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What to buy: Mac or Windows PC


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#1
Exdeus

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*Sorry for the long post, but I really need this information to decide.

Hello all. I currently have a custom built windows based desktop that is absolutely awesome, fast, huge HD's, video, speed, etc...

However, due to me switching my major, I am now required for next semester to purchase a laptop. I can go with either a Windows based laptop, or pull the switch to a Mac, both are compatible with the network.

Now, I use my computer for mostly internet browsing, watching movies, school-related tasks, etc. I do like to game, but am not nearly as into it as I was before. I simply don't have the time, nor the money to constantly spend on the newest video cards and games to come out.

So, seeing as how I have given you some of the basic info I have, what would you all recommend? I know absolutely nothing about Mac's but people that have them swear by them. I wouldn't swear by Windows, and I know it extremely well...

Also, if you recommend a switch to a Mac, which would you go with?

How about Windows based laptop, what would you recommend?

My budget is not astronomical, lets try to keep it under, say, $1,800.00, $1,500.00 if plausible.

This needs to last me next year, the year after, and probably another year or two out of college.

How about software comparisons in terms of Microsoft Office v. whatever Mac has, etc...?
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#2
cph89

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Hmm the impossible question lol. This really comes down to personal choice. Hmm if you're looking to stay under a budget i would say a Windows PC as they are usually cheaper than a mac for very similar specs. Also if you aren't worried about gaming and you already have a nice desktop you can easily get a good laptop that will last 4 years. Sure by the time that 4 years is finished it will be pretty slow by the standards but it will still work and unless there is a major change in computer technology in the next 4 years it should still run all the software you need. Also if you're planning to connect it to your network than i would suggest a windows pc, assuming the majority of the network is also windows based.
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#3
Dragon

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if you are wanting to compare Apple notebooks and Windows based notebooks, this is the place to compare them.

http://www.bizrate.c...at_id--462.html
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#4
SuperSam

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Gaming and Software industrys are creating more games that will be compatible on mac, but there isn't much that will run on it at this current moment in time. Macs, I have to admit do look the part, and are fun for a while (a relative has one), however, the cheapest I've seen a brand new Apple Powerbook is about £800 - £900. Be prepared to pay a lot if going for a mac, and be prepared for some incompatabilities in files (transferring from mac to PC and vice versa).

The macs are travelling towards the "Intel Core Duo" processors, though they do come at a price, and are usually low in speed. For example, with $1,500 to $1,800 I could get a good Windows Laptop, 2 - 3ghz processor and plenty of ram. But with $1,500 to $1,800 I'd probably be just about able to get a 1.5ghz processor if I'm lucky from apple with about 256mb, 512mb ram.

Macs do look and are cool, personally, I'd go with the Windows based for value of money. I'm not exactly sure how much $1,500 - $1,800 is, but you'd probably getting away with an alienware laptop http://www.alienware.com. You will get some monster WINDOWS laptops there.

Good luck.
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#5
SuperSam

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I'd personally get this: http://www.alienware...ll_default.aspx, the Area-51 M5700. Looks like a powerful laptop, and with an nVidia 6800 GO, you should be able to play your 3d games at ease.
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#6
Exdeus

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Thanks for all the replies so far.

I am not too terribly worried about the speed, and honestly, looking at everything, all the laptops in my price range are really about 2.0ghz and under, whereas my current desktop is 3.2ghz. So, I am not too terribly worried about that.

I also want/need portability as I will have to take this laptop to classes with me everyday, and I have heard that the Macs are better in this regard and in battery life, but again, I have no experience with Macs, heck, I don't even know how to use one :whistling:

Anyone see this yet??? http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/

Run Windows XP on the Mac...

Edited by Exdeus, 05 April 2006 - 10:59 AM.

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#7
cph89

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That link above really demonstrates the overpricing of MACs. You can get a mac with a 2ghz processor and for $2000 minimum or you can get a PC with 3.2ghx processor for just under $1400. Also If you are worried about Battery Life and having to carry it around look at the Ultralite PC Laptops. They are less than 4 pounds and they have an average battery life of 6-8 hours.
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#8
hedhunter

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Besides the looks, the main advantage of Macs is that they run on a Unix kernel. The windows manager looks fancy, but if you are used to microsoft windows, chances are you'll hate the functionality of the Mac UI (changing settings is very different, keyboard navigation doesn't work too well, etc.). It is possible to install alternate windows managers on macs, like GNOME, etc., but if you want to do this, you might as well save money, buy a PC and install Linux. Bottom line, it's probably better to get a PC, unless you value trendiness over practicality...

