No, your Mac is not better than a PC…

I love it when I hear people saying that Mac’s are better then PC’s. When was the fact lost on them that ever since Apple moved to Intel’s Core Duo chips, that an Apple is nothing more then (an overpriced) shiny white aluminum case?

My only reason for ranting is that if I wanted to buy a Mac, I would right now be spending more then $11,386.99… not only that, but I still would not have all the hardware that I want in my new machine. I mean, come on guys. I can build something my self in three hours for $3,300 that is faster, has almost twice the amount of storage (and more redundancy). Infact, the only thing the Mac can offer me on their online configuration that I really want, is my 8GB of RAM…

Seriously? You have to be kidding.

I must however admit, the iPhone was a good invention though, Steve.

I love OS X. I do. Seriously. But until everyone stops calling their Mac not a PC… I will still be laughing at all people who own a Mac. A cheap Mac will set you back about $1,000. A cheap (new) PC will set you back $400. Must be another win from Apple. *sigh*

41 Comments on “No, your Mac is not better than a PC…”

  • Michael Fielding


    In fact, I hate to be the first comment to an agreement with Tim. When I go to buy a computer, I know that the builders are the most expensive way to go, so I create myself. Show me where you can do this with Apple? Sure, HP or Dell can be expensive for a workstation, but I know I can do myself and save 20-30% on price.

  • Tim Groeneveld


    I am employed as a Linux developer. I don’t really do all that much with Windows.

  • Tim Groeneveld


    Extreme, yes. It’s what I want, and I can do the exact same configuration (actually better) with a Mac. That is what the point of this post is.

  • Tim Groeneveld


    I have said it once, and I will say it one more time: I own a Mac, and I love OS X. The one thing that boils me down and depresses me is the fact that it is just too expensive to own a Mac, unless you are to tinker with it. I thought the whole fact of owning a Mac was the point that you don’t need to tinker around to get things working like you do in Linux and Windows… the comments here telling me to ‘buy my own RAM and put it in’ and ‘you just have to try it’ and ‘it’s like a BMW vs Ford’ prooves that Apple Lovers just like the fact it’s a brand name…

    When I buy a car, I am going to get any brand that gets me from A – Z. I don’t care about speed, nor (much) about fuel economy. I want something that works, and that works the way I want it to work.

  • Tim Groeneveld


    I don’t have the money to buy a $11,000 machine, and I really don’t want to go deep into the Apple machine. For what everyone always says about Apple and how it’s easy to use etc, I should be able to buy a box pre-configured to what I want it to do. I obviously can not do this cheap enough with an Apple machine.

  • Tim Groeneveld


    True, but they don’t have what I am looking for.

  • Tim Groeneveld


    My machine is Apple labeled 😛

  • Tim Groeneveld


    I don’t really use Windows. I am a Linux developer. The only time I will go into Windows is to edit a video or two when I eventually get my cammera.

  • Tim Groeneveld


    I do have one, I have an Apple Air, which I bought for $1,500. It has 2GB of (soldered on RAM) and no CD/DVD drive. I could have bought the same laptop as a PC with 4GB of RAM and a DVD drive *and* longer battery time for $1,300 (and I later did…)

  • Tim Groeneveld


    These are not the features I am looking for Dru. If they were, I would be happy to pay $3,300. I want 4.5TB, I want 8GB of RAM, I *want* a DVB-T Digital card, I *want* a blu-ray burner. I Don’t care how many USB ports there are, I only use two, and they are in the back. I only want 1 CPU, I don’t want to be paying $90 a month in electricity. I want 5 drives, with 4.5TB of total storage on RAID 6. Show me these features for less then $3300 and I will retract my post.

  • Blue Buzzard


    If your Mac is not better then a PC it must be better than a PC then.

