Laptop Purchase - Mac vs PC

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nickarmadillo, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. nickarmadillo macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    My girlfriend is looking to purchase a new laptop when she graduates and we are having some difficulty deciding which to get.

    She is trying to get a job as a photographer and therefore would be doing some heavy photoshop work. She will, of course, also be doing regular web-surfing, iTunes encoding, web publishing, and some light/medium gaming (eg. Sims 3 when it comes out).

    The Mac option would be the Macbook pro as it has a larger, higher-resolution screen for editing as well as a dedicated video card, which should speed things up when Snow Leopard is released.

    However, I've recently seen some interesting offers on PC laptops.

    In the area of $1300 there are some very nice machines, particularly from Asus, that have the following:
    *2.53 or 2.66 Ghz C2D Processor
    *Dual 320 Gb 7200RPM HDs
    *9650M, 9800M, or 130M Video
    *Higher Resolution Display

    All other specs are similar to the MBP, and here are links to a few of the many variations:

    It would appear that the PC offerings are faster as well as significantly cheaper. What would you all recommend?
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    If she doesn't need to run OSX and price is important, the choice is obvious, no?
  3. scottsdomain macrumors member

    May 30, 2008
    Looked at first newegg link...

    If your looking purely at specs, ASUS it is!

    Apple is about 1/2 inch thinner in depth, width, and length. It is also about a pound lighter! Apple uses DDR3, it uses DDR2. Apple notebooks are made of aluminum vs plastic... The built in camera on Mac is awesome, not sure about other... OS X, multitouch (I have learned to love it!)

    I don't know what the difference is between 9650 vs 9600 nvidia.

    They seem to have the same CPU, HD, and screen resolution specs

    My 2 cents...
  4. Cositc macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2009
    I say go with the mac. First off you are right the pc's have better specs but that dose not mean anything do to the fact that macs are made to work with there os unlike pcs plus macs are made for editing photos/videos. For instens I have a hp that is less than 2 years old with a 3.00 ghz p4 CPU , 1.5 gb ram , 100 gb hdd . I also have a 10 year old mac g4 with a sigel 867 MHz CPU ,1/2 gb ram, and a 200 gb hdd. The mac is at least 6 to7 times faster.
    (1000mgz = 1 ghz)
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Get the PC laptop and a nice external screen. If she has a job as a photographer I'd imagine that laptop screen real estate is severely lacking no matter what brand you buy.
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    if she or you can monitor software installations enough to ensure that the registy doesnt get BOGGED DOWN within 6 months and slow the computer - go for it!

    (i hate a slow computer)
  7. Macmel macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2008
    So you mean that the same processor, the EXACT SAME PROCESSOR will process images better in a Mac than a PC?. The computers you are comparing have nothing to do with each other (plus you have no idea of how to treat computers if your 10 yo mac with lower specs is 5 times faster than your 2 yo HP).
    Photoshop will run basically fine in both configs and she is saving around 500 dollars (that she can spend on software, for example).
    Other thing is "when you choose your advicer, you choose your advice": don't come to a Mac forum to ask about what computer you should get. The answer is obvious.
  8. vaccada macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2009
    I would go for the mac... for one... these machines are built to last and they have a much slicker view! the mouse pad is larger and smoother..u learn to love using 2 touch 3 touch or 4 touch manouvers...
    the OS is always automatically updated so ur mac OS is always improving has a longer battery life...
    i sometimes have 3 hour train rides in which i watch movies or listen to music and by the end i still have like 20% battery life which is enough to watch another movie...:)
    a Mac connects to your digital camera, printers or wireless device and external drive without the need of configuring or installing anything...Viruses on macs are really rare and therefore no need for Antivirus software compared to the billions there are on there u d actually be saving money in the long run instead of having to pay a yearly subscription fee for anti virus software which in my opinion slow down PCs even more...;)

    the new ilife09 is awesome for media use for photos and film editing... and if not there are other more sofisticated applications such as "Aperture" or "final cut studio" ;)

    PLUS a mac can do everything a PC can do but a PC cant do everything a mac does...if u really wanted to u could also run windows on a mac and switch operating system whenever...not that u d want to though :D
  9. McKnight macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2009

    This is wrong on so many levels.
  10. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...cheaper on a PC as you have to put up with winVista for now:eek:
  11. Samslice12 macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Obviously, PC's are cheaper. My reasoning with Mac's are you get what you pay for. If you want to go with a computer that is cheap and will do it's job, go with the PC. If you want a computer that can do that and more, get a Mac. If she is using Photoshop a lot, a Mac would be the obvious choice, all the big design/photography studios use Macs mainly because they had better video quality, color control, and a superior graphics engine. That's changing now though with PC's try to push into that market as well.

