BU Today

Science & Tech

YouSpeak: Mac vs. PC

The pros and cons of both


Watch this video on YouTube

Tomorrow, BU Today introduces something new: regular coverage of the latest in technology and web applications. We’re calling it “Terrier Tech,” and we’ll be talking about what’s hot and what’s not. So before buying that new cell phone or digital camera, you’ll want to check out what we’ve got to say.

In advance of tomorrow’s launch, we asked students to weigh in on that ongoing debate: Mac versus PC. Champions of PCs argue they’re better for browsing, easier to play video games on, and cost a lot less than Apple’s Macs. Those in the Mac camp say they are less likely to get viruses and are lighter and sleeker than any PC.

So, this week’s “YouSpeak” asks: “Are you a Mac or a PC?”

YouSpeak” appears each Monday.

If you have a suggestion for a question we should ask, post it in the comments section below.

Nicolae Ciorogan can be reached at ciorogan@bu.edu. Joseph Chan can be reached at joechan@bu.edu.


24 Comments on YouSpeak: Mac vs. PC

  • Adam on 04.04.2011 at 5:42 am


    Forgotten about in this video are the myriad of Linux-based operating systems available. Many Linux users run Ubuntu, which as I see it combines the elegance and security of a Mac with the power to do just about anything on it like a “PC” (Windows). It’s used mainly by technophiles such as myself, but really should not be forgotten about in the grand scheme of things.

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 7:25 am

    Realistically, Macs and PCs contain the same hardware. With a little bit of work, you could install OS X (the “Mac Software”) on any laptop or PC. Mac functionality with less cost!

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 9:38 am

    PC's browse faster?

    Yeah right, bought a new hp pavillion and was slow as crap even before I installed any programs. For better and smoother browsing get a MAC, you wanna play computer games get a PC.

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 9:40 am


    I think what some of the “mac people” fail to say (or know) is that pc’s crash IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THEM. I use a pc and 1)it has never crashed because I take the necessary precautions to avoid things like that happening, 2)it runs just as well as a mac at 1/3 of the price, and 3)it is just as portable as a mac laptop. The only people who should be using macs are people who do movie, music, or picture editing. People who plan on using a computer for writing word documents, surfing the internet, and taking pictures of themselves definitely do not need a mac at all, a pc will work out just fine.

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 10:33 am

    Good question!

    It would be interesting to hear if the same feedback would be given if you were you to ask the same poll question on the medical campus.

    Actually, it would be nice if YouSpeak regularly included responses from the Medical Campus…

    Looking forward to Terrier Tech coverage. Glad to hear about it.

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 11:12 am

    Don’t forget that Macs have Intel chips now… so you can use Boot Camp to launch Windows if you really need to!

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 11:18 am

    PC FTW

  • Incoming on 04.04.2011 at 11:42 am

    Unless you’re an art or film student are are willing to cash out even more for Apple’s software, I see no point in getting a Mac. As long as you properly utilize the software, I say go for it. Otherwise… no.One girl said she bought a Mac because of the keyboard and mouse…? No. Just no.

    If you’re worried about aesthetics of the operating system, just learn to Linux and go nuts. Also, it’s just easier to get open-source software on a PC. People worry about virus, but so long as yo get some basic protection, clean like you’re supposed to, and do not go downloading on some murky sites you will be fine.

  • Carlos on 04.04.2011 at 12:52 pm


    I have a Mac with Windows so I get the best of both worlds. I like PCs because not only are they better for video games, but also simply because it’s easier to use. Macs are prettier, sure, but just cause your pretty doesn’t make you better.

    As to the virus thing: I have Windows 7 and I have encountered no viruses so far. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any: but trust me, if anyone is to encounter a virus it’s me. And it has bugs but that’s because it’s running on a Mac.

    I do like Macs because they are great at editing video and because they generally are more stable.

    But Linux would the best if it wasn’t so difficult to use.

  • Anon on 04.04.2011 at 1:36 pm

    Flexibility Wins!

    I have a MacBook Pro because I actually need the processing power for high-end video and sound editing applications, but I also have my hard-drive partitioned so that I also have Windows installed on my machine that I can boot into if I need to.

    For everyday tasks OS X is a great system because the filesystem and hierarchies actually makes sense, whereas on XP and Vista the permissions are a mess (Windows 7 may have improved on this.. I haven’t used it yet). OS X is also based on a UNIX core, which is why it’s so stable.

    The hardware is also solid, and despite being more expensive, the screen, keyboard and trackpad are soo much better than the competition. Plus, lightweight and thin are crucial when you are always carrying it around campus.

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 1:51 pm

    common sense and computers...

    Lack of common sense results in a poor PC experience:

    “Oh I got a virus on my PC” – because you don’t have an anti virus / you surf on dodgy websites which say things like “Free movie downloads here!” / you opened the email attachment which read “Check out this cool new tool for your computer”

    “My PC crashes all the time” – because you probably stuffed it up with all kinds of malware due to poor common sense / you never bothered taking 1 minute to defrag / you never clean your PC (similar to having bad hygiene)

    “Macs have much better looks” – well, if you have the $1000 extra to shell out for something that has a basic design, then go ahead.

    “Macs are faster” – I don’t know where this misconception comes from. Macs have vastly inferior hardware to a PC of equal pricing. Your PC may be slow because of reasons detailed prior.

    “Macs don’t crash” – Lies. Try to count the number of times the twirly spiral thing appears and your application exits. That’s a crash.

    “I hate Windows. It’s so insecure” – Well, buy a PC and install Linux on it. Linux is free, easy to use, and mostly virus-free. Or, buy a PC and put Mac OS on it. Wow, you just saved $1000.

