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PC vs. Mac: What the Experts Say

Updated By Staff Writer on June 22, 2020

It’s an argument as old as the digital stone age, and it rages on in forum threads and comments sections across the interwebs. Everyone insists that their computational preference is the true path to electronic enlightenment. But between Mac and PC, is one really better than the other? Can we finally crown one of them the Supreme Sovereign of Silicon?

Windows Based Computers

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Microsoft preceded Apple by about a year and, unlike Apple, has dominated the computer market with phenomenal success essentially since its inception. Becoming famous primarily with Windows 95, Microsoft has a long history of being top dog in the computing world. It’s had its share of mistakes with some of its products (Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows 8), but that hasn’t stopped them from seeing unprecedented success. Known for machines that can get down to business, computers running a Windows operating system are still the standard for offices both home and corporate across the world today.

Pros of Windows:

  Customizable and maintainable—PCs are typically designed so that broken hardware can be replaced, and old hardware can be upgraded

  PCs come from a variety of manufacturers, creating a variety of options in areas like price, performance, and appearance

  Easy to find an inexpensive option if all you need is a web browser and a word processor

  Often, options equal in performance to Macs tend to be cheaper

  You can build a PC on your own (or have your techie friend do it)

  With available performance options and upgrading capacity, PCs are better than Macs for hardcore gaming

  Windows holds the majority share of the market, which means that the majority of software is developed to run on a Windows operating system, rather than Mac

  Many PCs on the market have touchscreen capabilities

Cons of Windows:

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  Windows operating systems have historically been less stable than Mac ones, and thus are more prone to crashes and “blue screens of death”

  Without a solid antivirus software suite, PCs are less secure than Macs

  Cheaper PCs tend to be built with lower-quality components, making them more fragile and less reliable

  Because of the diversity of hardware and software on the market, not all of its features function as smoothly as designed, resulting (for instance) in driver-related issues

Apple Computers (Mac)

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While Microsoft was the first to incorporate, Apple was the one to invent the GUI-based technology we’ve all come to know and love. If it wasn’t for them, we might all still be using DOS prompts to get things done (though, that might mean we’d all be a little more tech-literate, if you’re looking for a silver lining). It took Microsoft a full two years to replicate this system, and since then, it has been the standard for nearly every operating system on the market.

Apple hasn’t always been the successful technology juggernaut that it is today. In fact, they had to bring back founder Steve Jobs to breathe life back into the company, and that he did. With the iMac, the company regained profitability and began to take its place as a true household name. After that, products like the iPod, iTunes, and of course the iPhone, have turned Apple into one of the world’s most profitable companies.

Pros of Macs:

  Up until recently, Macs have been virtually virus-free

  Macs are designed as a whole unit, typically using high-quality parts and software, making them durable and long-lasting

  Mac operating systems tend to be more stable, slicker, and faster-running than Windows

  Macs almost universally boot faster than PCs

  With nearly all of the software developed in-house, Macs encounter much fewer driver issues

  Mac computers integrate seamlessly with other Apple tablets and mobile devices

  Macs are designed to look sleek and stylish

  For software that needs a Windows operating system, you can always run Windows inside of a “virtual box”

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Cons of Macs:

  Macs are almost always more expensive than PCs

  Though it’s starting to change, Macs have traditionally lacked the customizability of PCs

  Mac designs are elegant, but they’re one-size-fits-all; there are no alternative options if you want a different look

  Apple computers lack touchscreens

  Mac designs tend to be less gracious with hard drive/SSD size than PCs

  Mac OS-specific software and programs are sometimes more rare in comparison to those designed specifically for Windows

  Macs frequently lack the specs for high performance, hardcore gaming

  When Macs break, typically the only solution is to send it to the manufacturer or an authorized repair shop, both of which can be expensive

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What's the verdict?

In the end, there’s no clear victor in this computing contest. Speaking to his experience as a Pixar animator, Craig Good said: “Most administration, management, storyboarding, painting, motion graphics, sound and picture editing are done on Macs. Some people in accounting and a few other specialties have to use Windows.” The competition between the two companies has created incredible products like the iPad and the Microsoft Surface. It may be that this fight will continue to rage into the future, with no one claiming “King of the Hill” status. There are just too many variables to consider (and we haven’t even mentioned Linux yet), so your best bet is to choose which kind of computer best fits your personality, or best fits your needs.

A good computer is an indispensable tool when it comes to earning a college degree. That’s why new Independence University students receive a tablet for the first day of classes and a laptop when they begin their fourth module. And, with a selection of classes both on campus and online, it’s never been easier to earn a degree. Contact us today to learn more. PC vs. MAC Infographic