Windows OS vs Mac OS

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I think we have all heard the arguments between Macs and Windows computers, but the answer takes a little more digging to determine which is better. Looking at just the operating system doesn’t tell the whole story. Because the Mac operating is proprietary, you can’t install it on just any computer. We need to look at the whole package not just the operating system.

Get ready for the Windows OS vs. Mac OS smack down. I’ll be comparing a MacBook pro to a similar Windows computer. In particular, I’ll be comparing the 15″ Macbook Pro with the Dell Latitude E5570.

There is probably a better Windows computer for what you are doing, but this is the closest hardware match that I could find.

Hardware

The hardware in a computer can vary a lot between different computers. I’ve selected the Windows computer that I did because it is similar in hardware. I’ll also establish a baseline of what is normal for each category as well.

Hard Drive

Both the Latitude E5507 and the Macbook Pro have a 256 GB solid state drive (SSD) for the hard drive. A SSD is the best upgrade that you can put in a computer. Everything that is installed on it will load much quicker than a standard mechanical hard drive.

It’ll be much easier to see how fast it is when the computer is starting than any other time. With a SSD you can expect to spend around 10 seconds on the computer starting up.

However, one of the biggest issues with the hard drive is the size. With a 256 GB hard drive space will go pretty quickly. You can find cheap laptops with 125 GB hard drives, but for this price you should be able to expect a 500 GB hard drive.

You can get both of these computers with a larger hard drive, but it’ll come at a premium. With the operating system taking its chunk out of the 256 GB you’ll have to always keep the size of your drive in mind.

Battery Life

The battery is perhaps the most important distinction between a laptop and a desktop. In order for a laptop to function as a laptop it needs to have a decent battery.

We should keep in mind that the battery life is affected by what the task you have the computer doing is. Playing video games, rendering 3d images, and compressing video and going to take a lot more battery power than checking your email or finishing your report.

Batteries will also degrade over time. A battery that is capable of going for 6 hours today, won’t last nearly as long in 3 years. I still have a laptop from my university days. The computer is 7 years old now and it’ll say I need to plug in as soon as I unplug.

Other laptops are capable of getting the batteries switched out, but both of these will require you to use a screw driver to take the back panel off. So replacing the battery on these computers, while still possible, its a little more involved than other Windows computers.

We’re going to focus on the maximum capabilities claimed by the manufacturers. The Macbook Pro has a 10-hour battery life while the Latitude E5570 has an 8-hour battery life.

While the difference is only 2 hours, I’m going to give this point to the Macbook. For a laptop, the battery is important for the overall performance of the computer.

RAM and Screen Size

Both of these computers have 16 GB of RAM. This is more than enough for anything you would want to do. Having 4 GB is the minimum I would ever recommend anybody gets. More is always better though.

The Latitude E5570 does, however, have DDR4 while the Macbook Pro has DDR3. The DDR4 is faster than the DDR3, but you’re really not going to notice the difference unless you are doing something really intensive. The win for this one is going to have to go to the Latitude E5570.

These two computers have the same screen size class. They have a difference of 0.2″ This isn’t a big enough difference to really make an argument one way or the other.

Processor

Both of these computers have a 6th gen Intel I7. They both have a quad core with 8 threads. Both of these computers are going to be fast. There are newer processors that you could get, but newer isn’t always better. You would not be disappointed with these processors.

The Macbook Pro has a slightly better processor than the latitude E5570. There is a difference of 0.2 GHz in the base frequency. For a processor, this is a big difference. The frequency is directly related to how many tasks per second that the computer can do.

For the processor, the Macbook Pro has squeaked out a win. You’ll really only see a difference during highly intensive activities.

Video Card

This might be the area where there is the largest difference in hardware. The Latitude E5570 has a Radeon R7 M360. This is a mid to low range video card. Don’t expect to play any video games on the highest settings.

The Macbook Pro has a better video card. However, it is only available on Macs, so the video drives on Windows get neglected. This card still isn’t designed to play video games. It still won’t be able to play anything really intensive on the highest settings, but it will do much better than the card in the Latitude.

Let’s be honest here. Neither of these computers are designed to play video games, but as a business computer, both computers will work fantastically for their displays.

Out of the Box Software

There is a lot of stuff that comes on any computer. That doesn’t mean its really worth talking about. There is an app for notes, and a calculator, but these really aren’t going to sway anyone one way or the other.

The only software that comes with a Mac that is noteworthy is IMovie, and GarageBand. These are for editing videos and music respectively. I haven’t used these exstenively because I don’t edit videos or music, but from the people I know that has used them they are fantastic.

To do the same task on a windows computer, you’ll need to install something. There is no out of the box solution for these tasks. In fact Windows doesn’t have any out of the box software that is noteworthy.

