PC or Mac (Digital Animation and 3D Art)

By NoTTaShoT ยท 13 replies
Jul 19, 2011
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  1. Looking for anyone out there that may know more about computers in relation to Animation and 3D Art. It seems like a never ending debate on what's better. The PC or the Mac. Some will argue the Mac and others will fight to the death for the PC.

    Putting gaming a side when comparing something like the

    The Enthusiast's PC


    IMac 2.7ghz

    Which one would you recommend? (keep in mind we are talking about art related software and programs)
    I'd also like to be able to run multiple monitors comparable to the eyefinity setup that AMD has.

    Or is there some other build you would recommend?

    I'm a new student and have approx $1800 to spend on a computer for school. The package as to come with everything. I've also read that stacking a lot of RAM is essential for this sort of use out of a computer.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Not the apple.
  3. NoTTaShoT

    NoTTaShoT TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Can you give a reason by chance?
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    It's expensive, and doesn't get you that much.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I'm one of the few Apple users on this board, but I also own PCs. I'll also have to side with hellokitty[hk] and say to get a PC provided you (or someone you know) is comfortable building one.

    Reasons for PC are its far more expandable and easier to access. You certainly don't want to upgrade the RAM on the iMac from the Apple Store, its far too expensive - adding extra RAM to the iMac itself is much more tedious. Hard drives in a PC are going to be faster if you go conventional route (negated if you go SSD on the iMac, but obviously SSD on PC is just as fast). Also, I think Apple may be forcing you to go with Apple approved/branded SSDs now, which is complete crap - also adding a lot to the cost.

    Pros with the iMac: Decent screen, and you don't have to buy one with the comp. More elegant.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    It seems that the original Adobe Photoshop was only ported to the Mac. And so a legend was born. A great many photos and imaging people aren't exactly computer whizzes. Malware and computer security issues seem insurmountable to many of them. In fact, forums dealing with PS and PSE still get more than share of utter noob questions such as, "how much RAM do I need". There is also a fair component of effete snobs in the field who buy Mac s*** because it says, "Mac" on the front.

    A PC equivalent to a Mac, will do everything the Mac will, for half the money. A PC costing the same as as a Mac, will do twice the work.

    Apple gets over by virtue of their monitors, which are all of IPS design. Bargain hunters in the PC venue, wind up with cheapie TN panels, which aren't really suitable for pro grade imaging output.

    So, my approach would be to grab or build a high end Windows / Intel box, but make sure you go the extra expense of a high quality IPS monitor. Preferably one with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and not one of these new crap "Hi-Def" 16:9 clunkers. 16:9 ruin the portrait orientation screen height capability.

    I've heard a great song and dance about how a "Mac-Mini" could be the basis of a "great digital darkroom". Yeah right, when you get done connecting all the other s*** you need, you'll have a Frankenstein mess on your desk at best.

    I'm gonna say a mid or full tower desktop, chock full of high TB storage HDDs with a Sandy Bridge 8 threader is where I'd rather be.
  7. NoTTaShoT

    NoTTaShoT TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Thanks for all that information. Especially noting the type of monitor I'll be wanting to look at getting for the PC. Are there any good IPS? monitors that also work well with say Eyefinity setups?
  8. NoTTaShoT

    NoTTaShoT TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Also any chance of giving me an example of that monitor?


    this a good example?



    Can't seem to find them anywhere
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    It's the best monitor I have. Skin looks like skin, it's nice and bright, and it's 16:10. For what it's worth, consider that my personal ringing endorsement.

    I got mine from Amazon for 4 flat, but that was a few moths ago. There are quite a few reviews there about this monitor.Newegg doesn't carry them. It really doesn't cost too much more to buy direct from HP. About $425.00 I think.
  10. NoTTaShoT

    NoTTaShoT TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Which one are you talking about?



  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    CC hates the Mac Mini so much he often brings it into his anti Apple tirades. Its a pretty solid little computer though and I wonder what you have to connect to make it a "Frankenstein". Monitor and....? Wireless kb/mouse and thats well only 2 connections coming out of the Mini. What else do you need to connect? A drive (ok, you've got FW800 or USB for that) and a printer (USB) - thats no prob. So with an external drive and a wired printer, you have a power, 2 USBs, and a monitor. How is that a "Frankenstein" vs what any other PC would have, at the very best PC vs Mac comparison here you'd have the same amount of connections.
  12. NoTTaShoT

    NoTTaShoT TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Please try to keep this to the discussion in hand and not about what would make a Mac Mini look like a Frankenstein computer. Thanks :)

    P.S. Hello Rolla, MO
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    That really wasn't one of my "anti-Apple tirades".

    It's a known, hard, fact you can't upgrade the graphics in a mini.

    Neither could you add storage to the mini without a pile of external HDDs. Unless of course, you want to spring for a NAS Raid cabinet.

    Apple must curtail the performance of the mini, (at least at present), to prevent the heat that would be controllable in a standard tower case from building up.

    So, I know you have a couple of Minis, and I wish you good luck with them. (really)

    But please don't come blasting in here alleging that all I post in reference to the Mac Mini is based upon my dislike of the machine. It isn't worthy of comparison to a graphics workstation, and that certainly includes those made by Apple itself. Which BTW, do cost a lot more than a Wintel workstation, on a task for task completion comparison. My post was intended to dispel some of the BS and hype surrounding the Mini, some of which I've even read in national photo magazines.
    You could possibly do with heeding a bit of your own advice. At least in the context of keeping the discussion in the same thread, and not starting a new one, whenever the whim strikes.

    The (best monitor I have), monitor I referred to was the HP-ZR24w. (16:10 1920 x 1200) (already linked) I have a Dell 23" 16:9 IPS and it really doesn't compare with the 24". I think the brightness is drastically reduced in the smaller panels.

    If you want to sit in one spot and game, then just buy 3 cheapie TN panels, and knock yourself out

    So, talk s*** about getting one thing, and buy something else. it's not exactly going to stop my world from spinning.

    First you're interested in a graphics work station, then it's eye finity, then it's games, then it's "where's Mario". Maybe another member would be more amenable to following your "hyperactivity spasm du'jour" all over the site. I'm a bit too elderly and lazy for that.
  14. NoTTaShoT

    NoTTaShoT TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    I wasn't really aware of what the eyefinity could and couldn't do. Or if it could handle 3 ISP monitors at once or not. I over posted in multiple threads and had no intention of becoming annoying. I think I just got over excited upon joining the website/forums.

    I apologize and thank you for all of your input and advice. Everyone.

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