Mac or PC? – VOTE NOW (If You're A Designer)

Mac or PC? – VOTE NOW (If You're A Designer)

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The age old debate… to use Mac or PC? I don’t believe a poll has been run amongst the design community for a long long time so let us find out what designers prefer… Mac or PC? Cast your vote below and promote this poll so we can get an accurate result.

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188 thoughts on “Mac or PC? – VOTE NOW (If You're A Designer)”

  1. I’m a web designer and use a PC. I’ve used both, but always owned PC’s. Old habits I guess – they’re also cheaper than Mac’s LOL.

    Really, though – if you can get all the same software (esp Adobe) then what’s the difference?

    I’d love a mac someday – esp to help with cross-browser testing. But as far as being a good designer, I don’t see why platform has anything to do with it… I’m interested in the results though! 🙂

  2. Kristarella,
    I just added two more options for people such as yourself as not everyone is going to be a designer… I wanted to attract mainly designers to this post so we can get an understanding on the percentages in the design industry rather than the whole world 😛

    Myself? A PC fan however at University I use Mac as that is what they have in the design labs. I also agree about the platform having nothing to do with being a good designer.

  3. I used to use PCs exclusively, but now it’s the opposite. Since getting my Macbook Pro, I’ve actually sold my PC and now work only with Macs. Whilst it’s true that neither platform generates good design, I honestly just feel more at home designing on a Mac. Things seem to flow better for me on OS X.

  4. I am a designer (graphic and web) and I use a PC. I find that when I meet other designers, they are taken aback when I say I use a PC. This annoys me a little, as it seems like they think I’m less of a designer because I don’t use a Mac like they do. Really, though, my work isn’t going to come out ANY different if I use a Mac. Same software, same result. I think in this regard it’s just an image thing.

  5. My biggest argument for the MAC versus PC debate….with regard to web designers…over 80% of people using the internet are PC users….yet for some stupid reason, over 80% (traditional stats) of web designers use a MAC. Doesn’t it make sense to use the same operating system that the vast majority of your market are using?!

    Especially when working with clients…they will most likely be PC users…and so you should match that also to avoid any conflict.
    It’s a no brainer in my opinion.

  6. I’ve done all my web design and some graphic design on PCs. I’ve been tempted to switch to Linux but there are still things missing and I don’t feel like spending the time yet.

    Macs look great but many users I know seem to have hardware issues just after the guarantee ends. PC users have hardware issues as well, but our hardware has gotten so cheap that it’s more an annoyance than a crisis when it happens.

    Use the best tool for your job. Nowadays the OSes aren’t different enough to make the decision for you based on features. If you already know one OS, stick with it until you have a very compelling reason to switch.

    Jacob from JobMob’s last blog post..Keep The Light Shining: 3 Unemployment Survival Lessons From Your Canadian English Teacher

  7. Agreed: the platform has nothing to do with the outcome of design. But designing on Mac feels a lot more natural to me. I’ve used both PCs and Macs extensively, each has it’s own advantages. For design, multimedia and other creative work, I, personally feel more at home on a Mac.

  8. I wonder how the stats would play out if you broke down the poll options into design specialities? I suspect more web designers would use PCs, and more print designers would use Macs, than this poll might suggest.

  9. I’m a designer and I use both a PC and Mac Pro. Really feel that should have been an option in this poll.

  10. I’m a graphic designer and after getting a Mac my first year of college, I haven’t gone back to PC since. Sure, there are some things PCs have that Macs don’t, but it’s a whole vice versa thing.

  11. A personal computer (PC) is any computer whose original sales price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end user, with no intervening computer operator.

    I believe the true question would be Windows or MacOS?
    I’m a designer turned programmer, and happily ended up on Linux.
    To me it feels like Windows is just a crappy OS with a decent price tag, while OSX is a pretty nice OS (feels slick, yet limited to me) with an overpriced total package.
    I’ll just stick with the free average-to-good alternative and keep laughing at these debates. 🙂

  12. Why not build a custom pc with the same specs as macs? I am a graphic / web designer BUT Im also a student a+ tech. The only thing special about macs is there OS. They run Intel chips, which anyone can buy. I suggest just build a custom pc, it is easier

  13. I’m a graphic designer and I teach graphic design. I’m fluent on both PC and Mac, but I prefer the PC. I always have. However, having solid cross-platform skills gives any designer a huge advantage over anyone who is married to only one OS.

    I have to agree with Marnie B, who said that people are sometimes taken aback when I say that I prefer PC. Cost has a lot to do with it. If I can spend equal amounts of money, I get more with a PC than I do with a Mac. There are things I like about both systems, and things I dislike about both systems.

    If I ever had a large design firm, I’d want both PC and mac, and I’d only hire people who were comfortable with both.

  14. I use PC, and I’ve used mac for some time, and I feel a lot more comfortable in PC, Windows is better than Mac IMO in all except in booting, also it has a lot of more programs and I get to choose not only the color of the computer, but size, brand, etc.

    For what I’ve seen, Mac is just advertising, it has good things, but it’s not the best thing in the world like some people say it is.

    Robert’s last blog post..Worth a Smile

  15. “I don’t believe a poll has been run amongst the design community for a long long time”

    At least not since yesterday or so. Also, you forgot “I’m a designer, use both platforms comfortably, and wish people who can’t would quit telling the rest of us about it.”

  16. @ Brian:

    Well Brian, obviously you don’t know your history very well. Years ago when the PC was nothing more than a wordprocessor, the graphics industry standard was Macintosh. You couldn’t do any graphics stuff on a PC, simply because it wasn’t powerful enough, but more importantly, there was no software for the PC platform either.

    Nowadays things have changed since you can do everything on a PC that you can do on a Mac, but it hasn’t always been the case. I guess Mac = designer pc stuck.

  17. Thanks Jacob, I know you wanted to get designer answered, just thought I’d comment anyway 😛

    Saw a comment that said PCs were cheaper not true, Apple just doesn’t sell cheap gear.

    Windows might have a lot more programs to choose them, but most are shoddy work, very crap indeed.

    Still, whatever gets the work done for you and you’re happy using is fine.

    kristarella’s last blog post..Buy Thesis & get Cosmo free

  18. @Kevin

    I’m not sure where exactly I went wrong with my “history”. I simply stated a fact on today’s statistics. Nothing more. You are trying to argue a case that I didn’t even make?

    I manage hundreds of websites for clients, and here is a small sample of the stats for visitors/browsers of some general consumer product websites:

    Site One:
    Windows = 94.3%
    Mac = 4.22%

    Site Two:
    Windows = 95.58%
    Mac = 3.6%

    Site Three:
    Windows = 93.2%
    Mac = 6.64%

    So, whether or not people started off using Mac’s back in the day to design websites, and graphics etc… it seems pretty clear from the facts that if you are designing a website, you would probably be best off using the same OS over 90% of your visitors use. There’s no argument there.

  19. The debate’s a good one. I like these comments, the PC camp is far less of a minorty than I expected.

    I think the majority of people here are web designers — and if you also do any amount of implementation you’re better off with a PC purely for the ability to test on all browsers (a PC can run every major browser, but Macs can’t run IE6/7 — over 50% of the internet’s user base). As far as Vista is concerned, it’s a monstrosity for CS (and, of course, anything else that wants to use any significant amount of RAM). What was the latest as far as Acrobat Pro was concerned? “We know it doesn’t work and we don’t intend to fix it”, I believe.

    When I get given the whole “a real designer couldn’t stand to use a PC”, I tend to respond by saying that what sets a designer apart from the layman is their ability to deal with undesigned goods.

  20. I used a PC and nothing else back in the day. I went to school and was taught on a Mac. Now i use a Mac. I still have a desktop PC that i use for browser testing and to play the occasional video game.

    For me the reason i use a Mac is not to be “cool” or because most designers use it. I use one because i find the OS easier to use and the computer very reliable(i still use a g4 i bought 3 1/2 years ago), I’ve never had a problem with it. I obviously need to upgrade which i will. But costs for a Mac are so expensive.

    I personally hate it when people think i’m all “hoity toity” because i use a Mac. Since when did owning a type of computer put you in a class?

  21. I’ve grown up using a Pc, but once I got to Uni, It was a Mac environment. Then when I started working, it was a PC environment. It was hard getting used to all the shortcuts again and was so used to using expose feature OSX has.

