Should I get a Mac or PC?

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What computer should I get next? I would love your help choosing. I posed the question on this Facebook Thread – but it is hard to layout the whole picture in such few words.

Currently I use a Dell Precision 17” high resolution laptop (fully loaded – well 2 years ago it was anyway…) Every time I am about to purchase I consider buying a Mac.  And every time I have ended up staying with PCs.  I had considered getting a desktop, but I realize I much prefer laptops.

Why I have stayed (Pros to PC):

- I have all the software already

- I am familiar and comfortable with using it

- Overall they are reliable – well besides that blue screen I get maybe once every 6 months – or the occasional virus/malware issues

Why I might want to switch to Mac (Pros to Mac/Cons to PC):

- I always hear how I would LOVE using a Mac

- Viruses and malware

- Many say Photoshop runs better on a Mac

- Would love a lighter, sleeker 17” laptop

- Those commercials are just too funny

And why I never have switched and would still be nervous to make the change (Cons to Mac):

- Much of the software is not Mac compatible:

  1. Camtasia (which I use to record all the photoshop video tutorials you watch here)
  2. Windows Live Writer (how I am writing this blog post right now – it is awesome!)
  3. Thunderbird for email (there may be a Mac version but would my emails transfer)

- Some software is compatible – but would require I purchase a Mac version or give up my PC license.

  1. Photoshop is my biggest problem – since I do trainings, I need to sometimes use older versions. Well if I transfer my license it would be for CS4.  I would not have access to older versions – as you cannot download past versions for Mac when you have the PC disks.  Also, I need to test action sets in older versions.  As of now I have v7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4 and elements 5 and 7. I could keep them on my PC laptop, but then, if I need to use it for training or testing, why bother getting a Mac?
  2. Lightroom – similar issue as Photoshop but not used nearly as much for my MCP work so transfer is less of an issue.
  3. Would need to purchase new version of Word and Excel for Mac.

- Setting up, transferring info (an issue when I get a new computer no matter what – but more complex going PC to Mac).

- Might need the PC side on my Mac – as I could get Vista, parallels and then load on my Photoshop versions.  But I would need to re-purchase photoshop for the Mac side –since they do not have dual platform licenses.  And I would need to get virus protection and spyware programs then too.

- Learning curve – getting use to the new keys and commands as well as the new operating system

After reading my Pros and Cons, what do you think I should do? If you vote switch to Mac explain how I can overcome the Cons?  Please vote and leave comments as to why you voted the way you did.

Help me decide: PC vs Mac - should I stay or should I go?

  • Get a Mac (196 Votes)
  • Stay with PC (132 Votes)
  • Toss Up - Flip a Coin (15 Votes)

Total Voters: 343

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 Should I get a Mac or PC?

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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70 Comments and 1 Replies



  1. 1
    honey says:

    Just made the switch and I am loving it. I switched my cs4 platform and Adobe was great about it. The only things I cared about was my ps software and your actions. I debated the macbook pro but decided on a super loaded imac more features, less moola. I am in love with him and want to have his babies. You can always use your older software on your dell laptop … I plan to give my old pc to the kids & use some of my older software on it now & then. The mac is made for what you do. You and Mac belong together. It takes one day to figure out the system … you have to learn to think simply and it just works.
    Good luck with your decision Jodi!!!

  2. 2
    Michelle says:

    I voted for Mac because I made the switch a few months back and am so happy… however, your reasons are compelling for sticking with PC. I felt like since I was a newbie photographer I could make the switch with few repercussions… it sounds like it would affect you all over the place. Who needs that? ;)

    Carey Shumacher at Barefoot Memories Photography in San Diego has both and says they’re both great. Maybe you should shoot her an email begging for her opinion. :) She’s nice. I bet she’d reply! ;)

  3. 3

    I made the switch from PC to Mac about 3 months ago, and although there was a learning curve (less than a week of frustration and confusion, lol) i have never regretted switching. I had some similar cons, but it was still worth the switch. For teaching I would just run bootcamp so you have access to the older versions of PS.

  4. 4
    Mary says:

    I’m in the same boat. I may end up following the previous suggestion – that is getting a mac dedicated to my photo business and keeping my dell laptop for software and apps that I still need access to. However, I also recognize that this is a short term solution unless I intend on spending the money to maintain both systems. Eventually one of them is going to age out of usefulness if I don’t keep it and it’s software up to date. It’s not an easy choice.

  5. 5
    Michele says:

    I voted for keeping the PC….about 4 years ago I bought a MAC (on my son’s pleading). I loved it for pictures…….except!…..it kept crashing. It was worse than my PC.
    I still think maybe I should switch, but am too scared. And it sounds like your business relies on the PC.
    My regular business relied on my PC, but was assured I could use the same software on the Mac……wrong. It was the wrong version, not quite right, or just didn’t run, no matter what they said.
    I bought a pc laptop to use just for my other business, but soon discovered that moving back and forth made no sense.
    I’ve never looked back (well, that’s not true, I love the commercials, and it always make me think….maybe….)

  6. 6
    Jessica says:

    Switching to a Mac is not going to be as hard as it sounds. Either way, you are still buying a new computer and anything on your old computer will eventually stopped being used. Just don’t think of it as an immediate switch, but a transition from one to the other. As long as you keep your PC for a while and can still access your old programs when you need to, make the switch. You will love it!

  7. 7
    Jodi says:

    But for all of you saying Mac – how would you handle the issues of the following – especially 1, 2 and 3 of each catagory.

    - Much of the software is not Mac compatible:

    1. Camtasia (which I use to record all the photoshop video tutorials you watch here)
    2. Windows Live Writer (how I am writing this blog post right now – it is awesome!)
    3. Thunderbird for email (there may be a Mac version but would my emails transfer)

    - Some software is compatible – but would require I purchase a Mac version or give up my PC license.

    1. Photoshop is my biggest problem – since I do trainings, I need to sometimes use older versions. Well if I transfer my license it would be for CS4. I would not have access to older versions – as you cannot download past versions for Mac when you have the PC disks. Also, I need to test action sets in older versions. As of now I have v7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4 and elements 5 and 7. I could keep them on my PC laptop, but then, if I need to use it for training or testing, why bother getting a Mac?
    2. Lightroom – similar issue as Photoshop but not used nearly as much for my MCP work so transfer is less of an issue.
    3. Would need to purchase new version of Word and Excel for Mac.

