Why switch from PCs?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by markjs, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. markjs macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2002
    I am a PC person of course who has an interest in Macs. I am not anti Mac, and I see it as a valid platform for what its good forand for Mac enthusiasts of course (I am way too much into 3D gaming to ever abandon PCs), but I am interested in why anyone would switch? I can certainly see how anyone who started with a Mac would stick with it, and I could see how a few years back the PC wasn't too stable with Win9x. Things are much improved in the PC world since the NT kernel is cental to the modern operating systems, and since Linux is more tempting than ever, and I personally can't see what could ever make me switch (putting games aside even), but I am interested in what made you switch? I am only interested in the opinion of people who know PCs fairly well, but prefer the Mac to the point that they woudn't own a PC (assuming they don't need to). Sorry but the opinion of a person that never really used a PC is irrelevant. I am not asking to start an argument about PCs and Macs, I simply want to know. I deal with people all the time who are new to computers and I am also curious what advantage they might have with a Mac. Thanks, and happy computing, whatever the machine.

    PS Some girl in a commercial saying her father's PC made noises and needed drivers, doesn't hold much water with me.....how much can you ever beleive an advertisement? I want real stories from nomal people who really know.
  2. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Re: Why switch from PCs?

    Well, I'm not exactly the opinion you're looking for, but I'll be buying a powerbook in a week. I've used PCs all my life, and I don't see a reason to drop the platform. Unlike others on this board, I do think my PC is stable...I have my computers on 24/7 and they rarely crash on me. In fact, I haven't rebooted my desktop computer (which now runs Folding at Home, 100% CPU) in a month and a half. And my laptop, even tho' the fan died and is always on, it still runs just fine.

    So why did I want to buy an Apple computer? Well, I specifically wanted to buy the powerbook because of the form factor. Speed isn't as important to me, but I have analysis software that takes advantage of the altivec engine so the speed when running that piece of software is fairly fast. As for the other pieces of software, the OS isn't beautiful enough to make me want to switch. But it isn't a bad thing either.;)

    I'd still own a PC so my opinion isn't one you want to hear. But the reason I bought a Mac is because the powerbook is hands down one of the best laptops one can buy. And with the release of Virtual PC 6.0 for Macs, I don't have to worry about not being able to use PC only software like LabWindows and Scientific Workplace.

    Sorry, I'm not much of a gamer, so migrating to the Mac platform wasn't that hard of a decision. It's just the cost that's making me have second thoughts, but the 1 GHz G4 and superdrive for under $2900 is ok for me.
  3. Nipsy macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2002
    No BIOS.

    I spend way too much time tweaking BIOS settings on PCs when moving PCI cards, etc. It is never logical, and can sometimes be catastrophic.

    Few drivers.

    Many items which require drivers under Wintel, are simply supported by the OS. Ous hardware choices may be more limited (generic stuff rarely works), but the good stuff is available, and Plug and Play actually works. That commercial is not that far from the truth...


    We have our security updates before the problem manifests itself, not after the exploit is mentioned on CNN. Because of the core of OSX, and the quality of Apple's layer, we have few of them. Then there's the virus issue...

    Freedom of choice.

    I still hate that I cannot remove M$ adware/spyware/drmware completely from my Windows machines. I don't use messenger, and I don't want it on my hard drive. Same for Outlook Express, and Windows Media Player. I seldom use IE, and yet it still thinks its my browser of choice. These these things don't occur on Macs.


    OSX still has all flavors of Windows & Lin(us/dows) beat from a usability perspective.


    Windows 98 crashed when the neighbor's dog barked. 2000/XP have gotten better, but I can still make them BSOD if pushed too hard. I can slow my OSX boxes down, but they just plod through without failing.


    I don't trust M$ not to market to me or sell my data. I do trust Apple not to market to me or sell my data.

    My rights.

    Apple cannot log into and takeover my machine without my knowledge. M$ can (if they can get through the outer walls).


    I use my Windows machines enough to no that I get more done on a Mac. Some of this has to do with knowing OSX better than Windows, but much of it has to do with the fact that Windows is still very clunky.

    At the end of the day, Macs are simpler to use, administer, repair, troubleshoot, etc.

    I want to spend my day doing work on my computer, not doing repair work on my computer.
  4. Nipsy macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2002
    The Tech TV news that M$ has issued security update #72 for the year reminded me of another reason why I prefer Macs.

    Executable documents (actually documents with API hooks to Windows controls).

