Switching from PC to MAC...Help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bennyidentity, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. bennyidentity macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Long time pc user finally considering the switch to a mac. For those who have done this recently or been long time mac users, what tips do you have? I'm looking at picking up the 2015 13" mb pro retina with 2.7/8gb/128. I'm not a graphics/music producer. I own a small digital marketing company but I mostly do email, internet, spread sheets. A few questions:

    1) Should I get MS office for mac or is the apple version ok? I'm not opposed to learning my way around new software, but will it constantly be a pain working with others who are using ms office?

    2) What's the best way to migrate all of my files to the new laptop? I was thinking of purchasing idrive storage and going this route?

    3) How future proof is the base setup I'm looking at? For the price I'd like it to last 4-5 years.

    4) Is the apple care worth the price?

    Thanks in advance! :apple:
  2. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    The biggest issue I have with using Pages and Numbers (I don't use Keynote) in a Microsoft environment is that I have to Re-export a document in Word/Excel format when I have to share it (when you open an Office document, it's converted to the corresponding Apple format). It's possible there will be Office features that you need that have not been provided by Apple - that'll depend on how you use those apps. It hasn't been a significant issue for me, but ymmv. Note that Apple's approach is very heavy on Mouse/trackpad-based functions (relative to menu-driven functions).

    A small but key concept to keep in mind is that "Export" and "Share" are the common methods for getting documents and images out of Apple programs and into the Microsoft world (or even for exchanging them with Apple users). "Save As..." still appears in places (Safari for one), but if you don't see it, Export and/or Share will be "it."

    For general Mac acclimatization, you may find this helpful: http://www.apple.com/support/macbasics/

    For migration (from either Windows or Mac) Apple does have Setup Assistant (for when you first setup the machine) and Migration Assistant (for doing the same after initial machine setup). This article covers that and other methodology: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201553

    Before you purchase cloud storage, consider the above methods, and also consider uploading documents to iCloud from your Windows machine: http://help.apple.com/icloud/#/mm16f36425ee

    Future-proofing? Besides the fact that the future is unknowable... Just keep in mind that you won't be able to upgrade storage on a MacBook Pro after the fact. Macs generally do a good job of lasting 4-5 years on the processor side of things. In your case, my only concern is the 128GB of Flash storage. Apple's "RAM thirst" is not quite what it's been on the Windows side (Recent versions of Mac OS have added features that stretch RAM utilization by about 50% - 8 GB is closer to 12 GB). I've been getting very good performance from a 2011 iMac with 6 GB RAM - that'd be with a few dozen open browser tabs, and about a dozen small and mid-size apps (with dozens of open documents) running at all times. Also, once you move to Flash storage, if you do run short of RAM and need to page-out to "disk", it's not nearly the bottleneck with Flash as it is when using a conventional HDD.

    Since the future includes increasing dependence on the cloud, as long as your document storage can be handled via the cloud and/or a USB thumb drive, maybe 128 GB will be enough. However, if you expect to be computing off-grid on anything approaching a regular basis, 128 GB will almost undoubtedly become a data management burden, since you'll want to keep most of your data in internal storage in that scenario.

    Is AppleCare worth the price? It has two components - extended hardware warranty (defects in workmanship and materials), and tech support, and most folks who respond to this question address one of the two, not both.

    On the hardware side, those who have lost a main logic board or HDD within the first three years will say, "definitely yes." Of course, with Flash storage, the likelihood of failure within the first 3 years is reduced (on the storage side of things). If nothing bad has happened, they may say it's a waste of money.

    On the tech support side... The self-sufficient sort see little value in being able to contact Apple at no extra charge for that 3-year period. Others make fairly liberal use of AppleCare's staff, so they almost definitely get lots of value from it. Considering you're moving from Windows, you may find extended access to tech support useful.

    Since you can purchase AppleCare for Macs anytime within the first year of ownership (the terms are different for iOS devices), you could hold off on that purchase to see how much help you've needed from AppleCare before taking the plunge. (Personally, I'm pretty self-sufficient, but I still have it.)
  3. bennyidentity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Incredible amount of information! Thank you very much. I am torn on the drive size. I feel that 128 should be more then enough especially since I plan to utilize either cloud storage or some type of external hard drive for back up purposes.

    I will report back once I've made my decision. Again thank you very much!
  4. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Well, here's my 2 cents:

    I always go for the highest or mid GPU

    While 8GB would be OK, I prefer 16GB RAM

    I find that I am a pack rat, and I like things at my fingertips, so I have found a 500GB SSD to be perfect for me.

    I always find it's better to future proof as much as possible within one's budget.

    I came over to the dark side after too many years as a Windows user, and I simply love my MBP. While Windows 8.1 was very good in my opinion, I find Yosemite easier to use.

    It will take a little time to learn some of the tricks/shortcuts, but I had no problems adapting to OS X.

    Learn and use the trackpad, as it is Fantastic!

    Buy it and enjoy it.
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    A great resource for people switching is David Pogue's book "Switching to the Mac" It tells you how to do everything the Mac way instead of forcing Windows methods onto the Mac.

    I am happy with MS Office for Mac. Never had any issues with compatibility when sharing files with others. Since most everybody I have to exchange files with uses Office for Windows, compatibility is important.

