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View Full Version : Thinking of switching--back to a PC . . .


macktheknife
Apr 10, 2003, 11:49 AM
Note: I'm posting this thread in the "Switch Stories" forum because it is part of my own switch story.

I became a switcher in January of 2002 when I eBay'ed my P3 800 MHz Dell Inspiron laptop and bought a 550 MHz TiBook. I still use PCs on a regular basis at work (a junky P2 400 MHz Compaq beige box) and home (a recently self-built Athlon 1800 XP PC). I have generally been happy with my decision to switch. OS X is a generally stable OS, the tight hardware-software integration makes "Plug and Play" a standard reality on Macs, and the TiBook's design is second to none.

So why am I thinking of switching back?

To me, it has boiled down to performance and price. I can't deny that my old Dell laptop was faster than my TiBook in almost every respect: start up, processing, etc. That my self-built computer blows away my TiBook goes without saying, but I cannot deny (to my disappointment) that my junky Compaq at work outperforms my TiBook in my tasks as well. Jaguar improved my TiBook's performance, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. I have tried to clean out my Mac's useless startup files, etc., but no significant improvement in performance either. I am not a computer genius, but I am not a clueless dummy either--I've built my own computer and I am a Sun Certified Java Programmer. Yes, I am fully aware of the "Megahertz Myth," but I think Apple and Mac fanatics have carried this arguement too far.

In the past few days, I've been looking online to look at alternative PC laptops that would be as light as my TiBook and still have acceptable performance. Here is a sample of what I have found:

Sony VAIO PCG-GRZ660 Notebook (2.4 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, 40 GB Hard Drive) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000083GMF/qid=1049991752/br=1-1/ref=br_lf_pc_1//104-0842854-0011923?v=glance&s=pc&n=768892)

Gateway 450 Series Notebook (1.8 GHz-M Pentium 4, 256 MB RAM, 30GB hard drive) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00007EMNZ/qid=1049991756/br=1-1/ref=br_lf_pc_1//104-0842854-0011923?v=glance&s=pc&n=720586)

Inspiron 600m Notebook (http://www.dell.com/us/en/dhs/offers/specials_m_inspn600m.htm)

Inspiron 8500 Notebook (http://www.dell.com/us/en/dhs/offers/specials_m_inspn8500.htm) This one is a bit on the heavy and expensive side, but I've included it for comparative purpose.

Now none of these computers have specs that are 100% similar to the current TiBook models (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/71302/wo/hC5uaYZIgERo2eAPCZxUHiewMVr/0.3.0.3.27.33.0.0.1.0.3.1.1.0?107,91). Some have bigger/smaller screens, more/less RAM, bigger/smaller video card, etc. The current 15-inch TiBook models range from $2,299.00 to $2,799.00. The PC laptop models I have looked at are cheaper, and their processor speeds range anywhere from 1.3 GHz to 2.4 GHz.

If we assume that the PC models are faster (and I know that they are, Megahertz Myth or not), then anyone buying an Apple PowerBook is basically paying a premium for OS X and the design.

At this point, I'm not 100% sure I want to do this when I buy my new laptop this summer. I use many different flavors of Windows and PCs, and a few quirks aside, I really don't feel that OS X is all that much better than Windows, not to mention that the latter feels much faster. I use both OS'es on a regular basis, so this forms my observation. There's a 60% chance that I will stick with a TiBook, and a 40% that I will go back. Thus, while it is likely that I will stick with Apple, there is a strong chance that I will not.

I am looking for Macusers who use both OS X and Windows on a regular basis to weigh in on this. The experiences and observations of recent switchers are welcomed too. I like my TiBook, and I want to give Apple a chance at my money. However, I cannot deny that I am less than 100% satisfied with my Apple experience and that I am having second thoughts about my switch.

Grokgod
Apr 10, 2003, 12:30 PM
I can certainly understand all your gripes and needs. I have found myself in this postion many times.

For background, I work with universities and various people that use Pcheeses predominately.
they always hate them and wish for soemthing else but balk at the prices and fears of MAC's

I call them Pcheese's because of all the holes.

SO , i do use both systems and have experience is fixing and working with both extensively.

I had a tower that I was finally able to happily, sell! in my attempt to go all MAC , as soon as the PM's improve in the cost/performance ratio.

Here are my AB and C's.

I am an artist and have NEVER been more productive and contented with a computer than with my 800 Ti book.

Is it slower than a Pcheese, yes it is.
Do I care? Yes! Will i switch NO!
I cannot think of returning to WIndows after working on so many cheap units that people use to check their emails.

I fix computers, parttime.

I find Windows fast but sad and ugly.
All the time that i saved by not having to fix it with drivers has been translated to actual contented productive work!

I hate the HOT and HEated, wind blowing, fan churning INTEL's and AMD's painful to even boot!

Often I am forced to use Pcheese's and it is always a poor experience and reaffirms my faith in APPLE and the need to support them in a world where computers are of such import!

I think that what you need a new AluBook.
Your on a 500 Ti and I can understand your frustration with that unit and gulp at the thought of having to work on that CPU from the dark ages, not that 800 is all that, compared to a 2.4 that can sling WINDOWS against the crash wall in a millisecond.

I think that since you already have a tower of cheese. Your best bet is to feel the experience of a newer Alubook or 1 gig Tibook.

