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Should I get a Mac or PC?

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Should I get a Mac or PC?

What computer should I get next? I would love your help choosing. I posed the question on this Facebook Thread – but it is hard to layout the whole picture in such few words.

Currently I use a Dell Precision 17” high resolution laptop (fully loaded – well 2 years ago it was anyway…) Every time I am about to purchase I consider buying a Mac.  And every time I have ended up staying with PCs.  I had considered getting a desktop, but I realize I much prefer laptops.

Why I have stayed (Pros to PC):

– I have all the software already

– I am familiar and comfortable with using it

– Overall they are reliable – well besides that blue screen I get maybe once every 6 months – or the occasional virus/malware issues

Why I might want to switch to Mac (Pros to Mac/Cons to PC):

– I always hear how I would LOVE using a Mac

– Viruses and malware

– Many say Photoshop runs better on a Mac

– Would love a lighter, sleeker 17” laptop

– Those commercials are just too funny

And why I never have switched and would still be nervous to make the change (Cons to Mac):

– Much of the software is not Mac compatible:

  1. Camtasia (which I use to record all the photoshop video tutorials you watch here)
  2. Windows Live Writer (how I am writing this blog post right now – it is awesome!)
  3. Thunderbird for email (there may be a Mac version but would my emails transfer)

– Some software is compatible – but would require I purchase a Mac version or give up my PC license.

  1. Photoshop is my biggest problem – since I do trainings, I need to sometimes use older versions. Well if I transfer my license it would be for CS4.  I would not have access to older versions – as you cannot download past versions for Mac when you have the PC disks.  Also, I need to test action sets in older versions.  As of now I have v7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4 and elements 5 and 7. I could keep them on my PC laptop, but then, if I need to use it for training or testing, why bother getting a Mac?
  2. Lightroom – similar issue as Photoshop but not used nearly as much for my MCP work so transfer is less of an issue.
  3. Would need to purchase new version of Word and Excel for Mac.

– Setting up, transferring info (an issue when I get a new computer no matter what – but more complex going PC to Mac).

– Might need the PC side on my Mac – as I could get Vista, parallels and then load on my Photoshop versions.  But I would need to re-purchase photoshop for the Mac side –since they do not have dual platform licenses.  And I would need to get virus protection and spyware programs then too.

– Learning curve – getting use to the new keys and commands as well as the new operating system

After reading my Pros and Cons, what do you think I should do? If you vote switch to Mac explain how I can overcome the Cons?  Please vote and leave comments as to why you voted the way you did.

[poll id=”19″]

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71 Comments

  1. June 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm —

    I voted for PC.
    According to what you wrote, it seems like there are more reasons to continue with what you know.
    I know Mac’s are cool, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

  2. June 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm —

    I have both and I have been working with both for a long time. Each have their strong and weak points but if I could only have one, I would have to say it would be a PC even considering how much I hate Vista.
    Reasons:
    Adobe software works the same on both platforms (Slightly better interface on PC. I hate the see-through desktop stuff)
    There is a lot more software for PC still. There are some PC utilities I just can’t find for the Mac
    File browsing is actually a bit better on PC in many cases, but debatable.
    Cheaper. Definitely cheaper

    But, you could do what I did: when I retired my old G3 to pasture I bought a Mac Mini and a KVM. It’ll set you back $1000 plus software. This will give you two powerful computers you can work on at all times with similar software. When you need to you can switch back and forth. I think every professional should have at least two top of the line (or so) computers that run the needed software.

  3. June 13, 2009 at 7:32 pm —

    I recently bought a new Mac Pro, and I kick myself everyday. Bottom line is that I thought I could run all of my older versions of Windows CS using VMWare Fusion, and, while that is true, VMWare only allows me to use a 256mb portion of my high end graphics card. To add to the problem, by version of CS4 is MAC, but I really lose out on the biggest feature of the upgrade: OpenGL: OpenGL is a software and hardware standard that accelerates video processing when working with large or complex images, such as 3D files. OpenGL requires a video adapter that supports the OpenGL standard. Your performance when opening, moving, and editing 3D models is significantly improved on a system with OpenGL installed. However, MACs only offer very limited graphics card options… 512mb in their top of the line models. ATI and NVidia make cards for Windows PCs as high as 2 GB, so you can really get a heck of a lot more performance out of CS 4 using a PC.
    Don’t believe the hype about MACs never crashing either. Perhaps I’m just intolerant to change, but I’m wishing I’d have spent half the money on a 2x more powerful pc.
    http://blog.theresaminnette.com

  4. norm
    October 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm —

    Keep in mind, a PC will be much cheaper spec for spec. And with PC’s you can have great multi-threaded performance with CPu’s like Core i7 or Phenom II series which really blow any dual core solution from Macs out of the water. Photoshop CS4 and most video editing software are heavily multi-threaded, the best you can get out of a IMac is a 3.06ghz dual core E8600. The only way around that is the MacPro series which can cost anywhere from $8000-$20,000. Also Windows 7 will sweeten the deal as many claim it to be superior to snow leopard. Lastly, do you game? If yes a Mac is out of the question.

  5. numbsock
    November 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm —

    @norm : Actually you can get the new 21,5″ and 27″ iMacs with i5 and i7 processors…and although i’ve been a PC user since i can remember, i have to admit the 27″ iMacs are definitely making me want to switch…

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  9. Russ Leikis
    April 6, 2012 at 10:09 am —

    Honestly, from your post, it sounds like you already know the answer to your question. Stick with your PC. It is flexible, compatible, cost effective, and ready to go when you need it.

    Apple marketing thrives off of hype, misinformation, and inexperience of users to snag them from the PC side of the computing world. I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and a place for an Apple versus PC, but that time and place is still much smaller than it could be.

    While Apple focuses on a restrictive collection of hardware (sounds bad, but it has its benefits), only sleek component design, and a simplified and restrictive operating system; it also focuses on charging you a steep fee for what you get, masking their security updates, and building glitzy storefronts. In reality, security threats follow the masses, and any percentage of market share Apple gains, they in turn gain a percentage in viruses and malware. If you truly want to protect yourself from this, take some time to learn how to use your computer safely. This will benefit you far more than switching platforms would.

    To make sure the point is hammered home, in all technical ways, Apple computers are PC’s. The only difference is what I’ve already mentioned. That is why you can run Windows on it. To that point, if Windows compatibility is what you need, why get a machine that you have to deal with two operating systems, two sets of OS updates, two user experiences, two sets of potential problems.

    Again, there is a time to use an Apple PC (gasp, what did I just say!), but I don’t think it sounds like a good fit for you.

    On the grounds of performance, anyone that says that an Apple PC outperforms a PC, hasn’t used a well built PC. My recommendation is to find someone you know that really knows their stuff when it comes to PC building, and you’ll not only save a ton of money, but it will outperform anything you get off the shelf, Apple or otherwise.

    Good luck!

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Should I get a Mac or PC?