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Label: pc

Friday 23rd May 2014Mac or PC for Your Digital Art?

One of the bitterest rivalries that has consumed generations of digital artists is the divide between the Mac and the PC. Okay, that might be a touch hyperbolic, as they haven't existed in their present incarnations for more than a generation, but there are still bitter feuds and harsh words exchanged between the two opposing camps. When the time comes to buy yourself a new computer, it's an important decision to make. Switching between the two can be something of a hassle, but it's not impossible, although as long as Adobe and other software makers are unwilling to allow their customers to switch platforms without purchasing additional copies of programs, that can be a major added expense when it comes to switching environments.
That being said, Macs have a long tradition of being used by the more creative types of personalities (although how much of that tendency is really justified and how much of it comes from Apple's exceptional marketing capabilities is really up for debate). In the hazy days of yore when even the most basic computer cost thousands of dollars, there was a real advantage for artists to use Macs. They paid closer attention to design, displayed colours more accurately than PCs of the day, and worked easily with Postscript printers.

Those days are past - long past, in fact. At this particular moment, 95% of the internal components of Macs are exactly the same as they are in PCs, and PCs tend to be capable of running anything that a Mac can with equal facility. Adobe has improved the PC versions of their products (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, among many others) to be completely on par with the Mac versions, and PC monitors now offer exactly the same colour fidelity that Mac screens do.

The next major concern, of course, is price. We artists tend not to be rolling in cash, although we are also very conscious of image (even though we often pretend not to be). This tends to make us lean towards Macs anyways, simply because they have a cachet that PCs don't, but when you're on a budget, 9 times out of 10 you can get a PC that will run circles around a Mac at a similar price - not to mention that the cheapest Macs available tend to approach the $1000 price point, while a perfectly serviceable PC can be had for half that price.

Naturally, there are some caveats, but at this point, the long-fought battle between the two can be said to be little more than marketing hype. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you're most comfortable with, as 99% of your digital artwork will be completed equally well on either platform. If you're into high-end video editing, you may be better off with a Mac, whereas if your emphasis is on 3D rendering, you may be better off with a PC. It all comes down to what you need, not which is better.

Posted on May 23rd 2014 on 07:13pm
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