Mac Pro Help! Convince me NOT to buy another Dell - update!

Joined
Jan 13, 2010
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377
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Arizona
The quick story is this. I use(d) 2 Dell computers for my book publishing business and recently my backup Dell Precision workstation died a terrible death. Hard drives are fine (only thing that matters!)

I am thinking of switching over to Mac. I'm actually not too happy about it as I've been running Windows since the dawn of time. But the recent plunge in Dell quality really bothers me.

I will use the Mac for desktop publishing, photography, and web design. I usually run the full Adobe Premier Suite all at once - IE - Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator all at the same time.



My book are running about 2 GB per copy and each book takes up at least 300GB (with backup copies, works in progress, ect...)

1 - What is the performance difference between the quad-core & 8-core?

2 - How well does Time Machine really work? And how do you all set that up?

3 - Is there any rumors of a new Mac Pro coming out? Should I wait?

4 - I keep hearing from my Windows friends that a Mac will never be as fast?

5 - When things come crashing down..how good is Apple support?


My two biggest concerns is to get a computer that can handle Adobe products and save me/my books in case there is a failure

Oh lastly...can a Mac run Windows monitors/Printers w/o problems?
 
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Joined
Oct 15, 2008
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GA
1. I can't answer about the performance of the machines
2. Time Machine works great. Hook up an external HDD (preferably with Firewire 800) and set it up through the built-in Time Machine preference pane.
3. http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/
4. "Fast" is subjective. The machine will be very capable of what you want it to do and Mac has (and probably will) always managed memory allocation better than Windows. This is only one example, but my 4 year old C2D laptop is "faster" than my GF's 2 year old Lenovo. Hers is littered with the Lenovo software, mine isn't.
5. Apple support is probably the best in the business. My G5 tower (May 2005) was 6 months out of apple care when it kept sleeping on me. Found out the cooling supply inside had leaked out and wasn't able to keep the processors cool enough so it slept to protect itself. They saw that it was a manufacturer issue, replaced it for me, but also replaced both processors, motherboard, RAM and case since those could have "suffered damage". They went above and beyond IMO and they've done this for many people i've heard from.

Macs can run any monitor you want. If you're still using VGA (which you shouldn't), just get an adapter. If you're running DVI, most cards support this. Printers are simple as cake. Most printer drivers are included with the OS.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
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307
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Boston
Be aware that switching will involve its own sort of pain for a bit if you do it. You should try OSX out first to make sure you're comfortable with it. That said, Dell is really horrible. If not a Mac, buy HP or something from a company that is at least trying.

For your specific questions:

you can run monitors and printers just fine
Adobe software works very well on Macs.
Time machine is really great as a backup but is NOT an archive solution. When you plug in a new disk drive it will ask you if you want to make it TM. Say "YES" - you're done.
There's no way you'll find the machine slow, at all.
Can't speak to the speed but I'm guessing for what you're doing you will want more cores.
Macrumors says an update is expected, but with the mac Pro it is ever so random (last update took a VERY long time), so best to make a decision and stick with it.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
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Austin
You won't need 8 cores for what you're doing. 95% of photographers don't need 8 cores....they won't ever make use of them all.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
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USA
Ron,

Looks like your work requires a lot of computing power. It also appears that you want to run computing intensive applications and multi-task with these applications. So if I were you I'd probably look at the 3.33GHz, 6-core MacPro with a minimum of 16GB of RAM. Apple has done us a favor by giving us the 6-core Mac Pro which happens to be a sweet spot, giving you the best functionality for the dollars spent.

Mac's run Adobe products and blow a Windoze system out of the water!

Time Machine is the best thing that Apple has done from a software perspective. Backing up is a breeze with Time Machine. All it requires is an initial set up that takes all of 2 minutes and you should be set. A word of caution, IMHO, if you don't have AT LEAST 3 copies of your data, you don't truly have a backup. The Mac Pro again comes to the rescue. You can choose to get a RAID card and configure it with the RAID 0+1 option, which will keep your system running and give you the redundancy you need for critical work.
As far as Apple support, its hands down the best in the industry, make no mistake about that!
As far as your friends telling you that a Mac can never be as fast, I don't know what they are talking about. Call me an Apple fan boy, and I will admit that I am, but seriously from a functionality standpoint, you can rest assured that a Mac will blow the living daylights out of a Windoze system with a similar configuration.

