Alu. or pc - Mac biased anyway

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Theirishjoey, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Theirishjoey macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Hi all,

    I've decided I need a new laptop and was wondering whether I should fork out the cash and buy a alu. macbook 2.0ghz OR buy a windows pc.

    I really would like to try out OS X, have never used it before but have heard good things, but don't really have the cash right now and would prefer to have a new laptop now.

    So OSs aside what should I get?
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Before hand, I'm just going to let you know that the name of this site is :) You're going to get a ton of Mac responses!

    If you'd like to try out OS X and how great of an OS it is, get a Mac. If you want to deal with the annoyances of the Windows world, get a PC. You don't really have the cash, so I'd say keep saving, as it's worth it. It's all about the "total cost of ownership" -- while the Mac looks expensive now, the PC will be more expensive in the long run.
  3. Theirishjoey thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2008
    I figured I would but hey.

    I have used windows all my life and am quite unsure about making the transition. But thanks for the advice.
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    It all depends on how much money you have and if you need it right now.

    The base Macbook costs $1,299. If you're in school, you can get an education discount (not sure how much it will take off). If that's too much money, then go for a PC and try a Mac later on when you have more money.

    My in-laws bought a Macbook a couple months ago and they had only used Windows before. They love how much simpler the Mac is and how they don't have to run anti-virus software, etc.
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Well, aside from Hackintoshing a Dell Mini 9 or MSI Wind to get OSX on a cheap netbook ($250) you will have to buy a MacBook to get OSX. has plenty of Hackintoshing info.

    You could buy a used MacBook for 700 or so.

    That would ease the cost of entry and if you don't like it you shouldn't loose much when you sell it. You can run Windows on the MacBook so worst case you have a PC that looks like a Mac.

  6. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    In my personal experiences, the Mac will also cost more to in the long run as well due to the large amount of repairs with the past several Macbooks and Powerbooks I had. It really depends on what PC you are looking for. I have a Dell Latitude D420 and that thing is built 10x better than any Macbook I have seen or used and is extremely durable. The Dell Inspiron I had wasn't as well built and was pretty heavy. And the Dell XPS M1330 I have is much more durable and lighter than my Macbook.

    Also Apple charges on things that should be free like the connectors to connect to TV or monitor, which the ports are already built into many and most PC laptops.

    Also the noise level might be of consideration, the nvidia Macbook I have makes a large amount of noise from the fans when doing anything other than typing or light browsing. Such as playing the "HD" videos from youtube causes the fans to kick into high speed after a minute or two and the sound is annoying.

    Personally I am PC bias but use a Macbook from time to time because I got it as a gift and just use it as a backup computer.
  7. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Two word: AppleCare warrantee.

    Think of it this way.

    You can get a cheap-PC, and save some cash right now. It's not going to be anything new and different... it's going to be the exact same thing you've had in the past or the same as what you have right now. In terms of hardware, if you find a PC that matches the top-of-the-line components that Macs use, you'll see the cost of that PC will be closer to the cost of the Mac. So for starters, if you want a good computer, at least match what the Mac has to offer with the tech specs.

    However, hardware is not the key difference between a Mac and a PC, it's just one of the differences. That's where there's going to be a bit of a transition for you, just as it’s a different OS. But it's not so difficult and people make the switch all the time. And just in the case it takes a little more time, you can put Windows on the Mac to make the transition easier for you.

    You'll save yourself a lot of time and money with your Mac. Not to mention a computer that looks as good as it works. Can you say that about your PC?
  8. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    To me, it's ALL about the OS. People pay more to be able to use Mac OS instead of Windows. If you really don't care about the OS, then surely you should get a pc.
  9. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    Well first of all, Applecare warranty costs about $300 extra which puts the price even higher hence backing up my comment. And Mac's do not use top of the line components, they use the same as PC components. The highest the Macbook Aluminum processor they use I believe is the P8600 whereas in my M1330 that is almost 2 years old uses a T9300 which has a larger cache and is faster running on the same Penryn core.

    If you haven opened up a Macbook or two before you will see they use the same stuff as PC's. The DVD burner in my brand new Macbook is the EXACT same model and make as my DVD burner in my M1330. The hard drive in my M1330 is both larger and faster than the Macbook's and everyone knows that Apple does not make their own harddrives but just buys it from other companies like everyone else. I have a 120GB hitachi in my Macbook and I prefer my M1330 Western Digital drive much better due to speed and noise. And the screen in my M1330 is worlds better than the one used in the Macbook, not to mention much thinner. The panel used in the M1330 is manufacturered by Toshiba, I am not so sure what is used in the Mac but I am sure either AUO or some other terrible manufacturer.

