PC vs Mac: 5 of the Key Differences Explained

Are you working from home now and realizing your computer just doesn’t have enough power to do all the things you need to stay connected with the office?

Is your kid getting ready for back to school and looking for a new laptop to take with them? When it’s time to get a new computer, one of the first questions you’re going to face is: should you get a PC or a Mac?

The battle of the brands has been around as long as there have been personal computers. But there are some distinguishing factors between them, so comparing Mac vs PC pros and cons will be helpful in deciding which is best for you.

As you set out to buy a new computer, here are 5 key differences to consider in the PC vs Mac debate.

  1. PC vs Mac Hardware

PCs are manufactured by many different companies and come in a variety of designs. They are configured for everything from the utilitarian for business to the state-of-the-art for gaming systems.

It’s easy to piecemeal an upgraded PC. Anyone can upgrade the RAM, graphics, or storage of their computer with a little know-how and a web search.

But with all of the different configurations, when it comes time to service your computer it can be difficult to find someone who knows all the different PC based systems.

Apple builds and sells all of their Macs. Instead of the hundreds of PC variety, there are under a dozen different Macs. But because they have almost complete control over the entire build process there tend to be few problems and more stability in their computers. It’s easier to get your Mac serviced because all of the Apple stores are staffed with people who specialize in Macs and know almost everything there is to know about them.

A more recent difference in their hardware is the touchscreen. Many PCs have a touchscreen option in addition to the keyboard and mouse, but Mac computers do not. While Mac iPads are configured for touchscreen, the computers only utilize the keyboard/mouse.

  1. Mac vs PC Comparison of Operating Systems and Software

Most consider the Mac operating system (macOS) to be streamlined and intuitive, making for a more accessible experience even for new users. The Windows operating system on a PC is a bit more choppy and complex, making it a little more difficult to navigate.

The macOS is consistent across all of their apps but the Windows interface is less so and often changes from program to program.

Where PC comes out far ahead of the Mac is in the amount of software written for Windows computers. Because there are more PCs on the market, most software, is designed for PC first.

Most proprietary software for business is designed for a Windows PC environment. As is most of the gaming system software – there are over 1000 games for PC and less than 200 for Mac on the popular gaming platform Steam. 

But the operating systems and software aren’t quite as exclusionary as they used to be. There are workarounds that let you use Mac software on PCs or Windows software on Macs.

This is becoming slightly more popular and trusted websites can teach you how to complete actions that are normally proprietary to one system and do them on the other. For example, if you want to open a RAR file on a Mac, you can learn how to do that here: https://setapp.com/how-to/open-rar-files-on-mac.

  1. Viruses and Malware on a PC vs Mac

No computer is 100% safe from viruses and malware. But historically most viruses were designed to attack PCs and often wouldn’t affect a Mac.

Windows had more malware and virus attacks simply because of the numbers. There are so many more people with PCs a virus can spread faster and further through the Windows/PC environment than through Mac.

Many consider the macOS to be safer because Apple has full control of the hardware and software, so there aren’t as many openings to the system and they can easily implement improved security options as needed.

In addition, the Mac operating system is built on Unix, which is a little more secure than Windows.

However, as Macs become more popular, they are starting to attract more hackers and are not as safe as they used to be.

Both PC and Macs have countermeasures in place and they are continuously updating them to keep their systems secure. Even so, you may still want to consider having a third-party antivirus software to ensure your security.

  1. Mac vs PC Gaming

If you’re a hardcore gamer, the clear winner in a Mac vs PC comparison for you will be a PC.

One of the main reasons is because the PC is extremely customizable. You can change everything from the processor to the graphics card to the amount of memory you have on the computer. Macs on the other hand are very difficult and costly to upgrade.

Windows PCs have a long history of supporting gaming systems – going back to the 1990s. And they’re building on that knowledge as they turn to the future, offering support and innovation to the virtual reality world that’s been entering the mainstream market.

  1. PC vs Mac Pricing 

PCs are generally considered more affordable and Macs more expensive.

The initial cost of a Mac computer is higher and they can cost more to maintain. Apple won’t support work done at an outside vendor, so you need to go to the Apple Store and pay Apple prices, for any repairs under warranty.

It’s possible to get a very stripped down PC and keep the costs low. If you are looking for a basic computer with just a few functions, there are a lot of PC choices that are less expensive.

But it’s also possible to add a lot of bells and whistles to your hardware and software. This could easily bring your costs up significantly if you need specific software for your business or gaming interests.

The Final Verdict in the Mac vs PC Comparison?

Ultimately there is no right answer for everyone. It all comes down to what you need and want in a computer or laptop.

But after considering some of the options in hardware, software, and price hopefully you’re a little closer to deciding between a PC vs Mac computer.

Be sure to explore other articles on this site for answers to all of your computer and Internet questions!