    I guess with Mac's, they aren't stamped out in an assembly line as with most PC's. They are made in poorer countries which have horrible quality control and therefore are inferior and brake more often, hence why they are cheaper.

    If your girlfriend wants a good, clean OS, better build quality, better aesthetics go with Mac. If your girlfriend is not an advanced user, Mac's come with everything you need, you don't have to worry about installing 3rd party drivers or anything and they are a more stable OS in general.

    This may sound like a fanboy response but I have used PC's all my life and my Macbook Aluminium is my first Mac. I have enjoyed using the mac a lot more and using photoshop a lot myself, it seems as though it runs much better.
  12. 4D4M macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2005
    Broken Britain
    I'm an unashamed fanboy (or could be so described if I was about 15 years younger) so I'm always going to say go with the Mac.

    But I developed my fanboyism for a reason, and it wasn't Apple's marketing. As someone who has used both Macs and PCs extensively for creative work during the past couple of decades, I have to echo the above sentiments. I've found the Mac to be generally better designed and built (obviously there are exceptions) with a more stable OS and better choice of software for creative types.

    iLife is just excellent, and the upgrades (FCS, Aperture, Logic etc) are stunning. Then there's the community, the support... etc.

    Keep an open mind - Apple is not perfect, and PC specs and stability have improved in recent years - but my MacBook Pro makes me smile every time I use it.
  13. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    like a dagger to the heart, flopticalcube- RIGHT TO THE POINT!:D
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    If price is important, look to see if you can find a year old one with basically the same specs on ebay or craigslist. Windows machines depreciate quickly and steeply.
  15. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    "Video quality" huh? Is that the notably terrible displays that Apple has always shipped with its MacBooks or some sort of buzzword for video out?

    I have no idea where you get this idea from. Apple's machines are DESIGNED in California, USA, but the missing line from their boxes is always "Built by labourers in China". This topic contains a few photos of one of Apple's treasured employees in the Far East. I bet she doesn't make anywhere close to the amount of money that the Apple Store employees do.

    Nonsense. This is fanboy talk - if you've ever tried to use OS X for an intensive task you'd find that it's no better than Windows. Both have their downfalls, but in recent times it is Microsoft making up ground on Apple. Windows XP and Vista are now rock solid, whereas with Leopard, Apple took two steps forward in terms of features and ten steps back in terms of reliability and stability. I'd say both are just about equal now, with Windows 7 looking like it can really beat Snow Leopard in future.
  16. Macmel macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2008
    First, PCs can last if you treat them well.
    Second, multitouch (besides scrolling) works only with certain programs, not all of them.
    Third, Vista and Windows 7 also have automatic updates. Not only that, they have it for longer time that you get from Mac.
    Fourth, you have better battery life IF you have better battery life. That's something you can configure on your PC before you buy (options you don't have on your Mac). Definitely, con my MBP 15.4 inches (she will be buying a newer one of those) you don't get to watch 3 hours of video, specially if you are playing from a DVD.
    Fifth, a Mac connects to all of that if it's Mac compatible. If it doesn't, you are screwed because there's nothing you can do about that (my 300 euros Sony telephone is not compatible with my Mac). Yes you have te get the driver for PCs (also for Mac even if it is transparent to you) but you have a driver for many more things that you have for Mac.
    Sixth, I have been a PC/Mac user for 15 years or so: never ever I have had a problem with a virus. I have an antivirus, but just because I don't want any problems. I have friends with PCs without AV and never ever they have had any problems with virus.
    Seventh, he wants to use professional software, not amateurish iLife or iWorks or the like. She will be using Photoshop, and guess what... There's a PC version too.
    Eighth, a PC can do everything a Mac can do but a Mac can't do everything a PC can do. You count by the millions the number of free applications doing all kinds of stuff for PCs. After all, it's more than 90 % people out there using PCs.
  17. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    This is fanboy talk too, only for the other side. :rolleyes:
  18. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Lol :)

