Mac vs. PC advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by axeldtf, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. axeldtf macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2007
    Ok so i think i need to be reassured...

    I need some info on if i made the right decision. I bought a macbook in Feb of 08 with 2 gigs of ram, 100mb hard drive and a 13 in. monitor. I paid 1300 dollars roughly. My friend just bought a Compaq CQ50-139WM Laptop PC w/ Intel Celeron Processor 575 at wal mart for 300 bucks. Already I've seen some things on his laptop that i'm envious of. His laptop has a bigger brighter monitor, better sounding speakers, and more USB ports. Now granted i dont have to deal with the anti-virus garbage and I have a built in camera and a firewire port. But I cant see where my extra 1000 dollars went. Both laptops have a dvd burner (which i primarily use my mac for editing and burning dvds).
    What else should i know? Do i have the more superior product? I always like Mac's elegance and sleek designs.
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Only you can determine if you made the correct decision or not.

    Cost is but one factor in selecting a computer to fit your needs.

    Personally, I use both Windows and the Mac OS. I like how I can carry one laptop and run both OS'es at the same time via VMware/Parallels.

    Little things make the difference for me. To many to list here.

    If you enjoy your MacBook, then who cares what someone else has, or thinks about your MacBook? Life is too short for that. Enjoy what you have.

    On a side note, I hope you have a larger HD than 100MB in your MacBook. ;)
  3. bjorn989 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    Okay, let me get this straight... your friend bought a terrible computer. It has a Celeron single core processor. It only runs Vista home basic. It has inferior wireless capabilities. Both of your laptops have the same screen resolution so you both have the same screen real estate. If you trip over his power cord his laptop falls to the ground, he cant do video chats and if you run two fingers down his trackpad it will most likely not scroll.

    And you are complaining that you have less USB ports?

    You paid $1000 more for a product that is far superior to any netbook/cheap windows laptop. That is if you want a machine that you will be able to use for the next few years.

    I am sure your friend will not be able to say the same for his new purchase.
  4. axeldtf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2007
    ^^I agree about that, i just wonder why i paid what i did and have horrible speakers and have to squint at my screen. I probably will always use macs for my video editing and love the stability. As far as my hard drive, I must have been thinking of my ibm pc xt from 1990.. LOL
  5. theDUB macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2008
    SLT, CA
    It can't be more superior. It's either superior or its not.

    That's what you paid for. And the marketing.
  6. axeldtf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2007
    thanks bjorn..
    I am quite the novice in these areas and i appreciate you setting me straight.
  7. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    All Macbooks have very few ports. The newest MB has more powerful speakers, a brighter monitor, and the Superdrive DVD burner. (You bought the low end previous version with the combo drive and no DVD burner whereas the other versions did have the superdrive). If you needed a larger HDD you could have easily upgraded it yourself for cheap and at a larger capacity than Apple offers. RAM was also very cheap for the previous versions and you should have upgraded with a third party and not Apple.

    Of course if you didn't like the 13.3" screen why did you buy it? If you want me to help you be happy about your decision just think about how you have wireless n (you probably don't use), a firewire 400 port (you probably don't use), gigabit ethernet (you probably don't use), a webcam, great battery life, is much much lighter, and the Mac OS.

    As for that Compaq... Rest assured it was a one day sale at Walmart on November 8th for the 300. Your friend got lucky. It is normally more, but it is a good machine for cheap. It does have a better integrated graphics but the processor is a sad excuse for anything so don't believe the processor frequency myth. (Though it has no webcam if that matters). The machine is also 7 pounds with 2-3 hours of battery life and Vista Home Basic. (ouch).

    If you paid 1300 you probably overpaid Apple for your RAM like many others did. By 100mb do you mean 120GB? As far as I know there are no 100GB HDDs. Last, you are probably not a student so you didn't save $100, didn't get a free printer, and paid tax to Apple when you could have bought from Amazon or elsewhere for less and no tax.

