mac or non-mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by freeflyte, May 8, 2005.

  1. freeflyte macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005
    I'm going to be buying a different computer and am wondering mac or non-mac? The main reason I need something different is that with my current mac os9.2 I don't seem to be able to view wmv files and several other types of music files that seem to be more compatible with a non-mac type of system. I'm very new at this and have tried every suggestion and software downloads (that are supposedly intended to enable an os9.2 to gain access to certain types of files with minimal progress), and am wondering if I should just get a non-mac to solve this problem or what???
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I don't mean to state the obvious, but are you seriously thinking that someone on Macrumors is going to recommend a PC? I'm pretty sure OSX with the help of WMV9, QuickTime and VLC will play almost every type of movie out there apart from WMV10 (can't remember the name exactly) which are really rare.

    I recommend the Mac route, you should be fine. Remember, OS9 is ancient in OS terms, so you can't really expect other companies to keep supporting it. It's sad, but it's just the way of the industry. :(

    To be honest though, I think you'll appreciate a pretty massive difference whether you upgrade to XP or OSX. They're both significantly better than OS9 IMO, but Tiger has the edge (massive understatement ;) ).
  3. freeflyte thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005
    mac vs non-mac

    Thanks for the quick response!!!! I didn't mean to raise a hackle, as I said, I'm very new at this & am just looking for a solution. I realize that there is, for lack of a better word, some "friction"?, that for whatever reason, exists among .com people on this subject. I have no idea why and I don't care!!! You say you "recommend the Mac route", and that is fine with me as long as I can access what I want to. I also realize mine is an outdated system, if not downright primitive, and am going to upgrade very soon. Why else would you "recommend the Mac route"??? Thanks again for the quick response!!!
  4. Kelmon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Choose the right tool for the job

    I think you have to look at this from an objective point of view. Basically, it all comes down to what sort of thing you want to be able to do (specifically the software that you need to run) and the environment that you need to run your computer in. While I'd advocate a Mac for pretty much everything these days since I swtiched almost 2-years ago, there are some things that the Mac isn't great at. As far as my experiences go, I can list the following problems:

    1. Games. If you want to play the latest games and you like PC-style games, then a PC is the way to go. You tend to get a faster gaming machine for your money and are guaranteed to be able to play the latest PC games. The Macs are generally under-powered for what you pay for them and the number of games isn't great, although it appears to be an improving situation. For example, both id and Epic appear to support the Mac for their game engines so as well as the likes of Doom 3 and Unreal we can also look forwards to games based on their engines. Bit of a shame that there's unlikely to be a Half-Life 2 but you can't have everything...

    2. Windows-only Applications. While the Mac has a great selection of software, the specific software that you need might only be available for a PC. Do your research to see if what you need is available for the Mac as well as the PC and that it'll do what you need. I usually do OK but I still find myself using a PC for desktop database work since Office 2004 for the Mac doesn't ship with an equivalent to Access and I have a lot of databases in that format already. I believe that I could port them to something like FileMaker or MySQL but it'd be less convenient.

    3. IE 6-only Web Sites. This is a particular problem in an enterprise environment where corporate web application require IE 6 to be used. Sometimes you can get around this with Firefox and setting it to maskarade as IE 6 but it doesn't always work. For example, my company makes heavy use of PeopleSoft 8 and this doesn't seem to work on anything but IE 6, although it beats me why. This is less of a problem at home where you have choice but it might be that, for example, your online banking software needs IE. I really hate that but it sometimes happens still.

    Problems 2 and 3 can generally be overcome with, at the extreme, an installation of VirtualPC. However, if gaming is your primary objective then VirtualPC won't help and a PC would be your better choice. At the present time, however, I'm more inclined to suggest buying a cheap XBox or PlayStation 2 if gaming is your thing and still buy another Mac.

    Basically, OS X is a wonderful OS and I'd recommend a Mac over a PC any day of the week assuming that it is possible that it can do what you need it to do. The ease of use, security and reliability make this a complete no-brainer. However, if you can't do what you need on Mac then it's hard to sincerely recommend it.

    Not sure if that helped at all...
  5. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Here's what you want to know. In Mac OS X 10.3, it is only VERY VERY rarely that I cannot play a video. And I throw every weird file off the net at it. WMV, AVI with every conceivable codec, MP4,... Whatever, it plays them all. Just don't use the quicktime player, use VLC or MPlayer. They're both %100 free and they play everything under the sun.
  6. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    It should be pointed out that this goes both ways... I use a lot of Mac-only software which (among other reasons) makes moving to a PC out of the question. Less than a third of my main software titles also have Windows versions available.

    -back to topic-​

    Honestly, if there is any doubt as to which to buy... buy a PC and see what it is like. You can keep your OS 9 system around for a while and see what is involved in being a PC user. I've found that the shock of moving to a PC usually sends (former) Mac users running back... if for no other reason than the amount of additional maintenance a PC requires.

    But the only real way for you to find out is by actually giving both a shot.

    Best of luck. :D
  7. freeflyte thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005
    mac vs non-mac

    Playing video games for me is not a factor, unless on-line-gambling "games" falls in to this catagory. When you refer to the extra maintenance necc with a pc, what are you referring to?
  8. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Just buy a new mac and you will have no problems.
  9. Lara F macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
    Well, I just made the switch to a Mac and this was a concern for me too - I'm a figure skating fanatic and had hundreds of video clips downloaded. I can vouch that everything's worked between Windows Media Player, Real and MPlayer. The way my settings are wmv opens in WMP, avi in MPlayer (which covered some tough Xvid-codec files), rm/rmvb in Real and mpgs in QT.

    So far so good. I was happy to find that some files played waaay better, though who knows if that was because I had a crappy video card before (the iMac is actually an upgrade there LOL). The *only* issue I've had is with live streaming off the internet, which has been pretty hit and miss on Windows Media (if someone might be able to help please see my post on this board).
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I believe, dealing with tojans/viruses/malware/pop-ups and constant security patches. Not to mention that 95% of the people out there looking to target and compromise weak computers for nefarious use are looking to target Windows. Coming from OS9, you have no experience with any of these things. (Well, maybe a little virus action)
  11. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    My 2 cents. I still do use Windows, just because I have some software I like to use on Windows. I say buy a new mac and buy Virtual PC so you can use the applications that you need to for windows. If push comes to shove and you have to buy a PC, buy an AMD 64-bit PC. Don't go with Intel. But the software that the 2nd user posted sounds like the best ( I even use those, but more than that I use VLC a lot).

    IMO I say get a Mac.

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