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PC vs Mac: The Big Debate

PC or Mac

Since PCs and Macs hit the market, the debate has existed over which is best. Depending upon who you're talking to the PC vs. Mac debate is often even hotter than politics or religion. While you have many who are die hard Microsoft PC users, another group exists that are just as dedicated to Apple's Mac*. A final group exists in the undecided computer category.

Cost

For many users, cost is key. You want to get the absolute most for your money. In years past, PCs dominated the budget friendly market, with Macs ranging anywhere from $100 to $500 more than a comparable PC. Now this price gap has lessened significantly. However, you will notice a few key features that Macs tend to lack in order to provide a lower price: memory and hard drive space.

Memory

Most PCs have anywhere from 2GB to 8GB of RAM in laptops and desktops, while Macs usually have only 1GB to 4GB. Keep in mind, this is for standard models, not custom orders.

Hard Drive Space

Macs typically have smaller hard drives than PCs. This could be because some Mac files and applications are slightly smaller than their PC counterparts. On average, you will still see price gaps of several hundred dollars between comparable Macs and PCs. For computing on a budget, PCs win.

There are a few things to take into consideration that may actually make Macs more cost effective: stability and compatibility.

Stability

In years past, PCs were known to crash and users would get the “blue screen,” but, Microsoft has made their operating systems more reliable in recent years. On the other hand, Mac hardware and software has tended to be stable and crashes occur infrequently.

Compatibility

Unlike with a PC, a Mac can also run Windows. If you want to have a combination Mac and PC, a Mac is your best option.

Availability

Macs are exclusive to Apple. This means for the most part, prices and features are the same no matter where you shop. This limits Mac availability. However with the new Apple stores, it’s even easier to buy Macs and Mac accessories.  Any upgrades or repairs can only be done by an authorized Apple support center.

PCs, on the other hand, are available from a wide range of retailers and manufacturers. This means more customization, a wider price range for all budgets and repairs and upgrades available at most electronics retailers and manufacturers. It also makes it easier for the home user to perform upgrades and repairs themselves as parts are easy to find.

Software

The final Mac vs. PC comparison comes down to software. For the most part, the two are neck and neck. Microsoft has even released Microsoft Office specifically for Mac, proving Apple and Microsoft can get along. All and all, Macs are more software compatible as PCs only support Windows friendly software. Both systems support most open-source software. Software for both systems is user friendly and easy to learn.

In the end, the choice comes down to personal preference. Due to price and availability, PCs tend to be the winner, while Macs remain the choice for the more elite or anti-Microsoft computer users.

 

Read Inside Scoop for our thoughts on technology, life and culture.

 

Resources:
Diffen - http://www.diffen.com/difference/Mac_vs_PC
Popular Mechanics - http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/tests/4258725
Mac Vs PC - http://macvspc.info/pages/01f-pc_myths_debunked.html

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