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Old 04-02-2006, 04:17 PM
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iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

I'm thinking of buying a new computer and I've been looking at Macs. Does anyone have experience with the new iMacs? I'm thinking of the one with the 20" monitor, upgraded to 1 GB RAM, and graphics memory upgraded to 256 MB. I've looked at some of the threads in WetCanvas, much of the really technical talk is over my head. I want to use if for digital painting, using Painter and/or Photoshop. I don't need to do video editing or gaming, I don't currently do any 3D graphics, but that maybe something I would consider in the future. I've also looked at the Power Mac G5 but it is considerable more expensive. Does anyone know anything about those? Are they worth spending the extra money or would the iMac be adequate for what I need? Thank you so much for any info you all may be able to share with me.

Nancy
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:50 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

I use an iMac, the flat screen with the dome, a G4, 17" screen. It has 768mb of ram, 80GB hard drive, 800mz processor. the new ones are all upgraded on that spec. I find it more than adequate, though a 20" screen would be fantastic. The broader screens are ideal for side by side work. There is a screen shot on my Snake charmer threadin th epainting alley. Heck here it is:



I don't think you need to spend more, than an iMac.
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:58 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

Barry, Thank you so much, that is very helpful info.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:31 AM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

Dear Nancy

I think this isn't the answer you want. But why did you chose Mac? I reccomend you to buy Windows. In the near future, Mac market will be almost dead. In Japan, there are many printing business companies that only use Mac, but it is just because they must keep using old assets.

If you'll buy new PC not for business, how about buy Windows? It's more cheaper and faster compared with Mac(faster than Power Mac). If you have enough money, how about buy Dell 30'' display? Because one of the few advantages of Mac is world-largest display. But if you want to use it, you must buy special graphics board for it. It's for 3D Game techs.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:53 AM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

I think Mr Pen's advice is typical Windows advice. The new iMacs are as fast as you'll find you need. I find it most strange that with some of my friends, they shop at the best shops, by good cars, but when it comes to computers, go for less quality build and sometimes take pride that someone's built them one really fast! Yhey wouldn't take that approach with their car or washing machine. Go with it!
Also the numbers game is not directly comparable.
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyS.
Does anyone have experience with the new iMacs? I'm thinking of the one with the 20" monitor, upgraded to 1 GB RAM, and graphics memory upgraded to 256 MB.
Hi Nancy, if you work at your own pace this should be fine I think. What's the chip speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyS.
I've also looked at the Power Mac G5 but it is considerable more expensive. Does anyone know anything about those?
These can be about the most powerful personal computers you can get.

The main difference between a really high-spec machine and the iMac you're thinking of will be in speed of different operations and unless you're working under the hammer all the time the additional cost may just not be worth the improvement in performance. And although a faster and more expandable machine could be argued to be a better bet in the long term I know plenty of pros who work at home that use quite under-powered machines by modern standards.

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Old 04-03-2006, 06:12 AM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

In this country Mac is alive and well, and gaining in popularity. For my artwork at home, I'm using a quicksilver G4, with a 1 gig dual processor and it does fine with Painter, photoshop etc. The Imac is even faster! The major difference in the G5 over the imacs, is that the G5 is easier to upgrade. The big towers open easily. I've replaced a hard drive, placed a second on in there, put in more ram etc. I don't think it's as easy to do on the imac, but then again some people don't open their computers and work on them. Upgrading capability would be a good question to ask. With the difference in price, if I were buying a new MAC, I'd probably go for the less expensive imac, or mac mini (if I didn't need to replace my monitor also)
This is my third mac, and they run for years and years without problems. My second MAC, is 6 years old, was one of the first G4s, still running fine, and my son is doing video work on it.
Sitting on my desk at work, is a brand new Dell, and a six year old Mac G4, 350 mg dual processor. I have software on each that won't run on the other, I take graphics back and forth over the network without trouble. If I have my choice, and could get all the software on one computer, I'd keep my 6 year old mac over that DELL.
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Old 04-03-2006, 12:02 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

Thank your, everyone, for your very helpful responses. I was a little afraid I would be opening the Mac-PC debate, I know there are strong opinions on either side.

Einion, I think the chip speed is 2 GHZ.

The one I've been looking at has an Intel chip. Does anyone know of any problems related to those, especially with art related software? I've heard that some software programs will not run on the Intel Macs.

