IT Survey: Macs Less Expensive to Manage than PCs

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machine73

As a certified tech for Apple I can agree 85% with this article. BUT on the other hand a high end PC that is custom or home built will smoke a Mac any of the week and at a cheaper cost to the customer. I have a PC workstation and numerous Macs at my disposal at home, I prefer to use the macs for everyday usage, based on the fact they are virus free, (rest of the family spends alot of time on social sites)...but for me, when it comes to brute strength and speed I prefer the PC. I noticed over the past 2 years that the Macs biggest downfall is hardware. Top end GPU's for macs are still considered 1 year old cards. That coupled with the cost of part replacement outside of warranty repairs is enough to destroy anyones pocketbook. I can't count the number of dead machines we have in our "boneyard" due to declined repairs. Most of them are logicboard related. Cost is way out of reach for most people. Where as if those where PC's the board could be replaced for  a single Benjamin in most cases.

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riopato

Macs are not virus free. I consider Macs as carriers and has infected many windows based systems when sharing files between systems. It doesn't look good for your business to find out that you've infected a client's computer because they prefer using a pc!

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Caboose

 "BUT on the other hand a high end PC that is custom or home built will
smoke a Mac any of the week and at a cheaper cost to the customer
"

Not even a high end PC. A mid-range PC will cost you less, and perform better than a Mac. Especially of you were to base both on specs and not price. Price per performance, PC will win, hands down, 100% of the time!

 "I prefer to use the macs for everyday usage, based on the fact they are
virus free
"

Then you sir, are sadly mistaken. There are viruse, spyware, adware, trojans, and hijackers for macs. In fact, some are worse than for PC as Apple is of the mindset that they are invulnerable to anything bad. And the sad thing, is that they've convinced all of their followers of the same thing. So, should Apple's marketshare increase in the PC and laptop sectors, you'll find more and more bad stuff coming out for Macs. It's already happened with the iPhone. A very large portion of jailbroken iPhones fell victim to a hacker. Why? Because iPhone owners thought that they were safe from all things bad, and didn't take steps to lock down, and secure their handheld.

Just my 2 cents to a couple of your points.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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nekollx

 accept he does acknoledge the jailbreak, which really aren't "apple" anymore. It's sort of a sore point.

Mac don't get virus because there aren't enough to hit a intelligent Computer User or most Joe Users. But that's like saying that I'm don't get bitten by Tiger because their's no tigers in my neighborhood 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Ace of Spades

Ok so it might be better than a Dell and a HP hands down. But once you make your custom PC, its wrap and it'll destroy a Mac easily. Plus Macs don't have as much as software and hardware as Windows does. In matter of fact, any Maximum PC user can build a Hacktintosh that will be MUCH cheaper and MUCH more powerful than a crappy iMac.

PLUS, you can way more custimizing with PC anyday than a Mac.

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Octaviux

MACs dont' run anything, thus there's less to troubleshoot.  The amount of software, addins and options that Windows has is uncomparable and thus are the problems with getting all of those things to work harmoniously.

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Windows30

If the Mac computer parts were to fail. It will be costly to replace the parts and and also to upgrade. Windows PC is way cheaper. So let's put in the totally cost that I ordered you to buy 100 Apple Macs and 100 Windows PC. The final price is that Windows PC will cost way cheaper then Macs. Windows supports more then tens of thousands of hardware and software. It's also a good gaming platform. Windows PC has tons of replacement parts and easy upgrades.

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fry

Come on, Paul. The sponsor of this "survey" (hilariously named "Enterprise Desktop Alliance") is a company selling Macintosh integration sulutions.. http://www.enterprisedesktopalliance.com/abouttheeda.html

This isn't news, it's a press release trying to drum up business. Disregard.

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neural0

Are you implying that a company who sells a product would tell everyone that their product is better than the competition?! I am shocked!

*end sarcasm*

Its too bad the author didn't bother to check this out like you did, then he would actually be acting as a true journalist... C'mon MaxPC!

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nekollx

 "The members of the Enterprise Desktop Alliance ....Macs easier to do."

