Windows 10 Potential Mac switch to W10 issues?


Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
USA - upper left
I'm a longtime Mac user (since 1992) who is increasingly concerned that Apple's emphasis on iGadgets, form over function hardware, and an ever more simplified OS (making OSX more and more IOS-like) is going to make it harder and more expensive for me to continue using Macs in my work as a graphic designer/illustrator in a small, home-office studio.

That was long sentence. Sorry.

I'm giving some thought to switching to Windows, eventually. It's not a definite at this point, but I'm exploring the potential benefits and costs that would be associated with such a move. If I were to make the move sooner rather than later, I would try to do it running Windows on my Mac Pro (5,1) via Parallels, which would obviously save me in hardware costs, though I'm certainly interested to hear of anyone's experiences (good or bad) doing Windows on a Mac.

Aside from the obvious software costs like Windows versions of Adobe CC, Corel Painter, and a few 3D and productivity applications, are there any MUST HAVES (security, productivity, etc.) to make the transition from OSX to Windows?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  • An intel i3 chip is the minimum bar… you could go up to an i7 chip but avoid the i5 because multitasking (how many threads) is the most important consideration here.
  • Ram = the more the better. Modern windows (8 and above) transfers pretty much everything running at the time into your ram and runs it from there… illustrator, Muse & photoshop all are happy to suck up as much as ¾ of your system ram then turn that resource into faster rendor times and smother operation.
I personally run my Asus i3 laptop with 12 g of ram and would be happy to up that a bit for some of my projects… ultimately the chip will determine the age of your machine and that will dictate how much ram and what g-card you end up with.
  • g-card = not as important as chip or ram but ime intel is the only serious option… I’m sorry but when it comes to design work intel has a clear advantage because they are in bed with Microsoft. Don’t use the default Microsoft drivers for any G-card but always go to the card site i.e, intel and get your drivers from there.
Mac Parallels; what’s the point? If you already have your Adobe software running on a mac machine then setting up Parallels to run Windows adds nothing new… windows is a cheap operating system designed to run on cheap hardware… I would suggest grabbing an i3 laptop then putting Windows * 8.1 on it and test how Adobe performs against your mac for various tasks.

* windows 8 is the fastest system currently supported but the end of life deadline is looming so I wouldn’t recommend this for the scenario even thou it is my personal choice of system.
* Windows 10 is currently buggy and slow so I don’t recommend it… Microsoft should get it sorted in a year or so but they just haven’t got their act together yet.
* Windows 8.1 pro is a solid system with plenty of life still on the timeline, a free hyper-v (the windows version of Parallels) included in the pro copy, and better driver support than is available for the other two… you still get the option to install Windows 10 later.

Software Must haves;
  • Backup software that can boot from the images it makes. I personally use Acronis but there are cheaper/ free options that can perform the task well however don’t use the default Windows backup options… they are less than worthless.
  • You are spoiled for choice when it comes to 3rd party security, Avast, Avg or even the default windows defender can cover you with an extra malware option run over the system once a month to tidy up the Klingons… if this laptop travels around to different companies then I would increase the malware scan to once a week or obviously any time you suspect an issue.
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Thanks, ussnorway for the thorough response.

I'm a long way from needing any new hardware. Right now I'm running a 2010 Mac Pro with Dual 6-core Xeons (3.46Ghz / X5690) with 64GB RAM. This is a fairly strong setup and should last a few years. That's why my goal would be to transition to Windows via Parallels emulation software so I'd still have access to the Mac side until I'm ready to remove the training wheels.

Also, when I do get a new system, it will be strictly desktop only. Not interested in mobile computing as I do all my work in my home office.

I had some suspicions about the stability of W10, so I'm glad to hear 8.1 Pro is solid. I'd definitely want the most options I can get. That's one thing that is confusing coming from the Apple side: so many versions of the operating system are available. I suppose since I'm using it for work I'd want all the features/speed of the business version, but wading through all the marketing speak is difficult.

Thanks also for the advice on backup software and security. Definitely the type of information I was looking for.

- Steve
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