The best computer for blogging: PC or Mac

Filed as General on January 23, 2006 3:22 am

OK, I’m going to indulge again, because I’m in theory allocating far too much money from the sale of The Blog Herald (which should be settled shortly) to new things than I should be, but given I’m Problogging full time now one important thing I’m going to need is a new computer, because my nearly 4 year old custom built (I built in from scratch) AMD XP1800 box with 512mb of ram, two hard drives (20gb and 80gb), 7 year old box, keyboard and mouse (all from my computer before) my second hand 17 inch CRT monitor (bought it at auction) are getting worn and I’m sick of waiting 3-5 minutes for Windows to boot in the morning.

What I’m thinking about: a AMD 64bit 3200 (or do they have faster chips now?) with 2gb ram, 250gb hard drive, 19 inch LCD monitor. But then there’s the Mac, and as much as I’ve always appreciated Mac’s from afar now they are a lot cheaper than they use to be maybe I should switch?

Give me your advice: what new computer should I buy. What do you use for blogging and/ or what would you recommend I use.

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  1. By Jason posted on January 23, 2006 at 4:05 am
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    There is an AMD 64bit 4000+ model that I’ve been looking at, and it’s even available in a laptop. I found this processor comparison chart, but I can’t vouch for it’s authenticity:
    http://www.systemshootouts.org/processors.html
    It seems to imply that the fastest currently available chip is the Athlon 4000+. I’m a lifelong Windows guy, and I’ve got to admit that I’ve been looking longingly at Macs lately too. Make sure you post your decision! Oh, and for your monitor, go BIG – those 20″ iMacs are gorgeous! ;-)

  2. By Darren posted on January 23, 2006 at 4:09 am
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    Do you really need to ask?

    Switch – any Mac’ll do :-)

    What’s your budget?

  3. By Chris Garrett posted on January 23, 2006 at 5:46 am
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    Don’t go with macs, for the love of God noooooooo!

  4. By JohnK posted on January 23, 2006 at 6:20 am
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    I use both: Windows at work, and a PowerBook at home. They are both as fast as each other for things like Word, Excel, internet etc, but I feel more productive with my Mac. Hardly scientific, and your mileage may vary, but just little things like Expose and an OSX add-on called Quicksilver makes life just that little bit easier and lets me concentrate on work. So much so that I’ve ordered the new MacBook Pro, and eagerly await its delivery. I suggest having a look at the new Intel 20″ iMac, ’cause if worst comes to the worst you could (probably) run windows on it…

  5. By fookr posted on January 23, 2006 at 7:02 am
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    Man, what a question. I have had both. If you want a machine you can wear to a swanky club, or if your pad is featured in the movies most days, or you never want to play any games software ever – then get a mac; they look pretty, if you like that star-trek set look.

    If you want a cheap, powerful box to do shit on, one that runs 95% of the apps out there, then get a PC.

  6. By Cowboy posted on January 23, 2006 at 8:46 am
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    I’ve decided having both is your best option. That way you can wear one to the club, and use the other. Seriously fighting through this myself after some big internet sales. It’s very difficult that I’ve moved into blogging full time.

  7. By Yzabel posted on January 23, 2006 at 9:05 am
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    Tough question… probalby “what suits your mood” would fit? In my own case, I’ve realized that pretty much all I use for blogging is a web browser, a text editor and a RSS reader, and both platforms have enough of these (yes, Notepad is good enough; any attempt at using something more schmancy fancy have ended up in me firing up the software a few times, then going back to the good old text editor anyway). But then, I’m a simple person ;)

  8. By David posted on January 23, 2006 at 9:18 am
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    There are faster chips. I would recommend going to atleast a 3500+ to as high as an X2 4200+

    As for ram, that looks great. Get 2 sticks of 1 gig and have them in dual channel.

    I don’t know how much mess and clutter you make, but you might want to get two hard drives. One for your OS, and applications, and another for your data and whatnot.

    It will make formatting, or dealing with problems, 10x easier ( I would suggest an 80-120 for your primary drive, and a 250 for your data drive).

    Make sure you get a dvd burner, and back up atleast once a month.

    A 19″ LCD is great. I recommend the Samsung SyncMaster 915N or the 930B depending on what video card you are going to be using.

    If you want to futureproof your system video card wise, grab an X1600 or an X850 if you don’t have the money to go as high as the X1xxx’s.

