Switcher needs advice

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by bwatson, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. bwatson macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Guys,

    I'm thinking about switching to a Mac and need some advice on which model to go for.

    I've currently got a 1GHz Athlon PC - which has all the speed I need for Internet, e-mail, MS-Office, ripping cd's and occasional playing around in Photoshop.

    My question is: If I go for the 17" LCD iMac, will it give me comparable performance to my PC for these kind of tasks?

    Thx,

    Bill.
     
  2. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #2
    No. It will seem a lot slower. Personally, I think the Mac's slowness is worth the great user experience, but that's just me. You can still do all that stuff on the iMac comfortably, but I would recommend trying the iMac before buying it to make sure it's what you want.

    Alex
     
  3. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

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    #3
    Re: Switcher needs advice

    Email, ripping cds, and photoshop should be areas where you really don't notice a difference , other than its somehow more fun in OS X.

    web browsing and office, however, definitely feel slower. hopefully Chimera plus Jaguar will be a performance match made in heaven.
     
  4. bwatson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    OK, that's what I though.

    I could probably live with the slower performance - I'll try and get to play with one this weekend and see for myself.

    I guess if I wanted "comparable" speed, I'd have to go for a powermac?

    Bill.
     
  5. Nipsy macrumors 65816

    Nipsy

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    #5
    Assuming you're going to keep your Athlon around, and you don't crave the iMac's style, I'd recommend a PowerMac. Your consumer grade stuff works really well on the iMac, but the limited resolution of even the 17" makes PhotoShop work tedious.

    Browsing speed using Mozilla or Chimera is great. Office feels slow to me everywhere...

    The $1599 PowerMac will be a much better machine next week, and will best a 1GHz Athlon.

    You've got a monitor, so you can use the money saved by buying the low end PowerMac to buy some RAM and a KVM switch. Now you have a Mac and a PC available side by side. Additionally, the PowerMac line has some useful upgrade paths that the iMac lacks. I have mine setup with three monitors, and IDE RAID, SCSI, 1.5GB of RAM, etc. None of this is possible with the iMac. Also, the processor in the PowerMac better lends itself to future upgrades.
     
  6. bwatson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Yes - I was thinking about a PowerMac a few weeks ago - and then convinced myself that the 17" iMac was really cool when I saw it launched....

    tbh, the non-expandability of the iMac was worrying me a little anyway.

    Maybe I'll just wait and see what they up with next week in for the powermac..
     
  7. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #7
    Limited resolution? your kidding us right?
     
  8. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #8
    either way and you will be happy

    the crt's still have the better color management issues, so if you used your monitor and got a powermac g4, you would be happiest in the long run due to that, and the powermac's expanability

    good luck
     
  9. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #9
    Excuse me, but since when is a 7 or 800 Mhz G4 slower than a 1Ghz Athlon? Did I miss something?

    I know the prior versions of OSX had some slowness, but get Jaguar, and I don't think that an iMac will be slow by any standards.

    Certainly not slower than a 1Ghz Athlon.

    (edit) Oh, and one other thing. When you try to measure speed, don't forget to add into the PC's speed all the time you loose from freezes, crashes, blue screens and reboots.
     
  10. King Cobra macrumors 603

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    #10
    >(Nipsy)but the limited resolution of even the 17" makes PhotoShop work tedious.

    All right, Nipsy.

    The iMac has a 1440 x 900 resolution screen, more than enough for what many of the people on the forums here need. I bring that up because of the fact that on a past thread people perferred 1024 x 768 res. or, on some cases, 1280 x 1024.

    Besides, you don't lose that many pixels with 1440 x 900. I can't imagine what type of work you need to have with over 1 million pixels. I'm surprised you can even SEE what you are editing in a photo.

    With EVERY single work on Photoshop or Appleworks I have ever done on my computers I have used either 640 x 480 or 800 x 600 resolution. That's nowhere NEAR a million pixels. In fact, I was quite happy with 640 x 480 for TWO YEARS straight on Photoshop 4. I now use 800 x 600 on my computers and a mix of PS 4 and 6 and I am very happy with that.