    - Setting up, transferring info (an issue when I get a new computer no matter what – but more complex going PC to Mac).

    - Might need the PC side on my Mac – as I could get Vista, parallels and then load on my Photoshop versions. But I would need to re-purchase photoshop for the Mac side –since they do not have dual platform licenses. And I would need to get virus protection and spyware programs then too.

    - Learning curve – getting use to the new keys and commands as well as the new operating system

  8. 8
    Stacey Haslem says:

    I recently switched to a Mac also. I love, love, love it. But as others have noted, I didn’t have all the cons that you listed above. I had a couple of programs that I love that are dedicated to the PC. I ended up partitioning part of my hard drive to run Windows that I purchased for about $100. That would be an option for you, but you do have to restart your computer in the Windows mode. And like you pointed out then you aren’t getting the intended use of your Mac. It took me years to decide to switch to Mac. I have to say that I don’t regret it a single bit. Good luck making a decision!

  9. 9
    Jim Poor says:

    This is coming from a guy who built his own PC’s for many years as well as bought some of the the more popular brands.

    Get a Mac!

    Much of the software is not Mac compatible:

    1. Camtasia (which I use to record all the photoshop video tutorials you watch here)

    -Screenflow is much nicer than Camtasia and works on Mac.

    2. Windows Live Writer (how I am writing this blog post right now – it is awesome!)
    - There are tons of other ways to write a blog.

    3. Thunderbird for email (there may be a Mac version but would my emails transfer)
    -Yep, there’s a mac version and yep your emails will transfer.

    - Some software is compatible – but would require I purchase a Mac version or give up my PC license.

    I kept my PC around for about 6 months after I made the switch thinking “just in case.” I never turned it on again and gave it away.

    1. Photoshop is my biggest problem – since I do trainings, I need to sometimes use older versions. Well if I transfer my license it would be for CS4. I would not have access to older versions – as you cannot download past versions for Mac when you have the PC disks. Also, I need to test action sets in older versions. As of now I have v7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4 and elements 5 and 7. I could keep them on my PC laptop, but then, if I need to use it for training or testing, why bother getting a Mac?

    - Technically, once you’ve upgraded to say CS4, you’re not supposed to run CS3 any longer either. That said, there is no reason you can’t switch your licenses for all the older versions if you have separate licenses.

    - Farm out the testing to a few trusted readers with the older versions of the software ;)

    2. Lightroom – similar issue as Photoshop but not used nearly as much for my MCP work so transfer is less of an issue.

    - I got Lightroom after making the switch, but there is a lot of info out there on moving a catalog from platform to platform.

    3. Would need to purchase new version of Word and Excel for Mac.
    -Yes, or you could use Open Office or even iWork. I have Office for Mac as well as iWork and there really isn’t much difference except iWork is a lot more reasonably priced.

    - Setting up, transferring info (an issue when I get a new computer no matter what – but more complex going PC to Mac).

    ** Get your Mac at an Apple Store and have them do the transfer for you. It really isn’t all that hard anyway, but totally pain free if you let them do it.

    - Might need the PC side on my Mac – as I could get Vista, parallels and then load on my Photoshop versions. But I would need to re-purchase photoshop for the Mac side –since they do not have dual platform licenses. And I would need to get virus protection and spyware programs then too.

    ** Don’t bother. You can do anything on a Mac that you can do on a PC with Mac native software.

    - Learning curve – getting use to the new keys and commands as well as the new operating system.

    ** OS X is pretty intuitive. Five minutes to learn that the close button is on the left and PC CNTRL = Mac CMD and you’re pretty much set.

    • admin says:

      Jim – I appreciate your well thought out comment.

      Here is the deal:

      - I called – adobe is not able to move anything other than my current version to Mac – so CS3 and below would be useless to me. I need them for training and testing. Yes – I could have testers – BUT many times I need to make the action using the older version as it is not backward compatible but is forward compatible. So if made in CS2 – will work in CS4. If made in CS4 – may not work in CS2, etc.

      - Adobe is really by far the BIGGEST thing holding me back – I am not sure how to get around this – if I had a way to get photoshop 7, CS, CS2, CS3 and CS4 all for Mac, I would probably just make the switch and buy other replacement software for other stuff. But adobe is telling me it is impossible. Only solution they had was to put older versions on a PC partition of a Mac. Then buy a FULL new license for CS4. At that point – I would be using the PC side of the mac a lot – and it defeats the purpose I believe…

      Thoughts?

  10. 10
    Jodi says:

    I just called adobe and there is NO WAY to get Mac versions of the software for older versions of Photoshop – which I need for training and testing.

    And if I transfer my license – it renders the PC versions useless anyway. If I do not transfer – I have to spend $700 to get a second license of Photoshop CS4. And then I still need to keep the windows ones. This is not an easy choice.

  11. 11
    Sari says:

    I made the switch several years ago and couldn’t be happier, so my vote is to go to Mac. For all the old software that you absolutely MUST have, you should be able to just run your Windows software on your Mac using Paralles or Bootcamp, etc. I don’t have any Windows software that I care to use anymore but I know many just install Windows on the new Macs for situations like yours. I would also check out some of the Mac forums out there. They are wealth of information.

  12. 12
    Shae says:

    With a mac, you can run parallels, and all your PC software will work with the mac. Talk to a Mac genius at your mac store and talk to him about parallels.

  13. 13
    Paul Kremer says:

    To be honest, Jodi, I think you’ve answered your own question. Someone who does just photography or graphic design only needs the current version of Photoshop, not every single version created. You, however, do. It is imperative to your business! Staying with PC makes the most sense. I will give you the pro-PC side of the coin. Macs are great, don’t get me wrong, I have used them before. They do a great job, but I have always purchased PCs for the same reasons that have held you back.

    Let’s look at your Pros for going to Mac.

