Which is better, mac or windows machine?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I know this is off topic but I'm a little confused. Why do the newest mac's on the market have higher price points than comparable windows machines that have higher processor speeds

-- cw (cwiowa@riowa.edu), May 13, 1999


Hard for me to answer. I can only give my experience. I am not an expert on software or hardware. We have Mac, Unix and Windows. Our most important software is only available for Mac or Unix/ or both. It is not written for Windows. Some of our other software is only available for Windows. That is how we make the decision. I must admit that although Windows works really well that it sometimes drives me nuts. The small differences in processor speed doesn't seem to mean much in a practicle sense.


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 13, 1999.

There are less macs made so the price is higher? That is my guess

I have a mac and just installed 8.6 and highly recommend it. FYI

By the way don't flame me as it is used for web, artwork not business.

-- Brian (imager@home.com), May 13, 1999.

Unless you are in the graphics/publishing business, I'd go with a PC. They are less expensive, there is more hardware and software available for them and they don't crash nearly as often as the macs.

-- mac hater (hate@macs.com), May 13, 1999.

Mac hater

I agree with the business end but as far as crashing, mine rarely ever crashes and when it does it is bad software and not the mac. I often have up to six apps. going at once, even more when doing graphics to web and that is pretty demanding (photoshop - painter) LOTS of plug ins and switching. For the Web the mac is a dam good machine and I would never go windoze. Oh and post Y2K my machine will work. Hint to make a mac work better get rid of the MS crap in the system.

Of course it all depends on the use of the individual. My "landlord" uses autocad and softdesk, can't do that on a mac.

-- Brian (imager@home.com), May 13, 1999.

I use PCs at work for routine things (because that's all I'm allowed to have) but use PowerMacs at home. Most of our real work in the lab is on SG Onyx II or Octane. We are acquiring Windows NT platforms to replace the Octane. The PCs required a manditory 3-day training course for all of the (mostly Microsoft) software ins-and-outs (Windows 95, Office 98, etc.). My 9 year old son learned the Mac versions in @ 3 hours; my wife learned in even less time (i should hope so...) and Macs are what his school uses. Generally, the Macs have a much better user interface, using fewer key presses and mouse clicks to get where you need to go.

It is my understanding that the processor speeds are not directly comparable; PCs need a higher processing speed to run the programs at roughly the SAME or slower speed as the MACs, because of the high 'overhead' required by the WINDOWS OS. Thus, the *same* application run on a WINDOWS platform rated at a higher processor speed may actually run slower than the MAC OS version on a comparable or slower processor speed.

Disclaimer: I'm a user, not a hardware guy. Just offering what I can.


-- Spindoctor (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), May 13, 1999.

cw...it really does depend. One thing you can be sure of is that what ever you buy will be outdated as soon as you walk out the door : )

I'd love to sway you toward a Mac. There is something to the loyalty seen in those who use Apple products. There is quality built into the products. But, I think there are great aspects to both platforms.

I'm fortunate to be a longtime user of Apple products. Every Mac I've ever purchased is still running. That says a lot. So, while you may pay a bit more for a Mac you should take into consideration that the product will last for at least a decade or more... not just a couple of years. My mom is using my old IIci which is a dinosaur in the Mac computer line dating back to the late 80's.

Currently, in my home office, I run a G3 PowerMac, a custom built PC and my old, trustworthy Mac 840AV.

Let's talk price. When I purchased my Mac 840AV (68040 at 40 MHz processor) for $3200 I got 12 megs of ram, a 240 MB scsi hard drive, a blazing fast 2x CD Rom and minimal VRAM and it came with video in/out capability. My son uses my 840AV for non PowerMac games and I use it to receive faxes. But hey...it still works perfectly.

Today, you can purchase a brand new Blue and White PowerMac G3 running at 400 MHz/128 MB SDRAM (expandable to 1 GB Ram)/9.0 GB Ultra2 SCSI hard drive/24x CD-Rom drive (DVD available)/1MB backside Level 2 Cache at 200MHz/Built in ATA Rage 128 graphics card with 16 MB memory/Two USB ports/Two FireWire ports which support up to 63 devices (incredibly fast)/and built in 10/100Bast-T Ethernet... and the price is... $2999.00.

