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PC/Mac Advice

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Somerled, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Somerled
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    Somerled iPad Junkie

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    Background:
    1. Ok, I am not a Mac guy. I have owned and worked on non-Mac formats my entire professional career (spanning 15 years now) and I am at the point my home laptop - my main computer - is needing replaced. No fault of the OS, btw, but it is 3 years old and overheating.

    2. I need a high end computer (Laptop only, no desktop suggestions please) that will allow me to play my FPS games, photo production and video production and 3d modeling. I am looking at the following: Alienware M17x and M15x and the Apple MacBook Pro 17" and 15".

    My current thoughts:
    1. The MacBook Pro 17" is $1k less than the Alienware M15x but I would have to repurchase my photo and video software as well as 3 of the games I currently play the most.
    2. The only apparent difference between the MacBook 17" and 15" is the screen size and $200.
    3. With the software purchases required on the MacBook, I would not be saving any money over the M17x even going with the MacBook Pro 15".

    My questions: (hopefully someone highly knowledgeable on the Mac side will answer)
    1. Other than screen size, is there ANY difference in performance between the MacBook Pro 15" and 17"?
    2. I am familiar with Alienware, so is there a huge difference in performance between the Alienware and MacBook Pro?
    3. Does the secondary video card make that much of a difference if rendering a 5 min 4k (from a RedOne) video compressed down to 1080i?
  2. Seadog
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    Seadog Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The only thing that I could tell you, is that with the Mac, you would be getting a top quality machine. There are differences between the 17" and the 15", but there are options for each to blur the differences, or enlarge them. It probably depends on how comfortable you would feel about learning a new OS. You can use Boot Camp and install windows on the Mac. You have to purchase the Windows OS, but your programs will run.
  3. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I was a windows only user like you. I got a Mac Mini to make some iPhone/iPad apps.
    Learning the Mac OS took very little time after about a week of using the Mac I was pretty much familiar with everything and the Mac has become my PC of choice. I'm no expert but Macs are supposed to be the best when it comes to graphic design.

    Dont know what games you play or how well or if they run under the Mac OS.


    Believe it or not, Windows does run much better on a Mac.

    Apples support is also amazing, their products are normally covered for a year and they will fix/replace them for free if any problems come up. also they have free workshops at all apple stores for new mac users to become familiar with it. You dont even have to own a Mac. You should sign up for one of their into to mac workshops to see how quickly you will become familiar with the OS and ask any questions that you may have.
  4. Somerled
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    Somerled iPad Junkie

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    I am not so worried about learning a new OS. I came up in a Unix/Irix universe professionally and have run on everything from SGI to Sun to Linux to a couple other proprietary interfaces.

    For games: Crysis, Halo (all), Half-Life (all), Unreal Tournament (all), WoW: Cataclysm.
    For Photos: Adobe CS4 Premium
    For Videos: Sony Vegas Pro 9
  5. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Then I would say make the switch to Mac. dont know about those specific games but you may need to run windows on the mac for some of them either via bootcamp or parallels. Those game that are on Steam like Half-Life are all starting to become Mac compatible since Steam is now on Mac and they said they will be moving games over to Mac and all new games will be both Windows/Mac.

    Apple is also about to make a big announcement for their new version of Final-Cut the professional video editing software. Final-Cut is amazing, and whats used in the high-end movie production industry.
  6. Somerled
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    Somerled iPad Junkie

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    However, Final Cut is $1k. Vegas, which I own and have used for the last 5 years, it half that and used quite a bit and has much better audio manipulation built in than Final Cut (but not wanting a debate on that.)

    BootCamp would let me dual boot OSX and Win7? Or are you talking a virtual machine or emulator?
  7. Somerled
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    Somerled iPad Junkie

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    OK, bit the bullet and ordered the MacBook Pro 17" fully decked.
  8. NumbLock
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    NumbLock iPad Ninja

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    For gaming, I recommend Windows (have both) but Apple makes it really easy to install Windows 7 on your Mac - kind of like a partition.
  9. Somerled
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    Somerled iPad Junkie

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    That is what I am planning on at this point for the FPS games. WoW has a MAC client, so I will go with it on the OSX. It will also allow me to fall back on my CS4 and Vegas until I get replacements. I am fighting with them to swap licenses from PC to Mac but they both are balking...

    My only real remaining question is, while running Win7, does it pick up on both video cards or just one and if just one, which one?
  10. Seadog
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    Seadog Super Moderator Staff Member

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    by default it will go to the low power card to save battery life. You go into preferences/power saver/ and change it to the faster card. In running Win 7, it will go to the faster card by default. When running bootcamp, you setup up a partition to run on that becomes a Windows machine You pick one OS as the default, and when you start up, you can hold some keys down to make it go to the other OS. It is actually that simple.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
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