Oldest question: Mac or Pc

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Grecsi, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Grecsi macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2014
    Hello everyone

    First of all, please excuse my English, I haven't use it for a long time...
    I've always been a pc user since I'm using computers from the age of 5, and I was a typical curious child who just took apart every electrical device to know whats inside the stuff, how its works etc. When I got my very first desktop pc ,of course I took it apart, but I never ruined it. also I used to love spending my time for gaming(I just regret it) Now my pc is a dell xps 17 laptop, I purchased it in 2011, still works fine, but getting really, incredible slow sometimes, and since I'm a college student I'm really not interested in games, mostly I use my laptop for converting videos, Lightroom, Photoshop , school stuff, organizing files, and really for just a few gaming, and other tasks, and I had to realize, a laptop just cant offer the real performance I need. (especially when I'm converting,or working with raw files)

    I've checked out these Imac's, looks great and everything, but they use laptop gpu-s, and cpu-s. Even with the latest, highest details, is just not comparable with a desktop pc.

    For example: The best Imac we can choose now: gtx 780m, i7 4771, 32gb ram
    I was thinking with the price of this I could get a desktop pc with: i7 4770, two gtx 780ti , an excellent motherboard, same amount of rams with overclocking and cooling.

    But since I'm using Iphone, Ipod , Itunes, Icloud, Apple tv, Airplay, I realized, these things works just fine, and I love it! Would an Imac be a better choice for me, even more as a desktop with much higher details, or its just a "dog and pony show"..

    I saw topics about comparing LAPTOP pc-s with Macbooks, but I would see topics about comparing Imac-s with desktop pc-s.

    The reasons why I would choose Mac; organizing my files like never before, would make me more productive, wouldn't spend my entire life front of the computer solving problems that windows gave me, looks better and simpler, and sounds lame but I also hope it will change my life...
    But to be realistic, I still have some fear switching from pc. What if I'll regret? Its a fortune I will spend, I really want to get the best for my money. I finally want to make a decision, and stop thinking it.

    Please give me some reasons, advice, why do you love it or hate it, have you regret it or it was the best decision in your life.

    Thank you
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601


    With all due respect, do we really need another thread about Mac or PC.

    If you search the forums, and I realize you're a new member here, you'll find this very subject one of the most discussed items. There are literally tons of threads and posts about this subject. Peruse these at your leisure, and you'll probably find the answer to any questions you may have.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Time=money. My time is too important to spend dicking around with PCs, diagnosing them when they go wrong, and upgrading them to eek an extra 2FPS from my games.

    I want something reliable, and I want excellent support to get it repaired swiftly, easily & efficiently if it goes wrong.

    Once I realised that, I went Mac and never looked back. Best computer decision of my life.
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Your fear is well learned, that less than massive specs mean a lackluster experience. But you've also seen that millions of Mac users (including iMac) rave about performance.

    So something must be working. But it's difficult to explain just what that is. Which is why apple created the apple store. Find one and go see for yourself.
  5. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    If you come to a Mac forum and ask Mac vs PC, the answer is obviously going to be Mac.
  6. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    I have a 5-7 year old PC with an i-7 920 oc'ed to 3.8 that runs perfectly and with the exception of an upgraded GPU and CPU cooler, it's has the same hardware as the day I put it together. It's have Win XP, Vista, 7, and OS X on it each (with the exception of OS X and let's face it, a hackintosh can be a real PITA) have ran perfectly with no viruses.

    I've also preferred Dell support over Apple in the past when dealing with laptops. When I had a hardware issue with a Dell laptop, I called them, they sent me a box, I sent it in and got it back fixed. With Apple, they refused to talk to me over the phone so I had to drive nearly 100 miles to the local Genius bar. Guess what happened there? They took my laptop, sent it off to Apple and had Apple send the fixed laptop to my house. The difference between Dell and Apple service? Apple cost me more time and over 1/2 a tank of gas.

