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Mac is it worth it?

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Mac is it worth it? I personally I don't think it is nowadays, because that cross compatibility has improve over the pass few years software that was exclusive to the mac is now available on windows and maybe even linux.


What your opinion guys?

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I've always used Windows as my primary operating system, but I also have been working in an all-Mac environment for the last two years. Given this, I would like to think I'm reasonably knowledgeable about both platforms. From my perspective, the advantages of OS X are as follows:

  • OS X is for the most part impervious to all viruses and other types of malware, as it's written for Windows. This advantage could easily disappear if Apple's market share grows, but for now it remains one of it's biggest advantages.
  • The UI of OS X is well designed and suited to general purpose computing, it's the only true competitor to Windows.
  • Apple's iLife suite which is exclusive to their platform provides powerful and easy to use content creation tools that are unmatched on Windows.
  • Derived from it's Unix underpinnings, OS X has a multitude of servers built in that can be enabled with a simple click. This functionality would only be present on higher tier versions of Windows or in some cases, none at all.
  • Apple's use of an EFI-based boot loader allows for a more streamlined handling of multiple operating systems. Holding down the shift key allows easy access to all bootable volumes connected to the system, even FireWire and USB devices. When installing the OS, there is no bootloader to worry about.
  • Apple's major updates rarely break things. Microsoft's Service Packs on the other hand can easily throw a deployment into chaos.

With that in mind, it's important to recognize there are also a few things in Microsoft's favor:

  • Windows is the only viable platform for gaming. On the Mac side, you will be treated to one or two best selling titles and some half-assed ports at best. In any event, you can expect them to perform significantly worse than their Windows counterpart.
  • A Windows-based PC will be much cheaper than any Mac of similar specs.
  • Since Windows is the dominant platform, it is likely to run virtually all hardware and software on the consumer market.
  • In my opinion, Explorer is a superior file manager and shell. Finder gets the job done, but it could allow for more options.
  • Microsoft Office on the Windows side is far superior to it's Mac counterpart. They are two separate code bases and the Mac suite is simply developed to "catch up" to it's Windows counterpart. As such, it is usually lacking feature parity with the current Windows version.

And lastly, these are some moot points, they shouldn't influence anyone's decision in the slightest:

  • Content creation software. This is one of the points I've heard come up the most in favor of OS X. While the iLife suite is excellent for amateurs (myself included), mid-level content creation doesn't matter as virtually all of Adobe's products are on both platforms in a competent fashion. Higher level content creation applications don't count as you'll likely be buying the hardware exclusively for the software in question.
  • Inability to run Windows applications. Through the use of virtualization and Boot Camp, there are plenty of good options for running Windows applications that aren't available on the Mac side.
  • Learning curve. Both Windows and OS X are consumer operating systems, they are both made for ease of use by design. With a little effort and patience, any user can learn either operating system easily.
  • The Mac is just more "creative". This doesn't mean anything, if you mean there is a specific application you need on the Mac that's not available on Windows, then so be it. Otherwise, there is nothing more "creative" about any platform.
  • Windows is for business. Again, this is pretty much identical to the last point just from the other perspective. There is nothing that makes Windows more business-centric than OS X other than specific applications.
  • (Insert Platform) is stupid and (insert hardware) is a toy. There is no rational thinking in these statements. If you dislike a platform simply out of personal taste, that's fine but using it in an intelligent conversation is simply trolling.

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If you want to play games, stay the hell away from Macs. If you want to be hip, creative, dabble in serious Photoshop (etc) work, and daydream about Steve Jobs, get a Mac.

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In respect to major updates, Apple controls the hardware they want in their system, so therefore they can kind of predict what will break the system and what won't break the system. Microsoft on the other hand don't control the hardware, therefore they can't predict in term of hardware, just to have to rely on reliable hardware. Am I correct?


I once brought a laptop for my mother and it got one of those crappy SiS brand graphics card, as soon as I updated vista to service pack 2, it kept booting up to a blank screen the only I could workaround that problem is to put it on standby then switch it back on again. I never had that problem with Nvidia or ATI graphics card.


The other question is, is Mac worth the hefty price tag for home users?

Edited by Hexter
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In regards to updates, that's partially true. In most of the cases I've experienced problems, it has been from Microsoft changing how a specific part of the operating system interacts with other software thus breaking compatibility or specific functions in some cases. Windows Update also has the ability to update drivers, but the driver updates have to be manually selected. I've had extremely bad experiences with driver updates from Windows update.


Pricing is a bit complex when it comes to the Mac-vs-PC argument... I just took a quick look on HP's site and built a desktop that matched the specs of the entry-level 21.5" iMac as closely as possible and it came out to about $939, compared to $1199 for the iMac. The $260 price difference can be partially absorbed by the fact they won't need to purchase much additional software as iLife is included, they won't need to buy antivirus every year and they won't be paying any trips to the GeekSquad for virus removals when something inevitably gets through.

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A Hackintosh is a nice idea in theory, but the problem is that it can't be used for anything of importance. I've experimented with them and no matter how stable they have appeared over long periods of time, odd glitches and problems that wouldn't be found on a real Mac always cropped up. If you're looking to run OS X, your best bet is to buy a cheap refurbished mini from the Apple store (they go as low as $400 depending on their inventory) or poke around eBay for some early generation Intel macs.

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I've got a few ppc macs. I love the OS. unfortunately I don't love the lack of software and closed system as far as upgrades.


People say, oh get a intel mac and run Windows in parallels or bootcamp.

uh... Why would you want to do that? just buy a damn Windows machine if you want to run windows and save some money.

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Virtualization or bootcamp is a good option if you can do just about everything you need to within OS X. It's good to have around for the occasional one-off program that's not on the Mac side and has no reasonable equivalent.

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