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Apple vs Windows PC
Old 10-08-2014, 08:15 AM   #1
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Apple vs Windows PC

Many, many moons ago I started out with an Apple computer but switched to a Windows based desktop PC. Through the years I've had HP, Dell and other PCs and it seems like about every four to six years I would end up getting something new for various reasons, usually a technology upgrade not to mention the old PC running slow, viruses, etc. Recently I spent hours working on a MS Movie Maker project only to find out it crashed my computer every time I would try to save my work. Couldn't get any real support to resolve my problems. In addition, I pay around $100 a year for virus and malware protection. In talking to one of my neighbors last night (who are big Apple product owners) and they suggested I look into an Apple desktop. Granted Apples can get viruses but they seem much less prone as compared to a Windows based desktop. I have known many who have migrated to Apple products but no one ever going from Apple back to a Windows based PC. Just wondering what the wise sages of the forums might have to say, pros, cons, etc. on this subject ?
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:17 AM   #2
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
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They both have advantages and disadvantages, so it depends on your needs and priorities. We have Windows and Apple devices, though we seem to be slowly migrating more toward Apple products for our own reasons.

Personal computers are a declining market in which Macs have increased market share, but PC's still have the largest share by far (thanks to legacy business systems).

In retirement I could have a Mac, while I was working that would have been out of the question since our workplace was/is all Windows PC - though these days with so many web based apps the barrier is less. Last year when our PC died, I would have definitely bought a Mac at anywhere near comparable money, or even a good sized premium. But I got the exact same hardware from Dell for half the price of exactly the same hardware in a Mac. If we still used a PC a lot, I might have been willing to pay the Apple premium, but we use iPads for most tasks nowadays. And DW is still working, also in a PC workplace, so it's more convenient for her to have a PC at home.
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Macs for the following reasons:
  • Macs offer a more straightforward approach to computing with fewer maintenance tasks
  • Macs have fewer viruses and security issues (with the caveats mentioned in the relevant section above, of course)
  • Macs can provide a UNIX-like experience and also have commercial applications
  • Macs software, on average, focuses more on its user interface and making your experience enjoyable than Windows software does
  • Other Apple devices work best with Apple computers
Windows PCs for these reasons:
  • Windows PCs provide lots of flexibility and customization (with both hardware and software)
  • Windows PCs offer support for cutting-edge hardware
  • Windows has more software available than any other platform
  • Windows offers great backwards-compatibility
  • Windows provides a great gaming experience thanks to great hardware support and lots of games
  • Windows offers better options for music production
  • Windows is the same platform most of the world uses
Both platforms were equal in the following categories:
  • Ease of learning
  • Good for designers
Mac vs. Windows: Your Best Arguments
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:27 AM   #4
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Why Mac vs Windows - with all those old computers, they'd probably run Linux very well. Probably less virus issues than even the near-zero level of serious issues on the mac.


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I know it's early in the day, but I'm popping some corn...
No need, C-F-B doesn't seem to still be jumping on these threads like a rabid dog. And still no major in-the-wild virus attacks on Apple in all this time? Wow, that's a lot of running across a 6 lane highway blindfolded, as he would put it!

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Old 10-08-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
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I compare PC vs MAC to State College vs Private college. PC and State College give you what you need at a reasonable cost. MAC and Private College get you a slightly better product for a very large premium. IMO if money is a concern at all then PC is the better option.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:42 AM   #6
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Switched to Macs (Macbook Air and Mac Mini with 25" monitor) soon after retiring and would never go back. Just the thought of dealing with anti-virus software (and windows) is enough for me to stay with a Mac.
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Apple vs Windows PC
Old 10-08-2014, 09:48 AM   #7
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Apple vs Windows PC

I've had macs at home for the past 10 years, and now use an iMac for making go pro videos, using the free go pro studio software. It crashes every now and then on files exceeding 500 mb, but I'm always able to get back in and finish processing the file. I have also done some videos on iMovie with no problems. My go pro application crashes could be software related. I also use my MacBook Pro for processing shorter videos on the road. I have no experience in processing movies on pc's, but my HP work laptop was not as stable as the Mac. Had I envisioned that I would get into movie editing at the time I bought my latest iMac, I might have looked at the Mac Pro instead to give me more processing power and a bigger monitor.


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Old 10-08-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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If you have someone (kids, neighbors, friends) who helps you with computer related issues use what they use.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:53 AM   #9
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In addition, I pay around $100 a year for virus and malware protection.
First thing is I would ditch whatever service you are paying for and just use windows defender (aka microsoft security essentials) which is free.

If software availabilty is not an issue, my preference would be Mac > Linux >> windows. I've used all three in work and personal life.

Midpack gave a lot of good reasons for preferring one platform over another.

To give you an idea of maintenance issues I recently did two migrations (imac -> new mac laptop, old vista -> new win 8). The mac migration took about 10 minutes of my time and about 1 hour for the files to copy over unattended. The windows migration took all day with many manual steps ("windows easy transfer" did not work).