    And to top things off. Dell offers Complete Care warranty for about the same price as Applecare but they offer COMPLETE accidental warranty coverage and will come to your house to fix the laptop resulting in no downtime.

    My M1330 cost about $900 whereas the Macbook costs $999. The M1330 is MUCH MUCH higher specced than the Macbook and is lighter and faster and better built.

    I would like to see how Apple Macbooks are made with different hardware than PCs? The P7350 in the Macbook can be found in any other laptop and the 9400m chipset can be found in the Studio XPS 13 right now and they actually offer Hybrid SLI which the Macbook Pros can't even do even though they have the hardware but Apple probably limited it.

    If you are wondering here are my M1330 specs:
    T9300 2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4GB ram, Wifi-N, DVD Burner, LED backlit LCD display, 8400M GS 256MB DDR3, 250GB HD, bluetooth. 3.95lbs
  10. testcard macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    Northumbria, UK
    Do what I did - find your nearest Apple Retail Sore and book an hour's free Personal Shopping with a Specialist and a MacBook. An hour should at least give you a flavour of how OS X works and how it compares to Windows. Then you can decide if a Mac still makes it onto your wish list for a new laptop. In my case it did, and I walked out with a new MacBook. :)
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  12. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Try half that.

    I'm confused by your statement. Yes, Macs and PCs can use the same type of components, but the reason why there are super-cheap PCs out there is because they're not using top-of-the-line components. PC makers cut corners to save costs, which in turn affects the usability of the computer. That's why Apple doesn't create a cheap Mac: because they don't want a computer that runs like crap. Put simply, if you want a computer that runs great, you're going to have to spend more money -- regardless if it's a Mac or a PC. But if you're going to spend more money on a PC to just match the top-of-the-line components a Mac uses, why not just pickup a Mac, as the cost will be about the same at that point?

    Sorry, but I lost my interest. :)
  13. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    If it is only a thing of you wanting to try OS X I would have to say save the cash and get the PC. You need a computer not an experiment. When the time comes that you have some extra cash lying around (hmmm) then I'd say start looking into playing with OS X.

    The thing is OS X is fantastic. However if what you are doing can be done on a PC there is no justifiable reason to spend the extra money.
  14. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    I don't know about you but Applecare is $250 on the website, not quite half of $300.
    And what I was saying is that Apple uses the SAME COMPONENTS as PC's. And no they do not pick out top of the line components, they choose middle of the line components. The top of the line Macbook Aluminum uses a P8600 which is far inferior to P9000 series used in many other similar sized laptops and the individual components such as capacitors and resistors on the board are all the same.
  15. coronel mustard macrumors member

    coronel mustard

    Nov 27, 2008
    Standish, England
    johnny13oi you do raise some good points- macs are more expensive than their pc cousins and you could easily get a better spec pc for less money...


    because apple creates the operating system- they pick the relevant hardware that will work best with the os. As a result, i find that osx is more stable, faster and a user friendly operating system than windows vista/ xp. I also love the ilife package which comes with every mac- and have yet to find a suitable windows equivalent. The iwork package is a good alternative to the ms office package (i personally prefer pages over the mac version of word- and keynote is far better than powerpoint). And if you feel the urge to return to windows- you can! Using bootcamp.

    For me- the user experience is very important and therefore i picked a mac. I do agree that apple have- inflated prices- however i am prepared to pay a little extra for the usability and stability of osx.
  16. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
  17. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    That was probably the most useful comment and I have to kind of agree with this. With such limited hardware options, it gives the chance for Apple to optimize Mac OS X for their selected hardware rather than with PCs the Windows Operating System caters to an almost unlimited amount of configurations allowing the customer to choose what they want, but then it makes it really hard to optimize for everything out there. To me OSX is very simple and works best for a lot of people. But I like to have the ability to control my hardware how I want and it seems that OSX doesn't provide that mainly because they want to make it really simple for their users.

    I do however like the simplicity of OSX and use it from time to time, but when I need to do some serious work or want to play some games, I find myself having to switch back to my PC. (Apple really needs to make a highly functional laptop that is also very portable like a Latitude D420 and not the showboat Macbook Air. While the air is pretty speedy, it is by no means durable and does not have enough ports and the battery life is terrible for a laptop meant to be used portably. For the same weight and a slightly thicker and slower package, other manufacturers can produce a computer that can be thrown around and leave no marks and can last about 7 hours on battery, I really wished Apple would make that product.)
  18. hndn macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2009
    Okay, I'm a PC freak my whole life & it's been a while I want to experience a mac just because I'm tired of 3.6 years old Dell laptop, but understanding that mac is expensive, I refused to "satisfy my want." Two weeks ago, offers $200 rebate on the new white MB, thinking that $800 to "satisfy my want" fits my budget as a student (alu is too expensive for me :) )You stated "I really would like to try out OS X," why not give it a try? You're not only get a new laptop but also gain new experience. I still have PC at home, I'm not against PC & I have to agree with the other post about Dell XPS, yes, it's a beauty. My original option was either Dell XPS or MB, & I'm a happy camper now.
    Good luck.
  19. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    It's not whether Apple optimize the OS for hardware (which it does),
    the difference from performance comes from how the OS is designed.

