Mac vs PC – How to Choose the Best Device for Work

Choosing a new desktop or laptop for work can be a daunting task. But the first decision you should make is if you want a Mac or PC. The new generation of Macs, based on ARM, have been hugely successful. But is Windows still the better operating system? In this week’s episode, I look at 7 critical things you should consider when buying a new work device.

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  • cnic

    Premium Member
    29 July, 2022 - 11:25 am

    <p>Hi Russell. Do you have a link to Sara’s video?</p><p><br></p>

  • Russell Smith

    Premium Member
    29 July, 2022 - 11:35 am

    <p>Hi, yes here it is: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1L2V09VXwY&quot; target="_blank">I think I like Windows more than MacOS… – YouTube</a></p>

  • will

    Premium Member
    29 July, 2022 - 12:40 pm

    <p>I am a Mac user is a 99% Windows environment. Being honest, there are pros and cons to this. The biggest con is that I am not using the same thing as everyone else, so my experience is different in almost every way unless it is web apps. The biggest pro is almost the reverse of that in that macOS has many integrated features that if you are in the iPhone ecosystem work better. Messaging and apps work across the platforms generally better.</p><p><br></p><p>From a security side, yes macOS can be managed but it is limited. The next version, Ventura, will bring enterprise features such as SSO into the native OS so this makes things a little easier. Windows does give you full visibility from a management side more than Mac.</p><p><br></p><p>Overall they are both good. IMO what Microsoft needs to do, and I do not see them doing this, is spending more time on attention to details in Windows and finishing so much unfinished stuff. Windows 11 has been a battery hit compared to Windows 10, and I have seen this first hand. Plus there are many features and options that Windows 10 had that are just no longer options in 11. Mac however locks things down a little too much in some ways.</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      31 July, 2022 - 7:06 am

      <p>I use macOS and Linux at home and Windows at work. They all have their pros and cons. I don’t really find that many significant differences, working on any of them, they are all very similar, from a user point of view. I prefer the consistency of macOS, something Windows hasn’t managed to recapture, since it went to Windows 95.</p><p><br></p><p>When Apple bring out a new look, the whole OS gets the new look. With Windows, you have bits that are themed for Windows 11, more that are remnants of Windows 10 and Windows 8 look and feel, and, when you dig deep into the system, you have things that haven’t changed since Windows 95 or 2000 – including their look and feel. Linux also suffers from this, to an extent, although different GUIs have different success rates at getting things transferred.</p><p><br></p><p>At the end of the day, it really comes down to the software you use. At work, a lot of the software we use is Intel Windows only, so other operating systems are a non-starter – yes, some could run under Wine on Linux or under a VM on an ARM Mac, with WoA and Intel interpretation in the VM, but it isn’t guaranteed to work error free and it makes support that much more difficult, that many companies just won’t even entertain the thought of a mixed environment; the employees are there to perform certain tasks and they need to do it as efficiently as possible, even if the OS isn’t the one they would prefer.</p><p><br></p><p>Performance also isn’t an issue, we generally use 400€ Core i3 mini-desktops for most of our users, there just isn’t anything in Apple’s range that even comes close. Yes, those Mac minis and Airs are faster, but that performance would remain unharnessed.</p><p><br></p><p>I prefer macOS and Linux to Windows, but I am also a realist and know that a Windows PC is the only viable solution in my current job.</p>

  • digiguy

    Premium Member
    29 July, 2022 - 2:49 pm

    <p>The claim that you need to spend more than Macbook money to get the same performance is completely false. <span style="background-color: rgb(249, 249, 249); color: rgb(3, 3, 3); –noir-inline-background-color: #14191b; –noir-inline-color: #e6e4e1;" data-noir-inline-background-color="" data-noir-inline-color="">There are plenty of Windows laptops well under $1000 with Ryzen 7 5th gen that outperforms M1 and have double the storage and the RAM than the $1000 M1 Macbook air. And I am not even talking sales, just regular prices. </span></p>

    • nbplopes

      29 July, 2022 - 8:31 pm

      <p>Heck you can pay more and still not get the same performance.</p>

    • rob_segal

      Premium Member
      29 July, 2022 - 11:00 pm

      <p>The performance per watt of Macs are unmatched by anything Intel and AMD currently has. After using an AMD gaming laptop and an M1 MacBook Air, the MacBook Air performed better.</p>