  • Ken Berger


    You are right the prices for big configurations of the Mac Pro can be very high, and you can build something for way less. But a few things to note that somewhat mitigates this:
    1. OS X – that is why you buy a Mac other than the beautiful design (much more important when I put an iMac in my living room and kitchen than my office). OS X (and I know you know this) has much better work flow, stability and security. How much is this worth?
    2. If you buy a Mac Pro you should buy the upgraded RAM, and Hard Disks from third parties to reduce the cost.
    3. If you configure a similarly powerful machine from Dell or HP (as in you don’t want to build it yourself) the price difference is not that big.

  • Lousi Wheeler


    A whole bunch of confused thinking is going on here which is typical of Linux users, especially, young, dirt poor and unemployed Linux users. LOL

    The word “better” connotes a value judgement. What you should ask next is always “Better than what? ” Is a Mac better than a wintel box? I’d give that a YES, because Windows is such an insecure OS. It is a debacle waiting to happen. You don’t own a Wintel box; you rent it from the malware and the anti virus distributers. LOL

    Is a Mac better than a cheap Intel box running Linux? That depends on what you are using the computer for. As a desktop, Linux is woefully deficient. But, your needs may be meager.

    Hardware alone does not a computer make. A cheap price does not necessarily give you satisfaction and ugly cuts right to the bone. But, different strokes for different folks.

    Can I help it if you have no taste? That you have no appreciation for quality, panache and elegance? You get what you pay for, man.

    Besides, we Mac users have jobs, so we don’t have much spare time. We’d rather pay a little more money to get something that actually satisfies our needs.

  • Alan Smith


    A cheap Mac vs. a cheap PC, that is like comparing a cheap Mercedes vs. a cheap Chevy. Wow, that was so brilliant. Can you not figure it out hat some people want to pay for quality, ease of use, and having a fast computer? And it is all in the operating system. Let me repeat that because you PC folks just don’t understand. It is all in the OS. And Mac OS is still better than anything Redmond offers.

  • Harvey


    Just another comment regarding “if I wanted to buy a Mac, I would right now be spending more then $11,386.99”. That figure is an extreme custom build that no one in their right mind would go for.

    In reality, when you compare the starting prices of all of Apples computers to similarly spec’d machines from other manufacturers, Apples prices may be a bit more but nothing like what you suggest.

    And for people who have come to appreciate Apple’s PCs, the minor price difference is well worth it.

  • Harvey


    It’s understandable that people who have never had hands-on experience (and I don’t mean just trying it out for a couple of minutes) with an Apple PC, don’t understand why it costs more than a Dell or a PC you can build yourself.

    The only way to describe the reason is to say that if a Dell is a low priced Ford Focus, then Apple’s PCs are the equivalent of a BMW. You’d expect to pay more for the BMW, but for the higher price you are getting quality build & materials, an extremely reliable machine, one that is much more pleasurable to drive, one that you’ll drive for a longer time before buying a new car, and one that holds its resale value better than the Ford Focus.

    As a buyer who has never owned a BMW, you may look at the Ford Focus and think that both cars are about the same size, and both have gas powered engines. So the Ford Focus is definitely the better deal.

    But to someone who has driven both the Ford and then moved up to the BMW, there is no question which one they prefer. Once you’ve lived with the BMW you’d never go back to the Ford Focus.

  • Link Bait


    Surely you jest!

    Tell us again why you even bothered to dredge up this off the cuff drive? Please.
    No facts, no references, just provocative statements backed up by… your own opinion! Now that’s good writing, well no; rather a prime example of how putting powerful tools in the hands of the incompetent yields little more than a wider audience for mediocrity, and an author proud that he made something, however impoverished and pointless it may be.

    So, Groenveld, how about actually producing some due diligence; reading one of the many studies done over the past 15 years, taking a look at hardware build quality, ease of use, total cost of ownership, vulnerability to viruses, exorbitant Windows licence (esp. site licences) and upgrade fees, etc., etc., etc.? Then add the cost of equivalent photo, movie, dvd, etc. software that is included with the Mac. Other, more responsible authors have done so many times, and pretty much every time conclude that once the true measure of the two machines has been taken, the Mac comes out on top.