    OSX is unix, designed for 24/7 operation with self defrag, etc.
    Windows require all kinds of babysitting to get it to not slow down too much.

    What "serious work" do you do? You do know what UNIX is?
  20. coronel mustard macrumors member

    coronel mustard

    Nov 27, 2008
    Standish, England
    Exactly! It is down to personal preference- i prefer OSX over windows (i also think that some windows users would as well if they would give it a chance) however osx doesn't cater for all. If you want to have control over your hardware, like you, or if you want a gaming machine, or if you are a tight budget then OSX and mac is not an option.
  21. Jamesl94 macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2009
    I would go for a mac, I am not saying this just because I own a mac.

    PC's are nice computers for just dossing around on, but when you want something really nice that you know you had to fork out a little more for, you respect it loads more and I would say for every 2 PC's you would buy, one mac would do it. People usually keep PC's around 2 years, thats when they start to go wrong, not with a mac.

  22. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    To the original poster, what do you plan on using your laptop for? If you are like me and go to school with a massive campus and find yourself walking for 15mins every hour in between classes then you should really consider the weight of the laptop. While sure .5lbs might not seem like a large difference on paper, it makes a huge difference when you are always on your feet. Going from 4lbs to 3lbs is a huge difference and from 5lbs to 4lbs is even a great difference in my opinion. If you are always on the go, go for something lightweight, you won't regret it. Here are the computers I have and the experiences I have carrying them around:

    Powerbook G4 Aluminum - 5.6lbs - really big and bulky and heavy on the back after an hour or two. I wouldn't even consider bringing around a Powerbook or Macbook Pro if you are planning on using it at school and walk around a lot.

    White Macbook Nvidia - 5lbs - Very noticeable weight and very annoying to bring around for extended periods of time.

    Dell XPS M1330 - 3.97 lbs - Pretty lightweight and not too bad for several hours at a time. But on days where I am on campus for 8 hours, it gets to be a little annoying.

    Dell Latitude D420 - 3 lbs - Very lightweight and can barely tell difference when carrying around with textbooks. Also the most durable.

    Macbook Air - 3lbs - Same as the D420 but its a bit bulkier and gets marks on screen from keyboard when carrying with books. Also can bend if carried with books in backpack.
  23. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    Yes I know what UNIX is and Windows Vista has built in automatic defragging as well. And my school computers both use OSX and Windows and are on 24/7 as well and neither show any problems when I use them.

    I mainly use my PCs when I write my scientific reports and papers and use Mathematica and Fortran a lot. I always tend to lean back to the PC when doing that kind of work but use the Apple laptops for when I just want to browse the internet.
  24. ux4all macrumors regular


    Jan 26, 2009
    Chicago, IL, USA
    I would not be surprised if there are maintenance programs or 'baby sitting' that probably occurs in the off hours for both OS.

    I think there are 2 conversations here going on at the same time.

    Who makes a better product?
    This is nearly an impossible question to answer. I do not like comparing 1 to many... percentages just aren't there. My Thinkpad, my Dell and my MB have all taken a fair share of punishment. I have cracked my plastic case but I have yet to dent the aluminum. That being said... apparent and perceived build quality has traditionally fallen into the Apple camp.

    Which is a better OS?
    Both require annoying updates when you first use them. Both have their awesome software and exclusive software. Due to the stricter QA required in the OS X framework, I have found that Universal and Mac software is more robust than the comparable version on the Microsoft OS. Moreover, I can flexibly run both systems on my mac. It requires infringing several (potentially) binding licenses to do the mirrored scenario. (FYI, I currently have a hackintosh so I am aware of the limits of this equation)

    For me, it was the flexibility of the product that drove me to the Mac. I wanted the ease of use of the Apple OS with the ability to install and run the Microsoft OS proprietary items (Visio specifically).

    Plus, the Apple OS application icons are much cooler :apple:
  25. Zillicah macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2009
    It depends what your budget is...

    Get a PC if you really can't afford a Mac.
    Get a Mac if you can afford it, it's worth the investment

    If you only do word processing, email, etc. then a non-expensive PC will do the job. But, if you really want the OS X, then get the Mac. It's all what you want and what you can afford :)

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