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MAC VS PC (For editing)

Nadia Duchemin , Mar 26, 2013; 01:20 p.m.

I know it's an sempiternal debate, but I need to upgrade my computer and I need people's opinion.
I currently have a 7 years old gaming laptop. I can run PS CS6 fine except I have to keep everything else closed for it to get the job done and saving or processing a lot of layers takes time.

I know a lot of professional are iMAC users, and yes, they are pretty and stylish, but I need a laptop as I will also use the computer for personal reasons as well. (Can't afford both for now)

I looked at Macbooks. They're pretty and all, but expensive.
PCs have better prices and I'm used to them.
(I used a Mac in 1995. The one that looked like a box) but I'm opened to switching if it's going to help me edit.

I just can't decide.

What are you using, why are you, and what are the pros and cons of using MAC or PC when being a photographer.

Any help is much appreciated.

Thank you


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Zach Ritter , Mar 26, 2013; 01:27 p.m.

All that matters is which OS you prefer. The hardware is 99% the same. Both will run Adobe just the same. And to be honest, having recently done the whole search myself, Apple's prices for a laptop is pretty much on par with the "PC"s of similar quality.

I personally went with a Core i5 Samsung, but it's the best I could get in my budget of $500. I would say minimum is a Core i5 with 8GB of RAM. Core i7 with 16GB would be better, obviously. And either a Radeon or GForce graphics card, none of that built in Intel stuff.

Bernard Lazareff , Mar 26, 2013; 01:37 p.m.

I need a laptop

If you want to do photo editing (meaning tweaking, not just sorting, cataloguing), you are 100% at the mercy of your computer's screen. With a desktop, you can be picky (within your budget) about the screen. With a laptop, you need to carefully check the performance of the built-in screen. Most laptops now come with that shiny surface that may be very well for movies, but which I hate for photos. Check how much the display colors shift as you tilt the screen; if they do, how could you possibly rely on that screen to adjust your images?
OR, you buy, extra, a separate screen for photo use at home. Check the reviews.

Charles Becker , Mar 26, 2013; 02:10 p.m.

I was a Windows PC user for years before switching to a Mac and they both do the same thing but in a slightly different way. I prefer the setup and look of the Mac but I don't consider one better that the other. I will say, however, that I prefer the Mac's operating system but that's a personal choice.
I think that the choice of a desktop or a laptop is the more important issue and if you can , you should go with the desktop especially if you're going to calibrate your display-and you really really should.

regards, cb :-)

Walter Degroot , Mar 26, 2013; 02:44 p.m.

If you really really need ( not want) a laptop get one.
it is intended to be portable. but it will not last as long as a desktop if it is on 24.and if a motherboard componebt fails it is a bookend.
Look at windows 8 before you commit yourself.
you may grow to hate it. switching to a mac as many say the results and usage are similar.
but if you switch to a mac you may buy a lot of software.
also many things that will work with XP or even windows 7
will not work with windows 8. I see complaints here all the time.
If you have stored information such as photos. the mac will only read the drive if it is formatted in a compatible manner. Even though I am a PC person ( sticking with xp as long as I can)
mac's are good but I am not about to cross over
( I have a drive set up with windows 7 in a slide in holder so I am ready for eventual end of xp support.

Zach Ritter , Mar 26, 2013; 02:51 p.m.

also many things that will work with XP or even windows 7
will not work with windows 8. I see complaints here all the time.

I am yet to have anything not work. Mind you, I'm not hooking up an old Nikon film scanner or anything (yet). I think Windows 8 may be the most stable pre-SP1 software MS has launched to date.

Rich Simmons , Mar 26, 2013; 04:07 p.m.

Considering that you're already have CS6 for the PC, you might want to stick that way. I use both. My workstation at work is a Dell Precision desktop Xeon 3.3Ghz with 12 gigs of ram running Win7. Pretty good machine. I also keep my Macbook Pro right next to it as every outside agency I deal with uses a Mac. I use both extensively every day. I prefer the Mac myself, but I am seeing Win8 as a viable choice now. I keep a copy of Win8 on my mac, as well as a copy of Ubuntu Linux. They both run really well, so I get the best of all worlds this way. With 16 gigs of ram, there's really no slow down.

Also, you could get a refurb'd Mac from the website, save some dough that way and still have a full warranty.

Eric ~ , Mar 26, 2013; 04:51 p.m.

I'm PC desktop and laptop user but getting a MBP set up like Rich S above with dual boot.

Sounds like a laptop and decent external monitor is best. Mac laptops are the finest out there. I've tried them all, squeezed them all, twisted and yawed, and nothing beats the build quality of a MBP. Whether you can buy into the closed rose garden business model of osx is another choice

"so many things that will work with XP or even windows 7 will not work with windows 8."

This is inaccurate.

I've loaded W8 onto my desktop, laptop, and home theatre pc. It's by far the finest and fastest os from Windows yet. I wouldn't hesitate to run it.

JDM von Weinberg , Mar 26, 2013; 06:36 p.m.

I, and many others, appreciate a kind of 'elegance' in the Mac operating systems that we haven't found in Windows. (I've worked for many years on Windows platforms, as well as from the start on the Mac).

Still, if you are used to the Windows system, aesthetics is less important and "Windows does work after all" (I offer this slogan, free of charge, to Microsoft).

Andy L , Mar 26, 2013; 07:51 p.m.

Most of the same software is available for both platforms. Personally I like Macs for the OS and the in-person tech support, but realistically, PCs work just as well for this stuff. Just make sure you get something with a decent screen (a lot of budget models have large screens with low resolution, which doesn't really cut it) or even better add an external monitor. (My current favorite color quality per dollar compromise is Asus PA series.)

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