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Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?

  
 
jhapeman
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


chez wrote:
I see 3 topics on the 1st page of the printer board here on FM that are concerned with issues of things working when installing a new macOS. Just take a peak.



OK, so I looked. Yep, there's a few there. But is that an Apple problem, and Adobe problem or an Epson problem? Meanwhile while there's couple Mac threads there, there's many, many more PC threads there with issues, so quite frankly I have to say that your point is weak at best. On top of that, with ANY new OS, Mac, PC, etc. if you plan on switching in the first 6 months you'd better be prepared to deal with bugs. The bugs in Windows 11 have been so bad at work that none of computers have been able to be upgraded--most of our key software vendors still won't support their apps on Windows 11.

In my office we are 50% Mac and 50% PC. I spent a 20 year career in technology as a tech, a consultant, with my own consulting business and all the way up to CIO of two very large global corporations. I've used more PCs, supported most PCs, dealt with more Mac than most people can dream to see in a lifetime. There's a logic to *why* the Macs generally work so much better: It's a mostly a closed ecosystem. The more vendors, hardware iterations, etc. you have to support the more issues you are going to have. Windows is still saddled with tons of legacy code that no doubt even MS would love to get rid of but they can't--there's too much money tied up in for them. Apple can give a better experience because they control so much more of the entire stack, now from CPU design all the way up the OS and apps.

You most certainly can assemble a PC with as many "best of breed" components as you'd like, and as a result squeeze out more performance per dollar if you work at it, but there's a price to pay for that. Whether you're fine with that or not is up to you. On the flip side, you can also spend a lot on the PC side just like with a Mac, and sacrifice some performance for stability. For example, big brand computers like HP and Lenovo--not always the latest and greatest and certainly not the cheapest, but everything has been chosen to work together as best as possible and been through more extensive testing, similar to what Apple does, but obviously not at the same level.



Jan 20, 2023 at 08:29 PM
RustyBug
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


jhapeman wrote:

On the flip side, you can also spend a lot on the PC side just like with a Mac,


Looking at upgrading to a new ThinkPad X1, comparably "spec'd" ... will cost me slightly more than the Mac. The main difference with my X1, was that I could build add RAM and add storage, so I didn't have to put out the $$$ all at once. But, at the end of the day ... the spend was +/- in the ballpark to get a rig that was in a similar target "envelope".

But, that's the $$$ cost. The heat management cost is another story, too.




Jan 20, 2023 at 08:36 PM
chez
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?




jhapeman wrote:
OK, so I looked. Yep, there's a few there. But is that an Apple problem, and Adobe problem or an Epson problem? Meanwhile while there's couple Mac threads there, there's many, many more PC threads there with issues, so quite frankly I have to say that your point is weak at best. On top of that, with ANY new OS, Mac, PC, etc. if you plan on switching in the first 6 months you'd better be prepared to deal with bugs. The bugs in Windows 11 have been so bad at work that none of computers have been able to
...Show more

Does it really matter who is the source of the problem when you canít print? It just becomes YOUR problem.



Jan 20, 2023 at 08:52 PM
armd
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


Jhapeman is so spot on and he elegantly expounded upon what I alluded to earlier. For this type of work, itís not all about processor speed or specs, rather the operational speed is largely determined by memory speed and bandwidth. The M1 ultra is essentially paired M1 maxís with insane 800 GB/sec pumped through 20/64 cores CPU/GPU. The i9 Raptors have similar numbers of CPU cores though the memory speed measures around 64 GB/sec and this doesnít even account for having to swap with an external GPU. Faster, more power efficient, the M1ís are game changers. An ultra with 64gb/1tb ssd Runs about $4k and it simply smokes. Canít wait to see what the M2ís and beyond yield.


Jan 20, 2023 at 09:04 PM
jhapeman
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


chez wrote:
Does it really matter who is the source of the problem when you canít print? It just becomes YOUR problem.


Sure it does: If I run into a vendor that continues to be a source of problems, I ditch them. Money talks. If more people did that, more vendors would fix their problems. Life's too short to fight these battles.

In these printing cases, I highly doubt it's Apple's problem. Epson in particular is notorious for having problems with drivers on the PC and Windows side; Adobe used to be more problematic but in the last 2-3 years got the stuff together and have been updating their apps and fixing issues. I use HP printers exclusively with my Macs and PCs (and not the cheap ones, the professional ones) and in the 20+ years I've been doing so through multiple iterations of OSes and hardware I've had so few issues I can't even think of any. When I had Epson and Canon printers they gave me so many headaches on both PCs and Macs I just stopped buying them.

