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I am in the process of buying a new lap top for the purpose of photo editing. I have only owned PC's and am looking for some opinions on this. Is the cost of a Mac worth it?? I would like to get into some more advanced photoshop editing...
Thanks for any help on this subject!!

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I vote for PC! However, to be fair, my vote has nothing to do with photographs. Everything Apple is proprietary. So far as I know, you can't buy an Apple mouse that right clicks -- don't even dream of using a wheel! Others have mentioned how expensive Apple hardware is. As a land surveyor, I need a machine that can run AutoCad (the "PhotoShop" of the engineering world) and AutoCad does not run on Apple. Ditto with my geotagging programs. Ditto with almost every application I use frequently (other than LightRoom). I've heard Apple now runs windows so this line of reasoning may no longer be totally valid. However, why use an Apple processor to emulate a windows processor when you can just buy windows and have the real thing? As for viruses, is it a compliment or an insult that no self-respecting hacker wastes his/her time hacking Apples because not enough people use them to be worth the effort? Finally, I have taken or assisted in workshops by such noteables as Eddie Tapp, Jim DeVitale & Julianne Kost and they all prefer Mac but are happy to teach students using PC's. So far, I've never run across a PhotoShop command that can't be executed on a PC.
I have an apple mouse that has a right click and a ball that lets you scroll windows horizontally and vertically at the same time, it is also cordless and optical, works out of the box via bluetooth without installing any drivers. The new magic mouse does even more, obeying gestures!!!

Both windows and apple machine use intel processors, so you can run windows (real windows) on a Mac if you really want to, after using Mac OS you will wonder why you wanted too!!!

The reason why Macs do not have many virus's is because they are underpinned by unix and the virus does not have permission to spread itself. Something a windows machine can be configured to do, shame M$ wants you to spend money on anti-virus software!!! You are welcome to your self-respecting 'hackers' I prefer the friendly co-operative Mac culture.

Many PC's are fine machines and if you need PC specific software choice then you do not have a choice, many people even prefer PC's to Mac. However, it annoys me when people with no clue about the actual differences between Mac and PC's spread FUD, (if you do not know what that is ask Mr Gates)
I have never used a PC, but I do like my macpro. It is more money, but I do not have problems with net based viruses, and it is pretty fast. Nothing is instantaneous, but it does deal with many large images without any problems.
Once you go MAC you'll never go back! Great graphics, easy to use, never get a virus...etc, etc
I am a Software engineer and use all four major computing platforms (windows, mac, linux and unix(solaris)). Three years ago I switched to a mac for my home computer and use a Mac Book Pro when consulting.

If you just look at the pieces that make up a Mac then they appear bad value for money. You can get a similarly specced Windows machine for half the price, something my brother regularly quotes. Where Macs win is in the way the whole system just works together in an elegant way. Everything you normally need is build in and a lot of things you did not know you needed are built in too!!!

Photoshop on a Mac is very similar to photoshop on a PC. The screens, processors, memory etc are all the same whether you get a Mac or a better quality PC. The Mac ground up from hardware to software is all designed to work together in an integrated way. At best the pc is made from hardware and software that are put together and expected to work by a committee of designers and engineers that have their own preferences and agendas.

The only place the PC beats the mac is as a games machines. Otherwise they are in par with the mac being more stable and easier to use.

In conclusion, both machines are equally good at image manipulation, the Mac is just a more integrated, elegant solution that is a joy to use. Oh it looks cool too!!!
I have owned both Macs and PCs. At one point in time Mac was the clear winner for working with graphics. Not any more. The interfaces are very similar and the software (like Photoshop) is pretty much the same on either platform. The kicker is that you can get a lot more computing power for the money with a PC. I personally use HP products and have had no problems. PCs are more susceptible to viruses, however. So I would recommend a third party program called AVAST! which is free from non-commercial use. It works very well. I have had zero virus problems with AVAST! installed. Get rid of any virus software bundled with your computer. Norton doesn't do a very good job. AS an aside, I think that there is more "freeware" out there for PCs than MACs. And I mean GOOD freeware.

I know that the MAC vs PC debate is more like a religion or a political persuasion. I used to be rabid in my advocacy of MACs. I have gotten passed that. More for my money is now of paramount concern. Both platforms are fine and will do the job.
I just went through the same process and bought a MacBook. I wish I had done it years ago! First of all, it has a Core Duo Intel processor with 4 Gigs of Ram, so it is spec'd better than my laptop, but by comparison it is much, much faster than my PC laptop when using my typical photo apps, which include LR2.5, PS CS4 with Bridge and Photomatix Pro. Because I'm running Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Nikon Capture NX2 is not working, but I run it in a Windows emulator called Bootcamp and it's much faster than it ever was on the PC! On top of that, the Mac just keeps running. I've run it for over 2 weeks now and have had any need to reboot. It starts from a sleep instantly and I'm right back where I was. This OS is amazing! My only regret is not spending more on a faster MacBook Pro with a bigger screen and dedicated graphics processor. I did however upgrade the 160 Gig HDD to a 500 Gig (from a 3rd party, very inexpensively), so I should be content for a while!

