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PC/MAC -- But Not the Usual Question

I've been in PCs for decades, and am now considering switching to a desktop MAC. I've read volumes of posts, discussions, debates on the subject, including here at CNET, many have been terrific and very informative.

As a result, I've taken on board all the usual pro and con perspectives with regard to OS, programs, price, aesthetics, user friendliness, stability, malware, updates, etc, etc. Again, all good gouge.

What I'm wondering about though is "durability". In my PC life at home, I've primarily had Dells. Because of the relatively simple tasks I require of my home PC, I traditionally have held on to my computers far longer than most folks -- like 6 to 8 years. Though the software (including the OS) would become more obsolete over time, by and large the machine itself would keep humming along.

So while I've seen so much written about the considerations on the things mentioned in the second para above, I would be grateful for thoughtful posts regarding expectations for the "longevity" or shelf life of a MAC from a hardware perspective, as compared to Dells or other PC machines.

Thanks in advance for taking the time!

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In our office about the same.

In reply to: PC/MAC -- But Not the Usual Question

The battery in the laptops tend to die about the same time since they all use about the same technology. So that's the same.

And then we have to broach the subject of maintenance as many owners answer the canned air question with "What is canned air?" As such many machines die an early death (doesn't matter which make.)

A few apples had issues with the same old BAD CAPS plague or the Nvidia chip issue so again they are subject to the same plagues as other machines.

-> At the end of the day Apple is equal or just a little better but nothing I'd give it a strong lead on any other make given today's owners.

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In our office...

In reply to: In our office about the same.

OK Bob, have a laugh at my expense.

I guess I'm one of those owners you refer to regarding "canned air". Not sure what you're referring to except perhaps the can with the straw that I use to clean/dust my keyboard, etc. Yes?

Also, can you clarify what you meant in your last sentence by "given today's owners"?

Sorry to be dense, but I appreciate you taking the time to post and want to ensure I understand your meaning(s).

Cheers -

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Good you get the drift here.

In reply to: In our office...

Some get upset and the message is lost but I'll try again. Most laptop owners treat the laptops like bricks so they don't know that every few months that using the canned air to give the vents a short blast could extend the life span by a lot.

The makers rarely write about it since they don't want to scare potential buyers away. That is, if a maker was forthcoming and covered topics such as care and maintenance and the other maker did not, the typical consumer may think the maker that didn't talk about this was the better product.

Today's buyers don't want to know all this so this is great news for the industry.

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I agree with Bob 100%

In reply to: In our office about the same.

FWIW Bob, who's a real expert, has said a mouth full. In spite of the cult-like Apple fans, they might be slightly more reliable than PCs, but I've got a Dell Dimension 8100 I bought in July 2001 that still runs with XP today. It came with Windows Me which I quickly upgraded to XP, and it's been rock solid ever since. I gave it to my son to use for a backup because I don't need it any more, but when a PC lasts 12 years, that's extremely good in my opinion. Asus also makes very reliable PCs.
Just to further comment on the Apple cult's perspective, I just got the latest 24 page flyer in the mail from Micro Center. It has 4.5 pages of PC ads and 1/2 page for Apple. PC prices start at $249, there's a Dell laptop with an Intel I3 processor for $349 and a Dell desktop with an I3 for $449. Now when I look at the 1/2 page of Apple ads, the starting prices are $750 with the one exception of a Mac mini for $550. As others have said, once you have an Apple computer, everything you get for it has to be from Apple or in a few cases given Apple's stamp of approval. The software available is more limited and more expensive. You can check it out for yourself at if you wish. You will also hear that Macs don't get viruses. What you find out if you pursue it though is that they can and do get malware. For most folks that's a technical distinction without much of a difference since both can do nasty things. Some say yes but viruses can replicate. But worms can replicate too, and they are part of what you can get with malware.

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Aren't PCs a better choice when it comes to repairs?

In reply to: I agree with Bob 100%

That's a difficult question to answer. I know Mac owners and PC owners who have both experienced reliability issues. I had terrible trouble with a Dell, it died after one year. Then again, a friend of mine is using a Samsung laptop which is 8 years old.

But hey, check these figures out:

Just look at the market share held by the PC today. If problems do occur, odds are that you can get it repaired easier than a Mac, depending on where you are.

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