The 9 Most Important Differences Between Macs And PCs

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Macs and PCs have been locked in an epic battle for many years. PCs were once the go-to computer because developers used to write the best apps for Windows first.

But over the last several years, that’s changed. Now it’s almost impossible to find an app on Windows that isn’t also on Mac.

As Microsoft’s big Windows 8 launch looms ahead of the crucial Holiday shopping season, it’s important to figure out which platform would be better for you.

We put together some of the key differences between Macs and PCs to help you out.

Apple prides itself on design

Apple spends years working on how its products look. The company is all about the details, even the internals of its computers are beautifully constructed.

PC design depends on the company making them, but they're usually not as attractive as Macs. However, we have seen some nice copycats like Dell's newest Ultrabook.

Windows has software that is more widely available

Although the gap is starting to close, there are still some programs that are Windows specific.

For example, Microsoft Office for Windows has more features and functionality than the Mac version. Auto CAD is another example.

Macs are more expensive.

On average, Macs tend to be noticeably more expensive than their PC counterparts. A quick search on sites like bestbuy.com shows that even in the super popular Ultrabook category, you can get a comparable PC for hundreds less than the MacBook Air.

And then there are the super-expensive MacBooks like the new MacBook Pro with Retina display. That thing starts at $2,200.

Windows is better for hardcore PC gamers

Because of how highly customisable Windows machines are, gamers rend to prefer them. You can boost up your computer's performance with a better graphics card or add much more memory to handle power-hungry games.

Macs typically can't compete on the gaming side unless you're willing to spend a huge amount of money.

You get better customer support with a Mac

When your Mac breaks, you can book and appointment and take it to your local Apple Store. There, a specialist can help you out with your Mac. If the problem can be fixed in one session, there's usually no charge.

Microsoft does have a few retail locations, but not nearly as many as Apple does.

The two operating systems look different, but are still easy to use

If you're making the switch from a PC to a Mac, it can be pretty intimidating using Apple's operating system at first. But the truth is, Macs are far from scary.

Instead of a Start menu, Apple gives you a Finder. This is where you locate all your apps, documents, and other files. Its very easy to get around both systems.

Apple's operating system does have one big advantage, however. All Macs come bundled with a suite of useful apps like iPhoto, Mail, Garage Band, iMovie, and more. Windows has a few similar apps, but they're simply not as good.

Macs tend to be safer against malware and viruses

PCs have a larger variety of hardware to choose from

There are many different PC manufacturers, giving the consumers a lot of different options and brands to choose from.

Microsoft simply makes the software, but companies like HP, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, and many others make the hardware. This offers variety and features that can fit anyone's budget or preference.

Apple makes the hardware and software, so you only have a handful of options if you want to buy a Mac.

If you want to get really technical, it is possible to build your own 'Hackintosh,' or a traditional PC that runs Apple's operating system. Here's a quick guide if you want to learn how to do it.

Want the best of both worlds? Macs can run Windows!

Macs have the ability to run Windows either through a virtual machine or directly on the system. Every Mac has a built-in program called Boot Camp that lets you install Windows on your machine. If you want, you can divide space on your hard drive between Windows and Mac OS X so you'll have both operating systems on the same computer.

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