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iMac or Mac Pro

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Agreed about the iMac and the Mac Pro. A lot of users go with the MacBook Pro less for its mobility and more because there are almost no other cost effective choices for heavy duty software in the Mac range.

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On 15/11/2016 at 3:51 AM, JimW said:

At the end of the day, I recommend to users the hardware that best fits their needs on the day they ask me about it, and currently I have to push them towards Windows to get the best bang for their buck.

 

Until they have to shell out for ongoing maintenance keeping their PCs operational.

 

Let's get some real world feedback over the next year on these devices. People have been saying this about Apple's laptops for years, and yet we keep buying them.

 

If none of us buy it, they will have to change tack. Remember the Cube?

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3 minutes ago, Diamond said:

Let's get some real world feedback over the next year on these devices. People have been saying this about Apple's laptops for years, and yet we keep buying them.

 

If none of us buy it, they will have to change tack. Remember the Cube?

 

People are kind of forced to buy one of them, since they want to remain on macOS. The Macbook Pro is the best of limited options, which probably explains the majority of the backlash. If they let the MBP slip over the years without bumping the Pro or the iMac line to compensate, it leaves power users behind.

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Yes, I agree.

 

I think if there was an area that Apple really missed, it was the CUDA GPU revolution. Whist they did get into OpenCL with the Mac Pro, not updating GPUs that supported CUDA in all of that time really hurt them in the pro space.

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1 hour ago, Diamond said:

I think you will find people will move on to something else to complain about. No doubt they are expensive. But between the trade-offs of portability, battery, and retina graphics, Apple thinks these provide the greatest blend of value to most people. And yes, whilst I would like to feel better by having the option of more RAM, I think the mix is generally right.

 

 

I think Apple has less than 10% of the personal computer market - so by no means to most people find it the best value. There only real competitive advantage is people's preference for the OS.  They make beautiful machines, no doubt - but even there - they are losing their edge.  We do not need to go 12 rounds - but dollar for dollar - feature for feature - Apple no longer a market leader.  Asus, HP, Razer, and Microsoft are all making more innovative machines with better screens and specifications that can be purchased for less... for the moment.

I think Apple has a trick up its sleeve.  I think we will know more when the new iMacs come out.  The Microsoft Surface Studio makes the current iMacs look antiquated - I have hope that apple is going to respond with some big updates for their all in ones.

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58 minutes ago, Diamond said:

 

Until they have to shell out for ongoing maintenance keeping their PCs operational.

 

 

We have only Macs, and we spend a butt load of time at the genius bar and employee full-time IT guy inhouse to keep our 25 iMacs and Mac server running.  I know its only anecdotal, but in my personal life - I have seen little difference in upkeep between the two platforms.  

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45 minutes ago, Tom Klaber said:

 

We have only Macs, and we spend a butt load of time at the genius bar and employee full-time IT guy inhouse to keep our 25 iMacs and Mac server running.  I know its only anecdotal, but in my personal life - I have seen little difference in upkeep between the two platforms.  

 

If yours is like the office where I've fallen it to that roll 50% of the work and about 80% of the reason IT is running to stand still and can't move the office forward is due to two or three people.

One office I was in this shared roll as they expanded from 25 to 40 people and it was still the same 2-3 people making most the IT workload.

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This is getting onto another topic. But yes, we have found that as well. Certain people can have a sense of entitlement, and they need to kept at arms length.

 

The other is to break up IT from Vectorworks and other software support.I  have mentioned this elsewhere – IT and Vectorworks used to be my job. Now just Vectorworks. We have a director who heads up It (10-20% of load), and an external IT company who looks after the server and obscure issues that pop-up. The IT person is n the office for a couple of hours per week.

 

Vectorworks support is a job unto itself. If you have key team members as the support people for individual apps, you can share the load. 

Edited by Diamond
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Back on topic, yes I am extremely partial to the Mac. My first Mac was a Wallstreet Powerbook. I still pick up my MacBook Pro the wrong way because of the apple logo on the front.

 

I have had to use PCs at a few points in my career, and I am at the point now that I would quit a job, rather than transition to PC. Same if my work transitioned away from Vectorworks.

 

Some people are indifferent to what OS they use. For me, it is more important than hardware, especially with C4D render farm solutions available. Apples SSD speeds are second to none. I love Retina, and can't wait for my next Mac to have it. I can do things faster on macOS. Okay that means GPUs are not great, but I have never been a gamer, and Apple seems to manage the limitations of their hardware pretty well. A great example is my current work laptop. A late 2011 MacBook Pro. Yes, it has been running into limitations, but then I am running 400MB+ project files.

 

Now onto the Spring for new desktop Macs. The night is darkest before the dawn…

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9 hours ago, Diamond said:

I am at the point now that I would quit a job, rather than transition to PC. 

 

 

That's some loyalty! I had been on windows most my life before I started working.  I have been in Mac offices now for 10 years.  It took a little getting used to - but I did find that the Mac OS had some nice features, and was easy to learn - and I grew to like it more than XP.  Then I REALLY liked it more than Windows 8.  But Windows 10 has been a game changer - and I think my preference is switching back - it is just plain easier to find what you need in W10 than in OSx.  

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Possibly the only way I would ever use a PC is if I only used C4D (for example), and had a Mac sitting right beside it. If I break macOS, I know how to fix it. On Windows,  not a clue (even though I am no Luddite, and have used and dug into the windows OS's over many years). 

 

I am obsessed with interface design, in all things. If I am going to use something all day,  I want it to be good.

I have an Estwing hammer because it is weighted beautifully. It may not be the biggest hammer, but the sum of its parts make it better for most tasks.

