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Apple MacBook Review: Part 2

Apple MacBook Review: Part 2
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You can’t talk about a Mac notebook or desktop without talking about Mac OS X. For the uninitiated, Apple has had a steady stream of operating system releases starting with 10.0 Cheetah, 10.1 Puma, 10.2 Jaguar, 10.3 Panther, 10.4 Tiger, and 10.5 Leopard. While 10.1 was a free upgrade for 10.0 users, each operating system release thereafter has required a purchase, typically $129 ($109 street) for a single user license, $199 for a 5-pack family license ($139 street), and $69 from an on-campus bookstore.

OS X 10.0 was released around the same time that Windows XP was released, and OS X 10.5 was released around the same time that Windows Vista was released. Unsurprisingly, the difference between Leopard and Cheetah are as significant as the difference between Windows Vista and Windows XP. The real difference is that OS X has had more incremental releases that can really be thought of as “service packs plus bonuses.” Not only does each “point one release” address bugs, it also added extra features and capabilities.

I would bore you if you I went over all of the nitty, gritty of the underlying technology of OS X and debate the pros and cons of the XNU kernel, the inferiority of Leopard’s Address Space Layout Randomization in comparison to Vista’s, or the differences between Xcode and Visual Studio. I won’t stress the little things like the fact that copy/paste is “command-C and command-V” as opposed to CTRL-C and CTRL-V, meaning that it feels like “ALT-C” and “ALT-V” because you’re using your thumb instead of your small finger. It takes a few days for you to adapt. 

Instead, I’ll just touch upon some of the key features that make a Mac, a Mac.

Responsiveness

When the iPhone was first launched, one of the most impressive features was the speed and responsiveness compared to other smartphones with the mobile Web at the time. Working with Mac OS X provides the same overall level of fit-and-finish as the iPhone. Opening multiple windows, navigating between them, and launching applications is simply faster in Mac OS X as compared to Windows Vista or even Linux. This wasn’t always the case with Macs. Even when the GPU-accelerated interface was introduced in OS X 10.2, Windows XP was still the faster performing operating system. As GPUs have continued to get faster and faster, however, the OS X’s full GPU-dependent interface beats the capabilities of Windows Vista.

Additional architecture improvements have been made as well. Mac OS will automatically defrag small files under 20 MB each time the file is accessed in order to provide a better-maintained filesystem. By default, a Mac will automatically delete old log files and temporary files to maintain free space. Finally, since Mac OS X adopts a Unix-like approach with preferences stored in multiple files rather than a single registry hive, as you add new software, there is less fragmentation.

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  • 22 Hide
    pereira5375 , January 27, 2009 5:07 AM
    While I was wrighting the follwing on the Part 1 of this article Part 2 was posted. After reading part 2 I think what I wrote holds true. Here it is:

    I believe this is an advertisement. Whether the author knows that or not is debatable, but certainly the big whigs at Tom's HARDWARE know it.

    Apple seems to have a very good stealth advertising campaign. To expand their market they have developed a very good stealth campaign. They advertise on Rush and Fox both, but stealthily. They have to. Their very tolerant hippie base wouldn't tolerate otherwise.

    BTW this is Tom's HARDWARE. I build my own PC. If I want to read fan boy praises of Apple there are a million other sites I can go to and read that. Why am I reading it here? When I can build my own McIntosh I'll appreciate fan boy articles like this.
  • 17 Hide
    pereira5375 , January 27, 2009 5:20 AM
    Again I feel a need to point out I am a hardware enthusiast because I build my own computer. This is Tom's HARDWARE. There are three feature articles on the homepage. Usually there is a new one about each week day. Currently there are two Apple feature articles up there. Add one more and this site will officially be useless to me.
  • 14 Hide
    Inneandar , January 27, 2009 5:49 AM
    more or less the same sentiment here. The first article, although also heavily debated, at least tried to focus on the hardware and was informative to some extent. But this... I dont see any need to throw up endless fanboy discussions, and other than that, I fail to see anything this article will achieve. Frankly, who is interested in why os X is better because the hacked version runs the CPU slower - common.
    I extremely liked the part on 'MAC users are smarter' though. I one fell swoop you boost your ego, try to insult me, and put the amount of trustworthy information in this article on the same level as a london tabloid.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    pereira5375 , January 27, 2009 5:07 AM
    While I was wrighting the follwing on the Part 1 of this article Part 2 was posted. After reading part 2 I think what I wrote holds true. Here it is:

    I believe this is an advertisement. Whether the author knows that or not is debatable, but certainly the big whigs at Tom's HARDWARE know it.

    Apple seems to have a very good stealth advertising campaign. To expand their market they have developed a very good stealth campaign. They advertise on Rush and Fox both, but stealthily. They have to. Their very tolerant hippie base wouldn't tolerate otherwise.

