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Mac or PC for Web Development Business?

Discussion in 'Apple Hardware' started by macfanuk, 16 May 2010.

  1. macfanuk

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    Hi all,
    I have always been a huge fan of all things Apple and if I had my way I'd have a Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Time Capsule...you get the picture.

    Anyway, I'm in the process of setting up a Web Development business with my fiance and we are looking for some advice regarding computer systems. I subscribe to a Web Development magazine and it is apparent that majority of Web Design agencies use Macs and as fans of Macs ourselves, that'd be our preference. However, it's the cost that's an issue.

    The set up we were looking at for now would be 2 desktop machines and 1 laptop for 'on-site work' and as we currently have pretty reasonable spec machines at home (Intel Q6600's, 4GB Ram, etc) we don't want anything slower than these for work. So what options do we have?

    On the Mac side, we have been looking at either the Mac Mini or the iMac's. Would the current Mac Mini's be slower than what we have at home or would OSX architecture make them perform better? With the iMac's, we would be looking at the 27" model but at the moment we could only afford one of these.

    On the PC side, we could get a pretty good system (2.8GHz Core i7, 6GB DDR3, 2 x 1TB Hard Drives, decent Antec case, etc) for £745 but would be using the same cheapish monitors that we've already got a low end Samsung 23" and a low end Dell 24") so that wouldn't be perfectly ideal either, but with this price we could afford 2 systems straight away.

    Can anyone offer advice? What setup would you go for?
     
  2. Spyhop

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    I'd think it should be more about the software than the hardware/performance.

    Is access to software exclusively available for OS X (or OS X itself) worth the price difference to you?
     
  3. tsinc80697

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    You really don't need a 27" iMac for web dev.

    A mac mini makes do fine, it's not the fastest thing in the world but it works well and qiuck enough. If you're s startup business surely it's better to aim for the low-end then get better if/when you need it?
     
  4. macfanuk

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    Hi Wush,
    The main software that we will be using is Adobe Creative Suite. We will be buying the new version when we get our new systems and both the Mac and PC versions are priced the same. Not sure what accountancy software we'll be using yet and we'll be using Microsoft Office (again, available on Mac and PC).

    All the other software such as FTP, Coding software, etc, will not be much different between the two.
     
  5. macfanuk

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    I agree that we don't need 27" iMac's but unfortunately, Apple have stuffed up (in my eyes) by getting rid of the 24" iMac because the 21.5" model is too small, especially as I'm used to using a 24" screen.

    IF we want down the route of Mac Mini's (which I did mention we're considering), how would they perform against an Intel Q6600 PC system?
     
  6. tsinc80697

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    It's hard to compare a mac mini to a Q6600 as technically the Q6600 will be faster but it is running Windows.

    I used to have a Q6600 running at 4.1ghz under water and yes it ran nice and smooth, but it ran windows.

    I built/overclocked/gamed on high-end PCs for years, but as soon as I got a MBP 3 or 4 years ago I can't ever think of going back. Personally after using both systems for web development I much prefer OSX and if moneys an issue I'd look at going 2nd hand but always going mac.

    edit: You're taling about web design and development not just development so with that in mind CS4/5 will most likely run quicker on the Q6600 but with web design you won't be needing that extra CPU/RAM as PSD's or images you are working with aren't in the hundreds of mb
     
  7. macfanuk

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    Thanks for your useful post. I have previously had OSX running on my PC but have had to go back to windows because my Wifi didn't work and having moved house, no longer have Wired Lan as an option.

    I completely agree with what you're saying about OSX and as you say if money wasn't an issue, there would be no question in my mind about going for Mac's. However, I'm not sure even 2nd hand Macs would be affordable really, but then I haven't actually looked so will go and do that now. Thanks again
     
  8. theheyes

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    The PC would absolutely destroy the Mac Mini in raw performance.

    I agree with wush, you need to strongly consider the software aspect of things. Make an inventory of all the software you use currently and see how the land lies. Also, I'm guessing you'll be supporting these yourself - so which are you more familiar with, OSX or Windows?

    If cost is the main factor, which you seem to indicate it is, I would definitely go for PCs.
     
  9. macfanuk

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    Thanks for another helpful post :)
    As I said above, my main package will be Adobe CS5 which is available on Mac and PC.

    Yes, I will be supporting these systems myself and I am equally familiar with both OSX and Windows 7.
     
  10. Spyhop

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    Dunno about that. Unless you're a Notepad masochist then code editor/IDE availability is fairly different. The unix shell in OS X is also a plus for most of the open source frameworks and tools out there.
     
  11. macfanuk

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    Sorry, I meant price wise. I have already got a license for Transmit too.
     
  12. theheyes

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    What about an Office suite as well? If you've already got licenses for MS Office then you'll save on buying Pages/Office Mac.

    edit - I mean iWork of course
     
  13. macfanuk

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    I've got access to either version as a university student so get the free via my universities MSDNAA site.
     
  14. theheyes

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    That particular license is for non-commerical use only though. ;)
     
  15. Spit

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    2nd hand 24"?
     
  16. macfanuk

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    Minor details lol.

    I will look into it.
     
  17. Hades

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    Rather than bother with a separate laptop and two desktop machines, why not get two mid range Macbook Pro's and a couple of 24" screens. That way you still have the portability and the advantage of twin screens each (24" plus the macbook screen). You can also very easily lock the macbooks away in a secure area in case the house/office is burgled. That way your business isn't sunk if you're broken into.
     
  18. reflux

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    Theres genuinely no reason to choose a MAC for web dev work unless you want one. For some reason the design industry seems to use nothing but macs, ignoring the fact that all the software runs just as well on pcs.

    Go with whatever you think you can live with on a daily basis, but don't be tricked into paying a lot more for nothing extra.

    I work in a web dev business and we have three computers - mine runs Windows, my boss runs Suse Linux and my other boss uses a mac. We just use what we feel most familiar with and there are few problems.
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2010
  19. macfanuk

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    I've had a look at 2nd hand 24" iMacs and found one for £700 (for a 3.06GHz) but they generally seem to cost about £800-£900 which is still more than the i7 custom build will cost so still not really sure.

    I have considered just getting a couple of MBP's and using them with 24" screens but for me, I couldn't see it working - the constant plugging in/unplugging of screen/peripherals/etc would annoy me after not too long.


    Thanks for your post. I guess the problem is that I do want a Mac, I just can't justify it at the moment. The thing is, going by experience, if I don't get a Mac now, I'll still keep wanting one. Daft I know.

    It's good to know that not all web dev businesses use only Macs though :)
     
  20. Ranger07

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    I can't comment on the Mac-PC argument as I only ordered my first Mac yesterday but I can comment on business economics as I run my own business. When starting a new venture you really have to save as much money as possible then once you start to make profits and are comfortable you can then make more informed decisions on equipment. I've seen so many people make the mistake of spending hard up front only to see it all go pair shaped when things could have worked out well on a tighter budget.

    All the best on your new venture wether it be Mac or PC :)