So you’re planning on buying a new desktop ? Stuck with confusion to choose between OS X or Windows? We’ve decided to take a look at both of the operating systems so that you can decide what you’d want to buy.

Interface

Mac OS X Yosemite

Apple unveiled its new version of Mac OS X – Yosemite at this year’s WWDC 2014. And from using the beta, we think it’s beautiful. The new interface in Yosemite is simply superb. Even all the app icons get a new design. The new typography is arguably cleaner. The translucency in the windows and streamlined scroll bars helps emphasize what’s on the screen. Boot up your Mac and you’ll be greeted by the familiar boot up music and then the Lock Screen appears in a few seconds. The change in the user interface is noticeable right from here. If you’ve used a Macintosh before you will be familiar with the way everything works just how it was on the earlier versions of OS X.

    Choose between OS X or Windows for your next desktop
osx-and-ios-continuity-vertical

1. Handoff – This new feature is really useful if you have an iPhone or an iPad. Say you were working on a document on your Mac, and you’re running late for work , you can pick up where you left from on your iPhone or iPad. Your Mac and iOS devices are connected all the time. It works vice-versa also

2. Phone – Ever missed a call because you were a bit too far away from your phone ? Now in Yosemite , you can answer and make calls right from your Mac , using your Mac’s in-built microphone and Speaker.

3. SMS – Just like phone , you can do the same thing with your messages too. You can read and send text messages from your Mac.

4. Instant Hotspot – Not in a WiFi area ? Your Mac can now connect to your iPhone’s personal hotspot. Your iPhone will appear in the connections list. Just point , click and your good to go.

Windows

Choose between OS X or Windows for your next desktop - windows

The path which Microsoft has taken with Windows 8/8.1 is somewhat consistent with that of Windows phone. Boot up your computer and you’ll go to your lock screen within a matter of seconds. Enter your password and you’ll face a very different start screen with a tile like approach, which looks great but may not be the favourite among those who have gotten used to Windows 7. Of course, the desktop is still available as one of the tiles and is consistent with Windows 7.

It also offers a lot of customization for your lock screen and start screen, etc. Windows also offers multi-window with you being able to dictate how much of the screen should be occupied by which app with your content rendering itself perfectly to match the form factor. To close an app, you simply drag the app to the top of the screen, thereby giving memory dedicated to that app to be used for other purposes. Also the use of Charms adds a nice touch for quick access settings like search, project onto a second screen, share by mail and the like. It might seem like much of a hassle to begin with, but which new OS doesn’t?

Design

Macs

It’s all about design when it comes to Apple. You see it. You love it. You buy it. Just like its beautiful user interface , Macs are beautiful on the outside too. Everything is housed inside a single aluminum enclosure which measures just 5mm at its edge. The keyboard and the magic mouse ( which comes as standard ) are connected via bluetooth , so you don’t have to worry about wires hanging around. All you need is a single power outlet to plug your mac and you’re ready to go. Simplicity at its best.

Choose between OS X or Windows for your next desktop

Windows

 

Choose between OS X or Windows for your next desktop - alienware

You get to design your own computer when it comes to Windows. Depending on brand and build, you have a variety of options to choose from. They lack the finesse of Macs but if you’re willing to spend the big bucks, boy are you in for a treat. Alienware offers an interesting range of desktops and laptops that showcases itself in all it’s beauty. You could also pair up a reliable brand with your choice of a monitor and speakers and you’re good to go. Flexibility at it’s finest.

 

Technical Variants

Macs

There are 5 variants for the Mac. 3 for the 21.5 inch and 2 for 27 inch. The basic iMac , i.e the 21.5 inch, at $ 1099 comes with a 1.4 Ghz dual core Intel i5 processor with Intel’s Turbo boost increases it to 2.7 Ghz when working on some really heavy projects. You get 500 GB of storage space, and an Intel HD Graphics 5000 graphic card. Unlike windows based machines, configurations cannot be changed. The lack of upgradability over time is one of the biggest drawbacks.

