Why I’m moving away from the Mac.

I’ve had a MacBook Air, Mid 2013 for ~48 months now. It’s been on many adventures, but I’m saying goodbye to it, in exchange for a Dell XPS 13 9360, or some other Linux-compatible laptop. I’ve compiled a list of reasons why I don’t like my Mac, and Macs in general.

 

Shitty Thermals:

The thermal system on the Mac absolutely sucks, and it does on every one. If I dare push my laptop to 35% CPU usage, for even under a minute, the fans spin up.

When I’m coding Python in PyCharm, I will literally hear the fans spin up. That’s right, I can’t even code on my laptop without the fans spinning up, and getting pissed off. I have to enable power saving mode in PyCharm, which disables code-checking features, something that everyone basically needs these days. Heck, even watching a 720p60 video on YouTube spins up the fans. That to me is unacceptable, given my phone gets just warm to the touch when doing the same thing.

Push the laptop all the way, and you’ll hear the loud scream of the Mac’s fans spinning up at 6500 RPMs, and your lap getting extremely hot (and thermal throttled, too!) When I was using Windows, and accidentally left on High Performance mode, my laptop’s fans were spinning up while browsing the internet.

I’ll list some more cases when the fans spun up doing normal things:

  • Streaming games with Moonlight at 1080p30 (CPU usage: ~25%)
  • Installing something that takes more than two minutes
  • Updating Eclipse or any other application
  • Downloading (yes, DOWNLOADING) stuff with SoftEther VPN and browsing the web/coding (CPU usage: ~35%)

 

I’m ecstatic to get a new laptop that will hopefully not spin up as loudly as the Mac does in these normal situations.

 

Macs only works with OS X:

I tried to use Windows on my Mac, and I did for 6 months. It came to the sad reality that I was getting a solid 2.5 hours of battery life, even on Balanced mode, which is again, unacceptable. I can’t have my laptop die in the middle of the day. I caved in for the final months of my laptop, and am using OS X. It isn’t terrible, but I’d much rather be using KDE Neon, or worse off Windows.

Oh, and Linux is a can of worms on most Macs. I do run FreeNAS on my Mac Mini, and it runs as it should, but I’m more concerned about power-saving features with Linux, especially on a laptop. When I used Kubuntu 16.10 on my laptop, these issues occurred:

  • Lid wasn’t properly sleeping my laptop (had to do some temporary fixes for it)
  • Sound was absolute crap, installed some EQ software that messed up volumes
  • Power-saving was crap, I either had to choose 2.5 hours of battery life, or dropping frames when playing a 720p30 YouTube video
  • Brightness controls stopped working a few days in, had to get a custom kernel module to make that work

All these issues prompted me to switch back to Windows, and then OS X. Macs are optimized to work on their native OS, and not other platforms.

 

With hopefully my new laptop, it’s Ubuntu Hardware Certified (not some shiny BS metal, the Arch wiki does show everything working without too many other troubles), meaning I’ll be smooth-sailing without issues. Very happy, indeed!

 

Macs are not repair-friendly:

This especially applies to newer Macs, and that it’s hard to repair them in the first place. Apple is now directly soldering SSDs to their motherboards, and the new MacBook Pro batteries are so much of a pain-in-the-ass to remove, iFixit had to create a kit with a special acid to help the user remove the battery.

 

However, my reasoning is the absolutely insane repair prices for Macs these days. Battery replacement: $120. Screen replacement: around $499. Trackpad glass: around $79. I simply can’t afford to shell out these insane prices, for a laptop that’s 4 years old, and on the verge of breaking.

 

The XPS 13 is more user-friendly, but parts are scarce (Hey guys it’s scarce here). Can’t win, but here’s to say that the parts will likely be cheaper.

 

Apple is killing the Mac:

Macs used to be amazing pieces of hardware back in their day. Powerful machines that pros used to get all their work done on the go. In the past few years, Apple has been slowly taking away the “Pro” in the Mac, and adding some questionable features.

While the removal of the CD drive was coming, others are just plain-old stupid. The removal of an SD card was widely criticized in the creator community, and no one was happy about all the ports becoming USB-C. While USB-C is the future, we’re not all ready for the move. It’s annoying how not even Apple has the “courage” to include a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box of it’s most recent products, and wants you to shell out more bucks to pay for a dongle. Penny pinching at it’s finest.

Also, no one wants a touch bar. Fingerprint sensors are cool and all, but having a dynamic touchbar is something nobody wanted. If I got a Mac with a touch bar as a gift, I’d instantly switch it to function keys. A dynamic touchbar isn’t helpful, everyone has their shortcuts mapped in their head, and having to look down at your keyboard to “do something faster” isn’t helpful. You get the point.

 

Apple loves planned obsoletion

True story. I still have an old MacBook Air from Mid-2010, with a Core 2 Duo, 2 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. Apple is still pushing updates to the machine, even though on OS X Sierra, it runs like complete crap, taking minutes to perform basic activities. It seems as if Apple isn’t even testing to make sure that the latest versions of OS X run acceptably on their Macs, which to me is, again, unacceptable.

I ended up installing CloudReady on the laptop, which is a much lighter Chrome OS based platform for the laptop, and it runs well.

 

Other minor points:

  • macOS, no, you mean OS X. I will keep calling OS X, OS X, until version 11 is released. OS XI doesn’t sound that great, to be honest.
  • DongleBook and DongleBook Pro is what I call the new MacBook and MacBook Pro.
  • The touch bar is very dumb.
  • Apple’s only good laptop they have at the moment, the MacBook Air, is in limbo. It doesn’t fit that well into their line up (non-pro and pro), but it’s also in need of a better screen. But, hey, at least it’s still on sale.
  • Apple’s butterfly keyboard on the Mac also, sucks. It has less key travel than the old Scissor keyboard, and honestly, I love the keyboard on my MBA. The new 2nd gen butterfly keyboard is better, but it also sounds like you have a Cherry MX Blue keyboard. FYI: The MX Blue keyboard is very loud.
  • I’d much rather prefer the diving board trackpad than the new Force Touch trackpad. Yes, the new trackpads are very realistic, but I prefer the sound of my keyboard getting clicked, and the slight movement of my finger.

 

So, I’m happy to finally move away from Apple, completely. I used to love them, but the recent downsurge of their products has made me hate them, with a passion.

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