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Why Do Mac Laptops Seem to Last Longer Than Windows Laptops?

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PC vs. Mac

Recently when we published an article about the new Apple MacBook, we suggested that readers might want to instead consider a comparably-equipped Windows machine. The comment section on that feature then lit up with opinions from readers on which laptops are better. Essentially, it became an argument about the pros and cons of Windows vs. Mac.

In those discussions, a frequent sentiment was expressed: Mac laptops are pricier, but they last longer. But where does this assumption come from? One argument is that, yes, of course, if you're comparing a Mac to all other Windows machines, regardless of the configuration and build quality, you'll get the sense that Macs last longer because they're naturally built better than a $300 machine.

But many still hold that even when comparing two like systems, in terms of processor, storage, design, etc., you'll still encounter an experience in which the Mac seems to last longer than the Windows laptop.

So what's going on here? Is that actually true? And if so, why? We turned to devout PC user, Marcy Bonebright, for her perspective on this issue.

Windows and Mac are Totally Different Systems

Let's start this comparison of Windows and Mac by stating what should be obvious: comparing Windows and Mac to each other is kinda silly. From the operating systems (OS's) to the hardware to the software, these two computer ecosystems are apples and oranges, pun intended. Apple maintains strict control over almost every aspect of a given computer's production, which means there's no mystery in how any given component will communicate with another. Every action is like a dinner party with close friends that's been planned for months in advance. The Apple OS plays host, making sure everything runs smoothly.

Microsoft makes an operating system, and that's it. The BIOS (the software that allows the OS to talk to the hardware) is generally proprietary to the motherboard manufacturer. The individual hardware components (like a video card or CPU), peripherals (mouse and keyboard), and applications (like word processing software or games) can all come from different companies — Microsoft has no say in which parts are chosen for a given system. The Windows OS merely coordinates the communication between those individual parts. If a Mac is a dinner party, a PC is the United Nations where everyone speaks Windows.

So Why Do Macs Seem to Last Longer?

These design differences have repercussions on both sides. Apple's tight control of its ecosystem means all the components of a Mac system are optimized to work together. That allows every process to run more smoothly, throughout the lifetime of the system. This optimization comes at a premium though; component manufacturers aren't letting Apple dictate the production process for certain parts out of the goodness of their hearts. This is one reason why Macs cost more.

On the other hand, Microsoft's success and long-time dominance of the personal computing arena makes Windows the universal OS by default. Every hardware or software manufacturer (that isn't working on mobile components) makes parts that are compatible with Windows, but Microsoft doesn't really have a say in how those parts are made. A Windows machine is a collection of discrete parts, which makes processing inherently more difficult. (Of course, it also makes PCs cheaper.)

Over the life of a PC, all the components and applications can receive hundreds, even thousands, of minor and major updates from their manufacturers' support teams. Every change is noted in the Windows registry, which is essentially a very long list of commands that the OS has to read every time it boots up. As that list gets longer, the PC slows down. To keep up with our metaphor, this would be like if a UN meeting started with a reading of every other meeting's minutes. This slowing down can make your PC feel ancient.

Fixing a PC Isn't Hard, Just Time-Consuming

The average PC user understands that these computers require upkeep. But what you may not know is that as Windows evolved, the list of tips and tricks for tuning up Windows has also evolved. Microsoft has its own page dedicated to speeding up Windows, which includes ideas like limiting the number of programs that run at startup, deleting excess applications, and running the Disk Cleanup utility. (Note that these tips are current to Windows 7; if you're running something else, Google is your friend.)

Should those fixes not work, it's a great idea to make sure your drivers are up to date. Drivers are the operating instructions a manufacturer gives to Windows to tell it how to run a given piece of hardware. If you've got an Nvidia graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce Experience program will automatically tell you when to download and update your GPU drivers. (AMD has a similar program.) Otherwise, you can use Windows Update or Device Manager to update old drivers.