21.5 inch iMac 27 inch iMac
Display 21.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 1920-by-1080 resolution with support for millions of colors 27-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1440 resolution with support for millions of colors
Price $1099 $1299 $1499 $1799 $1999
Processor

1.4GHz

dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache

2.7GHz

quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) with 4MB L3 cache

2.9GHz

quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) with 6MB L3 cache

3.2GHz

quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) with 6MB L3 cache

3.4GHz

quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz) with 6MB L3 cache

Memory 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory 8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHzDDR3 memory 8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory; four user-accessibleSO-DIMM slots
Storage 500GB (5400-rpm) hard drive 1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive 1TB (7200-rpm) hard drive
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 5000 Intel Iris Pro Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
Mac Pro Quad Core Mac Pro 6 Core
Price $ 2999 $ 3999
Processor 3.7 Ghz  Quad CoreIntel Xeon E5 with 10 MB L3 Cache and turbo boost upto 3.9 Ghz 3.5 Ghz 6 CoreIntel Xeon E5 with 12 MB L3 Cache and turbo boost upto 3.9 Ghz
Memory 12 GB DDR3 ECC Memory 16 GB DDR3 ECC Memory
Graphics Dual AMD Firepro D300 graphics processors Dual AMD Firepro D500 graphics processors
Storage 256 GB PCle –  based flash storage( Upto 1 TB available )

Windows

Processor 1 Gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
Memory 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Graphics Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

 

Configuration Choice

The list about was all the different configurations available. If you’re going to work on really heavy projects you can always choose the variant of the iMac which suits your needs. The most powerful mac is called the Mac Pro. it’s priced at $2999 , has a quad-core 3.7 Ghz Intel Xeon E5 processor , 12 GB of RAM , Dual AMD Firepro 2GB graphic cards giving a two teraflop performance and a storage up to 1 TB ( and this is the basic model ) So, in the end, you can choose based on what kind of user you are.

Now that you know the minimum requirements for a Windows PC, choice of configuration is purely subjected to personal preference. While for most cases a 500 GB hard disk with 2 gigs of RAM should do, if you’re going to put your PC through the paces, a 1TB hard disk with 8 gigs of RAM should do the trick(It never really hurts to have more if you can afford it). There is no limit for Windows hardware choice, You are free to upgrade to new and better hardware at any point of time.

Availbility

Mac OS X – Yosemite / Mavericks OS

If you’re buying a Mac for the first time , Mavericks comes installed right now. Yosemite will be available for free download from the Mac App Store when it’s available during the fall of 2014. Yes, you heard it right. Upgrades to new OS is free with Macintoshes.

Windows 8/ 8.1

Windows 8/8.1 is available almost with any dealer. It can be bought right from the Microsoft Store as well as a whole range of 3rd party dealers. The upgrade from 8 to 8.1 is not free in the case of Microsoft Windows.

Software

Mac OS X

Every Macintosh comes with a software package called iLife. It includes GarageBand with which you can work on your songs , iMovie with which you can make your own short films or videos and even edit them, iPhoto for storing all those precious memories , putting them into slide shows and albums, Mail for fast sending and receiving of emails and iTunes for managing your music library. There is another package known as iWork which is Apple’s version of Microsoft Office. It includes Pages to work on your text documents , Keynote to make your presentations and Numbers to create spreadsheets.

Windows 8/8.1

Basic software that comes with any Windows version is included here like Paint, Calculator, Notepad, Wordpad, Sticky Notes, Character Map, Sound Recorder and finally MS Office which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. Task Manager has a simple and clean layout. Of course Windows Explorer is also included. Backup has improved significantly. You no longer have to manually backup all the files. Instead you can schedule hourly or weekly backups. And if you’re unhappy with your system state, you can always restore to a previous backed-up state.

