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The Similarities and Differences Between PC and Mac Computers

The Similarities and Differences Between PC and Mac Computers

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Microsoft’s Windows PCs and Macs have been going at it ever since their inception. In the early 2020s, the competition is getting more heated than ever. Apple is now chucking faster, durable, more powerful, and more affordable Macs to compete with PCs.

In 2019 however, PCs had the upper hand, selling 71.8 million units during the fourth quarter, while Mac only shipped 4.7 million units. Understandably, plenty of companies manufacture PCs, unlike Macs, which solely come from Apple Inc.

Unless you’re a tech avid, then the differences you know between PC and Mac are their names, looks, and operating systems. However, there's much more that differentiates these two types of computers.

Similarly, there’s a lot of similarities between PC and Mac, that’s why it’s so hard for some people to settle on one. However, with so many people switching to the other camp, it gets you thinking what makes Macs and PCs different and are they any similar?

In this post, we’ll be looking at the similarities and differences between these two types of computer giants.

Similarities Between PC and Mac

Right off the bat, both the Mac and PC have the same build, but not down to their core. Both of them have screens and keyboards; they are, after all, computers. 

One might argue that PCs and Macs have more in common than they have differences, but you’ll be the judge once you’re done reading this. Here are a few similarities between PC and Mac computers.

  1. Hardware components– Mac computers and PCs use the same hardware components generally. Both have RAM, graphic cards, hard drives, and ports. Though these components are the same, they vary greatly in terms of speed, functionality, and their drivers.
  2. Similar interface– Though the user-interfaces are different, in essence, they are the same. That’s because both allow you to use a mouse to browse folders and files. You also use apps on both systems to accomplish specific tasks.
  3. Both are compatible with Microsoft Office– Microsoft Office suite and other popular programs can work on both Mac and PC. So you can still work on your projects on Word and Database if you switch from PC to Mac.
  4. Compatible with most browsers– Browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari work on both platforms.  However, Microsoft’s Edge is exclusively for Windows PCs.
  5. Virtual Assistants– Though not the same virtual assistant, both PC and Mac have a virtual assistant. For Macs, the virtual assistant is Siri, while for PC, it’s Cortana.
  6. Compatibility with Cloud Services– Cloud services are all the rage these days. Luckily both Mac and PC are compatible with cloud services like Google Drive and DropBox. You can also use iCloud on Windows, but you first need an Apple ID.
  7. CDs and DVDs– Macs can read most DVDs and CDS that are in Windows Format.
  8. Compatibility with peripheral devices– Most peripheral devices, be they printers, speakers, keyboards, and mouse, work on both PC and Mac. 

As you can see PCs and Mac computers are very similar; there’s not too much that sets the two apart. Maybe a look into their inception will shed light on their essential difference.

What Does PC Stand for?

PC abbreviates personal computers, and it was the first computer that could actually fit on a desk. Before PCs and microprocessors, computers were large bulky systems that only large corporations, universities, and government agencies could own.

The first desktop computer was the Programma 101 that was invented in 1964 that sold for about $3200 at the time of release. The first formal PC, however, was the KENBAK-1 invented in 1971.

Manufacturers adopted the term personal computer, because as the computers got smaller, they became more for individual use.

The PCs we have today can rest on our laps, and are a huge leap from the first PCs. Today, PCs are much faster, smaller, easier-to-use and affordable.

The Mac Computer

The Mac was the first computer to have a GUI and a mouse. Before the first Mac computer, the only way you’d get a computer to accomplish specific tasks is through lines of code. You can imagine how difficult it was; the computer was a device for computer experts only. 

What Are the Differences Between PCs and Macs

From a distance, you can’t tell a laptop and a MacBook apart. So how does a PC compare to a Mac?  Here we put together key differences between the two computers.


PCs have the CPU, the part with the processors, and other hardware components, separate from the computer screen. However, with MACs, the CPU is integrated with the screen. So with a Mac, you get a single unit, while a PC has both the screen and a tower CPU, which you can lay flat.

Operating Systems

Mac Computers use macOS, while PCs use Microsoft’s Windows. Windows operating systems receive more updates than macOS. That doesn’t, however, mean that Windows operating systems are much better than macOS.

In fact, both operating systems have their fair shares of issues and capabilities. Both also have stellar performance, but the computer’s performance also depends on its technical specifications.

Technical Specifications

Technical specifications are stuff like the RAM capacity, GPUs, hard drives and other hardware components. These components generally vary from PC to PC and Mac to Mac.

Macs have high-quality components that are faster and have more capacity. As such, Macs will outperform low-end PCs, that’s why gaming on Mac is such a breeze. However, most high-end PCs give Macs a run for their money and can easily perform better than Macs.

However, note that you have to pay top dollar for these quality components on the Mac. That’s why many gamers and designers prefer PCs to Macs because they’re more cost-effective.


If you want to get yourself a Mac, make sure you have more than $1000. That’s because few Macs sell for less than a thousand dollars, and those that do aren’t so great. PCs generally cost less than Macs and also have a broader price range.

One can argue that the Macs’ hefty price tags are justified. That’s because Apple uses only top-notch components for their Macs. Plus, if you couple these components with the macOS, the mac becomes one heck of a machine.

Choose a Computer that Suits Your Needs

All in all, there’s no better one between PC and Mac. So your choice of computer depends on your preference and your tasks. If you’re a gamer, then you might want a PC since it’s compatible with most games.  

The Mac is great for business owners, and professionals in various schools. Educational institutions also find Macs more fitting for academic apps and teaching methods.


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