New research explodes the myth that Macs are more expensive than PCs to buy and run.

Noted research analyst Gartner found Macs are up to 36 per cent more cost- effective than competing PC products.

The study was conducted at Melbourne University's Faculty of the Arts, which uses 4,676 Macs and 5,338 Wintel machines. It compared direct costs such as hardware and software for desktops and mobile computers, servers and peripherals, upgrades, service and support and depreciation. It also examined the indirect costs of supporting end-users, training time and non-productive downtime.

Gartner found that Macs cost $1,114 to support per year, while PC-based systems cost $1,438. Macs also needed less technical support and hardware and software costs were lower, the report explains.