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Getting a new MAC

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  • Getting a new MAC

    We are finally loosening up the purse strings and replacing our old G-4s with the latest and greatest.

    I was just wondering what bells and whistles y'all were running with your new Intel MACs, as I could literally go apeshit with all of the options available.

    We are a small commercial / digital printer running all the usual apps, decent amount of color work, so we need a fair amount of guts under the hood.

    Just curious as to what everyone out there has...

    Any replies would be appreciated and helpful.


  • #2
    Re: Getting a new MAC

    I just specced out my new one.
    4 gigs of ram. 3 500 SATA drive, 2 for a mirred raid for job storage, to replace my old UW SCSI raid.


    • #3
      Re: Getting a new MAC

      Thanks rtwdwk

      I am sure about the RAM, also going to go with 4 gigs. Ditto the raid set-up, gotta have it.
      Did you upgrade the video card? And why 3 HDs as opposed to 2 or 4?


      • #4
        Re: Getting a new MAC

        Personally, I think maxing out the RAM on a Intel iMac is the way to go as opposed to coughing up all of the extra dough for a tower.
        Max out the options on one of those and you should have plenty of power to go. I went from a 400Mhz G4 to the 20" Intel iMac (all white).
        It was quite the difference.


        • #5
          Re: Getting a new MAC

          Good morning and thanks for the input pmkprog.

          I hadn't seriously considered that as an option. I assume you are using the imac in a producton environment?

          I haven't priced it yet, but I'm wondering how much less it actually is if you get comparable specs...I will check it out.


          • #6
            Re: Getting a new MAC

            I did up the video card as well,
            I am moving up to a 30" apple LCD.

            I went with the 3 drive config, as I run one drive as the boot and the other two are set up as a raid mirror for all my job storage.
            All 3 drives are backed up as well, but I have run a mirrored raid for so long, I dont want to change now.


            • #7
              Re: Getting a new MAC

              Three levels of redundancy are a requirement for a safe use system. In fact if you ever print credit cards, you can't get to be an approved vendor without three AFAIK.
              So your Raid plus your archive is a good thing and you indeed should not discard it.
              We use external FW for job data and separate internals for OS9 and OSX (Tiger) on DP G4's. We also have a carbon copy clone of each of the internals on a third HD which is mounted inside the towers but not plugged in as a chetaer B/U of the base operation. Haven't needed that yet thank goodness. Then we use archiving by job and client plus a disaster backup system running weekly.
              We have had to access the disaster twice in 5 yrs both times because an operator lost his FW drive. They were both the same brand. We don't use that brand any longer, obviously
              John W


              • #8
                Re: Getting a new MAC

                pmkprog, do you run any Virtual Machines (VM) on your Intel iMac?



                • #9
                  Re: Getting a new MAC

                  John W,

                  Why not have a bootable clone of the main HD on an external HD by using PsyncX or SuperDuper! instead of using CCC? That way, you could boot up your external HD via FireWire if the main drive died? (BTW, at home I've been running off my external FireWire exclusively for over 5 years)



                  • #10
                    Re: Getting a new MAC

                    I have not used it with the virtual machine aspect of things.

                    The 20" iMac with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HD is $2,198.00

                    The only hang up I can see with the new glossy screens, is that depending on the angle you're looking at the color can shift. It may not be the best for accurate color, but that may change. I don't know if Apple is even aware of it.

                    As far as the question about production, I used one every day for a year running Entourage, Preps, the Brisque client, any of the normal desktop applications at any given time. Ran great and I even pushed it quite a bit with large files.


                    • #11
                      Re: Getting a new MAC


                      Thanks for the reply. Sounds like I could get one and it last me at least 7 years (like these Dual 500 MHz G4's have lasted over 7 years and are still going, so well that I haven't been able to justify upgrading, especially to a Mac Pro for sure).

                      As far as the gloss screen, it's been complained about enough that I doubt Apple doesn't know about it. It's the biggest complaint I've been hearing (and about the only complaint), from reading message boards, etc. Sounds like a matte screen option would be a good idea for prepress/printing?



                      • #12
                        Re: Getting a new MAC

                        My CCC is bootable, I made it that way.
                        I don't like a bootable copy on the internal drives or live externals because as you may recall, we boot back and forth between OS's all day long and I don't want an operator on any shift booting from the B/U by mistake and as you may also know, the one that presents it self first in the start up queue is the last one you dicked with and not a common & sensible order on each Mac plus it shows differently in each OS too.
                        I could use admin and separate op accounts but all that does is complicate a simple and smooth dept. Plus what about nine? KISS for sure.
                        Hope that answers your question why we do what we do.

                        Edited by: John Willis on Sep 24, 2007 1:11 PM


                        • #13
                          Re: Getting a new MAC

                          Another thing that I thought I should mention is that the machine's users were managed remotely like all of the PCs in the shop.
                          The only issue with this was that when that server that managed the users went down, you couldn't log in, but other than that I didn't see any problems with the machine. At this stage in the game, I would keep a G4 around for those few customers that still use old apps.
                          About three weeks ago I had to reinstall Quark 4 on a PC just to do a customer's job.


                          • #14
                            Re: Getting a new MAC

                            The new iMacs are a no go for any critical color work. Not only the glossy screen issues, but the lcd panels are low end. Lots of information abouth them and the bit depth out there. Run a google search.


                            • #15
                              Re: Getting a new MAC

                              John W.,

                              I do remember now that you run OS 9 and OS X on different machines, where I keep them both on the same machine.

                              CCC made a bootable image correct? Then it has to be restored to actually be able to boot from it correct? It's not as easy as a restart is it? Just checking, cause I would be interested in being able to boot from an image (Windows or Mac), and the only way I've found to do this is by virtualization (which means you have to have a running OS to run the VM, which is not a problem).

                              What I ultimately think would be very cool is to have an external HD (FireWire, USB 2.0, and eSATA) which I could plug in to a machine, push the power button on the machine, a boot manager come up and give me choices of fully configured operating system images to boot. This way, the external HD would have a boot manager at the beginning and would have multiple images, one image from each machine in my room or the whole building (Windows and Mac). Of course this is only a dream at this point and I couldn't tell you how I would keep them all up-to-date. I got a pretty good setup here now, I just can't help but to think of ways to make it easier/faster/more efficient (even if not plausible).

                              The one thing I hate is when I hold down option when starting up my Mac and I get all these icons that all look the same but don't have any names for me to know exactly which partition I'm booting. This is only a problem when I use option when starting, which I rarely have to use, but it is annoying and I know it's got to be a font issue, I just don't know which font I need to load I guess.



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