Mac vs. PC: The Clear Winner
I don’t own a mac and probably never will, however, I’m familiar with them thanks to the design labs at college. For those who lack the knowledge of how to maintain of computer, do not require extreme performance, do not have the desire to do comparison research, and have the extra money to spend on aesthetics, then they are the perfect solution. Personally, I can’t conceive nor justify buying one. They are expensive and the only reasons are because they are attractive, branded with the Apple logo, and cater to the technically challenged who don’t know better. I’ve read numerous Apple vs. PC debates and in the end, any unbiased individual with common sense should choose a PC. I’m not saying all Mac users don’t have common sense, but just that they aren’t tech-savvy enough to properly compare the two platforms. If they were, there’d be fewer Macs. In all the of the arguments I’ve seen, Apple users really have no valid counterattacks to PCs other than that “they are easier to use”, “they are better for media”, “they look better”, “they have higher resale value”, “they don’t get viruses”, “they don’t crash” and “ they last for years”.
Let’s take a look at these points:
Are Macs easier to use? Yes, but at a price.
The Mac OS is built around simplicity so that the average user can pick it up and do whatever without problems. Windows is more complex because it allows for greater customization including third party software/programs BUT the interface is nearly the same in terms of simplicity and common tasks the average user will need to perform (i.e. installing, finding folders, web browsing and so on). Personally, I believe in self-sufficiency. This means being able to cook, pay the bills, upkeep your house, maintain your car, and maintain your computer. In essence, I believe in being a jack-of-all-trades. With this comes knowledge, and to attain this knowledge is a time investment. The payoff, however, is being able to take care of yourself and your investments without having to pay someone else to do it. This is the person who should buy a PC. Those who have the extra money to spend to have someone fix their problems are the same people who are likely to buy a Mac. In fact, let’s compare this to buying a car: “If you buy a car tomorrow without any knowledge about cars, then the salesman WILL recognize it, and WILL screw you badly. Consumer ineptitude and inexperience drives big business. The less you know, the more money you lose. Now you’ve overpaid for that shiny new car by getting screwed on the fine print. What happens when it’s time for regular maintenance? Whoops! You don’t know what goes into maintaining the car either, so now you get doubly screwed when you take it back to the dealership to get fixed.”
Are Macs better for media/design? No.
Unlike years ago, today this issue is personal preference. Most of the programs available on Mac are also on PC. In fact, the PC probably has more editing/graphic software available (I believe 3Ds Max is PC only). Though I’m sure there are some rare exceptions, better hardware = better performance. If we had two equally priced computers – one a PC and one a Mac – the PC would have better specs, better performance, and would perform better when editing media.
Do Macs look better? Sometimes.
While Mac laptops may look simple and elegant, there are many PC models that are very attractive as well. These models aren’t the $400 everyday Walmart specials either. Look a bit harder, and you’ll notice there are some pretty slick PCs, and they’ll probably have a higher pricetag on them. What I do like about Macs that I must give them credit for is the metal body. It’s sturdy and smooth as opposed to the glossy-fingerprint-magnet plastic used on many other laptops (and monitors), but it’s probably only a matter of time before the PC market starts seeing similar designs. For now, this attribute is about the only feature the Mac has going for it.
Do Macs have a higher resale value? Um…
Well yes, because their initial retail price is higher.
Are Macs immune from viruses? They’d like you to think so.
Here’s an explanation of someone more knowledgeable than me:
“If only this were true. Unfortunately, Macs have consistently been proven by field experts and hackers to be the LEAST secure computers ever made. Apple places security on the very bottom of their list. Nowhere is this more evident than the numerous security holes that allow would-be attackers to access the system and install keystroke loggers, steal account info and passwords, etc, all without ROOT access. The recent Safari browser exploit was so terrible that it allowed for full Mac takeover, and took Apple 8 months to plug. Thanks to a 5% worldwide market share, Macs have avoided most of the viruses and malware that plague Windows, but….according to Charlie Miller (expert hacker and former NSA security operative), those wishing to write Malware for a Mac will have absolutely no trouble whatsoever, given how easily exploitable the platform is. Mac users are “safe” only through obscurity…..for now.”