 

You don't say 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Norf

I'd suspect that most organisations that offer both will generally only assign Macs to those that ask for them.

This nicely sorts the playing field into those that know and want to use a Mac, and everyone else.

Because of this you won't end up with a lot of high maintained people in the Mac user group.

I suspect that you would get vastly different results if you randomly assigned everyone in the organisation either a Mac of a PC.

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Zazubovich

I bet it was easier to administer a bunch of dummy terminals for a VAX as well, or a room full of 8086 IBM PCs.  Once you get to the point where you have multiple configurations, you have problems.  In grad school they had an apple mac lab (virus hell) and a NeXT lab (math nerds only) and a combination of VAX and DEC mainframes in the library and elsewhere.  I begged my dad to send the HP Axcel IV with Dos 6.22 he was getting rid of simply because the mandatory computer labs  were filled with viruses, mostly MS Word viruses.  I never had a problem with that rig and it is still in my garage because it simply worked and never got viruses.  It even has a 14 k fax modem!  We wore onions on our belts as that was the fashion at the time.....

It may be easier to manage but it still is an over priced, underperforming, snooty pansy machine with the design aesthetic of a chiclet, say, or a Fleet suppository.  I fix the office computers now and Dells are a disaster, but it is easy to rebuild them and reload the software.  If the person who orders them ends up getting goofy configurations, you just let windows do its thing and it is usually at least to the level of a mac even if you don't load component specific drivers.  The machines I build for the office rock, thanks to mpc here.

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nadako

It may be easier to manage but it still is an over priced,
underperforming, snooty pansy machine with the design aesthetic of a
chiclet, say, or a Fleet suppository. <- That was funny as heck.

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YoshiHNS

I really didn't find that PDF very good. It was very general. Wasn't really more than a poll. Polls aren't based on anything quantifyable other than opinions. Doesn't matter if the opinions are true or not, it's not actual data.

If they had information on what kind of work IT had to do or time to complete the request or anything else like this, would have been better.

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1337Goose

 What happens when your employees call in to tell you that they need computers that can actually get some work done?

Where's your cheap administration cost now?

~Goose

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kevaskous

I want your babies, you get the epic win award haha, could not have said it better myself...not even gonna bother listing all it's issues.

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1337Goose

 I'm flattered, haha.

~Goose

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nadako

I found a high end mac book pro for 2G and a high end gaming PC for $1,900 lets look at the specs

Mac                                                        PC: Looks like a win to me.

intel core2duo 2.66ghz                         Intel i7 720qm

15.4in screen                                        6GB DDR3

4GB memory                                         500GB HDD

320GB HDD                                           64GB SSD :WOW!!!!

Nvidia GF9600m                                    18.4in screen

                                                             Blue Ray

                                                             Nvidia GF 320m

 

Should be a no brainer.

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nadako

This is probly true but. BUT this will only hold true untill MAC start dominating the market then PCs will then be the cheapest. Lets add some logic to it microsoft is a software company not a hardware manufacture. So in the end its more along the line of the people that build the computer not the software. Plus if I was a guy that made viruses i would target the majority not the minority its just logical thinking. Why do you think linux is safer then MACs.

                      PC's are cheaper    Cost the    Macs are Cheaper
                                       >20%  0-20% Total  Same 0-20% >20% Total
Software license fees       10%      12%  23%  47%     15%   16%  31%
Time troubleshooting         7%         9% 16%   19%     27%  38%  65%
User training                      6%       10% 16%   36%     25%  23%  48%
Help desk calls                   8%         8% 16%   29%     22%  32%  54%
System configuration        11%       15% 25%   24%     23%  27%  50%
Supporting infrastructure  10%      15%  25%   38%     18%  19%  37%

did yall pay attention to these numbers some are double then PCs

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Caboose

Technically Apple is a software manufacturer as well. They don't make the CPU, motherboard, chipset, RAM, HDD, video card. They may have the chassis built, but that's about it...

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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riopato

I'm pretty sure Apple is not so happy that Windows is infesting their hardware. The ipad may be a stepping stone to Apple hardware considerng that it has an Apple chip in it.