That's high end and these products are easily upgraded. You can get the same PowerMac G3 processor running at 333 MHz in a new iMac (in various colors) with built in monitor, etc. for $1199 that is an incredible value for the price. Or, you can get the original iMac running at 233 MHz in Bondi Blue for $899. You simply can't get an easier computer to use and set up than the iMac.

Also, G4's, speeds from 500 MHz to 1000 MHz, and new motherboard technology are only a short time away.

And, Spindoc is right about processor speeds. Your mileage will vary based upon the types of applications you use, etc. I think G3's running at a certain processor speed are actually as fast or faster than an Intel processor running at a certain speed.

However, you can certainly say that the price for Windows systems is extremely attractive. I've actually been impressed by my custom PC running at 333 MHz with that low end PII processor (the name escapes me). I've found that my Windows machine, when running Microsoft products, can run these programs much faster than the Mac can because these programs (Word, Excel) are optimized to run on the Windows machine. Unfortunately, I really don't use those programs much. My wife, however, LOVES the Dell notebook her company purchased for her. It's a very impressive computer.

So, because my business is graphics, I would choose a Mac hands down but it has alot to do with what I use the product for. It's the platform of choice for graphics professionals, printing professionals, service bureaus, digital content creators, web designers, etc.. My wife is a CPA and she swears by her Windows machine.

There are some really excellent products out there in the PC world and I'm not one to bash those products or the Wintel platform but I can offer some additional Mac praise.

One thing the Mac can do that a Windows machine cannot is run both the MacOS and Windows on the same machine (including preforming drag and drop and cut and paste between the two operating systems). Also, a Mac can read and write to a Windows or DOS disk.

I guess in the end it really depends on what you need, what you will use the computer for, what your budget is, how much power you really need, how much time you intend to spend maintaining your system, learning your system, etc.

Just my two cents...

Mike ====================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), May 14, 1999.

Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful answers.

-- cw (cwiowa@uiowa.edu), May 14, 1999.

i have never used a mac, just PCs, but i must say that if most of the small businesses in north america used macs today, we wouldn't be in the bloody mess we're in. we'd still be in a mess, just a much smaller mess.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), May 14, 1999.

As a longtime computer hardware engineer, my opinion is that the Mac is the superior machine (hardware) in terms of design and performance.

Having said that, I must point out that Betamax is also (in my opinion) a superior format to VHS, but you still can't find as many flicks on Beta as on VHS. In the same vein, you cannot find the variety of software for Macs that is available for PeeCees.

If you write all your own software, buy the Mac.

From the standpoint of selection for purchase, let's apply a little common sense. If someone asks whether a car or a pickup is "better", the answer might well depend on whether you're hauling potatos to market or carpooling with three others. Define FIRST, what you need to do with the computer. SECOND, find the software that will best perform that (or those) task(s). THEN, buy the hardware that will best run your software.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), May 14, 1999.

Macs RULE! The iMac is fun, fast, easy, luggable, simple, elegant, intuitive :^)
I worked for IBM, then Apple; I'm a total Mac convert.

There's a new way cool iMac-like laptop coming out before 1/1/2000, if you want something light, very fast, and an excellent value for the $$.

Before purchasing anything, go to the store and test drive and compare. Try to test the latest version of whatever software you plan to use in daily work/life.

Have fun shopping! BTW, Ed Yourdon uses a Mac :^)

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), May 14, 1999.

Keep in mind the actual meaning of the acronym MACINTOSH.

It is of course . .

"Most Applications Crash, If Not The Operating System Hangs"

You were warned.

-- Microsoft Works = Oxymoron (humor@its.subtlest.com), May 14, 1999.

Two reasons:

One- they are actually up to TWICE as fast, (surprise!) Two- Setup and learning curve for Mac is much lower than WinTel type machines.

