Switching from Mac to PC – The Journey So Far

If you’d told me twenty years ago that I’d be working on a PC now I’d have fallen off my futon. But a lot has changed. 

From my first iMac in 2001 I’ve been something of a devotee. From iMac to G5 in 2003. Then to MacPro in 2009. And then more MacPros in 2010 and 2012. 

Throughout this time, Mac’s were great. They never crashed. They were virus proof by virtue of the fact that there weren’t enough of them for hackers to bother targeting them, in much the same way SEOs don’t bother with Bing. I still have a couple of Mac Pros from that era, and they still pack a punch. Mac’s it seemed had conquered Moore’s Law. Technology in motion graphics circles didn’t seem to evolve much between 2012 and 2017. 

But then GPU rendering began to infiltrate motion designer circles (or should that be spheres?). Cinema 4D’s native CPU renderer could still get good results, but compared to GPU renderers like Octane & Redshift? It was like going from a film camera to digital. You no longer had to wait for your renders to develop, they would now appear as you were working on them.

Now I’d never describe myself as a laggard, but also, definitely not an early-adopter either. I wasn’t going to give up my Mac without at least 2 years of pretending everything was still fine. I’ve always rendered this way, why would I change to a big ugly PC when I’ve done alright so far on Mac?

And then I got a PC. And not just any PC. I specced it up to the max, throwing as much power into it as I could. Graphics cards that weigh more than my children, RAM that could handle 19 different jobs at once, and little lights on the top that glow all the colours of the rainbow.

I quickly downloaded a trial version of Redshift, and promptly built a hideous scene full of complicated arrays textured with metal and glass. 

Wow. Not only was it quicker than my Mac, it was virtually real time. A render that would have taken several hours before was now fully cooked in under five minutes. What had I been missing all this time? Well, as it turns out, time is what I’d been missing. So many hours wasted waiting for renders. So much time when I could have been doing literally anything else but waiting. On my Macs I was always waiting. Waiting for a render. Waiting for a previs. Waiting for a simulation. It all now flew by. My previous Mac life flashed before my eyes. That night out I’d missed because I had to check the render. That deadline missed because the render messed up. None of this mattered now because I was free. Free from the constraints of ‘rendering’. That one word that created so much pain in my previous life was now a joy. Everything was amazing!

And then it crashed. My Mac never crashed. Why has it crashed? Dammit!

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