  22. @ Brian:

    My bad. I didn’t read your post well enough.

    But I have to disagree. As a tool it doesn’t matter if your clients are on the same OS or not. The endresult isn’t platform dependent.

  23. Kevin/Brian,

    I can see where you both are coming from. My view is that a web developer should design a website around web standards, and thus standards compliant browsers such as Firefox (which runs and renders virtually identically on Win/OSX/Linux). Unfortunately IE is not standards compliant as of yet (although improvements are beginning to happen with the beta of IE8), and IE6/7 still exhibit many quirks – I believe the best way to deal with this is primarily to write standards compliant code that renders correctly in standards compliant browsers, and then create workarounds that detect IE and fix the quirky behaviour solely in IE.

    A responsible web developer/designer should absolutely test their website in as many browsers on as many platforms as possible. Now of course, IE is still the number one browser by usage (although it’s lead is steadily diminishing in the face of gaining Firefox popularity), therefore a Mac/Linux developer must test their websites in IE running on Windows. I’m a Mac user (having been a Windows user since 3.1), and love the speed/responsiveness, stability and user-interface of Mac OSX, but I do run WindowsXP using Parallels virtualisation on my Mac for those extremely rare times I need to run Windows software, or slightly more commonly, test websites in IE, so this offers the best of both worlds – hey, I can even run OSX, XP, Vista, Ubuntu, etc, all at the same time and just Cmd-Tab in between operating systems!

    Before the advent of the web, MacOS attracted quality print design applications when Windows was just learning what GUI meant, and therefore this legacy is one of the most significant reasons why the majority of non-web-designers continue to use MacOS. But in this age where the major applications release for MacOS and Win, it’s largely a matter of personal preference – although it’s probably a good idea career-wise to have a good working knowledge of both platforms.

    I agree fully with the previous points that platform choice doesn’t dictate one’s ability as a designer – although (warning: controversial point ahead!) from a purely aesthetic perspective, I do still believe that many of those who appreciate good design are attracted to Macs because of the high quality of hardware and user-interface design.

  24. This was one hard decision for me to vote on! My first introduction with Adobe CS2 was on a brand new Mac with Tiger and growing up as a PC kid i had to put aside all my complaints because i was given such a fantastic graphics traineeship in Newcastle that I was determined to enjoy the mac experience. And boy oh boy i loved it. The problem is that i had a PC at home with Adobe CS2 and so while i worked all day on Mac, I’d come home and work on PC.
    The hardest part was trying to figure out how to UN-DO the damage i did with the wrong keyboard shortcuts! Then after my traineeship i got another graphics job, this time based on a PC platform, but i went out and purchased a Macbook Pro so i’ve done another switch.

    I prefer Macs for their operating system that PCs just don’t seem to be able to match. Arrowing through menus and opening and closing pages, switching between programs is always quicker for me on Macs becasue of the operating system. But my background in PCs allows me to troubleshoot with alot less stress. A few more years on Mac and that should be okay too.

  25. I am using Mac since 5 years now but recently I had a problem with my MacBook screen and got it replaced.
    The new one (that apparently is used in every new MacBook) is just awfully bad. It seems only to display 256 colors and has all kind of other display problems that one can imagine.
    The bottomline is that I just can’t buy a Mac again if the quality stays like this. It is just not possible to work professionally as a designer with equipment as bad as this.

  26. Wow, so many responses. I will have to set some time out tonight to read and discuss this further, I never knew it was going to get such a discussion. Thank you everyone for your input.

  27. I’ve always been a PC user. Haven’t had my hands on a Mac yet. However if I were to get me a new laptop, I should be going for Linux or any open source OS to keep costs low. 🙂

    Daniel Richard’s last blog post..What Will You Do To Make This World A Better Place?

  28. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this. 🙂

    Mike Wheaton’s last blog post..Hey, what’s this button do?

  29. I’m a designer, and I use both Mac and PC.

    Alex Awesome’s last blog post..saturday. saturday saturday. saturday.

  30. I am a designer and I use a PC.

    Partly because I do not have a MAC 🙂

    Mike Smith’s last blog post..Say Yes: A simple tip that will help you close more deals

  31. Well I’m a designer and use a PC, but really would rather be using a Mac. So as soon as I can afford one, you bet I’ll buy one.

    Mac’s are around 50% – 100% more expensive that a good PC in South Africa.

  32. you say something like ‘so let us find out what designers prefer‘…and the question is ‘Do you use Mac or PC?’….huh..something is not clear…decide what is it!!!

  33. Having a Mac doesn’t mean you can do better design. It really has nothing to do with the tool you are using, despite all the trendy Mac people are thinking.
    The real difference is price. With the money I spare buying a PC instead of a Mac, I can afford way better hardware for my workstation.

  34. I use a Mac. I use it because it’s what i choose to use, if someone else decides they want to use a PC fine. It really doesn’t matter.

  35. How can any designer with a sense for the aesthetic work on a beige box? I’ve yet to see a PC that I’d allow in my office.

  36. Jacob, nice poll
    Maybe you should include I’m a designer using PC, but I want to switch to Mac!


    Germán’s last blog post..3 sitios para ayudarte a aprender y dominar CSS

  37. I think that MAC is a must try and every designer want to put hands on…!

    But here in INDIA it’s very difficult to maintain a MAC. If any problem arises, you are finished. You need to wait atleast 2-4 weeks before it gets solved and returned back from the service center (Since we had only 2-3 centers in our country).

    Chaitanya VRK’s last blog post..First look at ThemeForest

  38. Jayphen,

    I suppose it is where you get most experience and for how long you have been using them to how comfortable you feel on them. I use PC more and more comfortable on that than Mac.


    I also here that but I would say 80% of my class at university come from a PC background so they have trouble converting as did I when I first started to use Mac. The only thing different that may come from using one or another is the speed of the workflow which is dependant on your understanding of each OS.


    Interesting stats… and thanks for coming back and replying to Kevin. My stats actually are the reverse however (but I am a blog). 70% FF and 19% IE.


    Most laptops come bundled with free OS’s these days.


    Well there has been many votes so far, I am surprised at how close it is.


    I agree about having a “very compelling reason to switch”. Personally I use both and I prefer PC as I am more comfortable with it.


    Well said.

    Alex, Peter, Mike,

    Thanks for your feedback.


    What is the reason you feel more comfortable?


    Strange you turn down jobs based on an OS but each to their own.


    Good luck saving 🙂


    So you are making the switch? Your reasoning?


    Yeah that would have been good however a bit more time consuming… maybe we would have not get as many votes?

    I also checked my stats for my 9 months online, in total 70% were Firefox users, 19% IE users 8% Safari users.

    Before the advent of the web, MacOS attracted quality print design applications when Windows was just learning what GUI meant, and therefore this legacy is one of the most significant reasons why the majority of non-web-designers continue to use MacOS. But in this age where the major applications release for MacOS and Win, it’s largely a matter of personal preference – although it’s probably a good idea career-wise to have a good working knowledge of both platforms.

    I believe your quote sums up this discussion quite well.


    Thanks for your feedback.


    Maybe I should have phrased the question “What do you prefer”?


    Haha yeah would have been interesting.


    Thanks for the rephrase and your feedback. Each to their own OS I suppose!


    I built a custom PC but not everyone is so technically inclined.


    Thank you for the follow up.


    Thanks for the vote.


    I also agree, having skills on both PC and Mac is a huge advantage. It is great that I have the opportunity of working on Mac’s at university and my PC at home.


    You must have liked the cartoon at the top of the page I presume?


    Have you seen the Mac vs PC Comic before? – One guy asks what can a PC do that a Mac can’t? and the other guy goes “Right Click”. Hehe, gotta love that one.


    In comparison, stats wise, PC’s are cheaper than Macs.


    Thanks for your input but why do you prefer Mac over PC?


    Understanding the platform can increase your workflow speed however.


    I hadn’t seen a poll like this for a long time so I thought it would be interesting to run one. Windows 7 ahh, I am still yet to move from XP.


    Thanks for your input… the thing is that Windows need more patches and fixes than Macs.


    You can run Windows on a Mac now so you can test ie too. But Brian Yerkes commented previously stating how nearly 80% of visitors to his clients websites are ie users which is quite interesting.


    As we have outlined, there are pros and cons for each one and yes expense is one con of a Mac but there are many things to argue.


