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I Stopped Using Apple Years Ago, Should You? News & Insight

I Stopped Using Apple Years Ago, Should You?

By Max Bridge on May 4th 2017

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SLR Lounge as an entity.

 

This article is not intended to cause a big debate, nor add fuel to the Mac vs PC fanboy argument. I simply want people to realise that gone are the days where Apple was the only viable option for working Pros. PCs are back, and in a BIG way.

Why Was/Is Apple The Computer Of Choice For Pros?

Years ago, when I primarily shot video, Final Cut was the editing program of choice for most and it was only available on Mac. The same could be said for quite a few Mac-specific pieces of software. As such, I had no choice but to buy a Mac. And I loved it! These days, Final cut is certainly not the only video editing application around and thus is no longer a reason to purchase a Mac.

Reliability and access to good after-service care was, and still is, a big selling point for Apple. In comparison with PCs of the day (I’m talking 10 years ago-ish), Apple was a breath of fresh air; easy to use and reliable. If anything were to go wrong, you had Apple care to fall back on. As we all know, reliability is top of the priority list for any working Pro.

Side view of AppleMac Pro showing the beautiful Apple styling

[REWIND: LIGHTROOM MAC VS PC SPEED TEST | $4K IMAC VS $4K CUSTOM PC PERFORMANCE TEST]

As well as reliability, Apple was known for its excellent performance and, even though it shouldn’t matter too much, its gorgeous styling. I still remember how beautiful the old MacBook Pro was in comparison to laptops of the day and today’s iteration is still pretty stunning. In many respects, Apple has remained known for all these things. Sadly, however, this is often because they’ve stuck with the same styling only making minor tweaks. But hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

On the performance side, sure, most Apple rigs will run Photoshop, Lightroom and other editing applications pretty well. If you plan on doing some heavy editing though, you will need quite a few of those optional upgrades, which can quickly spiral your costs to giddy heights.

green glowing internal cooling system of a Razer PC tower

[REWIND: TOP FIVE BUDGET LAPTOPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS IN 2016]

PCs Have Caught Up & In Many Cases Overtaken Apple

Years ago, the only alternatives to Apple were either unbelievably expensive custom built PCs, or sub-par rigs, packed full of sub-par components, made by companies like Dell. I can’t tell you how many hours I wasted speaking to Dell customer service. Ever since Apple began to steal a large proportion of the market, PC manufacturers began to take note. It’s comparable to the Iphone Android war. Iphones were leaps and bounds ahead of the competition but other manufacturers got wise to what people wanted and have now caught up (and surpassed Apple, in my opinion).

These days, even the likes of Dell are putting out top notch computers like the Dell XPS 9360. Branch out a little further and you’ll find smaller companies like Razer, who are creating breath-taking laptops and towers with rock solid performance. I mean, seriously, look at that photo above. I’m not generally into the glowing neon lights in computers thing, but that tower looks incredible. It’s like something out of a comic!

Not only do we have the established brands (Dell, Lenovo, Asus etc.) putting out great machines with performance that can rival any equivalent Mac, but we’ve also had a surge in companies providing custom built PCs. One of the biggest nails in the Apple coffin (for me at least) was the inability to customize once purchased, and the colossal expense to upgrade components at the point of purchase. To be fair, I did recently read that Apple were looking to address the customization issue in future pro systems.

With the ability to completely customize your system, choose every component, house them in stylish cases (for laptops and towers), have after care which rivals AppleCare, and pay substantially less. Why are people still choosing Apple?

Razer Blade laptop on dark background with camera next to it. Talking about PCs now being better than Apple

[REWIND: BEST COMPUTER SPECS FOR PHOTOSHOP | IS YOUR COMPUTER UP TO PAR?]

Final thoughts

It seems I have ended up slagging off Apple a little here, honestly, it was not my intention. I use both systems regularly and both have plusses and minuses. What I really want people to realise from this (non-technical) article, is that PC’s ARE a viable option. When you’re next chatting to a fellow photographer and they tell you they use a PC rather than a Mac, don’t be surprised. Perhaps it’s time for you to start wondering why you’ve not jumped ship as well.

If budget is a factor, which it is for everyone, you can get a PC which will far outstrip the power of an equally priced Mac. The virus issue on PC, isn’t really an issue anymore (I’ve had 0 in 6 years). You can get every piece of software you need. And, arguably, they look just as good, if not better in some cases.

This is all my opinion of course and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below. I’d also advise you to check out this article for some great Windows alternatives to a MacBook Pro.