    “- I always hear how I would LOVE using a Mac”

    Sounds like you have been talking to people who like their Macs, and that’s great. But I would submit to you that many people who talk up Macs do so as “fans” which we know is short for “fanatic.” I know one guy who talks up Macs as “better than anything PC could ever have.” That is a plain ridiculous statement! Macs have a lot of great features, but PCs are certainly not slouches.

    “- Viruses and malware”

    This is a big point that Mac users like to talk up, but the practical reality is that any decent Internet Security software will keep you safe. I have used Norton Internet Security for over 6 years now, and have had precisely 0 virus infections. Have you been infected in the past few years personally? If not, then why panic over it now? Having good Internet Security, along with common sense in your downloads and what programs you install will make this a non-issue.

    “- Many say Photoshop runs better on a Mac”

    I would say that sounds like fanboyism. What makes it run better on a Mac? The difference is usually that Macs have all the equipment to run Photoshop well standard in their basic machines, whereas you can buy stripped down versions of PCs without proper video cards. Of course a Mac is going to run Photoshop better than a 5 year old PC with onboard 64 MB shared system memory graphics. However, if you buy a brand new system with a 512 MB video accelerator and get a decent processor and BUS speed, Photoshop will run just as well on a PC…and for a lot less money.

    “- Would love a lighter, sleeker 17” laptop”

    That’s a personal decision…can’t help you there. :)

    “- Those commercials are just too funny”

    In general, the most practical decisions are on price and reliability of equipment. I might support a business if I like their advertising, but not if their product makes no practical sense. I would say that an emotional response to advertising would be a bad way to make a practical decision. :)

    As far as learning curve, that seems like a minor issue…it’s a 1-time learning process and then done.

    Personally, I have a 3 Ghz Duo-core processor with 4 GB of RAM, 1333 BUS, along with a 512-MB video accelerator card, powering two 22-inch monitors. Photoshop runs like lightning on it, and I can Photoshop, Lightroom, Firefox, and Winamp to listen to music simultaneously with no slowdown. Minus the monitors, which I already had, the whole system cost me $1050 through Dell. I would like you to just dream about getting that kind of system in a Mac for less than $1800…because a dream is the only way you would get it. :)

    If you buy a PC with the powerful equipment you need, it will run your software just as well, cost less, and negate dual platform, compatibility, and “simulation” issues. Did I mention it would cost less? :)

    You have to make the decision that is right for you, but to be honest, it sounds like the practical decision is obvious here. Macs are great and they do have their advantages, but in your position, it sounds like the PC has more pros than the Macs.

  14. 14
    sprittibee says:

    If you have the money, go Mac. If you don’t (like me), sit on the sidelines a bit longer. I don’t have Photoshop yet, either… so your post made me think that I really should wait to go Mac first before buying it… save myself from the hassle of having to get it again. I have so many files on PC… and use so many programs… it is just unimaginable dealing with the MESS…

    But I do want a Mac someday. Maybe when I can afford it to sit right beside my PC and I can just play with both until I’m fluent in the Mac.

  15. 15
    Tracy says:

    LOL…I am dying here as I could almost have written this post! I did take the plunge and have a big white box with an iMac sitting behind me as I type this on my PC.

    I had all the same issues, but just decided to go for it!

    I haven’t even taken it out of the box yet, but am excited about this new adventure! I am sure it will be rough for a while, but will be worth the switch.

  16. 16
    Shelly says:

    This is a tough call but I voted for keeping with a PC. It is a fairly significant transfer for the majority of us but for someone using this as their source of income, I think it introduces a lot of risk. If the PC works, why change?

  17. 17
    Tracy says:

    P.S. I just spoke at the A Woman Inspired Conference today and mentioned your Free Actions…so a bunch of ladies will be headed your way! Blessings!

  18. 18
    Jim Poor says:

    I just called adobe and there is NO WAY to get Mac versions of the software for older versions of Photoshop – which I need for training and testing.

    And if I transfer my license – it renders the PC versions useless anyway. If I do not transfer – I have to spend $700 to get a second license of Photoshop CS4. And then I still need to keep the windows ones. This is not an easy choice.

    ** Ugh. That really doesn’t sound right to me base on the experience of other “switchers,” but I’m perfectly willing to be wrong. Assuming it just can’t be done:

    If my business required me to have both / several versions, I’d spring for the extra license even if it were a to stretch the budget a little (not break it mind you). I just made the hard choice to plunk down for a 200mm f2 when I have a perfectly fine 70-200 f2.8 and an 85 f1.4 because 60% of my events for the rest of this year are low-light, no-flash allowed in venues where I need more than 85mm. I feel your pain.

    ——-

    Jim – I appreciate your well thought out comment.

    Here is the deal:

    - I called – adobe is not able to move anything other than my current version to Mac – so CS3 and below would be useless to me. I need them for training and testing. Yes – I could have testers – BUT many times I need to make the action using the older version as it is not backward compatible but is forward compatible. So if made in CS2 – will work in CS4. If made in CS4 – may not work in CS2, etc.

    ** Same answer as above. Plus, I didn’t think of needing the software to create rather than just test.

    - Adobe is really by far the BIGGEST thing holding me back – I am not sure how to get around this – if I had a way to get photoshop 7, CS, CS2, CS3 and CS4 all for Mac, I would probably just make the switch and buy other replacement software for other stuff. But adobe is telling me it is impossible. Only solution they had was to put older versions on a PC partition of a Mac. Then buy a FULL new license for CS4. At that point – I would be using the PC side of the mac a lot – and it defeats the purpose I believe…

    Thoughts?

    Hmmm. . .

    Get the mac, spring for CS4 and keep your PC on the side for developing in the older applications.

    -or-

    Ebay (but legitimate) copies of the older versions and transfer your CS4 license to Mac once you have the older versions in place.

  19. 19
    honey says:

    As far as the word & excel … my imac opens them and for new documents I use iwork. I would transfer my platform for mac under cs4, then do all of your other testing on pc. OR fins someone with the older versions and install them on your mac. They can be installed up to 2 times … one of us guys who xoxoxo you have to have a copy hanging around for you! So Mac users who have a newer version and are willing to send Jodi your older versions … Anyone??

