First, let’s see a little historical introduction to see the progression of Apple and its Mac system within Graphic Design.
MAC Story: The Birth of a Star
The Macintosh system, more commonly known as the Mac, first appeared on January 24, 1984 . It was in a presentation that the world was made to understand that a computer with its technological characteristics could be used for both professional and domestic use. Let’s remember that, at that time, Mac offered a mouse, a graphical interface, and 128k of memory.
This technology, which contributed among many other things, was ease and practicality, becoming pioneers in the Graphic Design sector.
La Golden Age
May 6, 1998 could be considered the beginning of Apple’s golden age . On this date, the first of a glorious generation was launched on the market: the first iMac in history, the famous iMac G3 . The first version came with a 233 MHz processor and an optical CD-ROM drive, thus doing away with the obsolete three and a half drives. After sixteen revisions and a wide variety of colors, the G3 arrived with a 700 MHz processor, a 40GB hard drive and a DVD/CD-RW drive. This series would stay until the end of its production, on May 18, 2003.
From now on there is nothing new to tell. Apple already had its goose that lays the golden eggs.
They only had to do one thing, improve their system by applying new ideas and technology.
The beginning of the end
After nine years of glory dominating the sector unquestionably, the reign of Apple and its iMac begins to falter. What was originally state-of-the-art technology and advantages because they confined all the components within a screen, now becomes an obsolete and expensive problem in the face of the resurgence of PCs.
The problems with the All In One system began in 2007, the year in which Apple introduced its new and improved version of its iMac system. But is it really such a powerful system? Is it really necessary to invest so much money? If we think about it and look at the specifications, we will realize that many PCs from other brands with a Windows operating system are infinitely cheaper.
The great excuse of Apple and its users regarding this issue is that the MacOs system is much more stable than any Windows system and that applications for graphic design, such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign work infinitely better on MAC and are more fluid.
The reality, although it hurts many, is another.
Being a Windows system user forever, I have not seen such fatal instabilities, nor have I seen poor performance of the same applications. Yes, it is true that Windows systems are more unstable. But you also have to think that it has to adapt to more programs than a MacOs system, which is also infinitely more closed and restrictive. It should also be said that its Mountain Lion version was its last great operating system, and that later in the latest updates the system has become slower and heavier.
The other big defense they have is their retina displays . It is true that they are incredible, and they have possibly one of the best display systems on the market; but it must also be said that the rest of the manufacturers have also updated their offer. Therefore, it is also not a determining reason to opt for a Mac system.
Comparison of iMAC Systems versus high-performance PC for Design
Let’s make a comparison of systems to have a more graphic view. On the one hand, we will have the 2018 iMac Pro, since it is Apple’s flagship at the moment. On the other, a high-performance component computer.
To these amounts highlighted in the information table, it would still be necessary to add the purchase of program licenses. An amount that can easily add up to €2,000 per year.
Once these facts have been exposed and returning to the initial question, do I need a Mac (Apple) computer to be a designer ? I am going to answer this question according to my opinion, always based on facts, and my own experiences as a professional and teacher.
Apple achieved an extraordinary milestone: easily introducing professional computing into homes around the world at a time when these technologies were relegated to experts or basement geeks.
Today everyone has basic and even advanced computer skills. All In One systems no longer have a predominant place in the market; the existing differences in terms of performance and stability are becoming smaller; and even high-performance Windows systems have more than made up for those shortcomings for significantly lower prices, as you have seen.