Nancy
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Old 04-03-2006, 12:41 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

I recall hearing this too, but I am not quite sure, where I heard it or what I have heard... (wow, I am a big help). I believe that I read something about them not supporting the adobe software, or having lots of compatibility problems. Here is a link to the article I read, I hope this helps: http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/ The article is under highlights around the middle of the page.
If in doubt go bigger. There is nothing worse than gettting a machine that is too slow.
I use a dell at home, and a mac G5 at work. I LOVE the G5. I have only been using it for 6 months, but I am in love. My next home computer is definately going to be a mac.

Good luck, and I am jelous that you are getting one for home use....**sigh** ....
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:17 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

I'm ignoring (mostly) the previous answers and giving my own here.

I just bought a mac and will never again buy Windows, or a PC. Ever.

Here's the why, rolled up with a few of the reasons most people switch to macs:
1) There was a defect in Windows XP SP1 and SP2 that prevented Poser from rendering scene files with a specific number of polygons, or over. The rendering would stop, Poser would crash without ever exiting, and take Windows with it, forcing a hard-shutdown before it would stop with the locking up.

2) This bug was known. Microsoft knows about it, and outright refused to fix it. The creators of Poser couldn't do anything about it, and their response was basically to come out with a new version that did something differently to work around the bug in the rendering engine. if you know whta you're looking for, you can find this information in the MS knowledge base on their website.

3) Windows is slow. The hardware specs shows macs being much much slower in processing speed (at least, pre intel they did) however, you are not getting a true assessment of your processor or memory speed by the box-specs or build-it-yourself specs of any windows PC. The reason being you must constantly keep running any number of anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware and firewall protection methods to keep this stuff from happening. That's a flawed model, in my opinion, instead of running extra software to FORBID things from happening, you should have to run extra software to ALLOW things to happen. I will not, however, get into an OS war here, that's just my opinion post computer-electrical engineering schooling.

4) Targeted market. Macs may be expensive, but they will last longer, have better support, maintain stability in the OS and hardware longer than any PC will. They are a worthy investment, and so are the service plans. You are guaranteed to have support from Mac, to the point where you can even pay some extra to get them to come out TO YOUR HOUSE on any day of the week and fix whatever may or may not be wrong. To get the same sort of support with any PC, be it Windows, Linux, BeOS or what have you, you have to pay through the nose to a third party company, and heaven forbid should they find you to have unliscensed software on your computer.

For that matter, all those things they install on your computer to help keep it clean? I've found more unliscensed, pirated software on my friends computer installed by his previous service tech than I've ever downloaded in my life. Even his copy of Windows is pirated, and that was put on by the service tech, "guaranteed to be legit" he said.

Uh huh. Sure. Whatever.

4a) Targeted marketing. Apple has, for years, devoted themselves to producing machines more suitable for printing, drawing, editing movies, graphics, sound, and creating music, graphics and sound than Windows could ever hope to have done. They excel in providing those products as well, and despite having a machine that's "slower" than the supposedly equivalent PC, my computer works much faster at doing what it does and what I do than any PC I've ever encountered, even the ones that were speced out with four and six processers to do these very things.

5) Color differences. This may sound funny to some of y'all, and you may or may not have noticed it. When using a PC, I used the stereotypical "apple" gamma settings because with my monitors, it looked better. Whites were whiter, etc. However, until I switched to using a real mac instead of just the video settings, I didn't ever see a monitor of any sort display a TRUE white setting, or what appears to me to be true white. I have a unique eye thing in that I'm tetrachromatic, so this may very well be a difference no one else has seen.

6) no viruses, thus no anti-virus software taking up system resources
7) no spyware, thus no anti-spyware software taking up system resources

(those two being of particular importance for those who run software that NEED those resources)

8) Simplicity - the "It just works factor". To install most things, I drag the icon into my "applications" folder, instead of going through a 5 minute long wizard installation process.

9) Reliability. While in the past there were issues in this regard, the more the operating system advances, the better it becomes. The more the OS advances, the faster the older machines run, with it. It makes more use of your hardware, etc. Essentially, even the older machines grow in power as the OS becomes better and better. Like I said, in the past, this wasn't the case, but it is becoming more and more so.

--

Let me point out that the argument of "mac is dying" is actually not true. A huge portion of the 'linux geeks' I know have switched to mac because mac is effectively the power and clarity of linux, but without the hassle. It's growing here, not dying. In the late 90's you didn't see macs anywhere other than print shops, like in Japan now, but they're growing and booming, especially as people recognize the iPod for the power it has and simplicity, and begin to think that perhaps this whole "mac thing" is worth more investigation.

