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MAC VS PC: Flawed Argument! (try comparing apples to apples)

Discussion in 'Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion' started by Turnpike, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    As someone who's spent the last 10 years using PC based computers, and only now in my search/need for professional equipment & software (film editing and Adobe products) have started to investigate Apple products, and since I consider myself TOTALLY unbiased (or favoring PC's, if anything...), and am honestly searching for the best product, it seems to me that the (all too old) argument of "Mac vs PC" hasn't been a fair fight...

    This isn't the Ford vs. Chevy type argument that people make it seem- we are not comparing Towncars and Sedan De Villes... two products that do about the same thing and cost about the same and just represent 2 different companies... it seems to me that often at least half of every argument that I've found tends to factor in price. People who complain in reviews or in forums about Apple products nearly always include phrases like "for what I paid" or "for even less I could...." and that a lot of the frustration that exists almost always (it seems to me) factors in the price they paid, since it was more than the other item they were considering... they never say (that I've found) "on a PC it's easier to..." or "Apple complicates it by..."

    So if you COMPLETELY eliminate the money factor from the argument, and I do mean COMPLETELY, would it be fair to say that it's almost without argument that Apple products are completely (by far) superior to everyone else's? That the best Apple phone is far superior to ****'s (anybody's) best phone, that Apple's best desktop is far superior to HP/Dell/whoever 's best desktop, and so on? That once you learn to use it, you will be happier and more productive with something from Apple?

    For the amount of time (all day every day) I spend on my computer, especially now that it will be increasing to even more time, I've been searching for an HONEST opinion as to what's the best product, and after reading review after review, and after reading complaint after complaint, and comparison after comparison, it seems to me that if you factor out any price-related influence, that there's not even an argument. The more I read/watch online about Bill Gates and or Steve Jobs (and how each very much represents their own company's philosophies) it seems to me that Bill Gates is the licensing/business genius, forcing his product into a zillion sections of the market and that Steve Jobs was the product/user experience genius making the best product possible with the available technologies and it being a runaway success based on the products simply being "insanely great"...

    So a year later, after slowly switching to Safari browser (on my PC) and buying an iPhone and iPad, and now getting an iMac.... it seems to me that aside from price-related influence, the the argument for best product (and simply that- comparing PRODUCT-TO-PRODUCT to find out THE BEST PRODUCT) it's fair to say that there is no comparison, that Apple is the best made, best designed, and most convenient and productive products out Ferrari to a Ford, but if you're simply going PRODUCT-TO-PRODUCT, there is a clear winner, and that there is only an argument at all because the ARGUMENT itself is flawed. :apple:
  2. r0k
    macrumors 68040


    I agree but people are still gonna include price in their arguments. Computers are becoming more of a commodity every day. I can read email on a PC or a Mac, edit photos on a PC or a Mac, and so on.

    Some decades ago, Japanese cars started showing up in the US. A lot of people asked "How am I going to get parts when they break down?" Nobody could wrap their heads around the notion that the things would rarely need service. The same is true for the Windows user. They think "Who do I know who has a Mac and can help me with this thing?" The thought that they will NEVER NEED HELP hasn't crossed their minds.

    This is why you see threads here on MR comparing Macs to PCs based partly on price. Quite often, people on either side of the argument simply cannot visualize how there could be any merit to the opposite side of the debate because they have no experience with the other type of computer or they base their opinions on obsolete information like OS 9 or Windows XP.

    Then there are those who are ignorant of the details beneath the surface. For instance, turn on and off capslock on Windows 7. It requires a registry key entry and a reboot. On OS X it is about 3 clicks. Another example, change font and icon size OS wide. On windows it requires a reboot. On OS X again it's about 3 clicks. The last example mildly favors windows. "Move" a file to another folder. On Windows, it's two clicks. On OS X it's more clicks because you have to copy it first then move the old file to the Trash. The moral of the story is that both companies make mistakes but the mistakes on the Apple side are relatively minor and never lead to the dreaded REBOOT simply to apply a setting.

