@DrewKerriganNY – Yes I can change hardware inside my iMac if I want to. My Macbook no, but then it’s already powerful enough, I don’t see why I’d need to upgrade. If I do need to upgrade it’ll be a couple of years away and I’d just buy the latest model anyway.
I have a mac and a pc, have been using both for over 10 years, and for me, as a graphic designer/front end web developer, a mac is definitely more favourable than a pc.
My workflow is so much faster on a mac, there are better apps for web on a mac that are just not available on pc’s, fonts are rendered better on macs, and yes, the aesthetics of the software and hardware are a plus, not to mention lack of viruses. It allows you to get started fresh out the box, like all Apple products. Although i have been using macs long before iPads and iPhones came onto the scene, I do believe these have been a big part in increasing mac sales, due to having the same interface.
The only downside is the price, but like @andy_unleash says, they are definitely worth it, and are getting cheaper!
@DrewKerriganNY I agree with you about preference, a mac is not for everyone. You are a techie, this explains your choice. The same as people working with 3d Rendering, and hard-core gamers. A mac may not be the best choice for these users, however I am pretty sure everyone else in the creative industry would benefit from a mac.
I also agree with you that mac hardware is no more reliable than pc’s (although software is a different matter), however I disagree with your comment about upgrading. Macs are upgradable depending on your machine. I assume you are comparing a base unit to an all-in-one iMac, which then of course the base unit would always be easier. I have a mac pro which I can upgrade anytime. To be honest though, with the specs of the new iMacs, you wouldn’t need to upgrade anyway, just customise on purchase if needed, and enjoy the power.
An interesting question about how the trend started. I don’t think it’s specific to this industry. I think its a global phenomenon that started with university students wanting reliable machines that weren’t prone to viruses.
I’ve been using a Mac OS for about 13 years now and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to using Windows full time. I think W7 was a *massive* step in the right direction, though I think W8 is a bit of a step back, I haven’t really enjoyed it.
To those arguing that Macs are upgradeable, you are wrong if you are comparing it to any basic PC tower. The newest iMacs are probably the least upgradeable machine that has ever been produced. It is for these exact reasons that I moved over to the Mac Pro a few years ago. Love being able to update GPU, CPU, RAM, multiple HDs, having additional PCI slots, etc. The problem is that it’s a lot of money just to have an upgradeable machine with the OS that I want.
Since I’ve taken my freelancing *way* down over the past year and have moved into a more comfortable full-time gig, I’ll likely build out a Hacintosh and sell the Mac Pro. It’s a thing of beauty, though!
@andy_unleash @croydon86 You are missing my point. You are forced to use Apple specific upgrades, or void your warranty (bummer). That is not customization.
Customization is being able to walk into any electronics store (or browse online, Newegg.com), pick the hardware you want from a giant selection and then put it into your computer. I.e. there are hundreds of graphics cards on the market: how many can you put into your iMac?
With a Mac, you are pretty much restricted to updating the RAM, Harddrive, and CPU. And on top of that, you are only given 1-2 upgrade “options”.
That’s pretty limiting, wouldn’t you agree?
>Love being able to update GPU, CPU, RAM, multiple HDs, having additional PCI slots, etc. The problem is that it’s a lot of money just to have an upgradeable machine with the OS that I want.
@thedoc You also have to factor in the exorbitant cost of Apple upgrades. When you compare some of them to their PC counterparts, it’s hard to justify the value.
Edit: For the record, my first computer was a Mac IIci. That computer was more upgradable than 95% of the products Apple makes now.
I think you’re missing the point that I won’t need to upgrade. My iMac is top of the line and my Air is basically for portable web development, I’m not looking for graphics power for gaming, I’m looking for reliability and good processors.
Not all of us want to switch out the very latest graphics card or processor every five minutes and with Mac’s you rarely need to any way since they’re powerful out of the box.
Taking into account how much you would spend upgrading a PC I think the prices are actually comparable, rather than Mac’s being more expensive.
You saying you “won’t need to upgrade” doesn’t change the fact that there are incredibly slim upgrade options available to you. We talking about the same thing here or what?
