Thinking of getting a mac

Associate
Joined
11 Mar 2009
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scotland
Hi,

Really tempted to get a mac. Only thing stopping me is the fact that i've never used one, and wouldn't want to spend £2k+ on a computer that after a month I end up not using. I've got a quite decent windows pc, which isn't in any need of an upgrade/replacement.

I run a web development business and run lots of sites. I know a lot of designers use macs (and love them), but what about coding... are macs good for that? Are there good replacements for notepad++ (which i've always found to be the best text editor) and a decent ftp program (I use smartftp on windows)

Also, if i want to run windows on a mac (it runs on a virtual machine, within os x, yeah?) , is it straightforward to do so? Can you share files between the windows environment and your os x environment?

And does xampp (http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-macosx.html) for os x (just the apache (with php) and mysql parts) work fine in os x?

Also, with regard to options on the "configure your mac pro" on their site, surely its much cheaper to just go with the defaults (ie, 3gb of ram, one 640gb hard drive) and just buy more ram when needed and put in my other hard drives? They just take normal ram, don't they? i've heard that 3gb is enough on mac anyway. (Also, are all the new mac pros 64 bit?)

And lastly, i have a couple of dell monitors that i intend to use. The default graphics card is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB. These have two dvi ports, yeah? Are they actually any good? If i ran windows within os x, is it good enough for games?

thanks! :)
 
Soldato
Joined
3 Feb 2008
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5,460
What do you think spending £2k+ on a Mac pro will offer your business that your current Windows PC doesn't?

RE: GT120, no, it's equivilent to a 9500GT, which is rubbish. Though what you deem 'good enough' for games is largely upto you I suppose :)
 
Associate
OP
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11 Mar 2009
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257
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scotland
I just think they look nice, wanted one since getting an iphone. Just trying to justify it to myself.

Will it be able to play all current games? I'm not bothered about maximum settings on all the options. Just as long as its got a decent frame rate at a high resolution.
 
Soldato
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6 Apr 2008
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Reading
Firstly, maybe buy a second had mac mini with which you can try everything out on for a few months? It will only cost a few hundred yet will give you a taste of what can be done all be it as a slower pace.

For a notepad++ style application I used text wrangler when creating my php/sql database for my final yr project. It has a preview down the right had side making it great to switch between files quickly (can still open things in two windows as well), it recognises and highlights appropriately loads of different languages.

Windows can be set up to run using parallels or vmware fusion for a virtual machine setup, Im not sure about file sharing between as I have never used one of said programs.

Xamp will more than likely work excellently in osx (they wouldn't make it otherwise), however I didnt bother using it for my final year project as OSX has apache and php pre installed, you just need to turn them on, then I downloaded MySQL and set it up. However Im sure you are probably used to using the interface and other features provided with xampp, in which case this maybe the best route.

Im not sure about the connections for HDD's in pro's so cant answer that question, Im 99% sure they use ecc memory (error checking basically) thus its relatively expensive to upgrade.

Lastly what games do you play and at what intended resolution?
Generally its going to be a no but it depends very much on the age and demands of the games you play.
 
Associate
Joined
18 Oct 2002
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413
I just think they look nice, wanted one since getting an iphone. Just trying to justify it to myself.

Hardware not being too different it's mainly the OS that will be different.
As another user suggested perhaps a used mac of some sort (Intel variety) to test and see if you actually like OSX.

Otherwise your really asking for justification for buying a mac in a mac forum...;)
 
Man of Honour
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30 Jun 2005
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London Town!
To be honest you'd be a bit silly buying a mac pro. It's a pro workstation machine and you just don't need that kind of power for web design, a decently specced imac does the job just fine. If you want one fair enough that's your choice and your money but you don't need one for that kind of work.
 
Associate
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18 Jul 2007
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England, Berkshire
+1 your a web designer, you don't need a mac pro, i would say a imac is what you want, make sure its the 24" model as you get the best deal in my opinion, they are due to refresh these and apparently price drops are to also be done. I would wait a month or two for that. Otherwise a macbook pro is what you want, you can always plug in monitors.

Take the plunge, dont be scared, you might think its all a bit weird the first week, but after that, you adapt and hopefully you wont go back to windows, but if you ever need it you can use bootcamp which allows you to run windows on your mac.
 
Man of Honour
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30 Jun 2005
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London Town!
I could also add, in a maybe more helpful frame, I bought my macbook pro simply because I used Aperture and fell in love with it as an app. Then I started using it for web browsing and everything else and started questioning why I still had a windows PC...
 
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