Personal computing discussed

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Gerbil In Training
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Fri Feb 08, 2002 2:28 pm

Presently I'm on a macintosh G4 450. My primary applications are photoshop, painter, and bryce. I also want more access to games (mainly RPGs) and I'm not real pleased with the pricing of macs lately I'm thinking that my upgrade this time might be over to a whole new system.

I can build an incredible Athlon system for $1200 to $1500 (having to buy the case, powersupply, graphics card et al...there's nothing I can transfer over since I'm on a mac right now).

How well do the Athlon chips stack up against the powerpc in FPU calculations and photoshop realworld actions? I have found scads of benchmarks comparing the Athlon to the pentium 4's and scads comparing the pentiums to the PPC, but no direct comparison of the Athlon versus the PPC.

I have a friend (windows user) who's just sure that I'm getting ready to make a mistake if I build a windows box. She feels that the hardware will be great, but the OS is so corruptable that my games will fudge up the system. She tells me that the premium for a mac system is worth is because the OS is better and "stuff just works". Since I haven't used windows I don't know if this is true or not. Am I in for a headache configuing a windows machine? And will the Athlon keep up or do better at graphics apps that the PPC?

Thanks for any advice.

Mrrr Psycho
Gerbil In Training
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Wed Feb 20, 2002 3:42 pm

I would have said that what your friend said was true in the past - however, with the rise of Win2k and XP, I would be perfectly happy going with a windows box - I am not sure what the performance would be like compared to a mac though
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Wed Feb 20, 2002 4:15 pm

You shoud be able to transfer over the hard drive but that would make the Mac kinda hard to use or sell :smile:. If you go with the top of the line Athlon XP (2000+ right now) I think you will be pretty impressed with the speed over your current Mac.
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Thu Feb 21, 2002 5:56 am

My wife and I have used both Macs and PC's extensively (much in Photoshop). The Athlon's FPU and L1/L2 cache strengths are similar to the PPC, so except for Windows not being quite as wise as Mac OS's in resource balance and anticipation (which makes a noticeable difference in the "feel" comparing similarly-clocked Athlon/Mac machines) the many, many extra Hz in an AMD machine are just gravy, and you are likely to be very satisfied. In your price range, I strongly recommend a good chunk of memory (512 MB min), and dual processors make up for most (all?) of Window's unpleasant pauses compared to Mac OSs. Good luck.

Also; in agreement with the folks above, Win2k will not ruin your computing experience. "Stuff just works" (as long as you buy from reputable manufacturers - PC's lack the security - and expense - of very limited hardware sources) in Windows, too.
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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nrobison on 2002-02-21 05:00 ]</font>
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Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:10 am

As far as things "just working" on the Mac. Whoever said that, hasn't dealt with the OS9/OS10 debacle.
Gerbil In Training
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Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:23 am

"stuff just works"

having had to work on macs for about 3 years now (i'm a graphic designer), I can honestly say my experience has been very different.

but in any case, you'll be fine. i went from a g3-400 at work to my athlon 1ghz at home, and there was a dramatic increase in speed for obvious reasons. just remember to look for a video card with sharp 2d or you'll regret it.

Lao Tze
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Sat Feb 23, 2002 1:47 am

A palimino(+DDR) would give you a dramatic speed increase over your present solution. If cost wasn't an issue I would suggest that you just go for a dual 1ghz iTit which would be plenty fast for all your needs. However, living in a windows world it is probably best to get some experience on a real machine :wink:... Seriously, the transition to the "wintel" world will probably be an enlightening one...

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