Creative cloud questions

So I’m not a designer, the wife is, but I’ve got some questions for you guys.

Currently my wife has an 8ish year old iMac and a macbook pro she bought in 2015. She uses creative cloud on both. She does primarily infographics but some photo editing.

The iMac needs replacing as software requirements are beginning to meet the hardware in it. And unfortunately when she bought her MacBook pro the tech at the Apple store told her she’d be fine with model X for using creative cloud. I’m not sure if the tech was misinformed or my wife didn’t tell them that she uses InDesign, PS, illustrator, and bridge all at the same time, (don’t ask me about this, I still don’t understand when she explains why) but I learned very quickly that the laptop just didn’t have enough processing power or ram to do this well. I bought her an upgraded ram kit and had apple install it and it helped out a bit.

What I want to do is get her a new desktop because that is what she prefers to use when she’s home and just use the laptop when we travel. I’ve poked around the internet quite a bit trying to find answers and just haven’t found any. I would also like to build this desktop as I can get her a good bit more power and longevity for less by parting it out and building a Windows system. She has the cloud so I’ve already found that she can install CS6 on both a Windows an Mac system as long as she deactivates one of her current computers first.

I’d like to know how many people work with both Mac and windows?
How well does transitioning files between the two work? I used to have a macbook and transferring word documents to a Windows system would screw up the fonts occasionally, does this still happen?
I’ve read that editing is mostly CPU intensive but adobe is getting smarter as GPUs get more powerful and has pushed some power to them and I read about that. My main concern is that I want her to have a good 4k display. What sort of GPU’s are the windows systems using?

I appreciate the help, the timeframe for building this system or dishing out the cash for a new iMac are sometime later this year, but I want to get everything figured out so this can be a combo birthday and Christmas present.

From a practical standpoint, a designer can get by with either a Windows system or a Mac. It mostly comes down to cost, personal preference, software that might be available on one but not the other and whether or not one’s workgroup might use one platform or the other.

Font compatibility between the two systems is not a big deal any longer when modern fonts are involved, like TrueType or OpenType. If someone has a library of, say, old Type 1 PostScript fonts, that’s going to be problematic. As for MS Office, MIcrosoft has never really paid equal attention to both platforms, so there are often issues moving Office documents back and forth between those platforms, but they’re typically minor things.

All that said, most (but certainly not all) professional designer still use Macintoshes for various reasons (but I haven’t seen any reliable statistics on that lately). For me, it has nothing to do with loyalty to Apple. It’s just that I like the Mac OS and find Windows frustrating to use — largely because of its unfamiliarity. I also dislike Microsoft’s ClearType, which is the technology they use to render type. There are also Mac-only applications that are essential to my work, like BBEdit, Glyphs, Keynote, etc. If I were a Windows user, I likely would have developed work habits that depended on things only available on that platform.

For what it’s worth, I just bought a new computer for home and freelance — a Mac Mini with 16 GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD (I use an external hard drive to store most everything) and a 32" LG 4K monitor. It was half the cost of a new MacBook Pro and works just as well since I don’t need portability at home. At work, we’re a Mac-only group, and I use a new MacBook Pro with 32 GB of RAM, which is connected to an older (3–4 years) 4K display. I’m not a big iMac fan because I like to keep the display separate from the computer — if one gives out, I don’t need to replace both. Besides, I want a larger display than 27".

With either Mac or Windows, 8 GB of RAM is no longer enough to work comfortably, 16 GB has mostly become the norm and if you’re looking to the future, I suspect 32 will be the norm within 3 years. Mac RAM, by the way, is ridiculously expensive, which is another reason I bought a Mac Mini — it’s still possible to open it up to add less expensive RAM bought elsewhere, whereas most of their computers have soldered-in RAM that isn’t upgradable. Go the Windows route, of course, and there are far more options for various less expensive builds, as you already know.

If I were you, I would let my wife decide after presenting her with the options and considerations — I mean, she’s the one who will be using it.

For what it’s worth, Apple recently issued a recall notice on their mid 2015 MacBook Pros (you mentioned your wife having a 2015 model). The battery in them is flawed, swells up and can explode or catch fire. It’s a free fix, and we actually shipped one to Apple just this last week for that very reason. Until recently — as in 2 months ago — I was using a 2015 MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM. I actually found it still totally useful for all the work I did, but the company bought me a new one, so I didn’t argue about it.