[REWIND: TOP WINDOWS ALTERNATIVES TO THE NEW MACBOOK PRO]

About

Max began his career within the film industry. He’s worked on everything from a banned horror film to multi-million-pound commercials crewed by top industry professionals. After suffering a back injury, Max left the film industry and is now using his knowledge to pursue a career within photography.

Website: SquareMountain 
Instagram: Follow Author

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Benjamin Legrand

    When I started music production in 2008, I switched from Cubase in Windows to Logic in mac OS. I managed to record some quality music  with just a simple set-up. Macbook + DAW + quality plugins + Audio Interface + Pre Amps and a few good mics. In 2012, I replaced my macbook and bought a standard macbook pro with standard hdd and ram. I was captivated by the simplicity of my set-up, I never had a single issue. Eventually, I decided to upgrade the hdd to ssd and upgraded my ram from 8gb to 16gb in order to have the best possible performance and run bigger projects.

    Surprisingly, however, I decided to switch back to pc’s and windows in 2017 by default as I was shocked to read that Apple have made it impossible for customers to replace components inside the new MacBook Pro’s. The hhd and ram are soldered to the logic board which means that if you wish to have top notch performance in your macbook pro then the only option is to get it customised on spot before you purchase it… Of course, the costs of going from a 128gb ssd to 1tb ssd is an extra $600 and the price is pretty much the same to have your RAM maxed out. This is pure manipulation from Apple and unfortunately I do not want to be a part of this movement. Why wouldn’t Apple grant permission to its users to upgrade their hardware? You buy a new house, but you are not permitted to replace the roof nor the bathroom. 

    I still think that the mac OS is smoother than Windows. But I cannot afford to pay $2500+ for a device that I do not have full control of. I think people should focus on having the best possible performance and I strongly believe that you can get more for your hard-earned money with a PC than a Mac. Also, replacing hardware shouldn’t be a problem. It’s a shame because I truly enjoyed the compatibility of Apple but they have disappointed me in a lot of aspects. I still use my Macbook Pro from time to time, but I know that I will have a hard time trying to update the software in a couple of years since they also have a tendency to stop creating and maintaining applications for the older machines.

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  2. Sedric Beasley

    Been with windows all my life and i support Windows workstations and servers at work.  I decided to get a n IMAC 5k last year because i wanted to do both video and photography and I have a 4k camera that shoots 4k video.  PC’s did not have the all inclusive setup at the time like the IMAC does.  I could have got a separate 4k monitor but; then I would need a cpu and everything else.  I think the laptop market threaten apple more.  Apple does not want to go anywhere with touch like laptops like the Microsoft Surface devices have.   My camera has touch screen, my iPad and iPhone uses touch.  Editing and viewing photos using touch works. 

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  3. barbara farley

     I’ve been with Apple for so many years that I don’t know anything about windows anymore.  The OS is the issue for me. 

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  4. Ryan Cooper

    For me its pretty simply. By building a PC I have to fight with Windows and that is still a showstopper for me. I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue anymore that with a PC you get way more bang for your buck in terms of raw performance and there are plenty of manufacturers now making PCs that are as elegant as a Macbook, gone are the times when it was Macbook vs bulky ugly thinkpad or iMac vs Ugly Tan Pizza Box.

    But Windows is just a headache that I can’t stand. I have tried every major Windows operating system to see if they are up to snuff and there are ALWAYS issues that drive me insane with every installation. OSX mostly just works for me and I don’t have to worry about it. Windows is still a headache of worrying about drivers or other strange OS bugs that are difficult to fix without the help of an IT pro. 

    Personally, I feel Apple has been regressing and Windows has been making ground over the last few years but there is still quite a gap between the two in overall user experience and THAT is why I stick to the Apple ecosystem. I could save a couple grand and go to windows but I’d quickly offset that gain in lost time fighting with an OS that simply is riddled with issues.

    Furthermore, in my experience OSX developers are simply better at making elegant, functional, apps that are nice to use. I suspect this is more or a less a community state of mind and it is something that is slowly changing but there are so many examples of OSX Apps that work so well then when I hop over to the windows side there are 10 “equivalents” but they all feel like buggy freeware with ugly interfaces and poor user experience. (Of course this doesn’t apply to big name app makers such as Adobe who have a consistent experience across platforms)

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  5. Tobias Scapin

    I’m very sorry, but I don’t agree at all. Once someone said ‘I only consider companies who build both their own hardware and their own software’. How can a so-called-pro rely on a pc built by one company that runs an os build to work with a zillion different combinations? Ok, I see the choice. But when something breaks down, you don’t know who to blame or who to ask for a replacement. Furthermore: crossplatform softwares are a huge lie. Design tools for windows suck. A lot. There’s not even a distribution for sketch. Audio daws are close to none, and the ones who do have a win distribution suck. Mock-up apps do not exist in any form, and I could go on for hours. Then: most ‘pros’ still use mac, and so many developers do (same tools availability issues), so the most part of plugins are made for the bitten apple. In conclusion, the user-support forums are something windows users still dream about.