Under NO conditions are you too switchback!
You will regret it,.. save your pennies and get a new PowerBook!

foniks2020
Apr 10, 2003, 12:39 PM
I don't know what kind of work you do but for me speed does NOT equal performance. Consistency and effective utilities do.

I've found in my experience with both XP/2000 and OS X that it isn't the speed or the commercial software which determine how much work I can get done. Commercial software typically gives you what you expect and the hardware speed is relative to 3 months ago.... could you really get THAT MUCH more work done 3 months from now with the latest hardware? Maybe if you are rendering video or editing very large graphics, otherwise you the human are probably the bottleneck.

Even when typing, unless you are copying something hand-written, you most likely take a few seconds at a time to compose before typing. Much slower than the slowest PC (Win or Mac). If you can type so damn fast and always know what you're going to type then how did you ever suffer through the last ten years?

So to go back to consistency and utilities:

My mac is really really great about networking... plug it into the network and blam, you're on. walk into a Starbucks and whizz-bang you're wireless... no worries, no problems, no hassle.

My mac never has a virus, and doesn't even have to run nightly freakin' antivirus checks... once a week will do for me just fine thank you (mostly out of curiousity). It also has a real firewall that just works and won't block 'essential' services to the OS but will provide perfect security for my system.

My mac has a real shell which i can find an unlimited amount of support for if I choose to use UNIX for doing maintenance or remote administation, etc.

My mac has an awesome battery time and when I put it to sleep to conserve it wakes up instantly... doesn't take 5 minutes to 'log in' again like XP does.

My mac supports many methods of scripting and development out of the box. No special installs no reconfiguring... just start coding.

My mac can share information securely via several methods. It can also share info to the public if I so choose. Each method of sharing is explicit and behaves the way it is supposed to and there is very little configuration involved to get basic functionality.

My mac recognizes the printer every time, no having to do the Add/Remove printer dance... and as long as a driver is available it will recognize any printer which is plugged in every time and use it every time. I can't tell you how many times I had to mess with the settings on an XP box to get it to recognize and actually print to the printer... in fact it ends up that XP needed 'two' printers, one to pretend was working and the other to actually send the print jobs to.

My mac makes PDF files out of any document from any program, flawlessly or close enough. So very useful for saving information in a perfect format.

This has been a small sample of the things my Mac can do. I'll simply say that Windows doesn't do these things anywhere near as reliably or effectively.

The end result is that with my mac I can ALWAYS just sit down and start working and when I'm done I have a product I can print or share immediately.

On Windows boxes I have regularly had to begin a work session by playing with control panels, various settings and checking to see if my network was really working and if not why, then often I'd have to restart or the system would crash in the middle of something... and finally when I had a final product I would foten have to take a zip disk to kinkos to get it on to paper or to e-mail it to someone because my system wasn't playing nice... for whatever reason.

So to summarize, it really has never been the speed of the CPU that keeps me from getting work done, I got it done with 100 mhz, I can get it done with 1 ghz. It has always been the utilities that I count on to transisition the work work from me to the next person in line that takes the most time... that and blue screens ;-p though Apple hasn't always had the most stable OS either.

So I'd advise you to think about the peripheral activities which directly impact how much work you get done and do your comparison there. Speed != Performance.

bousozoku
Apr 10, 2003, 02:10 PM
I recently used a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 with 1.25GB RAM at work every day for about a month. It replaced a 400 MHz Pentium III. I have a dual G4/800 MHz with 1.5GB RAM at home.

I am constantly impressed with the responsiveness of WinXP on one of these fast machines, although MS' intellisense gets in the way and slows things way down from time to time. I see Apple as having a long way to go to make the GUI part of their operating system fast.

In day to day use of similar products, the Mac versions don't get in my way--they just work. Inconsistency is still a problem with Windows. I am still finding applications on Windows where I don't know what the shortcut keystrokes are for copy and paste. Is copy control-del, shift-del, or control-c? That's one of the reasons I started to use a GUI anyway.

Operationally, I sometimes need to move a Zip drive or other portable device from one machine to another. Windows wants me to call an administrator to validate that I can add such a device, even if I've used it previously and unplugged it. Mac OS X lets it work.

Yes, my machine is slower, but I get more done, more quickly.

maradong
Apr 10, 2003, 03:10 PM
You certainly got something why you want to switch back, and all those points of your article seem clear to me.
But let me just add, that when you use an x86 archi use linux instead of windows, its much " snappier" faster, better looking and so on. After some time of messing up with the system , not knowing exactly how to do what you want to do, you will certainly like it.
my 0.02$

macktheknife
Apr 10, 2003, 03:38 PM
I think most of the opinions I've read are pretty fair. It is indeed easier to adjust network settings on OS X (I'm reminded of this everytime I plug my TiBook into our office's all-Windows network while my co-workers' laptops can't even get the Internet) and hardware recognition on OS X is second to none.

While it is indeed true that Apple's support for open source software makes running Apache, etc. on OS X a snap, it is hardly difficult to install and run Apache, PHP, MySQL, Java (SDK and J2EE), etc. on a PC. I've installed them all easily on my PC at home, so I know it's not very difficult.

