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New computer suggestion: Mac or PC


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#1 BoomBoomLarry

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

I need a new laptop for school. I have only used PC's, I have an Android phone not an iPhone. Curious what people would recommend to go for either stick with a PC or go with a Mac even though I don't have other Apple gadgets. Thank you.


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#2 Sidetracked

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

If money isn't an option, go for the Mac. Just bought myself a MBP in July and my brother just bought one yesterday, couldn't be happier with it. Both of us are college students. However if you don't want to shell out a 1000+ on a mac, there are plenty of PC's for half the price that get the job done.
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#3 Andy L

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

View PostBoomBoomLarry, on 04 January 2013 - 07:03 PM, said:

I need a new laptop for school. I have only used PC's, I have an Android phone not an iPhone. Curious what people would recommend to go for either stick with a PC or go with a Mac even though I don't have other Apple gadgets. Thank you.

In my opinion, unless you've been dissatisfied with PC's, and considering you don't have anything Apple, then stick with PC's.  You can usually buy more processing power for much fewer dollars.  Also servicing a PC is usually less costly and there are more user serviceable components on PC's.

Mac's use the Intel Core I series processors as do many PC's and that is a pretty darn good chip.  If you go with a new windows machine you will need to figure out Window's 8 or install Windows 7, but then again you will need to learn ios if you go to mac.  Just go to the store and play around with them and read impartial reviews on line.  Whether you need an i3, i5 or i7 processor will depend on what you want to do.  To be honest even the i3 is pretty darn powerful and unless your are doing some heavy graphic work, engineering apps or gaming the i3 is probably enough.  To jump to the faster i5 is usually a $100-$200.

Edited by Andy L, 05 January 2013 - 11:45 AM.


#4 Myherobobhope

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

I'd say Mac... unless you have specific gaming needs or have to have certain programs (Access), I think Macs last longer and have less problems.

I've had my Mac since I started business school, and it hasn't had any problems (other than a crack under my right wrist). I have an iPod and an Android phone.

I bought my wife a Windows computer, and it was half the price, but both of us hate it. With some effort, I think I could make it fine... but my mac required no effort.

I think it will be worth the cash in the long run, but if you just need one to get you through the next 2 years, get a PC.

#5 H.A. Kerr

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

Another consideration is, if you're not a "drive it until it dies" kind of guy and will want a slick new lappy in a year or two, Apple stuff holds its resale value more than well enough to recoup the premium price. Me, I stick with a laptop almost as long as my cars. It makes finally upgrading like hopping from a Pinto into the space shuttle every time.


#6 cdnglf

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

If price is your primary concern, and your needs are basic get a PC or perhaps a ChromeBook. These are much cheaper than the cheapest new Mac.

Macs are more expensive, but they are good value - if you use it a lot and you value your time you'll probably come out ahead choosing a Mac. They don't come loaded with crapware, Apple stores generally offer excellent support, their build quality is outstanding, and they have a lot of little features that make them much nicer to use: backlit keyboards, the magsafe connector, the multitouch trackpad, fast SSD drives, etc. Frankly, stuff like this is much more important than things like minor CPU differences or user serviceability - both of which are largely considerations more relevant a decade ago.

Note also that if you need to run a specific Windows application on a Mac, you can run a Windows inside a virtual machine using software like VMWare Fusion or Parallels.

#7 poizster

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

I grew up being a computer geek, used a PC since 92 up until 2010 when  I bought my first MacBook Pro and I will never go back to using a PC. The reliability of the OS exceeds anything I've seen in windows. As others have pointed out if your funds allow it go with a Mac. I've had mine for almost 3 years and haven't even thought about buying another machine.

#8 Timanator

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

IT guy here that owns both.

If you are not tech savy, get the Mac. If you like to tinker and have more options on software, upgrade parts etc... Get the PC.

Mac's cost more for the same hardware.
PC's have issues with reliability since there are so many companies tweaking them with none proprietary hw(None enterprise stuff mostly)

Mac's dont have as much software options available. (For example there is no Kinovea for me to study golf videos, no free one's I can find)
PC's are prone to malware which renders them useless unless you seek support.

Mac's have issues with HW which they correct with updates, but it can take a lot of time(My new Macbook air has wireless issues, tons of complaints on Mac's forums)
PC's are not as user friendly because of the none propriety stuff.(Too many backup solutions depending who/where you get the software from)

Bottome line is they are heading the same direction, obscurity. So I would save your $$ and get something that can do what you need. Something like an i5 notebook , opt for the SSD and an add on monitor prob is the best solution.
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#9 cdnglf

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

View PostTimanator, on 05 January 2013 - 05:06 PM, said:

IT guy here that owns both.

If you are not tech savy, get the Mac. If you like to tinker and have more options on software, upgrade parts etc... Get the PC.

