It’s time to buy a new computer, but you have a tough choice to make: buy or build a Windows PC or buy a Mac? Here are some reasons why you might want to switch to a Windows PC instead of a Mac.
You want freedom of choice
Windows is a hardware agnostic operating system. It’s a platform designed to work on as many systems as possible from a wide range of manufacturers. It is the main operating system of choice for most end users, hardware OEMs and system integrators, so it enjoys excellent support across the board.
This gives you the ultimate choice to choose what kind of computing experience you want. You can choose to build your own PC from scratch, choosing everything from the case and fans to the CPU, GPU and RAM. Or you can pay someone to build your system for you, to the specification of your choice, for a small premium.
You also have a lot more choices when it comes to other form factors like notebooks. There are Windows laptops that give Apple a run for their money in terms of overall power and popularity, such as the Dell XPS range, and those aimed at the far less expensive end of the market for those who need some budget to get work done. .
A powerful mobile workstation
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7 11th Gen, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
The Dell XPS 13 is ideal for those who need the power of an 11th generation Core I7 processor in a small package. It has a gorgeous OLED display, 16GB of RAM and Intel Iris Xe graphics, plus Windows 11 Home.
Laptops and desktops are far from your only choices. You can build a small PC with a Mini-ITX case, or take your building skills to the max with a sleeper PC. If space is a concern, an older Intel NUC can be a bargain, or you can opt for a Windows All-in-one if you want a Windows alternative to Apple’s iMac. Microsoft is testing the waters for ARM-based Windows machines to compete with the Mac mini.
Note that Windows 11 rolls back some of this choice with its TPM 2.0 requirements, but most modern PCs opt out if you’re buying new in 2022 or later.
Remember that choosing an Apple computer will limit you to current Apple models with a choice of Apple upgrades, Apple Silicon ARM-based processors. There’s no choice between a custom or modular design, so you’re more limited in terms of what your machine can produce.
The game is the main priority for you
PC gaming thrives due to a number of factors, and one of them is the constant desire to push the envelope in terms of hardware. The latest and greatest GPUs like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 won’t be found in Macs. This allows PC users to experience cutting-edge techniques like ray tracing in a way that even next-gen consoles can’t.
NVIDIA 40-series GPU
ZOTAC GeForce RTX 4080 16 GB
The NVIDIA 40-Series is here, and the 4080 offers a slightly more affordable entry point to high-end PC gaming in a smaller, cooler, and more efficient form factor than the 4090.
This helps make Windows the best platform for gamers, a space where macOS can’t compete. Apple has made some strides in GPU performance and software support in recent years, but it’s nothing compared to what’s possible on Windows. It largely depends on how popular the Windows platform is among gamers.
Microsoft’s operating system is the default platform for all but major console exclusives (and even then, it’s usually only a matter of time). Financially, it makes a lot of sense to develop games for Windows. Digital storefronts like Steam, the Epic Games Store, GOG, and exclusive publisher storefronts make a huge amount easier. Choice is a big part of it, with great support for gamepads, mice, keyboards, high-refresh rate monitors and more.
For small developers, Windows presents new opportunities. Early access games allow eager players to jump into the pre-release stage, fund projects at low cost, and get early samples of merchandise. And then there’s Game Pass, Microsoft’s gaming subscription that lets you play what you want per month for a flat price (most new first-party titles arrive on both Windows and Xbox in unison).
There used to be a good argument for buying a gaming PC and your favorite console to play exclusive titles, but times change. Microsoft now brings many of its first-party titles such as Halo: Infinite and Forza series on Windows on day one. Although Sony is not very generous, you only have to wait a few years for PlayStation system sellers like god of war, horizonand Spiderman To get the PC versions. In most cases, these games look better on PC if you have the hardware to push things to the limit.
That’s to say nothing of the VR space, a platform that thrives among PC audience enthusiasts. The best VR headsets like the Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro 2 depend on a high-end Windows PC to deliver the best VR experience (at least until PSVR 2 arrives).
You want to avoid the Apple charge
When it comes to building or buying a Windows PC, the sky’s the limit on how much you’re willing to spend. You can play it safe and build a barebones system in a modest case, adding the components you need as your budget allows. Or you can throw caution to the wind and spend thousands on an RGB nightmare that will double your electricity bill.
Generally speaking, if you put a Windows PC side by side with a Mac with equivalent performance, you’ll pay a lot more for the Apple option. This is especially true of Apple’s high-end machines, such as the MacBook Pro and Mac Studio. While the MacBook Air is competitively priced, many Windows OEMs will double the RAM and more storage that Apple charges.
This makes the Windows platform a more attractive choice for those on a tight budget who are only looking for a price comparison. That’s not to say that the arguments Mac users have about the build quality, overall user experience, and “access” to a platform like macOS are on Apple’s side.
You prefer to use (or rely on) Windows.
Some people just prefer to use Windows, and that’s fine. It’s hard to put a price on productivity, so if using Windows means you get more done, then why stand in the way? Maybe you prefer the interface, the ability to use the touchscreen, or the wide range of free apps that the platform offers, or you hate learning how to do things the Apple way.
A thin and light Windows notebook
Since Apple moved away from Intel-based x86 processors, you can no longer use Boot Camp to install Windows natively. You can’t boot Windows on ARM natively on a Mac, so you’re “stuck” in macOS. Apple’s desktop operating system is powerful, but not to everyone’s taste, especially if you’re a seasoned Windows veteran.
Installing Windows on a modern Mac requires the use of a virtual machine such as Parallels or a free solution such as VirtualBox. You’ll need to use the ARM-based version of Windows 11, which works well but doesn’t have the full compatibility of its x86 counterpart. You can get away with running most Windows apps, but macOS is always running in the background.
If you prefer to deal with Windows only, buy a PC. If macOS isn’t to your taste, avoid it altogether and don’t buy a Mac. An ARM-based version of Windows may never run natively on a Mac (unlike Linux, which is almost there). Software you rely on for work, school, or play may not work in a VM environment.
The game in particular takes a hit. Not only are you dependent on Apple’s silicon hardware, most modern titles simply won’t run in a VM. It also introduces additional overhead when running two operating systems, especially when it comes to power and battery life.
You want a car that you can upgrade
Building a PC has some great benefits, such as having a machine that you can upgrade later. You’ll learn how hardware goes together, how to choose components that complement each other, and hopefully, how to fix it when something goes wrong.
This applies not only to computers you build, but also to many pre-built computers that have some problems. Even Windows laptops are more upgradable than their Apple counterparts. It could just be a stick of RAM or a larger NVMe drive that you drop in a few years after you buy the laptop, or it could be a lot more if modular notebook platforms like the Framework take off in a big way.
If upgradeability is important to you, make sure you build your own machine (or choose a machine from a system integrator that doesn’t use proprietary parts) so you have a way forward in the future.
Windows offers more options
There are several good reasons to choose a Windows computer over a Mac, including cost, flexibility, and upgradeability. Of course, there are also some good reasons why many people should buy a Mac instead. It’s a good idea to understand both arguments before making a decision.