Can I live with a Mac as my main "PC" ??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by BillHarrison, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. BillHarrison macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2003
    Hi guys. I have been lurking and playing with macs for the last year or so. I started off with a G3 AIO (not too bad, tinkered with her, and it was ok :p) and then I got a B&W g3 which I upgraded to a G4 600mhz and a fast PCI card. OSX was very useable, and I found myself using that machine more than any other for day to day tasks - web browsing, calander, email, etc. But I have still stuck with my main PC. It is now time for an upgrade, and I am considering making the big switch (Dual G5, yada yada). But let me tell you seasoned users what I do, and perhaps you can tell me how well a mac would work in my life!

    Lets see... My current PC is a Dual 2.3ghz Athlon XP setup, w/ 2gig ram and 1tb of raid disk storage. I am running windows XP pro. The Athlon XP has reached a dead end, and the only current chips under development will not be going in this board, which also has reached a dead end on FSB, etc. So basically it is time for an upgrade. And by upgrade, I mean that, not just a sideways jump.

    My day to day tasks consist of : Web browsing, downloading (peer to peer and just general), movie reencoding (divx, xvid, etc). I own a Toshiba E805 PocketPC, which I use for some mobile gaming, etc. I have VOIP telephone service, with a hardware VOIP box, but I have a softclient on both my pocketpc and on my Main box so that I can make outgoing calls from my computer or pocket pc. 802.11 pre-n is installed, and I use that to stream from my main pc to my HTPC (an athlon 2.0ghz) in my entertainment center. That is running Windows XP "Media Center" 2005.

    So basically, can I do everything I do now with a dual G5? I don't mind installing Virtual PC 7 on the mac to run Win XP (although I am guessing it won't run xp anywhere near the speed I am used too) but atleast that would allow syncing with my pocketpc etc. But are there any unforseen things the mac just cant do that I am used too?

    Option 2: Build a new Hella computer (Dual Opteron's, w/ the potential for dual cores when released soon), and run pearpc for OSX web browsing etc, and still have a full blown XP setup. PearPC is actually "useable" on my current setup, IE webbrowsing, email, etc, and I would only guess that it would be moreso on a dual opteron. Plus pearpc is under heavy development, so within 6 months, it may have a 50% speedup just in software.

    Well, those are my considerations, I really like the mac, love it actually, OS X is a dream on the eyes, simple to use, just so much better than XP.

    (off topic rant: Apple! Release OS X for X86, and watch those copies fly off the shelf at 200$ a pop. I would be FIRST in line, although that would take some fighting to beat the other people!)
  2. hcuar macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2004
    You are not doing anything that the Mac can't do. Get the dual G5 Powermac... That would be quite an upgrade.

    BTW: Don't start the x86 debate for OSX, it'll never happen.
  3. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Save a bit more and wait till Feb when the new PowerMacs are released.

    Buy the entry level and shove it full of RAM
  4. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    From the above reasons, stick with the Opteron setup. A 2.5 G5 will be fast, but not as fast as you're used to for movie re-encoding. Since X has such a relatively small userbase the little programs which make life easier aren't aailable. Users don't have collective spare time to make gems like Avery Lee's VirtualDub.

    For horsepower tasks, the Apple solution will always lag behind. Well, unless you're using an XServe cluster... you need to work out whether on the whole your productivity will be better using OS X.
  5. sunilraman macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2004
    what he said :p :cool:

    seriously, you would enjoy dual 2.5ghz g5 with one or two of those new cinema displays, airport extreme. you should be blown away by speed of video encoding. overall of course, web stuff and downloads os x etc. experience will be well, of the charts

    you sound like a dude that has the cash to invest and your heart seems to be telling you why run when you can fly apple style :eek:

    on a practical note everyone that loves apple knows its limitations too and we are fairly up front about that. i had a dell axim pocketpc and tried it out a bit. i would just say that you might have to research syncing with your pocketpc, again, depends what exactly level you wanna sync. you may not have to run win xp on virtual pc, if you can find some kick ass conduit third-party software

    maybe do all your prep with your current mac, almost everything should translate no worries from g4 to your new kick ass dual g5 2.5ghz 2 gig ram... :D

    **wipes drool off face**
  6. Cheese macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2002
    In the refrigerated section at your grocer
    Just Do It ... different...

