Want to switch, but will it cost too much?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by diavolo, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. diavolo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    #1
    First off, I hope this is in the right forum, and I apologize if it's not... But anyways... here goes;

    I use my computer for simple everyday tasks, gaming, 3d rendering, DVD copying, web design, and multimedia.

    Some apps I use are:
    Adobe Photoshop
    Macromedia Flash
    3D Studio MAX
    Adobe GoLive
    DVD2SVCD
    Nero Burning ROM 6
    Internet Information Services
    Apache Server

    What I want is...
    Dual 1.8 Ghz G5
    1GB RAM
    250GB HDD
    Radeon 9800
    Dual 17" Cinema displays

    I'll start off by saying that I have some applications and other files on my computer that I shouldn't have (I'm sure you understand what this means), but going legit would be nice; actually, it would be preferable... But I'm afraid that converting to Mac might be out of my price range.

    Has anyone else done what I want to do, and if so; how was the transition?
     
  2. dbauer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #2
    Hope this helps...

    First off, you absolutely do not do "simple things" with your current PC. Every app you listed was a high end application or task that requires as much processing power as you can throw at it.

    Second, you need to distance yourself from the rest of the hardware crazed posters on message boards and understand that a computer is only a tool, like a hammer, and it should be used for what it is intended for. You would use a hammer to remove a screw (you could but it doesn't work very well and causes a large mess), why would you use a computer to play games? Save yourself the $300 or so bucks it would cost for a good gaming card and buy an X-Box or PS2.

    Third, I commend you for trying to do what every PC guy I know tries everything in creation to not do: go legit. I also commend you for switching. I recently did and have never looked back. More than likely, you will wonder why you didn't do it long ago.

    Finally, since you never mentioned how much "too much" was, its hard to say if you will "overspend". The greatest thing about the Mac is that it runs UNIX underneath the svelte black evening gown we call OS X. That means that every XFree86 and Linux app will most likely work, which means you have more open source applications than you will every use right at your fingertips. You can probably do most of the tasks that you use commercial software for for free, and its legit. That means you will not have to purchase a $500 image editor because you can just use GIMP. You don't need to worry whether the software police will come nocking the next time you create something brilliant and sell it for your first million.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Fukui macrumors 68000

    Fukui

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    #3
    You might check if adobe and macromedia offer cross-grades (upgrade from windows to mac) sometimes they can be free.

    If your a student you can get some pretty steap discouts from macromedia, MS and Adobe...
     
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #4
    i'll add one more point...

    if you are worried about budget, go with non-apple displays. they work with macs just fine.
     
  5. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #5
    I agree. Don's spend your $$ on Apple's 17" LCD. There are equally good LCD's out there for MUCH less.
     
  6. Mac macrumors member

    Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    #6
    Don´t forget depreciation

    Hi.
    Another important issue is the longevity of your machine. Most PCs can be sold for half its purchasing price 1 second after its purchase.

    A Mac has longer longevity and thus significantly lower depreciation. Most of us have experienced that old Mac´s are sold for "obscene" amounts of money (compared to a PC).

    Also take into the calculation that new OS versions actually can run on older machines, and even makes the older machine work better! E.g. transition of OS 9 to X for old iMac.

    So even if the actual buying price might seem steep just now, remember that if you ever should decide to sell, you would get a lot back again.
     
  7. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    The applications you listed are all very expensive, but pricing is the same on either platform. So if these are the ones that shouldn't be on your hard drive, and you need to buy them anyway, then it's a wash. Photoshop is expesnsive on Mac or Windows. If you still need to be illlegitimate on the Mac it's possible but you're on your own figuring out the rest.

    If you're using your computer to generate income, then you need stability and reliability. Nobody factors that into the price of a Mac. If you spend half an hour a day rebooting and troubleshooting (that was my average on a full day in Windows--and I was fairly trouble-free) that means you've lost half an hour of income. That's 2.5 hours in a week. 10 hours a month. 120 hours a year. At $10 an hour (very conservative, I know) you'd save $1200 a year over using Windows. That Mac will also last much longer than a PC. If your computer is a money-making tool then a Mac is a very logical choice.

    Re: Dual monitors--Simplest thing to do is have 1 Apple display and a 2nd VGA or DVI display. I'm currently trying to figure out how to run 2 Apple displays at once and the Apple ADC connector is proving to be a huge pain. It's also friendlier to your budget.

    If you stay away from gaming, you'll have a hard working Mac for 4-6 years.
     
  8. iPC macrumors 6502

    iPC

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #8
    IIS and Apache? Pick a webserver app and use it... ;)

    Seriously though...

    Why do you want to switch? Is it truly necessary? What are you running now (hardware)?

