About this PC to Mac switch...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
So I am a lifelong PC user, I work in IT, with PCs only and have for years following years of education in the PC world following years of playing with PCs for fun. I do everything from photo/video editing, playing games, doing a bunch of computer security related stuff to just plain ole web surfing and chatting. Lately my interests have shifted away from the gaming a bit though....I might still stumble onto the latest hot game and get "into it" for a few weeks but as of right now I probably hvent fired up a game on my pc in 6 months.



I built my last 2 PCs from scratch and, possibly a testament to the competence of their maker, they have both either crapped out on me entirely or sporadically as of late. It is some kind of problem like bad video card or bad memory or a bad motherboard (different problem in each PC) that I am really about done trying to troubleshoot or spend money trying to fix. About a year ago when PC1 was giving me problems I decided to build PC2 and as I built it I kept in mind that I really wanted to start doing more and more video editing now that i have a digital camcorder.



So now im sick of the crap these PCs are giving me and ready to throw some money at the problem to get it resolved. For a few reasons I am thinking about getting a mac. I want a laptop (dont have one worth mentioning right now except for a work laptop) and due to these problems I need a desktop also...so i am thinking about maybe taking the plunge on the mac pro for my desktop and then getting some cheapo PC laptop.



My main questoins/concerns that I am hoping you all can help me with is how dramatic this change from PC to Mac is going to be for me with regards to some of the following:

I have 2 PCs now each with about 3 HDs in them (mostly SATA) that are filled with maybe a combined TB of data that I have accumulated over the years....Can I use these hard drives in a mac pro? Do I need "mac specific" hard drives? What disk formats will OSX be able to recognize and play with? FAT32? NTFS? None of the above?



Right now I run dual Dell 21" widescreens....Will these be fine on the mac pro? Which video card should I go with?



I have a few sets of peripherals (keyboards and mice) that I am pretty happy with, am I going to be able ot use all of this stuff (usb) on the mac pro or will I need ot buy all new mac stuff?



I heard bootcamp is going to be installed by default with the new OSX in like september (jaguar or leopard or housecat or whatever its called)...but if I get my mac pro now and want to dual boot with windows, how easy is it gonna be for a max n00b like me to set that up? Are there any problems with running that setup?



How about paralells? I was looking at a mac pro with the 2.66Gz processors, and 4 gigs of ram. The more recently built PC of mine had like a 2.4Gz dual core processor and 2 gigs of RAM...can I actually expect to run win XP in parallels (which as I understand it is like VMWare for the Mac) and get the same performance or very close to it out of it as I expected out of my PC? Can I expect flawless performance/gaming/application use in parallels or is it buggy and some stuff works and some stuff doesnt?



Also, whats the deal with the apple world....should I buy this in an apple store at the mall? online from apple.com? online from somewhere else? from a local independent apple reseller (do they even exist?)? I was thinking of dropping by the apple store (never actually been inside one) to ask these same questions but online internet forum people not making commission from my purchase tend to give better answers in my experience.



thanks in advance!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slug420 View Post


    My main questoins/concerns that I am hoping you all can help me with is how dramatic this change from PC to Mac is going to be for me with regards to some of the following:

    I have 2 PCs now each with about 3 HDs in them (mostly SATA) that are filled with maybe a combined TB of data that I have accumulated over the years....Can I use these hard drives in a mac pro? Do I need "mac specific" hard drives? What disk formats will OSX be able to recognize and play with? FAT32? NTFS? None of the above?



    Mac OS X can read and write HFS, HFS+, UFS, and FAT32. 10.4 can currently only read NTFS, write support is coming with 10.5 this fall as well as read and write support for Sun's ZFS.



    Quote:

    Right now I run dual Dell 21" widescreens....Will these be fine on the mac pro? Which video card should I go with?



    DVI is DVI, they'll work fine. As for the video card, if you're not doing hardcore gaming, the 7300GT is pretty good.



    Quote:

    I have a few sets of peripherals (keyboards and mice) that I am pretty happy with, am I going to be able ot use all of this stuff (usb) on the mac pro or will I need ot buy all new mac stuff?



    It will work as long as everything is USB. The windows key matches up with the command (Apple) key. That being said, try out the Apple keyboard.



    Quote:

    I heard bootcamp is going to be installed by default with the new OSX in like september (jaguar or leopard or housecat or whatever its called)...but if I get my mac pro now and want to dual boot with windows, how easy is it gonna be for a max n00b like me to set that up? Are there any problems with running that setup?