    On a Windows box an MP3 file can execute code. A text doc can execute code. An e-mail can execute code. There are so many ways to execute (usually malicious) code, that security is an impossible dream.

    Why do these holes exist? Because M$ loves advertisers. Ever watched an .avi that lauched a site? Why does an .avi have the rights to launch anything? Advertising.

    So it reminds me of a point i made yesterday, that true or not, Apple appears to care about the end users, and M$ certainly does not.
  5. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Every time I have to sit in front of a PC and use it, I somehow feel that I am not in the driver seat. And before you start telling me that I just don't know how to do this and that... I started with a ZX spectrum, onto a commodore, XT, AT 286, 486, pentium, etc with various OSes from DOS to Win 2.0, WIN 95 and I am a Win2000 admin. It's just like a previous poster said, things are illogical as far as how can a document execute something by itself??? Why can't I remove a program completely? Even when I run a uninstaller and in case it doesn't fail, months later I still find folders and files associated with that program.

    The whole philosophy that it's OK to push start to shut down....

    Speed shmeed. Yesterday I had 16(!) different applications open, including Photoshop crunching on a 2 gig file, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. and I could browse the net, send email, switch between programs and not even a stutter (Mac OS X.2.1). Granted it took me 2 minutes plus to complete a photoshop manipulation instead of 1':02":15 ms , but I was in the middle of writing email when it would have finished, so it really doesn't matter.

    When I work on a win machine, it's a machine. When I work on a mac, I usually have a name for it - my powerbook is maximus and my powermac is nietzsche. I LIKE working with my machine. Or just fiddling with it. Not the other way around that I have to fiddle with it so I can work.

    I dont play games - not since Commodore64 days. I probably would buy a gamecube for $129 for that purpose. It really doesn't matter to me if I can see someone splat @ 122 fps vs. 30 fps.

    I haven't used a Microsoft product on a regular basis since I don't know when. The occasional Entourage and Office starts I have attributed to a necessary random evil rather than a need.

    While many new switchers whine that they can't seem to get things to plug-n-play, I have NEVER had a problem with that. I think win users overthink things. A friend instead of plugging in his camera, started downloading latest drivers, installers, and after moving files around in the system folder, he realized that he crippled his Classic environment and the camera wouldn't be recognized. I took the camera, plugged it into my PB, started iPhoto and downloaded his pics. He still has trouble closing his mouth shut completely.

    ETc, ad nauseam. i could go on, but please ask specifics.
  6. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    I was a lifelong DOS/Windows user, and what made me switch was the superior value of Apple's laptops (specifically the 12.1" iBook I bought). And, believe me, I looked hard at similar laptops from Sony, Dell, and Fujitsu before making my decision. Here's a summary of my reasons:

    - Since the iBook uses the low power consumption G3 processor, it can get a 5 hour battery life from a standard battery, which would be all but impossible with an Intel chip (and I've seen 3rd party higher capacity iBook batteries with 10+ hours battery life). The Fujitsu used a Transmeta chip which brough it up to 4 hours (but I didn't like it because it had a smaller 10.6" screen), and the Sony has huge batteries that can get up to 9 hours but add very considerable bulk.

    - Fonts look clearer on Mac OS X than on Windows, so the 12.1" screen is far more legible than the Dell/Sony/Fujitsu.

    - $1300 price point for my 12.1" iBook with combo drive, 30 GB HD, 384MB RAM, and ATI Radeon 7500 32 MB was at least $200 less than Dell, Sony, or Fujitsu for an ultraportable with similar configuration. Look it up yourself. Dell wasn't even in second place - Fujitsu was the one with a $1500 model (and this Fujitsu model had a small 10.6" screen and only, like, 8MB Video RAM).

    - You said Linux looks tempting. Why? I've installed Linux many times on both desktops and laptops, and always ended up getting sick of struggling with it and eventually reinstalling Win2K on the machines (if they were my own machines). Do you really need to be recompiling your kernel to get simple things like networking, sound, video, etc. to work? To me, Mac OS X has all the benefits of Linux that I care about, plus I don't have to struggle with connecting peripherals, and plus it runs MS Office. Specifically, I like having a command line (being also a longtime Unix geek), and also having great support in the open-source community. OS X is probably second to only Linux in terms of open source support - because the "Alpha geeks" that tend to lead these open source project are moving to OS X in droves. I use tools like Ant and CVS on a daily basis in my professional life. Though I've used these tools on Windows (often requiring install of the Cygwin tools), I really appreciate having a native Unix command line, and I like the fact that I can continue expect great support for Unix tools for the foreseeable future.