Get the Mac... you won't regret it.

Cheers, D. Hamments
I almost hate to enter this discussion after all these months. I may be one of the few people who actually switched FROM a Mac to PC.

Many years ago, my first computer was an Apple IIe. When Apple released the Lisa (remember that huge monstrosity?) I convinced my boss that we needed one for our office. Then when the Mac Plus was released, my wife and I invested nearly $15,000 1986 dollars in a Mac Plus, a 20 MB hard drive (that is NOT a typo), an Apple LaserWriter, and a whole bunch of software to set up a desktop publishing business. It is true, there was nothing comparable in the PC world at the time...not even close.

But times changed. And both for work and home use I switched to PC long ago. I have returned to use of Macs on a couple of occasions, but as I came to know PC's better and Macs less, each foray back to MacWorld was less intuitive than folks claimed.. Regardless of the all the Mac hype, PC's can and do provide everything I need for all of my uses (Outside of work apps, I use LR 2.5 and PS CS2 for photographic efforts). When I sit with a Mac now I am amazed at how confusing it all is. I hear the Mac users cringe at that statement, but truly, once you are comfortable with a way of doing things it can be frustrating as hell to get on a computer and know there MUST be an easy way to do something, but you just can't figure it out (and for me this is usually some function that I access on a PC with a simple right-click).

None of this is meant to say that a Mac is bad or anything like that. I suppose if I was to buy a Mac (which I may some day) I will overcome all those frustrations and learn the wonders of that platform. Just saying that every time I have to make an upgrade, I look at the options and just can't justify the added expense to myself. I have lots of toys I want to buy and most of them are photographic, not computers. I have never been hit by a virus, I seldom crash (and trust me, Macs DO crash), and on the whole meet my needs just fine.

But I will not deny one thing...Macs ARE cool!
"(and trust me, Macs DO crash)"

LOL, my first day in digital illustration class the instructor told all the PC users to get on the Macs and vice-versa. he was lauding the Macs telling us how stable the systems were. I had mine locked up inside of 10 minutes. It was so bad we had to unplug the darn thing to shut it off.
I have used both. I now own a PC. I have 8GB of RAM 750GB hard drive, 512 MB graphics card, 22in wide screen monitor lots of other goodies, running64 bit vista premium (yes enough power that it works as good or better than any Mac I have ever used) and paid less then a third of what a Mac would have cost me. Just do your research

It's true the Mac may last longer but in about two years technology will be so far ahead of now, I will not this machine anymore anyway.

As for virus concerns: get anti virus software (AVG is free and has never failed me).
I suppose we will all rave about whichever system we use. I started with an Apple IIc, but moved to the PC for reasons mentioned by many here. In those days, the numerous computer stores that existed would have one corner of software devoted to Apple, the rest of the store would be PC (or perhaps Commodore or TI). I was a young father, and games (for me and my children) were my interest.

The value of the computer for work related tasks soon became clear, and I could not be tied to Apple's proprietary system when PC clones started flooding the market.

Perhaps if you want a computer that you just turn on and use, the MAC may best fit the bill. If you are willing to learn just a bit more about them, however, you can leverage a little knowledge into a lot more computing power for less money on the PC side, I believe.

If you want the best of both worlds without spending for a MAC, look into a PC dual boot using Windows and some version of Linux which has come 'fer' piece in terms of user-friendliness and interoperability of late.

I run XP and UbuntuStudio as a dual boot. Whichever I boot into operates as the host system, no emulation necessary. XP runs fine on my five year old machine, and Ubuntu flies on it. I can edit photos in either using a variety of software (PSCS4 on the PC side, PS7 on the Linux side, Gimp on either, Lightzone on either.

I haven't shopped computers in a while, but have helped both my grown children shopped for theirs. I don't know what comes with a Mac in terms of software, but gather that the aps tend to be light-weight. I'm pretty certain you can't buy a MAC with CS4 pre-installed, or Vegas, or Steinberg's Wavelab, Nuendo, etc (actually, Wavelab has never been ported to the MAC), and I venture to guess that the pre-installed aps are simply not in the same class as these that I have mentioned). So, if you are into that class of software, you'll have to purchase it regardless of which system you own.

In terms of reliability, if something breaks on a PC, you just open it up, replace the component and move on. Often, what you need is laying around the house as part of some previous old machine (if you are like me).

I'm not certain what happens with the MAC.

For me, moving away from the Apple platform meant I no longer had to sit around and wait for new innovations to be ported to the Apple side of things. That may have changed, but I can state from experience that the PC is every bit as capable in terms of graphics and multimedia as any MAC. The difference is that cloning and widespread adoption of the PC platform, whether you love or hate MS, has made all of that capability more accessible to mere mortals.

If my only option for high-end video editing was Avid on a MAC, I would shoot only still pictures.

If you look to the movie studios, many major houses are doing their work on PC's running linux.

So, there is something out there for everyone.

I feel fortunate to have survived to witness this wonderful age of technology. One can only guess what the future will bring.

JC

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