Read more:



Here are a series of graphs from tests done by BYTE magazine.

Look at the results and come to your own conclusions about whether a Mac with "a slower processor" can outperform a Wintel machine that has a "faster" processor.




the results of a related "out of the box" setup test:


This month I read an account of a recent event involving Macintosh that was so right on the money, so clever, and so downright amusing, that I've got to share it with you. The event was the "Ultimate Mac vs. Windows Challenge" conducted as part of the Software Publisher's Association Conference in San Francisco. The idea was that two teams would compete side-by-side in a public demonstration where these teams would open and set up brand new computers, right out of the box, and then complete a series of timed "real world" tests to pit one platform against the other for ease of use and setup using typical real-world situations. The tasks to be carried out by each team were as follows:

1. Installing and setting up a brand new computer system

2. Installing an Iomega Zip Drive

3. Installing a modem

4. Connecting a printer

5. Connecting to the Internet or an on-line service

6. Setting up and successfully connecting to a network

7. Creating a file, saving, then making a shortcut or alias of an application

8. Uninstalling an application

Apple accepted the invitation to send a team for the "shoot-out." And, no big surprise, Microsoft declined to send a team. So the SPA got Jim Louderback, Editor-in-Chief of Windows Sources Magazine (a PC techno- wizard himself) and an assistant to represent the Windows 95/PC team.

Guy Kawasaki was in charge of the Apple team and had a wide array of Apple employees to choose from, but in a brilliant move he decided not to use an Apple employee. When it was time for Apple's team to take the stage, Guy sent in Alex Stein, a 10-year-old boy, to do the entire setup and assembly of the Mac and its peripherals, and do the real-world tests himself against the PC team of experts from Windows Sources Magazine. (Guy noted that had Microsoft shown up, he had a secret weapon: He'd use Max, Alex's 7-year-old brother instead.)

As you might have guessed, when the "shoot-out" was over the Mac team beat out the Windows team in nearly every category, and the Mac team won the audience vote for best platform. (Guy added: The Windows machine had to be restarted about six times, we didn't have to restart at all.)

That's what the public saw, but what the public didn't see was almost more impressive. First off, the Macintosh system was brand-new, and factory sealed. The PC system had been opened, the box was unsealed, and the system had been assembled and pre-tested by the Windows Sources editor in advance, but he reportedly "returned the system to a virgin state" before the shoot-out. Also, Guy later learned that during this testing, the Windows Sources Editor spent nearly two hours on the phone with technical support, because he couldn't get the printer to work during his "off-site" testing.

Also revealed was the fact that although Alex signed on to the Internet and got his access numbers and ISP info in front of the crowd, the PC team already had access numbers and the ISP info on hand ready to go-which a novice would not normally have.

Long story short: Even with the PC Team's obvious (and hidden) advantages, a ten-year-old on a Mac whipped their butts. I'm not the least bit surprised.

-- PLONK! (realaddress@hotmail.com), May 14, 1999.

I am in the market for a home computer and only intend to use it for net access. Is there one made just for this without all the extras?

-- (really@dont.know), May 14, 1999.

The iMac was made for Internet surfing! It's already set up and ready to zip everywhere. Of course you get a lot more than Internet potential ...

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), May 14, 1999.

"I am in the market for a home computer and only intend to use it for net access. Is there one made just for this without all the extras? "

-- (really@dont.know), May 14, 1999.

I would have emailed your reply, but you didn't provide a valid address.

if you don't want to use the I-Mac, which you can get for around $700 now if you look around, check out WebTV. (but don't forget, its ONLY FOR INTERNET ACCESS, like you asked for)

Now, I use a Mac for internet access, but I use it for other things as well, I would not recommend a Mac or a Windows-type computer for what you want.

you want WebTv. Get it from Best Buy or something.

the only real problem you may have is that people make fun of your new "@webtv" address, as many AOL'ers used to get a few years ago.

Overall, people seem to be pleased with it.

-- PLONK! (realaddress@hotmail.com), May 14, 1999.