I typically have many programs running while I work (both on a PC and a Mac): Excel for spreadsheet modeling or Word for word processing, an Internet browser (Safari on OS X and IE on Windows), and an Internet chat program. Running all three programs brings my TiBook to its knees (metaphorically speaking) and the fan suddenly kicks in with its humming whirl. It's been much better with Jaguar, but it's still a recurring issue. Add iTunes to this mix when I want to listen to some music and multitasking slows to a crawl. Let's not even bring up OS X's glacially slow Help menus. :rolleyes: I can do all this on my PC at work (the junky Compaq box) and open a few more programs (Acrobat and Lotus Notes) without any noticeable slowdown. Yes, indeed, performance does not necessarily equal speed, but it is an important facet.

I suppose if one's line of work requires Unix or Linux then OS X is the way to go. I'm a finance consultant and economics researcher who mainly uses Excel and VBA for modeling and JBuilder for some programming on the side. Thus, I mainly live and work in a Windows world.

I see both sides of the arguement. I really do. I know that OS X has many great features that simplifies computing and that my TiBook's design (the look, the features, etc.) generally make my computing experience pleasant. I have tried many things to improve my TiBooks's speed (repair disk permissions, clean up useless startup files, etc.). However, I cannot deny that work is much slower on my TiBook, and that I find myself being more deliberate in opening programs to avoid any significant slowdowns.

Thanks for all the input. :)

maxvamp
Apr 10, 2003, 04:08 PM
I am a switcher of two years, and believe it or not, I have a TiBook exactly like yours, and I to also use Office, and other things all at once on the TiBook. Also, like you, I have a home grown PC, a AMD 2600 WAAAAYYYYYYY overclocked.

I would be curious to find out how much memory you have in your TiBook, as the only time I have seen what you describe is when I have run out of memory. The OSX swap file shows no mercy, and your machine drops to crawl when the memory is all gone.
When I upgraded memory, I found with OSX that my system performs much like a Athlon 1.2 I use at work, and better yet, I have a PowerMac, that, as far as productivity, remains as productive as the 2600++++ .

I am not suggesting that the Macs can keep up in pure hardware muscle, but I constantly find XP getting in the way. If it isn't software updates every week or so ( or more ) it is the very legitimate fear that if I install a new app on Windows, will something break. A recent example of this is that I tried Roxio 6 on my PC, and now, when I reboot, if I have a movie DVD in my FireWire connected DVR-105 Pioneer burner, the system basically blue screens. Uninstalling Roxio did not help.

The biggest reason I switched, is that I was tired of the fears of installing apps, and MS updates that broke things. Only now is old application compatability becoming an issue. If you decide to go back, remeber that the criteria should not be speed of the machines, but the productivity of your work. In your Laptop's case, I would say you might have a resource issue with the TiBook.

BTW: On my macs, I write code, and work with video via FCP and DVD Studio, I cannot afford to have apps and projects stop working for nebulus reasons. I

Max

bousozoku
Apr 10, 2003, 05:05 PM
macktheknife:

I would suggest to you one thing to up your performance: a 5400 rpm disk drive with high volume read capabilities. I think it will change your opinion of your PB immensely.

There are many things that affect Mac OS X performance, but mainly it's the lovely liquid effects and virtual memory. We can't fix the liquid effects, but a faster hard drive will improve performance quite a lot.

Roger1
Apr 10, 2003, 05:58 PM
Hey there
I use both a tibook (1st gen) 500 MHz, 512 MB ram, and an HP Omnibook xe3, 700 MHZ (I think). I need both, because I troubleshoot both pc's and macs at work. The pc is running Win2000 and linux. Although my pc laptop is a very nice machine, my tibook is my main machine, because it is easier to use. Hands down, it beats my pc in networking. I go from building to building, so this is important to me,because the ip ranges are different in each building. We have a lot of airports where I work, so, with built in wireless, it makes life easier.

If your not happy with the mac, maybe a ram boost will help. Even with 512MB, sometime I think it can use a little more.

I have played with newer versions of the tibook, and they are really nice. They are definately faster, and since you are thinking of switching, maybe getting a newer, used tibook.

Oh, if you get a pc, laptop, try to get an HP, Omnibook, if they make them. They are very nice machines, with decent battery life.

BTW, I was a pc person before I started working in a primarily mac using school district. After working on both, I think the mac is much better.

cb911
Apr 10, 2003, 06:57 PM
i'm facing a similar situation as well. i got a 667 TiBook (Rev. C) with 768MB RAM when they were just released at the beginning of last year, and now i have to sell the TiBook cause i need the cash, and it's getting a bit old...

i'm thinking of getting a desktop PC just for the meantime, until i can get a new TiBook, and also just so i can play Enter The Matrix!!:D

i also have a Celeron 1.1GHz running WinXP, and although it's my brother's i use it occasionally, mostly for non-Mac games - C&C Generals, Freelancer etc. but when it comes to doing work on a PC (i'm a design, multimedia student) it's nowhere near as enjoyable and i find that the PC turns what i love into a rather boring task. i love my TiBook, OS X is just so much nicer to use. if i didn't have the cash problems i would gladly hold onto my TiBook, and wait for a while until probably a 1.5GHz PowerBook is released.

but at the moment, especially considering the current world economic situation, it just seems like Apple value for money isn't there anymore. i mean, the PowerBooks were never a real bargain, but i guess this has to do with the ageing of the G4. as soon as Apple gets new processors in the PowerMacs and PowerBooks the situation of value for money will probably pick up.

so i too am switching back to PC... and hopefully i will return when Apple fixes the PowerBooks and PowerMacs.:)

macktheknife
Apr 11, 2003, 01:21 AM
Thanks for the replies from everyone. :) While I could probably swap the hard drive and/or add more RAM (I currently have 512 MB), I think I would be falling into the sunk cost fallacy. I've spent more than $2,700 on my TiBook, and I am not inclined to spend more money on the computer as it would be more economical to get a new machine.