    So it can go both ways.

    But with that being said, I prefer the way OS X operates over Windows and use Windows for my home server and for gaming. With that, the next server I run will probably be running some version of Linux on it.

    Other than gaming I have a photography business and have recorded bands and local hip hop artist at a studio me and a buddy had and you just can't beat the way Adobe products function on OS X along with Logic. I know it's personal preference, but I'd go with OS X every time that I had to choose a personal computer not for gaming.

    And the new MBPs are powerful enough for your editing. My rMBP is faster than my i5 Mac Mini with 16gb of ram. The iMacs share a lot of the same basic parts with the exception of the GPU, IIRC.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Likwise if someone goes to a Dell forum, they'll get Dell recommendations. I think the Mac is a superior tool but then I'm biased. ;)

    No platform is perfect but I've been using both (windows and OSX) and feel OSX has a better handle on many things over Windows.
  8. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Apologies for all the unhelpful answers on the thread, especially those that just refer you to archived answers. Those older answers are valuable and I do encourage you to seek them out, but the situation is changing every day.

    First, the distinction between "laptop" and "desktop" silicon is less than it used to be.

    Next, the performance you get may be influenced by the OS you choose. OS X and Linux don't require the performance-sapping anti-virus/anti-malware processes that Windows does.

    You may want to consider your usage. If heavy on gaming, a PC running Windows is currently the best choice for reasons of software availability and the low-level access to hardware that OS grants to applications. But even that is changing, with OS X and even Linux becoming more supported by gaming software.

    If you do a lot of technical work with card-level hardware, then PC/Windows remains your best choice for now. However, that's changing as instrumentation and peripheral manufacturers move to platform independent interfaces like Ethernet, USB and WiFi.

    With the release of the new Mac Pro, Thunderbolt is maturing as a fast expansion bus that provides everything PCIe slots provide... to no surprise since it's the same protocol. So the expandability of an iMac or a laptop is less an issue than it used to be too.

    On the other side of the equation are the recent changes made to Windows with the advent of Windows 8 and 8.1. Are these to your taste? Lots of folks are taking the opportunity to plunge into a new platform. For those, OS X is a terrific alternative: fast, smooth, gorgeous, with lots of world-class software, and supremely well-supported. It also runs virtual machines and Boot Camp for those times when you must use something else.

    Good luck!
  9. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    But not enough. Most games do not run natively and use a wrapper so performance often takes a hit vs. running them natively in windows. That's a big complaint of people that refuse to use Bootcamp to run games because they don't want to "sully" their machines. That's silly if you ask me.
  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Mobile CPUs and GPUs are more than enough for general computing these days. Unless you really must run 3D games with maximum settings, or if you are using high-end pro software that uses the GPU for processing, the GPU in the iMac should be fine. Looking to the future, the new GPU-heavy Mac Pro might encourage software writers to make better use of OpenCL - a benefit which should trickle down to all Macs: a mobile GPU that actually gets used is better than a super dual-turbo SLI/Crossfire rig that isn't being used. However, that's yet to be seen.

    Yes - if you want an ultra-slim all-in-one computer, you pay extra. The question is, whether you need all that raw power more than you need a nice slim computer.

    The Mac implementations of these are probably slicker and better integrated than the Windows versions - so score one for Mac there.

    Purely in terms of hardware:

    I think the advantages of Apple laptops are more obvious - slim, light, good battery life, retina displays, best-in-class trackpad that really is a viable alternative to a mouse etc… Not that there aren't desirable PC laptops (often with a suspicious resemblance to Apple products) around.

    The question with desktops is - the iMacs are slimmer, lighter and better looking than most PCs, but if its never going to leave your desk, so what?
    The question is, is it of any value to you to have an all-in-one system rather than a traditional mini-tower PC desktop + large monitor? Otherwise, you'll definitely get more bangs for your buck than a PC.

