Why Mac ?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by stonkpot, May 27, 2007.

  1. stonkpot macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2007
    Ok guys, here's quite a dumb question for you ! I apologise in advance

    I've used a PC notebook for years, mainly to run office, internet & email, and to process my digital photos. I'm looking at getting a new machine now - and the MacBooks look great....

    ....but for the same money you can get a PC of much higher specification.

    I know Macs are used for pro video and photo editing, but what I do with my photos isn't that advanced.... Common sense says stick with PC. Should I ?

    I'd appreciate any advice you guys can give on why I should/shouldn't go for a Mac

    Thanks for your help ! Very much appreciated
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    This has a great list of the advantages of OS X :)

    For your photos you will get iPhoto for free (its part of iLife, which includes the program iTunes which you might use)

    "Much higher specification" is commonly a misconception, tell us which mac you're contemplating and we can help you more...

    For me, OSX just 'feels' a LOT nicer, and I don't get error messages and problems all the time like on Windows. Every thing I want from my mac and can't seem to find, I just come to these great boards and ask. There are no viruses to worry about, and the programs are great: We have Microsoft office (and great alternatives, Apple's Mail program, a choice of many browsers including Firefox and Safari) :)
  3. stonkpot thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2007
    ....thinking of getting the new white Macbook with the 2.16GHz processor (the middle one, price-wise, of the 3 they do).
  4. twistedlegato macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2006
    Excellent choice!

    My sister just bought one of the exact kind you said (her first Mac too) and she loves it!

    Be sure to stick to these forums once you get your mac!:)


    iPhoto is great!
  5. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    There really isn't "a PC of much higher specification" "for the same money"...the Macbook comes with a built in camera, microphone, and some brilliant software

    Remember that if you match up the specs of a PC against the macbook, some of the PC's resources will always be used by antivirus and antispyware programs you really need to run in the background on Windows...

    There are no programs I used on Windows that I want on OS X, but if there were there are multiple solutions: You can dual-boot the two systems, you can run SOME Windows applications in Mac OS X using a technology called WINE, and you can even run Windows inside OS X :)
  6. -Alan- macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2007
  7. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    You really have no idea how much better Mac OS X is until you actually sit down and use it / get educated about it. Before I bought my mac I visited my local Apple Store and attended one of those "Mac OS X Basics" seminars. It really helped show me just how much more sense OS X makes. Put it this way, for sure, you WON'T be disappointed.
  8. Gentile macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    Because you are coming from Windows, take a look at what Paul Thurrott, a longtime Windows' reviewer (some here would say defender), recently said:

    "Historically, Macs have been more expensive than comparable PCs, but prices have come down in recent years and Apple's machines are now much more competitive...if a particular Mac model does meet your needs, you will generally find that it is comparable in price to similar PCs.

    All Macs share certain characteristics. They are incredibly well-made, beautiful to look at, and are generally devoid of any extraneous ports and other doo-dads. This can be bad in some ways, since you'll never find a useful Flash RAM reader on a Mac, but for those who appreciate design, Macs are top-notch. All Macs come with Mac OS X and Apple's highly-valued iLife suite of digital media applications. In some ways, iLife is reason enough to own a Mac: There is nothing like iLife on the PC side.":cool:

  9. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    If you are satisfied with the PCs, maybe that is the right choice for you. I will say that the price comparisons are largely fiction. There are many cost factors which go into the total cost of ownership. Apple is very competitively priced. And, they hold their value considerably better. Look at the signatures on this board. You will see many people using Macs from a period of time, when if they had been PCs, they would have been scrapped long ago.

    When I made the switch a few years ago, I thought it was just to buy a computer that did video post production work very well. I was not expecting to be so totally swept away by the Mac environment (hardware, OS and applications). I had been working with computers so long, I did not think I could get too excited about them again. But, Apple rekindled the youthful passion. It is had to put a pricetag on that.

    I have a large extended family. Everyone of them have computers, a few have more than one. As the family 'techie', I was (seemingly) always cleaning their systems of viruses, malware, hardware failures, answering calls, "How do I do this?", etc. So, I began converting them to Macs. It took about 18 months. Last winter the work was complete. They have a combination of iMacs, Minis, PBs, MBs, MBPs and recently a MP. Now they all call each other with questions. My father, who could barely logon to his HP, is now calling me about some cool widget he found, or some freeware program. Life is good.
  10. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    I don't have a mac yet (waiting for the new MBPs), but when you go and compare specs and technology to other reliable PC manufacturers, you find that the macs (especially notebooks) offer better hardware for the price. Compare a macbook to a vaio (one of my PC choices due to the great screens and quality) and you'll find that the macbooks are cheaper.
  11. MagicUK macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    I think the *people* have given you the hard core facts, but unlike the Windows world haven't gone, WOW YOU NEED TO DO THIS!

