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Discussion in 'Help Forum' started by Specwriter, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Specwriter

    Specwriter Peasant

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    I have always used a PC for my computing needs. However, my daughter is majoring in photography and was told she should understand how to use a Mac. I understand that Mac has always been the choice for graphics. However, with the speed of the new PC's, I do not understand how the Mac can perform better than a PC for this function. I need to understand this so I can make the proper purchase to help my daughter. Please let me know more about the Mac. And..., thanks for your info.
     
  2. cowofwar

    cowofwar Peasant

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    It's not that the hardware is better. It's the software. A lot of very good software is on the mac.
     
  3. Strader

    Strader Peasant

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    On the hardware end, Macs which use the G4 chip has a special feature built into the chip which speed up various graphical tasks. What I am refering to is "Altivec." Photo editing programs such as Adobe PhotoShop are specially designed to make use of this feature and because of this feature a Mac can outperform a PC with much higher GHz than the Mac. The current PCs are quite fast though and man functions will perform just as quickly or faster on a PC and yet the difference when performing various graphical tasks on the Mac can be quite significant at times.

    Basically, a PC is quite good for graphical work but so are Macs and like cowofwar stated, there is a lot of software of this type for Macs.

    If you are considering a Mac there are three types that might suite your daughter's needs:

    Low-end:

    iMac: http://www.apple.com/imac/

    High-end:

    G4 Tower: http://www.apple.com/powermac/

    Portable:

    PowerBook: http://www.apple.com/powerbook/

    Apple machines tend to cost more but they also tend to last longer without needing upgrading and Apple is known for their excellent under warranty support.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2002
  4. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    there are SSE2 optimized versions of photoshop too. that's just PC altivec. the fastest pcs are faster for graphics than the fastest macs. i don't count altivec when comparing speed of specific tasks.
     
  5. Beeble

    Beeble Peasant

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    Excellent. Here we go.

    Mac's process info differently than PC's. PC's need the megahertz to keep up.

    Thanks to the magazine macaddict, i can give an example in lamen's terms.

    Mac Pizza Shop

    1.Get Dough
    2.Spread Sauce
    3.Get cheese
    4.Spread Cheese
    5.Get toppings.
    6.Spread toppings.
    7.Send to oven.

    PC Pizza

    1.Get Flour
    2. Make Dough
    3.Mix Sauce
    4.Pour Sauce
    5.Spread Sauce
    6.Get Cheese block
    7.Grate Cheese
    8.Spread Cheese
    9.Get Pepperoni
    10.Chop Pepperoni
    11. Spread Pepperoni
    12.Get Pepper
    13. Dice Pepper
    14.Spread Pepper
    15. Send to Oven.

    Merely an example.

    I don't comprehend why the pros use Mac over PC's for sound/video/photo, but I hear that they are better.

    I hope this helps to understand.

    EDIT WOW 3 RESPONSES IN THE TIME IT TOOK ME TO MAKE ONE. BLAST!
     
  6. Strader

    Strader Peasant

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    Yes, these days both choices are quite good. I think it really depends on who she is working with. If they are all using Macs it would be a little more simple to use one as well. You need to know what software she needs to run and if that software has a PC or Mac version that will work correctly.

    In response to Jake's comment about SSE2 I would say that there are many other graphical programs out there besides PhotoShop but he makes a good point and PCs are cheap, though a little more problematic at times.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2002
  7. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    they require more knowledge. if you lack the necessary knowledge then you will encounter problems.
     
  8. filburt1

    filburt1 Peasant

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    PCs are cheaper in the long run (parts) and have more software in general. However none of the operating systems are stable enough or simple to use as OS X. Also this is just my experience but Mac hardware tends to be more reliable. I've only had a Mac HDD die on me and that was a video editing workstation where the HDD was constantly getting pounded all day.
     
  9. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    there is no such thing as a mac hard drive. macs use the exact same drives that pcs use. apple OEMs to seagate, WD, maxtor, quantum, everyone.

    all things being equal, macs and pcs are both perfectly stable.
     