    But alas, like the GOP tools who post anti-everything rants similar to yours, you’re unlikely to do anything more than put up more unhappy nonsense.
    What’s the matter, are you on the cusp of realizing that you’ve devoted (squandered) thousands of hours wrestling with inferior technology when you could have been doing more than working on, rather, fixing your computer?

    Millions of former Windows users have woken up in recent years, switched to Macs, and wondered why they did not do so long ago. Meanwhile, folks like you piss and spit with righteous indignation, perhaps inspired by the likes of Bill O’Reilly and friends, who haven’t a leg to stand on, so they lie, distort and fabricate. Nice work if you can get it, I guess.

    You like the iPhone? Then you like OS X which runs it. Funny how the Mac uses the same OS.

  • Shock Me


    I’m happy to admit that a custom configured Mac Pro is an excessively expensive way to go (If you select all the options you can get that bad boy up n the $40,000 range.)

    However, being more reasonably priced doesn’t make a device automatically better. I’d be happy to hear your criteria on what better is. Once we’ve settled that, we’d have to measure it somehow. After much bitter argument and name-calling we’d come to the eventual conclusion. That Macs and PCs are like different flavors of ice cream, sorbet, sherbet or frozen yogurt.

    I work with PCs and I’m happy to see them getting better and better every day. I prefer Macs and from my perspective they are better, for me. In the end that’s all that really matters.

    Get back to me when you can build a laptop. Cuz laptops are way better than desktops.

  • BILL


    MAC MINIs are $599.00 brand new…

  • Ben


    Okay, so if you’re a geek who “seriously” loves OS X, hack your $3,300 homemade box to run it.

  • Marcos


    Well someone wants a spike in traffic! What a deep deep analysis on your part. I can make a crap machine off of Chinese parts and an ugly case with blinking lights that would be much cheaper than an HP or a Sony. I guess my hypothetical piece of crap machine is much better! And let’s just completely ignore the operating system, whose development cost is spread out among a lot less volume yet is STILL cheaper to buy off the shelf than Windows. Let’s also forget the fact that despite your DIY tag you decided to have Apple build everything for you… how about buying the stock and upgrading it yourself super geek? Double “sigh”, double standards.

  • Nostradamus



    The very fact that you think it necessary to pay Apple for installing their overpriced RAM and overpriced drives (how else can you get the price of a tower up to $11k) demonstrates that you lack the analytical skills necessary to make the proper comparison between the two platforms. Cheers.

  • Savage


    Trolling or what? You obviously ain’t got a clue. Buy and use one, then you will know – at last and soooo late – . Do your homework and you’ll know better.

  • Scott


    better THAN a PC, not THEN. See, Windows has already started melting your brain!!

  • Dru


    Ah, Tim – yet another PC do-it-yourselfer who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

    Next time before you go frothing off at the mouth, try to compare ‘like’ things. Find me a PC manufactured by a major manufacturer (like Dell, HP) with these specs for under USD $3300:

    • Two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 Xeon “Nehalem” processors
    • 6 GB RAM of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM; Eight memory slots (four per processor) supporting up to
    • Double-wide, 16-lane PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot – NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512MB of
    GDDR3 memory, one Mini DisplayPort, and one dual-link DVI port
    • Two independent 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet (RJ-45) interfaces with support for jumbo frames
    • Bluetooth 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)
    • Optional AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi card with 802.11n
    • Four 3.5-inch cable-free, direct-attach hard drive bays with built-in independent 3Gb/s Serial ATA
    channels; Up to 4TB of internal storage
    • 18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW), One open optical drive bay
    for optional second drive
    • BFR-free
    • PVC-free (internal cables)
    • Highly recyclable aluminum enclosure
    • Meets ENERGY STAR 5.0
    • Rated EPEAT Gold
    • Four FireWire 800 ports (two on front panel, two on back panel)
    • Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
    • Two USB 2.0 ports on included keyboard
    • Front-panel headphone minijack and internal speaker
    • Optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports
    • Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
    • Three open full-length PCI Express expansion slots
    One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
    Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
    • Included Software – Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard (includes iTunes, Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces,
    Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo
    Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools), iLife ’09 (includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, and

    Oh, and by the way, a new Mac can be had for as little as $599.

