The debate about whether to choose an Apple Mac or a PC running Windows is notoriously heated in many circles, and within the field of photography this is no different. Ultimately, people have success stories using both, but it depends on the user’s experience level and the configuration of your hardware and software at the end of the day. Personal preference can also play a major role!
That said, we want to offer some advice to simplify the issue. If you’re at the point where you need a new computer for working on digital image editing, you may be tempted to switch from one to the other, but can’t decide whether a PC or Mac will be better suited to your needs. Here we cover a few commonly mentioned points and try to shed some light on the debate.
Not all photo editing software is compatible with both OSX and Windows, although in all fairness the vast majority of professional tools are available for both. If you’re using something like Photoshop or Lightroom for most of your work, you might find people claiming that these programs will run better on a Mac. In fact, as long as you’re willing to spend good money on a high quality Windows laptop, it can definitely match the performance of a Mac.
Windows computers do have more errors, issues, viruses and unexplained lapses in performance than Macs. This is a proven fact, unfortunately. Having said that, Apple computers are not immune from similar issues, and you may have probability on your side but that isn’t a guarantee. You’re probably less likely to get frustrated with major software and hardware hiccups when working on a Mac, but we don’t think this completely balances out the potential benefits of using a PC.
If you want comparable performance, there shouldn’t actually be much difference in terms of price between the two. PCs can also carry high price tags for desirable models by respected brands, and the premium price point is not exclusive to Apple. Having said that, PCs are generally cheaper than Macs because of the higher level of competition. The other major difference is value for money, because a MacBook can easily last between five and ten years with absolutely no problems. A PC doing the same thing without needing costly replacement parts is almost unheard of.
4) User experience
The last major point to consider really does come down to your personal choice. We highly recommend you find a way to try out both a PC and a Mac before making a selection, and spend some time getting to know the other operating system, assuming you are primarily familiar with one of them. OSX can be amazingly intuitive and efficient for some users, while others can’t get their head around it and struggle to work effectively. You should be having fun while you work, after all!