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Photography Question 
Deborah Liperote
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2006
 

Graphic Cards


I'm sure graphics cards are very important in photography when it comes to purchasing a computer. So can anyone tell me if the ATI Radeon xpress 1100 is a good graphics card?


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2/3/2007 8:36:29 AM

 
W.    Dunno, Deborah. But I DO know the ATI Radeon X1600 is excellent! And it sits in the US$ 999 Apple iMac: http://www.apple.com/imac/.

PLUS: you can run Apple OSX AND Windows - and all associated software - side-by-side, simultaneously, on the same machine.
Try THAT on a Wintel box!

Good luck.


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2/3/2007 8:55:26 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  I think calibrating the monitor is more important for color reproduction than the card is. I've been looking at Mac's website a little bit lately. Looks like most things on the mac are better than on windows, but there are a couple things I'm not sure about. Anyhow, it is cool that you can "run" windows, but I think it acts more like a program (which can run Windows programs, a little bit slowly though) than an actual OS. $1000 seems so low for a Mac, and it's awesome how the entire computer is inside the screen!


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2/3/2007 8:51:32 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Deborah,
The ATI Radeon xpress is not actually a graphics card, it's a graphics chipset built into the motherboard. It's a very popular graphics solution for laptops and low-end desktop computers.

It won't have the same performance that you would get from an actual graphics card in the same machine. One problem is that with embedded graphics controllers like this one, they usually share system RAM instead of having their own dedicated RAM on a graphics card. Graphics editing programs want both: lots of system RAM and lots of video RAM.

You would be better off with a video card with dedicated video RAM. One way to tell is if it says the card is an AGP or better yet a PCI-express interface.

Good luck.

PS: Go PC! Why are MAC users impressed that they can also run Windows on the iMAC? Because there is so much software out there for the Windows PC that they otherwise couldn't use. PC users could care less about running OSX because there is nothing written for the MAC that isn't already available on the PC. There's my PC rant. ;-)

Chris Vedros


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2/4/2007 8:25:30 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Hey Chris, I'm a PC user too! But the fact of the matter is, the programs for Mac on Mac run better than programs for Windows on Windows - without crashes. True, new versions of Windows (and I hope Vista!) are fast and stable, but I think that the underlying system on mac is better than windows. (Just to keep a balanced POV ;)


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2/4/2007 10:02:38 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Ariel - are you stating this "fact of the matter" based on your own experience, or just what you've heard?

I find it ironic that WS said "try that on a Wintel box." For years, Mac users have looked down on Windows and Intel processors with a high & mighty attitude. Now all new Macs come with Intel processors. Instead of using translation software to run Windows programs on the Mac, they use translation software to run older Mac programs on the new Mac. Ironic.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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2/5/2007 8:07:56 AM

 
W.    @Ariel:
on IntelMacs, Windows (applications) run 'natively'. I.o.w. no speed penalty whatsoever! No 'translations', or anything. In fact, most run faster than on more or less comparable Wintel boxes!

@Chris:
"Instead of using translation software to run Windows programs on the Mac, they use translation software to run older Mac programs on the new Mac. Ironic."

The only 'older program' your statement effectively applies to (on this, a photography forum!) is Photoshop. However, in daily practice that 'translation program' you mentioned, 'Rosetta', is blindingly fast. And you'd be hard pressed to notice any speed differences with when PS is run on an 'old' PowerPC-Mac. Also, right now, PS/Rosetta on an Intel-Mac is as fast as PS is on a fast Wintel box.
In fact, when PS for Intel-Macs comes out (before June) it is expected to run rings around any PS run on ANY Wintel box.


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2/5/2007 9:35:17 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  This argument and strong attitudes between Macs and PCs is just like between digital and film cameras, so I want to get out before it gets heated. I have used old Macs (iMac G3), and they do run quiet smoothly (as does my Pavilion a1010n w/Win XP, especially after I do a periodic maintenance for spyware and registry errors).

So, Chris and W.S., count me out of this discussion. In 10 years from now, we'll see if the more software for PCs or the less maintenance issues for Macs wins the hearts of the average consumer.


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2/5/2007 10:34:10 AM

 
W.    "In 10 years from now, we'll see if the more software for PCs or the less maintenance issues for Macs wins the hearts of the average consumer."

Why look at maņana and wait, and wait, and wait?
If the past 25 years Mac vs. Windows history isn't enough to prove a point, then the next whole century won't either. Those that plan to wait are in reality simply not open to change. At all. Reason? Mental: fear and insecurity.


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2/5/2007 12:47:33 PM

 
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