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Mac Vs PC-Which is Better For Design?

by | Sep 30, 2012 | Articles, Tutorials | 20 comments

Mac Vs PC-Which is Better For Design?

This has been an age-old debate for the longest time. What platform should designers use for their work? Why do we care? Can the equipment you choose make a difference in your work? There are many questions to ask and plenty of definite answers. The age old debate over Mac Vs PC will be solved by the end of this article.


How did the Mac Vs. PC debate even start?

I have been in the design field for a few years. The reason I know the answer to this is due to the fact that I was around when print was still dominant. Just a few years ago, web designers and developers and print designers were divided. When you graduated from college, you could look for a design job without any knowledge of the web. Now, that just isn’t the case. Back in the days when print and web professionals were divided, publishing software was mainly created for the mac platform. There really wasn’t a Mac vs PC debate. You could still get it for a PC, but is was considered and taught in school that the industry standard was to use a Mac for your design work. The institutions trained us to work on Mac as opposed to PC, because they were supposedly built with more robust hardware than most PCs.

Mac Vs PC: Is There a Difference in Hardware?

It really depends on your point of view. A few years ago Apple produced their own processors, which in my honest opinion, were much more powerful than the PCs of their time. Don’t get me wrong, I have owned the best of PC and the best of Mac. Back then there was a real difference between the two. I could work all day and my Mac wouldn’t slow down or become bogged down. I could work on a PC and experience lag, bugs, and slower processing.

Now, however, Macs and PCs are both made with Intel processors, so there really is no difference in terms of hardware. I am a die hard Apple fan, and I will tell you that hardware-wise, Apple and PCs are built similarly. Apple boosts its hardware with add-ons, such as Thunderbolt ports, Retina displays, and other bells and whistles, but you could always make the same additions to your PC. The only difference between the two is the operating system.

The operating systems for mac and PC are vastly different. You can still perform the same actions, you simply use Ctrl on a PC instead of Command or the Apple key. They both are basically the same operationally, just Apple has beefed their operating system up with extra functions add-on software. Mountain Lion is supposed to make things easy for the user, but there really isn’t anything you can do with a Mac that you can’t do with a PC.

Personally I like Apple, because I have a set workflow that I use. I have a backup procedure in place, and I am just comfortable and confident with how things are set up. I have a 1.5TB Seagate Portable Hare Drive set up for automatic backup via Time Machine. I have enough to keep up with. Not having to remember to back everything up is a plus. It helps me keep my focus on work, and not so much on maintenance.

Someone else might have their own automatic backup setup on a PC. I am not so dense that I think that Apple has the only automatic backup program. If it isn’t built in natively, I’m sure that software comes with most hard drives. I just told you what I do to illustrate what works for me.

So why such a passionate debate over Mac Vs PC?

People are just passionate about their brands. I know a few of my father’s friends that are die hard motor heads, and they’ve almost gotten in fist fights over which is better, Chevy or Ford. One reason that we take it so personally is because it is a personal matter. That’s why I don’t talk politics with people. People consider it an insult when you don’t see their point of view. This is especially the case when they are passionate about their products. Mac vs PC is no different. People have used them for years, they have come to depend on them, and they trust them. They have also probably been burned by the competition in some manner. Personally, I have had PCs stop working inexplicably, and I have even had one completely die. After having to fix my wife’s PC over and over again, I use Apple, because for me, things run much smoother. The next person might hate Apple, because a logic board went out and they had to pay $900 to replace it because their computer was out of warranty. Brand loyalty is subjective.

I Hate to Burst Your Bubble on Mac Vs PC

So what is the answer to the Mac Vs PC debate? Which one should you use if you want to be the best designer out there? Well, here’s your answer: Either one you damn well please. There, I said it. I guess they’d call this a pipe bomb (not really). I love Apple and think they are the best. I am entitled to my opinion. Do I think Apple makes me a better designer? No, it actually has nothing to do with anything. No piece of equipment on Earth is going to make you a better designer. You do that through experience and having a knack for problem solving. No matter how much you cradle your $2500 Macbook Pro or your 6GB Alienware Laptop in your arms and sleep with it under your pillow at night, it will never make you any better at design.

Your computer is a tool. You manipulate it. It doesn’t manipulate you. Whatever you use, you make sure that it works for you. If you like PCs and you work better on a PC, great! Let’s see what you can do with it. If you work better on a Mac Pro with Dual 30″ Monitors, have at it. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is a solid work horse computer that is stable and won’t hinder you from getting the job done.

The Truth of it all is that Mac Vs PC all boils down to preference. I prefer Photoshop. I love Photoshop like one of my own children. I’m just glad I don’t have to feed it. On the other hand, some other people swear by Pixelmator. Fantastic! If you can create something amazing with Pixelmator, then do it and make a huge amount of money with it. That is what makes you unique as a designer. Use your Mac, use your PC, use your iPad and SketchBookPro, use your bricks and a stick. Whatever you use, if it works for you, use it and stop listening to everyone else about why you should use something else.

Mac Vs PC: Is Your mind Blown?

I hope not. The same could be applied to other arguments, such as Nikon vs Canon (Cameras), or Canon vs Epson(Printers). It really doesn’t matter. Each company has their strengths and weaknesses. All that matters is that you can work around them to make something great. All of this debating back and forth or Mac vs PC is a waste of time. This time is the same time that you could be spending to develop the next Instagram and make a billion dollars from it. Fighting arbitrary fights like Mac vs PC makes us lose focus on our careers and our clients. I don’t know about you, but I have enough stress in my life. There are more interesting things to debate other than hardware. Mac vs PC is essentially irrelevant.

So what do you think? Have I settled the Mac vs PC debate? Why don’t you add your two cents in the comments section below.


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