  20. 20
    honey says:

    you can switch platforms on lightroom and i am sure you will find other ways to work your blog.

  21. 21
    Jo says:

    Sometimes I feel like a lot of it is about image. “If I have a PC I might look bad!” It seems like all the photographers have a Mac (I’m not saying mac is bad in any way)… but what is wrong with PC? I have heard equal complaints on both sides. I feel like you get a lot more for your money with a PC. I love my 21″ hp laptop.

  22. 22
    Kitty says:

    if you would like a more accurate poll, put it after your post.
    i’m sure many people click before reading.

  23. 23

    Bigger is not always better (and when I say “bigger” I mean the stats that Mac users will usually quote) You don’t drive an 18-wheeler. Why not? You don’t shoot a Hasselblad? Why not? There are certain limitations to “great” technology.

  24. 24
    Brendan says:

    You may as well have asked people what religion is the best or who is better, Democrats or Republicans, LOL

  25. 25
    Adam says:

    Be careful and don’t give into peer pressure. It is no different than hanging out at a club where you are being offered drugs by friends/peers. You are being told what these folk want you to hear, so that you can jump on board with them which helps to justify their own decision (in this case) for purchasing a different system that cost much more $ but in the end produces the same results. Soooo many people buy into successful marketing (and Apple has always done well with their marketing) and soooo many people think ‘the grass is greener on the other side’.

    It is the same story. Someone does something and wants their friends/peers to do it so that they feel they made the right choice.

    I would say before Lightroom came out for Windows and Adobe was developing their product lines with different features for Mac’s than Windows … Mac systems had a definite edge for photo and video pro’s (with Aperture and more features in PS, etc). But as of approx 3 years back, Lightroom came out and closed the gap with Aperture for Windows systems and Adobe changed their product development cycle so that their tools are exactly the same on both operating systems.

    If you talk to an experienced unbias computer user that uses both platforms they will tell you that both have their strengths and weaknesses and in the end, it comes down to the experience you want to have using the tool.

    It is the experience, nothing more.

    Are you one that would go to a new platform because you want a new challenge, want to appear ‘hip’ when either out in public and using it or talking amongst industry peers? Spending more $ on the hardware and software will get you that if you want it.
    Or, are you comfortable with the platform you have dedicated years to mastering and given a substantial $ commitment to? And are you comfortable with not being a simple follower which stands out when you go to a convention, etc and see all of these Mac’s?

    I was at a one day [B]ecker seminar recently and he loves Apple stuff and his Mac. He said it himself that in the end, you are still producing the same quality results regardless of platform, it is just the experience that is different on the Mac and he has always loved that experience as it fits his personality and he is comfortable spending more $ on that experience as he feels it is worth it.

    In 2002 it would be a better pro photog platform. In 2009, it is about your personal image.

    Both are great tools, just don’t be a follower. Make the correct business decision.

    AW.

    PS. Don’t buy into the media hype on viruses, etc. As long as you are a smart computer user and don’t go to scrupulous software hacking/adult sites that like to backdoor downloads of stuff on your PC, and don’t run pirated software key generators, don’t open bogus e-mails with questionable attachments and are behind a firewall …. you are just as safe with Windows as you are with running OSX or Linux or Unix or OS/400 or …. (you get the point).

  26. 26
    Donna says:

    It seems that you have more reason to stick with a PC than to switch. It is probably possible for you to switch to Mac, but you would have to jump through significant hoops and probably incur significant costs. I’m a lifelong Mac user, but I think you should stick to PC.

  27. 27
    Christi says:

    I made the switch last year, and yes there is a bit of a learning curve, but for the most part, I was acclimated withing a week or two, and I will never, and I mean NEVER, look back. My husband was convinced, too and when he had to get a new computer, he came over to the dark side, lol. You have a lot more to take into consideration than I did, but I am quite happy. I got iWorks, and honestly, I haven’t missed Word or Excel too much. Good luck either way.

  28. 28
    lia says:

    I vote for MAC. I’m using it for a year and can’t think return to Win again…
    You have good con’s but you have to think it’s a medium-time transition. At the beginning, you can install bootcamp and have another partition running Windows, so you can have access to your old sws (I have it and believe me, win runs very well in a Mac).
    Office is easy because they are quite compatible… you don’t need to buy it in the first moment.
    Everyday there are newer sws for Mac, doing exactly the same things for Win. In a certain time, you will have everything on Mac and you’ll love it !

  29. 29
    Janet McK says:

    “well besides that blue screen I get maybe once every 6 months – or the occasional virus/malware issues”

    COME TOWARDS THE LIGHT! haha. there is a happy bouncy world over here in Mac Land where people don’t ever bat an eye or lose any sleep worrying about these sorts of things. Let alone spend the time to maintain and pay for spyware protection. I don’t have to be paranoid when I’m online or receiving e-mails from people.

    Camtasia: I don’t know what this is, but I know that I can record videos onto my mac with software that comes pre-installed on the computer. (with the greatest of ease :D)

    Windows Live Writer: I’m not sure what this is either, but I’m guessing it’s probably does something similar to iWeb (yup, comes with the computer).

    You’ll be surprised at how easily and quickly your mind adjusts to the new keystrokes. It’s a cinch.

    OH, and everything in the commercials- TRUE.

  30. 30
    Gale says:

    I think you’ve already worked out the answer to your question. MAC definitely seems like the “cool” thing to do, but PC is the logical thing to in your particular case. I have a PC, have always had a PC, and with the amount of money I’ve spent on my PC compatible software, etc. I’m not going to torture myself over the MAC vs PC question when it comes time to replace this machine. I’m a PC. :o)

  31. 31
    Charmaine says:

    I got through about half of the comments, so somebody may have already said this, but I would go to an Apply store and ask one of the sales people or even one of the genius’ about your issues. Yeah, they want to sell you a Mac, but they will truly be a wealth of information. I bet someone has had the same issues as you and will be able to tell you how they did it. I made the switch to Mac about 3 years ago and have never looked back. Having to replace 3 PCs in 2 years will do that to you though. I’ve never had to replace a Mac, but I have upgraded since then. I love these things! And if you ever do have a problem with your Mac, the customer service is so much better than any PC support that there is no comparison.

