Help me understand Mac hardware...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sinanziric, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. sinanziric macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2012
    In what way mac hardware differs from PC hardware?
    IMHO Macs cease to exist after G5 series ended. For me Macs were
    different platform by using PowerPC CPU, different GPU, but now
    we have Intel processors (few years ago we called PC platform Wintel) but
    new we use Intel CPU's + we can boot Windows.

    I don't see difference between iMac and Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba Laptop. Please
    anyone tell me what kind of hardware Macs HAVE that PC's DON'T?

    Also i felt bad when i saw one guy installing Mac OS X on PC, everything worked OOB he was also buying and using some apps from App Store o_O

    Is it true that Mac's are nothing else but brand made laptop like PC's?

    What you guys think?
  2. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
  3. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    That is so true, except for the price, they are both the same ever since. Macs and PC are one and the same, "personal computers"...
  4. JForestZ34 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    Apple uses all the same hardware that pc's use. IMO the only difference is in the software. They make their software work with all the components in the computer

  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Hardware-wise, there is not much difference between modern Macs and Windows PCs. Apple has simply a more functional and tight packaging. The main difference between Dell and Apple is that Dell would love to make an all-in-one computer like the iMac but they just don't know how ;)

    But this is also true for Android phones and the iPhone, most of the hardware platform they use is very similar.
  6. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    As a Dell owner I can tell you they are not the same. I have a old 120 gig hard drive on my Dell desktop. After about 18 months I kept getting the blue window of death (which PC owners will be familiar with). I took it in to our IT guy at work (because you can't go to a Dell store) who informed me the 120 gig hard drive was 2 60 gig drives and one was completely empty. Dell had failed to ship the PC with software that enabled both hard drives to be used. Most PC manufactures just buy up the cheapest hardware they can get hold of and throw them together. And don't even get me on Microsoft verses apple OS. Can't wait for the new iMac so I can move on from windows, although sadly I still use XP at work.
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    While Macs use the same components as Windows based computers, Apple is better at implementing them and getting the most out of it in a small package.
    Look at the trackpad. Even my G4 iBook from 2004 had a better trackpad than many current Windows based notebooks I tested, especially scrolling.
  8. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    For me its all about the hardware quality/engineering, customer service, and the software. Sure you can find a Windows PC with the same specs for 2/3 the price but its going to be a machine that was engineered with price in mind. It's most likely made of cheap plastic, a flimsy frame, and overall cheap components whereas a Mac is engineered into a sexy carved aluminum body with high quality components standard. This is true for all Macs but specifically in the case of the 27" iMac you have to look at is as a $1000 screen paired with a $700-$1200 computer. Like I said, Apple doesn't skimp on their components.

    Apple's Customer service is also top notch. When you call their call centers there are actually helpful people that speak english on the other end. If the problem can't be solved over the phone you can take it to the genius bar and get a same day diagnosis. Most of the time if they even suspect something may be causing an issue they'll go ahead and replace it, they won't try to shrug it off in an attempt to save money. I actually took my 3 year old iMac in a month or so ago because it was having screen issues. They replaced the screen 3 times over a period of 3 weeks, the genius helping me would not let me leave unsatisfied so when the 3rd replacement was once again defective he decided to replace my 3yo now out of warranty iMac with a brand new 27" that I'm happily typing this on right now. He even bumped me up a model for all of my troubles.

    The software imho can't be beat. While I do have windows 7 professional installed on my Mac, I still think it is a piece of **** even though it runs well. I just feel like Mac is the best compromise between usability and power, everything is laid out and organized logically unlike a majority of the features in windows. OSX also handles multitasking much better unlike windows where every little window wants to be full screen. Not to mentio,n the constant updates and security popups continually disrupt my workflow and overall just piss me off. The features present in lion such as autosave, versions, auto resume, and time machine have saved me time and again yet are not available in windows. I could keep going but I think you get the point. To me, the three factors listed above are well worth the premium I paid over a generic windows PC. I honestly hope I never have to go back.
  9. upbraid macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2011
    macs tend to use very similar configuration so they can just focus on one design for each model instead of focusing on multiple designs per model. this allows greater attention to details and generally an aesthetically pleasing design that is also functional. i would say that macs tend to have bad cooling in many models though.
  10. sinanziric thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2012
    But you can't call yourself different if you are the same as your rival.

    Let's go back to past.

    Steve Jobs cited someone: "People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware"

    Ok, What hardware except Unibodi case is made by Apple?

    1. CPU made by Intel
    2. Motherboard, intel chipset.
    3. Hard Disk? I don't know really does Apple create their own HDD?
    4. RAM, different companies.
    5. Display => made by same companies who are making displays for
    other PC companies (DELL; Lenovo...)

    I want to say that Mac is not different beast than PC. In fact
    Mac is 100% IBM PC compatible => Mac does not exist.