    As a recent convert myself I can confirm the price thing is complete *toss*. If you try and take a basic Wintel PC / LapBrick you will pay somewhere on the hardware.

    For example, start out on the Dell site (or any other for that matter) and then try to match the processor speed, the memory, the Graphics card + memory, etc) and you will see their isn't much in it.

    Then you add on the software that you need, Anti-Virus & Office (Min) and the number don't look so great. Now take into account the ungrade cycle on Windows and Windows related software and ..... well the math is easy.

    Try this, sit down and write a list of the software you use, how much you pay for it and then compare it to what comes with the Mac.

    *NOTE:- I think I need a commision Mr Jobs*
  12. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006

    nobody here earns commission on Mac sales so we might as well mention the downside to switching to a Mac:

    1) very limited offer in the gaming department. while a modern laptop with Windows XP can run a lot of games, you won't find 1/10 of the offer for OS X. IF you decide to run XP on your Mac that problem is solved but that means time wasted setting it up, licensing cost for an extra copy of Windows XP and you'd still need to set up some security software to use the internet when your Mac is running Windows. To my knowledge there are also no cheap re-releases of Mac games, like the ones you regularly find on PC software retail, with 3 year old games being sold for as little as EUR5... There's only a few games for OS X and they are all priced as new releases.

    2) limited offer on the low-end market for peripherals. TV Tuners are an extreme example: there's only one brand that makes them for Macs, they charge about twice the normal cost for a Analog/Digital TV Tuner from any no-name brand that specializes on peripherals for Windows boxes. You might reach the same conclusion when shopping for printers and scanners. Check first if your current peripherals work on a Mac.

    3) Office. If you use MS Office, there is a Mac version which lags some 3 years behind the newest releases from MS. It includes a "wizard" to help you ensure that files saved on your Office:Mac will be read correctly by other computers using Windows. The Office:Mac user interface is weird, to say the least. Expect to relearn how to use Office like you would if you got Office 2007 for a PC, except that you'll be getting Office 2004 instead.
    3.1) Openoffice.org. It does a lot of what MS Office does, but it's free and uses open standards. Its development for the Mac platform lags behind the one of Windows and Linux, probably due to the availability of volunteers and customers. as a result, the normal version of OOo is very slow under OS X and its native version (NeoOffice) while being better is a disappointment for anyone who's seen MS Office or OpenOffice running on recent hardware.

    4) OS X has a basic file management tool called Finder that is quite frustrating for anyone who's used Explorer from Windows 95 or even file manager from Windows 3.0 onwards. Search these forums to find out how bad it is from the point of view of recent "switchers".

    5) check out the first topics on the macrumors discussions on these forums to find out how frustrated people are about the relatively slow rate of adoption of new CPUs and GPUs on the side of Apple. you just never know when or if the new technology will be made available on the limited range of personal computing products Apple offers.

    6) compared with the Windows or Linux developers community, there's few freeware titles as most developers release their programs as shareware.

    Apart from these few points, what the other guys said is correct, except maybe the comment about the loss of performance when using an antivirus on a machine with XP. As far as I know, most people who switch to Macs don't switch back unless they're forced to for compatibility reasons.

    good luck

  13. J Radical macrumors regular

    J Radical

    Nov 20, 2006
    Don't let anyone pressure you into getting a mac!

    If you're on a tight budget and see a PC laptop at a lower price that meets your needs go for it!

    If you do choose to go with a mac you'll be getting the best hardware in the industry and brilliant software that just isn't available anywhere else. Since switching I really haven't looked back, OS X is a quantum leap ahead of XP- I can't comment much on vista, but there doesn't appear to be anything in it that isn't better with Tiger. And thats to say nothing of security.

    iLife is simply superb, and not something you can put a price on.

    The way I look at it is that you can't go wrong with a PC, BUT you can often do a lot better with a mac. Its a purchase you are very unlikely to regret.
  14. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Office:Mac 2008 is due "soon", and will likely outshine the equivalent offing for Windows, as 2004 did on release (and still does, in some respects). Granted, the Mac Business Unit at MS doesn't upgrade as often, bu they do a bang-up job. Much of what will be on the Mac '08 version won't be seen on the MS version for another one or two revs.

    Project Center in Entourage still kicks butt!
  15. Tinlad macrumors member

    May 1, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    Office 2008 should be coming out in the second half of this year though (about time!). OpenOffice.org should also be getting a proper native Mac port at some point too (not NeoOffice).

