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Hagar

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16th August, 2010 at 15:02:48 -

Hi All,

I keep thinking of trying the Apple way of computing so to speak when I purchase my next PC (probably in a year), but cost wise I can not seem to justify it. In my job I do a lot of computationally intensive things (My home PC is a core 2 Quad and my work PC has an i7).

The reason I ask is that four friends of mine have switched and now swear by them (to MacBook, MacBook Pro and Imac's [yuk]). They seem awfully overpriced to me.

The equivalent of my current PC is the base line Mac Pro, which goes for just short of 2000 pounds - without a monitor... Now bear in mind I built this PC last year for just under 600 pounds (Minus monitor and I got my OS free through my Uni's academic alliance ). So if I do go for a Mac it would be the 8 Core or 12 core (no point buying similar specced machines), and these go for 2,800 and almost a whopping 4k.

Other thing that bugs me is software for it (I use a lot of free windows and linux software for my job) and Parallels/Bootcamp is 65 pounds - not sure if virtual box runs well on a Mac with hardware interfaces, and running full speed is pretty much needed so I would really need boot camp or something similar (any freebie software like this?)

Other things (like office) also seem overpriced for the Mac, I have used a Mac a few times and I do like them - I just can not bring myself to cough up that much , perhaps some non fanboy Mac users can give their views.


 
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16th August, 2010 at 15:37:38 -

A question is in order:

Are you interested in Macs because of what you've seen of Mac usage and because OSX has qualities you can't find in Windows or because your friends have them?

And:

What do your friends use their Macs for?

 

  		
  		

Hagar

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16th August, 2010 at 16:10:37 -

Thanks for the reply . One friend is a musician (uses Logic), other two guys are theorists (therefore just write academic papers) and my final Mac friend is a hardware dev guy like myself . I was quite happy doing a silly project with Xcode with him for the ST Micro Arm embedded processors (only tool chain he uses).

Plus I did like OSX. Not usually a follower of fashionable / in vogue stuff but in my somewhat brief experiences of using a Mac (an afternoon with Logic and a day with Xcode) was refreshing shall we say. Used to do some (bad music) myself using my keyboard, midi lead and evolution midi (ancient package).

Unfortunately I do use a lot of toolchains (Philips LPC (an ARM 7), Microchip MCUs, Lattice Semi, Xilinx ... the list goes on) unlike my friend so I think its best if I stick to windows & Ubuntu . Also still need ye olde parallel port for one of my JTAG leads...

Still would not mind a Mac in the future with Logic, but they still seem overtly expensive for my liking

 
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16th August, 2010 at 16:33:39 -

Boot camp is free, so if you have a copy of Windows, there's no extra money to run both.

That refreshingness may not last when you get into it (Once you start to find the stubborn and useless design decisions thrown in there as in all OSes ) but you can't really predict taste one way or another. I thought my bro's Mac was cool for about one day.

If you like OSX, all you have to justify is the price. The only one who can do that is you with a list of things you can only do in OSX.

 

  		
  		

Cecilectomy

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16th August, 2010 at 17:05:10 -

"I keep thinking of trying the Apple way of computing so to speak when I purchase my next PC (probably in a year), but cost wise I can not seem to justify it. In my job I do a lot of computationally intensive things (My home PC is a core 2 Quad and my work PC has an i7). "

seems like you already have computationlly intensive things covered. upgrade you mobo and cpu to an i5 or i7. i5 has up to 4 cores, i7 has up to 6. a 6core i7 will cost you a grand though. but honestly you already have a core 2 quad which is already pretty beefy.

"The reason I ask is that four friends of mine have switched and now swear by them (to MacBook, MacBook Pro and Imac's [yuk]). They seem awfully overpriced to me."

its called being fanboys. macs are overpriced, mac osx is overhyped, and the software is both overpriced and overhyped. it does what they need it to do and it looks nice. there isnt any other reason. they also might argue the lack of viruses as a plus, to which my response will always be "the only reason there is no viruses for macs is because nobody uses them".

"
The equivalent of my current PC is the base line Mac Pro, which goes for just short of 2000 pounds - without a monitor... Now bear in mind I built this PC last year for just under 600 pounds (Minus monitor and I got my OS free through my Uni's academic alliance ). So if I do go for a Mac it would be the 8 Core or 12 core (no point buying similar specced machines), and these go for 2,800 and almost a whopping 4k."

see my reply to the previous.

"Other thing that bugs me is software for it (I use a lot of free windows and linux software for my job) and Parallels/Bootcamp is 65 pounds - not sure if virtual box runs well on a Mac with hardware interfaces, and running full speed is pretty much needed so I would really need boot camp or something similar (any freebie software like this?)"

virtual box and vmware are both free iirc, and should run perfectly fine. you also have wine (free), cedega/cider (which isnt free but is less then paralles i beleive), and crossover (also not free), which are all for running windows apps/games in mac/linux without needing a virtual os installed.

"Other things (like office) also seem overpriced for the Mac, I have used a Mac a few times and I do like them - I just can not bring myself to cough up that much , perhaps some non fanboy Mac users can give their views."

openoffice.org -_-


all i can say is, there is NEVER a valid reason to use a mac, unless you absolutely NEED a mac to do what you need to do. i.e. proprietary mac software development like iphone development.

if you want to dabble in the mac universe i would simply suggest the mac mini. its a decent computer for a mere 600$.

