Mac vs. PC

Mac vs. PCThis is one of the most controversial topics when talking about computers. This page is meant to give a comparison between Apple Macintosh computers and PC computers 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 off what you believe will work best for you.

Topic Mac PC
Security When compared to any PC running Microsoft Windows all Apple Macintosh computers are much more secure and less vulnerable to viruses and other malware. Most people today are using computers running some version of Microsoft Windows, which makes it a much better target for attackers.
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. The vast majority of PC computers and their peripherals today are cheaper and affordable when compared to a new Apple Macintosh computer.
Operating System The Apple Macintosh operating system is a much cleaner and stable operating system than all versions of Microsoft Windows. Although Microsoft has improved its operating system with Windows 7, many PC manufacturers still bundle crapware with their computers. With this extra software and drivers from dozens of manufacturers, the Windows operating system can be less stable.
Software Although the available software options for an Apple computer are increasing, it is nothing when compared to the software available for Windows computers. However, with Boot Camp, an Apple user could still run Windows and many of its programs. More people are using and developing for PC computers running Microsoft Windows, which helps give it a much larger selection. There is also an almost endless supply of 100% free programs, and for any program that does come out on the PC and the Mac, the PC version is often released first.
Quality The Apple Macintosh computer is often built with a lot better materials when compared with most PC computers. 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 When compared to a PC, an Apple Macintosh has fewer options for customization. PC computers are available in almost any imaginable configuration, color, size, etc. If you can think of something that is not available, it is likely someone could still build it for you.
Boot time The boot time on an Apple Macintosh can be a lot less when compared to a Windows computer. PC computers have an operating system that is designed by Microsoft and hardware that is designed by dozens of different companies. Because of this and other factors, the boot time can be greater than a Mac. With the newest version of Windows and hardware, the PC can boot just as fast as a Mac or very close.
Upgrades Although many of the most commonly upgraded parts in a Macintosh can be upgraded, not everything is upgradable like the PC. Also, parts that can be upgraded are usually more expensive. Pretty much every part within a computer can be upgraded in many PC computers. Also, because of openness and competition between hardware vendors, parts are usually cheaper and first available for the PC. Finally, if you plan on building your own computer, the PC is the only way to go.
Drivers Much of the hardware and drivers are developed by Apple. Because of this, you are less likely to encounter driver related issues. PC computers use hardware from dozens of manufacturers and use dozens of different drivers. Therefore, it is more likely you will encounter driver issues. However, with the latest version of Windows, Microsoft have 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 on a Mac, if it ever releases. The PC is king when it comes to games and online gaming. All major computer games are released for the PC first. Also, PC users have the option of running higher performance video cards and getting the absolute best performance from their games.
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 than those in a MacBook with parts glued in place. 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 computers 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 are considering to purchase.

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 a SSD and a PC with a HDD, the PC will be cheaper, but it is also going to be slower.