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Over time I’ve read many articles and comments about Mac’s vs. PC’s. The articles are mostly bias to one or the other and the comments are mostly the opposite. In the world of computers today, it is very difficult for someone to make an educated decision as to what platform is best for their use. There are so many factors to take part in the decision making process and in my opinion searching online for an answer makes things even more confusing for the average consumer. For the most part, a lot of people have their mind made up. Those who love Apple and their products will buy a Mac and those who have been raised on Windows will purchase a PC.

This article is not to persuade anyone that Mac is better then PC / Windows. This article is meant to educate and help people make up their own mind about what to purchase.

So lets first analyze the phrase, “Mac vs. PC” what does that even mean anymore?

Well, back in the day it used to mean a great deal when OS X (The operating system that runs on Mac’s) used to run on PowerPC’s which use a completely different architecture from Intel or AMD processors found in PC’s.

Today; MacBooks, iMac’s, Mac Mini’s, etc… all run on Intel Dual Core, i5, i7, etc… processors. You could go as far as stating that a Mac is a PC. Apple will never come out and say this, but yes, the Mac operating system runs on hardware that you could purchase to build a PC that will run Windows.

So what makes a Mac so different? Here’s the thing you have to remember when comparing a Mac to a PC. PC’s can be built using a variety of motherboards, processors, memory, video cards, hard drives, optical drives, etc…

What does this mean?

Without getting to technical, an operating system such as Windows, OS X, Linux, etc… is nothing but a bunch of code that was written and compiled to operate and recognize computer hardware.

Why does this matter?

Well, you could go anywhere online and start ordering parts to build yourself a computer and be pretty much guaranteed that you can install Windows on it after you’ve put it all together. Have you ever wondered why? When Microsoft Windows was written and compiled, it was done so that it would be compatible with almost any type of cpu, motherboard, video card, etc… you could throw at it. That’s great you think, Windows is compatible with anything which makes it easy to pick the parts you want for the computer you want to build. This is actually a bad think when you think in terms of optimization.

Because Windows is so very much compatible with so many different hardware combinations, it is very difficult to have an optimized operating system specific to certain hardware. On the other hand, there are many different distributions of Linux, Gentoo comes to mind that allow you to download the source code to the operating system and compile it to be optimized for the computer it is being installed on. This is no easy task.

Mac’s on the other hand, use very specific combinations of hardware which the operating system ( OS X ) is built around to have maximum optimization and utilization of the hardware being used.

So in short here are the 2 things you need to remember:

  • OS X, the operating system that runs on Mac’s is optimized for the hardware that Mac’s are numberswiki.com

    built with. Leaving less for compatibility and more for optimization.

  • Windows, the operating system that runs on almost every computer is optimized to run on almost any combination of hardware leaving less for optimization and more for compatibility.
It is for these 2 reasons that when you run Mac and Windows side by side on identical hardware that OSX will always be faster then Windows.
Also, going forward, I would like to correct the phrase Mac’s vs. PC’s to read OS X vs. Windows, since we are stating that a Mac is basically a PC with an operating system optimized for the hardware it contains and that Windows is an operating system optimized to work with a wide variety of hardware.
Ok, so now that we’ve got the hardware and operating system out of the way, lets talk about viruses and spyware… What? why? I thought Mac’s couldn’t get viruses? Wait, can Mac’s get viruses? Ok, first, lets refer to the operating system instead of the brand. We are talking about OS X, which really is a graphical user interface built on a version of Linux / Unix namely Darwin.
There are 2 questions you should think about here. Can OS X get viruses? and Does OS X get viruses?
Can OS X get viruses? Sure, but its not likely. A lot of people out there claim that because Windows has a bigger share of the market that there are more people actively writing viruses for that operating system. Wait a minute though, OS X has a fair market share, doesn’t it? I’ve been using my MacBook, iMac and MacBook Pro for the last 6 years and have yet to see a single piece of spyware or viruses. I don’t have any Anti-Virus software or anti-spyware software installed, never have. Maybe I should consider myself lucky that I haven’t contracted a virus or spyware or maybe because of the underlying operating system OS X is a lot more secure then Windows. I’m sure the Linux community would agree with that statement.
How about software compatibility? Back in the day it used to be difficult to get software that was made for Windows to work on a Mac. Today, almost every software that is made for Windows is also made for Mac, so that is no longer an issue. For those few exceptions, you can usually find an alternative.
What should you purchase?
In my opinion, if you’ve got the money, buy a Mac, you’ll be happy you did. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind dealing with the viruses, spyware, crashes, etc… then buy a PC running Windows.
Am I bias? In a way, yes I am. I made the switch from Windows to Mac about 10 years ago when I came to the conclusion that Windows was never going to get their act together. I got tired of constantly having to deal with viruses / spyware, reformatting the computer, dealing with Blue Screens, etc…
Windows is great when it is first installed and is reasonably fast. I recommend it if you never ever connect to the internet and don’t mind that after about a year your computer slows down to a crawl because of all the file fragmentations.
Last but not least is the price.
Apples latest release of their operating system OS X Lion 10.7 was only $30.00
Microsofts latest release of their operating system Windows 7 was about $189.00
What do you think? OS X or Windows? Anything you would like to add? Feel free to comment below.

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