I have weighed both sides of the arguement, and after doing some more research into this issue, I am now leaning towards a PC. :( I think the arguement that Windows is buggier is certainly valid: I have enough experience with registry problems and corrupted dll files, not to mention the infamous Blue Screen of Death. Hardware compatibility is also another concern for those who use Windows, since you never know if Windows will recognize your mouse.

Nonetheless, I think many of these arguements have been carried too far by many Mac users. Windows XP is far from perfect, but it does a good job generally with recognizing hardware and avoiding crashes (I use it extensively at work and home). The price and speed differentials are also factors I have considered.

I have read a few favorable reviews on Intel's new Centrino processor for mobile devices and laptops, and I am intrigued. You can read one such review here (http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.html?i=1800).

Don't worry just yet: I'm still waiting to see the specs for the next 15 inch TiBook, so I might ditch this reverse switch fancy yet. :)

MacBandit
Apr 11, 2003, 01:48 AM
Go to an Apple store or reseller of some sort and use all the apps on it you want. As far as I have seen nearly any of the new Apple products show very little if any slow down when using multiple programs no matter how many.

I am currenty using Toast (burning a DVD), Safari, Mail, Apple Works, iTunes, and just a bit ago I was running Quake III Arena on top of all of it. Guess what my frame rates in Quake were down a wopping 4FPS. Oh and the big thing nothing crashed nothing hanged and the DVD finished and went to verify while all this happened. Yes I'm on a Dual/GHz/DDR PowerMac but this has been a very similar experience with all the new macs I have tried of late. I've tried a lot of them. I've visited the Apple company store, an Apple store in San Francisco, my local reseller, and a CompUSA all within the last month.

Try before you buy. I think you will be surprised with the new hardware. Also remember the Macs you are testing at the local store have no RAM to speak of. Max out whatever you buy OSX will thank you and it doesn't cost much if you do it yourself.

Apple][Forever
Apr 11, 2003, 02:30 AM
it's nice to see a LEVELHEADED discussion about this topic, folks.

Anyway, mack- I own an iBook 700, and my g/f owns a TiBook 500. My iBook has 640MB and hers has 768. I run Photoshop, Safari, Word, iChat, Mail, and iTunes concurrently all the time on both machines and notice no slowdowns. I realize that PCs ARE DEFINITELY FASTER (I just built one for a family member) but what you describe as your regular activities should definitely not bring a TiBook down. Before you plunk down a bunch of cash, check this:

1. Did you just upgrade to 10.2 from 10.1, or did you do a reinstall? Try doing a reinstall from the CD, and let it move your user folder over. You don't have to reformat.

2. Run the standard crapola- fix disk permissions, fsck, etc.

3. Use a progam like MacJanitor to do the daily/weekly/monthly cleanup routines (since it's a notebook, I'm guessing it's not left on at night).

4. Open up Terminal and type top. Look at the number of pageouts. Are you getting a lot of them? Might need more memory (but 512 should be enough for what you're doing).

I fix a lot of machines... PCs are damn frustrating. I spent a couple hours last week trying to get 3 different printers to work on the same XP machine... turns out one of the printer drivers overwrote the standard Microsoft USB printing drivers, so I had to install them in a certain order for them all to work, and put one of them on the parallel port. Of course, none of this was documented.

When I do consulting, people ask me what I personally use, and they're surprised, especially when I just rolled the Dells in their office that they asked for.

MacBandit
Apr 11, 2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Apple][Forever
it's nice to see a LEVELHEADED discussion about this topic, folks.

Anyway, mack- I own an iBook 700, and my g/f owns a TiBook 500. My iBook has 640MB and hers has 768. I run Photoshop, Safari, Word, iChat, Mail, and iTunes concurrently all the time on both machines and notice no slowdowns. I realize that PCs ARE DEFINITELY FASTER (I just built one for a family member) but what you describe as your regular activities should definitely not bring a TiBook down. Before you plunk down a bunch of cash, check this:

1. Did you just upgrade to 10.2 from 10.1, or did you do a reinstall? Try doing a reinstall from the CD, and let it move your user folder over. You don't have to reformat.

2. Run the standard crapola- fix disk permissions, fsck, etc.

3. Use a progam like MacJanitor to do the daily/weekly/monthly cleanup routines (since it's a notebook, I'm guessing it's not left on at night).

4. Open up Terminal and type top. Look at the number of pageouts. Are you getting a lot of them? Might need more memory (but 512 should be enough for what you're doing).

I fix a lot of machines... PCs are damn frustrating. I spent a couple hours last week trying to get 3 different printers to work on the same XP machine... turns out one of the printer drivers overwrote the standard Microsoft USB printing drivers, so I had to install them in a certain order for them all to work, and put one of them on the parallel port. Of course, none of this was documented.

When I do consulting, people ask me what I personally use, and they're surprised, especially when I just rolled the Dells in their office that they asked for.

These are all great suggestions and the bit about the pages outs reminded me of the memory leak caused by HP printer drivers. Make sure you have upgraded to the very latest HP drivers.

Supa_Fly
Apr 11, 2003, 08:27 PM
I think there is a major point that is only dicussed subtly whenever any of the Mac vs. PC topics is every brought up.

