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The Blank Slate: Mac or PC?

The Blank Slate: Mac or PC?

It’s the ago old question that every designer has answered at some point in their career. It has sparked many debates, some even a bit heated at times. Which ever platform you choose, it sort of defines you in a way. Sometimes whether you want it to or not.

It’s a simple question with a not so simple answer. These days I think it’s simply a matter of preference, I don’t think one platform is THAT much better than the other, or is it? Either way, it always remains a good topic for debate…

Are You a Mac or a PC?

I’d love to know what the WeGraphics community prefers. Which platform have you chosen, and why did you choose it?

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.

26 Comments

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  1. Ressa McCray

    Hi Nathan. I am bicomputorial. I have a PC desktop and a MacBook laptop. Oh and an iPad2. I like both platforms for different reasons. When you get used to them you don’t even have to think about what platform you are on. My professors always said, “Your most important tool is your brain.”

    • I agree with your teacher. “Your most important tool is your brain.”

  2. Personally I’d never use a PC ever again. However most of the clients are so it’s a must to still stick at some point with a PC. OSx all the way!

  3. Great question Nathan right now I am in the market for an upgrade with both a computer and software. I’m currently running a Dell desktop with adobe CS2 premium. I plan to get upgrade to a MacBook and CS5 in the coming month or so. Like Ressa said it’s not as much the platform as you brain/skills. The reason I’m choosing to go Mac is to have a better handle on Mac and be well rounded on both Mac &PC.

  4. Mohammad Jeprie

    I choose PC. I know many designer will say Mac, but I’ve seen some surveys (one of it is from Adobe Photoshop team) PC is still the majority.

  5. I used Windows XP for 8 years, and switched to OSX a few years back – I must say, I don’t plan on going back. Everything on Mac simply works better, in my experience at least.

    From a designer perspective, the standard for UI design is much higher in OS X, and therefore I can get design inspiration whilst on any old app. With Windows, that wasn’t really the case.

    Then again, Windows 8 looks very nice, from the previews I’ve seen.

  6. I’m sticking with PCs because of the price. That’s it.

    I’ve had experience with Mac, it was a pleasant one, but I can’t afford to buy it here. If, however, I got a chance to visit the US, I’d buy a middle range MB Pro to be my mobile workstation.

    Both platforms have their pros and cons.

    OS X is definitely a nice one and is more stable too, and there are some amazing apps available for it.

    Win7 has quite a nice design as well, not as fantastic as OS X but still nice.

    As far as performance go, it’s obvious that PCs have a lot more potential, i.e. more flexibility in terms of hardware customization.

    I’ve got a Core i7 + 12 GB (overclocked too) but it still hangs occasionally or gives me a BSOD every so often, but all in all I get my job done and that’s what’s important.

    And what’s the point really… let’s just make more amazing things. Computer doesn’t make one a better designer, right?. :)

  7. I have experienced both Mac and PC, from what I have experienced PC are way to vulnerable to anything and everything! I have had my little black macbook for 3 years now and I have never had one problem with it!

    I have recharged my macbook battery 850 times and it still holds 4 hours of power, it has been a little pocket rocket for me and has never let me down.
    It will always be Macs, I would rather save up for an extra year then use a PC !

  8. I use both to a degree — PC for the design/computing aspect of things and iPhone/iPad for content and travel.

    My preference for PC is mostly because I like the customization and overclocking aspect like Sergei was talking about, and you really can’t do that on a Mac (it would void your warranty and be super expensive). If I wanted to run OSX I’d probably build a computer and load it on to the custom hardware =D

  9. “Your most important tool is your brain.” – I love that! :-)

    I switched from PC to Mac about 5 years ago. I wouldn’t go back, I’m not very good with Windows. It seems like something would stop working, and it would be brain surgery to try and figure it out. Since switching to Mac, nothing has stopped working… so far.

  10. once you go mac, you never go back.

