Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Dave Beans

The Mass Debate...are Macs Worth It?

Recommended Posts

I'm currently on my second Windows PC in under 4 years, and its starting to fail...The build quality is crap on a lot of them (I've got to change the screen on mine for the second time in six months, and the charging point is wobbly)... I've got my Chromebook as well, and I seem to use that a lot as its got a 2 second boot up, and you dont get viruses...I could use that as a main PC, but I need to run stuff outside the Chrome OS framework...

Are Macs worth the dosh, or could someone recommend a Windows PC that isn't crap?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You get what you pay for (to a certain extent). The old IBM (now Lenovo) thinkpads were, and I believe still are, virtually bomb proof. I have one from 2006 which is still going strong, even the missus has been unable to completely kill hers. Trouble is that they run to similar prices as Macs - £800+ for a decent one. Sadly, it now looks as though they are starting to dilute the thinkpad brand by producing cheaper versions too. Avoid these.

You're not doubt probably thinking, I can get two, perhaps even three, cheaper laptops for that. That's almost certainly true - but if you use them for any amount of time you'll be lucky to have them last until their year's warranty is up. I had two Acers fail this way. Another Dell required a wifi card replacing under warranty within the year (and I had to coach customer support on which replacement part they had to ship out) although that's now ten years old and still working for its new owner.

Macs I find are a bit like sheep dogs - look great, work great (mostly), but a bit highly strung and you get the odd bad one. You can only really guarantee service while you have Apple Care, and the max time you can get there is 3 years from purchase date. Outside of that, even if it's patently Apple's fault - you will have the devils own job getting them to admit it, never mind fix it. Look up wifi problems iPhone 4 iOS7 - basically an update killed the wifi chip in many iPhone 4s (and 4s's) - but with no Apple Care, they won't fix it claiming it's a hardware problem. Many previous Macbook Pros have had hinge problems, and they have a checkered record in fixing them. Again if you have a Macbook Pro suffering that fault after 3-4 years, it's pot luck or increasingly no luck in getting them to sort it for you without a repair bill equivalent to a new one.

Software update wise? At around the five years mark, you'll likely find your Mac will no longer be supported with software updates. It'll still work just fine, you won't have XPs nagware messages popping up.

So that's the bad news. The good news is that they are immensely good in many other ways - providing you're willing to go through a few weeks of pain muscle memory wise, or simply install windows on it. An integrated software/hardware solution is better than the monolithic support anything approach that Microsoft has to deploy. There are very few niggles in day to day use of a Mac, and that means superb levels of productivity. To be fair, some people find the same with Windows. Personally, I began to resent the time I spend on virus scanning/downloading updates/fixing minor incompatibilities etc with Windows. Really think Microsoft would have a better rep if they had a reference platform which was guaranteed to work perfectly.

My last Macbook Air was basically the perfect computer for me. Silent 90% of the time, incredibly light, damn quick, and robust with great battery life - it was the ideal traveling computer for me It got daily use for anything up to 10 hours a day. After two and half years, the keyboard began to give up and so too did the power supply. Both were replaced quickly without question as I had Apple Care. The power supply was replaced within five minutes of walking in their store. For me, that was the warning sign to move on. I sold it for half of what I paid for it with a couple of months warranty left on it.

My current Macbook Pro Retina is a bit better still. I bought it at six months old second hand with 2.5 years Apple Care remaining on it. It was about £500 cheaper than a new one. I guess that tells you that they depreciate quite fast in the first year, but hold a high level after that. I expect to be able to sell it in a couple of years time having lost no more than a couple of hundred quid on it. That works out at a daily cost of ownership of well under what a £300 laptop that lasts a year or so would cost.

BTW if you're a tinkerer or fix it yourselfer, a Mac is not for you. I replaced the keyboard on a Macbook Air which was out of warranty. It is not a job for the faint hearted, as you have to dismantle the entire computer and then you'll find it's riveted to the actual top case. Popping those rivets and replacing the keyboard is totally doable, but you won't end up with something close to factory fresh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using a mac at work for the last few months and I would say don;t bother buying a mac - buy a Linux PC instead since os-x is practically a Linux build*.

Not only that the Mac wireless keyboard is awful, the standard keyboard is odd, like a US keyboard and shortcuts are all over the place. Finder which is the equivalent of windows explorer is crap.