I'd argue with you on the software, although some might consider it a technicality. You can run Windows on a Mac (either virtualized or dual-boot), you can't (legally and reliably) run OS X on a PC.

Edited by cdnglf, 05 January 2013 - 05:41 PM.


#10 Timanator

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

View Postcdnglf, on 05 January 2013 - 05:41 PM, said:



I'd argue with you on the software, although some might consider it a technicality. You can run Windows on a Mac (either virtualized or dual-boot), you can't (legally and reliably) run OS X on a PC.

Why not get what you want to start off with? Whats the point of buying a mac so you can run Windows or the other way around. I have Vmware Wave on my Mac but thats for work only.

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#11 cdnglf

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

View PostTimanator, on 05 January 2013 - 05:55 PM, said:

View Postcdnglf, on 05 January 2013 - 05:41 PM, said:

I'd argue with you on the software, although some might consider it a technicality. You can run Windows on a Mac (either virtualized or dual-boot), you can't (legally and reliably) run OS X on a PC.

Why not get what you want to start off with? Whats the point of buying a mac so you can run Windows or the other way around. I have Vmware Wave on my Mac but thats for work only.

If you mostly want to use a Mac, but you need to use a Windows app once in a while. For example, the Kinovea software you mentioned in your previous post might be a candidate.

What's VMWare Wave? I use VMWare Fusion.

#12 Timanator

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

View Postcdnglf, on 05 January 2013 - 06:12 PM, said:

I use VMWare Fusion.

Sorry Fusion is what I use.

Thinking about this more, the past few year using both platforms, I've had to run PC on a Mac, but never needed to run Mac OS on a PC.
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#13 bobfoster

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

If you want to listen to music, play games, watch movies, or do graphics, get a Mac. If you want to do spreadsheets or presentations, get a Windows (or Linux) PC.

Put another way ... if you are a Liberal Arts major, get a Mac. If you are a Business major, get a PC.

I run a technology company, so I have a room full of all manner of things (vendors continually send me and my company the latest and greatest to look at, hoping I'll recommend them to clients).

On the whole (30K foot level), I consider Windows PCs to be for business, and Macs to be for pleasure.

I'm pretty technology agnostic here.

For business? A great deal of business software simply is simply not written for Mac, because Mac is not (and has never tried to be) a business platform. For pleasure? I totally love my iPod (maybe one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century). 8700 songs on it, and I still have 1/4 of the thing empty.

So ... no definitive answer, but ... this was my Friday:

Took a flight from NYC to DC ... watched half a movie on my iPad ... got to my meetings, booted my Sony, spent several hours with people working on Visio diagrams and MS Project plans ... got back on the plane, watched the end of the movie on the iPad, and then listened to music.

Very simplistic I know, but at the end of the day ... Macs are for pleasure, PCs are for business.

#14 poizster

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:33 PM

^^^ It's also a hell of a lot cheaper to stock an office full of PC's then MACs.

#15 esketores

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

View Postbobfoster, on 05 January 2013 - 09:58 PM, said:

Very simplistic I know, but at the end of the day ... Macs are for pleasure, PCs are for business.
+1

I agree. I have both.
My desktop is a computer I built myself. Windows 7. Graphics card for LARGE drawing files. I play zero games.
My mac is in truth a music server feeding tunes to my stereo.
Ipad for play.
Iphone for work. And in my opinion blows the android out of the water when it comes to my needs. I can sync the iphone through itunes for windows to my desktop.

Assess your needs. Be realistic. Buy the cheapest computer for your needs.
Whatever you do buy as much RAM as you can afford.

Edited by esketores, 05 January 2013 - 11:03 PM.

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#16 fore

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:05 AM

Might want to find out what the school uses so you can be sure of compatibility.

Other than work I've always used Macs. I haven't used windows 8, but have heard it's a significant improvement.

#17 Imp

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:33 AM

You need to see what you can afford, and what your school uses for apps. PCs and Macs are about the same in the higher end of the market when used for visualization, graphics, video editing, high end coding (Visual Studio) etc... Macs, with additional software can run PC software fine. The other way around can also be done, but requires a slight technical aptitude (I have a PC that can boot into OSX if needed). Prices for comparably priced PCs are a couple hundred less than Macs.

PCs own the low end of the market in price for Office apps, light coding, etc...

All today can play video and music the same, no matter the price.

If you're developing apps for mobile devices, one thing to keep in mind is you have to have a Mac to publish the content for iPhones/iPads. But if only Win and Droid, then PC is fine.

Macs have a better warranty than most PCs and always good to get the extra care if you go the Mac route. They're machines, they do fail, but Macs are generally handled much better for warranty repairs.  

