Home > computer, Uncategorized > Mac vs. PC laptop

Mac vs. PC laptop

Last updated 3/14/2012

I know this topic has been talked about over and over elsewhere but none of the other reviews are credible, IMHO.  This topic really hits my nerves because all these mac user think they have the best looking bad-arse laptop in the world; this mentality makes them smugs!  I will point out some arguments put up by these “sch-mac” users and tell you the real truth.

“My Macbook pro is best performing laptop”

Are you f’in kidding me? I often follow this up with this question, “What are you comparing that to? 9 out of 10 times they will say it is in comparison to their prior PC computer…..which is over 5years old!! Lets even out the playing field shall we? Lets even it out by cost.  Lets say Macbook pro is $2k to purchase.  What is one of the baddest pc laptops that you can buy for $2k? Anybody ever hear of Alienware m17x laptop?  Other dumbass reviewers always make a mistake of comparing MSRP of macbook pro to MSRP of pc laptop.  This is unrealistic because you need to compare price based on “street price”, or the actual price you will pay to purchase the item.  Macbook pro sells pretty darn close to its MSRP, PC laptops always sells for DEEP discounted price, just go check out k-mark, walmart, tigerdirect, and newegg.  If you ever read another mac vs pc review that compares msrp, run from that website because that reviewer is a dumbass.

Now that we evened the playing ground, the real comparison comes down to top of the line Macbook pro vs top of the line Alienware m17x.  Folks that know about Alienware are probably laughing right now because performance difference isn’t even on the same planet.  Now here is a real treat.  I have a real data from the same model year macbook and alienware.  My buddy purchased a top of the line macbook for about $2k.  At the same time I purchased a top of the line $3k(msrp) Alienware m17x for less than $2k.  Mackbook is sleek and sexy, the Alienware looks scary as hell.  We ran same benchmark on both of them.  My alienware scored 17k+ at its lowest performance setting.  The Macbook pro barely broke 7k !! in its highest performance setting.  I was laughing my ass off becuase my wife’s $500 gateway scored higher than the $2000 macbook pro.  In another example, I work on spacecraft related projects and I was working with this one lady that picked up a top-of-the line macbook pro for her consulting business.  We had same engineering software loaded and we had to pull up a spacecraft CAD model on our computers.  Mine came up in about 10minutes.  Her Macbook pretty much gave her the middle finger.  Her comment was classic! she said, “The guy at Best Buy told me this was the most powerful laptop.” First of all, you are in trouble when you rely on a Best Buy guy/gal for valuable information on really technical stuff.  You have no idea what happens when I walk into my local Best Buy and we start debating about laptops, computers, and TVs…lol.

Here is a pop quiz, can you think of any ultra high end laptop that does NOT come with bluray player as standard equipment?….Yes, Macbook pro stands alone winning that trophy.  PC has far surpassed mac in this competition in 2012.  Most mid-level PC laptops now come with Blueray reader/writer, its pretty much the standard on PC laptops.  I don’t know how one can spend $2k and not get a bluray reader/writer. 

So why does Macbook pro offer such dismal performance and features for the money, compared to its equally street priced PC? Answer is all about thermodynamics.  Apple prides itself in making sleek slim profile notebook and it doesn’t really offer great cooling.  Higher performance will require higher cooling rate.  This is also the reason why Macbook will always underperform against its rival PC laptop,  for identical cpu and gpu.  In other words, just because latest Macbook has the latest i7 doesn’t mean it will perform like the same  i7 in Alieware.  In fact, Apple’s latest i7 performs at about same level as what older alienware’s i4 processor will do.  This is good and bad for Mac.  Its good because they can package average level components in relatively slim packaging.  Its also bad because it means Macbook is already 1-2years out of date as soon as its “newly” released to the public.  What that means to folks like me is, Mac is already obsolete as soon as it gets released.  Why would people pay $2k for an obsolete machine is beyond me. 

