Best PC/printer for graphics?

I have been getting into Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator lately to create graphics and artwork. I know every professional graphic artist and their grandmother seems to use a Mac for these programs, but I would prefer to use a PC for this. Does anybody have any recommendations for a good PC for this use (preferably under $1000). While I’m on the subject of Mac/PC, are Macs really that superior to PCs for graphic work, or is it just what designers are used to using?
Also, are there any good, reasonably priced printers (ink jet or dye sub) that print larger than than the standard 8.5x11 size. I would like to make good quality prints of my work, the larger the print, the better. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Perhaps a decade ago there may have been a distinct advantage to a Mac over a PC but these days the two platforms are pretty much equal. There are no functional differences between the Mac and PC versions of either Photoshop or Illustrator.

While I can’t make a specific recommendation regarding manufacturer and/or model number I would say that the things to look out for are:

[li]The faster the processor speed the better[/li][li]The more memoryt (RAM) the better. Photoshop needs something like a minimum of 5 times the RAM of the largest file you intend on opening to minimize the writing to hard drive.[/li][li]Neither Photoshop nor Illustrator requires a super 3-D graphics card or a high price audio card. You can save some money here if you aren’t interested in playing games on your machine[/li][/ul]

Epson makes several good quality printers capable of printing on larger than 8.5 by 11 paper.

A more important consideration would be what is your source of input for Photoshop - scanned images from film or digital camera input for which I would recommend working in raw format?

I’m VERY VERY VERY happy with my Canon i9900. It can print on a sheet as large as 13x19 and I’m really like the canon photo (matte/glossy/plus glossy etc) paper.

Macs really are superior to PCs for graphic work, and that’s why designers use them.

The entire OS is set up to handle graphics and printing more efficiently.

Not to mention not having all the crashes, spyware, viruses, etc. will make your computer much more efficient for getting work done.

You can provide a factual cite for this statement other than the fact that most programs, like Photoshop, were written for the Mac and later ported to Windows machines. Most designers, who have been in the business for more than 5-6 years, use Macs because there wasn’t any alternative as stated above.

Please provide a cite or specific info on this other than hearsay.

The reason for this is the simple fact, that compared to PC’s, there aren’t enough Mac’s on the planet to make it worthwhile for someone to create a good virus!

Moved to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

This might be several years out of date but most graphics designers I used to know preferred to have one big, professional CRT and one smaller LCD. The LCD was for text and internet surfing, but the CRT was reserved for graphics work due to the better colour balance.

That’s weird; I said something along these lines a week or so ago (in this thread) - that predominance of one solution in a given market sector may indicate legacy of that solution as much as (or more than) its optimality, and you picked me up on it.

Talking about completely different things in these two threads. The thread you linked to was about Photoshop’s standing as the de facto image editing software among professionals and was, for the most part, completely independent of dicussing computer platform.

The OP of this thread asked about recommendations concerning what computer to buy, etc. My response was in regard to what I thought were some unsubstantiated statements regarding the preference of what computer type (Mac or PC) should be purchased for doing work on Photoshop and Illustrator. My comments have been that at this point in time, computer platform is pretty much not a factor.

Thanks for your advice, Waterman. My source is primarily scanned images. I know a digital camera has more data to work with than a scanned image, but for the purposes of my work I am using mostly scanned images(using old photographs, graphics etc.), and combining it with original work done in Illustrator.
While I would prefer using a PC, I am open to the possibilty of getting a Mac if there are real compelling reasons to use a Mac over a PC for graphics. Dan Norder (or anybody else who swears using a Mac), are there any **specific ** reasons why a Mac is superior to a PC. Is there anything that a Mac can do with Photoshop or Illustrator that a PC can’t do just as well?

The one-word answer: Colorsync.

Quite simply, it is the de facto industry standard for color consistency. Clients get really pissed when their $40,000 print run comes out with their star model wearing their flagship dress in the wrong shade of aqua green.

FWIW I am an amateur and not a professional - historically you are absolutely correct that Mac’s have led the way in color management but I believe that the PC world is improving.

I have gotten very good results on my PC using Adobe’s Color Management (I have consistently applied the same workflow throughout all of the Creative Suite Applications) and Pantone’s software and hardware for defining my monitor.

It doesn’t sound like the OP is looking to do $40,000 client print runs but rather to be able to print, on his own printer or sending out, his own work. If this is true I believe the systems in place on PCs will address the issues quite well. The key, whether using a Mac or a PC, is to take the time to carefully select your color management workflow for the type of input and output that you have.

Just a minor comment but is it even feasible to get a Mac G5 with monitor for anything even approaching (from the high end downward) $1,000?

I use a Minolta Dual Scan IV scanner and an Epson R300 (which is limited to 8.5 by 11 sheets) and I can get very good quality scans and prints on either glossy or matte finish paper.

Here is a link to the software/hardware package from Pantone that I use for monitor calibration which has proven to be a huge success. The ColorPlus is Pantone’s low end product and you may want to look at Spyder2 as a more robust solution.

Pantone ColorPlus Monitor Calibration

I know; I was just simply addressing the question of (one reason) why graphics pros are overwhelmingly Mac-centric.

Buy the previous version when a new version gets released. :slight_smile: Alternately, buy a refurbished unit – same warranty and everything, but for less. For instance, I see Apple’s web store has a refurbished iMac G5 1.8GHz/ 256MB/ 160GB/ SuperDrive/ 56K/ 20-inch (formerly $1900, now $1190). Apple prefers to keep their hardware at the same price points but add new features as time passes, instead of shaving prices in a race to the bottom a la Dell.