Given how much time we spend on our computers (I'm assuming you do), it might be worth trying mac (or linux) to see if you like it better. If you do like it will pay dividends over many years, if you don't like it you can always switch back.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:10 AM   #10
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... In addition, I pay around $100 a year for virus and malware protection. ...
For this I use Windows Security Essentials (free) and Malwarebytes ($25/yr for 3 PC's). Plus I avoid dicey websites and have a backup strategy. No issues so far. If you are figuring on saving $100/yr with Apple security, that may be a false savings.

I'm considering buying a Mac Air laptop for our son as a present. But the price is ~$950 before tax and this is only for a 4GB RAM machine (cannot add more memory either) with 125GB memory + 13 inch screen. Will have to compare this with a much beefier Windows 8.1 laptop.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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Used windows based systems for probably 20 years before moving completely over to Apple. Without a doubt they are more expensive, but not by a lot in real dollars (percentage may make it look much bigger). One of the reasons that I switched was purely for security reasons. Working for a large software security company, and understanding what is going on in the underground with viruses and other types of malware, I don't think I would ever use a windows based system again. The risk is simply incredible. Correct that Linux is probably even safer, but I also needed a platform that would run popular local software (MS suite, Adobe suite, etc.).

So, for me, without a doubt I see Apple is the way to go, but you can save a few hundred $s by going with windows.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #12
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Switched to Mac when had first grandchild and bought the Nikon digital slr camera; went to the Mac for the photo programs and the display. I would never go back for the simple reason that I'm not that much into fooling with technology, I want it to work. My experience has been that with Mac issues I can Google the problem and find a simple fix, or in one case of some very difficult Time Capsule problems I just load it up and go to the Genius Bar, for free quick service only 4 miles away. Since retiring I don't have a cadre of IT resources within a few desks of me, so the premium for stuff that works together with easily solved problems and excellent customer service is worth it to me.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:03 AM   #13
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I know it's early in the day, but I'm popping some corn...
Pass the popcorn, please!

I am a PC person but was looking at the 15" Macbook Pro, to see why it is so expensive (on Amazon, $1900 vs $247 for a 15" Dell Inspiron). I was in a mood to be converted and also in a mood to buy something extravagant since I didn't get that house I tried to buy recently.

But honestly I guess I really don't GET it. I'll just have to try harder! Maybe I just don't do enough graphics to need it. I read the Amazon reviews by converts and they didn't convert me either. Maybe it's because I really don't seem to have any of the problems and issues that they were complaining about with Windows laptops.

Looking forward to finding some reason to buy it, though! I want to blow some money on something nice so I'll be reading this thread.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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I used PCs and Windows based laptops while I was working. It was essential for compatibility with the business environment. After buying my iPad 2 almost 3 years ago, I decided that my next computer would be a Mac. I had had a heavy 2003 Toshiba laptop I bought the super light 8GB MacBook Air with 13" screen. I also bought a backup hard drive.

I could go either way. The Mac is certainly easier to keep clean of viruses. I have MS Office on it (no Access database is available for Mac) and I can do all the functions I need to do in retirement. I would like a bigger screen, but the portability is wonderful. However, there are still things I do not know how to do on a Mac and I regularly have to look up the Help menu. The Apple operating environment is not as instinctive (to me) as advertised. I do still miss my old Windows based laptop at times. I miss the structure and versatility of PCs, particularly for technical applications. If that's what you need for value for money, stick with a PC. If your computing will be lightweight, a Mac is definitely a user friendly consideration.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:30 AM   #15
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For this I use Windows Security Essentials (free) and Malwarebytes ($25/yr for 3 PC's). Plus I avoid dicey websites and have a backup strategy. No issues so far. If you are figuring on saving $100/yr with Apple security, that may be a false savings.

I'm considering buying a Mac Air laptop for our son as a present. But the price is ~$950 before tax and this is only for a 4GB RAM machine (cannot add more memory either) with 125GB memory + 13 inch screen. Will have to compare this with a much beefier Windows 8.1 laptop.
The 128 GB of memory is SSD and will greatly enhance the speed and responsiveness of the machine compared to cheaper laptops with only hard drives.

But alas, the RAM and the SSD in the MacBook Air are soldered on so they can't be upgraded.

What you're paying a premium for is the design with the unibody aluminum chassis, the thinness and the maximal battery life. If you do go that route, I'd strongly consider upgrading the RAM and the storage. It will make the machine more useful over the long term and resale value will recover the additional costs.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:37 AM   #16
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Pass the popcorn, please!

I am a PC person but was looking at the 15" Macbook Pro, to see why it is so expensive (on Amazon, $1900 vs $247 for a 15" Dell Inspiron). I was in a mood to be converted and also in a mood to buy something extravagant since I didn't get that house I tried to buy recently.

But honestly I guess I really don't GET it. I'll just have to try harder! Maybe I just don't do enough graphics to need it. I read the Amazon reviews by converts and they didn't convert me either. Maybe it's because I really don't seem to have any of the problems and issues that they were complaining about with Windows laptops.