    If you focus on the commodity aspect of computing, the argument will continue for a long time. It is only when you look beneath the surface you can find evidence of the inherent superiority of OS X based on the time it saves the user and inherent stability. This coupled with Apple's better than average quality and Apple's best in class customer care makes the decision to buy a Mac an easy one.
  3. macrumors newbie

    You can upgrade (or buy stock) the components of a Ford (PC) as much as you want, it may even have similar specs on paper (horsepower, torque etc) but it will never be a Nissan GTR (Mac).
  4. macrumors 6502a

    You're just trying to justify the high price of Apple products. No doubt Apple products are of great quality but THEY ARE OVERPRICED. If Apple priced Mac Pro at $10000, would you buy ignoring the price? In some aspects, Apple products are superior - like the build quality, design, consistent OS, etc. but Android offers so much more customization and features. So, its more of a personal choice, there's no definite winner. Same thing with custom-built PCs.
  5. macrumors 68040


    ^^^ What he said. I use both PC and MAC and love both for different reasons.
  6. macrumors 604


    That's a nice opinion. My opinion is that Windows Phone 7, while lacking some things like apps, is a much better OS than iOS. Having used my girlfriend's droid, iPhone, and my WP7, I prefer my WP7 device the best.

    Likewise, when it went to finding a laptop, I decided that a Dell Vostro was the best. It came in a 14" variety (non-existant with Apple) and a dedicated graphics card, again which is impossible to get on any mac that's smaller than a 15". I also needed a metal exterior because plastic feels cheap, a backlit keyboard, a comfortable keyboard (again, this keyboard is even better than a macbook). The best part was the price - about $500 cheaper.

    However, since price doesn't come into the equation, all I can say is... I got what was best for me. It was a WP7 and a Dell Vostro.

    Moral of the story: Don't make blanket statements, they're not true. Apple computers aren't the best computers ever, they're just another (overpriced IMO) commodity.
  7. macrumors newbie

    The answer to your question is very simple. Apple products, under the hood aren't very different from Dell, HP etc. although there are a lot of customization options for the latter. You mentioned you would want your 'Personal Computer' for the sole purpose of film editing and professional use. Since price is not an issue; I would recommend you doing a little bit of research where benchmarks of film editing software (FCP, Adobe Premier, Avid) has been carried out between Windows and Mac OS X and supplement that with real feedback from the gurus in the studios.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    I've noticed a few things being a recent convert in the last year.

    1) OSX is nicer. This is subjective but I find it to be the case.
    2) Bundled apps are nicer (largely related to #3).
    3) No crapware. There are a few bundled apps but they are full versions and pretty decent. I don't need AOL pre-installed at this point and I don't need a bunch of Toshiba or HP custom apps (especially prevalent on laptops) that don't really make the experience better an in fact often its worse and can't be removed (or are very difficult).*
    4) Fewer problems. My Toshiba was still a $700 laptop when it was new but the touchpad was always buggy. It would move the cursor when I was typing even though through troubleshooting I made 1000% sure I wasn't accidentally touching it and even turned off tap-clicking.
    5) General aesthetics. If you can justify buying anything but the most basic products (do you own Oakleys or Ray bans instead of Target sunglasses? Do you a Columbia or Northface coat instead of a Wal-Mart special?), I don't understand how you can object to buying a computer that is just frankly better made. I'm not talking the CPU here, I'm talking the physical machine. No more broken laptop lid latches or trim pieces that broke off after a year.
    6) Longevity. I have only had my Macs for a year, but they literally still look, feel, and run like brand new. I've never had a PC that didn't feel old after a year. And I see a lot more REALLY OLD (in technology terms) Macs in use than I do PCs.

    *I recently restored a Toshiba laptop because of poor performance and constantly dropping wi-fi. It took THREE HOURS after the install was done to remove the crapware and Toshiba custom apps (like this stupid flashcards app that created a row of soft-buttons that popped down from the top of the screen. It was a host of completely worthless shortcuts that always popped down accidentally due to poor integration. NO, I'm trying to close this window, not launch control panel or whatever it was.