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I remember her having the battery replaced already. I’ve spent the morning cleaning up her MacBook pro. I looked at the specs on it, it has a dual core i5 2.5 GHz, and came with 4 gb of ram. I upgraded it to 8 gb of g.skill Mac ram but when I built my new computer in 2015 I upgraded to 16 gb of ram because 8 just isn’t enough for much of anything anymore. Regardless it isnt much better than the minimum requirements for creative cloud.

I told her about six months ago at some point this year I would either build her a new desktop or upgrade hers to one of the Macs that isn’t an all in one. She said she was fine with a Windows system. The last place she worked she used a Dell at work. I’ll have to look into the Mac minis to see what we can get out of that.

Update on this. I just looked up the SN on her MacBook pro, and I remember her telling me they talked her into buying an older model for some reason, it’s actually a mid 2012 model MacBook pro, and I’m fairly certain if I looked up the specs on her iMac they’d be better than the laptop.

If I remember right, the batteries on the 2012 models were user replaceable by opening the door on the back — not so with the 2015 models. Anyway, a 2012 model is past due for replacement.

If your wife doesn’t care whether she uses a Dell, Macintosh or whatever, as you know, it’s going to be cheaper to build your own Windows machine. Performance-wise, it’ll work just as well as a Mac and be a whole lot more upgradable down the road.

As for having a bunch of CC applications open at the same time, every designer does that, plus having email and a browser running besides. They all tie in together into a big virtual workspace that’s memory intensive. I plan on upgrading my new Mac Mini to 32 GB within a year or so, but figured I could save a bit by waiting. If you go the home-built PC route, I’d likely be inclined use some of the money you save and put it into extra RAM.

Yeah I’ve built a few desktops for myself, as well as friends so I’ve got that part down pat if that’s what she decides she wants.

At work we have a mixed network - Macs and PCs - and there are a few issues with fonts, but nothing serious and no other problems using files from either on the other.

For working at home I recently replaced my 2008 iMac. For me to buy a Windows machine is not an option for a variety of reasons. I ended up with a brand new iMac.

I looked at refurbs / 2nd hand and there are some bargains out there BUT the 2019 iMac is around 25% faster that 2017 models. I wanted to future proof it as much as possible. I looked at some kind of tower so I could swap out / upgrade components but would I really get more than 11 years out of one of those? For less money in the long run?

My mind was made up when I realised that Apple offer zero% finance so I could get a mid spec 2019 model for £50 a month. In the end it was a no-brainer.

eee… if you are thinking of buying a tower, wait for the new release, then wait about 3-6 months more.
The towers have not had their guts updated much since 2013.
Supposedly coming out this fall.
And man, is Mr. Jobs spinning in his grave.
Look at this ugly sucker.

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Apple’s aesthetics have never appealed to me, but that is certainly a new low.

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Seems like they have a strange obsession with turning household items into operating systems.

But who would marry a cheese grater to a toilet grab bar?
Although it is a more swanky cheese grater than the last version.
Who’s up for guessing list price. Base model.
I’m gonna have a REEEEEEEAALLY hard time justifying $6K for each seat.

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I sure wouldn’t mind having one, though, but have no need for it. I work with video and 3d people who will be buying them because their processing needs are so much greater. They’re telling me that 8K video resolutions will be the norm soon and this machine is largely aimed at those needs.

As always Apple (along with Adobe) forgets about the output/production industries.
I need a ballsy machine with a lean and mean operating system.
For about $3K less than that.

A few weeks ago, just out of curiosity, I checked all the boxes on Apple’s website to see what a maxed-out tower would cost. If I remember right, it came to somewhere around $16,000, which seems a little crazy.

Then again, I remember when we bought our first Mac II back in 1987 at the newspaper where I worked. Between it, the monitor, the scanner and the laser printer, it totaled over $13,000, which in today’s dollars would be twice that.

I shelled out about $2400 per seat back in 2013. This one’s nearly triple once you consider you can’t use a machine like that as a base with the 256gig SD drive and 16gig ram that comes with it… For that price, it should be at least a terabyte and at the very least 32gigs of ram.

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