Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

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TwoHeadedBoy
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Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby TwoHeadedBoy » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

I'm planning on getting a new laptop soon and I'm trying to decide if a Mac is right for me. I plan to do a lot of music and video making/editing and also use it to create and edit artwork. I've heard Macs tend to be better at these things, but I have never found any real solid reasoning behind it, just "macs are good for that". Could anyone offer some insight?

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Langlier » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:53 pm UTC

Macbook Pro's have some of the best hardware in a laptop you can find. They get a bit hot but they are good dependable machines. That said if you want something of that nature you are going to pay for it. At a premium.

Software wise depends on how much you are willing to spend (or illegally download).

Things like Final Cut on the mac end are some of the nicest editing tools you can buy. It's software that is more targeted towards professionals however and again you'll pay for it... at a premium.

With a Mac you also have the option of dual booting into a windows environment via boot camp (included. all you'd have to pay for is your license).

However if cost efficiency is more what you need - get a decently spec'ed PC - dual boot with Vista and Ubuntu. The tools are more plentiful (and cheaper if not free).

Basically it's all about how much you want to or can pay. If it's less then 1500 get a PC.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Axman » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:33 pm UTC

Hell, if you're on a budget and want to do something decidedly, different but 100% multimedia,

http://ubuntustudio.org/

http://system76.com/

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby ndansmith » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:37 pm UTC

TwoHeadedBoy wrote:I'm planning on getting a new laptop soon and I'm trying to decide if a Mac is right for me. I plan to do a lot of music and video making/editing and also use it to create and edit artwork. I've heard Macs tend to be better at these things, but I have never found any real solid reasoning behind it, just "macs are good for that". Could anyone offer some insight?

There might still be some multimedia software which only runs on Mac, but that number is probably dwindling thanks to cross-platform development.

Macs have nice hardware, and they can multi-boot/virtualize other operating systems as well.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby miles01110 » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:22 am UTC

ndansmith wrote:There might still be some multimedia software which only runs on Mac, but that number is probably dwindling thanks to cross-platform development.


Windows-only apps are being ported to OS X, but not the other way around. As far as I know things like FCP (and most if not all of Apple's other Pro applications) don't run on Windows.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:31 pm UTC

To me, if you have to debate this, you need to stick with a PC. You'll know you need a mac when you can start listing specific things that you like about them (which many people will roll their eyes about).

Seriously, although windows does not include ideal software for your needs and apple does supply some nice stuff for free, there are plenty more windows apps you can install yourself to do the tasks you're talking about and with less expense.

Macs hardware is very overpriced. You effectively pay A LOT for their bundled software. Some of it's pretty nice, sure, but there are often better options on the PC. ESPECIALLY if you spend some of that money you saved on the system itself for some decent software.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby codyhotel » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:16 am UTC

TwoHeadedBoy wrote:I plan to do a lot of music and video making/editing and also use it to create and edit artwork. I've heard Macs tend to be better at these things, but I have never found any real solid reasoning behind it, just "macs are good for that".


Thats because there is no solid reasoning. It does ring true for a stock computer, mainly because stock Macs are built to be more compatible with themselves hardware-wise, and come with better editing software.

BUT

If you are actually going to go out and buy (read: illegally download) top of the line software (in order of your plans: ProTools, Edius[Windows only BTW] or Adobe Premier, and Photoshop IMO) will run just as well on a Mac OS or Windows. In fact, if you actually go into a recording studio chances are they will be dual booting Linux to run everything on.

Basically it comes down to price, and what software you are willing to get. If you have the money and are fine with the stock Mac software (which is quite a bit above average, but nowhere near as good as you are led to believe), go with Apple. If you have a lower price range and are willing to illegally download software (which I am not condoning by saying this) get a solid custom laptop with better specs for a cheaper price.

And please don't listen to anyone saying to buy a Mac and use it to boot Windows, you're just throwing hundreds of dollars away to do something that stupid.

A little more info on your price range, what exactly you will be doing multimedia for (i.e. quality needed), things like that would help us help you a lot more.




and P.S., To all of you who said PC in reference to Windows, I hate you almost as much as I hate Apple for those stupid commercials. PC= Acronym for Personal Computer, PC=/=ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE OS OR BRAND OF COMPUTER. Just want to clear that up.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby e946 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:49 am UTC

Let me show yo why I wouldn't get a mac, then i'll let you decide for yourself.