    If you find 1440 x 900 pixels to be not enough, then TS. Don't expect a higher resolution iMac screen for a long time. Besides, you can be perfectly happy with the current max resolution you have with the thing. What in Jack's name would want someone to have a higher screen resolution than the one given with the iMac?
     
  11. encro macrumors 6502

    encro

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    #11
    He is right, the imac's maximum resolution is 1024x768 which makes the menu and system text quite large, not to mention that if higher resolutions were available there would be more screen real estate.

    I have a 800mhz 15" imac and this is possibly the only thing I am annoyed about. I hope apple will eventually create a firmware upgrade to support a higher res.
     
  12. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #12
    i am with you mcrain

    my guess is that imac 700/800 with os 9.x would be way faster than any 1 ghz athlon

    i think current os x is slow, but i also think jaguar will fix that some and the imac 700/800 will be faster than that athlon...especially if that athlon now uses windows xp
     
  13. drastik macrumors 6502a

    drastik

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    #13
    If you get the 17" iMac, you should be fine with the resolution. Especially with Photoshop, good design coes from the designer, regaurdless of the tools, but 1440x900 is most likely going to be good enough for messing around.

    That said, get a powermac if you want to get serious about design work. The ability to do dual monitoring is essential at some point on the learning curve, giving you a plae to stash all the menu palettes.
     
  14. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

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    #14
    when i got my new powermac it came with 10.1.3 installed and i noticed work was incredibly slow just to even open programs or do simple internet browsing...so i'm waiting for jaguar...but i just got done downloading the 10.1.5 update and now everything seems to be a LOT faster than it was, but you are right...it still is fairly slow with many things...so i'm waiting very impaciently for jaguar to arrive at my door
     
  15. djniche macrumors regular

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    #15

    I was going to wait on the powermac but will get the 800mhz 17" Imac as my main computer until next year I hope to get the 1ghz powermac. I decided this because of the widescreen and more pixels to work on. the superdrive was also a big plus. For the price you can't beat having a flat 17" widescreen, superdrive, 800mhz, 60 gig hd, and more....

    The 17" Imac will have more than enough space to work on photoshop or illustrator. I do work mainly on 1024X768 for web design and even the 1280X 1024 of the powerbook is pretty good space to work on.
    so the 1440 X 900 will be great for me and for anyone that does design I would think. Unless you have the 2k for the 22" inch cimena - the next great thing is the 17" imac! I will place pictures of the 17" imac and it's work space on photoshop. I'm waiting for a call from the store to pick it up.
     
  16. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #16
    You probably missed the SPEC benchmarks. :)
     
  17. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #17
    You'll regularly deal with much more than 1mpixel if you have a decent digital camera or scanner. In these cases, the more on-screen pixels the better, as long as they're not too small to see. I personally wouldn't have a problem with 1440x900, but a graphic artist might... then again, a graphic artist probably wouldn't be the type to consider an iMac.

    Alex
     
  18. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    #18
    i suspect alex_ant has never read any benchmarks or used an athlon.

    i use z 1ghz athlon on a failry regular basis and i must say that when i sit down on my imac it feels faster (until i load a webpage).

    athlons dont surpass g4s in benchmarks until you get up into the 1600+ 1800+ range. if you were upgrading from one of these machines then there would be a reduction in speed.

    the imac will be significantly faster than the 1ghz athlon in everything except web browsing. for speedy browsing on the mac use mozilla but still expect browsing to be significantly slower than on a pc.

    speed though is something that is hard to pin down. the 800mhz imac will blow away a 1ghz athlon n benmarks, and productivity will be greater sicne the interface is easier to use, but some things will feel sluggish to you at first. window resizing and interface elements will seem slower. some of this will improve come jaguar, but much of it seems slower simply because the effects take time to display and there for might seem slower to someone used to no animated interface elements. what i mean by this is apple animated windows opening rather than having them instantly appear. so it will take a few moments for the animation to play out. same thing with minimizing windows.