    In the end, you have a great machine that is going to last a long time. Do you really need a DVD burner? You have great battery life with a very light machine. If something ever goes wrong with your machine Apple will take care of you because tech support is great. Your OS is top of the line and easy to use. You never have to worry about spyware or viruses. My point in all this is that you should be more tech savvy, try to buy the best computer for the best value that will last the longest, and upgrade parts on your own so that you can save money.
  8. bjorn989 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    I think that he bought the white late 2007 model from the 2.2ghz model in his signature... that would mean that you have a DVD burner, which corresponds to the first post where he said that he edits DVDs... hard to do if you don't have a DVD burner in your notebook. Probably bought it in February before the Penryn upgrade.

    Great computer! Small and easy to use. Have a good day :D
  9. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    Your macbook is better hands down. In a years time his PC will be clogged up with crapware, his internet explorer will have so many toolbars it fills half the screen, his antivirus program will intrude on what he's doing every 5 mins and he wont have de-fragged the HDD so it will run extremely slowly

    I got my macbook in 2006 soon after they first came out and its still as responsive as it was when it was new. While with a windows machine, over time you notice it getting slower, macs stay as fast as they were when they were brand new.
  10. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    And this is why I hate it when inexperienced computer users try to argue about what is best. Windows runs great when you manage it properly and don't allow things to install which you don't want. If you install a bunch of software which you don't want, then it is your own fault, NOT Windows'.

    Likewise, Mac OS X only continues to run smoothly if you manage it properly. Granted, it has never had the problems which Windows has had due to ActiveX, but these have been solved in Windows now and only a foolish or inexperienced user can end up with a computer which malfunctions due to software problems.

    Sorry guys, but the two are even - Mac OS has the upper hand on a few features (Quick Look, Application Installation/Removal) but Vista has the edge with others (Media Center, Stability).

    And to the original poster: If you are having to "squint" to read what is on your computer's screen then there is either something wrong with the display or you need to visit your optician.
  11. admwright macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    How do you manage it properly? Our 18 month old iMac definetly runs slower now than when it was new. The HD is 90% full, possibly part of the problem. Any tips on looking after the Mac would be appreciated.

    Andrew W.
  12. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    That likely is the problem, case in point...
    My iMac survived fine when it was just an iMac and a regular-use computer. As the HDD got full it started taking longer to boot and shutdown. Then I bought a (normally unsupported) graphics tablet, new mouse which needed new drivers and a bunch of other peripherals. The more of these new system files, new drivers and such that I had to install the slower it grew.
    After a format it became much quicker. Now I don't like the HDD to get under 15gb free space and will backup to DVD when possible.

    I'm also not too keen on OSX's defrag method. My drives are always messy even when I run the Cron scripts to keep it clean. Invest in a good defrag app and boot from their disc (or get a second Mac to defrag in Target Disk mode).
  13. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    An external hard drive would be a better investment than backing up on DVDs. You can find 500GB external hard drives for $100.
  14. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Your biggest advantage is the processor. His celeron is an embarrassment in comparison to the 2.1 Core 2 Duo i yous.
  15. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If that's the same computer that my friend got last x-mas for about $750, the LCD will go within a year too.
  16. hogfaninga macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2008
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    $300 your buddy got for that brand new laptop was a hell of a deal (the fanboys will bash it, but for $300 it is well worth it). Yours is better, but you also paid a grand more also so I hope it is. I think most people who own Macbook's (old and new) are unhappy with paying a premium for their Macbook and getting a below average screen. People will try to make excuses for Apple (like buy a Pro if you don't like the screen, don't buy an Apple then, and other BS), but most will readily admit that Apple screws us in that area.
  17. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
  18. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    And the software - many people in these forums overlook that.

    Microsoft allows PC vendors to include Vista (or historically whatever the current version of windows is) at a cut-rate price, like about $5, as long as the vendor says something to the effect of "Compaq (or Dell, or HP, etc.) recommends Windows Vista (or XP or whatever)" in their ads. Since OS X is only sold by Apple on their own hardware, this little ploy never enters into the equation.

    Not only that, but on a Mac, you get iLife, native PDF support, a mail client, address book, etc. The OP's friend got a free trial to AOL.

    As far as whether the OP's machine is superior - I bought my MacBook about two years ago (it was one of the original Core 2 Duos), and with only 1 Gb of RAM and an 80 Gb HDD, I'd still much rather use it than my much newer "work" PC laptop, just because it's so much less of a headache - it boots faster, applications load faster, etc.