  • Frank Fox



    The cheapest Mac is less than $1,000, the best choice for a PC is more than $400. There are going to still be price difference, but you didn’t try too hard to make your comparison fair.

    What you can build yourself for no labor cost is hardly a fair comparison to what a factory build item costs. Not always true because volume can offset the cost of labor.

    When you load up the extra RAM on a MacPro there is a heafty charge. Obviously you believe that you can install RAM yourself, so rerun the pricing and use a little common sense if you really want a Mac.

    A better comparison would be to see how much Dell or HP likes to charge for workstation rated RAM. I did a year ago, . Pricing may have changed since then, but don’t be surprised if Apple’s prices should look better.

    – Frank

  • El Haddid


    It’s not the price…it’s what I can DO with my Mac. I started refusing to help my Windows using friends with doing fun video stuff when I had my Kids a few years ago. Those that have not found the great iPhoto and iMovie on OS X are still struggling!

  • Kevin Boggs


    Yeah, you’re right! We’re all brainless idiots. Good luck with that “build it yourself” system, oh mighty genius! Just beware the devil in the details. But what do I know, I’m only a Mac user.

  • AdamC


    When you put your home made on ebay, no one gives a crap for crap…lol

  • Chip


    Noboby has a cheap Mac, but many people have a cheap PC.

    This isn’t a price statement, it’s a quality statement.

  • Joe Anonymous


    According to your logic, the only part of a PC that does anything is the CPU. At least, that’s the conclusion one would draw from your statement that Apple’s products are the same as generic PC hardware.

    In reality, there are substantial differences between Macs and PCs. The motherboard is custom designed. Power supplies are proprietary. AND, you don’t have any idea whether Apple sets stricter specs than the industry average. When you look at high quality name brand systems from vendors like HP and Toshiba, Apple isn’t that much more expensive, anyway. Try to spec a system comparable to the dual quad Mac Pro. You won’t find it for less anywhere else.

    In the end, there is clearly a difference – Apple hardware has lower DOA rates than any other vendor – at least according to all the surveys done by PC Mag, Consumer Reports, and so on. Clearly, there’s a difference.

    And that doesn’t even get into the OS – I would gladly pay substantially more for OS X compared to ANY version of Windows. I use both regularly and being able to avoid all the headaches and hassles of using Windows is worth a lot.

    If you don’t think it’s worth it, that’s your prerogative. No one’s making you. But why is it that people like you are so vehemently opposed to people who DO think Macs are a good value?

  • Blad_Rnr


    So what if you had purchased the hard drives and RAM from another source? It seems rather disingenuous to say you can build a PC for $3300 then make no effort to install drives and RAM from third-party vendors yourself in the Mac. And what would Dell or HP offer compared to the Mac you built? That would be a better comparison. My guess is that they would be slightly more expensive.

    Then you make the claim a Mac is just a PC. Really? So the OS plays no factor in the fact you will have to work with it for the next 2-3 years? Give me OS X any day over bug-ridden, malware-magnet, virus-laden Windows. Seriously. Ars Technica just did a piece yesterday on how 80% of all spam you and I get is being routed through Windows’ botnets. That’s right: plural. Botnets. And Windows is just another OS? Please.

    Try that again.

  • realitybites


    There’s absolutely nothing funnier than watching someone who you would think would know better, throwing himself under the bus of public stupidity all for the sake of…what?

    I’ll explain it to you really simply…you’re obviously not a guy who can play in that league financially. So it becomes sour grapes.

    You should build your generic box loaded with everything you want and need running on Windows and be all good with yourself.
    No one the Mac side will comment or care.
    Really, I promise.

