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  1. #1
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    BUYING NEW MAC! NEED Some quick Professional advice!

    OK. So I got a new job and I need a new computer.. Where gonne be getting a MAC of cause, but what should I look for?

    Im gonne be working in Photoshop doing concept art mainly. So Im guessing my needs is loads of RAM memory.. Also I heard I should get the NIVIDA Gforce graphics card 8800.

    Any advice would be nice...
    For all I know I might not need more than a Imac.. But then I wouldnt be able to run two screens right?

    So what do I need to get a high end Photoshop monster tool?
    (I dont want to get stuck with delays on brushes and stuff like that)
    Thanx in advance!

    /Danny

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    Since obviously money is not an issue (you are buying a Mac) then I recommend getting as much RAM as you can squeeze into it, starting at 2GB and going up as your wallet holds out. Yes you should be ok with the 8800.

    Nvidia or ATI? Well I thought that most midline GPUs nowadays were equipped to run two monitors....but maybe it's just the ones I have looked at.

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  4. #3
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    To address that question first: you can of course run a second screen on the latest iMacs.

    Your PS Performance should be ok with the 2,4GHz version equipped with 4Gig of RAM (it doesn't supports more). It comes with the ATI HD2600, which should be fine for work in PS. No Nvidia Gforce in iMacs afaik.

    My general advice would be if you're windows experienced and want to save some money and dont want an built-in display - go for a pc instead.

    The Mac Pro is ridiculously overpriced in my opinion but if money indeed is not an issue or your're happy with the iMac then enjoy your new mac. It's a great thing.

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    I'm also looking at this option. Here are some of my thoughts and research:

    - I don't think a high end graphics card is necessary for photoshopping, these are aimed mostly at the 3d/gaming side of things.
    - RAM is always nice, the more the merrier. Just check whether the Photoshop Mac version has a usage limit (shouldn't be an issue).
    - The system I'm contemplating is a MacBook Pro 15.4" 2.4 Ghz (the new ones, cheapest model) along with a 20"/23" Cinema display. Should give you enough USB ports, plus the MBPs come standard with 2GB of memory instead of one. This also allows a dual screen setup, and if you get the 17" MBP with LED screen you can configure it to have exactly the same resolution as your Cinema Display, both 20" and 23" models. Lastly it's portable. Cons are ultra super expensive costs and there are a few trade offs. Your HD won't be as fast unless you order a faster one (extra ching) and your performance takes a slight dip (guessing about 5-10%) over the iMac equivalent due to mobile tech. Still, unless you're working with A1 300 dpi posters, I don't really see how this'll be a huge issue.

    hope this helps some, just a thought though.
    cheers

    Brendan Noeth

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    Quote Originally Posted by ikuru View Post
    NEED Some quick Professional advice!
    Don't buy a mac?


    This was a joke; I have no interest in actually starting a platform war.

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    Have fun with your iMac

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    The 24" iMac is a thing of beauty.


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  9. #8
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    Don't make me drool

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    Dude...c'mon...Mac pro man...have you seen the specs..?no otherwise you wouldnt even be asking. If I had the moola, Id go for that sweet, sweet, 8 core machine...dude c'mon


    throw in two 24" monitors in the mix and ....oops I think I just jeezed in my pants

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  12. #10
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    well... geta mac and hold on to it as tight as you can, never let go.

    ... I have vista... I have depression

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    Have you used a Mac before? I'm not sure why you think it has to be a Mac. In fact, most people in the concept world use PCs, due to the fact that their machine needing to do 3D content creation as well.

    Also, you have really awesome opportunity in PC space to buy a machine that is much more useful for your endeavors then a boring iMac. You can buy a Tablet PC. The benefits of TPC over an iMac is way greater than it's defecits:

    1. Draw/paint right on the screen
    2. You can be mobile
    3. You get much better bang for the buck

    20" iMac is $1500, and you can't do 1 or 2 from above. And the $1300 Gateway C-141XL already comes with 3GB of RAM. The iMac comes with only 1GB, way too little for art.

    If you are already a Mac user, then ignore all that above. I don't want to talk folks into switching platforms for no reason. But if you are a PC person, I think it might not be the best decision to buy a Mac just because you have to do art.

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    He wants to buy a Mac and wants some advice on the configuration, not stupid statement like 'Dude, you should rather get a PC!'

    IMO a Macbook pro (yes a laptop so you can carry it around) with 4Gigs is great. But I heard there is going to be a big upgrade for the laptops from Apple this summer, so better wait a bit.

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  15. #13
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    ikuru, Macs last a long time. Best thing to do is to buy the biggest most powerful Mac you can get your hands on that you can afford (then work it to death), with 2-4 gig of ram, and TWO drives as big as you can afford installed--and I mean BIG. The extra graphics card is only necessary (I think) if you want to run multiple 30" screens. Otherwise, you should be fine for multiple 20"-24"s.

