Mac vs. PC cost analysis: How does it all add up?

Education & Training with Summit Web Design and Long & Foster Realtors

Everybody knows PCs are cheaper than Macs, right? Wrong! (At least sometimes). I ran across an interesting article from Computerworld that I thought I would share with everyone who tries to sort out the reality from fiction that Macs are much more expensive.

Scot Finnie's conclusions in his article -

Assuming that you want a high-end notebook PC designed to work, play and be your everyday machine with style, the MacBook Pro is a surprisingly good value. The models that I compared it with, the Sony (for $3,150) and the Dell (at a whopping $3,459), had some extras here and there, but they were also more expensive. The key to the perception that Macs are more expensive is that Apple offers very few in-between models.

Bottom line: When you configure low-end and midrange notebooks and desktops, you'll find that except at the very bottom of the heap, Windows machines are roughly comparable in price to Macs. There are fewer Mac models, so if your needs vary from what Apple has decided on, you may find a Windows model that costs less for you. But Apple's choices make a lot of sense for most people, and when you do the point-by-point comparison, Apple is actually a better value for some needs.

Comments (13)

Robert Walker
Remax - Buford, GA
Ive just started looking at the Mac.  I am going to play with onr to find out how hard it would be to switch over.
Jun 10, 2007 01:38 AM
Janie Coffey
First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty - Ponte Vedra, FL
Uniting Extraordinary Homes w/ Extraordinary Lives
great post Win and with the new duos which allow you to run all PC based applications, there is no longer a reason not to have a Mac.  Plus the graphics and all the cool stuff with mac (ie iLife, iWeb, etc. are GREAT for Tech savy real estate professionals).  I am still, pounding out on my little iBookG4, but drooling over a new MacBook Pro.  Made with a mac and proud of it!  And let's not  even mention the STABILITY of the Macs vs thaf of a PC!
Jun 10, 2007 01:40 AM
New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate - Morristown, NJ
If our MLS were with the times and I could actually print out of it using a Mac I would get one. But our mls is so out of it that we still cannot print well using IE7 which means no Windows Vista yet.
Jun 10, 2007 04:10 AM
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY

Win - I think the real value is not having to replace your PC every few years because it is so slow, no matter how diligent you are with anti-virus software.  

Robert - I just switched over maybe 2 mo ago.  It is so easy.  The people at the Apple store will even transfer all of your files from your old pc to your new, shiny, white mac.    

Jun 10, 2007 04:10 AM
Win Singleton
Summit Web Design and Long & Foster Realtors - Falls Church, VA
Web Designer & Associate Broker
James - with the Intel Macs, you can have Windows XP or Vista installed for when you absolutely have to be a PC. That should certainly allow you to print out your MLS data. Once done, you can then go back to being a Mac for all the rest of your work and pleasure. :-)
Jun 10, 2007 05:27 AM
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!
While I think that Apple is responsible for bringing the micro computer into the home environment, it took interest in IBM and building inexpensive clones to bring the price of computers down.  Apple finally realized that they were keeping the price of their machines too high and ware just about to put them self out of business.  The technology is so good on both sides that now price is the main issue.  That being said, our MLS will not support Mac or anything that looks or smells like Unix or Linux based machines.  It must be Microsoft or nothing.  Too bad.
Jun 10, 2007 05:37 AM
Win Singleton
Summit Web Design and Long & Foster Realtors - Falls Church, VA
Web Designer & Associate Broker
Gee, Roger... did you just read what I posted to James? Your MLS supports Windows, doesn't it? With the Intel Macs of today, you can have the best of both worlds - Windows XP or Vista installed for when you absolutely have to be a PC. That should certainly allow you to access and print out all of your MLS data. Once done, you can then go back to being a Mac for all the rest of your work and pleasure. :-)
Jun 10, 2007 05:53 AM
Aziz Abdur-Raoof
RE/MAX Rewards - Columbia, MD
Howard Co. Real Estate Scoop
My Apple a day keeps the doctor away --  I had to install parallels to use Top Producer.

Jun 10, 2007 03:16 PM
Robert Whitelaw
Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services - Morgan Hill, CA
Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
One of the biggest things that people fail to take into consideration is support time. I have had a Mac and a Windows machine on my desk since - well... since there was not windows and DOS was the thing. I have found that with windows, I have to put up with all kinds of junk to keep things running smoothly. This usually means at least a yearly re-install of the operating system. And I am not a novice user... I know my way around the registry, etc. and I still have to jump through these kinds of hoops to get consistent and reliable behavior. On my Mac, I have installed the latest OS once, then I did an upgrade, that is it. I have NEVER had to reinstall the OS for performance reasons. Hell, even when I installed a processor upgrade I did not have to reinstall. My Mac liberates me from HOURS of administrative bull that I would otherwise have to do with my windows machine. Once you figure that time savings in, the Mac ends up being way cheaper to use.
Jun 17, 2007 09:45 PM
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Win - Are you taking the summer off?  I hope you are doing something fun.  :)
Aug 12, 2007 01:50 PM
Eric Egeland
RE/MAX SUBURBAN - Libertyville, IL
recently bought a mac & it has been great...I am realizing though there is still need for a PC in the home or the office.  To many windows based apps to do everything on a mac
Apr 10, 2008 08:36 AM
Nogui Aramburo
Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® - Raleigh, NC
Real Estate Professional in the Raleigh Area

From a cost point of view, a mac will outlast a PC by about 4 years- assuming the position that window users have to buy a PC every other year to keep up- or having to reinstall the OS like Robert mentioned earlier. Let's face it, the amount of energy that has to be spent on maintaining a PC is enormous. My Macbook Pro works fine just by itself! My old Imac G5, which is like 3 years old works like the day I bought it (no kidding really!). But of course theres routine (easy) tuneups that need to be done to keep the mac running smooth.

Here's a perfect example of how mac's can help your business. I showed my girlfriend (who's also a realtor), how to export some movies of a listing she previewed to her .mac account on the fly. She was able to send the URLs to her clients (who are out-of-towners) and based on the video they saw, they are making offer today on the property! Seriously, I don't know how easy this would have been on a PC, but we were able to figure it out, even though we had never used the particular software (Imovie) before.


Apr 12, 2008 01:41 AM
Win Singleton
Summit Web Design and Long & Foster Realtors - Falls Church, VA
Web Designer & Associate Broker

Hi Eric!

You wrote - "I am realizing though there is still a need for a PC in the home or office. Too many windows based apps..."

Hmm. What are you trying to do? There is Microsoft Office for Mac with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Zipforms now for Mac, and even Top Producer 7i or 8i will work on any Intel Mac if you also have Windows Vista or XP installed on your Macintosh so that you easily switch over to being a Windows computer for a few minutes to perform that work, should you need to. 

So feel free to contact me if you don't know yet how to make your Macintosh do everything a PC can do.

Apr 12, 2008 01:53 AM