Are there any downsides to using a PC for graphic design.


AdamK86

New Member
I'm in school for graphic design and I was curious if there were any downsides to using a PC instead of a Mac. I realize that most of the software is OS agnostic and most people will just advise to use the one you prefer. I am familiar with both platforms, but I have always been more of an Android/PC kind of guy. Has using a PC ever impacted you in a negative way such as:

  • Clients were Mac users and wanted the deliverable to be in a Mac only format that you can't do with a PC (Final Cut Pro project file, Motion project file, etc).
  • Client didn't take you seriously because you were not using a Mac.
  • Any other issues you have encountered.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
It would actually be 'worse' for me to use macs to run my software, it's primarily only available on windows so I'd need to run bootcamp and well running a mac in bootcamp is just poor use of my money.

Unless there is something OS specific being used to do the work then you should be fine using any OS you want imo.
 

Lunacat

New Member
I have only ever use a PC for anything and have been able to design and swap files with people using Macs. Adobe Suite has made may thing cross compatible now.
From experience I found that some companies still use only use Macs for designing, so it may be a good idea to have some familiarity with the way they work. I had some trouble at a job interview once because I had never used a Mac and that's all they used.
 

sprout

Member
I’m guessing most design studios will be Mac based, especially in print design. It was definitely that way when I last worked in studios other than my own, which, granted, is quite some time ago now, so my knowledge may be a little out of date here. I imagine this is less the case in web design and development.

Throughout my career, mac has been an expectation and all my publishing clients want Mac deliverables. For me, the big thing is, macs just work. I spend a lot less time piddling around with the machine itself and getting on with what it is supposed to do, than friends and colleagues seem to have to do using windows, which is hugely important when deadlines loom – you watch my Mac fall over today just to spite me!

Type renders better on Mac – unless the most recent windows versions have improved that. It’s been a while since I played on a pc, apart from fleetingly. From what I have seen, though, the lastest windows is much better than it was.

A lower threat of viruses is a biggy for me.

Almost trumping all of that, though, is colour. I can pretty much judge print colour from an iMac. Partly, that’s just expeperience of knowing what to expect, but these days iMacs are pretty close. I don’t get nasty surprises back from the printers any more – apart from not too long ago when a printer I don’t usually use, but had to, decided to ‘lighten up a bit’ all the images on a job, I’d spent hours colour correcting. A real dog’s dinner.

All that said, knowing both has to be an advantage, but for me, I’d go Mac every time. They’re sexier too!

Thing is, this whole area is a minefield and you will always get very vocal polar opinions. I would suggest doing a bit of a straw poll with companies in the specific areas of design you want to work in. I am sure if you explained your situation and why you want to know, companies would be more than willing to help – and those that don’t, you wouldn’t want to work for anyway!
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Anyone that says you need a Mac for graphic design has absolutely zero idea what they are talking about.
 

sprout

Member
Anyone that says you need a Mac for graphic design has absolutely zero idea what they are talking about.
What you need, first and foremost, is a brain. The shiny box you use to execute an idea is no more relevant to the quality of design than the measure of DaVinci’s ability to draw was governed by the type of pencil he used.

That said, we all have personal preferences and requirements based on our clients’ needs. For me, I’d go Mac every time. I just find them less of a technical hindrance between brain and paper.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
What you need, first and foremost, is a brain. The shiny box you use to execute an idea is no more relevant to the quality of design than the measure of DaVinci’s ability to draw was governed by the type of pencil he used.

That said, we all have personal preferences and requirements based on our clients’ needs. For me, I’d go Mac every time. I just find them less of a technical hindrance between brain and paper.
That's your personal preference. For me, the applications are all identical. No hinderance at all in the way it works.

I've worked PC and Mac for over 20 years (since 1997), and I can categorically say I have had more issues with Macs than I ever had with a PC.


But hey - whatever works for you.

If you spend as much on a PC as you do on a Mac - you'd have a PC that is twice as good (components wise) and lasts twice as long as a Mac.


This is where I feel people fall down in buying a PC. You go to PC World/Currys and there's so much choice of approx 50 laptops/desktops - and you think, if I buy the most expensive one it will be the best. But it's not always the case. Or if you have a choice between 2 and they are both the same price, you would assume they do the same thing - whereas, one might be geared to portability and the other to be a workhorse desktop replacement, so you go for the ultra skinny one because it looks cool.

But if you go to a Mac store, there are 4 tables set up, and each gets more expensive as you go through them - so there's no denying the more you pay the more you get. And your choice is 4, not 44.

I've always maintained buying a PC is complicated, far more complicated than it should be - there's so much competition.

Apple doesn't have competition, as they are the only manufacturers of their products - so the shop looks clean, shiny, the spotlights over each computer exude excellence.


Back to the the OPs question:
Is there any downsides to using a PC for graphic design?

Picking the right laptop/desktop PC is crucial - and it's not straightforward - but I guarantee you it's cheaper and better than any Mac you can buy. If you buy the right one from the right place at the right time.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
It doesn't make a world of difference, it's all preference (and probably a little bit of snobbery).

That said, I personally prefer MacOS when I'm working, I find it's programmes such as Finder more intuitive than Windows Explorer and I'm more comfortable with the environment. But I like being able to upgrade a Windows PC as and when I need to. With Macs you're basically having to stump up a few thousand pounds up front every few years to keep up. With a PC you can upgrade components in stages to keep your rig competitive. Last year I upgraded a gaming PC I built. I bought a new motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, PSU and cooling for about less than half the cost of the cheapest Macbook Pro. It destroys my MBP in terms of specs, but I just hate using Windows.

Personally if all the software I needed was available, I'd probably just switch to a Linux OS.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Type renders better on Mac – unless the most recent windows versions have improved that. It’s been a while since I played on a pc, apart from fleetingly. From what I have seen, though, the lastest windows is much better than it was.

A lower threat of viruses is a biggy for me.

Almost trumping all of that, though, is colour. I can pretty much judge print colour from an iMac. Partly, that’s just expeperience of knowing what to expect, but these days iMacs are pretty close. I don’t get nasty surprises back from the printers any more – apart from not too long ago when a printer I don’t usually use, but had to, decided to ‘lighten up a bit’ all the images on a job, I’d spent hours colour correcting. A real dog’s dinner.

All that said, knowing both has to be an advantage, but for me, I’d go Mac every time. They’re sexier too!
Type on windows is fine, no different to a mac in all honesty. Resolution of the screen plays a large part there and if you're only viewing low end pc's they're going to look 'worse'.

Haven't had a virus on windows since windows 7, well even then it wasn't often. Common sense and basic anti virus deals with most of that, from what I'm seeing now Mac's are a popular target for malware because of the view that 'macs can't get a virus' that many people still have.

Colour accuracy... thats literally just calibration or getting a screen with a colour profile, if you calibrate your screen or have a screen with a colour profile windows is just as accurate as os-x. Also I hope you have your 'day/night' colour shifting turned off on your mac.

There are plenty of sexy windows devices too, in fact I personally think apple's designs are quite dated now.... plus I'd take a microsoft surface pro, surface book or surface desktop over a mac any day of the week.
 
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