View Full Version : Type of computer?

01-05-2010, 08:21 AM
Hello everybody. I'd just like to know what is the most suitable computer for running Adobe Illustrator with Mapublisher? It will be used to produce high quality paper maps to be sold in bookshops throughout europe. Not sure if the Applee Mac is better than a PC. Also, what would be the best type of printers to use? Any suggestions welcome.

01-05-2010, 08:43 AM
I would say that it dosen't matter if it is a mac or a PC. It more dependes on what type of computer you are used to work with.
However there is one advantage with buying a PC. Hardware is cheaper, that means you will get more power under the hood for your money.

01-05-2010, 01:03 PM
I agree with Clercon that the most important factor is what the user is going to feel at home using. Learning a new OS on top of learning new software can be frustrating.

Now I personally would recommend getting a mac. (my opinion)
1. I'm biased towards macs
2. You can install parallels or use boot camp if you really need a windows environment.
3. Adobe apps work great on a mac, and the ability to PDF from every app without additional software is a huge bonus IMHO.

But the main reason trumps my personal taste.

01-05-2010, 01:23 PM
I would say that it dosen't matter if it is a mac or a PC. It more dependes on what type of computer you are used to work with.
However there is one advantage with buying a PC. Hardware is cheaper, that means you will get more power under the hood for your money.

On the other hand, Mac hardware is generally better than 90% of the 'cheap' PC stuff, and is less prone to issues with drivers because of the closed hardware cycle.

Of course you shouldn't waste your money to have the factory install extra ram and that, as they do rip you off on that.

01-05-2010, 01:25 PM
Plenty of RAM for doing big maps esp if you raster them out when printing or saving bitmaps from the vector source. 2Gb min.

Printers depends. If always going black and white then a laser hands down. If color then its a dice up between a color laser and inkjet. Inkjets produce more photorealistic images but are a lot more faff to deal with. If commercial printing then it doesnt matter cos whatever printer you have is going to be nothing like what you going be doing the full run on. If color is important to you then think about getting a graphics card that can do hardware color calibration (most modern ones) and ensure that you have some daylight color light bulbs where you work, dont sit in a red or blue room etc and try to set up the color calibration so that your within a shot of getting on screen what you might get near to on paper via your commercial printer. Talk to them early is my best advice. Your never going to be exact but not being a million miles out is better. Read up about CMYK, Pantone reference colors, Spot Colors and ICC color profiles. Even if you dont use them at least know about them or else when you get a proof back from them it will look radically different to what you thought you gave them.

01-05-2010, 10:11 PM
One other thing to be aware of is that graphic designers tend to prefer Macs since that's what the schools have and therefore what they've learned on.

In addition, while the Mac can read (but not necessarily write to) any Windows file system, a PC will need additional software to read the Macintosh's native file system. Therefore, when receiving files from a client, using a Mac is somewhat more straightforward.

Moving Adobe files from one platform to the other no longer presents any problem—I work on both at school without issue. Microsoft Office for the Mac platform tends to be quite sluggish. Other than that, neither platform offers much in the way of software superiority (at least in terms of publishing).

01-06-2010, 02:50 AM
Despite having been a graphic artists for over 25 years - I rely on a PC and always have. Mac was thing in school, but never in my workspace, always PC. Up to you on preference between the two.

Regarding printers - I run a digital printing studio (Gamer Printshop), though Inkjet printers do a nice job, its only good for onesy-twosey printing, not for mass printing. As Redrobes said, if you're going for color, you're best off with a color laser printer, or color copier (though that's too expensive for most.)

If you're planning to create maps sold in bookshops across Europe as you say, you're best off not printing yourself, but relying on a professional printer. Here in the US, I've got resources for printing in the thousands, by industry printers. That is printing press companies that offer volume printing at discounts specifically for lesser printing companies like me. An order of 8.5 x 11 at a minimum of 1000 prints is about $.10 per sheet - a price I can't match myself.

Compare this to printing on your own inkjet printer and you're talking $.50 per sheet, at four minutes to print and you'll run out of ink before your 150th print.

The printing I do is onesy-twosey, so inkjet is just fine for me, I wouldn't mass produce myself, if that was my business model. I'd farm it out.

If you're talkin' large format map printing, still farm it out, but you'll need a specialty printer and that's going to cost you more bucks up front - so you'd better have your market well studied and that its worth doing, cause if you don't you'll lose your shirt and go bankrupt.

Find a print shop in Europe, that will give you a price for jobbed out printing at an industy printing press, with a minimum of 1000 pieces - that's your best bet for getting your products to all those book shops you mention.

Good luck on your endeavors!


01-06-2010, 02:01 PM
The computers you can buy from Apple, Dell, Acer, etc have pretty much identical hardware and are all equally, if rather distantly, related to the "IBM PC". The only difference is that the computers from Apple have Mac OS, while those from Dell have Windows or Ubuntu.

01-12-2010, 02:28 PM
I use PC personally though I have used mac in the past. The reason I prefer PC right now is that you generally get more for your money as far as hardware goes and most of the plugins I use in Photoshop and other software do not work on mac.