It all comes down to your environment. Just like Mr. Smith said in the Matrix, Humans are the only species on the face of the earth (not entirely true Beavers do this too) that change their environment or migrate or both to suit their needs/wants.

Many of us co-exist in a dual platform world, it comes down to what environment you prefer to work, play, educate, explore (as in MS windows explorer), or find (out about: as in Finder) in.

You are the one whom ultimately chooses!

DuhMacDude
Apr 11, 2003, 08:51 PM
Dude, just wait a while longer and buy a new TiBook later this year... Apple's going to come out with dual processor g4 notebooks, so its going to be much faster! Also, power pc 970 desktops are coming out a lil' later than summer as well as 10.3 panther, which is said to increase system performance by a lot.

MacBandit
Apr 11, 2003, 09:06 PM
Originally posted by DuhMacDude
Dude, just wait a while longer and buy a new TiBook later this year... Apple's going to come out with dual processor g4 notebooks, so its going to be much faster! Also, power pc 970 desktops are coming out a lil' later than summer as well as 10.3 panther, which is said to increase system performance by a lot.


Like wow man if I we were all to wait for all these rumors we none of us would have macs and very likely most of the rumors you have listed are just that just rumors.

You can not compare what might be with what is. If you need a computer now you have to compare to what you can get now.

DakotaGuy
Apr 11, 2003, 09:19 PM
My question is why do you think a Powerbook 1Ghz won't be any faster and more responsive then your 550Mhz TiBook? It is running at double the clock speed. You already have a couple of PC's why not just upgrade the old 550 with a new 1Ghz if you want better performance, but like OSX and the design. Besides the resale on your 550 will still be good, better then a 1 to 2 year old plastic PC laptop would be. Everyone dismisses Apple's Mhz myth theory as false, but then they come back and try to say, "No reason to upgrade a 1Ghz G4 is not any faster then a 550Mhz G4" I don't get it.

ryme4reson
Apr 11, 2003, 11:14 PM
If you are interested in selling your PBook, let me know, jamesk777@mac.com

cathjock
Apr 11, 2003, 11:52 PM
while i have occasionally experienced frustration with my 500 mhz tibook, i am a faithful mac user.

I switched from a pc in 2001 (i had used macs from 1990 to 1998). i was tired of always having my computer crash on me, having to install drivers, the slow speeds, and the overall unpleasant and unproductive experience of using a pc. so i went out and bought a tibook.

for the most part i have been satisfied. the os crashes rarely (i did have a problem a few months ago in which a broken top ram chip caused a crash whenever the os had to use this extra memory). i have found apples to be superior in every single area, including speed. this is how i look at it: my computer was announced in january of 2001 as the top of the line apple laptop. in order to accurately compare its performance, you must use a top of the line windows laptop that was announced in january 2001 (or close to it). one day, I decided to run a test- my 500 mhz 512mb ram tibook against a friend's 1.4 ghz 512 mb ram windows laptop. i loaded the same picture onto both computers and ran photoshop filters, using a stopwatch to compare times. my computer was 75% faster in every single test.

While my tibook is "slow" compared to today's windows laptops, i would still stick with my tibook if given the choice of switching to a new windows laptop. windows is plagued by soooo many horrible flaws that it is not worth switching purely for a little extra speed. windows is not a good operating system- i have to use it every day, and every day i have problems from unresponsive networks, files misterously disappearing, and the computer deleting the hard drive while i'm working to the os telling me that i cannot start up my computer because a driver is missing. pcs are designed horribly- they are too big and bulky, they do not circulate air within the machine properly (which probably contributes to the computer crashing), and they are not truly portable, and if they are portable then it is at the sacrifice of an optical drive, usb, firewire, ethernet, wifi, pc card slot, etc. Tech support is not very good at any windows company.

i could go on and on

but the moral of this story is- while apples may not be faster, they are better in every other area.

(though we should look foward to the 970 processor improving the mhz, or should i say ghz, gap)

so stick with it!!!!

cathjock
Apr 12, 2003, 12:11 AM
"I have read a few favorable reviews on Intel's new Centrino processor for mobile devices and laptops, and I am intrigued. You can read one such review here."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

do you realize what the centrino processor is?

its a low power/low speed pentium + a WiFi card

wow! this sounds familiar

thats because its basically and ibook- its what mac has been doing for the past 3+ years with laptops.

apple's version of the centrino processor:

g4 or g3/powersaving features of os 9 or 10.2/high capacity battery + airport card

your paying extra money for a name when you buy the centrino processor. intel is copying apple (again). the only thing special about the centrino is that they are putting their slow processor and the WiFi card onto the motherboard together, instead of having a removable card like apple's (apple's strategy is better- it allows for upgrades where as with the centrino your stuck with the same 802.11b card for as long as you have the computer.)

don't buy a centrino. its a waste of money.

MacBandit
Apr 12, 2003, 02:02 AM
Originally posted by cathjock
"I have read a few favorable reviews on Intel's new Centrino processor for mobile devices and laptops, and I am intrigued. You can read one such review here."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

do you realize what the centrino processor is?

its a low power/low speed pentium + a WiFi card

wow! this sounds familiar

thats because its basically and ibook- its what mac has been doing for the past 3+ years with laptops.

apple's version of the centrino processor:

g4 or g3/powersaving features of os 9 or 10.2/high capacity battery + airport card

your paying extra money for a name when you buy the centrino processor. intel is copying apple (again). the only thing special about the centrino is that they are putting their slow processor and the WiFi card onto the motherboard together, instead of having a removable card like apple's (apple's strategy is better- it allows for upgrades where as with the centrino your stuck with the same 802.11b card for as long as you have the computer.)

don't buy a centrino. its a waste of money.

