mac vs toshiba laptop for photoshop

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mirandag, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. mirandag macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2009
    I am a wedding photographer, currently editing on a PC, but wanting to change to a more portable option. My hubby has his own computer business and hates Mac's and trying to talk me into a top of the range 17" toshiba laptop. Everything I read in regards to photography leans towards a Mac pro. Hubby thinks i can get equal quality and more quantity for half the price? Does anyone have any feed back on pro's or cons for either?? All advice greatly appriciated
  2. ceezy3000 macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2009
    The Valley!!
    for photoshop you can get same quality on a pc but heres what you wont get with a pc:1. you wont be worry free about viruses, theyll alaways be lurking around forcing you t run virus scans daily 2. you wont get greatness of applecare, with apple you have the convenience of being able to take your computer into a store and have it fixed, with pcs you have to call them then some indian guy answers whom u can barely understand, then they have to pick it up, then they give it back to u, the whole thing would be an ordeal 3.macs are just plain cool. also you dont need a mac pro, i run photoshop fine on my macbook
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Wirelessly posted (iPod touch 32GB: Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11a Safari/525.20)

    If you are currently using a PC with photoshop, you need to bear in mind that you will need to crossgrade your license. It doesn't cost much but will mean you will lose the ability to run on a PC: whilst the photoshop license lets you run it on two machines they have to be both Windows or both OS X.
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wow.... I know you probably like Macs, but let's not get carried away. :p

    If you want to talk about a good warranty and service, you need to talk about Dells.

    To be honest, if he's using this professionally, a good Toshiba may be as good as a MBP in most ways, but I'm sure it depends on which model you're talking about. I'd choose simply based on the OS. You do pay a lot for MBPs, but it's worth it because of the OS, not necessarily the hardware itself (other than the appearance, perhaps).
  5. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    The price difference can be a touchy subject, the Windows laptops can start at a much lower price but can also be upgraded to similar prices of the Apple products, though in some cases the Windows variants can be updated more easily than some of the Apple products, Apple can lockdown the access to the internals a bit more which can potentially make it trickier/more expensive to upgrade later if you are not confident of what you are doing.

    There is no need to go with Apple just because it appears to be the way, about the only products you might use that aren't available on the Windows machines are the software products Apple releases.

    Pro: Windows to Windows is less challenging than Windows to OSX in learning the differences

    Pro: It sounds like your husband is well prepared to provide almost all the support you need for a Windows based machine

    Con: You will need to rely on others for most of your Apple support, although Apple Care can help quite a bit, the local Apple store etc could be viewed as much less convenient than your husband working on it at home.

    Con: To be honest, it doesnt sound like your husband really wants to deal with the Apple system

    Debatable: A pc system might be easier & cheaper to upgrade after the event so you aren't necessarily tied to the standard specs, however, this is really limited to hard drives, RAM & optical drives and most other components are fixed at time of purchase. This can also very much be tied to specific models like the new MBP 17" or the MB Air as opposed to all Apple portables, and just as possible that some of the Windows based portables could be just as tricky to update. ie no hard & fast answer one way or the other

    The quickest simpliest upgrade is to stay with a Windows based PC, there is nothing you can do on a Mac that can't be done on a Windows PC. Depending on which Windows OS you are used to I would suggest going with Vista 64bit (Windows XP is pretty much done) and with pretty much every Windows laptop being multicore in some form and supporting 64bit it is probably best to go 64bit than 32bit
  6. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    Let's clear this up before the FUD gets worse:

    1. You are well advised to also use an anti-virus software on OS X, especially if you exchange documents with the rest of the world.

    2. AppleCare comes nowhere near the service you get from Dell, for example. You call Dell and they come to your house or office to fix (or replace) your machine. Within 24 hours - guaranteed. With AppleCare... Wait for an appointment to bring your computer somewhere. And wait. Good luck.

    I can only say that Dell's business support in Germany is excellent. Toshiba and HP were not as good.

    3. Coolness of using a Mac? I must be missing something here. I own Apple's flagship equipment and somehow it doesn't make me feel cool at all. But maybe that's just me. Like a PC, a Mac is just a computer - a tool to get a job done.

    4. Adobe does not charge for crossgrading the same versions of their products from one platform to another. You only need to pay if you upgrade to a new version at the same time, e.g. from CS3 to CS4.

    Now to answering the OP's questions:

    Basically, your husband's right. You will get "more bang for the buck" when you buy a PC. Windows performs much faster than OS X on the --SAME-- machine and you do not have to pay the "Apple design premium". You'll also get current graphics cards for your PC - and not out-dated generations as we Mac Pro users must suffer them.

