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Author Topic: Which Mac as a main machine ?  (Read 3235 times)
FDewannieux
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« on: May 11, 2011, 04:11:33 PM »
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I am a "serious" amateur photographer and I am more and more interested in video. I am always been a Windows guy but I would like to try Mac OS for a while. I just got a new MBP 13 as a laptop and the time is coming to replace my trusty Vista x64 box. I use it mainly for Lightroom, Photoshop, DAM and video editing (using Vegas now, this might change). It has 3 internal drives and is also connected to a bunch of external ones (archives, back-up) and to a Buffalo NAS. I also use a NEC Spectraview monitor.

What do you guys use as your main Mac OS machine ?

-One option is a more powerful MBP but I will struggle a bit to manage all the HDs, etc. I would connect it to the external monitor, an external keyboard, etc.
-Another one is an iMac. It is a closed system but it does look good
-A MacPro is upgradable and would work with my monitor but it is massive and might be an overkill

The Mac product line being what it is, is there a consensus ? Is the Mac Pro the best option ?

Thanks !

Franck


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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 04:24:13 PM »
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It's actually a tricky decision and depends very much on your priorities and needs

For serious video, the MacPro is really the only option because of its expandability (PCIe)
That said, many editors use an iMac which is very powerful for an all-in-one machine - as is the MacBook Pro with separate monitor.

For photography, any of the current top-of-the line Macs will work well if you include a separate monitor(s) with the MacBookPro
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 07:58:46 AM »
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It's actually a tricky decision and depends very much on your priorities and needs

For serious video, the MacPro is really the only option because of its expandability (PCIe)
That said, many editors use an iMac which is very powerful for an all-in-one machine - as is the MacBook Pro with separate monitor.

For photography, any of the current top-of-the line Macs will work well if you include a separate monitor(s) with the MacBookPro

I think that Thunderbolt has changed the situation (or *will* change it) since iMacs and MBPs will be able to run very fast I/O through the same bus used for video. The limiting factors then are video subsystem and RAM capacity. Mac Pros will always be faster/more flexible, but Thunderbolt levels the playing field for most folks.
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mediumcool
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 08:02:40 AM »
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I would get a medium- to high-end iMac; I am quite happy with my last year’s 3.06 21.5" iMac, except for redraws in C1 v6.2. This year’s models do perform better, and there is always Ivy Ridge in the next rev.

It never stops.  Sad
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k bennett
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2011, 08:57:21 AM »
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This review of the latest 21.5 inch iMac might interest you.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2011, 10:07:13 AM »
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One caveat on the new iMacs:

The HD is not user-replaceable since the new iMacs now rely on a 7-wire SATA power connector and Apple proprietary firmware on the main hard drive to monitor temperature. Remove or replace it, and the iMac’s fans run at full speed all the time.
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 12:34:40 AM »
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by the sound of what Chris is saying, it looks like Apple is trying to lock in its uers once again.

What is best for you may be very different to me, but the hacking order is, Macpro, iMac, Macbook Pro, Macbook, MacMini, Mac Air and iPad, iPhone/iTouch/IPod with the later being the lowest spec device.

The Macpro is a workstation, a much more heavy duty machine then the iMac. The Macpro can have dual processors, more ram and more hard drives and you can add PCIe cards to it to expand and add functionality to it.

The iMac is similar to your windows desktop computer range. Its single processor and can have up to two hard drives (2.5") i think. up to 16GB of ram on the latest ones. I doubt you can replace and upgrade the graphics card in this one, which may be desirable if you are doing HD Video.

At the end of the day, I guess you need to look at how much you are willing to spend vs how long you are willing to wait for things to be processed/rendered.

Looking at the specs of the new iMac's they look very nicely spec'ed but so is my windows workstation :-)

All the best and let us know what you decide to get and why.

Henrik

PS: If I were to get a Mac coming from the windows world of hot rods, It would have to be a Macpro, purely because it represent the most powerful machine in MacLand with the most option for future upgrades. So as an investment, I think the Macpro is a better choice. They just don't build them fast enough :-)
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francois
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 01:51:58 AM »
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One caveat on the new iMacs:

The HD is not user-replaceable since the new iMacs now rely on a 7-wire SATA power connector and Apple proprietary firmware on the main hard drive to monitor temperature. Remove or replace it, and the iMac’s fans run at full speed all the time.
There might be a solution for this issue:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.macbidouille.com%2Fnews%2F2011%2F05%2F24%2Fnous-allons-bientot-changer-le-disque-dur-d-un-imac-2011&sl=fr&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8
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Francois
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 03:47:54 AM »
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For serious video, the MacPro is really the only option because of its expandability (PCIe)

Of course, since Thunderbolt is PCI-E–based, that distinction is rather less important.
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FDewannieux
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 03:45:37 PM »
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Thanks for the very valuable comments, insights and the link to the very relevant review ! Being a bit of a geek (I also work in the enterprise software industry in an other life), I am tempted to go the MacPro way. I will see whether the MacPro line is updated in June, will make a decision then and will let you guys know.
Thanks again !
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mediumcool
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 09:32:46 PM »
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Just read this Macworld review; well worth looking at.
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StuartOnline
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2011, 07:28:54 AM »
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Just read this Macworld review; well worth looking at.

I saw that review and that is making me lean toward the new iMac i7. Currently I am using a MacBook Pro 2.66 (June 2009). It is just that the SSD is still very costly. However with the Thunderbolt external hard drives coming soon, this could be one powerful system. The big question is, when will the Thunderbolt hard drives be available? And what will be the cost of these drives.

Stu
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alansky
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2011, 11:36:23 AM »
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My brother is very accomplished Photoshop pro in NYC who has relied exclusively on the Mac Pro for many years. Last year he bought his first iMac and he's happy as a clam. Some people undoubtedly have particular needs that are best served by the Mac Pro, but this doesn't change the fact that the Mac Pro is a hulking beast and that most users (even pro's) would ultimately be much happier with the slim, trim (and wicked fast) iMac.

As an aside, people who are have stacks of hard drives should consider consolidating their data holdings. High-capacity hard drives are dirt cheap nowadays. There's no need for anyone to make do with a rat's nest of external storage devices.
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Photo Op
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2011, 02:47:49 PM »
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If you can wait....check out the update to the MacMini. As mentioned above, Thunderbolt will make a difference. The server version with an SSD inside and 8 gig ram may work for you, that's what I'm looking for, plus the ability to use my "old" monitors. Time will tell....
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David
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2011, 11:12:51 PM »
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If you can wait....check out the update to the MacMini. As mentioned above, Thunderbolt will make a difference. The server version with an SSD inside and 8 gig ram may work for you, that's what I'm looking for, plus the ability to use my "old" monitors. Time will tell....

Seems likely to me that the video will be the weak link. Would like to be proved wrong.
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