While I agree that the Centrino chip is hugely overhypedwhen has Intel ever copied Apple in the past? I think you are confusing Intel with Microsoft or somehow merging them into the same company.

I have always been a Mac user but being a very computer literate person I am forced to repair friends and families PCs. This has caused me to learn more about them and I don't totally hate the hardware. I don't think Intel is evil and I don't think they should be put in the same boat as Microsuck.

I think what Intel has finally done with the Centrino is admitted that the MHz hype is just that hype. They don't advertise the speed of the centrinos because the clock rate is down. They did this to save power but the chip is much more efficient so it is actually more powerful then the previous mobile P4s.

macktheknife
Apr 12, 2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by cathjock
"I have read a few favorable reviews on Intel's new Centrino processor for mobile devices and laptops, and I am intrigued. You can read one such review here."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

do you realize what the centrino processor is?

its a low power/low speed pentium + a WiFi card

wow! this sounds familiar

thats because its basically and ibook- its what mac has been doing for the past 3+ years with laptops.

apple's version of the centrino processor:

g4 or g3/powersaving features of os 9 or 10.2/high capacity battery + airport card

your paying extra money for a name when you buy the centrino processor. intel is copying apple (again). the only thing special about the centrino is that they are putting their slow processor and the WiFi card onto the motherboard together, instead of having a removable card like apple's (apple's strategy is better- it allows for upgrades where as with the centrino your stuck with the same 802.11b card for as long as you have the computer.)

don't buy a centrino. its a waste of money.

The Centrino processor is based on a new architecture for mobile devices that uses less power and clock speed while achieving the same degree of performance of many Pentium 4 Mobile processors (the laptop version of the P4). Many websites--Tom's Hardware, Anandtech, and CNET--have reviewed the Centrino favorably. Given the economies of scale Intel is bound to achieve, the prices of the Centrino processors will probably decline rapidly going forward.

Also, I believe your assertion that "apple's strategy is better- it allows for upgrades where as with the centrino your stuck with the same 802.11b card for as long as you have the computer" is incorrect. Apple laptops that are only "Airport Ready" can only use standard 802.11b cards. Apple laptops that are "Airport Extreme Ready" (currently only the 12 and 17 inch TiBooks) can only use the new 802.11g cards.

The "Megahertz Myth" first got public attention when AMD began branding its Athlon chips with a figure (ex: "Athlon XP 1800") to demonstrate the comparable speed of its chips despite having a lower clockspeed. I think that the speed of Macs and PCs were comparable back in the mid-90s and that the Megahertz Myth held true then. However, in the past several years, Intel has basically sped ahead of the crowd, leaving AMD behind and Apple scrambling to put dual processors in its high-end machines. I think many Apple partisans have carried the Megahertz Myth a bit too far too, as some of these informal benchmarks suggest (here (http://www.barefeats.com/pentium4.html) and here (http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/2002/11_nov/reviews/cw_macvspciii.htm)).

I have also considered the new 1 GHz TiBooks, weighing them against some of the PC offers I had listed in my first post. I do not know whether the 1 GHz TiBooks will achieve the same level of speed as the 2.1 GHz P4M or 1.6 GHz Centrinos, but I am doing some research to get a rough idea. Also, the 1 GHz TiBook would not necessarily be twice as fast as my current 550 MHz TiBook--that would be a subset of the Megahertz Myth. As for the operating system, OS X is generally easier to manage than XP, but there are some issues (see Arstechnica's review here (http://www.arstechnica.com/reviews/02q3/macosx-10.2/macosx-10.2-1.html)).

I generally like OS X--I really do. I am just trying to make an educated and informed decision based on my needs. I am more than happy to pay top dollar for better performance, but after using my TiBook for the past +1 year, I am simply wondering if the "Apple premium" is worth it.

Thanks for the comments. :)

mymemory
Apr 12, 2003, 04:58 PM
macktheknife

The "Megahertz Myth" is a myth it self, it can compensate 15% of the diference but you have to realize that all of us now about Apple lack of speed. We are togather in that boat.

Now, all depends of what you are gonna do with your computer. Let me tell you I have 2 powerbooks G3 500 and they run so fine until I see the new ones. You have to realise when is the computer or when is you that need the speed because you wiil always are gonna feel frustrated and jumping from one platform to another if you do not really know what you want to achive with your computer.

For example, I just was fooling around with iMovie 3 and iDVD 3 and I'm shock, even doing it in a dual 500Mhz G4. I know more speed would rock, I can not afford it now but it won't make my life more productive any way, may be 0.05%, my talent and ability using the machine and the software is the key.

So, I can not recomend you to still under a Mac platform, I do can say there are lots of good things around here that can not be found in the PC word, of course depending of what you are doing with your machine.

In my experiene I would like to have a PC for certaing things, it is not a sin you know but may be what you are looking for is the flexibility of booth worlds and that is it!

Now, I just do not want to have a PC as my primary computer, those systems are too desorganize and messi. I'm even having some hard time switching to OSX that should be better than clasic but OS 9.2.2 is under my control and certain applications are not under OSX yet.

