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Thread: PC Configuration or just go with a Mac Pro

  1. #1
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    PC Configuration or just go with a Mac Pro

    Wifey would like another pc to do her work on (Photoshop/LightRoom)

    Here is what I am looking to build if I stay with Windows:

    -SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black SATA Model SH-S183L - OEM
    -iStarUSA Nitro Ax S-10000B Black Aluminum Front panel / 1.0mm SECC/SGCC chassis ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
    -Western Digital Raptor WD360ADFD 36GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
    -Seagate ST3750640AS-RK 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Retail
    -ATI 100-437807 Radeon X1950PRO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 VIVO HDCP Video Card - Retail
    -Thermaltake W0116RU Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version 750W Power Supply - Retail
    -GIGABYTE GA-P35-DQ6 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    -Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562QX6700 - Retail
    --4GB of Crucila Ballistix Memory
    --Dell 30" Monitor
    --Either Windows XP Pro or XP Pro x64


    The Cost of all this would be around $4800; the cost of a Mac pro with a 30" display would be about the same, only it would not have near the storage capacity.


    Input, thoughts, suggestions?
    Last edited by TinyTim; 07-10-07 at 07:11 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Since you can run Windows natively on a Mac Pro...Mac Pro.

  3. #3
    Moderator David's Avatar
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    OOOOPS.... reread the mac pro. Are you certain you can have it configured similarly to the XP only for the same price?

    BTW. Interesting config....The Raptor is not that much faster than a WD 500GB drive.

    If you need the Mac, get the Mac.
    Last edited by David; 07-11-07 at 09:43 PM. Reason: reseached

    Hell_Yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    OOOOPS.... reread the mac pro. Are you certain you can have it configured similarly to the XP only for the same price?

    BTW. Interesting config....The Raptor is not that much faster than a WD 500GB drive.

    If you need the Mac, get the Mac.
    Well, that is the thing, I am not sure if I need a Mac--I am looking for a good reliable machine that my wife can use for digital imaging work (Photoshop, lightroom, etc...) She is a photographer and she processes a ton of pictures after every shoot--I am tired of her complaining of lockups (due to lack of storage space and RAM limitations) and would like to upgrade to a computer that better suites her needs.

    Hey, if it costs 5k and gets the job done for her business, then so be it--its only money right?

    I see your point about the Raptor vs. the WD 500GB drive...thank you for pointing that out
    Fee was a buddhist prodigy...
    Long past the age of maturity...
    Someday he knew it would set him free...
    Like it did for Floyd...
    The Chimpanzee...

  5. #5
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Whats your hard drive budget limit?

    The hitachi 1TB drives have some insane raid potential. 4800 for what your listing seems high. Oh and if your gonna get 4 gigs of RAM, yes you should go 64bit, probably make more sense to go 64bit vista for driver support, eitehr way you need to look for drivers to make sure it would be a wise move.

  6. #6
    Moderator David's Avatar
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    My 1TB's arrived at the office today.

    TinyTim,

    Choose your platform. The Mac has great programs for photographers and all the pre-press. Some would even say they are the standard.

    I have a preference for windows based stuff because I like to tinker with hardware and it has a better bang for the buck.

    Hell_Yes

    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity - Seneca

    "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

    It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. - Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. #7
    SG Enthusiast Joel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTim View Post
    Wifey would like another pc to do her work on (Photoshop/LightRoom)

    Here is what I am looking to build if I stay with Windows:

    -SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black SATA Model SH-S183L - OEM
    -iStarUSA Nitro Ax S-10000B Black Aluminum Front panel / 1.0mm SECC/SGCC chassis ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
    -Western Digital Raptor WD360ADFD 36GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
    -Seagate ST3750640AS-RK 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Retail
    -ATI 100-437807 Radeon X1950PRO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 VIVO HDCP Video Card - Retail
    -Thermaltake W0116RU Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version 750W Power Supply - Retail
    -GIGABYTE GA-P35-DQ6 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    -Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562QX6700 - Retail
    --4GB of Crucila Ballistix Memory
    --Dell 30" Monitor
    --Either Windows XP Pro or XP Pro x64


    The Cost of all this would be around $4800; the cost of a Mac pro with a 30" display would be about the same, only it would not have near the storage capacity.


