Are Macs and PCs internally the same?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ThirtyThr33, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. ThirtyThr33 macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2011
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hey guys, stupid question:

    I'm planning on soon trying to get my certifications to become an IT guy at my school, I haven't yet read the Comptia A+ study guide but I ordered it on Amazon, and I have a whole year to read and study before the test. So I have a really nooby question: are macs and PCs similar in hardware? Or are Macs totally different internally than PCs? I understand I'll be reading about a bunch of PC hardware but I'm not sure if any of it would apply to macs as well?
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Windows PCs are made of clay and bricks, while Macs are made of strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. :D

    Yes, they're made of the same stuff: CPUs, GPUs, fans, hard drives, optical drives, RAM, etc.
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
  5. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    If a technician asked me that question, I'd probably go out of my way to buy a gun and shoot him. Twice.
  6. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    They have the same insides. Both are PCs (Personal Computers). But they require different certifications. You need an Apple, Dell, HP, etc for each different hardware maker. Then you'll need Windows and/or Mac, if you're doing software.
  7. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    Yes its all the same hardware inside now. Have fun spending lots of money on certifications every year to 2- 3 years!
  8. ThirtyThr33 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2011
    Boulder, Colorado
    haha woah there. I know it was a stupid question, and I obviously know they had the same parts (GPU, CPU, RAM, etc) but I'm still very new to Apple Products and I just thought I'd ask. I know PC's pretty well, but when I hear lingo like "logicboard" instead of "motherboard" I start to think that there might be more to it than what I know about PCs.

    I'm trying to get my work to give me an old broken ibook so I can tear it apart and start getting my hands dirty in the details but they won't give it to me so I still have to try and learn all this stuff through forums and the guide
  9. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    The actual parts in a Mac are found in various other PCs the real thing that makes them unique is the combination of hardware. That being said people do deliberately make other non macs similar very similarly made, they're called hackintoshes, although they don't have to be the same (hackintoshes that is). The only thing that is really macy about a Mac is the case, combination and software.
  10. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    You can get a refurb low-end Mac for <$1,000.
  11. tonyunreal macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2010
    Yes and no. Macs' internal are based on PC technologies, but some of these technologies aren't fully implemented in mass produced PCs yet.
  12. eUnique macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    I used to think people on 2+2 had no life, but FFS some of these replies just scream misery and pain IRL. Make a change in your life to start enjoying it.

    To OP: As a disclaimer all my knowledge has come from google/wiki/various forum opinions gathered for about a month. It's very common for a PC to have a matching CPU (even if at different times) or the same GPU but it seems more uncommon to have alot of things in common. Because apple gets there parts from various places as does PC.
  13. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    Like what?
  14. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    The only one I can think of atm is thunderbolt/lightpeak, that are currently exclusive but on the soon-to-be Vaio Z.

    I guess the "shape" of the logic board is unique to the mbp. But then again, every laptop has their own unique mobo.

    Somewhere in the past decade, Apple realized they were pretty bad with creating their own stuff, and were really good at perfecting other people's stuff, so they stuck with it. I still remember the old Macs labeling their G4's the fastest processors on the planet.

    When you break things down, everyone has a heart, lungs, stomach, etc. Same thing here.
  15. tonyunreal macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2010
    EFI and Thunderbolt?
  16. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    USB 3 , blue-ray .... Owww shoot PCs get those... And I very much doubt anyone using pcs is crying over TB, if it ever succeeds then PCs will get it, it's actualy intel tech and not apple.

    Macs are pcs in a nice case.

    P.s Sony is implementing TB in their "PCs"
  17. Lwis macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2011
    You're forgetting the optimization and the fact the OS is built around the hardware they design, unlike windows which is unoptimized because it runs on such a large spectrum of hardware. You pay for what you get, and the performance is outstanding.
  18. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
    If OP is going to ask questions like these, A+ will help.
  19. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Which also means that a PC can be serviced, while a mac is practically near un-servicable (sans Mac Pro).
  20. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    efi versus bios; things like that separate them, but generally the components are the same.
  21. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    Unless you want anything that requires the GPU, because WIndows GPU drivers always beat the OS X GPU drivers.
  22. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    :rolleyes: Then you can use the third bullet on yourself...
  23. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    They are pretty much the same inside. Having said that, so are these two and I know which I prefer ;)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  24. bimmerfreak0 macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2008
    I think the real question is are there any quality differences. Two wheel bearings can come from the same factory but have completely different specs and quality control and materials.

    I wonder if Apple actually uses better materials than PC competitors?
  25. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    To the OP:

    As a CS Professor I can give you some advice:

    The A+ Cert is a great place to start if you are interested in computers but are unsure where to start.

    There is an old saying that reading about bicycles doesn't teach you how to ride a bicycle. This is why experience is so important.

    Some suggestions:

    -See if you can get a job at a computer store or in an IT department as either an intern (paid or unpaid - though unpaid will get you in somewhere sooner) which will help you immensely. You will do a great deal of grunt work but it will expose you to a plethora of technology that will help you in the long run. You can expect Windows Troubleshooting, Virii removal, hardware break/fix, simple networking troubleshooting, and much more.

    -You can look at getting other Certs as well: MCSE (MCP), CCNA, CNA, CNE, and many OEMs will offer tech certs for their products (HP for example).

    -College and University Degrees: A College or Trade School degree will always help you and of course a University Degree is at the top of the list.

    If you are going to be in technology you have to keep your skills sharp and be diverse in your skill toolbox. At the University level, they used to push one skill per person. If you were a database programmer, you did JUST database programming. That is no longer the case.

    Today a good University will teach you database programming but also how to build the server, install the OS, secure the environment, deploy clients, and be a well-rounded engineer. Companies today expect IT people to have a varied and diverse skill-set.

    Lastly, keep up with technology and if you want to be competitive you will need a University Degree, some certs, and appropriate experience.

    eljanitor posted "Yes its all the same hardware inside now. Have fun spending lots of money on certifications every year to 2- 3 years!"

    Sorry, but this is somewhat true. I am not saying you have to get new certs all the time but staying on top of technology and skills makes a world of difference. This is no different than doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, or others keep up with new information in their respected fields.

    Finally, have fun! They say do something you love and you will never work a day in your life. I believe this is true. We all have are good and bad days but I love technology so I never dread work. I feel like we are always making things better for people so technology has a great place in society. I'm not saying there aren't other great vocations in society, I just really enjoy being apart of technology.

    Good Luck!

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