Why is Mac's OSX so stable?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by DannyNguyener, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. DannyNguyener macrumors regular

    DannyNguyener

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  2. SmokeyRobinson macrumors regular

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  3. DannyNguyener thread starter macrumors regular

    DannyNguyener

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    #3
    No, really, just intellectually curious as to why unix is so durable as opposed to Windows, which is plagued with problems.
     
  4. SmokeyRobinson macrumors regular

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    #4
    To answer that question it would have to be fact that UNIX (And OS X) is more "durable" than Windows.
     
  5. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #5
    The answer to that question could last for pages...

    Mac OS X in particular is stable because the OS is tailored and optimized for the hardware it runs on.

    With Windows, they have to take into account the fact that the end user may have any countless combinations of hardware options, and have to try to make it work on all of those options. That obviously makes optimizing very difficult.
     
  6. DannyNguyener thread starter macrumors regular

    DannyNguyener

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    #7
    Makes good sense; Apple is very proprietary when it comes to specifications.
     
  7. DannyNguyener thread starter macrumors regular

    DannyNguyener

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    #8
    Why doesn't Microsoft just switch over to Unix then? Rebuild Windows on a Unix foundation?
     
  8. SmokeyRobinson macrumors regular

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    #9
    :confused: Really?
     
  9. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #10
    Windows 7 is a very stable OS actually. I don't use it myself but from what I've read and what people say, it is the best MS OS to date
     
  10. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #11
    Yes Windows 7 is a great OS. How long did it take before they finally made one? They are too invested at this point. They aren't about to start over again just to have a Unix core.
     
  11. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #12
    It's not that simple lol.
     
  12. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #13
    There is no short answer as to why OSX is so stable. As stated it is built on top of Unix. Unix has been around for 40 years and has had all those years to be refined and improved. It's early customers were big businesses which demand stability. When you think of it stability is the most important trait. It isn't speed, or cost or ease of use (altho all of those are important). If your machines are constantly crashing... they aren't making you any money, they are costing you money. Unix ran on mainframes costing $$$$ and supporting hundreds of users per machine.

    Microsoft DOS became the OS of the IBM PC which was marketed to home users, families. One machine, one user at a time. It only had to support one user at a time. Ran on small underpowered machines. If it crashed or BSODed once a week or so... just restart that game you were playing...
    MS could get away with it because their users didn't demand the kind of stability that big corporations demanded.
     
  13. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #14
    Well before we chat too much, how do you define stability? Everyone I ask has a slightly different answer and subsequently, anything can be stable depending how you look at it.

    We should note that while Windows has not had the best track record (Windows ME cough cough sneeze) by both Mac users and PC users at times...different Mac OS' have had plenty of stability issues as well and OSX does have many vulnerabilities. Earlier versions of OSX had more issues than the current Snow Leopard.

    With all that said, I haven't lost any data on Snow Leopard in over a year and a half nor have I ever had an error to the point of having to restart the computer.

    Interesting stats OT: Before Windows 7, around 55-62% of ALL computers have some form of Windows XP and Windows XP has a global usage share of nearly 90%.

    Also, there are currently more Linux users than Windows ME users.
     
  14. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #15
    Yeah, they could just buy a copy of Snow Leopard and copy that...
    call it windows 8.
     
  15. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #16
    My definition of a stable system would be one that is able to handle all workloads without crashing. It might slow down under heavy demanding tasks but it won't crash or hang.
     
  16. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Not being rude, but please don't repeat what others (M$ fans/internet blogs etc.) say about Windows 7. It feels just as slow and is just as complicated as Vista. Not sure why people keep saying it's the best OS M$ has made... except due to marketing...?
     
  17. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #18
    At work we have a windows 2000 server that has an uptime of several years.

    OS X, *nix, NT et al are very stable provided that the hardware it's being run on is also well tuned.