    The only THING left for so called "macs" is Operating System. OS is the last
    thing that differs from PC's, but guess what, they removed the "MAC" name

    Mac OS X is now OS X, is that a sign that we might see OS X on Dell computers one day? I don't see reason why NOT... Apple is making same PC's
    as Dell, we have 90% DONE drivers for OS X, and there are currently thousands of people running OS X on PC's without hassle.

    Sorry if this hurts someone like "mac fanboys xD" i also liked Mac's (PowerPC) generation.
    But Apple is selling us fabricated story about something that does not exist => MAC. MAC is Dead
    Mac died that day when Steve Jobs moved to Intel arch. Intel arch is IBM PC arch. For me it looks
    like Mac died PC won.
  11. conkerbot macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2010
    Well, back in the days of PowerPC Apple didn't make them either - Apple had a hand in the design but Motorola made the actual chips. To expect one company to make all the components wouldn't work - even if they could get all the relevant expertise their costs would still be much higher. And that's not to say Apple doesn't get custom hardware - their Motherboards are all custom made, they get exclusive access (for at least a while) to the latest Intel CPUs and Chipsets (such as Thunderbolt or the CPU in the original MBA) and they use custom firmware on HDDs and ODDs to reduce the noise they make in at least some of their models. Apple doesn't even make the Unibody - another company manufactures it, Apple just designs it.

    That's the difference. Microsoft just makes the software and lists some specifications, after that ANY company can install it on their PCs or make hardware. Apple on the other hand knows what's happening at every part in the process, and can design the software and hardware for each other even if they don't make every single piece. I'm also not saying either approach is better - but that's still the difference between Apple and the rest of the industry.

    I don't really see what's to complain about though. You either like Apple computers (to which the addition of the much faster Intel processors is a plus), you don't like their hardware but like their OS (so you hackintosh, giving both pluses and minuses), or you don't like Apple's stuff at all and you get something else.
  12. lifeguard90 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
  13. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Some may say the biggest hardware different is that the Macs are the first to properly adopt what once was considered new technology.

    No other OEM offers a trackpad like the Macs have.
    Same thing for iSight camera.
    The keyboard keys.

    The case of the computer, definitely a big part of the hardware is another difference.

    The cloud services, are connected to some remote hardware, even they are perceived as a software or online service, they are a hardware extension to your computer of choose, and this definitely works way better in a Mac.

    Just way a few months and we will be having "Retina" Display Macs.

    Maybe the only thing that OEM pcs have are integrated Bluray optical drives.

    ****IBM PCs are no longer relevant?****
    I was trying to get into to see what personal computers they are offering, but it seems that they are only selling previously owned computers?
  14. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    I don't think that quote is meant to be taken so literally. It's not about creating the individual hardware components but rather taking charge of the hardware instead of simply handing the software over to other companies to do what they want with it (to an extent, of course). So in this case, Microsoft doesn't have as much control over the user experience as Apple does because Microsoft is handing over the software to other companies, rather than focusing on the hardware itself.

    So going back to the original quote, if Microsoft is serious about their software, they should focus on the hardware too - the complete package (well, the basic one at least).
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    It's not about the HW, it's about how the HW and SW work together. Yes, Apple is using the same PC parts. However, they are also often getting customized versions. You can just pop a PC logic board into a Mac. Part of the customization is what gets left out. Fewer bits make for a simpler package to support.

    Mac parts are necessarily "better" than PC parts, but they are consistently of the same quality when used by Apple. This means a minimum number of weird HW glitches, and when one does appear it's easier to identify and then fix.

    Macs, in the grand scheme of things, are more stable than PCs (anecdotal stories aside). This is because Apple has fewer HW combinations to support, the OS has fewer surprises to deal with, and their support staff have a limited number of issues to deal with. Before Apple sells a system they can extensively test it, tune the parts used to make sure there are no bottlenecks. And then Apple ensures that those tested parts are used. In PCs it is not uncommon within a single "model" to find several different implementations of HW parts. As a photographer, I remember reading a thread here on how to tell if your "PC Brand-Name" monitor was using the really good display panel, or the crappy panel. Same model... you had to decipher the serial number. It was being sold as a pro monitor, but it was just luck if you received the pro quality version or not. Macs don't tend to have that problem.

    Macs are about no surprises. While it doesn't always happen, the goal of Apple are products that "just work." In my experience they get it mostly right.

    It's not about who makes the HW, it's about how you put it together. The engineering that goes into combining the parts.
  16. Virgule82 macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2012
    I think a lot of what people say about PC's in this thread is a bit updated. Yes, Apple make well-engineered, beautifully designed computers. But these days you can find PC's with the same build quality and the same quality of design, in large part thanks to the competition from Apple. A notebook like e.g. the Samsung 9-series is just as beautiful and just as well-designed as a Macbook Air. The main difference really is the OS.
  17. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Maybe Samsung took their time to catch up with Apple.

    Comparing the 11" models: the MacBook Air is less expensive, has faster processor, and more SDD storage, and Thunderbolt.
    If you match the RAM with 2GB you get it for less money.
    If you match the price, you get 4GB.

