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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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  #1  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 12:58 PM
Rod Snaith Rod Snaith is offline
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Default Mac vs PC for post-processing

Not sure if this where this should be, so if it isn't, I apologize.

We had a lightning strike last night that blew out both my machines at home. Insurance should be taking care of things, since one was a new machine and the other recent, so I'm not real concerned on that front.

But what I was wondering is if anyone had experience with both Macs and PCs for post-processing work and if the Macs were really all they're cracked up to be? I've been a PC guy since the first 8088 hit the streets, adopted Windows286 early on, and just never looked back. A friend of mine recently bought a Mac, and he swears he halved his PP time from his former quad core XP machine. Since the only thing my PC gets used for anymore is PP, email and surfing, compatibility with games and a huge software collection really isn't a huge concern.

Thoughts?

Rod
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  #2  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 01:28 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Rod, I was a CP/M guy. Then IBM-DOS, Then Windows at home and office. Besides I was brought up
on Unix. Remember Zilog Z-80 and apples's 6502 processor. been there, done that! The ' S ' bus was
the in thing!

Which is better Windows or OSX...it does not really matter once your pp software is loaded.

We are a Mac family, and we find it plug&play, more robust, more intuitive etc. I have a Windows machine for connectivity to the office.

The wife and kids think ( rightfully or not ) that Windows is for keeping PC tech nerd in business.

YMMV.

I am not talking about unlimited ram access and other fancy things for which a Mac machine could prove very expensive. Another thing I have noticed that internationally if one wants internet access
to say share trading , a lot of countries only support the Explorer! Go figure.

Best.
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  #3  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 01:53 PM
Rod Snaith Rod Snaith is offline
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Ah, you bring back memories of a Timex Sinclair ZX-81, an Apple II and a Tandy sitting on my desk, lol.

Its not so much which is "better", since everyone has their user preferences, but which is genuinely faster. I've been told that Photoshop on the Mac runs almost twice as fast as the PC based version, given equivalent hardware, and I'm really just curious whether this is true in the real world or not.

Rod
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  #4  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 02:26 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Snaith View Post
Its not so much which is "better", since everyone has their user preferences, but which is genuinely faster. I've been told that Photoshop on the Mac runs almost twice as fast as the PC based version, given equivalent hardware, and I'm really just curious whether this is true in the real world or not.

Rod
Hi Rod,

I think it's mostly a function of 32-bit vesus 64-bit operating systems when it comes down to memory intensive appications. Many Macs run on Intel processors nowadays, as do most PCs.

When it comes to swapping memory to disk, that's where the real speed differences can be created, so get a good hardware solution if you're short on RAM memory.

Bart
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  #5  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 02:52 PM
Rod Snaith Rod Snaith is offline
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Whichever way I go, I'm going to end up with a minimum of a quad core mainboard, 4 Gigs of the fastest mainboard memory I can get, 750 gigs of 7200 RPM drive. Its really just a matter of operating system choice at this time, and if I can run native Photoshop 30% faster than I can on a 64 bit Vista machine, I'm all over that.
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  #6  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:13 PM
Daniel Buck Daniel Buck is offline
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I'd get 8+ gigs of RAM and run 64 bit. Photoshop handles big files much nicer in 64 bit with a good amount of ram! I do photoshop work on my laptop that only has 2 cores (2.5ghz) but I have 8 gigs of ram in 64 bit, handles photoshop files pretty darn good :-)

I highly doubt photoshop runs twice as fast on a Mac as it does on a PC, given similar hardware specs. Infact, if I'm correct, photoshop on a MAC won't even run 64 bit yet, because Mac changed their coding architeture and didn't tell Adobe about it in time. I've used photoshop on both Mac and PC, seems to run good on both. I run a PC at home because not all of the 3d software I use runs on a Mac. And we run Linux at work.
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  #7  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:23 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Rod,

Glad you have insurance. Often, rain, floods, earthquakes amd other "actos of God" are excluded! So how did you get the insurance to cover it? Was this from the warranty of a surge protector?

I'd get a great graphics card with a lot of RAM. Some actions are given to the Graphics card from PS, much more with Aperture. Stitching software may like the better graphics card too. check with individual programs.

