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MAC vs PC – Which Is Right For You?

Each camp provokes fierce loyalty and arguements in equal measure. We weigh up the pros and cons of each to help you decide which tribe you are.

It’s a debate that’s been raging for years. But the answer to which is better out of Apple’s Mac computers or Microsoft’s Windows PCs is a bit more complex than the zealots on either side would have you believe.

Research has shown that the brain activity of people who are defending their favourite brands is similar to those having religious experiences. It’s no wonder, then, that one doesn’t have to search for very long to find a heated online debate raging about which is better between PlayStation and Xbox (or, more broadly, consoles and PCs), Android and iPhone, Star Wars and Star Trek, and Windows and Mac. People feel passionately about their favourite brands and will often do anything they can to justify their choices.

Research has shown that the brain activity of people who are defending their favourite brands is similar to those having religious experiences.

The brain activity of people defending their favourite brands is similar to those having religious experiences. (Image source: fineartamerica.com)

However, while fans will try and convince you that their choice was based on some logical and systematic weighing-up of the pros and cons before carefully making their final selection, the decision is usually completely arbitrary. People tend to make a choice based on factors such as what their friends have – especially when it comes to video game systems – after which they retroactively seek out evidence (with no small amount of conformation bias) to support their decision.

Whether you are attempting to justify your decision after the fact, or genuinely attempting to make an informed choice ahead of purchasing a new computer, you need an impartial assessment of the pros and cons of each system.

Aesthetics

A few years ago, this category would have been a shoe-in for Mac, but times have changed somewhat. When they were first released, Apple Mac computers were a colourful and stylish breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by dull beige Windows PCs. Since then, Apple has released a steady stream of gorgeous machines. From their range of sleek and stylish MacBook laptops to the iconic lamp-style desktop monitors, Macs have long been widely regarded as being at the forefront of hardware design.

Apple's eye for design has left humdrum PCs looking very plain in comparison

Apple’s eye for design has left humdrum PCs looking very plain in comparison (Image source: pinterest.com)

However, in recent years, Apple has seen something of a stagnating of its design philosophy, with things remaining largely unchanged for many years. This has given the many producers of Windows PCs ample time to play catch-up. After the strange backwards step that came with the poorly received Windows 8 machines, PC manufacturers have come back swinging with some really lovely computers running the popular Windows 10 operating system.

The success of Windows 10 has seen PCs enjoy something of a renaissance in 2017. However, reports abound of Apple being in the process of overhauling their designs, so we could be seeing another new breath of fresh air coming over the horizon soon.

Software

Macs may have taken a few beatings in the looks department in recent years, but one should not count them out just yet, as when it comes to bundled software, they are light years ahead of Windows.

When you start up a new Mac computer, you’ll find applications which allow for basic photo editing, video and audio production, and a full suite of office software including Pages, Number, and Keynote. Best of all, none of the software bundled Macs are bloatware or trial offerings. Each app is a full version and should provide all the functionality the average person needs for normal consumer-level usage.

On the flipside, Windows offerings are paltry by comparison. You get the Photos app (but the software is little more than a viewer) and a free trial for Office 365, depending on where you purchase your device. Other than that plus a few basic features such as Mail and Edge, Windows PCs come with a relatively barren landscape of bundled software. Especially when compared to the offerings from Apple.

However, when it comes to third party software, the options for Windows users far exceed that available to Mac users. That said, as Macs come with complete versions of all the software the average user will need, it could be argued that it doesn’t really matter.

Gaming

Aside from using them to complete work and/or study, one of the main reasons for purchasing a new computer is to play video games. Gaming technology has expanded rapidly since its inception during late 70s/early 80s, and dedicated gamers demand machines which are able to handle the latest graphics and sound.

PCs offer superior gaming to Macs

When it comes to gaming, PCs monster Macs… Fact. (Image source: pcgamer.com)

Unfortunately for Mac users, Windows’ long held dominance over the realm of computer games has only strengthened with the advent of Windows 10. The number of titles available to Windows users exceeds what is available to Mac-based gamers to an almost embarrassing magnitude – and PCs now have the power to stream games from both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

When it comes to gaming, Windows PCs are the clear winner. For now.

Security

Much like Windows PCs have always held the crown when it comes to gaming, Macs hold the same prize when you look at its security protocols.

If you have a Mac, you’re significantly less likely to contract a virus or be targeted by cyber criminals. It could be argued that Macs make a less attractive target for hackers due to their much smaller market proliferation, but the more closed-source nature and stricter software vetting procedures also play a significant role in making Macs the more secure option.

There have been a few high-profile security breaches of Macs, such as the 2016 KeyRanger ransomware attack – but the frequency of them pales almost into insignificance when compared to the number of attacks aimed at Windows users.

And so, if security is of greatest concern to you when choosing a new computer, you can’t go wrong with a Mac.

Final Thoughts

This is of course not an exhaustive list of factors which should be considered when trying to choose between Windows and Mac for your new computer. Many other things such as user interface, price, personal ethics, and more, can all play a role. In the end, it comes down to what you want from your computer.

Whichever you choose, FileHippo has a great range of free software to support your new device. Please head to the comments and let us know which system you prefer, and why you think it sits head and shoulders above the competition.

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