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Computer Lifespan: Mac vs. Windows based PC

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by ElectricZombie, May 14, 2008.

  1. ElectricZombie

    ElectricZombie

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    After stopping by the Apple store for the first time ever last weekend, I'm quite impressed with Leopard and Apple computers in general. I'm in the market for a new computer, and am strongly purchasing an iMac or MacBook Pro.

    First, a little back ground info. I've been working on Windows PCs for the last 15 years. I'm still running XP, with no real issues. My main issue with Windows is that it requires a lot of time and effort to keep it working properly. I format my computer every 3 months or so because Windows seems to bog down around that time. I'd like something that I don't have to constantly tinker with to keep working.

    In general, I've observed that a typical Windows based PC lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 years before they need to be replaced. This is mostly due to the increasing hardware demands imposed by the development of Microsoft's latest OS. This has become more apparent with the release of Vista.

    On the other hand, Apple claims many of their systems that are several years old can run Leopard with no problem. This leads me to beleive that the lifespan of a Mac is longer than that of a Windows PC.

    Do Macs generally have a longer useful lifespan than the typical Windows PC? (I don't game, so this isn't an issue.) I'd like to get something that will last for years to come instead of buying a new computer every few years.

    I'm thinking that a Mac might be the answer for a worry free computer that will last more than a couple of years.
     
  2. crimsonaudio

    crimsonaudio 15 or 30?

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    IME, Mac are useful longer (for example, I have two machines that were made in 1999 that are still chugging along flawlessly as servers). The main reasoning is that Apple constantly improves efficiency with software releases, so outside of some of the graphics involved, almost any modern-ish Mac will run the latest software.

    I was a hardcore windoze guy for years and still use an XP box daily at work, but for reliability and longevity, Macs can't be beat, imo...
     

  3. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    If your Eks Pee installations are aging that rapidly, I'd be looking for malware. It just ain't natural for them to decay that fast.

    I think the operative question here is not how long will the computer you select be useful, but how long can you resist Gates and/or Jobs sales pitch(es) to put you in a new model. I'd guestimate 90% of all personal computers are put out to pasture in favor of newer/shinier long before they've exhausted their usefulness.
     
  4. G17Collector

    G17Collector Original "G"

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    I am a former Windows guy. I also am a former Apple employee.

    Apple computers, in general, outlast their PC counterparts. They also hold their monetary value FAR longer than any other personal computer on the market.

    If you buy the mid range version of any Apple computer, you can expect it to last an easy 5 years - most likely on the original OS install to boot.

    I ran a G4 for four years straight with zero issues. And no anti-virus or the like to boot.

    My current main computer is a Mac Pro. I also use a MacBook Pro.

    I'll never go back to Windows.
     
  5. certifiedfunds

    certifiedfunds Cosmopolitan Bias

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    Yup. I went through pretty much the same thing. Switched to mac stone cold about 17 months ago and will never go back to PC. Still have my pc but haven't turned it on in months.

    I have a 17" mbpro. (Its too big by the way)

    I like to tell people, "Mac just work"
     
  6. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    I think it depends on what you're looking to use it for.

    My desktop is an AMD Athlon 1 GHz with 512 MB ram. I want to say I got it 8 years ago. It still runs XP great. Mostly because I don't play games on it. Or I should say, todays games on it. I mostly use it for the internet and watching movies/playing music with no troubles.


    As for worry free computing. I sometimes never understood some of the problems people have had with computers. When I did tech support, some of the problems people would call in about really made me wonder.
     
  7. GT Null

    GT Null "It's on, cuz"

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    I just upgraded my PC to a Phenom quad core (@2.8 ghz) and 4g ram.

    When i got it set up, i made a hard disk image that i store on an extra HD (it is about 40Gigs) and if everything starts slowing down from a virus or time, i just format the drive and put the image back on the drive (takes an hour maybe).

    The longevity of the PC itself (either mac or windows) depends on the hardware used. Mac (from my limited inexperienced view) use better/higher end hardware then your run of the mill Dell.

    Now if you take the time and build a quality PC, you'll be fine.

    The longest i ran an OS without formatting was a year. This was with Vista, and it ran fine (although slower than XP).
     
  8. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    In some ways, I'd actually prefer it if my Macs didn't live as long as they do - I always have to justify upgrades on the qualities of the new machine, not the failures of the old. I run on the assumption that computers last me 3 years before I'm looking for a tech upgrade. Laptops maybe a little less, because of the beating they take on the road. I've never had a Mac desktop die. In fact, my old Mac IIci from 1993 is still running, and will run e-mail, web and MS Office (older version) quite nicely.