Bottom line is this, in a fair comparison regarding performance, 17″ Macbook pro is just simply outclassed outmatched against the similar streetpriced Alienware m17x.  Can somebody say young Mike Tyson vs. a ballet dancer?  I can’t even believe this topic is even worth arguing over.  A $2k Macbook looks great and will perform perfectly for most people around the world, but so can a $500 PC laptop from Newegg or Tigerdirect.

Categories: computer, Uncategorized
  1. discus
    April 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Wow, I never really looked at it from perspective of streetprice comparison, and its funny because thats exactly what the geeks at BB told me regarding performance of macbook pro. Thanks for the real world review on mac vs pc issue. I never even heard of alienware until this conversation.

  2. August 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Well, good for you. Picking Alienware over Macbook is a no-brainer.

  3. dave
    August 15, 2011 at 10:17 am

    but alienware m17x is HUGE

    • August 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      I was just using m17x to make a point on pure performance. If m17x is too big there are plenty of non apple laptops with equal or better spec for much cheaper price. Some may think thinnest/smallest laptop is a macbook air, but if you look hard enough you’ll find its a pc that wins that title too.

  4. Rocketman
    January 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Very interesting perspective on your review. You are right on with comparing streetprice vs street price. Do you know how they compare between 2012 models?

    • January 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Most of the review should remain true among 2012 models, but I can’t say it with 100% certainty. I do have some interest in updating the review for 2012 laptops because my blog comes up as one of top sites from Google, when searched for “mac vs pc laptop review”.

  5. dublindater
    March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    so chris, just wondering…I’m not really a gamer at all, so alienware wouldn’t be much use to me. My HP laptop’s motherboard recently fried and I’m wondering what would be best for me now. I do have an iphone and an ipad, but I’ve never been a mac user. I just want a good laptop that stores a lot of music, and runs fast. What would you recommend?

    • March 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      I’ve been so busy blogging about all the personal stuff, I almost forgot about my passion that got me to blog in the first place.
      Anyway, going back to your question, I would deal with it with following procedure and go from there:

      1. Replace or not to replace?
      You can save a lot of money by simply fixing the problem, which also happens to be the cheapest option. You can easily find a replacement motherboard on EBay for pretty cheap. You can probably do a search for your laptop and find there is also handful of donor laptops with exact match. This option should be less than $100

      2. If you decide to replace, is money an issue?
      a. If money is no issue, I would just purchase the Macbook since you already have the iphone and ipad. There are pretty cool things you can do once you have the complete the Mac collection. This option is probably going to be about $1700+

      3. Money is an issue, but I still want a mac…
      a. You can run a “hackintosh”. It consists of purchasing a much cheaper PC laptop and installing Mac OS and drivers. This option will can range from $400-max, depending on spec.

      4. I want the biggest bang for my money
      a. No doubt, PC is your best bet. Latest 2012 i7 Macbook pro performs at very similar level to i5 PC laptops. You mentioned you mostly care about three things: music, storage, and speed. Its really hard to get a feel for to what extent you want to achieve this, and at what cost. Just to give you an idea. The best PC laptop spec will get you i7 Extreme that is overclockable(not underclocked like a Mac) at 4897MHz, quad channel DDR3 memory(32GB of ram), dual video processor using NVIDIA SLI technology (Geforce GTX 580M), THX TruStudio pro sound, 3D display, 3 hard drive slots (about 3TB of storage), 30k+ benchmark score. If all these numbers/stat scare you, and rightfully so, then you might want something little more practical like this:
      1. Toshiba laptop: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1864415&Sku=T25-15672
      2. Samsung laptop: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1963065&Sku=S203-140106

      Regarding speed and performance, there are lots of different things you can do to optimize this. I might just end up sharing my method as a separate blog. Let me know if you have any more questions, I know I’m probably assuming lot of things, but it’s the best I can do with the information you provided. Kinda exciting getting back into this sorta thing again 🙂

  6. January 17, 2014 at 2:54 am

    However the Laptop looks very heavy and is lot bulky than you would have expected. Of course, this is still an entry level GPU, so you can always get much better performance on a desktop or a much more expensive laptop.

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