    For future proofing I hold the philosophy that you can't have too much memory, disk space, or bandwidth. If you will deal with photos, video, or music then adequate disk space is important. 128gb is rarely enough.

    If something breaks, AppleCare is worth every penny. My wife and I never needed it for my MBP or her iMac but we have taken advantage of AppleCare+ on iPhones and iPads twice. It has paid for itself there. How do you feel about insurance in general? Do you carry comprehensive insurance on older cars? If you like that level of protection then go for it.
  6. bennyidentity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    so here is my last wrinkle in this discussion.

    After doing some more research I've come across this option.

    Stay with the base '15 13" rmbp, but purchase a 2tb time capsule as additional storage plus the upgraded wifi. (my current router is about 6 years old)


    get the mid range '15 13" rmbp with 256gb.

    The price difference is minimal all things considered.

    Please realize that I'm not a heavy graphics user by any means. I do spreadsheets and word docs. The occasional presentation. Lots of web based apps and email. I do have some pictures. I feel like the majority of this stuff could be stored on a seperate hhd since I won't need immediate access to it like many graphics peeps do.

    Thoughts? Thanks!
  7. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    1) Use the Apple version, it's nearly identical works with MOffice files and can export in them too. Also, it's free and included in the system.

    2) There are software for this, but I'd say copy files manually. To be honest, I recommend only copying the files that you need, it helps make the system run better when there's less files.

    3) It should work with the latest version of OS X for at least 5 years. Performance-wise, it will be a little behind in 5 years. I have an 2009 iMac, and it works great, although a little slow today.

    4) I don't know to be honest, personally I never take coverage because it costs money, but it may be good for you, I don't know.

    For your choice between internal/external storage, it is very recommended that you have all of your files on at least two storage devices, so if one decides to blow up, you keep your data. I'd say buy a 256GB model SSD (I mean internal of course), and get a small 1TB external hard drive for backup. You can always keep some of the stuff on something like Google Drive or iCloud drive.
  8. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    I personally think that the MBP is overkill for you. You simply do not need that horsepower. I'd get a MacBook Air instead -- lighter, better battery life, cheaper. You could put the cash you save towards a second monitor, a Thunderbolt external Hard Drive, a TimeCapsule, and MS Office 365 subscription. You will likely want all of these.
  9. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    I agree, maybe the MacBook Air would be better for the OP. A thunderbolt HDD or Office subscription is completely unnecessary though.
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I would add on the MS Office for Windows ("MSW") compatibility front. You should also have LibreOffice ("LO") installed alongside MS Office for Mac ("MSM").

    My reasoning being neither are 100% compatible. You need to run both for full or as close as you can get to full compatibility with MSW files. Sure they are both touted as compatible but neither is fully compatible.

    Two major shortcomings I can think of are Macro's and Protected documents. The MSM will not work with all Macro's created in the MSW version of Excel. Sure Microsoft says visual basic Macro's are back in 2011 but I've seen documents fail to work. While they function properly with LibreOffice.

    Perhaps there are more types of Macro's than just Visual Basic. Regardless LO will open more or others than MSM.

    As for protected documents. No matter what I try. If I create a password protected document in the MSW. It will not open in LO but will open fine in MSM.

    One pro tip for LO is you need to go into the preferences and save settings. The change all the default save settings for text, calc, and spreadsheet to the appropriate MS Office 2007-2013 XML counterparts.
  11. DarthVader! macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2013
    Depending on your needs, Office for Mac is decent but its inferior to the windows version of Office.
    thumb drive, external drive, dropbox/OneDrive all are ways to get your data from a PC to a Mac.

    I think the configuration you posted will easily last that long, I still have a 2010 13" MBP and its strong like bull :D
    It extends the warranty by 2 year for a full 3 years, I think its worth it, but don't buy it from apple, its cheaper on amazon and B&H photo.
  12. LittleLuth macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2014
    One recommendation I would make that I don't see mentioned here is that whichever Mac you decide to buy, go ahead and spend the $99 to get the One-to-One support for a year. Some here will say they don't need that help and that you can find better stuff online, etc., but the folks at our local Apple store have been awesome as my wife and I transitioned over the last few years. They were very patient with sometimes silly questions. They will also help you with whatever you want - even if it is something to do with your iPad or iPhone. In addition, they include doing a data transfer for you - even from a PC. Now, obviously you may want to consider if you want them doing that, but it is included in the price. I did the data migration myself but was happy to have the support on tap whenever I couldn't figure something out on my own. They also include training sessions on all the Mac apps: Keynote, Numbers, Pages, etc...
  13. Beachguy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
    Also, keep in mind that Microsoft Office will be updated later this year, with much better compatibility. If you use macros or VBA in any spreadsheets, MS Office is your only option.
  14. mikec999 macrumors newbie


    Oct 22, 2014
    The Woodlands
    When I converted about three years ago, purchased the Apple training pass for ~$100US. It allowed me to do unlimited training at the store for a year. I went about every two weeks and took every training class....some twice. If you are close to an Apple store, I would recommend checking it out.
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    There are cheaper options

    But to be honest as all in one solutions go they are very handy.

    Remember any NAS will work for you and Time capsule is $280 on amazon.

    whlie you can pick up other 2TB nas systems for $100. and an AC router for

    as little as $50


    So there are much cheaper options.

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