    PhotoShop CS4 for Windows has one advantage over PhotoShop CS4 for OS X: The PC version fully supports 64-Bit systems while the Mac version is only available in a 32-Bit version. There's a good chance that you will feel the difference when working with very large pictures and RAWs. If you want to use a 64-Bit version of PhotoShop on a Mac, you will have to wait until CS5 is released.

    I don't know if you plan on using software like Lightroom or Aperture. Aperture is only available for OS X, so if you choose to use it, the platform discussion is already over before it's even begun. Lightroom exists for both platforms.

    Personally, I do not like Lightroom's user interface and philosophy; Aperture is more compatible with me and the way that I think and work. For me, Aperture is --the-- killer application for the Mac. I also do more stuff in Aperture than in PhotoShop Extended.

    What OS X has undeniably going for it is its advanced usability over Windows. Once you get past the "transition from Windows to OS X shock", you will find OS X much more comfortable and fun to use. Most of the things are more straightforward than they are in Windows and there usually are no detours to take. The price for this comfort and the more beautiful design is the total vendor lock-in with Apple and their more-or-less subscription-based software distribution model.

    In my experience, owning a Mac is MUCH more costly than owning a PC. To make your Mac usable, you will have to buy a good deal of small Shareware tools - for most of which you would get Freeware alternatives in the Windows world. Furthermore, Apple upgrades their software very frequently and drops support for older versions way too fast, thus indirectly forcing their customers to upgrade. The Windows market is much slower and software simply "lasts longer" in the PC world.

    From a strictly economic point of view, choosing the Apple platform doesn't make much sense - unless you have found a "killer application" that only exists for the Mac. And there are a few.
  7. ceezy3000 macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2009
    The Valley!!
    haha maybe i shouldnt have used "greatness" more like convenience because of the apple stores
  8. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Whoa whoa whoa, Winni some of your facts is wrong or not explained properly:

    Erm, why? So far its very rare for a Mac to get any virus, heck you only install anti virus so that you dont pass the virus to another user whom is using Windows. Do take note that installing anti virus on Mac WILL slow it down.

    That's funny, cause I hear its the other way round.

    Absolute nonsense! I used Windows all my life and only switched to Mac last year and I can bet with you that Mac performs MUCH faster then Windows XP! Try multitasking! Windows crawls when you multitask, and when the computer slows down due to a lot of apps running, exiting the app wont make the OS faster, you need to wait like 5 mins to get it speedy again, Mac? Just force quit the slow app and within seconds your Mac will run up speedy again. Also Vista is still dog slow compared to Leopard, so you are WRONG!.

    True, but the only reason why there is no 64bit on CS4 Mac cause of Photoshop is written in Carbon while Apple has been moving towards Cocoa. Besides, only A FEW individuals will need 64-bit support.

    Hmm, it seems in Germany, things is different.
  9. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I am going to stay away from the Apple vs. the world thing.

    I will say that I owned a Toshiba laptop once, and I won't buy another. It wasn't very durable, and the hard drive failed shortly after the warranty expired. I have been less than impressed with Dell too, largely on the (lack of) customer service front. Dell's abysmal customer service resulted in my ordering my first Powerbook. Lenovo would probably be your best choice if you wish to use a Windows-based PC.
  10. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    I would have to agree with you on this 100% I am a PC Tech for over 15 years and deal with 1000's of Win Xp/Vista machines. There is no way in hell that a PC out performs OSX on the same hardware, just not true at all.
  11. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I've done work for ICSA Labs Anti-Virus certification lab and The WildList organization. Since the switch to OSX, I can recall exactly *one* Word Macro Virus that was cross-platform compatible, and zero actually in the wild viruses, three OSX-only Trojans spread in very limited environments through social engineering and I've heard about five spyware applications in the last three years and I think I've seen less than ten worms that would work on OSX in a default install. Can you substantiate "well advised" with anything other than AV companies trying to spread FUD themselves with PoC code? Heck, I've seen and handled a lot more Linux malcode and I think AV is mostly a waste there. I'd settle for anything that affected more than ten sites globally, which should be a pretty low bar if the phrase "well advised" is anything other than FUD itself.
  12. ArtandStructure macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Klamath Falls, Oregon
    Meh. As others have already refuted. I've used Macs for seemingly 15-20 years and never seen a virus.