    So: Apple has great laptops, and in my opinion the best operating system. Those were basically my reasons for switching.
  7. oldMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2001
    It's the details...

    I use both Macs and PCs. PCs for work and a Mac for home/some work/hobbies.

    The biggest advantage that the Mac has over the PC is the attention to detail and care that is taken by Apple in putting together the software and the hardware. I'm a very detail-oriented person and I really appreciate the little things that Apple does to constantly improve the OS and, frankly, personal computing in general.

    It's in the details...

    - In how much better written the dialog boxes are and how it's easy to quickly discern which button is the correct one to click.
    - In how much better my Mac handles the loss of a network connection vs. my PC freaking out with dialog boxes that can't be closed.
    - In how much faster my iBook goes to sleep and wakes up and recognizes/restores available network connections compared to my GF's Thinkpad
    - In how much simpler and more robust the free Mail.app is compared to the glutonous Outlook on my PC
    - It's in how much easier it is to plug in my digital camera to load photos
    - It's in how much easier it is to handle removable drives
    - In how much better the plastics are holding up on my iBook compared to a much more expensive Thinkpad
    - In how my iBook gets 3 times the wireless range of my GF's Thinkpad with a Cisco card

    It's not that you can do more with a Mac. In fact, you can do less. But Apple seems to get the most important things right and then they refine, refine, refine. Microsoft seems more focused on getting a lot of stuff in there, leaving it, and then putting a lot more stuff in.

    Fewer Bugs and fewer bugs that go unfixed
    Why is it that IE crashes everytime I attempt to shut down my W2K PC? Why does some background application crash every time my girlfriends XP laptop? Why do so many apps on the PC hang if something goes unexpectedly?

    There's only one reason: Attention to Detail
    Apple doesn't have some magic formula for handling errors, they just spend more time getting it right. (Okay, arguably, you could say that VB's incredibly inane "on error ... resume next" statement is partly responsible. Ignoring an error generally doesn't make it go away!)

    A classic (though dated) example of how bugs can go unfixed in Microsoft-land for years and across many product versions. For example, remember how the Microsoft calculator couldn't perform simple decimal math for several years? (I'm harking back to the Windows 3.x days here, but the trend still seems to exist.)

    Sometimes it seems as though engineers at Microsoft have another mantra, "Okay, good enough! On to the next bullet point in the sales brochure!"

    Is my 500Mhz G3 iBook faster than my 500Mhz PIII Tower W2K (Dell Precision 220)? NO WAY!

    The PIII is way snappier. This is by far the biggest advantage for the PC in my opinion. Would that be such an advantage if I bought a new G4 tower? Probably not as much. I tried the new G4 towers in the store and was very impressed with how fast they push around the Aqua stuff.

    It's like comparing a Honda Prelude to a Ford Mustang. The Ford has more horsepower, you can buy more aftermarket items, and makes a lot more noise. The Honda is not as fast in a straight line, but better engineered, a lot more reliable and will whip the Mustang on a curvy road course.

    A couple other things I hate about Windows...

    1) File system layout
    - WTF was Microsoft thinking? Worse, why don't they FIX it?

    2) The registry
    - The registry is needed, why? So I can launch apps faster?
    - It becomes a living nightmare in so many ways.

    3) DLL Hell
    - Reusability is great, but some things would be a lot cleaner if they were just packaged together.
    - There are so many inter-dependencies in Windows ("house of cards")
    - Accidentally munge one DLL and you might be dead. Or, a few seemlingly unrelated things are dead and you just don't know it yet.

    4) File Locking Hell
    - Okay, maybe this is the fault of the developers, but why am I not allowed to change so many files that should only be opened for "Reading" by another app?
    - Worst example is IIS! I can't update that file, WHY? Because it's being served by the Web server? WTF!?!
  8. SilvorX macrumors 68000


    May 24, 2002
    'Toba, Canada
    if your still a windows fan, and you get a sweet g4 mac (with lots of ram), get yourself vpc6 and install windows on it, im hearing it's an eye opener (i heard it supports up to 16mb of vram just from converting the ram into vram on vpc somehow)
  9. zoetropeuk macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2002
    Oxford UK
    I think I could be classified as the type of user whose opinion you may value. I use both PC's and Mac's on a daily basis. The company I work for is PC based. We develop web applications and Flash/Director CD-ROMS.
    We also house our own development servers running windows 2000 advanced server. The majority of the workstations run windows 2000 professional or XP pro.
    If have two macs at home, a dual 867 G4 and a 500mhz 12" ibook. Now that coldfusionmx runs on osx 10 I could finally ditch my trusty old IBM PC. And with virtual PC5 I can do my cross platform checks on my mac.

