General Technology => PC Hardware => Topic started by: Gary-SC on 28 Nov 2019, 07:32:41 pm

Title: Mac or PC?
Post by: Gary-SC on 28 Nov 2019, 07:32:41 pm
I am currently on a seven-year-old MacBook Pro that someone sold me cheap to do all my general computing and web development stuff. It's still working fine with an SSD installed, but its battery runs out of its juice in less than two hours, even under a light load. It also disconnects my Bluetooth mouse that came with it when I bought it from him regularly.

In light of all of that, I'm looking into buying a new laptop. I am wondering whether I should take this opportunity to migrate to Windows laptop, or I should get a new MacBook Air or Pro and run Windows via Parallels Desktop for testing with IE. My needs include anything related to web development, being able to do all the things I'm going to learn for web development (ex. local server, testing environment, etc.) on top of all the usual general computing stuff. I have zero interest in playing computer games, but I want to be able to have some fun editing photos and videos. I want to be able to run several tools without a loud fan running all the time, and I want my battery to last for 4~6 hours if possible, not just two hours or less.

I like the idea of MacBook Pro running multiple OSs in some way because it sounds to me like it's the best of both worlds. But, I've heard that the "Butterfly Keyboard" on MacBooks for the past four years has been awful for so many people. I heard that Apple refused to acknowledge the problem until this year. Looking at the specs out there, it also seems to me like I could get more for the bucks with Windows laptops. But then, I've also heard that developers prefer the Mac because it's UNIX-based while also have access to all the familiar software people use. But THEN, I've heard of Windows 10 has a way to do UNIX-ish stuff besides MS-DOS prompt.

What do you guys recommend? Which laptop would you buy? I have already saved up and budgeted $2,600 cash. I am willing to invest since it's what I will use heavily every day. However, I do not wish to spend any more than I need if, for example, $700 laptop will do all the things I described above more than sufficiently. I am not a cheapskate, but I don't want to spend "just because."
Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: mmerlinn on 28 Nov 2019, 09:49:25 pm
I personally would lean towards the Mac, BUT I HATE OSX and I HATE the Windows operating system even more.

In the end, both would probably be overkill for what you want to do.  Since you seem to be somewhat 'comfortable' with your old Mac, I think you should probably stick with a Mac where the learning curve will take less of your time.

The main issue with the Mac seems to be the cheap keyboard being an overly sensitive touch keyboard. You might want to test one thoroughly before you plunk down your money.

Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: John_Betong on 28 Nov 2019, 10:31:40 pm
Before taking the big step, try buying an inexpensive second hand laptop and installing Linux. Play with it for a couple of weeks and if you don't like it then sell it. Sale price most probably be about the same as the purchase price.

If you do like it then consider purchasing a newer laptop.

About six months ago I had problems with the desktop video card, appalled at the price of new ones and bought an old HP Pavilion with Windows 10 installed on a 500 Gb non-SSD hard drive with 8 Gb of ram. Partitioned and installed Linux and now running two monitors, 21 and 23 inch, external keyboard and mouse. The laptop is always closed except when rebooting.  It works a treat and only cost 165 USD because the battery will not hold a charge even for a couple of seconds! I am looking forward to connecting the desktop 250 Gb SSD and think it will makes a big performance difference.

Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: Jason Knight on 29 Nov 2019, 03:23:52 am
I have always found Apple products to be overpriced junk. People talk about the "quality" of their products and I genuinely have ZERO blasted clue what anyone is talking about.

Their history of technical ineptitude, bald-faced lies, and rewriting computer history -- and their importance in it -- only sours said impression. I would NEVER recommend an Apple product to ANYONE given what utter garbage their devices are, much less the ugly two-faced way they abuse their customers.

Their rabid hatred of third party repair, to their lying to customers about what it takes to repair things, to refusing to honor warranties, to not knowing proper cooling if it stripped naked, painted itself noctua tan, and hopped up on a table to sing "oh look at what a giant cooling fan I am" there is nothing remotely resembling competence of engineering in anything they make.

The laundry list of lies and ineptitude knows no end.

Selling 18 bit displays with dithering and pretending they were 24 bit, to using flat cables too thin for the connectors resulting in display striping, failing to ventilate the G4 cube resulting in many units melting their own chips off, to wrapping the processor in the G3 toilet seats in insulating foam and then underclocking/undervolting it to avoid the "horrible noise of fans"... hell, all the way back to using reject floppy drives and not even springing for screws to hold expansion cards in on the original Apple ][ line whilst having the balls to claim cost savings despite being anywhere from 50% to 200% the cost of the competitors....

It is NOT a company I would ever suggest pointing someone at. They are sleazy disreputable dirtbags that if ANY other company pulled a quarter the stunts they have over the past four decades, you'd hear people screaming from the rooftops about it,... but no, it's the almighty Apple that can do no wrong no matter how many customers they **** over.

