Mac vs PC: Hardware and Software

I hate to sound like a Mac fanboy but, you really get what you pay for with computers these days. If you look at similar desktop and laptop PC solutions, you're going to save maybe a couple hundred dollars and have sub-par hardware that doesn't perform as well with the software and possibly uglier. Sometimes you'll end up spending exactly the same amount or more for the same hardware and still have a drop in performance because the software you're going to be using isn't tuned with the hardware like you get in a Mac.

Windows is meant for a broader spectrum of pieces and parts while Macs have their set of hardware and that's it. Mac OS X is pretty much tuned with the hardware it works on whether it's the PowerPC or Intel builds of it.

Macs are top of the line, they're not the bargain basement computers with a couple hundred dollar rebates you see at Best Buy and shit. They won't end up crapping out on you (usually) right out of warranty. They're solid and they look good. They also come with all the bells and whistles.

People put focus way too much on the hardware of their PCs when the driving force behind what makes a computer good or bad is the software running on that computer. I've been a Windows user since before a lot of people knew what the internet was. But as it has been shown, the more hardware that's available, the more road blocks can be ran into. And Windows having to support said hardware creates a road block for itself. It has to deal with drivers from manufacturers who put out crappy, buggy drivers and some who put out good ones. But you'll, more often than not, have to mix the shitty drivers and the good drivers and thus creating system instability at the lower levels of Windows.

Also, did I mention that the operating system upgrades (10.1, 2, etc.) have only costed about $130 each time? These aren't upgrade only disks, it's the full shebang. You get a (mostly) rock-solid UNIX-based OS that looks good, runs fast and smooth on the hardware, and has something for everyone whether you're a newbie to Macs or an advanced user who uses the terminal.

For me, the hardware has had nothing to do with my wonderful experience with OS X so far (although that 2GB of memory helps a lot). It's all been the software. I haven't had to worry about a system tune-up interrupting gameplay and bogging my computer down to hell because the software can't operate with the hardware properly (dual core) to take advantage of its capabilities. I haven't had to worry about nearly anything yet. And the next version of OS X is going to be stepping up hardware interaction in Leopard with not only being dual core but also 64-bit at no extra cost to the operating system unlike Windows where you'll pay an inordinate amount more just to get the 64-bit OS and THEN you have to deal with driver issues all to hell.

Let's face it, computers these days are moving closer and closer to an all-around market. That being not just being younger people who've been using computers since they were kids. Older people use them as well and OEMs are moving to 64-bit and dual core chips yet the software isn't taking advantage of those two main features of the chip. Sure, a 64-bit processor runs 32-bit apps a bit faster and some applications do take advantage of that other core, yet most software is neither multi-threaded or 64-bit. The Windows market will have to shift completely for it to get the 64-bit and dual core support.

The Mac market won't have to shift so much as they've been using multi-core processors for some time now. With the recent addition of the Core 2 Duo, they've added 64-bit the the feature list. Leopard will be a 64-bit OS and I'm assuming there won't be a Leopard 32-bit and a Leopard 64-bit like there are with Windows. And there won't be the pile-up driver issues with this shift to 64-bit (for those with the Core 2 Duos like me). I'm also thinking there won't be a problem with using the 32-bit apps in the 64-bit OS.

The Windows market can learn something from this but Microsoft, OEMs and hardware manufacturers won't start putting out solid 64-bit drivers for their devices because a large chunk of the market is still on 32-bit hardware and software. And instead of being proactive on making the switch, Microsoft trying to get people's money for the 64-bit OS. If the 64-bit OS costs $100 more than the 32-bit version and the driver support is crappy, what would drive a consumer to buy it? I know I wouldn't. I don't want to deal with shoddy driver support and emptying my wallet a little more for an OS that won't even work with my hardware.

You can have the best computer hardware out there and be all smug about it. But if the software you're using is crap and doesn't work well with your hardware, you can keep to your LAN parties and get fat on Cheetos while I laugh at you. I have a great operating system, good software, good hardware, good hardware-software interaction and it looks and works great.

The Mac Gaming Debate

Shut up about this, thanks. While Macs would be great gaming platforms, the majority of Mac users (from what I have seen and assume) aren't really into hardcore gaming. And if they are, a lot of the big titles are actually on Mac. WoW, Quake 4, any Blizzard game, a lot of Lucas Arts games, and a lot more. Look them up. Some of the regular model Apples may not do all the bells and whistles for the best look, but they do play and they play well. I'm getting 10 more frames per second in WoW on my MacBook than I did on my Windows laptop's ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 w/ 128MB shared RAM. Just so you know, the Intel GMA 950 chipset only does 64MB shared. I can't explain it, maybe there's just less overhead in OS X? Anyways, I didn't buy a Mac to hardcore game as I do not do that. I didn't do that on Windows either.

Just like the hardcore gaming scene is a niche market, so is the Mac market. It has the potential to be a lot more for everyone, especially since OS X is a simple OS to use.

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