Which Computer do I get?

I use a vinyl cutter with my business and I am excited about what the Glowforge will add to everything I do. I need to upgrade my vinyl machine and software, so now I am thinking about my computer also. I want to make some decisions before my Glowforge arrives and any input would be helpful. So Mac or PC? What do you like about how your glowforge works with your system?

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Gf is web based and the design tools are mostly agnostic. Really depends on what else you want to do and budget even entry systems would be good enough. You will get substantially more performance for your dollar if you keep it windows


there’s a lot that goes into the value of a computer besides specs, and at the very high end, the mac is absolutely at par in terms of cost.

that’s all i’ll say though because these discussions are worse than religion and i have zero interest in that.


We use both Windows and Mac extensively at the office - both will work well for your Glowforge. If you do use Windows, make sure you’re using Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge as your browser - the much older Internet Explorer 11 is not supported.


This raises an interesting question:
How about Chrome on Linux?


What @Clone said. Your new vinyl cutter may make the decision for you.
If I was looking I’d look for a decent gaming pc as most everything of mine starts in Fusion 360.

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We use it internally, although not as much as other platforms - shouldn’t give you any problems.


In your shoes I would get the computer on which most of the software you already own or want to own runs on. In my experience that is a lot more important than which platform, and it can be very costly to buy a bunch of new software for a new platform.


Great news, thanks!

Chrome should be essentially the same across all platforms. (Aside from iOS where it’s really just a reskinned Safari, due to Apple’s App Store restrictions.)

yeah I found that out. I thought it was my Surface wasn’t supported :smile: Reported it and moved back to Chrome (only used IE because I’d only have one of those windows open vs 20 Chrome tabs so it was easy to find the GFUI).

Both Chrome and Firefox on Ubuntu work super. Since I use Inkscape mostly for design, I like that I can run it on anything easily. I also like keeping my Ubuntu computers handy because it is just so easy to use the command line for loading different programming languages that come up. OpenScad and Processing work great, although I have these on my Windows computers. It is just easier all around for loading and unloading software. Why I chose to learn OnShape was because I wanted it available in all my computers.

As to the orginal question: since my office computer is Windows 10, and I lug that home on weekends for design work. I decided to stick with Windows for being able to keep my software. Inkscape and GIMP work fine on Windows so I’m ok with that.

I recently got a Microsoft Surface Book to take to BAMF and it really is a super laptop.

Lots of good advice so far. I’d focus on what you want to design with more than anything. The GFUI works fine with whatever OS you pick as long as you have an updated mainstream browser.


I am updating the software for the vinyl cutter… and they offer both PC or Mac so that is why I posed my question. I have had both and I like the ease of the Mac for most things but I have done my designing in the vinyl cutting software. I have both Illustrator and Photoshop, but I am not super comfortable with either.

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Great question @wsteeneck! My GF will be in the garage and I am pondering

  1. Using my iPhone6
  2. Buying a low end android pad
  3. Buying a high end PC to also do other computing tasks.

Any info from people using an iPhone or low end android pad would be helpful to me!!!

I tried using my phone (6.4") screen to see if I could use it in a pinch. While it is possible, for me it is far from ideal. It is hard to precisely size and move the files you upload. I would say for me, a large tablet would be a minimum. My go-to has been my workstation with large monitors.


D’accord. Phone screens are too small for use as a primary device. I have large & small tablets, but my preferred device is a laptop. Whichever OS you prefer, the UI doesn’t care.


Yep, have to agree with the others here. I have an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and I still prefer to use a computer.


I’ve got a two year old chrome box connected to a 22 inch monitor that I’m planning to use in my garage for final setup and job starts. I’ll do all the designing in the house on the nice computer


That’s exactly my same scenario. My iPad +pencil are right in the same room with the laser, but I still prefer setting stuff up on my iMac a couple of rooms away…and doing all my designing on my desktop, as well. The bigger screen real estate makes things so much easier.

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Should be, but edge cases exist. OnShape and mySketchup (the html5 version) both have had issues from time to time.