Should all else fail, you can always just reinstall Windows. A clean reinstall is by far the most time-consuming option, but it'll wipe out all but the most pernicious of PC problems. This Lifehacker article explains how to reinstall Windows without losing all your tweaks, but a completely fresh install is recommended if you think your PC's slowness could be due to an infection.

In the end, a MacBook isn't inherently better or longer lasting than a comparably configured Windows machine. It's just that the Apple and Microsoft ecosystems are vastly different, and that results in a different end user experience. Tighter controls over how Macs are built means your laptop is less likely to get bogged down by missing or conflicting updates, but you pay a hefty price for that luxury. Even the best Windows laptops require constant vigilance, but my souped-up gaming rig with its Frankenstein parts can run circles around your Mac — so there.

Readers, what do you think? Does this explanation put the old "Macs last longer than PCs" argument to bed, or do you have another theory? Share your thoughts in the comments below, you know we'll read 'em!


Senior Editor, Blog

Michael adds the finishing touches to most of the Blog articles you'll see on DealNews. His work has appeared on sites like Lifehacker, the Huffington Post, and MSN Money. See him rant about video games by following him on Twitter @ThatBonebright.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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47 comments
Austin68
I haven't owned a Mac but I know my laptop is about 3 years old and only 2 things have gone wrong with it.

It starts up faster then 90% of new computers and packs a punch
56nomad56
I got a MBP from my school 5 years ago. It's been used by myself and my middle schoolers, dropped a couple of times, and is covered in dents and scratches. However, it still boots right up and is my main computer in my classroom. I've had a couple of Dells live and die in the meantime.

My 20" iMac (vintage 2007) is still plugging away at my neighbor's house, I sold it to him for $400 two years ago after paying $900 for it. $500 for 7 years of use isn't too bad.
KJ7R
So basically you can buy something that is designed, manufactured and updated in an engineered controlled manner.
Or you can buy a generic something that is an assemblage of disparate parts under a group effort by the lowest bidder.
What was the question again?
Bkuhrt23
Malware avoidance is just a common myth people hold. Macs are still prone to malware.
Bkuhrt23
Malware avoidance? Macs still get viruses. That is just a common myth people believe.
gwade12
I'm going to have to disagree with Marcy as well. I've now had my MacBook Pro for 2 years, and it still runs as though it's just come out of the box. It's lightning quick, easy to maintain, and has beautiful display. With El Capitan, it will open apps in less than a second, and the boot-up time is unreal. I've had my fair share with PCs, and they all begin to slow down and get that awful thinking circle after just a couple years. That's with maintenance. From a computer science standpoint, Mac OS is far superior considering it is built on Unix. For any of my Windows-based needs (playing around with custom ROMs on my Galaxy usually), a quick boot-up of Windows 7 on my Parallels VM does just fine. There is just one thing that I miss from Windows, though - Notepad. :)
emmayche
The other longevity advantage that a Mac has is that Apple knows - to a gnat's eyebrow - what is in EVERY computer that runs MacOS, and newer versions of MacOS X are crafted to keep older Macs running while enabling new Macs. Microsoft, on the other hand, has no control over whether a particular hardware manufacturer uses something that's good enough for now, but isn't really on MS's program for the future - and breaks two or three releases of Windows down the road, meaning that you're either stuck on an older version of Windows, or in the market for a new computer.

And while we're at it, don't forget that PC magazine consistently rates Macintosh as one of the best Windows machines out there, and that it's very simple to run Windows in a virtual machine at almost full speed under MacOS - something that Windows can't do with MacOS.

Both Windows and MacOS do some great things. But total cost of ownership for a Mac is virtually ALWAYS lower than for a Windows PC.
fredk2822934
If you want to be driven around in a limo fine, get a mac. I am a power-user and need a performance car. Give me a Shelby GT500 over a Caddie any day.
deltaman
The reputation of Windows PCs gets dragged-down by cheap hardware, abundant malware & lackluster OEM technical support. If you want a PC with build quality comparable to a Mac, expect to pay a comparable price for that PC; if you want the sort of tech support hand-holding that Apple offers thru AppleCare coverage, buy your "dream" PC from Microsoft Store -- bundled with Signature Support...
wdstancil
As another user wrote, Macs are worth it for the malware avoidance alone.

