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  1. #1
    erincarter is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Default Photoshop question (Mac vs PC)

    I'm in the market for a new laptop that will be use mainly for my photography and graphic design.
    I've always used PC...have never actually used a Mac before but everyone keeps saying I should switch to Mac so I'm seriously thinking about it.

    Couple of questions first though...
    What sort of specs should the new laptop have (whether it be PC or Mac) to accommodate what I need it to do?

    Are there different versions of programs for Mac than there are for PC? For example, is there a different version of Photoshop that people use on a Mac system than people use on a PC system? If I do go with a Mac do I need to make sure I purchase "Photoshop for Mac" rather than "Photoshop for PC"?

    Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Photologyst is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Yes, Erin you do need to purchase certain programs for the Mac if you want them to run native. However, Macs have dual processors, so you can run under Windows—something I do not like to do. Adobe’s products are native to the Mac, so that’s a plus for some people.

    The programs are virtually the same in how they run. Some button difference.

    Mac’s are plug and play. Nothing extra to purchase. You get a number of excellent programs with the Mac and Time Machine for backups. Migrating to a new Mac is simple and automatic.

    http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#switcher

    Many pro-photographers, graphic artists as well as musicians, etc. use the MB Pro. I would recommend a 15” MacBook Pro that is maxed out and hook that to a large screen when you are in the office. Best of both worlds.

  3. #3
    emeraldln's Avatar
    emeraldln is offline I'm new here!
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    I am just learning Mac. I bought a MacBook (not Pro), and it does OK. I bought the one with the slightly faster processor. It came with iLife, which has iPhoto, which keeps me organized. However, I think I might be outgrowing it. But the computer is not quite enough to run Aperture or Lightroom as fast as I think they should run. I have PS Elements, and it runs well.

  4. #4
    hpebley3's Avatar
    hpebley3 is offline dPS Forum Member
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    I was in the same boat a couple months ago. I've been a PC person (s/w developer actually) since the early-90's, needed to get a new laptop and wanted to play around with iPhone development, so I had to get an Apple. Don't let the Mac fan's fool you: it's just another computer. It has some good and some bad. I ended up getting a MacBook Pro 17. I really like the feel of the hardware. It just feels solid. The wireless networking works really well. The sleep mode works really well. The trackpad is really nice. I like the overall feel of the keyboard a lot. I really don't like the lack of standard cursor movement keys: home, end, page up, page down, delete. When I got mine, the processor options were limited. If you really want the ultimate in CPU performance, beware. The operating system, like Windows and Linux, has it's pluses and minuses. In my opinion it's a wash.

    As far as programs are concerned, if you want to "run native" you have to get programs written specifically for the Mac. However, there are options for running Windows programs. There are two primary ways to do this. One is to install Windows on your hard drive alongside the Mac OS and boot to one or the other. You use a boot/partition manager to do this. There are a couple well known ones. The second option is to use a virtual machine software. This allows you to run Windows as a program inside the Mac OS and then Windows programs inside that. This is the option I prefer since I don't have to choose between one or the other. I use VirtualBox, an open source software package, and have found it to work perfectly for my needs.

    With all that said, going back and reading your question again, it sounds like you don't have a good reason to move to a Mac other than friends pushing you in that direction. Bottom line with any tool purchase is evaluate what you want to want to use it for and get the best one for that job. At this point, in my opinion, similarly configured hardware is pretty much equivalent. The choice comes down to software, both the operating system and the applications. Which one will do the best job for you? What are you familiar with? How comfortable are you with computers in general and learning new ways of doing things on them? Do you already have an investment in applications that you'll have to replace with a change?

    After having my Mac for several months, I like it. The reason I got it was specifically to do Apple software development. It is required to do that. However, having used it for awhile, if I didn't have that requirement, I don't know if I'd get it again.

    Hope this helps.
    Harley Pebley
    Sites: Hooked On Light / flickr / Zooomr / iStockPhoto

  5. #5
    Photologyst is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Quote Originally Posted by emeraldln View Post
    I am just learning Mac. I bought a MacBook (not Pro), and it does OK. I bought the one with the slightly faster processor. It came with iLife, which has iPhoto, which keeps me organized. However, I think I might be outgrowing it. But the computer is not quite enough to run Aperture or Lightroom as fast as I think they should run. I have PS Elements, and it runs well.
    I also have a MB along with MBP and several other Macs. I often use that in the field because it is a bit more rugged. I do not like the screen or the non-lighted keyboard.

    However, Lightroom and all other memory hog programs run fine on it. Have you maxed out the machine? Do you optimize Lightroom often? Do you repair “Permissions” often?

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