    Whatever works best I suppose.


    I also have that problem but to a lesser extent. I am on a PC 75% of the time and Mac 25% so it does get confusing.


    This wasn’t actually meant to be a debate, it was just to find out the rough percentage breakup of each plus I do not condone fights or threats on my blog but thank you for your feedback.


    When I originally started using Mac I really hated it. The main reason? I didn’t know any of the keyboard shortcuts. However once learnt it is great.!


    Interesting you say that… is it possible you have just been unlucky?


    Old skool 🙂


    There are so many pros and cons of each one though which is why this discussion is never ending. Thanks for your other feedback too.


    Thanks for your input.


    Enjoy your Mac and enjoy saving.


    It is what designers prefer. You could phrase it many ways and have a similar outcome.


    Why do use PC for work and laptop for misc?


    It is always good to be proficient in both. I also find that Macs crash more often than PC and that is strange because I am on PC’s 75% of the time. Mac Mice are terrible… what were they thinking? No scroll or right click? I am not a fan of Vista either… I switched back to XP.


    Yes it is true, stats wise, PC’s you get more “value” than a Mac depending on how you determine value.


    Beige box? There are many nice aesthetic looking boxes, monitors out there… some even nicer than Macs.


    I find it frustrating when people people praise and hail something when they have not tried other alternatives. Too bad about the Mac Center situation.

    WOW – Longest reply ever – 5200 characters! Thank you everyone for your comments and feedback.

  39. Non-designer on PC (Vista x64 as of the weekend). Considering a Mac in about 12 months when I buy a new computer, but I hear with Adobe planning to release 64-bit versions of their Creative Suite apps would that make Vista x64 the better platform?

    NB: understand that platform choice and design skill are not the same thing 😉

  40. It’s always interesting these votes. I use a Mac now but had used a PC for the last 10 years for design and really – had no issues. I moved to a Mac because my AUD $4,500 PC caused Vista to crash! Happy with the move and don’t think I’ll go back (though i am following Windows 7 closely)

    Jamie Le Souef’s last blog post..Vim Editor : 100 commands every admin should know

  41. I use PC as a desktop and Mac as a laptop. I find PC is soooooo much better to patch and fix when something has a bug.

  42. Jacob – interesting browser stats – I think that these are very much indicative of the type of user your site attracts, and I suspect these would be relatively inline with other sites that attract a technologically more adept user. Interesting list of statistics over at Wikipedia offer Firefox a usage of between 13%-19% for general population, rising to 29% for the W3 site which is visited primarly by web developers/technologists.

    Have you an operating system statistical breakdown for the same 9month period?

  43. I’ve grown up using MAC. Used both MAC and PC’s at school and work, but still feel more in my element when I’m on a MAC. I agree that the outcome of a design will be the same on either platform, and I also agree that MAC’s are also an image thing, but they don’t make your stuff look good for you.

    bryan’s last blog post..Laser Type

  44. I can’t live without Spotlight and switching applications effectively and quickly means that I will stick with a Mac. I cannot be doing with security pop-ups that plague my boyfriend’s PC.

  45. When windows has tools like cssedit or coda, might try the pc platform out again. But windows feels so much like a frankenstein OS. Drag and drop support is terrible. ftp apps are awful and the look and feel is so windows 95ish. Typography in windows is ugly. Generally, you have to work harder to perform mundane tasks in windows. It’s a pos. As a designer, I spend many hours in front of the computer and when designing modern interfaces, it’s hard to be inspired by an operating system that looks like a throwback from the 90’s. I also like the stability of osx. Never once considered linux for design. Don’t make me laugh. Gimp isn’t called gimp for nothin.

  46. Is it just me or is there a striking resemblance between ” I am a designer and use MAC/PC” and “Hello, my name is xxx and I’m an alcoholic”?

    A good platform war always spice up a boring week but alas, this one is really lame so far. Where’s the name calling? Where is the personal insults? Where are the hidden and not-so-hidden threats??? C’mon people! Throw me a frickin’ bone here!
    (If I don’t see some quality insults and threats in this thread within a day or two, I’ll start writing posts about Politics and Religion! Just a “friendly” warning. No one wants it to go that far but go ahead and push me… “Do ya feel lucky, Punk? Do ya???”)

    Seriously folks, who cares what you use, as long as you’re comfortable with your tool of choice? You can use either platform to create greatness as well as utter crap.

    Although, from a marketing point of view, It can be interesting to look at trends. Yesterday, I realized during a conversation with my sister-in-law, that I don’t know a single person who has bought a PC in the last 12-18 months. Instead, each and every one has bought a Mac, even though they might have been using PC’s since the end of the last Ice Age.
    This observation is by no mean scientific and I’m sure that many of you have completely different experiences but I do find it fascinating that I see this trend all around me, both in my private life and in my business life.

    Oh, BTW. In case y’all wondering what I’m using, I tend to do most of my hardcore graphic work on a Spectrum while I do my programming and gaming on a C64.
    Kickin’ it old-skool!

  47. I’m a web designer and developer I work with both Mac’s and PC’s but I own and prefer to use a PC.

    In the end there really isn’t anything you can do on one that you cant accomplish on the other,it’s just a matter of personal taste, preferences, and marketing influences 😉

  48. I’m a designer, mainly web, but a little print. I use PC with Adobe software. Adobe started with the Mac platform. I’ve never had the strange competitiveness that people exhibit about their PCs. Is it because many ppl are afraid of learning a new OS? I do enjoy a challenge 🙂
    My fav laptop is a VAIO, I think the MacBooks look great and I’m sure they’re great to work with too.
    My first computer was an Amiga A600, I still have it boxed away, with Design Paint and books (i think that’s the graphics program). If my memory doesn’t fail me, the first cgi movies were created on 6 Amiga A4000 computers. My point is that this debate isn’t new and will probably always generate lots of comments! Isn’t it great that we have the $s to spend on all these cool toys 🙂

  49. People who still claim MACs to be superior machines for designers are either a) diluted, b) misinformed (easily manipulated by clever advertising), or c) noobs/wannabes trying to boost their designer street cred.

    At this point I can’t see any valid argument for Mac over a PC from a designers perspective. The choice seems to be purely personal preference and familiarity.

    AzAkers’s last blog post..Introducing Pixlr: The Best Online Image Editor Yet

  50. Enjoyed the comments so far good post Jacob, Mac vs PC always a favorite heh – Some comments compelled a response…

    @ Kevin – arguing that MACs are superior because years ago (a decade actually) MACs were the industry standard is a weak argument given that a decade before that Amigas owned the space, and a decade before that it was tech pens and art board – having had a day in the spotlight doesn’t make these previous methods superior today.

    @Brian Yerkes – my stats prove out the same/similar rates of use – I always wonder if the PC numbers are boosted because of people shopping/surfing from work, where most systems are PC based

    @Marc – Load “*” ,8,1 C64 ftw!

    @Jonathan – Agreed, especially that last point – while neither really holds a specific technical advantage for designers, MACs UIs are particularly visually appealing.

    AzAkers’s last blog post..Introducing Pixlr: The Best Online Image Editor Yet

  51. I’m a graphic and web designer and I’m comfortable with both platforms but I prefer using PCs. I find them faster to use and certain things about using the interface more manual and free than a Mac. In my personal experience Macs crash a lot more. I also find the Mac mice hurt my hand. However Vista is terrible (it almost made me switch to Mac 🙂 ) and I went back to XP. I agree that designers should be comfortable with both and that web development has nothing to do with the OS and more with browser compliance standards.

    Nice debate though 🙂

  52. @ AzAkers – “arguing that MACs are superior because years ago (a decade actually) MACs were the industry standard is a weak argument”

    Who said anything about Macs being superior? I was merely pointing out the fact that Macs were industry standard at a given point in time, and that probably was the start of the association with graphics/design.

    Who cares what is better? They both get the job done.

  53. I am a designer, who uses a PC, but I am unhappy at this, I really want a mac, and have used them in the past and loved them, it just all boils down to the money side of things, they are abit to much for me at the moment!

  54. Is there another option missing? I am a designer and I use Mac & Pc?

    However as there was not both options, I opted for the Mac over the PC as my preference. The Adobe suite is both for Mac and pc so I dont see an advatages over either. I do however like using the Pc to x browser test.