Asher
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  #8  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:32 PM
Daniel Buck Daniel Buck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
I'd get a great graphics card with a lot of RAM. Some actions are given to the Graphics card from PS, much more with Aperture. Stitching software may like the better graphics card too. check with individual programs.
probably only the features that specifically use OpenGL. Any new decent gaming card would probably do just fine.
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  #9  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:11 PM
Rod Snaith Rod Snaith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Glad you have insurance. Often, rain, floods, earthquakes amd other "actos of God" are excluded! So how did you get the insurance to cover it? Was this from the warranty of a surge protector?
My insurance does indeed cover acts of God, so its through them. The lightning hit my tower that my radio internet antenna sits on, came through the network cable, blew-out the surge protector, wireless router and right into both machines. Next time I'll be mounting two surge protectors...
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  #10  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:21 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Snaith View Post
My insurance does indeed cover acts of God, so its through them. The lightning hit my tower that my radio internet antenna sits on, came through the network cable, blew-out the surge protector, wireless router and right into both machines. Next time I'll be mounting two surge protectors...
Rod,

I know people throw things away, but if you have the warranty of the surge protector, it should save you from claiming on your household insurance as costs may go up!

Asher
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  #11  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:43 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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A quick thought - RPP (Raw Photo Processor) only runs on a Max with 10.4 or 10.5 of OSX. As I've got a PC I've never tried it, but a lot of people like it a lot.

Of course, most other things don'r really mind.

Mike
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  #12  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:53 PM
Rod Snaith Rod Snaith is offline
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Unfortunately, not in this case as the network cable surge protector was a cheap one installed by the internet installer. I always meant to add to it, but just never got around to it. This time I will :)

As for throwing things away, I'm a pack rat. I've still got the warranty for my ZX-81 :)
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  #13  
Old August 7th, 2009, 03:18 AM
Leonardo Boher Leonardo Boher is offline
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Default Mac, of course

I have been a windows user since my first PC I bought in 1999 and just 1 month abo I bought a MacPro. The difference is really worth, specially because a Mac will run always fast and smooth without getting the system chunked by trash/damaged files and the mac is not out of date the next day you buy it. It also comes with enough of apps which makes look window somehow an starving and useless OS. You can run windows in a window by using parallels desktop and many other OS at the same time as well. The way the OS uses the computer resources is also great and talking about resources, a 32-bit windows plataform cannot address more than 1,8 GB of RAM per application while a mac with the same architecture can addres up to 3,8 GB of RAM. Nowadays, there is a big lack in apps compatible for 64-bits OS, so buying a Mac is worth because of that. Also, color calibration is just automatic and printing works like a charm.
I had repaired the PC so much times in my life that I become a PC fixer, indeed.

Here is a picture which describes Windows and Mac absolutely accuratelly:

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  #14  
Old August 7th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Daniel Buck Daniel Buck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo Boher View Post
I have been a windows user since my first PC I bought in 1999 and just 1 month abo I bought a MacPro. The difference is really worth, specially because a Mac will run always fast and smooth without getting the system chunked by trash/damaged files and the mac is not out of date the next day you buy it. It also comes with enough of apps which makes look window somehow an starving and useless OS. You can run windows in a window by using parallels desktop and many other OS at the same time as well. The way the OS uses the computer resources is also great and talking about resources, a 32-bit windows plataform cannot address more than 1,8 GB of RAM per application while a mac with the same architecture can addres up to 3,8 GB of RAM. Nowadays, there is a big lack in apps compatible for 64-bits OS, so buying a Mac is worth because of that. Also, color calibration is just automatic and printing works like a charm.
I had repaired the PC so much times in my life that I become a PC fixer, indeed.
Eh, we have alot of machines at work (most of them with nice specs, 8+gigs of ram, 8 cores, nice graphics cards, 64 bit), windows, linux, mac, and others. I've not seen any of them be more reliable than any of the others. They all pretty much run the same hardware, so as far as being "out of date" sooner than something else, I don't think that's the case.

And as far as 64 bit, right now the only machines that will run Photoshop in 64 bit IS the PC machines :-) Photoshop doesn't run 64 bit on Mac just yet. :-)
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  #15  
Old November 19th, 2009, 10:55 PM
Leonardo Boher Leonardo Boher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Buck View Post
And as far as 64 bit, right now the only machines that will run Photoshop in 64 bit IS the PC machines :-) Photoshop doesn't run 64 bit on Mac just yet. :-)
That's because Mac doesn¡t need 64 bits! ;)
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  #16  
Old November 20th, 2009, 02:07 AM
Tim Armes Tim Armes is offline
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Hi,

I used to use PC. Now I only use Macs. There are lots of reasons for that, but I'll limit my comments to the ones that are relevant to Post Processing.

