"PC or Mac?" It's just never an issue!

“PC or Mac?” Seems to always be a flame-war-bait issue for some folks, but in the real world of computer graphics … or any other sort of resource-intensive computing … I daresay that it isn’t really an issue, never was, never will be.

You use what you’ve got. Or, what your new employer’s got. Or what your client’s got. And if you’re working in something as computer-intensive as CG, you’d better be ready to encounter some Silicon Graphics gear too. And maybe a mainframe. The odds are really good, in fact, that you’ll find all types of equipment, all being used at the same time.

So, if you get a chance, try to spend some time on different types of machines. It’s very educational to, say, compare Blender running on a Windows box to Blender running on a Linux box to Blender running on a PC. It would be very realistic to try to set up a situation where a machine of each type is working cooperatively with both of the other two on some job. Your very own tiny, multi-platform render farm… it can be done.

What you’re going to see is that all of these machines are, at the very same time, both very similar and very different. Until you actually put yourself into that situation, it’s very hard to describe exactly what I mean. So, make it your business (if you possibly can), to put yourself into that situation. Put any flame-war biases firmly in your pocket, or better yet in the nearest trash; you don’t have time for such nonsense. You have too much to learn.

You can be certain … absolutely certain … that a company which is currently using one type of equipment is never going to “switch,” especially if they are busy on a multi-year CG project. Ditto if they are contractually obliged to make sure that their deliverables will run on client-machines which are of thus-and-such type. Since they are never going to change (and for compelling business reasons… not stubbornness nor ignorance), you must be prepared to adapt. Quickly.

If you possibly can, make this part of your CG self-education. It will serve you well.

finaly, you have said what i could not (bc i failed english) i agree completly

the only reson im a windows guy is bc i dont ever get my hands on a mac and havent ever seen a com runing Luinix so i dont have experience on them

I’m a heavy user of Adobe applications, and there’s absolutly no way I can run this on linux for commercial use because of performance issues, and a lot of problems that come up when it finally has to be distributed for printing for which we use Quark Xpress and Indesign. At home I work on a Windows pc, just because Adobe software runs perfect on it as well I’m able to play games time in time as well trying out cool new software without the issue that it doesn’t run on Mac.

If I work professional at a company, 90% I use a Mac, the reason I don’t use this at home it because Mac’s can’t run loads of games I like to play as well if I want to experiment with things I find on the internet, 80% is only windows compatible. And the benefit of having a Mac instead of a windows pc because of speed and graphics is already out of the world.

Personally I whish I could switch to Linux, the only thing that makes it unable to do it, is the software I use which just can’t be replaced by Gimp, Incskape or Scribus, not because it ain’t good, but because the industry got it’s standards as well people that hire you, and getting a job saying I use IncSkape or Gimp, well that won’t work.

Using a certain OS just depends on what the person wants to do, in my case I’m stuck to Windows and Mac, and if I want to have fun I’m totally stuck with Windows. For me it doesn’t really care on which os I work, as long as I can use the things I want to use, no matter if it’s Mac Windows or Linux.

Yeah, it’s everywhere: you use what you want|need to use, and you buy the computer that runs that. The task drives the software selection, and software drives the hardware purchase, and the operating-system purchase.

Then, that decision, perhaps made many years ago, continues to drive whatever happens next. CG projects can take many years to complete, and during that entire time, change is a four-letter word. So you walk into a haphazard-looking situation with all kinds of stuff running all at the same time, and there looks to be no sense to it but there is.

If you let yourself get used to “just one system,” no matter what kind of system it is, you’ll find yourself swimming upstream for a while. But if you can create the opportunity to work on more than one type of machine, and especially a situation where you try to harness several different types of machines together to do one project … even if you’re strictly doing it in your own dorm-room or whatever … it’s going to be valuable experience.

That’s especially true in CG because CG is one of those places where batch-style processing is used a lot. A large room full of high-powered CPUs all going 100% on all cores, goin’ torch-and-tong 24-by-7, with not a graphics card in sight. You submit your work to the render-farm and it won’t be ready until tomorrow afternoon. Or maybe you have to connect to a machine that doesn’t have a GUI-interface (“a command line requires fewer CPU cycles”). So there you have it. The “Mac vs. PC” arguments, in that context, just become silly.