Mac vs. PC

Mac vs. PCThe Mac vs. PC debate is one of the most controversial topics when talking about computers. This page is meant to give a comparison between Apple Macintosh computers and a PC running Microsoft Windows. It should be used to help educate users looking to buy a new computer and not as a method of declaring the best of the two. You should base your buying decision on what you believe works best for you.

Topic Mac PC
Security Compared to a PC running Windows, Apple Macintosh computers are less vulnerable to viruses and other malware. However, viruses are beginning to target Apple computers due to the lack of experience that manufacturers have when it comes to fighting viruses on the Mac operating system. Many people today are using computers running some version of Microsoft Windows, which makes it a large target for attackers. Windows computers are very susceptible to viruses and malware, especially if not protected by an antivirus program.
Price Although many people may argue "you get what you pay for," when compared to a PC, an Apple computer, its peripherals, upgrades, and repairs are often more expensive than a PC. However, Apple computers are usually built pretty well, with quality components. The vast majority of PC's and their peripherals today are cheaper and more affordable when compared to a new Apple Macintosh computer.
Operating System The Apple Macintosh operating system is often a much cleaner, faster performing, and more stable operating system than all versions of Microsoft Windows. Although Microsoft has improved its operating system with Windows 7 and Windows 10, many PC manufacturers still bundle bloatware with their computers. With this extra software and drivers from dozens of manufacturers, the Windows operating system can be slower in performance and less stable.
Software The available software options for an Apple computer are greatly increasing, with many software titles that are exclusive to Apple, as well as many that also run on Microsoft Windows. However, there are still more software programs available for Windows computers, largely due to the higher number of Windows computers on the market. Through the use of Boot Camp, an Apple user can run Windows and many of its programs. More people are using and developing software for PC's running Windows, which means there is a larger selection of software available for Windows. There is also an almost endless supply of 100% free programs, some that run on Apple computers, but the majority of which run on Windows computers only.
Quality The Apple Macintosh computer is often built with a lot better materials when compared to most PC's. To help keep the overall costs low, some PC manufacturers build their computers from plastics and other cheaper materials when compared to a Mac. However, there are also PC manufacturers who meet and sometimes exceed the quality of Apple computers and Apple still does use plastic in some of its products.
Options Today, Apple computers have many more options available to choose from, compared to even a few years ago. However, there are still more options for Windows computers, due largely to the sheer variety of components available for Windows computers. Many of these components also work with Apple computers, though. PC's are available in almost any imaginable configuration, color, size, etc. If you can think of something that is not available, someone could likely build it for you.
Boot time Apple computers can often boot faster than a PC, due to excellent operating system coding and the efficient hardware for fast boot times. PC's running Windows and built with hardware designed by dozens of different companies usually have slower boot times. However, with the newest version of Windows and more efficient hardware, PC boot times can be just as fast as an Apple computer.
Upgrades Apple computers are being built with more interchangeable parts, making them easier to upgrade than they used to be. However, PC's are still often more upgradeable than Apple computers. Also, upgradeable parts for Apple computers can be more expensive than equivalent parts in a PC. Just about every part of a PC can be upgraded. Also, because of openness and competition between hardware vendors, parts are usually cheaper and more readily available for the PC.
Drivers Much of the hardware and drivers are developed by Apple. Because of this, you are less likely to encounter driver related issues. PC's use hardware from dozens of manufacturers and use dozens of different drivers. Therefore, it is more likely you will encounter driver issues. Although with the latest version of Windows, Microsoft has resolved many of the driver issues that plagued previous versions.
Gaming Although many (but not all) game developers release games for both the Mac and PC, most of them still release their games and updates to the PC first. In some cases, you may have to wait years for a game to be released for a Mac if it ever releases. The PC is king when it comes to games and online gaming. Many of the more popular computer games are released for the PC first.
Repair Many of the new MacBooks and other Apple products are starting to use glue to hold components inside the computer in place. Glue can make repair difficult and expensive. Although PC laptops can be more difficult to repair than desktop computers, their components are often easier and cheaper to repair or replace than those in a MacBook or Apple computer. Note: Some of the newer PC laptops are also starting to glue parts as they become thinner.
Touch There has not yet been an Apple computer (not including their iPhones or iPads) that have touch abilities. PC's are the only computers you can purchase that have touch screen capabilities.

Additional disclaimers

Not all PC's are the same - There are dozens of PC manufacturers and thousands of models of computers, which means not all of the above may apply to your PC or the PC you may want to buy.

My Apple can run Windows - Microsoft Windows can be run on Apple computers using Boot Camp, which means not everything above may apply to your Mac. In the case of gaming, you may be able to run the latest games on your Mac using Boot Camp. However, Boot Camp is not perfect, and it does not mean every game will be able to run on your computer since PC games are not developed with Apple hardware in mind. It is also not unlikely to encounter problems and have performance issues.

Windows XP is not Windows 7 or Windows 8 - Windows XP is over 10 years old and comparing a Windows XP computer to a new MacBook computer is like comparing a Ferrari to a Ford Pinto. When comparing any technology, age is an important factor since newer technologies like SSD vs. HDD can make a huge difference in performance. If you are trying to decide between purchasing a PC or a Mac, make sure you are comparing the latest computers and that they have similar hardware components. For example, if you are looking at a Mac with an SSD and a PC with an HDD, the PC will be cheaper, but it is also going to be slower.