Motion Designers - Untold reasons working on a PC is faster than a Mac - Here's why...

As a designer, for many years I've used a PC Workstation (running Windows) for motion graphics and video editing. This was almost entirely down to the cost and upgrading of a super powerful PC vs a super powerful Mac. (There's always a budget).s a designer, for many years I've used a PC Workstation (running Windows) for motion graphics and video editing. This was almost entirely down to the cost and upgrading of a super powerful PC vs a super powerful Mac. (There's always a budget).


I used to get stick for jokingly mocking designers who fan boy/girl loving their Macs – and now I’ve been using one for a while, I still don’t entirely get it.

Sure, they look nicer than the usual box PC under your desk that you can’t see, and sure, their keyboards are lovely and their screens are gorgeous (thanks Samsung who make em)… but the mouse… and the O/S… I mean, how many keyboard shortcuts can you use, Command (whatever that means), Control, Shift, E, pull your trouser leg up and lick the keyboard…come on.

Here are some reasons I think a PC is faster to work on for motion graphic designers than a Mac (excluding hardware)

Not finding last file you worked on quickly – ‘Recent’ in Mac O/S doesn’t seem to work often. Recent what? It rarely shows the path I was in when using InDesign when I jump into After Effects. Click…click.. click down the server path.

Windows lets you cut and paste paths to files as well as showing files from OTHER applications in recently used. The cut and paste of paths is WAY faster than browsing.

  • No easy cut and paste – yet another keyboard shortcut to remember. Copy and paste, no issue, cut and paste – well that’s special and needs you take take your hands off your mouse again for another keyboard shortcut.

Windows has this copy and paste, cut and paste everywhere. WOW!

  • Function keys (F keys) need turning off many programs. To use After Effects properly I have to turn off the default Apple Function keys.

Function Keys work fine all the time on a PC. Not tinkering with the O/S.

  • I can’t copy and paste files when browsing within the software from one folder to another. When I look to open a file I can’t copy and paste any file from anywhere.

Windows lets you copy and paste / cut a file from any file manager view. It’s difficult to explain but it saves a ton of time when you are moving files around or wanting to make a copy without having to go all the way back to the file manager.

  • Distracting backgrounds behind software windows. It’s difficult to focus on an application when you have another still showing behind it.

Windows is cleaner – You don’t get transparent applications interfering with each other as they overlay on top of each other with transparent backgrounds (unless YOU want them) AND you get multiple desktops still.

  • Some software won’t let you install it on a second drive. It HAS to be the main drive.

You can install software on Windows where you want and not fill up the main drive.

  • Can’t delete files with keyboard or right click – I just want to delete with a single keystroke. Not drag into a bin.

Windows lets you delete a file anywhere – just right click it or left click and press delete

  • Mac O/S overuse of keyboard shortcuts – seriously, what’s wrong with a right click on a mouse. I have to let my hand off my mouse LOTS more on a Mac than a PC. It all adds up.

It took me about 5 minutes to get used to a couple of new keyboard shortcuts in After Effects – and that was it. BUT way fewer keyboard shortcuts on going.

I think most designers that are in love with their Macs have never used Windows for any period of time, and yes, the file manager isn’t as pretty and the icons aren’t as big but a PC can be far faster to work on and once your in the software, I mean After Effects is After Effects, Mac O/S or PC O/S.

Oh, and don’t even GET ME STARTED on performance of PC vs Mac with After Effects at the moment –


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Leigh Dowding

I’m a UK based motion graphics and presentation designer. I’ve been a graphic designer for for over 20 years working fore Bluechip corporates, live events and brand communications agencies. 

I’ve learnt to be efficient while remaining creative and always delivering. I am based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire but frequently work in London and for other clients across the UK on-site or remotely.

I’ve worked with brands such as Roche, RBS, BP, NS&I, NBC Universal, Capita, Centrica, Nike, Nissan, Rightmove, Misys, Douwe Egberts, Vodafone, British Gas, Gas Safe, ASOS, Ofgem, Marks & Spencer,  OU, Logica,  GE Healthcare, Nest, G4S, Canonical, Avanade, GTR and more.