  11. Mac, mac, mac! I’ve never owned a PC, and never will.

  12. Since most of the sites I build are viewed by PC users, I’ve stuck with Windows. Across platforms, there are still subtle differences even when using the same browser and version. However, I’m sure I would enjoy a Mac, and I’ll probably jump on the wagon someday.

  13. Antonio Capuozzo

    Think different.

  14. PC running Ubuntu/Windows. Why? Because I am not retarded to a point where I cannot use a mere OS. Because I do not want Photoshop crashing all the time, it happens more often on iMacs than on my laptop. Because anyone who says than can take the inspiration from the MacOs is a copycat, and I happen to believe in my skills. Because I don’t want to be a victim of apple’s marketing strategy. Because it is proven Ubuntu and Windows 7 are faster than Mac OS X. Because I have not had any “security issues” with my PC at all. Because I like the concept behind the word “Variety”.

    P.s. I apologize if you feel offended or attacked by my comment but this is my mere opinion.

  15. I have always used a PC. Why? Because my dad worked at IBM and it just sort of happened naturally. We had one of the first PC’s available from his work and it progressed from there. I don’t have anything against Macs, though, just never really felt the need to get one. (I do love my new iPod Touch and plan to get an iPad, though.)

    It can get a bit frustrating when I see some of the bias out there in the design world about Macs. There are some really cool design tools that I’ve come across which are Mac only. But really, to each his own.

  16. Adrian

    Price is the deterrent if you are trying to move to Mac. Apple does the song and dance routine too often by changing the hardware, leaving your one year old system sounding old at times. That said and not wanting to write a thesis on every point, Mac is still more versatile and stable for certain workflows.

    Like Sarah said there is a lot of unwarranted bias out there and so it depends on what you as the user feel more comfortable in…..not the cult of Apple or Microsoft.

    I use a Mac but keep any apple demagoguery to myself.

  17. Igor

    Hi! I am a Brazilian with much pride!
    I must admit, I love Mac!
    The interface, the way I see it, the care i have and the principal for me is the optimization of my work that delivers!
    And price is no excuse! :)
    If you are American, should be ashamed to say that Macs are expensive! Well… Come to buy it in Brazil! The initial price of a MacBook Pro in the USA is $1199.00 – here in Brazil is $2249.00! I love my country’s taxes, you pay a lot and got nothing in return … Perfect! :P

    Abraços!

  18. Jason Morley-Nikfar

    I used a mac in college (powerbook 1400) and loved it, but gave it up when I started doing web development for corporate America. Starting around 6 years ago, I kept having to replace my PC laptops every 12-15 months. (They tended to wear out along with the warranty.) So, in late 2009, I bought my first Mac in 13 years–a 17″ MBP.

    Now, I run Parallels in Coherence mode and my PC apps blend in perfectly with my Mac apps. Visual Studio 2010 runs flawlessly, and quite speedily. I sometimes even forget that Windows 7 is running in the background. Surprisingly, my Mac has been the best PC I’ve ever owned!

    After moving, I slowly gave up my PC apps for better Mac counterparts. The only things that I still run via Parallels are Visual Studio, Toad, Oracle client tools, and IE for testing websites.

    I will definitely never go back to a PC.

  19. Tom

    I must say that macs are nice, a little bit overpriced perhaps and I find them not very adaptable.

    I run a PC which I built myself, this means it was much cheaper than the equivalent Mac and I can continually upgrade parts and keep it up to date. I am careful what I download/install to stay away from dodgy files and programs and have had no issues. It runs all my design software quickly and I don’t need anything else. I just can’t see what a Mac can do to improve any task I carry out (might make my room look prettier).

  20. For me it comes down to physical build quality.

    1. You simply can’t beat the unibody aluminum on the MBP. My current one is 2 years old and looks nearly brand new. My PC laptops that were 2 years old looked like junk. Too much plastic and junk to break, bend, and lose.

