Questions Questions!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by BakedBeans, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. BakedBeans macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    Questions Questions!

    OK, a new Mac purchase is on the horizon and I'm needing some opinions on what to get

    firstly i need to use my p.c. on occasion :( (and the comp I'm using wont run it in VPC)
    i have got a p.c. so I'm not going to ask what to get - i will literally be using it for this one thing

    ok, i will be qualified at the end of this year and will be using Macromedia studio and photoshop heavily (big time heavy), i will also be using FCP/express leisurely. then just normal apps (iLife, iWork and office)
    i want the pc and the new mac to share a screen if possible (without me reaching behind everytime, is it possible) and i would also like the keyboard and mouse to be shared via bluetooth, would an apple keyboard work with windows? i take it i would have to buy some kind of bt dongle from the pc world shop?

    so i would like it to be set up like this if possible


    1, shared, permanently connected screen

    2 shared, bluetooth mouse and keyboard (mouse i dont mind buying a two buttoned bt p.c. jobbie)


    ok onto the hardware questions

    1, I'm torn between 20 inch and 30 inch, as the 23 inch is almost twice as much as the 20 inch in the uk, so i would prefer to get 2x 20 if instead. but a 30 is amazing.

    do you think the 20 is going to be big enough for my heavy photoshop/dreamweaver and medium fcp uses? or can you recommend something?

    if a 20 is enough i might get a ibook 12 inch for sitting around the house surfing ect (non work leisure) and for the g/f to use. but a 30 or dual 20s will put a big stop on that,

    2. which comp?

    a powermac is what i have been looking at - and think thats the only real way to go? i think i will be waiting for updates, mainly for a better deal on the 2.5 but ill just have to wait to see what the deals are like. 1gb ram? or 2gb ram? 4x512 sticks wont be that bad price from crucial
    graphics card? if the 20 is in order i will probably go with the 6800 gt but the 30 i might want to get the 6800 ultra/x800 (can i have opinions on these cards?)

    i would like to stress that money is an issue, but work is going to be important so its a need/money toss up
  2. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Have you considered using VNC to the PC to control it via the Mac, or do you need to be "on the PC" so to speak?

    As for the displays - the 20" is big and should suffice for what you need, even if you only get one of them. In fact, unless you think you'll be doing a lot of internal expansion of the hardware, you could even consider the 20" iMac G5.

    Otherwise, the PM is nice because of a number of things - expandability, digital optical audio, possible dual-processor.

    I keep coming back to the money thing - the 20" iMac G5 and a PC running VNC sounds like it will do what you want. Max out the RAM on the iMac and you should be fine. You can always add an additional 20" screen to the iMac if you really want to and use the screen spanning hack to use it effectively.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    2.5 G5 with 2.5gb of RAM – remember it comes with 2 x 256 sticks already and the rest also have to go in in pairs. That's the set-up we have on our work-machines... it will not disappoint you.

    If you're lucky you could pick up a refurb 10am Weds on Apples UK site...

    If it was me, I'd go for the 23" monitor. 2 x 20 is fine but the 23" will have that extra screen height that's so useful when viewing portrait A4 pages and also that chunky Pshop bar at the top...

    Consider also your back-up and scratch disk needs. Recommend another good SATA drive in that 2nd bay...
  4. BakedBeans thread starter macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    but the 23 is nearly twice the price!

    imac g5 is not really an option, the 5200 just isn't cutting any mustard.

    i do want a setup that will last me a while,

    im looking at

    powermac dual 1.8 through to 2.5
    with a 20 maybe dual 20s or a 30

    i need this machine to be fast for time issues, any tine saved is more money made!

    can you share the screen?
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    So is 2 x 20"... They might give you a bit more real estate but it's split which may be OK for video but if you're working on a large image in Pshop then one big screen is preferable IMHO... at a later stage you can get an additional cheaper smaller LCD -- once that's less colour critical -- to put all your palettes on. That's what I would do anyhows...

    I'm serious about the scratch disks though :D
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    That could be a problem unless the PC has DVI out and you can get some kind of DVI switch...
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    if you get a KVM switch you will be able to swtich the screen between the two computers no problem, however, there is no way that you will be able to use a BT mouse and keyboard with both computers, the way BT works is that its pairs with one computer, and you would have to set up each device for the other computer every time you switched between one of the other, its just not practical, your best bet would be to get a wired keyboard and mouse, and use the KVM swtich for them as well, you can get ones that will toggle between all your input devices so this wouldnt be a problem and is probably your best bet

    i would go for either the 23" monitor or if you have the money to burn the 30", it is amazing really, but thats up to you, i dont think the 2x20 is all that practical, you still will have that bezel there, and it can be annoying

    id say PM dual processors is what you will need at least
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Can you get DVI KVM switches? Bet they're not cheap...
  9. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    You could also consider non-Apple displays. There has been much discussion on these boards on the Dell 2005FPW displays, which may be somewhat less expensive. I don't know if they have a 23" option.

    It sounds like your need for efficiency and longevity outweighs your financial concerns. Pick the fastest machine you can afford right now and pair it with the largest single monitor you can afford. BV is right that the larger screen will be nice for handling large PShop images or page designs.

