32 reasons why PCs are better than Macs
“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.” So claimed Spanish philosopher, George Santayana, long before Steve Jobs was even an Apple in his mother’s eye. But Santayana’s prophetic sound bite perfectly describes Apple’s omnipresent “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” campaign.
For the benefit of those readers who’ve been pot-holing in the Pennines for the last few months, the campaign portrays the PC as a crash-prone, virus-ridden, boring, office workhorse.
How has the victim of these laughable slurs reacted? Aside from a few catty comments from Bill Gates, the world’s richest company – a corporation renowned for bullying its competitors – has meekly rolled with the punches. So, in light of Microsoft’s total lack of response, PC Pro has stepped in to defend the Windows corner.
We’ve got 32 solid reasons why the PC is better than the Mac, ranging from the over-inflated price tag on Apple’s hardware to the under-valued ability to build your own PC from scratch.
Why is PC Better than Mac?
If you’re new to the computer buying experience or loyal to one OS you should review the list below to determine if your next big tech purchase should be a PC or a Mac.
1. Extended Warranty Costs
Apple customers are not stranger to additional costs. When you purchase an already high-priced setup, you then must choose if you’d also like to purchase AppleCare+ for your Mac. Ranging from $99-$379 for the service plan, then you pay additional fees if your device needs worked on. This is definitely one reason that a PC is better than a Mac.
Apple does give you 90-days free for tech-support on its products. The tech support is phenomenal, there’s no denying that. But, is it worth it compared to PC support? Depending on where you buy your computer you’ll receive excellent support at a lower cost like Best Buy’s Geek Squad.
2. No price premium for flashy design
There still isn’t a PC maker on the planet that can hold a candle to Apple when it comes to product design. Macs routinely cost more than their PC equivalents. The cheapest Mac you can buy, the Mac Mini costs $799 brand new from Apple. Of course, you can find refurbished options but we’ll explain why that’s not exactly a great idea further down the list.
We would be doing a disservice to anyone purchasing a PC to speak about the lowest pricing options because they are available for purchase anywhere, brand new from the box, with a one-year warranty and tech support at no additional cost. If you’re looking for great design, PC manufacturers have really stepped up their game in this department over the last few years.
3. Thousands of decent games
PCs are a gamer’s dream while Mac is still lacking. First, most affordable Mac’s won’t have the graphics card requirements to run your favorite games. Second, you can’t customize or upgrade your equipment to grow with you.
The PC has a near-monopoly on all the decent graphics hardware. And even if you did want to upgrade your Mac’s graphics, you probably couldn’t anyway. “Nvidia graphics options for Apple desktops and notebooks can only be purchased through Apple or as Apple update kits,” warns Nvidia’s website. If you’re even half-way serious about gaming, you need a PC.
4. Two mouse buttons
Yes, we know Macs are meant to be so simple your gran could partition the hard disk while solving the Countdown conundrum but do they really need to be dumbed down to use only one mouse button? A chimp with Attention Deficit Disorder could master two buttons, but Apple’s (seemingly not ironically named) Mighty Mouse resorts to a single mouse click by default.
Yes, you can easily tweak the driver for two buttons or simply plug in a normal mouse, but a firing squad is too lenient for the imbecile who decided that pressing Ctrl and left-click was a better out-of-the-box solution than a single press of the right button.
We’ve all complained about Windows Updates, they take too long, they’re glitchy, and they happen way too often. But, have you ever tried to update your Mac? You can’t visit the control panel, type “Update” into the search bar, and click “Install.”
It’s a rather complicated process of using Apple’s Time Machine to offload all of your important information, head over to the Mac’s App Store to install the newest update, restore all of your content, and by the time it’s all said and done you’ve lost memory and possibly some important documents.
6. Tailor-made systems
Gaming PCs, video workstations, media centers, digital photo PCs, build-your-own, mini-chassis, midi-towers, business PCs… need we go on? There are dozens of different desktop PC configurations that can be fine-tailored with thousands of specialist components to meet a buyer’s requirements. How many flavors do Mac desktops come in? Three. Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. If none of those meet your needs, take a hike.
