In a pickle! Mac Pro [Rosetta]

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DarkSpartan, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. DarkSpartan macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2006
    I really am in over my head as far as Macs go and I'm tired of getting advice from PC guys about this. Here's my situation and dilemma. I've decided to take my hobby of design and turn it into my career. I'm enrolled in a Web Design course with a concentration in Graphic Design. Being dead serious about all this I decided to buy a computer that will not only get me through school but still be a powerhouse for my business after I graduate. I've always been a PC user but I know the "trend" in design is to use Macs for whatever reason. Not feeling the need to buck the system I decided to go with a Mac. Also I felt that it could only make me a better designer knowing both Macs and PCs.

    I ordered a Mac Pro with the following specs;
    Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Xeons
    2GB Ram
    500GB HD
    ATI X1900 XT 512MB
    Airport/Bluetooth combo

    Here's the pickle...My Mac showed up yesterday. Coming from a PC I had a hard time trying to figure things out but no big deal, I just have to get use to it. Everything was fine till I stumbled on this thing called "Rosetta". Ugh....95% of what I will be working in is Adobe software and all the reviews about Rosetta and Photoshop CS / Illustrator are pretty scary.

    I talked to Apple and they are willing to give me a 100% refund on the system. So here's my question. Is my Mac Pro using Rosetta still a better / faster option than a Dell XPS 700 with like specs? I read a statement by Adobe saying Intel Mac owners will have to wait till the new release of universal software and there will be no patch. So it looks like if I keep my Mac I'll be using Rosetta for over a year.

    I'd like to hear the opinions of some Mac users on what I should do. I know once universal applications show up this thing will be smoking but it will also be a year to two years old. I feel like I bought a gimped system that will be outdated before I can ever even use it to full potential.

    I'm not normally one to ask people to make decisions for me, but like I said I'm in over my head with Mac stuff and am looking for more information to make a better informed decision. Also please don't tell me to use BootCamp for a year. I might as well just by a PC if that's the case.

    Thanks in advance-

    Mac Noob and possible switcher :)
  2. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    well i've read on here that some people had adobe working well under Rosetta. clearly not as good as it would be universal.

    no one can make decisions for you, but i personally wouldn't buy another pc.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    All the signs are pointing to a May 1st CS3 release. I would work with what you have for now... it will run the Adobe apps just fine being a hell of a lot faster than my dual 1.4 which I'm doing some Photoshop work on right now (print designer — me).
  4. rest44 macrumors member


    Sep 24, 2006

    I would keep the mac pro and work with rosetta if needed until I got a Universal Aplication! Leopard is right on the corner so most companies will like to get new versions of their software for it.
  5. ljones macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Most pros are waiting til the Adobe suite goes native.... Universal. That way the software will take advantage of the power of the system.

    if you are doing mostly web level work, you won;t have huge 300 dpi files. So technically you should be fine. Although you will need more memory, my Photoshop eats up ram with ease, so my 2 gig kit should be here next week.

    As far as full potential, the mac should last you some years, but like anything, technology changes. i had the hardest time deciding on mine, and i needed a new mac. So it's not a easy choice, but if you truly believe your skills will become sharpened, freelance will pull in extra income, then the mac pro is a good choice. But if it comes down to the cost vs potential, i don;t see why having the latest and greatest mac will help you. You are a beginner, you have a strong machine that will help you learn to better your skill set.

    I was in that position back in 98. Wow, i'm old, anyway, many years later, tons of freelance and a crazy job you dream of... having my mac and not doing my work in the labs of my college paid off for me.

    As with anything, it's what you make of a given situation. Good luck.
  6. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    I'd keep the mac pro. I finally found a mac pro at a local apple store that had CS2 installed on it. I was amazed. It felt as fast under Rosetta as the dual G5 that I'm used to using. It's really going to scream once the universal version comes out.

    For the time being, under Rosetta, I think that the mac pro's performance will be on par with that dell. Once the universal version comes out there won't be a comparison. Remember that the MP is a professional level workstation, the dell is a fast home machine.
  7. DarkSpartan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2006
    Yea, I've read most pros are waiting for apps to go universal but lucky for them, they are working on G5's so going pro is an upgrade which is easy to put off a bit. It's just sheer bad timing on my part.

    The company I work for is giving me work to do on the self taught level I am now with a conditional offer of a substantial raise upon completion of this course. So my transition from school to work will be fluid. That's the main reason I don't want to skimp on my computer now.

    I couldn't find any benchmark tests that paired a PC up against a Mac Pro using Rosetta. If my Pro + Rosetta is on par or better than a PC (XPS 700 is the only PC I know to look for this kind of work) it seems like a no brainier to stick with the Pro as come universal app time it will pull away from the pack.

    I shouldn't of said "make my decision for me" in my OP, as I'm really just looking for some opinions from the Mac side of the house. I've heard all the PC arguments already. Thanks for all the comments so far but does anyone have any info on how Rosetta actually stacks up against a PC in standard tests?

    Also it sounds like native Adobe is going to be here sooner than I had thought. Which is a plus in the Mac Pro side for me.
  8. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    ### First...Go 'Heels!

