Linked by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 15th Nov 2005 17:44 UTC
Apple I recently bought one of the new dual core PowerMacs. Having used the machine for a couple of weeks, I thought I would share some of my observations and feelings about it. First, let me get my biases out in the open. I have, for about four years, very happily used Linux on my desktop. Doing so has made me very comfortable with the UNIX environment in general, and with GNOME specifically. During that time, I have used OS X machines on a regular basis, so I am quite comfortable in that environment as well. Since I switched to Linux, I have not used Windows for anything more than the occasional bit of software testing or lab work, and generally feel quite uncomfortable with it. Thus, this article is very much written from the perspective of someone who finds OS X and Linux pleasing on principle. I implore the reader to make his own value judgments based on my comments.
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Arun
Member since:
2005-07-07

The constraints of the processor don't change the status of the brand, which is the whole point of this. The RAM shipped in the PowerMac isn't 'premium' memory, it's just common OEM memory. Do you think I'm suggesting Apple pay $50+ more for memory? No. The cost doesn't match the benefit.

I just don't get where you are explaining he value add of the premium memory here.

Well reliability is another matter. It isn't any faster when used there.

Exactly so what good is the premium memory in the G5?

Your good friend BMW makes a lot of budget cars.

Really name a budget BMW branded model.

The entire computing industry isn't desktop computers.

Now you are talking sense. I can garauntee that nobody but hobbist builders, gaming enthusiasts and overclockers use OCZ, Corsair or Mushkin DIMMs in the majority of the entire computing industry.

In fact the computing industry at large doesn't consist of 'premium' products. No aggregate does. That's not premium, that's average. What does your watch need with 800MHz DDR2?

Finally some more sense. You got is Apple is another manufacturer in the entire computer industry and doesn't target the same people OCZ, mushkin, Corsair, alienware, northwest falcon do. That is a very small segment of the entire industry.

Samsung, micron, Infineon make products for the rest of the industry. Products that go into servers that need 99% uptime. And hence end up in a PowerMac at cl4-4-4-12 for reliablity first and foremost.

HPC has nothing to do with this discussion. That's not even remotely the same market.

HPC is not the only other market. Oh dear... this is going to take long. Have you heard of reliable systems for multibillion $$ buisnesses. HPC is one market out of many. There is a market for mainframes.

Look at BlueGene/L it uses 700Mhz PPC cores. The doesn't use the fast whiz bang enthusiast rig for performance.


Buying high-performance desktop memory for anything that require reliability is retarded.

I am glad you agree. The powermac is designed for reliability hence the ability to use ECC memory. So I guess they sacrificed a little performance for it. But thier customers ( the guy that buy 10s and 100s of PowerMacs for business) sure will appreciate the thought put into reliability.

You as an indivudual probably won't.

Though the processor concern is a little amusing. Multicore Xeons and Opterons will fill far more slots on the Top500 than the PowerMac will.

I am sure IBM openPower boxes will show up they use the same cpu. Infact the BlueGene/L is using a PPC cpu. Guess who makes the G5 aka PPC 970MP.

If you want to pay in latency, cost, and space you can implement all sorts of codes. I'm not sure what that matters to the discussion of the G5 and the Athlon64, since they don't.

It does. Because Apple clearly chose reliability over low latency for the G5. Rayiner chose performance over reliability. Apple makes computers for millions of customers, Rayiner made one for himself. The decision making process is significantly different.


I think I've been clear-enough about what I've stated that precludes the lack of any process improvements from producing superior products. I think I've been perfectly clear from the onset that 1) You shouldn't compare brands you should compare models 2) If you're going to compare brands, then the brands considered "premium" are not Samsung, Micron, et al 3) The reason they're considered premium are previously outlined


So by your rationale even though a value model of Corsair is a premium brand not all thier products are premium.

Ok what is the brand in Rayiner's X2 since it isn't really memtioned in the article. For all you know it is a no name generic brand.

Reply Parent Score: 1

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

I just don't get where you are explaining he value add of the premium memory here.

The value added isn't the point here. Mac folks like to point out that Mac hardware is of very high quality. They say it uses premium components, with the implication that it justifies their premium prices. We all seem to agree that there are no (save perhaps for the motherboard) premium components in the PowerMac. The hard drive is commodity, the fans are commodity, the RAM is, by your own admission, not premium, etc. So what's the argument?

Now you are talking sense. I can garauntee that nobody but hobbist builders, gaming enthusiasts and overclockers use OCZ, Corsair or Mushkin DIMMs in the majority of the entire computing industry.

Boutique computer places will often use premium memory. People are always comparing Apple to boutique computer places, with the implication of similar attention to using quality parts.

Samsung, micron, Infineon make products for the rest of the industry. Products that go into servers that need 99% uptime. And hence end up in a PowerMac at cl4-4-4-12 for reliablity first and foremost.