To finish, it is not a hardware problem as you may think it is. The "what are you gonna do with" is a fundamental quastion to be asked.

MacFan25
Apr 14, 2003, 08:48 PM
This is an interesting discussion. Here's what I think. Macs are expensive. They sometimes aren't as fast as PCs. But, OS X is definitley more stable than Windows. When it comes down to buying a PC or a Mac, it just depends on what you are using your computer for.

Kethoticus
Apr 14, 2003, 10:33 PM
...and I like both for different reasons.

The AMD system was custom-built and has a butt-ugly case (but strong, ventilated and technically well-designed). It's a 1.53GHz, single-CPU system with 512MB DDR-RAM, a single 40-gig HD, a GF3 Ti500 card, and an internal DVD-ROM combo drive. It runs XP Pro. I use it to train in Maya's PLE, and I've installed the demo versions of LW7 and XSI3).

The system moves. Windows move nicely, interactivity is quick, and the internet, forget it. OE6 and IE6 scream compared to their performance on my Mac.

My Mac is a much older box and therefore, this comparison is not entirely fair. But OS X 10.2.5 has thus far been stable, if not quick. I use it to do most of my internetting and personal video stuff. It performs these actions easily and straightforwardly, if not sluggishly. OS9's a different case in terms of its speed, but that's another story.

The G4s I've played with in stores are amazingly fast. Windows burst into view much like I've seen in fast XP systems. Apps load quickly. The only thing I've read/heard about with these recent Macs is that as fast as they are, they do not keep up with their x86 counterparts when it comes to rendering. That is an issue for me, but I can let it slide as I make my money at someone else's studio, not in my home.

Mack, if you need a machine to do serious, bill-paying work at home, then get yourself a PC. If you need a multi-function box to do lotsa stuff that do not require speed, I think a Mac's great seamlessness between hardware and software would be an advantage.

Grokgod
Apr 17, 2003, 12:38 AM
I think that I read a few posts back that the airport extreme card only works with the new base station or standard.

I do not believe that this is true.
I heard that the Airport Extreme will
shift down to the older standard of Airport when it is the only one present.

Anyone know this for certain.

MacBandit
Apr 17, 2003, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by Grokgod
I think that I read a few posts back that the airport extreme card only works with the new base station or standard.

I do not believe that this is true.
I heard that the Airport Extreme will
shift down to the older standard of Airport when it is the only one present.

Anyone know this for certain.

The new base station is like any other 802.11g device. It is fully backwards compatible with 802.11b. Now that that is said there is no guarantee that it is compatible with other 802.11g devices as the 802.11g standard has not been set yet.

macktheknife
Apr 17, 2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by MacBandit
The new base station is like any other 802.11g device. It is fully backwards compatible with 802.11b. Now that that is said there is no guarantee that it is compatible with other 802.11g devices as the 802.11g standard has not been set yet.

Yes, that is correct. A 802.11g base station is fully compatible with 802.11b cards. 802.11g cards can also work with 802.11b base stations too.

At this time, only two of Apple's laptops (the 12 and 17 inch PowerBooks) can use the 802.11g cards. Other Apple laptops can only use 802.11b cards. They can use both 802.11b and g base stations.

JesseJames
Apr 17, 2003, 01:50 PM
I feel your pain. I've felt the urge to jump the fence many many times. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm a graphic artist that was initially trained with Macs, I'd have a PC.
Some of those Alienware systems are sweeeeeet.
To me it's all about ROI. Return On Investment. My first Mac was a beige G3 333Mghz that I upgraded to a G4 500Mghz. It runs OS X and it still works. Albeit slowly by todays standards, but I use it as a backup and storage server. I now run a G4 933Mghz. It does everything I need.
In contrast, a friend of mine has owned 3 PCs and all his older machines are pretty much obsolete. As good as doorstops.
I am really looking forward to what Apple has in store for their desktop line in the coming months. I just know that they want to deliver on performance after the Motorola debacle and all.

scem0
Apr 19, 2003, 04:30 PM
ewwwwwww alienware sucks.........

They are the best looking PCs but they are hella expensive.
Buy it from PC or custom build it yourself. :)

MacBandit
Apr 21, 2003, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by scem0
ewwwwwww alienware sucks.........

They are the best looking PCs but they are hella expensive.
Buy it from PC or custom build it yourself. :)


Alienware and suck? How can you put those two words in a sentence? Hell, I just did and it still doesn't make since. As the best (IMO) PC manufacturor on the planet they anything but suck.

scem0
Apr 21, 2003, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by MacBandit
Alienware and suck? How can you put those two words in a sentence? Hell, I just did and it still doesn't make since. As the best (IMO) PC manufacturor on the planet they anything but suck.

they look good and that's it. Look at the prices! :eek:

macktheknife
Apr 21, 2003, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by scem0
they look good and that's it. Look at the prices! :eek:

I think that's what people say about Apple. :p But in any event, if you are a serious gamer, then Alienware is a pretty good company to go, given its reputation.

Computer_Phreak
Apr 21, 2003, 08:19 PM
I'd reccomend:

Go with the centrino when the prices fall a bit, unless Apple whips out some ridiculously awesome powerbooks soon.

taeclee99
Apr 21, 2003, 08:41 PM
How about this one?


Sony VAIOŽ PCG-Z1A1 Notebook
PCG-Z1A1

Looks Cool Don't It?