Having said all that, yes, there is a learning curve when you are making the switch. I would encourage you to visit a local Apple retail store, if there is one near you and talk to the sales people over there. Ask questions, ask lots of questions and also do prior research online before you head to the store. Most Apple stores have a business team catering specifically to small business owners. Ask to talk to someone from the business team and get a feel for the system by playing around with it. I would set aside at least 3-4 hours to get a first hand feel of the experience of using a Mac.

With a Mac Pro, you have the option to have a separate hard disk that can run Windoze, if you must, for any applications that require that OS. This will isolate your Mac's OS from malicious s/w, should you face any issues.

And as far as any monitors or printers are concerned, make sure that the manufacturer of the device has the necessary drivers (ideal scenario, you wouldn't need these, but just in case) either on their website or if necessary they can mail you a CD/DVD with the drivers.

If you have any questions, shoot me a PM.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
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313
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SoCal
Coming from someone who has been using PC's since MS-DOS to Windows 3.0 to 3.1 to 3.1.1...you get the idea.

I switched to Mac about 2 years ago, actually gave Windows another try recently and now will probably never buy a Windows machine again.

Sure there are times I miss taking a $500 PC and overclocking it with liquid cooling to run like a $2000 Mac but I don't tear apart my new cars the day I bring them home either.

A Mac Pro (configured properly) will easily run the Adobe suite that you are talking about...I run Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Facetime, and a few proprietary softwares all at the same time with no problems. I am usually editing several 500mb+ files at once.

As far as cores, it is the old rule of diminishing returns. My thoughts are buy as much performance as you can afford and then run the machine in to the ground and then start all over again. Do I really need 8-cores no but it sure is nice not seeing the little spinning circle. My quad Macbook Pro does pretty well at keeping up with my Mac Pro.

Cant' comment on Time Machine as I use Carbon Copy Cloner. Just personal preference.

There are ALWAYS rumors of another machine around the corner.

PC's can be faster, anyone telling you otherwise is just closed minded. There are faster processors available, faster GPU's, faster RAM...faster everything, BUT the MAC OS is solid and much much easier to deal with...it is just a more elegant OS.

Apple support is second to none. You will never get support from ANY windows PC manufacturer that comes remotely close to Apple. I never never NEVER buy extended warranties but every one of my MAC's has the 3 year Applecare on them.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
377
Location
Arizona
Time Machine is the best thing that Apple has done from a software perspective. Backing up is a breeze with Time Machine. All it requires is an initial set up that takes all of 2 minutes and you should be set. A word of caution, IMHO, if you don't have AT LEAST 3 copies of your data, you don't truly have a backup. The Mac Pro again comes to the rescue. You can choose to get a RAID card and configure it with the RAID 0+1 option, which will keep your system running and give you the redundancy you need for critical work.
As far as Apple support, its hands down the best in the industry, make no mistake about that!

Thanks! I got a Macbook Pro last year as kind of an intro to using the Mac OS but had a HD failure and lost everything on it. I didn't setup time machine(!!!) I still prefer Windows 7 to the MAC OS..but again, I've used Windows since it was invented.

Oh, I have 7 copies of each not counting CDs and copies on remote servers. It is overkill..lol..but to lose my work would close my company.

Thanks for the tips!
 
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
6,856
Location
Colorado Springs, Colorado
You asked the question in the Mac forum so you should expect that most of the replies will encourage you to switch. As someone who has worked with and on lots of different operating systems including Windows and Mac OS and as a current Mac user, I must play the contrarian here. You have many years of knowledge and experience invested in the Windows ecosystem. You also have some very expensive software investments that would have to be replicated on the Mac.