FFS, if you've saved up $2600 but a decent thousand dollar laptop, and IF something goes wrong (it wont') buy a new one in four or five years.

NOT that I'd ever use a laptop for development work, or if I did, it would end up like @John_Betong's being set up for use more like a nettop with multiple displays.

But then my workstation is a cheap J1900 quad core Celery with 16 gigs of RAM and a 512 gig SSD connected to a 27" 2560x1440 IPS, and a pair of 24" 1920x1200 displays. The extra desktop space just smooths over the workflow so much, and the differing display qualities let me compare what people get "real world" vs. "oh what does my high end display show it as" -- since the IPS shows me the high end, my 24" Samsung shows me the middle, and the crappy 24" Envision display shows me what poor/normal people get.
Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: John_Betong on 29 Nov 2019, 03:56:05 am
@Jason Knight,
 but my workstation is a cheap J1900 quad core Celery with 16 gigs of RAM and a 512 gig SSD connected to a 27" 2560x1440 IPS, and a pair of 24" 1920x1200 displays
Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: Jason Knight on 29 Nov 2019, 07:44:23 am
Winblows 10 for a host of reasons. Full and proper hardware support of everything I want -- aka where a hackintosh of linsux would fall float on its face. Most of the applications I use for development work are win native or have windows versions. I also use the workstation for DAW use and given that newer apple's have pretty much told professional audio workers to go plow themselves and the best hardware for the task has ALWAYS been PC based -- see 90%+ of EMU's products -- It's not a hard choice.

Besides OSuX's font rendering always looks like blurry illegible crap to me, and Freetype under Linsux kerns text like a sweetly retarded rhesus monkey on crack, meaning if I'm working in text they're just not options for me.

But the hardware is the real cincher, given dicking around with trying to hack outdated kext files in OSX or worse, having to endlessly run modprobe just to get basic audio functionality isn't on my to-do list. I didn't put a GTX 630 in the thing (chosen for low power consumption reasons) to have one of the display outputs disabled (OSX) or for it to have its max resolution on three displays neutered down to 1080p.

Just like how Linux would never end up on my media center, I don't have a GTX 1080ti in it just to have the performance of a GTX 960.

Windows is for desktops, Linux is for servers, OSX is for suckers who don't actually use their computers to do computing tasks and are willing to live with Apple ripping them off.

Varying from this pattern always ends in tears.
Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: gleepower on 29 Nov 2019, 09:49:54 am
If you're needs are very slim, I highly recommend the T420, T400 or X220. You can get them very cheap secondhand, and they have replaceable batteries (replaceable with no screws within seconds) so you can get a super powerful battery.

I would say windows, but after having 15GB of my space taken up by bubblegum witch saga 3 and candy crush which I could delete, the inconvenient updates and the sheer amount of bloat that comes with your PC, I think linux is alright. Just get Debian with GNOME.

This works for me but I only really use a firefox, gvim and a terminal. 
Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: John_Betong on 29 Nov 2019, 10:12:22 am
I just searched about Linux popularity/usage and was amazed that usage is only about 2% (

Linux Usage Statistics, 2019
Now, tech professionals love Linux. It is one of the most popular operating systems among developers.
Let’s see how much exactly: 25.3% ( of professional developers used Linux in 2018.
  • 36.7% (,os-windows)  of the websites with known operating systems use Linux.
  • 54.1% (  of professional developers use Linux as a platform in 2019.
  • 83.1% (  of developers say Linux is the platform they prefer to work on.
  • As of 2017, more than 15,637  ( developers from 1,513 companies had contributed to the Linux kernel code since its creation.
Some of the platinum members ( of the Linux Foundation are Google, AT&T, Fujitsu, Cisco, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft… And according to the stats, programmers are more and more fond of Linux with every passing year.
Before we go on, did you know that:
The Linux penguin was created in 1996 by Larry Ewing.
But did you know that his name is Tux? And that it’s short for a tuxedo?
The idea to have a penguin mascot came from Torvalds himself.
OK, enough penguin talk.
Title: Re: Mac or PC?
Post by: Gary-SC on 29 Nov 2019, 08:47:46 pm
Interesting. People are quite split on this subject.

My verdict for myself, at least for now, after talking to a bunch of people and reading/watching reviews and reports: I'm going to keep using my old MBP and not spend money at all until it actually dies. Besides the battery getting old, I've actually enjoyed using it. It still does what I need it to do without any hassles and slowdowns. The keyboard issue hasn't affected me personally since mine isn't that keyboard. A few friends who own and use PCs or both all have mixed/different opinions about it as well, but they all pretty much told me just to use whichever I happen to have. I'll take that, since it seems like everyone has different opinions and preferences, and no sides seem significantly rosier than the others overall. A bunch of pros and cons and potential problems. What I have at the moment is working for now, so I'm okay with leaving at that and not buy anything until I know what I want.