    Keep the primary reason you're getting a comp in front of you when you make a decision...work, longevity, work, stability, adaptability, work...and a lot of the stuff (accessories) meant for non-Macs will still work with an Intel Mac, so you're not cutting off all your supply possibilities.

    For what you want to do, laptops are just toys as far as I'm concerned. They're nice, but you aren't going to be doing serious work on somebody's front steps, so why waste the money and add the increased possibility of damage or theft? And every time I look at the laptops in the media, it seems there's a problem with batteries, overheating, the screens, or some other little thing. And the screen can only be so big, so right there, you're limited.

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    First I want to thak u all for chipping in your knowledge! Thanks!

    Now, I need to be more specific...
    We are buyng a Stationary Mac (not a PC and not a Laptop (I Have a mac laptop at home and it works like a charm)).

    Question: Are you sure I can run an external screen on the Imac (Im not talking about duplicating screen, but running it on its own)?
    And is the Imac really Enough for the task? Or is it worth the xtra money to buy the Mac Pro (I am planing to have 4 gig of ram)?

    Money is not the main concern here...


    The Main concern is: to get a Stationary mac Machine with the right specs, in order to be able to do pretty much Anything in Photoshop with out memory chokes and delays.

    Ilaekae, Are u saying I should get 2 hard drives? If so, Why do I need that?

    And Thank u all again for the kind support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ikuru View Post
    Question: Are you sure I can run an external screen on the Imac (Im not talking about duplicating screen, but running it on its own)?
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by ikuru View Post
    And is the Imac really Enough for the task?
    Probably.


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  20. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikuru View Post
    Question: Are you sure I can run an external screen on the Imac (Im not talking about duplicating screen, but running it on its own)?
    Positive. I've done it a few times.
    Quote Originally Posted by ikuru View Post
    And is the Imac really Enough for the task? Or is it worth the xtra money to buy the Mac Pro (I am planing to have 4 gig of ram)?
    I have an imac with only 2 gigs of ram and I've never felt it act slow or sluggish. I use Painter and Photoshop everyday, typically at once. 4 gigs will cover you for a good while.

    ps. If i can suggest one thing, invest in the big screen. I used to love to draw on a 12 powerbook, but then I bought my 24in imac and I can't believe I ever used to draw so small. Bigger is better.

    My work: [link]
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_fish View Post
    He wants to buy a Mac and wants some advice on the configuration, not stupid statement like 'Dude, you should rather get a PC!'

    IMO a Macbook pro (yes a laptop so you can carry it around) with 4Gigs is great. But I heard there is going to be a big upgrade for the laptops from Apple this summer, so better wait a bit.
    Hey, I just asked because the phrasing of the post was a little weird (almost like doing digital art = must use Macs).

    But then again, it sounds like he doesn't want a laptop either so I guess we both failed.

    Like I said, I don't care about switching people from platform to platform. You stick with what you're happy with. I just like to remind digital painters and sketchers about affordable draw/paint directly on the screen options.

    As for desktop Macs, there is this giant chasm between the Mac Pros and Mac Minis that's been there for ages. You either get a server motherboard that uses FB DIMM memory platform (total overkill for none server work and actually robs performance with it's serial to parallel transition) with 8 DIMM slots or a a Mini ITX mobo with two SODIMM slots.

    There is also iMacs, but they come with screens that you may or may not need (if you have a great screen, then it's sort of a waste). Also, iMacs don't use desktop components except for the hard drive. The CPU, RAM, mobo and videocard all come from laptop component world.

    So as someone looking into a Mac desktop, you have to determine if the type of work you are doing and apps you are using necessitates a Mac Pro, which is this gigantic box with server components, or if you can make do with a Mac Mini or iMac, which are laptop components in desktop clothing. There's nothing in the middle (boy, Mac -land could use a proper Cube successor right about now).

    So most end up deciding that an iMac works for them. But be aware that iMac only has 2 SODIMM slots so if your work needs more RAM than 4GB, it's not possible right now. If you tend to do super high resolution print work, you need to step up to a Mac Pro, which will let you physically use more than 4GB of RAM. Also, if you need to do any kind of serious 3D content creation work, you need to go Mac Pro, with it's proper PCIe 16X video card slots.

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  22. #18
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    Then, to clarify, let me speak from experience that the iMac should be totally fine for almost all kinds of digital painting. 4GB of RAM is fine, the onboard graphics processor is enough for anything (maybe even some basic 3d work, but then there's the emptiness in the 3d shelves for Mac OS). The screen is better than anything affordable you would have to buy in order to accompany the alternative PC solution. The price is fine for what you get and with Leopard and Photoshop CS3 you get the best performance ever achieve in the application's history. That's why people buy the new iMacs. Because despite the lasting criticism, there are reasons for Macs.

