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Old 06-21-07, 01:20 PM   #1
mlts22 
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The Mac conundrum

I wonder if anyone else has this dilemma.

I like Macs, especially after OS X, and definitely due to the fact that I can dual-boot a Windows OS for games, and MacOS.

MacOS has so little latency (assuming you are not running a ton of apps in the background) that you can do decent audio/video work on even a slow machine.

Although NeXTStep (which is what MacOS evolved from) isn't as secure as a true BSD (Open/Free/Net), its nowhere as near a big, fat, juicy target as a Windows machine. So, with basic security measures (HARDWARE firewall between machines and the Internet, running as a user rather than root, etc.) one can keep a secure box with very little effort. Its also a lot harder to hide from the ps command than it is to hide from the Task Manager.

Now the hangups:

Macs are underpowered when it comes to graphics unless one shells out the premium dollars (2-6k) for a Mac Pro. For example, even the highest end iMac only comes with a nVidia 7600 chipset (which is about a $80 to $150 dollar PCI-E card.)

I just can't justify paying $3k for a machine that will end up being a server or given to a relative in 2-3 years, when I can build a generic PC for a lot less. Especially right now, being a college student.

Maybe the answer is another Power Computing -- Apple licensing MacOS to a third party to make 100% legit Mac clones.
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Old 06-21-07, 01:40 PM   #2
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Get a mac, I heard they just released "minesweeper" for it last week.

BTW..you don't have to run Windoze on a PC.
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Old 06-21-07, 01:44 PM   #3
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Maybe the answer is another Power Computing -- Apple licensing MacOS to a third party to make 100% legit Mac clones.
Doubtful. Damn near killed 'em the first time they tried that.
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Old 06-21-07, 01:45 PM   #4
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Are you a graphic design or video type student? If so you should get the best computer for your profession, which is a Mac from what I've heard from friends and family in those fields.

If your just a tinkerer, and your really trying to not bust the bank, then you might want to just look at building your own PC and *finding* the best versions of video/graphics programs for a PC on the internets at lets say a less than reputable site for pennies (or even less) of the normal cost of such programs.
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Old 06-21-07, 01:51 PM   #5
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I do some sidework at a graphics company during election season (this company does 75% of NYS election materials) and I get to sit their and usually spend my time working on a large order for a baseball hat catalog - coloring the hats, sinking logos, etc (there really should be a law about making a ladies line of pink and blue hats - with recoloring the NFL, etc logos pinks and blues to match the hats!) - and they are all running MacPros with no problem.
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Old 06-21-07, 02:09 PM   #6
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Yeah, you aren't paying as much for a Windows machine... But it does have Windows.

I spent the extra cash and am supremely happy with my Mac. No crashes, no bugs, no - well... anything. It works, and works well.
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Old 06-21-07, 02:17 PM   #7
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A conundrum for you, a riddle if you will..
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Old 06-21-07, 02:18 PM   #8
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Mallard with a cold, FTW!
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Old 06-21-07, 02:36 PM   #9
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Ive been running my custom build PC with XP for almost a year now, mostly use it for Illustrator and Photoshop, and a few Windows specific software, as well as the internets and other small stuff, and haven't had a single problem yet. Wait, yeah I did have a problem, the fan on the video card started to hit its little shroud, must be Windows' fault.

The higher end mac's are nice, and macs do have some capabilities I'd wish I could have in windows, but overall, for my price (~$1150), theres no way I could get a mac to do what I would need it to do. If you got it, flaunt it, but if you don't have the cash and aren't a complete idiot, build your own.
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Old 06-21-07, 03:29 PM   #10
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Yeah, you aren't paying as much for a Windows machine... But it does have Windows.

I spent the extra cash and am supremely happy with my Mac. No crashes, no bugs, no - well... anything. It works, and works well.
wot kind of Mac you got? I'm in the market...and I'm just a tinkerer, no insane apps or graphics demands. I just like their usability (my god, the usability!) and many of the aspects that others have listed.
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Old 06-21-07, 03:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mlts22
Macs are underpowered when it comes to graphics unless one shells out the premium dollars (2-6k) for a Mac Pro. For example, even the highest end iMac only comes with a nVidia 7600 chipset (which is about a $80 to $150 dollar PCI-E card.)

I just can't justify paying $3k for a machine that will end up being a server or given to a relative in 2-3 years, when I can build a generic PC for a lot less. Especially right now, being a college student.
You are right about the graphics. The new releases of the Mac Pro feature better video cards but cost require mucho $$.

