A switcher considering Mac Pro for design needs

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi,



Like a typical switcher, I'm fed up with constantly reinstalling win OS, fighting virus and all that fun stuff because time is really money for what I do. So, I'm looking into getting a fast and hassle-free machine for my needs, which are:



- Heavy Photoshop, big files, lots of layers and filters.

- Illustrator & InDesign

- Flash development

- Occasional audio & video editing(no special effects or 3D)

- Office

- Internet browsing



To be totally honest, I don't care much about the OS and UI as long as I can get the softwares mentioned above to work flawlessly. So, if that means buying a fast PC with lots of antivirus apps installed, it will be okay, too. So, what do you guys think? A few doubts and questions I currently have are:



1. Which MP is suited for my needs? 4 or 8 core Nehalem? Or MP are overkill for me? (But I can't work with the glossy screens on iMacs tho)

2. I'm using two 20" non-LED Cinema Displays right now, will MP support them?

3. Since Adobe softwares don't support 64bit processing on Macs yet, will this be a big burden comparing to doing the same tasks in Windows 7 w/ i7?

4. It takes a long time for my MBP G4 to connect to our file server wirelessly. Will MP have the same issue if wire-connected?

5. Is there any known issues with PC-Mac compatibility? Our team often works on the same files, so this is a big concern.



Sorry for the lengthy post and I would really appreciate your input.



Albert

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Welcome to AI! And soon, welcome to Mac. It is a different experience and once you start using it, it will be hard to go back.



    There are others here that are probably into heavier Adobe stuff than I am, but I'll start off as I do have a MP from last spring, a quad 2.8.



    The main thing to do with your new machine is add tons of RAM. Apple's RAM can be expensive, so you might buy a third-party's RAM. I don't live in the States so I don't know where to send you; others will.



    Macs come with an app package called iLife that includes iMovie which is OK, but if you're more of an artistic type then you might want to look at Apple's Final Cut Express or even Studio. They are great packages and will handle all your video needs. You might want to try iMove to see if it will suit your needs then move up later. The one good thing about Apple's apps is many of them share common windows (for example, you can edit a photo in iPhoto, bring it easily into Pages and thenedit it in Pages with a window almost identical to the one in iPhoto, sans a few functions).



    Express is $199:

    http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/



    iLife also includes Garageband which is for music and podcast creation. With a little practice, you can do a lot with it. Again, it comes with your new Mac so I would suggest giving it a shot. There are plenty of decent inexpensive apps for audio editing all the way up to pretty powerful editors.



    I use an app called Amadeus Pro in addition to Apple's Soundtrack, which is part of Final Cut Studio. There isn't much Amadeus Pro can't do; I work professionally with audio so the non-destructive features of Soundtrack are a bonus.



    http://www.hairersoft.com/AmadeusPro/AmadeusPro.html





    There is Office for the Mac. Apple has their own office suite called iWork which includes Pages (page layout and word-processor), Keynote (presentation app that blows Powerpoint away) and Numbers (spreadsheet). For the price, iwork is a bargain even if you only use Keynote.



    http://www.apple.com/iwork/



    Just a start. I'm sure others will chime in on video cards and Adobe. Be patient as it might take a couple of days for everyone t see your thread.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,357moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A1A2 View Post


    1. Which MP is suited for my needs? 4 or 8 core Nehalem? Or MP are overkill for me? (But I can't work with the glossy screens on iMacs tho)



    I'd say the quad Mac Pro will do just fine but get 4-8GB Ram. I'd actually get an older refurb to save money and buy the Ram 3rd party. The last generation quads were going quite cheap.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A1A2 View Post


    2. I'm using two 20" non-LED Cinema Displays right now, will MP support them?



    Yes.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A1A2 View Post


    3. Since Adobe softwares don't support 64bit processing on Macs yet, will this be a big burden comparing to doing the same tasks in Windows 7 w/ i7?



    Probably not. If your Ram usage for a given process goes above 3-4GB yes but I doubt this will happen often. 64-bit gives you more compatibility headaches than real-world performance boosts in the majority of cases.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A1A2 View Post


    4. It takes a long time for my MBP G4 to connect to our file server wirelessly. Will MP have the same issue if wire-connected?



    If it's an SMB server then quite possibly. You may need to use a 3rd party program for access. The Finder's networking is fairly poor on anything except AFP.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A1A2 View Post


    5. Is there any known issues with PC-Mac compatibility? Our team often works on the same files, so this is a big concern.



    It depends on the app. The Adobe CS Suite compatibility is pretty good - the biggest issue there is between versions.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    I was in the same boat as you a few months ago and decided I'd buy a mac. I do everything you list on there and then a little more.



    I ended up buying the 2.93 ghz iMac with 4 gigs of ram for $1,799.



    It hasn't failed me a single time, it runs 100% flawelessly with the entire adobe master collection, and is a perfect machine for what you need.



    I think the mac pro is a little overkill unless you intend on doing huge renders / 3d work.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    a1a2a1a2 Posts: 2member
    Thanks for all the replies and kind welcome



    @xgrewellx, I have seriously looked into iMac as well, however, I am not so convinced on glossy screens yet. What are your thoughts?



    Thanks,

    Albert
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A1A2 View Post


    Thanks for all the replies and kind welcome



    @xgrewellx, I have seriously looked into iMac as well, however, I am not so convinced on glossy screens yet. What are your thoughts?



    Thanks,

    Albert



    It's all in the room you place the machine in. I have mine in a 12' x 9' room with 1 window. I have the imac's back facing the window, so I never get glare or anything. The color is super accurate on the display as well.



    Personally, I don't think matte displays are all that good because of the diffusion.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    bbwibbwi Posts: 812member
    Real quickly:



    1) 8 cores is overkill for non-video work

    2) Yes

    3) Possibly, 8%-12% according to this guy

    4) I have no problems doing the same thing. You might build-to-order a Fiber NIC if that's an option at your company.

    5) We have no issues sharing Adobe files
  • Reply 7 of 9
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,294member
    As a PC user, you are probably used to thinking of a big, honking tower for doing real work. Macs, however, are greater than the sum of their spec-sheet. The high-end iMac would serve you well for the needs you outlined. As for the screen, hook up an external of you choice and use the iMac screen as a secondary 24" display. I did that for the last two years and it works wonderfully. Few people outside of major media firms need a MP IMO. Good luck.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    If you're talking about Photoshop files in the 1-2GB range or bigger (not uncommon for Hi-Res work) then you need 8GB or more. If the computer you are buying is already maxed out, you are under specifying your computer. In my opinion, you should get a Mac Pro, at least a Quad-Core (takes up to 16GB), or an 8-core if you can swing it. I would also recommend a second internal drive, 7200rpm or faster, as a dedicated scratch dish for Photoshop. Then maybe a 3rd drive for backups and versioning.



    Graphics cards are now coming out for the Mac so the ability to upgrade them makes the Mac Pro an even better long term investment.



    Get the best tool for the job and buy as fast as you can afford, provided this is a money making computer for you.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    aaquibaaquib Posts: 10member
    If you go with the new Nehalem

    machines and want to hook up 2 Cinema Display'

    s, then you'll need a mini-DisplayPort to DVI port.
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