Stability: OS X vs Win XP

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sonoran, May 4, 2007.

  1. Sonoran macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #1
    I am very seriously considering switching my business from PC to Mac and I am in the research phase.

    One of the things I hear is that OS X is more stable than XP. My biggest complaint about an XP PC is that over time the performance degrades so much. My 3 year old PC needed to be formatted & XP reinstalled just so it would perform the way it did when new.

    Why is OS X more stable?
    Will I see a performance degradation in 2-3 years like my PC?
    Does OS X have a "registry" like XP?
     
  2. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    May 16, 2006
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    London
    #2
    I have no true reasons why, but macs just don't seem to get much slower like PCs. I think one thing is that uninstalled apps on Windows leave behind stuff that affects performance, while this is not true on OSX.
     
  3. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

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    #3
    Better architecture, UNIX based
    No
    No

    Get a mac as soon as they are updated. You won't regret getting a mac.
     
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #4
    Why is OS X more stable? Most people will say because of UNIX but it's a lot more complicated than that.
    Will I see a performance degradation in 2-3 years like my PC? No
    Does OS X have a "registry" like XP? Nope thank goodness
     
  5. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #5
    u probably just need to clean up ur xp system (msconfig, regedit, etc), a computer of 2-3 years old shouldn't be thrown away just yet.
     
  6. BlakTornado Guest

    BlakTornado

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    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    Washington, OH
    #6
    Well, it really depends what business it is.

    You don't want to get a Mac and find out you can't do anything because the right software isn't available... not that that's likely, but it's possible.
     
  7. The General macrumors 601

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    Jul 7, 2006
    #7
    Clean? msconfig, regedit, etc? Sounds like a lot of unnecessary stuff to do...

    Maybe it's because Windows is broken? :rolleyes:
     
  8. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

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    #8
    The answer to this is Boot Camp or Parallels.
     
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    1. there are a lot of reasons that OS X tends to be a bit more stable than XP. for one it has a Unix backbone, that helps. but personally i think the manner in which OS X handles hanging programs the reason for it be more stable. say an app hangs, get stalled or errors in some way, this will in no way (in my experience) bring down everything. i can let it sit there and try and do its thing, or force-quit. i can do whatever i want with no performance issues while its in the background. i'd find on XP that this type of thing could bring everything to a halt. again my experience.

    2. i've never had my macs slow down over time. in fact Panther and Tiger have made my Powerbook G4 12" faster than Jaguar which it originally shipped with.

    3. no such registry in OS X, applications are, for the most part, self contained packages.
     
  10. BlakTornado Guest

    BlakTornado

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    Apr 24, 2007
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    #10
    ah yes, forgot about those :p

    Basically, with a Mac, you've got everything you will ever need. (within reason)
     
  11. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #11
    I switched my business in September.

    The differences aren't as marked as you might think, and there are certainly areas of OS X that remain unpolished (like having to restart after most software updates - on a UNIX platform this just isn't necessary, it's lazy programming), but I've found OS X to be more stable, far more resistant to malware and an altogether more productive work environment.

    You wont believe how much you use the Exposé show-all-windows feature! I haven't 'alt-tabbed' since September!

    I'm thrilled now we're using CS3, so all our Adobe apps are Intel native, and I've zero problems to report so far there. Before, when CS2 applications were running under Rosetta (as they were created to run on PowerPC processors for Mac, not Intel), the applications used to be a little unstable - but they'd only ever crash themselves, not the host OS.

    Office, however, remains an issue. Mac Office 2008 could be many months away yet, and the currently available version also has to run under Rosetta. It's quite stable, though not infallible, but pretty slow and outdated. Open source office suites exist that will suffice for many tasks, but not all.

    Overall, the verdict is very positive. Keep your expectations realistic and you wont be disappointed. You and your staff will need to embrace a new way of computing (trying to 'make' OS X cater for your Windows habits is a non-starter - let your will be broken early, you'll thank me for that tip), but it's easy, fun, and you'll have a nicer computing environment as a result.

    I hope that helps a little :D Now all we need is Sesshi to come and give you horror stories about Apple hardware and we're done ;) While I'm on that subject - no, Apple doesn't have the same level of hardware support that a company like Dell has (no 4h on-site response or anything like that, not in the UK anyway). In terms of the hardware reliability itself, I've found it to be very good in comparison to others, particularly Dell, but others have had very different experiences. Surveys have indicated that Apple hardware is actually more reliable than its rivals, but to be honest everyones experiences are different and any good strategy for dealing with failed hardware will apply regardless of what vendor you choose.
     
  12. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #12
    A couple reasons for XP's "performance degradation":

    1. The Registry.

    When you uninstall a program, the corresponding registry entries are almost always left behind. This means that over time, the registry becomes excessively large, which can cause problems, damaging the overall integrity of the OS.

    2. Startup Items.

    More and more Windows users are familiarizing themselves with XP's settings and utilities, such as the Microsoft Configuration Utility, or MSCONFIG. Learning to use this utility means having the power to disable automatic startup of third-party applications on your computer. Unlike apps in OSX, many Windows programs add themselves to the startup list by default. This means an ever-growing plethora of programs run right from the get-go, hogging valuable processing and memory resources.

