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Why your next Photoshop computer should be a Mac

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2008, 09:37 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Why your next Photoshop computer should be a Mac

I'll say right now I don't own a Mac, and I've never owned a Mac. But my next computer will be a Mac. I was planning on switching the last time I upgraded my computer, but my old computer died on a Friday and I had a deadline the following Monday, so I had to run out and spend my upgrade budget on a computer that I could get my system back up on in time to finish my project.

And I'll also say that this is only valid for Photoshop. If Photoshop isn't your primary reason for owning a computer, don't bother reading any further, and most certainly don't bother replying. You can reply if you have something pertinent to say concerning Photoshop, but any comments in the "I don't need antivirus software" or "Steve Jobs/Bill Gates is a fascist" vein will be deleted.

My list of reasons is very simple: several crucial things for serious Photoshop usage are either missing, optimized for other uses, or simply broken. How did I come across this information? The hard way. For over a decade I've been breaking Photoshop (or so I thought) and discussing what went wrong with various experts (particularly the Adobe Photoshop engineering team), and repeatedly been confronted with the fact that I wasn't breaking anything, I was simply running up against an OS limitation.

So, here is the list. It's my list, so very short and specific. Feel free to add your own.
  • Color Management - Even with Vista, CM in Windows is a kludge.
  • Memory - 32bit Windows can only handle a little over 3GB of memory. Even in the 64bit versions, it is too stingy with it for optimal Photoshop usage
  • Font handling - just open the Mac font management dialog and cry bitter tears
  • Printing - pulling your hair out trying to get good prints? It's not you, it's Windows optimized for printing Powerpoint slides on color laser
  • Wacom tablets - it's a dirty little secret that tablets have to literally fight with Windows to provide the control they need for Photoshop. The tablet API in Windows is optimized for drawing circles and arrows in Word. Wacom has to literally disable some functions just to work at all in Windows, and their usage is severely blunted over their Mac counterpart (which has friendly OS support). And forget any tablet company that doesn't have Wacom's expertise (they simply use the MS API as-is).

As I said, it's a short, biased, very personal list, with Photoshop as the only consideration.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:04 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

ok, on threat of having this deleted, a lot of the complaints about windows limitations were the reasons why a LOT of folks wanted to see the justice department break microsoft into two companies, the o/s company that would be impartial to apps and then the apps company that would compete with all the rest of the app companies on an even keel.

that being said, i totally agree with you about the memory limitation. working with LARGE files is a pain in xp. and whereas i have 64 bit hardware, i could see no point whatsoever getting the windows 64 bit version.

one other point i'll mention is that Apple is creative. M$ tends to buy others out to get what they produce. Apple is the company that has always been tailored to 'sight and sound'. M$ took years to develop some of the things we used to have in the Amiga. they were 'business' and could have cared less about 'the arts'. and that was Apple's niche. when i first heard about 75 gigs of ram in a machine, it was from a mac salesman, not a pc salesman. the point of all this is, do you want to trust your creative endeavors to a 'business' machine or a 'sight and sound' machine.

i dont own a mac either...currently. but, i have been into the local mac store drooling at some of the setups they have.

i dont like the closed architecture of the mac. i tend to like to open the case and fiddle myself. so, that part of it and the higher cost of macs puts me off, but the pure 'creative' aspect keeps me going back and drooling
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:16 AM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

what do you normally fiddle with?..the higher cost is primarily on the day of purchase, it's actually cheaper in the long run...
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:48 AM
Peer K Peer K is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

Hi Doug

Don't get me wrong - I love my Mac (Mac Pro). I agree that Mac rocks for Photoshop work but I've been a PC user for over 15 years and I don't really agree with your list.

First of all, Color Management.. I'm probably not the most hardcore CM freak but my experience with XP is just as good as Mac. Plugged in an GretagMacbeth EyeOne device, calibrated my monitor, smiled when it worked like a charm - then "installed" a printer profile for softproofing in PS. No problems on either XP or Mac.

RAM - even on a Mac Pro with 6 gig of RAM, CS3 can only use 3GB anyway.

I a photography nerd so I don't use fonts - no comments there.

Wacom tablets might be better supported on the Mac but again I've had no problems using my tablets on XP for retouching.

Again.. Don't get me wrong - I would choose Mac over XP/Vista any day of the week and twice on Mondays. But I'm not doing anything on my Mac that I douldn't do on my PC. It looks a lot better, interface-wise, it runs smoother generally - but then again my Mac cost me about three times as much as my PC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Nelson View Post
  • Color Management - Even with Vista, CM in Windows is a kludge.
  • Memory - 32bit Windows can only handle a little over 3GB of memory. Even in the 64bit versions, it is too stingy with it for optimal Photoshop usage
  • Font handling - just open the Mac font management dialog and cry bitter tears
  • Printing - pulling your hair out trying to get good prints? It's not you, it's Windows optimized for printing Powerpoint slides on color laser
  • Wacom tablets - it's a dirty little secret that tablets have to literally fight with Windows to provide the control they need for Photoshop. The tablet API in Windows is optimized for drawing circles and arrows in Word. Wacom has to literally disable some functions just to work at all in Windows, and their usage is severely blunted over their Mac counterpart (which has friendly OS support). And forget any tablet company that doesn't have Wacom's expertise (they simply use the MS API as-is).
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:29 AM
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luis_relampago luis_relampago is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

I own and operate both systems for different applications those being Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut and Pro tools, I also use Microsoft Office for all business related stuff. I have being using Mac's since 1995 when I start learning Photoshop back then version 3.0 and I also owned a Windows based laptop for my school projects and work.
Both systems have pros and cons but if your business is image related or sound or ART related you will definitely need a Mac. PC would work I am not saying it won't but if you want a steady and reliable system trust me on this one Mac would give you that and more. Now days I only use Mac for everything since I have windows applications like Office for mac so I hardly use the PC anymore. This is a subjective matter and it will come down to personal preferences but I will say this from personal experience Mac is a way more solid system than PC hands down.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:35 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

One single example of why CM is broken in Windows. This is not the only problem, by any means, but this is the particular problem that got me disgusted.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:37 PM
MrTee MrTee is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

Well, I have had 24 inch IMac for about 4 months now and I would never go back to a PC for Photo work. Everything about the MAC seems custom designed for photography. I have 3GB of RAM and PS uses 2GB whilst running (recommended in the preferences) It works a speed and I can have PS, LR and PainterX all running at once with no problems.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:48 PM
l2jc l2jc is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

Hey, all. I have a mac and in my experience, i do a lot of batch process work making photo packages, CS3 runs 3x slower on mac than it does on XP installed on my mac using bootcamp. So whenever I do batch process I'm always on the XP install.

Secondly, about the ram I've always wanted to try it but I still haven't been able to yet, only seen benchmarks and reveiws. The next Adobe Photoshop release will support x64 bit support ONLY for Windows as is stated by Adobe. That will provide great improvements, along with multi-core support. And if you have a 64bit Operating system, and you have a capable motherboard, pop in 8 Gigs of ram, and turn off the file swapping. File swapping is the writing of information from the memory to the harddrive and that really slows down the overall performance. With 8gigs of ram, I have seen benchmarks and reviews of people performing heavy duty tasks without it crashing. More of the newer northbridge chipset motherboards using ICH10 and up can support up to 16 gigs of ram, so feel free to go for that.


..Just a thought
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:06 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Why your next Photoshop computer should be a M

FAQ: Plans for 64-bit processing support in Photoshop
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