    Don't have an intel Mac myself, but it should be pretty easy. All you have to do is download it from apple and follow the on screen instructions. I do have to note though that it requires a SP2 or Vista disk.



    http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/



    Quote:

    How about paralells? I was looking at a mac pro with the 2.66Gz processors, and 4 gigs of ram. The more recently built PC of mine had like a 2.4Gz dual core processor and 2 gigs of RAM...can I actually expect to run win XP in parallels (which as I understand it is like VMWare for the Mac) and get the same performance or very close to it out of it as I expected out of my PC? Can I expect flawless performance/gaming/application use in parallels or is it buggy and some stuff works and some stuff doesnt?



    It works, but like every other emulator on the planet, don't expect the fastest speeds. Running two operating systems at the same time takes lots of resources. It's fine if you want to open up something while staying in the Mac environment, but for best results boot up in windows



    Quote:

    Also, whats the deal with the apple world....should I buy this in an apple store at the mall? online from apple.com? online from somewhere else? from a local independent apple reseller (do they even exist?)? I was thinking of dropping by the apple store (never actually been inside one) to ask these same questions but online internet forum people not making commission from my purchase tend to give better answers in my experience.



    thanks in advance!



    If you want to order your machine BTO with 4GB of memory, the best option is the online Apple store.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,583member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slug420 View Post


    So I am a lifelong PC user....



    What Ben said. You should be OK with everything you mentioned. There will be some differences that you as an experienced person will need to get used to...but they'll be mostly interface issues...and you'll end up liking the Mac interface much more, or so I would think.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    What Ben said. You should be OK with everything you mentioned. There will be some differences that you as an experienced person will need to get used to...but they'll be mostly interface issues...and you'll end up liking the Mac interface much more, or so I would think.



    Mostly things are on the opposite sides on the Mac and as much as it pains me to say this, finding your apps can be a little quicker with the start menu in windows. Most of it is pretty similar. The only things he;ll have to get used to are they key short cuts, expose' controls, and having to eject the disks through the GUI.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    ... as much as it pains me to say this, finding your apps can be a little quicker with the start menu in windows.



    Unless you have them in the Dock, or you use Quicksilver. But do you really need quick access to MS Paint?
  • Reply 5 of 12
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,583member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Mostly things are on the opposite sides on the Mac and as much as it pains me to say this, finding your apps can be a little quicker with the start menu in windows. Most of it is pretty similar. The only things he;ll have to get used to are they key short cuts, expose' controls, and having to eject the disks through the GUI.



    I don't agree with that at all to be straight with ya'. I find things much easier on my Mac. I have the app folder in the dock and everything I use regularly is a dock item anyway. Not having a real dock in Windows drives me bonkers. I've tried shareware ones and I don't like them or they're unstable from what I've found.



    Also, I find that finding things in general is harder on Windows...at least with XP. I guess Vista would be better with its search...but man...Spotlight really does the trick for me if I can't find things.



    We probably agree on the other issues..like stability. Windows just effs up more than my Mac. Is Vista better there? I hear it is.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    I'll second that. Plus, once you learn Expose (about 5 minutes), you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    I don't agree with that at all to be straight with ya'. I find things much easier on my Mac. I have the app folder in the dock and everything I use regularly is a dock item anyway. Not having a real dock in Windows drives me bonkers. I've tried shareware ones and I don't like them or they're unstable from what I've found.



    Also, I find that finding things in general is harder on Windows...at least with XP. I guess Vista would be better with its search...but man...Spotlight really does the trick for me if I can't find things.



    We probably agree on the other issues..like stability. Windows just effs up more than my Mac. Is Vista better there? I hear it is.



    I said Apps, not finding in general. We're also talking about a person here who is not a long time Mac user. He does not know the tricks and workarounds we do.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    Plus, once you learn Expose (about 5 minutes), you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.



    Amen to that
  • Reply 9 of 12
    teedoff087teedoff087 Posts: 348member
    Exposé + Active Screen Corners = Lifesaver.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    poppetpoppet Posts: 90member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teedoff087 View Post


    Exposé + Active Screen Corners = Lifesaver.



    Just got my first macbook and finding my way around in between kids napping and making dinner. I want more time. Any how what is Expose and active corners. Sorry
  • Reply 11 of 12
    I recently switched from a G4 iMac to an intel Mac Mini, and setting up boot camp is a breeze. If you've installed windows on a PC before, you shouldn't have any problem with bootcamp.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Poppet View Post


    Just got my first macbook and finding my way around in between kids napping and making dinner. I want more time. Any how what is Expose and active corners. Sorry





    Poppet,



    To get an idea of what expose is, open up 3 or 4 applications and open up 3 or 4 windows in one of them (Safari is obviously a program where you're likely to have multiple windows) Now, press F9, then F10, then F11. That will show you what expose does.



    If you go to system preferences (under the apple menu and probably also in your dock) and go to the expose panel, you'll find that if you want, you can set the various expose actions to happen if you put your cursor into a corner if the screen. Hence, "active corners"



    Hope that helped. If your confused, just go to the help and type in "expose"
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