    Good luck with your PC purchase. I wish I could upgrade…

  9. By Luke posted on January 23, 2006 at 9:29 am
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    i think both is a good idea – you could get a mac mini for those poetry writing – rock eisteddfod planning moments… and use the pc for anger management as it proves increasingly slow and ugly…(and taking over the world).

  10. By Amit Agarwal posted on January 23, 2006 at 11:27 am
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    2GB RAM for a blogging PC ? Duncun, you already have a fast machine. Just reinstall the OS and it would boot in not time.

  11. By Chris Scott posted on January 23, 2006 at 11:51 am
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    Go with a Mac. You’ll spend less time fighting malware and more time blogging. Ecto on the Mac is great.

  12. By Grant Griffiths posted on January 23, 2006 at 11:53 am
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    Don’t be a windoze head. Get a Mac. You will never be sorry. Unless you buy a windoze machine and fall to the dark side of the force.

  13. By mariano posted on January 23, 2006 at 1:57 pm
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    well.. if you just want to blog.. you dont need that kind of stuff.

    if thats what you want to do with your pc just upgrade your ram and thats it

  14. By Tom posted on January 23, 2006 at 2:32 pm
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    Mac, if you do get fed up of it you can allways sell it and get a fair amount of you money back.

  15. By Mary-Ann Horley posted on January 23, 2006 at 2:36 pm
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    In my house we have killed three PCs since my boyfriend and I started living together, whereas the three Macs are still going strong. Two of them are eight years old, one of them is 18 months. I’m not happy to spend good money on something disposable, so if I have a pressing need for a PC ever it’ll be a VAIO or something.

    Oh, and the 450mhz G3-with-a-G4-chip is quicker than the 2.6ghz PC it replaced.

  16. By EyeDoc posted on January 23, 2006 at 3:14 pm
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    My Apple laptop used to take quite a while to boot up after being shut down . Then the motherboard fried (after only 1 1/2 years of light usage) and I vowed not to get another one. I’ve used a Dell for the past 6 months and running Firefox it’s as good or better than my Apple was. I wouldn’t spend the extra money on the Apple.

  17. By EyeDoc posted on January 23, 2006 at 3:15 pm
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    My Apple laptop used to take quite a while to boot up after being shut down . Then the motherboard fried (after only 1 1/2 years of light usage) and I vowed not to get another one. I’ve used a Dell for the past 6 months and running Firefox it’s as good or better than my Apple was. I wouldn’t spend the extra money on the Apple.

  18. By tayler posted on January 23, 2006 at 3:29 pm
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    I think I Might Be Mac-Curious.

    When it comes to computing, you want the Mercedes of computers and nothing less, right? I mean, people drive Mercedes for a reason, even if they cost ridiculously more than, say, a Honda Accord which does pretty much the same thing. It’s those little things that add up and makes owning a Mac well worth the bite.

  19. By Scott Burkett posted on January 23, 2006 at 4:56 pm
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    I blog equally as efficiently on my Treo handheld, my desktop PC, my Sony laptop, and my Linux workstation. The choice of hardware platform is irrelevant, since 99% of blogging occurs through a browser.

    Cheers.

  20. By agent bedhead posted on January 23, 2006 at 5:20 pm
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    No contest from an owner of both Apple and PC – A Mac Powerbook wins EVERY time.

  21. By ben barren posted on January 23, 2006 at 6:41 pm
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    20″ imac g5, with memory upgrade, no doubt

    ive got one and its awesome, and ive always been on Windows

    and you’d be able to get the new intel one, with the media centre remote thing etc

    about $2600 aussie pretty amazing

    enjoy yourself !!

  22. By ben barren posted on January 23, 2006 at 6:48 pm
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    20″ imac g5, with memory upgrade, no doubt

    ive got one and its awesome, and ive always been on Windows

    and you’d be able to get the new intel one, with the media centre remote thing etc

    about $2600 aussie pretty amazing

    enjoy yourself !!

  23. By Carl posted on January 24, 2006 at 1:09 am
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    skip all of the above and get a Silicon Graphics Fuel http://www.sgi.com/products/workstations/ trust me you’ll love it.

  24. By David posted on January 24, 2006 at 1:18 am
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    You didn’t say what version of Windows you’re running. If it’s taking 3-5 minutes to load, especially with your current setup, it sounds like you need to do some tuning. You can blog effectively with just about any computer, so choosing a PC or a Mac for a single application like blogging is not a good methodology. You sould look at other things you do with your PC or expect to do. I agree with the people who said that a Windows machine is a necessity if you’re gaming. That’s the one thing that’s kept me hooked on Windows, and I’ve used every version beginning with 3.x up to XP. If you’re running Windows ME on your 4-year old PC, you should switch to Windows XP as it’s definitely runs faster and is virtually crashproof (no blue screen of death). Security still sucks though.