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  6. Chris Morris

    It’s easy enough and cost effective to simply build your own PC  and upgrade the various parts as needed. I stopped using a laptop, swapped the mobility for an iPad and built a desktop a couple years ago. I suggest staying away from Dell and the rest of the pre-builts and just cobble together your own.

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    • Max Bridge

      In general I’d agree Chris. However, when I was building mine, it actually ended up being cheaper to have a company build it for me. That also meant I got a warranty / care package which was nice. 

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    • Aaron Lee

      Max, do you mind sharing which company you used to build your PC? I’m thinking of doing a build myself.

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    • Max Bridge

      No worries Aaron. It was a company called Chillblast. They are a great company, very willing to help and friendly. In terms of pricing, bare in mind that I purchased my comp about 5 years ago. Also, I’m not sure where you’re based but I’m in London. 

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  7. Gregory Thelian

    I upgraded my iMac last year from a much older model and was pissed that the performance wasnt much better and now I was in even more debt for no real reason. Thankfully my friend was able to help me switch to a SSD and that showed a big performace bump, but I nearly broke the screen opening the dumb thing up. I should have just had a monster PC built for the same price.  I’m really liking the Surface and might switch to one of those once the specs get a bit better. 

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  8. Jesper Ek

    Lol! Come on! The Color correction chain still  sucks on Windows. 

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    • Gregory Thelian

      Hey can you elaborate a bit? I dont understand, do you mean the screen calibration or color corecting in an app like Lightroom? 

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    • Max Bridge

      Hey Jesper. What do you mean here? Most colour correction software / tools are cross platform. After you’ve calibrated your display, it’s then down to the software you’re using and your own workflow. Of course you also have to calibrate your printer if you print at home. 

      I don’t really see how Apple are better or worse here, especially as a lot of pro’s will be using their computers with an external monitor. For instance, I’m in a studio now working on a Mac using a Eizo monitor. At home, I have my PC and A dell ultrasharp, not the best but does the job. 

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  9. Nick Buchholz

    Wow. This article is a day old and only 3 comments? I was expecting a “shit-storm” from apple fanboys with an article like this :)
    What people should take away from this article is not PC vs Mac, but that we all now have a choice. Creatives don’t “have to” chose Mac anymore, but can chose a system that suits their individual needs and budget.
    And that is a great thing. 

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    • Max Bridge

      That is precisely the point Nick. In all honesty, I was also expecting a bit of a furore but I’m glad there hasn’t been. Hopefully that means people understood the crux of this article; that it wasn’t another Mac vs PC argument but rather a piece attempting to show people that they DO have a choice. 

      There has been a slight backlash on Facebook though. 

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  10. Mathias Pfuetzner

    For about four years I’m using my Macbook pro. I really like OS X and the connection between the different devices. However, my recent hardware is reaching its limits, when editing 42MP-pictures. Therefore I’m thinking about upgrading. But it seems like the sad truth: Apple isn’t really a good choice at this moment. 

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  11. J B

    I used a 2012 Macbook pro (still do) but tried upgrading to the most recent Macbook with touch bar. The two performed almost identically, so I sold the touch bar machine and decided to build a PC from scratch. WOW – for half the cost of the macbook, I have a machine with more than twice the processing power. Lightroom moves through my 30-40MB RAW files without pausing at all. I agree with this article – hard to justify sticking with apple right now.

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    • Aaron Lee

      Did you build your PC yourself or did you have it built by someone? I’m considering a custom PC for my next upgrade and didn’t know where to start. 

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    • Justin Heyes

      Hey Aaron Lee if you are building a custom machine for the first time I recommend starting here – https://choosemypc.net/. It creates a cookie cutter list based upon budget and location.

      If you want to do something more hands on there is nothing better than PC part picker – https://pcpartpicker.com/list/

      It will tell you the best prices on parts as well as telling you any conflicting issues. Like if the parts won’t fit in your case or if the power supply won’t give enough power. 

      You can also see other users builds with the same parts and see how their rigs turned out  

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    • Tommy Botello

      Aaron Lee, also check out online custom builders like ibuypower.com and cyberpowerpc.com where you can customize your build and they come with 3 year warranties.

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    • Max Bridge

      I use PC part picker. Extremely useful!

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