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Hackintosh, PC, or stick w/ Mac?


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#1 jcrash

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 04:57 PM

Like many people on the board, I'm in need of a new workstation. I'm reaching out to see if a Hackintosh (I have at least 3 different local builders that can help me) is worth the time/ effort or should I just go full-on PC. I know Apple may or may not have some fall announcements regarding Mac Pro improvements, and I will probably at least wait until October-ish for a final decision. I also know OWC offers some decent upgrades for the current nMP. My work is 80-90% AE (alongside the rest of Adobe Suite) and about 10% C4D (but growing). I still plan on keeping my Macbook Pro 2013 Retina for lighter design work. Also I have Cintiq that I use at my house so it's important that I get something that can be fast and work well with that. 4k is on the horizon for me, but not many projects yet.

 

My big fear on switching to PC, is Windows. While 10 looks better than other iterations, it's still seems a bit tangled. I don't want to go to work hating my OS or lose productivity by re-learning all the short-cuts. Mac seems underpowered, pricey and not very future proof. Hackinstosh seems like it's getting more and more legit, but I'm worried about stability. If I went that way I'd plan on full windows install as back-up/ plan B.

 

What's the opinion of people that have switched from Mac to PC. Painful? Easy? Anybody have a Hackintosh that is not a hobby project that they use for actual work? Any serious issues?



#2 Agris

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 07:47 PM

I feel your pain. There`s just no good Mac options right now. I would say there`s no need for Mac Pro if you`re using mostly AE. AE gets more speed bump if you have a higher CPU clock speed. 4 core I7 imac most likely will render faster in AE than 4 or 6 core Mac Pro. + AE at this moment doesn`t take in accaund GPU`s except plugins like VC Element 3d.

 

This doesn`t apply to 3d software. If you`re rendering with CPU renderer like C4D internal, then more cores will be much faster.

 

I can share my hackintosh experience, which lasted 2 years till I went to windows.

 

In year 2012 I carefully selected every part for my hackintosh computer. It wasn`t anything too fancy. Just a regular I7 quad core cpu, 32GB of ram and mediocre gaming video card -Gtx 660ti. With an SSD and bigger HDD for project files.

 

The hackintosh experience wasn`t bad, but wasn`t perfect either.

 

I always had to make backup before every update and check forums If it`s safe to upgrade.

After upgrades had to update some stuff to make my sound card active again.

I had problems with my lan card - in rare occasions my computer freeze when uploading files on FTP. I was just too lazy to figure it out and spend time in forums, so I lived with it.

My video card was almost all time in power saving state, which I couldn`t solve. I asked in every forum i knew and there was just no solution. Although my card was written as "fully functional". This also wasn`t big problem, because, I`m no gamer and half of GPU power still was more than any iMac can offer. 

 

I started using Blender 3D which uses GPU renderer "Cycles". Then I started to consider using windows, because of my GPU working only half speed.

 

Then came Yosemite and ater this update my computer started to freeze too often that I thought to myself - I`s time to move to windows. 

 

Now I miss only two things - Quicklook (spacebar preview) and navigation in Finder was nicer. 

 

My final word would be - If you don`t need GPU power and want Mac - get iMac.  If you want the most power , get cusom Windows PC.

 

If moving to windows - check this thread ! http://mograph.net/b...showtopic=29763

 

PS. I`ve heard that those new retina iMacs can have laggy interface. Some guys were complaining that Illustrator has much worse performance. I`m not sure about that, because never had used one. Maybe it`s fixed now. You should better be sure if consider buying it.


Edited by Agris, 01 September 2015 - 08:04 PM.


#3 anothername

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 11:07 PM

What's the opinion of people that have switched from Mac to PC. Painful? Easy?

 

Easy, I'm on Win 7 now after years of being on a MAC and with the addition of a few add on programs to get tabbed browsing windows and stuff much prefer Win OS. It's a small amount of work upfront to configure things in Windows but no problem after.

 

My 2 cents is save yourself the headaches and just get a straight up Windows machine. 



#4 microdot

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 12:18 AM

I'm in the same spot, ready to upgrade for higher performance, and very much wanting to wrangle with Arnold or Octane in my toolkit.

Probably build a custom pc since it makes the most sense at this moment, but I will def miss the mac for awhile if I do.

 

It's interesting how this problem was always around in some ways, but it feels like right now there are so many variable and things up in the air, and Apple is less of a reliable source for high end pro perfomance boxes (IMO), etc. Crazy times.



#5 rich

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 01:45 AM

I gotta agree with Agris.  For 2 years my main machine has been a hackintosh.  I was big mac fan, but needed more power for renders so went with the hackintosh route - infact mines an almost identical spec to Agris's.  Its been fine, and great to be able to get octane to work on a mac, since you can use an nvidia card.  However i've pretty much never upgraded from mountain lion - never had the time to mess around incase it crashed.

