Why a Mac?

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I'm in the process of opening a new business. A substantial part of this business will consist of interior design and architectural consulting. I'll be making a fairly substantial investment in a design program, probably the latest version of Chief Architect Premier, and therefore will be making a substantial investment in my computer system as well.

In discussing this with colleagues and individuals in other fields of design, the overwhelming majority have encouraged me to invest in a Mac. The reasons always, and only consist of the basics: intuitive to use, resistance to crashing and viruses and general compatibility with many design programs.

I'll be the first to admit that though I grew up in the technological age, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to computers. I've never had trouble navigating, running programs and completing basic trouble-shooting, but I avoid digging any deeper than that and when it comes to tech specs, I'm fairly lost!

I'm looking for advice and guidance in regards to why I should buy an Apple product rather than a conventional PC. I'd like to know that my decision is founded on solid advice and true knowledge rather than generalizations that (what I call) casual mac users have made. I guess I'm really concerned about finding out why others feel the Mac "pros" so heavily outweigh the conventional PC "cons".

Thanks in advance!
 

pigoo3

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I think that you need to do at least two things:

1. Get to an Apple Store and get your hands on an Apple computer…and get more familiar with the Mac OS.
2. Do some research to see if there are interior design and architectural applications available for the Mac that meet your needs (and can communicate with other professionals in your day to day business affairs).

What I would also highly recommend. DON'T just go out & buy a Mac "cold-turkey"…and "force" your way into liking it.

- Nick
 
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MacInWin

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It really gets down to what YOU want to do. You mentioned Chief Architect Premier, which does run on both systems. But there are features that are missing on each system. From their webpage comes the attached information. So the first question for you to ponder is, "Are the differences between the OS X version and the Windows version important to me?" If the answer is "Yes, I need xxxx and only yyyy provides that, then you must get yyyy. On the other hand, if the answer is "no," then you are free to get either.

At that point it gets to cost/benefit. Macs are tightly architected, tuned for the operating system and generally better built than then typical PC. However, dollar for dollar, if you spend the same on a PC, you can get high quality and improved reliability. From an operations perspective, either would work. The one difference most of us Mac users like is the total freedom from antivirus software and most of the add-ons that Windows needs to protect you from viruses. There are no viruses for OS X at this time, so every cycle of the CPU can go to solving what YOU want it to solve, not checking to make sure that every single action it takes is virus-free.

So there you are, it's up to you.

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The reasons always, and only consist of the basics: intuitive to use, resistance to crashing and viruses and general compatibility with many design programs.

For these reasons alone, you should buy a Mac. They are the most intuitive Operating System I have come across, and everything is in a Logical place. Where you think a file/folder should be, it is there.
You don't need ANY AV program running in the background, because there is NO virus in the wild that can affect a Mac in any way, shape or form. All computers will crash at some point in time, but in my experience, all I have every had is a Kernel Panic crash, and that was because of a 3rd party USB connector.
If your main Software works on the Mac then that is a big bonus, and everyday more and more Windows Programs, are getting ported to OS X, so there is becoming less of the need for Bootcamp, and/or a VM.

If there is the odd Design Software that needs Windows, then for $70 or there about you can buy VMware Fusion or Parallels and your set to go.

EDIT: If/when you do go and buy your Mac, my advice is, buy one with as much RAM as you can, because you don't need to worry about upgrading then. It a investment that will be greatly appreciated once you start running such design programs, especially if Chief Architect Premier recommend 8GB RAM, then 16/32 will be your best bet. Always good to have at least double what they recommend IMHO
 
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In discussing this with colleagues and individuals in other fields of design, the overwhelming majority have encouraged me to invest in a Mac. The reasons always, and only consist of the basics: intuitive to use, resistance to crashing and viruses and general compatibility with many design programs.

