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Which is right for you? We explore the benefits of Mac and PC

Ana Perez

Do you use Mac or PC for your creative workflows? Each system has their own strengths and features that can influence the choice. Let’s explore some of these factors and see if you can identify what machine is best for your team:


Mac is a creative favourite

Historically, design has been done on Mac. Since the launch of the first ever Macintosh in 1984, Apple has positioned itself as the go-to for creative types with everything from its advertising to its design and its powerful specs. This heritage is a big reason why Macs are still the standard when it comes to graphic design and other creative workflows.

For the general population, in contrast, Windows is still the most used OS at 76% of those surveyed, while macOS is only used by 16% of the population.

The gap is closing though, with Apple products growing their reach in the general market and PC improving its capabilities to be able to handle design workflows.

We’ve asked some of our in-house design experts for their personal opinion on what they like about working on a Mac and on Windows:


“I use Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects for video editing, again this is just my personal preference, but MacOS and MacBook Pro feel almost invisible in the process – in a good way! They're so intuitive to use that I feel fully immersed in the project and don't have to worry about performance or get lost in the operating system outside of the apps, so all my focus stays on the creative side of things.” – Simon Curd, Designer and Videographer.

“Having worked with design programmes, specifically the Adobe suite, for over 20 years now, I remember the days when transferring any files from the Mac at University required a USB drive and it was literally down to luck whether would open on my PC at home without any issues. Working on the cloud has made everything easier! Now the process is seamless and other than the operating system, I don't really notice any difference when I'm actually working within the programmes.” – Xenia Spray-Smith, Senior Designer.


Workflows are key

The main consideration when choosing to work on Windows or on Mac should be your workflow and the platforms you work on. Let’s see some examples:

·      If you are using Final Cut for editing video, then Mac is a must as the tool isn’t available on Windows, whereas if you have NVIDIA-based workflows tend to be a more natural fit for a PC environment.

·      On a similar vein, we’re seeing a trend where Pro Tools-based workflows focus more towards Mac, probably due to the simplicity factor of having Core Audio and Core MIDI already integrated into the OS.

·      On the other hand, video editing is tending to be HP-based in a lot of cases because of the GPU power present in their high-end machines.

·      Working with Microsoft Suite will make Windows a more obvious candidate. As it was developed for the Windows platform, it offers more extensive integration with Windows OS than with macOS.

·      Graphic design and photography are quite balanced between the two systems, but we’re seeing more users choosing Windows where high-powered PCs are on the cards, even though this industry traditionally has trended towards Mac as we discussed before.


Mac is still in the majority overall, but we’re seeing more PC use across the creative sector than there was 15 years ago. Both Mac and Windows are now offering designs with features to minimise eye strain, with Windows hitting the folio market along with the detachable screen of the Surface Book models. If you’re a graphic design agency, we recommend setting up an employee choice programme to ensure you’re getting your creatives on the machine they prefer and getting the best results every time.


What Mac to choose?

Even within the Mac platform, your device choice will be influenced by the type of work you do.

For teams that need the flexibility to design anywhere, we recommend MacBook Pro, as the light and slim design is perfect to transport while still offering you the power needed to handle large files, especially on the new releases with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. For example, if you have a remote or hybrid team or need to commute between distant locations very often, MacBook Pro is the perfect solution.

Even MacBook Air has a place at the table – we're starting to see some of the higher-powered new Silicon MBAs being used for design work. The new generation of MacBook Air with the M2 chip has a strong enough performance to power through photo editing and vector illustration work, though it would be wise to get a different device for heavier workflows like animation and video.

For desktop-based graphic design, we recommend Mac mini. Powered by the M2 and M2 Pro chips (it’s the first time a Pro chip has come to Mac mini, by the way), it offers you incredible performance and processing speeds, whether you are working on Final Cut Pro, Photoshop or Pixelmator Pro. Pair it with a powerful monitor through the Thunderbolt port and you’re all set.

Another option is iMac, a favourite of creatives everywhere. Thin and compact, it still features a stunning 5K Retina Display that gives you high colour accuracy without compromising on processing speed. If you work with audio, the iMac brings you a mic array that rivals those of professional studios and a six-speaker sound system, and it features a strong enough chip, GPU and graphics card to handle even video editing and 3D rendering.

For higher powered editing workflows, for example for media editors, our recommendation is Mac Studio, as it offers you the highest levels of performance. Its huge range of connector ports, the biggest on any Apple device, is perfect to integrate it into your current setup, whether you need to connect cameras, pro headphones, monitors, external storage or anything else. It’s the ultimate machine, perfect to power through whatever your workflow throws at you.


What PC to choose?

You have a wide range of options when it comes to laptops for design. For heavier editing workflows we recommend machines such as the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 Notebook, featuring touchscreen technology and an ultrabright display. Another option is the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, with a slightly lower price point that doesn’t compromise on performance.

For lighter work, we recommend a portable option like the HP Elitebook 640 G9, featuring the latest Intel processor so you can work from anywhere.

That being said, if you need serious power for handling heavier graphics, our top Windows recommendation is the Intel NUC 12 Extreme Kit. This is one of the higher end devices in Intel’s range and offers you a groundbreakingly strong performance and wide range of ports without compromising in mobility.


In conclusion

As we’ve seen, the result of recent tech advancements and changes in the industry mean that, at the moment, whether to choose PC or Mac is a matter of personal choice and the needs as dictated by your specific workflow, rather than a black and white choice with clear “dos” and “do nots”.

It comes down to what you want from the operating system, as well as what software and other devices you’re planning on using.

We also want to remind you to not underestimate the power of habit: users want what they are most familiar with, whether they stick with PC because that’s what their home machines are or whether the ubiquity of iPhone leads them to prefer Mac. Apple product use keeps rising steadily across the education sector, so that’s something to take into account too if you want to attract the talent of recent graduates to your organisation.


Regardless of your requirements, there is a perfect device for you out there. If you’re hesitating or want more information about what would fit best into your existing setup, why not let us help? Call 03332 400 888, email or pop your details in the form below.


Want to learn more about PC and Mac solutions for creative teams?

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