  32. 32
    honey says:

    No peer pressure here! I just had my second pc crash in 4 years … when I spend 2500 on a viao I need to get at least 4-5 years out of it. My best friend is a pc fixer and he convinced me to make the switch. I spent less money on my imac than I did on my last jacked out dell laptop. The Laptop crashed too. I am having it fixed and giving it to my kids and will run old software on it as needed. Maybe I’ll just run it on mac. I leave it on all the time with no worries. It does not freeze or crash and everything it processes including loading is immediate. I expect to get 5 -6 years out of this and then upgrade. I am confident that will happen. I know people running macs from 7 years ago with no problem. Yes, more expensive for less features ,,, just get what you need!

  33. 33

    I voted you stay with your PC Jodi. It sounds like, with the requirements you have with teaching and the hurdles of dealing with the different versions of PS, staying PC is the way to go. I think it is easy to get caught up in the hype of the Mac fans….but it doesn’t mean it is the right computer for everyone :)

  34. 34
    fazzbech says:

    I recently made the switch from PC to MAC, and have never used a MAC before. I have a few comments on some of your pro’s and con’s that might help:

    - It took no time at all to learn to navigate the MAC, it really isn’t that different
    - Thunderbird is available for MAC, though I use the MAC Mail program. I bought a small add-on which allowed me to export my emails from Outlook and import them into Mail, so I lost nothing. I did install a few add-ons to make it more usable and what I was used to.
    - The licensing is tricky, but did you know that (at least on iMAC’s, not sure about MacBook’s) the MAC comes with software called BootCamp, which allows you to install Windows and then install and use all your Windows software.
    - Another great piece of software the MAC comes with is Time Machine. I have a 1TB EHD attached to my MAC all the time, and my hard drive gets backed up to it automatically throughout the day, without me lifting a finger.
    - I have found along the way that there are some things I did on my PC that I couldn’t seem to do on my MAC, but I just Google, and more often than not, I have found an alternative.

    Good luck deciding! I spent a lot of time investigating before I made the decision to change, I’m sure you will make the right choice for you!

    Annette

  35. 35
    fazzbech says:

    I recently made the switch from PC to MAC, and have never used a MAC before. I have a few comments on some of your pro’s and con’s that might help:

    - It took no time at all to learn to navigate the MAC, it really isn’t that different
    - Thunderbird is available for MAC, though I use the MAC Mail program. I bought a small add-on which allowed me to export my emails from Outlook and import them into Mail, so I lost nothing. I did install a few add-ons to make it more usable and what I was used to.
    - I personally wouldn’t waste my money on the MAC Office software and just download OpenOffice for MAC (free) instead. I bought iWork, and I tried really hard to like it and get used to it, but it was laborious, so I have switched and I guess I wasted my money there.
    - The licensing is tricky, but did you know that (at least on iMAC’s, not sure about MacBook’s) the MAC comes with software called BootCamp, which allows you to install Windows and then install and use all your Windows software.
    - Another great piece of software the MAC comes with is Time Machine. I have a 1TB EHD attached to my MAC all the time, and my hard drive gets backed up to it automatically throughout the day, without me lifting a finger.
    - I have found along the way that there are some things I did on my PC that I couldn’t seem to do on my MAC, but I just Google, and more often than not, I have found an alternative.

    Good luck deciding! I spent a lot of time investigating before I made the decision to change, I’m sure you will make the right choice for you!

    Annette

  36. 36
    Linda says:

    I had a mac once…kept freezing on me…hated the thing and couldn’t wait to get back to my pc. Really.

  37. 37
    Janet McK says:

    Okay, so I sat back and read some more of the comments, and while I still vote mac, and only have a slight grasp of all you do for your business, I just want to say, “what does the future look like for you and this question?” If you are needing every version of photoshop, wouldn’t it be good to run tests and what not on a mac? Are more of the people using your site using a mac? Are you alienating anyone by not using it at well? And I echo all the comments about going to an Apple store. Go in, talk to them about your concerns. If they’re not listening and really answering your questions, ask to talk to someone else! They’ll be able to answer your software questions about windows programs that you like and what will be available for you on a mac.

    If the Adobe stuff is what is really holding you back, maybe call back and ask to speak to someone else (I’m not suggesting being a jerk, just asking nicely. Generally people lower on the totem pole are not allowed to be as helpful as those higher up the chain.) You’d think they’d want to be all sorts of helpful to someone like you whose work encourages others to buy their product!

  38. 38
    Jodi says:

    I have spoken to many people at Adobe. My only option is to run the software on a PC built side. They said I can try to buy copies of old software from other places but warned me that much is not legit- now I feel better :)

    I have talked to Apple a bunch of times the past few days too – basically they seem to think maybe I should be staying PC – or just set up the mac to run as a PC – but then they say “but you have a PC that works fine – right?” yep – I answer… They say, “hmmmm…”

    This comes up for me every few years and as of yet – when I break it all down, other than the promise of “the grass is always greener – and prettier in the case of a mac” – I am not sure this makes logical sense for my business.

    It is really not about the money either. I mean I do not want to waste money but if it truly is a better choice for my business than it is a no brainer. Plus my accountant would not mind me having the expense to offset some taxes. I am not sure if running a mac as a pc really makes sense – why move then. And unless I can find a way to get at least Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3 and CS4 (plus a copy of the most recent elements for Mac) all for the Mac side of a Mac – it seems that there is a fairly good chance I will stay put.

    I love the looks of Mac – I LOVE LOVE LOVE my iphone – so I think it gets me thinking Mac.

    But I wonder if I am best served by adding a powerful PC desktop to my already decent PC laptop – and then spending the extra money hiring someone to network things for me – set up a true backup system that works automatically instead of me having to back stuff up once a week, etc…

    Hmmm – well this sure has got me thinking…

    Jodi

    PS – my sister is probably is watching this thread shaking her head – thinking – every two years… here we are again…

    Kind of a case of do you mess with something that is not broken in case something better is awaiting?