 

As a result, its getting to the point where I can't get certain things to run anymore, and am sure the upgrade would introduce so many issues after all that time that i'm calling it a day on the hackintosh.  Hackintosh is fine if you have the time to play with it and try and solve problems on the forums.  After setting up mine the first time its been pretty stable apart from my memory clock speed often drops and needs resetting in the bios.  

 

Just at the point now where i need to keep the os updated without having to worry about it not coming back up, so i'm also going windows next month.  I still have my macbook air for internet and photos though.



#6 Davor

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 08:06 PM

I built my PC last year with the thought of having it as a "hackintosh" I did install MacOS on the machine after a little while, and it's fine. There are issues sometimes, it took a while to get up and running and then to get it right (like audio working and such).

 

But after that, I worked maybe on a project once but now I just stay in Windows. Running 8, but might look into 10 soon, once I'm sure it's safe to make the jump.

 

Macs are no longer an option, the price and from what I hear the trash can macs are a bit waste of money. And the OS is really going downhill lately. Also we're pretty much past the days of "you need a Mac to do it", just need to get used to the new OS.



#7 jcrash

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 10:31 PM

Thanks everybody I appreciate the input! Sounds like I can rule out the Hackintosh at least. Bummer, I was hoping that would be a viable option. Are you guys running the Ozmosis bootloader? I was told that was supposed to help ease the pain of OS updates (not so much upgrades). I'll still wait to see if Apple announces anything brilliant, which I doubt, but barring that looks like I will jump on the PC bandwagon. I never thought I'd say that! I feel like I need to buy a Dummies Guide for PCs now.

 

BTW Agris thanks for reminding me of that Easy Ease the transition thread. Also good to know about the 5k iMacs. I cannot have a laggy interface, that would drive me bonkers. It's a shame that Apple always rushes products and skips over important issues like that! I feel like it's always "wait until the next when comes out, it will be so much better."



#8 Aaron Scott

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 04:44 PM

My big fear on switching to PC, is Windows. While 10 looks better than other iterations, it's still seems a bit tangled.

 

So far, Windows 10 is probably my favourite OS of all time. Rock-solid stable, keeps everything you need at your fingertips. I work faster in it than anything that's come before. I find going back to OSX on occasion really, really frustrating.



#9 hello.ahay

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:14 PM

I would not go down the Hackintosh route, not stable enough, ever. 

 

PC is very appealing for speed vs price, but personally I don't feel as productive on them. 

 

The old tower Mac Pro is still a powerhouse when it needs to be, check out what the guys at www.create.pro are doing with them.



#10 ianfreeze

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:39 PM

 

So far, Windows 10 is probably my favourite OS of all time. Rock-solid stable, keeps everything you need at your fingertips. I work faster in it than anything that's come before. I find going back to OSX on occasion really, really frustrating.

 

 

This is the first time I've ever heard this. I dual boot Yosemite and 8.1, and hopping over to 8.1 is maddening only for all the little things. No column view, really strange selection behavior (strange to me at least), 5 different versions of a save/open dialogue, and many other things. But you're saying that with 10, you feel right at home? Obviously this is not turning into a windows vs os x debate, I really am interested in the windows 10 experience.



#11 Davor

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:40 PM

 

So far, Windows 10 is probably my favourite OS of all time. Rock-solid stable, keeps everything you need at your fingertips. I work faster in it than anything that's come before. I find going back to OSX on occasion really, really frustrating.

 

Really eh? Guess I'll have to look into updating mine. Which Win version were you running prior to the update?



#12 jcrash

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:43 PM

That would be rad if they were US based. However I'm at a gig currently that uses 2 x 3.46 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon and 128 GB RAM. I find the Westemere's a tad slow sometimes. There's that old "think" pause that I hate. That's being really picky though. To be fair, in general it's been sick. AE renders and RAM Preview smoke but it may be because it's hooked up via an optimized X-SAN. Being really nerdy I tested on this AE Bench Mark  and it rates with the best of new PC's. US dollar wise it's seems like it might be better $ spent on a PC as this will run around 6kish and not be very future proof/expandable. 

 

Mac Pro (Early 2009) - (work computer, not mine)
2 x 3.46 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
128 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4095 MB
SSD

AECC2015.0.1 - 6:19 (6 GB Reserved)
CS 6 - 5:53 (MP ON 24 cores @ 3GB)
 

Aaron, I'm interested in hearing more about you experiences on 10. Any plug-in/video conflicts? Anything weird about it?


Edited by jcrash, 03 September 2015 - 06:44 PM.


#13 hello.ahay

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 08:24 PM

I'd be interested to see what sort of increase in performance a new PC would be over the spec of that Mac Pro jcrash.

 

The think pause might be down to using CS6! 



#14 Aaron Scott

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 08:50 PM

Absolutely no issues. Actually. Not a single crash, not a single incompatibility that I can think of.

