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Dear Tom's - Mac vs. PC

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March 17, 2010 5:44:29 PM

Is there any way that Tom's can do a comparison between a Mac & a Windows 7-based PC running the same benchmarks/programs to see, in reality, which performs better overall?

In terms of price/performance, so, hardware-wise, as close as possible, then let it rip...

More about : dear tom mac

March 17, 2010 7:06:25 PM

There's no reason to even try to test this. Considering that you pay almost 100% extra as a Mac tax, you don't need benchmarks to compare which has better price to performance. Also considering that Macs use 2-4 year old technology, there isn't anyway to fairly compare the two. PC wins hands down.
March 17, 2010 8:01:58 PM

I'm not disagreeing with you Admiral, it's the thick-headed Mac users that i want to show it to, because no matter what you say, they will still claim Mac's as superior, so just want some proof and i don't have the $$$ to fork up, but i figures Tom's could have Apple send them a demo or something so they can review it. Then, afterward, Tom's can have a contest on whoever wins can beat the Mac with a spiked bat first!
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March 17, 2010 9:58:59 PM

Mac users may claim that their stuff is superior but I bet they never claim it has better price/performance. I can't speak for the desktops, but Apple laptops are at the peak of the consumer laptop industry in internal build quality, although Lenovo probably still beats them in corporate laptops (which are also overpriced while being far uglier than Macs) for both internal and external build quality. Those X series laptops are the bomb.
March 17, 2010 10:08:14 PM

It's still pointless. The average Mac user would reject the proof you show them any way. We're talking about people who shelled out $2,000 for a $500 laptop. I'm certain I can find rocks smarter than the average Mac user...
March 17, 2010 11:13:48 PM

Have you ever actually compared a Mac laptop with a $500 Windows laptop? Both will work fine, but the latter will be a poorly built piece of crap. In fact, most laptops under $1200 are poorly built.
March 18, 2010 12:27:37 AM

Ok. So I exaggerate slightly. They pay $2,000 for a $700 laptop.

My family and I have had several laptops that were all less than $1,000, and every one of is still kicking. The youngest one is 5 years. And they're not special ones either. They were all Dells or HPs.

All of my friends have had to replace their Macs within three years. That's quality for you...
March 18, 2010 12:37:58 AM

Component quality != build quality. Apple don't make all the components. Plus for every person who has had problems, you'll find someone who hasn't. Every individual device is different. It's like that Seagate 7200.11 saga after which people were saying they'd never again buy Seagate. Such a statement is completely irrational.

I have (or had, I gave it away) a Powerbook G4 that is at least 5-6 years old now, maybe more, and it still works fine except for the HDD which needed a replacement. Those things are only warranted for 3 years or so anyway and of all the components it's what I expect to die first.

I also had a cheap Acer laptop which needed the HDD replaced once as well. But it was flimsy and made of very cheap plastic. I wouldn't dare drop it more than a foot lest it simply fall apart on me. The Powerbook G4 was a solid aluminium unit and internally the layout was extremely tidy.

EDIT: Speeleng
March 18, 2010 2:31:08 AM

Yeah, their build quality is pretty nice. If only you could get them cheap without that terrible OS. Oh wait...
March 18, 2010 2:39:33 AM

OSX is not terrible, only its lock-in design is (although this makes compatibility almost a non-issue, so for people not interested in tweaking that's a good thing). It's a Unix-like OS so it automatically gets brownie points. Now OS9, that was bad.
March 18, 2010 2:45:50 AM

No, I know. But that one con is enough for me. However I certainly can understand that if a Mac can do exactly what you need to do how it would be a good option as the lack of tweaking and etc. should make it difficult to crash/mess up. I had an urge to buy a surplus mac from my college, which I may still do some day for fun. I'd never buy new though.
March 18, 2010 2:50:48 AM

There's always Linux or BSD if you want to go the Unix-like route without the OSX sealed and padded room.
March 18, 2010 11:37:57 AM

Ok, so, 2 different areas here, Laptop segment & desktop segment, If Apple laptops are so superior & cost $2,000, what about a Lenovo or Dell Laptop that costs that much, would it be far better than the overpriced "cool looking" Apple piece?
March 18, 2010 12:31:55 PM

I would go with a Lenovo at that price without question. Dell I am not so sure. Between Apple and Lenovo in that price range is a matter of taste. You can go with boring but solid as a rock or fancy.
March 18, 2010 1:16:59 PM

Just so you know, here's the most expensive (base configuration) laptop Dell offers: Alienware M17x for $1800.

Here's a similarly priced Macbook: Macbook Pro comparision for $1700.

