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what makes a Mac not a PC?

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#1
i guess you could say this is a software question about a hardware question lol.

i say a computer is an empty box with hardware in it and there is no difference between an Apple Mac and a PC you build yourself (other than the pretty little logo) because only the operating system makes it a Mac or a PC. am i wrong about this?

my sister is convinced that Macs are "proprietary equipt" and they are not like anything else and even though you can put a Mac OS on any computer, it is not a true Mac. now i know that Apple is "proprietary" just like Dell or HP but as far as i know, that is the only thing "proprietary" about computers besides the OS itself.

she has been convinced by things she has read (not sure what she has been reading) that a self built computer is only a PC running a Mac OS and not the same thing as a Mac.

she wants a top of the line Mac and says that it will cost several thousand dollars. it has to be a Mac because she is sick of dealing with windows. rather than spend $5000 (her guess at the cost) on a top of the line Mac, she should build a computer and if she wants it to be a Mac, then put a Mac OS on it and it IS a Mac is it not?

so please help me out here with the "facts" about what a Mac really is. and thanks in advance for you help.
 

InnocentCriminal

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#2
I'd be inclined to agree with your sister. Anyone could build a PC as the components are widely available compared to the proprietary components built & designed by Apple and it's affiliates. The thing for me (excluding the software) that makes a Mac is the amount of class, thought and dedication they put into their systems.

Ok, so any enthusiast could build a machine to a certain degree of brilliance, as could any company. (Dell, HP, etc etc) You've basically answered you own questions, but my take on the whole Mac thing not being a PC is...

BOLLOCKS!

A Mac is a PC. It is a Personal Computer it's just created in a different way. They're different, that's all. Maybe the price.

;)
 

Ehstii

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#3
well, i know this...


1.
the look and feel of a Mac(desktop/laptop) are very sleek, sexy, and simple.

whereas PC's not so much. yes, you can build a PC to look the way you want, but unless you put alot of time into it, its not going to look as nice as a mac.

2.
PC motherboard has a BIOS
whereas Mac motherboard uses EFI


so essentially, they are the same. except for a few minor details such as the look and feel and the whole BIOS thing...
 

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#4
The Main difference is MAC's are non BIOS based computers, and PC's are.

Before 2000 Mac's were based on PowerPC architecture, making the hardware non PC compatable, between 2000 and 2006 Apple redesigned their operating system based on UNIX. In 2006 it was changed to an Intel architecture, making it almost 100% identical to a PC. The Major difference now being a new technology called EFI(Extensible Firmware Interface) which prevents Mac os X from being installed on a "normal" pc. Due to different drivers you need Boot Camp to boot into Windows on a mac by emulating a BIOS-based pc.
 
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#5
Didn't know that, thanks!
 
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#6
I'd be inclined to agree with your sister. Anyone could build a PC as the components are widely available compared to the proprietary components built & designed by Apple and it's affiliates. The thing for me (excluding the software) that makes a Mac is the amount of class, thought and dedication they put into their systems.

Ok, so any enthusiast could build a machine to a certain degree of brilliance, as could any company. (Dell, HP, etc etc) You've basically answered you own questions, but my take on the whole Mac thing not being a PC is...

BOLLOCKS!

A Mac is a PC. It is a Personal Computer it's just created in a different way. They're different, that's all. Maybe the price.

;)
well the thing is, she is hard headed (like me lol) and needs to read it for herself so i was hoping to have some way to "show" her evidence where it says there is no difference. she says that she respects my opinion, but it is just an opinion and could i show her proof.
 

InnocentCriminal

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#7
Arrrh hard headed sisters. I know that too well.
 
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#8
The Main difference is MAC's are non BIOS based computers, and PC's are.

The Major difference now being a new technology called EFI(Extensible Firmware Interface) which prevents Mac os X from being installed on a "normal" pc. Due to different drivers you need Boot Camp to boot into Windows on a mac by emulating a BIOS-based pc.
where can i see more about this difference and the problems it presents?
 

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#9
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#10
If your sister is tired of windows make her use Linux.
 
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#11
from what i see UEFI is not Mac specific, rather it is the next generation:

QUOTE:

UEFI is a community effort by many companies in the personal-computer industry to modernize the booting process. UEFI capable systems are already shipping, and many more are in preparation. During the transition to UEFI, most platform firmware will continue to support legacy (BIOS) booting as well, to accommodate legacy-only operating systems.