    I guess we all have different experiences. I've talked to Dell and it seems like it is always someone in India. Apple on the other hand is always clear english. Further when I need a new part or repair they send out immediately and e-mail me a pre-paid shipping label to return the defective part if needed.

    Well, like a Pugo a Ferrari is just a car.

    Macs and PCs are both tools but they are hardly identical. Hardware-wise, sure you can spec them pretty close but the OS is the big difference. I swear it takes 4-5 menus or dialogs to change a user password on a PC. That's ridiculous and the control panels are a mess. Little in the OS is coherent unless you already know what it is and what it does, etc. However, if you really want/need to run Windows and PC software, you can run them natively in a window in the Mac OS. You can't really run Mac OS and applications in the Windows OS...and no "professional" is going to work with a hacked system and applications.

    There is little to no difference in price when you really spec it out, and when you say "bang for the buck" how do you value the fact I've dropped my 12" PowerBook on its corner on concrete, fallen on it and bent the screen in, etc. and always have it wake from sleep and operate perfectly with minor cosmetic damage (i.e. a dented casing on the corner). Try that with these plastic PC laptops. Good luck. The Mac OS also has more "bang for the buck" for me because the interface is far more efficient which makes my work easier and take less time...which is money.

    My 12" PowerBook running a single core 1.33ghz PowerPC processor and 1.25 gigs of starts up from cold boot to log-in screen in about 30 seconds and another 10-15 seconds to desktop ready to use. On dual core Core2Duo Sony, Toshiba, Compaq and HP laptops I tried with processors 1.8ghz+ and 2+ gigs of RAM Vista was consistently around 2 minutes from cold boot to desktop ready to use.

    If you use a Mac you can pretty much run any piece of software in the world via BootCamp, Parallels, VMware, etc.. You can't say that for a PC.

    Again my experience differs. In my 15-20 years of using a Mac I can count the hardware failures on one hand and still have fingers left over. Not so on the PC. In fact, in the cases where we purchased PCs for half the price of a Mac, the dollar value of hardware failures and the wage time lost being unable to use them for work exceeded what it would have cost to just buy the Mac in the first place.

    I have never needed to buy any shareware to make my Mac usable. I have no shareware whatsoever. In fact, Macs can do more "out of the box' than PCs virtually all the time. Example: Does Vista yet allow you to save as PDF from any application? Apple has had this functionality for years which for a long time was only available after paying Adobe $200 for the requisite version of Acrobat.

    Also if you use Expose you know how supremely efficient this is for your workflow. This alone makes the Mac an order of magnitude more efficient than the PC for multitasking or other "real world" workflows. I think you'd have to find shareware or other add-on to do the same on the PC...if it is even available.

    Many Vista users would disagree.

    On the other hand I can run Apple's latest OS on my 4-5 year old laptop without issue. I keep 1 version back though because I still use Classic on that computer to run nearly 10 year old applications.

    I suppose that is in the eye of the beholder. See above.

    All the best,

    Jesse Widener
    Art and Structure design studio
  13. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    Here are my few big points:

    Expose - when you're working with several images in Photoshop, expose is a dream function, especially when you hot key it on your mouse or hot corner it. I worked at a web shop for a year and designed on Windows and I hated not having expose. I installed fake Windows wanna-be programs just to get it back but they were never the same.

    Finder and RAW files - I'm not sure how Vista does, but XP doesn't remotely recognize RAW files, so just to even preview a picture you have to open it up in Photoshop, which leads me to Quick Look, which is awesome for scrolling through images, any kind (Nikon RAW, Canon RAW, whatever it is, Finder can see it). Quick look is handy for word docs, excel, powerpoints etc. It's actually very very useful.

    No viruses - Let me just clarify on this for a second. Macs don't get them, although McAfee and they who propagate AV software still want you to put it on your Mac so you don't forward around or share PC viruses to PC's when you email things, etc. So, it's a big waste of money and resources to run them.

    Photoshop won't be any different really PC vs Mac, that's a given. Having CS4 be 64bit on Windows is a nice bonus, especially considering how much RAM you can load into a computer now, but I don't see that as a deal breaker. I'd highly recommend adding Lightroom or Aperture to your work flow, sadly you can't trial Aperture on a PC. You can, however, watch the videos and things on If you pick Aperture, then Mac is the only way to go and your husband can't really fight back on that at all.

