Photography, Up for Discussion

Up for Discussion – PC or Mac

My desktop is almost ten years old and I think it is about time to replace it.  I want to replace it for a couple of reasons, one is the age, it is getting slow, and two because it is too old to run windows on it, well according to my tech guy, my husband.  I run Ubuntu now, a Linux based operating system and it is great.  I don’t have a problem with it at all, however I can’t use Photoshop on it, apparently hangingrock0047the computer is too old and Windows would be too slow on it.

At the moment if I want to use Photoshop I have to use it on my laptop, a Dell XPS 17, which is nice, almost 4 years old, but with only 8GB of memory we are starting to run into problems. I can connect the laptop to my monitor, so it is like using a desktop computer, which is great.  My real issue is that now that the file sizes of my images are so large with my new camera the laptop is getting very very slow.  It starts out well, but after working for a while if I get scslaughterhouse00201it to do something, well, let’s just say I could go out for coffee while waiting for it to do what I have asked it to do.  I don’t have enough RAM, and you can’t put more into my laptop.  We tried, but this one won’t allow it.  As it turns out Windows 7 won’t support more than 16GBs regardless.

So this is where the dilemma starts.  My husband is a programmer and we looked at new Desktop computers, but there isn’t a lot of choice if you want 32GB.  I want as much as I can get so I can do things quickly.  Of course the other issue I am having is Windows.  I hate it.  It won’t run Photoshop properly, keeps closing the sctrain-0025program down, even straight after I start it.  We thought I might have a virus, but the scan check revealed nothing, and it still does it.  I keep getting asked to do things that I know I have done before.  It is driving me crazy.

I was talking to someone recently who had gone to a Mac and she has never looked back, so I wondered, should I consider it.  My husband has always been so against Mac.  He thinks anything from Apple is overpriced and is more about image than whether or not it is really any good.  His words, not mine. I have always thought I should stay away from it.

Now I am starting to give the whole thing a rethink.  There has to be a reason why all the top photographers and anyone really, who works with visuals uses a Mac.  My husband always said it was because, well, you don’t want to know what he said.  I told him the other day I think it is because Windows is crap and they use Macs because they work better.  He is starting to concede, I think, that perhaps Mac scfedsq-0000is the way to go, but I thought I might find out what you think and what you use.

Finally, what I want to say is that if Adobe wrote Photoshop for Linux, there would be no need for this discussion, it would be my absolute first preference.

So todays questions are what do you use a Mac or PC?  Why do you use that?  Do you wish you had the other?

I don’t want this to be a debate about what is better, other than why it is better for you.

The last couple of these I have done have been great, and I think this is a great way for us to share knowledge.

I will not respond to every comment, if that is okay, it can be very overwhelming.  I will approve them, as long as they are nice and not nasty in any way.

Feel free to respond or reply to other comments.  It would be good to generate some discussion.

Finally, I have used Black and White images today that were taken with film many years ago, I thought it might be a nice prompt for people to get their Monochrome Madness submissions to me soon for my next post.



  1. I have used a Mac for the past 18 months and would never go back to Windows. Far easier to use and great for photography. There are also the opportunity for different photo apps as well for editing too. :D

    • I think though, since Mac and PCs have the same hardware and the software you use for both is the same, well in my case Photoshop, then it doesn’t really make a difference. Most of things you can get for Apple now you can get for other platforms too. So many toys, so many decisions, the reality is, is that I want Adobe to do a version of their software for Linux, haha. please Adobe. Thank you for you thoughts here, it has been a great discussion. :)

  2. An unusual recommendation, you may want to consider a Windows machine made specifically for gaming, like Alienware. They have some excellent graphics and blazing fast machine speeds, which, of course, is meant to keep your gaming as real-time as possible. You will pay extra, above and beyond your standard Windows machine. Price wise, a Windows gaming PC will cost depending upon how muscular of a machine you need or want.

    • I think that is what my laptop was like when we got it 4 years ago. Dave looked for top end stuff and it wasn’t cheap, but not as expensive as a Mac, but a lot for a PC. So I think you make great points there David, thank you so much, I will tell him what you said as well.

  3. I’m having a good chuckle right now Leanne. Sounds like your household runs somewhat like mine – IT husband stuck on PC and with a preference for Linux. Here’s how it played out for us. We were always a PC family, and comfortable with that, but a few years ago my husband gave in to my complaints about him ‘messing’ with the settings on the main computer and he bought me a MacBook Pro. He went ‘hands-off’ and left it completely up to me. I had some initial frustrations. 1. I want to manage my files and know where they are – apparently not originally a priority to Apple! 2. Mac versions of business software were initially underwhelming.
    Now I’m on my second MacBook Pro, having updated this past Christmas, and I love it! Great machines for Photoshop and Lightroom and, the Office for Mac that I run for business works well too. And guess who has taken over my old Mac? Yup, that’s right – my PC-lover husband himself – and now he loves it too. He’s played with Parallels, dual boot, and virtual machines to switch back and forth between Mac and PC on the same machine, but I found that too cumbersome. I just made the commitment to learning the Mac and its software and stuck with the one platform. Good luck with your decision.

    • My husband is so anti Apple, I actually thought recently that if I ever considered getting one he would divorce me. LOL. Linux is really fantastic, I do love it, I just wish you could get Photoshop for it. That would be the best scenario.
      I have listened to what a lot of people have said and I won’t be getting a Mac, I think since the hardware is the same on both Macs and PCs and since I want to use Photoshop, which is the same for both, there is no reason for me to pay out a lot more money to get the same result. Money I really don’t have right now. You can get very fast and powerful PCs so that is perhaps the direction I think I will go in. I also have real issues with the way Apple does business, I really don’t like, and if I get their products, then it would appear I am supporting them, which I don’t. So it will be PC for me, but I do appreciate you thoughts and experiences and sharing them here, thank you Betty.

  4. Such an interesting discussion. I am sitting with a colleague and asked him his thoughts. He was always a PC person until 2007 and switched to a MAC. Let me quote him “I would never go back”.
    I have been a Mac man since 1984 when I bought my fist 512K !! I now have a wonderful MacBook Pro with one Terabite and a beautiful Retina screen which is simply brilliant for photographs. I use it as a laptop but also connect it to my 24 inch Mac cinema screen so have the best of both worlds.
    I think you know what I am recommending. Why don’t you seek out someone with a Mac and play around for a bit and I think you will be hooked too.
    Good luck Leanne, and thanks for another great black and white gallery.
    Warmest good wishes as always…Andrew

    • Thanks Andrew, appreciate this. I have been listening to so many people, and I am not convince Apple or Mac is the way to go. I do have some issues, one being that I can’t support a company that does things I don’t like, which Apple does plenty of. Also, from what I can work out, there is no difference between hardware on either machine, they use the same, so it is just the software. Windows does have issues, but I think a lot that comes if you do lots of downloading from the internet. We have re-installed Windows on my computer and I’ve been given strict instructions that it is for Photoshop only, so that should protect it a lot. Apparently you can get faster PCs for much less money, which is very appealing. The less money. Also, people who have Macs seem to be always upgrading them, every couple of years, I don’t like the sound of that, especially from an environmental point of view. I have a desktop I want to replace, but it is almost ten years old. Still runs great with Linux, like new, but I would like to be able to put Windows on it, and I am told it is too old for that. which is a shame.
      Thanks again, it has been so interesting seeing what everyone uses and what they recommend. I am glad it never turned nasty. The monochrome challenge did get some more great images. It has been wonderful doing it.