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MB4 ... MTkzOTI0Nw - the cheapest laptop on apple's website
After doing some configuration to match the dell laptop below, you get the following:
-13-inch monitor
-2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
-4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
-250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm

All for $1374 before tax and shipping and all that.

Now, over on dell's website, we'll pick out a laptop that is clearly not the cheapest available: The studio 15, third column from the right.
http://www.dell.com/content/products/fe ... ~ck=anavml

After come configuration to match the "cheap" mac laptop above, you get the following:
-Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5850 (2.16GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
-Glossy, widescreen 15.4 inch display (1280x800) (larger than the mac)
-4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2
-Size: 250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)

All for $729 before tax and such.

All the other equipment in both laptops is standard, and is pretty equivalent between them.

No matter what two "equivalent" models you try to compare, be it a desktop or laptop, high performance or "budget", the apple will cost around twice what the non-apple will cost. If you can live with that go right ahead, but it's far too much for me to get over.

The only reason It isn't 2x in this case was because I thought it wouldn't be fair to compare the dell with the macbook pro, the first laptop sold by apple to match the dell's screen size, which would end up costing over $2000.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby elminster » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:50 pm UTC

Minor note:
The apple mac uses the 45nm 2.1ghz processor with 3mb of L2 cache, whereas the dell uses the 65nm 2.16ghz processor with 2mb L2 cache. If you want it to be equal you need to add $75 on that to put in the T8100 rather than the T5850.

Personally, I'd prefer to save the money and go with a windows laptop. As some people already said, the majority of de facto standard software will work on both mac and windows (e.g. Software by Adobe, Corel, Steinberg, etc). Also depends on what software you intend to use. I don't pay for the software I use, so that could easily be the difference in price. If you're in education, they might have free software available.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby MoonBuggy » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

e946 wrote:No matter what two "equivalent" models you try to compare, be it a desktop or laptop, high performance or "budget", the apple will cost around twice what the non-apple will cost. If you can live with that go right ahead, but it's far too much for me to get over.

The only reason It isn't 2x in this case was because I thought it wouldn't be fair to compare the dell with the macbook pro, the first laptop sold by apple to match the dell's screen size, which would end up costing over $2000.

It's not justified to compare laptops of different sizes - portability is something that costs more, so it's by no means a matter of saying bigger = better. Incidentally, the Macbook screen is the same resolution as the Dell, so you're not actually losing any usable area.

I don't want to sound like a fanboy - I do happen to rather like OSX, but I'm perfectly aware that there are downsides; it's still worth pointing out that your comparison is flawed, though.

If you spec an Inspiron 13 to match the Macbook it comes to $894. Certainly it's cheaper than the Apple, but the difference isn't quite what you made it out to be.

The other thing worth taking into account for a 'real world' comparison is that Apple absolutely screws you on the price of upgrades. I wish they wouldn't, but they don't seem to show any signs of changing, so if you are going to buy a Macbook then you should just get the base model and add the upgrades yourself. The RAM and hard drive are both easily user-upgradable, so if you buy the base model Macbook ($999) you can then add the 250GB HD and 4GB RAM to make it match the spec you posted. Using current prices on Newegg they add $59.99 and $33.98 respectively, rather than the truly horrific $225 and $150 that Apple charges. Assuming you just throw out the RAM and HD that were provided with the Macbook rather than reselling them, that gives you a total cost of $1092.97 for the Apple and $894 for the Dell.

Yeah, there's a $200 price gap which is essentially a premium paid for the bundled software and the design of the machine - worth it to some, not to others, but it's a far cry from talking about twice the price.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby wst » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:16 pm UTC

MoonBuggy wrote:It's not justified to compare laptops of different sizes - portability is something that costs more, so it's by no means a matter of saying bigger = better.
Evidently not- the Eee 701 is <£150 now. And I think that is about as portable as anything could be...
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby b.i.o » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:29 pm UTC

wst wrote:
MoonBuggy wrote:It's not justified to compare laptops of different sizes - portability is something that costs more, so it's by no means a matter of saying bigger = better.
Evidently not- the Eee 701 is <£150 now. And I think that is about as portable as anything could be...