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Caboose

 If that were the case (apple not being happy with Windows running on a Mac) then they would have never released Bootcamp, or had the contest to see who could get it to work.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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nadako

Mac never started out as a software company. Microsoft was the only one that started out as a software company and everyone thought they were crazy. And in the begining Mac hired Microsoft to make some of their software.

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PokySharpy

I am a lifelong PC user/builder, MaximumPC subscriber, and former (former because now I'm a dad) hardcore gamer.  I'm also the IT Director for a mid-size advertising agency. We operate about 80% Mac, 20% Windows in the workspace, and I have to agree that the Macs are vastly easier and quicker to manage.

Apple has really stepped up their enterprise game over the past 5 years.  The tools that I use on a daily basis - Workgroup Manager, Apple Remote Desktop, Server Admin, Deploy Studio, etc. - are either free out of the box or very inexpensive and VERY robust.

Because of the limited number of hardware configurations and tight integration that Apple provides, servicing machines is a piece of cake.  Just this morning, we had a hard drive die in a 5-year-old PowerMac G5.  Within the hour, we had a new hard drive swapped in, system reimaged over GigE with our standard designer's software loadout and OS configuration, and back in service.  The user logged in through his Active Directory-integrated account, his home folder synchronized back down from the home folder server, and he was up and running.

Keep in mind that this exact same Leopard disk image can be applied to every Apple laptop or desktop in the building - from PowerBook G4s to Intel Mac Pros or iMacs.  This single item shows how easy it is to manage our Macs.

Our Windows machines, on the other hand, are either Dells or Intel iMacs running Windows through Boot Camp.  Exact same Dell "model names" (e.g. Optiplex GX270) bought less than a month apart from each other can have vastly different hardware configurations, so that we'd have to create dozens of different drive images.  We've long since given up trying to create a single master image that we can use to restore our Windows machines.  We just don't have the time to devote to the idiosynchracies.  If a Windows box dies, we rebuilt it from scratch.  There's really no other way in our environment.

I could literally go on for a couple pages with more examples, but I need to get back to work.  Just chiming in that even as a longtime Windows fanboy who just bought an Alienware M11x, the IT professional part of me totally agrees with the outcome of this survey.

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DJSPIN80

I totally agree. I love how you pointed out that you would need to create dozens of drive images for the same Dell model.  The same thing happens at my job.  We have to have an inventory of each machine because we don't know which image to use on which PC.  It's a nightmare managing these systems which is why I'm so glad I'm the software engineer and not the systems administrator!

Microsoft doens't make licensing easy to understand.  Trying to decipher MS's EULA is like trying to learn ugaritic which is a dead, semitic language.  OS X Server has unlimited seats, which is beautiful...XSAN is a dream and Mac Pro's, Macbook Pro's all use the same image.  God, I love the simplicity of managing a Mac (I personally own a Macbook Pro).

There are still fanboys in this here forums.  I used to be so anti-Mac, until I bought a Mac for myself.  I just love how Apple distributes XCode for free, and I'm spending my free time learning objective-c.  Hopefully, I can do something with that skill!

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riopato

My company is a vendor to ad agencies and being so I need to make sure what ever comes out software and harware wise needs to be deployed to our systems which is 90% Mac. The other 8% is actually Unix rips and 2% Windows print servers.

How does your crew handle G5, Mac Pros, Powerbooks, Macbooks, G4 imacs, intel imacs when they all are drastically different technology? Even the G5s within the manufacturing life span had different tech. I too tried the master image method with all these Macs but found that the same Mac image did not performed the same on different Mac hardware. Even Apple's factory discs can't be used on different machines. I tried installing two intel imacs made 4 months apart one can run Tiger just fine but the other can only run Leopard!?? They're both the same intel specs! What's changed?

Ultimately, any new Macs that came in had to be individually imaged to insure proper functionality. This fact added to te unexpected inflated budget to technology during this time. Future budgets implies the added cost from now on. On another note, being a 24hour shop, our Windows print servers constantly gets abused and has suffered hadware failure from time to time. A call from the maufacturer or a trip to bestbuy fixes this the next day if not the same day having very minimal down time.