      • I think that is part of the problem too, if I choose Mac and decide I don’t like it, then I will never hear the end of it, haha. Really, he will let me know all the time how he advised me against it. It could be an expensive mistake.

      • One thing I can promise you if you choose Mac deciding you don’t like it is not going to happen :-)

      • I suspect from some of the things that people have said there would be things I most definitely wouldn’t like. I dislike software that decides for me how things should be, and from what I can gather from here and from others, this would be a major problem for me. I have had software that has organised my files for me, couldn’t find anything, so I deleted the software. I do have things that I have worked out over time and I like my system, I can find what what I need. The worse thing is the price, really, it is way over priced, I hate the idea of paying that much money, and then in a couple of years, or three, they will want me to fork out again, because the software no longer runs properly. Where my husband works, the guys who have Macs have had to replace them 3 times because things stopped working, my husband is still using the same computer he started there with 14 years ago, still running Linux. Nah, I don’t think Apple are going to get my money, and they are really horrible too, so no way. haha, not now. :)

      • I sense that you have made your decision!! Let me know how your new system goes. I know you will be very happy when you open the box and the waiting is over. Mac or PC the technology still blows me away. How does it work that I can sit here typing and you can read what I write across the other side of the world in seconds. Simply amazing!

      • I have Andrew, there are so many things about Apple that really grate on me, which is a shame, but there it is. This has been a great discussion all round though, I was convinced at the start that I had no choice but to go Mac, now I see I do. I have a massive monitor for a PC, so I think I will go that way. Though my husband has done quite a bit of work on my laptop and it is running so much faster now. Photoshop is performing really well again, can’t ask for more than that. Seems the threat of wanting a Mac got him to do something, haha. I probably won’t get one for a while now, but I do need to replace the desktop, so sometime this year. Thanks for not giving up on me.

      • johnholding says

        Hi Leanne, yes they both use the same hardware (not strictly speaking). However Windows has been engineered to cater for a huge range of platforms and variations in hardware. Whereas Apple strictly controls their hardware components and as a result the have an operating system that just works, and I mean it just works. No restarts due to software updates in the middle of doing things because you didn’t see the little pop up window, no blue screens of death just no problems. Moreover integration across their product range means the interwork seamlessly as well. If you want to try out may macbook pro with lightroom and photoshop on it let me know and we can meet up in the city.

      • I don’t experience that with Windows at all. The only real problem I’ve had recently has been it has been going very slow, or slows down as I use it, but with a quick reinstall, all good now. Very fast and very nice. It was great using it today.
        I am happy to meet up John, but not really to look at the Mac, I really want Linux, and I use Linux for everything except photos, so I am making my laptop for just photos, so no more viruses or malware I hope. That is probably the worse thing about Windows, when you download stuff, Linux is great because no one writes anything for it that is bad. The best thing of course, is that it is free and so is most of the software that runs on it. Gotta love that sort of economy. Thanks John.

  5. I got so excited about photography I did not reply to the post. Hands down MAC. No comparison and Apple knows what photographers need. I have a 27″ that is a couple years old and looks and processes like new. I started on Aperture but quickly realized Photoshop is the right direction. I’m still very clumsy on. Have a great day.

    • Apparently both have the same hardware, so if you are using Photoshop, it shouldn’t matter, I love photoshop, but I think I will be sticking with the PC, I just can’t get past the Apple company and how nasty they can be.

  6. I got a Mac laptop several years ago (using Tiger OS) and haven’t looked back. I’m on my second tower (Mac Pro) that I’ve had for about 6 is on it’s 2nd OS upgrade (Mountain Lion or Lion) and still runs fine, though it is starting to get a little slow and I hope living in the tropics hasn’t affected it (I try to keep a constant air flow going in the den – not always AC because that would be costly, but natural air or a fan always). I decided after getting the desktops that I wouldn’t mirror all of my software on the laptop – the current one is a MacBook Pro laptop (OS X 9.2) – I can easily move files that I want to use in PS to big Papi… It may come down to price but I still prefer my Macs over a PC. I’m not an Apple junkie – I never had an i-phone and I’m still on my second generation i-pod, and my i-pad was a gift (though I’m about to spring for another). But here’s what helped my decision – if you are running a photography business, buy the Mac and write it off.

    • It may be best to have all the same sort of workspaces, I can see the sense in that. I think they are way over priced, I have to say. I also think the way Apple do business is really atrocious, and don’t like that. What I really want is Adobe to be on Linux. I love Linux, and I think it is the best there. I don’t make enough money to justify the very high price they charge, when you can get a PC for half the price, well almost that is built with the same components. This discussion has been great, it is have been to hear what people say, but I know that I will be sticking with PC, Windows is fine, and now that I have reinstalled it, it is working even better. Thanks for you thoughts.

  7. One previous commentator noted they bought a Mac tower. I endorse that. The tower, at least my old one from 2008, allowed me to constantly build it up with additional ram, hard drives, and a new video card. (Not sure how many drives can run in one now, but mine has up to four drives.)The Mac system allows you to open up the “box” and upgrade without any third party person doing it for you. OSX upgrades have all been stable, and backing up is simple with Time Machine and/or a software like Carbon Copy Cloner (all of us should have redundant hard drive copies of all photographs, and even one kept off-site and updated periodically). Towers aren’t cheap but if you’re running a business it is a worthwhile investment. And you will have to be upgrading the box in no time anyway with new video cards, RAM, etc/ So, what’s easiest to do, what’s you’re time worth, and what is most stable 5-6 years out? I say Mac.

    • Towers are so much money, so very very much money, I could have two or three PCs for the same amount of money.
      No the reality is, I really do hate Apple, and it isn’t going to matter what anyone says, I won’t change my mind. I think it is absolutely atrocious how they do business and what they do to other people and companies, and I can’t support that. I am sorry, but a bad guy is a bad guy, doesn’t matter how good the stuff is. That is what I feel about it.
      I do appreciate everyone’s input and it has been good to hear what everyone has said.

