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The official Mac vs PC thread


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126 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:18 PM

I agree. I did a parts breakdown of my Macbook Pro once and looked up PC laptops with the same parts and figured out quick that the premium on the Macbook was a little over $100.

In this economy, it's quite amazing how Apple did so well selling premium products.


Yes, but remember their computers are more of a side business. They sold 5 million, but 37 million iPhones in the first quarter.

#27 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:20 PM

I'm not switching to an Apple for anything.

LOL, that's how I was. Just never say never. :)

#28 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:32 PM

Sorry... but you're dead wrong on this one. I can't give details because of NDAs, but suffice to say that I worked there writing technical manuals so I sat in technical meetings and saw design specs. There were more than one model that was the basis for design of a server and a PC... and the component differences between the PC model and the server model were nowhere near justifying the difference in the price-to-customer.

Was this true for all models? No. Absolutely not... but there definitely were models that you could get a PC and save a ton of money over the server model and it was capable of running all the same software.

I wrote books that only required minor changes for the PC version vs the server model.

No need to bring NDA here ...
I did a lot of work (not writing papers, but with HW & SW) on Compaq[HP], IBM, Dell (and Sun) servers and know them pretty good down to component level. Well It would be long post if we will go into details ... Just a few differences what will cost you double at least:
- hot-swap RAM DIMMs
- hot swap PCI[-X] cards (NIC at least)
- registered RAM with ECC
- dual-triple power supplies/fans
- all capacitors are rated 105+ C
- the servers pass manuf. burning test for 24/7 for a week (some for a month)
- RAID cards with battery backup and own cash RAM
- <need more ?!>

It would be enough to say server vs desktop will always have high price.

#29 OFFLINE   Charise

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:32 PM

LOL, that's how I was. Just never say never. :)

Too old to switch now anyway. You're too young, Chris, to know how that feels! :D

#30 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:41 PM

I primarily use Macs at home because, for the most part, they "just work". Networking and file sharing is simple, bonjour is a real nice feature. I also worry much less about viruses too. Yes, I know Macs can get them but the reality is there's just not that many out there compared with PC viruses.

I also use Windows at work and I have to admit that Windows 7 is a pretty slick OS. I do like it much better than XP.

I used to be adamant that "Macs are better" then I switched and held that "PCs are better". Then I switched again and have come to the conclusion that I should keep an open mind. Competition really is a great thing!

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#31 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:47 PM

In corporate environment Macs are... ughm is not what IT Dept would like to see ... Royal pain in the ***. :D

#32 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:07 PM

Yeah, when my users are having an issue with their home system, I dread when it's a Mac. When they don't know how to use it, and I don't use them, it's not good.

#33 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:30 PM

I agree. I did a parts breakdown of my Macbook Pro once and looked up PC laptops with the same parts and figured out quick that the premium on the Macbook was a little over $100.

In this economy, it's quite amazing how Apple did so well selling premium products.


But does that take into account everything in the iWork suite? Windows users have to buy most of those type of programs separately.

I was PC until February 2011. My wife/daughter's PC died and we went to look at new ones. My daughter, then 10 wanted a Mac because she had played with one at BB. So we went home with a Mini. I played with it some and 2 weeks later I had a new MBP. Then when the iMac's got a refresh, I got one of those.

Just waiting to see when the new iMac refresh happens if it does as rumored have a matte screen option. Will sell my current iMac for 75-80% of what I paid for it and get the new one.

They make some things so simple. I .pdf a lot of Word docs. OSX has that feature built in. No fiddling with other programs. Simple.

I have a dual boot system with VMWare because I needed Quickbooks. This past January I started the year running dual which was a PITA, but I had to know if QB Mac is good enough. It is different, but my 1Q numbers matched and I am QB Mac only going forward.

I still have a couple of programs that are Windows only, but I am actively searching for replacements.

Macs do command a premium price because they are a premium product. Other mfgs premium products also come at a much higher price.


You would probably be surprised at how many Windows users think a MBP is the best Windows computer. They completely remove OSX and make them Windows only.

