2178 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Sep 17, 2007 12:04 PM by The hatter
You don't mention much about what you are using currently.
The Mac Pro is dual/dual-core. there will likely be quad-cores from Intel next year (true quad-core packages, too, not two dual-core chips) that could find their way into iMac.
You could build a quad-core Windows systems.
I think Excel runs better on Intel/AMD PCs rather than Mac OS. And, Excel is still a "PowerPC" application. It does not run natively on Intel-Macs. it runs under Rosetta. And the more demanding the code and spreadsheets, the more of a hit. So you would probably want to wait for the NEXT version of Office/Excel, too.
I think you should buy based on your needs. The Macs can run OS X and Windows so you have a lot of choice and flexibility in that regard.
While on paper, and for many applications in real life, there's a huge gap between the computers the benefit will very much depend on Microsoft's implementation of Excel 2004 and the coming Excel 2008/9. If Microsoft don't spend time in optimising it for multi-core will be a decent differenre and multi-processor systems you'll find that it's max out only the one core. In this case the difference won't be much.
At the moment, there will be a decent difference as Excel requires Rosetta and this has been written very well with good multi-core support.
If you're looking for the best value for money you'll probably find that the iMac 24" 2.8GHz with 4GB RAM to fit that.
I currently do my spreadsheet work on an XP, 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 system, with 1.25 Mb RAM. Obviously, what I need is as much spreadsheet processing power I can afford to reduce the long recalculation time, but of course money is a concern.
I’m interested in switching to Mac mainly for the greater stability of the environment vs Windows. I guess what I’m trying to find out here is if the additional power I’d get from a Mac Pro vs iMac would justify the higher cost. Is Xeon more apt at graphics and video processing or is it equivalently good at spreadsheet processing?
I will definitely wait until the next Mac version of Excel, and I hope they’ll have unlimited rows and columns as in the new Windows version. I think I remember reading somewhere that indeed Microsoft is implementing multi-threading in Excel. So it’ll most likely benefit from multiple microprocessors. And I couldn’t fully implement my few macros anyway because of bugs in VBA, so I’m looking forward rewriting them in AppleScript.
While the spreadsheet I was working on with Excel is not nearly as compute intensive as yours since it takes only about a couple of minutes to recalculate on a 1.6 GHz Windows laptop at work, I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of Numbers on my MBP to recalculate the spreadsheet after I moved it over for a test. The time to recalculate went down to a few seconds which is a vast improvement over Excel on the Windows laptop. Maybe your spreadsheet might benefit from a migration to Numbers. If I were you I take the spreadsheet to the Apple store and see if it can be opened in Numbers on one of their systems. If it opens do a recalculate and see what the results are. You may be surprised also.
Numbers? check the discussion group,
it has some serious limitations as a replacement, let alone for size and number of cells. whether that is due to being 1.0 or something else, I don't see it as a replacement or challenge or whether it will even run or import as is, but you can demo the full version for 30 days.
I don't find much of any difference in stability or reliability between OS X and Vista, but I expect Leo (10.5) will up the ante.
The Mac Pro is ideal where you need more than 4GB RAM (which many would consider a good base, with 2-3GB as minimum); multiple hard drives is nice. You can install and boot from any of your disk drives as you wish, a real plus. And graphics is actually weak. The OEM card is an the lowest rung, and X1900 is a year old and mid-range only.
Memory costs more, due to using ECC FBDIMMs.
A quad-core anything would do nicely, and running XP you can tweak away to quite an extent.
Thanks. I have been monitoring the Numbers forum ever since I upgrade to iWork 08. I have seen the problems others are having. So far I haven't seen any of these problems. I have been able to open all of my Excel spreadsheets without any problems so far. Hence the reason I suggested that the OP give it a shot.
There is a limit to the number of rows, don't know if it is 255 or a formula of rows x columns but it had some people miffed.
I had to give up using Pages 3 because it couldn't handle long or complex documents and would go into SBOD and have to be force quit (just doing a find and replace for anything). I've since switched to OpenOffice 2.3 RC3 which handles everything I need (and has a decent spreadsheet, too
Oddly, people are sometimes finding that a Mac Pro is the best Windows computers they've ever used!!