Talking tech since 2003

I receive this question pretty frequently, “what’s better PC or Mac?” – it usually arises when someone is looking to purchase a new computer and is thinking of possibly buying a Mac after using a PC running Windows for years.  I have been at this crossroads before so I know what it is like to try and decide which to go with for your computing needs.  Honestly, what it comes down to is personal preference.  I know this may seem like a cop out to the question, but let me explain.

There are so many variables you can throw in the mix (and I will), but let’s quickly run down some of the basics in computing.  First and foremost would be web browsing, then maybe email/IM/social networks, throw in some multi-media (music, video, photos) usage, perhaps some word processing and other office application related tasks (spreadsheets, powerpoint, etc).  There you have the core computing fundamentals for a majority of people.  If you are somewhere in that group, then essentially no matter which platform you go with (PC or Mac), it doesn’t make much difference.  You will be able to do the same exact things on both.  In fact, the software you will be using can most likely run on both platforms too (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, iTunes, MS Office, etc).

Now if you are a gamer, you may want to lean towards the PC (for obvious reasons).  Currently, there are more games on the PC side than Mac.  However, more and more developers are also creating Mac versions of popular games for the PC.  If you are someone who is constantly infected by malware and other computer infections, you may want to consider a Mac because currently there just isn’t the same threat level as on the PC side of things.  Now that’s not to say it will always be that way, but it is currently.

Pricing is always another variable in this decision.  Price wise Mac’s are a bit more expensive, you can usually get comparable (if not better) hardware in a PC for less.  One tip I usually give when buying a Mac is to buy RAM from OWC and not Apple.  Apple seems to really mark up RAM more than anything else.  Additionally, if you are a student check Apple’s education store for a discount.  Many schools and colleges have discount programs with Apple and you can save up to $200-$350 depending on what you are buying.  Apple also has a developer discount if you are part of their developer program which costs $99 to join but has a lot of rewards such as discounts.

In terms of software packages included with the operating system, Apple has Microsoft beat with their iLife package.  iPhoto, iMovie, etc are fantastic applications and there is really nothing comparable (that I’ve found) for Windows (especially right out of the box).  Apple does a very nice job in that sense, once you turn on the computer you have most of the essential pieces of software you would need (as a novice to average user).

So as I was saying, it really is a personal preference.  If you have any specific questions regarding deciding between a PC or Mac, feel free to email me.

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