The open architecture of the PC platform, on the other hand, gives you access to an immense range of configurations, enabling you to tailor a PC to your needs without wasting money on capabilities you won’t use. It also means you can make modular upgrades, such as fitting a new CPU and motherboard without having to replace your existing graphics card and hard drives. Try that with an iMac.
7. Macs are months behind
If you want cutting-edge hardware, you need a PC. Remember when the Intel Core CPU was released? Apple finally jumped ship from IBM processors, even though PC processors had been outstripping the PowerPC G5 CPU for years. But even though the agreement was trumpeted from the rooftops by Intel and Apple, it still took months for the complete Mac range to go fully Intel. Core 2 was even worse, with almost the whole PC market having them before Apple shipped a single Core 2 Mac.
The same is true of almost all new technology. Not only is there no option to buy a desktop or laptop Mac with an internal HD DVD or Blu-ray drive, you can’t buy an internal Mac-compatible one at all. The same is again true of graphics: while the PC has up-to-the-minute 3D video hardware, Macs are an entire generation behind. And while PC users have had super-fast draft 802.11n wireless for nearly two years, Apple users have only just acquired it.
8. Life beyond 1st January
It isn’t only children’s sticky fingers that will take the gloss off the shiny new MacBook you got for Christmas – the new line-up of laptops announced at the annual MacWorld show every January will leave your cutting-edge gift looking so last year, almost immediately.
Yes, consumer-friendly Apple decides to spring new products onto its customers just days after the peak buying period every single year, and there’s little point in trying to second-guess what the company is about to launch because it cloaks its announcements with an iron curtain the USSR would have been proud of. Thankfully, there’s no such post-Christmas Microsoft jamboree.
9. Superior search facilities
Mac OS X lacks many features that Windows power users take for granted, such as resizing windows from any corner or edge, using cut and paste to move files around, and renaming files from within a file requester.
It doesn’t even offer a working “maximize window” button. If you just want a computer that looks pretty then the Finder might suit you, but if you actually want to manipulate files then Windows Explorer wins hands down.
10. Safety in numbers
While having one company controlling both the hardware and operating system undoubtedly has its advantages, it also leaves Mac fans with all their eggs in one titanium-clad basket. Apple could, for example, decide to drop Mac OS X at any time. What would happen to Mac OS devotees and developers then?
It also leaves Apple remarkably vulnerable when innovations go wrong – the ill-fated Cube placed the company in deep trouble, for example, whereas international giants such as HP and Sony can tinker with experimental form factors such as smart displays and UMPCs, without worrying that commercial failure could potentially cripple the company.
11. It’s So Easy to Void the Warranty
So, you paid $1,300 for your Mac, you paid the $300+ for the AppleCare+ service and something goes wrong. You drive the hour or two to your nearest Apple Store just to be told you’ve voided the warranty. Now, you’re out of luck with that support you paid for because you didn’t even know that the software or hardware changes you made months ago would leave you and Apple at odds.
Apple is incredibly stingy with its products. No one else is allowed to touch them (or even open the chassis) without Apple getting defensive. HPs, for example, let you upgrade the graphics card and still covers your device under warranty (just not the third-party parts). If you like freedom and peace-of-mind PC is the way to go.
12. Microsoft’s on your team
Microsoft may be the company everyone loves to hate but if there’s going to be a domineering, cash-rich mega-corporation in the industry, you definitely want it to be on your team. The PC is, of course, Microsoft’s platform of choice, and so the Windows market is the first to benefit from ground-breaking new products like Microsoft Office. Mac owners will have to wait until well after the release for a new version of Office, and even then it will be largely devoid of the well-received Ribbon interface that Microsoft first introduced into the PC version.
