ClarkeThrasher

iMac, Mac Pro, or PC?

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Time to get a new CPU for my little design build home remodeling business and my question is: iMac, Mac Pro, or PC?  And in regards to this, are any of you using the new Mac Pro Quad-Core and Dual GPU -- the base Mac Pro?  If I don't go Apple, it will probably be Dell since that's what I have always had in the past. 

 

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Alienware is owned by dell now, great gaming machines.

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Time to get a new CPU for my little design build home remodeling business and my question is: iMac, Mac Pro, or PC?  And in regards to this, are any of you using the new Mac Pro Quad-Core and Dual GPU -- the base Mac Pro?  If I don't go Apple, it will probably be Dell since that's what I have always had in the past. 

 

 

Budget?

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There's a million posts on this subject but the consensus seems to be...

- gaming PC with solid state drive, as much memory and video memory money can buy.

- if you're going apple then Mac Pro is not a significant upgrade over standard Imac (for the money).

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FWIW...

 

I used a PC for 25 years...(loved windows 7).  They work great and most of the people on this site use a windows based PC.  However, thanks to my son and the fact that Chief introduced the MAC version just when I needed a new computer...I now use a MAC.  I love it.  It works.  It's simple.  All my devices sync together without me having to become an IT Engineer.  

 

It's a bit different...I did experience a bit of a learning curve.  But YouTube has all the help you will ever need.  So...if you are busy, it might not be something you will want to do.  However, if you have a few weeks to learn the differences I think you will be happy.  

 

Also...there is no doubt you could purchase a more "powerful" PC...even build it yourself.  I'm not a techie...so, for me, I just wanted to buy something that would work.  My MAC is simple to use, and powerful.  Love it.  

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FWIW...

 

I used a PC for 25 years...(loved windows 7).  They work great and most of the people on this site use a windows based PC.  However, thanks to my son and the fact that Chief introduced the MAC version just when I needed a new computer...I now use a MAC.  I love it.  It works.  It's simple.  All my devices sync together without me having to become an IT Engineer.  

 

It's a bit different...I did experience a bit of a learning curve.  But YouTube has all the help you will ever need.  So...if you are busy, it might not be something you will want to do.  However, if you have a few weeks to learn the differences I think you will be happy.  

 

Also...there is no doubt you could purchase a more "powerful" PC...even build it yourself.  I'm not a techie...so, for me, I just wanted to buy something that would work.  My MAC is simple to use, and powerful.  Love it.

Very good comments. I too have used both. MAC is simpler and syncs with other devices, but PÇ works great too.

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I have no problems with syncing anything on a pc. I also have an ipad.

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Many thanks to all off you!  Budget: I guess it would be $3000 not including monitor since that is cost of the entry level Mac Pro.  I can get a pretty darn powerful custom machine with Office and other software from Dell for about $1800.  I did search the forum about the issue but it was hard to see the forest for the trees, too esoteric and not pointed enough for my non techie self.  A good friend of mine that uses both Mac Pro and Windows for production of corporate shows recommended I stick with Windows I think just because that's what I am accustomed to.  Makes sense, the idea of taking 2 weeks to learn the Apple way sounds impractical. But any past bias against Apple has been blown away by the seamless and intuitive operation system of iPhone.  The constant Windows upgrades and security worries just get on my nerves.  The idea of great gaming machine makes sense to me and i will run that by my Dell salesman.

 

Again, many thanks to you all!

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If you don't have the technical skills nor inclination for messing with a computer the MACs offer a great system and operating platform. I like building and messing with computers so the money saved with a PC is very enticing to me but most of all I am OS agnostic. I have used MAC's and I have used PC's but mostly I have used both to get me to my software so I can get some work done.

 

You didn't mention what kind of business you have. Is it the occasional small remodel? Large custom homes? Somewhere in between? It's only important in that if you need that $3000 to stretch into a very powerful machine for larger projects then that $3000 will get you a LOT of PC versus a MAC but that's really the only significant difference other than personal preference IMO.

 

If you do decide on a Dell PC (or any other PC of which there are many to choose from) please post on what your impression of 'pretty darn powerful' is. There's a lot of knowledge on this forum that can help you get a 'really' powerful system that you will be very grateful for for many years to come.

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Question for Steve, AKA SNestor, were the differences you had to learn mostly relative to operating CA or just in general using any software with the Mac OS?

 

As far as my CA work, it is often very intense because I often draw the entire pre-existing home before the proposed remodeling and since the homes can be as old as 100 years they seldom lend themselves to any of CA's automatic features.  I enjoy being terribly precise, OCD precise, with the dimensions and wall configurations. 