Oh come now. I loathe Apple with a passion, but that's a silly comparison to say the least.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:00 pm UTC

MoonBuggy wrote:
e946 wrote:No matter what two "equivalent" models you try to compare, be it a desktop or laptop, high performance or "budget", the apple will cost around twice what the non-apple will cost. If you can live with that go right ahead, but it's far too much for me to get over.

The only reason It isn't 2x in this case was because I thought it wouldn't be fair to compare the dell with the macbook pro, the first laptop sold by apple to match the dell's screen size, which would end up costing over $2000.

It's not justified to compare laptops of different sizes - portability is something that costs more, so it's by no means a matter of saying bigger = better. Incidentally, the Macbook screen is the same resolution as the Dell, so you're not actually losing any usable area.

I don't want to sound like a fanboy - I do happen to rather like OSX, but I'm perfectly aware that there are downsides; it's still worth pointing out that your comparison is flawed, though.

If you spec an Inspiron 13 to match the Macbook it comes to $894. Certainly it's cheaper than the Apple, but the difference isn't quite what you made it out to be.

I got a bit over $1000 WITH the discount, since I had to add a built-in webcam, Bluetooth, and wireless-N in addition to the processor, although it's slightly higher specced in RAM and hard drive.

As an aside, I rather like my new unibody Macbook.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:09 pm UTC

And of course, there's the great point that 95% of the people who use those things don't need all those stupid add-ons and specing them as "value" against their competition is supect. It's like comparing two cars, one that costs $750 and one that costs $1500 and saying how much better a deal the $1500 one is because you get some massive discount (ppl get discounts on the other band too) and how if you wanted the exact floormats, fog lights, and fake wood paneling in the cheaper model (which are options, not standard), it'd come out to the same money.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby wst » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:17 pm UTC

b.i.o wrote:
wst wrote:
MoonBuggy wrote:It's not justified to compare laptops of different sizes - portability is something that costs more, so it's by no means a matter of saying bigger = better.
Evidently not- the Eee 701 is <£150 now. And I think that is about as portable as anything could be...
Oh come now. I loathe Apple with a passion, but that's a silly comparison to say the least.
Hardly. MB said "Portability means more money", and I proved that it doesn't.
Anything I said pre-2014 that you want to quote me on, just run it past me to check I still agree with myself.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:44 pm UTC

It seems to be the common trend for Mac fanboys. They act like every little tiny feature that gets bundled in and the exact dimensions/weight/etc are EXACTLY perfect and thus justify the price or even exemplify the hardware above others. There has never been and never will be a machine spec'd exactly the way I want it to be. Hence I'd rather get something stripped and just add to it rather than saying how cool it is that I have a webcam on my laptop (just for example) that I just got ripped off buying. I don't use webcams and if I did, I'd get something nicer than that tiny POS.

There are good reasons to get a mac though. I only hate the fanboys, not the product. The real reason to get a mac is their software. Personally, I don't like/use most of it but I can see how it makes an appealing product for those who do.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby MoonBuggy » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

wst wrote:Hardly. MB said "Portability means more money", and I proved that it doesn't.

Yeah, you were technically correct and I could be accused of being too general in my statement. That said, the 13" Dell does cost more than an identical 15.4" Dell so in the context of the comparison it holds true - that's where I was coming from.

@mosc: was the fanboy comment directed at me? I tried to be as reasonable as I could in making a real world apples to apples (pardon the pun) comparison - I'd be interested to know if you thought I was saying anything unfair.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

No, it wasn't directed at you as much as friends of mine who are mac NUTS. You just reminded me of them, sorry to lash out.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby TwoHeadedBoy » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

Okay so what I'm hearing is that Macs while high quality, are overpriced, and until I get the point of needing something at or near professional grade I'll be fine if i just stick with a PC. Since I'm currently a student, I'll just be using whatever I get as a way to learn how to do stuff so I guess PC is the better way to go. So then my only other question is what's a good program similar to Garage Band but usable on PCs? I know of Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc. that I can use for everything else I want to do but I don't know of any good music editing software.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby felixalias » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:18 pm UTC

TwoHeadedBoy wrote:Okay so what I'm hearing is that Macs while high quality, are overpriced, and until I get the point of needing something at or near professional grade I'll be fine if i just stick with a PC. Since I'm currently a student, I'll just be using whatever I get as a way to learn how to do stuff so I guess PC is the better way to go. So then my only other question is what's a good program similar to Garage Band but usable on PCs? I know of Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc. that I can use for everything else I want to do but I don't know of any good music editing software.