Windows has it's places, and I know several people who have absolutely no trouble whatsoever using their Windows PCs for weeks at a time with no crashes, reboots, or problems. Me, at the end there, I was unable to go without rebooting twice a day, and please, don't suggest it's a hardware problem. It only happened on days I drew.

For anyone in the art world, be it painting, rendering, movie making, sound making, or even website design, I'd say, get a mac. You don't need an uberpowerful one to take advantage of the power it has behind it.

ALL THAT SAID - let me also point out that the change is a right pain in the rear. Everything is JUST different enough to make you hate it for about two weeks, then you go use your windows machine for something and you realize it feels clunky, and then it's all smooth sailing from there.

I actually find it hard and clunky and I get extremely impatient using windows machines now, much to my husbands amusement, who has been a mac convertee since 2003 or so.

-- posted from a dualcore powermac G5 2.3ghz.

I love my machine. Yes I do.

p.s. I keep my windows box alive, it's not going anywhere. Her name is Hathor, and she has a few uses, but you know, I haven't turrned it on in weeks?
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:23 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

Oh! Nancy, also, yes there is one problem with the new Intel based macs.

Because the hardware archeticture is different, all software that's not built for the Intel-based OS has to be run through this program called "Rosetta Stone" which converts the differences in software from the PowerPC architecture to the Intel architecture. It slows it WAY beyond down.

I don't know if the software you'd be using has been converted yet to the Intel based architecture, so you may want to consider getting one of the last generation iMacs instead, the PowerPC g5. It will save you some money as well, even though you wont have the extra power behind it.

Check with the vendors of the software you'll be using before buying either mac!
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:31 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

Wow, thanks, Jeanette! I've heard Macs talked up before but never so extensively or well put. You suggested getting one of the "last generation iMacs", do you mean a refurbished Mac from Apple? Or buying one used somewhere (eBay)? I did see some refurbished iMac PowerPcs on the Apple web site. I was wondering about those.

Thanks, Sketch-a-holic, for the info and the link to the article. I'll be looking at that.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:45 PM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

Yeah, refurb from apple works, or ebay, or local stores. Just make sure you're getting the G5 powerPC and not the Intel. I advise asking someone either in person or on the phone. But again, like I said, the software may have already been ported to the Intel architecture and you may not have to worry about that. Check with the speciality software vendors before you buy anything.

Alternatively, you could go with the PowerMacs, which aren't Intel yet, and will be like, really nice, if really expensive.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinn
I just bought a mac and will never again buy Windows, or a PC. Ever.
Brava

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinn
3) Windows is slow...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jinn
4) Targeted market. Macs may be expensive, but they will last longer, have better support, maintain stability in the OS and hardware longer than any PC will....
Perhaps not any PC but if you want the same stability you have to pay the same kind of bread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinn
5) Color differences....
Yeah, until you've actually seen an image on a Macintosh monitor beside PC monitors, even with Adobe's Gamma loaded and running, you just can't imagine how much better the colour is on a Mac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinn
8) Simplicity - the "It just works factor". To install most things, I drag the icon into my "applications" folder, instead of going through a 5 minute long wizard installation process.
Too right. I had the chance to mention this just two days ago: uninstalling is just as easy - drag to wastebasket and delete! None of this 'search through the registry by hand...' lark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinn
Windows has it's places, and I know several people who have absolutely no trouble whatsoever using their Windows PCs for weeks at a time with no crashes, reboots, or problems.
Amen. This PC I got primarily for gaming. Oh and by the way something weird happened last week and it forgot what an EXE was When that was fixed it forgot what a shortcut was...

Since we're sort of making a list I want to point out one more thing which is kinda important and that's cursor smoothness. My little iMac has the standard low-cost one-button mouse that comes as standard and in Photoshop and Illustrator there is just no comparison in smoothness between it and the Microsoft optical mouse on this PC here, which has a much more powerful processor, much more RAM and a 3D graphics card.

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Old 04-04-2006, 07:21 AM
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Re: iMac? x-posted to computers/technology forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Einion
Yeah, until you've actually seen an image on a Macintosh monitor beside PC monitors, even with Adobe's Gamma loaded and running, you just can't imagine how much better the colour is on a Mac.

Well, heck, I don't even have an Apple display - My main monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster and my secondary is a... er.. I've forgotten what it is, actually, it's in the shed. The powerbutton broke and needs repairing. Either way, EVEN ON THESE it looks better. It's got to do with the way the OS handles the colors.
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