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Mac vs Windows

Discussion in 'Randomination' started by Armchair Expert, 21 May 2014.

  1. Armchair Expert

    Armchair Expert Vedran Corluka

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    I've always used windows but I'm thinking about switching to a MacBook. But its a hefty investment and was wondering if anyone has any opinions?

    I've never really had much to do with Mac's but my girlfriend was complaining that hers wasn't working so it took a look at it. Turns out it was a late 2006 IMAC5,1 still running Tiger OSX #-o

    Anyway, bought Snow Leopard for about 20 quid, downloaded the free updated, chucked an extra 4GB of ram in there and now its working like a charm.

    The moral of the story is that I was extremely impressed with the robustness of the computer. Also, if you stay up to date with the OSX releases you can have a computer that last ages. Apparently support for SL is stopping soon (now that Mavericks is out) but I think that her computer will have done a good 10 years before its ready for the scrap heap.

    I've been looking at buying a Macbook and the prices are a bit daunting. Also, the specs of the computers aren't that impressive (although they say with turbo boost the processor speed is doubled) and you could by a windows laptop with similar spec for about 500 quid, rather than fork out 1200 on a macbook pro. I've also seen that MacBook Air doesnt have a CD/DVD drive, although I suppose thats not so important these days.

    What do you guys think? Do macs justify the extra spend through build and design? You can bump up the Ram and GHZ when you order the computer, but then your looking at about 1500 for a laptop :eek:

    Any advice/opinions greatly received!
     
  2. Seedy Ron

    Seedy Ron Alf Ramsey

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    What sort of tasks are you going to be doing with it?
     
  3. scotty220

    scotty220 Matthew Etherington

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    I think it depends what you're using the machine for. Yes the build quality will be great, the weight will feel nice, but as you say its over double the price. I think Macs are really catered for the creative industries where some of the hardware used is for Apple products.

    I'm personally a PC fan. They're so easy to upgrade parts and as long as your sensible they've always lasted me years and years. I don't get these people who say their PC or laptop is broken after 2 years. What are they doing to them?!? As long as you keep your antivirus up to date and ensure decent components are installed they'll last 8+years easily. I don't think I've ever had a PC die completely on me, and I've had them since 1994.
     
  4. jts1882

    jts1882 Simon Davies

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    I think now you largely get what you pay for. Both are perfectly functional and on a well spec-ed machine will work fine for years.

    Too often people compare Macs with basic window equivalents. Of course the computer that costs twice the money is built better, designed better, etc. Compare the Macs with high end Windows machines and this difference largely disappears. In the past the Sony Vaio would have been an example, I'm not sure what is now. On balance, I'd say the equivalently priced windows machines have better performance.

    For the record I have had three windows laptops. A Dell ca 1995 (Windows 95), a Compaq around 2002 (Windows XP), and another Dell around 2011 (Windows 7). All are still working although the old Dell is pretty useless at running any modern software. In the past I used a mix of machines at work and had no problems with using Macs, although I never liked their closed system approach.
     
  5. Armchair Expert

    Armchair Expert Vedran Corluka

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    Hmmm, cheers guys. I was thinking about picking up a macbook air as I'm probably going to start a masters. I don't do anything out of the ordinary on my comp, just a bit of essay writing, streaming, few movie downloads etc. Whenever I'm working on a long assingnment though I get a bit edgy as i don't really trust the stability of windows laptops. I sometimes get command prompts come up for no reason etc. Sometimes I turn it on and it doesnt boot properly and i just get a blank screen.

    I always look after my anti-virus and try to keep up to date with relevant updates; recently got a BIOS update (which i was pretty surprised about) and this has made everything a lot more stable. I guess what I really fancy about the mac is how stable it appears to be.
     
  6. Baleforce

    Baleforce Jack L. Jones

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    i've got the 11" air, its 2 years old now but doesn't behave any differently to it did when box fresh, its the nicest computer i've ever had, i use it for everything and have a windows 7 install running under parallels for the 1 bit of software i need that doesn't have an OS X version
     
  7. Armchair Expert

    Armchair Expert Vedran Corluka

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    I think I might take the plunge. What do you reckon to this deal?

    http://store.apple.com/de/product/F...acbook-air-mit-13 ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5
     
  8. Baleforce

    Baleforce Jack L. Jones

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    my german isn't what it once was, thats a refurbished unit right?

    i have brought a couple of refurbs before, definitely the way to go, that is last years model but there hasn't been much of a change since then, only a slight bump last month, looks like roughly a €200 discount compared to this years new models which did hit a lower pp across the board, the only thing i would suggest is that if they have one with the 256gb ssd that might be worth a look, depends how much media you have though
     
  9. Armchair Expert

    Armchair Expert Vedran Corluka

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    yeah its a re-furb. i guess they will all come with Mavericks OSX?
     
