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macmachnic

Affordable solution for graphic designers?

4 posts in this topic

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Hi Insanely Mac Community, 

 

I need to help and expertese, 

 

I do work for a print works, its a family business that is growing steadily. 

 

The print works has about 8 full time designers and a couple of part timers too.

 

The designers work mainly with iMacs, and 1 or 2 Mac Pro servers. 

 

They do design work of photoshop and commonly work with graphics file anywhere up to 1/4 of a gig in size. The designers would tend to work with many files at a time and have fairly heavy demands on their machines and their lifespan is not so long. Files are stored either localy on the design machines or loaded to a file share for the printers to pick up. 

 

In general the system works well.

 

However providing machines for new designers or refreshing machines for current designers is a very expensive business and this is the area I need your help and expertese with. 

 

The cost of new/refurbished or near new iMacs is still a lot of money. 

 

Could a standard intel pc like a dell/hp with be used with a mac os for graphic design?

 

Or a standard intel PC with SSD, extra memory and high end graphics be suitable? 

 

Could a MacPro Servers with VMware ESXi be modified to serve 2 or 3 designers sitting in close proximity? (thats a mac pro server with 2/3 vms running osx 10.9 using individual graphics cards using passthrough, sufficient local drives and memory)

 

please give any ideas on affordable solutions, 

 

thanks

 

Gringro

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Any standard PC will do anything a MAC will do. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, because it's just hype. My wife is a graphic designer and she prefers MAC so I moved her from PC to Mac, and did an i7 Mac Mini with 16gb ram and SSD Storage and she does Photoshop and Illustrator on it with no problems at all.

 

We have both MAC and PC in the household and the fastest machine in the house for graphic design is the PC we have, it has the i7 3770 4 core (8 thread) Processor, a Samsung SSD, and 32gb RAM, and it was half the price of the Mac Mini.

 

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However you should calibrate screen or buy a factory-calibrated monitor because the colour accuracy of MAC is great out of the box which may not be true many cheap monitors (though same hardware may be). So  calibration is absolutely necessary. 

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Could a standard intel pc like a dell/hp with be used with a mac os for graphic design?

 

As Braddman mentioned, a PC can do anything a Mac can do. That said, lets compare Apples to apples. If by Standard PC you are referring to "Dell/HP", than a Mac and Dell/HP with similar specs will perform the similarly.

 

You don't necessarily need a $10,000 HP workstation for the work you do; however, the bottom of the barrel Intel i3 machine might not do the trick.

 

Or a standard intel PC with SSD, extra memory and high end graphics be suitable?

 

An SSD, or multiple SSDs provide substantial benefits. Consider at a minimum, SSD for OS/applications separate from your storage and scratch.

 

Discrete graphics do not need to be excessively high-end. Although discrete graphics improves performance, Photoshop and Illustrator depend heavily on your CPU. Crunching video is where powerful discrete graphics really shine. You will find money spent on discrete graphics is well spent for rendering video.

 

Could a MacPro Servers with VMware ESXi be modified to serve 2 or 3 designers sitting in close proximity? (thats a mac pro server with 2/3 vms running osx 10.9 using individual graphics cards using passthrough, sufficient local drives and memory)

 

Although discrete graphics improves performance, Photoshop and Illustrator depend heavily on your CPU. Each instance would be fighting for it.

 

please give any ideas on affordable solutions,

  • Price out an iMac and then a comparable PC with decent monitor.
  • In a business environment, running OSX on non-apple hardware as primary workstations could easily open a can of worms. An inadvertent update could cause issues. If you are not very familiar with the concepts of running OSX on non-apple hardware, than I would shy away from the idea.
  • Consider that if you have moved to Creative Cloud, each seat gets two installs. You can also use the same license for PC or Mac.
  • Don't take this the wrong way but consider your pricing structure for work. I have experienced numerous photography, design, and video production houses charging next to nothing. In each instance, they nearly doubled their rates and lost 40-50 percent of their customers. That enabled them to purchase better equipment and retain quality staff.

 

Consider picking up an Intel i7 PC and giving it a try via windows. A mix in your studio might not be that bad.

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