I primarily use Macs at home because, for the most part, they "just work". Networking and file sharing is simple, bonjour is a real nice feature.


It rocks. I have a networked color laser. My Windows machines would "lose" it about once a month and I would have go through and set it up again. The Macs found it immediately and and have not lost it since. This is really handy when I am not home and my daughter wants to use the color laser to print a school project.

Plus, when my daughter has friends over and they see that 27" iMac on my desk, she says it makes me the "cool" dad. :lol:

Edited by Herdfan, 04 May 2012 - 07:41 PM.


#34 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

I'm a PC guy. Nothing wrong with the mac but I have zero interest in learning a completely new OS.


Unlike what Microsoft has done over the years?

About every other Windows release has been a major interface and use change hasn't it? Don't get me wrong, I used Windows 2000 for a long happy time... and adjusting to Windows XP after that wasn't difficult but it was different and a lot of things moved around.

There were big changes between the early Windows versions too... and Windows Vista was big changes. I haven't seen Windows 7, however.

What I do know, however, is that Windows and OS X have begun to share a lot of similarities in look and feel... so I think that operations gap is mostly bridged for most users. Until you start digging under the hood, a lot of stuff looks and feels the same to me.

I'm not switching to an Apple for anything. I totally abhor their stance on how I will use my purchases


Like? You know Microsoft has some restrictions too, right? They integrate some things into the operating system that you can't easily (sometimes at all) remove... like how IE is all into everything even if you like Firefox or Chrome... you still are forced to use IE sometimes. That seems a lot (to me) like the times on my Mac when I have to use Safari instead of Firefox to visit certain Web sites correctly.

Also... if you really really read the EULA that you agree to upon installing Microsoft Windows, you might be surprised how many restrictions are in place by Microsoft, including how you are merely "leasing" the operating system and don't technically own it.

and I don't want to use iTunes.


You don't have to... well, if you want to purchase things from the iTunes store, then you have to... but except for the Apps that have chosen to be exclusive to the Mac App store, you can get your music and movies elsewhere if you want, and most Apps still as well.

The way their deal with publishers drove up prices for all e-books is a case in point.


You're reading the Kool-aid a bit here. The publishers wanted those higher prices. They didn't like Amazon bargain-binning their eBooks. Yes, Apple had a hand in things... but don't pretend the book publishers didn't like and want the higher prices and if they could have strongarmed Amazon (oh wait, they kind of did) they would.

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#35 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:27 PM

No need to bring NDA here ...
I did a lot of work (not writing papers, but with HW & SW) on Compaq[HP], IBM, Dell (and Sun) servers and know them pretty good down to component level. Well It would be long post if we will go into details ... Just a few differences what will cost you double at least:
- hot-swap RAM DIMMs
- hot swap PCI[-X] cards (NIC at least)
- registered RAM with ECC
- dual-triple power supplies/fans
- all capacitors are rated 105+ C
- the servers pass manuf. burning test for 24/7 for a week (some for a month)
- RAID cards with battery backup and own cash RAM
- <need more ?!>

It would be enough to say server vs desktop will always have high price.


Sorry, but you didn't read my first post correctly and you are making the same mistake that many Apple vs PC users do...

You are comparing features of high-end servers with low-end PCs... and that wasn't what I said at all.

I said "some" and "might differ only slightly"... I never said "all servers are no better than desktop PCs"... I said some were, and you might be surprised sometimes to find out.

I can't speak to current generations, especially since they sold to Lenovo... but prior to that, several server models were designed and developed to also be used as PC models or specialized PC/server models for a specific task... and those models were basically developed and tested as server models, then had a few components removed for features they wouldn't support on the PC model and then sold at a much lower PC pricepoint.

The point I was making, though, was that the price difference was far greater in that case than the actual hardware difference. In fact, you used to be able to look up on the IBM Web site to find software for your particular PC desktop... and you would find that your PC and some server models shared the same software updates. I don't know if they have files that old online anymore for non-supported computers... but it was fairly common across their lower end server models and their higher end PCs to share a lot of stuff.