    Also note that the existence of crapware and the difficulty in removing it is a big reason for the price differential. If you buy business class machines that don't come with this stuff pre-installed, the price is higher than the Best Buy rock bottom prices people quote when they do a price comparison to a Mac (again, especially with laptops).
  9. macrumors 603

    [bolding is added]
    They are not "overpriced". I hate this argument when I see it. A fair "price" is set by the market-place, since we are in a free-market economy. If they were overpriced, they would not be selling. If they were underpriced, they would be selling - but the company would be suffering losses. Apple is both a) selling 'em as fast as they can make 'em, and b) is not losing money. Therefore - by definition - they are fairly priced.

    If you can't afford one - don't buy one. It is as simple as that. It's called a "Free-Market". Sigh....
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Don't tell me $2000 for a MBP is fair:rolleyes:

    They still sell because they offer features that no one else does (design, Mac OS, etc)
  11. macrumors 6502a

    I have a good friend who is an economics professor. Products that are overpriced no longer exist. The fact that Macs still exist and in fact are increasing in market share is absolute proof they are not overpriced. But you're not going to win this argument. People are not interested in the actual definitions of words they use.
  12. macrumors 603

    Thanks imahawki, your timing is impeccable....
  13. Moderator


    So do I. Apple simply can't offer a desktop for my needs, and I need Windows anyway and double-booting or virtualization kind of sucks.
  14. macrumors 68040

    I switched to Mac 3 years ago because I needed a test system that was OSX based. Then I got into VM which allowed me to cut down from having a Mac, PC, and a Linux box to just my Mac and I haven't gone back (except for my day job where I still rock an Win XP Laptop). To be honest, I did enjoy Windows 7. It was by far the least Suck of any OS released by Microsoft. However, I can't run OS X in a virtual machine so I stick with OSX (which is now my preferred anyway). Nice thing about VM's, I just keep a copy of all my VM's and if one hoses up (i.e. gets a virus), I just pull in the backup. That makes dealing with Windows and all it's "Quirks" much more agreeable....
  15. macrumors regular

    This reinforces my point- the only regular, consistent complaint people have is "price" and not anything related to the quality/performance. We're talking about the better PRODUCT, not PRICE. Superior products SHOULD cost more! (not that I WANT to pay more)

    Next time you hear someone say "Look- a Lamborghini!" and you hear someone else reply "stupid overpriced junk!" instead of "oooOOOooohh woow!" THEN you can start factoring the price into the Mac VS PC argument! :)
  16. Moderator


    It's not a better product, it's all up to one's usage. Want a machine primarily for gaming? You are better off with a PC. Want a mid-tower desktop? Apple doesn't make one. Need a laptop with CUDA-supported GPU? Apple doesn't make one. Just a couple examples of at least dozens of different usages where a PC is superior. Likewise, there are cases where a Mac is superior.
  17. macrumors 6502

    silly argument, but the jury still leans Mac overall...

    I've always hated the Mac vs. PC arguments as each system clearly has their benefits respective of each other.

    But as someone who uses both systems I will say this much: Macs have by far the nicest looking form factor AND their operating system is the most friendly to use and learn. For most people (i.e. non-tech savvy people, those not interesting going "under the hood" of their computers, both physically and virtually) no one is really interested in getting bogged down with re-boots to implement basic system setting changes, nor do they want to deal with constant annoying popup notifications they didn't enable (or thought they turned off) and they value consistent OS stability that isn't compromised by adding an updated application or three. For these main reasons I find that most people tend to favor Macs over PCs in the long run, especially once they've had a chance to try them both out.

    As for those that claim Apple products are "overpriced" you people are high. Just as ImaHawki pointed out earlier, nay-sayers are too indiscriminate with their hyperboles of accessing the matter fairly.

    Sure, you can build out and DIY a PC yourself, and even get some good deals on some individual parts, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people DO NOT want to build themselves a computer, nor do they have the expertise/patience to do so -- they just want to buy a computer "pre-configured" that has most of what they already need to ultimately focus strictly on their software related tasks.