    I use the following applications on a daily basis:

    Photoshop 7, After Effects, Director, FlashMX, DreamweaverMX, ColdfusionMX, mySQL, msSQL2000, Oracle 9i, Panotools, Freehand, Fireworks etc, you get the picture.


    On the PC I CANNOT use more than one or two of these applications at the same time. EG I cannot continue to work in photoshop whilst rendering an after effects project and vice versa. If I do then one app will crash or the whole system will crash. If I continue this behavior then within a month or so the entire system needs rebuilding. This is a major pain in the a$$ and costs the company money. Large files eg 100 - 500mb often become corrupt and unrecoverable. I have lost days of work due to corrupt files on PC's (and yes I do backup).

    Now to viruses. Although we have all the latest network virus engines installed we still manage to get infected. In the last 12 months we have lost almost 2 weeks due to either viruses or other malicious code. This again is very expensive. Not only is it expensive to repair but requires alot of time and effort to stay up-to-date and keep the viruses at bay.

    I use a 2.6ghz sony vaio desktop at work during the day.


    I love coming home and jumping straight onto my mac. It just feels better using it. I can have all of the above mentioned apps open at the same time and I can have each do their own little thing. I feel that I push my mac to its limits and it never complains, although it is a little noisy at times. I can have coldfusionmx server running, mySQL, oracle, sybase 12, apache, web objects plus a host of other servers and environments all working peacefully together and if something does go wrong I can close the app, reopen it and continue to work.

    Although in terms of benchmarks the raw processor speed may not match that of a top end PC the amount of work I actually produce on my MAC is 2 - 3 times that of my PC at work. And this is the most important part of the equation for ME. How long will it take me to finish a job, much, much longer on a PC, believe me.

    I also don't really have problems with plug and play etc on a PC and have found that huge improvements have been made but I can ever see the day when I'll own a PC again and I hope to find a job in a mac based company ASAP.

    PC's really do frustrate me as most of my time spent on a PC is unproductive and entirely avoidable. I could go on but I thibk you get the picture.

    Mac's ARE easier to use, more productive, actually much faster and ARE COOL.
  10. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    I can't really add much to the previous posts, other than my support for what they've said.

    I used to build my own PCs and was never happy with my computing experience due to any number of problems. The Macs I used at work were much more user friendly.

    OS X really sold me on the Mac platform, and I got my first Mac, a PowerBook G4, last year.

    My main reason for getting rid of my PC at home is that I do tech support all day long on PCs and (occasionally) Macs. I want to just use my computer when I get home, not troubleshoot it.
  11. jkojima macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    Why I just bought a PowerBook

    I recently took delivery of a new Apple PowerBook. This computer replaced a Windows XP-based Acer notebook. To be completely forthcoming, I do still own a "Frankenstein" desktop PC I assembled myself, and I don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon (I too like to game, but it's now mostly going to be a big file server.) The PowerBook is to become my primary machine.

    I switched for a couple of reasons. The first, and probably the one that would make the least sense to a die-hard PC fanatic, is that Macs are cool. In marketing terms I bought my PowerBook for "social approval and intellectual stimulation". I'm a business student required to own a notebook, and everybody else in the school uses IBM or Dell. So, just to be a little sh*t disturber, I went and bought this Mac. The funny thing is that I work part time with the school's technology support staff, meaning my job is to know Windows inside and out. And here I am with a Mac. Yes, to me, that little irony was worth the price premium of the PowerBook (I told you you wouldn't understand.)

    My other, more pragmatic reason for switching is that I often freelance as a graphic designer and I feel that Macs are geared more towards creative professionals. ColourSync is natively supported system-wide (even Internet Explorer on the Mac gives you the option to use ColourSync profiles in displaying web pages and graphics.) In Windows, colour management feels tacked-on. Further, Apple's support for multiple monitors is light years beyond Microsoft's. I frequently plug my notebook into classroom data projectors, an second LCD monitor at home, and a second CRT at work... and in all cases, the OS elegantly recognizes and properly adjusts itself for each situation without any input from me. Even window positions are restored when I unplug and go back to a single monitor. In Windows, I'd often leave palettes and applications on the second screen and they'd just dissapear when I switched back to a single monitor.

