Windows Vs Mac for digital creation?
Or is it PC vs Mac? what the heck is OS Mac anyway? So many questions, so little space in a single blog post. Before I continue you have to promise me to act civilized. No need to start swearing at the screen about the other side. No need to tout the installation of a Microsoft .netframe as a feature (WHAT?). This is more of a short journal entry in the MANY pages spread across the internets about Windows vs Mac. Except this one is about my entry.
First off I want to say I was a pure Windows user from 1996 (College)-2003 (Work), and a pure Mac user 2003-2016. It may be lobsided but it gave me a good run at both platforms. I am also by no means a power platform user on either side (I don't tinker in the OS much) and much more an application consumer. i want to make sure I am setting this up with some context of my background.
So which one is best suited for digital creation? In order to know that there are two 2 factors from my pov.
- What type of work you do
- Personal preference
And for the most part, in that order. I wish it was in the opposite order but we can't be living the dream!
The reason the type of work you do affects the platform is simply due to the fact that some things are just better suited for each platform. And sometimes it's not even an option. If you are a modeler, you have flexibility. If you are a rendering artists, then you're pretty much screwed on Mac. Don't get me wrong, you could do it, but you'd be wasting precious time from your life looking at pixels dry.
The most fastest besest Mac machine currently available for either CPU or GPU rendering is over 3 years old. Not only that but it was outdated the day it was released. It's both disheartening and sad that there aren't other options for Mac users. But it's our reality today. Which means to make the best use of those cores on CPU or GPU you're better off on Windows, and slightly on Nvidia's lawn if you're into GPU rendering today. And you know what? That's ok. it's ok because once everything is setup and running, you'll come to appreciate the amount of time you've saved and the amount of work you're able to push out. And on another note, you're also not going to feel the platform as foreign as you did maybe 10 years ago. There used to be an expectation that Windows programs in general weren't geared towards creatives but that's MOSTLY changed now. Now I have my Adobe CC on both Windows and Mac. I have MODO on both. Dropbox on both. What else do you need? I'm probably missing Keynote but apparently there is a web collaborative version coming soon. yeay.
But in all seriousness, you'll need to look at what you do, what tools you need and that SHOULD determine most of your decision. Are you a CAD user? Then you're likely better off in windows land. Are you more of a conceptual artist? Then maybe you're better off on Mac. Are you serious about VR? GTFO of Mac world and stick your self in the land of the windows. Again I'm sure there will be some that can swing being on one while making it work, but it will not be comfortable. And what I've come to appreciate is being comfortable while working is better for me. I shouldn't be fighting programs to create my work. Thats the key.
The second point is preference. It may be a gut thing. It may be a financial thing. it maybe any number of influences on your decision and for that I'll leave you be with what you feel is best but understand in this day and age you can't afford to make this your number 1 priority over your work. but thats just me.
Here are my recommendations and preference for what to use on which platform. I'd suggest you try to give the "other" platform a shot if you truly want to get the best of what you do
- MODO (CPU Rendering)
- Keyshot (CPU Rendering)
- Maxwell Render (CPU Rendering)
- Octane (GPU Rendering)
- Marvelous Designer (Fabric Simulation)
- Chrome WebVR (VR)
- Crazy Bump (Texturing)
- Realflow (Particle Simulation)
- MODO (Modeling)
- Adobe tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects)
- Keynote (Presentations)
- Final Cut (Video Editing)
- Brush (Sculpting)
- Substance (Designer)
- Screen flow (Screen Capture)
- General tasks (Email, Browsing)
- Garageband (Audio BG Music Sampling)
iOS (These aren't on either desktop platforms or better suited for mobile)
- Paper by 53 (White Board)
- Procreate (Sketching)
- Adobe Capture (THIS IS A MUST)
- Instagram, Twitter
- Adobe Spark (Presentations)
- Dropbox & Paper
- Google Drive
Maybe you've spent the last 14 years like me stuck in a Mac world and thinking what if I could actually have more than 24 cores, or maybe you're in that Windows world looking all that reality distortion fields and thinking, "I'd like to try that too", maybe it doesn't matter and you want a bit of both. All I'm saying, try to re-evaluate if your decision is the best for you. And with more and more programs heading to web/clouds/mist/vapor/stars, it will hopefully be easier for you to stick to your preference and not to the limitation of each platform.