questionswould you please give me pros & cons on pcs vs…

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You get what you pay for most of the time when it comes to a PC. If you want a nice PC, you have to pay for it (and even the higher end PCs are still cheaper than an equivilant Mac, if such a thing exists). Windows 8 is a train wreck. 7 is still viable and if you liked XP, then you'll probably dislike 7 (at least at first). I'm a fan of using what works, and learning to adapt (but since 8 is geared more towards tablets, I don't recommend it as a system for desktop computers. You can modify and change the hardware in a PC pretty easily and the hardware selection is vast. The software available is also vast and provided by a number of options.

Macs look pretty. They are more generally more expensive and the internal parts normally fall into the middle of the road. They won't be the top-of-the-line but they won't be outdated either. It is difficult to modify a Mac because hardware is proprietary (unless you want to get into work-arounds).

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A lot of what you're buying is Apple's customer service and support. They are great (as long as you're under the time-frame you get it for free. The same could be said for Dell or Asus though.

I'm not a fan of Macs because of their price and the attitude that "it's better than anything you've ever thought about getting, so it's worth an arm and a leg". However, I can see why people use them.

Macs are simple to manage for someone who just wants to turn it on and browse the web or use available software. There aren't a lot of things that can go wrong with them because Apple allows very little modifying. It works for some people and it doesn't work for others.

I game a lot and like the option to have more powerful processors and graphics cards. Obviously, I can't use a Mac for that. I also didn't pay a lot for this beast of a machine I have, but I understand that most people wouldn't need that much for what they are going to use it for.

Apple makes a good product, but not for me

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@capguncowboy: Very thoughtful answers. Thanks so much!

I think you've pretty much said what I've been thinking. Still not convinced that the cost of a Mac is worth it. Yet, I'm unsure. I am the type of person who thinks a car should start when you put the key in the ignition & turn it. Same w/computers...I don't like to 'work' to get it to perform. IOW...I'm pretty lazy. And not computer-savvy. Have no desire to be. I do understand some things. Have been known to fix problems.

Not a 'gamer.' Don't need fifty-jallion megabits of whatever. Just a simple person who wants a simple...price effective machine.

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@gmwhit: Don't get me wrong. You can get a PC with equivalent hardware to a MAC for far less money. And as long as you're just using it to browse the web, send emails and look at photos, then you don't need anything fancy. Asus is a good brand that sits on the low end of the price range but touts a great customer rating and even offers the same features as some higher end PCs. I'd highly recommend looking into them before finalizing your decision.

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If your friends are into Macs then get a Mac. If you are not tech savvy then you are going to need to lean on your friends that are when problems arise. Personally, though, I would buy a gaming level machine with Windows 7/8 (even if you're not a gamer - they are just faster all around). Such a machine will having a longer useful life than the machines you have had. The $1K laptop Woot was selling a few days ago would have been great but is not available now (perhaps next Woot off? or Moofi?) NewEggFlash.com has a Dell Alienware Desktop Refurb on special until tomorrow.

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I have tried several times to post a response here and keep getting the "oops" message. Short answer, buy a nice android tablet and a PC desktop. BTW, I still ♥ you. ;>)

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I am a mac user.
I like that I don't worry about updates and patches and problems.
I like that it is friendly and easy to figure out, and support is great. I like that mac products work together so easily.
I am not a gamer. Just your average computer user.

My parents have a PC and they are always needing something fixed or repaired or something done to it. They can't do it, so if falls on me. After switching to a mac 10 years ago, it drives me crazy to go back to the way PCs are set up. It makes me want to rip my hair out at times.They are not as user friendly and are always getting sick. They have a nice machine too, that they spent some bucks on. Was more than they needed but they bought from computer store their friend's grandson owns.

My suggestion. If you live near an Apple store, go in and play for a day or two.
I think they sell themselves. For me, it's worth the extra cost.
For others,used to PC, some would rather save bucks and have the extra bother.

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If your only complaint with your "newer" computer is the slow boot-up time, you may want to consider an easy solution: instead of completely shutting the computer down, just put it into "stand by" or "hibernate" mode. I just started doing that with my Dell XP machine and it only takes about 30 seconds for the PC to come back to life!

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Thank you to all who have responded. Wanted to hear what others had to say; you've related your personal opinions and experiences. I'm grateful. Not sure what I'll do yet. Still pondering.

@nortansark: Not friends; they're relatives. (Oh, duh! One wonders what I might mean w/that comment, yes?) They live far away. Cannot rely upon them to 'help' me every time I have a problem/whine. Not interested in gaming, or a huge machine. Appreciate your input.

@robingraves: Thank you for your kind words. A tablet? Don't think so. I could be wrong, though. I do have a wonderful IBM/Lenovo refurb ThinkPad. It is truly is a "work horse." Want something more, I guess. Like a 'big boy' PC or Mac.

