Ask DN: Migrating from Mac to PC?

over 7 years ago from , Designer @VTEX Lab — http://muniz.nu

Yeah I've been thinking about that for one main reason: price. If you think Apple products are expensive in the US or Europe, just wait until you know the prices here in Brazil. Sure Apple's ecosystem is very good for us designers but I really don't want to expend ~$3,300 (R$12,5k) on an entry-level Macbook Pro.

Today I do all my work on a Macbook Pro Retina from my full time job and I would love to stick with that for my personal setup, but it's prohibitive. I was wondering if some Windows users would like to share one word or two about their setup (especially Software) to design (UI and UX stuff) with a PC.

Also not sure if a hackintosh worth the effort. What do you think?


  • Kyle RoseKyle Rose, over 7 years ago

    Definitely look into a hackintosh. I built one a long time ago and it was a project, but compatibility is much better these days. Can't beat the price / performance and still able to run OSX and windows.

    8 points
  • Ed AdamsEd Adams, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    If you want to switch to Windows for design work, you absolutely can do that. I do a lot of my design work on Windows and while I'm sure some Apple suck-ups would have you believe that you need Mac OS X for design and development, that simply is not true.

    The only thing that could be a deal breaker is that we Windows users do not have Sketch, but that's the only downside. If you don't use Sketch, you'll be absolutely fine running a standard Windows 7 or 10 (do not get Windows 8) install with Adobe Creative Cloud and whatever web apps we use.

    Having tried to set up a Hackintosh before, I personally was not satisfied with the reliability and the way everything seemed like more work than it was worth. If this computer will be where you do your job from, I would strongly advise that you do not go down that route for that reason. It's also against the Mac OS X EULA, which a professional should be concerned about.

    7 points
    • Sam MularczykSam Mularczyk, over 7 years ago

      Windows 8 works absolutely fine for me. Not a dealbreaker if thats the only option. But 10 is by far preferable, and an 8 license will come with a free upgrade to 10 anyway.

      3 points
      • Ed AdamsEd Adams, over 7 years ago

        What I more meant to say was that he shouldn't stick to Windows 8 and should take the Win 10 upgrade. I'm on 7 on my main machine and am holding out from upgrading to 10 for as long as possible (aka forever).

        1 point
  • Matheus PereiraMatheus Pereira, over 7 years ago

    Perhaps people outside Brazil do not understand the cost-of an Apple product here.

    In terms of numbers, a 5k basic iMac costs here R$ 16.999 (US$ 4.485) or the equivalent of almost 22x the monthly minimum payment a worker. The same product is priced at US$ 1.099 + rates in the United States.

    Hackintosh here is not just a matter of activism or ideology, but for many the most viable choice.

    5 points
  • Michal CMichal C, over 7 years ago

    Hey, I was in your shoes couple of years ago. Had a MBP from work but at home I had a dying Dell Latitude. I knew I need an upgrade and was flirting with PC so turned it into a Hackintosh just to try. Even though my HW had a very high compatibility, the overall experience just didn't come even close to a real Mac environment. It was terrible and unreliable.

    In the end I got myself a Mac Mini for home back then and couldn't be happier with my decision until this day.

    If I was in that situation today, I'd probably just buy a refurb or an older MBP and up the RAM and swap the HDD for SSD. This way you could save up to 50% on the price whilst still have high performance and comfortable environment.

    5 points
  • Jeremy StewartJeremy Stewart, over 7 years ago

    ShopTalk Show started a series recently where co-host Dave Rupert uses Windows for a year. The show topics and his everyday work are mostly front end web development, but so far there have been some useful tidbits that might apply to what you do.

    Unfortunately you have to listen to the other host, Chris Coyier, interrupting Dave a lot, but it's worth it to hear Dave's thoughts so far.

    3 points
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    As far as I know, hackintosh is a complicated mess, so make sure to check the components you buy actually work with it, and what the latest OSX version available is.

    However, I do not think it is worth it. Unless you need Sketch, most of the software you'll need is available on Windows and W10 is pretty great (definitely better than OSX running on non Apple hardware).

    2 points
  • Miguel Solorio, over 7 years ago

    Here's my PC setup of my most used apps:

    • Adobe Creative Suite (Design)
    • Office 2016 (Docs/Email/IM)
    • Dropbox (File System)
    • Brackets/Sublime Text (Text Editor)
    • Cygwin (linux terminal)
    • Github Desktop (project repo)

    Besides not being able to use Sketch and Framer.js (at least natively), there really isn't any reason why you can't switch over to Windows to design. I recently switched over to a MBP a few months ago and have been thinking about going back to my PC simply because I feel more efficient on it. There are only a few things I miss that is only supported on OSX but you can probably find an alternative online. Hope that helps.

    2 points
  • Elliott ReganElliott Regan, over 7 years ago

    The main thing is that you'll be stuck in Adobe World. If that doesn't suck for you, go for it! Apple's Pro hardware really isn't updated enough anymore to be competitive, and Windows hardware is getting really good. (the current MBP is basically the same as the MBP from 2 years ago).