      • I guess one should ask, who is a “good guy” in the supply chain for consumer electronics components? I have not done the research re the various pieces in the larger machines, not micro products. My initial sense is the supply chains often end up in similar manufacturing hubs (most in China, but not all), with just a few manufacturers of primary components. That may provide a perspective to this too. Fine with me what you buy, but definitely be robust with back up plans!

      • I think the supply chain is pretty much the same no matter which way you go. Though my issue with Apple is their continual litigation against Samsung. They can’t beat Samsung in the market place, so they are dragging them to court over and over again. They tie up valuable court resources, so people who have legitimate reasons for court usage have to wait while Apple keep suing everyone. They keep claiming that Samsung have stolen their ideas, with the iphone, though apparently Samsung has a phone before Apple did. It is so ludicrous. It really disgusts me. I know people who are waiting for courts for real problems have to wait so long.
        I have decided to stick with PC, I don’t care what it looks like, as long as it does what I need it to do, and in the end I know I can a PC cheaper than a Mac that will be just as good. Thank you.
        PS, have had backups in place for quite some time, all good.

    • I have heard of this, someone else mentioned it, I will to tell Dave, he said he didn’t think it was very good, but I might try it. Thanks John.

  8. Leanne, I don’t want to give you an advice. I want to tell my personal story. I switched last year to a Mac. As I am in IT for more than 20 years, I have to work with Windows my whole day for this long time and thus know a very lot about it. I consider Windows8 as unusable since I started working with it half a year before it was publically released. Unfortunately you can’t buy any new computer with Windows 7 anymore. On the other hand, a really comparable computer to a Mac is i.e. build by Lenovo and comes from their business line. The SOHO lines are less cared and supported. (The usual private customer won’t see this). Only the business lines are somewhat supported by the manufactorers by making updated drivers availlable. Also the hinges and hatches are less solid (plasic instead of metal) and so on. Using second quality disk drives and display panels. badly balanced software settings and build in chips. As a general rule of thumb you can say, usually windows computers are only that strong to run windows well ate the moment you buy it. About half a year later, the regular Windows updates slow the computer down.
    My father still uses a nearly 10 years old Mac for his graphical workls and is happy. His internet computer was replaced 4 times in the same time.
    Last year I bought a 13″ Macbook Pro Mid 2012 with Mac OS X 10.6. That is the last one with a replaceable harddrive, a DVD and replaceable RAM Modules. I have a 500 GB disk and 16 GB RAM. In case I need more speed, I could replace the HD by an SSD, but that’s not neccesary until now.
    I bought my Mac at a second hand dealer, giving me a full year of warranty, but I only payed about 900€, that’s about 1250 AUD.
    My older Acer NB from Summer 2010 has a DualCore 1,3 GHz, 4 GB and a quick HD, but is in the meantime unable to cope Windows 7 when only browsing the internet. On my last trip, the display broke, because the cover wasn’t solid enough to save it, although the cover itself didn’t broke. The Macbook has an aluminium cover to save the display.
    I guess, you have much to consider. Don’t be afraid of using MacOS. Each MacBook with Intel CPU can also run Windows and Apple supports it. You even get updated Windows drivers by Apple. But, I guess, you’ll love MacOS. It’s more convenient.
    In case, you want to know a bit more, drop me a line. :-)

    • That is the problem you get so much conflicting information. In the end, I have to go with what I think is ethically right and what I think will work for me. I use Linux for nearly everything, I mean everything, except for processing photos, and the only reason I don’t use it for that is because Photoshop doesn’t run on Linux. I really want Linux, so I am more than happy to suffer Windows for that. If I don’t use the laptop for anything else then it will be fine. It is already working heaps faster.
      I don’t know that I think it is more convenient, I think what you are used to is always the most useful. Thank you.

      Once you change to Linux you can never go back. :)

      • I’m also a Linux user since 1994 at home. At first only on my servers, from 2003 also on my desktop. 2010 I bought the box with Win7 for photo processing CNX2 and Photoshop. I always have had a virtual box on my windows box, to use shell scripts in my post processing workflow. Now, on the Mac, I can use them native :-)
        I also wanted to have CNX2 and Photoshop (and some of the plugins) running native on Linux, too. But, unfortunately Adobe and Nikon won’t support it. So, Mac is the best reasonable compromise, at least in my opinion.

      • I love Linux, have I said that already. It is a shame that Adobe don’t do products for it, I will run windows just for Photoshop and do everything else on my Linux machine. Since Windows was reinstalled the laptop is working so much faster, and that is all I got it for, doing photos, but I started doing other stuff, so that stops now. Thank you, nice to meet another Linux user, my husband is all Linux.

  9. I purchased a Mac in 2011 and I actually have no regrets, I find it is very user friendly once you get past the initial learning phase. While with some regards Apple products are more expensive (for the same price in 2011 you could gotten the same specifications on Windows for a much cheaper price) I can understand the price difference, quality is definitely better on a Mac from what I have experienced. My laptop has held up pretty well since, it is running only on 4GB of RAM with me running Photoshop, programming on it and also running other intensive graphic applications. I have experienced a lot of slowness as of late, but that is mainly due to the RAM, which needs an upgrade. I probably should mention that it has broken down 3 times since I have gotten it, not a lot, but I would definitely recommend a regular back up and Applecare if you do end up getting a Mac. Another option I would recommend is an SSD for a faster laptop and use an external hard drive to store all your photography.

    • There seems to be a thing with many Mac users that they are more expensive because they are better, but from the research I’ve done and the people I have spoken to, that is not the case. Essentially both Macs and PCs are made of the same components, so they cost the same to make. Difference really is that Apple do a lot more on the way they look, image is a big factor with them and when you buy Apple you are buying into the image. I have had my Dell laptop for almost 4 years and it has never broken down. It has got slower, but that issue has been fixed now. A complete reinstall, but all good now. We are also going to put a SSD in it as well to help make it go even faster. I do have problems with the company as well.
      I think it is safe to say I am saying with PCs, I think for now that is best. Thank you for your experiences, it has been great to hear from people.

    • I think I have made it now, I’m going to stay with PCs, but it was great to have done this, to start wondering which and then at the end have my mind made up. thanks :)

  10. kuujinbo says

    Choosing an operating system (MAC/PC) is a *very* personal choice, and in the end the only one who knows what works best is *you*. Microsoft only cripples the entry level versions of Windows 7. Since your husband is a programmer, you *DO* have an easy choice to use up to 192GB of RAM (if supported by the hardware) on Windows 7 – buy the professional version or higher:

    If you go online and look at some of the gaming laptops, their mid to high level models hardware support 32GB of RAM (like Sager). I would guess gaming desktops support even more RAM. Some of these companies also offer and install a choice to upgrade the operating system.

