Author Topic: Mac vs. PC for design work  (Read 3893 times)

Offline chantellehoffmann

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Mac vs. PC for design work
« on: February 11, 2014, 04:32:59 PM »
I will likely be purchasing a new laptop in the coming months (thank you to my 2yr old for dousing my old one with juice to bring its last breath). As a Microsoftie in my previous life (HR, non tech), I'm prone to lean towards buying another PC. However, I know Macs have a fantastic rep in the design community. My question: is it worth spending the extra $$ on a Mac book pro vs a quality PC? I am planning to use PhotoShop, Illustrator, etc. Digitizing my work is still new for me, but I'm wanting to purchase with future use in mind. Will my choice of machine make a big difference? Thx!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 04:36:12 PM by chantellehoffmann »
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Offline ewigginton

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 05:06:15 PM »
If you're taking votes, mark me down for a Mac. I had always been a PC'er but two fried hard drives in a row led me to the other side. No regrets either. I love my Mac!

Offline joi

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 05:57:29 PM »
if you plan on using photoshop and illustrator, i would definitely go mac.  i used to be a pc gal.  at one time i used a dual processor workstation because i was running photoshop, illustrator, and Autocad.  the switch to a mac easier than i thought.  some things are different but now i'm totally used to it.  i think apple is phasing out the macbook pro, which is what i am on, so do some research.
hope that helps!

Offline vince

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 10:02:03 PM »
Both have Adobe Creative Cloud softwares so for design it's similar (you also got other tools like Gimp or Inkscape on both platforms).

I work on Mac (macbook air + thunderbolt screen) but it can be expensive. If the price is important for you, go for a PC. If you want something more stable (no viruses on mac) and you're not afraid about prices, definitely go for a mac. The main thing is to plug some external screen (which doesn't necessarily need to be a thunderbolt, other brands works on Mac too, it's just about cable connection) so you can have a big view of your workspace. 13" and 15" laptops are a bit small for design in my humble (even if you can do it anyway, I'm talking about being confortable).

As a professional web designer I can say that in a way, computer's brand is not that much important, it's more about how you use it.

I hope it helps ;)
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Offline dreamingkathleen

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 10:19:43 PM »
Hi Chantelle,
I'm a graphic design student and have a Macbook. I have a white Macbook that I bought just before they phased them out. I love it and I'm hoping that it lasts me a while (luckily Macs usually do).

I'm going to agree with vince though. It's important to take your own preferences into consideration -- not mine. Would your design work be for a hobby or for a career? If you just want to use Illustrator and Photoshop from time to time then the type of computer doesn't matter. Traditionally Macs were better for design work but the truth is that PC has made a lot of progress and nowadays there is probably not much difference. My design classroom is stocked with shiny iMacs but some students go home to work on their PCs. So in short, I would weigh out the pros and cons of the two and take other things into consideration.
"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle."

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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 12:12:49 AM »
My husband (bless his heart) bought me a MacBook Pro for Christmas the year before last. I tried it for 9 months and hated it. But I've been a PC user forever. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. on my PC with no issues. I just didn't like how the MacBook Pro worked. But I know I am in the minority on that! I ended up giving the laptop to my daughter for her sweet 16! She was psyched but she's only been on an iphone!

Bottom line, go someplace in person and try them out in advance if you can. You may "feel" a preference too, when using them.

Oh, wait - I have to add a big BUT to this... if you can only get Windows 8 and not Windows 7 - definitely go for the Mac. Windows 8 is a NIGHTMARE! 
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Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 03:09:08 AM »
If you can afford it, go for the Mac. I find the main advantage is the operating system. It is intuitive and it just works. There are some things I really hate about Windows and that got on my nerves all the time, that are just no problem on the Mac. For instance, I use a PC at the office and in Illustrator CS6 the shortcut Strg + doesn't work for zooming in! SO ANNOYING! I had to manually put in a shortcut, which is like 3 keys now. It's the little things that drive me crazy. Also, the newest OS X has tabs in Finder (the equivalent of the Windows Explorer), you can have multiple desktops (e.g. one for work, one for fun ... it doesn't get so clattered, you know) ... for me, it's really all about the workflow. What I also hate on Windows is that stupid gray background in the applications. I want to see what's behind my Photoshop if I'm looking at tutorials, not switch windows all the time, darn it! ;)
I hope that helps :)
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Offline Lori M

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 04:39:04 AM »
Quote
As a professional web designer I can say that in a way, computer's brand is not that much important, it's more about how you use it.