My advice, in the grand tradition of "don't throw out the baby with the bath water", is to fix your core problem which appears to be unreliable hardware. As a previous poster noted, there are other PC hardware vendors.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
1,714
Location
Westlake Village, Ca. and 20 mi NW of Prescott, Az
The quick story is this. I use(d) 2 Dell computers for my book publishing business and recently my backup Dell Precision workstation died a terrible death. Hard drives are fine (only thing that matters!)

I am thinking of switching over to Mac. I'm actually not too happy about it as I've been running Windows since the dawn of time. But the recent plunge in Dell quality really bothers me.

I will use the Mac for desktop publishing, photography, and web design. I usually run the full Adobe Premier Suite all at once - IE - Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator all at the same time.



My book are running about 2 GB per copy and each book takes up at least 300GB (with backup copies, works in progress, ect...)

1 - What is the performance difference between the quad-core & 8-core?

2 - How well does Time Machine really work? And how do you all set that up?

3 - Is there any rumors of a new Mac Pro coming out? Should I wait?

4 - I keep hearing from my Windows friends that a Mac will never be as fast?

5 - When things come crashing down..how good is Apple support?


My two biggest concerns is to get a computer that can handle Adobe products and save me/my books in case there is a failure

Oh lastly...can a Mac run Windows monitors/Printers w/o problems?

FYI: Your adobe SW can be transferred to Mac versions!


As a 30+ year user of PC's and 2+ year user of MAC/OSX I would ABSOLUTELY recommend you give Mac/OSX a try. I have just about every Mac currently made (Mac Pro, MBP, MA) and every one of them has been PERFECT.

I highly doubt the Mac Pro will be updated until spring of 2012.

cheers
JohnG
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
9,532
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
I own a Mac Pro dual quad core (eight cores) and I'm running Adobe Creative Suite CS5
It has four internal HDD's, one 1TB for OS and programs, two 2TB for storage, another 2TB for Windows 7 64 bit and video storage. I prefer Sony Vegas for video editing, it's Windows only.

I started with Windows 3.1 in 1993 and switched to Mac in 2005.
I would suggest you buy the eight core.


1. Photoshop CS5 64 bit uses all eight cores. To prove this I opened a 260MB .TIFF pano and ran a radial blur. I used the Activity Monitor to show the CPU's. Here's a screen shot showing all eight cores being used.

5644445894_1584a1e139.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


2. Yes Time Machine works. I have it set to an external 2TB drive. You select which files are backed up.

3. I haven't heard any rumors

4. This thing flies, I have no anti-virus software installed.

5. Apple Support is the best I've ever experienced with any company. Make sure you buy Apple Care.

Yes your Windows monitors and printers will work.
If your using version CS5, Adobe will send you the Mac version of your Adobe Suite for the cost of shipping. When I switched platforms it cost me $10
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
1,025
Location
North Carolina
I know this is NOT what you're asking about....but maybe pertinent.

For my wife, I just ordered a Dell 17" HD+WLED, i5 processor, 6GB Ram, 640GB Sata HDD from the Dell Outlet for $589 -20% coupon = $471 + tax with FREE shipping.

Unfortunately for me, that's why I keep buying Dell. I'm cheap.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
5,364
Location
Austin
Photoshop CS5 uses all eight cores.


I understand that it is able to, but it is really necessary for what we do? The 8 core machine is only 2.4Ghz whereas a quad core is 3.2Ghz....

For what *most* photographers do, a quad core at 3.2Ghz will be PLENTY
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
9,532
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
I understand that it is able to, but it is really necessary for what we do? The 8 core machine is only 2.4Ghz whereas a quad core is 3.2Ghz....

For what *most* photographers do, a quad core at 3.2Ghz will be PLENTY

You're right. I bought it for video editing and with that the more cores the better.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,507
Go ahead and get the MacPro. You know you want to. :biggrin:

You can use a PC for the next 30 years, or you can use a Mac for the next 30 years. May as well switch now. :wink:
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
5,364
Location
Austin
Go ahead and get the MacPro. You know you want to. :biggrin:

You can use a PC for the next 30 years, or you can use a Mac for the next 30 years. May as well switch now. :wink:


Haha. Indeed, owning a Mac or running on OSX is conducive to a much better quality of life :smile:
 
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