    Good luck, whichever way you choose. :)

    • Thank you, I think you are so right, and since I don’t want a cheap computer, I will get what is absolutely necessary for what I am doing. I know when I got my laptop, it was a lot of money for a laptop at the time, not as expensive as a Mac one, but expensive enough, the reason was my husband wanted to make sure I got one that would be really good for working on photos so there were many requirements. He can be quite helpful at times, haha.
      Thanks again, I will let him see this. :)

  11. Leanne…I’d like to jump in on this terrific discussion. One that I just went to just 3 months ago.

    I’ve been a PC user since the mid 70’s. Yes, there have been many many frustrations along the way. But using a PC for business (accounting/finance) was a MUST. Apple just couldn’t keep up with the PC at that time. So I stayed with PC ever since.
    My girlfriend is an avid Mac user, and I’ve actually used Macs in the past and thought they were OK. So last Dec, I decided to do a little research since I needed a new laptop for my expanding photography.

    Keeping in mind that ALL of my software (Lightroom, PhotoShop, etc…) was PC based, there would be additional expense for the MAC versions. Monitor, disk performance (speed), storage space, and price, were all taken into account. And the result was…I ended up going with a 17″ inch HP Envy with a 1TB HD, and 64 bit processing. Pretty much the same as the MAC pro but for $1200 less. The quality of the monitor, to me, is very comparable and that was important. Unfortunately the MAC wasn’t nearly as large as the HP, and to also buy a bigger monitor would add another $900 to the entire investment. Since I’m so used to Windows (even the newest version 8.1), there really wasn’t any learning curve, whereas with the MAC it would take a little time (and I’m sure a bit of frustration).

    The only downside to the HP has been the weight…ugh. The HP is somewhat heavy (4 lbs I think) due to the size of the monitor. But I usually don’t take it with me anywhere, and if I do, it fits nicely into my camera backpack.

    So, my recommendation is…go with YOUR gut. Get something that fits all of YOUR needs. I have nothing bad to say against MAC except price. It’s a great machine and IS the preferred machine for artists.

    Not sure if this helps, but this discussion is a great way to go before making a decision.

    Oh…p.s. My girlfriend agreed with my decision :-D


    • Thank you Dan, so nice to hear from someone who went through a similar thing and ended up staying with a PC. I feel the same way about the software, that’s for sure. My laptop is quite a good one too, but same it is heavy, a pain to carry around. Though if I got a good desktop, and when I went to replace the laptop I wouldn’t get such a good one.
      I don’t like how much the Macs cost, they are so expensive and I have to wonder how much of that is about how they look. I don’t really like the way they do business either.
      It has been great to get lots of opinions here and it has certainly helped me with my decision. I know I will stay with a PC, and I think my husband is very pleased too. Though it also means that we can wait a bit now too. He reinstalled Windows on my laptop and is getting SSD for it, so it will run faster, so I might be fine with what I have. Thanks again Dan.

      • I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision Leanne, but good for you for sticking to our guns.
        Hope the upgrades work well for you. :-)

  12. Leanne You say Windows 7 won’t support more than 16GB RAM. This is not true. Provided it’s 64-bit, Windows 7 Home Premium has a max of 16GB but Windows 7 Ultimate has a max of 196GB and any version of Windows 8 supports at least 128GB. (32-bit is no good with Windows 8 either).

    Windows 8 is fine, it’s essentially a refined version of Windows 7 and it has a few useful unremarked features such as often being able to self-recover if your C Drive crashes, without needing a boot disk. They made some bizarre decisions for the interface, partly reversed with Windows 8.1, which act as a temporary deterrent to getting started. You just need to read up a little on how it works or get someone to show you.

    I’ve never used Mac or Linux so I can’t comment from personal experience. I did see an interesting comment recently by someone who had been both a Mac “genius” and a Microsoft Certified Professional. He said that Mac used to have an advantage but in the last few years they’ve gone chasing the mass market and that advantage is not there anymore. He recommended Windows over Mac.

    • Thank you Murray, this is all good to hear. Though we reinstalled Windows 7, the home premium. So far everything has improved out of sight. The laptop is so much faster and now he wants to install a SSD, and he thinks that will make it even faster. I think for the time being I am going to stick with what I have, I do want a new desktop and you have given me some ideas here, which is fantastic.
      That is also interesting to hear what that other person said too. My husband keeps saying that they use all same components pretty much, so when you buy a Mac you are buying the image. I don’t really care what it looks like as long as it works as I want and expect it too.
      Thanks again Murray.

  13. I have been reading all the comments, great discussion! Just wanted to add I purchased a Logitech wireless roller ball mouse, and right click works on my iMac….added cost, but worth it to me.

  14. I currently use a PC Desktop with Windows 7. Never had a problem. It runs Phase One’s Capture One 7 perfectly fine. I never had a virus. It might take a little while to boot up with all the apps I have on it, but other than that, it is fine. BTW, Windows Media Player has better sound quality than iTunes if you listen to music while you work.

    • That is great to hear Chris. I have had similar problems, but it hasn’t crashed. You are the second person to say something about iTunes. Interesting. Thank you.

  15. Gosh. Get ready to moderate a war! Each person has different needs and expectations that have to be met when they are shopping for a computer and limiting yourself to a particular brand would significantly limit your choices.

    Whenever I buy a new computer, I write down what I need it to do, what hardware I need for it to do those things and what nice-to-have features I’d like, and then I go “shopping” online. Because I want it to be useful for as long as possible, I always go with the best hardware I can afford and I have almost always ended up with a built-to-order computer. Repair and upgrade are also considerations for me so I don’t buy a laptop – if my graphics card failed, I can replace it cheaply, but in a laptop, that would usually require buying and installing a new motherboard (and overheating is frequently an issue with laptops). Something as simple as opening it up to blow the dust (and cat-fur) out is an afternoon project with a laptop and takes 15 minutes with a desktop. Spill coke in your laptop keyboard and you’re toast; with a desktop, you give the keyboard a shower and let it dry out for a few days.

    If you decide you need Windows, read some reviews and compare Windows 7 and Windows 8. A year and a half ago, I bought a new computer for my daughter and it came with Win 8 preinstalled. I spent hours getting rid of the crapware (demo versions of every Microsoft product on the planet). She was constantly having problems with it and when I had to fix things, I found it horribly counter-intuitive. We were both a lot happier when I “downgraded” it to Win 7. It seems well-behaved and less buggy now (and a lot less ugly). Her 3D video games run better on Win 7 also. I replaced my old beast at the beginning of the year and I ordered the new one with no operating system and installed Win 7 and Ubuntu. So far, I’m very happy with it.

    • It is surprising Ann, but the comments and responses have been very civilised. Not what I thought at all. It has been great.

      You have made some great points too. My husband has always said you should get the absolute best you can afford. I do have a laptop, though it isn’t something I enjoy working on, so we have got it so I can hook it up to my monitor and attached a separate keyboard, so it can be like using a Desktop. I had to have one for when I went away, not so important anymore. The laptop is just a back up.

