life expectancy of a mac vs. a pc laptop.


What are your thoughts on life expectancy of a mac vs. a pc laptop. Working for a company that is trying to decide if the higher price of Mac laptops is worth the upfront cost of buy them. The alternate is looking at Dell business laptops.

A MacBook Pro on an office table

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I have worked in environments that have supported both OS’s. We pretty consistently saw 7-9 year old Windows laptops. There were no End of Life expectations for IT equipment when I first arrived there. To their credit, they were pretty strict about what was put on the laptops. This allowed these laptops to last such a long time. As long as spec requirements don’t change all that much, and they are taken care of, those DELL laptops will last just as long as a Mac laptop, but for 1/3 of the price. From my experience, Macs don’t last any longer. 

What are your thoughts on life expectancy of a mac vs. a pc laptop. Working for a company that is trying to decide if the higher price of Mac laptops is worth the upfront cost of buy them. The alternate is looking at Dell business laptops.

Life expectency is subjective.  Mac users complain less about their machines than Windows users, so generally they “last” longer.OSX also runs better in older hardware because it is more closed developed to it.Windows 10 though is pretty efficient in itself.Case in point, we (my wife and I) are  working in an older Acer laptop that has an Intel Core i5-480m. Pretty old right? It is actually quite usable because I replaced the drive with an SSD a few years back, and upped RAM to 8GB.My wife also uses regularly a MacBook Air. She loves how small it is, she also hates how small it is. She uses it a lot like a tablet but will switch to the desktop for stuff that takes longer.The Mac is a 4,1 with core i5 1.6Ghz, and 2GB RAM. It should be core i5-2467mPerformance wise both CPU are similar (the second gen is more power efficient, but the 480 has 1Ghz more on clock).Both machines are up to date.Windows feels a little slower, you can tell it is an old machine mainly because I am used to quad cores, but it is not bad. I think I paid $600 for it, so it wasn’t a top if the line.However, most people that see both side by side will gravitate towards the Mac.I know a Mac user that has a MacBook pro with dual core duo and that thing I find it slow, but he still uses it.(Nothing against the Dual Core 2 Duo, my wife’s Desktop is a E6700 I think, and she uses it to edit pictures, Adobe Lightroom opens in 4 seconds, but also it has an Intel SSD)

So, it is a matter of perspective. If users like it, they take care of it better. People know that Macs are expensive.On the other spectrum I had a user that destroyed a Lenovo foldable laptop Yoga S1 that has magnesium case. $1800, but he thought it was a cheap laptop.

Also, let’s be clear, Macs aren’t more expensive than Windows laptop. You just don’t have cheap options. The hardware on Macs are top notch, and the engineering inside is top notch as well. All new Mac laptops cannot be upgraded (neither drive or RAM) but a lot of ultrabook aren’t either.I personally would take a Surface Pro or Laptop over a MacBook of the same price though, as I kind of hate Apple as a company,  but I have opened enough Macs to acknowledge that they are pretty awesome inside (albeit a pain to repair and service).The other part that makes Mac expensive is their cycle. Lenovo, Dell, Acer, Asus fight for that market so their systems are constantly being updated and that is why you can get a Core i5 laptop for $500.

Another part to consider is how to manage them in the network. Our Mac users had to have printers directly connected because it is painful to use a Windows print server (when there is a password change, it does not update the keychain for the printer connection), and it had some issues here and there with some shared folders as well (not even Linux had those issues). Centrally deploying updates took more work as well, mainly because our AV could update automatically most applications on Windows and we had Ninite Pro as well . But you could have a better system in osx if you invest enough time.

In short. Mac can be more expensive, because of lack of cheaper options. They also have more challenges to maintain in a network if it is Windows centric. However users will take care of the equipment better because they know it is expensive, and Macs lose value slower where you could recover some cost if you upgrade and resell (even resell to employees). A gotcha to consider is that all Macs and many new light laptops cannot be upgraded on RAM and hard drive. OSX handles a little better with lower RAM then W10 does.In the end, it will be a matter of more personal choice.

If it was my network I would refuse them, because it is harder to maintain (I know Windows inside out, i am pretty handy with Linux, but OSX baffles me sometimes), and I do not want to invest the time needed for our network to support Mac better, but if it was a different network  or larger scale deployment I would consider it depending on the users. More upfront cost now,  less upgrades down the road. 

Certainly, Macs have the reputation amongst their fans for good life and ease of use. However, in my experience there is not so much difference in build quality between makes to justify huge price differences. For instance battery technology and manufacture is improving all the time but for Macs and Dell purchased at about the same time I suspect they will have very similar quality batteries and will have similar lives. And again the processors, their motherboards, their SSD, etc, they used will be similar. On some machines they feel more solid which gives you confidence. With all makes you can get the occasional horror stories that scares peoples judgements.

What you eventually decide to buy also depends upon what you want to do with them, what software they need to run and the characteristics of the people who will be using them. 

I tend towards the philosophy that you buy cheaper goods and replace more often if you need to. I have been amazed at how well made some of the cheaper PC and laptops are. And with the pace of technical improvement how much more you can get for your money year on year – do you want to be using older machines for a long time. 