So, you have a Mac, an iPhone, Airpods, and an iPad that can talk to one another seamlessly? That’s great, but what about your non-Apple products? It’s a common misconception that PCs aren’t compatible with other devices and this just isn’t the case.
With Windows compatibility to an Xbox, One Drive, and so many other software options, the PC is giving Mac a run for their money. Better yet, if you decide to upgrade your phone to another OS, you won’t have to buy a compatible device to stay connected.
14. The Power Cords
Did your dog chew up your power cord? Perhaps it just gave out. Head right on over to Amazon and order a new one. Well, if you aren’t using a Mac. Sure, you’ll find some for your make and model there, but you’ll notice little glitches and power failures so it’s best just to use an Apple-branded one which is as high-priced as any Apple product.
15. No Confusing Version Numbers
Here are the operating system requirements for Apple’s iLife 06 suite: “Mac OS X v10.3.9 or v10.4.3 or later; v10.4.4 recommended.” Aperture, meanwhile demands “Mac OS X v10.4.7 (or later)”; while Logic Express 7 recommends “Mac OS X v10.4.3 or later for PowerPC-based systems; Mac OS X v10.4.4 or later for Intel-based systems.” And yet Apple’s website proudly proclaims, “there is only one version of Mac OS X”. Come again?
Even the most complicated Windows system requirements will only specify a service pack, and considering they’re only released once every few years, that’s hardly likely to confuse your dad when he’s browsing the software shelves in PC World.
16. The Start-Up Sounds
If you’ve been sitting on a train recently and heard an unholy BLAAAANG sound, the reason is simple: there was a Mac owner somewhere in the carriage. For, in Apple’s infinite wisdom, it decided that a simple PC-like “beep” from the hardware to indicate the successful start of the boot process wasn’t annoying enough.
Instead, it substituted the most appalling metallic clanging noise you’ve ever heard. And you can’t turn it off unless you mute the whole machine before you shut it down. Class.
17. Cheap OEM versions
Although, strictly, it breaches Microsoft’s licensing terms and conditions, in practice there’s little to stop experienced PC owners buying the vastly discounted OEM versions of Windows.
At the time of writing, users can get Windows 10 absolutely free. But, if you do want OEM software head over to any software website and pick your poison.
Overall, the freedom to do what you’d like is a big factor when choosing an OS. Freedom to choose your price-point, freedom to take your hardware to a repair shop, freedom to choose your parts. PC has cornered the market here.
If your best friend works on computers for a living and yours breaks down, take it to them to have a quick repair or hardware replacement. Mac, on the other hand, won’t let you do this. The only way to get Mac parts is to take it to a Mac authorized repair center.
19. IT support expertise
When it comes to the workplace, Windows is the predominant OS by a mile. And while its vagaries may drive IT departments up the wall, there’s an army of support professionals out there with vast experience of making it work. Switch platforms, however, and you can kiss all that goodbye: experienced Mac OS systems engineers are like gold dust.
Couple the PC’s comparative ease of support with the fact that almost all business apps are either cross-platform or Windows-only, and you don’t need an MBA to spot the smart investment.
20. Not so insecure
Apple makes a great fuss about the Mac’s supposed immunity to viruses, and it’s true that the platform has historically been less vulnerable to virus attack than the PC. However, to suggest, as it does, that your PC is at risk from more than 100,000 viruses, is ludicrous.
Make sure your Windows system is up to date, get a decent virus checker and we sincerely doubt you’ll be troubled by one virus a year, let alone 100,000.
21. Copious amount of freeware
One of the advantages of Windows’ long tenure at the top is the vast quantity of freely downloadable software now available. To be sure, there’s an active Mac shareware community as well, but the numbers speak for themselves: the download.com file repository lists more than 55,000 packages of freeware and shareware for Windows, compared to just 4,586 for the Mac.
Which library would you rather have access to?
22. Mac is Complicated
One of the more common complaints from new-to-Mac users is that everything is backward. Your minimize web page button is on the left of the window rather than the right. Your keyboard shortcuts are wonky, to say the least. Need to copy and paste something? Rather than a CTRL and Alt button, you now have an fn, control, option, and CMD button and each does something a little different.