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PokySharpy

The Apple factory drop-in discs are tied to individual models, correct.  But if you do a base install off a retail DVD, configure all the app installs and tweaks and stuff, then image that "finalized" setup, you can use the image on most G5 or Intel Macs.  Just not the brand new i5/i7-based systems that absolutely require Snow Leopard.

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YoshiHNS

I have a few issues with your arguement.

First off is that all PCs are different. Yes, if you buy one at a
time over a long period of time, they will be slightly different
models. But wouldn't it make sense to buy a large set of computers so
that the hardware configurations are all the same? Then all the drivers
and chipsets are similar and you can have a single image for all of
them. And it sounds like you are saying that you can apply the same
image to a hard drive in a G4 to a macbook pro. They have completely
different hardware. Don't understand how you can apply the same image
to both.

It also sounds like all your Macs are running the exact same software suit, which helps a lot.

I don't quite agree with your licensing argument either. Once you
purchase software, you can use it. After your license is up, most
software stops providing updates rather than service. What kind of
programs are you referring to where the software is completely gimped
after the license expires?

Sounds like your PC's are specialized as well. That doesn't help the
IT support cause. But when you don't need every computer to have a
workstation card or CAD software, what else are you going to do?

I've haven't had too much trouble doing images of individual
computers. It's not full-fledged IT work, so I don't have to deal with
all the complications a typical IT would have to, but the three times
I've had to use the image, it worked flawlessly.

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PokySharpy

The reason you can use the same system image on almost any Mac (the latest Core i5s & i7s require Snow Leopard) is because Apple includes the drivers for every supported config in a base install.  A 10.5.8 (Leopard) image can run on any G5 or Intel Mac except for brand new iMacs, so that's pretty much every Mac we've purchased over the last 6 years.

You are correct as far as the software licensing. As a relatively small business (about 200 machines) we qualify for Microsoft's Open Value licensing program.  We purchase our licenses with a bundle called Software Assurance.  Yes, we can use the base version forever at time of purchase, but we have an annual payment to keep the licenses "current" and able to be upgraded to the next major version.  We don't have to pay any extra to go from Office 2003 to 2007 to 2010, for example.  It basically comes down to "subscribing" to the software but if we stopped paying then yes, we could stay on the current version forever but it's way more expensive to upgrade down the line.  It's like locking you in with "convenience."  It's cheaper than buying full or upgrade versions every time a new thing comes out, but it's still an annual line item that you have to mess with.  It's just a headache is all.

Our PCs aren't terribly specialized, they mostly do Office and MS Navision.  But still, the difference between two Dell Optiplexs of the same model designation, purchased 2 or 3 months apart, will have very different components.  Trying to image one and put it on the other will result in a STOP error at boot.  That's the nature of Windows.

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nekollx

Yet, to be fair Apple is the same way...

 QUICK Tell me the hardware config of a Mac Pro Tower 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Caboose

 Just a note about the different hardware configs, there are utilities avail. that let you take an image made on one machine, and distribute it to a machine with a different hardware config. All you need is the chipset drivers, and the app takes care of the rest. At my workplace, we've been looking at the Acronis software suit!

 

MPC, fix your spam filter! I can't seem to post a response to someone, and yet spammers still get through!

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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Bender2000

There is another headache, drivers. Just keeping up with revisions and the various flavors for what is supposed to be the same model PC is almost a full time job. And then the incompatabilities!

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riopato

This issue alone is why Windows 7 is being accepted to the IT field. Drivers are less of an issue with Windows 7.

How about this for fun, try installing a part from an intel mac made 4 months ago to an intel mac made now. Good luck finding drivers for that part. That is if you can boot up with it. 

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Caboose

There's also the issue with a timing or clock battery. Once it goes dead, the mac won't boot. I forget what the actual battery is. My brother got a mac from his college, teacher said it was broken. He replaced a battery, and got a perfectly working (relatively) Mac.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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nekollx

 to be fair Apple is the same way...