BTW, I gave up doing my own prints years ago because dealing with all of the hassles wasn't even remotely worth it. I know for some that's not an option, but I see a lot of people who don't make a living at this battling printer issues who could outsource the photographic print work and probably save money in the process, not to mention headaches.




Jan 20, 2023 at 09:09 PM
netexpress
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


Who do you outsource too?


Jan 20, 2023 at 09:25 PM
jhapeman
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


netexpress wrote:
Who do you outsource too?


I don't do a lot of paper prints; when I want to hang them on the wall I prefer metal prints. My go to for prints is Bay Photo. Awesome work, always perfect colors and very reasonably priced.



Jan 20, 2023 at 10:12 PM
RustyBug
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


armd wrote:

The M1 ultra is essentially paired M1 maxís with insane 800 GB/sec pumped through 20/64 cores CPU/GPU. The i9 Raptors have similar numbers of CPU cores though the memory speed measures around 64 GB/sec and this doesnít even account for having to swap with an external GPU. Faster, more power efficient, the M1ís are game changers. An ultra with 64gb/1tb ssd Runs about $4k and it simply smokes. Canít wait to see what the M2ís and beyond yield.


Even, at a mere 200 GB/sec (Pro) or 400 GB/sec (Max), that still trumps the throughput of 64 GB/sec, by a factor of 3X or 6X.

So, 32GB of RAM (Mac), easily outpaces 64GB of RAM (PC), with room to spare. And now, the M2 RAM is faster (clock speed) than the M1 RAM. Superb bandwidth coupled with fast memory = highly responsive. Imo, THE SPEC that makes the difference is memory bandwidth ... for those chasing specs.

To me, having an incremental increase in CPU or GPU spec is one thing. Having orders of magnitude in memory bandwidth, is quite another.



Jan 20, 2023 at 11:30 PM
dclark
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


armd wrote:
Jhapeman is so spot on and he elegantly expounded upon what I alluded to earlier. For this type of work, itís not all about processor speed or specs, rather the operational speed is largely determined by memory speed and bandwidth. The M1 ultra is essentially paired M1 maxís with insane 800 GB/sec pumped through 20/64 cores CPU/GPU. The i9 Raptors have similar numbers of CPU cores though the memory speed measures around 64 GB/sec and this doesnít even account for having to swap with an external GPU. Faster, more power efficient, the M1ís are game changers. An ultra with 64gb/1tb
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

RustyBug wrote:
Even, at a mere 200 GB/sec (Pro) or 400 GB/sec (Max), that still trumps the throughput of 64 GB/sec, by a factor of 3X or 6X.

So, 32GB of RAM (Mac), easily outpaces 64GB of RAM (PC), with room to spare. And now, the M2 RAM is faster (clock speed) than the M1 RAM. Superb bandwidth coupled with fast memory = highly responsive. Imo, THE SPEC that makes the difference is memory bandwidth ... for those chasing specs.

To me, having an incremental increase in CPU or GPU spec is one thing. Having orders of magnitude in memory bandwidth, is quite another.


Is 800 GB/sec bytes/sec or bits/sec?
Is 64 GB/sec bytes/sec or bits/sec? (BTW, I see the Intel I9 13900K spec is 89.6 GB/sec.)



Jan 20, 2023 at 11:54 PM
RustyBug
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


dclark wrote:
---------------------------------------------

Is 800 GB/sec bytes/sec or bits/sec?
Is 64 GB/sec bytes/sec or bits/sec? (BTW, I see the Intel I9 13900K spec is 89.6 GB/sec.)


Capital "B" = Bytes
Lower case "b" = bits

1 Byte = 8 bits

I have seen sometimes where it doesn't get written correctly, but that is the convention, iiuc.



Jan 21, 2023 at 12:54 AM
 


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dclark
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


RustyBug wrote:
Capital "B" = Bytes
Lower case "b" = bits

1 Byte = 8 bits

I have seen sometimes where it doesn't get written correctly, but that is the convention, iiuc.


Yes, I know the difference between GB/sec and Gb/sec. I'm also aware that lots of people get them wrong.

You may want to check whether it's 800 GB/sec or 800 Gb/sec. Same for the other figures you and @armd are quoting.




Jan 21, 2023 at 01:18 AM
RustyBug
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


dclark wrote:
Yes, I know the difference between GB/sec and Gb/sec. I'm also aware that lots of people get them wrong.

