View Full Version : Snow Leopard vs. Vista vs.... Best OS for an Application?

08-31-2009, 08:10 AM
I have a dual quad Mac Pro running 10.5.8. The release of Snow Leopard has me thinking about upgrading the OS again, but it has also reawakened thoughts of installing Windows. Enough people on these forums have suggested that some applications run better under Windows than under the Mac OS, and if I'm going to buy an OS I'd rather have it enhance application performance than hinder it.

Below are the applications I use. If you have used them on a Mac and can speak to the benefits of running them on Apple's OS over Windows I'd like to hear your thoughts.

After Effects CS4
Photoshop CS3
Flash CS3
Illustrator CS3
Dreamweaver CS3
LightWave 9.6
ZBrush 3.2

08-31-2009, 08:38 AM
Photoshop used to be really optimized for mac, at least before Intel days. I use all of the Adobes products now on OSX and I am really happy. They are snappy and fast, at least the CS3 and 4 is. Dreamweaver has had its hiccups on FTP transfer and some bugs but otherwise, I dont notice personally that much difference on PC.
I also have thought about installing 64 bit XP on my Mac preferably via bootcamp, and get my hands into 64bit Lightwave that route. And in my understanding Lightwave renders faster on Windows and has less bugs. If I have understood correctly, it is possible to transfer my license without extra fee to Windows platform. So this would possibly just cost me a license of 64 bit XP. (Which I dont happen to have for odd reason..)
But then, as a mac fan, it twists my heart to install something like XP to a new expensive mac. and I am really wishing the 64bit version of 9.6 will be available for us someday, now that Snow Leopard is out. Take one of 8 core Nehalem macs and youve got a real rendering machine.
By the way, is your Quad the 2009 model or earlier? I am going to buy one next month. Id like to hear your experiences with rendering with it and Lightwave.
Keep us posted how you decide to go.

08-31-2009, 10:32 AM
I feel the interface is snappier in general on Mac OS than I can ever remember it was in Windows. That's for the days of CS2 and 3 though. Haven't even thought of touching CS4 on a PC since all media production I do is done with my Mac.

I use a Wacom tablet all the time when I'm working with LightWave, Photoshop etc, and I've never had any luck with tablets and Windows. They're like cat and mouse ! Don't play along very well. But that might just be my experience. The problems I encountered with tablet in Windows was basically poor performance. Delay from I started to touch the tablet with the pen till there was something happening on the screen. CPU/GPU/RAM has never been a problem, so it might be drivers ? On a Mac it's like throwing a warm knife through butter. Smooth like silk, and a much better experience.

I also feel Open GL on a Mac is better than on Windows. All though I have a GeForce GTX275 on the PC, I have a GeForce 8800GT in the Mac Pro, a pretty old graphics card. But it beats the PC when it comes to Open GL performance. Might have something to do with the CPUs as well, I have no idea how that's REALLY calculated though.

The only reason I have a PC is
- use a few Pawel Olas plug-ins that's not available for Mac UB
- Gaming during rendering times !

08-31-2009, 11:20 AM
The downside to the Mac is:

1. limited video cards which are more expensive and released later with less RAM. SLI dual cards are not supported.

2. Less internal expansion room for drives than with a giant tower.

3. Graphic support, which was the Mac's domain, does seem to focus on the PC now. This is not good and worries me.

4. Some program don't run on the Mac - or you must chose which platform.

5. More version hassles than with XP - and annoyances like the dock where Apple knows best what you want.

I'd go ahead and get Snow Leopard, just $25 free ship, no tax from Amazon - and it comes with a new version of Boot Camp (which I think provides some more features).

You could probably pick up an Academic version of Win7 and see how it runs.

As I'm being forced to run JimmyRIG and some mocap software on the PC, I'm going to be evaluating where everything runs best. Maybe Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro will end up being my only Mac-only apps?

As - the only real reason to use a Mac is if it does something better and cheaper than a PC. And except for Logic and Final Cut Pro - I just don't see that anymore.

08-31-2009, 12:13 PM
I've been swapping to and from Mac and PC with Lightwave for years and years. Mainly because the jobs I've had have used one or the other. But honestly, they both worked fine. I never found that the OS kept me from working. My advice would be use the OS you enjoy more and do 3d work. To say one is better than the other is just silly, they both have pros and cons, but fundamentally they both work. Just use the one you like or feel works better in your opinion.

08-31-2009, 12:20 PM
Sheesh here sparks yet another mac pc debate...it'l end in tears guys it always does!

08-31-2009, 03:07 PM

Also Adobe CS4 Ultra is not available for Mac. It's only part of CS4 on Windows.

08-31-2009, 06:51 PM
This is not at all about a Mac vs. a Pc. I already own a Mac, so Mr. Jobs won that one. There are objective ways to measure an application's performance, like Neverko stating that he sees a 10% increase in render speed under Windows.

It sounds like Vista may be worth looking into, but I may wait for some more Snow Leopard info to roll in. I appreciate evetone's input.

08-31-2009, 07:31 PM
Im perfectly willing to wait and see what the 64bit version of LW for the Mac is like before expending money to move to a windows environment. If Newtek delivers a solid and fast Mac version, no need to move to a windows version. If not then will rethink my position. I definitely want Newtek to know that there are still LW Mac users out here that continue to use that platform and we want an OS specific 64bit version, if everyone moved to a windows version what incentive for Newtek to continue Mac development.


09-01-2009, 04:09 AM
This is not at all about a Mac vs. a Pc. I already own a Mac, so Mr. Jobs won that one. There are objective ways to measure an application's performance, like Neverko stating that he sees a 10% increase in render speed under Windows.

It sounds like Vista may be worth looking into, but I may wait for some more Snow Leopard info to roll in. I appreciate evetone's input.

Don't forget that's comparing Mac 32bit to the Win 64bit version...I presume. It'll be interesting to see how the Mac Cocoa version performs :)


09-01-2009, 05:06 AM
been using both for a few years now, at my last perm job i had an 8 core setup to dual boot into xp(32bit)
adobe stuff just seemed a touch quicker and the tablet was certainly more responsive in OSX, i had the xp boot for certain LW plugs that were pc only and for polytrans, oh yeah an UT3. but i would always spend the bulk of my time in OSX, i had everthing there and it very very rarely crashed where as i have had numerous times when apps in xp have just dissappeared. that however may just be a personal experience.

now though, due to my wife 'only being able to use a pc' (her words) i had to get one at home which i then upgraded, which is soo much cheaper and easier than doing it on a mac and i now use that at home and a mac at work though sometimes i have use 8 core pcs. for adobe stuff i cant see areason for not using a mac and once adobe gets 64bit it will really bring the debate up to speed.
and for $25 its worth just trying it to see how it goes, if i had a mac i would already have done that. :)

09-01-2009, 05:04 PM
Well according to this article Snow Leopard should be a revolutionary new OS:


Though this is the first I've heard of it, and Apple and others won't be fast to admit that their previous OS's were so much bloatware. So good news if true.