For the longest time, people would just walk into a computer store and buy a PC because that is what everyone else seemed to be using. With the success of the iPod people are beginning to take notice of Apple and their very eye catching products. Now there seems to be a choice, which computer is best for you? Mac or PC?
I’m going to say right off the top, my Personal Computer of choice is a Mac. This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t use a PC or that a Mac is right for everyone.
Firstly so we all understand, PC stands for Personal Computer. Is a Mac a Personal Computer? You bet, since most people refer to Windows based Computers as PC’s. We will use the term PC to describe a Windows based Personal Computer and we will use Mac to describe Apple’s OSX-Unix based Computer.
Whenever I help someone find the best computer for their needs, I like to ask a lot of questions.
Here are a few questions to consider.
1. What are you going to use the computer for?
2. Do you have a computer geek in the family that is going to help you with setup, questions and problems you may have, or do you want to be independent.
3. Are there any specific programs that you must be able to use, how important is software compatibility?
4. Are you the creative or business type?
5. How concerned are you about Security, Viruses and Spyware?
6. Will Design and Styling be part of your buying decision?
7. How important is Gaming to you?
How do these question help me determine which Computer System to recommend?
Let’s start with Question 1.
What are you going to use the computer for?
It’s very important to first find out what this computer will be used for. Is it going to be for very basic uses such as Internet, email and Word Processing or will you be using it for a home business or for creative tasks like Graphics and Design. There is no cut and dry which is better here, in this case a basic user could go with Mac or PC, The business type may be leaning towards a PC, and the Graphics and Design person should start considering a Mac.
Do you have a computer geek in the family that is going to help you with setup, questions and problems you may have, or do you want to be independent?
This is an important question because if you have a Geek in the family, more then likely they prefer one system over the other, if you want their approval and support you may need to purchase the system that they use.
On the other hand, do you want to be self sufficient? If so then you have the freedom to choose the system that you like best. If you are not overly computer savvy the Mac offers the quickest learning to curve with the least amount of technical understanding to be self sufficient.
Are there any specific programs that you must be able to use, how important is software compatibility?
Does your business require specific software programs for real-estate, database, design or education? Not all programs are cross-platform, meaning they may only run on PC or Mac but not both. This could greatly effect your purchasing decision. One note to make here is that a Mac can run a Virtual PC programs that allows you to install Windows and Windows based programs. This allows you to run PC programs on a Mac but they will run at a reduced speed because of software emulation.
Are you the creative or business type?
A common perception is that PC’s are best for business and Mac’s are best for creativity. There is definitely some truth to this however both PC’s and Mac’s are capable of either. It may come back to compatibility if you are working closely with others.
How concerned are you about Security, Viruses and Spyware?
Viruses and Spyware are here to stay, but did you know the Viruses and Spyware that can bring your PC to its knees will not even slightly affect a Mac ? This is due in part to the Mac’s Unix based operating system. The reason for this is Viruses and Spyware are programs for PC’s, PC programs will not run on a Mac. This doesn’t mean a Mac can’t get a virus but is much more unlikely since it would have to be written specifically for the Mac and it’s very robust Unix security.
Will Design and Styling be part of your buying decision?
Without question Apple makes some very stylish computers! This is prevalent when ever you watch a Movie or TV show. Mac’s are in almost every scene where a computer is scripted. Style isn’t just about looks, it’s also about making a product that is usable and simple yet full of features that you really need.
How important is Gaming to you?
Maybe you are purchasing your computer as a gaming machine. Hands down the PC would be the best choice for this. Make sure you balance all of your computer uses, you may not have as much time as you think to game with all of the other great programs available. You can always purchase a console game like the XBox 360 and destroy your friends from the comfort of your couch.
More to Consider… I wanted to mention some of the strong points to each system.
-Extensive selection of software and hardware to choose from.
-Very competitive pricing on hardware and software as a result of a multitude of companies selling PC’s and their related programs.
-Full compatibility with virtually all accessories.
-Very tight integration between hardware and software due to Apple designing both aspects.
-Extremely user friendly and stable. -Lots of Pre-installed software programs for today’s digital lifestyle called life. Life is a suite of fully integrated programs that make it easy to use digital cameras, digital video editing, audio and music.
– Mac users are the most product loyal customers in the industry, that’s got to say something!
Today computers are becoming closer and closer in speed and what they can do, compatibility between PC and Mac is almost seamless. I recommend you go to a retail store and talk to a qualified sales rep and give both systems a test drive with an open mind. The right computer will reveal it’s-self to you…