I don’t get the last comment either. Why would you have to upgrade a PC constantly?
The point is, if I want to retrofit my machine, I can. You cannot. That is pretty much the end of the story.
Edit: And GPUs are not just for gaming. GPU acceleration has been in Photoshop and Illustrator since CS4.
The new iMacs are a thing of beauty, and for about a grand (GBP) you get an amazing display of true colour, a fast processor and 8gb ram. This is more than enough to run the average workflow of the average person in this industry comfortably. Granted the pc equivalent will cost half of this, but you don’t get the advantages listed above.
If you ARE looking to upgrade significantly, then by all means, doing it the apple way will be expensive, but the majority of users wont have this need.
I agree apple’s computers are becoming less and less upgradable (by yourself), but they are also becoming more and more powerful so is that really that bad?
@DrewKerriganNY Agree with the GPU, although 64-bit with 8gb ram for photoshop with default graphics for the new imacs is pretty fast for the average user.
Also you don’t have to rely on Apple upgrades to upgrade apple products. 3rd party hardware work just fine for a lot less.
@croydon86 I work on a 21″ iMac (2.5 GHz Intel i5, 8GB DDR3 RAM) at work with Adobe CS 5.5 and when I have multiple PSD mockups (typically 25MB-50MB each) or large scale graphics open, I can definitely notice a performance hit.
Switch to home where I’m running CS6 with my GPU accelerating the process: it’s fluid as can be.
I also recognize you can get 3rd party upgrades, but they typically void your warranty (thus the bummer comment) and Apple won’t help you if they trace a problem back to a piece of hardware you personally installed.
>The new iMacs are a thing of beauty, and for about a grand (GBP) you get an amazing display of true colour, a fast processor and 8gb ram. This is more than enough to run the average workflow of the average person in this industry comfortably. Granted the pc equivalent will cost half of this, but you don’t get the advantages listed above.
Why you say this? With a PC you can have as much RAM as you want, you can get the most powerful CPU (and overclock it for even more power if you want), the fastest graphic card (several of them if you want), and any display you want, like a Dell Ultrasharp or even an Apple display. The iMac is just an “all in one”. It really can’t compete in terms of power.
I understand to say that you prefer OSX over Windows but to say that Macs are more powerful is simply false.
@andy_unleash No, I’m saying that Macs don’t offer nearly the same level of customization that a PC does. Trying to argue differently is getting kind of silly bud, lets drop it. The very first thing I said was:
> Ultimately, I feel the choice boils down to personal preference.
And how was I supposed to buy anything better than a completely loaded 17″ Macbook Pro? Yeah, it _was_ a beast, at the time…
Edit: Here are the laptop specs – http://support.apple.com/kb/SP546
@Zoom You hit the nail on the head. And that is just scratching the surface.
@Zoom Your argument is also false. You’re basically saying “if I hand built a computer with hundreds of GPU’s and 300GB of RAM it would be more powerful than an iMac!” – of course it would, because you made it more powerful than an iMac.
Macs are as expensive or powerful as what people want. Entry level are cheap, top end are expensive, but so are PCs.
No, Macs are not as “powerful” as _you_ want them to be. They are as powerful as _Apple_ allows them to be. There is a big, big difference.
With a PC, _you_ control what goes into it, with literally infinite options available.
With a Mac, _Apple_ controls what goes into it, limiting you to a handful of options.
Do you not recognize the difference?
@Zoom you have totally misunderstood, where did I say macs are more powerful? I would never say that. By advantages listed above, I meant those mentioned in the discussion.
But anyway, going back to the original question, I think the answer has been covered here already. Being taught in college’s with mac’s is a good point, but not only colleges, but online also. The majority of online tutorials around web design are taught on macs, including industry leaders such as our very own Chris Coyier. Seeing these workflows when you are new to the industry may be a huge factor in thinking you need a mac.
I also pointed out the same:
> Major graphic & web schools are chock full of Apple products, so designers are kind of led down the Cupertino road during education (I know I was).
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