Why is OS X better for graphics?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by lamina, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    #1
    I've heard this for a long time, that Macs are better for graphics... why!?
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #2
    Macs are better for everything.
     
  3. Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #3
    it isn't "better" necessarily, its just that (affordable) desktop publishing started on macs back in the day and have a legacy there, and that has been carried on thru the years.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #4
    I think that it all starts with the stability of the system. The fact that Unix has protected memory, makes it much easier to load a 2-3GB file and trust that it's going to work, without the computer crashing on you. At my work, we have 2-3 thousand image stacks that we analyze, with the help of a couple of G5s. Those images are originally recorded on a Windoze machine, which tends to crash from time to time while acquiring. I think I first got into Macs due to the fact that even a 4 year old machine (which at the time was a Quicksilver G4) was stable, and able to crunch files, that a brand new P4 PC with 2 gigs of Ram was having issues running. From that standpoint, Macs simply get the job done, while other systems simply lag. In theory a Linux system has far fewer buffers, and the method by which it reads to memory is even more efficient, and thus would make an even better graphics machine. The lack of software, and the open source code mentality, however, seems to place it behind Macs in terms of graphics productivity.
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    • Native support for ligatures
    • Far easier to set up colour-managed workflow than XP
    • Recognised industry standard (for historical reasons)
    • Larger range of supporting software (xtensions and the like)
     
  6. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #6
    I think it is better because Apple made a huge point to make a nit ch for it self in the graphics area and made a lot of software just for graphics. And not things just keep being made for the OS.

    It has the legacy support behind it. Apple took advantages of the fact that the computer graphics what a pretty new thing and move in on that area very quickly. Once you have the legacy side of it going it is a lot easier to keep it. For example Cad work is pretty heavily ingrained into PC side for the same reason. It started on PC back in the days of DOS and then when companies replaced there computer they wanted to keep the same software so they stayed on PC and so on.
     
  7. macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Darkplace Hospital
    #7
    I've used Macs way more than PC's for production work simply because of their constant reliability. I've never had a Mac break on me, or require a format or anything. Whereas even the Windows side to my iMac has required a format, even with it not even having an internet connection.

    Of course there are other reasons why. the way that OSX photoshop doesn't have to be run in one dominating window, or the greatness that is Logic and Final Cut. The way all the apps work together is pretty smart too.

    Faster boot, faster to work. etc.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    ezzie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #8
    it seems as though macs multitask much better than PC's. at work i'm always running Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and my crappy Dell just can't seem to handle the heavy load. it takes forever to save the files, it takes forever to switch between the applications (the system tends to hang), and opening and closing the apps is a huge ordeal. i maintain my system and everything...but nothing ever helps.

    just to compare, the PC is a Dell Optiplex with a Pentium 4, 3.20 GHz, 1 GB of RAM. i have used my 933 MHz G4 iBook for the exact same tasks, and it takes half the time. I can't wait to see the difference when CS3 comes out and it's the Dell against the MBP. :eek:
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #9
    Multitasking is what OSX does best.

    and a graphic person would typically have

    InDesign
    Photoshop
    Illustrator

    all open at once.

    with windows, the task bar is NOT conducive of a good workflow, whereas Expose certainly makes it much, much easier.

    i use the same apps at work, as I do at home. and on my G5 vs this P4, its no contest which one can make my workflow go faster.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #10
    I agree with this, along with the stability multitasking is a huge reason. I usually have 10-15 apps open at once and I'm usually doing stuff in the background (rendering, encoding, uploading) while I work in the foreground, and do a lot of switching back and forth between apps, as well as copy-and-paste and dragging between them. For this Macs are, in my experience, much better. Windows machines will typically grind to a halt under loads like this, even fast ones. I also use Exposé quite a lot for moving files around and navigating multiple windows. And even though QuickTime is available on Windows, it's much better integrated into the Mac OS and Mac applications.

    EDIT: Why is Illustrator CS2 so freakin' slow on a Mac though? I remember when Illustrator was a nice lightweight, snappy app. Now it takes forever to launch and to redraw palettes when app-switching, even on a quad G5 it's dog-slow.
     
  11. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #11

    Because it's not multi-processor enabled/aware/etc.?

    Illustrator has almost killed Freehand, but in the last few years is turning into the Quark 6 of vector drawing packages. More unrequested features and bloatware, less of teh snap. Less of what people are screaming for.

