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Question: What Computer do you use?
Mac - 121 (42%)
Intel - 97 (33.7%)
AMD - 67 (23.3%)
Other (please tell us) - 3 (1%)
Total Voters: 39

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Author Topic: What Computer do you use?  (Read 18256 times)
Dan Wells
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2005, 11:14:30 AM »
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Let me admit my biases straight out. I've used Macs for 20 years, and I prefer them strongly for my own use. I've also worked as  both a PC and a Mac systems guy, and have built a number of PCs. I can't stand advertising, spyware or shoot 'em up games (I am more sensitive than most to dancing ads and the like). I have always preferred the Mac OS to whatever version of Windows was current at the time, but I certainly like some flavors of Windows much more than others (Windows 2000 was my all-time favorite, and I don't like XP).
    One thing to consider is that upper-end Macs are better built than MOST PCs. The Power Mac G5 is a comparable design to an upper end Dell Precision or the HP dual CPU workstations. These machines (whether Mac or PC) are a whole different level of quality from the average desktop PC-just look at the cooling, the way they're put together, the attention to detail throughout.  The Mac is actually slightly LESS expensive than its competition in similar configurations.
    A legitimate beef against Apple is that they don't offer a whole lot of choice below that level (if you have your own favorite monitor, Apple's offerings jump from the Mac Mini to the Power Mac workstations). Apple DOES tend to aim its machines right at what a photographer would want, while any powerful Wintel box (except for the aforementioned workstations, and also servers) will be aimed straight at gamers, with quite different performance optimizations!
    If you can afford a Power Mac, it's probably the cheapest route to a really top Photoshop machine. PowerBooks are among the nicest notebooks out there (but, again, they're comparable to top-end PCs in pricing and Apple offers less choice at lower levels-although the iBooks are very credible).
    Windows offers a lot more choice, especially if you're willing to build your own (essentially the only way not to pay for gaming-centered features). Remember that you'll be dealing with buggy, spyware and virus laden Windows XP (it's a shame Microsoft no longer offers Windows 2000, which was much more stable than XP). It may be worth it to many people to bite the bullet and buy a Power Mac even if you don't care about the build quality, just to avoid buying $300 worth of partially effective virus, spyware, ad and spam blockers.
     Of course, if you don't have a monitor you're attached to, Apple offers many more options (if you're in the market for a nice single processor system, Apple will gladly sell you one with a 20 inch LCD for under $2000-they just won't let you decline the LCD and save a lot of money, because it's part of the computer).
    The one thing that would change this equation is if you also like games. Games just don't work as well on Macs, and, if this matters, you have two choices-Windows or two computers. The same, sadly, holds for using Windows 2000 to get around some of the problems with XP-2000 is nice, but most games won't run. Since I never touch games, I don't care, but anybody who does care needs to consider this and probably just use XP (being careful about the spyware, etc...)

                                   -dan
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DaveLon
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2005, 06:03:53 AM »
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Mac Dual G5 2 gigahertz, OS 10.3.7

But then I have been using a Mac since 1984

Dave S
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Quentin
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2005, 05:31:16 AM »
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I use an AMD-powered PC with 1.5gb RAM running Win XP with more gadgets hanging off of it that I can remember.   If your view is that Macs are more reliable than PC's, I'd say its not true, provided you use good hardware.  The problem with PC's is variability in quality of the hardware.  Buy decent kit, and its rock solid and reliable.  My Win XP PC has never crashed.  Not once.   The consensus referred to that Macs are more reliable than PC's  is based on books written mainly by Mac users and to be fair, it may have been true at one time, but it has not been the case since Windows 2000, in my view.

We run a stock library from another PC.  

Buy what suits you.  Truly, the differences are now down to personal preferences, not performance or reliability.

Quentin

PS, yes I agree on the mouse issue  Cheesy
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
paulbk
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2005, 12:40:20 AM »
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I just went through a PC upgrade (January 2005). Hand built from scratch. Very satisfied, whisper quiet, excellent PSCS performance. I backup photo files to replaceable IDE hard drive. DVD backup is too much fuss.