    It sounds as if you are clear about your desire to make the switch. I say go for it. Though I am doing mostly low powered stuff with my Apple, I have no MS applications, and I have not found much need for any third party stuff either. I am forced to use wintel machines at work everyday and I will tell you that the difference is amazing. The wintel folks will tell you that there is a lot more speed and user capabilities on their P4 hyper-suck machines, but I would put my humble G3-400 AIO against them any day for ease of use, crash-proof-dependability, and integrated intuitivness. Plus I find myself waiting longer for the P4 suckers to jump form ap to ap, plus they are nearly worthless at multitasking ... in comparison. Since I have no interest in Apple making OSX available for other platforms (I can see no reason that any other type of fruitOS dujour should be in the basket!), I can't agree with your other rant, BUT I am glad that you are going to be making the jump. Come on in ... the water's fine! After all... it's what you want!
  7. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    My story is different in alot of ways than yours, but I contended with the same question you are now.

    My first Mac was a 17" iMac G4 800 MHz in 2002 (well, technically a 550 MHz G4 PowerBook Titanium is my first, but that's a long story). I went to my first year of college with that iMac. I was also nervous whether it would replace my PC or not. Well, by the middle of 2003, I decided it could not, and built a powerful gaming PC, and gave the iMac to my mother. That summer, I bought an iBook 12" (the one in the sig), because the academic deals during that summer was so amazing. I intended it as a secondary machine for me to play around with. Well what do you know, Panther comes out a few months later. I went and bought it. And absolutely fell in love with it. And at that moment, my iBook dethroned my PC, and became my primary machine. Now, a bit more than a year later, my PC sits at home collecting dust while I use my iBook everyday.

    Yes, it's a slow machine compared to what I'm used to, but OS X makes up for it with the ease of use and productivity (my god, EXPOSE! Best. Invention. Ever.) and the next computer I get will be a Mac, no question. I've officially switched thanks to Panther.

    Moral of the story? Get your feet wet with Apple. And even if the water seems too cold at first, don't give up, give it a chance to prove itself to you.
  8. tpjunkie macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    You should be absolutely fine. I have a 667 Mhz TiBook and I've done some video re-encoding (basically DVD rips to DivX) and while it did take a while 6-7 hours I would imagine that dual 2.5 Ghz G5s would go a loooong way towards knocking that number down quite a bit.
  9. aldo macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    England, UK
    It already has happened. Pearpc ( allows you to run OSX on a x86 PC. You really need 3GHz+ CPU for it to work well though - but it's already sped up about 10x since it's got released (the first release was very, very slow).
  10. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Am I missing something? Do you suddenly have to lose your PCs? If you can keep one AMD machine as a backup, and just add a Mac to that, that's what I'd do. Actually, that's what I have done. Nothing says you have to go all Mac. And the best part is, you can use Remote Desktop from your Mac to your XP machine. It's faster than Virtual PC. There are DIVX encoding tools for OS X, as well as third party software to connect PDAs, so your use of a PC would be minimal anyway. If nothing else, you could always hold on to 1 of your PCs for a little longer, and get a nice iBook or PowerBook to surf wirelessly from. Leave the PC for the heavy duty stuff. Those sound like pretty fast PCs for Windows, but OS X will be faster even on the lowliest G3 than on the fastest PC. PearPC can only emulate so fast. You could always just upgrade your PC's motherboard and CPU later.
  11. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I think you'll do great with the Mac. I switched to a Mac really out of necessity about 4 months ago. Prior to that I had used Windows machines exclusively for as long as I've been using computers (18+ years). The reason it was necessary was because my PC pretty much completely went nuts, and the only computer I had available was a Powermac G4 400 MHz machine. I began using that computer exclusively. Of course that machine is much slower than the PC I was used to, but even so, I got to the point where I couldn't imagine going back to using a Windows machine, and I'm typing this on a new Powerbook. Don't get me wrong, Macs aren't perfect, but looking back at Windows, I can't imagine ever going back. Anyway, I hope this story gives you a little confidence that you can make the switch to Mac and you'll do great with it as your main computer. :)

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