Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Dec 2009 19:59 UTC
Apple "Apple has added new build-to-order options for some of its Mac Pro and Xserve models. Specifically, a 3.33GHz 3500-series Xeon processor is now an option for the lower-end quad-core Mac Pro. Also, Apple now offers a 2TB drive option for both Mac Pros and Xserves."
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I really do not get it
by alcibiades on Sat 5th Dec 2009 07:58 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

I've recently bought two machines for people, and am about to buy a couple more for others, and in each case they asked me whether they should consider a Mac.

In each case I say to them, if that's what you want, we can buy it. But to me it looks like going out shopping for ordinary middle class travel luggage, and asking the assistant, should I consider Louis Vuitton? Or shopping for your kids' school uniforms, and wondering if you should take a walk down Saville Row.

One is a charity, another is a small business with quite a bit of graphics, another does heavy graphics on a big screen, another is just looking for small form factor and nothing very intensive. All are on budgets. If you want, we can give the spec of the machines we are going to get, which do seem to meet their needs perfectly well, and you can tell me what from the Mac line I should be recommending. It looks to me like the choice is, if they want a Mac, to spend several times the money and get nothing that meets the need any better. But we can always learn.

Here for example is one

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/176488

Any suggestions?

Just don't get it.

Edited 2009-12-05 08:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: I really do not get it
by shotsman on Sat 5th Dec 2009 17:59 in reply to "I really do not get it"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

The only redeming thing about the system you linked to is that you can buy it without having to pay the Microsoft Tax.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I really do not get it
by alcibiades on Sun 6th Dec 2009 08:44 in reply to "RE: I really do not get it"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Are you going to be more specific? What exactly is wrong with it? I genuinely want to know. And what would you suggest from the Mac lineup instead?

I'd also be interested in considered opinions about the itx that we are considering, if anyone is willing to offer serious comment on it, I'll supply the spec on that too.

Edited 2009-12-06 08:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I really do not get it
by cranfordio on Sun 6th Dec 2009 14:21 in reply to "I really do not get it"
cranfordio Member since:
2005-11-10

Looking at the specs of that computer, which I have to say are not very detailed, I would say a Mac Mini is the closest to this in terms of specs. The mini will cost you twice as much (not several times), but there are some advantages of the mini. The mini has 802.11n wireless, bluetooth 2.1, 10/100/1000 ethernet, two video ports. The mini also uses DDR3 memory, which probably also means it has a faster system bus. The mini comes with an Operating System, it may not be a cost issue for you but an OEM version of Windows Home Premium 7 (32-bit) is about $100, but of course linux is free. What the mini does not have is PCI slots, that for some people is what would stop them from ever buying one, but if you are never going to add any pci cards then does it really matter. Also, the wireless, bluetooth, 1000 ethernet, and faster memory may be a non-issue, which if it is then this computer is definitely a better buy.

Some people will mention support, If you are the type of person, like myself, that never calls for support then it doesn't really matter. If you do call for support, or are recommending it to people who would call the manufacturer instead of you, then this is where Apple really shines. Since Apple does both the hardware and the software it is one call for all support. But of course everyone has different experiences so it is hard to put a dollar figure on that.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I really do not get it
by alcibiades on Mon 7th Dec 2009 07:15 in reply to "RE: I really do not get it"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Thanks for an objective response. Seems to be sourced from Zoostorm. The processor is a 6300 2.8Ghz and there is 4G memory.

From a review: Inside, it is very well laid out and feels extremely well built. There are 3 free hard drive bays, and space for another CD/DVD drive. The installed hard disk is a Hitachi Deskstar 500gb with about 485gb usable space. The power supply is rated at 255W and runs virtually silent. The case fan and CPU fan are noiser, but not obtrusive. The CPU is cooled by a non-standard Akansa fan and heatsink, and runs very cool (around 30 degress C)....Motherboard is a Foxconn G31 and the bios is Phoenix.

Dunno, what's wrong with it?

I had estimated several times the price for a Mac, because looking at the Mini series, to match the processor speed and memory and disk capacity, you had to go to better than the entry level model. But maybe you don't need to match it, the entry Mini spec, though lower, would probably be adequate.

We will put Debian or maybe Mandriva One on it, but legitimate copies of XP are selling for around UK 35 now.

I thought about this, it was not just a silly instant prejudiced judgment, and I can't see recommending anyone buy the Mini over this. To match the spec more or less really is going to cost several times the price, and for what? If you only spend double, you are getting a machine with much lower performance. Why exactly do that? The great advantage of the mini is that it takes up less space and is highly portable. This is not really an advantage in the office of a modest charity. To spend more to get something lower spec, less expandable, and more stealable? Why?

I should write up the other choices we are currently looking at, and people can see how it is in the real world when someone asks you whether they should consider a Mac for their application.

The point about support is legitimate, there is no comparable calling point for this system to the ability to call Apple. But this is coming at what is, for these users, a fairly high price. These are people who seriously shop to save pennies. Linux has its costs too, if an end user is going to be heavily into devices, cameras, scanners, audio, its hard to see leaving them alone with Debian. But XP should be fine.

Reply Parent Score: 2