You may want to check whether it's 800 GB/sec or 800 Gb/sec. Same for the other figures you and @armd@ are quoting.



I understand ... which is why I mentioned that sometimes it doesn't get written correctly. And yes, I was quite certain that you understood the diff. Just verifying (lurkers) that we're on the same page.

Here's the way Apple writes it ... GB/sec. I've seen it written elsewhere by Apple as GB/sec. I've never seen it written as Gb/sec, by Apple.

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2023/01/apple-unveils-m2-pro-and-m2-max-next-generation-chips-for-next-level-workflows/#:~:text=M2%20Pro%20features%2040%20billion,%2C%20low%2Dlatency%20unified%20memory.

OTOH ... IF ... it was really only bits, then that would mean that their 200GB/sec (if we are assuming an error was made in the way it was written) was meant to represent bits (vs. bytes), would be the equivalent of 200Gb/sec, or 25GB/sec. That would then be pretty far below the spec of the i9's 89GB/sec you referenced ... and then 400 = 50, 800 = 100, etc. with the base model of M2's 100 = 12.5, and the M1's 64 being 8. Hard to imagine the base performance of the M1 with only 8 (i.e. 8X Byte / bit factor). I'm inclined to think that a significant portion of the real world performance improvements seen in the M chips is this memory bandwidth increase approach. Certainly not the only piece of the puzzle, but one that has caught my attention.

I mean, I can have a big truck carrying a load down a one lane country road making 8 trips back / forth. Or, I can have a group of 8 trucks carrying full capacity down an 8 lane highway. Which way delivers the load quicker? If it takes 30 minutes to make the trip, method A) takes 7.5 hours, while B) takes 30 minutes to deliver the same amount. Inexact analogy, but the gist is there.

If there is an error in the way Apple is presenting their bandwidth, I'm not aware of it. As such, I take it as face value of GB means GB. To your point, I too have been "on alert" if they meant Gb, instead of GB. I haven't been able to find anything to refute GB = GB. If there is, I'd be keen to the difference. I'm not saying an error isn't possible, but I don't have anything to refute GB=GB.

Hmmm, my unreliable memory seems to be telling me I made that statement before (M1 discussion last year ) ... i.e. about unable to refute GB=GB for Mac spec. To which, I'd think that if this was indeed incorrect spec from Mac, it would have been called out long ago. But, idk, so again ... face value, nothing to refute it with.




Jan 21, 2023 at 08:51 AM
dclark
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


Yes, I think it is MB/sec. It seems that the spec is memory bandwidth to all the cores and the unified memory architecture is such that as the number of cores is doubled the memory bandwidth doubles.


Jan 21, 2023 at 10:48 AM
RustyBug
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


dclark wrote:
It seems that the spec is memory bandwidth to all the cores and the unified memory architecture is such that as the number of cores is doubled the memory bandwidth doubles.


+1 bandwidth doubles ... more lanes of travel.




Jan 21, 2023 at 11:01 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


jhapeman wrote:
In my office we are 50% Mac and 50% PC. I spent a 20 year career in technology as a tech, a consultant, with my own consulting business and all the way up to CIO of two very large global corporations. I've used more PCs, supported most PCs, dealt with more Mac than most people can dream to see in a lifetime. There's a logic to *why* the Macs generally work so much better: It's a mostly a closed ecosystem. The more vendors, hardware iterations, etc. you have to support the more issues you are going to have. Windows is
...Show more

I was going to post on this point yesterday, thought better of it, but now I want to reinforce your point.

But first, I'm certain that which computer platform one choose to use for photography post-processing and image management makes about as much difference to one's photography as which camera brand is used. As in, probably no difference at all. So whether one prefers PCs or Macs... in my view they should just get a suitable system from whichever platform they are most comfortable with and move on.

The Apple versus Everyone Else "battle" has now been going on for close to 40 years! Think we'll solve it here, eh? Heh.

As a college faculty member I was part of a team that worked to create specifications for campus-wide computer, peripherals, and software standards. My campus had an enlightened dual-platform standard that recognized that it made sense to accommodate both PC and Mac users, so we came up with a two-column set of standards. For example, there was a so-called "high end" desktop standard for users needing more power. In this category there was a PC option and a Mac option that were relatively equivalent in power for certain categories of tasks. The same was true in other categories. There was a dual-standard for what we might call "standard" users who mostly did word processing, email, and similar; a couple of standards for both high end and standard laptop users, and so forth. (The institution is large enough that there are sufficient users in each category.)

