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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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

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

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.

They wouldn't add value in terms of performance. They would add value in terms of component quality.

Apple charges a premium because they need to make a profit.

I don't disagree with this point. However, I can't number of times I've heard "Apples are more expensive than PCs because they use better parts". I'm sure you've seen that in these forums. I explicitly pointed out that this was the myth I was trying the debunk. The idea that I was trying to say the G5 is a low quality machine is entirely your fabrication.

Your X2 is a piss poor example of a quality machine from a manufacturer because you built it.

Did I really say it was? I said the PowerMac's parts were lower in quality than my X2's. Nothing more, nothing less. Oh, and you could build a PC using premium parts. Boutique PC shops do this all the time. The simple truth is, that the quality of these boutique PCs is apparently higher than the quality of the PowerMac. That's all I intended to point out.

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 Lamborghini also uses very expensive Brembo brakes that cost as much as a small Kia. If the Lamborghini used the same brakes as a Ford Taurus, then we'd have a problem. And that's exactly the case here. The PowerMac has the reputation of a Lamborghini, but uses mostly the same parts as a Ford Taurus-like Dell.

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

All chips manufactured on the same design are not equal, due to manufacturing variability. The chips that can run at tight tolerances are higher-grade chips. Even if you run them at regular tolerances, they are still higher-grade chips that are less likely to fail.

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??!!!

Yes! This is, for example, why Burr Brown sells "K" grade DAC chips for a premium. Some chips on a manufacturing run just turn out better than others.

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.

The X2's memory controller handles low-latency DDR and ECC DIMMs equally well. I see no reason why the case would be different for DDR2.

<i?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. [/i]

Patriot. I said it yesterday in a reply to Japail.

Reply Parent Score: 1