Which Is Best: Windows or Mac?

Hi everyone! I have just joined the community.
I am a young designer currently in my second year of studies. I wanted to ask your opinion on which device is better, especially in the field of graphic design. Which do you prefer, Windows or Mac?

No doubts!! MAC, you should go for MAC but it should be between 1,50,000(INR)-2,00,000(INR) range. You’ll get a decent MAC with good configuration under this range.

@amitbassi Thanks so much for your feedback :smile:

Windows and Mac are operating systems, not devices, and neither one is “best”.

I ran an in-house operation for years where we had to run both platforms, and through that experience I came to strongly prefer the Windows OS, again mostly due to the way Apple does things. Our Windows computers were much less trouble and much more adaptable. And, the hardware running Windows was much more cost effective.

Despite what seemingly everyone in the Graphic Design business will tell you, there is nothing magic or intangible about Mac hardware or software, that is, unless you find it enchanting to have all your decisions made for you. Since moving on from that in-house position, I have used Windows exclusively to no disadvantage whatsoever. Aside from cost and ongoing compatibility (both areas where Apple loses) there is no difference. Form your own preference based on your needs.

Where it’s coming down to a personal decision on my next home computer, there is really no choice but to drop Apple. A MacBook that’s properly configured to handle the work I do at home is well over $4000 (yes three zeros.) That would be about the same config a top-notch designer would need too. Unless work wants to buy it for me, or I can figure out how to write it off my taxes as a 50% work tool, that probably is not going to happen. For the first time in over 40 years.

I definitely agree that Windows computers are much more cost-effective. Thank you for the feedback. :rainbow:

Considering this amount is in dollars, once I convert it, it will be more expensive. And as a student, it is probably not something I can afford. Thanks for your input. :slightly_smiling_face:

Wasn’t this a hot topic 30 years ago, say?

1 Like

You’ve asked two different questions.

Which is best? You can run Adobe’s CC on either platform. It appears that Affinity programs will run on either platform. Fonts is a non-issue. So I wouldn’t say either is best.

Which do you prefer? This is personal preference, and my personal preference is for Mac. Then again, I’m old enough to remember the birth of “desktop publishing.”

1 Like

As @HotButton said, neither is best. It largely comes down to personal preference. Either Macs or Windows will do the job just fine.

If you’re in school, which platform does your school prefers? Sometimes schools like to keep everyone working on the same platform.

If you start working professionally at a company, they might have a platform preference too. I’ve worked at four separate companies (in addition to freelancing) over the past 20 years and each job has required their designers to be on Macintoshes for the sake of workflow compatibility (although some of us also had a spare Windows machine we used for various things). There are probably more companies that insist on Windows compatibility — especially those where the in-house design people are just part of a larger company.

So again, both platforms will work just fine. I prefer Macs because I like the operating system better and because there are two or three software applications that have become critical to my workflow and that are only available on Macintoshes. Of course, if I’d been using Windows for the past 20 years, I’m sure the reverse would be true.

In today’s world, you’ll likely need to be proficient in using both Macs and Windows. This really isn’t much of a problem, though. Over the course of your career, you’ll be learning and re-learning dozens of different software applications, and really, the Mac OS and Windows are just software applications — neither are especially difficult to use.


As a student, I would check into student discounts, both through the school and through Apple and/or PC suppliers.

I prefer Apple products simply because I know them, know what makes them tick and know how to take the machines apart when necessary (though they’ve made that more difficult with laptops these days.) I’m swapping out power supplies in an old dual bootie I have at home, just to play an old game I have. That’s a lot of work for a game. LOL.

It’s always been a “thing”. It was so bad on the old forum we had to ban discussion of it… because folks would lose their mind :wink:

To the OP as it’s been mentioned, I’ve had both I like both for various reasons. I personally tend to gravitate toward Windows because I know it inside and out and can fairly easily fix it if something go awry.

Hello BeccaR03,

I have asked myself the same question many times in the past… here’s what I’ve found:

The question “Mac or Windows?” isn’t really the right question to ask. First, you need to decide if you like the Microsoft Windows Operating System or the Apple Mac Operating System better. Really just a matter of personal preference there and you don’t need to put much thought into that question. Personally, I’ve always used Windows and it’s what I still use to this day. I am also not a fan of the whole Apple ecosystem… it’s very much one-way if you go with Apple. But that’s just my opinion and I don’t think you should spend too much time choosing an operating system. However, if you go with Mac you’re going to end up spending a lot of money that won’t get you anything else special. You’re paying for the brand name. If you take the same dollar amount of what you could spend on a Mac, you can certainly find options from Dell or Hewlett-Packard that will give you more power and performance than a Mac at the same price could. @HotButton had some good notes in his comment above that are in line with what I’m saying here.

It has been a long-debated topic. Some designers swear by Mac. Historically, designers gravitated towards Mac computers because they were one of the first to have very-high resolution displays. They still do have great displays to this day, but the only difference is it’s not special anymore. Apple doesn’t own the high-resolution display market anymore. You can get a great computer with a great screen, or invest in a nice monitor, without using Apple products.