And if you need Windows for a specific program a Mac is the ideal hardware for virtualizing that Windows environment.
Slyv00
There is an easy way to find out. Compare any 10 year old mac to any 10 year old PC. Other then a ram upgrade, which one will run the latest OS from each. Who wants to place bets?
StuShipp
I really enjoyed this article. My favorite part was, "...but my souped-up gaming rig with its Frankenstein parts can run circles around your Mac -- so there." lol

Oh Marcy, you're such a funny gal.
nagol68
This is totally based on how you use it. If you don't want to do any work or maintenance on the laptop, and have money to blow, get a Mac. If you like your PC and know the basics of how to keep it running, or know someone who can help, then get a Windows. I have several 10+ year old PCs and laptops around the house that still run great, web browsing, video and picture viewing, and document processing works perfect. These computers have 98, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 on them. I've also done less repairs on my primary Windows laptop then 2 of my friends have done on their MacBook Pros that were all bought at the same time. This is an argument that will go on for as long as Microsoft and Apple are around. It's 100% based on the buyer of the computer.
ninny1176
First thing I noticed is that most are comparing Macs to Microsoft which would negate the entire point of this posting. I've had my fair share of both PC and Mac and both have had their own failures. I have found IBM/Lenovo support to be fantastic over Apple - especially with hardware issues.

I will say that on the PC side you get what you pay for. You buy cheap you get junk - I've had a number of ThinkPads that easily outlived any sub-$500 Dell PC. I still use ThinkPad T60 (Purchased Feb 2007) to tinker with Window 10 TP.

Also, someone said " Because Apple keeps such tight oversight of what is allowed into its computers (including apps) it becomes virtually impossible to breach the systems." - that's just BS. The only thing that is truly helping Macs is the small market share. If it was +90% it would be cracked to pieces.
Mac Boy 101
Do Mac's last longer? I have macs that are as old as 18 years still opperational. Are they easy to fix? Not sure about this latest generation of tiny everything glued to the case, but the mac pro's I have had all were a breeze. big door panels that opened up for you all the components at your finger tips. shuttle cases for hard drives made them truly plug and play. To date, I have never had a mac break down, be it mac Pro, Mac Book Pro or Mac Book air. Now as for PC's, yes I own a few of them also. I think they generally start going obsolete after about 4 years, mostly because of changes in Windows. I can say with out a doubt, I have experienced vastly better Tech support from Apple than any PC maker. Apple can fix the problem, and usually are nice while doing it. I would have to strongly disagree with Marcy's premise. Sorry.
featherylock
Microsoft does make the surface line. And the surface pro 3 is blazing fast. The startup speed is between 2-3 seconds (I am using my Surface pro 3 now). But, it still still will require upkeep I'm sure to keep up that speed. Also you need to keep in mind, IF, macs do last longer, the question is how much longer? Twice as long? They are more expensive, but how much more? They are typically twice as much if you are getting a deal on a new one.

The lasting longer doesn't justify the high price unless the percentages say so. 1% longer for 99% higher price isn't worth it. I think for the average user who doesn't maintain their system will probably get 10%-25% more of their apple system. But they will pay about 30%-60% more.
sambanh73
I think that is something you can't compare. Mainly because Microsoft don't make any laptops, just the the OS running on all these laptop other companies (Dell, HP, etc). So, which laptop company are you really comparing to the Apple laptops?
jsmithdoesntrulez
Go Marcy go! You ROCK!
ItsPerryXD
MACs are overly expensive iphones. They are valued because people are dumb enough to spend a large amount of money for a sense of security and longevity. As known, they are the most vulnerable atm.

windows is the long supported OS that everyone codes and is written to. Most vulnerabilities are found in windows because we all deal with it the most.