Not even close. The Dell has an i5, 4870, 17 inch screen, and 4 GB DDR3. The Mac has a Core 2 Duo, 9600M GT, 15 inch screen and 4 GB DDR2.
March 18, 2010 1:31:41 PM

hmmm..., wonder what the battery life difference is. Good comparison though.
March 18, 2010 2:39:02 PM

If by battery life you mean how long the physical battery lasts, I'm willing to bet that the Dell lasts longer. Apple's been known to force their customers to buy new batteries quickly (see first gen Ipod and lawsuit).

If by batter life you mean how long the computer can run off a charge, I'd bet Apple lasts slightly longer, but not enough to really matter. Given the Apple has a less demanding GPU, it shoudl use less power. However, it also uses a lot of older tech (C2Duo, DDR2), so those parts use more power. I think the less power for the GPU will outweigh the additional power for the other parts.
March 19, 2010 6:26:09 PM

Clevo notebooks are impeccable powerhouses that are built strong for the higher-priced tiers. I'd choose them over Lenovo - they tend to use a bit older tech.

It's also interesting to note that Apple, Dell, HP, and many other manufacturers all have their machines built by the same few companies. Structurally, I think the Macbooks only seem to be better because they're made of metal...but I think that's a terrible idea. Metal conducts heat, and electricity, as well as dents and scratches...whereas plastic does none of those things (assuming it doesn't have a glossy coat that every company plasters all over their tech gear, from notebooks to cell phones...it makes no sense..).
June 14, 2010 9:51:22 AM

Admiral I am not sure where you are getting the MAC info from but according to their website the highest price laptop they have is about $2,300 and it comes with an i7 2.66 Ghz cpu. Also the current 13 in. MacBookPro is boasting a 10 hour battery life with wireless use. I wonder how much this diminishes over time. My Dell started with a 5 hour batter now it last about 20 minutes unplugged and I have had to have the mobo exchanged under warranty 3 times now. I don't think I will go back to Dell/Alienware ever again. I guess the option will be Mac or Lenovo. Thanks for all the conversations though, they have helped.
June 14, 2010 3:06:55 PM

You want us to compare PC to Mac? Have you seen some of the comment threads on this very topic alone? It would precipitate a flame war of epic proportion.

I fear the Mac vs. PC thing will be relegated to one of those ages old polarizing arguments, like Coke vs. Pepsi and "Tastes Great / Less Filling". Either way it would come out, it would annoy half. ;) 
a b $ Windows 7
June 15, 2010 2:18:31 AM

Imo, with Steam coming to Mac, it may be interesting to see how well similarly speced (in terms of GPU,etc) PC will do for gaming.

Quote:
I'd choose them over Lenovo - they tend to use a bit older tech.

True that, esp. considering after IBM sold off the ThinkPad to Lenovo, quality isn't the same...
a c 215 $ Windows 7
June 15, 2010 5:01:25 AM

jpishgar said:
You want us to compare PC to Mac? Have you seen some of the comment threads on this very topic alone? It would precipitate a flame war of epic proportion.

I fear the Mac vs. PC thing will be relegated to one of those ages old polarizing arguments, like Coke vs. Pepsi and "Tastes Great / Less Filling". Either way it would come out, it would annoy half. ;) 


My thoughts exactly.

@ the OP - Don't take this the wrong way, but I can't see this ever being a good idea.
June 15, 2010 1:36:00 PM

Just looking for some factual evidence, Spend $2,000 on a MAC and spend $2,000 on a PC, see which is worth it's weight in gold. Is that so hard for the folks @ Tom's to do? Isn't that what y'all get paid for?

It can be a laptop or a desktop but it has to be relative, just have to compare everything equally, benchmarks, power consumption, battery life, whatever can be measured equally on both sides.

I know that apple has some good battery life and PC can use more programs more efficiently, etc... but that's the point, i'm sure there are alot of people out there who would like to see if paying $2,000 for a PC or a MAC is warranted justly.

I would do it but i don't have over $4,000 to spare just for sake of reviewing, Tom's, on the other hand, does...
... And before anyone goes spinning that "fanboy" yarn, you must consider that in some peoples minds, every video card benchmark Tom's does is just fuel to the "AMD vs Nvidia" war, in others minds, it is simply a great tool that they can use with logic to help people make decisions on which is the best product at that current time.

I am one of those people looking for truth and Tom's can provide that.
June 16, 2010 12:05:36 AM

jonpaul37 said:
Is there any way that Tom's can do a comparison between a Mac & a Windows 7-based PC running the same benchmarks/programs to see, in reality, which performs better overall?

In terms of price/performance, so, hardware-wise, as close as possible, then let it rip...

When buying a mac do these things. Copy down all the hardware, software your getting. Go on new egg and taly the price for what your getting. Their ripping you off. You can buy or built a pc similar confuguration much much cheaper. Hey you dont believe me? Go and try it, and u will laugh as hard as i did as thousands of fanbois are being ripped off
June 16, 2010 12:06:38 AM

MadAdmiral said:
Ok. So I exaggerate slightly. They pay $2,000 for a $700 laptop.

