PC or Mac - which one?


Well-known member
I'm sure this could apply to prepress departments also, but this is for my own personal info. Mac or PC.
Limited budget choice - will be running all apps of CS5 Premium.
PC - Toshiba Qosmio i5 with 4GB RAM - 18.4" laptop
MacBook Pro - Intel Duo Core 13" which I can connect to a larger monitor when working jobs.

What would you choose?


New member
Re: PC or Mac

Re: PC or Mac

If you can only afford one machine, get a Mac as you can run Mac OS and some flavor of Windows. Ideally you should have one of each


Well-known member
Most everything I need to do in my work I can do on my Windows laptop and send to a Mac user. However, there are somethings (like old PostScript fonts) than can be "tricky" when all you have is a PC. You can get a hell of a lot of computer buying an HP (I wouldn't buy a Toshiba if I could get an HP). The problem you'll find with the Toshiba is the size will be prohibitavely large. Get a 15.4" or a 16" inch. Carrying a 17" or larger is just plain hard. It's nice to have the screen realestate, but as you said with a 13" Mac, you can plug-in a monitor. Costco has some great deals (where they can even double the warranty simply by buying it at Costco) on HP laptops and I think you'd be happy with them.

Having said all that... Prepress/design on a Mac or a PC is the same anymore. All the tools work equally well cross platform. If you adopt OpenType fonts or TrueType there is no reason that you cannot use a PC and still do everything you would need to do.

You're asking a question that will spawn a religious war. Examined rationally it's a draw and comes down to what fits your budget and do you care what computer you're seen with. Me, I don't care which I'm seen with. I want a Mac but my budget says more powerful Windows box for less money.


Well-known member
Mac, but if you are spending that money, add a bit and go with 15.4" inch as you will get new Intel cpu i5 that is much better performer than Core 2 duo so you are positioned well for the future.
Unfortunatelly 13" macbook pro did not get this recent cpu upgrade.
PC's are mostly plastic, cheap and run inferior system called Windows that you don't want to mess with, otherwise it can eat you alive :)
If you build or buy comparable windows laptop to Macbook pro, it will cost you the same or more, so no point really, especially since you can run both windows and mac on your Macbook and you don't have to buy parallels, you can either dual boot for free (bootcamp) or get free Sun virtualbox download and install windows in virtual machine.


Well-known member
No, it's not as expensive for the same hardware. For the same price as a MacBook Pro with two cores I can buy an HP with 4 cores. The holy war isn't going to get anyone anywhere.

However there is a valid point that on a Mac you can also run Windows. If that is important than you can rationalize (legitimately) that you are getting two computers in one. For $899 though, you can get a lot of computer. If you haven't actually sat down and spent some time with Windows 7 then you can't honestly say it's an inferior system. Again, it's a holy war that will never be won. From a practical stand point Windows 7 is an excellent operating system. Vista was bad, we all know that. Windows 7 is not Vista, it is what Vista wanted to be. When you look at doing work, Windows and Mac OS do the same job just as well. Your skills aren't dependent on the operating system you use, they are your skills with the software you use.

I'm a Mac guy stuck with a Windows laptop that has survived much more physical damage than my PowerBook of the same age. My HP is the one I use for all my work... The Mac is a brick...

Yes, Windows 7 will take some time to get used to. Once you do I think you will find it to be easy to get around and be productive.

Hell, buy a HP or Sony laptop from Costco and test drive it for 90 days see what you think of it. They have a 90 days no questions asked return policy on electronics like laptops.


Well-known member
I would go mac, like others have said you get the best of both worlds being able to run Windows xp/vista/7 as well as OS X. I find OS X to make a much better working environment, especially with spaces.

On your choices of computers, I would really recommend upgrading that to something with dedicated video, rather then onboard. I have a 15inch MBP with dedicated 256 mb video and notice a huge difference in performance when its turned off for energy saving. I would not want to work with Adobe CS4/5 without it, especially when larger files come around.


Well-known member
I was a dedicated Mac user for years, but switched to a PC about 7 years ago for home use and haven't looked back. More computer for the money, more choices as far as software (non-prepress; games, utilities, etc.) I use both at work and can easily go back and forth. I've been really happy with my Dell and wouldn't even consider going back to Mac even if they lowered their prices. Mac to me seems to be more about form over function. I even still use XP on my Dell because I don't want or need all the bells and whistles that Windows 7, or Vista for that matter, offer. I don't need collapsible windows or drop shadows or fancy widgets. Call me old school if you want, but I'm happy with the performance I get out of my Dell.


Well-known member
Oxburger you can run either or both OS's at the same time on a Mac. Can't do that on a Dell. Also I see tons of Dells and other windows PC's at the curb on trash day, I've never seen a Mac there...


New member
I would buy a used Mac before a New PC any day of the week. I just bought a used Powerbook G4 (from 2005) and it runs better thank my wife's 2 year old Acer laptop. Also, I have an iBook from 2001 that's still alive and kicking. Is there anyone with a working 9 year old PC laptop? I doubt it. So, for a quality, durable and easy to use laptop, MAC RULES!


Well-known member
Oxburger you can run either or both OS's at the same time on a Mac.

Can't say I really have a need to use any programs that Mac offers that aren't available in Windows. Either I don't need it, or there is a Windows version. Not saying it's true for everyone, but for what I need, I'd rather get more oomph for my money. You can say that Mac has this that PC doesn't have this or Mac is better at this, etc., etc., but in reality, I get alot of power out of my Dell for alot less $ and am happy.


Well-known member
Also I see tons of Dells and other windows PC's at the curb on trash day said:
That's because you can afford to upgrade PC's. You can't just throw away a Mac you spent 3K on... LOL


Well-known member
Alma, why is it that you see more Dell's on the curb than Mac? PC sales are so much higher so it stands to reason you will see more. That has nothing to do with the quality. My HP seems to be a higher quality machine than my 2004 PB G4 since the HP is still working despite the abuse.

Someone else mentioned a dedicated video card, definitely a good idea on any laptop for gaming or "pre-media". Some laptops will come with 1GB of DDR3 video RAM for the dedicated video card.


Well-known member
I have to agree, you can get more bang for your buck and if you are OK with the Windows platform, great. But all the hassle you have to go through for virus protection is just not worth it.

The longevity of Macs is legendary, I had a Max CXII in the Early 90's and it never died. I retired after about 10 years and got a Mac Book that's still going strong. Having the latest and greatest is nice but I want something that's not going to crap out on me.

pc's are cheaper, but you'll spend the left over money on virus protection software.'

Controlling the Purse Strings


By Noel Ward, Editor@Large
What did you buy for your
business last week?
And how are you making sure everything you purchase is properly managed and accounted for?

Read the Article