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As others have said depends on how much mgmt/control you need on the Mac’s. Plus youll need another investment in usb-c dongles as well as the Mac.I find the hardware support lacking as my biggest barrier. With sell it breaks/get broken and I have a engineer next day on site with the part. Macs can take ages to get sorted if they break.Also the mgmt in a secure environment is a pain. Whitelisting is a pain, application mgmt is an equal pain. Windows is much more business centric in this respect.Plus if all you backend is windows Macs don’t integrate well




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I’ve got a 7 year old Thinkpad X220 that works like new and looks the same. How long something lasts has as much to do with how well you care for it as build quality. I think a lot of the quality comparisons between Mac and PC are against cheap, consumer grade junk and not quality machines like Probook, Latitude, or Thinkpad. Apple hasn’t competed in the race to the bottom that turned consumer grade laptops into POS.

macOS has a better expectancy because it is developed and designed to run on the hardware made by Apple, however, at that price range, you could buy a Windows laptop with twice as power, but the OS will be less integrated with the hardware.




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I’ve got a 7 year old Thinkpad X220 that works like new and looks the same. How long something lasts has as much to do with how well you care for it as build quality. I think a lot of the quality comparisons between Mac and PC are against cheap, consumer grade junk and not quality machines like Probook, Latitude, or Thinkpad. Apple hasn’t competed in the race to the bottom that turned consumer grade laptops into POS.

Spot on. Comparing Mac with the consumer grade junk is comparing apple to orange. Those comparison were created to make mac looks good.




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If you are running Windows, I see no point in purchasing Mac hardware.  Just buy quality PC’s and call it a day.

I’m a Mac user, and I believe they use quality parts, but as others have said above they are on par with high quality PC’s so just buy a solid Dell.

Save yourself a headache and do not run a mixed client facing OS environment!




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Like any sort of device, vehicle ect ect, it will work so long as you give it the proper care and maintain it.

I have a 2012 macbook pro. After 4 HDD failures, swapped it for SSD.

Maintain the equipment and it will last you as long as EOL and beyond 

First post is the tired trope about “1/3 of the price.” When it turns out that similarly spec’d and supported machines are pretty competitive price across vendors. You get what you pay for, if you buy cheap junk for 1/3 the price then you have cheap junk.




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It all depends on the end user, your maintenance policy, security policy..etc..

Oh and don’t go purchasing duds…then both will last as long as you want them to…




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IMHO, Apple tends to sacrifice repairability in favor of style. On top of that, they make it hard to get replacement parts, certainly compared to say, HP.




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I won’t expect the same longevity from the current generation of Apple laptops until there is a method or service to upgrade RAM and SSDs.




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What are your thoughts on life expectancy of a mac vs. a pc laptop. Working for a company that is trying to decide if the higher price of Mac laptops is worth the upfront cost of buy them. The alternate is looking at Dell business laptops.

The assertion of IBM that Macs are 1/3 as expensive to own over the four year lifespan of the systems has not been something I have witnessed. In our case the costs associated with repair steps and delays greatly offsets the resale value, and we’ve been unable to see the huge shift in deployment time and effort they found.

I have always had luck with Dell laptops and desktops. I believe my current Dell is 5+ years old and still running smoothly. It’s the only brand I have ever owned and I may eventually switch to a Mac, but just as my personal home computer. Dells are fine laptops for employees, IMO. Macs are nice too, but not robust enough to justify the price difference, particularly if you have to purchase a large amount of them. I also find that Windows OS is easier for employees who may not be totally tech savvy. 

Life expectancy really does depend on the type of computer that you’re using and how well the user treats it. For example, our ProBooks and EliteBooks are really made for a workplace environment and do go through cycles with different users. They’re made to dock and undock frequently as users take them around for meetings and such. So, no matter what PC vendor you look at, I would recommend looking specifically at the business line of laptops.

I can’t speak to specifics with Macs, but if you need any guidance on HP devices, just let me know!

@samgoff2, in addition to the helpful feedback from fellow Vendor Partner @Brittany for HP and the other members, I would add that the HP commercial line of laptops are highly acclaimed for their reliability/durability by “industry analysts”, customers and the IT Pros in this Community.  The consultant provides this comment:  “HP is testing many manufactured devices to be compliant with
MIL-STD-810G, which is a United States Military Standard and a series of
Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests.”  

For example, see the kudos from the IT Pros in this post:

https://gordigecr.it/topic/1949563-need-help-looking-at-rugged-laptop-tablet?page=1#entry-6474778

When time permits, see in this video HP’s rigorous computer testing:

Along with life expectancy (and a product’s reliability/durability), it is also important to consider “what kind of applications an organisation is
using” and the product’s security features, an area in which HP computers, especially its Elite line, excel.  Without world-class security features, a hacker’s meddling, may shorten the life of a computer.  See below a description of some of the new HP security features:Priscilla@HP

Brittany and I will be happy to answer other questions and provide additional information.  Since this is your first post, a warm welcome to Spiceworks!

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