Hi, my PC computer is dying and I need to replace it and want to see if you have suggestions for a good computer to do the digital art, eventually learn illustrator, etc. Is a Mac better and is it easier to use a desktop vs. a laptop? I am open to learning a Mac if that is best. I want to invest in the right computer to grow into- either PC or Mac. If PC's are fine, any suggestions? Thank you!
@Qigongangel I think it depends very much what you want to do....which software you are going to run and what size image do you normally create. And also how is your normal working style (in a studio setting or on the sofa or outside of the house)...
Right now I have a Desktop PC, so I'm used to sitting at a desk and painting, and using a Wacom tablet. I will soon be using Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Right now I'm used to the standard PC software. I think my files are getting pretty big.
What is your budget? If you compare computers piece by piece Macs and PCs cost are the same. If you have a lesser amount of money to spend, PC is the way to go as Macs do not offer low cost options. If you have more money to spend, it is your choice.
What computer do you know? What type of computer do the people around you know (for when you have problems)?
Whatever you purchase, buy as much RAM as you can right away as in many computers (Apple laptops mostly) you can't add additional ram later, however, Macs also use ram more efficiently so you don't need as much.
My choice is always Apple since their products appear to have a longer useful life and have a higher resale value.
Decide this - laptop or desktop? Budget? What do you and those that will help with problems know? What peripherals (printers, scanners, etc) do you currently have that you wish to continue using? (Apples new laptops only have USB-3 and extra cables are required to hoop up older printers & scanners).
Think that through and you will know whether to buy Apple or PC.
One last option is to buy a used iMac or PC on craigslist. I have bought several that way and have saved a lot of money.
I have worked with both Macs and PC and personally prefer Macs - mostly because they are more stable and reliable, they are generally faster (at equal RAM), look nicer and have a much more intuitive interface and OS. But this is personal preferences, and you will find an equal number of people that prefer PCs. I have Mac computers both in the office and at home, so some thoughts on my experience with Macs. The iMac is a solid desktop machine, but if you go for that, do buy it with the larger RAM you can get. Photoshop can get slow on it, especially Photoshop CC, and large files. My main workstation is a MacPro, but I acknowledge it is probably more expensive than it is worth. It is a great machine with factually no limitations, and it allows me to do 3D and all types of video and animation work without thinking twice - but yes, it costs a disproportionate amount of money. If I had to recommend one of the computers I have worked with, I would go for the MacBook Pro. It is the nicest, sleekest, fastest laptop I have ever worked on, it's ready to go the moment you open it (no waiting for the system to boot...). I also run ZBrush on it for a week an it managed fine (the cooler was running all the time, but it held). Be aware that you may have to invest in at least one external monitor (unless you have a Cintiq).
Adobe software looks exactly the same on Mac as on PC. The operating system is completely different, of course, so if you are comfortable using PC, you will find it very unfamiliar and this may be a minus point.
@jimsz Thank you for this information and these questions to ask myself. This is good to know about the RAM too. Thanks!
@smceccarelli Thank you! This is great information and I'll look into the MacBook Pro. Mac will be a whole new thing for me, but it seems to be the best option for this type of work. Intuitive and fast sounds great. Thanks!