Best Mac For Illustrations


animalangel

New Member
Hi! I've decided to upgrade my mac and I was wondering which one I should get. I reccently got a Cintqu 16 and was leaning toward iMac as I won't really be leaving my desk and lugging my tablet places.

Thank you!
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Save yourself half the money and get a really good PC.

Unless there's a specific software you require for Mac.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Cintiq doesn't need a second screen to be used so basically anything over a certain level of spec would be suitable.... unless you specifically need a second screen for it for other things.

In terms of value for money I'd agree with hank on this, windows pc's, especially with ryzen 3, are far better bang per buck than apple at the moment.
 

sprout

Active Member
I’d go iMac every time. Yes they are more expensive and I’m sure pcs are just as good, but for me, the machine doesn’t often get in the way of what I’m doing and the colours are fantastic. Besides, they are quite sexy.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I’d go iMac every time. Yes they are more expensive and I’m sure pcs are just as good, but for me, the machine doesn’t often get in the way of what I’m doing and the colours are fantastic. Besides, they are quite sexy.
What do you mean get in the way? What do you mean colours are fantastic? What do you mean by quite sexy?

Other than the colour - that would be a valid reason - but buying a decent monitor would be more cost effective than buying a Mac.

Did you know that the iPad screens are manufactured by Samsung? And MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPod Touch displays are made by LG Display?

Did you know that Apple use the same processors from Intel as PCs, did you know that they use the same RAM from Crucial and Kingston and others?

Did you know that they buy the same hard drives from Intel/Samsung/ etc. as everyone else?


You get a shiny box, with the same parts, made by the same companies - but Apple put an extortionate markup on the whole thing! It's stupid.


I was pricing Macs for my employees recently and upgrading from 16gb to 32gb costs a whopping €720!!!! The RAM is about €80 to buy yourself!
I couldn't even select the type of graphics card I wanted.

The whole Mac came to over €3,500 for each employee.

I've priced PCs and they are €1,160 for a machine that is at least 3 times more powerful, much better processor, more RAM, better graphics cards and better monitors.
All in all the price is about €1,500 including monitors.


If you're buying a computer just because it looks sexy - then you are buying the wrong computer.


It's how my wife shops actually - we were in PC World and I asked her, out of all the computers here which one would you go for.
She looked around - and pointed to one and said that one.
I said "Why?"
And her reply was, "Because it's pink".
 

sprout

Active Member
I get it. PCs are much, much better value for money. I know the screens are made by Samsung, but somehow, they seem to get something right. I pretty much know if I choose a colour that how is looks on screen is never that far away from the finished, printed thing. I know a lot of that could be experience from doing it for long enough, you pretty much know what a colour is going to look like from its CMYK spec, but I can make judgements on photos with confidence as I know the screen is pretty accurate.

I have two other screens (one is a Samsung) off this iMac and no matter how much I fiddle with the calibration, they are never consistently right. On one, I may get the blues right, but the reds suffer, etc, etc. The iMac screen is pretty much spot on.

I am aware of all the other hardware similarities and the inflated mark-ups, but for me, it comes down to the OS. I like OS X and I really don’t get on with Windows. Probably familiarity as much as anything because I know in recent years the differences have become less and less, but I just don’t click with them and I do Macs.

When I say it doesn’t get in the way, I just find that I get no hassle from the OS, the way I did from PCs when I have had anything to do with them in the past (granted that was some time ago). My wife was a dyed-in-the-wool PC user before she met me. Now, she’d never go back. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, but I want a machine that does what I want it to do and I don’t bother too much about the machinations of the process.

I know all the on-paper arguments for PCs, especially when it comes to cost are completely solid and it almost makes no sense to buy a Mac (apart from some of the software I use is Mac-specific), but is comes down to what you are comfortable with. I just am not with PCs. Choice. No argument to win or lose.

As to ‘sexy’. That was mostly tongue-in-cheek. Of course I’d never buy one just because it looks pretty. It has to do the job, but the fact is it pretty is icing not he cake. After all, it’s not a surprise that we designy-types respond to the aesthetics of an object.

I have toyed with the idea for the next upgrade of going over to the other side, but when it comes to work I want as seamless a transition as possible. I know with Adobe that’s also not an issue any more you can download either, but as I say, some of the software (Glyphs for example) is Mac only.

When I do come to upgrade, I may revisit it and go see in the flesh some PCs designed for the job, but I reckon I will end up still biting the bullet and going for Mac again. I just wish they were still the maverick disrupters they were when I bought my first Mac LC and not a corporate monster.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
I know the screens are made by Samsung, but somehow, they seem to get something right.
Pretty sure the desktop screens are done by LG, or at least a large portion of them, these days, mobile is majority Samsung....