From a pure, technical post processing point of view the choice of platform is irrelevant - Adobe products are the same on both platforms. However, as a photographer I'm personally very influenced by aesthetics, and working on a beautifully crafted machine with a beautiful UI really does have a positive psychological effect when post processing, and my creative edge is definitely more tuned when I'm working in that environment.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but Windows' ugly UI has a real and detrimental effect on my ability to work an image. It's small, but it's there. My frame of mind isn't the same.

Tim
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  #17  
Old November 20th, 2009, 05:17 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Next year's MacPro (early 2010) with the i7, a faster graphic card, Snow Leo with Grand Central Dispatch & Open CL plus 64 bit in PS and other imagings apps will be a speed bump, I haven't doubts about that. (The early 09 weren't much faster than the 08 ones...)

I'm in the market - my Quad4 x PPC with 8,5 GB of RAM does quite well, but i have it a while, now.
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  #18  
Old November 21st, 2009, 06:54 AM
Leonardo Boher Leonardo Boher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Armes View Post
From a pure, technical post processing point of view the choice of platform is irrelevant
Tim
Sorry for contradicting you Tim, but color calibration on a Mac is useless because all is already so right calibrated that it doesn't need to be calibrated. Also, all the applications shows the same colors and printing an image in mac doesn't need more than hitting the print button. There is no need to calibrate all the system in order to get a good print. Windows cannot handle colors, that simple. Open the same photo in several programs in windows and you will see how the image changes, at least a bit, but it changes from one program to another and calibartion doesn't solves that problem. Also, printing by using windows always was impossible to me. I tryed everything you can imagine, and windows never, but never printed out a good image. Also, the definition and quality of image in the apple cinema display is superb. The first thing I bought from Apple was the screen, because I haven't had enough money for the whole thing, nor I wasn't planning buying a mac. When I plugged the apple screen to my old PIV I saw a big difference in relation with my old monitor but when I finally bought a mac and plugged the apple monitor in it what you see in terms of color depth and definition is speechless.

Of course there is a big difference between mac and pc.
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  #19  
Old November 29th, 2009, 11:06 PM
Scott Keating Scott Keating is offline
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There are a lot of inaccuracies here. Seriously.

First off, you cannot blame any monitor inadequacies by making a blanket statement that "it's a PC". You can use the Apple monitor on a PC if you want - or you can use an even better one. The fact that the vast majority of the PC users buy the cheapest thing out there doesn't automatically make the Apple product better than everything else. The Cinema displays are good because they use good panels made (I think) by Hitachi. You can buy other brand monitors with the same style panel that are known to be top-notch good monitors. Some people like top-end Dell monitors over the Apple. You'll have to ask them why though.

Along those same lines you cannot make the blanket statement that Macs don't need to be calibrated. That's absurd. Apple themselves explain how to do an "eyeball" calibration and provide those tools from within the operating system. They even explain why it may be required. Windows-7 has something similar. Add-on apps provided that service for previous windows editions for years. To do it right though you still need a calibration tool. Google it, there's an endless supply of webpages and forums with people talking about calibrating their Apple equipment with explanations about why it's needed.

I'll agree about the different apps showing colors differently. That's not a function of the OS, that's a failure of the software maker to write the software properly. Software that is "color aware" in Windows (since Windows XP) should show the colors the same way as all other software that is "color aware". Open an ProRGB image in photoshop, then open it in Safari, then Firefox, then ACDSEE, and any number of other decent programs and they'll all look the same. The big failure is Internet Explorer, but that is the characteristic of software problem not aware of color spaces, not an operating system failure. In any event, suggesting that Windows "cannot handle colors" is simply not true.

Also, similarly related is the issue of printing: a lot depends on the printing equipment. Again, that doesn't necessarily have much to do with the computer or OS you're using. If you take the time to make decent profiles for your printer it's because you're profiling the paper and/or inks. Epson, for example, supplies a host of different profiles for their R1800 that support the different papers they use. I print on my R1800 all the time and the prints are perfect and a virtual match to what's on the screen.

I can't really address the original question (which is so old now it's probably no long relevant anyway) because I haven't run Photoshop CS3 or CS4 side by side on an equally equipped Mac and PC. I do know that I've run CS3 on my 32-bit XP machine for years and it worked just fine, as did just about everything else on it. I now run it on 64-bit Windows 7 and it's even better and faster.