    • Russell Smith

      Premium Member
      30 July, 2022 - 6:54 am

      <p>I don’t know 100% for sure, but I would be amazed if a current $1000 Intel/AMD notebook has the same level of performance as an equivalently priced M1 Mac. At least with Intel chips, there’s too much throttling going on to do anything resource intensive like video editing with Premiere Pro or Davinci Resolve. The M1 will do it without breaking a sweat, providing you don’t want to do complex motion graphics at the same time.</p><p><br></p><p>The GPU plays a big role of course in this too. You’ll need a discrete GPU on an x86 device to use the previously mentioned software. And both the GPU and CPU will need significant cooling if they are not to throttle performance after a few minutes. Of course, on desktops, cooling is much easier. </p><p><br></p><p>But to get an x86/AMD64 notebook that performs like an M1 Mac notebook, you’ll need some serious cooling. A vapour chamber or a notebook designed with those tasks in mind that allows you to manually increase the fan speeds. And those features only come on much more expensive devices.</p><p><br></p><p>I’ve learned this from my own experience, the hard way. For example, a business notebook that has a discrete graphics card, which is designed to allow it to also run lighweight games, is not suitable for use as a video editing machine. The workloads are completely different.</p>

    • 2ilent8cho

      01 August, 2022 - 5:01 am

      <p>Take the power cord out of those laptops so it’s being used as intended, on battery. Now watch those non MacBooks performance drop like a stone. </p><p><br></p><p>Real life battery life will also likely not even come close in that price range to the MacBook, and I’m sure those Windows laptops will start thermal throttling a lot more and fans will be going crazy. </p>

  • scovious

    29 July, 2022 - 10:07 pm

    <p>My tip is, assuming you don’t work solo, just use what everyone else in the office does. </p><p><br></p><p>People who insist on working on a Mac in an office where some people require Windows only software, is the most disruptive and annoying thing for a Windows user, when it comes to collaboration of any kind. </p><p><br></p><p>I imagine the scenario is the same in reverse, but since I can’t comprehend Apple’s over simplified and tightly controlled walled gardens, I can’t speak from experience if Windows hampers Mac workflows in the same way from a Mac users point of view.</p><p><br></p><p>Either way, an efficient company doesn’t mix their operating systems.</p>

    • rob_segal

      Premium Member
      29 July, 2022 - 11:02 pm

      <p>A company can run efficiently if its workforce are on Windows and Macs. It doesn’t always cause problems.</p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        31 July, 2022 - 12:47 pm

        <p>Agreed, although it is very much dependent on what software is being used. I’ve worked at companies, where Macs and Windows were equally distributed and everything just worked, but I’ve also worked at places where most users run specialist software and only certain departments, if any, could run Macs.</p><p><br></p><p>A lot of places just decree Windows (or Mac, or Linux), because it is easier to support just one operating system.</p>

        • nbplopes

          03 August, 2022 - 4:38 am

          <p>That is a reasonable assessment and it’s congruent with my experience in the field.</p><p><br></p><p>If the company gives their employee the option then I’m sure the IT department has the infrastructure to support both as well and the team leaders signed up the option based on work requirements.</p><p><br></p><p>Employees sure not be worried about choosing either when the option is provided. </p><p><br></p><p>Cheers.</p>

    • nbplopes

      30 July, 2022 - 6:00 am

      <p>And people say that Windows is an open system.</p><p><br></p><p>I digress. I’ve been in the Industry for 40 years now. One thing I’ve learned, is that a monoculture company is way weaker than a polyculture … In fact I believe that the "down fall" of Apple is that will be slanted by some new tech that they could not even see it coming until tool late.</p><p><br></p><p>Microsoft itself would go down hill if it wasn’t for Nadella that totally redefined Microsoft, opening it up to multiple platforms, to new ways of working and tools. </p><p><br></p><p>PS: I’ve never met a Windows user that got annoyed for other one using a Mac. Unless for fanboys disguised as users. In the Mac camp that also happens … its sad.</p>

    • Russell Smith

      Premium Member
      30 July, 2022 - 6:47 am

      <p>That’s a good point. In fact, Microsoft has made moves recently to try and get as many Microsoft 365 subscribers as possible running the same version of the desktop Office apps. The reason cited that when people are using different versions, it can cause compatibility issues. And we know that the macOS version of Office is not the same as the Windows version.</p>