There are, however, a larger variety of things developed for the Windows system than the Mac. This is something that is changing constantly as more developers are making software for both systems.

Other Features

This is anything else that is different. Because there are a large varety of Windows computers, I’ll focus on the features that the Macbook has and we’ll look to see if there is anything comparable in the Windows environment.

The weight of a computer is important. If you are going to haul it around with you, you’ll want something lightweight. The Macbook is 0.62 lbs lighter than the Latitude E5570. If you’ve ever had to carry a heavy laptop around a university campus before than you know that half a pound can make a difference.

The Macbook has introduced the touch bar. This is an interesting feature, and I haven’t seen a Windows computer introduce anything similar. I don’t know how useful this feature is, but it sounds like an awesome idea. I don’t know if it is more than a glorified toolbar yet. Microsoft has plenty of toolbars.

This model now has a fingerprint scanner. While not all Windows laptops have a fingerprint scanner, there have been Windows computers with fingerprint scanners for around 10 years. It’s about time that apple put this on the Macbook Pro.

The Thunderbolt port is a feature that needs to be mentioned. This has its own pros and cons. The first thing to mention on this port is that everything will connect to the Thunderbolt. This isn’t a good thing. It just means that you’ll either have to spend more money on devices that will only work with the Thunderbolt port, or you’ll get lots of adapters to connect everything.

The plus side to the thunderbolt is that you can charge from any of the ports. Windows computers have stayed a little more traditional with the stand USB port. It’s a safer move to stay with an industry standard rather than trying to redefine the industry. I like knowing that everything I already have will work without an adapter.

Recommendations

Ultimately, the price is going to play a huge factor in determining which type of computer is better to stick with. The hardware between these two computers is virtually the same. You might see the performance on the Macbook as a little better on extremely intensive tasks, but if you’re like me you’ll start it and get your self a drink while you wait.

The Macbook Pro costs $800 more than the Windows computer. This price difference can easily be used to get a good video or music editor. If you plan on using the Mac for either of those tasks, then the Macbook will be the winner. Go ahead and pick one up.

If you are like me, and you haven’t a clue how to edit video or music, then there is definitely a better value in getting a Windows computer. I am a big believer in getting a computer for the tasks that you intend to do. The Macbook only stands tall when you are going to be performing certain tasks.

The versatility of a Windows hardware gives way more options and is a better selection most of the time. Check out this computer from Asus. It only has half the RAM, but Its graphics card, processor and hard drive are all better. Best of all, It’s only a 3rd of the price of the Macbook Pro.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Very informative post. I’ve had a 15” MacBook Pro (late 2008 model) for about 10 years now and the only thing I’ve changed is the battery and it still runs great. My wife has replaced at least three Windows machines during that 10 year span. In my opinion, Apple product are worth every penny and the only choice for me. Thanks, Curtis.

    1. That’s a fantastic lifespan! The best thing about Apple is they put in the parts hardware for a business computer. You don’t need to worry about hardware when you buy an Apple. With a Windows computer, you can get the same lifespan, but only if you make sure all of the hardware is good. If you are buying $200 Windows computers, than you’ll need to replace every 3 years or so.

      Thanks for letting us know about the life span you can expect on a Mac. I haven’t owned one before, but my vice is video games. The graphics card in them isn’t up to the standards that I need it to be.

  2. Really like Macbook pro as it is so light and with long lasting battery. But I sometimes need to run some windows OS programs(my working computer is running windows OS). Sometimes I have to bring two computers with me, how bad it is. Is there any way to solve this problem? I think there should have a lot of people having this issue too. looking forward to your reply.

    1. I know what it’s like to carry two laptops. It is very cumbersome. You have two options to solve this issue.

      The first is to use Boot Camp on the Mac to install Windows. You’ll be able to use both operating systems on one computer. The down side is you are partitioning your hard drive and you can’t share your files across your operating systems. This can be a tremendous headache.

      Your other option is to setup a virtual computer. This means that you would open up an application on your Mac and inside the window would be the Windows operating system. This solution can be very resource intensive at times and it is a little involved to get it setup. I’ll see if I can get a post on doing something like this.

  3. Instead of spending an extra $800 on a machine that is just as good as a cheaper model, wouldn’t it be better to spend the extra 800 on a computer that is better than the mac book pro?

    1. There are actually computers that cost much less that will be able to out perform both of these computers. The Latitude E5570 is just the closest hardware match that I could find, but that doesn’t make it the best Windows computer. The ASUS FX503VD has a better processor, better video card, a 1 TB hard drive (with a 128 GB SSD for the OS), and it only cost $800.

      The Asus computer is going to have a different cost. It weighs 5.7 lbs. This does reduce the portability. Adobe’s video editing software (Premier) can cost $600 per year. Using software like this can blow your savings pretty quickly.

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