switching to a mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by danbear, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. danbear macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    hey, i need some advice :p

    i currently am using a pc AMD64 3200+ gig of ram and a 6800 ultra, i play games alot on it,

    however i have just started a uni course doing image manipulation, video editing work and some animation. i have used my mates mac and it was great but its alot of money and im not sure if i should just stick with my pc, i get that macs are faster and more of the industry standard, but what are they like for games and what nice features do you think they have?

    would you recomend the switch,

    i was looking at getting a duel 2ghz with 1 gig of ram and an ATI x850, considering my pc now do you guys think it would be a waste of money or a good investment, is the duel 2.3ghz much better?

  2. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    You'll have to decide if games or uni work is more important to you. Macs are slower, and is most case much slower, than PCs at games (I'm assuming you're talking about 3D intensive games - if fps isn't important then there's really no difference). But they are limited by the quality of the game porting to Mac OS rather by the hardware, although knowing that doesn't make the gaming experience any better (just preempting the response that's sure to get).

    Check out the tests at http://www.barefeats.com/macvpc.html (CPU tests) and http://www.barefeats.com/mac2pc.html (3D gaming tests)

    Getting the 2.3GHz over the 2.0GHz won't make any difference for games, you'll still get crappy fps. It will make a difference for video and image manipulation.

    However, some people say that they still get a good gaming experience even with the lower resolutions and low frame rates, but I'm betting they haven't compared their Macs directly to a PC.

    As you said, you find your mate's Mac is great, but you have to decide if you'd rather have a great everyday work experience or a great gaming experience.
  3. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I would recommend the switch just to get rid of windows.

    As far as gaming on Mac, my 2.3GHz DP Power Mac G5 plays Doom 3 without a problem. If I had a decent video card (i.e.- the ATI Radeon X800 XT or X850 XT) then it would be even better.

    To be honest, I enjoy gaming more on my Mac than on my previous self-built PC (3.06GHz P4-overclocked to 3.3GHz, 1GB DDR 400, 6600GT w/ 128MB).

    I went with the 2.3GHz Power Mac G5 mainly because of the faster cpus, fsbs, and the ability to handle up to 8GB RAM. But the Power Mac that you are looking at would be a great system that will last you for years to come. Highly, highly recommended. :)
  4. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    In terms of gaming performance, your PC will runs rings around a Mac. However in everything else, Mac rules. Especially creative-type work with graphic and video manipulation.

    As for nice features, anything specific you have in mind? Hardware or software features?

    One very nice feature that I really like is the zero-config networking. I was using my Uncle's wireless network in Boston just surfing the web with Safari. I closed the lid to put the laptop to sleep for the big trip back to my house here in Aus but I purposefully left Safari running when I put it to sleep. After about 30+ hours of travelling I opened the lid of the laptop in my loungeroom and Safari updated the RSS feeds and away I went. No configuration required.

    Another great feature of the software is that unlike Windows, OS X does not fill the entire screen with one window (for most apps). Instead it sizes say the Safari window to be big enough to display all the information but not all the wasted space. This means that it is easy to move images from the web to the desktop - just drag the image from the web page to the desktop (which you can see cause the window isn't blocking anything and hey, no need for right-click either). I use this feature to be more efficient, I have a little 12" screen but I can display Safari, Messenger, iChat and a bit of the desktop for drag and dropping all in useful sizes and all visible at the same time.

    Wanna mail a file to someone? Drag the file onto the Mail icon in the dock.

    Wanna install a program? Drag the program icon from the disk image to the Applications folder.

    Wanna uninstall a program? Drag the program icon from the Applications folder to the trash. That's it. Done.

    Remember that clicking the red x doesn't close the program, only the window - sometimes it's really handy to have programs running without a resource-using window open.

    Get as much storage as you can. Get as much RAM as you can but get from a reputable dealer rather than expensive Apple RAM.

    iPods work much better and if you have it formatted to PC, no worries, your Mac can read and write to Fat32. Make sure it's set to "manually manage songs and playlists" and then you can zip around and get new music from anyone without worrying about losing your library.

    Oh what the hell, Microsoft Office:mac is awesome too.
  5. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    while macs can read/write to PC formatted iPods, it CANNOT update the iPod software. That's one down side.

    Plus, as chundles said, you get rid of Windows. Gaming on OS X is getting better (variety wise) but sucks overall. Then again, I wouldn't play games on a computer, only a console.

    But, whatever.