 

Some Macs may not have some of the specs of certain PCs, but if I am excited to wake up everyday and use a tool that is beautifully crafted, both inside and out, then I am going to end up getting more work done.

Similarly, working on my iPad may not be as fast as my Mac, but it often feels nicer to do certain tasks. That sense of accomplishment really adds to work satisfaction, and therefore is more productive in the long run.

 

As designers, the feel of something is often more important than ticking of requirements. We are engaged in creating experiences of wonder and excitement for our clients. I want that experience while working as well. 

 

The point at which experience alone does break down for me with Macs is in the area of video cards required for external rendering solutions. Unless a person is literally rendering Renderworks viewports all day, a Mac for Vectorworks is more than capable. And according to IBMs recent info on their usage, cost less than PCs over their life.

 

But if I am motion or 3D designer, and I need to use honking fast graphics cards for external render solutions, then, at the moment I don't have that option.

 

The thing Apple does have in their favour is that nearly every Mac has Thunderbolt. Laptops will never be as fast as desktops, but with Thunderbolt as a super fast IO on almost every Mac (& Thunderbolt 3 coming as soon Intel can get their act together), you are already seeing external enclosures with racks of video cards doing that external compute.

 

Once again, we are in an odd PC moment because of all of the tech pushing and pulling on each other, struggling to make sense of itself (retina vs pro GPUs, CPU raw speed vs power consumption per watt, and so on). By next year, with the Skylake transition over, many of these limitations should be mostly sorted out, and we should see the cohesion in Apple's lineup return. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think you are right - by next year Apple will have sorted things out.  I fear that cohesion is going to be around consumer grade products - but I am choosing to be optimistic .
 

7 minutes ago, Diamond said:

I am obsessed with interface design, in all things. If I am going to use something all day,  I want it to be good.

Some Macs may not have some of the specs of certain PCs, but if I am excited to wake up everyday and use a tool that is beautifully crafted, both inside and out, then I am going to end up getting more work done.

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I am with you on UI design, which makes me surprised you are not giving W10 its due - it is a very well designed system regarding usability and graphics.  Being cross platform and using both every day - W10 is more fun and easier to use than OSx.  That was not true with W8 or XP, but they got this new one right.

 

And I totally agree that things need to be beautifully designed inside and out.  Apple was the only one doing that for a long time.  They were both the innovation leader and industrial design leader for almost the last decade if not more.  But that is just not true anymore.  They have not been the innovation leader in a long time and now the competition has caught up and passed them - even regarding industrial design.  


The thunderbolt think is real.  Having 4 Thunderbolt 3s does a lot of future proofing, and it takes some pressure off the internal specs.  I wonder if they are going to have an external GPU box like Razer - or some apple base that will allow you boost the machine when at your desk.  I think that is probably the way things are moving in general.  Lightweight machines for portability that can plug into computing power either via the cloud or external hardware to boost performance when required.  

 

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Thunderbolt 3 can hit an expected 40Gbps which effectively brings it into spitting distance of PCIe (PCIe x16 specifically, which is what is used to plug most graphics cards into desktops these days and laptops effectively use the same thing in miniature) and thats the last hurdle really for hardware allowing external graphics cards. Now it's only a matter of compatibility which seems to be slowly emerging. 

I had actually hoped that Apple would opt for sticking a real GPU inside a Cinema Display as an external graphics option to test the waters, but they seem to be moving away from displays and instead partnering with other companies. However, if cross platform external GPUs make it to the market, it solves a lot of headaches for me. Optional bolt-on power is a big deal for the longevity of pro hardware. There are a few out now but a lot of them are model restricted so far.

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22 minutes ago, Tom Klaber said:

I am with you on UI design, which makes me surprised you are not giving W10 its due - it is a very well designed system regarding usability and graphics.  Being cross platform and using both every day - W10 is more fun and easier to use than OSx.  That was not true with W8 or XP, but they got this new one right.

 

I am disappointed that Windows mobile tanked. I like it much more than Android.

 

I have not tried Windows 10, and yes I hear good things of it. And whilst there are great edge cases for combining touch and a desktop OS (for illustrators, their desktop surface), having used both iPad and Wacom for a number of years, they are different paradigms. 

 

But no matter how much I try to ignore it, Windows is still Windows underneath. And I don't have a UNIX command line. Does Windows have simple visual scripting tools like services and Automator these days?

 

 

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19 minutes ago, JimW said:

I had actually hoped that Apple would opt for sticking a real GPU inside a Cinema Display as an external graphics option to test the waters, but they seem to be moving away from displays and instead partnering with other companies. However, if cross platform external GPUs make it to the market, it solves a lot of headaches for me. Optional bolt-on power is a big deal for the longevity of pro hardware. There are a few out now but a lot of them are model restricted so far.

 

Given that many people keep displays for more than 5 years, I would think Apple would see an added GPU as having

limited value.

 

Yep, with machines having fast SSDs, and fast IO, bolt on options are going to become more common.

 

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1 hour ago, Diamond said:

 

I am disappointed that Windows mobile tanked. I like it much more than Android.

 

 

 

I agree.  I loved the way that looked and felt.  It did not treat the phone like a tiny desktop computer.  I think we have not seen the end - I think they are going to make one more push - surface phone.  The question is whether or not App makers have the capacity to support 3 systems - it seems like they already have trouble with 2.   I wonder if they can just skin android and build in Cortana - then they would not have to build their own full ecosystem.  

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If I had to guess, I would think Microsoft would build (or license the build of) a hardware Surface phone as they did with the tablets, notebooks and desktops, then install a version of Android on it, likely with heavy customization. Especially given this:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/11/microsoft-yes-microsoft-joins-the-linux-foundation/

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