As the non tech-iest guy on the forum, that in and of itself makes it a no brainer ASSUMING the programs you decide to invest in have Mac versions that meet your needs. Every one of my customers in the past 20 years that were graphics designers and engineers (I did HVAC work in a LOT of computer rooms) used Macs.

ken
 
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chas_m

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You say you have consulted with others in other fields of design -- but what about the field you're actually entering? I'd suggest you network with peers in that field (probably a good idea generally, outside of helping pick a computer) and see what turns up. I have a feeling the advice you got already will be repeated.

There are loads of studies that point to Macs being more productive and offering a better ROI and TCO than other platforms, and we've seen an enormous increase in corporate Mac use after the iPad and iPhone broke open the door of formerly dictatorial IT departments. I've **always** thought that the Mac was the ideal platform for small business due to its lower maintenance requirements and more integrated hardware/software platform. If it wasn't for Intuit being such ... um, hats worn on a person's rear end ... there really wouldn't even be much debate about that.
 
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....latest version of Chief Architect Premier, and therefore will be making a substantial investment in my computer system as well...overwhelming majority have encouraged me to invest in a Mac....intuitive to use, resistance to crashing and viruses and general compatibility with many design programs....I've never had trouble navigating, running programs and completing basic trouble-shooting...looking for advice and guidance in regards to why I should buy an Apple product rather than a conventional PC. I'd like to know that my decision is founded on solid advice and true knowledge rather than generalizations...

I'm a professional video editor and have three Macs and two PCs. You can accomplish your work with either type. With the advent of Intel-powered Macs in 2006, Macs are essentially PC hardware running the OS X operating system. In fact you can just boot Windows on a Mac if you wanted.

If most of your workflow is within a major app or suite of apps which exists on both Window and Mac, there is less apparent difference to the user. IOW I work with people who run Adobe Premiere Pro on Mac and PC. Their entire workday "universe" consists of working with the Premiere Pro suite -- the underlying OS is less visible.

On a quality machine Windows is very stable. In fact Windows is tested to much higher stress levels than OS X -- it is regularly tested with thousands of concurrent users and thousands of transactions per second: TPC-E - Top Ten Performance Results

The problem is Windows exists on a wide range of hardware from self-built machines, cheap cut-rate machines, up to well-engineered machines from Dell, etc. and extending upward to the high end server space. Many different manufacturers integrate, software and hardware and sell Windows systems -- at many different price points and quality levels and with varying available support levels.

By contrast only Apple makes the hardware and system software for Macs. It is better integrated vs the wide spectrum of Windows software/hardware.

A major change in the Windows vs Mac evaluation happened in 2012 with the release of Windows 8. That was a disaster for Microsoft, esp. the decision to "kick the desktop UI to the curb" and force users to run the tile-based Metro UI. Since then the key Microsoft managers involved have quit, been fired or re-assigned, and Microsoft has reversed their decisions to not update the desktop and force users to run the Metro UI. It appears that Windows 10 will fix most of the problems caused by Windows 8, but this will not be released until later in 2015.

Relative to the tiled Metro interface, there's a good argument that OS X is more familiar and (ironically) more windows-like than Windows.

On OS X you generally don't need to worry about viruses, updates are easier, reboots less common, etc. In the unlikely event of an OS X issue requiring a re-install, you can usually re-install the OS, and all your apps will be right where you left them. This is because OS X does not use a registry like Windows.

Apple is obviously much better at aesthetics and design than competing Windows manufacturers. A good example is comparing the iMac 27 to the closest competing Dell product, the XPS 27. When similarly configured they cost about the same, performance is about the same but the Dell is much heavier, acoustically a lot louder, and looks like a clunky "Herman Munster" version of the iMac.
 
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I too am a professional video editor plus a whole host of other hats. I use the Adobe suite of products holding on to the CS6 platform .... for now.

I agree whole heartedly with what joema said ... and I am glad he typed all that instead of me!

The only thing I would add to that is my biggest gripe ... Windows constant updates to the OS. I can't name the number of times I get to work and have to wait for updates to install. I have turned off automatic update and have "notify me only" set up, but for some reason that does not always happen.

If I have to reinstall Windows (and with the people I work with that happens!) or do a new install on a new computer, it takes days to get all the hundreds of updates installed.