@ceagee: Ah...... Thanks so much for your personal experience w/a Mac. I can (actually am) relating to this!

continued....

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continued...

@dealseekerdude: Yes! I am now leaving my refurb HP on. My ThinkPad is also 'on.' Only possible problem is lightening storms. Have had a LOT of hardware fried in the past. (I live in Florida...the capital of lightening strikes that will destroy electronics. Had one that hit my house & went into the hallway to destroy my thermostat. But that's off-topic and another story.) Am very leery of leaving anything 'on.'

And another thank you to @capguncowboy for all your thoughts.

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If you are convinced that all macs have to cost and arm and a leg check out this Apple refurb machine. It still comes with a warranty from Apple at 509. Otherwise check out the newest version at about 699. You say that you already have a desktop so this way you can reuse your existing monitor and keyboard/mouse (the parts of your computer that don't affect speed). http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD387LL/A/refurbished-mac-mini-25ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5

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The only people who think Windows 8 is a disaster are the people who've either never used it or used for 10 minutes, saw the start screen, and decided it was trash before even giving it a chance. It's well worth it to upgrade to a W8 machine, especially if you're still running XP. The performance and security improvements are vast.

I'd always recommend a regular PC myself. For one, you can get an equivalent, hardware wise, to a Mac for FAR less money. Secondly, you're already used to the Windows ecosystem, and Mac OS does a lot of things frustratingly differently, and a lot of times in pretty silly ways. Then there's the fact that Windows has far more compatibility with desktop programs than Mac OS does, and this might be especially important if you ever bring work documents home, as something like Office on Mac is a mess.

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I have recent experience regarding your issue. I have a 10yr old son who uses our desktop machine. The desktop's performance rapidly deteriorated once he started to become a computer user because of unwanted software that overwrites the sytem or browser (add-on from Ask.com's search engine, etc).

Upgrading the machine over the years as always a cost effective way of keeping it current w/o spending big bucks. Over the past year though, I have talked to Apple users who have older machines with little to no problems. It made me wonder how much I'd spent on my PC over the years vs what they paid. They also didn't experience the level of frustration I did when trying to address problems.

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(cont'd) I did some research and decided the Mac Mini was a very cost effective solution to my problem. Had it for 2 months and are very impressed. You can get one for under $600 and get all the quality and service the Macbook users have come to expect. You can get Parallels software that will allow you to run your current Windows programming with the new Mac Mini too. The cost is around $60 and it works great. I don't regret the switch.

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@stryker4526: One of the PCs I have used daily since Christmas is Windows 8 and I still don't like it. I find those danged metro pages nothing but exasperating. They'd be fine for a touchscreen-- in fact I can't tell you how many times I have poked this laptop in the non-touch screen because it is so obvious that's what supposed to be happening that I act on instinct before I remember to use the keyboard. I keep it on "desktop mode" at all times, which makes it function mostly like a Win7 device, except for a few annoying things like having to beg the danged thing to pop up the taskbar that will allow me to turn it off. This machine is for personal use only. If I were trying to use it at work it would long since have been thrown out a window.

@gmwhit: I am a fan of XP as well, and several of my home computers are still using it. But I bought a laptop a couple of years ago with Windows 7, and although it took a little adjusting I like it fine. We have Win7 at work now, too.

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I never liked using a Mac (and I imagine I wouldn't like Windows 8, not only because of the offensively bright colors/contrast) because I need a task bar. I get one-track-minded easily.

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If you want a Mac, NewEggFlash will have a Refurbished Apple MacBook Pro MC725LL/A with an Intel Core i7 2.20GHz and 17.0" screen going on sale tomorrow morning for a week. Won't know the price until it goes on sale, but the NewEggFlash prices tend to be decent.

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When I was facing the same choice I considered what app/programs/features I intended to use. Then I figured which platform fit that list best.

Apple stuff simply works. Most of it is very well built and a lot of fun to use. It's all a bit too conformist for my tastes. But the quality and value is hard to deny.

I decided to go with a Windows 7 pc. Newer i7 processor, ssd and a ton of ram. also a Nvidia 660 gpu mainly for multiple display support. This just works too. And if you build it yourself the quality is in the hands of someone that you can blame. Adding an ssd is vital as it yields a boot time of 45 seconds or less 80% of the time.

It is hard to go wrong either way as long as you are certain going in that your program, app and feature needs will work on the platform that you choose.

