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Apple Mac Pro Question


Jimmy!

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I've been a graphic designer for a small company for the last 2+ years. Love the job, and love the people, hate the fact that I work on a PC. Last night I was asked to do some research on upgrading to a Mac Pro.

I have a pretty good handle on what kind of machine we'd need to buy. The only head-scratcher for me is the video card. If I'm using Adobe CS3 (Photoshop and InDesign mostly) for all my work, does having a 512MB NVIDIA card make a significant difference over a 256MB ATI Radeon? If we went with a two-monitor setup, would one card support them both?

Thanks.

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As far as I understand, the faster graphics card will only make a difference in your screen refresh rate when working with graphics-intensive programs (like Photoshop) or playing Halo.

If you're just doing basic layouts and not building hundred-layer Photoshop files with multiple masks and layer effects, you should be ok with the smaller graphics card.

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Why the mac pro? Are you doing video? You realize that you could buy the basically the same thing you want for cheaper when you buy an imac? Top out an imac with 4 gb of ram, 1 tb hard drive, and a 24 inch monitor, you could get that for $2,500 and then buy a second monitor for what it would take to buy the basic mac pro. If you're doing video then go with mac pro, but as someone who looked into the mac pro for graphic design, it's overkill. The imac will do you just as well. The only program that you'll use that will use the 4 gb or more of ram would be a video program such as Final Cut Pro. None of the programs out there are even programmed to use more than 2 gb of ram, the aren't powerful enough.

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Why the mac pro? Are you doing video? You realize that you could buy the basically the same thing you want for cheaper when you buy an imac? Top out an imac with 4 gb of ram, 1 tb hard drive, and a 24 inch monitor, you could get that for $2,500 and then buy a second monitor for what it would take to buy the basic mac pro. If you're doing video then go with mac pro, but as someone who looked into the mac pro for graphic design, it's overkill. The imac will do you just as well. The only program that you'll use that will use the 4 gb or more of ram would be a video program such as Final Cut Pro. None of the programs out there are even programmed to use more than 2 gb of ram, the aren't powerful enough.

I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm looking at the pros and cons of iMac vs. Mac Pro. An iMac could very easily suit my needs. But is an iMac network/server friendly? Can it use a second monitor?

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As long as the iMac has the Video Out port (which it does), then you will be able to go dual-monitor.

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Now all you need to do is get the Mini-DVI to DVI or VGA adapter (which you will need to purchase separately, $20 I believe), which then connects to the cable that should come with your extra monitor.

If your monitors are different sizes, you may need to mess around with the resolutions a bit to get your desired result, but Apple's Preferences > Display is quite straightforward so you shouldn't need to worry about that right now.

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I am currently browsing this board on my iMac... albeit a PPC not intel... and one thing I will say AGAINST the iMac is how th eall in one concept can actually be a negative.

For instance, my display has had a smokey shadow in the lower right corner for a while now... long after it went out of warranty. You can't see it unless you have a solid color over that area... program menus, desktop pics etc. hide it... but if I were to go get it fixed... guess what I am taking in.. the whole machine.

If a monitor goes bad on a Mac Pro you can replace it without losing your ability to work. This is the reason I never took mine in... that and the fact that it isn't under warranty and the smokey shadow doesn't affect my work.

A Mac Pro is what I use on a daily basis for my day job.... catalog design, web design, identity etc. and I will tell you.... it is NOT overkill on the power. When I am working on large images for catalogs and large layouts in InDesign I push the machine to limits I know an iMac may struggle with. Of course I am talking about large image files in photoshop as I build the images etc... not simply touching up a photo from a shoot.

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If you're pushing your computer to the max, then get a more powerful computer, but before you buy a computer ask yourself the serious question of, "What am I going to do with this?" If you're using a computer to send emails, get yourself a cheap pc. If you want to push the limits of a computer and do amazing graphic work, buy the best computer you can afford. For me the top of the line imac is more than enough, but that's the question one has to ask when making a purchase like this, what are they going to do with it and what suits them best.

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