A tale as old as time… Mac vs PC… PC vs. Mac.

Many have argued this. The scars of war are deep, the blood soaked mouse pads scatter the checkered cubicle battlefield as a reminder of the civil war that has gone on and on for decades. Armed with only keyboards and opinions the battle wages on and on for years.

Some have used “Science” others have used “Opinion”…. many resort to FanBoi tactics with mudslinging and propaganda…. but none of them really seem to make much sense.  About 2 years ago now, I was in the need for something “new” in the technology world.  Mostly because I am a “gadget” person. I like to to figure things out, play with new electronics and learn how they work and how they play. I had been using iOS devices for a couple years at that point, iPhone, iPad, iPods…. but it had been at close to 20 years since I had regularly used a Mac. I have been using Windows most of my life and know this system pretty well, my most recent Windows Laptop was a Alienware m17x-r2, but I have had, HP’s, Dells, etc…  So I started playing around with the idea of getting a Mac. Reading about them online, asking friends their opinion, and going to the store to try them out.

My research online and talking to friends was like hitting a brick wall. Everything really boiled down to FaBoi-isms. No single person, or single article could really give me much of a justification or reason why one was better than the other.  “Go with Apple if you do anything creative, PC is for Spreadsheets.”  and “Windows dominates the market for a reason….” or “Just get an Apple dude they are the best.” etc… etc… etc…  I pushed for logic and reason! Give me justification! Wheres the research! Wheres the facts!  No where to be found….

This was getting me nowhere, so I ventured to the Apple Store in Woodfield Mall, just outside Chicago.  I work relatively close to this mall, and can run by there on my lunch.

Many lunch visits later I finally made the plunge and bought a 17″ Macbook Pro.  The Apple employees were low pressure, “what would you like to know about it?” and not trying to get me to buy it, just demo it for me.  I am not going to even get into the specs, because frankly as you will see as the article carries on… they really don’t matter.

The short version of this article: There is no difference. They are the same. Buy either one and you will be happy. Candidly that is the way it is with any computer these days…. stark difference from 5 years ago when specs actually mattered.

Long version…. here are some common debates made by FanBois of either camp:

The “Apple is better for creative people….” argument.

Many years ago, this was probably the case. Many applications such as PhotoShop were written for Mac OS and ported over to Windows, or not ported to Windows at all. Not the case anymore, Photoshop is now written for Windows first and ported to Mac…. but they are the same. If you can use CS5 on Apple, you can use it on Windows. Same interface, same tools.

The “You cannot do everything on Apple you can do on Windows” argument.

Edit Photos? Yes. Work on your documents? Yes. Surf the internet? Yes. Read your email? Yes. The bottom line is most of the “big” applications are built for both Operating systems. Microsoft Office has versions compatible with both platforms. so does Photoshop, Firefox, Chrome, etc….  Facebook is going to work just the same on either computer! :-).  If you cannot find the SAME exact application, you will find something almost exactly the same for either. Sometimes for free.

The “you pay the Apple Tax for the same hardware” argument.

So what? Get what you want. We pay brand tax on everything, why should this be any different. Get the computer you want and like. You are going to be using it an awful lot remember?

Viruses don’t exist on Mac’s

Yes actually they do. There just isn’t a lot of them yet. This is because the market share of computers held by Apple just isn’t are large enough target for Hackers. But that day is rapidly approaching where it will be a much bigger target. Hackers are simply attacking Windows based computers because there are more people using them and thus their “tools” will be more useful when they have more people to use them on. While some might say that Apples OS is more secure by nature, that might be true… but only because people are not exactly spending a lot of time poking holes in it right now.

I can go on and on and on here with more reasons to go each way…. but as I said it doesn’t matter. They are the same. It might take a little while to get used to using one or the other OS, but after a couple weeks it will feel like the same old same old. The hardware is basically going to be the same between a Mac and PC, and they often have the same parts. The i7 CPU in my MacBook Pro was probably making its way down the assembly line right next to the i7 CPU that is in my Alienware. The Intel SSD’s that I have in both of them are just as fast in either, and were bought of the shelf at the same time. They both do Photoshop and Microsoft Office, they both Facebook, and they both waste a lot of my time doing things that are time sink rather than something more useful like a chore….

The bottom line here folks is that it doesn’t matter, one is not really better than the other. It boils down to preference. Put your hands on a Mac, then try out a Dell…. which one feels better? which one do you like more? Which one is in the price point that you want to spend? Get that one.

Happy Computing,
Marty

** Full disclosure. This article was previously posted on a Apple Blog I have now shut down.

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