iMAC or PC ?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by simistef, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am quite new in photography. After a few months of taking pictures i decided to experience the digital
    softwares like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

    First off all i need a computer to do that and i don't know what to choose, sincerely !

    iMac looks really cool and the monitor is absolutely excellent. On the other side the price is bigger than a
    almost high end PC. So here comes the questions :

    Does photo softwares on iMac runs almost the same like on a high end PC, better as components than iMac ?

    I must say that i would go for the first version of iMac, adding 1 GB plus.

  2. Either a PC or Mac will do the job just as well - almost ;-)

    Go with whichever you prefer. Some will argue for the Mac, some for the PC. In the end, it will come down to a religious war, only more extreme.....

    When you compare like for like, i.e. decent brand-name PC with the Mac, there is little cost difference. It all comes down to personal preference, and whether the software you like will run on either platform.
  3. I think it is still the case that you can buy a powerful PC for significantly less than than an equivalently
    powered Mac. P C is right - there is no apparent difference between the Apple Mac and PC versions of
    Lightroom and Photoshop, except for the name of the keyboard keys you use for shortcuts. If you have not
    used photo editing software before you have a lot of learning to do. If I were you, and money was not an
    issue, I would use the computer I was already most familiar with and knew how to use. That will reduce the
    amount of new stuff you have to absorb. If money is an issue, go for the PC, it does the job just as well, or
    spend the difference on a good monitor (some say the Apple monitors are not so good for photo editing)
    and a monitor colour calibrator.
  4. I am happier with my iMac than I was with the pc. Some folks I know in the graphic arts business prefer the Apple, but they are complaining it is getting too consumer oriented and it is starting to lower the previously nice funionality Mac used to have.

    A neighbor had a devil of a time buying a compatable scanner. He tried a few and took them back finally ending up with a $300 HP. The software it comes with causes him lots of extra work just to make a copy of something. My Epson seems to have no such problems, but it is an older model and costs much more money. My Konica Minolta 5400 also works with Leopard and Tiger OS Macs. It will not work with Vista. Some friends in the graphic arts business bought an Epson V700 and are totally happy with that and their new Mac. The problem seems to be with the lower end stuff.

    My nice HP laser jet letter printer 1018 is not compatable with Mac. I had to get a HP P6001.

    I have never done the analysis myself, but people say if you dress up a pc to match a Mac features, the cost is about the same.

    If you are used to how Microsoft programs, there is one less step to getting used to a new computer.
    Mac OS, while far better, does take some learning to get used to. After two years on a Mac, I am starting to have a bit of trouble doing certain things on windows. Younger people seem to flop back and forth easier.

    You need not do all the maintenance such as defraging on a mac like a pc. The os is made to work fully and completely on its own without your attention. Schedule it to turn on one night a week for 4 hours and it cleans itself up.

    Vista OS is a nightmare as Microsoft has had to build in lots of security features to keep viruses etc out and it slows the system and generally makes life difficult. You still need AV after all anyway. Microsoft has had trouble making things compatable with their previous os and that makes things complicated. It comes down to Vista OS uses to much computing power that should be devoted to doing your work, not running the computer. I do not even run antivirus on the Macs. The system is just basically more secure in the way it works.

    Microsoft will not clean out the cache without shutting down so if you do a lot of photo editing it will freeze up. I finally figured I could delete the photoshop history after each pic to eleiminate the problem.
    Mac just works all day long.

    I will never go back to Microsoft, but make your own decision.

    Oh yes, when you have a question about the mac, customer servive is responsive and they have English speaking Americans to help. You do not end up in India.
  5. The Mac gives you the option of running either the Mac or Windows OS's. You can even run them si,simultaneously with VM Ware.
  6. In the past, iMAC computers have been much more restrictive with regard to hardware (printers, scanners and such) than conventional MAC computers. I can't help you with the details, but check first.
  7. The new iMacs are perfect Photoshop computers.
    Get the iMac.

    That said....I use both Mac and PC.
    I use PC for recording music as the App that I use is more PC friendly.
    On the same token, Photoshop will tend to be faster on a Mac.
  8. I switched from a Dell back in 99 to a Mac and have never wanted to go back to a PC. I think price wise you hear a lot of
    people saying a PC is cheaper than Mac. I agree, however you get a lot of quality software included in a mac. I say quality
    software because it is simple and useful. iLife is a great software bundle and I use it everyday. You could save money on a
    PC but to load it up with equally useful software after you buy it, it would be equal to a mac or more. I have no experience with
    vista but I have seen reviews of vista running faster on a mac than on a PC.

    My 24" iMac doesn't crash. This is huge when working in photoshop. I can count on it day in day out.
  9. Thank you guys for your answers. Some of you said that Photoshop is running faster on Mac than PC. This happens on same configurations of Mac and PC ?

    Cause as i said in my first post i only have money for the 20" version and adding a 1 more GB memory. Is this version enough for image editing ?

    I used Photoshop and now i'm getting into Lightroom cause it's fast for what i need. But both on a Centrino duo with 2 GB memory, after some time tend to wotk harder and harder until i close and reopen the program. This is annoying, and this i would like to get rid of.
  10. Lightroom runs in 64 bit in iMac by default.

    I use both Windows and Mac and find I have to screw around with the Mac far less to keep it working right. However, with one caveat, either will do the job well. The caveat, unfortunately is Vista; while I read of many people using it with no problems, I personally know of no one who has installed it who didn't later uninstall it and move back to XP.

    In terms of the memory, it's far cheaper if you get it from
  11. What about Mac monitors? The new cinema screens come in glossy only. I hear the glossy screens make things look brighter and more saturated than they are when they print. Is this a big problem or nit-picking and not really an issue for users?
  12. Simion, while I'm a Mac user, I can tell you that the current 20" iMac is NOT a god choice for photography. The reason for
    that is the display, it is not the same quality as the 24" iMac display. So, if you can't afford the 24" I don't want to see you
    waste your money on the 20". HTH
  13. I prefer and use Apple hardware because of Mac OS X.

    An Apple iMac 24" outfitted with a 500G to 1T drive and 4G RAM makes an excellent image processing workstation. Be
    sure to include enough additional money in your budget to afford an i1 Display colorimeter/calibration unit and your choice
    of image processing software ... Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.