  39. 39
    gina says:

    i voted for the PC because why fix what’s not broken? it’s working for you, right?

  40. 40

    Jodi – it would be a mistake to install an entire other operating system on your laptop. If you go Mac, don’t install Windows. Of all your choices above, that’s the worst.

    It’s better to stay with PC than install Windows on a Mac.

    I believe Macs are better and made the switch myself almost 2 years ago. If you test all your actions in older releases, there are cheaper ways around that! It would be cheaper for you to find 5 client testers to check to see if the actions work than to buy all those versions again.
    If you gave them 1 version of your actions each PSE, PS7, CS, CS2, CS3 to run for you – it would be wayyyy less cost intensive than buying each of those yourself. (And on that note, I volunteer to be your CS3 tester since this is my brain child! ha!)

    Then you’d only need to invest in CS4 and LR2 – although I’m willing to bet that CS5 will be out by Easter. They usually release a new version every 18-24 mo. CS4 was released Oct 2008.

    Pages (Mac’s document program) is sophisticated. OpenOffice is free and saves documents as .doc. Or for the money you’d save on getting Virus protection you can buy Office for Mac.

    Everything on Mac is intuitive. You wouldn’t regret the switch.

  41. 41
    Jodi says:

    The testing idea while not original – a few on FB said that too – does not work. Not that I cannot have testers – I could but if there is a problem with running (and often there is) the way to fix is to record in earlier versions – so I actually need them.

    Also for training – I need them. So unless adobe calls me up – or someone else has any ideas where and how to get a mac version going way back… it looks like I may be answering my own question and off to dell to consider a desktop – to pair with my laptop.

  42. 42
    amymom24 says:

    I made the switch to Mac in March. Be prepared for a month or so of frustration before you get totally comfortable, but after that I guarantee you will make the vow that you are NEVER GOING BACK to PC!!! ;)

  43. 43
    Jenn says:

    I’ve had this same debate myself for the past year or so. I finally caved last week and ordered a new Dell laptop. (I also got new PS CS4, etc.) I had many of the same issues as you and just realized that I simply don’t have the time or money to invest in a Mac right now. It sounds like you feel the same and have already made up your mind. I’m anxious to receive my new one and so far don’t regret not getting the Mac. Of course when it arrives, that may be a different story. ;)

  44. 44
    Brad says:

    Hey Jodi, I made the switch to Mac 4 years ago and have never looked back. My daytime job (the one that pays the bills, puts a roof over our head and food on our table) is supporting a Microsoft Windows server environment for a large company. I have always worked supporting all version of Microsoft operating systems, even back in the DOS days before Windows came out. The point is that I know Windows backwards and forwards. It is generally very stable, but the Mac is hands down the best system I have ever used. It is rock solid, has the best graphics available on any system, and Apple support is way better than Dell, HP and Microsoft. Your kids are in school, so you can get the Office for Mac Student and Teacher edition, which is cheap. Photoshop runs really fast on the new Macs, and despite one other comment made earlier, running Windows XP or Vista on a Mac using Parallels is really fast, easy and works flawless. I have a friend who I setup their Mac this way, and they could not be happier. The funny thing is that Windows runs faster using Parallels than Windows runs on a PC. They never have any issues. In fact, all my friends whom I have swayed over to the Mac, I never hear from them again about computer problems… they only tell me how glad they are they switched and will never go back. At the end of the day, you have to make the decision that you are most comfortable with, but personally I love my Mac, even though by day, I am a Microsoft guy. Adobe cross-licensed my Photoshop for me for free (paid S/H, though). And did I mention how fast the Mac is? :)

  45. 45
    Karin says:

    The biggest pro to the Mac is that you can use Bootcamp or Parallels to run your PC software. Now show me where a PC can run Mac. It can’t. Get a Mac. If you have to ask, you know you aren’t happy with the your PC.

  46. 46

    It always surprises me how popular Mac is in the USA – no way would I consider switching from my PC – I barely have time for all my work, my kids, etc and the learning I NEED to do let alone adding something else to the mix! Then again, as I’m in a less Mac popular region it’s unlikely to be an issue for me… tough one, but I’d stick with what I know (I’m probably a big coward though!!)

  47. 47
    Manon says:

    Jodi, I feel your pain. I really would love to have a mac, but my fiance (software developer) always tells me that the stuff they sell in there macs is way to expensive and old if you compare it to a PC. Means if you spent 1500 on an Mac you would get a MUCH better PC. Thats why I still stay with PC.

  48. 48
    Puna says:

    I’ve been reading through your comments and haven’t gotten through all of them yet but I will. I want to just say quickly that I have both, a PC for home (and blog) and a Mac for work. They both have pros and cons…I voted for a PC for you since I don’t believe the advantages of the Mac outweigh the cross-platform change for you. My computer is a Sony Vaio vgn-fw190. I just got it in August and I absolutely love it. It has a Mac keyboard:) The screen is also bright and beautiful which I think you would need for your projects, so you can keep them coming!

    If you choose the Mac, I would just keep your later versions of CS on your PC and purchase CS4 for your Mac. Ouch. I wouldn’t bother trying to get parallels or do office for Mac. Just use the apps that are made for it…it’s the easiest way. Why put Vista on a Mac when it runs natively on a pc? I didn’t think you could keep your later versions of CS after you have upgraded to another. In any case, I’ve written more than I wanted to. Sorry if this has already by re-hashed by your other commenters.

    Good luck to you! You do beautiful work.

  49. 49
    Julie says:

    My advice would be to stay with a PC. I use a PC at home and a Mac at work… at first, I was excited for the opportunity to “test run” a Mac without having to pay for it myself. But after 7 months… I don’t see advantages over a PC. I use Photoshop on both, and DON’T think that it runs any better on the Mac than on my PC. You already have all the versions that you need — so why try to acquire them all on the Mac? Plus, I’ve searched and searched, but I have yet to find anything even half as great as Windows Live Writer for Mac! :)

    But the biggest reason for me to not switch at home is because Macs seem to be relatively unstable if you have a lot of data on them. I’m in science, so we have hundreds of GB of microscopy images on our computers, and ALL the Macs (and we have quite a variety — from laptops to Mac Minis to iMacs) wind up just up and crashing with no warning, and need to have the harddrive replaced. On my PC, however, any time I’ve ever had a problem, it works a little slower… and then slower… and basically TELLS me that I need to change something. I’d much rather have a computer that has a few quirks but doesn’t just up and stop working one day with no warning.