 

QUICK Tell me the hardware config of a Mac Pro Tower 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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PokySharpy

Yeah, we're aware of various 3rd party apps that can help us create multiple images, but enterprise software for Windows is usually crazy expensive.  On the other hand, the Apple tools are included in every copy of OS X Server.

Say what you will about their hardware pricing, but Apple's software pricing is usually a cheap one-time license, not some perpetual Microsoft Volume License with Software Assurance yearly-payment crap.

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riopato

Why Osxserve can't manage my xinet raid and that I still need my old SGI server connected to do this? Exactly what utility do I use to do this?!!! Because none of these tools can't do a simple thing such as manage a raid array. Oh and OSXserve can't even manage Memory properly! I've never hear of a server that needs to be restarted every 3 to 4 months the way xserve needs to be and mostly for the reason to release dump files residing in ram. Wierd!

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PokySharpy

<edit, double post, yay Firefox lag>

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Tekzel

This survey is useless. The people that said Macs are cheaper to maintain are drinking the Apple flavored kool-aid, and their responses are to be taken as HIGHLY biased.

---
You know users... Buncha bitchy little girls.

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DJSPIN80

Wow...great way to invalidate a person's arguments!

The fact of the matter is, there's a lot of truth to what others have said here.  I'm a software engineer, my primary development platform is Windows (2003/2008, SQL Server 2000/2005/2008, .NET 2.0 to 3.5, will move up to 4.0 as soon as it's released).  So I know my Windows environments, I've built and maintained Windows networks...I write software on a daily basis and I manage 3 production SQL Servers, 3 production web servers and the entire code base for the hospital I work for.

That being said; PC's are a pain to manage.  MS's licensing is often convoluted and expensive.  MSDN, which is what my entire development career lives on, can cost up to $4,000 for one developer.  Site licensing for Microsoft is expensive as hell.  Microsoft barely gives out anything for free...BARELY.  The Dell Optiplex's we have at work often have different specs; because Dell doesn't guarantee that the same model PC will have the same set of parts.  Therefore, we track each PC and managing the # of images can be painful.

Apple gives away XCode for free.  Their main development tool is available for free.  iWorks is fine, in fact, for $50 it does what I need it to do and has Office compatibility.  You can use a single image to image different Mac systems.  Oh, let's not forget, as one guy said: Apple's tools/utilities are often free, cheap and are VERY robust.  XCode is ridiculous in how robust it is, and Objective-C tutorials aren't hard to find at all.

So yeah, biased?  I think you may need to rethink YOUR statements buddy.

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sammy_sam

And lets not forget Macs are a little more expensive to purchase up front compared to windows based machines.

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zstadt

Logistics it is.  But, that won't stop Mac fanboys from using it in their defense.  *shakes head*

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Ntldr

The reason they are cheaper to maintain is because people that write viruses and malware programs don't care about Macs.  There are not enough of them to waste time writing one for it.  Over 90% of the world uses Windows that would be why they are harder to maintain because they are always getting attacked.  If the situation were reversed where Mac had 90%+ of the PC usage they would be more expensive to maintain.  It is just logistics, what ever is out there and being used the most will cost more to maintain and will be the focus of attacks. 

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Bender2000

Here's the advantage of having limited hardware. There are no variations in Macs, PCs can have multiple varieties of the same PC model. Having to maintain configs for hardware differences like GPUs, tape drives, even mobo revisions is a headache. That variety keeps PC prices low.

The survey dodges the question as to which platform is more productive. 99% of software runs on Wintel so if your mission critical program doesn't run on a Mac, the question if it ieasier to maintain is moot. Its easy to maintain a Mac you'll never use.

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nadako

I was an ass sorry.

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nekollx

 of course with limited hardware the virus makers also have a easier time....

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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legacy2013

Yea variety is a good thing. I built a PC for a couple in their mid forty who needed nothing but basic internet and office for about $400. On the other hand I built my friend a $3300 gaming computer to run the latest and greatest. You can't get that in a Mac

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Caboose

 Sure you could. You'd just have to add an extra zero to that price

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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kevaskous

This ^

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nadako

Thats so true love the comment.

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