  55. I use my PC over my MacBook, probably because the screen is infinitely bigger, I can game at the same time 😛 and it’s way faster, photoshop in about a second, compared to MacBooks minute startup time…

  56. I am a designer.I use PC for a long time,but I would buy a Mac lately. Just to try if the using experience will be better or not.

  57. Some people I know use Mac simply because they were taught and told to use them. Tutors at my college swore by Macs and heavily discouraged people in the design groups from using PCs.

    I think there are a lot of people who are simply stuck in their ways and fail to see how things have changed over the years. To me, they are both pretty much the same computer now.

    Each has its perks and cons, but ultimately a computer is just a tool.

    Roy Nottage’s last blog post..Is this a design blogroll Royzy? Well…look at my new shoes.

  58. I think they are nice machines inside and out and like them just as much as PC’s, but they are just downright over priced. Gaming also goes towards the PC too.

  59. My day job requires that I use a PC to design on. But at home I own two macs. I prefer a mac because I am more comfortable with the operating system.

  60. I am not a designer and have little formal education, PCs allowed me access to computers, as they were affordable, price is key for me as I believe everyone should have access to technology, Macs always seemed a bit out of reach when I started out so I guess I see PCs as the leveller, and possibly responsible for the super fast growth in computer use by goat herders, refuse collectors and coal miners.

    Steve Brown’s last blog post..Waterbased T Shirt Printing | Part1

  61. I use PC at home and Mac at work and school. I can manage both but if I have to choose… I’d say Mac because of lack of viruses. But I dont like mac’s os so I prefer windows for os.

  62. wow. the old mac vs. c debate. sure to generate a lot of discussion and traffic. always fun to bring it up.

    (disclaimer: i didn’t read every one of the following posts, there’s almost 100, so sorry if im repeating someone and not giving credit 🙂 ).

    I’m a MAC user, for all of 2 days, though I’ve used them for years for school, and am really more comfortable in them. While I agree, the tools you use do not dictate how good of a designer you are, more often than not, people who have good design sense and are professional designers, are drawn to the MAC platform because it exhibits such good design throughout, from hardware to software. Price can be a big barrier to entry when it comes to a beginner designer buying a computer. After all, the Creative Suite is a good chunk of change, what it’s running on can be less important.

    I strongly disagree that as a god web designer I should be using the operating system that the majority of the world uses. Frankly I find that rather a stupid idea. Just because the rest of the world is too ignorant to try other options, or that there even are other options available to them doesn’t mean that I, who am well aware of the problems with IE 6/7 and choose to not use that platform, shouldn’t make the choice not to use them. As I believe was mentioned, a competent web designer write standards compatible code. THAT”S WHY THERE ARE STANDARDS! To allow a person to run whatever operating system they want, whatever browser they want, and for them to get the same user experience. Bowing to the will of the majority is not a smart move, especially when the majority is wrong.

  63. I can honestly say switching to a mac improved my work as a designer!
    Does anyone share this opinion? Mac OS (specially Leopard) is so well designed its an inspiration for any designer to work in (IMHO)!
    2 years ago I had 4 PCs, Now I have 4 Macs!

  64. I’m a web designer and developer, and from my own perspectives i prefer to use a PC. I think though that this is due to my long background with using IBM based platforms and the Windows Operating System.

    I remember using an old school mac many a year ago, but my first real experience with a mac would have been at UNI, and i felt like a fish out of water. Don’t get me wrong after working out the kinks i found it a great platform to use, but i still prefer to use a PC.

  65. The question that you fail to ask is which would you LIKE to own? I’m a writer who owns a PC (laptop), but I hope to switch over to a MAC in the next year.

    I kind of got stuck with the PC since it was a gift. It’s not bad. It has served me well for the past four years. However, what I’m really afraid of when I upgrade to a new laptop is Vista. I’ve heard stories and I don’t want to get stuck with that crappy system.

  66. I am a Designer, and I use both. It shouldn’t be “Mac vs. PC”… it should be “OSX vs. Windows” since a PC with Linux runs as good as a Mac, and is just as stable.

    But cheaper.

    I think that if Adobe released their products for Linux, EVERY designer would switch to PC and start using linux…

  67. I’ve worked on both over the years and Mac wins on usability everytime. I’m currently using a PC at work and it’s terrible, even though it’s higher spec than my iMac at home it’s slower, can have less programs open, crashes much more frequently and is a pain to use.

    The worst aspect of PCs though is the font rendering. Completely unrealistic.

  68. #Roy Nottage
    “Even though Mac is supposed to be better at rendering fonts, it is wasted anyway if your designing for web : since most people own PCs.”

    Designing in CSS & XHTML only makes a difference when it comes to IE – obviously you always need to check your sites on a PC to make sure they are working fine. I still prefer to work on a mac, inspite of having to do this; for me, I just find it quicker & easier 😀

  69. As of August the 7th, the results stand at:

    # I am a designer and use MAC. (47%, 1,641 Votes)
    # I am a designer and use PC. (36%, 1,261 Votes)
    # I am NOT a designer and use PC (9%, 305 Votes)
    # I am NOT a designer and use MAC (8%, 297 Votes)

    Pretty close, only 380 apart for the designers and only 8 for non designers.

    Thank you everyone for your votes.

  70. Wow. I agree with a lot of you on both the PC and MAC aspects. But I will have to say I’m a MAC user til the day I die. I grew up using both PC and MACs. PCs to me were good for gaming and other office duties (my opinion). MACs are visual and have a ease about them when using programs (especially designing). I had PCs crash on me while in college to a point I just saved up my money and bought a MAC. Funny though, my lil sister bought a brand new HP laptop built especially for her. My mom owns an old iMac and I own an eMac. How about her laptop blew up merely after only owning it in like 6 months,lol. For the people on here mentioning web design, even though a good number of web users are pc users, I belive MACs are essential since like the web they too are visual. So far I’ve converted my mom, baby sister and a few friends. Call me the MAC-activist. No matter the tool, talent is talent and creativity is creativity. It all depends on how you want to get there!

    (p.s. I’ve turned down design gigs due to their use to pcs like someone mentioned before. I won’t design on a pc even if you paid me.)

    Nina-B’s last blog post..A Tribe Called Quest: Typography Experiment

  71. I work full time for the AJC as a designer and we all use Mac’s. I run an agency on the side and have 3 Macs at home. I started out on a PC but after all the viruses, formats, crashes and just garbage processing speeds, I switched to Mac. I never went back. I have never had a virus or problem period in 7 years with any of my Mac’s. I realize many of you are web designers. Website design is 72 dpi and large art intensive files do not often cross your path. For print media and all around design, Mac is where its at. VIVA MAC!!!

    p.s. Sorry but someone had to represent…

  72. a computer is a tool; it’s a simple non-sensical argument. which platform you use is a non-issue with regards to design; (and here comes the but), “but” windows, and a PC platform is drastically limited as far as form and function when it comes to certain kinds of design. yes, web, 3-d, industrial use PC, but when you are sitting behind a desk for 14hrs a day fucking around, the last thing i want is to mess with is the operating system. when you’ve worked at a high paced firm for a lenghth of time you’ll know what i mean. I’ve worked on both PC and mac and still have to use Windows for powerpoint crap, and other minor stuff, but i do it all on a mac now. the last time i actually had to sit at a PC workstation at frank gehry’s firm my fingers would kill me after only a few hours; it was hell. Unless i’m using Auto-cad or 3d-max i don’t see the point of using windows to design. especially since vista is a little better than mac os x.1 when it first came out and xp is like 5-6 yrs old; fonts and how to deal with them are different, and a slew of other complaints. how can you beat 64-bit processing(out soon), 32gigs ram; a few terras HD, a nice graphics card, 9×12 wacom, and multiple monitors. works beautifully for me. now if only photoshop would use more than 3gigs ram, the damn mouse wasn’t so cumbersome, art directors and marketing directors weren’t morons; life would be perfect. to conclude- u can use a freaking etch-a-sketch for all that matters if you want to design computers are just tools; the mac though is a better tool for design professionals. It’s not a elitist thing guys it’s just the way things are now. if you want to be a scientist do you argue what’s better the metric system or the “american system” for measurement? no; you just use the metric system. both will get you the same results in the end, but ask any pro scientist what they use; they’ll say metric. mac is the metric system of design right now. peace.

