Thinking of making The Switch...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by vini-vidi-vici, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. vini-vidi-vici macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #1
    This is a follow-up to a thread I posted a couple weeks ago. I'm a photographer... and from what I read, the iMac displays - while not as amazing as top-end Eizo displays and such - are pretty decent... and the iMac would be much more economical for me.

    So... Here’s what I have now:
    Pretty fast PC running WindowsXP… that gets malware/virus attacks non-stop, and has me at my wits end.
    500GB internal RAID
    24-inch apple cinema display (about 3 years old)
    1TB RAID NAS
    1.5TB RAID via firewire (LaCie)
    Dell XPS laptop running windows Vista... fewer virus problems.

    Here’s my possible new Mac setup:
    27 inch iMac with i7 processor & 1TB internal – guess at $2500 (will have to get this quoted)
    2TB time machine $500 (to backup the iMac, wife’s iMac, and Macbook… can it backup all 3?)
    1TB RAID NAS  I know this will work with the Mac…
    1.5TB RAID via firewire (LaCie)  pretty sure this will work with the Mac…
    Sell the Dell laptop & cinema display -$500 or hopefully more… I might give this to someone instead.
    Macbook $1000 (appears to support 1080p output… which I need for presentations)

    So that’s $3500-$4000, plus maybe $500 in software to “go mac”.

    Or, I could go with a new PC running windows 7 for less than half that much.

    My main issue is that although I’m technically adept, I just don’t have time to futz around with everything to make sure it all is working all the time. I’m spending too much of my time lately doing that, and sick of it, and think a lot of my problems will go away if everything is under one brand.

    So… am I nuts? Missed anything? Any other thoughts?

    Anyone know how “aged” the current iMacs are, and when they might get a facelift?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    How about if you just grab a copy of Windows 7 for 100$ (OEM) and install it to your PC? Then, if you like it, build PC (if your current Dell is too slow) for less money but if you don't, then make the switch. I'm not saying OS X ain't worth it but 4000$ is quite big investment and if 100$ or 1000$ investment can do it, save that money to e.g. vacation or smth.
     
  3. vini-vidi-vici thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #3
    It's not so simple to switch from XP to Windows 7 unfortunately. You have to completely re-format, at which point I'm kind of starting over anyway. (I guess you can do a XP->Vista->Windows7 upgrade, but that's kind of a kludge... I'd hate to see what my computer looks like when that's done!

    Also, my PC is probably getting to the point where it's got another ~year of life left before I will want to replace/upgrade it anyway.

    I had thought about keeping the laptop, upgrading that to Windows 7. That might save a few $. But, I have this problem with my Adobe products not allowing mixed PC/Mac licenses. I can get 2 installations, but it has to be all PC or all Mac. I'd rather spend "slightly more" on a macbook instead of adobe software licenses.
     
  4. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #4
    Must be a 23" as the 24" has only been out for ~18 months.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Have you tried Windows 7? Are viruses the only stuff you don't like in it? IMO W7 is very good and if you've always been a Windows guy, it's worth it.

    Is Photoshop the only "heavy" app you use? If so, then Mac Mini would be enough for you
     
  6. vini-vidi-vici thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #6
    I use lightroom more than anything & have lots of gigantic image files to process and deal with.

    I've always used windows, but don't consider myself a "windows guy" in that I love the experience or anything. Windows is fine... but, yes, dealing with this latest flurry of virus attacks has me reeling. I mean, why should I have to buy "anti-virus software" (which doesn't work anyway), shouldn't preventing viruses be microsoft's responsibility?

    Crap, as I sit here, the virus that I thought I have killed a dozen times... finally with all kinds of software fixes, further windows upgrades and such - appears to have returned... rrrrgh@#$@$@!!!
     
  7. ranguvar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    #7
    You can also just install Mac OS X on your PC to try it out, so if you don't like it, you won't have spent $4000 for something you wouldn't like.
     
  8. vini-vidi-vici thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #8
    My wife has an iMac... (about 3 years old with the white shell) has always had Macs (in fact, she's always been telling me - go for it!.. and would probably be happier than me if I switched), so I'm familiar with OS X. I do know a lot of other photographers who are happy with Macs as well. The only thing that bugs me about OS X as far as I can tell is an inability to make applications go "full-screen"... but there's probably some way to do that that I just don't know about. fwiw, I use a wacom pad for most of my photo editing.

