Equipment Review – Mac vs. PC

There is a long standing debate over Mac and PC, and we’re here to help unpack this great divide. Drawing back to the beginnings of computing, the first computers were giant machines that needed a specialized technician just to run them, and were often housed in their own separate room. In the 70’s, the introduction of the “personal computer” began the shift into what our culture is now by offering anyone the ability to process large amounts of data and synthesize it. As the public’s affinity for personal computers grew, so did the marketplace. In 1985, Bill Gates’ newly created Microsoft company started pushing out some of the earliest models of the operating system known as Windows. These early systems were bulky, ugly, and incredibly slow compared to today’s standards. Around the same time, Steve Jobs’ Apple Company was touting its brand-new line of personal computers—the Macintosh—which from the onset, were geared towards the creative and intuitive computer user. From then on, each company fell into their respective niches, with PCs eventually cornering markets like web design and heavy computing, while Mac burrowed itself further into a niche for creatives, making programs for video editing and illustration. Let’s take a deeper dive into the guts of these machines, and what makes one tick better (or worse) than the other.

For starters, the main difference between Mac and PC is their manufacturer. While a variety of companies build PCs, only Apple manufactures Macintosh (Mac), thus ensuring quality consistency across their products. However, this also generally makes them more expensive than a standard PC. The converse is that for PCs, you have a wide array of options, both price and functionality, so you’re guaranteed to get what you need on whatever budget you have.

One big plus for PCs is the customizability of the machines, which again goes along with the fact that multiple companies manufacture PCs. With PCs, you can build your ideal machine from the ground up; buying specific video cards, more RAM, or more storage, depending on your uses. The ease of which a person can customize their PC computer makes it highly attractive to software developers, hardcore gamers, and video editors alike. If you’re a tech junkie, whose main concern is having the absolute best and brightest in technology, and the ability to control every single component of your computer, this is the obvious solution. If you’re more intuitive with your computers and don’t need fully customizable options, then the Mac might be a better choice for you. Another strength of the PCs is that they’re generally “stronger” computing machines than Mac, and are able to handle large amounts of code, complicated programs, and intense motion graphics work.

With Macs, one thing that draws many creatives to these operating systems is that upon purchase, a standard Mac computer comes preloaded with a bunch of great creative software, including Photos, iMovie, Garageband, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, FaceTime, iTunes, and Maps. PCs also come with good software, but standard bare bones models of PCs typically come pretty bare when compared to the Mac’s offerings. This seems to highlight another difference between the two OS’s: Macs are pretty much plug and go—you know what you expect from a Mac, and you get it. Loyalists to the Macintosh brand enjoy the familiar interface, ease of control, and the aesthetic of the brand. Another interesting point is that Apple ingeniously expanded their product line with things like the iPhone and iPad, giving customers more ways to enjoy their computers, and the seamless compatibility throughout all Apple devices creates a strong sense of brand loyalty. While Microsoft does make phones, they’re not nearly as popular as Apple’s iPhone.

For our purposes here at the studio, we enjoy using Macs for pretty much everything, including graphic design and video editing, but because we shoot in 4K, we also have a few custom built PCs to handle hefty motion graphics projects and large files. Overall, Macs are a great tool for creative-type people who enjoy a clean user experience, seamless iOS integration, and a solid line of operating system-exclusive apps that come pre-loaded, while PCs are great for gear-heads who need intense computing power in order to handle complex programs, and don’t care much for aesthetics. Whatever your preference, find what works best for you, and your budget.

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