Trying to decide what hardware platform you want for graphic design? Mac® vs. PC for Graphic Design. There are some questions to answer that will help you determine what’s right for you. If you’re trying to decide between a desktop and a laptop computer, read here.
For a long time, graphic designers automatically gravitated toward Apple products. There was a considerable amount of design software produced only for the iOS© platform. That has changed in the last ten years, however. Most software is available for both Microsoft© Windows© and iOS.
Because many corporations with IT departments dictate the operating systems employees will use, it’s more common for graphic designers to use Windows. Some designers use both.
Adobe© products, in particular, work fine on either Windows or iOS. The limiting factor for Adobe is often the specifications of the computer you’re using, rather than the operating system. There is no longer any reason to consider Mac the default option for graphic design.
Long-time Mac users also frequently cite usability as a Mac advantage. In most cases, usability comes down to what you’re used to, however. Many designers switch between the two platforms with no trouble.
There are some advantages to using a Mac, however. One major advantage is the ecosystem Apple products create. If you already have an iPhone©, iPad©, MacBook©, or other Apple products you use for work, buying an Apple desktop or laptop to fit in with your existing products can be the best option. Being able to seamlessly move and access files regardless of the device is an advantage.
There are also fewer viruses written for iOS. That doesn’t mean there are none, but because Macs are a smaller portion of the market, hackers tend not to focus on them as much.
The iMacs can be particularly convenient because they are self-contained, with no need to buy a separate monitor.
The number one advantage of PCs is that they are generally cheaper than Macs. PCs also come in many different configurations and can be customized. After purchase, hardware can be swapped out if it has become inadequate or obsolete. Some Macs can be upgraded after purchase, as well, but generally only the memory and storage drive can be changed. So the initial cost of a PC will usually be less and on-going costs are also lower. This is because you are able to swap out parts, it’s not necessary to buy an entirely new system every three or four years.
Most PCs have multiple points to connect peripherals and many more options for peripherals. If you like to work on a keyboard and a drawing pad or other accessories, this is a definite advantage.
There is more software created exclusively for Windows. Most of this software tends to be general office software, but if this software is used by a client to communicate or track projects, it can be important. PCs also tend to have greater backward compatibility, that is, they can run older versions of software or operating systems.
The most compelling reason to go with a particular platform is file compatibility with your clients. If you deliver in OS-agnostic formats, however, the choice of what to go with depends on individual hardware and software requirements, what you’re used to, and budget. For more general information on Mac products and PCs, read here.
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