I have two other screens (one is a Samsung) off this iMac
There are numerous types of panels, you've likely gone and bought a tn panel which is more for refresh rates than colour accuracy. You want IPS if you want colour accuracy. Having said that you're not saying how you're doing the colour accuracy, are you using a tool or doing it by eye.

My Dell screen (might not like the pc's but the screens are good) even came with a colour profile which I could use if I couldn't be bothered with calibration, in all honesty there was such a small difference in this it almost makes it pointless to calibrate the screen.

I don't have any hassles from windows, hell I haven't had anything wrong with windows for decades unless I was tinkering with stuff like overclocking etc (I like doing that type of thing with pc's too)
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I don't have any hassles from windows, hell I haven't had anything wrong with windows for decades unless I was tinkering with stuff like overclocking etc (I like doing that type of thing with pc's too)
Perxactly my experience too.

Nothing but problems with the Macs and over the years they get worn out quickly.

PC's just keep on working.

I know where this comes from - circa 1995-2005 PCs were office computers, for Word/Excel processing and MS Access Databases. Heck, email wasn't even a thing back in 1995 for a vast majority of businesses. PCs were ideal for working within most offices.

Macs came along - with a much a higher spec than the PC - their cost justified the price, plus they could be used in the quickly changing world of print and design. Where a lot of things were starting to take shape in the computer world.

And in this world PCs just didn't cut the mustard - but Macs had far superior under the hood technology which drew a vast majority of individuals and companies in print/design to migrate their workflows to Macs.

However, then Gaming really took off - with the launch home entertainment gaming systems, with MegaDrives, SNES (a push on from ZX Spectrum (which I still have working by the way!) - and all the home entertainment gaming systems, Neo Geo, Nintendo, Sega, even the Amigas!

And Macs where they were very good - a lot of computer programmes weren't programming in Linux OS for the MAC OS - they were primarily writing code that worked on the Windows platform - as Macs were quite new to the market and specialised companies were writing code for design/print etc. - it wasn't a world that Game Coders were getting into.


Along came better games - designed mostly for PC (yes we had Doom on the Mac and a few other fun networking games for the office!) - but nothing like the volume being written for gamers in the PC world.

Then people started making really good Gaming PCs. That's not to say it hadn't happened already in 1993 Falcon were making some pretty dope Gaming PCs.

From about 2005 people started customising their gaming PCS and by 2010-2013 it was considered to be pretty normal.



There is a vast history behind it all - but needless to say - Macs were originally primed for GUI since 1978 and used in Desktop Publishing from the mid 80's.
PCs were primarily gaming - and not really considered in the 80's due to the fact that people only really started customising them for gaming around 2005 onwards.

Hence, Mac has a legup of nearly 20+ years in DTP/Design/Print over the PC.

ANd that's where the misconception comes from basically - PCs are now better than Macs in many ways - for half the price.

Mac and Apple have gone downhill, in my opinion, since about 2005. Around the time PC gamers started customing for games.


I really cannot justify spending the money an Apple.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
Sorry. Not read all the comments above but...

I was given a Cintiq and a pretty high end MacBook Pro a while back when I was working for this company.
I connected it all up and one of the first things I noticed was how much it made the fans blow of the MacBook.

I mean to a worrying level.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Sorry. Not read all the comments above but...

I was given a Cintiq and a pretty high end MacBook Pro a while back when I was working for this company.
I connected it all up and one of the first things I noticed was how much it made the fans blow of the MacBook.

I mean to a worrying level.
That's because of the thermal design of the macbook pro being basically the bare minimum apple could get away with to keep it cool, hell they had to bring out an update at one point to adjust the voltages etc so one version didn't overheat....
What happened in you case was the gpu was having to work harder due to 2 monitors and you were obviously working the cpu etc for the design.

This does happen on pc's to some extent too, the thinner the laptop the closer to bare minimum the cooling is, but at the same time I don't hear of this happening as often on windows machines....
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
It was a really high end MacBook Pro.
That's part of the reason why it happened, the highest cpu's that fit in the macbook pro have a slightly higher tdp than the lower ones due to the extra cores... in simplest terms more cores mean more heat but apple didn't go and change the chassis etc so you get heat issues. It's part of the reason that when you look at laptops designed for workstation type work they're either very heavily ventilated (and noisy) and/or slightly thicker for beefier cooling solutions.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
The whole macbook case is a heatsink - that's why it gets so hot and nearly burns the bejaysus off your nads when using it on your lap - like a laptop!
The whole design is weird.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
The whole macbook case is a heatsink - that's why it gets so hot and nearly burns the bejaysus off your nads when using it on your lap - like a laptop!
The whole design is weird.
I'm not the biggest apple fan but the case design shouldn't be acting as a heatsink, because the cooling equipment shouldn't be attached to it.... there will be thermal transfer into the casing though which is pretty normal with most laptops but if it's getting that hot there's something wrong somewhere.
 

eddypeck

Member
I get the Mac vs PC argument a lot, and it looks like I'm going against the other comments here but this is my personal experience.

