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View Full Version : Mac vs. PC: How to Decide


MacBytes
Nov 27, 2006, 10:35 PM
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Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Mac vs. PC: How to Decide (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20061127233514)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

shadowfax
Nov 27, 2006, 11:54 PM
aside from video editing, it's difficult to tax the processor of any recent machine... right. Virtualization, Photo editing, audio encoding, audio mixing none of that is too taxing for a modern processor.

I guess the article covers the bases for someone who uses their computer for absolutely nothing more than web browsing, email, and listening to music, but how many people is that? I mean, a computer is meant for so much more! I use mine for Java development for work. Our multiple-hundreds-of-thousands of lines of java takes a little while to compile--maybe 4-5 seconds on my core duo, but that wouldn't be the case for "any recent/modern processor." my old G4 takes almost 30 seconds to compile the same project... It just seems like people will have at least one of the following interests:

* software development
* photo editing
* video editing
* music recording
* design--architecture, 3-d modeling, CAD, etc.

One of my close friends dabbles in all of these, on a CD mac mini with a 23 inch screen and maxed out RAM... and like 1TB of external storage, haha. I just do software development and dabble in image editing, but photoshop, and even iPhoto, not to even mention Aperture, which I don't use yet, leave something to be desired in terms of performance. I definitely wait on my processor more than a few times a day, even though I am pleased with it.

I don't know, but do I seem out of left field? It seems like a lot, if not most people, do end up finding that, whether they realize it initially or not, they do have some interest that will tax a computer well...

thewhitehart
Nov 28, 2006, 12:24 AM
I was never very much into anything but web browsing, music, and the occasional game on my pc. That was until I got a mac and found out all about the wonderful things I could do, like photo editing and importing home movies for editing.

I now find myself often taxed by processor speed and available memory when doing things simultaneously. I'd say that the average mac user is too, as the mac makes it so simple and intuitive for users to want to do more with the computer than web browsing.

SPUY767
Nov 28, 2006, 05:57 AM
Oversimplified article with a bit of a primer writing style misses the target, but still hits the paper. This article really fails to nail down all the things that differentiate a Mac from your garden variety PC. It instead gives a few general rules for purchasing any PC, Mac or otherwise, and skims over deeper topics with little regard.

aside from video editing, it's difficult to tax the processor of any recent machine.

I've found little that can bring my MacPro to even half load, with the exception of specially coded software designed to max out all cores. Remarkably, the MacPro is quiter at Full load running SETI than my old G5 was at idle.

shadowfax
Nov 28, 2006, 09:32 AM
I've found little that can bring my MacPro to even half load, with the exception of specially coded software designed to max out all cores. Remarkably, the MacPro is quiter at Full load running SETI than my old G5 was at idle.

yeah, the crux of the quote is that he's talking about any modern processor, not the very best money can buy.... ;)

jackc
Nov 28, 2006, 01:10 PM
I guess the article covers the bases for someone who uses their computer for absolutely nothing more than web browsing, email, and listening to music, but how many people is that?

I think quite a lot of people fall into that category, they might do very simple photo editing out of your list. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't enjoy using a Mac more than a PC.

shamino
Nov 28, 2006, 04:09 PM
aside from video editing, it's difficult to tax the processor of any recent machine
He's right about this. But he fails to mention that Windows apps are typically so cumbersome that you wouldn't ever want to do video editing (at least not without buying some expensive third-party software.)

On the other hand, iMovie and iDVD are simple enough that ordinary people can easily do basic video work.

And this is the biggest problem with the article. The software suites were not compared. Sure, little was said of the PC software bundles, but iLife is powerful enough that it can easily justify the slightly higher price of Apple's entry-level systems. It should be compared against the PCs' software bundles.

I guess the article covers the bases for someone who uses their computer for absolutely nothing more than web browsing, email, and listening to music, but how many people is that?
If you're talking about typical home users, that's quite a lot of them. E-mail, web browsing, word processing and gaming are by far the most common tasks.

You and I use our computers for software development, but there's no way you're going to convince me that the majority of computer owners are developers of any kind.

Most computer owners are not computer professionals, and the applications you describe (software development, professional image/video editing, architecture/CAD, music recording) are only used by professionals. Most people buying computers couldn't care less about any of these activities.

Your points are all fine if you're trying to sell Macs to professionals. They're irrelevant for an article aimed at typical home users doing their Christmas shopping.

wmmk
Nov 28, 2006, 04:43 PM
aside from video editing, it's difficult to tax the processor of any recent machine... right. Virtualization, Photo editing, audio encoding, audio mixing none of that is too taxing for a modern processor.
Also, the writer fails to mention multitasking and such. open up a flash web page, an email loaded with images, download 300 10MP images off of your P&S, crop a few you've already downloaded, have 5, word docs open...
it's easy for a total n00b to tax any processor!


It just seems like people will have at least one of the following interests:

* software development
* photo editing
* video editing
* music recording
* design--architecture, 3-d modeling, CAD, etc.


none of my friends from school do any of this except the 2 of them who are hardcore techies.

shadowfax
Nov 28, 2006, 07:01 PM
I think quite a lot of people fall into that category, they might do very simple photo editing out of your list. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't enjoy using a Mac more than a PC.

I know you guys are right about typical users, but I guess I'm getting at that I think a lot of people would dabble in one of the above if it were offered in an easy way, like if you could get them to get iLife (via a bundle), I can imagine people would actually start amassing a photo library and a video library, which they might then use to edit videos, etc.

I think that the typical user only does email, web browsing, etc. because they're the only truly easy things to do with a typical computer.

Eidorian
Nov 28, 2006, 07:12 PM
I've configure those slimline HP machines and those Dell laptops. Bring them up to equivilent Apple Mac mini and MacBook specifications then we'll talk. :cool:

shamino
Nov 29, 2006, 08:33 AM
I know you guys are right about typical users, but I guess I'm getting at that I think a lot of people would dabble in one of the above if it were offered in an easy way, like if you could get them to get iLife (via a bundle), I can imagine people would actually start amassing a photo library and a video library, which they might then use to edit videos, etc.
Only to a limited extent.

I see my father as such an example. He's got a digital camera. He uses it with Windows, but he's quite technically savvy. He has no problem loading photos onto the hard drive and launching any of several image editors, which he knows how to use. Despite this, the extent of his editing is removing red-eyes and 90-degree rotations. He doesn't do trivial things like adjusting brightness/contrast and cropping, even though he knows how and has no problem with it.

I doubt giving him iPhoto would change much.

And people who are not comfortable with technology - like my mother - will never get a digital camera in the first place. She'll never be comfortable with anything more complicated than a disposable film camera that you drop off at the drug store for processing.

(And yes, both parents use their computers for e-mail, web surfing and playing games.)

I think this is what typical users are like. At least this definition is closer to typical than computer professionals like ourselves or the teenagers that are addicted to file sharing or MMORPGs.