Cartoonist needs help: iMac now or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by plaidspeed, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. plaidspeed macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2006
    Hi all. I'm new to this forum and Macs in general, so like many others I've got a question...

    I'm looking to switch to Mac now as my current PC (P4 2ghz, 512mb of RAM) is four years old and starting to fade. However, I'm a professional cartoonist who uses Photoshop on a daily basis, so I've done a fair amount of research and understand the whole non-UB Adobe software problem facing current Intel Macs. I have my heart set on an Intel Mac, but If I switched, I'd be running CS2 through Rosetta like everyone else for upwards of a year until CS3 is released. My question is this: how much of a speed reduction can I actually expect? I've found a number of performance benchmark tests that cite the number at anywhere between 90%-40% of a reduction, but I don't know if that will apply to me as I don't think I'm a heavy user of Photoshop. To give you an idea, I work solely with 300 dpi b&w images with 5-6 layers. The files usually end up in the 5-10 mb range, so, like I said, it's nothing major, but I don't want to have to be relegated to mediocre performance. So how much of an actual reduction should expect if I were to get a maxed out Intel iMac (2ghz, 2gb of RAM, 256mb of VRAM) compared to what I'm used to -- or would it actually be an increase? OR do I need to wait for the next generation of Power Macs, which could cost twice as much?

    I'm admittedly clueless when it comes to Macs as I have no real experience, so any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    If you need the machine for your job why not buy a PPC Mac and use the apps you make money from natively? When CS3 is finally around you can either upgrade or use it on the PPC machine.
  3. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Well to help you out I make cartoons with Flash 8 and I just (a few weeks ago) got an Intel iMac (see sig). So far it's running fine for me and I'm coming from an iMac G5 which ran everything without using Rosetta (for the UB). I don't run PS but we both are using the same (within reason) file sizes. I know from this it's fine on my end but I can see your concern.
    I wish I could help out more by making a "static" cartoon and telling you the time it takes from start to finish. If you can get by for a short time, go to an Apple Store that has an iMac (Intel) and if they have PS on it try doing a cartoon on it for ease of mind. Just FWIW some may only have 512mb in them which would slow it down some, as I have the 2GB Ram max.
    I hope this helps or someone else can help further :)
  4. pknz macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2005
    If you are looking to update now get an iMac G5. If you can wait (pretty much up until CS3 is out (or Adobe decides to release a Universal Binary of CS2).

    If you could into a Apple Store and try the Intel iMacs out, I'm sure I've seen Photoshop installed on the display Macs.
  5. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I know the one Apple store has them by me with 1GB Ram in them along with PS for people to test but not every store does :cool:
  6. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Working on an 20" Intel mac duo with 2GB ram..

    I use PS everyday. CS2 has slightly better performance than CS on Rosetta.

    So far in the past 14 day's - I've done an A3 poster, 3 CD Covers, A dvd cover and a 4 page brochure, 3 cd labels 2 color lab colour)...

    All my work is at 300dpi and CMYK (photoshop 5 color spaces)
    My A3 poster had around 26 layers (including text) and the brochure had around 32 layer and photoshop handled the job no problem.

    A3 poster size was 369mb the brochure 280mb

    Whilst not quite as fast as my Powermac G5 1.8 with 2.5gb ram, it wasn't that far behind...

    I truly expect CS3 in october, but for now I have no problem with the imac duo and i'm looking forward to the speed boost with universal that should make it better than my G5..

    Photoshop works as fast as I do, and that's all I could wish for at the end of the day.

    It takes about 28-30 seconds to load initially, then about 8 seconds on subsequent loads. 2gb memory is a definate must as rosetta is sucking up ram.
  7. plaidspeed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2006

    Great! I just needed some context as to the scope of my work, so thanks!

    Yeah, I went to check this out at my local Apple store, but they didn't have PS loaded on any Intel machines (for the same reason that I would have liked to test them, I suspect.

    Thanks a bunch, everyone!

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