Linux the open source OS that is widely used and becoming the next biggest OS. Heck MAC OS was initially written on a legacy linux OS. Some commands are still the same. Thing is linux isnt shipped with pc purchases and regular people know nothing of it.

When you say MAC lasts longer than another OS, your fooling yourself. They last as long as the hardware and person who owns it is capable of utilizing it. Still have every computer bought and they still run faster than the crap everyone has. Intelligence of the system is what it comes down to.
snaimpally
Another factor is that because of the high initial cost of a Mac, Mac users tend to hang on to their computers longer. PCs have significantly cheaper costs up front so there is more of a 'disposable' mentality. Those with a PC laptop often hand their old computer off to a relative (e.g., child) in need of a computer and then upgrade themselves with a newer computer.
taison
My guess is MAC don't really have any usage, just for showcase purpose, so it could really last for a looooooong time....
twesterh
i am reading this on an acer pc laptop that i bought years ago for $400. it has an intel pentium dual core processor and 3gb of ram. it came with windows vista if that gives you any idea how old it is... runs fine running windows 8.1

windows 10 will be a free upgrade for anyone on window 7 or 8; including pirated versions...
jcauthorn
Windows and Mac are Totally Different Systems - One major point to include:
- Apple only makes premium quality computers
- PCs/Windows usually have buyers looking for low end/low cost computers
noks
Many people forget that many hardware components are same between Mac and PC. Your processor, hard drive, RAM, control chips, etc. You can get 3 or 5 year warranty with PC and they will replace anything but how many of them take warranty for a PC.
Malwares/viruses are targeted at PCs because of its presence and market share. Just google for Apple software problems/malwares/bugs. If you are cheap enough to buy $200 PC, then you can't expect it to work for 100 years. Every component has its life. Cheaply made components don't last long. So compare > $600 PC with a mac. My 2009 Dell Studio is still going strong. I changed to SSD and core2Duo processor handles Windows 10 preview like a charm.
Things look good when you are inside a prison/walled garden and nothing can go wrong. You have to come out and see unlimited customization of PCs and experience it.
As the article said, if you maintain any PC (there are automated tools to do so), your windows will work for a longer period.
ldevere
The 800-pound gorilla in the room was never mentioned: Malware, spyware, bugs of every iteration are all built for and directed at PCs. These contribute enormously to their malfunctioning. Because Apple keeps such tight oversight of what is allowed into its computers (including apps) it becomes virtually impossible to breach the systems.

I've irreparably broken 5 PCs. I'll stick with Macs. Pay more, but peace of mind.
Brightshade
Marcy's big mistake is equating purchase cost with ownership cost.

Consumer Reports surveyed 50,000 readers on laptop reliability and Apple laptops needed the least repairs, only 8% during the first 3 years of ownership, compared to 12% for Gateway and Toshiba.

When support is needed, where to get it and how much will it cost? For Windows machines in the USA, phone support is almost always off-shore; for Apple customers in the USA, phone support is regional and in the USA.

Compare the cost of support over five years of ownership: with Windows machine, the owner will eventually pay for technical support; with a Mac, support is free from any Apple store.

Compare the cost of OS upgrades: until Windows 10, upgrades cost $89 - $199 with more features costing more; the last two upgrades for Apple's OS X have been free and previous upgrades cost $20 - $30 with all features included.

