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Mac OS X Tiger vs. Windows XP

by rohan.katipally-208132649 / October 5, 2005 12:13 AM PDT

I am a Windows XP user, and until recently I had always thought Windows was dominant for a reason: it was the best operating system. But lately I have been seeing more and more articles proving that Mac OS X is better. I know this is Mac forum so I am embracing much bias to Mac, but can anyone show me a non-biased comparison between the two operating systems. I mainly am looking for the speed, navigation, and cost efficiency.

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take a look
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 5, 2005 2:01 AM PDT

at basically the same questions five posts down.
It is almost impossible to get an unbiased opinion about the "best" OS on a Mac forum or a Windows forum.
If the Mac users thought that XP was the greatest, then why are they using a Mac? If the XP users thought the Mac OS was the greatest, why are they using Windows?

If you are looking for a stable, cost effective, virus free, computing experience, with a very low total cost of ownership, then OS X Tiger is for you.

See what I mean! Wink


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I concur!
by rschama / November 3, 2005 8:45 PM PST
In reply to: take a look

I switched several years ago and there is no going back to Windows. I used to build my own PC's so I knew Windows systems pretty well. I wasted so much time just running utilities and wasting money on buying anti-virus software and the like.

Take it from a switcher, you are better off with a MAC.

Take a look at the new iMacs. Sweet!

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Age is one way of looking at it
by hanske / November 4, 2005 8:20 AM PST
In reply to: take a look

You can always look at the age of the system.

XP is ancient, there has not been a major upgrade for half a decade. That is a very long time in the world of computer, where something new comes around every day. MacOS X has had several major upgrades in the same time span. This situation is going to continue.

This is one of the problems with Windows. It's hard to prgoram, and it's hard to get the many laggards out there in the "mainstream" world to upgrade.

Now, for a subjectice look, just look at the interface of Mac OS X and XP and compare. You'll see all the years between them in an instant.

After working with OS X for a while, you'll feel them as well.

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M<ac OS X Tiger vs Windows XP
by yellowhand / October 6, 2005 10:57 AM PDT

I`ve both a PC and a Mac. I`ve spent some years on the PC starting with the famous Windows Me. That system sucked. XP was better but Mac is top of the line. No problems with viruses, Can have many windows open at the same time. I have not been able to crash my Mac but sure did my PC. Mac is a Cadillac PC`s are good for dead weights. The only reason that I keep the PC around s that it gives my wife something to play games on. I will never purchase another PC in my lifetime. ~Yellowhand~

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how about the cost
by rohan.katipally-208132649 / October 8, 2005 2:56 AM PDT

I understand that Macs may be better performing than PC's but how about cost-wise. To get a Mac with similar configurations of a PC, which would cost more or less. Also, does anyone know how the Mac processors compare with AMD and Intel

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 14, 2005 10:13 PM PDT
In reply to: how about the cost

Take a look at the new iMacs at the Apple store and then come back and tell us how much it would cost to configure, say a Dell, to the same specs. Assuming that you actually could.
Don't forget to include the 20" LCD in the price.


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Some Price Difference
by rohan.katipally-208132649 / October 15, 2005 5:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Cost

Well I checked online, and for the specifications I was looking for, I found the iMac for 1799.99, while using a PC I was able to find one that was closer to around 1499.99. However, there may always be rebates and savings, which I didn't include, but also another factor in the price would be software. I have Microsoft Office 97 (I never saw any use in the later versions) and the problem is I would need to buy a new Office suite with a Mac. I don't think Windows software, like Microsoft Office is available with Macs, without buying a new optimized version for it.

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 15, 2005 8:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Some Price Difference

It is:
MS Office 2004 for Mac is actually a release ahead of the PC version. Here's a surprise, Office for PC does not come with all PC's either.

The low end iMac goes for $1299 and the 20" for $1699,

What specs were you looking for and how did your system compare with the iMac?
What did you replace iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie and iDVD with on the Dell?
Did you add the cost of Anti-Virus into your machine? Don't forget Adware and Spyware too.

Just curious


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Open Office is a nice free alternative to MS Office....
by matthewroberson / November 4, 2005 10:32 AM PST
In reply to: Office

You could try Open Office. It's free. You can edit/save in Word/Excel format. Did I mention it's free?

I use both PC's and MacOS at home and at work. Wish apple would make OS X run on a PC, since they are switching to intel based hardware next year, b/c PC's are definitely less expensive than Apples.

