Mac or Windows for CS students? (solved)

mac is better than windows or windows is better than mac? this question is frequently asked by CS students.

in this article, we’re going to list the 18 facts about Mac and windows that students should know before.

9 important facts makes mac batter than windows for CS students

mac is more powerful than windows laptops

according to a test that we made between MacBook and 4 windows laptop competitors, we found that Mac get always in the first position. The last M1 chip that apple released broke the record of efficiency.

you can find test CPU results between the mac laptops and the 4 famous windows laptops in the table below

Ram Test

 Macbook pro

XPS 13

Windows laptop studio

ThinkPad x1 carbon

Hp dragonfly

Single core test 






 Multi-core test






 total Ram







MacBook is always leading. In other words, MacBook is more powerful by 40% more than any laptop in his generation. As a result, means more speed and more efficiency doing tasks, especially for CS students who sometimes run heavier programs that demand powerful CPUs.

Mac have better life batteries than windows laptop

the second thing that mac is the leader in is battery life durability, even windows fans recognize that. Moreover, numbers don’t lie MacBooks last more than any windows laptops and there are results that we found in the test below.

To explain, this test was made under an intensive use of all laptops, meaning the doing all the tasks that cs students do on thier study day like:

  • reading
  • writing
  • coding
  • browsing and watching video

companies say that a MacBook or Windows laptop can last up to 18 hours which is true. But, spending 18 hours a day with a single charge means just reading or writing nothing else more.

But CS students need to run programs, code and compile, moreover do other stuff, so 10 hours is the maximum time to expect from mac but less for the windows laptop.

in general MacBook laptops last 40% on average than windows laptops, so cs students have to be aware of that.

mac are secure more than windows laptop

mac is more secure than Windows for these 2 reasons:

  • Windows are overspread: windows users are time 10 numerous than MacBook or iOS systems, making windows more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
  • Mac iOS is closed than windows: mac operation system doesn’t allow Web browsers to track user data like windows. Simply because mac doesn’t sell users information like google or Facebook.

So for cs students who love privacy mac is the best in privacy and security.

CS Students can run windows on mac

windows give permission to mac users to install windows or BootCamp windows in mac, this is so interesting when students are stuck in some compatibility issues.

For instance, running an android studio on mac is impossible. In other words, you can’t develop android apps on MacBook. So the only solution is to switch to windows to do the job.

There are other examples that we’re going to talk about in the next paragraphs.

Mac laptops are getting more affordable for CS students

if we compare between 2018 and 2020 we find that MacBook laptops are getting cheap and better, the 2018 MacBook version was costing almost $1200 while today only $999.

In addition, and for laptops, we can notice that apple is releasing competitive prices according to other windows companies’ laptops. So the proof is in the table below.

Business laptops

ThinkPad x1 carbon

MacBook pro 13

XPS 13

Microsoft laptop studio

Hp elite dragonfly


starting at






we picked the best quality/ price laptops for CS students and we can notice that mac is not the most expensive laptop in the group while all laptops have :

  • the same storage
  • the same ram configuration
  • the same screen size

So the prices are no longer a problem in mac computers.

mac are durable more than windows laptop

Most students say that Mac devices are more durable and last longer than windows laptops. The most and the famous difference that students notice about mac is battery durability.

after 2 to 3 years of use, windows user students notice a decrease in battery capacity, and most of them get forced to change the battery. While Mac users can have a battery laptop lasting for up to 5 years.

As we said MacBook batteries last for 40% more than windows laptops for a single charge. That is to say less charging cycle times which means more life span.

it obligatory to buy Mac in this case

for CS students who are interested to develop iOS desktop or phone applications, there is no alternative to buying a mac device. You can’t develop iOS apps without having a mac device

if you have a mac device you can run or develop a windows application but if you have a windows device it is impossible to do that. Users can’t install iOS on their Windows laptops.

Mac laptops are quiet than windows

mac laptops are so quiet than any windows and here are the prof results of that in the table below

Macbook air

 Macbook pro

XPS 13

Windows laptop studio

ThinkPad x1 carbon

Hp dragonfly


0 dB

26 dB

35 dB

37 dB

40 db

45 dB

we measured the sound noise that every laptop generates. So we can say in general that mac laptops are quiet 40% than any windows laptop. But MacBook has another version that doesn’t have any fans it’s completely silent.

you could watch more details in this video.

Mac is easier in manipulation

mac is a more friendly user, it is more simple and makes the user experience fun. Even kids can manipulate it easily without any complications.

mac iOS system has a well-designed interface than windows. To clarify icons are bigger and well designed than windows, they tend to be more appealing for users.

for cs students, mac has an iCloud system that allows the user to sync between Apple devices instantly without any issues.

mac has a lot of keyboard commands that reduce a lot of energy and time going back and forth between a mouse and keyboard. This is so useful for cs students in terms of coding.