  14. I have gone thru this choice/selection myself for some time now. My feeling is that iMacs are great, but less upgradeable. Like the current PC I am using has had it's powersupply, harddrives and memory changed - by me. I am not sure how easy it would be to do on a iMac (well, memory is easy I hear). For one, there isn't space to put another harddrive in an imac - you have to go external for those (then cluttering the workspace with wires!).

    And I know people will say buy Applecare so you don't have to worry about these things. But, the problem is that protection expires in 3 years, and I may not be ready to plunk down another 1800$ in 3 years to replace a new system. In that case, after 3 years, any failures have to be take care by ourselves.

    There is much hype about how Windows is 'bad' and evil. I don't think it's Windows, I think it's the user who loads a ton of crap and expects it to hold on. And it's also the OEM vendors that sometimes just load on things on the standard install with ton of trial/free ware that I would not need. If I got rid of those, I think life will be ok.

    To compare, I saw a HP Quad/6gb RAM/750GB HD with 24" monitor for 1099$ at Costco the other day. Since monitor and CPU are separate, you have more flexibility to replace one or the other later if you wanted to.

    I think it's best to put the $s saved in a decent lens. After all, that's how you take a picture :)
  15. iMacs are not upgradable, and you would not even want to take the current models apart, trust me. It doesn't matter to me if you use a
    Mac or a PC, I only care about my own machines, and I've never once regretted buying macs, over a great many years. When people ask,
    I'll try to answer their questions, but it's no benefit to me when it comes to what choice they make. YMMV
  16. I'm a professional photographer and I've used both. Most anybody in the business will guide you to Mac. It's the
    industry standard and the computer to which all others are measured. It's interface is built in, not a program
    which runs on DOS (or doesn't run on DOS) like Windows or Vista. Most programs used for image editing like
    Lightroom or Photoshop run smoother on Macs. The Mac versions of these programs also have a few more goodies then
    the PC versions.

    If you are serious about photography or think you may get serious about photography and want a good start, get
    the IMac.
  17. The only thing about my iMac is the limited number of USB inputs. If you use scanners, printers, card readers and
    external drives they can fill up quickly. I am using a USB hub and still seem to run out of inputs.

    Get the Mac tower, it's expandable.
  18. The iMac has 3 USB 2 ports, plus a Firewire 800 port that is WAY faster than the USB ports. The MacPro had 5 USB 2
    ports, plus 2 Firewire 800 ports and 2 Firewire 400 ports.

    While the MacPro is expandable, it'd also another $1000, and has no display. An ACD in 23-24"size is another $899. Don't
    get me wrong, the MacPro is a sweet machine, but the 24" iMac is fine for still photography.
  19. Macs and PCs are really a personal choice. If you prefer one or the other then that is the one to get. I used to
    run a design and development business and my experience was that PCs were a little cheaper, Macs were bit better
    integrated and it seemed that it was easier to get work done on them. It was also my experience that the Macs
    tended to have a longer life span than the PCs (generally). Neither is really better. They both have their
    strengths and weaknesses. It just depends on how each fits with what you want.

    I use a 24" iMac running VMWare Fusion so I have Windows XP and the Mac OS running at the same time. I use the
    Mac for video and graphics apps and the PC for Office (and Outlook). from a purely practical point of view its
    the only solution where you can buy one box and run Windows and the Mac OS. As far as the applications go...I
    teach Adobe applications and functionally the Mac and PC versions of each are nearly identical.

    I like the screen on the 24" iMac. Yes its glossy bit I find that the color rendition is quite good, its bright
    and a very nice monitor. As far as the iMac not being as expandable as the average PC...that's correct. The RAM
    is easily upgradable and the HD is not. Buy it as tricked out as you can (and they come with some pretty nice
    options). Given the rate that computers change these days I'm not sure how useful expandability is. By the time
    you get to a point where you need to expand something fundamental has changed and you need to buy a new box anyway.
  20. Be sure to price out a fully equipped PC from a solid manufacturer with the same features that the iMac has. While a true
    techno-weenie could no doubt build their own PC from off-the shelf components, as a non-computer nut you want
    something that just works out of the box and comes with good support.

    I can't speak directly to PC models and brands, but I can tell you that the 24" iMac makes a darn fine Photoshop machine.

  21. Even though the current iMac models don't lend themselves to hard drive upgrades internally, it's a simple matter to get as
    many external drives as you like. If you use the Firewire 800 interface, the connection speed is not as good as eSATA, but
    it's way better than USB 2, and very useful.

    Apple charges for hard drives and memory are typically higher than what is available form third party vendors. If you use a
    hot swappable external HD enclosure you can swap external HDs in mere seconds. Everyone should have their internal
    drive backed up anyway, and making a cloned drive of the internal drive, using an external is a piece of cake.
  22. An interesting question. You may wish to read this article, that fairly covers the major differences in the three major operating system - Windows, OS X, and Linux - for the average user.,2080.html

    For the photographer, if you want to run 64-bit Photoshop, you need Windows Vista 64-bit operating system; it does not run in 64-bit mode on any Mac. Lightroom will run in 64-bit mode on either platform.
  23. The imac monitor is pretty good.
  24. The iMac is really nice. It works well with photoshop in a very intiuitive, and the screens are quite good (especially the 24"). But they are more expensive than PCs with similar components. Also in order to fit inside the iMac's form factor, all of the computer's components have to be laptop components. They are more compact, quieter, more efficient, but I think some of the sacrifices in performance they made in terms of performance for those characteristics in a desktop application is unnecessary. A mini tower form factor PC should be able to provide better performance with desktop spec hardwares (such as quad core CPUs) for the same amount of money spent.

    The design/from of the computer is also as simple as it can be: but sometime you'll just wish if it had more USB ports. The iMac is really good for what it is, but it does have shortcomings. (also if you use other applications not related to photography, such as some PC games, chances are they will not work on Mac)
  25. I'd say it depends on how much price is an issue.

    I personally own PC's. However, I have a friends who owns a Macintosh laptop and a Mac desktop. And all I can say is that they are very, very nice, especially for anyone doing a lot of video and photo editing.
  26. Lots of sensible answers here. PC's are cheaper than mac's of similar specification. Vista is now quite stable, unlike previous windows version. I've been using it for 4 months now, and haven't had a software crash. Photoshop and Lightroom behave similarly on both platforms, so it would not change your post processing workflow, whichever platform you choose. In my opinion, a pc is sufficient, and since money is an issue, I would say go for the PC.

    You can invest the cash you saved on the PC on a good pro monitor and some calibrating tools.