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I have more info
by C_O_Noble / November 3, 2005 9:18 PM PST
In reply to: Some Price Difference

I just purchased an iMac (awaiting arrival). I did a lot of research. The only Office app I use constantly is Word. Apples iWork $79 (Supplements iLife) has Pages (Word Precessor) and Keynote (Presentation). After you create a document you can save that document in Pages format, Microsoft Word format, and even PDF format. So I decided I didn't need to purchase Office right now. With Appleworks $0 (Spreadheet,Database,etc) you can save documents in PDF format and "you can also work with Microsoft Word and Excel documents with the included file translators ? even the 2001 editions"
Fork over an extra $200 - $500 for MS Office if you want to. I believe Apple Offers a Student/Teacher version of Office for $149.95.

Hope this helps.

below is a link to iWork Pages on Apple's website:

Below is a link to Appleworks on Apple's website:

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by jorgesegura / November 4, 2005 12:10 AM PST
In reply to: I have more info


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by jorgesegura / November 4, 2005 12:21 AM PST
In reply to: I have more info

Hope all is well -

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when it comes to the display....
by bullyinklet / November 4, 2005 2:53 AM PST
In reply to: Some Price Difference

as far as the price differential that you are seeing between. the iMac and a "comparible" PC, don't forget that the Apple displays are superior to most other standard LCD monitors that you would get in a PC bundle. A 20" LCD alone is almost a grand, so think of it that way....

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The Cost Part 2
by johntfer / May 18, 2006 1:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Some Price Difference

But, you have to understand that you don't have to purchase anti-virus fotware. Also have to figure in that you can install iWork 06 for 79 dollars (which will work as a word processor) and if you really need MS Office, you can download OpenOffice 2.0 ( and that is basically the same, lacking some features (which, actually, Mac OS X combined with iWork 06 will make up the features). Hehe, I learned all about open source software while I used Linux for about a two or three months (I am using Linux right now, actually). Plus, while you are at it, purchase the AppleCare plan and .mac stuff. This might raise the price -- but it will be worth it. On-sight service in some areas, and tech support/phone support for three years -- all for like 129 I think. And .mac will make everything so easy, and help u learn Mac OS X and all of Apple software (that will be 70 dollars with a purchase of a mac). So, as you can see, they may seem mor expensive -- but it's worth it.

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by geokes / November 3, 2005 8:40 PM PST

When talking about crashes, don't forget hardware. Apple tightly controls the hardware it's OS running on, and there is a limited number of software titles available.
I was never able to crash Windows Me, running a basic set of applications (office and graphics) on reliable hardware. Try installing some cheap RAM in your Mac and see what happens. (The above is based on my 15 years of experience working as a consultant)
The biggest reason for the two camps disliking each other is simple ignorance. When I need to do anything beyond basics on a Mac (like connecting it to a Windows domain), I have to Google it first, and so I don't like to do it.

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Win Me?? Come on!
by titomontes / November 3, 2005 11:24 PM PST
In reply to: Hardware

I have to disagree with that; WinMe is the WORST OS ever released to the world. It provoked massive crashes in my company, which didn't happen on the Mac platforms.

Also, and I have seen this, whenever you upgrade a Mac OS to a newer version, your same system becomes faster (I actually saw this with the upgrade from Panther to Tiger on a Power Book)


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I agree about WinME
by donniebnyc / November 6, 2005 1:34 AM PST
In reply to: Win Me?? Come on!

WinME is absolutely the worst thing M$ has ever foisted on unwitting consumers. Complete garbage.

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Thats true.
by johntfer / May 18, 2006 1:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Hardware

Windows is not priority, and Mac OS X is. The thing is, thats a strong point and a weak point for both OS's. For Widnows, it makes it flexable. It also makes it less stable. For Apple, it makes ir less flexable. But it makes it more stable, because the OS is made for its hardware.

And there is a lot of software for Mac -- at least anything and everything I need I can find. Games, sure there are some that aren't there *cough* Guild Wars *cough* but games mean very little to me. I need something thats stable, so I don't run the chance of losing my data. I need something where I can easliy back everything up -- online, on DVD, in my flash drive -- and Apple makes it so esy its not even funny. As long as you are willing to use everything Apple (.mac, iWork, iLife, and so on..) everything will be increditablly easy.