One thing we hate in 2020 is extra keystrokes and clicks. Apple has plenty of these for the most basic actions.
23. The Menu is where?
For an interface that’s supposed to be intuitive, design-led, and superior to Windows, Mac OS has some pretty odd quirks. One of the most annoying is that the menu bar for any given application isn’t actually attached to the app itself: it sits at the top of the screen in one of the most bizarre forms of conceptual detachment we’ve seen in a long time.
24. Full Selection of peripherals
Macs are shut out from a wide range of products and services, from Windows-only home security kits to music download stores and MP3 players – including the Creative Zen Vision:M. Even relatively simple peripherals, such as the handy U3 memory sticks, are persona non grata on Mac OS X.
25 Build your own computer
Macs are like Happy Meals: there’s a shiny menu to choose from, but very little real variety on offer. The open architecture of the PC platform, on the other hand, means you can build your own PC from the ground up (or pay someone to do it for you).
With your own choice of case, CPU, monitor, and other components, you might even end up with a system designed for your personal workspace, rather than for a penthouse condo on the Lower East Side.
26. The All-in-One Options
Sure, one great thing about the Mac is that everything is combined into one monitor. There’s no need for a tower. Fortunately, PCs also have this option but still, give you the freedom to customize. If you have an incredibly small office and would like to reduce the space that a tower takes up, don’t let the All-in-One option push you into a less-customizable and more expensive Mac.
27. Tablets and Touchscreens
We’re certainly not about to claim that tablet PCs have been a runaway success for Microsoft, but for certain purposes – medical, warehouse management, presenting Sky News – they’ve become an integral part of the business.
Yet, while there’s been a Tablet version of Windows since 2002, Apple stubbornly claims it isn’t interested in touchscreen technology on the PC. That’s a shame, because as HP’s IQ770 TouchSmart PC proves, touchscreen PC technology can certainly have its advantages in consumer applications, such as photo editing and web browsing. Indeed, if we were feeling bold, we could even predict that touchscreens will be an integral part of consumer PCs within the next decade.
28. You Don’t Need as Much RAM
From the very early days of Mac OS, Windows’ virtual memory has always been better implemented than the Mac’s. That means a PC that’s low on memory might be slow, but it won’t be any less reliable. A Mac with low memory has a terrible tendency to fall over in a stiff breeze, which widens the price gap between comparable Mac and PC specifications even more.
29. A Mac’s Delete Key Doesn’t Delete
No, really! Click on a file in Mac OS X’s equivalent of Windows Explorer. Now, press the delete key. Nothing will happen. A logical, intuitive OS? What you have to do is press the Apple and backspace keys together, or drag the file to the trash can. Say hello to extra keystrokes slowing you down with a Mac!
30. Apple doesn’t like meddling
Mac users like to boast about how, rather than a traditional BIOS, they have something known as EFI (extensible firmware interface). All very well, but if you actually try to get into the EFI setup to tweak your hardware, you’ll find it’s nearly impossible. Not so with a PC: just reboot, hit the delete key when prompted, and you’ll have low-level access to your hardware. Tweak it for maximum speed or maximum stability, the choice is yours.
31. PCs are greener
Apple is currently bottom of the pile in Greenpeace’s Green Electronics Guide rankings. Greenpeace claims the company “scores badly on almost all criteria”, including the use of hazardous chemicals, product take-back, and recycling.
32. Best for beginners
For years, Apple has been peddling the myth that Macs are better suited to computing novices, without any independent evidence to back up its claims. In our experience, it doesn’t matter whether you sit a computing beginner in front of a PC or a Mac, they’ll be equally at home or perplexed.
When a new user does need help there are ten times more Windows users than Macolytes to lend them a helping hand. Windows even includes a Remote Assistance tool, so you can take control of their computer, without having to trek across to their house when they accidentally delete their printer driver.