PC or Mac?

He has: 14 posts

Joined: Jul 2008

I'm looking at replacing my current laptop, and am making the decision... PC or Mac? With the cheapest Apple MacBook starting from £719, what are the benefits of an Apple computer as oppose to a PC? Are there any? I'm assuming that I can open Adobe Photoshop or Drupal on a PC and create the same website as I could on a Mac? And is the same software available on a Mac as a PC? Compared to other laptops almost half the price, is an Apple really worth the money?

greg's picture

He has: 1,581 posts

Joined: Nov 2005

You found a tin marked "can of worms" and said "ooh, what's inside" Laugh

Joking aside about the old arguments of Mac vs PC...

It's about choice and preference, choice of operating systems and software they will run more than anything else.

So you have THREE (main) choices:
A PC with Windows
A PC with Linux
A Mac with OS x

(there are other operating system choices, but these are the most common ones)

Macs tend to be more expensive than an equivalent powered PC (IBM machine), but I believe the software on Macs run on older less powerful hardware, whereas with Windows you usually need a relatively new computer and hardware.

Of course you can use an older PC with Linux, and be free of the Hammer-Horror-Windows-Saga.

Macs have less (if any) problems with malware, spyware and viruses/trojans, much the same as Linux.
Windows on a PC needs a decent and up-to-date antivirus and firewall, and comes with worries all the time that someone somewhere is trying to hack or infect your machine with something nasty.
With a Mac and PC Linux, you don't tend to worry about this and just happily get on with using your machine.

Software is readily available for all three choices. Windows has a million times more, but a lot of it is rubbish or useless and also there is a lot of duplicated software.
With Windows, loads of students, beginner coders etc make software for Windows, so a lot of it is not really worth adding to the grand total of available software.
Therefore, and to summarise, all three choices have "enough" to get you what you need.

I'm not sure about any pit falls with software being unavailable on the Mac, but PC Linux does have a few things that can be a pain to work around.
Like Office and Internet Explorer.
Open Office is good, but it certainly ISN'T Microsoft Office, and opening documents from one to the other tends to bring differences in margins/alignments and layout.

Most things can be worked around, and other than the odd few things, everything is catered for in Mac's and PC Linux.

So to decide, you need to answer:

  • What software you want to run - is it available on all three
  • How much you are willing to pay
  • What performance you want/need
  • If the performance you want/need is financially possible within the budget your have for all systems
  • Do you fancy a change and want to try a Mac or Linux

Macs (hardware) are a little more expensive than PCs (hardware), and you can save a bit more if you opt for the PC Linux option.
For the Linux option you would be better shopping around though, and possibly end up getting a system built for you, as most major retailers don't sell a machine without an operating system and paying for one with Windows on to write over it with Linux is a waste.

Are Macs worth the extra money?
As with most things, it's about choice, preference, cost, usability and limitations - outweighing the options and pros and cons.

silverwing's picture

He has: 79 posts

Joined: May 2008

I personally love macs. Even my Mac Mini I'm using right now. And I still have my grape iMac in my closet along with an old Performa.

But if I was to buy a laptop, I'd get a windoze.

I'd say that if you laptop would be your primary computer, get what you're most comfortable with or would use more often. If you already have software for one platform, stick with that. (But, yes, most software that's multi-platform are compatible with the other.)

~silverwing - did I really just type that? Wink

Megan's picture

She has: 11,419 posts

Joined: Jun 1999

Have you used Mac before at all? The operating system is very different and it's not for everyone. Some people love it but I found it just wasn't right for me. Be sure you're ready to make that switch. Of course, you can always install windows or linux on the intel Macs now so that would be an option.

I have found that the Mac laptops tend to be a bit unreliable with heavy use. Two of my co-workers have had to get new hard drives after less than 3 years.

Big name software will run on both. The MS Office interface is very different on Mac than Windows (I like the Mac version better). It is harder to find freeware/shareware/open source software for Mac for things like text/code editing, even small utilities are often commercial. There is *some*, but not nearly the selection of Windows and even Linux.

Out of all the laptops I've used my Lenovo T61 at work is by far my favourite. It was pricey (work paid, of course!) but if I could choose for myself I'd try to go for Lenovo again if I could. Some people think they look ugly but I think it's fine.

They have: 20 posts

Joined: Feb 2012

I suggest you go with PC. There's no need to learn something new if you aren't that comfortable enough with the idea.

They have: 4 posts

Joined: Apr 2012

Both! I use PC, but I also have an iPhone that truly rocks. I would like to have a MacBook Pro, because I'm quite sure that the Mac has some functions PC do not have.
There are also big differences regarding within the world of pcs..

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