    The word is: a much much better Illustrator CS3. But how much of this is Adobe's marketing remains unknown. Bet you that we will not see public betas of Illustrator CS3 and InDesign CS3; first-adopters will bear the brunt. Photoshop CS3 public beta was as much about PR as it was about software testing.
     
  12. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    For me its the guarantee a file I create will work for the duplicators / printers / local newspaper. All of these companies are on mac, so when I send somthing off, or I'm talking to them - we all share the same language and there's not farting about with formats and colour profiles.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #13
    And that's kind of bare-bones. A typical designer would have all their other peripheral stuff running at the same time- My standard 'running 80% of the time' list would be:

    Mail
    iTunes
    Safari
    Preview
    Suitcase
    Quark
    Illustrator
    Photoshop
    Distiller
    Acrobat
    Now UptoDate

    Even in the OS 9 days... (or maybe more so back then compared to Windows) multitasking has always been better. The other two obvious things would have been, and mostly still are, color management and font management. I'll add to that the document based interface vs. application based, and the pervasive use of drag & drop.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    Nagoya, Japan
    #14
    Other reasons Macs are great for design:

    1. Colour calibration across the whole OS, so your colours are accurate.
    2. Unicode text support across the whole OS, so you don't risk garbled text.
    3. All Macs have come with Firewire practically since it was invented, and most PCs haven't. Firewire is essential for external storage.
    4. The HFS file system is more efficient when dealing with large files than NTFS or FAT (Windows).
    5. The best video editing software is Mac-only, and a lot of designers produce multimedia work.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    smellslikedan

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    IL
    #15
    I believe way-back-when, Adobe Photoshop was actually only on Mac. PCs came a few years later.
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    I had a (5 or 6 year vet) PC support person look at me funny recently when I said "WYSIWYG" to him. "What is 'wizzywig'?", he said.

    THAT is why "Macs are better for graphics". :)
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #17
    Exactly.
     
  18. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #18

    Yep I never realised how many apps I have open all day.

    Safari / Entourage / Photoshop / Illustrator / Corel Draw / Preview / iPhoto

    These are usually on all the time,

    and then there's Word, Freeway, Acrobat, Aperture and others I open at random times.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #19
    It is impossible for a monitor to be color accurate, especially an LCD monitor, as the color spectrums are different between screen and print. But I do agree that, having worked in and out of graphics for ten years, OSX has far closer color accuracy within its profiles than Windows.

    And to the original poster, most of what I would have answered has already been answered, but I would also add (in addition to legacy, industry standards, hardware design, and platform developmental history) that Macs, in general, are built from (and require) higher end parts than most PCs. If you were to build your own (very) high end PC and put SUSE and CS2 on it, then you might have a PC in the running to compete. But Macs just have a long history of being utilized within graphics and, though the systems aren't specifically designed for graphics work, this professional relationship has never been ignored either, and Macs are designed with graphics use in mind...
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    lamina, lovesong's post is the reason...plus someone else also mentioned...multi-tasking. maybe now that vista copies mac os, multi tasking might be better than xp, but man oh man...i can get alot of stuff done way faster on my mac then my pc.

    stability is key.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #21
    Seconded. I have maybe two problems with OSX a year (keep in mind my machines run 24 hours a day, and they are heavily used for 10-12 of those minimum), and the archive/install feature of Tiger really removes the headache of having to do a clean wipe when a fresh install is needed...

    Also, it is worth noting that the OS is specifically designed for the hardware, since the same company designs both.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    ohio
    #22
    They do what you want. Allow the individual to design, produce and output an idea without interferring with the creative process. Windows can't touch this. Nor can they touch the color matching between screen and paper. I use both platforms and Windows just doesn't measure up to the Mac in terms of production value. I can run a old PPC8600 (200MHz) and still produce top quality results faster than using a 3 GHz PC.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #23
    Shecky- I absolutely love your Avatar- I live in NE and can't believe what they have turned this into in Boston.

    Back on topic- I don't believe Macs have a great advantage over PC on graphics except that the computing experience is much more enjoyable, reliable, etc. There are certainly PC's that can be built/bought that could do desktop publishing and other graphics intensive work as well as Macs, however it might not be as easy of process for the creator to do that.
     
  24. macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #24
    OS X is better for everythings, minus games. And they games part of it has more to do with weak game dev support and Apple's limited hardware upgrade when it comes to GPUs.
     

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