Mac pro/TV OPTION

haggisman

Active Member
Hello all
lurked awhile. Am in market for a new computer, main use is for amateur photo work - reasonable standard. Long looked at Macs - intel processors and forthcoming photoshop software make attractive bait!

Mac pro looks good, in truth probably an expensive luxury as maybe too powerful for my needs. But again large screens seductive. I apprecitate maybe could spend a lot and get large screen to run on a PC based system, but my PC (built from scratch 4 years ago) is long in the tooth so needs replacing anyway.

Could maybe make a case to satisfy domestic committee(!) if could also use a large screen as a TV as well - is this possible/foolish/waste of money? Main TV feed would be from the new Virgin V+ box which as some may know has hdmi/optical connectivity. Maybe no screen could easily satisfy both TV/Photoprocessing needs, ignoring Mac side of things altogether. Slight saving could be made from educational discount daughters entitled to.

Mac pro does look a lovely bit of kit, if it could be set up with dual use of screen, would perhapds also restore some domestic calm as wouldn't be secreted away from family on PC as now, but then maybe that is no bad thing! Any thoughts, is this concept totally outlandish?
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
If I were you, I'd probably go for a 20" or 24" iMac which would be more than capable of doing amateur photowork, spec it up, and with the money you're saving buy a 32" LCD or something around that size (up to you of course) and then that can be your main TV for Virgin/DVD etc and it can also be connected to your iMac via DVI/VGA.

But of course that is what I would do. However if I did have a bit of money to spend, then I'd probably get a Mac Pro, more for the sake of it than actually needing it, as they needed more for video based rendering applications than photo work.

As far as I'm aware, the apple cinema displays only have DVI, no HDMI, however they have just been lowered in price, and there have been rumours for months now, of new cinema displays, with HDMI and built in iSights.

Even if these new displays did come out, I'd still go for my top solution, as it offers you a lot more freedom and connections, for probably less. It is also definitely worth getting your daughter to get her eductational discount, not only do you get money off, but also free 3 year apple care!

Any more questions please feel free to ask.

Craig
 

haggisman

Active Member
Hello Craig
Thank you for this. Had looked at iMacs; aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Suppose was swayed by the more PC familiarity of the Pro machine, though don't think I'd really need that power. Would a top spec iMac be capable of simultaneously running XP/Mac systems or are the significant slow loss of performance? Only other I might do is streammusic from it. Not sure how much I'd need to retain windows, just suppose I'm used to it and apprehensive to relinquish it - though see from this forum many have totally without regret. Other issue would be maybe running 2 monitors as I do now - hence the dessire for a large screen.
Anyhow, food for thought, thanks for your help
Hamish
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
Right, I'm probably not the best person to talk about running Windows on a Mac, as quite simply I don't. When I was thinking of getting Mac, I was all set to put Windows on it. I thought I'd give the Mac OS two weeks, and to be honest it took about two days to realise how much better it was. Personally I wouldn't worry about using Mac OS unless you know you have programmes that can only be used on Windows (there aren't many nowadays).

Now a iMac can happily run Windows XP, my mate does it and he has the lowest specced 17" version, so no worries there. When he starts the computer up, you hold down a keyboard button, and it comes up with a screen asking whether you would like to boot into XP or Mac Os. Running both at the same time can be done in parallels, but as I said I'm not the best person to comment on this.

As for another screen, the iMac has a DVI out, and you can get a adaptor to make it VGA out, so basically you can connect it to any monitor out there. Once hooked up, you can mirror displays, spread across two etc. I often do this with my MacBook Pro and 32" LCD, once connected, you can use the apple remote that you get with your mac, and browse your photos, music and videos, with it all appearing on the big screen.

If you go into a shop (Robert Sayle, John Lewis etc) then they often have the 24" on display, and trust me that is big! I'm sure it will more than meet your needs, so try and check one out if you can.

Basically I'd have a look at the software you are using now, see what you can get for the Mac, just remember just because your exact bit of software isn't made for Mac, doesn't mean there isn't a better Mac alternative out there. I was a regular PC user for over 15 years, and would now never go back to one now.

I know out of all the Macs, the Mac Pro looks the most PC like, however looking at your requirments, it really would be like buying a ferrari, just to go to the shop and back. The iMac is more than capable of most things (I'd say barring demanding video games and video rendering) plus it would save you money. If you have looked at the options of speccing a Mac Pro up, there are many things that are not included in the basic one like bluetooth, wireless etc, these all add up. I'm sure whatever Mac you choose though, there are many on here happy to help you out in the first few weeks of getting to grips with one.

