Mac vs. PC. I Need Buying Advice?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by davidhunternyc, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. davidhunternyc, Mar 11, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018

    davidhunternyc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    #1
    I have only used Mac's. I have an aging 2010 MacBook Pro and I'm looking to upgrade. I want to switch to a Dell XPS 15 but I'm still not convinced. I'm used to the Mac OS operating system and I can navigate through all of the settings and trouble shoot issues quite well. When I tried the Dell I was quite confused by the Windows operating system. It would be a steep learning curve for me.

    Also, I'm an amateur photographer and graphic designer and I don't like the idea of using dongles and I don't like the TouchBar on the new Macs either. I keep wondering too if Apple will ever make a touch screen. I tried the Microsoft Surface Studio and I loved it.

    I'm not hating on Apple nor on P.C.'s. I'm just genuinely confused and I just don't know what to do and it's the reason why I'm still stuck with my 2010 MacBook. I'm also thinking about getting a desktop computer for the first time in my life. I don't know if I should have all my tech in the Apple ecosystem. Any thoughts?
     
  2. bopajuice Suspended

    bopajuice

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    #2
    My suggestion would be to add a bootcamp copy of Windows 10 to your MacBook and play with it. Thats what I did, and found Windows 10 very usable. For me using a PC vs a Mac came down to how they handled PDF's, and the trackpad.

    Apple's Preview does a great job handling, editing, and combining PDF's without any added software. With a PC you need Adobe Acrobat or something similar to manage PDF's. This comes at a substantial cost. Windows 10 nows lets you save documents as PDF's but the software that comes with Windows 10 is limited for handling PDF's. Since I do a lot of document editing and research, PDF handling is huge for me.

    The second thing that I noticed was the trackpad. I had bought a Lenovo and a Dell and found the trackpads on each were not nearly as smooth and flowing as a MacBook laptop. Apple really has the trackpad thing nailed. I have read there are newer versions of PC laptops with improved trackpads but I have not tried them.

    As far as working in Windows vs MacOs, both have their good points. I customized my Windows desktop, got rid of all the bloatware, and really made it easy to use. I found windows drivers for such things as monitors to be more advanced than Apple drivers. Also, drivers for some everyday things like printers seem to be better handled by Windows.

    The eco-system does not mean that much to me anymore. Besides you can get Windows versions of iTunes, iCloud, etc. So you can still mingle on the Apple side of things if you want.

    The important thing is to keep an open mind when trying anything new. Don't try Windows and say I don't like it because it's different from the Mac or vise versa. Each has their own way of doing things. I found if I accepted the way Windows did something even if it is not the way I'm used to doing it on the Mac, it made the transition much easier.
     
  3. jgelin macrumors 6502a

    jgelin

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    Jul 30, 2015
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    St Petersburg, FL
    #3
    I would just get the MacBook and be sure it has enough specs to run parallels. Use parallels to run the Windows programs that you need while still having all the familiarity of macOS.
     
  4. Winterfibre macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2016
    #4
    I like Mac but my choice is windows as I like it. What about getting a late 2015 MacBook Pro
     
  5. jeevanjee macrumors newbie

    jeevanjee

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    Mar 6, 2018
    #5
    I know, that for a graphic designer, it may not be perfect, but why just considering Windows as an alternative? There are also other operating systems as Linux. Just for your information ;)
     
  6. davidhunternyc thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 26, 2011
    #6
    Wow. Thank you all for your thoughts. I found the idea of getting a bootcamp copy of Windows 10 a great idea. Is there a version out that is more preferable to another? I didn't know this was an option. At least I can familiarize myself with Windows first and then go try out the new Dells again. Since Dell came out with a new XPS 13 it's certain that a new XPS 15 is on the horizon. I've also thought about getting a 2015 MacBook Pro but if I upgrade I might as well really upgrade. USB-C is the future. No I have not considered Linux. Should I? That's just another wrench thrown into this conundrum. : )
     
  7. DiamonDecoden macrumors 6502

    DiamonDecoden

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    #7
    Graphic Designer / Artist here. I would not go to the Mac route... I love Apple's aesthetics- all those beautifully designed apps, rounded corners and smooth animation effects are like eye candy. They are shiny and beautiful!

    However, they are not very designer / pro work friendly... they are more for general consumers. I don't do photography but my photography friends use the SD cards a lot and there is no SD card reader anymore. I would vote for the Microsoft surface! It has a stylus and other add ons designed for the artist / graphic designer in mind. No, it is not perfect but Windows is a very good and stable OS now and more capable than the Mac. I am interested in the Surface line! All looks very nice. It is not luxury looking but now I am more about function over form than form over function:
    https://www.fastcompany.com/3064893...soft-reimagined-the-desktop-pc-for-creativity

    Apple's focus on product all revolve around their iPhone and how it works between your devices etc... IDK, their products are like eye candy but very limiting.