Music Editing software?

Try Reason or Cubase (Cubase is geared mostly for production and mixing, though). There are plenty others, but Reason and Cubase are the only ones I've had good experiences with.

I wouldn't agree with Macs being overpriced. If you were to add up the prices of the individual components, then, yes, they would seem that way. With a mac, you are paying for more than just the parts; it's for the same reason people buy the PS3 for blu-ray, or an expensive car. If you see either of those as a total waste of money, Macs aren't for you; nice custom built computers, or terrible shoddy Dells are your style. Although, if you are comparing laptops, the lowest end Macbook is absolutely great value for it's price (Apple finally put a non-terrible video card in the base model, putting any ~900$ BrandX gray laptop to shame). Personally, I'd go custom built desktop, and Macbook.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:09 am UTC

Acer makes great budget laptops that are not shady and pack better video cards for far less $$. I'd argue that their LCD's are also of superior quality.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby codyhotel » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:40 am UTC

felixalias wrote:
TwoHeadedBoy wrote:Okay so what I'm hearing is that Macs while high quality, are overpriced, and until I get the point of needing something at or near professional grade I'll be fine if i just stick with a PC. Since I'm currently a student, I'll just be using whatever I get as a way to learn how to do stuff so I guess PC is the better way to go. So then my only other question is what's a good program similar to Garage Band but usable on PCs? I know of Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc. that I can use for everything else I want to do but I don't know of any good music editing software.


Music Editing software?

Try Reason or Cubase (Cubase is geared mostly for production and mixing, though). There are plenty others, but Reason and Cubase are the only ones I've had good experiences with.


I like, and see, Reason as more of a music creation program, rather than editing. I use it to make lots of drum and bass tracks to export to my other software, and make some techno when I'm bored every once in a while.
Cubase is pretty good, so is Adobe Audition, both are solid programs for any quality level. If you have the money for it though (it can't be used pirated because it needs its own hardware to function) ProTools is hands down the absolute best music editing software there is, PERIOD.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby MoonBuggy » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:09 am UTC

felixalias wrote:Although, if you are comparing laptops, the lowest end Macbook is absolutely great value for it's price (Apple finally put a non-terrible video card in the base model, putting any ~900$ BrandX gray laptop to shame).

Incorrect, unfortunately. The base model (the one that e946 and I were talking about earlier) still has an Intel GMA; you're in $1300 territory if you want a proper graphics card.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby felixalias » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:44 pm UTC

MoonBuggy wrote:
felixalias wrote:Although, if you are comparing laptops, the lowest end Macbook is absolutely great value for it's price (Apple finally put a non-terrible video card in the base model, putting any ~900$ BrandX gray laptop to shame).

Incorrect, unfortunately. The base model (the one that e946 and I were talking about earlier) still has an Intel GMA; you're in $1300 territory if you want a proper graphics card.


That model is the previous version that is being phased out. The base model I am referring to has an NVIDIA 9400GT, the new base model Macbook.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby MoonBuggy » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:14 pm UTC

Fair enough - I kinda hope that it would put a '~$900 BrandX' machine to shame, then, since it costs $1300 :wink:
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby freeqaz » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:43 pm UTC

A bit of a threadjack, since I haven't read every post.

I would advise getting a PC that has hardware compatible with OSX86. It is a bit of a bugger to get running, but after going through the install it's a charm. You can run Final Cut and everything on it that you would want, plus have Ubuntu Studio/Windows. http://www.osx86project.org
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby ndansmith » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:52 pm UTC

freeqaz wrote:A bit of a threadjack, since I haven't read every post.

I would advise getting a PC that has hardware compatible with OSX86. It is a bit of a bugger to get running, but after going through the install it's a charm. You can run Final Cut and everything on it that you would want, plus have Ubuntu Studio/Windows. http://www.osx86project.org

You can do the same thing (multi-boot several x86 OSes) a lot easier and without violating Apple's license if you buy a Mac.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby freeqaz » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:20 am UTC

Yes, but it depends on the hardware and cost. If he needs something for <1000 he won't get a mac.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby felixalias » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:04 am UTC

ndansmith wrote:
freeqaz wrote:A bit of a threadjack, since I haven't read every post.