    Input, thoughts, suggestions?
    PC vs Mac.. Hmm, that's a though one, particularly since she's into photography. I am a photographer on the side, full time graphic designer / webdesign though. Many would say Macs are the choice option for people like us, but I don't know, I just don't like them very much. I use a Vista PC for my work every day. Assuming you can get the same programs for both PC and Mac, I'd go with the PC (this is going to sound dumb) because I feel they're more stable, when configured correctly (let's say I'm pissed off less at my PC than at the Mac's I've used, and I use a PC all day).

    Speed wise.. The Mac Pro comes baseline with two dual core Xeons, and assuming you put 4GB into it as well it'd be hard to say. Both would be extremely fast. My recommendations for if you go with the PC route are:
    • Get a second of whatever drive you choose for the storage drive and set it to RAID1. The data is so too important to risk.
    • Photoshop loves the scratch disk. When opening multiple files, 4GB RAM will be gone in no time and you'll find yourself back reading off the disk. Optimally you'd have a separate scratch disk for the Windows Page File and Photoshop Scratch Drive. Raptors are great for this thanks to their access time.
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  8. #8
    Forum Techie A_old's Avatar
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    I highly recommend the Mac. Storage is very cheap these days and I'd go with a NAS w/ a few drives in RAID 5 for that anyway (since it's for work, you want the redundancy). I use a PC at home for my main box, gaming, etc. but for work, I rely on my Macbook. Vista is great, imho, but Mac OS X just doesn't get in the way when you have a lot of things open. Flip3D is useless and Expose isn't. Yes, I know there are Expose clones for Vista. I wouldn't go XP if you went PC, especially if she's shooting (or will eventually shoot) in RAW mode.

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    Well, we went to an apple store again to test the Mac Pro's with Photoshop and Lightroom--honestly, it was not that much difference (performance wise) then the p.c. she has now. Not sure what I was expecting but I have one other question...is this a true statement:

    "A Windows box will slow down over time because the registry becomes bloated and will therefore have to be re-loaded; however, a Mac does not have that problem as there is no registry"

    I interpret this as a Mac will have the same performance out of the box today as it would 2-years from now; whereas a windows box will slow down under the same workloads in 2-years. Anyway, it came from Mac genius and I just needed some other type of verification
    Fee was a buddhist prodigy...
    Long past the age of maturity...
    Someday he knew it would set him free...
    Like it did for Floyd...
    The Chimpanzee...

  10. #10
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Well over time lots of junk will get in the registry, but how much depends on how much stuff you install/use. You can clean the registry and even defrag it(free tool) to get it nice and lean again.

  11. #11
    SG Enthusiast Joel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YARDofSTUF View Post
    Well over time lots of junk will get in the registry, but how much depends on how much stuff you install/use. You can clean the registry and even defrag it(free tool) to get it nice and lean again.
    Yup,

    And really it isn't as noticeable as they make it sound. On modern computers, it might get a tad slower when booting up.
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  12. #12
    Moderator David's Avatar
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    TinyTim,

    You can screw yourself into the ground, spinning on the decision. Have your wife test both machines, see what she likes.

    david

    Hell_Yes

    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity - Seneca

    "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

    It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. - Friedrich Nietzsche

  13. #13
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTim View Post
    nt:

    "A Windows box will slow down over time because the registry becomes bloated and will therefore have to be re-loaded; however, a Mac does not have that problem as there is no registry"

    I interpret this as a Mac will have the same performance out of the box today as it would 2-years from now; whereas a windows box will slow down under the same workloads in 2-years. Anyway, it came from Mac genius and I just needed some other type of verification
    When working with MACs back in earlier versions of their OS (way back in the actual Apple Mac days..not the new *nix based ones)....they had to have the OS reloaded just as often as the WIntel machines. Similar performance degradation problems over time. There are still similar databases within MAC that keep track of settings. Working at a very large museum for a while...they had a huge network...50/50 MAC and WIntel machines. Same percentage of trouble tickets for both sides of the camp.

    With Windows..if you install and uninstall LOTS of software, and change hardware often....which includes drivers, and when you don't properly uninstall different hardware as you remove it...yes the registry can become bloated. But if you're neat about things...it won't get bloated on you.

    Since Apple abandoned the Motorola processor and came over to the Intel camp..their performance has gone up. I've not really worked inside the OS much since they abandoned their native OS and went over to the *nix camp.
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