    BTW this is Tom's HARDWARE. I build my own PC. If I want to read fan boy praises of Apple there are a million other sites I can go to and read that. Why am I reading it here? When I can build my own McIntosh I'll appreciate fan boy articles like this.
  • -6 Hide
    pereira5375 , January 27, 2009 5:09 AM
    Whoops: writing.
  • 17 Hide
    pereira5375 , January 27, 2009 5:20 AM
    Again I feel a need to point out I am a hardware enthusiast because I build my own computer. This is Tom's HARDWARE. There are three feature articles on the homepage. Usually there is a new one about each week day. Currently there are two Apple feature articles up there. Add one more and this site will officially be useless to me.
  • 14 Hide
    Inneandar , January 27, 2009 5:49 AM
    more or less the same sentiment here. The first article, although also heavily debated, at least tried to focus on the hardware and was informative to some extent. But this... I dont see any need to throw up endless fanboy discussions, and other than that, I fail to see anything this article will achieve. Frankly, who is interested in why os X is better because the hacked version runs the CPU slower - common.
    I extremely liked the part on 'MAC users are smarter' though. I one fell swoop you boost your ego, try to insult me, and put the amount of trustworthy information in this article on the same level as a london tabloid.
  • 11 Hide
    BertrumPantyshield , January 27, 2009 6:13 AM
    Myth 2 on page 2 seems completely stupid. Yes it only takes one hole for a system to be compromised, however, there are still 960 possible holes on one and 600 on the other. This reduces the chance of a hole being found, and thus, exploited. For example: a system has 1,000,000 holes the other has 1. Both are equally secure? Its far easier to find 1 hole in million, than the only hole in the system.
  • 0 Hide
    bachok83 , January 27, 2009 6:37 AM
    @pereira5375
    OMG, you are right. I havent realized about this fact until i read your comment. Mac OS X accounts for less than 10% of users and yet 90% of the news these days are about Apple.

    I admit Apple has created so much technical advancements over the years, but they cant even display things right:
    http://www.scavey.com/index.php/should-i-migrate-to-mac-os-knowing-renderers/

    hmm.. so, let's all read about Windows 7 then.. i read it's working :) 
  • 7 Hide
    ravenware , January 27, 2009 6:39 AM
    Quote:
    About 70% of Mac users have a college education whereas only 54% of Windows users have a college education according to a 2002 Nielsen study.


    A college education is only as useful as the person who obtains it.
    I work with several college educated people who don't appear to have enough intelligence or knowledge to be considered high school educated.

    Security wise, the computers operating system is only as secure as the person who uses it.

    My home machine had been uninfected for nearly 3 years, no crashes nothing. As soon as my sister starts using my machine on myspace BAM! Reformat city. :) 

    Anyway, I would like to see a video review of the Mac OSX done by THG.
    There is just not enough information in this article or the one from Tuan Nguyen about the OS.

    If not I will have to hack one on to my machine, if it is even possible with an AMD CPU. I am not going to shell out an ass load of money for something that I may not even want.

    Hey apple there is an idea! You want more users to switch to your OS? Release some sort of PC capable demo OS for users to try.
  • -3 Hide
    bachok83 , January 27, 2009 6:49 AM
    ravenwareHey apple there is an idea! You want more users to switch to your OS? Release some sort of PC capable demo OS for users to try.


    I dont think Apple cares as much as how many people are using their OS. Otherwise they wouldnt even care creating BootCamp software to run windows on Mac machines.

    The only major concern from Apple is how many people buying their hardware. Apple has been a hardware company and always has been. Little that they know that they could be a great software company.... wait...

    Nahh, they dont care about that either since they are moving pass that to a service oriented company. Does iTunes, MobileMe, Apps Store ring any bells, anyone?
  • -2 Hide
    ravenware , January 27, 2009 7:56 AM
    bachok83I dont think Apple cares as much as how many people are using their OS. Otherwise they wouldnt even care creating BootCamp software to run windows on Mac machines. The only major concern from Apple is how many people buying their hardware. Apple has been a hardware company and always has been. Little that they know that they could be a great software company.... wait...Nahh, they dont care about that either since they are moving pass that to a service oriented company. Does iTunes, MobileMe, Apps Store ring any bells, anyone?


    Hence the usage of the word "demo". Why would someone buy an apple computer if they didn't like their operating system?

    Release a demo on the PC to convince users to by their machine.
  • 0 Hide
    justjc , January 27, 2009 8:12 AM
    @Author Alan Dang:
    It's all good and well that you like you new toy, the Macbook, I had a simular feel when I got my ASUS notebook. Not that it was faster than my desktop, it just felt better because it was the new one. For me that feeling lasted more than two months, so perhaps it's the same thing that makes you say you'll by Apple again.

    That aside you mention the reason for switching to the Mac is that you'll be able to run Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office on it. Yet here at the software part, of your article, you fail to mention how that part of the switch went.
    It's no secret that there have been compatibility issues between PC and Mac versions of the same programs in the past, have you had any?
    How does it feel to work with the usual programs in their new enviroment?
    Do you still instinctively right click to get the right click menu, or do you use Ctrl + left key?
    A couple of benchmarks on those programs wouldn't be bad either.