    I know this may be a little wrong for this board... but XP Pro is almost as good as OS X is. A new x86 based machine is going to be reliable, no real doubts about it.

    I use both XP Pro (at work) and OS X 10.3 (at home) on a daily basis. Either is fine. My Dell has crashed exactly one time since I got it (Dimension 2400 with a Celeron and onboard video and sound - not a "sweet" machine by any means). My iBook has frozen 3 or 4 times (twice in 10 minutes shortly after 10.3 was put on it). Failure rates like those are fine by me. Of course, the reboots from updates seem a little stupid (both Mac and Windows), but that is the linux side of my brain taking over for a few seconds!

    It is a matter of finding the best thing for your needs. Finances are a big part of that, especially when 100% legal software is a must (such as where I work - it was cheaper to buy new machines than to upgrade Windows and Office).

    Good luck. :D
     
  9. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #9
    Gaming

    I don't know why everybody is so quick to bash the mac gaming platform. Now I'm not hard core gamer, but I KNOW that my old windows laptop that cost more than my current 15" powerbook could never have played Halo. Same is true in the low end, the eMac can play Halo just fine too. The point is that if you arn't planning on really being a cutting-edge gamer, but don't mind throwing down some Jedi Acadamy evey now and again, the Mac platform isn't bad at all. Now shall we discuss gaming without bringing up stability in games. I've never had a game crash on my mac. Game crashes on pc are very common, a side affect from having to support a wide variety of chipsets and configurations.
     
  10. iPC macrumors 6502

    iPC

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #10
    Re: Gaming

    I think it is more an availability thing than anything. Although the fastest x86 machines are faster on games than Macs, that is probably due to the small Mac gamers market, which is just a matter of fact when looking at the number of machines sold in a year.

    Macs = graphics, video, music markets

    x86 - office, general home use, gaming markets

    (above based on current trends in the marketplace. obviously a Mac can do just about anything a x86 can do, if not more in certain areas)
     
  11. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    Just for the record, I didn't mean to bash the Mac gaming platform. What I said was that if the original poster avoided games he'd be happy with his Mac for up to 6 years. Games demand a lot of power and in a couple years he won't have it anymore. Neither will a PC. New games are the biggest upgrade forcer.

    If I get a chance I'm going to play MOH Spearhead later. :)
     
  12. iPC macrumors 6502

    iPC

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #12
    Microsoft is the biggest upgrade factor (Windows and Office).
     
  13. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #13
    You didn't say what version of Flash you have, but the latest version (MX 2004) comes on a hybrid CD that works for both Windows and Mac.
     
  14. diavolo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    #14
    I stopped at a CompUSA today while on a work errand and talked to a few people there about Mac vs. Windows, and they seemed not too biased towards one side or another. I also got the pleasure of touching a 23" Cinema display... It was freekin' amazing to say the least. I played with 10.3 and I was in awe with the visual effects, the noticeable speed increase when opening folders and applications as compared to my Windows box, and the quickness that it handled a radial blur filter in Photoshop.

    The legitimacy issue is big to me for some reason. I feel "dirty" when I sit on IRC searching for two days for the newest Adobe Apps or unreleased games. I would definitely be able to like myself a little more if I went legit. I think the Mac community is a little more honorable than the PC world; but that's just my own opinion from personal observations.

    As far as using my machine to generate income; I have played with web design and graphics for kicks and giggles and have taken a few graphics classes in college and I really, really love that type of thing and it would be awesome for a side-business. And plus, all of the people I know that do graphics say that Mac is king and graphics are a big chunk of my computer usage.

    I haven't been very happy with my computer in the last month or so. My XP Pro has crashed many times with a few games (Deus Ex 2, and a few others) and I've had to reformat twice in six weeks.

    As far as IIS or Apache, ASP has been getting on my last nerve lately, and seems to be more of a headache to customize a script that PHP does. I've noticed that alot of the graphics sites that I hang out on (www.spoono.com, www.tutorialforums.com, www.phong.com) all use PHP. Coincidence? I think not...

    As mentioned earlier, I have noticed that Macs depreciate A LOT slower than PC's (which sucks, because my 8 month old Inspiron 8500 is worth less than half of what I payed for it) which justifies the incresed initial investment.

    The bottom line is that it is just a matter of time before I migrate to Mac.
     
  15. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #15
    It's an absolute nightmare to get ASP running on the Mac. Use PHP whenever you can.
     
  16. diavolo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    #16
    I think PHP is a better platform anyways... But since ASP integrated into Windows back with the old Personal Web Server, I used that because that was the easiest to get running; unfortunately, it's not the easiest to KEEP running...
     
  17. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #17
    if you want to play games - you'll be better off (on the whole) with a PC. If you use a computer for more than email - like you wrote - your quality of life/work will dramatically improve. Seriously, I am a true believer.
     