    Not saying that windows isn't stable, however, out of the box there are a multitude of services and things that many users simply don't need, but the OS will just have it run as a background process anyway. *nix at it's foundation is the reverse of this ideology. Lets shut everything off and then turn it on as needed. Of course, *nix isn't geared towards home users, so one wouldn't need all types of usability functions built in.

    The applications and hardware thats installed can also influence the behavior of the machine. Load up too many background apps in windows and it'll slow to a crawl. Add too many widgets onto your dashboard in OS X and watch the same thing happen.

    Of course NT has this dumb little thing called a registry, and because application developers use it to store settings and other bits but don't necessarily clean up after themselves (in the case of uninstallation) or follow good practices. The way windows parses the registry also has affect on performance. An OS X install can also get lots of crud over time as developers put their primary applications as single packages (which is great) but also throw in a bunch of stuff into the /library (which sucks).

    And BigBeast, if your win7 experience is that troublesome i'd take a look at your hardware. In my experience it's much better than vista on all fronts and in my eyes is a viable alternative to windows xp.
     
  18. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #19
    The biggest thing is this: Apple has a limited, well known set of hardware to support and write drivers for.

    Windows has an extremely large and varied set of hardware to support and write drivers for, and mostly support drivers written by others. Low level system hardware drivers written by third parties and not controlled by Microsoft are the source of a lot of stability problems.

    Even if Microsoft switched to a Unix platform, this would still be a problem.
     
  19. farmermac macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Ive had many pcs under many flavors of windows and many macs as well. Older Mac os used to hang a lot, so did older windows versions but win7 is very stable and fast on old hardware. I'd have to say it's better on an older machine then leopard on similar vintage hardware. My iMac hangs about once every few weeks, about the same as my windows computers did. It often has to do with waking from sleep. Windows' weak point is definitely the damn registry.
     
  20. AdamRock macrumors 6502a

    AdamRock

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    #21
    wrong section....just wondering why would you even consider putting this thread here instead of the mac os x section?
     
  21. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    #22
    Honestly Os X is not Unix and it is not fair to call it that. When you pop open a command line and type in "pico", you get "nano", when you type in "more" you get "less". Os X is based on BSD Unix, but it has significant differences from the other Unix flavors out there. That is why you cant just pop any Unix application onto a Mac and expect it to run.
    For all the Win 7 bashers, grow up. Just because MS came out with a decent OS does not detract from the elegance of Mac os.

    MS = Ford.
    Apple =Mercedes.

    Does a Taurus SHO make anyone regret buying a Kompressor?
    As far as reliability, XP SP3 is very stable. It is safe to say that 90% of business desktops/laptops in the U.S. are XP machines. The teller at your bank, the cash registers at Neiman-Marcus, the lab machines at Genentech are all XP SP3. Just this year we have started seeing Win 7 get rolled out. It's a lot better at memory handling than XP or Vista. But like Mac OS, it is ram hungry! It is pretty damn stable, and recovers quite well from app crashes.
    It's also a pain to administer in the enterprise. This is why I like Macs, they make my job as an admin easy. They are a cinch to image. The hardware is solid and uninstalling and application is easy on a Mac. Heck, the worst thing I ever have to do on Mac os is trash preferences!
     
  22. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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    #23
    I get as many freezes in Windows as I do beachballs in OSX.

    Seriously.
     
  23. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Ditto the beach ball syndrome.

    And lets not blame either underlying Operating System for bringing our machines to its knees. It's usually an application that does it for me. (And when it's one of Apple's own that brings on the kernel panic it does make one wonder exactly which OS has problems).
     
  24. sputacus macrumors regular

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    #25
    From my own experience at using Windows (95, 98, 2000, XP, 7 - the latter two as virtual machines on my MBP), 7 is clearly the best. I'm running W7 at least 75-80% of the time my Mac is on - haven't had any issues with the operating system. Even in a virtual environment, I've been very pleased with its performance thus far.
     

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