What is the Main Difference Between Mac and PC Computers?

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The Mac versus PC comparison holds nuances. Each type of computer has its own advantages and disadvantages, but what is the difference between Mac and PC?

The strict definition labels all Macs as PCs, as PC stands for personal computer. In daily use, PC refers to a computer with the Windows operating system while Macs use the operating system made by Apple. When discussing MACs and PC computers, you must look at how they are different.

5 Differences Between Macs and PCs

In the past, PCs were more popular than Macs due to the wider selection of PC apps. Today, most Windows programs also exist on Macs. The two options have similar benefits when it comes to programs, so choosing between them centers on design preferences.

So, what is the difference between a Mac and a PC? Below are five main differences between Mac and Windows PC.


Macs versus PC for aesthetics. Myriad companies manufacture Windows PCs but not Apple products. Some companies such as Dell value exterior design while others value function over aesthetics.

Macs are consistent in their impeccable design. They boast backlit keyboards and sleek, lightweight bodies. People who want an attractive and comfortable computer prefer Macs. Apple spends years on both the interior and exterior designs of its products to make MAC computers stand out.

Customer Support

Customer support is important for people lacking in technological knowledge. Those without tech skills call for repairs more often than others. Unless you learn to care for your computer, you might do the same.

When Windows based computers have problems, the buyer must call tech support for help. But tech support cannot always guide the buyer through troubleshooting over the phone. Computers often need the hands of professionals for seamless integration.

In that case, a PC owner must ship the machine to the experts. Or they might take it to a dealer in a nearby city. This can be a hassle for busy people. And the service is often expensive.

Apple stores are in many locations across the country. Customers can book appointments with nearby experts to repair their computers. Plus, repairs that take little time tend to be free.

Gaming Capabilities

For those interested in gaming, a PC is the better choice. Not all PCs are optimal for gaming, but some such as Alienware are designed for gamers.

Windows machines are easier to customize with graphics, memory, and power. It would cost more to modify a Mac enough to compete with PCs than it would to buy a superb PC.

While not gaming, many gamers prefer to use Linux. And dual installing Linux and Windows operating systems on a PC is simple and cost effective. It is basically cost effective to run Windows on a PC. You don’t need two operating systems.


Most people associate Microsoft with Windows PCs and Apple with Macs, but Microsoft only deals in software. Different manufacturers make the computers’ hardware. Therefore, consumers have many options when it comes to hardware.

Some computer users prefer companies such as Dell or Asus for their reliability and high-quality construction. Others prefer the consistent and low-cost designs of Lenovo or HP. With Mac, Apple designs the software and hardware, leaving computer users with limited options.

Malware and Virus Safety

Most malware and viruses threaten Windows operating systems. But today, more hackers are designing programs to attack Mac computers. One example was the infamous “Lucky Cat” threat. It allowed hackers to extract data from Mac users through an exploit of Microsoft Word.

Apple’s latest operating system includes more security features that include anti virus programs built into the Mac OS. While Mac OS still has imperfections, Macs are less threatened than PCs.

So, are Macs better than PCs? Are they safer? Some repair techs might believe so, but others suggest installing Linux instead of Microsoft Windows on PCs. This decreases the number of threats to your PC. In this way, a PC might be able to compete with the heightened security of a Mac.

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Mac versus PC

The difference between PC and Mac is crucial for:

  • Artists
  • College students
  • Educators
  • Employed adults

Everyone in the modern workforce needs access to a computer. We established the main differences between Mac and Windows. But which one is the best? It depends on what you need a computer for.

No matter what your career is, every Mac and PC has its pros and cons. Below are a few common advantages and disadvantages for each operating system. Read on for more information on MAC vs PC, the pros and cons of Apple computers, and which operating system (MAC or Windows operating system) is the best.

The Pros of a PC

The most significant of all differences between Mac and PC is price. PCs offer lower costs than Macs. You can find a wide range of PCs at different price points, as PCs have multiple manufacturers.