    Also, the OP is referring to this time: "IMHO Macs cease to exist after G5 series ended."
  18. E.Lizardo macrumors 68000

    May 28, 2008
    It doesn't hurt me in the least that you're wrong.It's pretty obvious that despite the thread title your mind was closed when you came here.Which begs the question,"What was your point in starting this thread?"
    My guess is you're bored and just wanted to have fun stirring people up.
    A pretty common activity around here.
    Enjoy your Windows(or whatever)machine.
  19. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    The OP missed the point. His argument is that a Ferrari is the same as a Kia because they use mostly the same metal. Both are cars and not "different beasts" in the OP's mind. So if he's thinking he's in a Ferrari as he puts about in his Kia, more power to him (pun intended).

    It's about design, not hardware specs (although those are pretty high). And that design includes not only hardware/software integration, but right down to the store, Genius Bar, and individual applications.

    Phones, tablets and to a certain degree laptops are personal choices that are more heavily influenced by design aesthetics than a tool like a desktop. Your boss at work is unlikely to buy hot cars for the company fleet. But for your own choice, you may want a Ferrari...or iMac.
  20. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    I think the OP is looking at things the wrong way. How often have we seen computer companies start to hold off on what they release until after Apple has Macworld, WWDC or some other launch event...?

    It isn't that the Mac is more like a PC but that the PC has started making their products look like the Mac. They are the ones blurring the line. Building Macbook Air knockoffs... iPad copies and other laptops that look like the rest of the Mac line.

    PCs have to compete with each other while Apple doesn't, hence the pricing changes. Advertising and bloatware also pull the cost down to a price consumers are happy with. A good, relatively current PC is still gonna run you $700. Depending on the Mac or the PC there can be a little to a huge price difference.

    Apple's Macbook line has baffled me for years. They continue to push people to the 13" model by insane pricing of the 15". That whole line needs an update and price shift. I don't even know the last time I saw a white unibody Macbook other than the store.
  21. aristobrat, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

    aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Yeah, that quote is from Alan Kay.

    And I don't think the point of "make their own hardware" was that serious software makers literally have to manufacture every piece of silicone inside of their hardware themselves.

    As you've repeatedly pointed out, Apple doesn't make their own processors, NICs, HDDs, etc. Apple picks the exact third-party components they want in their hardware, and then write their software specifically for those components. From design to market, it's an all Apple product.

    This is in comparison to Microsoft Windows, or Google Android, where those companies have to write software for hardware that they only know the bare basics about. They depend on hardware OEMs and component manufactures (and their drivers) to properly do everything to get their software to work properly. From design to market, it's not a Microsoft or Google product.

    If you're really serious about software, the last method seems like more of a crapshoot. And anyone that's followed Apple for any length of time knows that the first method isn't foolproof either!
  22. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    This isn't really a good analogy. If anything PCs are Ferraris that look like Kias with a Kia price tag, and Mac's are Kias that look like Ferraris with a Ferrari price tag.
  23. jtoast macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    As a 20 year IT guy, I have to call BS on this one. Either your IT guy was clueless or you misunderstood him.

    There is no software that "enables both hard drives to be used." If all the hardware is working, the drives will be detected. At most you may have to go into windows and assign it a drive letter. What is much more likely is that you had a single 120GB drive with 2 60GB partitions and either you were only using one of them(hence no data) or one of your partitions failed and your IT guy didn't know how to recover your data.

    Drive failure is a fact of life for both Apple and non-apple products so this is not a valid argument for an apple product.
  24. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    None. Macs use different firmware (EFI rather than BIOS) but that's about it. Thunderbolt is unique for the moment, but probably won't really take off until it starts cropping up in PCs.

    Thing is, though, it doesn't make economic sense for Apple to produce their own computing platform. They dropped the PPC because nobody was making PPC processors suitable for high-end laptops, which had become Apple's bread and butter.

    But be realistic - what's so strange about some people being prepared to pay a premium for good design, style or even a brand? Some people would pay $2000 for a handbag when any sensible person would by a MacBook pro and get one of those nice, double-walled drawstring carrier bags from the Apple store thrown in for free!

    The main point of getting a Mac, though, is to get OS X. Unix on the inside, nice GUI on the outside, native versions of key applications from Microsoft, Adobe et. al. if you need them.

    You could, of course, go for a hackintosh, but if it breaks you get to keep both parts - and if everybody does that, OS X will die, because Apple needs the income from selling premium hardware to justify maintaining OS X. If they try licensing OS X, then the licensees won't try and open up new areas of business (e.g. low cost systems) they'll go straight for the premium small-form-factor, in direct competition with Apple, because (a) that's where the profit margins are and (b) Apple have proved that there's a market there.
  25. Jesse813 macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2012
    Pottstown, PA
    while the hardware is the same for CPU & GPU, there are other things that put Macs way above Windows PCs:

    Unibody Construction
    OSX Operating System
    No Bloatware on OSX
    Better Battery
    Much faster Start Up & Shutdown speeds

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