    Ok..I have to disagree. The pc (Dell) will smoke the Mac Pro on PS at the moment. Not even close. Rosetta really does suck in one sense...but it is very impressive that it works at all! When the UB comes out, the Mac Pro will *then* be on par with the Dell. BUT...if you intend to keep the machine you buy for the next 3-5 years....*I* would buy the Mac Pro. Can you deal with Rosetta for seven months? I think you are a student ...yes? Any big gigs with tough deadlines on the horizon? If not..again, buy the Mac Pro. As someone else pointed out...PS files for the web aren't I doubt you will be too anoyed with Rosetta. I think you'll be lovin'(!) the Mac Pro come next June with Leopard (10.5) with CS 3, etc. Your timing isn't great (I'm in the same boat with Maya). Once this transition is over, things in Macland should be awesome. If you decide to buy the Dell, that isn't a bad choice by any means..but I suspect you will be wanting to sell it for a Mac Pro next Summer. Vista is *not* looking good...and Leopard is looking great. Good luck!

    Edit: Just read your recent post. I think there are reasons to believe Adobe may be ahead of schedule with CS 3, but I wouldn't count on it. Let's be pleasantly surprised. For comparison tests..check out as well as
  9. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Keep the MacPro. I expect the XPS will probably be marginally faster when your MacPro is running under Rosetta, but your MP will completely blow the XPS out of the water when the universal apps come along!

    Believe me, even the way OS X renders everything is better! You try comparing the same image displayed in Windows and OS X on the same display! You will be quite amazed!
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I really think you're focussing just a little too much on Rosetta as an indicator of performance. You're letting yourself be blinded by the slightest differences measured by mechanistic and hypothetical benchmarks.

    There are plenty of other issues that come into play when choosing a Mac over a PC for graphics and time spent learning and using your apps and OS properly will offset any perceived performance problems. Productivity gains from using a better OS are not to be sniffed at.

    For example, by extensively using keyboards shortcuts for my main design apps, I guarantee I can turn out an equivalent piece of work and get it prepped and distilled for press far faster than someone mousing their way around menus and dialogue boxes.

    And as someone earlier pointed out, if you're working on 72ppi files then an iMac would do just as well. ;)
  11. RichP macrumors 68000


    Jun 30, 2003
    Motor City
    Blue Velvet is right on point. Increasing your knowledge of the software and its shortcuts saves much more time than what the computer speed is going to save. I would just keep the machine, it should be everything you need, even under rosetta. There are alot of graphic and web designers on here running G4s and do just fine, your machine, running rosetta, is roughly equivalent to a mid-performance G5.
  12. DarkSpartan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2006
    I don't mean to solely focus on Rosetta, I just figured it was the major player in this since most of my work will be done with Adobe products. I've heard working on OS X is more work efficient but then I have the learning curve of it too. It was pretty comical last night as I tried to Windows my way through OS X.

    Also all the work I've been doing up to this point is on (don't laugh) a Dell I9300 laptop with;

    Pentium M 1.86
    2 GB RAM
    NVIDIA 6800 go 256
    55 GB HD 7200 RPM

    "your machine, running Rosetta, is roughly equivalent to a mid-performance G5."

    That's the heart of the dilemma for me. I just paid 3K+ for a brand new machine to run like a year old G5. Someone mentioned that with UB then the MP will just be on par with the Dell. Shouldn't it blow it away at that point assuming we're comparing machines bought today and not today's MP with a Dell bought when UB comes around?

    To answer some of the questions, yes I am a student but also working in design (mostly presentation graphics and slide shows) while in school. Upon graduation I will be doing all the marketing graphics, presentations and web site stuff for the company. Sounds like a lot but it's a small company and they are wanting one person to be a jack of all trades for all their graphic - web desgin stuff.

    Again, thanks for all the comments, I am a lot closer to keeping the MP now. I really have been looking all morning for reasons to justify keeping it. I mean come on, widgets are just so darn cool too. :p
  13. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Quoted for emphasis. I agree. For this kind of work I strongly think you'll have a much better and more productive experience on the Mac Pro with OS X.

    The Adobe Creative Suit isn't exactly slow under Rosetta on that machine either. And no way is is going to be obsolete so quickly. Once CS3 comes out it'll be very nice.
  14. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006

    Don't worry, your MacPro will COMPLETELY, 100%, UTTERLY, ABSOLUTELY DESTROY the Dell! BELIEVE ME!!!!!!!!! (lots of !s)
  15. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I make a living doing web design and I use a MacPro. The only time you are going to have an issue with emulation in Rosetta is if you are working in extremly high resolution images, and then it will still be tolerable. Since you are a student and just learning, chances are the computer is going to be waiting on you... not the other way around. Most students work in low resolution images when they are first learning and it won't be until you get into more advanced courses that you will need the power of a faster machine, if at all. By then Adobe will be UB and your computer will fly. If not, then just upgrade the ram or processors.