PCs also provide options for touch screens. Microsoft Windows PCs offer laptops that can convert to tablets and tablets that transform into laptops. Plus, their desktops use touch screen monitors. This is something Apple devices have yet to offer on their Mac computers.

Another PC advantage is hardware. PCs offer more connection ports and different types of ports. Users can buy a PC based on the number and types of ports available. If you need a particular port, Windows has the perfect operating system for you.

The most significant of all differences between Mac and PC is price. PCs offer lower costs than Macs. The MAC os costs more than Microsoft Windows. You can find a wide range of PCs at different price points, as PCs have multiple manufacturers.

The Cons of a PC

Users often revere PC manufacturers for their affordable prices. But their total cost of ownership is much higher than expected. Microsoft Office charges a large initial amount for their software.

And if users wish to continue with Microsoft Office, they must upgrade every couple of years. If they do not, they must pay extra to upgrade to the most recent version. Microsoft also publishes security patches too often to keep track of. This increases the total cost and makes computer security harder to maintain.

Windows also has poor stability. Users with windows must reboot and reinstall applications often. Freezing is a major problem for PCs. Microsoft products contain bugs, so their performance is suboptimal.

The Pros of a Mac

Macs are sleek and desirable, but they offer more than looks alone. Computer users revere Macs and Apple products for their excellence in:

  • Adaptability and user friendly
  • Graphic design
  • Innovation

Starting with adaptability, Mac users are in the minority. In fact, there are many more PC than Mac users. Because of this, Apple ensures that Macs work with Windows software. This provides more options to users when new hardware arises such as the USB-C. Macs are also user friendly. An Apple store will offer a boot camp for new Mac sales and users new to Mac vs PC market.

We also associate Macs with graphic design. In the MAC vs PC argument in graphics, MAC os wins out. This is partly because Apple devices and Apple products have appealing aesthetics. But most artists prefer Apple and Mac os as some apps for graphic design are available on Macs, not PCs.

Innovation is another big part of Mac os desirability over Windows operating system. A MAC can handle multiple tasks. But in the quest of Mac vs other computers, Apple incorporates new ideas into their designs faster than their competitor. As the only manufacturer of Macs, Apple is concise and innovative. So is the Mac operating system (MAC os).

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The Cons of a Mac

Macs have many advantages, but users must also be aware of their disadvantages. First, Macs are expensive. Apple software is expensive. In the personal computer market, the cheapest Mac computer sold in Apple stores runs over $300 and do not offer the excellence of superior Macs. Macs also tend to have limited storage compared to PCs. Windows offers more affordable options for lots of storage, but Macs and Apple products are pricey without the benefits of a PC’s 2TB.

Another disadvantage is the graphics and resolution. Macs have outdated screen display and webcam resolution. Their color reproduction and angle viewing have errors. And their webcams have 720p, despite all Apple’s redesigns. This is much lower than most PCs and often disappoints the PC user.

The Origin of Windows

Another key difference between Macs and PCs is their history. They each have their own origin stories. And these histories inform their performance today. First, we will start with PCs.

In 1983, Microsoft announced the creation of Windows (at the time called Interface Management). In 1985, Microsoft changed the name to Windows 1.0 and released it that same year.

Windows 1.0 ran a shell program called MS-DOS Executive, a basic mouse-able output of the DIR command. It did not support icons and was not Y2K-compliant. Other programs in Windows 1.0 included:

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Cardfile
  • Clipboard Viewer
  • Clock
  • Notepad
  • Paint
  • Reversi
  • Terminal
  • Write

In 1987, Windows 2.0 came out. It was similar to Windows 1.0 but featured overlapping windows. This was the first platform in its series to do so. It also included better memory management, but Apple disliked the upgrade.

Apple thought Windows 2.0 was a copy of their Macintosh platform. They filed a copyright infringement lawsuit, in which they lost most claims by 1994.

Fast forward to 1995, and out came Windows 95. This was a turning point in the history of PCs. It was the first platform that wasn’t subordinate to MS-DOS. It laid the groundwork for the Windows we use today.

