Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Oct 2009 12:51 UTC
Editorial A couple of years ago, a professor at my university had a very interesting thought exchange with the class I was in. We were a small group, and I knew most of them, they were my friends. Anyway, we had a talk about language purism - not an unimportant subject if you study English in The Netherlands.
Thread beginning with comment 391173
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Comment by wirespot
by looncraz on Mon 26th Oct 2009 17:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by wirespot"
Member since:

While Apple may, indeed, have something good to offer, it is really in their support services and the OS X itself. Apple knows that little more than a fancy case is all that stands behind their claims of "higher quality" as machines.

I can build a top-end system for $800, pay $50 for Psystar's EFI fix, $200 on the best case I could find, and $170 for MacOS X. Apple would charge me a good $3000 for the same specs. Seems like not much of a reason to buy to me... unless you are the type that calls their tech support frequently.

I have even less reason to want to buy an over-priced Mac when I consider all of the mods I could do to my Volvo to eek out another few miles per second :-) Or how many steak dinners I could buy...

Not to mention I get 3 year warranties on most of my parts anyway, those things that don't have a 3 year warranty are so cheap to replace it wouldn't be worth the shipping costs anyway!

To the masses, whom are concerned with cash, most Apple products are not desirable. However, a cheap alternative could be. The masses are well aware that they are not buying an Apple.

Should the masses have a bad experience with the low-end knock-offs, they will then consider Apple-direct as the best possible option and will inform others around them to buy direct.

The problem is that, to the masses, Apple has nothing unique to offer in computing experience outside of the software department. And that software, IMHO, sucks pretty hard.

I don't like Windows, but I'll run it as my primary OS long before MacOS X.

--The loon

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by wirespot
by zlynx on Tue 27th Oct 2009 01:52 in reply to "RE: Comment by wirespot"
zlynx Member since:

A dual socket Xeon Nehalem with ECC RAM for $800?


Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by wirespot
by looncraz on Tue 27th Oct 2009 06:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by wirespot"
looncraz Member since:

The $800 figure was just to make a point, I'll be precise, now, for your enjoyment:

Specs are equal to or greater than Apple's basic configuration as part availability permits. No used parts. From eBay, unless noted.

I had to make a few upgrades to the Apple in order to do a proper comparison as I had a problem finding the slow quad xeons at a good price, 1TB hard drives are abundant, and 4GB DDR3 ECC is the current value king in server memory. I also had some issues drumming up the exact details of the MacPro mainboard, so I guessed based upon Intel's lineup.

I'm sure this could be done cheaper/better.


Prices are rounded or approximated based upon listing, and I chose only parts that would be easier to obtain at a given price-point. Or, in statistical parlance, I removed the outliers in order to test the null.


2x Xeon 2.66GHz___(three listed)________650.00
Dual Socket MBRD__(hard to find)________375.00(retail)
8GB DDR3, ECC________(lots)______________95.00
1TB HDD, SATA 3gb/s 16M, 7.2k____________72.00___ZZF
ATI HD 4870 1GB_________________________148.00___ZZF
22X DVD +/- R/W DL+, etc...______________29.00___ZZF
Wireless MSE + KBRD______________________40.00___ZZF

The case is too varying to really classify, I'll allow a nice $500 budget for it considering how nice the MacPro cases are in reality...

Fancy Case_____________________________500.00

Total: $1909.00

We can call it $2000
hell, let us just call it $3000, just for kicks... and to make up for price changes and the little things that are missing ( sound, speakers, but NOT A MONITOR ).

Apple's Comparable Configuration

2x Xeon 2.66GHz
8GB DDR3 1066MHz ECC
1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
16X "SuperDrive"
Apple Wireless Keyboard
Wired Mouse ( +$20 for "magic" - which does look neat )

No other options selected.


I kid you not. Without a monitor.

I have spent about an hour, now, on this post, being careful to pick comparable, new, parts. The Xeon prices are of a bundle deal which includes both quad core CPUs. The motherboard's price was based upon new intel server boards, like those used in the MacPro, and the price is that of one of the few retail listing I found.

The worst of it all is that a used MacPro of those specs will sell for less than $1500 with warranty remaining. That is some terrible devaluation!!

But, for that "$3000" on the home-brew "$5000 MacPro-equal," you get a bit more to show for it, at worst. You get a 22x vs 16x "SuperDrive," and double the video memory.

The reality is you could easily pack in water cooling, a nice screen, awesome speakers, and a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, a copy of RebelEFI, and lease a copy of MacOS X for the extra money I threw in, at this writing.

Then, the extra money could be used to buy a nice Palm Pre and a new engine for your car. Or, you could give it to Apple so you can call them up once or twice in your lifetime, just because their tech support is SO awesome!

The choice is yours, but -if you buy a Mac for its value- I don't understand it. At least not from a logical standpoint.

If you tell me you simply love the machines, and you are really just buying into the image - I can understand that. You like the culture, the community, the elitism. You like the looks, whatever!

I am on my twelfth Volvo now, for pretty much just those reasons! But I don't delude myself to think I am getting the best value. I am getting a good value simply because I enjoy the feel of the car. I like the quirks, like having "confusing" door handles, round turn wheels to change the backrest angle, five cylinders, headlight washers, etc...

You tell me you like a Mac because of its character, I will be at a loss of how to combat that logic. It can't be beaten. Because it is true. And it is emotional. Logically, however, I should own a car that is easier & cheaper to repair with better gas mileage - I drive 2-3,500 miles/month @ 26-28MPG, a Toyota Corolla would give me 36mpg and would be cheaper all around... even if it needed to be replaced more often. And, logically, you should put your money where you get the most return.

Emotionally, you can get whatever you want, but you can't call it the best value. Not now, not ever.

--The loon

Reply Parent Score: 3