For the record, I really could care less what computer someone else is using. I know people who use Linux and wouldn't touch Windows or a Mac for anything. Others use Mac and wouldn't touch Windows, and vice-versa. There are good and bad points to just about everything, I just wanted to correct some of the obvious inaccuracies written here.

PS: While the Mac doesn't need 64 bits (and frankly a lot of us don't need it either) and even though the Mac's older 32-bit OS can use a ton more RAM than Windows' users could, the fact remains that the apps running on it still could only use 4gb or less RAM. For some people that may not make much difference, for others the 4Gb limit might be a big deal when working with image files. Or, maybe not... I do think that the next rendition of both the Mac OS and Windows will trend toward 64-bit and away from 32-bit. They're both already sliding that way anyway.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 08:30 AM
Leonardo Boher Leonardo Boher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Keating View Post
There are a lot of inaccuracies here. Seriously.

First off, you cannot blame any monitor inadequacies by making a blanket statement that "it's a PC". You can use the Apple monitor on a PC if you want
Yes, I did that. Before buying a Mac, my first budget only allowed me to buy the Apple Cinema Display and plugged into a PC and things looked better. Few months later, a friend sold me his MacPro and the Apple Cinema Looked significatly much, much better in the Mac. Much more contrast, range of tones, more vivid colors and some kind of strange tridimensional feeling. I was speechless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Keating View Post
Some people like top-end Dell monitors over the Apple
Such Eizo or any monitor above $3000 usd.

Calibration:

I have a colorimeter and the Apple Cinema is always right calibrated when measuring it, meaning it doesn't need calibration. I tryed another colorimeter in case my were broken and the same thing.

Printer:

I have the same printer I bought in 2004 more or less (Epson Photo R200) and tryed everything to get a nice print in Wondows and never got it. I just plugged in into the Mac and voila: perfect prints. If that's because the OS, don't know, but it prints perfect.

Leo :)
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  #21  
Old December 2nd, 2009, 04:07 AM
Tim Armes Tim Armes is offline
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Originally Posted by Leonardo Boher View Post
Sorry for contradicting you Tim, but color calibration on a Mac is useless because all is already so right calibrated that it doesn't need to be calibrated. Also, all the applications shows the same colors and printing an image in mac doesn't need more than hitting the print button. There is no need to calibrate all the system in order to get a good print.
Woah. Let's get our facts right here.

First of all, your argument can only hope to hold water if you're talking about Apple's own screens. Apple have the advantage of being able to provide generic ICC profiles for their own hardware and as a result their colour rendition out-of-the-box is fairly accurate.

However, I always calibrate my screens using a Gretag Photospectrometer to get the most accurate colour, and comparing my results to the default Apple profile show that there are differences. Every screen is built to within certain manufacturing tolerances, differences are inevitiable. Profiling not only increates colour accuracy, is also ensures that you use your screen to its highest capacity. As a photographer this is an advantage.

Secondly, Apple's own monitors aren't the best you can get. I use a MacPro for photographic work so I need a free standing monitor. Lovely though the industrial design of the cinema screen is, it's old technology with a poor color gamut. Instead I use a 32" NEC SpectroView, and the resulting profile shows that the gamut is significantly better than that of my iMac's screen (older matte type).

So, you're sort of right in that iMacs and MacBooks have decent out-of-the-box colour accuracy, but it's very wrong to apply this to all Macs, and also wring to imagine that profiling doesn't improve the monitor further.

Tim
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  #22  
Old December 3rd, 2009, 09:28 AM
Leonardo Boher Leonardo Boher is offline
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Yeah, I know there are better monitors and there are not equal monitors, each one is different. I have an Apple Cinema Display plugged into a MacPro, not an imac (don't know the imacs), and it shows perfect calibration each time I use a colorimeter. I don't have an spectrophotometer, they're too expensive for my pocket right now. I have tryed another colorimeter with my monitor in case mine were broken, because it always shows the same data in the calibration but the other colorimeter also shows the same. I have this monitors since 6-8 months ago or so and never needed a calibration so far. I was thinking it could be because it's pretty new. I should check it again. However, what I see on the screen and what's printed is the same thing. That's something I never could get in Windows, even with the monitor calibrated. However, my budget before buying the Mac was quite low, allowing me to buy monitors in the $250usd price of range. That maybe was the point. Now I'm working for people from USA/Europe, my budget have been incremented, that's why I could buy a MacPro, but saving money little more than 1 year :)
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