Lifelong Windows user contemplates (gasp!) a Macintosh! Advice please!

Joseph S

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Seems fitting when you consider the original announcement of 10.4s development came with the "Introducing Longhorn" posters.
 

Greg*go

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Ehh, it looks like that report was wrong. :b But wasn't Apple founded on April 1st? It could've been a nice anniversary gift, like this increase in Gmail storage!
 

Shane D

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i love macs. but im not gonnna say run out and buy it yhou'll love it, cause there is a chance you wont.

If i were you, what i'd do, for the price of a g5 right now, roughly 2500-3000, you could get help building your own windows machine that will kill for like 1000 bucks, and then take around 600 and just buy one of the new mac mini's and get a gig of ram added.

This way, you stay in your familiar territory with windows, but you also get your feet wet with a osX and the mac experience, and then in a year or 2, you can decide which is best for you.
 

Sam Posten

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Bummer. My advice was going to be 'why not both'.

Get a nice Powerbook and see if you like it. If it works for ya, move over your desktop. Putting both in use is a simple router upgrade for your net.
 

Lee Scoggins

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Ron,

I have to disagree politely regarding some of the G5 discussion. I think it is very important to have a G5 because of the following reasons:

1. Noticeable pick up in speed. Also be sure to get at least 512K Ram or even better 1GB.

2. The Apple media creation software is so good you will likely find yourself doing more of it and the G5 helps there.

3. Complex tasks like multipl open windows and things are definitely faster in a G5.

4. My suspicion is that Tiger will be better optimized for a G5 chip.

5. Movie editing and Adobe Photoshop are definitely much quicker on a G5.

My plan is to wait on the PowerMac revision that may be shown next week at NAB of later in the year. You may see dual-core chips which will rev up performance. I am planning to give my iMac to my wife and purchase one then...
 

Lee Scoggins

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Oh yeah, one other popular myth that persists....the problems with legacy files in Microsoft Office.

Office: Mac (essentially Gates' version of the Office suite for Macs) has proven to be 100% compatible with my existing Excel and PowerPoint and Word files. in fact I ran a huge 50MB spreadsheet to make sure my iMac G5 would run it fast enough which it did soundly trouncing my 2Ghz ThinkPad with 1Gb RAM.

Some features are very slighty different in PPT and Excel but everything is there and graphics work a bit better on the Mac of course. I had some 10 years and 50GB of legacy files and they have been no problem since I swtiched about 3 months ago. in fact, the two other people at my software company say they can't tell a difference when I email them. Even better you can create PPT files and then import later into Keynote 2 which has much better animation effects.

My hobbies include surfing the web and photography and here I also find the Mac quite nice for work. I find the Safari browser to be a bit better than Firefox and loads better than Explorer. It has a nice feature where you can build bookmarks into "buttons" at the top of the browser and its graphics ability makes loading images very fast.

iPhoto is a decent enough pic tool for most but Photoshop Elements for Mac is really handy.

Anyway I hope this helps Ron. Given your needs and connection to this site, I would strongly suggest a top of the line iMac or wait for the new PowerMacs later in the year.

In any event, I believe you will find as I have that OS X is a much much better operating system than Windows. And this is coming from someone involved with Microsoft since 1983.
 

Lee Scoggins

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Ron,

I'm sorry but I did not respond to the CompUSA link deal. This is a very fast computer and if you need something now go for it. I would personally see if you can wait until the new ones come out. A major Apple rumor site has posted specs which I put in another thread, but you can visit the new machine specs at www.thinksecret.com

My guess is that the newer model is worth waiting on due to the faster chips and enhanced graphics cards...

I hope that helps.
 

DaveF

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I'm resurrecting this thread, since I'm contemplating a Mac purchase after a decade of Wintel use.

My interests for a future computer are dabbling in digital photography, small-time video editing, creating an digital jukebox, some gaming, and normal uses (web, finances, email, etc.).

I can now do all these with simpler aplomb thanks to Picasa, Windows Movie Maker and Windows Media Player. However, I am attracted to the superior iPhoto and possibly better iMovie and iTunes.

What confounds me is how to sensibly compare system configurations and costs between Macs and PCs. I have no idea what constitutes similar performance between dual G5's and current P4's.

Can you recommend any reviews comparing Mac to Windows systems? Any thoughts on comparing the two and making a purchasing decision?

Thanks!
 

Mike Selis

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It is hard to compare the two systems. To give you an idea, I will list the model line and potential users.

Mac Mini G4: new computer user, switcher to Mac, person looking for a cheap Mac to replace their old Mac. This person might already own a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

eMac G4: new computer user, switcher to Mac, person looking for a cheap Mac to replace their old Mac. Commonly purchased by school districts. Rarely purchased by consumers because of its larger size. Good replacement for first generation iMacs.

iMac G5: the most common Mac product. Often purchased by new Mac users, as well as users whom are replacing their old Mac. Powerful enough for most applications.