      I have heard that a lot about Windows, so will have to see what happens when it is time to get a new one.
      I love Linux, it really is the best OS in my opinion, haha. Thank you Ann, I do appreciate everyone’s comments.

  16. I am an avid Mac user & I get asked this question all of the time. I cut down my sales pitch over the years & now just use the phrase “Buy a Mac, they just work” I’ve got to say its the best use of money for a computer.

    • Thanks for opinion here, I have got so many, and it has been great hearing from so many people.
      I have to say I can’t help thinking Macs are too overpriced, and for what I would use a PC for, I do think a PC, a good one, is perhaps the way to go. I want to be able to partition or have two separate hard drives so one can be for windows and one can be for Linux, I don’t want to give up using LInux. Thanks again.

    • Haha, it has been an interesting experience, I used to think I would never get a Mac, possibly because Dave hates Apple with a passion, then I started thinking, maybe it was the way I needed to go, and at the beginning of the week, before I did the post, I was convinced that I had to have a Mac, now, after the post, I am convinced it isn’t really what I need, and when I get a new computer I will get a PC. So yes, I have made a decision.

  17. I’m not a fan of Apple .. so I’m judgmental. I have a Dell PC, soon 10 years too … great machine and I truly like XP and I hate window 8 – so that is what stops me from buying a new PC, but I love to sit comfortable when I work for a longer period.
    If I buy a new PC – I think I will go for another Dell or Acer – nothing from Apple for me.

    • Windows 8 seems to be the most universally disliked software out there, haha. I like Dell too, we have never had any problems with our Dell computers.
      No, I have decided the same Viveka, nothing Apple for me either.

      • The thing with Apple is that they don’t use Windows Office … and Google neither.
        I don’t care if my desk top is trendy and smart looking – the main thing it’s easy manageable.

      • I totally agree, I am the only one who sees my computer, so as long as it does what I want, who cares what it looks like. I don’t want to take it for a walk down the street.

      • You’re my kind of girl … I feel sorry for all those people that has to have the latest Iphone and Ipad – the release one model per year.
        I fell sorry for parents too ….

      • Haha, I do too, though I get a phone every couple of years, I find phones do seem to have a lifespan, especially the battery. Though my kids have been brought up to consider the environment, and I hope they do.

      • I’m faithful to Nokia .. and over in UK I got a new model for free every year, so I have a couple in the draw .. when my Noika, that is 15 years old .. give up for good. Gave it a new battery for Christmas, nearly as new.
        You are charging your mobile … the right way, because most people charge their mobiles to death – the longer the battery is charged – the more chairing it needs .. and in the end it dies, just like laptops and electric tooth brushes.

      • I used to be to Nokia, but not anymore, I have Samsung phones now and I love them, well the one I have.
        I don’t know if charging like that is bad anymore, I don’t think it matters too much. YOu have to make sure your phone is charge or it will go dead when you need it.

      • *smile – it truly effects the mobile battery the longer we leave it on charging – I know the smart phone longer than the basic phones, but we shouldn’t leave them on charging overnight, only 1 hour is enough.
        So many of my friends has worn out their batteries.

      • I leave mine all the time and it hasn’t affected the use at all, I’ve had for almost 3 years and it still works well. I have to charge it because it can’t run out on me when I am out.

  18. We have a PC that my husband built. I couldn’t tell you what’s all in it, but it’s smokin’ fast. It’s in a small filing cabinet and it glows green. lol I use it for editing – I have Photoshop cs5. I have recent photos on the computer and then I move them to an external hard drive after a certain amount of time just to free up space and for backup.

    • I have a big back up system too, it is great having that. I know I will stay with PCs, I do like that I have so much more control over what I am doing on them. My husband organises what I get when I get a new one. They are handy sometimes, husbands, and PCs. :)

  19. Sabrina says

    I vote Mac all the way! I was in a similar situation to you (though my computer wasn’t quite 10 years old!), and I recently upgraded to a Mac desktop. Let me tell you a little secret…Mac sells first quality refurbished computers for up to 20% less than new ones, but the warranty is the same and they are in fact factory refurbished. I just picked one up and have installed both photoshop and lightroom, and both work so smoothly. I know many PC lovers hate Mac because they think they’re overpriced (among other things), but maybe this will help sway your husband?

    • I don’t know about refurbished ones, I don’t know where you would get them around here. I think I would need more convincing now Sabrina, I think I am going to stick with PCs at least for now. I can’t get past what a horrible company Apple and how they do business, not nice at all. Thanks for the information though, it has been great to hear from so many.

  20. Hi, Leanne: Just bumped into your blog for the first time today and saw this discussion. Even though you’ve had a ton of contributions, and I admit I skimmed many of them after getting the gist of the conversation, so forgive me if this covers no new ground. I have used both PC and Mac platforms with Photoshop for the past 6 years. As far as I can tell, the only difference when in the Photoshop environment is cost. Other differences become apparent when you leave Photoshop to do the many other things one does on the computer and that boils down to one’s personal preferences. My current Mac is a Mac Pro custom built (configured for Photoshop) for me last year by Other World Computing in Chicago. My PC is a also custom build, also configured for Photoshop, by Puget Systems in Seattle. This latter build was prompted by the fact that my old Dell was still running Windows XP and I had to make the jump to Windows 8.1. It arrived last month. If you are thinking about going PC, I would highly recommend a custom build by a Photoshop expert. Puget and I had a comprehensive discussion about every component via email before I made the purchase and the result was one very fine machine. I’m still getting used to 8.1, but Photoshop runs just as well on the Puget box as it does on my Mac Pro which cost 3 times as much. Finally, to answer the question that may be lurking in the minds of your regular followers, why do I work with two different platforms? Because I don’t trust either of them and refuse to become too dependent one a single vendor. This, admittedly is not smart financially, and I would never recommend this policy to anyone. Good luck with your decision. In the meantime, I will be checking back to find out what happens and also to check out you work.

    • This is just what I needed to hear Robin, someone running them side by side. Brilliant. I really only use Windows for Photoshop, then I’m off and back onto Linux. I thought as both Mac and PCs were made up of pretty much the same components these days that there was a fair chance they would pretty much work the same. This great to know. We did reinstall Windows on my laptop, and everything is working so much better now. My laptop is a Dell one and when I got it it was pretty powerful machine, still is in some ways. So for the time being I am going to stick with this, though we have ordered a SSD to put into the laptop as well, my husband thinks this will make the laptop go much faster. Should be interesting. Thanks Robin, it was great hearing from you and hearing this.

