This is a common question people ask, often when they’re about to buy a new computer. “Should I get a Windows PC or a Mac?” The answer isn’t always straightforwards, because we’re talking about entire operating systems here. There’s a lot for us to consider.
Here’s the short answer. If you want a “pick up and play” kind of experience, go for a Mac. But if you want more control over the inner workings of the operating system, go for Windows.
I myself am a Mac user. And I must say Macs are really easy to use. They don’t require a lot of configuring and tweaking. It’s perfect for those who would rather not study how an operating system works. Everything works smoothly, so you can focus on whatever you’re doing on the computer. No wonder designers and creative types have a penchant for Macs.
That’s not the only thing though. Another big plus for Macs is the excellent integration of hardware and software. What do I mean by this? Well, Apple designs both the hardware and the software for Macs, so they always work well together. When you have a Mac, you’re quite certain that the hardware inside the computer is really meant to work with the OS. This integration would also explain the very smooth user experience on a Mac.
But of course, there is a downside to all this. First (and most obvious) is cost. Macs are much more expensive compared to Windows computers with similar specifications. This alone would put a lot of people off. Another thing: power users will be disappointed with Macs because they can’t tweak the operating system as much as Windows.
For power users, Windows rises quite high above Mac. In Windows, you can customise nearly everything.
Power users like myself prefer to do a lot of tweaking of the inner workings of our computers. Ironic that I use a Mac, isn’t it? Of course, I have the same qualms as other fellow power users about Mac. Just to name one of many, a Mac doesn’t have a control panel that’s as detailed as Windows does.
When I was younger, I grew up with Windows. I studied, explored, and prodded the proverbial bowels of the Windows operating system as a child. And I can say, there are lots of things I could do in Windows that I couldn’t in a Mac.
One of my favourites is controlling system services. Windows has a lot of unnecessary system services that just slow it down, and I like disabling them to speed up the computer. Could I do that on a Mac? No. If there was a way, I would have done that ages ago on my Mac.
Another great thing about Windows PCs that Macs can only dream about is this. You can readily swap out and upgrade the components of your Windows PC whenever you need to. Is your PC getting slow? Change the processor or add more RAM (or both). Do you need more storage space? Slide in a bigger hard drive. Would you like to play that nifty new game really smoothly? Swap out your graphics card for a better one. You don’t need to replace the entire PC, and that saves you tons of money.
Macs, though, are not upgrade-friendly. The only thing you can upgrade on a Mac, it seems, is the RAM and hard drive.
Of course, there’s the software compatibility issues as well.
This is especially true with games. Macs are simply not good for gaming, because most games do not have Mac-compatible versions. Most good games run only on Windows PCs. I like playing games myself, and being a Mac user, I have a very limited selection of games to play. Overwatch, for instance, will not run on a Mac. And I really want to play Overwatch. The only way for me to do that, if not through an Xbox or PS4, is through Windows.
But for designers and creative types, it’s a different story.
For these people, they want to focus most of their time and effort into their craft. They can’t be bothered with configuring and customising the OS; they just want one that works well. This could explain why designers gravitate towards Macs almost all the time. For them, they want a straightforward OS that allows them to do what they do best. This field, I would say, is where the Mac shines brightest.
Also, Apple produces a number of software designed primarily for designers and content creators. Two great examples are Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro. Some people live by these two pieces of software day by day, with the ease of use and powerful features having grown on them. These are the kinds of people loyal to Mac, and may never in their careers consider switching to Windows.
But the question remains. Windows or Mac?
Well, it depends on what you want your computer to do. If you want something you can tweak down to the core, definitely go for Windows. If you’re a gamer, go for Windows. If cost is a big factor for you, go for Windows.
But if you’re the type who wants something that just works smoothly, go for a Mac. You don’t need to bother a lot with its inner workings. That saves many people lots of migraines, and I suppose that’s a good thing too. And if you don’t mind spending a premium on a computer, then by all means go for a Mac.
Just don’t buy the new MacBook Pro; it is just a bad idea. I’ll tell you why soon.