    On the mac side, you get a well designed machine, that comes with all the basic software one needs, a very stable OS, and a different user interface. Many people prefer working on a mac, but ultimately it comes down to your preference.

    Hope it helped
  27. The iMac is cool; PC not so much.
  28. the simple answer is iMAC. if you add up all the cost to get a PC up to the iMAC level it'll be more expensive then apple. just check the price for as good monitor as iMAC. <br> KN
  29. Writing from personal experience, I use a java-based software for my wedding albums, running on both a Mac and
    PC; both machines running very similar hardware. The application tended to hang up a lot running on the Mac, and
    runs like a gem on the PC. I now run it on my PC exclusively.

    I think, IMO, some programs are scripted better for Mac, and some are scripted better for PC. That's speaking in
    a very general sense, and really doesn't include the more well-known (and certainly pro-oriented) programs such
    as from Adobe.

    I ran Elements 6 on the Mac, and loved it. I am currently running Photoshop CS3 on the PC, and it's okay. Not bad
    performance, but I miss the user interface that Apple is so famous for.

    It seems to me there is a difference in how the photo software runs on the two computer types - but it's because
    of the differing user interfaces and technicality of them. I would ultimately choose a Mac though, if cost wasn't
    an issue... they are much more stable, less prone to crashing while you're working, and look a hundred times
    cooler than most pc's :)
  30. For me Pc is everything i need. Iv been running the same one for I think 5 years. Back then I built it all for about $1100. The only thing I have upgraded was one GB ram and two more hard drives. Now if I want to upgrade I would get an AMD Phenom 9950, Mb and ram all for about $350 Oh and a decent video card $150-200. I shop on for alot of my needs and have been for years. BTW what would be a standalone monitor that could give the 24" iMac monitor a run

  31. I know there is a lot of people on both sides of the fence. I built and sold custom PCs as well as building my own for 8
    years. Then I decided to buy a Mac G5 when they first came out which was November 2003. I sold my last Wndows PC
    and have never wanted one ever since. I can safely say that I will never spend real money on anything that has the
    Windows name on it ever again. The only thing I miss is a few games I liked to play, but I don't care because I have never
    had a single problem with my Mac. I got fed-up with Windows crashing and incompatibility issues, and viruses. Since going
    to Mac platform, I have never been happier.
  32. Seems i have generated a lot of answers...and probably this subject will never dissapear.

    The iMAC looks really cool and i like that it's so compact. I also like the monitor and has really great colors. But for a newbie photographer i think the better option is to start with something cheaper...and this is the case of a PC.

    And i understood that the 24" Apple monitor is better than the 20" one. So this will be out of case for me because of the pricing.

    Thank you again for your answers.
  33. How about the Mac Mini? Dual 2 gig processors and not very expensive.
  34. It is very true that this subject can be more inflammatory than a religious conversation!

    I have been in the computer biz for 20+ years and for my money, I prefer the stability and ease of use of a Mac. All of my professional work is on a PC, so I do have a true comparison. And in my house I have a mix of iMacs and PCs (Windows XP) and both work fine. But for me, the iMac wins. I have an iMac 24" and for photography and video, it is KING in my opinion.

    Look for a used iMac or even look at the refurbished ones on the site. Save a couple hundred bucks and it is basically a brand new machine with warranty.

    Just my opinion, YMMV.
  35. I have had both. I switched to a Mac about 3 years ago and I will never go back. The Mac is so much easier to
    use once you get used to it. It also is more stable. I have never had it freeze up or crash. I also don't get
    all those strange, cryptic error messages. I think that my programs run smoother on the Mac too. I did have to
    buy a new printer though, something to think about before you buy. I have also run into websites where I
    couldn't complete a form or something like that because I was using a Mac. Using Firefox as my browser instead
    of Safari usually solves that for me. I didn't buy a new Mac either. My dad gave me his old 17" lcd iMac, so my
    computer is about 5 years old and has never had a problem. He upgraded it to OSX and I put in an extra 1Gb of
    RAM and use external hard drives for photo storage. I have used both types for image editing, at home and at
    work, and I definitely prefer the Mac for photo work.

    I think it really comes down to your personal preference. Just try both and see which you like better. Good luck!

  36. Since 13 years ago I changed my MS operating system for a GNU/Linux system and have never looked back to any other closed software solution again. The GIMP has grown up quite a lot, probably not sufficiently for professional use, yet. But the most important is the philosophy behind Free and Open Souscre Solution (FOSS): you will never be locked in by a specific hardware / software manufacturer, you can adapt or extend any software to your own needs and will not be limited to install the software on a single computer due to licence restrictions.

    I sincerely hope that more photogs will use the FOSS and go after hardware manufactures of scanners and cameras to open the communication protocols of the hardware and closed format of the RAW image.

    Just an opinion.
  37. It seems to be common knowledge that a PC is cheaper than a PC. I may be wrong but don’t necessarily agree with this conception.

    I suggest to go to the Apple website store and configure, oh, say a 24 inch iMAC. It is quick and easy, because most of what you need has been included.

    Next, go to Dell and configure one of their computers. To start, it may be cheaper, but it may be considerably higher until you are done. Unless you are a geek, it is difficult to decide exactly what you need.

    To further confuse the issue, Vista apparently needs more RAM, and, at least in my opinion, it is not efficient as an Apple computer. On the other hand, Apples RAM is expensive. However, with a PC, you will certainly need antivirus software.