Total ownership costs are often lower for Apple than Windows.
umhhmm
basicly there are many computer manufactors that cater to windows yet there is still just on apple manafactuer
so a lot of the manafactors that are windows machines some are quality and last 12 -15 yeas then
there are others that cater to windows and are manufacured with low quality parts and
just a couple of years so really if you choose a reputable manufacture for you window
s machine then you have a quality computrer that will last for many years under reasonable
circomestances , unlike the apple it is one computer one suppler and a certain amount of
quality that goes into the build of this computer ( keep in mind that they are all ruuning
prety much the same hardware and is the sofrt ware that makes the the differnts )
so yes some windows macinesd do not dstand the test of time but the high end window computers
will last as longe as a apple in most cases !
Bottom line is you get what you pay for !!
hoisinboi
I would say that Macs can survive operating system upgrades a whole lot better than Wintel machines due to their integrated ecosystem. We originally purchased a refurbed Macbook when Snow Leopard came out, which meant it originally shipped with Leopard when new. Now, it's running Yosemite and is still working respectably running Chrome, Fusion, Photoshop, etc. That is FIVE iterations of OS X. I don't think a Wintel machine that was originally spec'd for Windows XP can hold up the same way with Windows 8.1. And before anyone bashes me, I run and support all types of OS's in our household. Mac laptops, Windows desktops, Windows Servers, Ubuntu servers and media clients.
Chin Kong
Wow, I can't believe the immaturity continues between people using inanimate objects. It reminds me of the puerile "Ford vs. Chevy" arguments or "Yankees vs. Red Socks" arguments. Guess what? They're all businesses and they want YOUR MONEY!

If one machine works for you, great, use it, if another works for you, great, use it.

The comment about "if you do art or graphics then a Mac is better" is just completely moronic. My HS friend has been a hardcore Mac user since the early 80s, works at an international science lab, and helped design and build one of the top 10 most powerful computers in the world. Science research associated with hospitals and universities.

Can he use a PC? You bet. What's his machine of choice? Apple.

Is that a personal decision, of course. Why get so crazy about what someone else is using, believing, or thinking as long as they're not harming you?