So its not always ignorance that makes people dislike the other. In fact, its knowledge that made me switch. i have done research, asked people who own a mac, played with a mac for a bit -- and you know wha ti found? Something that looks awesome, somethign that works, and something that I like. Windows on the other hand, has given me so much trouble -- with viruses, with sound, and with having such a beautiful GUI makes it slow with computers that have a low amounts of RAM (like my computer, fo example). Sure, I could upgrade my RAM -- but I would still have all the other problems.

But both have their strong points, and both have weaknesses. Don't buy Vista when it first comes out. There will be tons of flaws and bugs. Wait for the FIRST Service Pack. But, buy Leopard when it comes out. Unlike MS, Apple does test things. Unlike MS, they don't cut every freakin' feature to make a release date -- and then slip the release date anyway, not re-adding those features. *wink* I will stay with my new Mac. I ordered mine today, and I am sure I will enjoy it. We will soon find out, though.

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mac vs windows
by joe man / November 11, 2005 5:52 PM PST

i agree!macos is far more stable no bugs that i can think of(ever heard of window patches?)and is a doddle to use!windows always seems out of date and always plAying catch up tol macos and dont even mention the different ways the two systems handle video apps!

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The real issue is what you do with it
by grimgraphix / October 9, 2005 1:58 AM PDT

Since I purchased my Mac in February I have really enjoyed the stability of the OS10... The lack of constant maintenance (spy-ware and virus scanning)... Fantastic memory management... and the fact that I am now instantly popular with the ladies and feared by men. LOL

Drawbacks ? I just started on a 2nd college degree and guess what... 2 of my current 4 classes teach on mac... 2 teach on XP... and one of these classes uses an online testing system that is only supported on XP !

Windows IS dominant for a reason... it had the full support of IBM when that company first brought its considerable financial resources to bear on breaking into the personal computer market back in the 1980's. Apple had carved a niche and Big Blue smelled the money and had the means to push into peoples' lives. As Microsoft became bigger it borrowed from Apple to build its own graphical user interface and even came to threaten (and eventually beat IBM) in the OS market, even defeating IBM's os/2. Historically, Apple has innovated and Microsoft has borrowed.

I do question some of the things that Apple has done. I personally believe that Apple does sacrifice some small functionality in favor of style. Program developers change their program interface to meet Apples aesthetic values so if you use the same program on XP and Mac you may find yourself looking for a menu command that is not located in the same place. Ironically, my "Advanced MS Word 2003" class demonstrates this to me every week as I take class on a XP machine and go home to do my homework on a Mac iBook.

As to questions regarding equipment... Apple builds its equipment to work in harmony with its OS. This gives an edge to Apple as far as performance and stability. Apple does make money on its equipment by doing this. I just saw a breakdown on G4 TV on the cost of a iPod versus sale price and the mark up was about 120 percent BUT retail electronics often have as much as a 200 percent markup ( sorry folks but your $3000.00 plasma TV was cheaper to build than you may know). PC equipment IS cheaper but how many XP machines crash due to bad architecture ? You get what you pay for.

Intel vs. AMD vs. soon to be Apple/Intel ? Who can say. I personally wish that Apple had gone with AMD to develop its new platform. AMD certainly had the jump on 64 bit chip architecture and it was rumored that Intel even copied some of AMDs tech to smooth out the wrinkles in their own 64 bit chips. Hey, everyone borrows from everyone else to stay competitive.

My own opinion ? I like Apple and will continue to use it everyday as my main computer (12 inch iBook - I could not find a more powerful notebook for the price) BUT I may be forced to finish building that winbox if I want to stay competitive in ALL my classes at school. I just don't look forward to the constant security scans and added virus software costs.


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by flyingcowrancher / November 4, 2005 12:13 AM PST

"Historically, Apple has innovated and Microsoft has borrowed."
That statement is absolutely ridiculous, if Microsoft has been borrowing all of the time why is Microsoft where it is and the only thing that saved apple was the ipod? Apple can really jump the gun, they can design new technology and get it on the market right away because they design their own hardware. This makes it much more stable, windows can work with almost any hardware and and a result it takes longer to test any windows os. I agree that Vista has some feauture that tiger already has, but that does not even mean that apple came up with them first, apple just release it first as they usually do. How many upgrades to iTunes can we really handle? Of coarse you do not get many viruses on mac's, its not anywhere close to the most popular type of computer. If it was people would be inventing viruses for the mac.
In regards to your 12 inch powerbook being powerful, mac is far from powerful. I use a g5 for video editing because final cut pro is awsome, and its not a slow machine but how mac is consistenly slower than any pc hardware because they limit what can go into it. How many people do you see updating their mac's lol. Its true that each has their own place, and its good to have both. My personal opinion is if you have any tech savy at all then you go with a PC. I always recomend macs for older people that want to start using computers or well people who just can't quiet make it over the learning curve. Mac is great for them, limited functionability, limited applications, no maintence. Its like comparing a formula one racing car vs a honda civic which needs more maintence? On the other hand, which is more fun? lol