    I think you made a lot of fair points though.

    Still, I would say get a Mac (switched one year ago :D).
  16. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I lol a bit when people try and compare Apple and non-Apple laptops.

    I bought the final revision PowerBook 12" (£930) after I bought a Gericom laptop (£999).

    The Gericom has a the same video card but a 3.2ghz P4 with HT. same ram, DVD-RW, 15".
    Powerbook was a 1.5ghz G4.

    I use a lot of Photoshop and found the Mac to be much faster, yet cheaper. I also found games like Doom 3 ran better on the Mac side (though this was likely optimised better).

    Just recently my gran bought a laptop for £500. 13" display, webcam, mic, all that stuff. But the most horrendous CPU I've seen. For £a00 more she could have got a MacBook which has a much more friendlier OS for what she wants to do, and a C2D (or are they CD? I don't follow MBs :) ).

    I go for Mac because for a PC alternative I'll end up spending more. Or if I am spending more then I'm getting a fantastic customer support service, dual booting into the only 2 OS's I need, better quality hardward components and incredible form factor.
  17. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Hi! Welcome to the boards. It's a perfectly valid question, no need to apologize.

    The first reason is the software. Mac OS X is completely virus-free; no more messing with antivirus software or intrusive firewalls that accidentally block apps you are trying to use. No more worrying about if the attachment you are downloading is safe. Much fewer software problems; the OS is less likely to crash, if something does break Macs tend to be much easier to fix (just tell us and we'll give you a solution), etc.

    The next reason is hardware; Apple really pulls out all the stops. If you look at the majority of desktop PCs at the local CompUSA and find a $1299 machine, it is likely to have an equivilant processor to the same priced iMac...except the iMac will ALSO have WiFi (802.11n, fastest kind), ALSO have a Radeon X1600 (none of the computers in CompUSA or any retail store come with graphics cards, and the X1600 costs $200), also have a built in camera, and fit in a 2-inch enclosure and include a monitor, making it much smaller than any competing system.

    I used to work at a CompUSA, I have all the hardware specs memorized ;)

    A MacBook, for example, is actually in line with the price range for any laptop that is similar. The MacBook has extremely good battery life and is extremely thin-and-light (if you find a cheaper, higher-performing computer than the MacBook, I guarantee you it's going to be fatter, 50%, uglier, and have a two-hour battery life).

    The majority of laptops under $1600 use 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo's, the MacBook's are faster than average for their price range. The graphics card (GMA 950) is pretty much standard for the price range, but the Macs have a high-quality camera (few low-end notebooks do) and microphone, a remote control, a high res on the screen, 802.11n, a hard drive with motion sensor to prevent data loss in the event of a drop, etc. Apple pulls out all the stops and throws in all the little extras, and the build quality is just spectacular. I've known some people to even buy MacBooks and put Windows on them just so they can get the hardware.

    Going back to the software point really quick; you'll find that the bundled software is far superior than on Windows, as well. HD video editing, DVD creation that can result in spectacular menus with 3D transitions with almost no effort from the user, great photo editing, music creation, etc, etc all come with it.

    For the price issue:

    The $1299 MacBook vs the $1199 Dell XPS M1210 (Dell's notebook in a similar size/performance class).

    The MacBook is $100 more expensive, though students get it for $1199, so to students they are the same price.

    The MacBook is faster (2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo vs 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo).

    The RAM is equal.

    The MacBook has way more hard drive space (120 GB vs 80 GB).

    They have the same graphics card.

    The MacBook has a dual-format, dual layer DVD burner. The Dell burns CD's and plays DVDs.

    The MacBook's screen is an inch larger.

    The MacBook has 802.11n, no indication on the Dell.

    The MacBook has a built in camera, the Dell has it as an extra addon.

    The Dell's only advantage is that it is 0.7 pounds lighter.

    So...how is the Mac far more expensive more? As I see it, it's $100 more and far superior; in fact, even the $1099 MacBook matches or beats the Dell in every respect except for that 0.7 pounds (faster processor, equal RAM and hard drive, bigger screen, built in camera, same disk drive).

    Macs being way more expensive is a myth. The markup is fairly small, sometimes nonexistant (right now the Mac Mini is a seriously overpriced, for example, since it hasn't been upgraded in over 200 days).

    Grab a MacBook with a copy of Microsoft Office for Mac. You won't regret it :)
  18. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    This is true. You can buy an OEM copy of Windows XP for as little as $80 online though, and if you don't surf the web using Windows XP (do all that while you are booted in Mac OS X), and only use it for gaming, you don't have to worry about antivirus.