UEFI stands for "Unified Extensible Firmware Interface". The UEFI specification defines a new model for the interface between personal-computer operating systems and platform firmware. The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. Together, these provide a standard environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications.


more can be found here: UEFI Industry Adoption Takes Major Step Forward with Availability of Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 http://www.businesswire.com/portal/...anStrID=reportcenterndm&newsId=20080219005396
 

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#12
from what i see UEFI is not Mac specific, rather it is the next generation:
Right, origanlay VISTA had included UEFI support but was removed at the last mement for "Unknown Reasons".
 
M

MiST91

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#13
a Mac is a PC, with UEFI instead of a BIOS, its an intel motherboard, intel chip sets (except the apple UEFI), Intel, Nvidia or ATI graphics, and a pretty well put togeather case.

but...

a mac is probably faster than a PC because the OS is specificly designed for the hardware it runs on (like the PS2 only has a 300MHz processor, but you try running san andreas on a PC with a 300MHz CPU, it's not gonna work), Mac OSX will only work with a select few graphics cards, processors, and chip sets, however the selected hardware it does support will work very well with MAC OSX because its been specificly designed for it, thats why OSX comes with all the software the average person will ever need.

A PC is all about upgrading and expandability, Windows will work with just about any processor you throw at it, but because theres so many differant architectures its designed for (ATI, Nvidia, SiS, Via, Intel, AMD, Cyrix.ect.ect.ect i could go on for ever) the software isn't going to be super optimized for all the differant hardware it supports because XP will be about 3 blu-ray disks (exaduration)

so basicly if you like the idea of already having the software you would need like video editing, photo editing.etc and dont mind always having to look for "MAC-DVDROM" games and apps a Mac is for you, but if you like to have a vast libary of games and apps to choose from and be able to keep upgrading your computer, then, like most poeple, you want a PC.
 

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#14
Nothing makes a Mac not a PC. The difference is "Mac" is a brand and "PC" is a label. Both machines can, in fact, be personal computers.
 
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#15
Nothing makes a Mac not a PC. The difference is "Mac" is a brand and "PC" is a label. Both machines are, in fact, can be personal computers.
What I want to know is why Windows computers are still refered to as IBM or IBMx86. both are in most cases not true, computers have extended beyond x86 and IBM as the creater.
 

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#16
Stupidity/ignorance.
 

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#17
All the hardware stuff is pretty well true, except for the value. It seems like every time Apple comes out with a new product somebody buys one, takes it apart and adds up the costs of the components. The result is an over-priced piece of fancy-looking but poorly assemebled electronics. And then again, there's the attitude-thing where studies show Mac owners feel they're more intelligent than PC owners. :rolleyes:

I'm looking for the article I saw on the Macbook Air...

EDIT: Found this one so far:

http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20080220/147736/
 
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#18
A $5000 MAC is a $1000 Dell with a $4000 OS based on a free OS thats had it's guts ripped out so you can only use .5% of the hardware/software out. Apple doesn't manufacture or design there hardware, foxcon does. All they do is design minimalist cases that are impossible to work in but look good with your Akia sofa. There for people who get confused by options and buy things based on looks as opposed to price/proformance. I don't blam people for just wanting to turn it on and do the few this want with no hassel but to pay more for less is just stupid. Get a Eee and save a buck.
 

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#19
Right, origanlay VISTA had included UEFI support but was removed at the last mement for "Unknown Reasons".
I am assuming those "unknown reasons" include installing Vista on a mac natively?
 

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#20
Q. What makes a Mac not a PC?

A. That which makes Xandros not a Linux distro.........nothing. It's just a PC that has some unique bits of hardware and a proprietary OS. The differences were something when they used the PPC.
 
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#21
so how can i get her to stop drinking the "a Mac is not a Mac unless its an Apple Mac" kool-aid?

i mean she keeps asking for me to show her "proof" to the contrary
 
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#22
sounds like your sister want to hop on the Apple pop train.
 

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#23
You can't put an Apple OS on a non-Mac machine. It's against the EULA.

Tell your sister that "Mac" is a brand. A Mac is a PC made by Apple.
 
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#24

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#25
Your sister is correct. A Macintosh computer is exclusive to the Apple brand.
If you build an indentical system yoursef, it is not a Mac. It is a Mac clone.
That is why non-IBM systems were called IBM clones.
When all is said and done, they all do the same thing at some varience in performance.

There is nothing wrong with her wanting a real Mac.
They are decent computers, but somewhat more expensive than their "clone" counterparts.

If she wants a Mac, let her buy a Mac. She will be happy with it.

I, personally, do not care about the aesthetics.
Give me a computer in a pine box that plays Crysis maxed and I am a happy camper :D