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windows 8 is terrible, but 7 is actually really good.

what do you want to use the computer for? I've had experience with both. My wife is in graphic design, so she only uses Macs. They are nice, but they are pricey, and in our experience prone to hardware failure. We've had 3 mac laptops since we've been together. the touch pad on one died (out of warranty of course), the screen on another died (one of the few components on the computer not covered by warranty... of course) and our last one had to have something behind the keyboard replaced for some reason. it was covered by warranty but still a pain. on the flip side, i've never had hardware failure on a PC. sure, i've had a hard drive die from time to time but thats a pretty standard failure and one of the main reasons you should always back up onto an external drive. although, i do tend to buy higher end PC's which may explain why i never have hardware issues. I hear HP is prone to hardware problems cont...

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cont.... alot of people will tell you that macs are "more intuitive" and easier to use. that may be true if you've never used a computer before, but if you're like me, and have grown up using windows, its hard to make the transition to an apple OS.

being a gamer, and someone who likes 3rd party tools, and the ability to do some customization, i am a PC fan. Apple is terrible for games, or customization of any kind. again, it all boils down to how much you want to spend, and what you want to use the computer for. I dont hate macs, but i prefer a good high end PC.

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Apples used to have technologically superior hardware - before they switched to Intel CPUs. Now you just pay for OS X when you buy a Mac. OS X is great, although some people give it more credit than it deserves. Most windows users would be fine with OS X, although they would likely be fine with Linux as well which would save them money (rather than cost them additional money).

Beyond that there is no meaningful difference. Neither is more reliable than the other from a hardware standpoint, though OS X is less susceptible to viruses and worms only because fewer are written for it. Really OS X gets fewer viruses for the same reason that people who live in NYC don't catch malaria very often; the exposure just isn't there.

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Guess where I'm going to divert the PC vs Mac discussions the next time we sell a MacBook?

Edit: Seriously, someone downvoted me?

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So I am going to be honest, I did not read all the comments but I did search for Chromebook and did not find anyone mentioning it.

If you only browse the web... http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebooks.html

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Once again, thank you for all your responses/opinions. It does help me clear the fog. Still undecided, but your answers have been so very helpful.

An aside: @thunderthighs I LIKE the people here on ATC. Do not go to 'the other side' very often. Not comfortable there. My question was not intended to start a debate over which is best. I simply wanted honest answers & personal experiences. I am so pleased to get that.

Again, thanks. Much appreciated!

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@gmwhit: Fine. I won't send them over here. Drat.

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@thunderthighs: You got downvoted? Gasp! Wasn't me. But then you knew that, yes? I'm always downvoted by someone. It's a poser, isn't it?

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@gmwhit: "Just a simple person who wants a simple...price effective machine."

Debate should have been over as soon as you said this. Price-effective is the exact opposite of any Apple product.

Apple
+standard "high" hardware/software quality
+warranty/support included (part of cost)
+"simple" (i.e. doesn't give you complicated options so you don't screw up)
+"fewer" virus/malware problems due to simply being a smaller target (i.e. NOT more "secure")
-price (i.e. over-priced)
-less customization
-not actually "really simple" if you're used to Windows (but you'll get used to it eventually)
-did I mention price?

Non-Apple
+cost-effective (great deals)
+more settings/options w/ hardware & software
+compatibility with older windows software (if you're into that sort of thing)
=warranty: you can pay for it if you really want it
=virus/malware protection is a must and extra (although there are free alternatives)
-quality varies from manufacturer to model: from crap to better-than-Apple

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Short version from someone who admittedly dislikes Apple and Win8, plus a couple of other options to consider:

Apple Pro: Good asthetics, newbie-friendly UI, very 'clean' in terms of bugs and malware
Apple Con: Expensive, poor software selection, very customization unfriendly

Win7 PC Pro: Gold standard for software, can get any specs you want, very economical, .NET is awesomesauce
Win7 PC Con: Much higher malware risk than other options, upgrade path is tied to Microsoft who may not care about PCs anymore

Linux PC Pro: OS is free and very lightweight, malware is almost nonexistent, not shackled to any particular company and its insane fantasy
Linux PC Con: Configuration is a nightmare, even less software selection than Apple, community (support) is mired in politics and demagoguery

Chromebook Pro: Dirt cheap, ideal for the web-and-email crowd
Chromebook Con: Sucks at everything else, requires Internet to do anything, Google sees everything you do

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It's hard to make a recommendation without knowing what you use a computer for, but when in doubt a Windows PC is the best choice because it's equipped to handle anything and lacks a truly crippling weakness compared to other options. As stupid as Microsoft has been lately, there's good reasons why nothing else has come close to threatening Windows dominance.

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Just an update. Am still using my refurb HP. Leaving it on.... That's okay, so far. Have not called upon my remote PC tech to fix the start up problem. (Did I mention that? It really doesn't matter.) Also have the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad connected/running. A back-up, of sorts.

Wanted to thank all of you again for your input. Much appreciated!!