You can bugger around with plugins and keyboard mappings, but I would tink that your better off buying a new Dell PC and shoveling Linux or Windows 7/8 onto it.

IMO for the extra money your paying for the mac your getting nothing except for the Apple image.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently on my second Windows PC in under 4 years, and its starting to fail...The build quality is crap on a lot of them (I've got to change the screen on mine for the second time in six months, and the charging point is wobbly)... I've got my Chromebook as well, and I seem to use that a lot as its got a 2 second boot up, and you dont get viruses...I could use that as a main PC, but I need to run stuff outside the Chrome OS framework...

Are Macs worth the dosh, or could someone recommend a Windows PC that isn't crap?

What make is it? There are loads of crap makes out there. Have you thought about building your own?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eight

How has this only got 4 replies so far?

A thread like this is normally like catnip for the average HPC Off-topicer.

I must be amazingly lucky. I paid eighty quid for my refurb PC and it still works as good as nearly new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As suggested build your own or get one of those small companies that build them to spec from components to do it for you. They even allow you to choose an OS rather than foisting Windows 8 on you. Their aftercare is often cheaper and better than anything that the big branded names offer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a MacBook Pro Retina.

Is it a beast? Yes.

Is it worth it? I don't know because they are very expensive but I bought it anyway and it is a great computing experience.

Depends what you want it for and what you're into.

If you want the fastest computer you can get then you could build a i7/16Gb RAM/SSD computer that would be much better than a Mac for cheaper.

If you're into music production and don't want to mess around with drivers or like Logic Pro then obviously get a Mac.

You can buy 4K displays that are better than Retina displays.

Windows 7 is great, the modern Linux distros are great and OS X is great too. The nice thing about OS X is that it is effectively a Unix build with a very polished and reliable GUI but you have to pay for it.

Don't listen to anyone that has a preference unless they know your specific requirements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What make is it? There are loads of crap makes out there. Have you thought about building your own?

Just what I was thinking. Building your own means that you simply upgrade the hardware every now and again. My PC is vintage 2002 - with loads of upgrades it's bang up to date- but still on Windows 7! After 2 weeks, I'm still getting to grips with Windows 8.1 on a new Acer laptop - with all the Acer crap that stands between me and a good computer deleted. Just about cracked it now, with the boot up direct to the start page now uninterrupted by demands for a password or sign in PIN - phew!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I insist on a retina display to read HPC.

The comments are much clearer and my brain can now relax and actually begin to fathom the diverse views of the postership.

Im sure people who miss important aspects and nuances of postings are using a PC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Macs are worth it, but they are different - to get the best out of them it does pay to put in a bit of time learning how to use them properly. Like anything really but I think more Mac users think they can get away with 'figuring it out as they go' and as a result are woefully inefficient and miss out on a lot of the cool features in OSX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just what I was thinking. Building your own means that you simply upgrade the hardware every now and again. My PC is vintage 2002 - with loads of upgrades it's bang up to date- but still on Windows 7!

Trigger's broom?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WTF do you people do with your laptops? I have a Toshiba laptop that's circa 1999 and still boots/works - I only retired it because it was so incredibly slow compared to modern stuff.

My current laptop is a Toshiba U300 (also pretty ancient) and runs perfectly but is still on XP (for now).

I build my own desktop PCs and I always start with a good PSU - the bargain PCs you can buy probably have a $1 PSU in them.....

Some you just get unlucky with. One of my Acers would randomly corrupt the bios - leaving it unusable until you downloaded a new bios to it. It was a known problem that took them more than a year to fix. A laptop that randomly stops working when were planning on spending 3 hours working on a train, is of little use sadly.

Others it's simply wear and tear. I can easily knock out 5K+ words/day on mine. Add regular travel with the knocks, bangs, rattling, temperature changes and attaching to sometimes not very clean sources of power that entails - and it takes its toll. The wife simply abuses hers to death - whacking things in frustration when it doesn't do what she wants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WTF do you people do with your laptops? I have a Toshiba laptop that's circa 1999 and still boots/works - I only retired it because it was so incredibly slow compared to modern stuff.

My current laptop is a Toshiba U300 (also pretty ancient) and runs perfectly but is still on XP (for now).