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  23. #19
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    Check the refurbished section in the apple store. I just bought a pro tower with 2 dual core xeon processors with 1 gig of RAM and a 250gb HD for $1800. You can buy extra RAM and a hard drive for a couple hundred and save loads of cash instead of buying one brand new. The beauty part about refurbished machines is that you know that it was torn apart and inspected piece by piece so it's going to be a solid machine when you get it. I also bought a 23" Apple HD Cinema Display for $800 and have it paired with a 19" Sony/DELL monitor so I have 33" horizontal inches of desktop space and I can't tell you how much I love my new machine. It blows away my old dual proc G4 tower with 2 19" monitors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ikuru View Post
    And is the Imac really Enough for the task?
    As suggsted, if you build order an extra gig of RAM (to 2GB), I really don't see how you're going to run into trouble. 4GB is all the better.

    Last edited by Brendan N; March 21st, 2008 at 04:24 PM.
    Brendan Noeth

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    You can order 4GB of PC2-5300 SODIMM from Newegg for around $80 (yes, works fine in Macs). No reason to add any RAM from Apple in BTO.

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  26. #22
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    You can save a thousand dollars but hunting around a bit locally for used macs that are powerhouses. Then you can use the money you save to buy a tablet or programs.

    Just a thought.

    kev

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  27. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikuru View Post
    is the Imac really Enough for the task? Or is it worth the xtra money to buy the Mac Pro
    Get the Pro.
    The iMac is good enough, but you are way better off getting more than you need.
    The sweet thing about macs is that they keep working well into their obsolete years.
    If you ever want to upgrade your iMac 5 years from now, you are going to be frustrated.
    There is only so much space available in there.
    We think 4 gigs of ram is fine now, but in 5 years, it may be nothing.
    I have photo apps that require 2 gigs of ram just to open.

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  29. #24
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    My only advcie is buy a pc....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae View Post
    ikuru, Macs last a long time. Best thing to do is to buy the biggest most powerful Mac you can get your hands on that you can afford (then work it to death), with 2-4 gig of ram, and TWO drives as big as you can afford installed--and I mean BIG. The extra graphics card is only necessary (I think) if you want to run multiple 30" screens. Otherwise, you should be fine for multiple 20"-24"s.

    Keep the primary reason you're getting a comp in front of you when you make a decision...work, longevity, work, stability, adaptability, work...and a lot of the stuff (accessories) meant for non-Macs will still work with an Intel Mac, so you're not cutting off all your supply possibilities.

    For what you want to do, laptops are just toys as far as I'm concerned. They're nice, but you aren't going to be doing serious work on somebody's front steps, so why waste the money and add the increased possibility of damage or theft? And every time I look at the laptops in the media, it seems there's a problem with batteries, overheating, the screens, or some other little thing. And the screen can only be so big, so right there, you're limited.
    Well if like me you don't always work at a desk a laptop is the most sensible solution. I don't think you can lug the most powerful desktop macs with 2 screens when you want to go to Starbucks at the corner or travel by plane. A lot of digital artists are using laptops nowadays and I really don't see any problem if you are using photoshop or painter.
    But that's just my opinion, and if you always work in front of the same desk that doesn't make too much sense.

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  32. #26
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    Ikuru, I completely missed this question the first time around...sorry...

    "Ilaekae, Are u saying I should get 2 hard drives? If so, Why do I need that?"

    I'm an old-fashioned "cover-my-ass" type, and so I automatically get matching hard drives installed in my towers. The drive is the weak spot on any comp, and with two, I can continue working on deadline if one blows, even though I may lose some material permanently or temporarily. I carry enough duplication of active work on both drives to salvage at least something.

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    I'm sporting a macbookpro myself and I work as a in-house concept designer at Frozenbyte. I just grab it along every morning and throw it on my desk at work and connect a second monitor ( most of the time I work on the laptop monitor though ). It get's the job done extremely well.

    -Juhani

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    ikuru: I thought I was kinda biased in my previous posts, so: If you can invest the extra money, get a Mac Pro. The iMac is fine, but considering that the iMac is somehow what my Macbook is, I have experienced some slowdowns when I was painting really fast and repetitive, while on the Mac Pro that I use at work, no slowdowns have occured whatsoever. If you can, go Pro. Most likely you won't be disappointed.

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    get the best mac you can afford. there is no reason to buy a pc since you can install windows vista/xp on all recent intel-macs via bootcamp (leopard needed)

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kfeeras View Post
    get the best mac you can afford. there is no reason to buy a pc since you can install windows vista/xp on all recent intel-macs via bootcamp (leopard needed)

    cheers

    Im surprised no one has mentioned this. I was just about to.

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