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Old Apr 12, 2009, 03:11 PM   #1
killerboots
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Is a Mac worth it?

Okay, so I am getting ready to head to college this fall. I want to get a nice laptop to take. I want to be able to do all my schoolwork, keep all my music, etc on my laptop. Ive used a PC all my life but Im thinking of getting a mac. Are they worth the money? Is it a lot different to use than a PC? And what programs come installed on the Mac?
(Ive been looking at the Macbook)
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 03:13 PM   #2
flopticalcube
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Go to a store and try it out. Apple has a "back-to-school" sale in July where you get a free iPod with the purchase of a MacBook.
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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Yes it is worth it for college students during the summer. Buy between July and September and you will get a great deal. Last year, they were giving away iPod touches (up to $299) away for free after rebate. As always, year round you get a free printer up to $100 after rebate.

It is not a lot different from Windows but there are some quirks that may take getting used to. You are in the right place if you need help with getting started. Your computer will come with the iLife suite which includes iWeb, iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband. Of course you have everything else like Safari and iTunes. There are loads of freeware apps that will do anything you need them to do and you have the choice between buying iWork (equivalent to Office) or buying Office 2008 (check out your university pricing as it could be very cheap).
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 03:25 PM   #4
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As a student you also get the student pricing, which saves you some additional $$$.
A Mac also allows you to run XP or Vista if you have specific Windows apps you require.
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 03:52 PM   #5
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Take the plunge

Hey

As a student I took the plunge when I wanted to move from a crappy HP laptop to something worthwhile - portable, long lasting, powerful - good for DVD, music, office programs!!!!

The mac I have found has been great - and have now just bought my third one - my last one would have lasted but I simply wanted to upgrade.

They are very good, and of course now you can install windows and windows based problems - useful for some uni programs etc.... saying that I have recently purchased iwork 09 - much better than office and fully compatible.

I would also say check out eBay as well as the student discount - which gives you free three year warranty...... and of course you can buy applecare - tech support for £50.

They also hold their value fantastically well......
My last MBP I had for two years - and sold for £250 less than i bought it ( I had upgraded the HDD and Ram)

Hope that helps, sorry for waffle, writing this whilst watching red dwarf
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bcburrows View Post
Hey

As a student I took the plunge when I wanted to move from a crappy HP laptop to something worthwhile - portable, long lasting, powerful - good for DVD, music, office programs!!!!

The mac I have found has been great - and have now just bought my third one - my last one would have lasted but I simply wanted to upgrade.

They are very good, and of course now you can install windows and windows based problems - useful for some uni programs etc.... saying that I have recently purchased iwork 09 - much better than office and fully compatible.

I would also say check out eBay as well as the student discount - which gives you free three year warranty...... and of course you can buy applecare - tech support for £50.

They also hold their value fantastically well......
My last MBP I had for two years - and sold for £250 less than i bought it ( I had upgraded the HDD and Ram)

Hope that helps, sorry for waffle, writing this whilst watching red dwarf
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 04:04 PM   #7
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Is a mac worth it?
depends.
If you do email, internet, photos, music, etc., it really doesnt matter.
If you do MS office, it really doesnt matter.
The benefit of the mac is for things it does better than the PC - like video editing.
The "cool" factor is something you pay for as well.
There are several reasons to get a mac, and none of them really matter for 90% of computing tasks.
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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I would say a Mac is worth it. I recently bought a Dell Studio XPS 13 to replace my old white Macbook and I found I just wasn't happy with it. I think the Mac is a perfect mix of form and function.

When the Dell arrived I thought I'd be really excited but I was totally deflated. So much that I sent it back and went out the next week and bought a new Aluminum Macbook :-D

Get a Mac and you'll love it.
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 05:54 PM   #9
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I would say a Mac is worth it. I recently bought a Dell Studio XPS 13 to replace my old white Macbook and I found I just wasn't happy with it. I think the Mac is a perfect mix of form and function.

