General Discussion

Best computer for web development?

Hi Everyone,

I have a question please:

In general, is a Mac computer better for a web developer, in terms of performance, over a normal PC?

I notice a lot people use Mac's and wanted confirmation whether it was due to a Mac's performance, or because of how they look and their brand appeal?

Thanks, Gareth

10 Answers


There's no real performance difference, you should use whatever you feel most comfortable using.

Ok, thanks James. I hoped this was the case but just wanted confirmation.

Thanks, Gareth


For pure web development, check out the Chromebooks, too. I haven't used one myself for any kind of development (and I can't use it for Android dev), but the super affordable price might be worth it if you can get away with web-based dev. Here's an review from a few months ago:

I'm very excited by the Pixel and think this will be a viable option by the time I'm ready for my next computer.

Hi Gareth,

For web development really it doesn't matter what computer you have. Although each system with you are asking a Mac vs a PC you are dealing with two ver different environments. Yes, they functions similar but can be very different (windows vs OSX). Also you have to look at software. What software do you have is it for a pc or a mac.

I have always used a PC up until 5 years ago and I bought my fist Mac and I tell you I will never go back to a PC. Now if I still need to run something in "Windows" I loaded bootcamp onto my Mac and can run my windows app without issues. So yes you can have the best of both worlds.

Think about what you want to do and what you might do. Do you want to get into iOS programming? Then you would need a Mac. Are you trying to save money well with PCs you can get one pretty cheap as there are so many manufacturers out there trying to compete with costs. Which sadly brings down the quality of the machines. Where as Mac has no Mac competition and they build a very High Quality machine.

Hope this helps.


Thanks Ben & Micahyah,for your helpful feedback,

Ben: I checked out that review plus the new Chromebook Pixel and they look fantastic, both quality and price! I will definitely consider this when I upgrade my laptop, thanks.

Micahyah: That is good to hear your feedback, especially as I noticed on the Treehouse mobile developers course that you need an Apple computer to start iOS programming - I wasn't aware of this.

I think for now, I will continue with my PC as it does the job sufficiently and also decide after I've completed the mobile dev course, because then I can determine whether it is iOS or Android dev I want to pursue and thus which computer and/or laptop to buy.

Many thanks for your rapid feedback - absolutely loving the Treehouse experience - nothing like it anywhere else!

Cheers, Gareth

Key things to remember is you want a system that is fast enough to handle any program you throw at it. If you are using Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Indesign etc, you are going to want a strong processor with a good amount of Ram at least 8gigs. You also want your computer to have a strong graphics chip. I personally use a macbook pro and I upgraded some of the components to handle the intensive apps I use but you can get a quality PC that will function just as well. Just remember to review the specs of any machine you consider. 1. You need a good amount of Ram, 8 gigs or more. 2. You need a strong Processor like an Intel 5 or 7 with 2.5ghz or more 3. A big hard drive, 750gig or more 4. Solid Graphics Chip 5. Laptop ( Good Battery Life )

Hope this helps.

Thanks Joel - that's brilliant advice!

I will refer back to this when in the market to upgrade computer.

Many thanks again, I really appreciate it :)


Hey Gareth How are you?

Now I am in the same situation, I would like to buy a new computer but I don't know which one (Mac or Pc)

What did you choose? How is the performance of your computer?


Hi Darwin,

I'm good thanks and hope you are too.

I haven't progressed from this thread, in other words - I am still using my old Dell laptop! Not good!

However, when I do go to purchase a proper desktop machine, I think I will opt for a Windows PC. My reason is that I am simply used to it and it is significantly cheaper. I wouldn't mind trying a Mac one day but only when I've got the spare cash.

I should add that my old work PC (HP), which was a high spec one at the time, was very good and more than adequate for my needs. I guess it comes down to your budget and taste.

Hope this helps, Gareth

I did my own research and I came to the same conclusion, With around $1,300 I can get a better computer.

Thanks for replaying.

No probs Darwin, glad to help.

All the best, Gareth

Would you all say the processor in a MacBook Air is good enough for web development? The processors say 1.3 or 1.7 with "turbo boost" of up to 2.6 or 3.3, but I'm not entirely sure what the turbo boost means.