The myths/lies surrounding the PC v. Mac debates

I think it’s about time I addressed the myths regarding the PC v. Mac debates. I’m starting to get tired of the BS that lots of people are spreading on both sides so I’m going to try to list every myth I can remember and show how it’s not really true. I think people ought to know the truth instead of lies based on marketing or fanboys.

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For argument’s sake, we’ll assume that the a PC is a computer running Windows and a Mac is one running OS X. (Technically, both are considered a personal computer)

Here we go in no particular order:

1. PCs get viruses. Macs don’t.

False. While it is true that PCs can get viruses, so can Macs. It’s just that virus writers are much less likely to target OS X users, because they make up such a small minority of users. However, there was one lately that hit a lot of users surprisingly which goes to show that it is possible for Macs to get viruses. It’s not good to have security through obscurity.

2. There are no real games for the Mac. Any true gamer will get a PC.

That’s now been false for awhile. Many computer game companies have started releasing OS X versions of their popular games, and are working to probably get all their games to. Valve, a very popular game distributor and game maker, has also had support for Macs for about a year now. You can also run Windows on a Mac, and get games from that as well. Though in the end, it is probably true that a real gamer would probably have his own custom computer rig or fancy Alienware computer to play hard core games, but it’s unlikely that most people wondering about a PC v. Mac are serious gamers.

3. Macs are the best for media/art stuff. The pros use it.

Wrong. The quality of art is a matter of the artist, not the tools. You can do well on both platforms. There are a lot more media/arts related tools available to Mac users more than PCs, but quantity doesn’t always equal quality. I will say that Apple’s higher end multimedia programs, like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro are very top-of-the-line, but they’re not the only solution. Adobe Creative Suite is a very popular solution for both Mac and PC owners alike, and are also professional quality tools.

Alongside, another misconception is that everyone in the media industry uses Macs to do their work. There are a lot of Macs, but it’s not really a supermajority. Regular PCs are used for a lot of the base and even professional bits. Sony Entertainment, for example, loves to use its own Sony Vegas Pro to create their films, and obviously that hasn’t stopped them from making blockbusters. Dreamworks and other animation companies use PCs for advanced 3D modeling. Usually it’s many designers’ preference to work on a Mac, but only because it has been so ingrained within the industry.

4. If you want a high-quality computer guaranteed to last, Macs are the only choice.

Wrong. The perception that most PCs are just the standard cheap Dell or HP computer has already been shown to be very deceiving. Look no farther than Lenovo, Asus, Sony VAIO, and the select lines of HP and Dell as a hint to where you can also get a very good PC, but still affordable. Design-wise, they’re just as good if not better (see Dell Adamo or Samsung Series 9 or Vaio Z) and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Macs can also get problems just as well. Do a Google or Bing for “mac issues” or “mac problems” or anything like that and you’ll see many news and forums about them.

5. Macs are so awesome because they can run both Windows and OS X.

It’s not technically wrong, but it is very deceptive. Only reason why Macs have the legitimate ability to do so is because Apple owns and controls both Macs and OS X. If Apple would allow others to pay and install OS X on whatever machines they would want to, Apple would no longer have a very unique reason for you to buy a Mac. This is why I don’t consider this to be a true feature, given the obviousness.

Also, if you want a legit Windows OS, you’ll have to cough up some extra $100s, as it’s not included. Also, there’s a project called Hackintosh where you can put OS X on a PC, though not legitimately.

6. Macs are so good, that you can sell it used or refurbished for very close to the original price.

True, but that’s also how it usually is with other high-end computers. If it’s a great computer, you will/should be able to sell it for near the original price unless there’s obvious wear and tear. I’ve yet to seen some study or research showing that Macs are the only brand that can achieve this.

7. A lot of famous people use Macs, even on TV and in movies, so it must be good.

A lot of famous people have the money to splurge on trendy things. Macs happen to be very trendy. Most famous people are probably not tech smart, thus not aware there are other great computers out there, thanks to Apple’s pervasive marketing that it’s brand is the best. So of course most will appear to have a Mac. Just so you know, having a Mac won’t make you cool or famous. At least it shouldn’t.

Very often, products you see in movies and TV are just product placement. There’s been some chatter that it’s also ‘often’ because the producer/director chose to do so because they like Apple or because it’s a computer they had on hand. If you see an obvious glowing Apple logo, it’s going to be obvious Apple paid for it to be there. Rarely do the studios think it’s a wise idea to give free marketing for a company, or be liable to a company if they didn’t want their products associated with the studio’s production. Otherwise, there might be a Mac, but they’ll disguise it by cover the logo/branding, though you still might be able to tell.

8. Macs are very expensive and overpriced.

It is overpriced, but not necessarily expensive. It’s overpriced in the sense that given a PC and a Mac having near same parts, you’ll still pay more for the Mac because Apple also sells its ‘brand’, thus the higher mark up. It’s ridiculous but true. It is overpriced.

Expensive? Depends. If brand new, yes. Unless you’re a college student, where you can a slight discount and a ‘free’ iPod Touch (smallest format of course). Or you can get a refurbished Mac that costs less but is just as good. With any higher-end purchase, you also need to note the general durability and quality build will make it last longer. They can be comparatively priced to other PCs with a similar focus on high-end parts and a pretty design.

9. PCs come with so many problems, it’s harder to use while Macs aren’t.

Wrong. Maybe the likelihood of a PC having problems and usability issues is higher, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. These days, PCs are shipping with Windows 7, well lauded for it’s stability and usability. It’s not perfect, but neither is OS X. So usability-wise, I’d have to say that’s utterly false, as long as you can read and have the patience to learn a computer the right way.

Problems? Well most problems tend to be induced by either the company who made the computer, or the user him/herself. Companies want to justify they can make PCs cheaper by tacking on some trialware or junkware to ‘offer’ you some good deals or neat tools thanks to the company that paid to put it on there. Usually it’s a trial or just not good, though you can always start by doing a clean install which isn’t too hard if you do it sooner so you don’t have to deal with data. Otherwise, faulty parts on cheap PCs have been an obvious problem.

Users themselves may also be a part of the reason why there may be problems. Installing shareware programs and downloading all kinds of stuff, especially anything ‘free’ might make you at greater risk for having malware or harming your computer. Please avoid.

10. Microsoft is a copycat, Apple is an innovator. Thus you should buy a Mac.

That is one of the worst justifications for a purchase. Company A has a reputation for this, so I should disregard the actual product and go with Company B.  That’s silly and wasting money if you’re buying a subpar product. Not to mention it’s not really true. At the beginning of the decade, Microsoft got really stagnant as Apple leaped into the consumer market with truly better products. However, in recent years, Microsoft has created or strongly evolved their products that they are just as great if not better than Apple’s. Check out Microsoft Research if you don’t think Microsoft can be innovative.

All companies copy something. Is it copying if Company B is first to the market with a feature that Company A told the world at least a year ahead they would have in their next version of a product? Or is it copying if Company A releases the product to the market with the mentioned feature a month after Company B sold theirs? It shouldn’t matter. What’s important is that the product you buy will have the feature regardless who had it first.

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If there are any other myths or lies I should list, or if you want to make a point for or against one of them, I’d love to hear you in the comments. Thanks.

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