    OP, disregard the extreme Mac fans, the extreme Windows fans (who hang out on MacRumors for... wait, why?) and you'll have the most useful opinions. It's then up to you to weigh the pros and cons, and see which side comes out on top.
  19. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Nope, it's realistic. Just because I speak positively about both doesn't make me a fanboy.
  20. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    Go for the PC

    First, I will say that I love my Early 2008 Macbook Pro. I got a great deal on it at $1499.00. For a new one you are going to pay at least $2000.00 (k maybe 1995.00 on another site). PC's have come ahead as of late and I looked at your choices here are the advantages that I see.

    Cheaper - Nuff said.
    E-SATA - Great for external hard drive.
    HDMI output - You can hook it up to a regular hi-def TV without a converter.
    Memory Card Reader - I know you can buy one, the point is with the less expensive PC, you don't have to it's included.

    Plus: You can still get Photoshop, iTunes, and any games you need, also optional Blu-Ray.

    I have to say I'll have my mac for a few more years but I don't think when I need a machine again, I'll be so willing to pay out extra for the mac again.
  21. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    I'm sorry, but "Windows XP and Vista are now rock solid" is nowhere near realistic. Maybe in your experience, then good for you but that doesn't make it realistic or a fact.

    I agree that Leopard is not perfect, but neither are XP and Vista.

    To the op, in your sig it says you have 3 more or less capable mac systems. Why don't you let your girlfriend use one for a month and then she can decide if OS X is worth paying more for her.
  22. Macmel macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2008
    I don't know who you're talking about, but if it's me, you couldn't be more wrong. I have both platforms because I think both have something to offer.

    Work: MBP 15.4" early 2008 penryn, 4 Gb of RAM. Powerful and reliable, but not very versatile: $2000. It's great for multitasking, it rarely crashes (my PC rarely crashes either) and handles perfectly great loads or work.

    Home: ASUS 17", 3 Gb of RAM. Not so powerful and reliable, but very versatile. I listen and watch a lot of streaming audio and video that is a pain in the ass to do on the MBP (if I manage to, which in many cases I can't). I have also a card reader and HDMI. Connecting it to my LCD TV is just plug and play. To connect the MBP I need a DVI to HDMI cable AND another cable for the sound because surprisingly for a 2000 buck computer, it does not carry sound (although it's technically possible). Just ridiculous. By the way, my ASUS was $600 (well it was euros, but in the US is about the same price in dollars).
    Just I hate these guys that have never touched a PC and try to convince me that I can't do what I do everyday with mine. It's possible that previous versions of Vista were realy bad, but the combination of Vista and computer I have right now works without a problem (I've had it since september, so I have tested it). It's not as fast as my Mac, but it's more than three times cheaper and better suited for what I use it.
  23. rwilliams macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Why do so many people automatically assume that if you go with a PC, it must be a cheap, plastic piece of crap? I mean, the last generation of MacBooks are cracking all over the place. Wouldn't that be considered a cheap, plastic piece of crap as well?

    To the original poster, if money is not an issue, go with the MacBook Pro. They're extremely good machines and will do everything your girlfriend needs. If money is an issue, don't let some of these cats spook you. There are plenty of solid, good PC laptops out there that will do everything she needs and then some. Just make sure you read reviews to make sure that the model you select is not known to have major issues. As far as Windows goes, neither you nor your lady are idiots, so taking care of the OS will not be a problem for you to worry about. 10 minutes installing a free firewall and antivirus solution is all you need.
  24. Macmel macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2008
    Excuse me, but XP is actually more solid than Leopard, whose list of bugs is still, after 6 (seventh is coming) revisions quite large. Vista is not as good, but Windows 7 is on its way.
    In my experience, I have to tell you that my $600 PC running Vista Home premium SP1 has crashed a comparable number of times to my $2000 MBP running Leopard 10.5.6. And don't forget all the problems with Leopard when it came out, which forced Apple to release 10.5.1 pretty fast.
  25. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

    Try to open a few hundred 5mb jpegs in windows, then try to multi task between different applications. Good luck.

    In addition, the virus components that are required for windows take a certain % of CPU processing power to run.

    Why a Mac

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