just recently upgraded all the machines to G5s because most work in 'design' runs just peachy on a decent G4.

    My biggest concern is that I wouldn't want to do 8 hours of design work on a 20" wide aspect screen. I want to see a full 8.5x11" document at full resolution if at all possible and I'd like to still have room for my palettes. The screen in the 20" imac is workable and if you're on a budget it's a reasonable option. Personally, I wouldn't go that route for design work unless you planned to add a second monitor at some point. A rotating 19" lcd isn't terribly expensive and it would give you the ability to proof full page layouts on screen quickly and relatively accurately.

    Of course if money was no option, I'd buy a new G5 for the work an a monster 24-30" lcd. Of course, if money is no option you're not particularly worried about upgrading down the line either.

    It's really ALL about what you can afford (maximizing your money) and what you REALLY need. I can see a nice iMac being a better solution for many people doing various design jobs especially if you look at the value of that system compared to a G5 tower and a seperate monitor. It may be worth compromising on the optimal setup if it saves you $1000 up front and if you get to run a 200Watt computer instead of a G5 with a 600W power supply and a 40W big lcd. Trust me, a few powerful machines in a small office space can make a huge difference. I wish I didn't need a huge air conditioner in my office window but it's plugged up because when everything is cranking in here it gets hot.

    ffakr.
     

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