So, might be moving to a Mac...

Hey all,

Well, my new job as a freelance artist seems to be a success so far. Even so, my employer might move me into one of his offices instead of me working from home. While I’ll miss working at home (I can do laundry and all that nice stuff while working), it would be nice to get a better computer. The problem is, he’s got Macs at his office.

The last time I worked on a Mac, I was 15. That was over 10 years ago. =\

Now, I assume these are the nice, big, new Macs they came out with over recent years.

The question I have is, not whether Macs are better than PCs (because that would likely spark WW3), but rather, is it much different from a PC? I use Linux. How does that run on a Mac as opposed to OSX or Windows? What can I expect in terms of performance? How does Blender run? Do they use Intel or AMD? What kind of RAM do they support?

In short–am I going to have some serious downtime as I try and learn the ropes? I’ve got deadlines to reach!


If you use linux you’ll be just fine. Macs are based off of UNIX (same as linux) I’m running OS X, Windows XP, and ubuntu off my MacBook Pro. They all run seamlessly (and very fast)

If you use linux, then you will be fine. OS X is like a very polished version of linux, with some of the configuration removed to make things easier for the user.

As far as the actual hardware goes, it is all quality stuff. All of the newer macs use intel processors with either nvidia or ati graphics cards. I’ve used blender on both a G4 and G5 and it runs great. The mac pros use DDR3 ram, I’m not sure about the laptops or iMacs.

Since Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel, their machines are like any other laptop or desktop you would buy. They can cost a bit more, but I have found the build quality to be worth while. Some will complain about an “Apple Tax”. My Alienware(Dell) laptop also came with a namebrand tax, but unlike some Macbooks purchased at the same time, it has broken several times and is now stuck on my desk with a broken hinge.

Both the machines and the OS are great, so you shouldn’t have any problems. If you absolutely had to, you could still install Linux or Windows on it.

–As a side note, I would like to point out that most macs are PCs. PC stands for personal computer. If you are sitting at the computer when you use it, it is a PC. PC has been made synonymous with a Windows machine because Apple is not only selling an operating system, but actual hardware. While it is apparent that they are competing with Microsoft, they are also competing with Dell, Asus, etc. They try to make the distinction so that they can stand out in the crowd.

Ah, thanks! =)

That’s a load off my shoulders, believe it or not. And DDR3?! Yes! Now, if only they were using i7s. Blender would scream instead of whimper–like on my Pentium D. =( But at the point where I am, with all these memory allocation errors, and constantly having to make everything have less quality just to finish a render on time, anything would be a vast improvement over what I’ve been using.


Current Xeons are built of off the same architecture as the i7s. Xeons are basically i7s with ECC. ECC(error correcting code) allows the machine to fix single bit errors in memory and it reports larger errors. This allows for a more stable environment and helps catch memory corruption.

Keep in mind this is with the current Mac Pro. Older Pros or different machines are made with different components. Either way, they are very solid machines.

Huh, I didn’t know they updated the Xeon.

Whether or not the guy uses Mac Pros is another story. Boy, if he did, that’d be nice. =)

Though my employer may use workstations for his job, his business is not primarily a digital arts house. Though, I suppose anything is possible. It looks like I’d just be a resident 3D artist working on some unrelated business that he’s doing on the side. It’s more than likely, I’d be using an iMac.

Still, like I said, anything is an improvement over the set-up I have now.