  25. By Travis posted on January 24, 2006 at 2:24 am
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    does it matter?

  26. By David Lancelot Sjövall posted on January 24, 2006 at 9:18 am
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    I’ve used windows in the last 15 years, but for the last 10 mounths I’ve totaly in to the mac. I love it and I feel more productive and secure with the my mac.

  27. By Paul posted on January 24, 2006 at 4:14 pm
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    Best computer for blogging? One that turns on? Seriously. It doesn’t take much processing power to open a browser. It doesn’t take much RAM to for the keys you press to be converted into letters on the screen.

    I’m running a webserver that serves a blog, a forum (1000+ users), and a business website. On what beast computer am I running this? A P4 1.6 with 768 MB of RAM and a 40 GB hard drive.

    Buy yourself a comfortable new mouse and keyboard, maybe even spring for a new monitor. Then take the money you’ve saved and give it to a worthwhile charity.

  28. By Anonymous posted on January 24, 2006 at 6:49 pm
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    I always used a Mac at home and a Pentium at my office. But recently I changed that and now I use a Mac at the office and brought my 2 years old Pentium at home. I would suggest you to buy an iMac. It’s very well designed offers a good value. If you install MAMP you can easily replicate most hosting Unix solutions on your machine.

  29. By lt posted on January 24, 2006 at 6:50 pm
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    I always used a Mac at home and a Pentium at my office. But recently I changed that and now I use a Mac at the office and brought my 2 years old Pentium at home. I would suggest you to buy an iMac. It’s very well designed offers a good value. If you install MAMP you can easily replicate most hosting Unix solutions on your machine.

  30. By Ajay D'Souza posted on January 26, 2006 at 4:06 am
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    Does a computer really matter for blogging?

    I have a high end system, but never bought it keeping blogging in mind.

    I think any OS with a good browser like Firefox should do well enough for blogging.

  31. By Duncan Riley posted on January 26, 2006 at 6:12 am
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    Ajay says: “Does a computer really matter for blogging?”
    Yep it does.

  32. By Arch posted on January 28, 2006 at 12:54 pm
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    First and foremost, maintaining a weblog doesn’t require a top-end computer. If you want to fix or OS boot times, stop using Microsoft products. Install a copy of Fedora Core, Ubuntu, Gentoo, or if you don’t want to worry about installing Linux — use a Mepis Live CD. You also don’t get the pesky problem of spyware, adware, virus-related problems, etc. with Linux. And it’ll run quick as hell, even on an old AMD 1800.

    If you get the 3200 and the 2gig of RAM and you’ll definitely be flying.

    Personally, I run Fedora Core 4 on a Pentium 4 / 2.8HT with 1.5gig of DDR400. If you don’t want to spend thousands on a Mac, but definitely hate using Windows, it’s the way to go.

  33. By Jack posted on February 2, 2006 at 3:32 pm
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    Blogging is writing, so for me the most comfortable keyboard is a bigger determinant of what is best for blogging than which OS.

    I write more on my PowerBook because it has one of the most comfortable keyboards I have ever used, laptop or desktop. Also, I use Ecto as my editor (I don’t like writing in the browser screen, I like to spell check and grammar check, and to have a saved backup in case something crashes, like my host!), and the Mac version of Ecto is very well done, in my opinion. Ecto for the PC is OK, but not nearly as nice.

  34. By Richard Brown posted on February 3, 2006 at 1:28 pm
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    Hi

    I would have to go with the Mac guys. I reckon most of the guys that say the computer doesn’t matter would be Windows Users. Mac guys just aren’t like that – of course the computer matters and we need to tell everybody that a Mac is the best. That’s what happens when you buy a Mac – you fall in love with using a computer again.

    A year and a half ago I walked into my local PC World (UK) and all the guys there are die hard Windows users. I started to evangelise! Use a Mac etc…. Present day – we have five different guys who have bought Macs – two of which have dumped there doze boxes totally despite the gaming thing. And one of them said to me the gaming thing is a load of rubbish. To kit out a pc to games on will cost £5000 plus. The Mac just does it!

    You enjoy writing so enjoy what you write on.

    Rich

    P.S. In 1999 I stopped using doze, in 2003 I stopped using Linux… it’s been the X factor every since.