    That said, I feel each person should look and see which the like best. Both systems are highly useable. I don’t think the price difference between them should be given more consideration that which system you prefer.
  38. Neither a Mac or PC works when they go under salt water; nor will insurance pay a dime on the loss either. BUT both work well on holding down Harbour Freight tarps on the shingle pile. TGhe Mac is less stable in high winds; but looks coller and show you care about the environment; wear turtle necks; care about global cooling; change; saving the naugas that created all thos never ready camera cases. The PC is more stable in high winds; costs less; but has a less prepie artsy fartsy dumb downing. Thus the CPU and ram on this Katrina crap were pulled and used in another old PC box; after an ultrasonic tank bath;and none of the mac got reused. A more is more of a religious toaster; fol;ks chuck them when dead; rarely upgrade them; they love them. PC's tend to be less duffus proof for idiots; thus some folks get dog manure on their PC's and they get hosed. Then they get a mac and want to convert everybody; like thos pesky dorr to door sales chaps. :) Both work fine for photowork. Learn to Use both of them; you are more employable. Folks who dwell on whether a Mac is better than a PC at work are branded as newbies. Its like dwelling on whether a GM or Ford is better to haul cow manure. Both can work great; macs are more idiot proof for the duffus that surf the internet nude<BR><BR><img src=""><BR><BR>BR><BR><img src=""><BR><BR>
  39. Kelly, that is the most irrelevant post I've seen in a very long time.
  40. I agree with Kelly. Most of the people I know personally that prefer Macs are also the kind of people who have car
    problems because they don't know what a dipstick is. I also agree with everyone else that said Windows sucks. If
    you get a PC go with Linux. I like to advise people not to buy from Dell or other like businesses, go to youre local
    computer guys downtown and give your next door neigbor your money instead of some mega-corporation that will
    send it all to Taiwan. They'll also be able to help you figure out what you need alot better than a bunch of drop-down
    menus or someone at the other end of the phone with some indescribable accent.
  41. I think people should not do drugs before posting on this site.
  42. A dipstick is the person who bought a PC instead of a Apple Mac.
  43. Bill Dewberry , Nov 26, 2008; 01:35 p.m. A dipstick is the person who bought a PC instead of a Apple Mac.
  44. Bill, I wouldn't go so far as to say that, but I would say that a dipstick is someone who has reoccurring problems with
    something and thinks that buying a new version of the same thing is the answer. PCs are made for the mass market,
    and unfortunately quality control is limited because of the vast number of different manufacturers components that can
    be used to build a PC. Windows itself is encoded and software programmers have to develop software around that code
    to get it to work with that system. Macs are built for the professional, and quality control is high because the one
    company controls all aspects of computer assembly and operating system development. The Mac operating system is
    open source so that software developers have access to every minute detail of what makes the operating system work
    so that the programs they make will fully integrate into the OS without having to build elaborate work-arounds. Macs
    aren't perfect either, but I'll take their few flaws over PC's many flaws any day of the week.
  45. I think there were two posts that encouraged GIMP and Linux. If cost is an issue, go with this set up. I doubt dishing out on an expensive software like Photoshop will make your photography all that better. It hasn't in my case. Don't be afraid of Linux, it is getting simpler and simpler to use, try Ubuntu.
  46. Unfortunately I think there has been a lot of information here that isn't accurate.

    The comment(s) regarding Windows running on top of DOS or being a DOS shell is no longer the case and hasn't been since Windows NT became the prevalent version of Windows on the desktop (e.g. with Windows 2000, XP and Vista) -- yes the basic interface is the command/text interface but it is on Mac OS X too, it's just hidden out of the way unless you hold s on startup so the whole Mac OS X is designed out the box to be a GUI is a moot point. (As Mac OS X is based on a BSD system, UNIX in other words)

    I say this as both a Windows and Mac user myself.

    For bang for buck and value, a PC is a better choice than an iMac but will likely lack the aesthetic. Also with a PC you can upgrade it over time which would be much more limited on the iMac. If the screen dies, you either replace it or you replace the iMac (assuming it's out of warranty.) Photoshop CS4 runs in 64bit on Windows (assuming you have a 64bit version of Windows installed) whereas this isn't the case on OS X, that's coming in CS5.

    And as a Mac user since 1993 and Photoshop since v3 in 1995, I have to say I do prefer working in Photoshop on Windows, not sure I can sum up why but it just seems to work better for me but it's identical really from one to the other.

    I personally would prefer to spend some decent money on a quad core PC and a decent monitor and still come in at less than a 24" iMac. You'll be doing the same things but with a different GUI (ie: Windows instead of OS X)

    Don't get me wrong, Macs are great and OS X is good, but I also use Vista and have not had a single problem with it and my experience is that it runs faster than XP - maybe I'm the only one! But for value, you will get a better PC with an excellent screen for less money. (Say around £650 in GBP, i.e. £400 for the PC and £250 for the monitor.)

    If you do want to use a Mac though, a Mac is your only option legally. But like cameras, what you use in the process won't make you better, nobody will look at a print or a image and say "That looks like it came from a Mac" or "That looks like it came from a Windows machine."
  47. Hi, I recently got back to the Mac , use aperture and am very pleased with the results. in general imac and OS is much easyer the other OS.
    You can see my first resut at my webpage
  48. iMacs are nice, so are properly configured PCs. And despite the reservations some may have about Vista, it's better than XP when it's properly installed. I'm running Vista 64 on three PCs and none have any issues and all perform perfectly.

    One thing about the iMac that for me is a fatal flaw: the damned hyper-glossy screen. I can't stand it. Can't take the reflections when trying to edit photos. I've got an HP 2475 hooked up to a home-made PC and there's no way I'd trade it for any Apple glossy screen. Even the new 24" "Macbook" screen is super-glossy. Big mistake to see such nice hardware handicapped by something like this. You can get a Mac with a matte screen if you buy either a Mac Pro ($$$) or a Mac Mini, which is hopelessly underpowered for photo editing.
  49. Ignore all of us.

    Use the platform you already know. As a new photographer, you have enough to worry about without learning a new OS.

    To pre-empt your next question, I prefer Canon over Nikon. :)
  50. "You can get a Mac with a matte screen."

    Not for long. Apple has said that all of their displays would be LED backlit buy the end of 2009, and it could happen
    before that. Note that all ACDs are long in the tooth, way overdue for an upgrade. The new 24" ACD has a glass cover,
    just like all of the recently released Mac models, so I would not look for Apple to use a matte screen on new ACDs. It's
    also quite likely that additional ACD upgrades will be released at a time closer to MacWorld, right after the first of the
    year, if not before.

    As for the glossy screen, I love mine, and have no issues with it at all.
  51. Simion,
    You mentioned that you were looking at the 20" version of the iMac with 1G of RAM added, correct? That is the EXACT
    machine that I am working on and Photoshop and all other Adobe programs run just fine with that setup. I have had times
    where I have Photoshop, Bridge or Lightroom, an internet browser and instant messanger open at the same time and the
    computer handled just fine. But everyone else that said that it comes down to preference. The main reason that I got the
    Mac is that I had been using them in my photography classes and I became accustomed (sp?) to the way that they
    handled. So I would say that if you are used to working on the Mac or dont mind just a little bit of a learning curve, and can
    afford it, go with the Mac. Hope that helps.
  52. carl,

    You can use any manufacturer's screen with either of the "headless" macs as long as they have a standard DVI port. No
    need to limit yourself to Apple monitors.

