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Monday, June 2, 2014

Is a Mac really better than a PC for the creative industries?

Mac versus PC
Wider distribution of PCs make MACs a second choice for game developers
By Damian Coates

The MAC is often considered the luxury equivalent of the PC; it is frequently thought of as the 'leisure' option, while the PC is what people mainly use for their work and day-to-day tasks. But is its higher price compensated with better functionality and enhanced technical features?

More than 30 years after its inception, the Mac still has the enviable reputation as the ultimate, elite PC.

As Apple produces its own software, the MAC is essentially 'built-to-order' and its support system is easier to understand, as owners are not dependent on an external manufacturer. There are currently 19 Macs available, which can be tailored to individual needs. For example, the Mac mini is a convenient choice for people constantly on the move, while the MacBook Pro with Retina display may be perfect for people who regularly work with imagery.

However, many companies would prefer a more centralised system
A recent survey by the hosting and cloud services company Parallel found that almost half of IT managers provided their employees with Macs, while the overwhelming majority of businesses stated that they would be more willing to provide Macs if they were able to use a centralised system that could be compatible with both Apple and Windows. Interestingly, almost 80 percent of businesses believed that Macs were, overall, more reliable than Windows, although more than two thirds still do not have the knowledge to manage the Macs system.

What makes the MAC a superior choice for creative professionals?

Professional photographers enjoy the MAC'S spectacularly sharp, clear imagery, although sharp, high definition monitor screens are not necessarily hard to find in this day and age, whether they're linked to a Mac or a Windows system. Fortunately, Adobe Photoshop, the world's most popular image editing programme among creative professionals, can easily be installed on both systems, as can all of Adobe's extensive range of apps. This might be a different story, of course, if Apple had been able to monopolise the image processing market.

The Mac – a more convenient choice for photographers?

One notable advantage of the Mac, however, is that many photographers are instantly able to upload their images in the 'RAW' format without having to install any extra software. The 'RAW' format takes up considerably more memory than the more commonly known JPEG, although it yields much more data as a result, meaning images can be manipulated and customised with much more flexibility.

What makes the PC a better choice?

When it comes to the creative industry, PCs may have the edge; they offer more versatility for people employed in the games industry because there are many more games compatible with Windows than the Mac. Judging by the higher cost of Mac, it is inevitable that most people employed in the creative sector – from games design and website building to photography and fashion – remain virulently dedicated to windows.

The PC is still the most familiar system

The PC is still the number one choice for internet browsing, using social networking sites, checking e-mails and accessing media content on YouTube or Amazon Instant Video. There is universal familiarity with the PC that is built on decades of learning and every-day use.

But remember – many creative businesses are more concerned with internet speeds than anything else

One area of infrastructure that is increasingly vital for many creative businesses, and that isn't determined by whether you happen to use a Mac or a Windows system, is the quality of their internet connection. The fastest your broadband speed, the more data you can upload and download, which can help companies that regularly exchange high volumes of data become more efficient.

Finally – when choosing between a Mac and PC – look for unbiased information

A 2012 survey by Macbook found that Apple laptops achieved the highest customer satisfaction rating for reliability and service. However, Pcadvisor contradicts this with its own five reasons why the PC is better than the MAC. The solution, of course, is to make up your own mind and understand the hard facts before committing to either a new PC or Mac.
About the author: Damian Coates is the Commercial Accounts Manager for Utilize, an award-winning IT Support company which manages every aspect of its customers networking and communication requirements.

Image: Author owned and licensed