  73. I use PC. Fellow designers that I know, like people from the same college use PC. Though there are a few Mac users, usually graphic design professors, that think they are elite because they use Mac. Hahaha… It seems like it’s a status quo thing, eh?

  74. Real Designers use Macs, that has been since the BEGINNING of design in computers …

    That’s all ….

    PS: Will you race on a ferrari F1 or on a Nascar? …. same rules applies

  75. Forgot to mention, my Mac is 5 years old and NEVER —EVER– crashed on me or went “kaput” …. i also have a 8 y.o. G4 my GF uses for writing …. yes ,,, macs are more expensive … yet. reliable … i don’t “HATE” PC’s .. i think for web and silly applications are great!
    Just for Business Apples are the ideal. (work with Design since 1998)


  76. I use both, fairly equally. I was a web developer / graphic designer as a PC user for over a decade. Mac used to be the gold standard for graphic design because they were more powerful and able to handle heavy graphics programs better. That hasn’t really been the case for some time now, and I was doing heavy graphic design on a PC for many years with no issues.

    What the systems can handle is far more comparable now than ever before. Now, its more an issue of what you like, what feels best to you, and what makes your workflow easier.

    I more recently took a job in a Mac shop, and I love it. I may eventually phase out the other PCs in my home and home office, switching to Mac, but it will just be a personal preference. Both work equally well (unless I’m working with video, in which case mac is significantly faster, largely because its a dual-processor). I do miss my PC code editors (UltraEdit and EditPlus FTW!) but I’m trying to find something comparable.

  77. I use a pc with Vista and my girlfriend (a much more experienced designer) uses a mac. She spends many hours per week hassling with hardware and software issues, especially now that she has an iPhone and is trying to keep everything synched up. Her new expensive macs spend a lot of time in the repair shop. Meanwhile, for much cheaper, I cruise along hassle-free using Adobe CS3 on a new Dell PC with Vista.

    Strangely, when her machine is broken she can do everything she needs to do on my computer, yet insists that she can only get the job done on a Mac!

    Plus, the files are totally interchangeable between the two systems. She insisted for awhile that her fonts wouldn’t work on my computer…but was wrong.

    Background: I was a Mac Zealot from 1984 until about 1994, when I needed to develop a database in something more robust than Filemaker Pro and less complex than FoxPro. I chose Access ( which, after the steep learning curve, I love), so I had to switch to PCs. I learned that the Mac vs. PC thing was really a non-issue in terms of my productivity and ability to design. It’s all there on the PC. Just my quasi-religious loyalty to the coolness of the mac kept me from seeing it.

    My main resentment of the mac/iphone/apple services is all the hours of time they take away from relationship…some days she spends so much time fighting the plethora of technical issues that come evening she’s just exhausted, cranky, and poorer…

  78. That is the first time I have heard of anyone having technical difficulties with a Mac. Most issues can be resolved in 5 minutes after calling apple care at 800-275-2273. Is she not familiar with Mac or did she drop it in water? Perhaps your referring to her issues with syncing her iphone with itunes. In any account, MAC beats PC when it comes to industry standard processing equipment. Unless you pay to build a PC to out perform, there is no comparison. You get what you pay for.

  79. i think mac are better because u dont have to worry about virus or any unexpected error that makes you lose all ur job or in some cases information and you have to reformat the os, the pc or mac doesnt matter if u r a desingner or not but must of the peaple that use mac r designers, artist, photographers people who work with graphics an worry about their info and they dont have time to fight with the computer, mac are better with graphics. mac r easly to use even without the second button, maybe u feel u need it cos u always use it, but i bet that if ur first computer that your learn how to use it was mac and then try pc u would have alot of doubts and complains bacause u can learn how to use a mac in 1 day and pc too but with pc will be harder.

  80. This post is getting dragged out a bit! I just enrolled for my graphic design degree course today, and at the induction talk, the course director advised students not to rush off and buy a computer until year 2, when they will have a better idea of what they need. But if their parents insist on buying the student a new computer, it HAS to be a Mac, not a PC!!!

  81. After using both platforms for over 10 years, there’s simply no comparison. The mac operating system, quick keys and flow do not get in the way of getting what’s in my head on to the computer. The pc does get in the way, constantly. Oh and the theory that designers should use the same platform as it’s users is ridiculous. Designers should design on what makes them comfortable. Let the developers use their pc’s to add functionality (ajax, xml, etc etc.)

  82. I’m a graphic design student and we are REQUIRED to have a MAC. So there is not much choice there. I was architecture major before and we used PC’s there so I was really upset I had to switch to a mac (plus spend a lot of money again!) I really missed my pc for some programs that just don’t run in OSX like AutoCAD or SketchUp and so on.

  83. Well, I’m a graphic designer and I’ve worked on both; predominantly PC, as my PC has always been far more powerful than the Macs I’ve had to use in studios.

    Here’s the difference between a custom PC I recently configured with an English company, versus a Mac in the same price bracket. These prices are relevant to the UK market, with prices in Euro, excluding VAT.

    Firstly the processor:
    With my custom built PC I get Intel Core 2 Quad 2.83mhz
    With the Mac I only get an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.83mhz

    With the PC I get 8gig of 1600mhz RAM
    With the Mac I get 4gig of 800mhz RAM

    Hard Drive(s)
    With the PC I get 3x650gig hard-drives with 16mb cache and RAID 1 setup
    With the Mac I get 1x1000gig hard drive with 8mb cache and no RAID 1 setup

    Graphics Cards
    With the PC I get a 1024mb Geforce 9800GT
    With the Mac I get a 512mb Geforce 8800GS

    Same on both; 24 inch; same spec.

    Sound Card
    I get an Audigy X-hi-fi xtreme Music 7.1 soundcard with the PC
    With the Mac I get onboard sound.

    I get 7.1 Creative surround sound speaker-system with the PC
    With the Mac I don’t get anything close to 7.1

    PC : e1600
    Mac : e1800

    Amazing really, so many graphic designers can read NoLogo and still fail to see what suckers they are for Apple’s branding and marketing.

    “Macs are better for design”, the common catch-cry of most graphic designers I know, reminds me of a part of Naomi Klein’s tome which talks about how brands today “poison our relationship with truth”; such designers who tout the whole “better for design/Industry standard” line of unreason, really need to establish a healthier relationship with truth if you ask me, and stop allowing the slick marketing execs at Apple Corp from turning them into non-thinking brand-whores.

    Machines with faster processors, more RAM and better graphics cards are better for graphics; that there is a fact. That is why I have always bought custom built PCs since I first started in graphics, and that is why my machine has always out-performed my colleagues’ Macs.

    A custom build PC costs less and performs better; not that that means anything to somebody who wants an Apple logo on their machine, but to people who aren’t that shallow, what’s inside matters more.

  84. As an after note:
    No operating system I’ve used, whether on Mac or PC, has inhibited my workflow to any great degree. This is because I’ve learned to use them, instead of lazily deeming the one I’m more familiar with as superior.
    In university I saw many friends of mine working on clapped out cheap-ass PCs at the start of the course, who then dropped a bundle of cash on a new Mac a year in, only to turn around and declare that Mac are vastly superior and then start waxing lyrical about the operating system; 4 year old $500 family PC versus brand new $1500 Mac is not a fair fight; the OS has nothing to do with it.

    What will inhibit my workflow and creativity is a slow machine. This is because I’ll be less inclined to experiment with processes and packages which demand power to execute them without having to wait all day. Thus, the solution I come up with for a particular piece will be dictated by what I can do within the limits of my machine as well as my deadline.

  85. I totally agree with the 2 latest comments.Their laptops are good and solid but too expensive for the configuration.

  86. Jay, bravo to you… that was an extremely good comparison and that is also why I build custom PCs… the value for money.

    Thank you very much for your input!