    It sounds to me if you're very reliant on playing games you should stick with winblows. It'll be cheaper for you in the long run rather than buying new hardware/software.
  6. danbear thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    aye thinks for the info, if i got the mac i think i would use it standard and then get a monitor switch and bang on my pc for games, i only play css but i play it everynight, mac's seem more stable and more geared towards the industry im going into (the media industry) more thinking now that if i get a mac and learn how to use it at uni i wont have to make the transition in the work place.

    as for nice features its software im more intrested in, i loved the mac OS is so nice to use great on the eyes too! never seen such a smooth and beautiful OS but man the prices arnt cheap :eek:

    another question, with "winblows" u get updates, but for things like xp64 u have to buy a new OS package, how do mac os upgrades work do you get free updates and then have to buy a new OS when its released? if so is it expensive?

    how future proof are the g5's??

    thanks again :p
  7. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    That's what I'd recommend. I keep a home built PC around for some things, so you don't have to completely "switch" if you can afford it. Macs are more stable overall. Not perfect mind you, but better IMO for those types of things. And they are very easy to learn. Just forget everything you know about Windows. :p

    Price is higher, but you get what you pay for. It's all about the software. And remember, you can always upgrade things like RAM and hard drives yourself later to save some money. Plus, if you qualify for the education discount, there's like 10% off right there. Refurbished models are pretty good too.

    Point releases are free 4.1/4.2/4.3, but you pay for major new releases. $129 US ($69 US education) to go from 10.3 to 10.4, and probably the same for 10.5, but that won't be out for awhile. It'll be worth it to upgrade though.

    I'd wait at least a week, maybe more if new PowerMacs aren't released on Oct. 11th or 12th. There's supposed to be dual core models coming that should be a little faster. Maybe even cheaper. But next year Apple is moving to Intel, so the G5 has only a little time left. Luckily, there are millions of Gx Macs out there, so software companies would be shooting themselves in the foot if they don't support them. I'd say you have at least another 3 good years before you should even worry, and probably about 5 years before it really gets to be an issue where you have to upgrade (if that). By then, you'll be wanting something better anyway.

    You're welcome. Feel free to ask any questions that pop into your head. But remember, search is your friend. ;)
  8. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I'm just going to refer to Apple's own software here, other companies do it differently. All the software that comes with your Mac - and it's a lot and very good - including the iLife suite and all the Apple-made apps get free updates within their release number so for example any updates to iPhoto between 4.0 and 5.0 are free. This also goes for the OS itself, with free upgrades between the dot releases ie you pay for 10.4 and get all the updates until 10.5 free. Of course, 10.4 comes pre-installed.

    All this is managed by the Software Update feature of the OS.

    As Apple control both the hardware and software that goes into a Mac, they can make sure that the OS works with all of it. There are only 2 versions of Mac OS, client and server, but each installation adds it's own system-specific extensions upon installation. So on a desktop you wouldn't have options for battery life settings etc. It also means that no matter what processor you have, if Apple made it and they say the program is supported on it, then it will work.

    10.4 is a 64bit operating system (well, mostly, not entirely just yet), the G5 is a 64bit processor. G4's are still 32bit. The G5 is going to be well supported and competitive for many years to come and by buying a PPC Mac you are avoiding the possibility of running all your creative apps in emulation until the companies that make the apps can provide native Intel versions. The G5's are a good buy right now.

    New OS releases are currently more frequent than Microsoft. You will have to buy the next OS point release (10.5 Leopard) when it comes out. The last two releases have been $129US.
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004

    Since your looking to use your G5 for Animation, Video Editing, and Image Editing. It isn't very future proof. Given that these tasks are very CPU Intensive. You might get a life of three years before the new machines will make current G5's look like their standing still. Especially with the transition to HD video.

    So think of it in terms of gaming. Your current PC rocks at games but in three years it will seem slow compared to new machines, though it will still play the games. The same applies to the G5 though it will still do the work in three years it will seem slow.

    However since you are in Uni you can get the G5 with education discount. Sell it next July on ebay at about $100 -200 loss, with your intel PC. And get a kick ass intel mac next july for what you get from the two machines. You could then dual boot and have the best of both worlds.
  10. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    I agree. Buying a PM G5 right now (well, wait til October 12th to see if they're updating) is a great idea. PPC will be supported for the next 3-5 years, and chundles is correct that you may have to run in emulation if the companies that are making OS X x86 compatible software run late.

    Sure, it's a lot of money...UP FRONT. But here's the thing, the maintenance and virus subscription costs exceed what you'd pay for a MAc with all the same A/V and graphics software. BY FAR.

    The OS is beautiful. I'm hoping Leopard will take it one step further with soem GUI tweeks and allowing more GUI modification withoout the use of Haxies (don't use these apps, no matter how many people tell you they are okay. They will **** your system up big time).

    If you decide to get a Mac, you'll be in good company as well. Microsoft wishes it had useful customers like us. :D
  11. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    why not get an ibook for portability, i dont see the point is buying two powerfull desktop.

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