      • nbplopes

        31 July, 2022 - 6:55 am

        <p>It depends. Microsoft Teams native is the same version. OneDrive works the same I guess. Word, PowerPoint and Excel for the Web is the same version.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

        • wright_is

          Premium Member
          31 July, 2022 - 12:36 pm

          <p>OneDrive is very much not the same on macOS and Windows, unfortunately.</p><p><br></p><p>Office also isn’t 100% compatible, presentations in PowerPoint on Mac and Windows have formatting issues, with font being rendered differently between the two platforms. I did a presentation on my Windows PC a while back and my boss tore me a new one, because half of the text was missing, when he looked at the presentation on his Mac.</p><p><br></p><p>At my current employer, we also have some old Access databases, so they are a non-starter for Mac users, especially as some of those use add-ins for Access 2003! (We have a truck scale for weighing the big rigs in and out of the site, to confirm their cargo weights. The manufacturer only has a module for Office 2003. A new scale is planned, but you don’t replace a working scale, costing 10’s of thousands of dollars, just because Office is out of support, or the user wants to use a Mac.</p><p><br></p>

          • nbplopes

            31 July, 2022 - 7:54 pm

            <p>I know that. That is why wrote:</p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">"Word, PowerPoint and Excel </span><strong style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">for the Web</strong><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> is the same version."</span></p><p><br></p><p>Android and Chrome books best integrate with Google services, Windows PC best integrates Microsoft services. MacOS and iOS devices best integrate with Apple services.</p><p><br></p><p>I find the article intentions odd and title … Organisations whose infrastructure and strategy revolves around being MS shop I see little sense giving people choice between a Mac or Windows. Give employees a Windows PC and that is it.</p><p><br></p><p>Yet the title is "How to Choose the Best Device for Work". I assume the article is targeted to the regular Joe that wants to buy his own laptop for their work even though a workstation is already provided by the employer. In which case the justification presented is moot at best … its a secondary computer. So I can only conclude that is just another video promoting Microsoft Windows and Microsoft digital services.</p><p><br></p><p>If one is not yet employed yet and is looking for the best laptop for the work he intends todo … the best is to look at the work he plans to do … buying a computer based on some potential employer technical infrastructure is in my opinion ridiculous. </p><p><br></p><p>Cheers.</p>

            • wright_is

              Premium Member
              01 August, 2022 - 12:27 am

              <p>The problem is, the Web versions are very much not the same version as any of the local apps, they have very limited functionality and aren’t 100% compatible with documents created on full-fat Office.</p><p><br></p><p>I’ve tried the web versions a few times, but they are just an exercise in frustration.</p>

              • nbplopes

                03 August, 2022 - 4:55 am

                <p>I digress,</p><p><br></p><p>Although I prefer native solutions when available, I’ve been using web version of productivity tools fine. You see, has you I often need to navigate between Microsoft, Google and Apple Suits due to many reasons … and the Web has been the turnkey for this flexibility. I think all of these solutions cover 98% of work use cases … Presentations, Documentation and Communication. Then there is speciality software which is very context specific … that may or not be supported on one of the options.</p><p><br></p><p>For for instance, in software development if the team development standard is around Visual Studio its makes no sense to opt for a Mac … its a productivity suicide. If you develop for iOS choosing Windows same thing. If other you work with Unix ecosystems then Mac is the safest bey. When it comes to Office 365, if you depend on advanced analytical stuff of Excel … say todo data Analysis, opting for Windows is the safest bet (Excel is the only tool in the 365 that I’ve found to have features on Windows that might be critical). If your company uses say Google Suite, than choose either.</p><p><br></p><p>Cheers.</p>

  • randallcorn

    Premium Member
    01 August, 2022 - 12:25 pm

    <p>OK so the device running slower on battery? That is a setting in Windows OS that you can change. It reduces power and display light and such to reduce power consumption. I turn those off and run 100% power when I need the full power when on battery. I work hard to make sure we have the best devices, configured for maximum efficiency, without having to add too many 3rd party apps and we do manage the device on the domain. Not all IT departments suck. Using a VM on a Mac just means now you have a Mac and a Windows machine to manage.</p>

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