 

Okay, what do I like about Windows 10? Hmm.

 

It's fast. Boots in a few seconds, everything's snappy.

 

Pretty much everything got incrementally better. Command Prompt is finally on par with (or better than) Terminal. The overhauled Task Manager is great. The new stuff trickling out it awesome, too -- Snip is a fantastic screenshot tool that sits at the top of the screen. Lets you take a screenshot, annotate it, and share it instantly. Just lots of nice little things like that.

 

After Effects has been way more stable for me in Windows 10 than OSX.

 

It's pretty. The prettiest OS, by far. No stupid effects or gimmicks, just really solid minimal design.

 

It's smart. For example, the entire interface tweaks itself on the fly depending on whether you're using a mouse or touch.

 

It just...all feels very well thought-through. And stable.

 

What I don't like: there are some lingering legacy dialog boxes. The price you pay for long-term backwards compatibility, I guess.



#15 jcrash

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 09:22 PM

I'd be interested to see what sort of increase in performance a new PC would be over the spec of that Mac Pro jcrash.

 

The think pause might be down to using CS6! 

 

This is the Geekbench in 32bit (you have to pay for 64bit and i don't have a license) for that Mac Pro box (2009 tower shell BTW) : Single Core: 2564 Multi: 26908. 

 

*Update- just ran Cinebench on this thing and it was pretty killer. Open GL 59.56 FPS (ranked #4). CPU 1595 cb (ranked #1!). SIngle Core it got 111cb (ranked #5) MP ratio 14.32x .  It might be worth picking up one of these after all!

 

 

They have a 12 core x5690 on that site create.pro, Not sure if that means 2X 6 core x5690's or one single 12 x5960 (They are listing the spec as 

Geekbench: 31259, not sure if it's 32bit or 64, I'm guessing 64).
 
For example a processor I was looking at getting Intel Core i7-5960X (the numbers look similar to the one I just listed, but they are indeed different!) - 32bit:  single core 3726 multi: 27682
 
for 64 bit: single 4224 multi 31306

 

"Think Pause" is system wide unfortunately, most notable on Adobe apps (cc2015 for most and 2014 for illustrator. 2015 illustrator crashes galore). Mostly everything works smooths, just some unusual hang-ups here and there. To be honest, I don't know the cause so I shouldn't blame the processor.

 

But for that 2009 tower, it's the end of the line for expansion I think. I know it can't get a thunderbolt card, and It has 2 usb 3 ports and 1 firewire 800. Speed on that ram is 1333 Mhz, which will probably be it's max. For what they paid for it's perfect though. They had their IT whiz build it for like 3K for 2 boxes. For AE it's been blazing fast render-wise. Have not tried C4D on it yet.

 

Aaron, thanks for the elaboration. That sounds pretty great actually, would love to give a Win 10 system a test drive.


Edited by jcrash, 04 September 2015 - 03:47 PM.


#16 silatix

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 12:41 AM

I've been running a hackintosh for 2 years with no problems. Love the ability to overclock and fuck with internal parts. Looking forward to new chips coming out at the end of the year to build a new one. For $1800 its a pretty great system if you're keen on OsX which I still am.

 

 

I would not go down the Hackintosh route, not stable enough, ever. 

 

PC is very appealing for speed vs price, but personally I don't feel as productive on them. 

 

The old tower Mac Pro is still a powerhouse when it needs to be, check out what the guys at www.create.pro are doing with them.


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#17 vozzz

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 10:10 AM

search the threads here, there was one about migrating and a bunch of useful software to ease the transition. Unless you are religiously mac fanatic, you'll be fine switching to windows. Just remember to always google all the little things that annoy you, someone has probably fixed it already :)


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#18 microdot

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 01:26 PM

 I still have my macbook air for internet and photos though.


I know it's not entirely accurate but I love that this kind of sums up Apple's journey.

#19 levante

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 08:34 PM

The old tower Mac Pro is still a powerhouse when it needs to be, check out what the guys at www.create.pro are doing with them.

 

Second that. Got my MacPro 5.1 pimped with 12 x 3,46 GHz, SSD and a decent graphics card and it turned out to be faster and cheaper than the new MacPros. 

Windows is still driving me mad - but maybe i'm just too old for a switch ;)  (been using Macs for 20 years now)



#20 iamcarlito

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 12:30 PM

I've been working on a Mac for 10 years. Last year I went to a friend (who is a master of PC building) to try a Mackintosh witch cost me about the quarter of a mac pro for the same performance. This adventure last 6 month. It starts well but every time you need an update or something else your hackintosh starts bugging. I was using an hackintosh to save money but at the end I lost more money and time fixing my computer to work properly.

Since my return with a mac, my life is completely free of time wasting installation and debugging. The Imac retina with a 4GB Graphic Card and 32GB of memory is working very well and I'm spending 60% Cinema 4D and 40% After Effect.

Sorry for my poor English.






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