    2. The large multi-touch trackpad is amazing. I never ever need a physical mouse. On my PC laptop I always had to have a wireless mouse and space to move it around (a big pain at a cafe or cluttered desk) because the included trackpad was such an annoying and impractical tool.

    3. The power cord plug. Its easy, its durable, your stuff doesn’t get pulled off the table and/or bend and broken when you inevitably trip over it.

    A carpenter doesn’t use a plastic hammer because he needs to spend his time building not buying new hammers. A designer/developer/tech-pro shouldn’t use a plastic computer. Its their tool. It needs to stay in good shape and do its job as long as possible so he/she can spend their time producing, not maintaining and fixing their tools.

    With that said if you’re using a desktop computer that stays safe and immobile all the time, then either Mac or PC is fine in my opinion. But I still find that the mac OS requires a lot less maintenance and has a lot less software troubleshooting related downtime.

  21. Ivan

    I don’t see any difference any more few years ago when was called Apple Macintosh that was a REAL Mac nowadays its a glorified PC. In terms of quality built if you buy a high end PC laptop does not have nothing less than a Mac. I design interfaces and at the end of the day its a tool.

    Few years ago Adobe will launch first on Mac than eventually PC this proved that then a MAC was king nowadays Adobe CS comes out first for PC (owning largest market share) and than MAC.

    But this does not justify the price tag because the components are exactly like a PC unlike few years ago the PowerPC architecture was a completely different from a PC.

    Android its the future MAC won’t live long if it wasn’t for the iPhone and iPod Apple won’t be around anymore.

  22. Andre de Jesus

    Just a little up date a few weeks ago I got a MacBookPro and I love it! I find it easier to use and install apps, it runs faster and smoother than my Dell desktop. I wish I made the switch sooner I see a iMac soon for the family computer.

    New Mac BookPro Specs:
    13″
    2.7GHz dual-core
    Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz
    500GB 5400-rpm1
    Intel HD Graphics 3000

  23. Jayboy

    I haved always owned PC’s and never Macs. I updated my phone – got an iPhone 4, fantastic tool. The apps are incredible. After having the iphone I thought I would update my PC and consider a MacBook Pro. I had a 17″ screen Dell so was considering the 17″ MacBook Pro. I almost settled on getting one after reading all the reviews and no doubt they are an amazing machine. Comparing i7 Sandy Bridge in PC and Mac as well as graphics, RAM, updatability, Drives – optical, DVD/Blu Ray etc as well as hard drives – solid state, sound and sound cards, durability operating systems Snow Leopard or Win 7 I have settled on another PC. I use my computer everyday – laptop but not carrying it on planes everywhere. I was looking at the most speced out MacBook Pro or PC and the PC came out on top.
    Specs – 12GB Ram, 1TB 2X500GB SSD, Blu Ray Writer/DVD Read write (not avail on MB Pro) 2X 2GB GTX 580 SLi graphics cards (not avail on MB Pro) and i7 990 extreme chip (Not avail on MB Pro). This setup $5K – pricey? Absolutely! But would not have been able to build at all, even for the same money for a MB Pro. All the PC’s components are updatable and expandable in the future. Should have the same computer in 5 years. Maybe I’ll get a Mac then :)…Oh the computer Metabox (Clevo) X7200.

  24. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool mac addict; always have been.

    There was a while that I lived on a pc (long story, and a painful one at that), and the day I switched back was one my happiest ever. And, having a pc for a while gave me a different perspective on the mac-pc pricing issue – I don’t buy it.

    All of my wife’s pc’s, and the one I had, only lasted 2-3 years, tops. My first iMac lasted 7+ years, and is still going strong, even though I upgraded to a 27″ iMac for all kinds of reasons (Intel processor, and, it’s huge!). Every mac I’ve owned has far outlasted anyone’s pc I know of… so, my theory is that the lifespan of macs makes the slightly higher entry price well worth it.

    (That’s my story, at least, and I’m sticking to it.)

  25. My vote goes for……
    PC

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