    Funny thing about those glossy screens, we all seem to either love them or hate them.
  53. Here we have a 20" iMac thats about 2 years old and its capped with 2 gigs of ram; it works Ok; abit weird since its a Mac.:) BUT I think the 24" Imac has a better screen for Photoshop work than a 20" unit; not just the size but the way the screen is for photo images.
  54. Windows Vista is in most respects a carbon copy of Mac OS X. Says it all, doesn't it. Renaming 'Widgets' to 'Gadgets' shows the standard
    of creativity at Microsoft.. Macs are for creative people, PCs are for accountants..
  55. I am using a old computer and a slow one which is someone else's. My own laptop is 2000, 8 years old. I am looking at a desktop computer.

    I don't know, which would be better - Mac or PC.

    What I can say is that I don't load a lot of software and I ama computer whizz kid kind of, been pulling apart PC computers since I was 13yrs old, I know how to build them up and troubleshoot and backup and install software etc. I can say that a PC can be v stable or not stable at all.

    I can agree, that if you buy a iMac and then buy decent brandname parts for a PC that is equivalent, there is not much difference.

    If you are a whizz kid and able to source parts from cheaper places, and use cheaper brandnames for some less essential parts, like a cheap mouse/keyboard, cheap case and power supply, 3rd party HDD and RAM and motherboards, the PC can be around 33% cheaper in my country. If you didn't build it or go to a independent computer store and just bought a Dell for example, I wouldn't be surprised if the two are the same prices or just 10% difference.

    If you look at the Mac Pro, they are much more expensive and for a Mac, the Mac Pro is the only one that you can get Quad Core CPU and for RAM greater than 4GB. For a PC, you could spend under $200US equivalent for a Quad Core CPU and maybe as little as $100US for a matching motherboard. I am not sure, but if Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2 supports 4 Cores, this is the "area". Having a cheap PC running with 4 Cores may have the edge over 2 Cores (iMacs). Because if you don't have the money, you cannot get 4 Cores Mac Pro.
  56. "Macs are for creative people, PCs are for accountants.." there is a lot of nonsense spoken in this debate, and this about takes the cake. If only it were true, and owning a Mac would make me a better photographer...I know Apple likes to put this message out, but I did not think anyone actually believed it.
  57. What WOULD make anybody a better photographer is being out there with a camera, rather than spending time on various
    internet forums.. :)
  58. "Windows Vista is in most respects a carbon copy of Mac OS X."

    Microsoft tried to copy the Mac interface but, as usual, they did a poor job. The underlying OS, however, is completely different.
  59. When one asks religious questions like, "Mac or PC" or "Nikon or Canon"; one should expect passionate responses. Passion aside, most replies are not exactly informative. Often, they are strictly subjective but laced with techno-jargon so as to sound plausible.

    Get out of this forum, and do your own research after deciding what your priorities are. For all practical purposes, the difference to a photog between Mac & pc is marginal.

    In my case, I needed a notebook with exceptionally high resolution and one that had an integral CF card reader. So, my only option was a Sony VGN-AW120J. I love it. Mac wasn’t even close in features at the time.

    So there you have it. You can listen to us argue, or decide what you want and buy that… : )
  60. "Get out of this forum, and do your own research after deciding what your priorities are.

    With all due respect, the OP came here to ask about computers with relation to photography, so telling him to go elsewhere is not helpful.
    Regardless of which platform anyone chooses, laptops do not compare with decent external displays for photo editing. That's why many
    laptop owners use an external display to edit their images, and why Apple has setup their new 24" display to power their laptops while
    connected to it.
  61. Contrary to what people say about mac's and dipsticks, I've been in the IT industry and an engineer for over 20 yrs. I switched to mac when OS X came out. It's powerful, it works, it's simple, I love it. Windows just sucks. A month after buying my first mac, I changed my wife's laptop to a macbook too. She is the 'typical' mac user as described above. So both extremes.

    Get a mac, and an external harddrive if for no other reason than it has enterprise class backups built in that is better than anything I've seen for personal usage. You'll need it for your photography.
  62. Carl,

    My point was in the last half of the sentence. What are the OP's priorities? Once we know this, it is as simple as looking at lists of features.
  63. "Windows Vista is in most respects a carbon copy of Mac OS X. Says it all, doesn't it. Renaming 'Widgets' to 'Gadgets' shows the standard of creativity at Microsoft.. Macs are for creative people, PCs are for accountants.."

    Oh the irony.

    Many of these so-called "Apple innovations" appeared in alpha and beta releases of Vista long before Mac OS X. Microsoft took longer to get them to RTM (Release-To-Manufacturing) status because they totally revamped the underlying security foundations of the platform, whereas Apple simply did their usual hatchet job, resulting in an insecure platform that has new security flaws discovered almost on a daily basis.,130061744,139241748,00.htm
  64. "Oh the irony.

    Many of these so-called "Apple innovations" appeared in alpha and beta releases of Vista long before Mac OS X. Microsoft took longer
    to get them to RTM (Release-To-Manufacturing) status because they totally revamped the underlying security foundations of the
    platform, whereas Apple simply did their usual hatchet job, resulting in an insecure platform that has new security flaws discovered
    almost on a daily basis.


    Are you bloody serious? ALL of those have been fixed long ago. The first link is from 2006, the second from 2007, and the last is from
    March of this year. I've NEVER had a virus, trojan horse, or ANY malware issues running OS X, I've been using it since it first came
    out, and I do NOT have any AV software. Out of the hundreds of Mac users that I have daily contact with, not one has reported any
    problems with security running OS X.

    Your scare tactics won't work, people aren't stupid.
  65. Macs tend to be more goober proof; folks can do dumb things and the Mac protects them.

    Thus here with a PC thats from 1988; or 1993; or 1996 they dont have any issues; they turn and "and just work". Even my zoo of several dozen newer PC's just work. Maybe its because I have been using computers since the 1960's and had enough of the futzing;and just run a cleaner ship.

    Friends that have major issues with PC's almost always either run no virus projection and surf the internet nude; and or they hijack all their software off of torrents; and are constantly playing with keygens. I know folks were every piece of software is bootleg; even the OS.

    One person who jumped ship to a Mac gave me their old PC; it was a rats nest of trojans; rootkits; keygens, crud; it appears to never been defragged; and had dozens of *.tmp files from crashes that were 100's of megs each. The darn thing was so full that there was no room to properly operate; thus one reason they love new computer is its faster. Today its a great computer; I formated the HDA and it works well with no issues .