Motherboard = MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
CPU = AMD Athlon 64 (939) FX53 2.4GHz
Ram = 4GB (OCZ PC3200 Perf. DC - 2x1024mb x2)
Operating System = Windows XP Pro

4 SATA ports on motherboard:
Hard Drive = SATA Western Digital 120 GB (boot drive)
Hard Drive = SATA Western Digital 250 GB (current year photo files & PS scratch drive)
CD/DVD Rom = SATA Plextor PX-712SA/SW 12x DVD+RW

2 IDE sockets on mother board:
Hard Drive (replaceable for backup) = IDE Western Digital 120 GB
CD/DVD Rom = IDE Pioneer 106 DVD+RW

I run two monitors (2 x Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 20 CRT), each with its own card (both use same driver):
AGP Video Card = MSI/nVidia GeForceFX5200 128MB
PCI Video Card = MSI/nVidia GeForceFX5500 128MB

Power Supply = Antec Neopower 480W ATX2.0 PCI-E
CPU Cooling = Thermalright XP-90 Heatsink
Case = GlobalWin YCC-61F1 Full-Tower

ps: MAC is a religion. If you believe, you believe. I don't.
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paul b. kramarchyk
Barkhamsted, Connecticut, USA
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2005, 09:04:50 AM »
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As for Photographers going Windows, I think it's due to cost and ignorance
I disagree. If you're used to Mac, it's easier than Windows, but if you learned computers on Windows machines, Mac OS is not particularly intuitive to figure out, and there is no compelling reason to switch. And if you can get better Photoshop performance for 2/3 the cost, what's ignorant about using the Windows platform?
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etmpasadena
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« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2005, 05:26:09 PM »
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First, the base G5 is 1499, not 1899.

Second, it has the following components that your PC might not:

(1) Superdrive and Apple's DVD creation sofware
(2) Firewire 800
(3) Built in airport extreme
(4) Optical audio in and out
(5) A suite of software.
(6) Native dual digital monitor support (no special or secondary video card required)

When we spec machines we have to be careful to really include everything. That's the only point I was making.
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Dinarius
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« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2005, 01:14:15 PM »
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Has the world of gaming anything to teach us about choice of processor/graphics card?

After all, at the front end, pretty much everyone is using Photoshop. Right?

So, shouldn't the very "anorak" world of gaming offer some insights into choice of hardware?

Just wondering......

There's a discussion on that very topic here>
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/35516/

I'd be interested to here the views of those in the know.

D.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2005, 04:01:02 PM »
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My point was for you to be more diplomatic. I know you weren't implying that I lied but the immediate opposite of the statement "not true" is "lie." Due to the striped down nature of text-communication you leave interpretation of such bold remarks to the person reading. "Not true" can easily be mis-interpreted and lead pointless hostility. "Not fully accurate" (or something like that) is much more diplomatic, more productive, and represents what you mean far better. Even "Not accurate" would be a vast improvement over "not true."

That's what I was getting at in a not-as-direct way (I admit I did not communicate it that well).

As for the PC stuff what I said is not a strawman argument by any means. What you have said about a profesional enviroment is very accurate (I used to work in such an enviroment) but I am clearly not talking about that enviroment. I am talking about the average user. Most people (photograhers included) use their computers for a multitude of things.

Profesional or not, people install software to do what they need beyond just photography, people install trial software to see if they will benefit from it, they install software that makes things more convenient or pleasant and they install updates and upgrades to that software. All this can and does lead to the computer acting up as it ages. It does not matter how much you maintain it, it will eventually degrade in performance and reliability and it will sometimes begin to act "odd" or "quirky" (there really is no better way to describe it). Most of this isn't always very noticeable when it's happening but becomes very evedent after a fresh instalation. The sevarity and time-frame this occures depends on the situation. It may never become a problem or it may become a problem a month after you buy the machine. It all depends.

To think that most users can or should mimick a controlled IT enviroment is just unrealistic and naive.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2005, 06:55:06 PM »
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That test at Rob Galbriath would have been interesting a year ago but holds no relevance today

... erm, a year ago it would have been a year out of date (or am I missing something?)