  87. Mac laptops aren’t exactly your “workstation” if you’re a designer in a company. iMacs are pretty cool.. but i really don’t know what machine can beat the Mac pro (probbably i don’t know as much as i think) i mean…wtf. And about the image stuff..add an apple cinema display(see specifications at apple’s web page) i gotta admit Jay’s computer is pretty cool too but compatibility of hardware and software is really important if you actually wanna use both at a 100% and apple has done a pretty cool job with that.

    well anywayz i could be wrong, sorry if i am. i know those things bcause that’s what some pro that i know use.

    i’m at Uni studying industrial design, i used windows until a couple months ago then i got a MacBook 2.4ghz 2gig ram and 250gig storage, as a gift (i had no idea how to use it) but it was really really felt so right. windows is really good but it’s because is the most popular OS, if almost everyone use it well..

    i really have no time for viruses and sh*t like that. it’s not like macs are perfect but..

    sorry if i’m wrong i just had to say something

  88. The last time I’ve used Macs were in college. After that I bought only PC’s because of the big difference in price. Macs look good but that doesn’t help paying the bills every month. At the end they are just tools…the customer won’t know the difference.

  89. I uses both PC n MAC, PC costs less and more widely use which is easier to access other things, softwares n games. MAC is costly but overall clever n easy organising with only the necessary n good enough softwares already installed, n no worries of formatting or even anti virus which will delay down ur PC no matter how powerful it is…quite irony i hav to say. nevertheless, its just a tool, either u prefer a folk, a spoon, a chopstick or eat with ur bare heands. computer is just a tool n design works is on your creativity.

    personally i would prefer a mac, as i prefer things to be easily organised n less fuss.

    that’s just my choice.

    cheers 🙂

  90. Nice question (i mean poll) you’ve got there Jacob.

    The thing is I have to fully agree with Jay, the Macs are simply overpriced, especially here in Europe. Apples exchange in price is 1 $ = 1 €.

    That’s simply not fair. The same goes for Adobe software pricings.

    Anyway, what I would like to say is, that i’ve got a Mac mini Core 2 Duo, the 1,83 GHz model (RAM upped to 4 GB, 3,37 GB usable, also the HDD is changed to a 200GB, 7200rpm), hooked up to my old Heidelberg Linoscan 2650 A3+ scanner, because this scanner won’t work with PCs, that use Vista or even Win xp x64 editions.

    My workhorse is a self-build PC with 8 GB of RAM, WD Raptor 150 HDD (+ two 320 GB HDDs in RAID-1 for data) and an Intel Core 2 E8200 2,66 GHz CPU with a nice little low-power and budgeted GeForce 7300GS (!) with Dual-DVI outputs, that I need just to show me images on two monitors.

    I simply can’t compare the speed of my PC to my Mac mini.

    The simplest comparable test i made a while ago was with the drawing/painting program ArtRage – i have two licensed version, one for my PC and another for my Mac (just in case one of my machines would die).

    I tryed to fire up and A/4 (29,7 x 21 cm) document with 300dpi resolution and the Mac did almost die as I draw bigger, faster line on my Wacom tablet. I almost couldn’t believe.

    Of course, patience is the right word, if you want something to be done really, but I agree with this trought:

    “What will inhibit my workflow and creativity is a slow machine. This is because I’ll be less inclined to experiment with processes and packages which demand power to execute them without having to wait all day. Thus, the solution I come up with for a particular piece will be dictated by what I can do within the limits of my machine as well as my deadline.”

    – by Jay

    I don’t want to spend 2500 on a MacPro (the price for the base model, here in Slovenia – EU), because i don’t need that much RAW power, also, please tell me, who will pay my electrical bills at the month end?

    All i want is a fast and responsive machine. Nothing more. And Apple doesn’t want to update their Mac mini line. Fine. I’m finished with them.

  91. JDO, Franky, KSING, Opeter,
    It really is surprising to see how people compare macs and pcs and the debate will never cease… there will always be fan boys for both and there will always be different opinions but for now I’m sticking with my value for money PC.

  92. I prefer Macs simply because the drag and drop makes my life so much easier. PC’s are fine to work with and a lot cheaper in price; I just have to constantly use the minimize button.

    I agree with the comments that say that the results are most important. I love my probook no doubt though.

    • Michael, just for your information PC’s have drag and drop… you just hover over the application and it will maximize and then you drop it in. No need to minimise at all.

  93. serious designers use macs, period. working in a windows environment is a joke. aside from the sony vaio, i dont think windows based Ltops get the respect during a creative presentation. it just doesnt fit.

    how come most of these windows users try to imitate the look and feel of mac’s osX. it’s obvious in the wallpapers and the interface.

  94. I’m curious, all you PC designers. what firms do you work for in which you use a PC. from experience they are not “graphic design” firms, oh and you rookies, shut your baby mouths. 😉 My biggest question, since I’m developing carpal tunnel is what mouse to use. the mac mouse hands down everyone will agree sucks fat fucking elephant cock.

  95. I use a PC at home but a Mac at work. I hated using the mac cuz it seemed everything was the “opposite” of windows, but now I honestly don’t care. As long as I can work on it…it’s fine by me.

  96. I’m an illustrator/designer, both Mac and PC produces excellent results, I think in the end it’s a matter of opinion what is better.

    But for some real practical numbers, for the price I would have had to pay for a high end Mac (Just the tower), I can get a Super-powerful-and-fast-enough-for-Gamers XPS tower (PC) plus a nice Epson printer.

    So that’s why I chosed PC over mac, it all came down to the money, if they were both equal price, I’d get one each.

  97. I am a designer and use a PC. The only real advantages a MAC has over a PC when designing graphics is an ease of use factor. Basically a MAC is going to save you a small amount of effort where with a PC you have a couple extra clicks to get the same results some times.

    Graphics are graphics and both platforms can render and display graphics just the same.

    Price is where things start to differ though. I can build a massive quad-core PC with some serious hardware packed in it for a fraction of the price I can buy a MAC for.

    You should also keep in mind that only a PC has the freedom of choice in hardware. You cannot just build a MAC because the hardware must pass certain standards and must be MAC specific so you have fewer choices in hardware when looking to upgrade. A PC however gives you complete freedom to pick and choose what you want at a very affordable price.

  98. if you are NOT a designer then who cares what computer you use but if you ARE a designer then its prefferable to use MAC

  99. When I started to work with computers I had no idea where I was going. I didn’t know nothing about graphics cards, RAM memory, color profiles, configurations of software etc.
    I actually work in PC, and the thing to me is to improve your equipment to the point of quality you need. The advantage of pc is the huge options to modify your hardware and get a good machine. In other hand is the SO. Windows xp have about 7 years or so, and currently is so estabilized, my work flow so well.
    For me Mac sells dreams, I mean that they sell very well the image of quality and blah blah. My conclusion is that there is no real difference between thems.

  100. Too Slow, Lock up? I am a mac user and am not upset by your comment. Where you using a single processor G3 or G4? What system did you have? About the only mac I would use for graphics that I could consider almost outdated would be a dual processor G4. I am still impressed with this computer though. It has never locked up (in years) and has always run smoothly. I use a macbook pro core duo and you will not find many other computers on the market today that can compete with this systems processing speeds. Phenomenal! But then again, you will pay for it.

  101. Really interesting posts guys…just speeded through almost all of them, phew. I have always thought over many years of using both Mac and PC that quite honestly, if you are technically minded (and most web-designers should be) then when the odd PC problem occurs it takes literally a few minutes to sort out which cannot often be said for Apple faults. I’ve been creating print material on a PC for years and never had a single job returned from the printer and know several large design studio’s and freelancers (who you’ll all know) to be using PC’s at the moment.

    As designers we love things to look great, but would we really sacrifice function for form? If we step back for a minute and look over the details we’ll see that the shell of the device is largely for aesthetic value, unimportant with most of us sitting our computers on the floor or hidden away under a desk.

    OSX is nice, the functions and simplicity is great whilst windows is slightly more complex, but do remember that Mac’s are specific to the creative person (or unfortunately also ‘trendy’ people) whilst PC’s are for general use so it is expected they will have a more complex OS. Are we really paying all this extra money for the Mac OS?

    The components are reaching the same point in both Mac and PC so we really are paying for a brand name and the Mac image. As designers we should be able to see the tricks that are making us buy the product.

    I read a lot of bad things about both machines yet most comments come from a single OS user only; there is no right or wrong. Great things can be achieved on both a PC and Mac. Before everyone screams at me about defending windows systems, please know I equally love OSX although I simply don’t enjoy paying for a brand name over quality or having other designers assume my work is inferior simply because of my choice to use both platforms to generate work.
    If you are interested to see my work you can view it at Thanks for listening!

  102. “As a graphic designer, do I REALLY have to use a Mac to get anywhere?”