Edited by Cecilectomy

 
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Hagar

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16th August, 2010 at 17:08:58 -

I guess it was just a change that made it feel nice. I loved ubuntu until I hit some problems (like the GUI Editor in Xilinx ISE not working and the documentation for the latest version being non existant), MLT making 1080p editing choppy although windows editing packages run fine so its not a performance problem (and playback in Ubuntu is also fine), Flash being totally random to its functionality on 64 bit, the ATi Drivers being somewhat iffy and it caused random pauses with Compiz (and black and white windows whilst dragging them) even though the non proprietry drivers worked fine . I guess the devil is in the details.

Might buy a Mac in the future but not the immediate future . To be honest I believe there is nothing I can do on a Mac that I can not do on my PC, my Mac friends would go barmy if I said this (Well Mr Jobbs robbed PC users of Logic, but Cakewalk is pretty good too)



 
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Sketchy

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16th August, 2010 at 17:15:32 -

If you're loaded, then just buy what you want - you don't need to justify your decision.

If you're viewing it as an investment, then you need to figure out how much it will actually increase your productivity - eg. What new jobs will you be able to take on and how much time (time=money) will you be able to save, by using a new Mac instead of a PC?

If it's just a fun new toy, then you need to consider whether you could get more enjoyment by spending your money some other way. Personally, if I had 3000, I'd be spending all next-winter skiing in the Canadian Rockies...



 
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16th August, 2010 at 17:20:02 -


Originally Posted by ..::hagar::..
To be honest I believe there is nothing I can do on a Mac that I can not do on my PC



Skip it for now then. The novelty alone isn't worth the extra money if you're deliberating over the price point.

 

  		
  		

Hagar

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16th August, 2010 at 17:33:05 -

@ Robot Cecil: I was tempted at the mac mini some time ago (as a server basically to put in my cupboard) but that job got done with a dual core atom based system I built in a small form factor (two hard drive bays & two optical bays) case with a couple of 1 TB hdd's running in raid 1 (reliability is my concern). Hardly takes any power and I can not tell its only a atom based system with it running Ubuntu server for things I do. Again a LOT cheaper than the Mac mini plus server (929 pounds!).

Oh and I can feel the difference between my PC and my works machine running some simulations and doing place and route (for FPGAs - can take a very long time. Imagine solving the travelling salesman routine for say half the world, but you can also place each city,road etc in a certain number of fixed places!). Current CPU is a Q9400, its still ace for games but I can tell the difference in my work

@Sketchy and OMC: It was more of a pipe dream that on my next PC purchase I could try the MAC route at the same time as being able to do my work. At best my liklihood of being willing to buy one is about 5 to 8%. Just wanted to see if any mac fans could push that up .

I have placed spending on hold at the moment anyway (holiday with my lady is a looming), though I shall not be doing any skiing - I do not fancy dislocating my knee again which would probably happen if I tried skiing

 
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16th August, 2010 at 17:43:57 -

It sounds like you're a custom hardware dude. Apple and that don't mix well.

If you'd like, I could recruit my uncle to bolster your confidence in Macs.

A little off-track, but what did you use for the case of your Atom server? I've been looking into having a server at home for backup and media sharing purposes.

 

  		
  		

Hagar

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16th August, 2010 at 18:00:49 -

None of my custom hardware currently runs in PC's anyway. I did work on PCIe 1x cards some time ago, but thankfully I dont do that anymore! (It was a nightmare!). My allegiance to the PC has be re affirmed lol

My case is a Venus 669 - It was the only mini ITX case I could find in UK that had two of each bay types.

http://www.q-vadis.net/?page_id=14
http://xxxmarkxxx.myweb.hinet.net/pic/DSC00064.gif
http://wiki.root1.de/uploads/Linux/VENUS_669SW.jpg

Mine is in black, the two fans in the back are a little bit pointless to be honest, and I do not think you could fit two IDE hdd's in, the bottom HDD is perpendicular to the top one - just in case your going to use some spare IDE HDD's you have knocking around (what I originally planned to do but I put them in my old PC instead).


 
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Hayo

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16th August, 2010 at 18:32:16 -

I got one two years ago to use in my studio. It went from fancy multitrack recorder to soundfont/jampack player to dust gatherer. Windows does everything I need now.

 
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16th August, 2010 at 20:07:05 -

I have found absolutely no justification for getting a Mac, what so ever. And I'm a graphic designer, I still prefer Windows over Mac. The hardware is over priced, the available software is limited, and operating system babies you.
My only justification is, if you cannot for the life of you, keep a PC alive and functioning well, then you might find Mac more suitable, but for people who can honestly say they swear by the brand.. ask them what kind of MP3 player or phone they have. If uts an iPod or iPhone, they are just Apple fans, not intelligent buyers.

 
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Hagar

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16th August, 2010 at 21:36:25 -

Well I would class myself as fairly competent in keeping a PC running, my last PC's installation of XP lasted just over 5 years before a format - and that was becuase I changed the HDD).

Never really had any problems with Windows 3.11 (showing my age), XP, 98 or 7. Vista was useless as a hardware dev on launch and I did have problems on ME, not sure why as it was just a facelifted 98. 95 was so so.

My phone is a Nokia 5800, not a bad MP3 player but its a shame about the phone - and I detest the touch screen...

Ouch @ Hayo :S - kind of like my Wii and Xbox 360 now - they just gather dust...

 
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Dogzer



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17th August, 2010 at 04:14:09 -

microsoft is better than mac

discuss.

 
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