      • Thanks, Leanne. I also agree with your husband about the SSD. Both of the custom builders recommended one for hosting the OS and applications on the boxes they were building for me. Anyway, I’ve now had a chance to check out some of your work on your website. I looked at the Architecture images (I do a lot of that here in Washington, DC) and really liked them. And I thought your technique of aligning your watermark with the structural angles in each specific image was very creative. Never seen that before.

      • He seems to think I won’t believe how much faster it will work with it. Thank you Robin, I do my watermark like that because so many people were complaining about it being too distracting. I don’t get many people saying that anymore when I do them like this. People seem to like them and find it a challenge to see where I have put it. LOL.

  21. For photography — Mac wins. I used to be a Windows guy, but since I’ve gone Mac, I can’t imagine going back. I bought a 27″ iMac in 2008, and it still runs like a charm. I have updraded the iOS as required, and kept up with the various updates … I think I was on the Mountain Lion version when I bought it, but, can’t remember. I’m as up to date as can be, and each version has improved, even if some of the changes are things that don’t matter much to me. I’m not a developer or programmer, so some of that stuff isn’t an issue for me. I do wait about 4-5 months after the initial update release to buy the upgrade, just so they have time to work the big bugs out. What I like is that the upgrades are much less expensive than Windows. Usually with Windows, if you go from say XP to Windows 7, you either buy a new computer for a few hundred dollars, or buy the software upgrade for a few hundred dollars. With the Mac, it’s $20 for the upgrade. Can’t be much better than that!

    For photos, the display on the Mac is much better than any Windows computer I’ve ever owned.

    I love my Mac so much that when it was time to get a new laptop, I went with a Macbook, and I love it just as much.

    The only thing to be sure you do is make sure you buy the max RAM memory, since photos and the photo editing software are memory hogs. And, be sure to buy an external hard drive to back things up to, and a good cloud storage site, to back up to as well, just to ensure you don’t lose anything, just in case.

    And, the best part: with an iPad, an iPhone, an iMac, and the Macbook, everything is synched, and with the $20/year iCloud subscription, I can access all my files from any device.

    I’m not sure there is anything that would make me switch back to Windows.

    • Nah, I think I am going to pass on the Mac, I have just spoken to someone who has both and says that when you run photoshop there is absolutely no difference between the two. I also find it quite interesting you complaining about the price of upgrading software on a PC but you don’t complain about how much more you have to pay for the Mac in the first place. From everything I’ve heard from people here, is that these days they are basically the same, when it comes to the components.
      I have never upgraded Windows, I use Windows 7 which is what my computer came with almost 4 years ago and it is still working fine.
      My husband is a programmer and he has set up a really good back up system for me here. So I am not really interested in using anything external like that, also means that I don’t have control over my stuff, that is a worry too.
      Though listening to what you said about everything syncing, I have google android and it pretty much does the same thing too. I don’t mind that.
      I really hate Apple, I had forgotten about that, the way they suck people in, then the way they do business is really bad, and in all conscience, the man reason I could never go to Apple is because if I buy their products then I am condoning their bahaviour, and I can’t do that.
      Thanks John, it has been a great discussion, so many ideas.

  22. Hi Leanne, sorry to but into this discussion but I must protest about this emotional clap trap. Hate, where does hate come from. That’s no basis on which to make a decision about spending a lot of money. All I can say is, go about this logically. Either write down exactly what you want from a computer, or decide how much cash you want to part with, then read the reviews. The operating system is your essential interface with the machine. Which is better? Windows 8, or Mac OS? Look at the reviews.Either system will run the software that you want. There are great machines out there. As a Mac user I find Windows clunky, but that’s my personal view because it’s what I’m used to, but rather than listen to me or any other hearsay from people who only know what they’ve tried, why not go to those who test lots of different machines, surely they come closer to being experts than me or most other correspondents here, however well meaning we might all be!

    • I have spoken to someone who said that they had used both, had both and they use the computers for the same as me, and when it came down to it, there was no difference between them. So money is a big thing for me, I don’t have any, so getting a PC sounds like a much better option for me. You can get very powerful PCs and I know my husband would make sure that whatever I get I will be able to do exactly what I need, or he will never hear the end of it, haha.
      I am very happy with my decision, and I will still be able to use Linux, that is really what I want to use more than anything else. Thanks for butting in. :)

  23. I have never used a mac only a pc but I love my pc. The last one I bought was 2 years ago and it has 1 terabyte hard drive and 10 GB memory it has not let me down yet. It is by far the biggest baddest computer I have bought to date because it also has a 6 core processor. I use photoshop, lightroom, paint shop pro all for editing.. I can have all 3 open at the same time with no issues. This one is a HP HPE Series.

    • I love my PC too, and have never used a Mac, it is great to hear that you can run everything on it well, thanks Sonya.

  24. I believe Mac is probably best for graphics however, if you already own Photoshop for PC, I don’t think that the program will convert to MAC. This means buying or leasing the program all over again which is very expensive! Not sure about conversion though. Good luck!

    • Actually you know, I don’t know that it is anymore, I think it is exactly the same. Both Macs and PCs use many of the same components, so the hardware is different and I doubt the software is either. I have spoken to someone who has both and they say there is no difference, so will be sticking with PC I think. Thanks for thoughts.

  25. I’ve always used Windows, but our group leader at my photography group has recently gone onto a Mac and he can’t praise it enough for this type of work.

    • Same here, I don’t get the Mac attraction, from what many people have been saying they are basically the same machines except for the software, oh yeah, and one is twice as expensive and seems to want you to keep paying for more and more things. Thanks Chris.

  26. As a Linux user myself, I understand your dilemma. I’m curious though, is Photoshop a given for a technical reason, or just because it is what you’re used to?
    I like to keep it simple, so the Gimp is all I need to play with my photos but if I was to want to do more complex editing I’d get Corel Aftershot Pro, which runs on Linux.

    • I used GIMP for a long time, but I had trouble working out how to do things when I started wanting to do more complicated images. The community just wasn’t there for it. So I went to Photoshop, and I have to say when it comes to working on photos, Photoshop is so much better than GIMP, in leaps and bounds. There are so many more options in PS. There is also so much more information out there about it, so it is easier to learn. I love Photoshop, would never give it up now. Thanks Paws.

  27. Hi Leanne, It’s a decision that we all have had to make and I’m with the general consensus here. ‘Once you go MAC you never go back.’ The reason for me is that MAC is intuitive for creatives. Its a left brain vs right brain thing. Pick up someone else’s and take it for a test drive – this was what made me a convert straightaway. You’ve got to drive it first, then you will know if its for you or not. I say its well worth the extra money which wasn’t much to tell you the truth. I have just upgraded from my Macbook 2007 because it was small and slow, and not even able to take photoshop, to a Macbook Pro 15 with 16GB (shoved in extra ram) and its got oodles of room and speed for graphics – I also connect it to my TV when at home to get the desktop practicality for eyes that look at the screen all day and need a bigger view by the end of the day. Happy as Larry over here! Good luck with your purchase either way. Vicky Russell

    • Thanks Vicky, I think for me PC is the way to go, I love Linux way too much. I have to say I am finding the whole extra money thing quite strange. So many people have said that there is no difference between the components, well almost no difference, so I think I will stick with PC at half the price too, also I really hate the way Apple do business, they are not a nice company and I can’t support what they do. Thanks for you thoughts on this.