    The same folks who gave me the free PC tend to get sick alot more that I do; maybe they dont wash their hands and thus are leading a more risky life in the eating dept:)

    Like getting sick some folks will always have problems with computers; thus a mac is often more goober proof and loved by folks who want an all in one box that avoids manure of the internet better.

    There is no rule that says one has to run a Photoshop box aways connected to the internet; downloading everything in site; visting weird risky sites; try clicking on everything. For those who do a Mac might be better; its more goober proof for the goobers who like the dark side and have little respect for the dangers that lurk.

    PC's versus Macs are an old subject; it existed before the first mac in 1983/1984 with Apple versus IBM PC's.

    The bulk of computers that run often are run on PC software; its in the checkup at Home Depot; in gasoline pumps; in McDonalds in embeded forms of NT4 and XP embeded;and more recently unix types are in several of our copiers guts.

    Mac users love to mention in their religion that Macs just work; and really dont want to hear that many folks do not have all these terrible issues with PC's; or saved enough in the last two decades to buy a couple cars; its against the dogma. For many folks too maybe a P&S would be better; since there is no issue with dirt; loosing lenses;and details.:)

    Mac versus PC threads are fun.

    Folks get all emotional and preach on a soapbox that all graphic artists; photographers use Macs; like its a college preppie follow the leader drink the koolaid thing to do.

    One person who bought a mac loves them; he once tried changing the oil in his car and ended up draining the manual transmission; and could not figure why the car would onely take 1 1/2 quarts oil. He drove the car from the San Fernando Valley to San Diego; on the way back it made noise; he drove it ALL the way back and ruined the manual transmission. The other buddy who is a PC user discovered the error; topped of the transmission and the Mac guy took it back under warranty and acted dumb. The dealer replaced the transmission for nothing. Thus there is an air of truth that a PC user *tends* to understand were the dipsticks; drain plugs and fill plugs are compared to a Mac user; who has the toaster attitude.! :)
  66. The lone iMAC we have here is a 20" unit thats capped at 2 gigs of ram. Some newer models hold more. It not a bad box for photoshop; we loaded CS2 on it 1.5 years ago. PS 6 would load; since the Mac defines what software one can use. With a Win2000 box we have alot of photoshop versions and illustrator versions. The 24" Imac gets better reviews in the monitor area. If somebody brings in CD burned with Microsoft VISTA; it cannot be read on this 20" Imac; or even a windows2000 box; only *some* XP boxes will; or the lone vista box we have. Its interesting that the Imac 20" here thats only 2 years old cannot read a disc written with dipstick Bills vista burner software. IF these vista users go to walmart and get a nero program then one can read the discs on the Imac here; or win2000 boxes; and more of the XP boxes.
  67. Having the same type computer as a local friend; or one that costs nill to call has some advantages. It saves time figuring out an issue on how to do something radically quicker. Thus if a buddy has an iMac 24" or Acme PC and you get one too there is a benefit. This is rarely mentioned on these types of threads. you might live were there are a huge number of mac users or few at all.
  68. Kelly, I too, used and built my own pc's for several years and never even considered going to mac until I started using 1 at school. My opinion is that PC's run Photoshop and Light room fine. There's really no intrinsic difference I could find, except when I got my first G5 iMac and compared it to my single processor amd at the time, two things became clear. Both had 2GB of ram. Windows 2000 (which I liked). The G5 mac could run more stuff without problem, it would just chug along, even if it slowed, but I could for instance work in Photoshop (CS2) and burn a dvd plus have an internet window going etc. Plus the monitor was really very good. Whereas in the PC i had to be careful if burning a disk about anything else being open, I cold surf while burning, but if I decided to do any other thing, it got very shaky. Also, I had to be very careful to update anit-virus ware up-dates, anti-spyware, etc. Defrag, plus, if I ever upgraded there were often not difficult but definite drive issues to work with. I think the macs give you less choices in hardware, but because of the hardware/software integration, it does away with a lot of issues.

    Now I'm on a 24" white model so it has the dual core. As its now over 2 years ago, it still runs great and plan to keep on if for another year or so. Point is when people say macs "just work" that's not "religious" sentiment or anti-logical emotional reactions, it's actually based in real experience. As you say, you don't have to run a PC connected to the internet, but then what? Have another computer for that? Most of us, don't wish to have more than one computer. Its impractical for many. But your statement regarding that is a very strong practical argument for owning a mac. You really don't need anti-virus etc with the speed hit that gives on your system.

    So does that mean PC's suck? Not at all. Is the mac a better performer? Not in terms of speed really or anything one could really perceive, except solidness in the OS, but if you include the time involved in maintenance and twittering, or even worrying about such stuff, I think the mac is better.

    If you can handle a glossy screen, iMac 24 is an excellent photo processing machine with a very good monitor. Put maximum ram at 4GB and you will be good to go for sometime. Than you can spend more of your time taking and processing photographs, the main point for all of this.
  69. "Are you bloody serious? ALL of those have been fixed long ago. The first link is from 2006, the second from 2007, and the last is from March of this year. I've NEVER had a virus, trojan horse, or ANY malware issues running OS X, I've been using it since it first came out, and I do NOT have any AV software. Out of the hundreds of Mac users that I have daily contact with, not one has reported any problems with security running OS X.

    Your scare tactics won't work, people aren't stupid."

    You don't get any with a MAC because there's no point in writing a virus that's only going to effect 8 people.
  70. Yes, that's right, and if the OP bought a Mac, he'd be number 9. Is some some special benefit to being among the gajillions of PC users
    that DO get those issues?

    As Brad has said, it's about the OS.
  71. Here's what I know. My scanners and printers all work perfectly attached to XP or Vista. When I start Photoshop, it
    runs. It doesn't crash. In fact, I haven't crashed a Vista workstation since its release. The two time I crashed XP,
    were because I was dorking around in the Registry.

    When I'm working on photographs for print, I'm not aware of the OS.....just Photoshop. Doesn't matter if I'm using a
    Mac or PC in that case.

