Do PC’s Last Longer Than Macs?

Posted on February 8, 2010


“PCs are better than Macs”.

Chances are that if you say something along those lines in an online conversation, your inbox will be flooded with tons of messages from die-hard mac fanboys defending their beloved computer. One of the more common responses that you’ll get is someone yelling about how Macs can last forever, whereas PCs can only last 2-4 years without needing to get replaced.


This is where most Mac fanboys fail the most. Although it is true that after 2-4 years you usually need to perform a minor RAM upgrade on your computer to keep it running smoothly, you do not need to go out and get an entirely new computer. Now, after saying this in the comment thread of a YouTube video a few months back, I was greeted with this utter display of genius:

“You still need to pay for the RAM you retard!”

Apparently someone failed first grade Math class. Let’s say that you shell out $1000 for a PC, then a few years down the road you get a $35 RAM upgrade. Now the total amount of money you have spent on the computer is $1035. As you may have already noticed, $1035 is still less than what you’ll be paying for the Mac… not including the RAM upgrades.

That is, if you can even upgrade the RAM.

What do I mean? Just look at this picture of the iMac, which is Apple’s best selling desktop computer.

Now you tell me how you’re going to get that thing opened up.

You see, most PCs are far more customizable than any Mac will ever be. With a PC, you can exchange 95% of the parts in it and it will still all work, but with a Mac, you’re limited to doing minor upgrades, like replacing RAM. Very few people would even dream of opening up–say–an iMac and changing the hard drive or graphics card.

And god forbid you try and swap the CPU.

Although chances are that if you own a Mac older than 5 years you might need to do just that. That’s right, as you might recall, older Macs were based on the PowerPC processor (the same one used to power the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360) and they ran perfectly fine. Then one day someone over at Apple thought it would be a brilliant idea to ditch the PowerPC platform and use Intel chips to power their computers. Sure, why not? After all, all the newer operating systems released after the switch (like Leopard) would still run on older PPC computers, right?

Oh, wait.

Although it was true that Leopard was backwards-compatible with older PowerPC computers, the newest version of OSX–Snow Leopard– was not. Now suddenly everyone using an older mac was instantly left with an outdated machine, and were presumably forced to go out and buy another $2000 machine.

So let’s take a step back and look at the big picture for a second.

This iMac G5, which is around 6 years old, cannot run the newest version of the Mac OS (Snow Leopard)

Whereas this Dell Optiplex GX110, which is around 11 years old, could (with a minor RAM upgrade) run Microsoft’s newest OS, Windows 7.

So now think: Which lasts longer? PCs or Macs?

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