    I did run Windows bootcamp before but at that point just get windows...
     
  8. davidhunternyc thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 26, 2011
    #8
    I know you’re right in my head but my heart is bent out of shape. It’s a good first world problem to have.
     
  9. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

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    Apr 9, 2010
    #9
    I agree with all that you said except for... recommending the Microsoft Surface. I can in no way recommend any Surface product. The chronic problems from the very beginning of the line up until today have been thoroughly documented. Even if one is fortunate enough to get one without hardware issues, just wait a few months until a monthly update takes a perfectly working device and jacks it up. (this is NOT hyperbole)
     
  10. DiamonDecoden macrumors 6502

    DiamonDecoden

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    Texas
    #10
    I know Surface have many products in that line from the tablet, laptop and desktops. Which one did you use? I heard the tablet line is not very good (not enough power to use on a full fledged operating system) and also to go for i5 and above like an i7 surface pro laptop or desktop. I am working on a old Windows desktop at work but in our conference room we have the large beautiful surface desktops. I played around with it and it is so, so, so nice and it is so fast. I really think that their tablet is seriously not enough power for Windows to run properly on.

    Any other surface pro owners can chime in on this.
     
  11. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #11
    I've used quite a few over the years... for personal and business use....

    Personal:
    Surface RT, Surface 2: Hardware was excellent. OS/Software was fine after it took Microsoft 8 months to work out the kinks in drivers.... only to have a subsequent update cause issues with the TypeCover and battery standby. Very frustrating because when it was all working as expected, it was great.

    Business:
    Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and Surface Laptop. All exhibited similar symptoms to my personal Surface device experiences. My co-workers' experiences were similar as well. Based on all that, I've concluded that Microsoft really doesn't know how to support their hardware. Having said that, if they were ever to get their act together, I'd go back to getting them for personal use.
     
  12. DiamonDecoden macrumors 6502

    DiamonDecoden

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    #12
    So what are you using instead?
    I know drivers are probably an issue with Windows. My coworker had issues with drivers too on this Windows laptop.
    I only had 1 issue with drivers that was for the printer and that is because we had the wrong driver install for that printer. Other than that, I did not really have that many issues with drivers.
     
  13. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #13
    Unless you have critical apps which run in Windows only, I think you will be disappointed using Windows, especially for people who are ver familiar with Mac. I would suggest you find refurbished Macbook Pro or you can jump to buy iMac for your desktop and let the 2010 MBP as your laptop (change its hard-drive first with SSD first).
     
  14. krause734 macrumors 6502a

    krause734

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #14
    You can test drive Linux Mint with a USB Drive on your Mac. It is much preferable IMO to Windows or MacOS. You can find a Photoshop alternative or use Wine to run Windows Programs.
     
  15. Apple Fritter macrumors regular

    Apple Fritter

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    #15
    Wow, I really can't relate there. Not only has the Mac been the designer's tool of choice for eons, the entire workflow is generally so straight-forward so you can concentrate on getting your work done without tinkering. Not even talking about typical designer's necessities like system-wide color profiles et. al.

    I'm with you on the form over function part, though. Shuffling through heaps of dongles just to import pics from SD or connect a regular USB drive is a real nightmare. No idea what meds they were on when they made that decision.

    Word. I really tried my hardest to love the Surface lineup. First, I got a Pro 3. Was great when it worked. Usually, I'd get to my appointment with a client only to discover that the thing was piping hot and the battery empty. Or the screen would flicker for some reason. A few dozen firmware updates later I just got rid of it because I couldn't take the bs any longer.

    Then I gave the SurfaceBook a chance. Luckily, I got it shortly before the SurfaceBook 2 came out, so they had ample time to get rid of initial quirks and bugs. I have to say it did work fine for a year until the touchscreen started to act up and wouldn't recognize input within a certain horizontal area. Since that happened shortly before the warranty ran out, they exchanged it for a refurbished one.

    All that said, they're great when they work. I just wouldn't put much trust in them.
     
  16. DiamonDecoden macrumors 6502

    DiamonDecoden

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    So do your refurb work now? On my MacBook I get flickering screen too when I first open the laptop, (I had this from day one. Should I be concerned?) is that what you're talking about?