So... if you compare high-end Servers to low-end PCs, that is worse than people who compare Apple iMacs to low-end PCs.

iMacs need to be compared to high-end PCs. Similarly, low-end servers need to be compared to high-end PCs. High-end servers don't really have a comparison... nor do the low-end PCs.

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#36 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:32 PM

I'm a PC guy. Nothing wrong with the mac but I have zero interest in learning a completely new OS.


Not moving to Windows 8? That's pretty close to a new OS.

#37 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:09 PM

Not moving to Windows 8? That's pretty close to a new OS.


It sure is. I got the public beta and can't figure out why MS wants to go 'metro' on the desktop. I can't see any advantage to it in that scenario and lots of disadvantages.

Apple added Launchpad to OSX, which is similar to the ipad being all icons for programs, but they don't make it the default and I'm not even sure you can make it the default.

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#38 ONLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:51 PM

It rocks. I have a networked color laser. My Windows machines would "lose" it about once a month and I would have go through and set it up again. The Macs found it immediately and and have not lost it since. This is really handy when I am not home and my daughter wants to use the color laser to print a school project.


Apple's site has a version of Bonjour for Windows. It found my networked printer immediately after I had spent a few hours trying to configure Win7 to see it.

#39 ONLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

I'm almost all Mac these days. Everything I do is either on the iMac or iPad.

One exception is that I use Playlater/Playon DLNA server on an el-cheapo Acer laptop running Win7. I never found a DLNA server for Mac that I liked. I could live with Win7 if I was forced to, but I would hate it!! :)

Also got Win8 public beta on that laptop. Pretty much sucks as a desktop/laptop OS imo.


I found iSedora to be quite good as a DLNA server on my Mac. It allows me to separately customize the configuration for different clients.

#40 OFFLINE   Charise

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:20 PM

Stewart,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charise
I'm not switching to an Apple for anything. I totally abhor their stance on how I will use my purchases,

Like? You know Microsoft has some restrictions too, right? They integrate some things into the operating system that you can't easily (sometimes at all) remove... like how IE is all into everything even if you like Firefox or Chrome... you still are forced to use IE sometimes. That seems a lot (to me) like the times on my Mac when I have to use Safari instead of Firefox to visit certain Web sites correctly.
Yes, I do. And yet I manage to get Windows to work as I want. And I don't mind using IE9. I have been able to get all my old software to work well. I'm probably not as adventurous or demanding in what I do, but I seem to have found tricks over the years that most of my colleagues and students who I'm always told "grew up using computers" never seem to know.

Also... if you really really read the EULA that you agree to upon installing Microsoft Windows, you might be surprised how many restrictions are in place by Microsoft, including how you are merely "leasing" the operating system and don't technically own it.
Yes, and though I rarely completely read most EULAs now, I actually did read them when I first started using computers, so I don't think I would be very surprised.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charise
and I don't want to use iTunes.

You don't have to... well, if you want to purchase things from the iTunes store, then you have to... but except for the Apps that have chosen to be exclusive to the Mac App store, you can get your music and movies elsewhere if you want, and most Apps still as well.
I have asked about this, and according to people I know who own iPods, they aren't able to use anything except iTunes for their music on (at least older) Apple products. Perhaps these are the people who shouldn't be using computers? :D I trusted them when they said I couldn't put all my music from my computer to anything i___.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charise
The way their deal with publishers drove up prices for all e-books is a case in point.

You're reading the Kool-aid a bit here. The publishers wanted those higher prices. They didn't like Amazon bargain-binning their eBooks. Yes, Apple had a hand in things... but don't pretend the book publishers didn't like and want the higher prices and if they could have strongarmed Amazon (oh wait, they kind of did) they would.
No Kool-aid for years in my house. :) Of course, the publishers weren't happy. However, they did not change their pricing before Mr. Jobs's idea to make a deal with as many publishers as he could. So, yes, I do blame Apple for instigating this, as I said previously.