    Use Dropbox or something similar for File Transfers, and web-based tools for other stuff. Moqups.com is great for mockups, and is cross platform.

    2 points
  • Hernán SartorioHernán Sartorio, over 7 years ago

    +1 on a hackintosh.

    I use one as my main station and can attest that even if it's a bit hard to get working initially it's way more stable than Windows. And of course a lot cheaper than buying a Mac with the equivalent specs, even more if you're in Brazil (I'm from Uruguay).

    Just make sure to buy the recommended parts. Look on tonymacx86.com.

    2 points
  • Dan DiGangiDan DiGangi, over 7 years ago

    Have you considered finding a friend to buy you one in the US and ship it to you? A lot of foreign car enthusiasts do that here.

    2 points
  • Surjith S MSurjith S M, over 7 years ago

    Do it sir. You won't regret :)

    But may be your cursor will go to left side to close /minimize the window for few days :)

    Except sketch, everything will work fine.

    1 point
  • Matheus PereiraMatheus Pereira, over 7 years ago

    I am also of Brazil and have a joint working between programming and design, and for me the Hackintosh was the only viable exit.

    I may be biased in saying (Hackintosh use since the transition to Intel chips) but do not see myself doing different. Long gain in this relationship, especially today where the community is widespread and the compatibility list is huge making almost perfect experience.

    I have a MacMini and a MacBook Air, but none of them give me a cost benefit as high.

    Not to mention the values, performance, upgrades ...

    Of course to reach that level had to learn a lot alone, but with so much information disseminated today, you can go through it smoothly.

    As the conditions of illegality ... well, ** YES, the practice is not consistent with the terms of the Software, especially if you are in the US **, but since you are not a big company or selling computers with OS X .. .do not worry.

    I remember an iconic moment in 2001 that the own Steve Jobs demonstrated the OS in the Vaio notebook. A few years earlier he said: "It's better to be a pirate than join the navy."

    Image alt

    1 point
  • Jessica GrisctiJessica Griscti, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    I was a PC diehard up until 8 months ago. The reason I switched to Mac was the hardware is infinitely better. That said, the price markup on a Mac is awful, I agree.

    If you can run all of your software off a PC, there's really not much of a reason to Hackintosh, which is easier than it used to be, sure, but can be a nightmare if you don't have the correct hardware set up. There's a list floating around somewhere of PC laptops that are good to Hackintosh, but no matter what you do, you'll end up having to accept that certain things don't work. Last time I made one, it couldn't full screen video-playing applications, for example.

    The only reason I'd never switch back to PC is the trackpad on my MBP. However, price being as objectionable as it is in Brazil, the only PC laptop I've ever used that holds a candle to Macbook quality is the Asus Zenbook line. High resolution displays, smooth trackpads, and they're thin, light and often have a lot better specs than my Macbook for a fraction of the price.

    1 point
  • Ali Salem, over 7 years ago

    See if the apps you use have alternatives on Windows that satisfy your needs. It's all about an ecosystem that works for you.

    For UI/UX work, most of the apps are cross-platform. So Adobe CC, Axure, Sublime, etc. all run fine (better in some cases).

    One thing you may wanna keep in mind is that it's hard to find a better display than the MB's retina. And even if you do, Windows 10 doesn't treat Hi-DPI as good as OS X does.

    1 point
  • Account deleted over 7 years ago

    If you are satisfied with your Mac, than stick to a Mac. Although there is a difference in price; you are sure you will a buy a machine that fits your needs for the coming years. And if the price point is a big issue, than go and see if there is an option to save on other costs to compensate the purchase price.

    1 point
  • Marek LMarek L, over 7 years ago

    Go for a PC. I use Adobe Suite (ordered by time of usage: Fireworks, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign) on my Acer Nitro V15 laptop with i7 QuadCore, 16GB RAM, SSD+HDD (2 separate drives), nVidia GF 860M and FHD IPS screen (15", 2kg). I paid 1000 € for it + 50 € for 3 year on-site repairs. Laptop flies like devil with Windows 10 (which was a free upgrade from 8.1).

    1 point
  • Moma VujisicMoma Vujisic, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    As many have said here, I would highly recommend giving a Hackintosh a try. I've been running one for the better part of the last 5 years without issue. As long as you pick from a (pretty wide) list of tested compatible hardware, your experience will basically be that of running a native Mac for a fraction of the price. Updates are a non-issue (see my image).

    Check out Tonymac's website and community.

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, over 7 years ago

    I asked this in my company, and all the IT guys said no. Mainly because any update will break your computer, that's why they said. My other friend, who's a Mac enthusiast, made himself a nice hackintosh but had the same problemas. I don't know you have something to share, your experience. I am about to go for a Mac Pro with 2 monitors, and I am thinking in a hakintosh too.

    0 points