Y'all have no idea how weird it is for me to read this thread. 8-}]

Forum names aside, I must also compliment everyone for avoiding the usual "religious wars" quality of some many Mac v. Wintel discussions. Contratulations!

And I echo the statements above: it depends on what you want to do and how much time and money you want to spend. I owned a Mac from 1985 until just a few years ago, when I broke down and bought a Wintel (Win95/Pentium). Macs currently have higher initial costs, much lower after-sale support costs (aka "cost-of-ownership"), excellent ease-of-setup and ease-of-use, gorgeous graphics, and more than enough apps to keep even a fairly experienced user happy and very productive. Wintel, on the other hand, is quite simply the de facto standard in personal computing. As noted above, they are VHS to Apple's Betamax. Every manufacturer creates for Wintel first and then Mac, which is why I ended up switching platforms.

That said, if a computing newbie can swing the purchase price, I would recommend a Mac. IMHO, they are still much closer to being an "information appliance" than Wintel boxes.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), May 14, 1999.

A few years ago I got a job in the software industry. I became a Mac convert when I found that my job required me to wait around 2 hours a day while computer techs tried to figure out what was wrong with my machine/network. I also have a part time job, we do a lot of work for Woods Hole Oceanographic Labs in MA. My partner is a die hard computer geek. We had a tour of the place by one of the chief researchers, including a tour of the Atlantis, where they berth the Alvin sub. EVERYTHING there is Mac. My partner asks the researcher why they used toys for computers. This scientist nearly ripped his head off, and said (among other things) "1. Because when the Alvin is diving on the Titanic 2 miles down we can't afford to have some nerd sitting around for 4 hours figuring out why our digital camera isn't being recognized by Windows 95! And 2., most of us have PhD's and don't need snotty systems guys telling us we're stupid because we can't reinstall Windows!" 'Nuff said.

-- Tom (retro50@agapeis.net), May 14, 1999.

Thanks to everyone who answered my question. The information is most useful. I will print them off and will read them carefully as I make my decision. Based on what I've seen, I'm leaning towards the mac. Thanks aga

-- cw (cwiowa@uiowa.edu), May 14, 1999.

cw: Igave up on PC's last year and moved over to mac. I need dual language operating systems and applications. The massive file size of Japanese and English OS's, plus what seemed to be endless days of fixing mismatched hardware drivers was just too much. I was previously in the camp that believed that the software availablity for mac was a limiting issue. Now, I'm completely satisfied with my mac and in a few hours I found I could do more (and do it faster) with the mac.

You couldn't give me a Wintel machine now. I have more and faster operating appplications. I completely understand the passion people have for macs. Not only that, but I became smarter, better looking, earned more money and understood the universe.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), May 14, 1999.


Being bi-computer ... I'll still choose a Mac hands down.

In the mid-80's I struggled through self-training on DOS and my Compaq "portable" (sewing machine) which I lugged many times, across numerous time zones. Purchased one of the first 128K Mac's and ended up using it a as yellow sticky holder.

We've come a long way ... with lots of ups and downs.

For eight years, I'd do computer imaging on a PC clone (becuase of the s/w application I needed to use) and everything else on a Mac.

Now it's just the internet, the Mac and me.

*Big Grin*



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 14, 1999.

PNG posted

You couldn't give me a Wintel machine now. I have more and faster operating appplications. I completely understand the passion people have for macs. Not only that, but I became smarter, better looking, earned more money and understood the universe.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), May 14, 1999.

You are indeed a man of wisdom! We are going to have to get a mac graphic thread here soon with the best Y2K animation eh? Looks like there are a few people that are "in the zone"

-- Brian (imager@home.com), May 14, 1999.

PNG spoke the following absolute gem with his usual wisdom and style...

"I completely understand the passion people have for macs. Not only that, but I became smarter, better looking, earned more money and understood the universe."

Yeah, I got that too...it must be some kind of value added incentive package.

But I NEVER got a trip to Japan : P

Mike (who's holds Guy Kawasaki up as a real hero) ===============================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), May 14, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