    Precisely why I would go to windows side because all the i/o are removed and I really don't see macs being more reliable either, only their resell is better.

    Nah. I generally find the windows version of Adobe suite to work just as well which is all I need. Thank goodness Adobe suites is platform agnostic.
     
  17. Apple Fritter macrumors regular

    Apple Fritter

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    #17
    Yes, the refurb works, as did the predecessor. The flicker happened with the Surface Pro 3. The Surface Book 2 had the dead touch area, which is fine now. I wonder how long it's gonna hold up, though. Oddly enough, I haven't heard about that on MacBooks. I do wonder why you didn't exchange it right away? Resale value is gonna be somewhere in the basement with that flicker for sure. :(

    For some reason, the Windows side is starting to lose all the ports as well. Of course, there will always be some manufacturer offering what you desire. With Apple it's take it or leave it.

    While Adobe is surely platform-agnostic (or even better on Windows considering the lack of proper GPUs in today's Macs), Windows has no color management. That's a joke and basically unacceptable for anybody doing professional photo work, prepress, et. al.

    There's also a gazillion of tiny, little tools that make my life so much easier on the Mac that just aren't available on Windows.

    Then there are updates that change the entire system administration every few months. Not even talking about the bugs they introduce. When I look at my system settings on the Mac, they've been the same since Leopard.
     
  18. ADGrant macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    #18
    Why do you want to switch to the Dell XPS 15. What are you hoping to achieve? Apple makes plenty of touch screens including the laptop sized iPad Pro's.

    The TouchBar is certainly gimmicky but why do you care? It's annoying if you are a software developer using Unix/Linux tools from the command line (e.g. the emacs and nano editors), but most end-user MacOS apps don't use the function keys that much. The lack of an SD slot is annoying but not nearly as annoying as using Windows or the Dell ownership experience. I use Windows at work every day and develop Windows software, compared to MacOS or Linux its pretty nasty. I have never owned an modern XPS Dell laptop but I have plenty of experience with other Dell laptops. They were all garbage. None of them lasted more than a couple of years let alone the approximately 8 years your Mac Book has lasted. Our MacBooks have been trouble free but I did have an issue with my 2009 iMac, I took it to one of the many Apple store Genius bars in Manhattan (the one that is open 24-7) and they switched out the hard drive. If you have a problem with a Dell, you will find yourself talking on the phone to someone outsourced (probably offshore) who is reading from a script. You appear to live in NYC so sticking with Apple would give you the same face to face tech support.

    Admittedly, one reason I don't have an problem with the TouchBar or lack of an SD slot on the latest MacBooks because I have a 2014 15" MacBook which I don't plan on replacing anytime soon. I am thinking about replacing my 2009 iMac though, I want a 5k screen and an SSD. A modern GPU would be nice. Given your photography and graphic design interests you should look at the 5k iMac, it has an SD slot and plenty of regular USB ports. You can use a mouse or trackpad and any keyboard you want including a third party mechanical keyboard (I use one on my iMac). If you really want a new 15" laptop with an SD card slot and a proper keyboard, the 2015 15" is still available. B&H sells it for $1,850 and up depending on the configuration, refurbs are being sold by New Egg for $1,600. Coming from a 2010, a 2015 is going seem very fast, particularly if that 2010 still has a hard drive.
     
  19. Strider64 macrumors 6502a

    Strider64

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    Suburb of Detroit
    #19
    I was a Windows user for 30+ years and I remember 5 or 6 years ago testing out my Aunt's new MacBook. I was totally confused with OS X and just dropped the idea of ever owning an Apple computer at that time. Then in 2014 a crazy thing sprung over me that I'll give the 27" iMax with 5K display a chance, for I thought to myself that I have built my own PCs how hard can OS X be? Anyways to make a long story short, I'm hook on Apple computers. PC and Apple have advantages and disadvantages with Apple have the tendency to drop and add ports for strange reasons. In my opinion you can't go wrong with either one.
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #20
    Used a Surface Book professionally since November 2016. never had an issue. Travelled the world with it, great notebook. Just gave it to my daughter as my current project needs a more powerful machine. If I need lees in the future I'll like pick up a 16" Surface Book.

    Apple's pretty much discarded it's professional audience, it's notebooks are mostly a waste of time, purely focused on the base consumer.

    Q-6
     
  21. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

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    #21
    That is very encouraging to hear. I'm an eternal optimist and keep hoping that Microsoft has turned the corner and improved the quality of the Surface devices. :)
     
  22. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #22
    Similar to many better to buy after the first six month's or so. let the production process settle down.

    Q-6
     

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21 March 11, 2018