  28. I run Linux (Kubuntu) on my laptop and Win 8 on my self-built PC. Like you, I would love to rely solely on Linux, but for mainstream gaming you need to run Windows (although some games are becoming available on Linux and Mac through the digital distribution platform Steam). And obviously I use both Lightroom and Photoshop. The Gimp is good, and is getting better, but it’s still far behind Adobe.

    You might want to think about a custom built PC. There are many websites that specialise this and you can have a powerful PC built to your requirements at an affordable price.

    • We are almost the same, I have Windows on my laptop and Ubuntu on my Desktop. I don’t play games, so that isn’t an issue. I used to use GIMP, but I get so frustrated with it now, it just won’t do what I want it to do. I asked my husband why we don’t custom build our PCs anymore, we used to, he reckons its not worth the headache. I can’t do it, I would have no idea what I was doing. We just look for a Dell computer that is close to what I need and see if we can customise it a bit more.
      Thanks Stevie, though I think with the windows reinstall and a new SSD installed in the laptop, I am all good to go. I will have to replace the Desktop, but it isn’t as urgent now.

  29. Hi Leanne, I can tell you that I was a PC user my whole life. Before I left to come to Rwanda 3 months ago, my brother who works for an app owned by Apple suggested I get a Macbook Pro with Retina Display – a 15″ because he knows I’m a photographer. I spent the whole day playing with his Macbook and was SO impressed with it I slapped myself for not coming to my senses sooner – then I slapped him for not telling me! I am EXTREMELY happy with my decision. Not only are the graphics better but the whole computer runs SO SMOOTH … Seamless and without flaws or glitches – which is a major issue I was having with my HP (my HP wasn’t even one year old and I paid as much for that as I did for my Macbook!) – I may have to scrap my HP unfortunately. I encourage you to give a Macbook a test drive. Maybe a friend or relative can let you play around on one they may have? Also, there is NO NEED to buy a brand spanking new one! You just go to Apple’s website and click on their Refurbished link. I bought a refurb. and it works like new – brand new casing, new screen..everything! Again, at the insistence of my brother. I ended up getting a model that was only a few months old anyway and I paid HALF the price! AND I get the same warranty coverage. If you have any questions about a Mac, please ask me, I’m more than happy to help! – hope this helps a little. – Great photos by the way!

    • Thanks you thoughts here Ashley, I’ve decided to stick with the PC, for a few reasons, one is because I love Linux and want to be able to keep using it. Also, my PCs have all been great and haven’t had any problems, the software does at times, but I have always had Dell machines and so far they have never let me down. Though the main reason I really don’t want an Apple is because I really dislike the way Apple do business, they are bullies, and if I buy their products then I am saying that what they do is okay, I can’t do that. So it is PC for me, and I am okay with my decision. My husband reinstalled Windows, put in a SSD and the laptop is working a treat now, almost has good as new, maybe even better. Thanks again Ashley.

  30. jermainetb says

    I’ve had my mac for about 7 years now and i got mine off the recommendation about its editing capabilities, which have been perfect for me thus far, plus things are much simpler, pc for me sometimes can feel like a maze, and also with a mac i’m not having to worry about virus which is very good.

    • I think sometime it is what you get used to, I am very used to the way Windows works and I don’t have that many issues with it. The other issue is that I love Linux too much and if I have a choice it would be Linux all the way. Thanks for telling us your preference.

  31. Apple is more expensive, yes. But I think you get more for the money. I don’t dare to think back to the plethora of error messages that would ruin my day when working with windows. The software and OS is well thought out and most programs and hardware work good together. I never had a problem or a single error message with Adobe on my Macbook. Plus, I don’t think that the hardware is the same in Macs and PCs. Winows computers are build by many different manufacturers, some better, some cheaper. Apple attunes its hardware to its software, all from one house, and in pans out. Just my opinion and experience.

    • I have to say that I don’t have that experience of working on windows. I never seem to have a problem. I have had problems with it going slow, but that has been solved now. Windows is more of a target for viruses, I will grant you that, but since all I use windows for is my photos, then it isn’t really an issue. I try very hard not to use the internet on it now, and when I want to use the internet I use linux, which I think is the best operating system. Best part too, is that it is free, and the changes made to it are always good. Many components in PCs are built by the same people. All Macs and PCs have the same processes by Intel now. Apple get products from many other companies as well, they had to stop getting some from Samsung because they kept or keep suing them, to try and stop them being competitive with them in the market place. I really dislike Apple, and everyone I know who uses one seem to be constantly forking out money to them. I have my PC for 4 years, and never had to pay any more money to Microsoft or to Dell, still works fine. When you compare apples with apples, or oranges with oranges, you can get a very powerful PC for half the price of an Mac, and as someone earlier stated, who both a powerful PC and a Mac pro, when it comes to using the software, like Photoshop, there is no difference, that was all I really needed to hear. I will get a PC so I can still run Linux, and save about $4000. I like that better. Thanks for your experiences.

  32. Probably way too late to toss in my five cents, Leanne.
    But I’m a Mac person all the way, and consider that the only people who don’t like them are people who think they’re overpriced. Well, you pay for quality, and you pay for power. If you dislike Apple, well, then, you dislike Apple.
    But everyone I know who’s involved in serious photography and visual art, websites etc. uses it. Hope your new computer works for you.\

    • I find it funny when people say that they are the only way to go, you said you pay for quality, but most of the components in a Mac can be found on a PC as well, there isn’t a lot of difference between them these days except the software, and as you point out the price. I do dislike Apple, I think they are bullies and the way they do business is so horrible. The reason so many graphics people use Apple, it isn’t always because they want to, it is because they have no choice. Apple like to keep it that way too. They will buy companies making software and then stop making it for anything but the Apple. Companies they can’t compete with they make up crap about and then sue them in court. Samsung have had to deal with a lot of shonky crap coming from Apple. None is true, but they keep doing it. They are dirty players, and I think buying their products says that what they do is okay. I can’t do that. Since I’ve heard from people who have told me that there is no difference in how software like Photoshop run on a PC or Mac, this person has both, then I am very happy staying with my PC, and then I can continue running Linux. I reinstalled Windows, put in a SSD and the computer is like brand new again. Thanks

  33. Well, you knew this would generate comments! Without getting into an endian discussion, it’s a matter of preference. I’ve used both, and I prefer PCs.