    Oh, and if he's worried about having to do maintenance or whatever on your Mac Pro but not wanting to because he doesn't know it, that's really not a big deal. Rarely will there be any. He'll spend more time fixing the Toshiba.
  14. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    You bring some good points to the table without being argumentative - thx for that. I agree about Expose and Quicklook - during the design phase I use both rather more than I care to admit.. Funny how you just get used to stuff and don't notice it. I have a hot corner for Expose also and use it reflexively now.

    Erm... I've used both and to be honest Dell is good, but I found Apple to be a smidge better - my MBP coverage was two weeks expired and they replaced it anyway.

    Dell is good, but they had better be because you have to deal with them more. I had a Dell that need several items replaced time and again.. We got it brand-spankin'-new and still had component failure. I mean, to be honest, Dell just buys common parts anyway and the service was fast and friendly, but just came more often.
  15. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    With all due respect, any computer used correctly should need little to no maintenance, seems to be a favorite excuse of the OSX crowd, OMG Windows SUX, OSX IS PERFECT!

    The only work I have had to do with my Vista system was when I decided to change from the 32bit install to the 64bit and it required a full reinstall. Otherwise it just moves along happily.

    It also helps to actually have a system with specifications that meet your needs in the first place and not expecting a system with 256MB ram to run every application under the sun.
  16. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    I have had the same experience with my Windows systems but I'm a geek and know what I'm doing where I have seen plenty of friends and relatives with completely screwed up systems that makes me wonder what on earth they do to them, those are the people I wish had Macs as it is much harder to mess up a system running OSX in that way.
  17. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    I'm an experienced windows user and I switched to mac because I had three laptops failing withn 6 months, all new.

    The price difference between apple and windows isn't if you compare spec to spec, and with an apple laptop you'll get very nice unibody, certainly not if you buy an os-x update against a windows update.
    Apple's work very good with adobe programs, but are also very stable.

    But, if you hubby want's to support you, then why not use a windows machine? If it breaks he'll help you, but where do you get apple support, even if it might be rare that you need help? Not at home?! And you'll have to learn to go with a new computer system. Not difficult, but in the first days/weeks of using not helpful for your productivity.

    Apple is good, not perfect but better than a lot of other brands. I work with them every day, 8 to 12 hours, but there are several other brands that offer good support and good products.
    Just don't use Toshiba or packert hell.
    I've heard a lot of good things about dell and their support. Colleague of mine has had a drive crash within weeks of getting his laptop. within 48 hours he had a new one. Windows pre-installed. that's neat service IMHO.
  18. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    You're assuming an equal level of software quality. I'd suggest looking at the number of known bugs prior to ship date for a perfect explanation of why that's not the case. While the Quicktime team need a good smack upside the head with the coding cluebat, the Safari folks seem to have learned their lessons well enough- not so the IE team...

    My CentOS Linux boxes go from 32 to 64 bits without a complete reinstall, even if I switch hardware platforms. I haven't done it yet, but I expect my FreeBSD boxes to do the same. Since 64-bit x86 boxes are all 32-bit compatible, there's really no good excuse for any OS vendor to not make the conversion a relatively simple update process.

    While your current install may move along happily, even Microsoft expects that there's some point at which it won't (and with all those unfixed bugs, they're making a strong bet!) But at the least, the file system will still need defragmenting, since MS don't seem interested in optimizing the file system or automating the defragmentation. I've talked to several admins from several organizations who tried to go to Vista and had enough issues that they decided to skip it- even with 2008 Server implementations going ahead, so everything isn't all that rosy in Vista-land, but then maybe you simply don't do anything all that challenging?
  19. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    [I've been dealing with Microsoft's crappy programming, inconsistent changes and non-functional diagnostics all week, so I'm more grumpy about them than normal even.]
  20. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Vista 64bit ultimate (workstation) & 32bit business (laptop) at home, at work I am tied to Windows XP and although we had some very minor Vista testing done the changes in the financial industry have put off most of are major not required IT spending. I am not making out that Vista is perfect, then again neither is OSX, no OS is perfect and all require updating. As much as you may all like to think otherwise Apple still needs to patch OSX just like Microsoft patches the various OSs it has.

    Apple supports a very finite amount of components in its systems, Microsoft needs to try and figure out how to handle just about every component combination known to man kind. It is the blanket statement of "buying Apple makes all your problems go away" that irks me. I'm sure my sister in law was estatic to spend $200 getting their iMac fixed a few weeks ago.

    Buying Apple = Apple's case with little to no Apple manufactured components inside, which is no different than buying any Windows based machine.

    Maybe we can go dig through all the posts about the various issues with Apple's products (just the portables if you want) over the last year and the Apple is so perfect your farts will smell of roses chit chat will be far from the truth.