#41 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:51 AM

Yes, I do. And yet I manage to get Windows to work as I want. And I don't mind using IE9. I have been able to get all my old software to work well. I'm probably not as adventurous or demanding in what I do, but I seem to have found tricks over the years that most of my colleagues and students who I'm always told "grew up using computers" never seem to know.


I'm not a PC/Windows hater... To be fair, the main reason I went back to PC from Mac many years ago was that it was harder to use Terminal in the Mac O/S and you had no choice but to but into a windows environment. I miss the old days of booting to DOS and then choosing to run Windows.

But... around the time Microsoft made DOS Prompt the alternate mode... and then basically reduced it to a shadow of its former self... the differences in the Mac O/S and Windows weren't as great... and with a little poking around I find I can do pretty much the same stuff on my Mac as I could under Windows.

I have asked about this, and according to people I know who own iPods, they aren't able to use anything except iTunes for their music on (at least older) Apple products. Perhaps these are the people who shouldn't be using computers? :D I trusted them when they said I couldn't put all my music from my computer to anything i___.


Yeah, that was a mixed bag of inaccurate and perhaps old advice. WinAMP even makes their MP3 player for the Mac now, though I haven't tried it out yet.

I use VLC Media player rather than QuickTime to play video because VLC supports way more media formats, including the bulk of my old Windows format videos

iTunes grows on you with the Mac... but as a PC user I honestly wouldn't use it there either. Apple doesn't really have as good of support for Windows for Quicktime and iTunes as they do on the Mac. Probably a purposeful thing.

No Kool-aid for years in my house. :) Of course, the publishers weren't happy. However, they did not change their pricing before Mr. Jobs's idea to make a deal with as many publishers as he could. So, yes, I do blame Apple for instigating this, as I said previously.


I know it seems like Apple started the ball rolling... but it's not like the publishers were dragged kicking and screaming :) Some people (probably not you) seem to think of Apple as the evil empire... as if Microsoft and other companies haven't similarly tried to take over certain aspects of computers.

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#42 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:46 AM

What's a premium PC? Please define it and then pick an iMac or something with the specs and I bet that anyone can find computers with the same specification requirements for much cheaper with a PC. People who own them like to state this because it helps with the mythos that was created around Apple. It's not really true but people like to tell themselves that. You can buy absolute crap parts for a PC easily because, unlike Mac OS, you can install other OS's on any computer which makes the market larger so you will have a wide range of options.


I could get into different things but it boils down to this. People who like Apple will continue to like Apple regardless of other people's opinions. People who don't probably won't be swayed either. Some people don't like or like the other for the wrong reasons but in the end it doesn't really matter.

#43 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:50 AM

Shades228, I agree with what you say about those that like the Mac and Apple products in general. We do tend to like them and will probably always like them if Apple keeps going they way they are.

As to loading an OS on computers. You can, and some do, load OSX, Windows and Linux on their Macs. It isn't hard to do at all, and the OS's tend to run just fine. My iMac has OSX on it, and for the very rare times I need Windows, I use VMWare and it runs just fine that way too.

And for price comparisons, well you can do them and I have. But it is an effort in futility because if I find a unit that matches perfectly, the questions always then are about why I included something in the config that the questioner finds little if any value for. But compare the new ultrabook designs to the MacBook Air and you'll find that they are not all that far apart in price. Apple will be higher in most cases, the difference isn't huge.

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#44 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:02 AM

An article from Feb 2012, comparing a few different Macs with a few different PCs and noting the price gap has shrank (and went the other way in one case)...

http://www.techerato...p-is-shrinking/

It is difficult to find a lot of direct comparisons because the combinations of Mac configurations don't match one-to-one with similar PCs.

If you compare the cheapest PC to the cheapest Mac, the PC wins on price hands-down... and if you only want to do email and Web and little things... then your money wouldn't be well spent on a Mac.

But if you want a computer that will last (both in terms of performance and craftmanship) and you are planning on doing more than web surfing and emailing... you might want to consider a Mac Mini over the bargain basement PC.