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Actually they stole it from PARC
by msgale / November 4, 2005 12:37 AM PST
In reply to: What????
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Actually, the MADE A DEAL with Xerox Parc
by krioni--2008 / November 4, 2005 3:36 AM PST

Apple was tricked/robbed by Microsoft.

Apple was inspired by and made a DEAL with Xerox. In fact, they got a few ideas to add to what they had ALREADY DONE:

I'm sick and tired of the "well, Apple stole too" idiots.

Read more at Wikipedia:

The most detailed refutation of this ridiculous myth was written by one of the engineers of the first Mac OS, Bruce Horn:,_Apple_and_Progress.txt&sortOrder=Sort%20by%20Date&detail=medium&search=xerox

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AND this is why you can't get an honest opinion,
by Thenudeman / November 4, 2005 1:18 AM PST
In reply to: What????

As one that reads the business pages more than the techno pages, there is more to the PC vs Mac discussion.
re: "Historically, Apple has innovated and Microsoft has borrowed." well they didn't really borrow, they threatened, they stole and then they threatened. Gates was smarter than IBM, keeping the software, not the hardware side of the equation. But from there he threatened mfgs from allowing competeing software on their machines. Gave prfferentisl pricing to those that would bend down for him, instead of staninding up for the consumer. He withheld OS software updates from competeing software mfgs (i.e. Wordperfect) and drove them out of business. And he got to a position where even the feds where afraid to touch him. He's paid millions to right these wrongs, but lets face it, hes a smart meglomaniac that pretty much controls a part of all of our lives. But Jobs is no saint, as a loyal Apple user for more than 25 years, I've been upset about some of his business tactics on this side too.

re: "design their own hardware. This makes it much more stable," who cares I want stable hardware!!! If Microsoft where split up, as it should have been, for anti trust violations, they could probably define the business more narrowly and compete.

re: "How many upgrades to iTunes can we really handle?" so what's the problem?? can't afford them or what. what's the complaint, you're so use to waiting 3 to 6 months for an upgrade, that it's killing you that a mfg. would keep upgrading it's product, just to make it better... yes it's rediculous.

re: "video editing because final cut pro is awsome"...thank you for your honestly.

re: "My personal opinion is if you have any tech savy at all then you go with a PC." I don't want to know how my car works...I just want it to work!! Same thing with the computer.

re: "Its like comparing a formula one racing car vs a honda civic which needs more maintence? On the other hand, which is more fun?" thank you, enjoy your F1 as you go to the grocery store and take the kids to school. But don't confuse tech "fun" with the FRUSTRATION of dealing with a Micro PC.

But in reality we need both companies and maybe more. Apple pushes the window, Microsoft catches up, Apple pushes the window, Microsoft catches up.......

Well, younse go on with your battle, I got some video to edit. God bless us all as the big corperate machine grinds us down.

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Ignorance is bliss.
by johntfer / May 18, 2006 1:58 PM PDT
In reply to: What????

Remember that Bill Gates origanally worked with Apple, and he told them to make a patient for their OS. They didn't. So Bill Gates used their code to make Windows. Its true. Look it up. I bet he would flkat out tell u himself. Love Windows if you want, thats fine. But it is true that MS has copied Apple many times -- andt hey did so again with Vista (whats funny is Vista had the power to compete with Leopard, but cut a lot of features -- and Leapord will have EVERYTHING Vista wanted to be. :-D I will stick with my Mac.

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You might want to fix your spell checker,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 18, 2006 9:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Ignorance is bliss.

Correct spelling allows you to get your point across much more effectively.


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by avallach87 / November 4, 2005 6:22 AM PST

what is up with everybody moaning about "the cost of antvirus/firewall/spyware" when some of the best stuff out there is free? My protection on my XP machine is free, and i have never, I repeat: NEVER had a virus affect the performance on my machine. With routine protection, i.e. scan once a week while your doing something else...