The Origin of Macs

Macs have a similar timeline but different story than PCs. In 1984, Steve Jobs first introduced the Macintosh. But the idea for it came much earlier. Apple employee Jef Raskin came up with the idea in the 70s. He thought up an affordable, easy-to-use computer for all. He named it after his favorite kind of apple.

Steve Jobs realized the Macintosh was more marketable than the Lisa. The Lisa was aimed toward individual business users. It sold for $9,995 (equivalent to $29,400 today). Experts consider the Lisa a commercial failure affected by:

  • Insufficient operating system and software
  • Outrageous price
  • Unreliable floppy disks and PC files

Apple sold only 10,000 copies in two years. But as a pioneer in computer operating systems technology, many of its advanced features reappeared in the Macintosh.

In 1979, management authorized Raskin to start hiring for the Macintosh project. Bill Atkinson, a member of the Lisa team, recommended Burrell Smith, a service technician. The rest of the team included:

  • George Crow
  • Chris Espinosa
  • Andy Hertzfeld
  • Joanna Hoffman
  • Bruce Horn
  • Susan Kare
  • Daniel Kottke
  • Jerry Manock

By 1980, their work began to capture Steve Jobs’ attention. He knew the Lisa was not as marketable. So, he joined the project. But a personality conflict between him and Raskin arose. By 1981, Raskin had left the team.

Experts say the final product fell closer to Jobs’ designs than Raskin’s. But either way, the Macintosh got Apple to where it is today, and the MC vs PC dispute lives on.

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The Best Majors for Computer Buffs

Now you know the differences between Macs and PCs and their histories, but you might wish to learn more. If you enjoy computers and technology, consider studying the following topics:

Computer Science

As the name implies, computer science focuses on the many topics related to computers, such as:

  • Computer systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Networks
  • Software development

You will need a computer science degree for many technology-focused jobs. While pursuing this degree, expect to study the following:

  • Data science
  • Information security
  • Programming languages
  • Network architecture
  • The PC market versus Apple products

There are many more topics involved in computer science. But those are a few of the most common ones. And if you choose to major in computer science, you may work as a:

  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Database administrator
  • Information security analyst
  • Software developer
  • Web developer

A degree in computer science opens the door to many technology-related careers. You also get a lot of experience working with different operating systems. You get exposed to:

  • Apple’s iwork office suite
  • Apple computer devices like the Macbook Air and Mac computer programs
  • Different Mac versions and Apple products
  • How to run Windows
  • Linux computers
  • MAC os and other operating systems
  • Microsoft Office
  • Same file formats


Students might not want the generalized education of a computer science program. Cybersecurity falls under the umbrella of computer science but specializes in protection. Earning a cybersecurity degree prepares you for work in a cutting-edge field. Cybersecurity majors study topics such as:

  • Business
  • Database applications
  • Data recovery
  • MAC operating system and Apple computers
  • Systems administration
  • Windows systems and security

A career in cybersecurity is both rewarding and fulfilling. You will protect computer operating systems, data, and networks from malware and viruses. Experts earn around $100,000 a year, depending on their state.

Game Design

Game design is an interesting and rewarding major that combines art and technology into a single field of study. It is a popular major at most schools offering STEM degrees. Coursework in game design includes the study of:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer graphics
  • Editing
  • Platform analysis in Apple software and different operating systems
  • Story design

This degree elicits various job opportunities. Students may work as a narrative designer, a video game project manager, and more. With a master’s degree, they could become:

  • Art directors
  • Senior game designers
  • Senior game engineers


There are many differences between Macs and PCs, but it is hard to determine which is the best system. Computer-user compatibility depends on a user’s specific needs and a computer’s ability to meet them. Each operating system has advantages and disadvantages, so it is for the user to decide which operating system works best.

Gamers might prefer a PC while graphic designers may choose a Mac, Macbook Pro, or Mac mini. Either way, it is more than possible to find the perfect operating system. With many options to choose from, all you need to do is research. You could earn a degree in technology while doing so.

This concludes our article on MAC vs PC and which operating system works for you.

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