I would advise getting a PC that has hardware compatible with OSX86. It is a bit of a bugger to get running, but after going through the install it's a charm. You can run Final Cut and everything on it that you would want, plus have Ubuntu Studio/Windows. http://www.osx86project.org

You can do the same thing (multi-boot several x86 OSes) a lot easier and without violating Apple's license if you buy a Mac.


Do you have to buy a Mac, or just a Mac OS X license?

Off topic, but I've always sort of wondered.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby ndansmith » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:12 am UTC

felixalias wrote:
ndansmith wrote:
freeqaz wrote:A bit of a threadjack, since I haven't read every post.

I would advise getting a PC that has hardware compatible with OSX86. It is a bit of a bugger to get running, but after going through the install it's a charm. You can run Final Cut and everything on it that you would want, plus have Ubuntu Studio/Windows. http://www.osx86project.org

You can do the same thing (multi-boot several x86 OSes) a lot easier and without violating Apple's license if you buy a Mac.


Do you have to buy a Mac, or just a Mac OS X license?

Off topic, but I've always sort of wondered.

The Mac OS X license disallows the installation of OS X on non-Apple hardware. So if you are going to do OSx86, you might as well just pirate it. :twisted:

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby freeqaz » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:52 am UTC

Buy a copy of leopard if you can though, support the developers. http://www.apple.com/macosx I believe
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby asiekierka » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:04 pm UTC

TwoHeadedBoy wrote:I'm planning on getting a new laptop soon and I'm trying to decide if a Mac is right for me. I plan to do a lot of music and video making/editing and also use it to create and edit artwork. I've heard Macs tend to be better at these things, but I have never found any real solid reasoning behind it, just "macs are good for that". Could anyone offer some insight?


Mac is good for it just because it has good software for it. But unless you want to shell out a ton of money, get a PC. The difference is not THAT big.
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|Erasmus|
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby |Erasmus| » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:03 am UTC

freeqaz wrote:Buy a copy of leopard if you can though, support the developers. http://www.apple.com/macosx I believe

Those BSD developers might appreciate something while you're at it.

This has always been something that bugs me given how much extra you seem to pay for the software. Also, haven't they switched all the macs over to using Intel processors now anyway? What's the deal with the OSx86 thing anyway?

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby freeqaz » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:22 am UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:
freeqaz wrote:Buy a copy of leopard if you can though, support the developers. http://www.apple.com/macosx I believe

Those BSD developers might appreciate something while you're at it.

This has always been something that bugs me given how much extra you seem to pay for the software. Also, haven't they switched all the macs over to using Intel processors now anyway? What's the deal with the OSx86 thing anyway?

Not gonna try to be an asshole with this link, but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSx86

Everything you need to know there pretty much. Though http://www.osx86project.org is always good too.

All macs have been intel since 2006. Many years now, just read up and you'll know everything you needed to know any more. lol
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:
freeqaz wrote:Buy a copy of leopard if you can though, support the developers. http://www.apple.com/macosx I believe

Those BSD developers might appreciate something while you're at it.

This has always been something that bugs me given how much extra you seem to pay for the software. Also, haven't they switched all the macs over to using Intel processors now anyway? What's the deal with the OSx86 thing anyway?

A new copy of Leopard is still cheaper than any full (not upgrade) retail and some OEM versions of Vista (and apparently some versions of XP).

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Pinky's Brain » Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:27 pm UTC

If the software runs on Windows and you just want a cheap laptop get an Acer, if you want a cheap laptop with a good display get a Dell (Dell is pretty much the only one which lets you get cheap upgrades to high resolution displays).

If the software you want to use is developed by Apple ... well then you already know what you have to get.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby wst » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:24 pm UTC

Pinky's Brain wrote:If the software runs on Windows and you just want a cheap laptop get an Acer, if you want a cheap laptop with a good display get a Dell (Dell is pretty much the only one which lets you get cheap upgrades to high resolution displays).

Depends on which laptop. Acer Aspire One's have the best gorram monitors I've met, for clarity. Pig for fingerprints though.