    As to Windows Vista defragmentation:

    Scheduled defragmentation
    You can now use Task Scheduler to schedule defragmentation. Therefore, you do not have to manually start defragmentation. By default, a task is created and is set to run at 1 A.M. on every Wednesday. If the computer is turned off or if the task does not run at the scheduled time, the task will run the next time that the computer is idle.

    Oh me oh my!
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You can't run Aperture on the PC. Aperture really is nice for a wedding photographer. You can do most of your work there and it is very fast once you get to know it. For example you can begin sorting and making adjust while the imaes are still downloading from the camera or card. Aperture's interface with Photoshop is seamless. Double click an image and you are in photoshop. click "save and back it goes to aperture.

    You can not compare the performance of a Mac Pro to a toshiba notebook. The Mac Pro is a completely different class. Like comparing a car and a bicycle. They do different things. They are not comparable. ECC RAN, 8 xeon cores, Four internal SATA desktp sized disks and up to 32GB of RAM. You can't compare that to a notebook. But the notebook is good to take to a shoot and to clients. You need both. Aperture makes it easy to move a subset of your library between computers

    I've tried using a PC and while PS works about the same everything else is "clunky" and akward to do.

    The real reason people hate macs is because they have invested years in learning how to use Windows and keep it running and somehow feel important. They realize that if they got a mac they would no longer be one of the "special" technical experts. They see the new system as a threat to their status.
  22. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Nowhere in any post I've made will you see me saying that OSX doesn't need patches. What I did say, which you don't seem willing to address is that Microsoft will release an OS with thousands of known and unfixed bugs, and let their customers deal with the fall-out.

    While I'm sure Microsoft likes that as an excuse, the fact is that Microsoft only supports hardware on the HCL, and they put things on the HCL. While their HCL is larger than Apple's, they get to choose what goes on it, the quality of the code and when to release their software, and they're a bigger company. So, if they have issues with software because of their HCL, it's under their complete control to fix those issues, or to ignore them and let their customers deal with them.

    Once again, you won't find a post where I say Apple is perfect, but if you want to look at issues in hardware, then the correct comparison isn't with Microsoft, it's with Dell or Gateway or HP or Sony... As far as my experiences go, I've found Apple's hardware service to be easy to deal with the two times I've needed it for my portables. Once for a battery flaw that pretty-much every laptop vendor had and once because someone hit my PowerBook in the wrong place with a hackey sack. On the other side of the coin, I've found Sony and Dell to be a pain to deal with, and IBM easy back when they made Thinkpads.

    Microsoft's finally discovered task scheduling, took them long enough- welcome to the 70's! "If the task does not run at the scheduled time" seems like they're anticipating some failure rates... Let me know when they figure out how to fix their self-inflicted ActiveX issues for their users. Object code from a Web site, I said it was stupid at the time, I said it was going to be a problem even with controls from trusted sites, and those predictions have us at the largest malcode vector on the Internet today- that's a shame, because if I picked up on it as a big problem, then Microsoft was either (A) Stupid, (B) Could care less about its customer's security or (C) Had an agenda that wasn't in its customer's interests bad enough to screw them over without any level of lubrication.

    Yeah, I want to get my OS from a company that I can't trust to do the right thing even when the right thing is obvious, and one who'll charge me good money for a product that isn't ready quality-wise but must be released to feed the quarter's numbers. But hey- if you've got a customer base who buys your crappy software, then you can sell them slightly less crappy software in a couple of years and lather, rinse and repeat, what's your impetus for not releasing crappy software? Your marketing department can laugh at the schmucks with slogans like "Best Windows Ever!"
  23. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Or maybe just maybe they realize that not everyone has their pc powered on at 3am in the morning? Naah, its to cover the failures because of course Microsoft can't program anything. :rolleyes:
  24. SimD macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    Hmmm... so let me get this straight. If Windows doesn't have something like the "elegance" of a Mac, it absolutely sucks. Yet, if a Mac doesn't have a feature that is only available on a PC, such as CS4 64-bit, it's because no one, or only 1-2 people in the world uses it.


    OP, the choice is yours, sure take our advice, but it comes to down to your personal preference. Try them out, attend workshops at the Apple Store and see what fits your bill. You may also want to look at the Lenovo line. Pretty neat stuff there.

    The only thing I can say, is that Aperture is great :D
  25. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    Really, it's subjective, which is why the most heated arguments are opinion based.
    Is there any way you can test-drive a Mac + PS setup?

Share This Page