The Hunt: Mac or PC

I’ve already noted that you need to figure out your priorities with your new Digital Bible. In this penultimate post to the series closer, I want to clear up a major question: Mac or PC?

Both Macs and PC’s are ridiculously easy to use and they each come with their own learning curve. Don’t believe the fan-boy hype. This is why you’ll have to focus on your usage list.

If you’re planning to play the most recent video games you’re going to want to steer clear from a Mac. Lots of them don’t come out for it and the ones that do don’t get a ton of backend support for odd crashes. Macs make up a small segment of video game producer’s market share so if Mac Users are having problems it’s not something that can turn the name of the company into a pariah. Of course, this doesn’t matter much with mobile platform games (like Angry Birds).

Lean towards a Mac if you’re planning to do design work. Sure, PC’s are exactly the same in this respect but as a designer you’re probably already using a Mac so maximize your business dollars; stick with what you know. No one but designers will care for this bit but it must be mentioned: font management (like auto activation of fonts) is much better on the Mac. So far, anyway. With web fonts on the grow, that can change.

I’ve said it before: if you’re going to just use the thing for surfing the web, writing emails and maybe posting on your blog spending a boatload of money on anything expensive is a waste. Those very minor tasks (sorry they are) don’t necessitate all that cranking power. But then again, that might just mean a tablet—although not necessarily an iPad (which will still require a computer to set it up).

Apple’s Monitors, though pretty, aren’t all that great considering their steep price tag. Shop around for a monitor because both Macs and PC’s can use them (though Mac’s usually with an adapter on everything but an iMac which has a Monitor built in) and it’s the one piece of equipment that might probably outlast your system.  My ViewSonic is great for games, reading, movies and detailed design work and is crisper than my Cinema Display. The Cinema Display cost over a thousand; the ViewSonic cost three hundred.

If you want upgradeability go with a PC; Mac’s have a time stamp that lasts as long as the next conference in June or the Christmas season. Anyone (including that guy behind the counter in Best Buy) can swap out any part of your PC for the most recent edition. The only time that becomes problematic is when a major change comes along (like Intel’s dual core chip) which changes the face of PC tech.

So, Mac or PC? It all depends. Plus, there’s always Linux.

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Read the next and final post in this series: A Successful Hunt.

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3 comments

  1. Crawford Paul (@bridgecourt)

    Good article Rey. Apart from gaming I think a lot of it comes down to 3 things: money, taste and what you are used to. I do quite a bit of design work and I love the Adobe Suite on my PC. I just don’t see how spending the extra money on a Mac is worth it. I also don’t like the hardware control that Apple wants.

    I think both systems are good and they both make each other better.

    • I certainly agree that competition between the Mac & PC platforms is healthy.

      For the last 20 years I’ve used Windows based PCs, but recently I have been tempted to switch over to the Mac. Ease of use, security, and stability of the operating system being the main reasons. The only factor that has held me back is the price.

  2. Just remember that Apple has some serious security issues. If you do go that route, invest in antivirus and a decent firewall like little snitch.