PowerMac G5: On the same level as the workstation. Not commonly purchased by home users as it is more expensive, larger, and requires the purchase of a separate monitor. Purchased often by people in the video, art, marketing, and print vertical markets. Almost always will a buyer of the PM require additional RAM.

No matter which one you choose, you should purchase AppleCare as it will help protect you in the event of component failure, and it will give you three years of USA based phone tech support. They can help you with most any questions you will have.

When comparing processors, just assume that they are about the same. The major difference is that the Mac OS 10.3 & 10.4 is designed to use the hardware in the most efficient manner possible. Windows was designed to work with a HUGE variety of hardware choices, where OS 10.3 & 10.4 was designed for a very limited selection of hardware. The only differences between most of the Macs is video card, hard drive size, RAM, and optical drive. Since there are only a few dozen choices, the Mac is much easier for Apple to design, support, and build. The Mac OS is built based on Unix, with the graphical interface overlayed on top of it. As a result, the operating system uses very little resources itself when compared to the various applications.

Let me know if this answers your questions sufficiently.
 

David Williams

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You ain't just whistling dixie. I'm replacing my Rev C Lime iMac with one next week. They look the same except for the flat screen and pearly white case. The all-in-one case has never bothered me, in fact I prefer it to the monitor/tower combo because everything is right in front of you.

Anyone know why Jobs decided to go all white? I really miss the iFruity colors, though I understand that some colors were more popular than others leading to inventory problems.
 

Michael_K_Sr

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The eMac was originally only offered to the education market, hence the "e" in the name. I assume they decided that schools would want a uniform appearance in their computer labs. The inventory problems with the less popular colors were another big issue. Eventually the clamor to make it available as a cheaper alternative to the "lampshade" iMacs forced Apple to sell it to regular consumers.

To anyone considering a Mac purchase, adding additional RAM is always a wise investment. It's ridiculously easy to upgrade the RAM yourself on all of the desktop models with the exception of the Mac Mini.

Comparing Macs and PC is tough. There are benchmarks out there that test the two machines against each other, but they generally are done using Adobe's professional applications. I will say that Consumer Reports consistently ranks the Macs far above other computer manufacturers in both the quality of the hardware and the level of customer service.
 

Phil Kim

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For most, iMac G5 represents the best bang for the buck. It is more powerful than PowerBook-series while providing strong feature sets. Just about all you need is more memory (1GB is ideal for amateur photography/video needs). 2 GHz iMac G5 is roughly comparable to 3 GHz Pentium 4.

The next level up is PowerMac G5, which offers dual G5 processors (it is rumored to receive dual-core G5 update soon). Mac OS X is highly tuned for multiple CPUs and performance gain from single processor iMac can be dramatic. Expect 50-80% performance gain with dual processors. 2.3 GHz PowerMac G5 is roughly comparable to 3.6 GHz P4 and 2.8 GHz dual-core P4.

It is worth noting that Mac OS X "eye candies" drains the hardware a bit. Having more memory and powerful graphics card help but don't expect user experience to be as instantaneous as Windows XP.

Macs are very popular in creative industry (movie, photography, music) and for very good reasons. Mac OS X text rendering engine, while generating fuzzier looking text than Windows XP's, is highly print accurate and is PDF native. (To sharpen the text, I recommend setting Tiger's font smoothing to Strong, followed by logout then login.) In addition, Mac OS X has very strong color support with built-in color calibration tool. And while I wouldn't go as far and say Mac applications are much more powerful than Windows counterparts, they are much more pleasurable to use.
 

David Williams

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I remember the inventory issue, but it just seemed odd to me that Jobs championed the cause of having a computer than looked unlike any other, then suddenly created a world of Apples where 90% of the models only come in 1 color *un*color. I absolutely loathe the blinded by the white look. Oh well.
 

DaveF

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Thanks for insight into the different models and their target audiences. That helps me in my comparisons in price and performance to PCs.

I wish that there were direct comparisons in terms of performance versus cost, relative to PCs. I also wish that Apple's online store was simpler to use. I find it confusing, difficult to know what is included with the computer and what I must buy separately.
 

Michael_K_Sr

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Dave, what are you looking to be included with the computer? Specific software? When wou click on a model in the Apple Store, it tells you the system specs and what comes in the box, along with the software bundle.
 

DaveF

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Little things, like whether iLife is included with the computer. Its inclusion is hidden away in small print on the bottom of the description page for, say the iMac model. But then the accessories page, during the shopping process, will offer me iLife as the second option, making me wonder if I need to purchase it or not. And the number one upgrade option when building a new computer option is OS X Tiger; I don't know if that's currently shipping with the models for sale or if I have to pay extra to upgrade.

The descriptions also don't list whether the various models are setup for ethernet. The purchase page only offers a modem for purchase, so I can't tell how or if you can connect a Mac to a network.

Or, the Apple website doesn't list what applications are included with the various versions of Office. I don't know which version, if any, comes with PowerPoint.

I've not dug deep into the Apple website, but unlike their OS and software, so far I find the Apple store ill-designed and difficult to use.
 

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