Mac vs. Windows – Which Is Faster?

April 28, 2016

I hesitated writing this post as all the fanboys will come out of the woodwork and defend their favorite platform. If you want to leave a comment, just keep it factual and clean.

Since the early days, there has been a lot of debate about whether a Mac or a Windows machine (PC) was better. As every user has their unique needs, there is no answer that works for every single person.

As far as pure sales, there are a lot more computers running Windows than there are for MacOS. Some users love Windows and some users detest it. Ditto for MacOS, though I do think Mac users are far more likely to advocate for MacOS. Both flavors of computers crash, though many claim that Windows machines crash more often. My Windows machine rarely crashes. Supposedly Mac users don’t have to worry about viruses and malware. While there are far fewer attacks against Macs, this could give users a false sense of security.

One statement I’ve heard over and over for the past twenty years is “Macs are better for graphics”. There might have been a time this was true, but I’ve never really understood how either machine was better or worse than the other. So when I saw a detailed article on SLR Lounge titled Lightroom Mac vs PC Speed Test, I was very interested in the results.

In short, computers costing approximately $4,000 each were pitted against each other in timed tasks in Adobe Lightroom. Note that the tests were performed by a studio that favors Macs. The following quote from their conclusion sums it up very clearly.

In this Mac vs. PC test, our results showed that the Apple iMac was behind by 35% or more across the board, making the PC the clear victor.

Of course this only measured results in a single software application. I’m not a Adobe Lightroom user so I’d prefer tests that compared software that I use on a regular basis. Part of this is simply bang for the buck. If you build your own custom PC, you can get faster hardware when compared with purchasing a Mac from Apple. You did the work, you can build it cheaper.

I don’t expect that this test will change anyone’s mind. You’ll still choose the platform that you prefer. But if you are a heavy Adobe Lightroom user, you might want to dig a little deeper before making a purchase decision.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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