The reliability argument is not a very good one. Premium components cost more for a reason --- the chips are binned to find the ones that can handle tight tolerances. The chips are placed on low-noise PCBs with lots of layers that allow for better wire routing. Samsung doesn't use their best chips in their generic RAM. They sell their best chips to companies like OCZ and Mushkin. If you don't overclock them, they are still higher-quality chips that will likely be more reliable. They are still built on higher-quality PCBs, which will make them more reliable.

I am glad you agree. The powermac is designed for reliability hence the ability to use ECC memory. So I guess they sacrificed a little performance for it. But thier customers ( the guy that buy 10s and 100s of PowerMacs for business) sure will appreciate the thought put into reliability.

I'm curious. Does your PowerMac have ECC memory? No? Then why are you going on an on about it? The previous-generation PowerMacs couldn't use ECC memory. Does that mean they weren't professional machines?

It does. Because Apple clearly chose reliability over low latency for the G5.

There is not a trade-off here between reliability and low-latency. Premium memory can run at low latency because it uses better chips and better PCBs. These help reliability, not hurt it.

Rayiner chose performance over reliability.

Yes, I drone on and on about 10% performance differences being unnoticeable, but I buy low-latency memory for the extra 2% performance boost. Please, give me a little credit. I bought premium memory precisely for the reliability aspect. They use better chips, better PCBs, and have better warranties.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Arun Member since:
2005-07-07

The value added isn't the point here. Mac folks like to point out that Mac hardware is of very high quality. They say it uses premium components, with the implication that it justifies their premium prices. We all seem to agree that there are no (save perhaps for the motherboard) premium components in the PowerMac. The hard drive is commodity, the fans are commodity, the RAM is, by your own admission, not premium, etc. So what's the argument?

Please don't post out of context. The value add discussion was pointed at the fact that using Corsair's high performance DIMMS in a G5 would add value. It clearly doesn't.

Apple charges a premium because they need to make a profit. They do thier own industrial design and probably pay IBM a boatload for PPC chips and have development costs for MacOS X, ilife, final cut studio, Aperture. Which Dell,lenovo, Gateway and other manufacturers don't. Apple also doesn't have the volumes that Dell does to subsidize price.

Your X2 is a piss poor example of a quality machine from a manufacturer because you built it. For Apple a $1 here and there adds up to millions in volume for parts and inventory. How about you build 50 of those X2s and sell them and see what components you pick and what price you can sell it for. I can garauntee you you wouldn't sell it for what you paid for it.

The problem is you are comparing your hobby with a business. The rules of engagement are different.

Boutique computer places will often use premium memory. People are always comparing Apple to boutique computer places, with the implication of similar attention to using quality parts.

Apple is a boutique computer place because thier industrial designs are second to none and they make industrial funtional art. People covet them and imitate them. A lambhorgini Gallardo and uses koni FSD shocks and brembo brakes does that mean it isn't worth the price premium because you can find those same components in the market and put in your car? A lancer evo FSQ out runs or is similar to a ferrari F430 0-60 and has after market parts that could arguably considered premium race grade. Does it make the ferrari any less special?


The reliability argument is not a very good one. Premium components cost more for a reason --- the chips are binned to find the ones that can handle tight tolerances.


The permium components are only binned to run at lower latencies. What good is it in a G5?

Samsung doesn't use their best chips in their generic RAM. They sell their best chips to companies like OCZ and Mushkin. If you don't overclock them, they are still higher-quality chips that will likely be more reliable. They are still built on higher-quality PCBs, which will make them more reliable.

Really. So a top speed bin P4 say able to clock at 3.8 ghz running @ 3.4 Ghz is a higher quality chip than a P4 of the exact same model binned to run at 3.4Ghz @3.4Ghz??!!!

I'm curious. Does your PowerMac have ECC memory? No? Then why are you going on an on about it? The previous-generation PowerMacs couldn't use ECC memory. Does that mean they weren't professional machines?

They were professional machines but probably lost sales in segments that requirted ECC. Apple probably wants to target those segments or got a lot of feedback from existing customers requesting the feature or both.

There is not a trade-off here between reliability and low-latency. Premium memory can run at low latency because it uses better chips and better PCBs. These help reliability, not hurt it.

Sure premium memory is found in all the highend boxes and servers, Right? I wonder why the use registered ECC memory for those applications and not Corsair, OCZ or Mushkin low latency reliable higher quality DRAM chips.

Apple has to support both types of memory. I am not aware of a memory contorller that can handler both low latency DDR2 and ECC DIMMs equally well.

I bought premium memory precisely for the reliability aspect. They use better chips, better PCBs, and have better warranties.

What brand did you buy for crying out loud? I have asked you many times already. You didn't even mention it in the article. What is this super reliable fast memory that you keep harping about?

Edited 2005-11-16 22:39

Reply Parent Score: 1