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#18 hebron1427

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

the reliability and quality issues mentionedfor many PCs are not germane to all. most of those exist for lower quality products. I've had three Toshiba laptops now and NEVER had a problem with any of them. they are as high quality as a Mac but without the insane price tag. same with Sony computers, although they tend to be more expensive than a Toshiba. buy an HP and don't be shocked if the$250 you saved makes it avery low quality computer. it looks like you think like a PC, based on your current tech lineup. I find that people who use Macs just think differently about what a computer should and can do. if I were you, I'd get a Toshiba or a Sony if you can afford it. every bit as high quality as an Apple product but you don't have to totally change your mindset on computers

#19 wetdogsmell

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:27 PM

View Postthatsone, on 06 January 2013 - 07:05 AM, said:

Might want to find out what the school uses so you can be sure of compatibility.

Other than work I've always used Macs. I haven't used windows 8, but have heard it's a significant improvement.

I'm an IT Administrator at a private college.  One of the biggest struggles I see is students in certain classes trying to load software that comes with one of their textbooks on an unsupported OS. Sure you can virtualize Windows to run on a mac but it's just adding a bit of clunkyness. Avoid it if possible.

Where I see the windows virtualization most useful is for longtime mac users who find themselves in an Accounting class that require Peachtree (or something similar). They would use windows like 5% of the time leaving them in their comfortable mac world for the other 95%.

OS X and Windows aren't as different as they used to be. I have both at home and support both at work. If you don't have a necessary app that is only available in only one OS you can't really go wrong.

#20 stribs

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

You'd be insane to go with a Win machine! For the love of God, and yourself, go with a MAC! I can't stress this enough...I get asked this question day after day and when I do, I want to SLAP the person asking :)

G'luck with whichever you go with


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#21 Imp

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

The OP must be really busy, because he hasn't come back yet. ;)

I'd also be interested to hear "what do you need to run on it." (vs. what do you want to run on it, like games).

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#22 Andy L

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

View Poststribs, on 08 January 2013 - 10:15 AM, said:

You'd be insane to go with a Win machine! For the love of God, and yourself, go with a MAC! I can't stress this enough...I get asked this question day after day and when I do, I want to SLAP the person asking :)

G'luck with whichever you go with

Well here is an apple Kool aid drinking hipster! You've obviously been sold the apple propaganda. You probably stand in line for hours to get the latest idevice because you think it's "the next big thing" LOL!

Edited by Andy L, 08 January 2013 - 01:11 PM.


#23 fore

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

View PostAndy L, on 05 January 2013 - 11:42 AM, said:

If you go with a new windows machine you will need to figure out Window's 8 or install Windows 7, but then again you will need to learn ios if you go to mac.  

Just as a slight clarification. Apple's ios is the operating system used in iPads, iPods and such. The mac computers are using os x. I think it's up to 10.8 now. Mountain Lion.  As they work their way thru the cat family. I wonder if there will be an os x "house cat".

Edited by thatsone, 08 January 2013 - 01:34 PM.


#24 cdnglf

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

View Postthatsone, on 08 January 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

View PostAndy L, on 05 January 2013 - 11:42 AM, said:

If you go with a new windows machine you will need to figure out Window's 8 or install Windows 7, but then again you will need to learn ios if you go to mac.  

Just as a slight clarification. Apple's ios is the operating system used in iPads, iPods and such. The mac computers are using os x. I think it's up to 10.8 now. Mountain Lion.  As they work their way thru the cat family. I wonder if there will be an os x "house cat".

The next one has gotta be Liger: It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic.

#25 11under

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 05:42 AM

Mac. It doesn't get much better.


#26 jggraham13

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:58 AM

Mac hands down not even a contest.

#27 Myherobobhope

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:45 AM

You end up buying something, OP?

#28 iH83Putting

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:18 PM

If you're already drinking the Mac kool-aid (own a Ipod, ipad or iphone) get a MBP.  If you don't already own an apple device, go with a PC.  ITunes will drive you batty.  iTunes is the reason i hate my iPad.  File transfers are huge headache between it and my PC.

Macs are really good at doing editing, whether it be photos, videos or music.  If you are just going to browse the web and email, don't bother dropping the big $ for a Mac.
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#29 Imp

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:36 PM

View PostiH83Putting, on 12 March 2013 - 04:18 PM, said:

Macs are really good at doing editing, whether it be photos, videos or music.  If you are just going to browse the web and email, don't bother dropping the big $ for a Mac.
PCs too. Heck, Mac had to run intels because they couldn't keep up with processor speeds with Motorolas. ;)

--kC
RBZ 9 Tour/Fujikura Fuel 60S Masters Ed
RBZ 3W/4H / Mizuno JPX-EZ Forged Irons
Scratch 8620 54/58. TM Trip Winner-Doral
I'm like Rhyno the Hampster in Bolt.
Overly enthusiastic about everything
with no inner dialog filter.

#30 crestron-guru

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:07 PM

I've had success with both. I'm a software programmer and have a mac book pro right now but am about to buy an hp elitebook. I too have an android and they are just as easy to sync up to a mac as they are a pc.


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