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Advice on purchasing a new computer for print and web design on a budget.

1355 Views 59 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2013 3:48 PM by Dr. Benway RSS
  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,205 points)

    If you set your mind on a new 2013 model iMac, here is some additonal advice to consider.

    You need to find out if your current version of Adobe CS3 will run on OS X 10.8 Mt Lion.

    If not, you'll need to budget for a new version of your Adobe Software.

    Older iMacs up to 2011 models shipped with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. I am running Adobe CS3 Snow Leopard without issue.

    Also, the base 21.5 inch screen new iMacs are completely glued-up, sealed up, closed computing appliances, now.

    You really make harder decisions about upgrading to a faster CPU, installing more RAM, larger storage drives at the time of order and purchase. If you do not like the performance of your chosen iMac configuration, you won't be able to upgrade anything in the future.

    I that event, you have 14 days, after the receiving the iMac.  to return the iMac and purchase another custom one with specs you will now know you need.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,730 points)

    My advice to make it last longer is:

     

    Use a UPS to provide clean power and protect it in the event of power problems.

    Leave it on 24/7 and only let the display sleep.

    Run Software Update every week and install all recommended updates.

    Avoid all anti malware solutions, OSX is its own best protection!

  • Mike Osborn Level 4 Level 4 (1,205 points)

    In most cases, RAM is more important than processing power.

     

    (Of course, you're likely to gain a ton of differing opinions here....)

  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,205 points)

    Because you are a designer and running Adobe apps, the sad truth is you really need both a fast CPU and lots of RAM memory as well as plenty of hard drive space.

    Most of the Adobe apps use of combination of the CPU and RAM to expedite many of the graphics processing in all of their apps. Also, GPU power is also a function, also, but usually, GPU VRAM power can be sacrificed with little detriment to the workflow.

    So, CPU vs RAM is a different argument for graphics and video work.

  • Eustace Mendis Level 7 Level 7 (24,630 points)

    Contrary to some posts here, CS3 does run in 10.8.2. The Adobe site attests to that. And I have it running on my MacBook Pro. Installing might be a problem, but there are ways to deal with that.

     

    http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotcom/2012/08/osx-10-8-mountain-lion-released.h tml

     

    Earlier versions of Adobe Photoshop® (CS3 and CS4), Lightroom 4.1, 4.0 and earlier software were also tested and there are currently no known issues.

     

    You probably already know that when running Photoshop, you should have a second hard drive to designate as the scratch disk. It makes a world of difference.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    I've got a couple of low cost solutions for you.

     

    Install OS X on a external drive and boot from that.

     

    Since your iMac came before 2009, it can permanently run OS X on a external drive for as long as you want, unlike newer models which blast the fans if the internal hard drive is dead.

     

    This will only cost you the price of a external hard drive and get you by.

     

    Remember, new software is going to cost you plenty.

     

    Create a data recovery/undelete external boot drive

     

     

     

    Another option is to get a used Windows 7 Pro version (or better version) or 10.6 Mac and download and install CS2 for free here (since you own CS already) problem is previous file comparability with CS3.

     

    Windows 7 Pro and above will run XP versions which CS2 is compatible with,  Windows 7 is supported until 2020.

     

    When budgets are tight, it's hard to beat a PC sometimes, when you get more money then upgrade to a newer pricier Mac then.

     

    https://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html

     

     

     

    You also can change the iMac's internal hard drive and clean the fans of dust yourself.


    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/

     

     

    I got a quote of $200 from a local shop. I considered it but since the machine is becoming obsolete, I feel that it may be a waste of money. How many years can you expect to get out of an Apple computer?

     

    iMac's don't last as long as the MacPro because of the all in one design and inability of most to open the machine and clean the fans of dust required of all devices at least once a year.

     

    Most all Mac's come sealed up now.

     

    Just need a good anti-glare monitor for the PC, and Apple's monitors are all glossy, even the new iMac is still 25% glossy

     

     

    Good point. I was running CS3. I'll have to see if that's compatible with the new OS.

     

    Nope, only CS6 is. But it's a monthly rental now, likely cost more money over time than purchasing directly.

     

    http://roaringapps.com/apps:table

     

     

    The 2013 Imac is sounding better and better.

     

    Just remember your back into the same boat again, a all in one machine (glossy screen too) and that if warranty or 3 year AppleCare expires your buying yet another new machine with all new expensive software again.

     

    If it breaks your out a machine, a Mac Pro tower you can replace the parts yourself and be back to work.

  • Eustace Mendis Level 7 Level 7 (24,630 points)

    • Nope, only CS6 is. But it's a monthly rental now, likely cost more money over time than purchasing directly.

     

    This is incorrect. I am running CS3 on 10.8.2. And the Adobe site I linked to earlier also attests to that. To repeat myself,

     

    http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotcom/2012/08/osx-10-8-mountain-lion-released.h tml

     

    Earlier versions of Adobe Photoshop® (CS3 and CS4), Lightroom 4.1, 4.0 and earlier software were also tested and there are currently no known issues.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Eustace Mendis wrote:

     

    Earlier versions of Adobe Photoshop® (CS3 and CS4), Lightroom 4.1, 4.0 and earlier software were also tested and there are currently no known issues.

     

    According to others it's not working as well as it should.

     

    It's only a matter of a update to OS X to break CS3 and CS4 anyway, that's no long term solution.

  • britny Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)

    just six year life on an imac? i have two computers, a g3 and a g4 imac, both bought new more than ten years ago, used in smoke filled rooms, and neither show any signs of dying. have i been lucky? i don't know. but i sure haven't been unlucky. are the intel models that much different? maybe i'm not comparing apples to apples. just don't know. i do know that you stated that other than your hard drive dying that you said you were satisfied with your machine.

  • Eustace Mendis Level 7 Level 7 (24,630 points)

    •  According to others it's not working as well as it should.

     

    Others? Who?

     

    For what it's worth I have been using CS3 since 10.8 was first available and installed on one of my Macs. I use Photoshop extensively, almost everyday. I also use Illustrator and InDesign but less frequently.

     

    I am not speaking for "others", I am speaking for myself.

     

    • It's only a matter of a update to OS X to break CS3 and CS4 anyway, that's no long term solution.

     

    Of course the next OS update might break CS3 and CS4. That goes for just about any third party apps we are running now. And how do you know it wont break CS6?

     

    To say only CS6 will run in OS 10.8 is plain wrong.

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