When the Dell arrived I thought I'd be really excited but I was totally deflated. So much that I sent it back and went out the next week and bought a new Aluminum Macbook :-D

Get a Mac and you'll love it.
So true
I never feel guilty about spending money on an Apple product
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 06:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sbb155 View Post
Is a mac worth it?
depends.
If you do email, internet, photos, music, etc., it really doesnt matter.
If you do MS office, it really doesnt matter.
The benefit of the mac is for things it does better than the PC - like video editing.
The "cool" factor is something you pay for as well.
There are several reasons to get a mac, and none of them really matter for 90% of computing tasks.
what he said....but before you drop $$ on any computer/laptop, check with the college b/c some provide a laptop as part of the Technology 'fee' you paid for tuition.

mac's initial outlay are more expensive then windows - you have to be willing to pay for the extra intangible stuff.

yes, it can run windows but if you do you have to buy the windows license - along with all the windows software (aka antivirus, etc.) that you get with a normal pc anyway so in essence you pay twice.

for some, mommy and daddy are paying for everything, so that thought goes right out the windows. like others stated, get in on the apple back to school deals if you really want one.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 10:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sbb155 View Post
Is a mac worth it?
depends.
If you do email, internet, photos, music, etc., it really doesnt matter.
If you do MS office, it really doesnt matter.
The benefit of the mac is for things it does better than the PC - like video editing.
The "cool" factor is something you pay for as well.
There are several reasons to get a mac, and none of them really matter for 90% of computing tasks.
Those are the only things I do. And a Mac is worth it. Windows is garbage.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 05:06 PM   #12
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How exactly? I don't think it is, it's just preference. People think Macs are better for creativity and they are not lol

----------



Bad advice
os x handles RAM better so that is why a lot of video professionals prefer it. That and FCP if they didn't get sick of it yet.

Better for creativity, nah but they are still industry standard for graphic design (trust me I know because every company big and small I have worked for use them).
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 04:17 AM   #13
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I would also say check out eBay as well as the student discount - which gives you free three year warranty...... and of course you can buy applecare - tech support for £50.
you're confusing me..

the standard warranty period on a mac is one year, it doesn't change whether you're a student or not. (at least, not here in the states..)
The AppleCare Service plan is what will bump you up to 3 years of warranty.
i bought my applecare from ebay, for a quarter of the price at the apple store!
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 05:48 AM   #14
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And remember that Macs are great machines with a great operating system. Note that the Mac OS X offers all the benefits of a unix system as well. I don't know what you'll be studying, but in science, unix can be very helpful to necessary. I used pcs and microsoft OS for more than 10 years. Now that I learned to use unix and especially the mac os x, I wouldn't go back! Trying mac os x at an apple store will help, but I didn't realize what a great OS is until I actually used it for some time. You might as well give it a try, I also bought my mac on a trial basis, to try it out and find out if it's good or not, now I love it!
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 05:57 AM   #15
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Yes, they are very much worth the money. Just the price for the LED Backlit LCD screens is worth it alone. No PC laptops on the market have the quality of contrast and color of the MacBook screens. And, of course it is not as hard switching as some might think. The interface is more intuitive than Windows and the overall speed boost over Windows becomes a BIG deal over time, especially after dealing with Windows bogging down so many times in the past.

Besides, you're a college student, so you can get a nice discount on a new machine directly from Apple.

As you might already know, all the new Macs are shipping with iLife 09' which includes iWeb (webpage editor), iPhoto (photo viewer), iMovie (movie editor), Garage Band (music arranger), and iDVD (DVD creator).
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 06:12 AM   #16
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Yes, they are very much worth the money. Just the price for the LED Backlit LCD screens is worth it alone. No PC laptops on the market have the quality of contrast and color of the MacBook screens. And, of course it is not as hard switching as some might think. The interface is more intuitive than Windows and the overall speed boost over Windows becomes a BIG deal over time, especially after dealing with Windows bogging down so many times in the past.
Wow, fanboy garble much?

