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Ask Max: Professional Mac User Software and the Intel Switch

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I bought a PowerBook from them less than a year ago, and when I heard about the MacBook Pro release I thought it would be a good idea to trade-in the laptop I have now for the new model. I'm a graphic designer, and I use the Adobe CreativeSuite and also QuarkXPress on a regular basis. What you wrote about software compatibility with the new MacBook Pro caused me to have second thoughts about upgrading so soon, but I also know the longer I wait, the more my PowerBook will go down in trade-in value. Will I be able to install my Adobe/Quark software on the new machines or not? I'm still not totally clear on this. Thanks for your advice!


The PowerPC to Intel switch is going to be far more difficult for the Professional Mac user than for home users. Both Quark and Adobe CS will run in Rosetta but at reduced speeds compared to what you are used to. Adobe further complicated your decision by announcing that they are not going to update their product line faster then planned. That means it will be 2007 before a Universal Binary is going to be available for the MacBook Pro. Because this is a work computer, I would caution you against making a decision based on trade value alone. Not only is your productivity worth more than equity loss on your PowerBook, but also I think that there’s going to be a demand for PowerPC equipment after they are discontinued.

Hold onto that Mac a little longer, at least until after September.

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