    Oh, there is price – Apple products typically carry a premium price. Sort of like paying for the Nike swoosh, mostly. You can tell your friends about it.

    Maybe accessory compatibility, too – Apple computers usually only accept Apple accessories like cables, printers, mice and stuff. Made by Apple, those also carry that premium price…

    Hmm, then there’s also software availability – since PCs have a bigger market share, the software usually gets there first, and most often. Ports to Apple, if made, often come afterward. Open source helps, I guess.

    That other mouse button? Maybe the roller? Funny quirks like using software interfaces to control hardware? Apart from these minor details, it’s a matter of preference. :)

    Remember this guy’s discussion?

    • Yeah, I did John, though it was a great discussion to have for me. I went from thinking that my choice was a mac, that I would have to go that way, to realising that I really didn’t want anything to do with Apple or their products, so it really helped me. Robin put a comment about having both a PC and a Mac to do photoshop and said that there was no difference between the two, as far as using Photoshop, that was all I needed to hear really. If it doesn’t make a difference, then why go to all the trouble of doing of spending all that money. I don’t use my windows machine for anything else.
      I do really dislike the whole idea that Apple costs so much, and for all the reasons you stated as well, it seems you get a Mac and you are just handing over money all the time.
      I love Linux, so that is a big plus for me to stay with PC. Also, I don’t care what my computer looks like, I want it to work, I want it to be easy to use.
      Thank you John, I think you have made some great points, I don’t want the Apple image, and I am happy to stay with PC, love the link.

  34. torrentephotos says

    Leanne. Mac or PC. Analog or Digital. It’s a feeling. And a sensibility. One is not better or worse, just different. Since you’ve used the PC for all this time, why not switch to the Mac for a new challenge, and to be well versed and able to work on any computer you may find in front of you, wherever you may be. JT

    • Nice idea, and maybe if Mac’s didn’t cost so much then I would consider it, but it really is too much money for me right now. I was trying to help someone the other day with her Mac and it was so frustrating, all we wanted to do was move some images, I think I would find it too frustrating and would probably get too angry. I am happy staying with PC now. At least I know it is more in my budget. Thanks JT

  35. Wow! Thanks for liking my photo. If not for that, I’m not sure if I’d ever have found you/your work here. I’m very glad I did. I love your photos. They do more than show a pretty picture, they evoke feeling- and those are the kind of photos I like best.
    You’ve got a great eye, and wonderful taste for what makes a good picture.
    Thank you for sharing. :)

    • You are very welcome, and thanks for coming back to see my work. I do love what I do, and I really like what you have said about my images, that is exactly what my work is about really and what I want. Thank you. :)

    • PC with Linux never crashes, and there are no viruses. PC with Windows using only photo stuff is perfect, doesn’t crash, no viruses if I am careful. Half the price, yep, that’s the way for me Steve. Thanks.

  36. Mac vs PC vs Win vs Linux – no single right answer. For me, it’s PC/Win combo for no other reason than the software I use (the ones I depend on most *only run* in Windows),. YMMV. Two years ago I bought a top-of-the-line Mac and gave it an honest try (alongside my current PC at the time) – and sold the Mac 6 months later. It was a nice machine – just not what I needed for what I do.

    Having said all of that – my main PC is also a 4-year old Dell laptop (Studio 1747 quad core) with 8GB which sounds similar to yours. Two weeks ago I turned it into a brand new faster than a speeding-bullet machine by adding a 1-TB SSD (the SSD is now drive #1 and I physically moved the original HDD to the disk #2 space). This changed my PC’s Windows performance rating from 5.9 to 7.8 (on a scale which tops out at 7.9). The slow component is now the graphics unit (it’s not too shabby) which is fine since I don’t use the laptop for video streaming or graphics.

    Long story short – consider a simple component upgrade like this. It may solve most or all of your immediate issues. I bought mine from Crucial along with a data transfer kit which made cloning the original HHS onto the SSD a piece of cake.

    • Sounds like what you did is similar to what I did, or rather my husband. We reinstalled windows and changed the main hard drive to a SSD and it is working so much faster now.
      Your laptop is very similar to mine. I am very happy with it now. Thank you Ed.

  37. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’m glad you liked my post and hope you will come again sometime. Blessings, Natalie :)

  38. MAC. I’ve had one for years, upgraded last year. I worked as a medical office administrator and we were all PC. At home I went MAC. And love it. There is a bit of a learning curve, and if you go MAC I highly recommend getting the One to One program. It lasts for a year and you can go in and sit down with an Apple expert (they really are helpful) for hands on help just for you. Good luck!

    • Thanks for your thoughts on this Barbara, I have decided to stay with PC, I don’t think it will make much difference with photoshop, and I like Linux too much to give it up.

  39. I’ve always been a PC girl but, like you, I have found the same problems with my ageing computer not being able to keep up with the volume of photographs I want to process. I have just brought a MacBook Air to travel with and I love it! It is really easy and smooth to use and so fast!

    Have a play at the local computer place and see what you think. I hope this helps.

    • I reinstalled Windows and now it is like new. We got rid of anything that wasn’t necessary, it is fantastic now. I also put in a SSD as well, and I love it now. Windows is working so much faster, I can’t believe how quickly everything happens on it now.

      I won’t go Apple, I really hate the company and everyone I know who has Apple always seems to be handing over money to them, I don’t like that. They are not a good company and I can’t buy their products, that would be like saying I approve of what they do. I don’t. Good luck with yours though.

  40. I think one of the reasons top “visual” workers use Macs has to do with the quality of the displays. Apple is pushing more and more Retina displays with IPS panels in pretty much all their laptops. Means better resolution, better color accuracy than with the standard TN panels you have in “standard” displays. My personal laptop runs under Linux. This means I can’t have Lightroom (replaced with darktable), and I can’t have Photoshop (I use GIMP instead) either. In the end, for photography, it boils down to lots of computing power, the ability to run the software you use, and a good quality display, with a wide gamut. (Speaking of display, if you don’t have one, guess a calibrator like a Spyder 4 Pro should be on your shopping list if you don’t already have one :) )

    • I don’t know if it is the displays, I’ve heard it is because they don’t have a choice, that a lot of the software is only written for Apple and when something is written for something else then Apple have been know to buy the software and then make it redundant for everything except Apple. I use Linux, but my laptop runs Windows and I have Photoshop and Lightroom on that. I also have a good monitor and we got a little thing to calibrate it as well. My laptop will connect to my monitor so it is great. I love working on images on my 27 inch monitor. Thanks you elPadawan, it is interesting hearing what others like.

  41. For the first time ever, I just went through this dilemma. got a mac. but still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles. it is interesting how there are PS and there are mac people

    • Too different, too expensive, and well, I just don’t want to go there now. I am happy that PS will work on the PC just as well.

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