The [definitive] Mac vs. PC thread

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone was going to have their computer genius friend build them a better, cheaper computer. A year later they get tired of waiting for a machine that is at least a year out of date, because that’s when computer genius bought all the cheap parts from God-knows-where. They then go to a “computer store” and buy a PC. 100% of the time. Because the salesperson will tell them to, 100% of the time.

Macs are:
Only for kids
Only for games
Only for word processing
Only for graphics
and these days: only for conformist sheep with too much money to blow.

You wonder why Apple doesn’t try to sell Apples in regular stores, and you have to go to an Apple boutique? That’s why. Of course, I’ve never bought an Apple-anything at an Apple boutique. It’s much cheaper online, especially if you avoid paying your own state tax.

In what planet? If there is one thing they fail at, it is definitely that. Also being too expensive for relatively no benefit.

That’s just one of the hilarious things about the Mac vs. PC debate. That really was the main reason for not buying a Mac, circa the early 90’s. I’m not kidding.

…and no factual statement will be posted from either side.

Sir! (Maam?) I am offended! I stand by everything I stated in the OP! :slight_smile:

Macs are the same as PCs these days. Ever since they gave up on RISC, it’s basically the same machine underneath. The difference lies in software.

There’s also Mac gives you stability by intentionally limiting what hardware you can use. PCs let you use damned near any hardware, which can cause instability.

So basically it’s just a matter of which OS you prefer and how much/what type of hardware you plan on added. Personally, I find Macs vastly overpriced for what you get and I don’t like being treated like an idiot who isn’t allowed to add my own hardware.

LINUX is better than both so I’m unsure why it matters. :wink:


You pay a premium for three things with a Mac, two of which are probably worthwhile:

  1. OS X (definitely worthwhile if this is the operating system you want and are comfortable with, you can’t easily run it on other machines and you definitely can’t as an “average” user)
  2. Build quality - As I said upthread this encompasses the fact that Apple buys from top end manufacturers and the technicians that assemble the computers tend to make sure they have proper cabling, air flow, and the case itself is well designed for properly laying out the components.
  3. Apple brand.

If you’re buying a new computer you have to factor in how much you value the two things you pay a premium for and then I guess if you’re brand conscious you have to factor that in as well.

Mac Pros are completely open to let you add your own hardware. In fact, someone mentioned this in either this thread or the one it spawned from in (I think) MPSIMS. As was also pointed out, the real reason you can’t do that with most Macs is that they are glorified laptops. They pretty much use the same hardware as a laptop and are designed to fit into a tight form factor, just like a laptop is.

Additionally, this argument also rules out just about every laptop ever made.

Then there’s the additional point that these days, with high-speed external connections, few things internal to a machine need to be added. Replaced, yes. For example processors, which can be upgraded in several Macs. The biggie is the graphics card, which has only in the past few years (with the start of being able to BootCamp to Windows and the release of the likes of Steam on OSX) become an issue. But an issue it is, but it is probably the only thing that the majority of customers would want to upgrade and, as mentioned earlier, isn’t something you can do on a laptop and the iMac and Mac Mini are far closer to laptops than desktops.

My name is amanset and I am a Linux sysadmin, with plenty of Solaris/SunOS UNIX experience, that uses a MacBook Pro with Windows 7 permanently running in a Virtual Machine. I also BootCamp to Windows for gaming on the move (mainly WoW - I’d rather play in Windows than the OSX version) but when gaming at home I use a dedicated Windows 7 machine.

I’m hoping that makes me fairly impartial.

Your impartiality will not be noted unless you raise your right hand, place your left on a copy of Windows 3.11 for Workgroups and solemnly swear that Windows is teh WIIIIN and all others stink.

It’s all been downhill since the Commodore.

Pish! The TI-99/4a was more expandable (albeit in a long string of plugs extending to the side.)

Psst. Over here BK:


It seems to me that these debates are usually initiated by people whose primary job function is in the IT department. Very seldom do they come from people like myself that are in the user community, so much of the issues and opinions are incomprehensible. My primary needs at home are that we have a reliable computer to surf the SDMB, check e-mails, create some simple documents, and listen to music. None of us is IT savvy enough to change video cards or troubleshoot problems with the OS, and there are no relatives in our time zone that are available. For these metrics alone, the Mac is the winner in the DrumBum household.

At work, the computers used by me and my colleagues are a pc running some flavor of Windows and a workstation running some flavor of Linux. The pc’s get used to check e-mail, play music, and do other tasks that will only run under a Window’s environment. Software patches get pushed out every couple of weeks and almost always require a re-boot of the machine so needless to say, we do not run any mission critical programs on them. They get replaced every three years so it seems that the IT department regards them as quite frail, so it is more cost effective to replace them rather than upgrade when a new OS is available.

The Linux boxes are quite a bit more powerful ( more memory and CPU ) and run the technical applications - geologic characterization and flow simulations - that are our primary tasks. If there are software patches, they must get done without any visible interruptions of my work. The last time I had to re-boot my Linux box was last summer when I had them add more memory. The interesting thing to me is that there with roughly 80 of us in the group, there are two guys that do IT support for all our Linux workstations and over 30 people dedicated to the Windows systems. Were I a bean-counter I might take a closer look at this but evidently the PTB regard this distribution normal. :dubious:

That said, I regard our IT department as very necessary to my work and treat them with the respect they deserve.

I’ve used all three major OS’s and they all have areas they excel and others they suck. Whenever friends ask me what OS they should buy I always tell them to get the one they’re used to (except in a few cases where they have specific needs like gaming).

My work gives us the choice of MacBooks or PCs (Dell, I think) and I get the Mac because I really like its engineering. However, I replaced OS/X with Linux. :wink:

It will certainly be nice once this definitive thread comes to its imminent conclusion with total consensus on which system is right and which one is wrong; eliminating the need for any future Mac vs. PC threads rehashing the same points ad nauseum.

Shoot mang, yer talkin CRAZY! I just wanted a URL I could throw at people when they derail another thread. :slight_smile:

My home life got a LOT better when I flat refused to support family members with PC’s. I told them I would be HAPPY to give them all the training and support they needed when they bought a Mac. That made my frustrations with windows go away entirely as one Mom bought a Mac (loves it, has no problems) and the other…well, I don’t have to support her.

Have either of you actually tried using a Linux distro in the past eight years or so? Linux nowadays is very easy and there are plenty of extremely helpful people on various forums.

The easiest main stream distro of Linux is Ubuntu. Go here Download the version you want. If in doubt pick the 32 bit version. Once it’s downloaded, burn it to a CD and then reboot your PC with the CD still in your drive. The CD should boot. Select the option that says something like “Try Ubuntu without installation”

Bam, Ubuntu Linux should run without needing to be installed, set up or configured in any way.

It’ll be a little on the slow side because you’re running it from a CD and not your hard drive, but it’s a very easy way to trial an OS without changing a think on your computer.

If you’re impressed enough with it, then read a few guides on the Ubuntu website about how to install it to your hard drive, so you can get much better performance, and be able to keep settings and software you’ve installed.

Or if you’re not impressed then just keep the Live CD about, so if Windows ever bugs out and stops booting, you can use Ubuntu to just get on the web and find someone to help you fix windows.

You tell me this after I’ve already spent my Christmas bonus on Pop-Rocks and He-Man action figures?!

ramel I eat sleep and breathe Ubuntu/Debian/Gentoo, ubuntu is a great distro, my usage at the office is not, however, a standard workstation usage. We have a full site Syslog server, a forensics box, and 5 IDS machines all running varying packages that deviate from what apt-get provides.