    Hello Holly,
    no, you’re right. The computer is just a tool. You can acomplish / reach the same results on both machines, since both have almost the same set of applications (Adobe CS, Quark etc.).

    However, there are differences. In original, you can’t run some CAD applications native on MacOS X (like most of the apps from AutoDesk, SolidWorks etc.). You need to use Bootcamp or emulate Windows iniside OSX with Parallels or VMWare Fusion. So, that’s why most industrial designers use PCs in first place.

    Than, there are some Mac specific – or Mac only – apps (like Apple’s Final Cut, Logic etc.), but these apps aren’t used by desginer, rather filmmakers, editors. Anyway, there are alternatives, that exists for both platforms, like Avid etc.

    In Europe (especially in Eastern European countrys) the Mac is simply to expensive. You can get much for your money if you buy a PC with a DSP/OEM version of Windows (even if something branded like HP etc.). Most Mac users are mainly anyway in the US and Western European countrys and richer Asian countrys like Japan. Here, where i live are the Macs very expensive. I can be happy that since we are in the EU, i can order a Mac from UK, Germany, Austrica, France etc. That’s the only way to go, if I want a Mac at decent (payable) price.

    But i don’t want to start another price-war discussion.

  103. At my school the computer lab for the art students is filled with iMacs. I hadn’t used a Mac up until I came to school, aside from the occasional borrowing of my room mate’s computer. I really tried to give it a chance, but I can’t seem to get used to it. My opinion is that you should use the computer that you can work the fastest on – one that has the best work flow. Macs look pretty and have some nifty features, but I’m so used to using a PC that it is simply easier for me to work on one, and I am much more comfortable on it. My question is this: As a graphic designer, do I REALLY have to use a Mac to get anywhere? That’s what I keep hearing everywhere, and I’d like to think that it’s nonsense.

  104. Designer – Web mostly but also print.

    I use CS3 on XP on a Dell XPS Quad-core and it flies! With the ‘lightwieght’ OS of XP and the awsome speed/power of the Dell it’s just great. Hardly ever any crashes. Any hardware problems just whip out cards and replace. For the web designing same baseline as majority of users

    Used to use Macs but was put off by one going badly wrong – expensive, and cost of getting decent ‘studio’ tower.

    Maybe the ideal combo would be linux running CS3 – to make the OS as transparent as possible – who needs an operating system anyway – with products like bridge? Maybe then graphics/3d apps communicate directly with the hardware?

    Good blog!

  105. I go to university studying graphic design. We went to a printing press the other day, they all use Macs, the university has Macs, designers use Macs, and now they lecturers are actually telling us that we should all buy or convert to Macs by the end of the year.

    It really annoys me because the lecturers say they are better but don’t have any real explanation as to why they are better. They are far too expensive compared to other devices, Mac Book Pros are like $3000 (AUS), and even with a student discount it doesn’t drop under $3000. I just don’t see what the big deal is. I’m happy with my computer, and I know that I don’t have to buy a whole new computer everytime I want to keep up with the market (performance-wise). Mac Books etc you have to keep buying newer ones.

    I really don’t see the difference besides aesthetic appeal and trends. If I was given one, sure, I’d accept it, but I’m not going to buy a Mac unless there is some essential reason.

  106. PC is totally better. Especially for programming and it’s just WAY better than Apple criticizes it. Forget the Mac and their expensive hardware. My PC is strongly built. PC ALWAYS AND FOREVER!!

  107. I am a designer and I use both. I have no preference really. Lately I’ve been on a mac more, so it takes a little longer to get back to the PC world of keyboard short cuts. PC/Mac…doesn’t matter.

  108. I think there are some lurking variables here. Namely, location. It is a well-known fact that Apple doesn’t have a strong penetration outside of North America and Western Europe. Nations like Brasil, India, and China have massive Internet communities — designers included — and are almost entirely on PC.

    There’s also the simple question of how you define “designer.” I have the feeling that more print designers use Mac as opposed to Web Designers, developers, animators, etc. And chances are that if you work full-time as a designer, employed in a real grown-up company, you will be outfitted with a Mac. If you’re 14 years old, you probably have a PC. They are much cheaper, after all.

    Maybe I should write a book about Apple and global economics.

  109. There is of course the controversial option missing which is:

    I use a PC therefore cannot be a real designer 🙂

  110. Prescott,
    True, however most of my visitors are from USA, UK, Australia and Canada though.

    This poll is far from accurate but it is still quite an interesting result from the 6700+ odd votes received.

    Personally I am not fussed about what people use, but I personally prefer PC’s purely for the value for money & cause I get to custom build them. But Mac’s certainly get the pretty vote.

    Guess I am not a real designer then eh Paul?

  111. actually on a serious note – it would be good to get a break down of age because of the following reasons –

    I’m 35 (not that old) and started life in design in uni where we had hot metal type and quark was a two floppy disk swap exercise – one disk had software the other disk you saved on – yes that’s right a quark work file fitted on to floppy disk less than 1mb

    Back in those days – type on computers (the staple of most design – remember no real global internet as we know it today) was revolutionised by the introduction of ATM – adobe type manager and fontographer – A mac only piece of software – so all of a sudden you could get or create fantastic type at any size in any shape without having to get type point sheets on linotronic outputs

    Those not understanding this as you’re less than 30 – stick with it 🙂

    Basically most people within the design industry didn’t want to be reduced to MS stock fonts all 30 of them (which as truetype anyway couldn’t be reproduced in postscript for any kind of high res or large output anyway) so they were forced to use mac as it was the only machine that gave you any flexibility to design and the software that went with it

    Then it becomes habitual – the shortcut locations in software the position of the apple and power keys etc..

    I love mac with a passion i cant ever seeing me no own one – no matter what the price (that’s my choice)

    but for work which we are a full service agency its a mix of both – PC’ for web (has to be because the browser distribution is so PC biased) but for print and graphics its always the Mac and that’s for no other reason than habit – its what I know and have done from the time there was no other option, for what ever reason:

    the software wasn’t available on pc
    the lack of fonts on pc
    the non compatibility of Corel draw 🙁 (hurl!!!!) with anything!!!
    Quark Express
    Aldus Freehand

    and a million other reasons that i had to deal with over 15 years in the industry

    And OK a big helping of loyalty and and the fact the are so bloody good looking (or design aesthetic)

    but I suspect that now we have cross platform software and MS got its arse in gear over fonts and type display then newer people in the industry have the choice – uni’s can choose to get PC’s on the design courses (more for the money) and consequently people leave and do what they know (they do PC’s)

    I would suspect the age difference would be more biased to PC under 27/8 and over that would be more Mac biased

    Back then there was no choice – but we loved it !!!!


  112. I was a PC loyalist for years, and started off designing on a PC. When I tried a Mac for about a month I quickly realized how clunky and frustrating a PC is and how smooth and fast a Mac functions. The platforms are NOT the same because Mac is clearly better. I have switched to Mac and ain’t looking back.

    That said……I still think it’s best to be able to use both. Oh and to the kind folks who say you should do web development on a PC just because most people use PC’s……..give me a break. There are plenty of people doing web work soley from a Mac.

  113. Jacob – you are most definitely a designer – just as a pc user you cannot be a “real designer” – smiling 😉

    Its a bit like good beer – Budweiser is beer it’s just not a real beer like Carlsberg 🙂

    This one is one that will run and run 🙂

  114. Well, I use a PC because that what I can afford at the time being.
    I do believe Mac can be slightly better, but I just hate it when people think you can’t work with a PC I’m the only one in my class who have a PC and they think I’m just not as goo das they are.

    But my grades showed them in the end who was better =)!

  115. @Arwa Al Jundi

    Not what you use, will make you a great designer, but what you’ll do. Your work is your mirror. This has nothing to do with, whenever you use a Mac or PC.

    About 20-25 years (or should we go even further back?) ago most designers didn’t use any type of computer here in Eastern Europe. And even then, they made many extraordinal great pieces of graphic work. With their hand and mind.

  116. WOW, what a debate, i have a new spanner to throw in the works though.

    I think the most interesting thing that no one has mentioned is colour management. From what I have read, screen colour calibration is only, finally, being introduced nativly in windows 7 and it seems colour profiles are a bit dodgy in windows still. Mac’s have always had very good colour management technology built in.

    I have a power mac G5 and i work on a new dual quad intel tower at work.

