View Full Version : The difference a Mac makes
I'm sure that this question has been asked before and although this is a PC discussion could someone tell me the main differences between a Mac and a PC. In science a lot of the software seems to be written for Macs whilst most people write with PCs so why the difference? Is it just a different box or is the hardware completely different? I'm still confused and get cross when they say they hate either machine and I don't see a difference really. If you can fix PCs can you fix Macs are there fundamental things which are the same?
I've just read the section on PC vs Mac and don't wish to go over old ground. I would like to know the hardware differences not the programs that run on both computers. Here in academia I have both PCs and Macs lying around and wondered if I could have a play with both. Apols again sometime it takes a while for pages to load and the search engine didn't work.
03-26-2001, 11:46 AM
The type of devices (Hard Drives, CD Roms, modems etc) are the same.......the motherboards, bios' and cpu chips are different. The reason very few PC techs work on MAC's & visa versa is the steps for troubleshooting are Soooo different on each machine and the operating systems are different as well (hard for a PC guy to navigate in Mac etc).
"As hard as a rock & dumb as a brick"...Windows CEMeNT
03-26-2001, 03:13 PM
Apple got a very early foothold with their aggressive deals to get into the primary school system here in the US. What with AppleTalk and other features, it was quite easy to set up a basic network. Meanwhile the non-Apple world was fractured by CP/M and other proprietary operating systems. Apple dug its own grave by making its hardware available only through authorized dealers, and by refusing to license it to "clone" manufacturers. The first Macs developed a strong base in graphics-intensive businesses like advertising production. Now the situation has leveled somewhat, especially since the arrival of a stable (?? http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif ) Windows. Most users these days perceive no difference in running Word or PageMaker on either platform. I think Macs still have some non-PC-standard hardware on some models, and a PC-compatible add-on card -- sound, modem, NIC, etc. -- won't work inside a Mac. But with USB and FireWire, most external devices work with either. Like Randy said, the operating systems are so different that it's very difficult for one person to be really proficient in both, down at the nuts-and-bolts level.
[This message has been edited by tjaymadison (edited 03-26-2001).]
03-26-2001, 05:39 PM
The most important hardware (cpu) is completely different...totally different architecture and instruction set as well as the way the instructions are handled by the processors...
This is why a 450 mhz G4 runs floating point operations (and performs so well in things like Photo Shop) as fast or faster than a Pentium running at twice the clock speed...and why scientific apps you mention are often geared toward that platform...
03-27-2001, 11:06 PM
I hate to jump in here but.. I've recently become more interested in Macs as well. Not from a competitive level or anything but rather from a 'How does it work? standpoint. In my quest for machines to dabble with, someone gave me a couple of old Macs... For free. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif Anyway... Can any of you guys recommend a site or two that might provide technical info on the utilization of the Mac cpu architecture in a fashion akin to Tom's Hardware?
Any guidance would be appreciated.
As an afterthought... Something that I find REALLY perplexing is the fact that 'computer people'(users) are so biased toward one machine or the other. But the fact is both serve a purpose. Both Mac and PC and provide excellence in their particular part of the universe. If ever there is enough money in the pocket book, there will always be enough room for both in my house. LMAO! Maybe, I'll win the lottery. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif
Age and Treachery will forever triumph over Youth and Skill.
03-27-2001, 11:46 PM
Nicely done folks, the PC/Mac debate is a very old one and often turns into a slamfest. I'm constantly impressed by the way everyone here usually tries to do things in an intelligent manner...
The first place I would look for Mac info would be Apple Support (http://www.apple.com/support/) Check their knowledge base, I'm sure you'll find plenty good info. Then run a google search for "Mac info" and you'll get lots of hits.
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