    Thanks for the articles, hope to see one on the needed programs as well ;) 
  • 10 Hide
    decoppel , January 27, 2009 10:29 AM
    Oh my, like I totally need a mac now, because some guy on the interwebs once again used some pretty sketchy baselines, man oh man I can't believe what I have been missing, so much...

    So...TH is becoming a joke, can I write an article?
  • -1 Hide
    bachok83 , January 27, 2009 10:36 AM
    woo... flames everywhere...

    Mac's lover love confession gone wrong in TH. Wrong crowd i guess? :) 
  • 2 Hide
    decoppel , January 27, 2009 10:44 AM
    P.S to whoever is giving a negative review to all the posts calling out this chubstain, QQ?
  • -4 Hide
    bachok83 , January 27, 2009 10:55 AM
    @decoppel,
    I never gave bad reviews about the article. I just gave my opinions about:
    1. i admit Mac OS has some cool features
    2. i hate the way they render their graphics, fonts, videos

    And, gave my opinions about Apple not caring how many people use their OS, they just care if u buy their hardware. Which is the reasons that they want to tie Mac OS X to Mac machines.

    Just in case some ppl love Mac OS X, they definitely have to buy a Mac. But Apple is saying, "hey windows guys, buy our machines too, we can run Windows too.. we want to be your friend too.. pretty please..." :) 
  • 0 Hide
    decoppel , January 27, 2009 11:10 AM
    bachok I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to the guy running up and down putting negative reviews to peoples posts.

  • 10 Hide
    justkevin7 , January 27, 2009 11:30 AM
    I think its funny you talk about the percentage of college educated people who use Macs vs. PC's. In my 14 years of doing technical support, by far the most idiotic and users are at Ph.D level. Absolute complete morons.
  • -2 Hide
    eodeo , January 27, 2009 11:43 AM
    Interesting article. Still, I find it very to believe that Mac OS is faster than... anything on the same hardware system.

    Maybe iTunes and other iApps are written better for the MacOS, but for us, Windows users, these are malware programs that you install willingly. They use 500% memory of regular applications, boot with the OS, and run even when turned off.

    I could be wrong, but I always imagined Mac as lair for "legal" malware- software fighting each other for memory access and computer crippling itself to crawl before user even touched the mouse.

    Maybe on Apple Mac, these same iApps use 80% regular memory need of the program in its class, and shuts down when not used, and doesnt start with the OS, but I really cant tell. Ifthat is the case on Mac, maybe Apple should try harder to do the same for us poor Windows users. If iCrapp suddenly started to be better than competition, I even might be inclined to try Hackingtosh, and maybe even get a regular Mac after that.

    Not to mention that if iJobs got his ihead out of his irear, he might notice that OpenGL is horridly slow and also hacked for major pro visualizations apps to run better on “professional” cards like Quadro and FireGL. DirectX has been clean from such artificial intrusions from the start, and is now faster than OpenGL, even when the latter isn’t hacked by SpecCheatTests and other poor OpenGL-only programs... And lets not talk about games.. I don’t want to feel like a complete dick here.
  • -8 Hide
    mystvearn , January 27, 2009 11:45 AM
    Hmm, I think I know where bachok83 is coming from (really I know where he is from:p ). Well demographically, macs are expansive in bachok83's country. People will get the most out of their money, and as the review mentioned earlier, macs are for those who have more cash to spend-well educated.

    I have a friend who keeps renewing her 2002 mac notebook (the entry level mac notebook, not the pro one. Forgive me, I am mac clueless which are the models) warranty yearly. That is the reality of mac users from the country, most mac adopters cannnot afford to change a computer every 3-5 years. What happens to those people who have macs is that they say its more secure and stable, but I am a lot like the reviewer of the article, I think if I had that spare cash lying around I would buy a mac, but then I don't, so buy a powerfull WinXP notebook, use it for ~7 years, or until Windows 7 comes out, then buy that. Then wait two more Win OS generations to come out and buy that.
  • 7 Hide
    biometricsguy , January 27, 2009 12:27 PM
    I used to be such a big fan of this site, it was the premiere place to get top notch, unbiased reviews of hardware that could help me make informed decisions when purchasing.

    Long gone are the glory days of Tom's hardware. All we get now are worthless, long winded rants on why the "authors" (if you can really call them that) loves "x".

    There was a time when I would have thought comments like pereira's first one here were purely cynical. Now, I think there may be some truth to it.

    Is it possible that tom's is selling out to sleazy advertising campaigns? It certainly wouldn't be unheard of for companies with questionable ethics such as Apple to attempt such things.

    I think that this really is becoming a "shape up or ship out" situation. Tom's certainly isn't the only hardware site out there...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2009 12:32 PM
    I am sorry but this article does NOT belong on this website.... a very poorly written article to say the least. OS X and Apple products are for people who are too dumb to use a PC. And for people who don't mind overpaying for their lesser quality hardware, forget how Apple always censors anything negative about any of their products in the forum. There was even an article about this on tomshardware about their communist style censorship. I've dumped thousands of dollars on apple hardware, and regretted it.
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