Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mac vs PC TV Ads

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We have all seen them, the Apple Mac vs Microsoft Windows PC. Some times funny, sometimes scary, but always leaving us with a question in our minds as to which is better.

I must admit, I do not own a Mac. I do own a number of Windows and UNIX/Linux based PCs though. I seem to, without conscious effort on my part, to have collected mostly Compaq systems. They are, for the most part, reliable. I can count on them starting up in the morning if they have not been running over night to finish a task. In fact, of the systems I own, two are Windows XP SP2 (Home and Pro). One is a Gateway that my wife uses, and a Compaq 5410US. Her system has been in the shop because of overheating problems and I have replaced the PacTel Modem in the 5410 because it got hit by lightening! (another story some other time).

The rest of the group is comprised of Ubuntu running on a Compaq 550, FreeBSD on the ancient Compaq ESP1000, x86 Solaris 10.0 on a hand-built AMD Athelon 2800+ system, and an AMD Duron 1300 running Fedora Core 6. At the moment, none of these system knows any of the other exist, but that will change in the future. With the exception of the 5410 and Gateway systems, all of the other were salvaged from discarded systems or purchased as a box of parts.

With that being said, I think I can be accurate when I talk about the issues involved in upgrading hardware for one reason or another.

I stumbled upon a blog the other day that stated Bill Gates had voiced distaste for one of the newest of the aforementioned television advertisements. His comment was the idea of having a PC undergo major surgery just to be made ready for Windows Vista was false when comparing to Mac OS X and the Mac. To be honest, I don’t see how he can complain too much. Mainly because the concept of the ad it true. It does take a lot to upgrade an existing PC to Vista readiness.

There are basically three areas that need to be addressed. First is Memory. The MINIMUM recommendation from Microsoft is 512 MB. In actuality, you will need double that if you want to run things at full speed. The extra memory is needed if you wish to view movies and such in a smooth manner. If you don’t, the movie will be jerky, making it difficult to watch. Secondly, the display adapter or video card. We are told that we need to have 128 MB of video memory on our cards, but the truth is 256MB or even more will be needed to make sure the Aero Desktop looks ‘pretty. That’s before we start showing those movies we just talked about. The third thing is far more invasive to your system, the processor. If you have work to do that requires some processing power over and above Vista’s needs, you will have to upgrade the processor. That means you also need to replace the system (or Mother) board, the memory, and your various interface cards, virtually replacing the entire system except for the case and power supply, and that may need to be upgraded as well.

With Mac OS x and Apple Macs, I haven’t seen any such requirements. Upgrading the OS on a Mac may require additional Memory, but that isn’t as expensive nor as invasive as the Vista PC requires.

I don’t see where Microsoft can complain! There are too many alternates to Vista. Over 1200 different distributions of Linux, a family of BSD versions (FreeBSD and NetBSD), free UNIX (x86 Solaris 10), and several additional free PC OSs. And then there is the Apple Mac system. You need to purchase a new computer? Don’t get in a rut! Look around and have fun!


At 12:23 AM CST, Anonymous cathy said...

I agree with your article telling about Mac vs PC TV Ads about the newest of the aforementioned television advertisements which undergoes the for the windows that can be installed by some drivers. That is true that it has three areas that is memory,display adapter and the processor through pctv


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