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PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 05 Mar 2012, 04:23
by MarkyBoy
I don't want to open discussions on how great Macs are compared to PCs as I'm sure everyone has a strong opinion, but I am working on multiple (very large) Quark files and my PC is struggling with the file sizes. PC is about 4 years old now so obviously not fast compared to a new PC and so the time has come to upgrade it....So, I am wondering, do I take the plunge and go for a MAC this time around? What are peoples thoughts regarding the best platform? Is there really much difference nowadays in handling large Quark, image and graphic files on the MAC versus PC?More importantly, will I have issues in transferring the Quark files from PC to MAC? I have hundreds of Quark files that I don't want to have to mess about with just to get them to open properly.Also, like most of you, I rely on Illustrator and Photoshop a lot for graphics work - do these run better on MAC?I'm using Quark 7.5 at the moment.Thanks for any advice!Mark

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 05 Mar 2012, 04:56
by ronwel
Backgound - Adobe (Illustrator, InDesign, Pagemaker) and Quark user since 1992. Have had both a PC and MAC on my desk since 1996. My main responsibilities are trouble-shooting and preping files, design.
Oppinion: Personnaly...I use PC for gaming, and use MAC for design and file prep. Years ago the MAC was far better with these programs as the PC was mainly for Microsoft Office products. That gap has narrowed quite a bit however,I still find the MAC pretty seamless when it comes to using these programs. I have not had much issues with crashing, compatability, etc.. with using MACs.
You should not have much trouble switching over to MAC as most fonts will work, and your files should open up fine. However...going from Quark 7.5 to 9 might cause a bit of reflow and other little things that you might have to clean up in your Quark files.
I do find that the MAC handles it's memory a bit better than a PC.

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 05 Mar 2012, 06:19
by max.peter
Maybe it worths to consider a timeline in developing both OSes regarding either the harware and the software.
Some years ago I left OS X because of the lack of a such timeline in developing their products, although I'm using it till now, but my main OS is Windows. Because of some updates of the OS, I could not use some software (a further example is the last update - 10.7.3, which caused abnormal behaviour of XPress v. 9.2 - there is a thread about this on the forum).
You might also consider how much you have to spend for equivalent hardware (after adopting Win, I could afford to buy more software with the same money).
A 64-bit version of Windows allows installing more than 4GB of RAM and there are some brand PCs quite stable and powerful.
Earlier, today, I was testing Windows 8 Consumer Preview and I've managed to install a trial of XPress v.8. It seems to run smooth, without problems (but I have to perform more tests).
Of course, the decision is yours.

Regards.

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 05 Mar 2012, 10:51
by eyoungren
I'll just say a few words here and let you come to your own decisions. I work for a small community newspaper.

We have a PowerMac G4/400 and G4/450 at work. Both Macs were sold in 1999 or 2000. Both have USB, Firewire and 100bit Ethernet. The G4/450 has AGP. Both Macs have been working since purchased by the company and have not failed. The G4/400 is currently being used as an Applescript server, but it was for years used as the database platform for our Classifieds. The G4/450 is used daily for production, running OSX 10.5.8 Leopard (technically the latest it can run is 10.4.11 Tiger, but there are ways around that). At any given time the G4/450 has XPress, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Firefox, Entourage and Word running at the same time. It's doing all of this with a 450mhz processor and 1GB of ram. Both machines are on 24/7. In the case of the G4/450 it's been 24/7 since I was hired which was eight years ago.
My work Mac is a PowerMac G5/1.8Ghz with 4GB of ram. It does the same things my coworker does with her G4/450 and is also on 24/7. It has SATA, USB 2.0 and Firewire 800. It's been running since February, 2005. Both my coworker and I are using QuarkXPress 8.5.1, the InDesign CS4 suite and Acrobat 9 Pro. We are only now limited by the fact that these Macs do not have Intel processors.
My boss has had ONE Mac problem in the eight years I have been at this job and all that was was a bad RAM stick. My boss has replaced a PC server and at least 4 or 5 PCs in the same time period. All due to hardware failures. Two more of our PCs are currently on borrowed time.
I've had sick Macs in the past, problems with the OS, etc. But one thing I learned. Even while crippled and having issues I have NEVER failed to get my work out with a Mac.
People complain that Apple charges so much for Macs. They rarely stop to consider just how many 12 year old PCs are still producing, have no hardware issues and possess what is now standard hardware.
Applescript and Automator can make your life easier by doing the boring repetitive tasks allowing you to focus on other work.
I should mention though, that if Mac is the way you go and you purchase new, upgrade XPress. You can't run XPress 7.x on Macs newer than November 2009 and it's not supported on Snow Leopard.
With apologies to Max because he's a PC, just my two cents.[:D]