MacBandit
Apr 22, 2003, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by scem0
they look good and that's it. Look at the prices! :eek:

The prices are actually quite resonable figuring you're getting the absolute top of the line everything, PCI-X etc.. Also they have a top notch warranty and very good customer support. Also they are far fromt the most expensive gaming pc on the planet.

These are expensive.

http://www.voodoopc.com/

http://www.falcon-nw.com/

Though they too have the best of everything including warranty and customer support. Voodoo even has a upgrade policy where they will replace any component with the next greatest bestest that you want for no labor charge and will only charge you there cost on the parts.

phrancpharmD
Apr 23, 2003, 07:19 AM
This thread being in the "Switch Stories" has greatly interested me. I've recently switched (about 3 weeks ago) much earlier than I originally anticipated. I am not hardcore, I just knew my wife and I needed a new computer as our Gateway required nearly weekly reformats and reinstalls of Windows ME, and Gateway recognized a trade in "value" of $50 for a system purchased 5 years ago for ~$3500 (I've been on eBay; I know what 5 year old Mac desktops and laptops go for). I figured I'd give Mac a try, and started visiting this and other forums about two months ago, then about three weeks ago I saw a great deal to get into Mac earlier than I thought and here I am. It's nice to see a civilized discussion regarding Mac vs. PC and it's one of the reasons I finally registered. Anyways, we picked Mac over another windows machine mainly because we wanted to see what Mac was all about and so far I have very few complaints and am pleased with the level of service I've received when I needed it. All that said, I went into this purchase with a very similar mindset expressed by Mactheknife; if after several months I'm totally blown away, I'll upgrade my Mac; if not I'll stick with what I have (certainly more than adequate compared to our worthless Gateway) and reevaluate in several years. My gut tells me I will not go back with just my limited experiences to date being so overwhelmingly positive and my comfort with the interface change and software differences improving dramatically. So Mactheknife, if it floats your boat to switch back, go for it (just let me know if you're selling your TiBook :) )

macktheknife
Apr 23, 2003, 12:02 PM
Thanks for all the reasoned replies. I want to get beyond the "PeeCee/Winblows sux" dialogue. Many of those who replied conceded OS X's speed gap vs. Windows but highlighted OS X's strength in overall stability.

At this point, after doing some more research and thinking, I am leaning towards switching back to a PC. I think the PC will fit my needs much more than a Mac at a price that I find more reasonable. I enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) my experience with OS X, but after more than a year's worth of usage, I am sorry to say that it might not fit my needs as well as a PC.

I have not decided what I will do with my TiBook (I might give it to my dad who is a long-time Macuser), but MacRumors will be the first place I will go to post my ad as I have already received many inquiries.

Thanks again to all those who replied.

Apple][Forever
Apr 26, 2003, 12:57 AM
Hey Mac
sorry to bring an old hread up, but I haven't had the time to catch up.

Good luck to you. (I could say something 'witty' here like 'LOLRFZ YOU"LL NEED IT) but I won't. Different machines suit different needs. Not to belabor the car analogy, but my Mom drives a Buick, I drive a Honda. I like driving the Buick around, and if it was my only choice I'd be happy, but I like my Honda more. Same thing here. Hell, my friend bought an Audi last year even though the 'experts' were telling him to get a BMW because of a performance difference(NOT YUPPIE). Guess what? The same 'experts' are saying that Audis are on top now. Oh well.

You pick what works best for you and that's that. Any Mac zealots on this board tell you different? If they live near you, go over there and punch 'em in the southern regions. Any PC guys do the same? Hit 'em. DO WHAT YOU NEED. After 8 years as a Windows system admin, I'm on Macs. (Would I be if OS 9 was still the flagship OS? HELL NO!) But if I thought Windows provided the supeior user experience, I'd be there in a sec.

But I'm still here with my 2-month-old eMac, because this is the best computing experience I think I can have.

My experience does not equal yours.

daveg5
Apr 26, 2003, 01:19 AM
Of course the PC's are faster no mistake there. if you do stay make sure to get a powerbook with a l3 cache the 550 had a meager 256l L2 and that it and can really hurt performance on many things especially scrolling, and miulti tasking. I say wait if you can until the 970's or 1.2-1.4 G4 with larger caches come out.
The pc's will prob always be somewhat faster and it depends on what you do.how much video ram does the powerbook you have ,have. there is a company with a 32MB card coming soon.
http://www.villagetronic.com/e_pr_vtbdd.html
Anyway look at your needs I think you should continue to use both for the simple fact that its fun and interesting to use competetive products if you can afford to

daveg5
Apr 26, 2003, 01:33 AM
I do alot of music in os9, its stable, compatable still with my hardware, and i am very comfortable with it and have heard many osx horror stories, any way i use osx for everything else. because that works best for me and saves me thousands upgrading components with the money saved i can probably get a low end 970 machine when those come out and still use my old machine for music since even apple, motu,cubase and protools are still avail in 9 and are having a few growing pains I will give OSX audio 1 more year to mature before i totally switch(i do have cubase sl).
Likewise you use PC's and a mac even though the pc is faster and abetter perfomance value and you are comforte with it you still use a mac and osx.
I say do like me enjoy both for what they do best even if elitest say you are stupid or living in the stone age cuz everyone has unique needs. and sometimes the awnser is not A or B but instead A and B.
Look at your needs and wants, forget peer pressure, its your money and experience here and then make a decision.
peace out