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The most reliable Windows PC is a Mac, study concludes

By John Rizzo

A study of over 37,000 computers concludes that the most reliable Windows PC on the market is the Apple MacBook Pro. Windows crashes less, boots faster, and runs fewer background processes on a Mac then on any PC. The study, conducted by Soluto, concludes, "The data is clear. MacBook Pro is the best Windows PC on the market."

Unlike lab tests-based reviews, which typically evaluate a single unit over a few days, Soluto analyzed real-world data collected from the company's cloud-based PC management software. Soluto analyzed data from 37,000 real Windows PCs in the field over a 3-month period, recording 1.3 million boots, 224,144 application crashes and 84,251 blue-screens.

The scores consisted of "frustration data," the weekly numbers of BSoD's (the infamous "Blue Screen of Death"), the incidents of Windows applications that were non-responsive (or hanging) for more than 5 seconds, application crashes, the number of background process running, and boot time. Amazingly, Soluna's servers recorded fewer Windows BSoD on the 13" Mac Boot Pro than any computer, averaging 0.01 per week, which works out to be one every 2 years.

The PCs and Macs were running Windows 7 and 8, the Macs using Apple's Boot Camp. The data set included 49 models of computers that are currently available. Macs actually appear twice on the top ten list. The 13" MacBook Pro came in first, and the 15" MacBook Pro Retina came in 6th. Acer and Dell notebooks occupied the second and third-place slots. Half of the top-ten models were from Dell, but HP and Samsung failed to make the list.

Soluto points out the drawbacks and benefits to running Windows on an Apple Mac:

First -- there's more work to do (buy Windows, set-up BootCamp, install Windows, etc). Also, the keyboard is not optimized for Windows (e.g. no Del key), and there may be driver issues. But on the other hand, the Mac has an amazing trackpad unparalleled by any PC, and has a very solid build.

One other caveat is that the Macs were the most expensive PCs on the top-ten list, and don't include a Windows license.

But the Mac's premium pricing doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent to Mac sales. Although much has been made of the iPad's cannibalization of Mac sales, Apple and its Macs are doing relatively well compared to other PC makers in a shrinking PC market. Take, for example, this headline from a few days ago from Laptop Magazine: "Terrible Notebook Sales Expected in Q3, Except Apple."

Soluto's top ten most reliable Windows PCs:

  1. Apple MacBook Pro 13, mid-2012
  2. Acer Aspire E1-571
  3. Dell XPS13
  4. Dell Vostro 3560
  5. Acer Aspire V3-771
  6. Apple MacBook Pro 15" Retina
  7. Dell Inspiron 14z
  8. Dell Latitude E5530
  9. Dell Vostro 3460
  10. Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon