What Are the Main Differences Between a Mac and a PC?

The main differences between a Mac and a PC are the operating systems, compatibility, cost, hardware specifications and the available software. Whereas only Apple manufactures Mac computers, dozens of companies make PCs.

The primary difference between the two platforms is the operating systems they run on. Whereas PCs generally run on Microsoft Windows, Macs run on the Mac OS. While it is not possible to install Mac OS on a PC, Macs can also run Windows via the Boot Camp feature. Linux distributions are available for both platforms. As a result, Mac computers are compatible with a greater variety of operating systems.

On average, Mac computers cost more than PCs with similar or identical hardware specifications. When a PC and a Mac computer cost the same, the Mac is likely to have lower amounts of RAM and storage space. However, Mac OS applications usually take up less storage space than Windows programs. As of 2015, Apple has not released a Mac computer with a touchscreen while PCs with touchscreens are widely available on the market.

Even though a Mac computer can run the Windows operating system and programs made for Windows, its native operating system does not have as many applications made for it. Likewise, there are more games for Windows than Mac OS, and they usually run at higher frame rates. As of 2015, fewer than five percent of the players on Steam run Mac OS.