  • Don Carlos


    “A cheap Mac will set you back about $1,000. A cheap (new) PC will set you back $400. Must be another win from Apple. *sigh*”

    A cheap PC will set you back HOW MUCH TOTAL, in time, labor, $, over the 2-3 year course of its life??

    A cheap Mac will set you back HOW MUCH TOTAL, in time, labor, $, over the 4-5 year course of its life??

    And what’s the resale value of that PC after 3 years? And what’s the resale value of that Mac after 4 years?

    And how much does PC virus protection cost over the course of a PC’s only 3yr max life?? And where’s the iLife suite-equivalent on Windows??

    And what’s with managing this ‘Registry’ thing? And having to reinstall Windows??

    Think beyond your Point-of-Sale nose, and you’ll finally see why a Mac is not a PC.

  • Skribbler


    Tim, Tim, to know the price of everything, and the value of nothing… To people who choose Macs, it’s not the hard drive, it’s not the graphics chip, it’s not the RAM, it’s not the CPU, it’s not anything that PC people compare one to another to make a decision. When you can buy OS X on that $400 PC, then you’ll have grounds for a comparison, and Macs will lose. Until then, the ‘good enough’ folks will buy PCs, and the demanding folks will buy Macs.

  • Bob


    Are you just trolling for pageviews? That’s about all these “oooOO hurf durf Macs are sooooo much more expensive than PCs” posts are really good for. It’s not like you actually provided any objective material whatsoever.
    Especially since many times, these “Macs are more expensive” arguments are debunked (or the drama level significantly reduced) anyway.

  • daver


    It’s the OS, stupid.

  • Joe


    …and do I care whether you are laughing or not??? I’m happy with my Mac. BTW…I don’t build computers…just like I don’t build cars.

    Just my opinion.

  • Yawn. I’ll bet the majority of the price for that Mac Pro you priced out is to max out the memory at Apple prices. I’ll be more impressed when you go to HP or Dell and do the same spec-out for a Windows box at their prices — a PREMIUM Windows box. I’ll also bet you the extra equipment you spec isn’t exactly necessary — I bought a Power Mac G5 six years ago and I’ve yet to put a PCI card in it or replace the AGP video card.

    As for you “building” a comparable computer for $3300, I don’t doubt that — but while you’re in there tinkering around you could probably make it run OS X as well. Also, good luck getting your FrankenPC fixed should you accidentally fry something while you’re wrestling around inside that “cool” box with all the exposed sharp edges — Apple continually gets top ratings, by a lot, for its customer service after the sale.

    As for your comparison of “cheap” computers, Apple doesn’t make computers that spec equivalently to a $400 PC. No Apple computers are sold with any variety of Pentium chips (except Apple TV), no Apple computers are sold with the demonstrably cheaper AMD processors. Every Apple computer including the Mac mini ($599 btw, though add $50 for a keyboard and mouse) is based on Core 2 Duo chips — and in fact, even desktop Macs, except the Pro, are based on low-power laptop parts, which raises the cost of manufacture compared to your vaunted $400 PC.

    Where Apple really falls down pricewise is in making you pay over $2200 to get a 17-inch screen on a laptop, over $1600 for a 15-inch screen. They need to wake up to the market, though since their sales are constantly rising there doesn’t seem to be much concern on their part. But if you compare an iMac to the machines of similar form factor made by HP, Dell and Sony, you’ll find that the price difference is negligible, and in some cases a similarly specced iMac is cheaper.

  • steve sotman


    come on really
    99% of people want a computer that works right out of the box, hardware, software and OS

    people who can(want) to build their own can stick to their pc’s, bless their heart.

  • Steve


    Tim, seriously… get a life. Apple’s hardware is actually very competitively priced at the high end. Try it yourself and go to Dell’s web site for comparison. As for your little example, you should note that Apple customers don’t typically purchase their RAM from Apple for obvious reasons.

    Finally, the most obvious point you’re missing is the operating system. At the end of the day, the hardware is only a small part of the equation. The operating system is what you interface with day in and day out and with your example, OS X (which is widely regarded as the superior operating system) is not an option.

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