I’m looking into getting a new computer after graduation and was wondering what you guys thought about the whole ‘mac v. pc’ thing. Macs are gorgeous and more fun to use, but for the money are there any technical advantages for designers using macs as opposed to pcs? Any information would be great.


What software do you think you will be using?

If you ever want to run something like SolidWorks, PC is the only way to go. Quite a few programs are PC only, so in many cases it really does not matter which is better, prettier, or whatever, if you can’t run the software you want then what you have is a really nice paperweight.

Get both! I have a PC and a Mac at work…

But actually before I needed to use Solidworks I just had a Mac. If you are going to use adobe products/macromedia products and Maya that get a Mac and never look back… I am convinced that Photoshop and Illustrator work 1000x better on a Mac.

But if you want to use any other CAD software… get used to the PC and the awful Windows interface (ugly)

I think I have decided to go with a mac if possible. Do you guys think that the $599 mac mini w/ 80gb and 256 mb would have any trouble running adobe creative suite and serving as a home computer? I’m not trying to do anything fancy with it, just the basic industrial design/graphic design project w/ adobe. I just want to make sure it can handle those tasks easily. It does seem like the most affordable way to start off with apple.


256 mb??

get a PC
with 1 gb, at LEAST 500mb, memory

dont jump on the mac wagon. jump on the ipod wagon instead.

If you are going with just adobe products then it is not a band wagon. Macs have been the industry standard forever. I am not even traditionally a “mac” person- but like I said, for photoshop and illustrator… you simply can’t go wrong.

Agreed with the above- get at least 512mb. 1 gig is better- especially if you have to work with a big layered file…

I have and love my 1Ghz Powerbook, I’m geting a PC because Mac just can’t compare when using CAD programs. And since u’re near graduation, shouldn’t u know what software programs u’ll need by now?

adobe products run just as well if not better on a pc… don’t listen to the hype

Jump on the bandwagon of e-mailing soccer moms who think that their new Mac is “neat-o”.

I’ve been running Rhino 3 and Cinema4 on my G4 laptop, 1 Ghz chip with a gig of RAM. Also the Adobe stuff like Photoslop and Illustrator.

I use Virtual PC to get Windows 2000 running, and then start Rhino. It’s not great, and forget about shading. But for banging out a simple model it’s OK.

If I had to do it over, I’d get a good tower or Dell Precision M70. Something that can run CAD. You know how pimp it is when you can show up at a client with ProE running on a slick laptop? Get something that looks good, like a Sony VAIO. You can get a better computer for what you need and still get a seat of Rhino for the cost of the Mac.

Yeah I know you wanna use a Mac since it looks the ID part. But it’s a losing battle until companies make a commitment to 3-D on the Mac. And don’t tell me about the Vellum/Cobalt/Graphite/Solidthinking stuff 'cause unless you’re working all by yourself, you’ll need to share stuff effectively, and that means .prt, .3ds, etc…

Yeah, for true ID stuff, PC’s rule. I have a PC at work, and a Mac at home. The Mac at home is an older G4, and I use it for photo editing, iTunes, internet, etc. I honestly can’t say that there’s any difference between the ways Adobe products run on Mac vs. PC. And CAD on a Mac??? I’m laughing so hard there’s tears coming out. Don’t waste your time with a Mac running Virtual PC…a total hog, and you’ll never be able to build anything but a cube.

I think there’s very few employers out there that will have Macs around. Unless, of course, they have a graphics department.

I can say that I can honestly find a HUGE difference when drawing with a tablet. (or a mouse) I am pretty sure it is an OS thing and not an Adobe thing. But Win XP is certainly more “jumpy” than OSX.

As for CAD- get a PC.

If you’re really just doing Adobe stuff, you can’t beat a Mac. Adobe stuff runs fine on pretty much any modern processor with a decent amount of RAM, but the Mac OS has lots of little features that save me minutes out of every hour, not to mention a ton of frustration, particularly when I’m on my Powerbook. Exposé and spring-loaded folders alone could keep me on a Mac.

As far as 3d goes, I use Maya on my Powergook and G5 and its smooth and fast and a super capable program, but I do feel pretty restricted when it comes to more ID-entrenched programs like Solidworks, Studiotools, and Pro-E. I can use these programs at school, but that’s a hassle.

So, as far as Adobe stuff running better on a Mac, I’m not so sure. I know they have a few platform-specific features on both Mac and PC versions, but they amount to little in practical terms. But there is no doubt that some OS X features can save tons of time. Especially with things like Automator in 10.4.

Personally, being a designer, I appreciate the thought that goes into a lot of the interface solutions in OS X. So many things just make you say “that’s how things should be.” Like being able to use different wallpaper on each display in a dual-screen setup. You can’t (or couldn’t in XP SP1) do that in Windows. Stuff like that doesn’t save me any time, of course, or make me more productive at all, but it makes me feel like my experience with my computer mattered to someone at some point in the design and development process. I rarely feel that way with Windows. Less relevant, I think, but I also feel like Apple manages to enhance my experience with the hardware, too. Just check out the latch mechanism on an Aluminum Powerbook and how much care went into that and its hard to not see what I mean. As a consumer, these things add value in a very powerful way, and as a designer, I feel inspired to try to achieve the same things in my designs. I like for the things that I spend a lot of money on to be more than brute force tools to accomplish a task.

Its unfortunate that some software categories aren’t readily available for Macs, but if everything you need to use is available, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to buy any Mac.

Besides all of that, there is the whole malware issue which Mac users don’t have to give a second thought to, which has also saved me an immense amount of time.

I completely agree, I was in first year i.d. design when i first saw the G4 laptop, it intimidated the heck outta me, I question if someday I myself produce something that can compare with the design of the G4 Powerbook. If I can’t, there’s no point for me to be in this program.

There is a HUGE difference in your comfort level using key commands which if you’re a serious speed demon you use to a great extent. Pinky fingers are not very strong for using ctrl-etc which you’ll have to do on a pc instead of using your much stronger thumb on the apple button on a mac.

If you’re a hunt and pecker, file menu scroller, then the difference may not be as noticeable.

If you are going into graphic design go mac
If you are going into industrial design it depends on your software.

Don’t get a mini mac if you plan on using adobe software. It will be to slow and you won’t be productive… even if you add more ram. Otherwise you will be upgrading to a new system sooner than you want to.

Uhhh…yeah. 'Cause it takes sooo much force to depress a computer key?? You don’t happen to be in human factors/ergonomics, do ya? :smiley:

It doesn’t take much force to press down any keys but lots of people that work on computers all day still get carpal tunnel and other rsd’s. It’s the repetitive action that’s the issue and thumbs are more suited for it than pinky fingers. I don’t see any video games where the main buttons to use are placed for your pinky fingers to control. When you use key commands as much as some people and not just the occasional cut and paste you’ll feel the difference between the 2 very quickly.

MAC for the adobe stuff
PC for the CAD stuff

mac desktop for everything else
and Pc labtop for CAD simple

has a engineer I think PC is the way to go for the cad

but new Mac os thing… runs so much better then window I was surprise by the ability to run different software at the same time …that is crazy…and the exposee keys…and stuff …very useful…no virus on macs it seem…I didn’t think unix was that powerful…I’m hoping that when longhorn for windows come out (2006)maybe… I hope it will catch up with the mac tiger…windows needs to copy some of the function and efficiency of mac…I hope