 

For any of you interested:

 

This is my present Dell quote and specs (please forgive all the non-relevant info) (i do find all this stuff terribly boring):

$2,253.01 includes tax:

Dell Precision Tower 3620 XCTO BASE

Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1270 v5 (Quad Core HT 3.6Ghz, 4.0GHz Turbo,8MB)

Label, Non Active Port,T3620

Dell Precision Tower 3620 Heatsink (80W)

Win 10 Pro 64 English, French, Spanish

Adobe Acrobat Standard DC

Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016

Kickstart Product Registration

Dell Data Protection System Tools

Digital Delivery/DT SupportAssist

Dell Precision Optimizer

Dell Digital Delivery Cirrus Client

Enable Low Power Mode

Dell Client System Update (Updates latest Dell Recommended BIOS, Drivers, Firmware and Apps),

OptiPlex Waves Maxx Audio Dell Developed Recovery Environment

Dual NVIDIA® Quadro® K420 2GB (DP, DL-DVI-I) (2 DP to SL-DVI adapter)

No Energy Star

Dell Precision Tower 3620 Up to 85% efficient 290W Chassis

US/Thai/Philippines Power Cord

16GB (2x8GB) 2133MHz DDR4 Non-ECC

Integrated Intel SATA Controller

C7 M.2 SSD + 2.5 SATA 1-4 HD

Non RAID

M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive

Thermal pad for NVMe SSD

1TB 2.5 inch SATA (7,200 Rpm) Hard Drive

No Additional Hard Drive

No Additional Hard Drive

No Additional Hard Drive

Raid Configuration not over 2 TB

 

16X Half Height DVD +/- RW

ODD config MOD for HH ODD only or MCR only

Cyberlink Media Suite Essentials for Windows 10 and DVD drive (without Media)

No Additional Network Card Selected (Integrated NIC included)

Thank You for Choosing Dell

Not Selected in this Configuration

No PCIe add-in card

Not Selected in this Configuration

No Out-of-Band Systems Management

Dell KB216 Wired Multi-Media Keyboard English Black

Dell MS116 Wired Mouse, Black

No Wireless LAN

No DDP|ESS Software

No DDPE Encryption Software

No Stand included

Not Selected in this Configuration

Windows 10 Pro OS Recovery 64bit - DVD

Dell Precision Resource DVD

Placemat Documentation

No External Speaker

US Order

SHIP,PWS,LNK,NO,NO,AMF

Shipping Material for System, Mini Tower, DAO

Tower 3620 Regulatory Label DAO

No UPC Label

No Intel Rapid Start or Smart Connect

Intel XEON Processor Label

Thank you choosing Dell ProSupport. For tech support, visit http://support.dell.com/ProSupport or call 1-866-516-3115

Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus Service

ProSupport: 7x24 Technical Support, 5 Years

ProSupport: Next Business Day Onsite, 5 Years

Safety/Environment and Regulatory Guide (English/French/Dutch) 

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The learning curve for me was in using the Apple operating system.  I had 25 years of experience with windows based PC's.  If you have been using a windows based PC for years...you might have to learn how the Apple OS works.  It's easy...

 

Regarding how CA work on a MAC...my only experience is using it with a MAC...but Scott Hall has used CA with both operating systems so he may be able to comment more.  I believe the software works exactly on both operating systems.  

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Clarke,

 

Very hard to read those specs but I noticed a Quadro Video Card. Not the best choice for Chief. Expensive and not designed for Chief. Chief works best with a 'gaming card' like the new 1080's not a CAD card like the Quadros. Just noticed there are dual Quadro cards spec'd. Not a good investment for Chief.

 

...and they look like older weaker technology.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=NVIDIA%C2%AE+Quadro%C2%AE+K420&N=-1&isNodeId=1

 

You want new and fast for Chief. More money but worth the investment. Something like these cards.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007709%20601205646%20601202919%20601203927%20601203901%20601194948

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Postscript, leaning heavily toward Mac Pro, but I have to say that all it takes for me is one visit to an Apple Store, as on Friday, to turn be back.  Can't stand the snarky, snobby attitude of their reps and that even if you get there in the morning when the store opens it takes more then 2 hours just to get a simple problem with a phone addressed.  I left after 2 hours still waiting after fixing the problem myself with trial and error.

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Postscript, leaning heavily toward Mac Pro, but I have to say that all it takes for me is one visit to an Apple Store, as on Friday, to turn be back. Can't stand the snarky, snobby attitude of their reps and that even if you get there in the morning when the store opens it takes more then 2 hours just to get a simple problem with a phone addressed. I left after 2 hours still waiting after fixing the problem myself with trial and error.

If you make an appointment the service is excellent. Walking into an Apple Store just doesn't work. I actually ordered my MAC from the Apple web store. Eventually a business rep called me to review my order and answer questions.

I have needed service a few times in the 2 years I've owned my machine. Service has been excellent.