  10. filburt1

    filburt1 Peasant

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    True, but whatever drive Apple bought failed (it was either a Maxtor or WD).

    PCs tend to get more unstable with bad hardware or bad drivers. Macs are partially immune to the problem in the sense that a large amount of hardware that you'd need drivers for in Windows doesn't need drivers on a Mac. Of course physically bad hardware will cripple any computer but I don't ever recall having a driver conflict on a Mac. :)
     
  11. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    pcs are in an open hardware market. macs have a closed hardware market.

    more available hardware = more drivers and such = more knowledge to correctly configure hardware drivers and such

    this gets back to my previous point:

    you can't use complexity as a reason why pcs are inferior. my scientific calculator is easier to use than my ti-86 graphing calculator... that doesn't make my scientific calculator better.
     
  12. Strader

    Strader Peasant

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    Actually you can. The scientific calculator is a bad analogy. They don't crash or lock up due to the extra complexity of how they are setup. It's not a knowledge thing as much as it is the fact that PCs do tend to have more conflict problems than Macs expererience due to more hardware combinations. This is not prevented by more knowledge when it happens. It is however fixed by more knowledge.

    Please note that I am not saying that all PCs are like this, just more than I see with Macs that's all. There are tons and tons of PCs that run just fine from the get go.

    btw Specwriter. You can apply for educational discounts and get Apple machines at much lower prices.

    I would recommend checking to see if your daughter actually needs a Mac. Can she use a PC for her class? Does the software that she will be running work on a PC too? If it does run on the PC and she is allowed to use one then I would recommend getting one in the 2GHz + range for her to use.

    If you want to play it safe and get a Mac, (which are quite good for graphical work and easier to use), I would suggest going the educational discount route to negate their cost. Most computers are quite comparable in speed these days and it's more of a matter of what software they can run, the warranty and how much you like the look of the machine that you're buying. After all, what good is a machine that doesn't run the software that you daughter needs to run?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2002
  13. kraahl

    kraahl Peasant

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    the mac hardware isn´t better at anything, the software might be good but when comparing price/performance on today´s mac they suck. Let´s hope that changes in the future.
     
  14. Strader

    Strader Peasant

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    Yes, unless your daughter is required to have a Mac or you can find one at educational discount it's probably better at this time for you to get a PC. Both in price and somewhat in function. Macs were until the last year or so the best in graphics but no longer are they the undisputed champions of this field.

    Perhaps in the following year or two they will reclaim this title with IBM's new chips. Motorola has let them down by not keeping up and producing new competitive chip designs. Try to get the PC if you can but you can't go wrong getting the Mac either, they're both quite good. In a year or so this may change but this is how it stands at the moment.
     
  15. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1) pcs are faster
    2) pcs have more apps

    conclusion: if you prefer mac, get a mac. otherwise get a pc.

    i'm out
     
  16. Strader

    Strader Peasant

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    Uh... You're not paying attention to his original post. His daughter may be required to use one, etc... This is what my answers were targeted at. Not his preference. He asked about performance and told us that that his daughter was going to be taking a course that "she should understand how to use a Mac." This says two things to me. Either they will require her to use a Mac in the class and / or they will require her to at least know how to use one. Thus my answers which targeted his questions and statements... *sigh*
     
  17. cowofwar

    cowofwar Peasant

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    It's irrelevant that pcs are faster. In the business of arts macs are often used. They are still used because that's what the companies started with. It would cost them too much to upgrade to an all pc solution, so they keep the macs. Knowledge of how to use a mac is required. So you can find a cheap one on ebay, or find a friend with one and fiddle around.

    Most applications are available on both platforms so if you can use it on one, you can use it on the other.
     
  18. SuperStar

    SuperStar Peasant

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    Squaresoft (soon to be Enix Square) uses both. :nod:
     
  19. Beeble

    Beeble Peasant

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    Many companies do. My dad's work being one. All the graphical tasks are done on the macs and the simple things are usually done on PC. (the execs use PC, the graphics use Mac. My dad uses a PC there.)
     
  20. SuperStar

    SuperStar Peasant

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    I saw graphic editing on both. :p
     

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