My family and I have had several laptops that were all less than $1,000, and every one of is still kicking. The youngest one is 5 years. And they're not special ones either. They were all Dells or HPs.

All of my friends have had to replace their Macs within three years. That's quality for you...

DELL COMPS FTW
June 17, 2010 12:52:43 PM

Apsco60 said:
When buying a mac do these things. Copy down all the hardware, software your getting. Go on new egg and taly the price for what your getting. Their ripping you off. You can buy or built a pc similar confuguration much much cheaper. Hey you dont believe me? Go and try it, and u will laugh as hard as i did as thousands of fanbois are being ripped off



Wow, umm, yeah, i think we've already established this, what i am trying to do is get it on paper or a web page from a legit source such as Tom's Hardware. 90% of people who buy computers knows that Apple is way too expensive, the other 10% just don't care and spend the extra 100% penalty anyway. People at my work are doing this and i am trying to get the company to stop spending $$$ on Apple laptop products.
June 17, 2010 12:53:55 PM

Apsco60 said:
DELL COMPS FTW




Dell PC's are definitely not FTW, they are almost as bad as Apple, building your own is FTW...
a c 215 $ Windows 7
June 17, 2010 1:15:03 PM

jonpaul37 said:
I would do it but i don't have over $4,000 to spare just for sake of reviewing, Tom's, on the other hand, does...
... And before anyone goes spinning that "fanboy" yarn, you must consider that in some peoples minds, every video card benchmark Tom's does is just fuel to the "AMD vs Nvidia" war, in others minds, it is simply a great tool that they can use with logic to help people make decisions on which is the best product at that current time.


It's much easier to directly compare AMD and Nvidia, than PC's and Macs. Because both AMD and Nvidia video cards run on the same platform (Windows), their performance numbers can be directly compared. When you try to compare a PC vs an Apple system, it's not as easy to do a direct comparison. Not quite Apples vs Oranges (pun definitely intended), but they differ enough that it's not exactly a simple operation. More often it comes down to personal preference by brand loyalty, by usability of applications on each system (integrated and third party), and other little intangibles that make each platform great in it's own right.

Personally, I go with the "If it works for you, then you should stick with that" attitude. I'm a Windows guy myself, but I don't totally despise Apple (Their computers anyway. Their advertising practices on the other hand...) simply because they are Apple.

I still think this is a bad idea. Despite the intention of a civilized, intelligent discussion comparing the two systems, I can see it very quickly degrading into a flame war.
a b $ Windows 7
June 17, 2010 10:13:04 PM

Quote:

I still think this is a bad idea. Despite the intention of a civilized, intelligent discussion comparing the two systems, I can see it very quickly degrading into a flame war.

So, can't the authors block comments?
June 18, 2010 1:41:37 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:

I still think this is a bad idea. Despite the intention of a civilized, intelligent discussion comparing the two systems, I can see it very quickly degrading into a flame war.

So, can't the authors block comments?



Thank you shadow, LOL, i just don't understand why people say that its bad that it'll be a flame war, it WILL be a flame war, just like Intel vs. AMD or AMD vs Nvidia, in the tech world, Flame wars are a part of the game.

Don't try to tell me that it's apples and oranges either because whether you buy a Mac laptop or a Dell laptop, it's still a laptop, i know some things are non-comparable between the two but that's not the point, the same is true for AMD and Intel CPU's, they use entirely different structures and there's comparisons written about the two all the time...
a c 215 $ Windows 7
June 18, 2010 2:32:14 PM

I'm not disputing the fact that the hardware in each system is the same, I'm well aware of what hardware can and does go into each type of computer. Let me reiterate: the software running on top of the common hardware is what makes it more difficult to directly compare.
June 18, 2010 2:47:04 PM

The_Prophecy said:
I'm not disputing the fact that the hardware in each system is the same, I'm well aware of what hardware can and does go into each type of computer. Let me reiterate: the software running on top of the common hardware is what makes it more difficult to directly compare.



I agree completely but, i have friends that play games on Mac's and i play the same games on a PC as well as word processing, photoshop, etc...

Way i see it is the operating systems could be one of the tests, which OS handles which software programs better better...

There are a number of things that can be compared such as:

Battery life
Operating System and how it handles programs
Operating System capabilities
Games
Programs (common between the two platforms)
Ease of use
Security



Anything else that the author can conjure up to compare, this would indeed be a big article but it would be a fun one IMO.
June 19, 2010 4:37:13 PM

"Anything else that the author can conjure up to compare"

What about cost? Oh did you want to keep it atleast a bit fair...
!