...not that there's anything wrong with that :whistling:
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#9
Dragon

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Anyone see this yet??? http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/

Run Windows XP on the Mac...

please remember that is in beta stage and Apple doesn't offer support for Windows OS. so you would be on your own should there be any problems. To my knowledge there are very few Macs that are successfully running Windows.

Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy to the table, as Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows. (1)

1. You’ll need Windows XP Home Edition or Professional, Service Pack 2 installation disc.


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#10
warriorscot

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Its actually possible to run a linux OS on the new x86, XP on the x86 macs is possible but its not strictly advisable and requires "modifications" to the XP, apple isnt going to be supporting windows anytime soon.

Personally in my early days of computers i used both and i could never do anything as quickly on a mac as i could do even on a slower PC. Mac laptops have batterylife similar to windows but there are better batteries available for windows laptops as apple make there own and all the companies that develop laptop batteries are usually makers of x86 laptops.

What you are looking for, is a proper laptop, not a desktop replacement, one of the smaller lightweight systems probably a 1.6 to 1.8Ghz cpu, Turion or pentium M mayber the new Duo if you can afford it. I wouldnt get any less than 512Mb of ram preferably a gig for the extra bit of go.

I would go windows because no matter what anyone says windows is more functional than a mac in every way to me, they work better and faster with windows and if you know what youre doing windows is much more customisable to the way you want/need. For decent price/performance i would probably go Dell or Acer, maybe sony or alienware.
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#11
lt b0ngo

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With boot camp now out you can install linux and windows on an intel mac if you to thanks to the fact that bios support is back in the efi. On the mac side of things of course theres the macbook pro out at the moment but the macbook (next ibook) is expected in the next month or two and could be worth a look. It's worth asking at this point looking at your other stuff eg mp3, printer, phone and seeing if they're compatiable with macs or not. Also what software do you want to run on it?
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#12
Exdeus

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With boot camp now out you can install linux and windows on an intel mac if you to thanks to the fact that bios support is back in the efi. On the mac side of things of course theres the macbook pro out at the moment but the macbook (next ibook) is expected in the next month or two and could be worth a look. It's worth asking at this point looking at your other stuff eg mp3, printer, phone and seeing if they're compatiable with macs or not. Also what software do you want to run on it?



Like I said in my original post, Its for school use, so I would need the basics like Office (or whatever the mac version is) and things of that nature.

As far as mp3 and all that, I have an iPod and a Motorola Razr phone, so I think it should all work just fine.
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#13
lt b0ngo

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Yeh you can get office for mac or you could try openoffice which is free and can read and write word files. Personal I would get a mac and if you find you don't like mac os x then you have the option of installing windows. This also has the benefit that if you've brought any expensive programs then you can still install them in the windows partion.
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#14
Josiah

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Let Me speak as a Mac guy, Macs are awsome machines and worth every penny. As long as you don't game you can do everything on a Mac that you can do on a pc. Macs have lots of office option textedit comes with, apple works is old but still good, MS office I hear is nice (i don't use it because of it's $$$), iwork ($79) and openoffice.org (free) are what I use...keynote makes killer presentations. Plus all I have mentioned are compatible with PDF, RTF, MS Word, ext. Also Mac's come with ilife which is worth over $200 to get similar software for the PC. (i use ilife everyday) Last now if you get an intell mac you can duel boot mac and windows XP

www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp

this is a great plus for running those lat windows apps. and besides the macbookpro is fast!!!!!!!

I like apple it isnt for everyone but they are nice machines, also www.maccast.com is a great podcast for all things macintosh if you are into podcasts

ps. once you buy a mac it'll never let you go it is a lifestyle

good luck
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#15
Josiah

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itunes will play music and do ipods and isync works with many phones...bootcamp is only prove to run xp and is in Beta but it may be able to boot Linux as well
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