Craig
 

jont

Well-known Member
If you want to run OSX and XP/Vista at the sam etime then you need to buy Parallels for Mac and have/use your licensed copy of Windows as part o fthe install ... great program - can set it up so you can even have windows applicatrion icons in your mac docking bar and launch them same as mac-apps !! ... stunning piece of programming for around £40 ...

20 or 24" imac will be more than adequate at running both, would max out the ram to 2gb though for plenty of space ...

Will be new iMacs launched in the next couple of months so you might want to wait for those (will have upgraded processors and new case design as well as Leopard OSX 10.5) ... or pick up an existing design in the Apple refurb store for 15-30% off RRP - complete with warrenty ...

HTH

Jon
 

haggisman

Active Member
Thank you guys, appetite whetted, iMAC it is. Like the ferrari to/from shop analogy!! Now, can I curb my enthusiasm and wait for the new iMAC, got good quotes from the HE phoneline yesterday for current model. Will wander the ether to try to glean some timelines re new model. Meantime, could I prevail upon your time to proffer any advice re a small Apple laptop, anything robust that ideally is almost notepad sized. Just need it to carry round large word documents as opposed to printing them when attending meetings - ideally need wi fi connectivity. Might also use it as a storage medium for uploading RAW images from a card and then transferring to the iMAC when I get it. Suppose ought to be a new thread; but any advice gratefully recieved - assume I could get by with an old low spec machine?

Thanks again anyhow
Hamish
 

jont

Well-known Member
Would hunt around for an old 12" G4 PowerBook or G4 iBook ... probably pick one up s/hand for around £3-400 ... if it is just WP/surfing/email you could look for a G3 iBook and get that even cheaper - will run OSX quite happily (albeit not rapidly) but hunt around for extra RAM to help out ...

Best site for mac news/rumours is www.appleinsider.com

Jon
 
A

ancientgeek

Guest
If you went the Mac Pro route, you could use a Dell 24" screen, which has component and HDCP/DVI input as well as VGA and svideo. Easy to have it shared between Mac and TV.

But colour matching via the Dell screen is rubbish, and it's important for good quality photo work.

(I have a Mac Pro with 3 Dell 24's :) )
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
Thank you guys, appetite whetted, iMAC it is. Like the ferrari to/from shop analogy!! Now, can I curb my enthusiasm and wait for the new iMAC, got good quotes from the HE phoneline yesterday for current model. Will wander the ether to try to glean some timelines re new model. Meantime, could I prevail upon your time to proffer any advice re a small Apple laptop, anything robust that ideally is almost notepad sized. Just need it to carry round large word documents as opposed to printing them when attending meetings - ideally need wi fi connectivity. Might also use it as a storage medium for uploading RAW images from a card and then transferring to the iMAC when I get it. Suppose ought to be a new thread; but any advice gratefully recieved - assume I could get by with an old low spec machine?

Thanks again anyhow
Hamish

Yeah an old low specced machine should do fine. I don't know if you want to dare with ebay, if not, I have seen them about on here in the trading forums. 12" powerbooks are very nice and sleek. However if you start paying near the £500 mark, it might be worth thinking of getting a new MacBook. Your daughter can get one mac laptop and one mac desktop with discount every academic year, so I'm sure a low specced MacBook with HE discount would be under £650. Just a thought.

Would hunt around for an old 12" G4 PowerBook or G4 iBook ... probably pick one up s/hand for around £3-400 ... if it is just WP/surfing/email you could look for a G3 iBook and get that even cheaper - will run OSX quite happily (albeit not rapidly) but hunt around for extra RAM to help out ...

Best site for mac news/rumours is www.appleinsider.com

Jon

Good advice mate, my only query is that would a G3 have built in wireless?
 
A

ancientgeek

Guest
I also have a 12" Powerbook which I used to use with a Dell 24" screen. These came with the adapters for VGA and DVI. If buying on ebay, try to get one with the adapters included, as they are qite expensive with delivery. Don't forget its battery is probably getting a bit tired, and costs ninety quid to replace.
 

jont

Well-known Member
G3/G4 ibooks have a slot for an airport/airport extreme card so you might need to hunt around for one ... haven't used a usb wireless dongle but that might work ...

jon
 

haggisman

Active Member
Thanks again, what a friendly ambience this forum has. Now have to really control urge to go out and buy an iMac before the new ones/operating system. Very tempted to buy a small macbook - again maybe ought to wait. Also my wife will be in Chicago in late June - more patience required I fear - assume apart from plug, power supply will work. Howevere, apart from possible operating system upgrade, the US option would loose the HE 3 years parts/labour. Decisions, decisions.
 

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