For one, MacBook's LCD is one of the worst in any current laptop - both horizontal and vertical viewing angles are terrible, and colour accuracy is extremely poor. LED backlighting doesn't really help here, it's like shining a really bright light on a really ugly painting in a gallery, it isn't gonna help make it look better.

As for the 'speed boost', I have no idea what you are talking about. If you've ever used software like Maya you'll know that the poor driver support under OS X makes Windows a much more attractive choice. The fact that OS X does its best to hide what it's doing makes for a counter-productive experience when things go wrong. And they go wrong often under Leopard. Spinning beach balls, application crashes and kernel panics, I've seen them all since Apple decided to replace Tiger with this pile of garbage, and they are pretty common.

The interface is really a case of personal preference, but one thing I have noticed is that on Windows you can see every window that is open at all times, as they are all listed in the taskbar. To see them on OS X, you need to right click the icon in the dock. Also, if your dock is not 100% of your screen width, you waste a lot of space in the corners of the screen. Not great UI design IMO.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 06:13 AM   #17
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Do you have to reinstall Vista every 6 months to a year like you did with XP? Do you have to run antivirus software on it that slows the computer down or risk picking up malware from just looking at the wrong frakkin' webpage like XP does with IE?

If so, that alone makes mac worth it.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 10:36 AM   #18
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MacBook user x one month and I disagree

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The interface is more intuitive than Windows ....
The Apple interface is NOT so user friendly or intuitive. I have always hated this argument from the time my dad bought his first computer (a mac) while all his kidz had pc's. He called me frequently to help him out with his computer problems and I had a hard time figuring out how to get things done on his mac. That is not the definition of 'intuitive'. It wasn't long before dear old dad went out and got a pc.

That said, I've been using pc's since about 1993 and I just bought my first mac nearly a month ago. In short I can say I am a convert and don't think I'll ever go back to pc's. In the short period of time I've had my mac I've had my share of problems and I am the first one to tell you that the "intuitive" factor is NOT a reason to go mac. If the intuitiveness of a mac were a reason to buy a mac then it wouldn't have taken me over two hours to figure out how to burn photos to a DVD so they could be viewed on ANY computer (thank you, iPhoto, for making this such a difficult task).

My opinion is that "intuitiveness" is based on what you are brought up with. I've been using Windoze since late 1993 and it seemed pretty intuitive to me. If you are brought up on mac then, sure, it will seem intuitive for you.

If one is used to Windoze then there IS a learning curve you will have to work on. Not to mention ... WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BACKSPACE KEY.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 11:10 AM   #19
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Yes, they are very much worth the money. Just the price for the LED Backlit LCD screens is worth it alone. No PC laptops on the market have the quality of contrast and color of the MacBook screens.
I couldn't help but laugh at this comment. While we agree that the MacBook is a great laptop, the screens Apple is using in them are a far cry from what Sony is using in their 13" Vaio Z notebooks. There is absolutely no comparison between these two screens, besides the fact that they are both LED, the Vaio Z LED display blows the MacBook display one out of the water. The MacBook screen is okay, but it is very washed out in comparison to the Sony display. While it is true that this can be fixed to some degree, it still is somewhat disappointing. The MacBooks all have highly reflective glass screens, whereas the 13" Vaio Z notebooks by Sony use a matte display which is not as reflective as Apple's by a long shot. And if anyone wants to disagree with me, please go to your local shopping center and stop by an Apple store and look at the MacBook screen, and then go over to a Sony store and compare the two screens - yes there is that big of a difference. Now to be fair, the Sony laptop is much more expensive than the MacBook, but comments like "No PC laptops on the market have the quality of contrast and color of the MacBook screens" is completely inaccurate and misleading.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 05:57 AM   #20
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you're confusing me..

the standard warranty period on a mac is one year, it doesn't change whether you're a student or not. (at least, not here in the states..)
The AppleCare Service plan is what will bump you up to 3 years of warranty.
i bought my applecare from ebay, for a quarter of the price at the apple store!
If you buy from http://apple.procureweb.ac.uk you get a three year warranty included for free, in addition to a 17% discount on the hardware price.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 03:28 PM   #21
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One reason alone to buy a Mac: No Conflictor Worm!!!

Macs don't get virus attacks or malware (it would be extremely rare, if ever). Meanwhile many of my PC friends do get virus problems, etc. that slow them down and wreck havoc. Many PC friends have to pay a Geek Squad allot of money to get their computer up and running after almost inevitable problems occur. There is also the $90 or so a year for anti-virus software, plus research time, scares and updates to keep up with on PC's. All non-productive and costly!!!

Macs just work! Plug and play to the max. They have a great OS and come with iLife (easy to use and professional looking photo managing/editing, movie editing, web, music making and dvd authoring software).

I could go on and on. The price is worth every penny and the machines really last. Apple has the best service per every consumer magazine.

Don't miss out on the student discounts, the Apple refurbished units that have the same warrantee as new and the back to school deals!
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 04:04 PM   #22
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One reason alone to buy a Mac: No Conflictor Worm!!!

Macs don't get virus attacks or malware (it would be extremely rare, if ever). Meanwhile many of my PC friends do get virus problems, etc. that slow them down and wreck havoc. Many PC friends have to pay a Geek Squad allot of money to get their computer up and running after almost inevitable problems occur. There is also the $90 or so a year for anti-virus software, plus research time, scares and updates to keep up with on PC's. All non-productive and costly!!!

Macs just work! Plug and play to the max. They have a great OS and come with iLife (easy to use and professional looking photo managing/editing, movie editing, web, music making and dvd authoring software).

I could go on and on. The price is worth every penny and the machines really last. Apple has the best service per every consumer magazine.

Don't miss out on the student discounts, the Apple refurbished units that have the same warrantee as new and the back to school deals!

Your friends actually go to geek squad for their issues?

Even the people who work for geek squad are clueless. I used to work for them, and I was the only one who knew anything.

Personally, I think your friends shouldn't even be using a computer until they understand it better. Same goes for macs. Seriously, anyone who has the go to geek squad is a huge noob.
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 01:07 PM   #23
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Your friends actually go to geek squad for their issues?

Even the people who work for geek squad are clueless. I used to work for them, and I was the only one who knew anything.

Personally, I think your friends shouldn't even be using a computer until they understand it better. Same goes for macs. Seriously, anyone who has the go to geek squad is a huge noob.
Wow I doubt that Microsoft or Apple would agree with you there. You shouldn't have to be a mechanic to drive a car. You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to use a computer.
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 02:13 PM   #24
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a long post...

I am seeing a lot of BS on both parts of this debate, both from the Apple fanboys and the Window fanboys and a lot of it is from PR and marketing being touted out by both sides, I would say all victims of believing everything they want to believe. I am going to do my best to offer the most unbiased possible answer here. Before that I will give a brief history of myself.

When I started out on computers it was System 6 and Windows 3.1. Hands down System 6 and soon after System 7 where far superior then Windows 3.1. Even when it was Between Windows 9x and System 8 and 9 I would have given the edge to MacOS though they all lacked the technologies of what we call modern operating systems of today.

Since 1998 I have been a service technician for both Macs and Windows with most of my work for the last 8 years or so being on Windows machines because that was where the money was. Thank you viruses, spyware and incompetent programmers on the windows side. I currently work in IT for a large international company and manage 300 Windows machines and another 20 Mac machines hands on and part of a team that manages over 12 000 computers in the company.

I have been building custom PCs for a decade and I have taken apart a few macs.

Before I answer the question, my personal computer ownership.

Macís
PowerPC 5400/180 1997 to 2003 (death due to being rained on when a window was open)

iMac 15Ē Flat panel 800Mhz Bought used in 2004 to current, still used, still viable machine with 10.4 Tiger. I believe it was the released in 2002 so it is now over 7 years old

Powerbook G4 12Ē 1.33Ghz bought used in 2005 and sold it in 2008. Still working, and still a viable machine and it served me well and was heavily abused. Had to replace damaged hard drive once. (Btw this was the most complicated computer I have ever taken apart in my entire life, I still have a few left over screws from it. I sold it for $500.00 last year just before I bought current mac. This model came out in 2004 so its now 5 years old.

Current and main computer is a early 2008 Macbook Pro 2.5Ghz. Used 16 hours a day, 8 hours a day in Windows, 8 hours a day in OS X. Windows at Work and OS X at home. Just last week its fan failed and I had it replaced under warranty. First experience with Apples Warranty service which was brilliant. Wish all companies had such good service.

Current PCs
3 Dells, 3 custom build computers, over the years I have gone through about 10 PCs. Of the 6 current PCs I have running (3 of them are servers, 3 are in a closet) only 1 is a viable computer and itís a year old. That year old Dell is not capable of running Vista acceptable with out some additional upgrades and it has already been upgraded. In-fact the only machine I have that runs Vista and Windows 7 beta well is my Macbook Pro.

Now to answer the question, Yes the price is worth it but not for many of the reasons posted by other users though some have hit on some of the good points.

The fact is you get what you pay for. Macs are no more expensive then PCís and PCís are no more cheaper. You can find PC laptops that cost the same as Macs and you can find PC laptops that cost even more. The difference here is choice. Apple provides a limited amount of products and they all have to meet the expectations of a good experience for the end user. This means the machines themselves are engineered to a certain quality which costs money.

They all come with Bluetooth, they all come with a Wireless card that works on A, B, G, N networks. They all come with 5Ghz N as well something that is just starting to appear as a option in PCís. More important is the little differences that people canít see that also add to the cost of the machines. My macbook pro fans operate at 2000RPM, a very low speed. This was done for acoustic reasons and this laptop is dead silent because of it. To compensate for this apple uses fans with a ton of tinny fins on it. Most standard PC laptops use stranded 4 or 5 fin fans which require operations of 4-5k to cool the machine. This is not a flaw in the PCs. This is just one of the points of how extra engineering goes into Macs to provide a experience.

The magnetic power cord is another example. At work I would have to say about 7 power cords are replaced a year from damage. One of my older PC laptops got tossed out when I broke the power cord after tripping on it. The cost of a new power cord was the value of the machine. The power brick of my laptop is the same width of a plug, this allows for plugs on either side of it to be used by other devices on a power bar. The prongs on the plug are also at the very top of it. This means on a standard 2 plug outlet on the wall, it does not hinder use of the top plug. The end pops off to allow world plugs or the extension cable. The built in camera is really good quality.

The sound quality out of the speakers are by far better then any PC laptop I have ever used. The combination of Analog and Digital Audio jacks which recently I started using the Digital Audio jack. Its been so good I wont go back to analog. The feel of the keyboard is solid but this is a personal preference. Every person is different some will like the keyboard some wont.

Most PC laptops have 2 maybe 3 temp sensors inside. My Powerbook has 10! When you look at the hardware of a Mac its not priced to badly. If you only look at the hardware then yes its pricy for what you get. But the cost of a Mac is not just hardware and I think this is a point to many people over look. You are paying for the Computer Hardware, Mac OS and iLife, and apples excellent world wide warranty and support service.

Can you get all these things in a PC? You bet but not at a price cheaper then a mac. A $700.00 HP laptop will be bigger, heavier, contain less features even if at first you donít think you would use them, had the laptop included them you might have later on. The Operating system is going to be one of the crippled versions of Vista, either Home or Business, nothing that really compares to iLife and a local warranty and support service that isnít even in the same class as Apples. So as I said before you get what you pay for. You can spec out the hardware to include everything a Mac has and even more since card readers and thumb print readers are not in macs, and get the full version of Vista Ultimate and pay for a equivalent World wide, in home warranty service but what you will find is the cost of the machine is that or more of a mac.

So then it comes down to whats better, OS X or Windows.

A Mac can run both, a PC legally canít. On the surface its going to be a personal preference to what a person likes more. Under the hood, OS X is far superior to Windows Vista. Windows Vista is bloated software, requires unnecessary resources to operate thanks to back room deals with PC venders to help force hardware upgrades. Is a patchwork of technologies that do not integrate well affecting performance and built in DRM technologies which will be worse in Windows 7 when the Operating system becomes the police of what you can and cant do with your content to appease copyright owners. Out of the box Windows 7 assumes youíre a thief. Vista is slow, and cluttered, and to many things got changed that where just fine in all pervious versions of Windows just to make the system look pretty to compete with OS X. As you can tell I prefer Windows XP over Vista. Windows 7 which will fix the visible performance issues does not address the real performance issues under the hood. But hey as long as your mouse click is faster, and menus appear faster its fixed for the average user.

To be honest for the average computer user who does not make use of his computer, Vista will be fine. But the second you want to do more intensive things like coping movies, large files, photoshop work, movie converting, gaming the performance hit of the OS really hit you. And for many who have no experience with XP who moved from Mac to Vista, you can **** because you will never know what is being talked about until you have used XP or 2000.

So my biggest beef with PCís, say Sony or HP is not really the computer itself. Hardware is hardware, you get what you pay for. You can get it cheaper then a Apple computer or you can pay more then a Apple computer and have a better computer in hardware. The problem is the operating system and right now and for me that means Mac because I cant stomach Windows or Microsoft any more. There CEO does not get it, they tailor all there core products to business not the consumer. Backroom deals to screw people over. Built in obsolesces to force re purchasing the same software year after year after year. Out right lies about there products and total lies in marketing. Deals with companies like Adobe to allow adobe software to punch holes in the firewall to communicate back to its parent company, and built into the OS itself the ability for software companies to disable there own software. No thanx, I have technical griefís with all the current software from Microsoft, I have personal issues with how controls are being built into the software to control my freedoms of usage, I have moral issues with the company itself with how it operates.

Get a Mac. They resell used for much more then any PC does and remain viable much longer. This is more true then ever with every new OS from Microsoft being a pig.a

PS the new screens of the Macbooks are not the best on the market due to the glass cover. Dam easy to clean compared to older LCDs. But I think the rest of the machine and OS X, iLife, and the support makes up for this blunder.
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 03:50 PM   #25
throttlemeister
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by huzur View Post
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Great story, but the whole vista thing is BS.

Why are you running Tiger on your 2002 Mac? Because it can't run Leopard properly.

So why do you expect a PC that does not match Vista's real world requirements to run it anyway? Because it is a year old? So you buy a marginal PC from a company that sells marginal PC's and it is the OS's fault? Give me a break.

My PC is about 2 years old, was (upper) midrange when I build it and it runs Vista just as well as it does XP without any discernible speed difference and even faster with some things. But then again, I didn't try to get a dollar for a dime.

You bash Vista DRM provisions, yet you completely ignore a similar scheme in iTunes.

You slam fanboyism from both sides, yet you display the same Apple fanboy behavior through a long post with comments covered with a (false) appearance of objectiveness.

Stop measuring Macs and PCs with two different standards. Like you said, you get what you pay for. A $200 pc will never be more than a $200 pc. If you don't want to spend more, don't bitch if it doesn't do what a $2000 pc does. Buy quality parts or quality computer and you end up with similar pricetags as Apple, with similar capabilities and experience. With similar pricing, the OS is a matter of personal preference. Neither is bad, neither is perfect. And neither does everything better. Recognizing their strengths brings a lot more than slamming either one because you personally don't like it.
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