I have not gone to Windows 8 - hate it. I am testing Windows 10 and I like it a lot. That said, I still see the constant updates as an issue. And before someone jumps in to tell me it is because of so many computer platforms, I know that. But there are times I am on a deadline and I lose an hour of work waiting on updates.

With an OS X reinstall it simply involves downloading the one in the app store and it will have all the current updates.

I am on my way to work today - on my day off - to fix an issue on my main Windows editor. Since two days ago it has developed a whole host of issues one of which involves not recognizing my HD camera on a USB port. Could be hardware, could be OS, could be a bad update...... hi ** hi ** it's off to troubleshoot I go!

My back up editor - a macbook pro - is now my main editor. And that is why I love Apple.

Lisa
 
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...my biggest gripe ... Windows constant updates to the OS. I can't name the number of times I get to work and have to wait for updates to install...
If I have to reinstall Windows (and with the people I work with that happens!) or do a new install on a new computer, it takes days to get all the hundreds of updates installed....

Ditto that, 100 times. Here's a good example: I have a Windows 7 laptop and two MacBook Air laptops. They often sit in a Pelican strong box for weeks (sometimes a few months) before a new project. When I pull out and update the Windows 7 laptop it takes an eternity and often many reboots to get the updates installed. By contrast when I update the MacBook it is quick and painless.

I just updated my 2nd MacBook to Yosemite and it did that *major* OS update faster than installing a series of minor Windows 7 updates.

If Windows updates accidentally get downloaded while you're in the field, then you accidentally reboot the PC, it can be stuck in "applying updates" for a long, long time. I had that happened on a camera-tethered laptop and it took so long I had to go get another PC.

These are just the "dirty corners" of the Windows architecture. Improving areas like this are not cool, they are messy and complicated, and no developer wants to work on it. Hence it tends to stay the same, version after version.

It's not like Macs never need rebooting and never apply updates but somehow it happens much faster, is far less intrusive, and reboots are much less frequent.
 
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Update! Well turns out my entire problem with my Windows editor was an external USB hub with a multi flash card reader attached. Windows was running slow and I could not open my computer to see my drives. Programs would not load, others would start then lock up. Restarting meant a hard shutdown. You get the idea.

So what did my Macbook pro do when I attached the USB external hub to it? With the card reader attached to it? The Mac just didn't load it and kept smoothly running. When I removed the card reader and attached an external drive, it mounted it just fine.

Windows does not handle USB attachments well. I have every USB used on my editor and frequently when I attach another usb drive I have to go to disk management to assign it a drive letter. I know why this is happening but it is so annoying.

The average person does not swap out portable drives like I have to, because I have so many sources bringing me material. My Mac doesn't have these issues. I believe it is because the Mac was originally designed to be a creative tool for the video/graphics/design world and they anticipated our wildly varying and changing environment.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I had time because *gasp* Windows had an update to install!

Lisa
 
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...The average person does not swap out portable drives like I have to, because I have so many sources bringing me material. My Mac doesn't have these issues. I believe it is because the Mac was originally designed to be a creative tool for the video/graphics/design world and they anticipated our wildly varying and changing environment...

I have about 100 terabytes of documentary video archived on about 50 different external drives, mostly USB 3.0. I definitely have more USB reliability problems on my Windows 7 machine than my Mac, but this is probably because of a buggy USB 3.0 controller card or driver. Every Windows PC is different in this regard -- some are good, some aren't -- you just never know.

USB problems are not unknown on Macs, maybe because Mac peripherals were Firewire-based for so long and USB 3 was a fairly recent addition. However I rarely have USB problems on my Mac. If I need USB-sourced data on my PC I usually load it on the Mac then copy it across the network to the PC.
 
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the big reason I use Apple and ONLY Apple for my computers is the simple fact that they just work and work consistently. I don't have to screw around with them on a daily basis and then often times have to reinstall the operating system to make them perform properly, plus I do not have to run any anti virus and worry if it is updated all the time and if it is actually protecting the system. in my opinion, mac's are bullet proof and the best thing to happen to computers.
 

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