I would second this, as another web person. I always thought the design community preference for Macs was partly due to the fact that Adobe design software only ran on Macs for the first 5 years, so Macs became their industry standard.

The Adobe software runs the same on both platforms these days, so I think it's more about which operating system you're used to. I use Abode Creative Suite at work on a PC and have no issues. When one of the graphic designers at work was out and I had to make some changes on her Mac, it drove me crazy. But I'm sure she'd say the same thing about my PC!

I also agree with Vince about screen size. I have dual 19" monitors at work and a 24" monitor at home. If I'm doing any serious design work, I go to my desktop.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 04:45:03 AM by Lori M »

Offline chantellehoffmann

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 08:46:22 AM »
Thank you all so much! This is great information to help me weigh my options. Its comforting to hear that the Adobe creative suites worth equally well on both platforms. I had to chuckle when I read Erica's sidenote on Windows 8 as I too can't stand it (my husband still works for MS though so I have to be kind as I declare my many frustrations). It is actually the new push towards touchscreen & Win8 that has made me consider Mac for the first time. As some of you alluded to, it is nice to stay in an environment with which you are familiar and have all the shortcuts memorized. For me, it just wasn't worth relearning the functions I was so familiar with on a PC. However, I'm now much more willing.

I do plan on using the computer for business purposes, not just for hobby. I appreciate the advice to get a large monitor as well. Perhaps I can then save a wee bit on the MacBook price and get the 13" screen model if I'll have a larger screen to plug in to.

Now... to convince my hubby that a Mac is worth the extra cash.... ;)

Thanks again everyone!
Chantelle Hoffmann
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Offline Estefa

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 04:14:46 AM »
Hi Chantelle, as a graphic designer and long time happy Mac user (about 20 years) I thought I am too biased to put in my opinion here ;) very valid points made by all of you! So just one thing that you might also put in consideration (and tell your husband ;)) is that Macs tend to "live" a long time. I bought my MacBookPro in 2006 and of course I'd LOVE to have a retina display and a faster machine, but it's still really ok to work with, no bugs, no viruses, no failures. I do professional image editing and design work on it, even on the relatively (15') small screen. Not suited for big brochure layouts (or posters etc.), where you really need to see a whole double page in detail, but for cards, small flyers etc. it works for me even without an additional monitor.

Just my personal experience of course!

Sometimes you can get "refurbished" machines directly from Apple that have little cosmetic flaws or are repaired machines, but for a much better price and with full guarantee etc. at least they used to offer this when I bought my laptop. (It was a bit hidden on their shop site ;))
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Offline schin

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 04:29:03 PM »
As a graphic designer, mark me down as another Mac supporter. PCs are great too though, honestly. Unless you're a hardcore PC person who have no problems fixing viruses and things like that, a Mac makes it easier to focus right on your work.
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Offline chantellehoffmann

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 03:55:04 PM »
Closing the loop on this one: I BOUGHT A MAC!!! And.... i. love. it.  Turns out a lot of the shortcuts I was so used to on a PC and was afraid to have to relearn on a Mac are not all that different. I have yet to do any real design work on this machine yet, but it's just sooo pretty that I know I'll be inspired to do my best work yet    ;D

Thank you to all those who chimed in. Now, time to go re-watch Molly Suber-Thorpes Skillshare class on how to digitize calligraphy. Guess I should actually learn a bit more about Photoshop first. So many fun things to learn, so few hours of the day while the kids are asleep.

I vote Mac for anyone else considering the change!
Chantelle Hoffmann
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Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Mac vs. PC for design work
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 11:48:59 PM »
ahh the old pc vs mac debate. Glad you made your decision. That's kinda like arguing Religion or Politics. Congratulations on your new Mac.