    Just as an example, I have two older Mac desktops (PowerMacs) that are still going strong. I've moved to an Intel-based iMac for my daily use, because I'm a bit of a speed junkie, but I have an early 2002 single-processor 800Mhz G4 tower that's still a fine machine. Never a hardware hassle, still on the original OS install, and it's a perfectly usable computer for mail, web, and Microsoft Office. I'd have no problems using it as my daily computer for that kind of use. We're currently using it as a 'shared' public computer in our living room for kids, guests, that kind of thing. I could probably sell it for $3-400 or so (amazing, if you think about it!), and while it's too slow for hardcore graphics production, I wouldn't hesitate to have someone work on it for producing newsletters, basic art, etc. It's not up for video production, really, and doesn't have USB2...

    The other one is a dual-867 MHz dual G4 tower from 2003, that's my emergency mail/file server at the office. It's backing up a 2004 dual 2.0Ghz G5 Xserve, and based on tests, can handle a standard daily load for my 15-person office without too much trouble (the Xserve turned out to be a bit of overkill). That machine is actually very good for DVD ripping - a hair slower than my current 2008 model machine, but not really all that different.

    long story short, other than one laptop (original TiBook) which had a broken hinge, I've never had a Mac move on due to component failure or inability to keep it running. I upgrade the OS every couple years, but since OS X came out, I've never had to re-install the OS on a Mac. I know others have had less success and seen some burned-out Macs, but I'd certainly say that they in general last longer than PC's... If I told you about all the PC's I've owned since 2002.... :shocked::shocked:
     
  9. G17Collector

    G17Collector Original "G"

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    I’m necroposting on purpose - I’m still running the same Mac Pro almost 10 years later. Only had a graphics card fail.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Gun Shark

    Gun Shark

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    Have you upgraded, or are you using that Mac Pro as your primary? I just made a purchase(I say just but it was end of 2015) of a MBP and maxed it out(all except for the 1TB SSD, I instead took the standard 512gb.
     
  11. G17Collector

    G17Collector Original "G"

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    I’m actually pulling it from use shortly. The power consumption is high. An iMac is replacing it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Gun Shark

    Gun Shark

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    iMac Pro?
     
  13. G17Collector

    G17Collector Original "G"

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    Nah, just an old Late-2013 21.5”


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. unit 900

    unit 900

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    My Christmas present to my girlfriend, an art teacher, was an upgrade to her 2012 Macbook Pro. I put in a 1TB SSD and maxed the RAM at 16gb. The laptop is very fast, stable and should be very useful for another 5 years. I still use a WIndows PC, but had to buy a used Macbook Pro so I could provide support to her school needs. I find it a pain to do certain things on the Mac, but understand the appeal.
     
  15. GreenDrake

    GreenDrake Rip Lips

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    Cost of ownership over time, Apple, hands down is a better deal. People see sticker prices and do not consider this piece.
     
  16. captainstormy

    captainstormy

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    Personally I see that as a feature. It gives me options.

    I may need a new laptop, but I don't necessarily need to spend $999 or more for it. That's the cheapest mac laptop you can find right now.

    Of course that $999 mac laptop has great specs, and a windows laptop with similar specs would be expensive too. For example:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIADRF6BM0218

    Similar (actually slightly better) specs than the basic $999 macbook air for $200 less. That's a fair comparison. Comparing an apple laptop to the $300 laptop is apples to oranges.

    Personally I like the fact that windows laptops start at like $300 and go up from there so I can buy exactly as much computer as I need.

    Course I wipe it and put Linux on it first thing, but that's another conversation.

    The Apple desktops are nice, and I pretty much always buy high end for a desktop because I plan to use those for a long long time. I just never consider any pre built desktop and build my own so macs never figure into a desktop for me.
     
  17. JONM78

    JONM78

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    My old Windows PC that I built had a Core 2 Quad Q9450 (2008), 8GB DDR2 (4x2GB DIMMs) and a 128GB SSD. Was still blazing fast and working flawlessly when I upgraded last year. Had Windows 7 on it for many years and updated to Windows 10 without a single hiccup. Never had virus issues. I upgraded the hardware because I wanted native USB 3.0 on the chipset instead of a PCIe card and more RAM. 4GB DDR2 DIMMs aren't cheap.

    Put those old parts (Q9450, P45 motherboard and RAM) into a PC that I built for my mother-in-law. Installed Windows 10 for her. She absolutely loves it and uses it daily. 9 year old hardware and Windows OS and it just screams and works.