9 important facts makes windows better than mac for CS students

CS students can’t run whole IDE’s

The major drawback for CS students is mac isn’t flexible to develop in any IDE environment, even if you can BootCamp to windows operating system, you will face some problems running the following IDEs.

  • VMWare
  • Parallels Desktop
  • VirtualBox
  • Homebrew ==>dosen’t work properly
  • Eclipse ==> can work but doesn’t include many features
  • JetBrains IDEs
  • Parallels Desktop
  • Android Studio ==>you have to bootcamp to windows

for further information, you can read this article.

you can use popular apps in mac unless

having mac means there is no:

  • Microsoft office
  • excel
  • one note
  • outlook

the o run these applications you have to do 2 solutions:

  • BootCamp or install windows to macbook
  • use could services like Microsoft 365 (not free)

Both methods aren’t effective they can’t replace the installed Microsoft on windows computers. So for students who are used to the windows app, they will find struggles.

iOS system is cover only 8% of the market share

iOS system is not popular like windows it covers also 8% of the market share that reflects the size of its community. We can see more details in this graph below.

as we can see from the graph the windows cover 90% of the market share while 8% for ios and 2% for Linux. currently, Windows uses are exceeded 1 billion users around the world.

The popularity that Windows has can create compatibility issues. In other words, in most classes or colleges you will find student professors running windows devices.

So it is expectable to be forced to learn windows applications for doing assignments or some tasks because your professor doesn’t work with iOS applications.

Mac dosen’t comes with many ports

Mac users suffer from the lack of ports they always tend to buy station docks to run or connect with other devices. This is not the case with windows laptops.

For instance, Mac doesn’t come with USB-A ports they only have USB c ports. So students won’t be able to connect USB drivers to their computers.

So at least you need to buy a USB-c converter with $40 to do this operation which is frustrating.

Mac laptops don’t support touch screens like windows

most windows laptops support a touch screen option, in other words, they can be used as a laptop and tablet at the same time. While there is no one laptop mac version that is a touch screen.

if CS students need a touch screen they have to buy iPads to take notes or to draw. As a result, becomes expensive and not portable to carry 2 devices at the same time.

mac can’t be a 2 in 1 device like most windows laptops in the market. They are foldable like Microsoft surface or dell XPS you can discover more in this article

Student can’t run or bottcamp to windows using this macbook version

CS students shouldn’t buy a MacBook air version if they want to run windows, simply because you can’t do that.

if you have a MacBook air version as a cs student you won’t be able to BootCamp to windows. To clarify more, you can install windows on your MacBook air.

For further information, you could read this article 18 facts that CS students don’t know about MacBook Air

Mac accessories are expensive

CS students have to be aware that mac accessories are more expensive than windows. For instance, owing mac forces you to buy converters to be able to connect with multiple ports like HDMI or USB ports.

to be able to do that you need to invest at least $100 to buy a station docket for your MacBook. While in windows laptops you will need that because most windows laptops have the necessary ports that students need.

Moreover, to buy :

  • an apple mouse will cost $80 while $30 to $40 is enough for windows computers
  • an apple keyboard costs $180 while $60 is enough for windows computers

iPad is terrible for computer science students

many students make the mistake to invest in iPad having the mind of using them as a replacement for computers. But this is the worst idea that a cs student can do.

iPad doesn’t support a lot of software and they have limited hardware in other words you can’t:

  • run programs or IDE on iPads
  • the management file is terrible
  • Students find difficulties to manipulate or edit documents
  • they don’t have any port you don’t even have an audio jack
  • iPad accessories are so expensive

you could know in detail about these subjects reading this article 11 reasons to avoid iPad as a computer science student?

CS can’t drive multiple monitors like in windows laptops

if you have a MacBook you won’t be able to drive a lot of monitors like windows laptops, if we compare between MacBook 13 inch and dell XPS windows laptop we find that:

  • MacBook Pro 13 inches can’t drive more than 1 single monitor
  • while dell XPS can drive up to 3 monitors with having a station dock

To drive 3 monitors with a MacBook pro, CS students need to have an advanced version of a MacBook like a MacBook 14-inch pro that costs $2000 while windows laptops cost less than that.

you could read this article Competition: Dell XPS or Macbook Pro for a student?


according to the 18 facts that we expose in our article we find that mac has its pros and cons and the same thing for the Windows laptops. So for CS students, they have to know which is the best option they like in mac or windows to finally choose the best one for them.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.