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 05 Mar 2012, 21:31
by max.peter
No need for apologies, Erik. [:D]

My problem is that I am using a wider range of software, not only XPress and Adobe Creative Suite.
What is working for me, may not work for somebody else. I guess every user has his own needs.

My best regards.

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 05 Mar 2012, 22:27
by MarkyBoy
Thanks for all the advice guys.I'm tempted to go for a MAC, it's interesting what you say abut Quark Xpress 7.x not running on a new MAC and a real pain as I had hoped to not have to pay out on more Quark software as I'd have to buy all new versions of Photoshop etc too.From what everyone says it seems that there's probably not much to choose between a very fast PC and a MAC in terms of performance nowadays but the advantage the MAC has is that it's more stable and has more longevity.Are they as prone to 'clogging up' as a PC? I'm sure everyone knows that a PC works great for a bit, then just gets slower and slower no matter how much you clean it up... I don't think that's such an issue on a MAC is it?How about the emulator for windows? Does anyone have any experience with that? Could I run Quark 7.5 through a windows emulator for a bit until I can afford an upgrade? Or is that just a complete waste of time as it doesn't use any of the advantages of a MAC? Sorry for sounding so ignorant but I've onle ever used PC!Also, if Quark 7 won't run on a new MAC, then does that mean I'd have to purchase a new full version of Quark 9 rather than an upgrade? That seems really harsh as I've had Quark since version 4! Does anyone know how I'd do that?ThanksMark

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 05 Mar 2012, 22:40
by max.peter
A good choise for virtualise another OS is Oracle Virtual Box (it is free). It has a OS X version and supports all versions/flavors of Windows. Inside Virtual Box you can install XPress v. 7.x on a WinXP operating system.
Hope this helps.
Regards.

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 06 Mar 2012, 02:08
by eyoungren
7.x won't run on new Macs because Apple changed a part of the Mac hardware architecture in late 2009. All Macs made after that are affected. The change causes a conflict with XPress 7.x and 8.1.1 and below. Quark fixed it with the 8.1.2 update for 8.x but as 7.x was not certified to run on Snow Leopard (and was not the latest version of XPress at the time) Quark did NOT fix it for version 7.x.
Technically, it will run, but it's unstable and the moment you activate it it will stop working (activation was the issue with the hardware).
"Clogging up." Simple answer, no. Disk defragmentation is handled on the fly in the background (you don't ever have to think about it). I have had to reinstall the OS a few times both on my work and home Macs. The first time was because of that bad ram stick I mentioned. The second was because of hard drive failure. All the other times were because I did something stupid on my own.
One last note. Because Intel Macs have Intel processors you can dual boot. You can boot and run Windows, or you can boot and run OSX. Windows will run on Intel Macs.
All you'll need to do is purchase an upgrade. You'll get upgrade pricing, which is much less than full price.

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 06 Mar 2012, 03:41
by formerly Tony P
Would Marky need to give any thought to fonts?I'm thinking that being a "user" since Q4 might suggest a large collection of Windows-format Postscript (not Open Type) fonts. Are they going to cause any problems with legacy documents? Just wondering... I've never had to consider switching platforms.

PC to MAC - Is it worth it?

Posted: 06 Mar 2012, 03:48
by MarkyBoy
Thanks Erik, so... If I dual boot it so I can run windows, install my quark 7.x under windows, can I then upgrade it under windows and then be able to run it under OSX or would I be forever consigned to running it under Windows? In short I'm happy to upgrade to Quark 9 I suppose I just don't want to have to buy it 'as new'!