    3. File Fragmentation.

    Over time, the files on your hard drive begin to fragment. Simply put, they become scattered all over the place. This makes finding them a much more difficult task which in turn can cause quite a lag in performance. OSX (as I understand it) automatically defrags your hard drive partitions so that files can be located as quickly as possible when they are needed.

    4. Malware.

    It is highly unlikely that your Windows machine is completely free from malware, unless it has never been networked in any way for any period of time. While there are anti-malware apps out there that do a good job of keeping the really bad stuff out, there are too many less threatening forms of malware out there to ever be 100% clean. Many of the items in this category can go overlooked by conventional anti-malware apps, but still cause a considerable lag in performance.


    Obviously there are many other reasons XP becomes slow and unresponsive as time goes by, but it really all boils down to the user not performing the excessive maintenance required to keep XP running like it does after a fresh install.
     
  13. Sonoran thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #13
    Thanks for all your replies. It would be nice to have a stable long term computer. I am leaning toward a Mac Pro if I can convince myself that the additional cost over an iMac is worth it.

    I am a web developer using Adobe DW, FW & PS. I just upgraded to CS3 and Adobe has a GREAT program if someone wanted to switch from PC to Mac.

    I will probably go with Office 2004 for Mac because I rely heavily on Contacts & Calendar AND I need it to synch to my Treo 650 (Palm). Someone did mention "The Missing Synch" software which I need to look into. I think it would be wonderful not to have any MS software on my Mac.

    The only other minor software issue I have found is with Quickbooks Pro. The Mac version does not have the timer program which I use every day for tracking my billable hours. I am sure there is a software workaround out there somewhere.
     
  14. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #14
    I'd say skip the iMac and go for the Mac Pro...that's what I did. I'm a web develop too, and I like the expandability of the Mac Pro over the iMac. Nothing beats being able to have 3TB of hard drive space internally, and 16 GB of RAM!

    -Kevin
     
  15. WillJS macrumors 65816

    WillJS

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    Jan 6, 2007
    #15
    The Missing Sync.

    You can use this to sync iCal and Address Book to your 650.
     
  16. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #16
    lol, I can't argue with you since you are obviously not aware of some basic windows tricks.
     
  17. The General macrumors 601

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    Jul 7, 2006
    #17
    On the contrary, I use those tools all the time at work, where Windows is the only option.

    You'd like to think you 1up'd me by calling me ignorant, but my point still stands which is that one shouldn't have to bother with those things.
     
  18. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

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    #18
    I agree. Sonoran should really buy a mac instead of dealing with a PC.
     
  19. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #19
    "Agreed" says this ~10 year Windows user who switched to Mac and didn't look back. :)
     
  20. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    London
    #20
    The problem is that there need to be tricks...
     
  21. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #21
    wow, sorry, not intent to call u ignorant at all, just guessing u were not an experienced windows user, which is, obviously not correct.

    anyway, msconfig and regedit are normal tricks, and as an experienced user, you should know that using them does not indicate the windows is broken in any ways. Its great way to clean up ur system, safe and effective.
    lol, OSX has tricks too :D, such as use OnyX to recover ur lost disk space, sometimes GB in size. or repair permissions, repair disks, which are never necessary in windows (unless ur HDD is physically damaged, in which case, OSX's repair disk won't do any good any way)
     
  22. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #22

    Because OSX never has anything left behind in the library folder when you trash or uinstall an application :rolleyes:

    I've got people still running windows 98 which is horrible and its still working fine. Dont install crap you dont know about, dont download 'free warez' and dont install beta software which install system level drivers and you're good to go. The registry grows as you install stuff. Sometimes uninstalling does not remove all registry entries - but this is up to the programmer and not windows. The same way that stuff gets left behind as preferences in OSX.

    Preach all you want but nothing wrong with the registry. Its a large preference file and nothing more if you think about it. Windows also keeps a backup of the registry incase it gets corrupt.

    99.99% of windows slowdowns is due to people installing applications which startup automatically. Many times one can uncheck these items during installation anyway. Not a big deal. May seem very complicated but its not.
     
  23. ironic23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #24
    win xp usually crashes on me when running huge 3D models. dont know if theres something wrong with the memory management of the OS or something.

    os x has always been stable for me on the powerpc platform. rare crashes, rare kernel panics, etc. but since the switch to intel, i find os x to be very temperamental. at times, on a stock configuration of my MP and MBP, the system has kernel panics one of the cores. sometimes its sluggish (even after repairing permissions, etc.). with 5gb of ram on the MP and 2gb of ram on the MBP, the beach ball appears for no reason when opening safari. os x also seems to crash when the system wakes up from sleep mode.

    that's my experience. i can't say that os x is any more stable than XP now.
     
  24. BilltheCat macrumors regular

    BilltheCat

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    Jan 14, 2007
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    Sanford FL
    #25
    and if Clevin loves Microsoft so all fired much; why does he park his butt here?

    Trolling is very much a MS-PC thing to do
     

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