  18. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #18
    This has always bothered me; the depreciation associated with computers. The only thing it's really based on is a newer, more powerful model, and not because it ceases to do what it was bought for. Some might argue you invest to get the faster speeds to increase productivity. Sure, some do, but just how many people do you know that would kill for a 20% time savings in manipulating that 60MB Photoshop file? Now don't all scream "ME!" unless you have a business. I've been "messing" with high-end apps longer than some of you have been alive, and I can say that for the average user it has no real impact. Truth be told, we are programmed into thinking we have to have the latest and greatest, the most powerful, and in the case of the Mac, the coolest in our disposable, profit-driven world. So why do I have all this gear? Well, I really don't know... except maybe I'm wrong, or brainwashed, or both. One thing's for sure: This stuff is WAY too cool, and I'm ordering the dual G5.
    One other thing.... save yourself some cash. The things you listed would do FINE even on an eMac. Are high-end games your speed? Get the eMac AND a cheap-as-dirt, incredibly nimble PC. Or a console like spoken of above.
     
  19. diavolo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    #19
    I agree. I didn't get the fastest processor, the most memory, or the biggest hard drive at the time I bough my laptop (I did opt for the 1920 x 1200 display though...) and it does everything I need it to and it does it well, except of course for the annoying video drivers and aspi's that keep crashing my machine, and it will continue to do so for a while yet. But people never seem to understand that not a whole lot of people (I'd bet maybe 5%) that are your everyday user will ever have the need for 3.2 Ghz and 2GB RAM, but even so, my $2,500 laptop is now worth maybe 1,200 (and that's a generous estimate).

    BTW, dbauer, I meant simple every-day tasks in addition to all the other non-everday tasks that I do. :) I know that not to many people casually render HDRI on a daily basis... :) And I do have an XBOX, and I love it alot, but computer gaming is almost like another world... to me anyways...
     
  20. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #20
    The Mac (OS X & G5) is a magnet !
    I'll clarify, OS X inteface is smooth and enjoyable. It is designed for the user. XP ?

    I have 4 computers in my office at home. 2 PC running Windows 2000, a PC running Linux and my favorite, a 1.8 G5 with a 20" cinema display.

    My family tends to draw towards the Mac because of the cool feel and ease.
    One very noticable comparision is between Windows Update and OS X Software Update. I like how Software Update works. Simple and understandable. Very few reboots required. I did not enjoy using Windows update. I couldn't tell if it was a webpage or local app. It was painful and confusing. I think .NET is off target.
    OS X is like a polished gem (and getting better), Windows feels like a ball of bandaids.

    I still use windows because of some specfic apps, But I prefer to use the Mac.
    The Mac is like a magnet, you'll be drawn to it.

    Monitors: if you use the computer a lot, you spend a lot of time looking at the monitor. After using a LCD, I have a hard time using a CRT. I find I crank up the refresh rate on a CRT as high as it will go. Looks better. Perhaps a better chance of blowing it up :) (so I can get a LCD)

    just my $0.02
     
  21. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #21
    Do what I did, keep the PC and get an iBook.

    I use them both now (although I use the iBook much much more.)
     
  22. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #22
    Can anyone recommend any LCDs ? E.g. Formacs ?

    Thanks
     
  23. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #23
    1) I betting alot of that reformatting has to do with your IRCing...nothing screws the registry more than installing/reinstalling apps. The unclean apps probably don't uninstall correctly either, which I'm willing to bet is happening in your case.

    2) The depreciation factor is the same reason you can get a lot for your money, any day of the year in the PC world. Why do you think there are always good deals on motherboards/video cards/memory/cpus? There's hundreds of thousands of retailers out there, trying to get your business. With Macs having only a single retailer, there is little competition or drive to reduce prices. With Apple controlling literally everything in their market (I believe someone referred to the Apple company as a horizontal/vertical monopoly or something), price is heavily controlled--which basically means, no particularly good deals for you in terms of bang for the buck, b/c simply there is no other competitor to reduce prices.

    Basically Apple pricing is like Intel's CPU pricing prior to AMD's entry into the market (remember when CPU chips themselves cost upwards of several hundreds? Even for a mid-range chip). AMD fortunately forced them to drop their prices significantly. It is too bad there is only "one" Apple retailer (there may be many online resellers, but prices are usually no more than 1% off...not much of a deal getting it elsewhere).
     
  24. iPC macrumors 6502

    iPC

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    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #24
  25. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #25
    I bought 4 Formac 17" LCD's because the reviews loved them. I don't. I believe the Apple display's, while more expensive, are worth the extra money. The Formacs just aren't as crisp or bright. Since our users stare at them all day, I will only buy the Apple Studio.
     

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