Take it easy, people. You'll be OK. It's a machine, just use it.
rkoso
Is it just me or did she basically say that the Mac ecosystem (PART of how MacBooks are built) is fundamentally different than the Microsoft ecosystem, but somehow conclude "In the end, a MacBook isn't inherently better or longer lasting than a comparably configured Windows machine"? In addition, Marcy spent the last half of the article describing how to fix a Windows machine that gets/feels old. Which would seem to defy the idea that Macs don't last longer. You can't ignore the ecosystem in defending the hardware.
shipwalk
I've had my MBP since the fall of '09. It had heavy use in the beginning, but now it's not much more than an internet and music vehicle.
dok_sa
I'm really not sure what's the point?
you pay double amount of money for Mac and expecting same period time of use?
you're using more stuff into your PC laptop than Mac.
I understand Mac book pro has good quality, but as you mentioned those are totally different system.
some people buy pricey mac book pro and operating windows. I really don't get it.
56nomad56
I received a Macbook Pro from my school 5 years ago, and 3 Dell laptops 2 years ago for our ASB program. Two of the three Dells had catastrophic failures and had to be returned for new units, while my MacBook is still chugging along. If it ever fails I might buy my own Macbook and have my district image it, rather than let them give me a Dell. My home iMac lasted 6 years and I sold it to a neighbor for $400 so his kid could use it, and it's still going strong.
Smrots
Now, if you wanted to get technical, I think Apple is intentionally trying again to foil the earlier models since Mountain Lion, (10.8) because they slowly worked the fan idle speed down in each update from 3600rms in 10.6 to in Yosemite to 2000-2200 instead of about a 1000 more to save battery. This however ruins currently owned macbooks and macbook pro's when upgrading. because they are so Unibody, that they Eco system can get so hot its enough to almost cook off of. Ergo... Upgrades=hotter running system on Macs unless you get a fan controll app, and thats why I am still running my Core2Duo Macbook Pro after reheating the graphics back to working... and my i5 Macbook pro 2010, which is a grey area for problems... works fine as long as I was aware of that fact and acted apropriately with fan control software. :)
Smrots
Also take in consideration that the 99% recycled metal that was not used in IBM PowerPC Apple times compared to today... Thats why Apple went with Intel, so they could buy into the china market and make thier hardware cheaper... but in turn the hardware heats up easier, and solder (most important part) has a different heat point. So they focused on reliable Solder continuity, Speaking of which... has anyone ever de-soldered anything off a mac board before? The metal in just solder is so tolerant, that you have to use 40 watt soldering tip just to get it to liquify a little bit! I had to use a 100w. So much nickel?
2
NotChrisChavez
I don't think that Macs last longer than PCs. It's generally what the user does that determines how well the computer itself will run. I'm an MCITP, MCP, A+ certified technician and prefer a regular Windows Laptop over a Macbook, depending on what brand. I use an HP DV6-6145DX laptop that I bought in like...2008 or 2009 for a Black Friday sale from Best Buy, refurbished too. It's not that hard to maintain a laptop. I've replaced the fan in this laptop and upgraded to an SSD, but otherwise, no issues. There's no necessity to upgrade either. Many will say that they upgrade every 4 years because it's getting too slow, but people fail to maintain and optimize their PCs. You don't get to do much with a Macbook. My computer is fantastic for web browsing, word processing, HD video watching, and playing strategy games like Civilization V or XCOM. It works because I optimize it and not neglect it. That's just my thoughts on this though, others may just want a package that just works.
Terry1
Well done on this article. I get what your saying. I have been an IT (mostly in network admin, security for XP, win7, and Linux For 15yrs). I was good at maximizing the life span of PCs. Speeding up a PC is easy and fun for me. Macs are good for artists and people that do basic stuff, but windows gives a lot of customization and manipulation. Also, 3rd party software is much larger (Much Larger!), not to mention better server security. I think its funny, because Power linux users would laugh at this argument. I have no bias towards any OS, they were all made to meet the needs of particular groups. Love you all!!!
b1walker
I have owned both Mac and PC products and I can say that the longevity of a Mac isn't a misconception. I had to purchase two PCs in a period of 4 years. Once I switched to Apple I've purchased 3 Macs in 13 years and counting. After 2 years my PCs were loaded with bloatware, no matter how many times I reformatted them; Crashing was constant and processor speeds dropped dramatically within the first year of use. My most recent Mac purchase was almost 4 years ago and I haven't even had to think about the processor speed or crashing once. I've almost forgotten that that was once an issue I had.

The key difference to me is what you intend to do with both machines. If you like to get to the bare bones of a machine, a PC will probably suit you (though it is more susceptible to some memory or processor suck IMO). An Apple product will not afford the customizability you crave, but will last longer.
Smurdley
I've had 13 Mac laptops since 1993. For most of that time I've been responsible for at least two of them concurrently because when I get a new one, the old one goes to my wife or my mom or my kid. On average they tend to have a useful life of 4.5 years. Record so far is my wife's current MacBook at 7.6 years old, it's time now to upgrade because she's stuffed it with mp3s. My new one arrives next month so she'll get a 3.5 year-old rolldown that should last her a couple more years.

I've had major component level repairs on 4 of the 13 (drive, screen, logic board) and duct-tape level fixes on most. I did clean OS installs on 8 of them, most of those because I like to start fresh when a new version of Mac OS comes out. Most persistently annoying things about daily use of Mac laptops: keyboards, battery & charger issues. Other than that I'd call the last 22 years remarkably smooth.
jklmn
I am afraid this is an misconception. Apple products do not last longer. Of course low-end PC laptops are made of cheap parts, but compared to similar hi-end models such as Thinkpads, Dell XPS, or even Acer models, Apple products show inferior quality. If you google for "apple laptop repair extension program", you will clearly see reliability issues for Apple products. This is a history, not several unlucky cases.

And you do not usually consider additional purchase of Applecare warranty program if you buy a PC laptop. You do not usually have relability issues. In case warranty expires, the repair cost is way much lower.