    Since you are specializing in web design you will be working at low res 72dpi images. For that you don't need a highend computer. Actually, the MacPro is way more than you need for that and you might be better off paying for less power, such as an iMac. Especially since you are a student. People who need the latest greatest and fastest are those who are working in video, 3d or anything that requires rendering... or photographers who work in high res digital photography for print. Even then, they can fall back on Aperture until Adobe goes UB. Working at lower resolutions for web is not that processor intensive unless you have hundreds of layers. Sure the PC with Photoshop is going to faster but it's all relative to your task. What might take 5 seconds on the MacPro will take 2 seconds on the PC. If losing 3 seconds of your life is a deal breaker, then I suggest a different career choice.

    Actually, in your situation, you might be better off with a MacBook Pro. It will be plenty fast for web design and you will be able to take it to school with you. Once you complete your education and start your business, you can buy the computer you need based on your business goals at that time.
  16. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I just wanted to add that if speed ever becomes an issue, you can dedicate a drive and setup Windows to boot into. This will give you the best of both worlds.
  17. JohnMC macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2006
    Duluth, MN
    iMac G5 to Mac Pro

    Personally, I just moved from a iMac G5 1.8ghz to a Dual 2.0 Xeon Mac Pro and although Photoshop CS2 IS slower it is by no means unuseable. I would keep the Mac Pro and use it. Btw, Dreamweaver and Flash work well on the Mac Pro. So by all means keep the very best computer ever made (Mac Pro), and yes I am bias (sp?). JohnMC
  18. DarkSpartan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2006
    Again, thanks to everyone for the advice. I guess the benchmarks that got me concerned are really directed at G5 users looking to upgrade and not someone buying their first. Something I read on a PC forum was that Macs aren't upgradeable beyond memory. Is that something from the past that no longer applies to the Intel based chips? Looking at the guts of my MP I can't imagine it's not upgradeable. BTW I've owned a bunch of gamming rigs from Alienware to customs and I've never seen the guts looks so clean and organized as my MP, I was impressed.

    In the end you guys are right, the chances I'm going to run into the speed differences at all are slim to none at this point in my studies / career. Even with the drawbacks of Rosetta it sounds like I have more power than I will need any time soon. So with that in mind, it boils down to the productivity and stability of the Mac OS over XP. Which isn't even a question from what I've heard from others in the industry.

    Thanks for giving me some advice I can actually use. I was scared I was going to just get the same old, Macs looks better and don't get sick stuff. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with my first instinct on this and stay with the Mac Pro.
  19. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    You've been running with the wrong crowd, my friend. ;)

    In my G4 is a new video card, new USB card, 4 hard-drives, as well as the extra RAM. A friend of mine recently replaced his processor in his G4...

    In the new Mac Pros you may be able to replace processors in the medium-term but I wouldn't take my word for it as I'm not that clued up about these things.
  20. technocoy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I have the same set-up

    that you just purchased with 3 gigs of ram and a TB of storage...

    I am a professional designer and flash developer.

    You will have no problem running these apps with the new set-up. It's not BLAZING on CS and Studio 8 at the moment but it's plenty fast. the only REAL slowdowns I notice in a bad way are when i copy and paste and when i save. it hangs for just a second each time. But it's still faster than 90 percent of macs out there and most PC's. Plus, in a few months it won't matter anyway.

    Get it, you won't regret it. Plus, if it bugs you that bad, use a student version of CS on XP in bootcamp until the new versions come out... don't forget you not only have a screaming fast mac, but one of the fastest PCs out there.

    And one more thing... design on the mac is hardly a "trend" it's by far the standard. macs have always been the overwhelming choice for designers... developers sometime prefer the PC of course.

    good luck with your choice... You can't go wrong with the MacPro at this point.

  21. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    That's quite a workhorse my fellow Raleighan. :)

    To the OP: I'll basically second and third the motions of my Apple compatriots to keep the Mac Pro. It's just an all-around better computer than what Dell has to offer. Additionally, more RAM never hurts, so that may be something to consider down the road.
  22. laidbackliam macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2006
    rosetta is a great translation tool. that said, it does emulate a ppc environment for the software, so the software isn't running as fast. but you bought a balls to the wall professional computer, so it will handle what you throw at it. i'd just recommend you upgrade when cs3 comes out. but keep what you bought. good investment, especially with the upgrade possibilities.
  23. Mookamoo macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2006
    I'm not sure what it's like in the US or elsewhere, but in the UK you can't seriously be considered a true Designer* if you don't have a Mac.

    I know it makes no real difference these days with cross compatibility with apps and fonts etc but I do know of PC 'Designers' who have had trouble when trying to work on Quark and Illustrator files generated from a Mac. You will find this as you work as designer that you are asked to take over an account/client and all the work will be Mac generated.

    Might be a tad convoversial, but I think designers use Macs and those that don't are just pretending......... (head down....:p )

    * By Designer I mean someone who designs in all aspects of the business - Print and Web and even moving images in some cases.
  24. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    In our case that's true.

    We've had a small number of freelancers come in for meetings to discuss handling work we can't get out in time and once they mention they're working on a PC, we politely end the dialogue until they get a Mac. Fonts, unless they're OpenType, are not compatible... reflow always happens.

    Also, some of the worst work that comes in seems to always come from people using PCs. No bleed or trim on PDFs, RGB or low-res print work etc.

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