I build my own desktop PCs and I always start with a good PSU - the bargain PCs you can buy probably have a $1 PSU in them.....

+1

What Toshiba laptops lack in street cred, they make up for with reliability. I've got a 10-year old one knocking around that still works perfectly, and I donated my last one to my sister where it is subjected to large amounts of abuse by her kids but still ploughs on regardless. They're like low-end Japanese cars - don't look much or have many frills, but just keep going with the minimum of fuss.

Also +1 for self-build desktops. I built mine about 6 months ago, and I'm well chuffed with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is it exactly that macs do better than most computer users actually need?

I have a second hand macbook that I bought only because I thought I was gonna write mobile apps at some point; but I never use the bloody thing.

Unless your in some specific industry that requires mac-only software, isn't it easier just to stick with a PC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some you just get unlucky with. One of my Acers would randomly corrupt the bios - leaving it unusable until you downloaded a new bios to it. It was a known problem that took them more than a year to fix. A laptop that randomly stops working when were planning on spending 3 hours working on a train, is of little use sadly.

Others it's simply wear and tear. I can easily knock out 5K+ words/day on mine. Add regular travel with the knocks, bangs, rattling, temperature changes and attaching to sometimes not very clean sources of power that entails - and it takes its toll. The wife simply abuses hers to death - whacking things in frustration when it doesn't do what she wants.

client of mine ran his though a bandsaw.

The reason...spyware from all the porn sites he visited.

Paying £300 for a laptop, whatever the manufacturer, wont get you the toughest chassis and the sharpest screen

Toshiba now offer your money back plus a repair if it breaks down in the first year...but that only applies to the ones they actually make. They are planning to make the Satellite ones themselves soon as well and this warranty is proposed to be extended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ctrl-Alt-Delete is my favourite.

I remember with joy shouting "F10 for instant reloads" when in counterstrike and watching people disappear as their machines kicked them out of the server... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you throw away a car if it got a flat tyre?

The oldest thing on my computer is a Commodore AT keyboard, now over 20 years old. It's build like a brick outhouse.

The speakers are Labtec, they went out of business 13 years ago.

The rest of the system has been updated so it can run everything I need, this I do this myself.

A lot of modern PC stuff is of poor quaility, this is why I hang onto the older beige parts.

I have never tired a Mac, but as its all made in China, I expect it to be form over function.

Flashing lights and glossy paint do not a Computer make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trigger's broom?

I once had a computer like that, by the time I'd got rid of it (sold to someone else) the original parts consisted of half the case, a floppy disc drive, the PSU, and one secondary circuit board. Everything else had been changed (the motherboard would've been original but I ended up with a slightly newer one for some reason so stuck that in anyway).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Used to be a swap and replace build own but with second hand decent kit so cheap it became more hassle than it was worth, also there was a period when compatibility issues were appalling. As for apple products I have an old ipad which again was intended for software dev but I hate the ergonomics of it, truly bad in comparison with other tablets, thought the same when trying an iphone and its keybord.

Still rate Dell gear over many other alternatives for across the board reliability and component quality and availability of spares. Apple, the antithesis of of how you would design a serviceable product.

http://www.crs-uk.biz/cheap-computers-new-and-refurbished-used.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some you just get unlucky with. One of my Acers would randomly corrupt the bios - leaving it unusable until you downloaded a new bios to it. It was a known problem that took them more than a year to fix. A laptop that randomly stops working when were planning on spending 3 hours working on a train, is of little use sadly.

Others it's simply wear and tear. I can easily knock out 5K+ words/day on mine. Add regular travel with the knocks, bangs, rattling, temperature changes and attaching to sometimes not very clean sources of power that entails - and it takes its toll. The wife simply abuses hers to death - whacking things in frustration when it doesn't do what she wants.

I'm on my second Acer....Its a Acer Aspire V5. The first one had massive overheating problems. It went back to the manufacturer 4 times in the first year, and they refused to write it off. My second one has already had its screen replaced once, and it may need another one again soon..

All current Macs at least are aluminium chassis, so they are more robust, and it has a magnetic power connection. I find with Windows machines have those crappy round connectors, which end up pushing into the laptop when it breaks.

Desktops are no good. Don't have room for one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   203 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.