    I would recommend that people try to look beyond just the price tag. He bought a fine machine.
  19. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2008
    generally PC's are priced low because companys like AOL, Norton, and about 5 other sponsers pay to be included in the operating system. So when you open your windows pc, your greated with these ads, and maybe you'll bite.

    Sony offers to sell you their computers without the ads, for 200 dollars more.

    My dads HP with a 2.0 dual core processer was something like 799, so tag on 200 dollars, you have a 1000 dollar laptop. Which is comparible with MacBook. However all macbooks have a better processer than that.

    You pay a premium for an Apple Computer. Just as you would for a BMW, a Porshe, and Bose speakers. Not saying that these premium priced products are better than the cheaper priced items, but they are catering to different niche's.

    I personally perfer Sennheiser headphones to Bose, I like Volkwagen's more than i do BMW'S, but i much perfer a Mac (with its sleek design, fantastic os, and customer support) than i would any low end windows pc.

    To go back to your questions and statement. You payed for a premium Apple Product. Your Laptop looks much better than your friends, you wireless ability blows his out of the water, yours awakes from sleep near instantly, in 3 months his will be borderline unuseful after bugs get into the system and bog it down. Yours will still be flying high. You enjoy editing film and such, your in dire need for the processer that you have to edit those movies. Try editing smoothly on your buddys compaq. Most of all, you have Mac OSX!
  20. hogfaninga macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2008
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    Rah, rah, rah. Just joking.
  21. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    Here is the question you have to ask yourself. Imagine if you will a comparison between a Toyota Corolla and a Yugo(I know they don't make it anymore but I just want to make an analogy).

    The Yugo might be less than half the price of a Corolla and might have similar features. One might say why buy a Corolla when I could have bought a Yugo and saved tons of money!

    The good old saying "You get what you paid for" is so true. Here is what will happen to your friends computer.
    - Things may start breaking, hardware wise. They used low grade components in that computer.
    - The computer is very very slow and it's running a very heavy OS. That's like putting a small engine in a car and hauling a trailer. The computer will be painful to use.
    -The computer probably came with a bunch of additional bloatware that will make it even slower.
    -Let your friend play with his computer and in 3 months I will guarantee it will be loaded with even more crap, spyware, etc making it even slower.

    A point will come when your friend's computer will take 10 minutes to load up. He'll be tired of instability and crashing. He may even lose precious files. It will take minutes just to bring up a Microsoft word or a web browser. Things will be so slow he may just want to take his computer and chuck it out the window. If he is not careful with security, this may also turn into a problem. On top of that, some of the cheap hardware pieces may fail. In less than a year's time I will bet that he'll be off to Wal-mart looking for another deal.

    The moral of the story is again you get what you pay for. He will have a very stressful, unenjoyful computing life. Always plagued with problems and stress he may actually avoid using his computer unless he needs to. In 4 years he will have bought 4 of these $400 computers, following the same cycle over and over again.

    In the end who wins? In 4 years he will have outspent you in money and time all the while having a frusterating time. You on the other hand will be stress free, time on your hands to do other things than manage a computer and it's problems, and smiling.

    There's your money's worth. You'll save time and money with a mac in the long run. Oh and I haven't even gotten started with the software that does come with a Mac like iLife. There is simply no comparison on the PC side and this software should be worth hundreds of dollars on it's own.


  22. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    You're kidding right? I have been a 10 year PC user and switched to Macs about 1.5 years ago. I think I can say this from experience. They are not even close to being even. And by the way when has vista shown more stability than a Mac in anything? This is a new one for me.

    Let me tell you something. Yes Windows can run well but 99% of people don't have the knowledge nor the time to make that happen. I have a Dell Windows laptop at work. We're not even allowed to install anything. It's locked down. Guess what. In 1 years worth of time, the thing is nearly unusable because it's running soooo slow! This is with me not installing software and IT running their scans on it!

    Trust me, managing a mac is like managing a cell phone. Not much to it. Managing windows is like managing a 20 year old crappy car. You better be a mechanic in the world of Windows.

  23. theDUB macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2008
    SLT, CA
    i lold

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