Are mac's better for drawing and making music?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ncollins1986, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Ncollins1986 macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010
    Before i get started I want you all to know I use Windows PCs and have so for 12 years so i have no real knowledge of Macs (but have always been Mac Curious) so treat me like you would your grandma ^_^.

    For a while now i've been hearing a lot of digital artists swear that macs are better for drawing but they never seem to say why and since I'm looking at buying a new computer soon I wanted to find out why that is before i make a mistake. I've seen people emulate the Mac OS on their PCs or something and everyone always tells me macs are harder to upgrade so I just want to know, why would i choose a mac? Is it all preference or is there something in there I can't see but will get once i grab a hold of the stylish Mac. Just a little side note I also play games and goto lans and all my mates use Windows PCs so would there be any issues there? Would i be able to upgrade the mac as time goes on the same way as a Windows PC?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I'm not sure why drawers switch to Mac as there is Creative Suite for PC as well but there is no Final Cut or Logic for Windows, both are excellent in their category.

    What Mac are you looking at? What kind of upgrades? RAM is the only thing you can easily upgrade, other parts are hardly accessible or cannot be upgraded in other but Mac Pro. You can install Windows as well in order to play games if they are not available for Mac. There will be no issues when gaming with your mates.

    I think Mac isn't necessary for you, it sounds like a PC might be better for you. You can always Hackintosh it if you want to try OS X, just make sure the computer you buy is compatible
  3. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    For music creation definitely. I think there's actually a larger range of high-end software available for the Mac than on Windows in this category, and setting up a MIDI config is an absolute breeze on OSX.
  4. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Do you have a drawing pad already? You could use Pogo Sketch for the begining if you don't have one already. There is also stuff like EazyDraw, if you don't use Adobe stuff.
    Do you draw yourself? You don't really stated for what you'd use the Mac/PC, beside gaming.

    As for the upgrading, you can upgrade the RAM and add external hard drives (which are cheaper than the stock drives you put inside a PC these days, and are fast if you connect them via FireWire 800). As PCs change their CPU sockets anyways every 2 years or so, if you want to upgrade it, you need to buy a new Mac (With the exception of the MacPro (which is easy to upgrade but expensive to buy) or the i5/i7 iMac (which are harder to upgrade)).
    But you can sell your 2 year old Mac on eBay or Craigslist for more then 50% of the price you paid for, so there is not really that much of a difference between update a motherboard, CPU and RAM in a PC and selling an old Mac and buy a new one. If you bought one and don't like it - sell it and get a top of the line PC, their loose their value very slow, in difference to PCs. Just the initial value is a little (or more, differs off your calculation and usage) higher then PCs.

    Once you go Mac, ya' ain't going back, know what I mean. Artists are most creative in an environment that helps them developing their ideas, and Mac OS X does that. It's more creative than Windows itself, there are a septillion of small details which make your life easier, which is especially preferable if you make money off your computer.
  5. Ncollins1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010
    I am using a Wacom Bambo pen and touch tablet at the moment and I love it (got it two days ago), though I eventually want to upgrade to the tablet screen things for drawing to get more out of the setup. Primarily the computer would be used for drawing so I don't need a huge hard drive or the greatest graphics card ever but i'd like to not have to upgrade to new ones either for a little while, i think most importantly i need RAM and probably a good precessor though i kinda need to speak to an artist first to try and find out if they're as needed as i think.

    It kinda sounds like the only benefit of a PC is the way you can customise it with more options since both can emulat both OS's and it's more of a matter of preference.... might have to go into a Mac store or something and just tinker for a while and see if i like it.
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I do a lot digital art wise (3D modeling, painting in Corel Painter, Photoshop (mostly for creating textures), and Aperture for digital photography). I LOVED my switch to Mac and haven't gone back. I used to be a Windows lover but like you, was always mac curious since I like to know how to use all operating systems.

    There are a few reasons why people will say they are better for digital art.

    -Macs have a superior way of handling color profiles which is important for color critical work.

    -They just do better with high end programs. I have a high end HP workstation at work that literally gets used just for internet because I bring the MBP in my sig to work and use it instead. Its much faster and it doesn't crash under a super heavy workload.

    -Macs are not really hard to upgrade if you are talking about just ram upgrades or hard drive upgrades (not sure about the iMacs and mac mini's on the harddrive upgrades), which is what most people upgrade anyway. If you want easy upgradability grab a mac pro tower, otherwise you'll see theres really not much need to upgrade on the mac side. I used to upgrade all the time when I was a windows user but with Mac I haven't needed to. I got out of the "hardware chaser" mentality and my wallet is much happier now :D ).

    -Its very easy to work with ISO (dmg on the mac) creation, raid, and backups. Everything you need is built into the operating system. This is very valuable to me because I don't have to mess with Damon Tools, or any number of backup softwares. I have a raid, I have a backup, and I have time machine as a third backup. It works great.

    -Features like Spaces is great for working with a lot of complex programs at once. I can easily switch between screen hogs like Maya, Photoshop, Unity3D, and ZBrush with ease. Each has their own space so their windows can stay out of each others ways. Its a much easier way to work. Quicklook is also an invaluable tool. I constantly miss it when I'm on my windows machine.

    -Networking is a freaking breeze. Much easier to set up working shared folders, shared printers, hard drives, etc on a mac. You can even share out your dvd drive.

    Now, if you do gaming you may want to keep a windows box around, or use bootcamp which will be the same as running windows on a windows machine. That is one area where Mac is behind (although it is improving with the introduction of Steam for Mac).

    It all comes down to personal preference in the end. I find the UI on the mac gets out of my way and lets me get my work done. My mac is my workhorse and I am on the one in my sig about 16 - 18 hours per day. I love it and wouldn't go back to Windows.
  7. Ncollins1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010
    Thanks for all the advice guys, it's very useful.

    So Chrono, all those benefits you listed, could i get them on a PC emulating the Mac OSX or something or would i not get the same effect?
  8. Giuly macrumors 68040


    It doesn't emulate. Windows runs native (=As it would on any PC). You just need Bootcamp (=A software that comes with your Mac) to setup the hard drive space you want to use with Windows and boot your Windows CD/DVD to install Windows, because a Mac has EFI(Extensible Firmware Interface) and no BIOS(Basic Input/Output System) to initialize the hardware and boot from a hard drive when you power on your machine. Don't worry, it's easy. As is everything on a Mac.

    Once installed, you hold "C" on the keyboard while powering on your Mac and choose Windows to boot it.

    If you want however install Mac OS X on a PC, it's harder because Apple don't intent Mac OS X to be installed on a PC - officially. You need a bootloader which emulates the EFI and boot from the harddrive. Then you need to gather drivers for the hardware which is not found on any Mac. Then setup a USB stick with a copy of the Mac OS X DVD and additional software to boot from the USB stick on a computer which runs Mac OS X already. And so on, and so forth. This is intended for higher skilled people.

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