    You can share the monitors - in fact, Belkin has a DVI KVM for only about $180 US.
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I can't find the post now, but I'm fairly certain that Belkin KVM was disparaged by an MR member a month ago or so. I'd just get a cheap USB KVM and inexpensive CRT (actually, you probably already have one) if you want to go that way.

    If it were me, though, I'd use Remote Desktop Client.
  11. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    There are other manufacturers as well, such as StarTech and BlackBox, although the BlackBox one is significantly more expensive.

    I'd suggested VNC, but Remote Desktop might be a better alternative.
  12. BakedBeans thread starter macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish

    im pretty sure one monitor is the way to go - and you have confirmed my ideas - thanks for that.

    remote desktop, wont that be slow as slow can be? doesnt it work over an internet connection (or is that the windows thing built into xp?)
    a switch (although i have no idea what kvm means) would be my prefs

    i just cant justify a 23 over a 20 and an ibook (within a few hundred pounds) just how much diff is the HD going to make? will it only be noticeable if im editing hd? i might be able to stretch (and it will be a stretch) to the 30 - this screen will last me at least 5 years (not including failure, just in terms of not need anything else) maybe 10 in terms of size?
    this is a purchase that i will hold onto for sometime, until it wont do what i want it to anymore, so it needs o be right

    im a little gutted about the bluetooth, but hey - you cant win them all!

    if i was to get a 30 that might eat into my powermac affordability, maybe going from the highest processor down a couple

    its a difficult choice,

    BV can you talk to me a little more about scratch disks, i was thinking (or the plan was) get a WD Raptor with the 250 gb seagate that you get from apple. what would you all suggest?
  13. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    That is exactly what we use (74gb WD Raptor) in our 3 x work G5s except in a slightly different configuration...

    I'm now going to bore you with the details...

    The Raptors are partitioned into 2 partitions. One partition (about 60gb) holds the system and all current work, the other remaining 14 is a pure Pshop scratch partition. The Seagate is used as a system clone & backup and also a personal dumping ground... that's where I keep my tunes.

    Because we work from a server and archive completed projects onto DVD pretty rapidly, there's no need to keep more than 10gb of work on any machine at any time. These 60gb partitions are also network backed-up to the server and an external HD every night...

    Whoops, got a little carried away there but the main point is that the Raptors are fast. We don't worry about boot time or app start-up because the machines are on 24/7... the improved overall system speed is about the equivalent of adding maybe another 100-200mhz, but that's just a dumb comparison. Here's Anandtech's review.

    The advantage of having a separate & dedicated fast scratch disk is that it's not writing & rewriting constantly to your system drive. Some Pshop scratch files can get pretty large and video a lot bigger... so your main drive doesn't have to keep swapping Gbs of data on top of the usual system/app stuff...

    As somebody else said, think of them as virtual memory...

    More reading

    I don't know much about FCP but you set your scratch disks in Pshop in the Preferences menu.

    Hope that's of some help :)

    BTW: Get the 30" inch
  14. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Just a thought, but you could probably share a BT keyboard and mouse set... Don't get the internal BT adaptor for the PM, and get a USB BT adaptor... plug that adaptor into a USB KVM and then when you switch the KVM from machine to machine, it SHOULD autodetect new hardware being attached and then be able to use the mouse/keyb...

    Anyone know any reason that wouldn't work?

    As far displays go, I agree with you about the 23"... seems like 2x 20" is a better value, but I prefer working with dual monitors to one big one. I also think that the 30" is pretty amazing. I think I might have trouble woking with it tho, as it might be TOO big.

    Another option would be 2x 20" Dell widescreen LCDs for under $1500... people really seem to like those, and, on paper, they have better specs. They also have multiple inputs, so you could hook the PC to the VGA input and the Mac to the DVI(s). You can even do PiP and split screen displays with the 2 computers. You could hook up the second monitor to a TV source as well, so it would be Mac on both, PC on one, and TV on one... would be neat to have an extended desktop with a PiP on each display of something else.

  15. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Unfortunately this will not work. The BT devices pair with a computer (not the USB/internal adaptor). They can only pair with one device at a time so you'd need to re-pair every time you changed machines :(
  16. feakbeak macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    robbieduncan - I knew you couldn't just share the BT keyboard/mouse because of the pairing, but are there any BT KVMs on the market? I was searching the net several weeks ago and didn't find anything promising. The reason I am interested is that I have PC with the MS Bluetooth desktop set and I just ordered a Mac mini. I also bought a new 20" LCD (Dell 2001FP) so I have the spare monitor, keyboard and mouse and I am currently planning on setting up the Mac mini separately, but if there are BT KVMs on the market, I would consider sharing my BT keyboard/mouse and 2001FP with my PC and the mini.
  17. runninmac macrumors 65816


    Jan 20, 2005
    Rockford MI
    When does it update on the US site?
  18. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Have absolutely no idea – I live in the UK.

    Try posting a thread in the general Apple/Tech forum, I'm sure you'll get a pretty quick reply...
  19. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Whilst I have never heard of one I can't rule out the posibility. If there was a KVM that allowed you to pair the BT input devices with it and then presented an emulated USB keyboard and mouse to the attached systems than it might work.

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