Apple thinks MAC clones are a slippery slope.
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Old 06-21-07, 03:47 PM   #12
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wot kind of Mac you got? I'm in the market...and I'm just a tinkerer, no insane apps or graphics demands. I just like their usability (my god, the usability!) and many of the aspects that others have listed.

I've got the 15" 2.33 MacBook Pro. I would recommend the MBP to anyone with the $$$
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Old 06-21-07, 04:47 PM   #13
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You are right about the graphics. The new releases of the Mac Pro feature better video cards but cost require mucho $$.

Apple thinks MAC clones are a slippery slope.

They always have. Its unfortunate.
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Old 06-21-07, 04:53 PM   #14
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Shill!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypress
Yeah, you aren't paying as much for a Windows machine... But it does have Windows.

I spent the extra cash and am supremely happy with my Mac. No crashes, no bugs, no - well... anything. It works, and works well.
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Old 06-21-07, 04:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yeah, you aren't paying as much for a Windows machine... But it does have Windows.

I spent the extra cash and am supremely happy with my Mac. No crashes, no bugs, no - well... anything. It works, and works well.
ummm...I run a network on over 100 windows machines which have had the same os for 2.5 years. My home pc has XP as well and has been solid for 4 years or so. It had 2000 before that. I really don't see why people can't take care of their own computers, its very easy to make a stable xp box. (I won't get into Vista since I don't run it and plan to skip it)
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Old 06-21-07, 05:07 PM   #16
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its very easy to make a stable xp box.
If you get lucky with quality hardware with good drivers, I can definitely see this. Windows 2000 was pretty stable (as far as Windows goes), and since XP is just 2000 with a bunch of extra crap tacked on, it shouldn't be too much worse.

But making XP un-annoying is a very different story.
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Old 06-21-07, 05:12 PM   #17
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If you get lucky with quality hardware with good drivers, I can definitely see this. Windows 2000 was pretty stable (as far as Windows goes), and since XP is just 2000 with a bunch of extra crap tacked on, it shouldn't be too much worse.

But making XP un-annoying is a very different story.
Right click desktop - classic mode
right click toolbar, properties, start menu, classic mode check

Makes it look like XP with all of the cool GPO features still intact. I know most people wouldn't care but windows xp is damn good for administrative control over the GPO. 2000 and NT were weak introductions. Behind the scenes XP is actually an a full upgrade and not just the pretty big brother (vista supposedly kicks serious ass, but I hate vista)

And ya, I guess I tend to buy quality brand name hardware. My days of experimenting with the cheap or the "newly" fast hardware are long gone, there are kids for that. I just don't cheap out anymore.
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Old 06-21-07, 05:57 PM   #18
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It's better to actually disable the theming service. By trimming out unnecessary services, I was once able to get XP to run acceptably in 128MB of RAM. It was still annoying, though.

I can't really quantify the annoyance with XP. I just get frustrated as hell every time I try to use the damn thing. Thankfully the only XP machine I had to regularly use (it was my parents', then my sister's) died a welcome death. I replaced it out of my own pocket with a home-built Athlon 64 running Windows 2000 so I wouldn't have to endure another store-bought pile of junk with XP.
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Old 06-21-07, 08:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
I just can't justify paying $3k for a machine that will end up being a server or given to a relative in 2-3 years, when I can build a generic PC for a lot less. Especially right now, being a college student.

Maybe the answer is another Power Computing -- Apple licensing MacOS to a third party to make 100% legit Mac clones.
I don't think PowerComputing ever came out with a G3 or G4 clone before Jobs pulled the plug. OSX will only run on G3 and later machines I think...

However, you can build your own MacIntel clone and run OSX just fine. Check out: InsanelyMac - OSx86 installation. You tend to pay for top-quality components on Apple products, stuff like high-end power-supplies with lower ripple than 95% of the others. Or nicely designed cases where everything is accessible without a screwdriver. However, these extra costs may not reflect any actual performance benefits. So build your own! Check the hardware compatibility list and see if 3rd-party OSX drivers are available for the components you're chosing.

Dell laptops seems to be a very popular PC to install OSX onto:


Although $3k for a MacPro is not outrageous for what you get. Here's a comparison with a comparably-equipped Dell:
Anandtech - Apple's Mac Pro - A True PowerMac Successor.
MacWorld - Comparing prices: Mac Pro versus PCs.

Also you can pick up used MacPros and upgrade the CPUs to the latest quad-core Xeons without any difficulty. That's been done even before Apple's own 8-core MacPros were announced: ZDNet - Benchmarks: the unofficial eight-core Mac Pro (note MacPro running WindowsXP also scales performance to 8-cores nicely )

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