    Anyway, I do appreciate the thoughtful comments from everyone. Glad that people are giving honest opinions, and not just knee-jerk reactions.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    What iMac does she have? Photoediting, even heavy editing, isn't that heavy actually so would a Mini be ok for you? You could download the trial of Lightroom to her iMac and transfer some photos to see is it fast enough and then buy a Mac with about the same specs (Mini or low-end iMac).

    Of course i5 is good but you won't need it so as you already have a monitor, Mini will likely be okay for you
     
  10. vini-vidi-vici thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #10
    Well, what I do is heavier than you might think... delays of even a few seconds an image add up to quite a bit. From what I read on-line, the i7 would be worth the $. Plus, I might be drifting into video... which is heavier still.

    Ideally, I'd love the chance to "rent" the iMac I want (or one close to it), so I can try it out for a couple weeks... with the rental fee going toward the purchase price. I don't know if this is possible though. It's something that camera shops offer with expensive gear.
     
  11. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #11
    Nope.
    Microsoft isn't really asking you to use their software, or connect to the internet with it, or download a virus. In fact, most viruses are easily avoidable. You might want to get a better security software or something like that.

    It's not Microsoft's fault if you download something infected.
     
  12. vini-vidi-vici thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #12
    If Microsoft has a security hole in windows, it's surely their fault. And that's what happened from what I can tell... The key is that "most" viruses are easily avoidable. I'll agree on that. However, "most" is not "all". I'm very careful what I download, install and click on.

    I run bitdefender on both my machines (laptop & desktop). It can't see the virus/malware, and seemingly can't stop it or remove it. I had better luck with malwarebytes, and had to run Combofix once to clean things up.

    Trust me, I was in the camp of "you'd have to be stupid or irresponsible to get a virus/malware"... until about 2 months ago when it first happened to me.

    If I buy a car, I don't have to go buy the locks & safety equipment separately. They just come with it. Same should go with computer software, and any other product.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #13
    Try http://free.avg.com/gb-en/homepage

    It's free but I've used it for years in my Windows machines without any issues. It's very light but does its job.

    Also, many viruses comes through e.g. Adobe Flash, MSN, emails etc, they are not MS's fault. Hackers are always ahead of MS and other developers and there is no "secure" OS.

    OS X has actually poorer security than Windows but the fact that there are less users of OS X makes it worse "market" for malware.

    Usually the real issue is between the chair and keyboard because he is the one who actually clicked OK... ;)
     
  14. vini-vidi-vici thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #14
    I might give that a try... thanks.

    Yes, I realize that OS X could be susceptible to malware/viruses as well... maybe if I switch, I'll be in the same pickle in 5 years.

    I believe my problems started with a flash pop-up that looked exactly like a windows system warning - pixel for pixel. But, my clicking on the little red X to kill the window is what actually activated it. Since then, I kill the process instead when I see things that are suspicious. I'm usually quite good at picking these things out, but not in this one case. My hunch is that it popped a hole in my system security somewhere that has left me open to less sophisticated attacks that I get from time to time.

    My problem with this is that I shouldn't have to be a technology expert to use my computer (just like I shouldn't have to be a mechanic to drive a car). I've spent waaaaay too much time on this, and my time is valuable to me. Perhaps it'd be better to hire my own IT guy, who knows. that seems crazy too. I just wonder what happens to the masses of people who aren't at all sophisticated with how they manage their technology? No wonder the world is filled with bots.
     
  15. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #15
    I agree, security holes are faults of Microsoft, but they do fix it. There are also security flaws with OS X too. By the way, I've never heard of those security softwares. If I were you, I'd go with something well known such as McAfee, or Norton - as they do an excellent job. Some programs detect some things that other programs don't, and viseversa. That's basically what those PC technicians do. They load up a couple "best of the best" softwares, to try to get as much as they can. Now, I'm not telling anyone to download 20 different programs. I myself wouldn't even do that.

    I just don't believe you can "just" get a virus. It's from something someone just opened or clicked.