Security

Mac OS X

Heard the myth that Macs rarely get attacked by viruses ? Well it’s not a myth. The Gatekeeper application helps you safely download apps and sees that you don’t accidentally install malicious software. FireVault 2 encrypts your entire data. With privacy controls you can control whether your information can be shared over the internet ( such as location and diagnostic information ). Your passwords are stored in the cloud ( iCloud Keychain ) so that you don’t have to enter it all the time and are protected with a 256–bit AES encryption. The Sandbox app ensures that your app does only what it is supposed to do and removes malicious codes that could harm your system. With FindMyMac, you can even track your Mac if its been lost or stolen.

Windows

Well, What could be more secure than a password? Windows supports multiple user accounts with each account protected by a password. Well, that’s the basic part. Windows also offers a lot of protection towards malware. You can keep tabs on online activities and block certain websites if needed. Windows Defender runs in the background and notifies you to take certain required actions as well as scan the computer. Windows SmartScreen allows you to defend against phishing scams and it’s best if this feature is turned on. Finally, BitLocker protects all your files with automatic encryption once it is turned on.

Ecosystem

The Apple Ecosystem

Once you buy an iMac , it just doesn’t stop there. If you own an iPhone , iPod or an iPad , all your devices are connected with each other through Apple’s cloud service – iCloud. Purchase a few songs on your Mac through iTunes, and it reaches all your devices without you needing to sync them. Or even if you download songs on your iPod or iPad through iTunes, it reaches your mac and your iPhone too. Take a picture using your iPhone, it reaches your iPod, iPad and your Mac. The same applies for iWork. If your working on a document using Pages on your Mac, you can pick up from where you left off on any of your Apple devices. iCloud comes with 5 GB of free storage. Apple also offers 10 GB, 20 GB and 50 GB with an option to pay annually.

With the new features in Yosemite like Handoff , phone, SMS, its a desktop nirvana. You can back up your data to the cloud , you can even set up a new device without even having to sync it to your computer. If you have a backup in the Cloud , you can set it up from the backup. Want to send a few photos from your Mac to your iPhone ? iPhoto photo stream is all you need for that. You can even save your contacts in the cloud and access it from anywhere. There’s a separate website for iCloud , for users to access their contacts, mail, calendar events and notes and reminders from your other devices. There’s even iWork for iCloud. You can work on your documents from your web browser by logging onto www.icloud.com. You can access all the iWork apps from there and you can pick up right from where you left off even if you close your browser and open it in another computer’s browser.

The Windows EcoSystem

Using a Windows PC and you want to import all your stuff to your Surface Pro? All you need to do is sign in to your Microsoft account and everything is instantaneously imported into your devices. It’s really that simple. That includes themes, preferences, settings and all your apps. Unlike Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms, Microsoft delivers a truly unified front and it is simply amazing to see that level of consistency among the present Microsoft line up. Homegroup allows you to share files and folders across a network and it can be accessed from any computer in the network. OneDrive gives you cloud access on Windows while Google Drive and Dropbox once installed can be accessed as a desktop application.

Customer Satisfaction

Apple

Every iMac comes with a one year warranty. Apple ensures that nothing will happen to your mac in its first year , but nonetheless even if something happens , they will fix it for free. You can upgrade your warranty to 3 years with the Apple care protection plan at $330.

Windows – OEM’s

Warranty is purely company independent and depends solely on the OEM who could offer you 1 or 2 years of warranty with extended warranty available on payment of money which is also specific to the OEM.

About The Author

Editor

Techie. Photographer. Football addict. Petrolhead.

3 Responses

  1. zethib

    actually the more i know about computer and time goes by the more I am inclined to using Linux maybe Ubuntu. The downside would be games though.

    Reply
  2. Aditya Nath Jha

    I would really like you to include Linux variants like Ubuntu too in this list. But it’s nice to see such a detailed roundup. Really good post! 🙂

    Reply

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