Personally I don’t use anti-virus programs because I have never gotten a virus and probably won’t. Stay away from porn sites, software upgrade ads, special offer ads, questionable ads in general, and (be careful about) pirated software/movies/music. Pretty much the only way to get a virus is through the internet, and if you go only on trusted sites and don’t click anything obscure then you’ll be fine.
Do Macs crash? Yes. They do.
Windows has the blue screen of death, and mac has the gray screen of death. This is another myth, similar to the exaggerated statements of PCs getting virus’s all the time. Contrary to those statements, both systems crash probably about the same amount IF TAKEN CARE OF. As long as the user doesn’t mess with things they don’t understand, stick to the basic functions of the OS, and blow the dust out of it every once in a while, there shouldn’t be any problems. My laptop has frozen a couple times, but only during gaming when I accidently suffocated it – that was my fault. My desktop, however, has failed to crash in the several months from when it was built. On a side note, I was at school in design class when the iMac next to me froze with the gray screen and the kid who was on it lost his work from the past half hour. No gaming required. Crashing happens on both platforms and isn’t really an argument to use against either side.
Do Macs last for years? Sure…
…and so do PCs. Take care of your equipment, that’s all. I bought my first laptop 3 years ago. I had to have the graphics card replaced after the first year because of a heat issue, but from that point on it’s been running just fine.
I don’t hate Macs, nor do I hate Mac users. What I do hate are Apple’s commercials and Mac fanboy extemists (such as AppleSoldier on youtube). But doesn’t that make me a hypocrite for loving PC’s? No, because you can love something and not be obnoxiously passionate about it to the point where you have to fabricate facts or insult others. I won’t call Mac users stupid, because I know there are smart Mac users, but I will say that they are uninformed or misinformed – either about the lack of premium specs they are getting with a Mac, or the idea that all PC’s are generic, weaker, and pale in comparison.
A lot of the time comparisons are made using cars as an example, but many people can’t decide what computer is what car. Is the Mac the powerhouse Ferrari, and the PC is the everyday Toyota? From what I’ve described the Mac is more expensive, looks nice, and has decent hardware. Then we have two types of PCs: The first is less expensive, uglier (most likely) but has the same specs. So am I saying that the ugly Toyota can go as fast as that sleek Ferrari? Yes. The second type of PC is of equal value to Mac, probably doesn’t look too bad (usually the more expensive the better looking), and has superior hardware. So now rather than a Ferrari vs Toyota, it seems we’re looking at a Ferrari and a highly-customizable Lambo, except the Ferrari has an engine half the size.
Just for fun, I made this because facts don’t lie (click to enlarge). Both of these laptops are the best of the best for their respective sides. Amazingly, even though the Mac’s hardware doesn’t equal the PC’s hardware, it’s still $1150 more. If we look at the benchmarks (from passmark.com) you’ll notice that the PCs quad core outperforms the Macbook’s dual core by about 33%, and the graphics card outperforms by 160%. The ram, from what I could tell, was also clocked at a higher speed at 1333MHz compared to 1066MHz. I’m sure someone will comment on the style of the Alienware, criticizing it for its design and lights (which can be turned off or changed color) and that’s fine, there are other performance PCs out there. This was to prove a point that the price paid for the Mac does not reflect the hardware received. In the end, the less ambitious will ultimately be worse off. This doesn’t apply to just buying a Mac, but buying a cheap PC as well. The best way to go is either buy a well built PC laptop to get the most bang for buck, and/or build your own desktop. I have done both of these and don’t regret either by a long shot. Both tasks require some research and maybe a tutorial or two, and perhaps you will have to ask for advice on a PC forum, but becoming more knowledgeable never hurt. If you have no interest in getting the best value for your money, then so be it. In this day and age, it’s a huge advantage to know your way around computers, inside and out. Similar to an oil change, you can either pay someone else to do it, or do it yourself. The latter is always cheaper. And yes, perhaps the pros have the tools to do it faster, but that’s only if they have the time. I understand not everyone is a computer enthusiast, and some people are well off enough to buy something simple and “safe”, and that’s fine. Ultimately it’s their money. For others, there are hundreds of PC alternatives. As for desktops and for those reading this, if you have the time and even a mild interest in computers, I would encourage you to build your own. It’s not as difficult as it seems, it’s cheaper, and you’ll have the satisfaction knowing it’s been created by you and to your liking. Plus, you’ll have learned a little something about a tool you use every day.