When shopping for a new personal computer, there are two prevalent options: a Windows PC or a Mac. Each system has its own benefits and drawbacks, and each side has persistent believers arguing that their system is the best. Windows PCs are made by an assortment of companies or can even be made by a consumer, but they all run on the common operating system of Windows, which is made by Microsoft. Macs, and their operating system MacOS, are only made by Apple. Both are good choices, but what really are the differences between a PC and a Mac? Which one should you buy if you’re in the market for a good personal computer?
Price is a good starting point for any discussion regarding personal computers. In the wake of the recent chip shortage, computers have become much more expensive, especially for those intending to build their own computer. Windows PCs range anywhere from $100 to $1000s because of how many brands sell them. Some of the best overall value computers are around $600 to $900, though better specifications can be found at higher prices. The highest end desktops, such as certain specs from CyberPowerPC, start at upwards of $4000. There are less Mac computers and Mac configurations, though there are still a wide assortment to choose from. MacBooks start at $999 for the MacBook Air and go into the $1,00s of dollars for the MacBook Pro. As for desktops, Apple sells the Mac Mini for $699, the iMac for $1299, the all-new Mac Studio for $1999, and the extreme Mac Pro for $5999. As you can see, Windows computers are usually cheaper, though not by much as Apple also sells somewhat competitively priced products. Despite this, Windows PCs win this category.
Another important aspect of buying a computer is its speed. Speed and power are crucial because productivity-focused users can be more efficient with their time if their PC can perform as effectively as possible. Though Windows PCs can be plenty powerful, Macs are vastly better at productivity than PCs. Macs now run on Apple’s SoCs (System on a Chip) which are based on a technology known as ARM. This makes them more efficient than traditional chips. Macs also have a perfect blend of hardware and software which allow them to be faster with lower specs; this same ideology makes iPhones the best in the business for speed. The MacBook Air and the Mac Mini outdo every other laptop and computer in their respective price points because of their M1 chipset. The M1 Pro and M1 Max found in the MacBook Pros rival the latest generation of chipsets, but the M1 Ultra in the Mac Studio outperforms all of them. At max power, the M1 Ultra’s integrated GPU is at comparable performance to an NVIDIA RTX 3090, a powerful chipset, while operating at 200W less power. What Apple has managed to do is simply remarkable, and their lineup of chips will only continue to grow.
One area where Macs falter is gaming. As Macs are aimed for productivity users, like video editors or 3D designers, they are not optimized for gaming. Developers don’t make many games for Mac because their market share is low compared to that of Windows. Macs do have amazing graphical performance, but it is not made for gaming and thus Apple’s computers do not match up against comparably priced Windows equivalents. NVIDIA’s chips are suitable for both productivity and gaming, giving Windows the win in this regard.
Though features and performance are great, the overall user experience is what makes someone buy a certain computer over another. The user experience of a Mac is what attracts most people. Apple’s ecosystem of iPhones, iPads, and Macs along with their assorted accessories intertwine with perfect harmony, allowing things to save across all devices. Macs have a very clean and simplistic interface, like all of Apple’s other devices. On the other hand, Windows PCs allow the user far more freedom in what they can do. Windows 11, the latest release of Windows, also appears neat like MacOS, though it does differ from Apple’s design ideologies. Windows offers lots of apps, far more than Mac, because of its larger market share. As mentioned before, Windows also gets more video games than Mac. However, due to its market share, Windows devices are more prone to being hacked, while Macs, and Apple devices in general, are more secure. Overall, the user experience for Windows and Macs depends on the user’s preferences.
All in all, Windows PCs and Macs have their own pros and cons. Macs tend to be faster for their price, while PCs are more competitively priced and offer more freedom to the user. Macs have clean and simplistic interfaces that sync with other Apple devices, whereas Windows PCs get more apps and attention from developers. The bottom line is that Macs are the perfect choice for video editors, graphic designers, or people with other productivity-based jobs who need ultimate performance within a slim, easy to use package. Windows are a great fit for other computer users such as gamers and casual users. Both systems are great and they will be a great choice, whichever model you choose!
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