Amazingly, over time we realized that the costs for roughly similar systems from the two platforms tended to be very close once the total cost of computer, peripherals, and software were calculated on a per-user basis. In some categories the PC option cost bit less, while in others the Apple option came in at a slightly lower cost. (Note that we were doing institutional level purchasing, so not purchasing at normal retail.)

We relied on our tech support and training folks to help us understand the relative costs of the two platforms when it came to support. They were unequivocal about the fact that support (hardware configuration and setup) costs and training costs were significantly lower for the Apple users. This was partly the result of the software on the systems, but also the more fully integrated Apple environment and its more consistent technology. (For example, our PC spec machine in some category might remain the same, but the vendor/manufacturer would shift the internals, creating issues for the support folks.)

And, of course, problems can and will occur on both platforms. Important question include how often they occur (on an objective basis, not based on anecdotes) and what is involved in resolving them.

The main take-aways here are that:

1. Overall, the costs of functionally similar Apple and branded PC systems are generally pretty close. (Note that we did not consider build-your-own PC systems, since savings there would be more than eaten up by additional tech support costs.)

2. Essentially comparably powerful systems could be configured for either platform.

Trying to "prove" that either platform is The Very Best Computer System For Everyone and that The Other Platform Sucks is a lost cause and a giant waste of time. Let it go.

If four decades of this nonsensical platform wars stuff has demonstrated anything...

... it is that both platforms work great. They certainly both can work beautifully for photographers.

Edited on Jan 21, 2023 at 08:29 PM · View previous versions



Jan 21, 2023 at 12:50 PM
RustyBug
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


gdanmitchell wrote:
I was going to post on this point yesterday, thought better of it, but now I want to reinforce your point.

But first, I'm certain that which computer platform one choose to use for photography post-processing and image management makes about as much difference to one's photography as which camera brand is used. As in, probably no difference at all. So whether one prefers PCs or Macs... in my view they should just get a suitable system from whichever platform they are most comfortable with and move on.

The Apple versus Everyone Else "battle" has now been going on for close
...Show more

So, if the take away is that you can get there from either side ... what's the gain for a seasoned Mac user (OP) to move to the PC platform?

I don't disagree that you can get there from either side, having been on the PC side for a long time, and recently finding the Mac to my appeal. So, rather than debate the "which is better", the question can be shifted to "what's to gain for the switch".

I've long advocated that change is expensive, (time, effort, energy, $$$) ... but, when it lands you where you really WANT to be for the long haul, that cost can be worthwhile. But, if the temporary cost reduction puts you in a place that you DON'T really want to be for the long haul, then it only sets up another change, down the road. Just makes me wonder if the OP is being short sighted on the $$$ now vs. where he'll be down the road (i.e. Windows platform and desiring to be back on the Mac platform).

I think the point about camera brands is relatively similar ... the point being, that when you find what works for you, no need to go chasing the greener grass. BUT, if you haven't yet found "the one for you", then change is part of getting you there. Once you're where you want to be, that "desire for change" really goes away greatly.

Which begs the simplicity of the question for the OP, to be reduced to "where do you want to be?" ... rather than "how much spec / $$$, can I get from a different platform"

Gotta ask the right question, to get the right answer.



Edited on Jan 21, 2023 at 02:30 PM · View previous versions



Jan 21, 2023 at 02:12 PM
jhapeman
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


gdanmitchell wrote:
I was going to post on this point yesterday, thought better of it, but now I want to reinforce your point.

But first, I'm certain that which computer platform one choose to use for photography post-processing and image management makes about as much difference to one's photography as which camera brand is used. As in, probably no difference at all. So whether one prefers PCs or Macs... in my view they should just get a suitable system from whichever platform they are most comfortable with and move on.

The Apple versus Everyone Else "battle" has now been going on for close
...Show more

There was a fairly large study done on this about ten years ago, I believe it was actually IBM Consulting of all organizations that did it, and the data was pretty unequivocal--Macs had a longer-term lower TCO for corporations that were able to use them, in large part due to lower support costs.

At my last corporate job we sold very highly-specialized software designed for mathematical analysis of risk in financial portfolios. It was 100% PC-only, however, I implemented an open standards policy at work as many of the developers and others wanted to use Macs. Just as you pointed out, when we developed our standards we specified various options for different user bases and just as you found, at the end of the day the prices are *very* similar for similar qualifications.