    although the new imac (17") sure looks nice, i would reccomend most switchers to get a tower. peecee users are very used to swapping in and out new memory, hard drives, graphics cards, etc and therefore the powermac is easier for them to get used to. maybe your next mac you may find you dont mind not having the expandability, but as this is your first you may want that extra security.

    another thing to note (since some people mentioned it here) lcds versus crts. i think most pc users have a very negative response to lcds because there are so many poor quality lcds available for the wintel market (wintel laptops being terrible). most of the lcds available for the mac are very high quality (brightness and color quality) apple and sony lcds are very high quality and are perfectly sufficient for graphics work. the old gap in color quality between lcds and crts is largely a thing of the past (unless you buy a cheap lcd). but if you already have a monitor with you athlon then perhaps you dont need to buy anything.

    another thing to note about buying a powermac. i would opt for the cheap graphics card and the minimum amount of ram. upgrade the memory yourself immediatly (saves money) and upgrade the card when ever you feel it is necessary. apple tends to overcharge for ram, and the graphics card options are expensive since apple favors nvidia whose chips are more expensive than ati.
     
  19. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    #19
    you are kidding right? you do understand that apple dominates the market in graphics dont you? alex_ant i do not know what your problem is, or why you pretend to know what you are talking about, but please refrain from spreading your ignorance.
     
  20. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #20

    I suspect AmbitiousLemon has never examined SPEC_CPU2000.

    This is purely wrong unless the benchmarks you're referring to are RC5, SETI, BLAST, or a suite of Photoshop filters. The Athlon is generally as strong or stronger than a PPC at equivalent clockspeed, but even still, equivalent clockspeed is not important here because we're comparing an 800MHz G4 with a 100MHz system bus against a 1GHz Athlon with a 133MHz bus.

    The SPEC marks, by the way:

    PPC 800MHz: 242 cint / 147 cfp
    Athlon 1GHz: 298 cint / 321 cfp

    In OS 9 it will be significantly faster, perhaps. In OS X 10.1, this is pure nonsense. Yes, the PPC will be faster at certain AltiVec-enabled tasks. Unfortunately, AltiVec-enabled tasks do not comprise the majority of the OS X experience, and the GCC that ships with 10.1 does not automatically optimize for AltiVec.

    Seem slower? Yeah, I wonder why. Perhaps because they ARE slower. A LOT slower. OS X is a dog, from the ridiculous CPU usage of iTunes to the poor-performing filesystem to the slow ass CPU-sucking UI animations. I haven't used Jaguar - presumably this will all improve substantially then.

    I still love OS X, I'm just saying.

    Alex
     
  21. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #21
    Way to take my quote out of context.
     
  22. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    #22
    alex_ant. figures you would dig up the spec benchmarks. pretty much proves your ignorance of computers in general. but i suppose if you want to pretend that the ppc is slower than a x86 at equivalent clock speeds you will have to ignore every single other benchmark. and certainly not look at real world benchmarks. the spec benchmarks have been so thouroughly proven faulty i wont even begin to address that.

    we are here trying to give advice to a switcher. spec benchmarks mean nothing to someone who just wants to know how their current machine will compare to a new mac. real world benchmarks are far more applicable. and as i said the athlons do not begin to out perform the g4 until they reach the 1600+ range.

    alex_ant you clearly have never used an athlon. i would be surprised if you even own a g4. still sitting a g3? perhaps you own one of the old sawtooth g4s. what ever your problem, a new g4 in osx is perfectly fast. if you think it is sluggish then you probably have old hardware. osx is slow on my g3 powerbook. pretty slow on early g4s as well. but if you pick up a new machine its very nice.

    my suggestions and observations are based on my using a 1ghz athlon and numerous imacs and powermacs, in addition to a wealth of benchmarks from various sources. your observations seem to be based on no real world experience and one benchmark that has been widely critisized. i really must wonder why you would use a mac if you believe what you say. why dont you go join gocyrus you troll.
     
