Top spec PC/Mac for visual comparisons??

By cookiedude ยท 14 replies
Jan 29, 2008
  1. Hi all

    I have been asked by a friend to look into specifications for a PC/Mac to be used for comparing medical visuals. Primary software use will be Photoshop. I am looking for advice on the best specifications for an industry standard system, visual clarity/quality are the key factors?

    Suggestions on the best components (Screens, processors, graphics cards, etc) would be V helpful. Alternatively suggestions on companies that might specialise in supplying such computer systems would also be useful?

    Thanks in advance
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Too close to call.
    Whichever the user has the greater experience.
    Traditionally, the Mac User has had more control over the final product using Photoshop, and the other Adobe products.
    With Adobe CS3, the full version, I do not think that is any longer true.
    If the user were raised on Apple products, that is the best. Otherwise, Windows products offer more flexibility. The end result is now pretty much the same.
    However, when it comes to publishing and production, the publishing industry is still pegged to the Apple system, and the Adobe CS3 for MacIntosh products.
    Apple will cost a lot more, and has less variety, but their best remains the best... by ever so slight a margin... when you put cost into the mix, Apple will cost a lot more, and require a lot more training to bring staff up to speed... unless they are already
    Apple trained.
    Then follow the recommendations of Apple Macintosh and Adope... avoid arguments.
  3. cookiedude

    cookiedude TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 157

    Thanks for your response.

    I don't think publishing or production will be an issue, their main criteria is visual quality on-screen. So the quality and resolution of the monitor and graphical horsepower are key.

    EDIT: Just asked RE mac/PC and they would prefer a PC based system - which is a shame as i was liking the simplicity of the mac route!
  4. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    Tell that to people that own macs, those people are vicious about their contraptions from 3000 years in the future.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,122   +982

    Audio / Visual / Midi are the niche market in which Macintosh has been so successfull.

    The new market is iPod & iPhone.

    Corel Draw is an excellent tool, but nothing out performs PowerPoint for presentation work :)
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Totally adjustable on both, depending on what you buy. The range of video graphics cards, and of monitors, is practically unlimited. Shop by specifications, by brand names, and by warranty offered. Get the monitors separately so you are not held hostage by the computer manufacturer.
    Apple is good for what it does. Windows based machines offer so much more, because there is so much more specialty software available... for a price.
    Get advice in your region, from somebody who is an expert in what you want to do...
    Training will be the difference. Apple is easier, but if your people are not trained on Apple, Windows will be a sure bet... since so many more people know how to use it.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,122   +982

    Training AND Service. Remember Macintosh has ~8% of the market so getting help is a real issue.

    I always recommend that the end-user stick with that which s/he is familiar!

    (btw: I have had a Mac since '89 for my wife's desktop publishing and got a PC
    so I could dual-boot into Linux :) )
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    From everything I've heard in the last 3 years Keynote blows away PowerPoint. Just Keynote is no good if you are sending your presentation to a bunch of PC users.
  9. cookiedude

    cookiedude TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 157

    Cheers guys.

    So a windows based system utilising something along the lines of quad Xeon CPUs, nVidia Quadro graphics cards, minimum 4gig RAM and lots of storage space (say 4 x 500gig 15,000rpm HDDs) plus a suitable monitor? Is it worth considering 64bit OS? Can you recommend any good high-end monitors (26" or bigger) with best resolutions currently available?

    I have a fairly good knowledge of consumer targeted components (gaming systems) but i don't know quite so much about industry level products! Quality and stability are the most important factors.
  10. cookiedude

    cookiedude TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 157

    I don't think this is a system that will be utilised for presentations. Its more for comparing/assessing high resolution medical images - dentistry in particular (x-rays, etc). It needs to be of very high quality to ensure the highest possible accuracy when viewing and manipulating the images. The only software they've mentioned is photoshop, so i guess it will all be done in that.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Yeh, I was just countering the PowerPoint being the best for presentations statement.
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,667   +987

    Hardware in both Macs and PCs is basically the same: processors, graphics cards, etc. you can configure to your liking, so anything in the mid-range to upper end will do for mainstream Photoshop editing. If you need more of a workstation for real heavy processing, then I would look for quad-core CPUs, 4GB RAM, and an Nvidia Quadro videocard with at least 512mb of memory. I would recommend SCSI hard drives over a RAID setup (with backups better off in an external system).

    I do not believe there is a real advantage of either platform (Mac vs. Windows) in terms of software. The latest version of the Adobe suite is about the same in both.

    However, the real deal here will be the monitor choice. I have no hands-on experience with monitors aimed at professional digital imaging but here are some links that may come useful for preliminar research:
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,122   +982

    Yea, the compatibility thing is a real bummer! If Keynote can Save AS *.pps, then
    the PC user can access it with P.P.
    Hi-end graphics is done in Vectors to allow zooming.

    Again, go with whatever which the user is familiar
  14. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    Again, your main worry here should not be the processor, or RAM, because they won't effect the image quality in any way. A Core 2 Q6700 with 4 gigs of DDR2 800 RAM really should be enough. You should be mostly focused of the monitor and secondly the video card. I have heard good things about the Dell monitors for high accuracy color reproduction and image quality. I used a Dell 22" screen at work for about a year and was very pleased with it. This is probably the best you can get. A Nvidia Quadro is probably not even necessary considering the high performance of consumer level graphics cards today. A Quadro would be more of a consideration if you were doing CAD drawing.
  15. cookiedude

    cookiedude TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 157

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I thought the graphics card and monitor would be the most important factors. Regarding quadro vs geforce/radeon cards; I am a little concerned that consumer level cards may be a bit unstable (driver wise at least) due to them being primarily programmed for games use. Am i correct to think this? Would the quadro cards offer any benefit in this respect?

    I like the look of the dell monitors, i've heard good things about them over the last couple of years. Are there any other screens you can suggest that would be similar spec/quality to the Dells?
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