    64bit Photoshop anyone? Yup, that'll go to the 90+% market share....not to the 8. ;-)
  72. Simion, for what it's worth - after the many posts on here already... I've been a PC guy for years. I recently made the
    move to Apple and will NEVER go back. It's a seamless move and everything is better on the Mac. I use Lightroom2 and
    Photoshop, an Epson scanner, a Nikon D300, etc. It's an outstanding combination. Macs are just made for photography,
    for visual arts, etc. The PC is great, but no where near an Apple.
  73. Josh, can you maybe explain to me how Photoshop is better on your Mac? How does your Epson scanner work better on your Mac than a PC?

    I attended a small computer show last year where the volunteers at the Mac booth (there was one booth for Macs and probably 100 for PC and PC related goods....point) and this poor fellow was trying to tell me how Photoshop was better on the Mac. Everything he did was exactly the same as my PCs running XP or Vista. He actually tried the C: prompt boot topic as though PCs still booted to the DOS screen. Talk about desperate. In the end, he showed me nothing other than a pretty OS interface that made no difference to Photoshop use whatsoever.

    All my equipment from cameras to scanners to printers have been installed easily without issue.

    It seems the only issue there is are the stupidly inane ads the Mac puts out trying to convince people that all PCs can do is spreadsheets.
  74. Dave, you can't even be objective when talking about Macs, go back and read what you've posted. I don't care what platform anyone uses,
    but you obviously have some ax to grind when it comes to Macs. When you post outrageous remarks, people put your credibility in the
    trash. Try not to be so close-minded.
  75. Dave's post sounds fine to me, an accurate account of his experience. Re the adverts, Mac has had two
    ad campaigns pulled from UK airwaves recently for misleading viewers. Tell a lie long enough...

    For the 99% of computer users that only do email and play on the net, I always recommend Mac. In the
    last three years or so, I've put at least half dozen on iMac's and such. They put the best hardware in
    there, have awesome customer support, and not to mention an Unix based OS. It's way faster than what they need
    and they don't worry
    about it. And that's what a personal computer is supposed to be. The $1000 difference between a cheap Dell and an
    iMac spread over four years is nothing.
  76. Carl,

    Can you please tell me where I'm being closed minded? I asked a simple is Photoshop better on a Mac? How will my Epson scanner work better on a Mac? How will my Epson printers run better on a Mac? These are straightforward questions that on forums like this....NEVER get answered. Instead, some people resort to attacks.

    I've no axe to grind. All I'm asking is how Photoshop and my scanners and printers will run better on the Mac. If a Mac user is so convinced of this, it should be a relatively easy question to answer. Or, is this another "PCs are only for spreadsheets" bit of nonsense?
  77. Dave,

    I'm not "attacking" you or your views. I've been a Dell/Windows user for many, many years, but made the switch to
    Apple recently. Does an Epson scanner work "better" on a Mac? No. Does Photoshop work "better" on a Mac? No.
    What does work better are the integration between the two. When I scan an image, I can drop/drag it in/out of any
    program I have on the mac rather than worry about 'importing' it into various Windows programs. My scanner is also
    always up an running on my Apple as opposed to bad drivers or constant problems where the, "device can't be found."
    How many times have Dell users needed to wipe their drives clean and reinstall the operating system? Personally, I've
    done it a handful of times and have talked many others through it. Macs are more stable - period. Working with huge
    image files of 30-50MB, you need stability all of the time. I've had experiences where I've open a huge file into
    photoshop on my dell (which was a high-end XPS Dell with lots of memory, etc.) and the system froze while applying an
    effect. I've never experienced that on my Mac.

    What also operates smoother on a Mac than Windows - the operating system. Far less frozen programs, everything is
    full integratabtle, you can move files in/out of every program without any issues. Wireless networks are picked up
    instantly, the .mac service now allows for seamless push/pull technology to update address book, calendars, mail, etc.
    without the need for expensive servers. Apple customer service is outstanding. You call, they answer your question.
    You can take your computer to an Apple store and sit down with a tech who will teach you, one-on-one how to do things.
    Where are you with Dell? (and believe me, I've had probably 15+ Dells over the years and was very loyal). You call
    customer service and they can't help you - ever. They tell you to call Microsoft when it MAY be an operating system
    problem. Blah.

    Dave, if you love your window's machines - please stick with them. But in a forum such as this, when someone asks for
    opinions on what computer to use, then you need to be open to listening to others that may have feelings that differ from
    yours. You say that you don't have an axe to grind, but it certainly sounds like you do.

    For photography, my OPINION will always be a Mac.
  78. While I understand your point of view, I don't have images that freeze on any of my systems....and those are files
    from 18mb to 660mb scans of 4x5. I also have never had "driver cannot be found" on any equipment I have
    attached. As well, I've never had to reinstall operating systems nor have I had Vista or XP prove unstable.

    What this sounds like are poorly setup systems.....nothing to do with the quality of Windows.

    What I've found over the years is that when a Windows system does crash, people scream that Windows is
    garbage. When a Mac system crashes, people state "that's computers for ya."

    Buy a good quality system of either, and you'll be fine. But always keep in mind that software developers aim for the
    most users first, and then come out with Mac versions if they feel the need. Anyone wanting 64bit Photoshop
    knows exactly what this means.

    As to Dell, I've only heard bad things.

  79. With the first fast eddy windows photoshop; say about version 2.5 the Mac was better; Adobe's first photoshop version for windows has some memory issues; ie an Adobe issue with early infant windows version; it got fixed about version 3.
  80. Dave,

    It's not appropriate for us to continue debating the PC/Mac war - it's done everywhere. There are loyalists on both sides
    as there are Canon and Nikon users. All I can tell you is that if you've never experienced an unstable operating system,
    a device that can't be found or a problem with bad driver, you're one of the very few (in fact, go buy a lottery ticket).
    Don't take my word for it, it's a common fact that Windows is not NEARLY as stable as Mac - proven time and time
    again through professional testing.

    In terms of my personal systems not being set up properly? I assure you that they were set up correctly.

    I think the real issue is that Windows users are sick of people raving about how wonderful their Mac is. Loyal PC users
    feel that Apple has in some way brainwashed users to believe that Apple is a far superior system and take offense when
    Mac loyalists express it. Look, people have opinions. Some like Apple, some like Windows. Some like Chocolate,
    some like Vanilla. Personally, I'm a very computer savvy professional who has been working on PCs for 20 years,
    started in DOS and was there when the first Windows platform came out. I was an avid PC user and always talked down
    about Mac due to their lack of software. But now, I'm all Mac - I have a new MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro Desktop -
    love them both and everything about them. I still have my Dell XPS, but only because of software that requires
    Windows to operate. Keep in mind, Apple serves a different market than Windows - they really have captured students
    and artists. Walk into a financial firm and it's still all PC. Apple's marketing is outstanding. The company is a true
    innovator - they attract newbies and those interested in cutting edge technology. They have an advantage and a leg up
    in this regard. But fret not Dave, the PC will be here for a long time and there will be many of those who fully support
    your opinions.