    As for software, though, I have 2 words:

    Windows. Eight.

    So lets assume you can find a PC with Windows 7 - and that sanity will prevail and windows 9 will stop trying to foist a tablet user interface on you.

    A Mac ain't going to change your life. Given the choice and the money I'd prefer OS X, but Windows 7 isn't that bad - there are even some things about Windows that I marginally prefer (e.g. Windows Explorer vs. Finder).

    Some of the "PC vs Mac" lore harks back to the days of "classic" Windows, when it was just a half-baked shell running on top of DOS.

    As an experienced PC user, I guarantee that you'll start of cursing and swearing at the Mac just because it is different - just as a Mac user will curse and swear at a PC the first time they try to use it.

    Don't forget to cost up what new software you'll need (not sure what the PC-to-Mac transfer deal is with Photoshop and Lightroom) and check that everything you use has a Mac version or some just as good/better equivalent.

    You might also want to investigate the alternative of giving your PC laptop a 'birthday': put in a SSD system drive, max out the RAM and re-install Windows and your software from scratch.

    (a) I like the hardware.
    (b) I like UNIX, powerful command line and scripting when you need it, features like symbolic links at filesystem level (C.f. Windows' links that only show up in the shell) - but not the various half-assed attempts at Unix GUIs. OS X gives you a UNIX system with a decent GUI that can run MS Office, Photoshop etc. and most of the common open source Unix/Linux tools.
    (c) I dislike the way Windows gradually grinds to a halt and needs re-installing after 6 months of so of heavy use.

    I think the OS X interface probably is cleaner and easier for new users than Windows 7 - but I think there's an element of 'this is a Mac so I think it will be easy' there.
  11. Baumi macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2005
    Besides "Mac or PC" there's another question to consider: All-in-one or separate display? I currently have a 2008 iMac as my main desktop, but my next system will probably be a Mac mini with separate display, so I can upgrade either component without having to shell out for a whole new package.

    Early last year, for example, the iMac's GPU failed. With a mini, I would have used that as an opportunity to buy a new, faster system. But since I couldn't afford a new iMac or a new mini + display combo, I ended up paying more than 200 Euros for a GPU replacement which only served to keep the status quo.
  12. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
  13. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    OP obviously means wintel computer.
  14. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    I've got both. I've had Macs for twenty years, and except for some problems with a System 9 bug, which I was able to correct myself, I've never had software related issues, hardware incompatibility issues, or virus issues.

    I've used PCs for over thirty years (yes, I'm old). I've had good luck and bad luck with PCs. My current Acer desktop is not being used much because some virus has caused a problem with one of the user accounts and resists being fixed.

    When it comes down to it, a computer is merely a tool. My view is that if the tool doesn't do the job it was intended to, or requires more effort to make it work than it should, then the tool is not particularly useful. Macs have been advertised as they just work, and for me, that's what's important, they just work. PCs on the other hand work more often than not, but when they don't, it is terribly inconvenient. My view, buy a Mac, it just works.
  15. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    Ok , I'd tell the OP to get a business class Windows laptop with NBD on-site warranty service and accidental damage protection.

    Normally when I put some distro of Linux on my laptops , I don't called them Linux laptops , I just call them PCs.
  16. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    An alternative to Boot Camp might be to install a bootable copy of Windows on an external hard disk or SSD. A Thunderbolt interface should result in performance as good as a Boot Camp'd internal drive; for mechanical hard drives USB 3 should provide about as good performance too (since the drive is the bottleneck in that case).

    If this can work, then it's the best of both worlds: an "un-sullied" Mac with all its internal disk space intact, plus the ability to do gaming or whatever in Windows at full performance. The cost would just be the price of the drive (plus Windows, which would need to be purchased in any case).
  17. JoeRito macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    Yes and it's all about the Mac OS, OS X, for me. Hardware is nice, but software runs the world. Haters of win 8 are flocking to Macs.

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