05-08-2007, 06:10 PM
Well after some time spent trying to replace everything my pc did with a mac, I have found that it is a hopless task, but strangely, I am OK with that.
Good news or bad? Lets start with the bad:
CAD: As a mechanical engineer, I am forced to live in a cad world. Autodesk hates apple, and will not make a mac version, so I tried alternatives, including turbocad. When loading up a full size DWG file into turbocad, the program and or computer are overwhelmed. Maybe the program was not written to efficiently handle autocad files to be fair, but that is a no-go. Forget about cad on a macbook. Strange though, because cad runs great on windows laptops with similar specs.
Gaming: Forget about it! I am not a big gamer, but still enjoy playing Wolfenstein ET now and then, a two year old game that is based on the quake engine. Notchy gameplay with horrible framerates. Gaming on the macbook? NO WAY! Granted, it has integrated graphics, but again pc's with the same specs play it fine. It has to be something about the way OS X functions.
Adobe Elements: Takes around ONE MINUTE to load the program, very annoying. Works fine otherwise. My pc's have always been able to load full blown photoshop in under 10 seconds. This is a bit upsetting, because you think of a mac going hand in hand with photo editing right? Anyone have any suggestion as to why it would be taking so long? It just doesn't seem right!
The Good Things:
For a computer that struggles with the above mentioned things, I am always AMAZED at the 20 second or so startup, as well as fast shut-downs and restarts. Very impressive.
Call me crazy, but I SWEAR my thoughput speeds are FAR GREATER with the airport than with the wifi on my windows laptops. Big difference for some reason. I don't feel any need to plug my cat 5 in with the macbook, even with large downloads.
Even on recent pc's I have seen the dreaded BSOD (blue screen of death) all too often, as well as lockups, hangs, and generally quirky behaviour. Windows vista seems like windows 98 all over again in several ways. My pc's take up to 2 minutes to start vista, and they have good specs. The macbook has none of these issues, and I love it so much for that. Seamless performance is a good way to describe the general operation. Easy, no hassles. Doesn't bother me with a message saying that it is connecting to a device or looking for it's drivers, I don't care to hear that noise, just do it. The mac just does it. Networking to windows machines is a breeze.
When I put in my faster hard drive I was delighted to see that Apple actually gives you operating system disks, something windows machines no longer come with. What a concept. I paid for the license, and I want OS disks in the box, period! Love that it brings in cool air from the speaker ports, and spits out hot air through the keypad. This eliminates overheating from using it on of all places, your lap (see the irony there? laptop?). Very slim, light, modern looking too.
No virus mess to deal with. Who needs some antivirus bloatware slowing their computer down anyway? Why not just have a secure OS? Why not require a password for major changes? What a no-brainer.
Freeware actually seems MORE abundant for the mac, than for windows, which is the most surprising thing of all. I can use LEGAL freeware to do things I would have to pay a fortune for with windows, or use some hacked copy. Open office serves all of my needs, and I laugh at microsft for wanting $400 for their office for mac thing. F them! Video, photo and audio editing are all accomplished with ease, and mostly for free (except for elements).
No need to defrag. On a windows machine, you had better delete temp files and defrag on a regular basis unless you want to slow to a crawl. Not only is this not required on a mac, moving files around is usually a bad thing, that will move hot files, so you just leave everything alone. Beautiful.
Deleting a program? It can be a real nightmare on a windows machine, to get all the bits and pieces out, and you probably will still have traces in the registry. Mac? Just drag the folder to the trash and it's gone! Love it!
Verdict: For gaming, or cad work, forget about apple. That isn't what macs are made for. If on the other hand, you want a beautiful machine to do everything else, buy a mac. If you want something that works well, with no hassle, doing the little things you do 99% of the time, internet, mail, document work, media work, buy a mac. DO NOT buy a bloated windows vista pc. Do not curse yourself that way! Buy a PC only if you MUST have it for high end gaming, or AutoCad work. Those are the only reasons I can think of. Come to think of it though, if you love gaming, save yourself some serious money. Don't build that $3000 PC desktop, buy a $300 PS2 and be done with it! I guess that makes more sense anyway huh? As far as the cad issue, Bill Gates should be buying good Christmas presents for the folks at autodesk, because they keep a certain percentage of people tied to windows every year. There is no real alternative there, sadly for myself and some others. Oh and as far as boot camp, I refuse to polute a perfectly good mac with any microsoft products! I refuse! I would rather keep a PC in the corner for that one program.
The verdict is still out on the adobe elements startup problem. There may be something I could do to improve startup time, so I am reserving judgement at this time. It gets a pass on that one.
For most people today, a laptop makes the most sense for a "does it all" computer, desktop replacement. You will spend about 1100 for a decent windows laptop, but for a mere $200 more, you could own a far superior machine, a macbook. That should be an easy decision for anyone pondering the choice.
My main advice? Well as a long time windows power-user, and as someone who has built probably 100 windows machines, as well as microsoft networks, here it is. Don't be afraid to take the leap. It will be a shorter jump, and a softer landing than you might expect. And once you land, you are going to look back and wonder why you waited so long to jump. For all but a small group of specialty users (seem my special needs above), this should be an easy decision, go Mac. Even if you are forced to used a windows machine for certain things, keep it in a corner, and use it for those things. If you can, avoid hooking it up to the internet. Why take the risk. Use it to run the programs that are windows only, and use your mac for everything else. That is exactly what I will be doing. By the way, women love Macs. Mine has no use for a pc now and raves about the Mac.