Mac vs. PC: Why Specifications Are Not Very Important

One of the loudest battle cries of the anti-Mac crowd is the lack of available games made for OS X. This argument, to a point, is not without merit. While there are more games made for the Windows platform than OS X, Macs themselves aren’t incapable of running games.

In fact, you might find that even graphics-heavy games such as Dragon Age 2 and the Call of Duty series run quite well on what might be perceived by gamers as a mediocre set of system specifications when played on the Mac. There is a reason for this, and it lies greatly in an operating system that is optimized for a specific set of hardware. This creates a much smoother environment where the system’s core operating system is capable of working for the hardware and not against it.

While this doesn’t mean that a Mac Mini is capable of the kind of pure processing power of an Alienware desktop (or even laptop), it can mean that you may be able to do more with less when every component of the system is absolutely supported by the software. You can run Windows on a Mac natively using Boot Camp or in a less-efficient virtualization setting such as Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

If you want to get technical about it, there is a reason why Apple users say the Mac is faster than a Windows-based PC with the same specs. Frankly, Windows is bloated and bogged down with legacy support to the point where it crawls unless the hardware is above and beyond the minimum specifications. OS X, on the other hand, is built on the historically lightweight Unix platform which addresses various processes differently. You could compare system specs all day long, but when your operating system requires a beefier foundation to operate, the differences between the two diminish significantly. Again, this isn’t to say that Windows is terrible, but when you compare the two, the Mac OS needs less to operate normally.

For some, the debate comes down to software rather than who has the fastest graphics card or highest numbers of processors for the price. The experience is about what the system can actually do for you. There are things Windows does that make it absolutely invaluable and incredibly useful for its users. The Mac, in contrast, does several things differently that makes it a more appealing choice for its users. This is the heart of why system specs mean little in the debate between Macs and PCs. The most important thing, by far, is the experience and what works best for the user.