The Mac vs PC debate has been going on since the 90s. Where does the debate stand in 2016? What are the major differences between Macs and PCs in 2016? Find out today as we look at the software, hardware, value, and security of the world’s two most popular computers.
Hardware & Design
We’ll start by looking at the design and exterior hardware on both the Mac and PC – since it’s the first thing you notice.
Macs have always been known for their hardware design quality. In the 1990s, PCs were boring, bland, and boxy. Macs were colorful, sleek, and modern-looking. The original iMac – with its lamp-like design – was one of the best-looking computers ever made.
But it’s not 2001 anymore. In 2016, every PC manufacturer has copied the MacBook in some form or another. We’ve seen many laptops with a sleek metal chassis. The MacBook’s design hasn’t been updated in years.
In other words, you no longer have to spend $2000 to get a laptop that looks as good as a MacBook. Laptops like the HP Stream, for example, are priced for around $200 USD and come with a colorful, cheerful design.
With Apple, you have one choice for hardware and design. If you don’t like the look of the MacBook, then tough luck. With the PC, you have hundreds of choices – often at a better price.
Gaming has certainly got better on the Mac over the years – but it still lags years behind the PC. Sure, you might be able to get Civilization V on your Mac, but virtually all major titles come out first on the PC – and most never get to the Mac.
PCs also now have the ability to stream games from both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which expands the PC gaming library by thousands of games.
This category isn’t even close. If you’re a gamer, the Mac isn’t for you.
Windows 10 Versus Mac OS X
For all the controversy of Windows 8, Microsoft really improved its flagship OS with Windows 10. Cortana is a built-in feature that’s legitimately useful.
Apple, on the other hand, does not have Siri integration on Mac OS – although it’s likely coming in the future.
Overall, the operating systems have significant UI differences that will appeal to different types of users. Do you like the Start Menu? Or have you always preferred Mac OS? The core features remain very similar: you can perform the same tasks on both operating systems.
One area where the two operating systems are significantly different is with touch: Microsoft has fully embraced touch since Windows 8. Apple, on the other hand, has always avoided having touch on Mac OS – which is weird considering they basically invented touch on the iPhone.
Winner: Tie (Subjective; Pick the One You Prefer)
Security: Which Computer is Safer?
We’re a long ways removed from the “Macs don’t get viruses” advertising spin of the 1990s and early 2000s. Now, we know that Macs do get viruses – and they can be quite devastating.
The Keyranger ransomware attacked OS X users in 2016, which was the first major ransomware attack that took place on the system. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of devastating ransomware problems on the PC, including Cryptolocker and its many varieties.
Today, PCs are still more susceptible to viruses due to their underlying system architecture (and widespread popularity and use). Nevertheless, Macs are far from immune.
Value is kind of like the “gaming” category of the Mac vs PC debate: do we really have to talk about it?
The truth is, Macs have never been for the value-minded customer. Without exception, Macs give you worse tech specs at a higher price. You can build a $500 PC that has the same tech specs as a $2000+ Mac.
The cheapest Mac you can get is the Mac Mini, priced at around $500. You can hardly call that a computer: it doesn’t come with a keyboard, mouse, or display. It also has disappointing tech specs and hasn’t been updated since 2014.
I’m not going to dive too deep into tech specs here, but suffice to say that Apple charges you a significant premium for the brand and logo.
Mac Versus PC: Which One is Best in 2016?
We’re going to admit our bias here: you’re reading news on a PC news website. Most of us aren’t exactly Mac fanboys.
Still, we think the facts speak for themselves: if you like getting good value for your money, performing a wide variety of tasks on your PC, and enjoying a larger number of choices, then the PC is the platform for you.
That being said, many people prefer the Mac interface over the PC’s interface. Some people also don’t mind spending twice the price on the same level of hardware.
We’ve always called PCs the winner. However, we understand why the Macs appeal to certain groups of people.