Then why do you have a misconception that Apple products last longer? One reason is that you can sell your used Macs at higher price all the time. The time duration until you feel your laptop is out of date is longer when you have a Mac.

Macs are overpriced, especially when you consider the reliability issues.
waynehom
Exactly right. With Apple, you pay up front for the "convenience" of having everything work better. You can do the same with a PC, as long as you know how to choose the right components. I've done both, cheap end and high end, and the learning experience has been priceless. If I had to grow up with Apple products, I would never had learned how to put together my own computer, troubleshoot hardware and software problems, or do upgrades.
vmnrao
As a heavy home-Macbook Pro user who rarely travels anywhere with them, all of my Apple laptops have needed repair. Note that, although they see heavy use and good ventilation (hardtop laptop lap pad), they are treated gently and look like new:
- Powerbook G4- fans, hinges, Superdrive
- MBP 2009- fans, GPU, Superdrive
- MBP 2011- GPU recall

I've owned PC laptops, as well. I'd say durability/reliability wise, the MBPs are like high end PC laptops, which is common sense a lot of people don't consider for some reason. The only thing I haven't found to be as good on the PC laptops is the trackpad, but that's not a reliability problem.
Rhadamanthos
The only thing I would add to this. Is the 4 year cycle. Pretty much 4 years after Apple has made a change, Microsoft snags the idea. From the apple menu (start menu), to the dock menu (task manager), and now their even taking the Free updates to the new Windows 10, as long as you have a valid windows 7 or 8 key (os x.7 came out about 3.6 years ago, the first OS apple started giving free upgrades for the new OS iterations). Also when Apple end of lifes their old system. They break one or two things that everyone uses (Adobe Flash) you wanna watch netflix on your 6 year old mac? wags finger, ahhhhh! no netflix for you.
portezbie
This idea that macs last longer is a relic of the past. Generally speaking, an expensive laptop will last longer than a cheaper one. There are expensive pcs and cheap pcs. Generally speaking, a high end windows pc will still be cheaper than a mac and last just as long. Possibly longer, since it is generally easier to replace parts on a pc. I always find it is weird that this is even a bragging point because this isn't even what people really want anymore. You get a new phone every two years, why would you even want to be using the same laptop from 5 years ago? If anything, I feel like mac users keep their laptops this long because it is so unaffordable to buy a new one. My friends all keep their macbooks forever, but that is usually because they can't afford to replace them and by the time they finally do they are usually broken in half a dozen different ways.
dmb52
they only support a product for 5 yrs. my 7 year old MacBook pro needed a new logic board and they said sorry. Apple clearly is into planned obsolesce. You update the operating system and then your printer doesn't print.
regularg0nz0
Thanks, Marcy, for the well reasoned and thought-out article. I personally am a Mac user (for general-purpose and mobile computing), but I've been a Win/PC user at work and for some home uses (like media center) and was a builder/battler for years (you know what I mean... build systems... battle hardware and software issues). I have used exactly your reasoning on many occasions with people asking me for advice on what to buy, but I always end with: "...but if you need support, understand that if you buy something with Windows on it, the ONLY thing I'm ever going to do for you is erase your entire computer and re-install it from scratch. So you decide."
vtdano
I've always said, Macs are like a Ferarri and PC's like a Cherolet. All parts of the Ferrari are made by them so you know how it's expected to run. Some Chevys are good, but there's the occasional lemon. Macs do get bogged down now though. If your i7 MacBook Pro with 16gb of ram is slow you know there's a problem. You can't just restore Time Machine to a brand-new MacBook and expect that problem to go away. That problem will restore with the time machine backup to your brand-new MacBook. So for a mac, what you must do is individually restore profile settings and files without taking the bad stuff to your new machine. It's just like using Windows system restore when a virus is in all restore points. If you really want to do a comparison on which one lasts longer, buy a refurbished Core 2 Duo MacBook and a Core 2 Duo PC and see which one performs better. The component wear on the pc is very obvious.