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 4:11 pm

    Simple Macs, complicated PCs

    Macs are simple, so are their users. PCs are more complicated, therefore, if you are a PC user, you will have to deal with more complicated stuff. Nuff said.

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 4:19 pm


    Fuctionality > Form. PCs have better program compatibility, better customization, and a better price. Go ahead and keep your “sleek” Macs. They’ll do nothing for you when you enter a business environment.

    And yes, Macs do get viruses. They are less common because Macs are a tiny part of the computer market, but you’ll be seeing more Mac viruses as the computers become more popular (and Mac users will be easy prey because they think they are immune).

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 5:58 pm

    Pullin’ a kg!

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 8:48 pm

    I'm a Linux PC

    Agreed with the first poster: Linux was sadly ignored here. Linux users exist too! (And technically, they’re all PC’s. It’s just “Windows” is probably too long to type.) Personally, I’m a frequent user of all three, for several reasons, but my own desktop and laptop run Linux. So…*I’m* a Linux PC!

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 8:51 pm


    Scientific computing is done with UNIX. Mac OSX is a UNIX-based system, and that’s why it’s so popular with scientists. You can use OSX from the GUI if you’re an artist or from the CLI in Terminal if you’re a geek. Windows is the OS of the 20’th century

  • Anonymous on 04.04.2011 at 11:38 pm

    Mac is the best because that’s what I asked my parents to buy me!
    Wait a moment, I also own 4 PCs and a Mac, and my parents did not buy them.
    This is seriously a question for students who have not worked a “real” day in their life, and living off of mommy and daddy’s buck. If you learn more than how to drink beer and have sex in college, you will succeed and easily afford a Mac and PC…

  • Anonymous on 04.05.2011 at 2:04 pm

    I use both but much prefer a Mac. It allows a person to concentrate on the actual software rather than requiring a ton of tinkering. To those that say viruses for Mac’s are just around the corner well I’ve been told that since I replaced my pc with a Mac six years ago – yes I am a switcher. And Mac users taunt pc users without shame. The reason for the lack of viruses is because the computer language behind the Mac is tighter and less prone to hacking i.e. open sourced). Once a pc is hacked it’s pretty easy to gather all sorts or private information on it.

    I’ve never had a virus but a Mac is far from perfect but much closer than anything Windows has produced.

    I put it this way, pc’s are for the kind of people who when they buy a new car feel the need to open the hood and tinker with the engine, and Mac users are, for the most part, people who just like to drive.

    With Apple getting a larger market share there are more functional applications/software for people and Mac’s are no longer just the domain of those in the artistic field.

    And, as usual, the younger people are on the cutting edge and I’m seeing the vast majority of students using Macs. Just walk around campus. Better yet go to a Mac store and look at the laptops. The perception that Macs are more expensive than pc’s is negated by the fact you will use your Mac for a much longer period of time; it’s just a smarter long term investment.

  • Anonymous on 04.06.2011 at 10:19 am

    LINUX! guys, it’s better…

  • John Craig on 04.08.2011 at 2:01 pm

    I stick to pc

    Ill stick to pc to old to switch to mac now ;)

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 5:17 pm

    Mac or PC

    I like both. I’m a pc but, at times, I have Mac envy. Macs are too expensive.

  • Anonymous on 04.25.2011 at 8:56 am

    I have both a PC and a Macbook Pro at home, and the difference is huge. My Mac boots up in about 30 seconds, and is ready to go. I’ve never ever had a problem with it crashing or freezing, and is always 100% reliable, which is a statement I could never make about my PC. My PC takes forever to boot up, and can never be left on for a prolonged period of time without freezing. Also, I DO have anti-virus software for both, and have never had a problem with my Mac getting a bug (again, a statement I could never make about my PC with similar protection).

  • Anonymous on 04.30.2011 at 3:21 pm

    No. Macs and PC’s do not have the same exact hardware. Open a Mac and show me a picture of the Boot CMOS/Bios. The memory controller system in a Mac is very different. Where’s the PCI and ISA slots in a Mac? And do you really think a of the shelf motherboard from any brand will just plop right in a mac pro or iMac and work perfectly? And the power supply system is anything but generic in a Mac. there IS no off the shelf power supply systems that will work on a Mac even if you forget about the different case and mounting.

    Also, tolerences and quality control and vastly different for each. Outside of a stock Intel CPU or generic memory chips, there is nothing ‘exactly the same”.

  • Keen on 11.09.2011 at 6:58 pm

    Personally, I prefer PCs. Admittedly, that’s mostly because that’s what I used growing up. I’ve used MACs many times, and they’re usually fine, but all of my own computers have been PCs. I’ve had many ‘frakensteins’ built by my dad, a computer tech, which usually weren’t state-of-the-art, but got the job done for what I needed.
    I’ve bought 2 computers of my own, a Dell laptop, and an HP desktop. My laptop is now a little bit over 2 years old, and still runs very well. Even when I bought it, it wasn’t top of the line and came with Vista, but I mostly bought it because I needed a new computer anyhow and it was a good deal; there has been a slight decline in its speed, but I’ve never had any serious crashes/viruses/etc. The worst thing that’s happened is it’s been dropped a couple of times, but it’s never had a hard drive crash.
    My desktop is much better and was a bit pricey, but that’s mostly from the really good screen I got for it. It has Windows 7, and it’s almost a year old. No problems with it at all. Speed is good, and no issues with crashes or anything.
    I’m not really trying to convince people to buy PCs over MACs, but I did admit I have a bias. Mostly, I just feel it’s important to realize that, even with all the PC horror stories, not every PC is plagued with crashes and malware like most people seem to think. It really depends on how you’re using and treating your computer.

Post Your Comment

(never shown)