    If you buy a car, it is your responsibility to close the door, or better yet- lock it.
    I understand your reasoning why computer software should come with security, but you have to understand that the technological world changes every minute. It's not like a lock on a car that keeps the door closed. It needs to keep updating to the modern viruses.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #16
    I doubt OS X is going to be the same as you need admins pass to install anything but who knows, I'm sure someone can figure out a way to get rid of that.

    OS X is great, I love it, but I have nothing againt Windows.

    I think in your case, seeing as tired you are about viruses, Mac is the way to go
     
  17. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #17
    You can try this if you don't want to pay for anti virus

    http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download

    or download Microsoft Security Essentials
     
  18. jim4spam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    #18
    Gave up windows too

    I was in the same boat 3 years ago. Had a PC and was having all sorts or tedious issues with virus checkers screwing up, needing to uninstall and reinstall Norton (or equivalent). Just work dammit! My evenings are too important to spend them wasted like that. So when the hard disk died....

    ....I got a 2007 iMac and a Macbook and never looked back. So go for it. I was looking at the new iMacs, and I reckon that IMHO it's probably a good time to buy because they seem to have ironed out the issues, while the i7 is still quite new.

    Another option would be something like a 15" mac book pro, and use your existing external display when at home.

    Good luck.
     
  19. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #19
    how "aged" are the current iMacs? Upper right corner of this forum: http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#iMac

    Dunno how you get an i7 to $2500, they are $2200. http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10776996&cac=Result

    DIY and add an addtional 4 gigs of ram for $100 (get 8 gigs total) = $2300.

    Why are you buying a Time Capsule? (not a Time Machine, thats the software...) If you already have a NAS drive, Im assuming all the macs in your house can already see it? why not use it as your backup drive for all of them? Or get another 1TB NAS? for cheap?

    Dunno where you are in the world (where are you?), but Macbooks are $800 at microcenter right now.

    So thats $3000 + whatever backup drive you want. Why not just give each mac its own backup drive? A 500 gig USB drive is only about $60. So 2 of those for the iMac and the Macbook, $120.

    And are you sure you want/need Time Machine type backups?
     
  20. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    ЧИКАГО!
    #20
    Hello.

    Do yourself a big favor and get a Mac. There's no point in having to be an IT department if you've got better things to do.

    If you're heavily into Photography and Photoshop you may want to consider the Mac Pro for two reasons:

    1- More display options. Your current 23" ACD is nearly impossible to beat for color accuracy. My advice is to keep it.

    2- More internal storage. Photos taken at high resolution can fill up hard drives very fast. The Mac Pro holds up to 4 internal drives with no need for external enclosures. Most importantly for Photoshop, a scratch drive becomes a viable option along with RAID.

    Otherwise, the i7 iMac is a really fine computer. Plenty powerful for any PS session, though the lack of a 2nd internal drive for scratch files may slow you down a bit.
    Make sure you try one out beforehand and can live with the screen. More than a few PS users hate glossy screens. The current iMacs also have been known to have screen tint issues which is bad for photographers in particular.

    I was in the same boat 3 years ago too.... spending way too much time keeping Windows running and running quickly. About that time I switched to Vista.... big, big mistake. I also was using a 23" Apple Cinema Display on my PC.

    Then I got my Mac Pro. Now I've got time to chat here rather than being an IT department!
    My Mac Pro is by far the best computer I've ever used. It does anything at all in Photoshop effortlessly, renders video in Premier Pro 3-4 times faster than a very fast C2D PC and no more tinkering required!

    I say get a 4-core Mac Pro. You won't be disappointed.

    Have Fun,
    Keri

    PS. for that XP virus:
    Download these two programs: 1- rKill. 2- Malwarebytes Antimalware.

    1-Run rKill until the virus stops disabling it. (may take several tries)
    2-Then run the Malwarebytes Antimalware program.
    Both are free downloads and seem to work well for this latest XP threat.
     