    However in saying that, I want to replace my home computer, which i use for digital illustration (colour management is crucial in getting a good output for my art) and gaming, but i just can’t justify dropping $4000 Australian Dollars on a new mac tower. Esp when the graphics card sucks dogs balls and it would cost me $1590 bucks to custom build a new i7 PC with 1gb 4870 video card.

  117. Well I’ve used Mac computers at uni, and their colours compared to what gets printed out are waaaay more different to my PC monitor. I know everything on screen will be different to final print, but the Macs I used were off more.

    At the end of the day, I think if Microsoft can just handle their fonts better they can power back into the designer market. I find that I prefer PCs cause I work much faster on them, but that’s all it is, using what you’re comfortable with. Not being told Macs are for designers and therefor use a Mac and tell all your STUDENTS THEY NEED MACS, as is happening in my university at the moment. It’s quite simple if you know a bit about computers that you don’t NEED a Mac, but if you like em go for it.

  118. Good point Matt, it does make little difference what platform you use for colour accuracy when the screens haven’t been calibrated and no colour management profiles have been set up across the adobe suite.

    All I meant was the Mac’s have the ability to calibrate and manage colour effectively built into the OS, if you bother to set it up. Window’s as an OS is still lacking in that ability at the moment, however with the adobe gamma utility you can however get a reasonable result out of windows.

    For any designers having problems with their output not matching what’s on screen, i recommend this pdf.

  119. I am an artist and a mentor in a post graduate class in a design academy. I am the only PC user among the mentors. 3 of my students are PC users and the rest 5 Mac users. I guess the percentage has something to do with the Mac tradition in designers community. For me the main advantage of using PC is the posibility to cumstom build workstations and it has served me very well over the years. I think it’s really not so much about PC or Mac, rather about what class of computers from both OS. 2D design is not very demanding; any PC or Mac will run Indesgin or Dreamweaver very well. As you move up 3D design, you would need a workstation class PC or a Mac pro. There is not much difference in terms of stability and functionality between the two platforms, beyond personal preference.

  120. For web design, either work fine.

    But Macs are better for page design because of two reasons: typography and color management. Seriously, try and tÿpé a buñch of àccent marks, curled apostrophes and em dashes on a PC — you’ll see what I mean about how it’s a lot easier on a Mac. Macs also have system-wide color management that simply runs better than on PC (in a strict color management workflow, you’ll see).

    And take into consideration that most agencies and press houses have been using Macs for decades, what reason other than cost makes the PC a better choice?

  121. I am traditionally a PC user and while I have thought of getting a Mac (mainly due to attitudes within the design industry) I find the price mark of the Mac Pro too rich for my wallet.

    I purchased Adobe CS4 for my quad core workstation (Windows) and could not then justify having to buy it again for my much needed laptop, so I bought HP.

    Whether I have a PC or Mac will not change my work and as the common applications used do not vary greatly between platforms, I have to agree with others that it comes down to personal choice and budget.

  122. I am a student studying graphic design, web design, and want to explore video. At some point I also want to explore sound recording (no intention of being a serious sound engineer). I have been working on both pc and mac, but I own a pc and do a majority of my job-related work on my pc. At school we use Macs, primarily for print.

    I appreciate being able to go back and forth between the two with little struggle, I would love to use both. But I feel like my hands are tied, the “industry standard” is Mac, so I am told and I have gotten a lot of flack for not using a Mac, even accused of “not being a serious designer.”

    One gripe I will name:
    I have heard many stories of hardware issues regarding both, but it disturbs me that a friend of mine couldn’t be told what the problem was with his mac…This is unacceptable, whether it’s your car, or your dish washer- why is it acceptable for a tool that is essential to your profession?

    Certainly money is a huge factor, but recently I’ve learned that Final Cut Pro is only made for the Mac OS….so I am undecided on what will be my next purchase.

    I have seen a comment on running both OS’s, was that on Pc hardware?

    Regardless, I think I would prefer having each physical computer, “the best of both worlds.”

  123. I use both of them. But I prefer using a PC because it works faster for me… but I cannot really choose which one is better.

  124. i think PC is batter for these reasons:
    You look what is in a mac: max for 1400$ has some seriusly poor and cheap hardware :S You can get a pc that bad for 600$.
    So get a PC batter than MAC 1x cheaper and just install X OS witch is batter for graphic design than Windows!

  125. It is not that simple, you know… You cannot legally install any version of MacOS X on a PC.

    So, this is not an option for serious business.

    Yet, I do have hopes for the new Windows 7 and even the Linux platform.

    There are really interesting times comming, that’s for sure.

  126. hi

    i am a industrial designer and i LOVE mac the design of the machine + the operative system, is a wonderful piece of engeniering, besides is very stable and has no viruses i will NEVER go back to a crapy PC.

    yes is more expensive BUT is worth.

  127. I think it is best to have both available. But honestly when working with ascii my pc is preferred and when working with binary my snow leopard is preferred. Simple short answer.

  128. I’m a graphic designer and am currently using a mac. I started out on PC, then moved over about 5 years ago. Now, I think every user will be different, but I’m actually going to switch back over to PC. I’m getting more into 3d rendering programs, mostly for architectural rendering, and the programs I want to use are on PC (and running Windows through a virtual machine is getting to be a pain). For me, especially with Windows 7 out, there’s no real reason for me to stick with mac anymore. In addition, I find that Windows is a much more exciting, customizable and visually satisfying platform than OSX. Hope my perspective helps 🙂

  129. I’m not a designer. but I’ve worked with professional web designers and video/photo editors and from what I’ve seen… Mac is perfect for that field. I currently use PC. I’m more of a programmer.

  130. I totally chose Mac!
    PC sucks for Graphics! Sorry for all you mac users! And Im going to be hated now!

    But yea I would deffiently go for Mac on this situation!! 😀

  131. I own a Mac, PC and PC laptop. I do all my design work on my PC laptop. Some years ago I did thorough research on what other designers use.
    I have learnt that it is not the tools we use, but how creative we are able to think and conceptualize that counts in this business!!

  132. For graphic work that isn’t 3D, Mac. Mac, all the way. There’s no substitute for the gamma that Mac displays work at. There’s no comparison in terms of stability. There’s no comparison in terms of the way type is handled and rendered. The pack-in color profile, management and diagnostic tools are right there in the OS, ready, reliable and native for you to use on a Mac. Macs play with external devices a million times better than PCs. You rarely ever run into driver issues and errors. File type naming conventions and permissions are WAY more friendly on a mac than a PC. And the interface overall is a million times easier to use. Working with video is a million times more stable. System resources are handled much better than on a PC, and the OS overall is a million times more secure than on a PC. Working with PDFs isn’t a pain on a mac like it is on a PC. The list goes on.

    I can’t stand using a PC to design. It’s like a friggin’ haunted house. Every time your turn around, some thing is popping up here and there…*pop!* “updates are available for blah blah blah!”… *pop!* “did you know that you can add shortcuts to your blah blah bar? simply blah blah blah!”…. *pop!* “Adobe Photoshop has encountered an unexpected error, please restart your computer!”… *pop!* “error with file crappymicrosoftos.dll”… etc. Constantly. Using a PC is a minefield.

    Macs might be more expensive, but in the end you absolutely do get what you pay for. And the last thing I need when I’m neck deep in a project is some stupid driver error, sudden bizarre file corruption, or parts of my software suddenly not working anymore.

    Mac. NOT pc.

  133. I used a Mac in design school. But it decided to freeze up and crash on me and every bit of my work was gone. I also had an Iphone and Ipod touch. Both froze then crashed. When I restarted them again all my shit was gone. I think I just have no luck with Apple products.

    I am now die hard PC designer. I’ve never had my PCs freeze up and crash on me. I’d rather spend several thousands of dollars maintaining and upgrading my PC then buy a Mac which is nearly impossible to fix if it decides to break and/or more expensive if it can be fixed. I will us Linux mostly but usually when I switch over to developing and/or the browsing the internets (less chance of getting a virus)

  134. Wow! I just came across this post, years late and a dollar short. 🙂 At any rate, I am a a Freelance Web Designer, using primarily WordPress and I use a PC. A Toshiba Satellite to be exact. Most of, if not all of my Web Design buddies use MacBooks, so I obviously feel I am in the minority. I would like to get a MacBook someday, but my freelancing is not bringing in that kind of money yet… LoL

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