Whether you choose Mac or Windows doesn’t really matter. What you need to pay attention to are the computer’s specs. Also think about what type of designing you do. If you’re coming at from a more print-marketing use perspective you might not need as beefy of a computer as someone who does very intricate and detailed digital drawings, 3D renderings, or video editing.

If you can tell me a little bit more about what kind of design work you do, I can give you some specific specs to look for in a computer. Are you looking for a desktop machine with a monitor, a laptop, or a laptop that you’ll sometimes connect to a monitor? I’ve helped many people pick a computer that’s right for them… without breaking the bank! I get that it can be intimidating with so many choices and things to think about, so I’m always happy to help!

Once you get me those details I can provide some more recommendations and feedback.

Take care,

Not entirely true. Yes, there is an Apple ecosystem, just like there’s a Microsoft, Adobe or Google Ecosystem. Most every software company builds its various products to work well with each other. I have a Mac and an old Windows laptop, but both my tablet and phone are Android models, which I like better than iOS. I see no reason not mix and match.

I’m old enough to remember vividly — I was there. It had little to do with displays. Instead, Macintosh arrived on the scene in 1984 when other computers were still running DOS. Even after Windows came along, it wasn’t until Windows 3.1 arrived several years later that it became a viable platform for design. By that time, Macs were firmly entrenched in the creative fields and were still arguably better for the job up until, probably, the mid-'90s.

I do agree with you, however, about it being just a personal choice about which operating system one likes best. Unless, of course, there’s a compelling reason to choose one over the other, like a work situation or software needs that can be best met on one platform or the other.

1 Like

Hi @Dylan
I mostly do graphic design, digital illustrations, and web development. Since I am still a student and currently unemployed, I’m looking for a laptop. I have become very comfortable using the Windows operating system but I would like to explore the Mac operating system. I have worked with it before and as you mentioned the screen resolution is what caught my eye. I would love to hear your recommendations.


Screen resolution isn’t the result of the operating system. That’s determined by the monitors themselves. I’m currently using an LG monitor, and its resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels (a 4K display). If I moved it from my Mac to a machine running Windows or Linux, the resolution would be exactly the same.

If you’re referring to color fidelity or sharpness or some other characteristic, Apple monitors were pretty good but they were not better in those regards than many other high-end displays — they just integrated with Macintosh computers better than other displays not designed specifically for Macintosh. However, Apple stopped making Apple-branded desktop monitors in 2016 and now recommends and sells other brands instead.

Last year Apple began selling its first Apple-branded, stand-alone monitor since 2016, but it’s an ultra-high-end 6K display that costs $5,000 — the Apple Pro Display XDR. If one wants a stand, it’s an addition thousand dollars. But this display is intended to be used with Apple’s ultra-high-end desktop Mac Pro which, depending on how it’s configured, can cost anywhere from between $6,000 and $25,000 — complete overkill for graphic design.

At University, all labs were Mac and the school offered Macbooks for mobile work.

The most annoying thing was i did all my work at home on a mac. I seldomly encountered an issue moving from one system to another. The main problem i encountered was i updated my adobe programs before the school, or an older external i had wasn’t mac compatible.

I didn’t notice a difference in ethier. I photoshopped for a company back in 2012/13 and all they had were macs. I prefer Windows and its the OS i used building my software. My android phone also had compatibility issues last week transfering files or detecting my device with my cousins Mac because Apple is Apple about things.

I spent a small fortune on a Mac Book Pro 5 years ago and it’s still going strong. My partner has gone through a few PCs in that time (cheap ones, but after the third one it was approaching the same money as my Mac) so I bit the bullet and bought him a Mac when the last PC died.

My sister said the other day it was about time to upgrade her Mac. She’s had it for 10 years. She’s not a designer, just an everyday user, but I can’t imagine even a casual user having a PC that lasted that long.

While you’ve got a student discount I’d invest in a good Mac.

See, this is the kind of talk that bothers me. How does someone “go through” a PC?

Why? What’s gonna happen to it? And what exactly about its lack of Machood is going to lead to its demise?

I’ve been using the same HP Envy notebook PC since 2011, and it runs the latest version of every critical application as well as it ran what was current 9 years ago. And, I’ve never had to delay updating anything because of prevailing incompatibility with OS versions.

1 Like

The important part of my post was ‘cheap ones’. Mechanical failures (hard disk on one), slowing down to the point of unusability - the problem with being non-technical was getting them fixed cost more than buying a new laptop (which makes the environmentally conscious part of me want to cry). So definitely not anything to do with lack of Machood other than I can sort out most issues with a Mac, not so much with a PC.

Having said that, I’ve not had to do much to keep my Mac working well, and I’m pretty sure my sister hasn’t done anything to keep hers working well.

You’re either super lucky your Envy has worked so well, or much better at sorting out issues that arise.

Before I started using my Mac I thought Mac users were unecessarily smug and a little annoying with their evangelism. Post-switch I’ve become one of those horrible people. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

©2020 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook