Buying a Mac vs. PC

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by seablue, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    Ok.... I've always had a mac computer and now I need a new one. My ibook G4 is way outdated and I can't download alot of apps because it's not intel. So.... Mac or PC?? Please give me some pros and cons on this. I don't do any graphics. My neighbor says, "oh get a PC if you don't do any graphics." I do email, a couple of facebook games, message boards and research.
    The only thing I know of is that macs don't get viruses like PC's can. What else??
    Thanks for some help and tips...
  2. macrumors member


    Jul 26, 2012
    The U.P. of Michigan
    Well, I'm guessing you've had your iBook for a while now, so you're probably used to the UI of OS X. I used to use PCs when I was a kid and then we got a Mac back in 2007. We've had Windows on our 2009 iMac since we got it brand new because my brother plays games on there, but I hadn't used it until a few weeks ago. I was sooooo lost. Nothing made sense to me and I just got frustrated and gave up on what I was trying to do (I was trying to clear up some hard drive space). I could re-learn how to do more in Windows than open applications, but I don't see the point in my case (no reason to). To me, the OS X UI is just a lot more logical and easier to use. In my experience, Macs last longer too. Our family got an original Bondi Blue iMac with Mac OS 9. We then replaced it with a PC tower. Two towers in four years later (video card fried and then the motherboard fried), we went back to Mac in 2007 and got a MacBook. The MacBook, BB iMac, and our 2009 iMac are all running great and never gave us trouble :) A Mac is definitely worth it in the end even for basic computing because you'll end up just frustrating yourself with a PC. Be happy and get a Mac ;)
  3. macrumors 68020


    Aug 13, 2011
    As a Mac user, I would recommend a Mac, and since you've always had a Mac, why get a PC? And Macs aren't just for graphics applications and based on the configuration, some macs won't do graphics very well anyway.

    1. Macs are optimized so that the hardware and software work well together.
    2. A Mac can run Windows if you decide you need it at some point.
    3. It will most likely last longer.
    4. You already know the Mac OS.
    5. Does not get infected by PC viruses
    6. Better build quality
    7. You can get a 5 year-old Mac that will still work the way it should.
    8. There are retail stores where you can buy it and get it serviced.

    1. Initial price is higher than a PC especially when performing those simple tasks.
    2. Is susceptible to trojans.(just like the PC world)
    3. no blu-ray support
    4. No built-in media server capability like Windows Media Player and requires additional hardware to stream media.(but there are third-party alternatives)
  4. macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    Buy the PC.

    You obviously aren't using GPU or CPU intensive programs, and so why drop $1500 dollars on an overpriced piece of aluminium that doesn't even have that great specs?

    If you do not care about specs, then you'll be able to purchase a perfectly fine PC for much, much less than a Mac. Windows 8 is much faster than previous versions of Windows, and unless you fall for chain emails you'll never contract a virus.

    If you too, like so many others, are under the impression that Mac OS X is the most powerful OS (or the simplest - I have no idea how to use it) then you should do some research.

    Mac OS X is UNIX based, and written from FreeBSD, which is a Linus Distro. In English, this means the core code of a Mac is quite old and was not even written by Apple programmers.

    Mac OS X is simply Linux with a fancy UI.


    Intel Core i7 4Ghz
    12GB Corsair DIMM DDR3
    Crossfire Ati Radeon 6870 (x2 GPU)
    1200W PSU
    1TB Hard Disk
    Liquid Cooling
    EVGA X58 SLI3 Hyperthreaded motherboard
  5. macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2008
    For me, buy computers is a user experience thing. Macs seem to nail that a lot better than PC's (which I use exclusively at work). Even for day to day task like web browsing and so on, Macs just seem to suite my needs better.

    I recommend them to all my family and friends. Albeit the price is a deterrent, but to me its worth it.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Another reason I like OSX besides what has been mentioned (and I work on both platforms daily) is that there is very little maintenance. For the most part, it just gets out of my way and allow me to spend less time on the computer.
  7. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    Just out of curiosity, what's this "maintenance" everyone keeps talking about? All I do with Windows after I first install it is reboot it roughly every month or two when a big patch comes down the line.

    ...which admittedly, you don't have to do with OSX. But comeon, it's every 30-60 days.
  8. macrumors 68040

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    You really have no idea mate.

    I'd suggest YOU do some research and discover just how wrong you are.

    You may as well say Windows 8 is DOS based, and DOS is old because that's about how accurate your comparison to "Linus distro" is of OS X.
  9. macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    ive got a macpro tower and have loved it since 2008 but when it comes to change im going back to a PC

    Im going to build my own with the components i want. Im sick of Apple imposing limitations on us, PC's have usb 3, thunderbolt, sata 3, pci 3, higher memory capacities, the list goes on.

    I can build a system for half the price of a macpro tower that will destroy it performance wise and at the end of the day a pretty UI isnt what gets the work done.

    The graphics options that are available for a windows pc leave the macpro in the dark ages and the Imac, especially the new one is just too limited for me and i dont like my computers to be all in ones.

    Windows 7 and 8 are just as stable as macos.

    I use photoshop cs6 and lightroom 4 for my photography business and Adobe CS6 runs faster on PC's now than it does on mac.

    Apple are more interested in the iphone and ipad sales now than the computers and i dont like the way they are going.
  10. macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2012
    Porto, Portugal
    If money isn't that much of a problem, ALWAYS get a mac. ALWAYS.

    Most models are very price-competitive to other high end computers, and are just better. (build quality, OS, trackpad especially (makes all the difference), weight, battery life, performance (same specs and the mac is faster)).

    A macbook air would be perfect for you.
  11. macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you are fine with keeping your anti-virus software up to date and checking for OS updates more frequently than you would for OS X, Windows is a fine operating system and will serve you well. If what I've mentioned is stuff you'd rather not deal with, get a Mac. Both are great. Judge by the operating system and not the exterior of the box running it (though if you decide on getting a PC, then it makes sense to start judging the box running Windows as some Windows PCs are better than others for sure). If you want a desktop, a PC desktop that you build yourself is the best desktop you can buy, bar none (and yes, I'll argue that it's better than any desktop Apple makes). If you want a laptop, a non-retina MacBook Pro is the best laptop on the market today bar none (and yes, I'll argue that it's better than any other laptop on the market, Apple or non-Apple, and yes that includes the MacBook Air and the retina MacBook Pro).
  12. macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    Windows computers do require the user to scan for viruses now and then - every antivirus has a feature to allow you to manually scan your HD, and you have to, because some viruses just pass through the AVs' active defenses. On my Windows PC I prefer to do a big, deep scan every 2 weeks and quick scans every night.

    Plus, Windows tend to fragment the files on the disk, which over time causes a dramatic performance impact, slowing down your computer up to the point where it becomes nearly unusable. To solve this, you need to defragment your disk, something that can take several hours - if not an entire day - depending on your HD's speed.

    These are things that don't happen within the OS X - well, AV scans may still be necessary if you are concerned about not spreading PC viruses, but that's your option. There may be more, but I must confess I'm new to the Mac World - just got my hands on my first MBP 13'' a couple months ago - so I don't know if there are more things that the ones I mentioned.

    Still, these 2 issues are so much time consuming that I'm happy just by not having to worry about them anymore. Even if I had to pay 2x the price for the hardware, it's worth every cent.
  13. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    Man, I haven't had to run a defrag since upgrading to 7 about 4 years ago. Officially you still have to run it , but with modern Windows, it's all handled behind the scenes while your computer is idling. If you never turn your comp off, just let it drop to sleep after a certain amount of time like I do, you'll never once have to worry about it.

    And virus scans? I might fire one up when I run across something really suspicious just to make sure I don't have anything, but usually it's a 2-3 times a year affair for me. I don't think I've caught a virus since I was using Windows 98.

    Really, I can think of a number of reasons why someone would prefer OSX over Windows, but the fiddly maintenance stuff wouldn't be one of them. That aspect of Windows has been all but marginalized. For me, it all comes down to running CCleaner for 10 minutes every other month, or doing an almost annual virus scan.

    ...though admittedly, so people do seem to be luckier than others.
  14. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    Run cc-cleaner, systemcare, avg antivirus, frequent patch updates that require me to restart my computer, crap load of stuff that loads in startup....

    I run windows on bootcamp for gaming, and the experience of installing steam was a pain. It's little things like this that kinda remind me why I moved to Mac after 20 years on windows.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    If you have any respect for design and the presentation of your home get a Mac. :D

    Nice to have a PC that's part of the home than a big bit of plastic sitting on the desk.
  16. Renzatic, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012

    macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    Read my quote above. I run CCleaner for 15 minutes once every other month.

    Systemcare? What the hell's that?

    AVG? That's your fault for using it. I used Avast before going to MSE, and it never gave me problems. I rarely ever feel the need to do virus scans anyway, and haven't caught one in about forever...despite not regularly practicing what most people would call "safe" computer usage.

    Patch updates? All done in the background on a scheduled basis, completely hands free, and totally unnoticed. Only 1 in 50 or so requires a reboot. It's a rare thing, and I can easily keep Windows up and running for 45 days at least.

    Craploads of stuff loading at startup? Quit installing junk programs that do nothing but sit on the notification area eating resources. And hell, even if you do let a few slip by, it only takes 10 seconds to tell Windows not to let it boot at startup. I've got, like, two apps that load when I boot my machine.

    And what was so hard about installing Steam? It's true that installing programs isn't quite as elegant as OSX's drag and drop setup, but it isn't like setting an installation folder and hitting next twice is a harrowing experience.

    Like I said above, there are plenty of reasons to prefer OSX over Windows. It is overall a less fiddly experience. But that doesn't mean you have to over exaggerate to get your point across.

    edit: Here's some proof. I'm running Windows 8, which is getting new-OS constant updates. Haven't had to reboot it in 9 days 4 hours. And I'm running it on my older machine which I've had for about 5-6 years now.
  17. macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    You seem to be much luckier than most people I know that owns a PC - or at least much smarter, enough to know where, when and how to step on the web. Among other things, I'm a self-taught technician that learned from others' mistakes. My family alone made me learn the hard way the importance of having a good AV running a daily scan, so all the crap they DL during the day gets cleaned from the disk ASAP.

    Good to know that Win 7 helps with defrag process, but it still requires the computer to be 'idle', meaning it must be left on while no one uses it for a while. I wonder what happens if someone comes in during this time and starts using the PC... More importantly, if the computer is always in use while one, this won't help - and yes, my family does that, that's why I bought a Mac for myself.

    Anyway, there is no main reason why one should pick OS X over Windows nowadays. In fact, Apple fought very hard to create an environment that was close enough to Windows so that people could migrate. To me, though there are some differences, they basically offer the same services - web surfing, documents editions, e-mail, calendar, etc. They just do it in different ways.

    If you look more for things like price, compatibility, and hardware, and less for stability, reliability, security and beauty, go for a Windows solution. Otherwise pick a Mac - you'll be happier.
  18. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    Ha! Kinda. The one biggest thing I don't do is download random apps from random websites that look like they were made back in 1995. It's hard to get drive-by viruses on Windows these days. Maybe even almost impossible provided you let Windows Update do its thing. The one surefire way of getting a bug these days is through hinky programs that try to bait neophyte moms and dads into trying them out.

    Which is the one thing I drilled into my family's head when they got a computer. If you get a popup for free games, a weird warning saying you're infected with 50,000,000,000 viruses, or has some funny purple monkey that says it'll dance for you on your desktop...DON'T TRUST IT! It will **** you over and steal your credit cards, and you'll have to spend your golden years homeless and busking for change at the bus stop.

    Yeah, I kinda went a little overboard with the paranoia there, but it worked. I rarely ever have to deal with mom and dad screwing up their computer. Everything they do these days is done either through webapps I've shown them, or official programs from trusted companies. They're about out of my hair.

    Well, it's scheduled to run at a certain time while idle. I think it defaults to 5AM, which means it assumes you'll never shut your computer off. Though my experiences with it all kinda shows me it takes for-freaking-ever for a drive to get fragmented to the point it starts effecting performance. Like I don't have it set to clean up my D drive (olol drive letters). I haven't even done any computer assisted cleanup to it in ages. It still runs fine, even after a year and a half of constant usage.

    Yeah, pretty much. I think Macs are THE choice for computer newbies, as they're ready to perform flawlessly out of the box, where as Windows does take a bit of poking and prodding to get running exactly how you want it to at first.

    But really, anyone with a bit of knowledge can go either/or and be perfectly happy. I might be moving up to OSX myself in the near future. It's not because Windows is bugging me, but rather because those new iMacs are really, really nice and powerful. Having an actual desktop class AIO with an actually decent graphics card is too tempting to pass up. I won't have to manage wires and crap. It'll be great. :D
  19. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    I bought darksiders 2 on a cd, and before I could play it, I had to first install steam, and the darn program just wouldn't install itself. I had to tweak a variety of settings, from disabling this firewall to enabling steam on firewall to trying to download the client from the website itself plus some other stuff I can't remember, before it finally installed. Basically took me 2 hours before I could finally get my game up and running. Till today, I still have no idea what happened or how it got solved.

    I stuck with AVG because all my years on windows, it was the only antivirus software that was actually of use. I once had a very bad virus outbreak on my PC, and reformatting did nothing (the problem came back everytime I tried to access the internet after reinstalling windows. Ran AVG from a thumbdrive downloaded from a friend's PC, located the culprit, problem solved in minutes. No other software could find or do anything).

    Advanced systemcare - use it to periodically remove stray registry stuff and keep things in running condition.

    Playing a computer game in windows one moment (using around 20% of cpu and ram), tabbed over to chrome to look up a walkthrough, cpu suddenly spikes to 100% and freezes my entire mac, mandating a reboot.

    Maybe I am overexxagerating, but when you are using windows and osx side-by-side, it is the little minor things that stand out even more.
  20. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    Firewall problems, getting bugs when you first fire up the internet...

    ...yeah, XP kinda sucked. :p
  21. r0k
    macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I use MSE on my virtualbox installs of Win 7 and XP. It works well enough to prevent my virtual windows boxes from catching a virus. I would never consider going back to a windows box for everyday use. Part of the reason is the miserable experience I have with win 7 on my work pc. I get to look at that black screen with the "start windows normally?" question more than 4 times a week. Back when I ran XP at home, I used avg and liked it. It used to nag me once a year to "register" but all that required was a valid email address. I also used Avast. But it isn't just my lousy experience with IT at work that makes me hate Windows. It's something that I consider an inalienable right that MS has somehow lost sight of that really set me against Windows...

    When I think about what brought me to Windows in the first place, it was the ability to print. Lotus 123 with wysiwyg worked poorly and wordperfect was a crap shoot. Word and Excel for Windows and later MS Office 97 offered the ability to get pretty much exactly what I expected pretty much every time. Fast forward 10 years and I found I had once again lost the ability to always print. The culprit: "Windows" printers which offloaded page rendering to the computer OS so the printer could be sold for $49. Most of these printers and their drivers are junk, especially the ones from HP. I once had HP support tell me to try installing a 700 Meg driver over and over until I "got lucky." Meanwhile the driver for the same printer on OSX was only 30 Meg and always worked. So I switched to Mac.

    I've had no problems printing since switching to OSX. None, that is until I installed a win xp virtualbox and it somehow locked up one of our brother network printers. Daily to weekly problems printing (on Windows) followed by several years of no problems printing (on OSX) and the first printing problem I've had in over 40 months occurs when... I install Windows on a virtualbox. If I were picking up a computer today, you would have to pay me to accept a Windows box.
  22. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    And you are on this forum for what?


    And your time and effort to build it is worth how much?
  23. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    An hour and a half of free time? It doesn't take long to slap together a home built PC if you know what you're doing.
  24. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    OK, but most people are probably like me, I'd be screwing around with it for at least a week and then if something went wrong I'd have no idea where to look for a fix.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Burlington, MA, USA
    To show how much they don't know about the difference between UNIX and Linux?

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