I was just answering a post for a fellow about what type of hardware he might be purchasing in the near future. I feel I have a very good technical perspective on the subject since I have used both platforms as a power user and still utilize both.
The Quick Answer
To get to the answer quickly – I have to go with MAC or OSX. I often “get ” to do tech support for my family members and friends on both platforms. The issues I get from a PC happen more often and are more troublesome. Most issues on a PC are VIRUS and adware related. I dont even run any virus apps on OSX. Not that they dont exist , there are just fewer around I guess.
Mac vs PC Hardware for graphic and web design
Well to tell you the truth when the machines are working well, it really doesn’t matter so much technically speaking. The Applications used for graphic design and web design are pretty much standard these days. You have Creative Suites by Adobe. And well, Quark. The files are pretty much swappable between platforms(not sure about Quark). I can open an Adobe CS3 Illustrator file on a Mac and On a PC suited the same. An Issue might arise when it comes to using fonts however. To get around that I try to use OPEN TYPE whenever possible since OT fonts work on both platforms. Aside from technical issues. I think MACs are just much more consistent on quality of their products. My Powerbook just feel SOLID on a tactile level. The OSX software by the way is also almost always rock solid. Even my old G4 powerbook (used professionally 4.5 years) always ran smoothly.
Hardware – Other considerations
The hardware these days for WINDOWS and OSX are very similar. In fact ,if you need to, you can run a DUAL boot system on an Intel MAC and choose to run windows on one section of your drive and the OSX on the other. This is a real issue as there is much more software available for the PC (all viruses, just kidding). You may also have some old apps you still need to use. Also as in my case I have an older piece of hardware , a Konica Minolta Laser printer that really only has software for Windows XP. Since I have my OLD Dell Inspiron 9200 laying around I use that any printing purposes. I didnt bother with the dual boot setup on my work machine.
You have to look at specs closely when shopping. Processors, RAM, video graphics ability all vary. I found an amazing deal on the last generation Powerbook at Microcenter about a year and a half ago. It was right when they came out with the new unibody. It had a CORE 2 DUO processor at 2.5 GHZ and 4 GB of RAM. Many of the new processors are close to that or just a bit faster on clock speed. But these days its about multiple cores. BTW the MacBook Pro is still running very well and stable. I often run it without rebooting for 30+ days
OSX vs Windows
Ok to be fair my Dell has XP on it. After installing a bunch of apps on it for some reason it gets way bogged down. Pretty much every time. Now, I just dont install all that much on it. However I have done several help calls for friends and family using Vista. Not much better really than XP in my experience. Ad ware problems, viruses, HiJacking programs. Just painful. Time consuming. It used to be fun to tackle the issues , now its just old. Id rather be getting creative.
The software just works consistently and stable. At this time I really cant think of any big issues on OSX that I have had in 7 years. I may have had to cold boot a cfew times but thats it. I am running power apps like Adobe CS3 – Indesign, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Logic Pro, Reason, Guitar Rig, Coda, MAMP, Blender, Skype, GIMP, AFter Effects, Suitcase Fusion, Omni Graffle, Office for MAC and more. No problems. Just have to keep an eye on RAM when I have 10 or so apps open.
This might be a huge factor for many. Self included. I recently steered a couple of folks over to a new PC after their OLD PC recently died. It was most likely a motherboard or hard-drive failure. There was no reason to spend $100 + dollar to polish that old turd. So I told em’ to go new (er) They wanted something under $350. You cant get a MacBook Pro for that. Well, maybe off of craigslist.com. Be CAREFUL over there. Deal Local. Anyhow they got a single core laptop for about $300 , it was a refurbished, but its runs good from what they tell me. They were running a circa 2000 computer before, so this one will blow it away no matter what. My guess is though that I will be getting some calls in the not to far way future about virus and adware issues. Hopefully not though. Macbook Pros run more along the lines of $1,600 +. Go to apple.com to check’em out. A Mac Mini is running for about $699 new …