    So in summary: just to be unlike (and cooler than) my Windows-using peers, I think Macs are better suited towards creative professionals, and, oh, aesthetics too. Glowing Apple logos, jumping icons... groovy.
  12. ibookin' macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I switched because I wanted a laptop with a DVD drive that was under 5 lbs. and was also in a small form factor. Also, I had seen both the public beta and 10.0 versions of OS X, and was really impressed with the interface and the stability (not the speed, though). I wanted to get into this new OS. The only laptop that really satisfied all my needs was the Apple iBook.

    I love the machine. While Win2K/XP versions of Windows have been greatly improved in terms of stability, I have found the Mac OS to be much better. OS X can run multiple apps like Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and several web browsers at the same time. Also, the Apple hardware looks better and is more user-friendly. Instead of unscrewing several panels and fighting cords, I can upgrade RAM by pulling a lever and pushing the RAM in.

    As I sit here typing this on a G4 QS with a Cinema Display, I wonder why I didn't switch earlier.
  13. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I've been using WinTels for a long time. I've also used Apples for quite awhile. The first computer I ever owned was a Performa 6400. It had it's problems, but so did my first PC. A Windows 95. If used every version of Windows from 3.1 to XP Pro and every Apple OS from 7 to 10.2. Why do I like Macs more? All of the above, of course.

    There's the stability, security, personality. As others have mentioned, Windows takes over your system. And as a columnist noted, Windows just gets in your way. Macs let you get your work done. A VP at Real was talking about RealBasic and mentions how with Apple's OSs if a problem popped up, Apple's would just keep going. Windows on the other hand chokes at the smallest things.

    I find it funny that while Windows is always trying to take over your system, M$ seems to be trying to take over. Can you imagine a world where every computer HAS to run the latest version of Windows or it won't run? Talk about a Monopoly. You think the government would help? They'd be too busy using M$'s new "security" features to scan your hard drive or delete your MP3s. Think I'm being paranoid, read the news lately.

    Besides, I want to get back into audio/video/image editing. Works much better on the Mac. Better color, fewer problems. Less down time. Although I do wish renders were a little faster, I'm hoping the next gen CPU will be out by the time I'm ready to buy again. I have a PC now because it was free, and cheap to upgrade. If I'm going to play games, I have a PS2.

    It depends on what you do, and what you need. Sometimes, a PC is better. Sometimes it's a Mac. What bothers me is that the people who should be using an Apple product don't. Like people who've never used a computer in their lives, or just type letters and send e-mail. Or those who need a lot of uptime, with no configuring or stupid issues with drivers and registry/dll errors and crappy programs being tied into an OS made of straw.

    "Instead of fixing our bad code and security flaws, we'll tie in more features that nobody wants. Or try to unsuccessfully rip off Apple".
  14. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    why switch from PCs?

    i am a pc tech and i a make 75 dollars an hour...good pay, lots of time off by my choice, and basically guaranteed work due to windoze

    but i know of no mac techs in my county who do only mac work...they have to either dabble in pcs or have another job
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Before having a Macintosh, I went through various Atari machines, one Sony MSX-DOS, a Kaypro CP/M machine, and an IBM L40SX laptop.

    I've liked the newer interface that Microsoft brought about with Win95. The first couple of weeks at work with the new machine, I said to myself "I could really get used to this." Little by little, things that were so easy on Macintosh took far too many steps on Windows. Then, the breakage started. I forget how many times we re-installed or re-formatted or cursed over the machines.

    Until Mac OS X v10.2, I would tell you it was the plug and play. Apple broke something and the third parties haven't all caught up.

    However, it's the reliabilty, the smoothness, and the consistency which keep me coming back. This is in contrast to my Dell machine at work with Win2000 and the latest service pack. That machine re-boots in the middle of using OmniPage Pro and applications just vanish while I'm using them. The Logitech optical mouse has the jitters.

    I love the multiple language features in Mac OS. I write in English and Japanese and it just works. I know that whatever application I'm using command-X is always cut and command-V is always paste. I don't have to guess and I don't have to go to the menu.

    My games may not go great guns fast, although Quake III does a good imitation of that on my dual 800, the games work smoothly and with each revision to OpenGL, they work better. Sure, I want more games, but I spend too much money on them anyway.

    I'm not the biggest Apple supporter (I'd have to eat more) but I believe that they've been on the right track ever since the Macintosh was first made available. NeXT was a better step forward and therefore, Mac OS X is a good merging of great ideas.

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