As for OSX viruses: what are they? When did they surface? How are they transmitted?
You missed something. The test was done one year ago before the G5 was released. Thus it's irrelavance today since technology for the Mac has advanced a some since then.


I'm not going to spend much time on the Mac virus thing. A simple Google search and a spare 10 minutes will net you plently of info.

Basically there are several cross-platform vireses that exist, viruses/worms that are ment to attack Unix/apache/samba/etc (which OSX is built on and has installed), and many viruses can spread from macs even if they can't damage them.

As has been said already, they do exist, although they are rare.

Malware Myths and Misinformation, Part One:
http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1695
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quicksilver
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« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2005, 02:05:41 AM »
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I admit I'm running on old systems: a PC with PIII 450Mhz and an Apple Powerbook on 233Mhz.
I've used PCs for years so I admit it's always a bit of a struggle going onto the Mac (like how do I find 'task manager'?). One day I need to upgrade at least one of these machines and at present it would certainly be the PC.
Basically what swings it for me is the huge amount of support and software out there for the PC. I would like to support Apple because I believe competition is always good for an industry, but when it comes down to it, if I have a problem with my PC I can usually find an answer in 10 minutes, while a problem on my Mac usually takes a few hours to resolve.
So many things just aren't supported on the Mac or have 'limited' support. I'm not just using the machine for PS work, the bottom line is that sites and facilities will always work for PCs but may or may not work for Macs (in many corporate environments you can forget using a Mac).

Anyway, I admitted my bias from the start - but for me it's the PC.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2005, 09:02:28 AM »
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I recently priced a top of the line Dell 670 with a top of the line Mac G5 (both dual processor with similar amounts of RAM etc) and they were within several hundred dollars of eachother. On a 5500-6000 dollar computer set-up this is insignificant, indicating that arguments about uncompetitive Apple hardware costs are not always correct.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
jani
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« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2005, 04:19:32 PM »
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I recently priced a top of the line Dell 670 with a top of the line Mac G5 (both dual processor with similar amounts of RAM etc) and they were within several hundred dollars of eachother. On a 5500-6000 dollar computer set-up this is insignificant, indicating that arguments about uncompetitive Apple hardware costs are not always correct.
Reality check!

A few hundred dollars are still enough to get you a long way to an upgrade on either system, a lens upgrade, a new bicycle, a few haircuts and several crates of beer, regardless of how much you're spending. (And I don't care whether the Mac or the Dell was cheaper.)

I've read similar reasoning in other threads in this forum, but I still think it's ludicrous when people write things like "oh, when you're spending ten thousand dollars, another thousand doesn't matter".

Everybody has a budget limit. That extra dozen, hundred, thousand or hundred thousand might just be what pushes you over that limit.

End of reality check.
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Jan
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« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2005, 01:39:37 PM »
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I have the experience of recently switching from a Dell pc with XP-pro to a dual-processor G5 Mac.  The pc was a mess- I experienced many blue screen crashes during normal use and even went through a total re-format of my hard drive to try to solve what in hindsight was probably a major hardware malfunction like a defective motherboard.  Unfortunately, I never got anywhere with either Dell or independent tech support.  To add to the misery, the entire system was infected by a virus even though I ran a full suite of anti-virus and spyware software.  In contrast, I have had zero problems with the Mac and I find the machine and operating system an elegant alternative to pc's/windows.  Literally night and day in my case.
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Fovea
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« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2005, 02:49:55 PM »
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I've been using Macs since 1989, there were ups and downs. Currently we really are at an up with the unix type operating system "OS X".

I'm using PCs at work. Since Windows 2000, the OS is OK. It only starts to really degrade when you start uninstalling things. Something which is very straightforward and clean under Mac OS: you generally just dump the application folder into the trash (except for Microsoft Office which is unbelievably PC complex).

Oh, and by the way, I agree for the mouse, but very few people ever notice it. The Apple mouse is non linear: if you move fast, the mouse moves very fast, if you move slowly, the mouse moves very slowly. This gives you increased precision.