I use;
Sygate Personal Firewall
AVG Antivirus FREE edition
Lavasoft Ad-Aware
Spybot Search & Destroy

However, my next computer will be a MAC, thats for sure.

BTW, anyone here planning to get the Nintendo Revolution?

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What you do with it...
by guberro / November 4, 2005 11:45 PM PST

Yes, it's true, it really comes down to what you do with it. These days, the hardware on both platforms is pretty darn good.

I used to be a Mac person, my first was a 512Ke! That was a long, long time ago. I switched from Mac to PC when the clock speed was just below 200MHZ. Then, the Mac would take about 4 time longer to boot than the PC, constant lockups on the Mac, reboot! I also got tired of the hardware and software cost for the Mac, typically double for that of the PC.

Any users that go back a few years can lament the slow boot time of a Mac. Today, they actually boot and run very quickly, this was not always the case. Being an old timer, the Mac has left many a sour taste in my mouth, the PC has not done this since WinXP.

The system is only as good as the hardware. Some folks have complained bitterly of the PC and it's problems. Is your PC only with an eMachine??????? Those are top of the line junk!!! An OS is only as good as the hardware it runs on. I build my own computers now since having bad experiance with Compaq's and their proprietary hardware.

If you want to build your won PC, use good stuff like Asus or Abit motherboards. Too many people's PC experiance is with crap like eMachines, I can't blame them. But build a nice machine and you won't have problems.

Mac used to be really cheesy hardware. You can curse me all you like but i used to maintain older Mac's and curse them for their plastic boxes. Used in a video editing environment, they worked great until they were pushed up against a wall and... out come the boards!!! Over an over, I used to hate the top-dollar, plastic boxed Mac. Now, the G5 is finally.... metal! And they have improved the cooling of Mac's, a point of failure for many years.

The bottom line is, if you buy a computer, buy it for what you'll use it for. I used to trade the markets and the PC was the only machine that would run that software.

If your gonna buy a Mac, be prepared to take out a second mortgage!

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PC user at work, Mac for my personal computer
by iixakita / October 14, 2005 5:01 PM PDT

I work in the financial services industry where most specific applications are writen for PC's. It's a circular arguement that most companies use PC's so most software is written for PC's so most companies use PC's...... If you need to run these applications for work, tell your boss to give you a PC.

However, when I looked at a computer for my personal use the Apple was way ahead of its PC competitors. I bought a Powerbook which cost about the same as an equivalent PC laptop. Sure I could have bought a PC laptop for less but I was not trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The Powerbook is exactly what a laptop should be-light, good ergonomics and screen, and a long battery life.

The thing that made the decision easiest was Microsoft Office for Mac. Having Word, Excel and Powerpoint that were 100% compatible with PC's eliminated any question for me. I don't play games (except for the occasional chess or minesweeper) and don't need any specialized software. The third party software that you might want: Photoshop, Filemaker or Macromedia run at least as well as on a PC.

The only drawback I have is that while everyone else is downloading patches for Windows, I have to find something else to do!


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I'm looking for very much the same
by Justin111 / November 3, 2005 12:53 AM PST

To add on to the request I would like to see a simmular report between the two OS's.
I can add on this though. I'm a digital video and picture editor, and I've used both a really nice G5 and an average PC. Some of you may find this interesting, but I prefer the PC for video editing mainley because it seems that the editing software I use from adobe (adobe premier) connects to more devices easiely on the PC than on the mac. Also it seems as if rendering is quicker on the PC although I haven't benchmarked the two, but I say this just from experience. One thing I've noticed about the Mac is that all the close buttons and tool buttons are very small so its hard to click and do what you want. And finally this may shock some mac users, but I find that the Mac crashes more than the PC when video editing. Now on the other hand Still image editing with Adobe's program Photoshop CS2 seems to run a lot smoother on the mac. I find still image editing a lot beter on the mac than the PC. It seems you can apply several effects to a picture, and you're still able to move pictures easily around the screen. Overall after using macs and PCs I find that both crash about the same amount of times, and neither one is better for one task or another. One just has a larger price tag, which pays off by the look of the mac. And for those who are saying right now "well you've only used one mac" thats wrong because I use two G5's, new within the last year. One fairly new Imac G5 and a whole bunch of Imac G3's. I've also used an IBook, and a Powerbook. I use all these macs through the media program at my school. Anyways thats my reply. Thanks for reading.

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