If you compare the Mac Pro to PC Servers, you get more favorable comparisons with Apple... and in some cases a Mac Pro can outperform a more expensive PC Server. It depend on the configuration you want.

The iMacs are harder to compare... you can try and compare with other desktops but its hard to guage form-factor (iMac taking less space on the table) than a separate PC + monitor config.

You can compare to other all-in-one computers... and some of them are still cheaper than iMacs... but do you know if you are getting the same quality of components? You might be... but even so, the price differences aren't as great as they used to be.

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#45 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:25 AM

The iMacs are very hard to compare. Most other AIOs are all plastic casing with really crap keyboards and mice at prices that are not all the much lower than a nearly equivalent iMac. And most of them don't come with bluetooth at all, and while most seem to have wireless including 'n', it is 2.4Ghz all the way, not 5Ghz in them. And in general, upgrading an AIO is a daunting task regardless of mfg 'cause that isn't the way things are in the AIO machines.

Example, a friend bought a very nice HP Touchsmart. Upgrading RAM was quite easy, as it is on the iMac. But that was pretty much all you could do, just as in the iMac. He paid less for that than I would have for an iMac of a similar screen size, but then paid some more money to add a good keyboard and mouse to the mix. I actually liked the design of the HP keyboard, but it was extremely flimsy which detracted from the design. In the end, the difference was a couple hundred bucks. And for that difference, I would take the iMac all metal design, superior keyboard and absolutely great mouse any day. Well actually my great mouse is in a drawer as the Magic Trackpad is just so much better! :)

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#46 OFFLINE   Charise

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:30 PM

I know it seems like Apple started the ball rolling... but it's not like the publishers were dragged kicking and screaming :) Some people (probably not you) seem to think of Apple as the evil empire... as if Microsoft and other companies haven't similarly tried to take over certain aspects of computers.

According to what I have read, Jobs contacted the publishers, not the other way around. Kicking and screaming? I'm sure the publishers jumped in with both feet! With the number of sold iPhones and iPads, publishers looked to him as their savior, I have no doubt.

Like I said, perhaps I'm not the most adventurous or demanding in what I do with computers, and my only limited time using a Mac was in the mid-90s. I was more familiar with my Aptiva (yeah, I know :lol:), and found I had no further desire to play with Macs. I liked what I could already do, and quicktime was a pain to use, so I haven't looked back.

The two reasons I read about/hear from people who use Apple products are 1) it just works; and 2) it's so intuitive. I have no problems with Windows in either category, so I will stay where I am. :D

#47 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:01 AM

One side note - Hackers are now attacking Macs. Please - if you have a Mac - install and run anti-virus/malware software. Your days of immunity from cybercrime are now officially over.

#48 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:57 AM

One side note - Hackers are now attacking Macs. Please - if you have a Mac - install and run anti-virus/malware software. Your days of immunity from cybercrime are now officially over.


Macs have been assailed from day one. There have been challenges out there with cash rewards for successful hacking into Macs.

But intelligent use means for most of us: No AV crap.

And I am not saying it will never ever happen. Don't forget that AV works only if it knows what to look for.....
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#49 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:10 AM

Yeah... that's the thing, whether you run a PC or a Mac... responsible computer use can all but eliminate virus infection.

Macs have never been immune, they are just targeted less on average. Linux isn't immune either, but since it is freeware, most of the skilled programmers who might develop a virus for Linux are too busy developing things to incorporate into Linux :)

Most of the virus infections result from people essentially leaving their metaphorical door open to allow them inside.

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#50 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:33 AM

I've run AV software on my Mac for quite some time. At first so it would catch the Windows viruses that might show up so I didn't end up passing them to friends I correspond with, and now because there are some things out there.

After a few years, nothing has ever been found with it, which tells me that because I don't go to those kind of sites that seem to be loaded with all the crap, I don't get much exposure. It also tells me that if I were using a Windows box all the time, I wouldn't be getting anything with it either.

Not 100% solution as there really isn't a 100% solution. I use the free Sophos software.

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