  50. 50
    Adam says:

    Ya, the couple of comments above somewhat support my argument earlier. In today’s tech age, both systems are on equal playing fields and have their pro’s and con’s, but neither is missing out on a whole lot. It comes down to the experience or personal preference you have using one platform versus another. Because Windows based systems are so much more common, they are in the news and talked about more. Thus any issues that exist get more press. It is simple math.

    People like that they can customize and changed pieces in their Windows PC’s as they like, as the platform is quite flexible for those that like to tinker. Others like that you can’t and don’t do that on a Mac so it simplifies things for those that don’t like or don’t need the Windows platform flexibility (which is a double edged sword as the flexibility introduces potential stability issues). Unfortunately we can’t have our cake and eat it to. :(

    Does a young mother of a couple kids that is self employed have the time to invest time into the transition of different operating systems and all that it entails? Next to your camera your computer is your number one business tool. Keep emotion out of it with it being a business decision (if you can). If you can commit the time needed and really want to give it a try and learn, then all the power to you! But like I said above, just don’t jump ship because of peer pressure as that peer pressure is in most cases self justifying of the peers. I sympathize as I have felt that pressure as well and seen a couple of guys I know fold to it. They feel like they ‘fit in’ now when in a crowd that have their laptops with them … but the work they produce and how they go about it hasn’t changed.

    PS … this is an entertaining thread.

  51. 51
    Esther J says:

    I switched to the Mac and love it. You will to. You can still keep running your Windows older photoshop versions if you have to. Get a current license for CS4 for the mac. Install VMWare Fusion and run Windows XP (or Vista if you have to) inside of that. Install your older PC versions of Photoshop on there. I assume that you won’t need to run the older versions as often as you use the current version. So whenever you have to you just start up your virtual machine and run it in Windows.

    I also read Camtasia will come out for the Mac soon but others have pointed out that you can find other software for the Mac that works just as well or even better.

    The learning curve to switch is minimal as Macs are super easy to use.

  52. 52
    Jodi says:

    Entertaining is an understatement. Every time I needed to make this business decision prior – I stayed with PCs. And as much as I love the “idea” of what Mac is – reality is my latest Dell with North American phone support and loaded has been reliable for the most part. Other than a few blue screens, I have not had a HD crash and I do work it hard.

    I kind of think – though I love laptops, than my best investment is to buy a loaded dell PC desktop to accompany my laptop – something with a TON OF SPEED and space, internal HDs that mirror each other in case of failure.

    Then pay someone to network them so the laptop and desktop live nicely together. And also execute a better back up plan. Me manually doing it to the external does not cut it. Plus I want simultaneous backup off site too. And rather than me spend my time where I could be doing what I am good at learning how to do all this, I need to hire someone for this project. Anyone know anyone good in Metro Detroit – LOL.

    So unless “you Mac people” can figure out a way for me to easily overcome my Cons, we can possibly close the book on me joining you (at least until this comes up again in a few years…)

  53. 53
    lisajulia says:

    Hi Sweets! You already know my thoughts but i thought i would come and vote in your poll…add me to the get another PC crowd =) Good luck!!!!

  54. 54
    Tina says:

    Get a Mac! You can run Windows on it through Parallels or VMWare Fusion. You’ll be surprised at how much faster everything goes on a Mac (Windows even runs better, ha)-Best of all, no more “Not Responding” 10 minute+ waits!
    I am a member of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi–We get a pretty big discount on Apple products. Let me know and I can give you my login info.

  55. 55
    steph says:

    I am having this same problem. I will probably get a MAC because I just can’t stand the PC “issues” which usually happen during my busiest time of year…never fails. After saying this, all of the cons you brought up are my concerns as well. There is one you left out, cost. I can get more PC than MAC for the money but I still think I will be a MAC girl by years end.

  56. 56
    Missy says:

    I just got a Mac a few weeks ago and LOVE it!! It has so many extras, it’s amazing!
    The whole software thing wasn’t a huge deal for me since I was due for a new version of Photoshop anyway. My husband works at a University so we got student discounts on all our software…CS4 and Microsoft Office for Mac. So if you know someone going to school ask them to get it for you!

  57. 57
    Adam says:

    I think it is funny that people say Windows runs faster/better on a Mac system.

    PEOPLE … APPLE MAKES AN OPERATING SYSTEM AND MICROSOFT MAKES AN OPERATING SYSTEM … THE LAPTOP/PC YOU PURCHASE IS HARDWARE FROM DIFFERENT HARDWARE MANUFACTURES THAT HAVE BEEN PUT TOGETHER TO RUN THEIR OPERATING SYSTEM … ALL THEY DO IS SIMPLY PUT THEIR LOGO ON THE CASE AND HAVE SOME INFLUENCE ON HOW THE CASE LOOKS! A Mac laptop and desktop, inside (the guts), is the same as a Windows PC/laptop. They both have Intel CPU, ATi/AMD or nVidia graphics cards … Kingston or other RAM, MSI or Intel or Asus motherboard, etc… They are the same hardware!!!

    The only reason Windows runs well on a Mac laptop (remember from my rant above … inside they are exactly the same as a Windows laptop except for the exterior aesthetics) is because it is a CLEAN INSTALL OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM. Thus it runs great … all clean installs of all OS’s run great! You cannot say ‘boy when I left my PC behind for my new Mac it ran so nice and fast so my Windows system sucked’! That is most likely because your PC was old hardware and was loaded with years of ‘stuff’ you have put on it which bogs it down over time (and this is completely normal). And your new fancy looking Mac is running well because it is newer/faster hardware and a clean install of the OS.