I've worked on Macs since the late 90s. However the majority of the last 15 years I've been PC based at my work place but kept a Mac for home and freelance. All day I'm surrounded by Microsoft developers who dis macs as overpriced - pretty things.

Yet I've had 2 Macs since 2002 (18 years) spending about £4k on hardware (£200 a year). Only really having to replace the original one as it was Power PC and support and updates had stopped after Apple went to Intel Chipsets.

My current Mac is a 2011 imac, I actually bought 2nd hand when it was about a year old. Which saved me about a grand. It will now no longer get OS updates as support has now ended for it which is a massive shame. But I'm sure the current OS without any more updates will last as a "fixed in time" machine for another few years at least.

My current job I've been in for 8 years and have had about 3 whole PCs, plus countless parts replaced. The spec of these on paper is pretty epic so should easily be considered a Mac beater but I have nothing but trouble. Not sure the cost of these machines over the years but it's a lot I'm sure.

At home I've spent many thousands over the years on home computers and laptops for my wife/kids which have had to be windows based to match school/college/work requirements etc. they are disposable tat that cause nothing but trouble.

If you not technical based spend the extra on a Mac, get it out the box and use it for the next 10 years! Maybe if you know what you're doing and are interested in building bespoke systems then a PC is fine. My son started talking to me about wanting to build a gaming machine - I clearly told him he's on his own, I want nothing to do with it.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Well, I've worked on PC and Mac since the late '90s.

I've had nothing but trouble with Mac working in a production environment for prepress litho. They caused havoc. Constantly broke etc.
I've had to rebuild hard drives with the Disk Warrior things - something I never want to have to experience again.

It is true - buy a Mac and you take it out of the box, plug it in and away it goes.
It's very limited to what you can get with it - it's either 1 option or another.

€720 for extra RAM though is a piss-take - it's a joke - and something I refuse to pay for.

Similarly - I can buy a PC take it out of the box - plug it in and it all works perfectly fine - but you do have to research, pick good parts, compatible, and other things.

It is no wonder people buy Macs - they made it a simple process. But there is only 1 supplier of Macs - Apple!

Windows computers there are tonnes of manufacturers and suppliers - it's an open market. It's confusing!


Microsoft in fairness did bring out their own Surface which tried to mimic Apple's philosophy.


But we are asking which is the best for Illustrations:
The answer is - what you can afford.

If you can afford a Mac - then get one if that's what you want.
If you can't or don't want to spend that kind of money - then buy a really good PC.

If you need a hand in picking a really really really good PC - then let us know - we can help you pick the right parts.


All in all - Macs can do it and PCs can do it.


What do you want to spend money on?
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
I can't even buy what I want in a computer from apple.... one they don't use nvidia, 2 they don't even run the majority of the software I use without needing virtualisation and/or bootcamp and 3, I can actually get better performance for less by not being restricted to intel xeon processors (no point me going imac, it's imac pro or higher).

As to pc hardware being replaced... no idea why your company is doing it so frequently, I can only assume that the person who bought them didn't spec them right (or didn't tell the company the right info for the right hardware) or you're just doing something weird with your pc's to cause them to break.

I've literally got an amd x2 opteron based pc sitting here that I got around 2004, still working fine, albeit incredibly slow and on windows 8, and honestly the only thing I've replaced on it was the motherboard and even that still works. The annoying thing is that I had to replace the motherboard because the manufacturer didn't support upgrading to windows 8..... in essence forced obsolescence and no I don't use that company anymore. And can't exacty say I'm light on my pc's, I do 3D rendering etc which can be 100% cpu and gpu in some cases for hours if not days at a time...
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Forgot to say - there was a woman I worked with before asked me to help her pick out a new computer. I asked what the budget was and she said it was about €400.
I found a really decent one for 400 - she said she just wanted to book flights etc.

Turns out, the specs on the site didn't match what she ordered, and it was really slow - in essence, should have returned it and got the right one sent out.
But for her, it was too slow and she didn't like it.

She then tells me that she got a new computer and it's fantastic! I asked what it was and she said an Apple!!! [Really excited]

How much was that?
€2,600

Initially, the budget was €400.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Forgot to say - there was a woman I worked with before asked me to help her pick out a new computer. I asked what the budget was and she said it was about €400.
I found a really decent one for 400 - she said she just wanted to book flights etc.

Turns out, the specs on the site didn't match what she ordered, and it was really slow - in essence, should have returned it and got the right one sent out.
But for her, it was too slow and she didn't like it.

She then tells me that she got a new computer and it's fantastic! I asked what it was and she said an Apple!!! [Really excited]

How much was that?
€2,600

Initially, the budget was €400.
shock horror... a €2.5k laptop is better than a €400 one lol.
 
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