  21. vini-vidi-vici thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #21
    Thanks for the info... that's the kind of feedback I was looking for. I have looked at the Mac Pro for just the reasons you stated, but it was even more expense. It probably comes down to whether I want to keep my current screen, or try to get more real-estate... and is the extra few inches of the iMac worth the other downsides. I'm just not sure... I started out by looking at the Mac Pro, but was swayed by the simplicity of the iMac, and from what I read, the color rendition on it might be "good enough" (assuming I can get over the glossiness).

    also, looking at some performance benchmarks, the top-end iMac was almost the same as the Mac Pro... at least from what I could see.

    I do prefer the concept of using RAID drives for everything as opposed to a backup scheme like the time-machine. but, the time machine could also be used for multiple computers... I think. And I'd still have RAID storage on my NAS and firewire drives.

    Anyway, I'll be sure to give it more thought.

    (fwiw, If I had an open checkbook, I'd go with the Mac Pro and a 30inch Eizo... I suppose we can all dream, eh?)
     
  22. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    ЧИКАГО!
    #22
    Hello.

    You're very welcome!

    So far as the i7 being faster than a base Mac Pro at about the same price:

    So What if it is? Speed isn't everything. Also, that's speed "on paper" and as measured with benchmarks. When pushing comes to shoving, a Mac Pro with a scratch drive and maybe a few later upgrades to Graphics and Memory would probably win out.

    With massive amounts of photos, you would be better served with the better storage and display options that the Mac Pro offers.

    With a Mac Pro if you dislike the display or if it breaks or if that new, wiz-bang 148" 3-D Apple iMAX display comes out, you can get a new one without replacing the whole system. Same with the Graphics Card. If you want a Quattro and that 30" Eizo.... or maybe 6 displays over 3 cards? An external eSata or external RAID card? Lots of fun ways to go broke.



    So far as building / buying a PC for 1/2 price?
    Certainly. But that's where you are now, isn't it?

    You will probably find that a Mac only seems expensive BEFORE you buy it. After you buy one, they're INDISPENSABLE.

    Have Fun,
    Happy Shopping,
    Keri
     
  23. iMacThere4Iam macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #23
    I'm not knocking Windows 7, as I haven't had much experience with it, but based on everything you've said, you seem ready to make the switch to OSX, and leave Windows behind. The learning curve would probably be about the same, coming off of XP, so now the thing to do IMHO is look at the different Mac options suggested by OPs.

    I doubt iMacs will get a refresh any time soon, except for a rumored 22" touchscreen. The i7 will still be the top o' the line iMac for a long while, and Apple SUPPOSEDLY has fixed the yellowing screen problem.

    Yes, you can save money UP FRONT on a new PC, but factor in the cost of your time, and the resale value of Macs, the build quality, and as your wife can attest, the better overall user experience on the Mac. Sometimes, a fresh start is better.
     
  24. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #24

    In any case, keep that display. You -want- to use two screens with your photography software and the iMac supports external screens. Since this is most probably the 23" screen (there were no 24" ACDs three years ago), you just have to buy a Mini Display-to-DVI adapter cable.

    Use the second screen for full screen previews of your images. Aperture and Lightroom 3 can both do that (although I prefer Aperture's way of doing this). It's a killer feature.

    The 27" Quad Core iMac is a beast, especially when you consider its small size - it provides Mac Pro power without the heavy and loud tower underneath the desk. I'm very happy that I swapped my Mac Pro for it.

    BUT: I'm also a Microsoft user for 27 years now, and I never had the virus/malware issues that you are talking about. Using common sense, NOT double-clicking on everything that moves in Outlook and Internet Explorer, NOT using illegal software and having a current GOOD anti-virus software (ESET NOD32) running in the background usually keeps you out of harm's way.
     
  25. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #25
    While I think switching would be a very good idea for you, you shouldn't bash Microsoft the way you are doing. No, it is certainly not their task to keep your PC virus free. If you download and install Microsoft Security Essentials, though, and keep it up to date and have it check your hard rive regularly, there shouldn't be any problems. Unless you knowingly visit the kind of sites that are known to give you headaches. Also, do you still use Internet Explorer? Because if so, you shouldn't. Download either Safari, Chrome or Firefox for Windows and you'll be much better off. Not only in the features any of these browsers offer you, but also - and more importantly - for the security.

    Then again, as I stated earlier, I really do think switching is a good idea for you.
     

Share This Page