    I feel better now that I have gotten that out of my system…

    (can anyone tell I have worked professionally in the I.T. field for > 20 years?) :)

  58. 58

    Oh honey! If you need help contact us, Nate is a trainer for Apple. :)

    As far as how I’d answer your questions…. I have no idea about Camtasia, Live Writer or Thunderbird. As far as the Photoshop stuff, Nate could answer that question a lot better. If you want feel free to call us and pick his brain about it all. He deals with this stuff all day long so he’ll probably be able to give you much better answers than me. For Word and Excel, there is no reason you need them. iWork has Pages and Numbers which is Apple’s version and they are much better.

    Apple is not just successful marketing. Their machines are superior for artists, hands down. Plus the ease of use and interfaces are just so easy and sleek. Everything is simpler on an apple computer than on a PC, and you don’t have to worry about viruses which is wonderful. I was a responsible PC user for years and still had to deal with some horrible virus about every 6 months. It is untrue that you are just as safe with Windows as OSX.

  59. 59
    RCH says:

    My parents have had two Macs; both would freeze and/or crash fairly regularly. Macs are cute, but I wouldn’t believe the hype. :-P

  60. 60
    Trude says:

    Takes a little while to get used to, but I’m SO happy I made the switch almost four years ago. For me, one of the biggest issues was spyware and adware and all that junk, and I haven’t had a single issue with that stuff since! Also, if you do get a Mac, make sure you get the Apple Care Protection Plan. It’s the absolute best thing you can do – 3 years of full coverage. I’ve had one small issue and one big one, which I had no problem getting taken care of. After seeing what my family has to go through to get their Dell PCs fixed, I’m thankful that I can drop my baby off at the Apple store and not worry. :)

    Plus, functionality is wonderful. I love that so many programs came with my iMac to begin with and I didn’t have to go through the process of acquiring them like any PC makes you do.

    Also, Lightroom works on both Mac and PC, so all you’ll have to do is switch your catalog, and I think the Lightroom Killer Tips blog has a tutorial on how to do it.

    Hope that helps!

  61. 61

    I voted for PC.
    According to what you wrote, it seems like there are more reasons to continue with what you know.
    I know Mac’s are cool, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Marco Conti says:

    I have both and I have been working with both for a long time. Each have their strong and weak points but if I could only have one, I would have to say it would be a PC even considering how much I hate Vista.
    Reasons:
    Adobe software works the same on both platforms (Slightly better interface on PC. I hate the see-through desktop stuff)
    There is a lot more software for PC still. There are some PC utilities I just can’t find for the Mac
    File browsing is actually a bit better on PC in many cases, but debatable.
    Cheaper. Definitely cheaper

    But, you could do what I did: when I retired my old G3 to pasture I bought a Mac Mini and a KVM. It’ll set you back $1000 plus software. This will give you two powerful computers you can work on at all times with similar software. When you need to you can switch back and forth. I think every professional should have at least two top of the line (or so) computers that run the needed software.

  64. 64

    I recently bought a new Mac Pro, and I kick myself everyday. Bottom line is that I thought I could run all of my older versions of Windows CS using VMWare Fusion, and, while that is true, VMWare only allows me to use a 256mb portion of my high end graphics card. To add to the problem, by version of CS4 is MAC, but I really lose out on the biggest feature of the upgrade: OpenGL: OpenGL is a software and hardware standard that accelerates video processing when working with large or complex images, such as 3D files. OpenGL requires a video adapter that supports the OpenGL standard. Your performance when opening, moving, and editing 3D models is significantly improved on a system with OpenGL installed. However, MACs only offer very limited graphics card options… 512mb in their top of the line models. ATI and NVidia make cards for Windows PCs as high as 2 GB, so you can really get a heck of a lot more performance out of CS 4 using a PC.
    Don’t believe the hype about MACs never crashing either. Perhaps I’m just intolerant to change, but I’m wishing I’d have spent half the money on a 2x more powerful pc.
    http://blog.theresaminnette.com

  65. 65
    norm says:

    Keep in mind, a PC will be much cheaper spec for spec. And with PC’s you can have great multi-threaded performance with CPu’s like Core i7 or Phenom II series which really blow any dual core solution from Macs out of the water. Photoshop CS4 and most video editing software are heavily multi-threaded, the best you can get out of a IMac is a 3.06ghz dual core E8600. The only way around that is the MacPro series which can cost anywhere from $8000-$20,000. Also Windows 7 will sweeten the deal as many claim it to be superior to snow leopard. Lastly, do you game? If yes a Mac is out of the question.

  66. 66
    numbsock says:

    @norm : Actually you can get the new 21,5″ and 27″ iMacs with i5 and i7 processors…and although i’ve been a PC user since i can remember, i have to admit the 27″ iMacs are definitely making me want to switch…

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    Joseph says:

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  70. 70
    Russ Leikis says:

    Honestly, from your post, it sounds like you already know the answer to your question. Stick with your PC. It is flexible, compatible, cost effective, and ready to go when you need it.

    Apple marketing thrives off of hype, misinformation, and inexperience of users to snag them from the PC side of the computing world. I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and a place for an Apple versus PC, but that time and place is still much smaller than it could be.

    While Apple focuses on a restrictive collection of hardware (sounds bad, but it has its benefits), only sleek component design, and a simplified and restrictive operating system; it also focuses on charging you a steep fee for what you get, masking their security updates, and building glitzy storefronts. In reality, security threats follow the masses, and any percentage of market share Apple gains, they in turn gain a percentage in viruses and malware. If you truly want to protect yourself from this, take some time to learn how to use your computer safely. This will benefit you far more than switching platforms would.

    To make sure the point is hammered home, in all technical ways, Apple computers are PC’s. The only difference is what I’ve already mentioned. That is why you can run Windows on it. To that point, if Windows compatibility is what you need, why get a machine that you have to deal with two operating systems, two sets of OS updates, two user experiences, two sets of potential problems.

    Again, there is a time to use an Apple PC (gasp, what did I just say!), but I don’t think it sounds like a good fit for you.

    On the grounds of performance, anyone that says that an Apple PC outperforms a PC, hasn’t used a well built PC. My recommendation is to find someone you know that really knows their stuff when it comes to PC building, and you’ll not only save a ton of money, but it will outperform anything you get off the shelf, Apple or otherwise.

    Good luck!



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