Looking forward to finding some reason to buy it, though! I want to blow some money on something nice so I'll be reading this thread.
I bought an HP laptop a year ago for $699 when they had a $100 off sale. It has a 1080p screen and 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD and i5 processor.

I got it to run things like Quicken and a couple of other programs which aren't available on Macs, which is my primary platform.

A couple of months ago, I bought a MacBook Pro Retina with the 15 inch screen. Came with 16 GB of RAM and a Retina display which has higher resolution than the HP and a 512 GB SSD, which I upgraded from the standard 256 GB. It's an i7 processor. The price was $2300 before taxes.

OK, the specs alone doesn't justify the big price difference, though the Retina display is generally not available on most PC laptops.

The MBP is a nicer unibody aluminum design. Fit and finish look a lot better than the plastic HP. It's lighter and faster (due to the SSD, processor and RAM).

I've taken the HP laptop on some overseas trips and had problems with the Wifi connecting to Hotel networks. My iPad and iPhone would connect to the same networks fine.

It's nice to have both but as long as I can afford it, I'll pay for the nicer build once every few years.

My pictures look great on both but especially on the MacBook Pro with the higher DPI screen.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Pass the popcorn, please!

I am a PC person but was looking at the 15" Macbook Pro, to see why it is so expensive (on Amazon, $1900 vs $247 for a 15" Dell Inspiron). I was in a mood to be converted and also in a mood to buy something extravagant since I didn't get that house I tried to buy recently.
You are comparing Apples to Oranges... The thing with Macs is they start with a pretty high base machine...

For example:

  • The processor in the Mac you listed is the Core i7 wheile the Dell is the Celeron. The Mac is significantly faster.
  • The Mac is 16gb memory vs the Dell having 4gb
  • the Mac has a 265gb Flash drive vs a 512gb drive for the Dell (flash drive much faster and more expensive)
  • The Mac has a much better screen
If you go to the dell site and pick any dell 15 laptop and upgrade all the specs to similar to the Mac, it will come in slightly (10%?) less than the Mac. Comparing those two laptops is like comparing a Pinto to a BMW, they will both get you to the corner store, but if you are going to go often and a long way, you will be happier with the BMW (though it will cost more).



I currently lead tech teams and have done that for 25 years and have always used a PC. At home I have Mac laptops.


When people ask me my recommendations, I tell them to get a Mac because they just work. If you are someone that likes tinkering with internal settings you have a lot more to tinker with on the PC.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:45 AM   #18
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DW switched to an iPad from a PC 3 years ago. She loves it and uses it much more than she used the PC. Things that are not as good include file handling, office work and flash files. There are good alternatives to all these but she has not yet seen the need to install them.

On the plus side, she loves the touch screen, the on-screen KB, the handling of photos and videos and the portability. Also many of the intuitive things that are built-in rather than add-ons. Since then she has upgraded from a Motorola cell to an iPhone. So she likes the automatic synchronization of Photostream between all devices. She has taken over as the family photographer.

(We also purchased Applecare for the first year so that I would not become the default tech support.)

PS we are not "erector-set" kinds of people and put up with Windoze for many years. I did all the extra tasks for both of us. To us, price is a minor factor when compared to a hassle-free life.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:12 PM   #19
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Comparing those two laptops is like comparing a Pinto to a BMW, they will both get you to the corner store, but if you are going to go often and a long way, you will be happier with the BMW (though it will cost more).
Yeah, I guess I just need to get to the corner store.... I don't do much intensive computing any more now that I am retired.

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When people ask me my recommendations, I tell them to get a Mac because they just work. If you are someone that likes tinkering with internal settings you have a lot more to tinker with on the PC.
I do like having the option to configure my computer the way I want it. To me, PC's "just work". I configure them within the first hour of ownership and then leave the configuration alone.

I don't know what sort of magic I was hoping for with a Mac; something cool, maybe a white knight to jump out of the screen and carry me off to NeverNeverLand? I know that's probably not likely without a serious upgrade. Maybe I need to think through this more.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:26 PM   #20
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I was a Windows PC guy for a long time. When I was in graduate school in the late 1990's, I had to do some work on a Mac computer and I was not impressed. Then, in 2011, a friend bought a new iMac and the slick and minimalist design totally tempted me into buying my first Apple computer. I don't regret it at all. Three and a half years later, it still looks brand new and runs flawlessly. And for the most part, I really enjoy the Apple ecosystem. For sure, it is not perfect. First, I still have to run a Windows virtual machine on it because some programs like Quicken have no real Mac equivalent. Also, Windows PC are still the golden standard for gaming. Still, when this iMac bites the dust, I know that I will get another one.

But, I am not married to Apple. I also have a high performance Windows laptop, which I use as a gaming computer. It costs about the same as a macbook pro, and while it does not look nearly as slick, it is still a very impressive machine.
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