One of the reasons I engage in these threads is not that I ever expect to convince anyone that one is superior but more to act as a voice to balance some of the misinformation I commonly see spread, particularly against Apple and Macs (although there are Mac zealots as well, by the very nature of the smaller user base the PC zealots end up outnumbering them pretty heavily).




Jan 21, 2023 at 02:20 PM
RustyBug
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


ohsnaphappy wrote:
We have 2020 imacs with i9ís/4tbssd/128gbram/16gb5700xts.


So, ballpark 3 years old (or less).

What is your (compelling) timeline for the need to upgrade?


And, how much improvement will you see by spending your $3K or $4K be (in a PC) over your existing system? I'm assuming that you'd be going from an Intel chip to an Intel chip. How much "value" proposition will you gain from your current performance in the new iteration you'll buy / build?

Whether you stand pat with your current rig, or migrate to PC ... you'll still not be harnessing the new M SOC's, but the prospect of operating on a different platform, for what (incremental ) gain?



Jan 21, 2023 at 02:54 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


RustyBug wrote:
PC platform?

I don't disagree that you can get there from either side, having been on the PC side for a long time, and recently finding the Mac to my appeal. So, rather than debate the "which is better", the question can be shifted to "what's to gain for the switch".

I'm biased in that I have decades on the Mac side ó though I've also used PCs and taught in labs that had both. But my point is that ó obviously, just look around ó†that photographers can do everything they need to do on whichever platform they find themselves using
...Show more

It sure is. We see the same pointless, endless arguments about My Camera Is The Very Best Camera and You Are a Cretin If You Don't Agree. Meanwhile, there are excellent photographers using every one of these brands to make outstanding photography, and you cannot tell which brand was used when you look at their work.

Occasion, rare "switching" or adding an additional system can make sense in some cases, but for the most part folks are better of sticking with what they have, resisting the siren song of "switching," and focusing on photography rather than cameras.

jhapeman wrote:
There was a fairly large study done on this about ten years ago, I believe it was actually IBM Consulting of all organizations that did it, and the data was pretty unequivocal--Macs had a longer-term lower TCO for corporations that were able to use them, in large part due to lower support costs.

At my last corporate job we sold very highly-specialized software designed for mathematical analysis of risk in financial portfolios. It was 100% PC-only, however, I implemented an open standards policy at work as many of the developers and others wanted to use Macs. Just as you pointed
...Show more

Given the ten-years-ago time frame of that study, I think that it came up in some of our discussions at the time, too.

There are some issues in this world where zealotry is perhaps a good thing. But those things aren't operating systems or computer brands. ;-)



Jan 21, 2023 at 08:40 PM
Oscarsmadness
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Anyone Switched from Mac to PC?


ohsnaphappy wrote:
A couple more straightforward questions:

If you're editing on a PC are fans running loudly often?

Same question about the Studio Ultra, fans running a lot?

My 2020 iMac rarely runs fans loud enough for me to notice until I export.

If you didn't go with Apple display, what did you get for editing pics?

I use Time Machine for better or worse, does PC have a third party app that will help me back up automatically similar to Time Machine?

Thanks for all the feedback everyone!!


1. no, with caveat. My fans do spin up, except my PC enclosure is designed as a test bench with probably the best airflow on the market (Coolermaster xb evo something). It's huge and weighs an absolute ton. It sits on the floor. And I use the famously quiet, infamously expensive Noctua fans.

2. I do not have Mac Studio. My Mac mini with M1 blows warm air, but I only notice it's blowing during an export. My MacBook Air with M1 (fanless design) does warm up. The PC does most of my heavy lifting for this reason. Not to say the Macs aren't capable. They do very well under load - I simply want to reduce the chances of accidentally running them warmer than warm.

3. Dell ultra sharp

4. Yes, there are plenty of third party programs for sale that I never was interested in. Windows 10 has a built in backup equivalent of Time Machine. I use it to make my backup. So far, it hasn't had to save my life just yet.

I hope that helps.

I'll say that whether you stick with Apple or move to PC, you will need a standalone monitor. That expense is nothing trivial and you must incur that expense unfortunately. I think you should give the Mac mini with M2Pro some serious consideration before you try moving to PC. My base model M1 Macs are doing so well on their own against my PC as things are right now. I use PL5.

You can get outstanding performance on a PC too. I'm simply skeptical of the idea that moving to PC will be a financially advantageous strategy.



Jan 22, 2023 at 11:11 PM
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