  10. Baleforce

    Baleforce Jack L. Jones

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    its possible it will ship with mountain lion (10.8) but mavericks (10.9) is a free upgrade anyway from the app store

    like i say i've actually owned a few refurbs myself, the wifes 2009 macbook is still going strong, but i've purchased many more for work and never had a problem with any of them, in fact over the last 10 years i've probably purchased about 1000 macs for my group and less than 10 have had to go back for warranty repairs, the lemons are very few and far between
     
  11. Mr_B

    Mr_B Jose Dominguez

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    macs dont get viruses, you dont have to worry about spyware and all that jazz, its a much better operating system, programs that run with it like imovie are outstanding, they last longer, you get what you pay for and its worth the investment. But I also have a windows tablet if I want to run flash or some other app a mac doesnt do well.
     
  12. Baleforce

    Baleforce Jack L. Jones

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    they can and do get viri and malware, it's less prevalent certainly but it's still a thing

    Sophos do a free mac av client which is very good
     
  13. Armchair Expert

    Armchair Expert Vedran Corluka

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    but dont viruses get eliminated when you download system updates from apple?
     
  14. braineclipse

    braineclipse Paul Stewart

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    For this kind of use it doesn't matter if go for a mac or a windows laptop. Unless you particularly care for the look and feel (or how others look at you), there's really nothing in it and I think you're kinda asking the wrong question.

    For me it would be much more important to think about the way you're going to use the machine. If you're going to start a masters I'm guessing you're going to spend a lot of time on your laptop writing and researching. For work like this desktop space is much more important than brand, I despise doing any serious writing work on a small screen personally at least. Impossible to effectively keep multiple windows up or keep a good overview of your text even. And a good comfortable keyboard for you is a lot more valuable than "the right OS". Get a machine that you can comfortably type on, if the keyboard is too narrow for you you're setting yourself up for pain - non-figuratively.

    If you're planning on moving the machine between home and uni every day then of course weight (and small size) matters, it matters more if you have a long-ish walk or public transport, less if you drive. Here you're essentially left with a trade off between what's a good machine to transport and what's a machine that's good to work with.

    If you'll have access to a lockable office I would consider investing in a cheap-ish monitor, I would rather do that than spend my money on an expensive looking laptop if on a budget. The value of being able to look at other papers, outlines, excel etc on a separate screen can only really be understood if you've tried it. With that you can also essentially get away with a smaller screen on your laptop if you're moving it around a lot every day.

    My two cents anyway.
     
  15. Baleforce

    Baleforce Jack L. Jones

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    not eliminated, there is built in protection against internet borne malware and nefarious application installs but these can be over ridden, the security setup of the os makes it harder to get infected and its incredibly rare but its still a possibility
     
  16. Baleforce

    Baleforce Jack L. Jones

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    BE makes a good point, i love the 11" as i pretty much have to take it everywhere with me, typing on it for long hours is fine as the keyboard keys are full size, i do plug it into a 24" monitor at work though as i need a lot of windows viewable for work
     
  17. scaramanga

    scaramanga Sonny Walters Staff Member

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    I use my laptop a lot so I have a 15" Thinkpad - I need space to rest the heels of my palms and I need a nipple instead of a touchpad so I don't need to use my hands. If I had an ultrabook (regardless of brand) I'd need a keyboard, mouse and monitor to do what I do - even with a 15" screen I often have another screen to expend my desktop when I'm in the office.

    If I want something for casual/mobile use I have a tablet and a phone with a decent size screen. With the price premium on ultrabooks I can have both for less than the price of one small laptop.

    If you're absolutely set on an ultrabook and don't mind the size then there currently seems to be more value in a Macbook Air with Windows installed than there is in buying a Windows ultrabook. That's never been the case in the past, but in an attempt to differentiate themselves, the Windows-based manufacturers keep adding features and cost. Apple have focused on the important bits like battery life and quality of the keyboard - they are the leaders in both of these.
     
  18. braineclipse

    braineclipse Paul Stewart

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    Cheers, and you illustrate my point perfectly. That 11" is perfect for you because of what you need it for and how you use it. Operating system schmoperating system.
     
  19. braineclipse

    braineclipse Paul Stewart

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    Battery life is another one that's very use dependent. If you're going to use the laptop on the go a lot then it's one of the most important things. If most of the work AE is going to do is either at an office at uni or at home it really doesn't matter much.

    Keyboards are important, but as you say you need something that you're comfortable with. Personally I would look to at least test out a similar model in a store before buying something as preferences vary on keyboards. I do think external keyboards can be a good idea, but with a small laptop an external keyboard isn't useful unless you also have an external monitor I would think. An external mouse will most likely be beneficial.
     
  20. tommysvr

    tommysvr Alan Hutton

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    Get a Mac, then come back to this thread in a couple of months and laugh at yourself for even considering something else. :)
     

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