You can always go to BestBuy. Price is the same but there usually no one in the store. My kids call BB the Amazon showroom

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Postscript, leaning heavily toward Mac Pro, but I have to say that all it takes for me is one visit to an Apple Store, as on Friday, to turn be back.  Can't stand the snarky, snobby attitude of their reps and that even if you get there in the morning when the store opens it takes more then 2 hours just to get a simple problem with a phone addressed.  I left after 2 hours still waiting after fixing the problem myself with trial and error.

 

Never ever ever have I experienced that at a mac store,  and I go there several times a year.  In regards to phone support,  I can't believe how good it is....  at no charge.......  their customer service I think is probably second to none.....  sorry you had a bad experience.  The customer service is another huge reason I stay with mac.

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There will never be an end to Mac vs. PC debates. The best advice is to get the operating system that best supports your most important software. If you have an estimating program, for example, that runs only in Windows, then that may be the system you should go with. Yes, I know that using a virtual Windows machine is possible on a Mac, but usually this is less than ideal.

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There will never be an end to Mac vs. PC debates. The best advice is to get the operating system that best supports your most important software. If you have an estimating program, for example, that runs only in Windows, then that may be the system you should go with. Yes, I know that using a virtual Windows machine is possible on a Mac, but usually this is less than ideal.

It's historically been most important to shop for software first then adjust your hardware for that software, not the other way around. Today, probably not as important.

 

Nothing worse than being uncomfortable with your computer no matter PC or MAC. Find a system that fits your brain and technical skills/know how and build from there.

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........ The customer service is another huge reason I stay with mac.

 

 

Speaking of customer service......  just how important is it to me?  Very important.  I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with an ATT rep.,  I think the rep was in India,  I heard many voices in the background....  this is a phone company and I can barely  hear their customer rep.,  anyway my home cable just went up from 170/mo to 270/ mo.,   I guess their was some kind of promotion that expired,  did the issue get resolved?  NO.  I could not identify my childhood superhero.  

 

Now I have to go down to an ATT store to show my drivers license so I can now consider cancelling and moving to another service...  of course Lynn is fed up with the hassle and she is willing to spend 270.00/mo.

 

Customer service is king.

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Call ATT and tell them you are switching to another service and you will get your deal back.

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Call ATT and tell them you are switching to another service and you will get your deal back.

 

I am trying that,  no luck so far.......  I can't believe how much this utility cost/month.  I suppose I am  lucky that I can even get this service,  but somehow the cost bugs me....

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Well, just to follow up on my story.  I went ahead and got almost the most bodacious iMac 27" I could except I didn't go for the all solid state memory which was something like a $600 upgrade.  All in all, I am very happy with my choice -- it's very fast, everything is fast -- even reboots.  Not much to learn new, main thing is copy and paste -- just substitute the keyboard "command" key for the control key used for windows system.  Everything is very intuitive, no sweat, it's very logical.  

 

One caution for small business owners: 

1) QuickBooks for Mac is not as good as that for Windows.  Most importantly, it does not integrate with Turbo Tax so I will have to convert my company file back to Windows and work on my old Dell to do my taxes.  Not a big deal really, I'm probably going to get a new Dell just for that purpose unless Intuit can guarantee me they will remedy this shortcoming in the next year or two.  Won't hold my breath.  I gave serious consideration to returning the iMac over this issue but decided against it cause I just like the thing so much.

 

As far as Chief Architect X8 differences or problems:

1) The Mac version doesn't have the slider buttons at the bottom and right side for moving the page view.  I didn't realize how much I must have used them in the Windows version, I have learned to use the keyboard arrow buttons and the CA zoom features for this purpose.  Speaking of the keyboard -- the fancy Apple wireless Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 are a waste of money.  I very quickly had to get the $49 wired Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and I'm very happy with it.

2) Only one little relatively minor annoyance that I will have to research: the Magic Mouse 2 (which I love) moves across the CA screen sluggishly, it kind of drags.  I don't know whether this is because it is wireless or what or if there is a fix for this.  

 

One slight caution if you use WordPerfect Office Suite including the Quattro Pro Spreadsheet program: no Mac version.  No biggie, you can easily convert a QP file to Microsoft Excel as part of the "save as" function of QP and Excel is very similar to QP.  It took only a few days to get up to speed on Excel.

 

 

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One more major drawback to QuickBooks for Mac: It can't do internet bill paying like the Windows program can!!! This is a major annoyance and hassle to have to switch between Quickbooks and my bank's online bill pay.

 

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Good choice...you won't regret it.  

 

I never used the "Magic Mouse"...as I didn't feel this device would "point" as accurately as is needed when working in Chief.  I purchased a wireless Logitech mouse...it works perfectly...and it's fast.  

 

Also...I have the slider along the bottom of my Chief window to move the screen horizontally...but Apple does not use the buttons on either end.  I have found that if I need to move the window...I use the arrow keys on the keyboard.  Or...I press down and hold the scroll wheel on the mouse and I can move the page anywhere I want.  

 

 

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