Also, what about *nix? Give them some love, not everything is on Mac/Dows you know ;)
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby cspirou » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:15 pm UTC

While making hardware comparisons you can't just look at basic specs. Durability is also important. Mac laptops are pretty solid and the hardware will last you awhile. So even though you may pay less for the same specs on other laptops it doesn't mean you are getting the same thing. You could think about it in terms of cars. You can look at a Japanese car or an American car with the same specs but it's universally understood that foreign cars are more reliable.

Besides, the reason to get a mac is for the software. For editing music and video mac is basically the industry standard and the most popular hardware Apple sells aside from iPods are their laptops. I have friends that that are lifelong PC people. They wouldn't get an Apple desktop but after using a mac laptop they say they are the best around. The arguments of price aren't a big deal to me because it's a rather permanent piece of equipment. This isn't food that you're buying everyday but a piece of equipment you'll be using all the time.

Now you can get windows software that is rather competent. But really, there's nothing I can really say for a comparison. Just go to Apple store and try it out. Specs and 3rd party opinions don't compare to what you like. If you think you can do your job better with a mac then go with it. If you think it's better on a linux box then go with that.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby dorsai » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:17 am UTC

Windows box for sure. You may not get the hipster cred, but you can get build quality, speed, and software for cheaper. If you're worried about build quality, get yourself a thinkpad. They've got some of the best built stuff around, in my opinion; unless you're going for a toughbook, at which point the differing purposes should be obvious. (For the record: I have a Dell and love it, though, but I got $800 off :mrgreen:)

Price/spec comparison:

Both laptops:
13.3 inch LED backlit 1280x800 display
2.4 gHz Dual core
4gb ram
Nvidia discrete graphics with 128 mb dedicated graphics memory
250gb 5400 rpm hard drive

The ThinkPad: $1149
The MacBook: $1749
Also of note: Great deals are more likely to be found on the ThinkPad than the Mac. These prices were taken directly from the manufacturers.

Lenovo also makes a thinkpad convertible tablet, which is something that I think the Mac lineup is -sorely- missing. Come on apple...the Air?! All that work and you give us the Air?! :evil: Lenovo got the X300 (same size, better specs) and the X series tablet to market about the same time...

I still love the iPod touch/ iPhone to death, though. Real gems of hardware/software design, those.

Edit: Other issues that completely slipped my mind: The ThinkPads (good grief, I'm beginning to sound like a damned fanboy) have far better hardware level (BIOS level? Not sure how to classify it) security features, and can be configured with a fingerprint reader (apart from the obvious, they're really useful if you have tons of websites/passwords you want to save, but don't want to save to the browser) and GPS (not really a security feature, but hey) at little additional cost.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby evilspoons » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:22 am UTC

I was never a big fan of the Mac until recently - November 2007 I bought myself a Macbook Pro and I'm extremely happy with it. I've since upgraded the hard drive (because Apple's upgrade option was a giant rip-off), and the RAM. The hard drive upgrade was a huge pain in the ass, but if you get a new MacBook Pro, it's incredibly simple.

I find I spend a fraction of the time screwing around with the computer trying to get it to work right compared to my Windows XP or Vista machines. Almost no driver updates to do (I will admit this can sometimes be a bad thing). Less frequent automatic updates of the operating system.

The display is beautiful (15" 1440x900, LED-backlit), the keyboard lights up when it's dark - smoothly, every time (I have a Dell at work that claims to do this but it only seems to switch on one in four times).

I didn't have to remove any shitty "branded" software from the computer like I did with my work Dell, my dad's HP, my boss's Sony. Arguably, the entire operating system is "branded software" but on the whole it's a lot less offensive than the hideous utilities some Windows-based OEMs leave you stuck with.

The computer goes to sleep nearly instantly when you close the lid, and comes on instantly when you open it up. I leave it sleeping in my backpack for hours without any trouble. My old HP laptop, and pretty much every other Windows computer I've ever put to sleep, likes to randomly freak out and crash programs when it's woken up, or, even worse, doesn't even go to sleep in the first place.

I will not even try to pretend Macs are any good at playing games (and that's why I have a Core 2 Quad-based Windows Vista system), but unless something changes dramatically my next laptop will be a Mac too.


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