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Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by lamina, Jan 21, 2007.
I've heard this for a long time, that Macs are better for graphics... why!?
Macs are better for everything.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Multitasking is what OSX does best.
and a graphic person would typically have
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
I believe way-back-when, Adobe Photoshop was actually only on Mac. PCs came a few years later.
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".
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.