    Unfortunately, people tend to "overbuy" regarding their electronics needs, but that's not the companies fault rather that's mostly the customers for not doing their homework better before settling on a particular product and/or brand. For everyone else, either you're too cheap/broke to afford a decent system out the gate, or you simply haven't done the math when pricing out a similarly spec'd Mac to a comparably spec'd PC to see for yourself that the price differential isn't much between the two systems (usually no more than 10%, with the Mac being more in most cases) so the actual price is a moot standpoint in the grand scheme of things. Those that continue to hang onto this element as their core argument against a Mac just don't know what they're talking about or greatly misinformed.
  18. macrumors regular

    I used to be like OP trying to justify paying more money for a mac than a brand new one from say Dell or even better self-built. I would say I most definitely bought into the who Apple thing and once you are in it hard to get out (emotionally).

    The justification just isn't there anymore, not in this economic climate. Not when you see what windows 8 is shaping up to be and what Lion failed to be.

    Seen plenty of videos of people on Windows 8 DP booting super fast and running fast on 5 year old hardware, no problems.

    Don't get me wrong, Apple stuff is great (the Leopard years were great) but just not worth the premium they are asking for it now.
  19. macrumors 68040


    Apple products are retarded expensive, I hate it.
  20. macrumors regular

    You talk about people not wanting to get down on the basics of computers yet you say customers are at fault for not doing research into what computer they want to buy.

    Mac's are more expensive and it's HILARIOUS (and rude) that you say price complainers can't afford a decent system yet I can show you a cheap self-build that can run-circles around the base macpro.

    It's not about AFFORDABILITY it's about bang for buck.

    Upgrading is also stupid on the mac side.
  21. macrumors 6502

    I agree with you overall however MOST PEOPLE, the everyday Joe & Jane who are not techies and/or gamers, will prefer a Mac in most cases because of the friendlier environment and minimum learning curve to facilitate their software in via OSX. And it doesn't hurt that Macs are easier on the eyes too. ;)

    Again, price is not the issue here, people need to stop making it about that and remove this notion of a "premium" as if Apple is pricing their products out of the stratosphere because they're simply not. Yes, they overcharge certain elements (like RAM and HDD for instance) but you can still replace/upgrade these things yourself quite easily for less.

    It all comes down to which operating system you feel most comfortable with using to facilitate the majority of your computing needs. Period.

    Based on this preference/need is where you make your purchase decision(s). Yet regardless of which OS you're supportive of the market has already set the price for each of the system components, so ultimately the actual featured specs of each vendor's system configuration is going to reflect these combined prices in it's final asking price. If you only have $600 to spend on a computer system you get, for the most part, a $600 computer system, regardless of the brand.
  22. Moderator


    It's a preference. Using a Mac isn't any friendlier or easier than using a PC, it's all up to the person. Most people have grown up using Windows and hence they continue to use Windows today. Learning a new OS is much harder than doing something you learnt years ago, even if you never learnt it that well. Besides, most people's usage is so light that the OS doesn't really matter. Reading email and browsing the web don't really require any learning.
  23. macrumors 6502

    *sigh* This is such a tired, old argument. Build me a computer from Dell or parts from Newegg that matches what you get with a Mac Pro, part for part. Here's a hint, the prices are very close.

    There's no reason to take a $500 Dell desktop and compare it to a Mac Pro when they don't have any parts in common. You can't claim a Jaguar is overpriced if you are in the market for a Lada.

    Find me a comparably built laptop from Dell or HP that's significantly cheaper. And not some piece of crap plastic thing. You could do the same with with the MacBook Air and the iMac.
  24. Moderator


    Dell Precision T3500

    Intel Xeon W3530 2.8GHz
    AMD FirePro V4800
    3GB DDR3
    1TB 7200rpm hard drive

    Total: $1550

    Similarly specced Mac Pro: $2499

    Samsung 7 Series

    Intel Core i7-2675QM
    AMD Radeon HD 6750M
    8GB DDR3
    750GB hard drive
    Aluminum body

    Price: $1199

    Similarly specced MBP: $1799 ($2299 before the update)

    ASUS Zenbook

    Intel Core i7-2677M
    256GB SSD
    4GB RAM

    Price: $1449

    Similarly specced MBA: $1699

    Enough? The Dell is from Dell's online stores, others are NewEgg prices so go ahead and check them yourself.

    iMac doesn't have any real competitors, mainly because the AIO market is quite dead. iMac only sells because it's Apple.
  25. macrumors 601


    I thought the idea here was to take price out of the argument.

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