Xavier.
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gary_hendricks
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2005, 08:45:39 AM »
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I'm using an AMD machine 1800GHz with 512MB ram.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2005, 10:31:51 AM »
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Intel PCs are (at least at all the times in the past I've looked into it) considerably more bang for the buck than Macs.  I use one for PS (and everything else) and it works fine.

Lisa
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Robert Spoecker
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« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2005, 11:25:01 PM »
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I have been using home computers since about 1978. At that time the Personal Computer was not named yet. I started with a Radio Shack TRS 80 computer running with 4kb ram. Kilo byes that is, not giga bytes.

The PC is a nice machine if you have need for word processors or spread sheet programs. I liked playing games occasionally also. The Mac, it seems to me, is more oriented to the digital artist wether that is image processing digital camera output or just generated out of the thin air. I understand that it is also a good platform for digital music creation or manipulation. So it seems it has a lot to offer the digital artist. Not to say PCs are wanting in that arena. Choices are not easy. You have to evaluate all your priorities and choose accordingly.

My G4 is running Mac OS X Version 10.3.3 and has a 55 gigabyte hard disk and one gigabyte ram. It runs a gigaHz CPU speed. Image processing is computer intensive isn't it?

Just remember no matter what you buy you will not be stuck with it for long as in a short time it will be obsoleter and you will want a newer one. I alresdy want a G5.    

Robert
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Quentin
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« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2005, 11:02:35 AM »
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Its also very interesting that on a photo related board like this, PC users still significantly outnumber Mac users.  That probably would not have been the case 5 years ago.
Yes that is interesting. But since PCs running Windows are supposed to have almost 95% of the market...
Yes, but that 95% of the market includes all the major office users.  The point is that the PC is the more popular choice for the pro, semi-pro and serious amateurs who post here.  Even I, a PC user, am a little surprised by that. :cool:

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
61Dynamic
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« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2005, 07:50:07 PM »
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As for the price/performance advocates any true comparison must be done by comparing machines which are identical in specs. Once you do that the price difference is minimal.

That's actually impossable due to the difference in hardware architecture. The best one can do in reality is to compare the fastest mac possable to the fastest PC possable.

Quote
(6) Native dual digital monitor support (no special or secondary video card required)

The PC has native dual monitor support if the video card has two outputs. Most do. In addition, Windows allows for more than two monitors. You can have as many monitors as you have video cards (of the same brand to avoid video driver issues) to plug into it. Have a PC with 4 PCI slots and one AGP? 10 monitors. A bit overkill but possable...

__--

Anyhow. I have been using PCs for over 10 years now and I have always though Macs sucked. This is because, well, they did. I learned computers on teh Mac and I have family members who have always had macs. Macs have always been easier than PCs, but less flexible in configuration (still are), sluggish, expensive and a bit "fruity" in behavior.

Then the new designs came out in the 90s and they became pretty. Then OSX came out and showed potential. Unfortunatly that was basically beta software and they still had lame (but pretty) hardware. With each release things improved and then things got real interesting with the G5 release.

What sold me on Macs is a combination of things. I watched a low-end mac over a year ago with only 512MB of ram switch between VirtualPC, PS, IE, and dreamweaver without a hitch. Each transition between the apps was smooth as silk. All of these are memory intensive apps. When I saw that I was sold. My PC on 640MB of RAM chokes when I switch from PS to my web browser.

Add to that the UI which is 100x better in design and functionality than the FisherPrice UI of Windows, the Unix core (and all the functionality and security that comes with it), and the fact a Mac is not so prone to the same secutity issues. The next OSX (Tiger) looks very impressive; especialy it's search function. Needless to say, I am going to be buying a high-end dual G5 as soon as I can. Considering Macs and PCs in the high-end are about the same cost it's a no-brainer IMHO.
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giles
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« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2005, 03:39:57 AM »
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* There is no 128-bit Itanium.

I must be using jargon.  "128 way" means a system with 128 processors in it:

http://www.hp.com/product....on.html

Once you place all those processors in a system, trust me, there's quite a lot of heat to worry about, too.

The Itanium processors themselves are 64 bit, of course.

Cheers,

Giles (yes, we're well off topic now  :laugh:)
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