    Best regards -
  81. "Can you please tell me where I'm being closed minded?

    Sure, Dave. Go back and take a good look. First you made the remark about there being 8 Mac users, which is just plain
    silly. To say that it was only an exaggeration is an understatement. Just because there are more PC users, so what?
    There are more Christians in this country than any other religion, so are we going to denigrate other religions because
    they're in the minority?

    Lets not forget your crazy challenge for someone to show you that Mac was better than Windows. Many posters have
    told you about the issues they have had with PCs, and your only response is that YOU haven't had any of those issues.
    That puts you squarely in the decided minority, Dave.

    Then you made ridiculous remarks about Apple's Mac commercials. For what, what's up with that? If you don't know it,
    those commercials have been VERY effective, you're embarrassing yourself . Microsoft has recently spent millions to
    combat those commercials, with 10 million to Seinfeld alone, for a couple of commercials, and they didn't work! Why is it
    that we need to talk about those commercials? Because you lack objectivity when it comes to Macs. Nobody here cares
    about those commercials!

    You posted bogus, because they were solved LONG AGO, security issues about OS X. do you need more examples of
    your bias wiping out your credibility?

    Can't we have a conversation without your nasty Mac remarks? Try staying reasonable, if you want folks to pay attention
    to what you say.
  82. First off, if you read my post, the 8 or 9 users refers to 8 or 9% of users. Makes sense now doesn't it?

    As to the ads being effective....yes. If lying to potential purchasers is what you mean, then yes. The ads have suggested that PCs are only good for spreadsheets. That your latest MP3 or camera won't connect to a PC when it can to a Mac. There are so many flaws in the ads as to be make them laughable. I can't even begin to count how many outright lies I've spotted in them. I've had cameras and MP3 players and printers that have had just as many issues with connectivity on a Mac as PC.

    Now, if pointing out the lies to people is closed minded, then so be it. I'm not embarrassing myself. In fact, supporting an ad campaign based upon fallacy actually embarrasses you.

    As to your claims, where did I mention security issues with the Mac? I didn't. Read it again before you make comments as to my credibility.

    Finally, it has been said and agreed that Photoshop, my scanners, my printers all work just as well on either platform. If the best one can do is mention a drag and drop.....which by the way works with most items on a PC as well, then a case has hardly been made in a Macs favor.

    So, once again, when a question is posed as to how a Mac will work better with a photographers photos in Photoshop, their scanners, or their printers, the best Mac users can come up with is that actually, it's the same.....but maybe you can drag and drop a picture more (hows that for a selling feature) and you got an ad campaign that stretches the truth, lies, and has even been pulled from some markets. And as I pointed out, instead of really answering someone with REAL benefits, Mac users tend to go on the defensive and attack the person. Why is that....maybe because the benefits they harp on about are really there afterall.

    Doesn't sound like it's me who's biased.
  83. If you actually meant 8-9%, then perhaps you should have posted that, you didn't, go back and look.

    It wasn't you that posted the bad info links about security issues, it was someone else, sorry, my error.
  84. First thing - I am a returning (old) graphics design/photography college student. I have been using Windows at home since 1994, and use a Mac at school. Quite frankly, I like the PCs better. I find the MACs annoying, especially using Photoshop UI. the MACs at school have 3gb of ram and are running Leopard. They crash sometimes. I recently replaced my XP x32 PC with a Vista x64 we built with a quad core processor and a board capable of holding 16gb of ram. I have 8gb loaded now. I love it. I have disabled all the annoying crap. It never crashes, and my 4 or 5 gigabyte panoramas, made of 100+ files, load in less than a minute, instead of 20 minutes or never on the other machines. With these large files loaded Photoshop CS4 (x64) uses about 5.5gb of ram with no conflicts with anything else that is running, usually including InDesign and Illustrator.
    I say go for the Vista x64, but get a decent PC tech who knows how to configure it so it runs at utmost efficiency. There is also a lot of info on the web about tuning up your Vista OS so that it is sleek and fast.
  85. Curious, since I've never had leopard, or it's predecessor Tiger, crash ever. I have had programs crash, but not the OSen.
    It makes me wonder what is going on to make that happen. Are those Macs networked? What programs are running when
    the OS crashes? Have the OS crashes been reported to Apple? Sorry, but I don't know anyone, out of several hundred Mac
    users I know that have ever had OS 10.4 or 10.5 crash, so you can understand why I am surprised.
  86. Mac crashes are generally memory related. Like PC's, it's users usually demanding too much from a
    limited system. Other Mac crashes seem to come from plugging in external devices. "Mac crashes" certainly brings
    up enough google results. I presume you didn't do a search?

    How does one possibly know "several hundred Mac users"?
  87. How does one possibly know "several hundred Mac users"?

    It's quite easy when you are a member of a MUG.
  88. Since when are 30-50mb image files "huge?" Try 450mb from our digital LF. We have no problem with crashes on our PC's. It is a simple case of people using old technology of one brand - then "seeing the light," buying a new model of the competition, and, shockingly, it is so much better! There is no data to show that Mac is a better platform. As for Mac's being for "artists." That has to be the most absurd idea being promoted here. Of course, if you consider the lives of historic artists - they were, generally, in poverty due to immediate waste of any money their work brought in - so maybe that applies to Mac purchasers. :p
  89. You nailed it, Dean! Nobody gets by you, do they.

    Macs are a fraud and Apple is going out of business because nobody is buying them. ROFL
  90. Obviously, you take the concept of someone disputing "Mac superiority" very seriously. . .
  91. It's a bloody choice, for crying out loud! Can you not accept that without going on a tirade?
  92. i'm on a budget so PC is my choice. this is what i'm getting from Dell for $775:
    Intel quad core Q6600 2.4gz, 6gb DDR2 RAM, ATI Radeon HD3650 256mb graphics card, 640gb SATA hard drive, 20" wide screen monitor, Vista 64-bit.
    cost of apps is not an issue. i already have everything i need. i just need to re-install on the new machine. i'm confident that i won't have any issues photo editing on this system.

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