    Strongly disagree on many of your points; there are at least three brands of TV Tuners for Macs (I use a Miglia myself, most use EyeTV) that I am aware of, and as far as I know there are some Windows-based ones that a driver hack will make compatible.

    99.9% of printers have Mac drivers available. I have yet to find a modern, USB-based printer that doesn't work on a Mac. Same with scanners.

    You do have to worry about peripherals sometimes (there are a lot of Windows-only TV tuners and graphics cards, for example), but checking the box usually solves that.

    PC users just went from Office 2003 to Office 2007.
    Mac users are going to jump from Office 2004 to Office 2008 in a couple of months. The release is almost here. I would certainly not call this a disadvantage.

    In fact, I usually prefer the Mac releases. Office v. X for Mac was superior to Office 2000 for Windows. Office 2004 for Mac had more features than Office 2003 for Windows.

    Usually, the main Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) actually have more features on the Mac versions. But the Windows version includes extra apps (Access, anyone?) which is the advantage to Windows.

    Regardless, it is a free product and there is a Mac native version coming soon. I wouldn't consider this a major disadvantage.

    That's a matter of opinion. I for one disagree.


    5) check out the first topics on the macrumors discussions on these forums to find out how frustrated people are about the relatively slow rate of adoption of new CPUs and GPUs on the side of Apple. you just never know when or if the new technology will be made available on the limited range of personal computing products Apple offers.[/quote]

    Generally Apple has been adopting within a few months (either way). They adopted the quad-core Xeon several months before Intel released it (Intel STILL hasn't released it outside of Apple), but they haven't adopted Santa Rosa yet and it's been out a month.

    While this is true; Mac freeware tends to be higher quality, though the quantity is lower. Don't ask me why.

    I would say the biggest disadvantage to using a Mac comes for users of specialty software that isn't available. You have to resort to Parallels or Boot Camp to run Windows apps, which is a hassle.

    If you're not using any special programs that you need for work, then that disadvantage is nullified.
  19. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    I went with Apple because I was sick of messing around with Windows. And also, the Macbook had just been released and was by far the most tempting laptop around at that time (compared to PC manufacters offerings). But mainly it was frustration with Windows (and Sony - they sold me a laptop that broke many times in a year) than being allured by Apple. Everything that's good about Apple hardware and software has already been said. Different things appeal to different people; although photo and video editing are best under OSX, but obviously that means nothing to a lot of people. At the most basic level of appeal, OSX is just a lot less fuss than Windows, and you get a nice bunch of free integrated software to go with it.

    The downside? I think that comes with when it's time to upgrade. The way Apple does business means that if you're the sort of person that is into technology, or you're obsessed by getting the most for your money, you exist in a constant state of uncertainty and frustration. Unlike the PC world - where if something is available, if you want it, you know can get it - once you make the switch prepare to have agonising months where there is something out there, easily available, perhaps not even that expensive, which would add immense value to what you want to buy, yet you don't know when or if that thing will be added to any Apple product in the next revision, if ever at all. So sometimes you will find yourself making sideways glances towards whats going on in the PC world and end up being very tempted (don't listen to the uber-zealot nonsense about PC and Apple products not being comparable: of course they are, hence people compare them :confused: )

    Oh, and Apple really don't like gamers. :p
  20. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    I don't think the price difference is that large for what you get, which is a really nice computer and a much better OS (than windows).

    I guess teh difference is larger if you don't want any of those little extras (like camera, microphone, iLife package etc..), but what I found is that you may not need nor want them, but you do appreciate them, and you find a use.

    As for Office lagging behind Windows version - I disagree. MAc:eek:ffice was always ahead (the nomenclature was even win2003 vs mac2004), up until recently - win2007, but mac:eek:ffice2008 will be out later on, and if the old office is anythign to go by, it is nicer than the windows version.

    But any way, any small premium you pay for a mac, in my opinion, is well justified by the hardware you get, and esepcially by the software. I'm a huge proponent of Mac Osx and the iLife package which come with macs. Those are easily worth the price you pay, if there is even a price difference.

    Regardless, these software packages made computing easy and enjoyable - how can you put a price on that?
  21. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006
    how about online gaming?

    99% is too optimistic. For instance, at Lexmark it's more like 40%. Regardless of the exact proportion, I definitely recommend asking about compatibility before picking any printer from retail shelves. Not only because of drivers but also because of availability of OEM ink cartridges.
  22. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    lol, nice replies. Wonder if the person ever even read them? :)

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