  23. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #23

    I'd like to see a few of these benchmarks that show an 800MHz iMac killing a 1GHz Athlon. I'm aware that the PPC will pull ahead in some, but most of the benchmarks I've seen show the x86 killing the PPC. Maybe it's just been so long since the fastest PPC was capable of beating the fastest x86 at most tasks that I've forgotten what it's like the other way around... but anyway.

    Yes, the SPEC benchmarks have been thoroughly "proven faulty" by much of the Mac community because the PPC falls dead last in them, which is why Apple is presumably too embarrassed to release their own results, unlike virtually every other major computer manufacturer including Dell, IBM, Sun, SGI, and Compaq/HP. They've been "proven faulty" because even a 600MHz R14000 beats a 1GHz PPC, and that can't be! Steve Jobs says the 1GHz PPC is Pentium 4 crushing! Why is the Pentium 4 so much faster then? It's impossible! That SPEC benchmark, the most thorough and widely accepted cross-platform CPU benchmark in the world, must be full of it!

    Real world benchmarks like what? Butt-slow window resizing? Ridiculous iTunes CPU usage? Truly sad memory usage? Long app launch lag times? Horrible web browser performance compared to IE on Windows? Relatively poor game performance on the built-in non-upgradeable GF4MX chip and the pinnacle of 1998 technology, the 100MHz system bus? Again, maybe Jaguar will improve all of this, or maybe it's all in my head and the 250MHz difference between my PowerBook and the 800MHz iMac veils a roughly 100% performance difference between the two machines.

    I never said the iMac wouldn't be sufficient for him/her. I said it would seem slower in comparison to the Athlon system. Unless we're talking about a piece of crap eMachines or something, yes, I definitely stand by that.

    I have an 8 month old 550MHz PowerBook. It is substantially slower than a 550MHz AMD K6-2 in my own experience, although that comparison is purely unscientific and has the K6 running Linux. I've also run Windows 2000 on it, and that slowed the K6 down to levels more on par with the Powerbook. I find it difficult to believe that the iMac contains some sort of super mega acceleration feature which rockets it ahead of Athlons clocked 200MHz higher sitting on a faster system bus.

    Again, I'm interested in seeing these benchmarks, especially the ones which scientifically measure productivity between users of the 800MHz iMac and 1GHz Athlon.
    I love my Mac. Is the thought that I might like it for OTHER reasons than its miserable performance that difficult to grasp? Seriously, it might do you some good to add a few grains of salt to your diet of Apple Marketing propaganda. And if I'm a troll because I say that a 1GHz Athlon is faster than an 800MHz PPC on a 100MHz system bus, then I'm actually quite proud I'm not as blind an Apple worshipper as you.

    Alex
     
  24. machagheid macrumors newbie

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    #24
    New years resolution

    Degenerated to yet more anorak speed trials. ....Yawn
    Every posting proclaiming (-) is countered with 'stats' claiming (+)
    Who actually BUYS all this latest stuff? I would like to know.
    e.g. how many using a G4 800, would rush out & buy a 1g DP upon it's release?

    I really enjoy using Macs, .....slow?....I remember when a SE30 was quick
    but I rarely have the need for breakneck speed in the endless quest for the buck....er... I mean ..maintenance of a competitive edge.

    Unfortunately for Apple, their products are so good that I'll only buy more when something substantially better is released!

    I'm not interested in winning the race, I want to enjoy the trip.
     
  25. King Cobra macrumors 603

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    #25
    >(alex_ant)You'll regularly deal with much more than 1mpixel if you have a decent digital camera or scanner. In these cases, the more on-screen pixels the better, as long as they're not too small to see.

    I agree with you there. But then again there is the scale option on Photoshop, in which you can view images at 50%, 66.7%, 80%, whatever%, if the image doesn't fit.

    >I personally wouldn't have a problem with 1440x900, but a graphic artist might... then again, a graphic artist probably wouldn't be the type to consider an iMac.

    Again, that person can get around the problem by just resizing the image. Granted that it is a work around, but it does save at least $600. (iMac: $1999 w/17 in. widescreen. PowerMac with 17 in or appropriate screen: as low as $2699) If you need a widescreen studio display, then you are obviously going to pay MUCH more.
     

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