Apple Overpriced? Perhaps not...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by thatwendigo, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. thatwendigo macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Sum, Ergo Sum.
    #1
    While many in the mac community, and elsewhere, claim that the PowerPC systems that Apple offers are overpriced, there is often little that can be said about what such systems would cost if built with commodity parts. This is changing, as more and more companies hop onto the Power architecture, and it is exactly this phenomenon I would like to comment on.

    Some of you are no doubt aware of the PegasOS movement, which is a PowerPC machine/OS bundle initiative. They pretty much allow others to manufacture the hardware, while providing the Morph software as the underlying pinnings.

    With that in mind, only one of the US distributors does anything like openly stating what they charge. I give you the independent, commodity-built PowerPC tower:

    Pegasos II/PPC
    Nexus Vivid Blue case w/ 330W psu (Screwless design for easy future modifications)
    Pegasos II Mainboard and Motorola G4 Processor @ 1Ghz (133mhz FSB)
    ATI Radeon 9200 8x 128MB Graphics card
    40GB Hard Disk Drive
    256MB (DDR400) PC3200 RAM
    Standard Keyboard and Mouse
    Standard CDRW drive

    Cost: $1,495

    More specifically, the Pegasos II mainboard
    # MicroATX mainboard (236 mm x 172 mm), compatible with all ATX-compliant cases.
    # Open Firmware .
    # MV64361 Discovery II System Controller from Marvell.
    # PC2100 RAM , two sockets for DDR-266 with up to 8 gigabytes total.
    # AGP slot .
    # PCI subsystem with three 32bit, 33MHz slots, optional Riser Card.
    # IEEE1394/Firewire providing 100, 200 or 400 megabits of data bandwidth.
    # Gigabit ethernet provided by the Marvell Discovery II MV64361
    # 10/100 megabit ethernet using a VIA Rhine controller.
    # USB subsystem giving two external connectors and one internal connector, provided by the VIA 8231 chipset.
    # SPDIF digital audio connector.
    # AC97 sound subsystem with microphone input, line in/out and headset connector, provided by the Sigmatel STAC 9766 codec.
    # IRDA for infra-red remote control.
    # ATA100-compatible IDE support with two channels for up to four ATA devices, provided by the VIA 8231 chipset.
    # Two PS/2 connectors for use with standard PS/2 mice and keyboards.
    # Serial (RS232) port.
    # Parallel (Centronics) port.
    # Gameport for PC-compatible joysticks.
    # Floppy drive connector.
    # Two operating systems included: MorphOS , Debian GNU/Linux with Mac-on-Linux .

    Apple G5 1.6 Single
    Apple G5 case w/ 600w PSU (You know how easy these things are to get into)
    Apple G5 Mainboard and IBM G5 processor @ 1.6ghz (800mhz FSB)
    ATI Radeon 9600 Pro (AGP 8x)
    80GB SATA HD
    256 MB PC3200 RAM
    CD-DVD Combo Drive
    Apple USB Keyboard and Optical Mouse
    iLife
    OSX 10.3.3

    Cost: $1,620 (no specials, rebates, or anything else)

    Apple overpriced? For less than $150 more, you get a G5 at higher clock, more drive on SATA, a better graphics card, a better optical drive, and all the benefits of Apple's components being integrated and not using Linux drivers.

    Booya.
     
  2. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #2
    maybe we should redo this with comparing apples to a computer people actually buy, more liek a dell,compaq/hp, or gateway.

    iJon
     
  3. thatwendigo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

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    #3
    Why? That wasn't my point. Everyone talks about how the PowerPC ought to cost the same as some PC vendor, but what I did was find another PowerPC vendor that is selling their own boxes. You're getting much older technology (in general) and far less per dollar than you do from Apple.

    Besides, most people's idea of a "fair" comparison for macs and PCs is taking a machine from one of the mosts independent, reasearch-oriented companies in the game (Apple) and then setting it beside a no-profit, all-commodity box that a PC OEM doesn't even have to do any R&D for (other than their cheap plastic molding).

    So, there's a PowerPC system and it's sold by someone other than Apple.
     
  4. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    Dress Rosa
    #4
    So basically it's the use of PPC that makes Apple more expensive than x86 overall.

    Kinda like comparing an RCA 19" TV (x86) with Sony HDTV 65" TV (PPC).

    right?
     
  5. thatwendigo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

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    #5
    Well, to be fair, it's more like comparing a "high-definition" but cheaper big screen TV at Wal-Mart, where cheap is the rule, to a brand-name true HDTV system. The price premium is mainly an illusion, and comes because of a difference in parts and quality of features.

    Yes, you can watch your movies on the cheaper system, yes it will do most of the same things, but... If you know the difference, is it really worth skimping if your experience could be better?
     
  6. plasticparadox macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    #6
    I think that the 'luxury' status of Macs is a stereotype of the past. If people could get over the megahertz fixation, then we would see more people recognizing the value in buying from Apple.
     
  7. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Maryland
    #7
    Megahertz fixation is NOT the problem. Why do so many gamers choose AMD over Pentiums? If people weren't smart enough, tweakers would still be running Celerons (which sadly, still does not compare, even to the value 2500+ Barton that runs at only 1.83ghz).

    these two pictures from Hexus.net reveal the story:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    $75 for the 1.83ghz AMD chip
    $125 for the underpowered, 2.80ghz Intel Celeron.

    Obvious decision?
     
  8. thatwendigo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

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    #8
    Charts and figures aside, we're not talking about overlcockers, who tend to actually pay attention to things about the systems they're buying (at least to some degree). People who don't know about computers do fall prey to the megahertz myth, and that's one reason that Intel is trying to backpedal on years of marketing expenditure. The Centrino laptops are being outsold in some places because the P4-M and Celeron are both higher clock and cheaper, which many people take to mean they're a better deal.
     
  9. Torajima macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    I have. When I purchased a dual G5 for our office, it was about $200 cheaper than a comparable Dell.

    The current line of eMacs is surprisingly competitive as well.
     
  10. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #10
    i think what most do is look at the cheapest dell ($499, etc.) and cheapest apple (eMac, $799). they do this and think "apple is expensive" - even though they are not comparably equipped.

    i haven't really heard of anyone complaining that apple is expensive compared to other PPC computers. i think this is the point ijon was making.
     
  11. thatwendigo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

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    #11
    Yes, but the point I was making is that the PowerPC could very well be a more expensive platform, period. If that's the case, then you have to take that into account when comparing across the formats.
     
  12. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #12
    when apple finally gets something down to being "cheap" like 1099 ibook or 799 emac, then the pc world has a 899 laptop and 599 tower/crt setup which is basically comprable...not as pretty or rugged, but as functional

    apple inc will never catch up in cheapness, dollar for dollar
     
  13. haiggy macrumors 65816

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    Ontario, Canada
    #13
    You guys are all bashing this guy up. I appreciate how he took the time to look up some good info. I think he's right, Apple isn't so expensive after all.
     
  14. PowerMacMan macrumors 6502

    PowerMacMan

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    #14
    I agree
     
  15. iBunny macrumors 65816

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    I used to think all macs were expensive until i looked into them. I was just so used to building my own PC's....
     
  16. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #16
    i know the point you were making. i was just trying to explain what iJon was saying and put that into context.

    not many people buy PPC computers. your claim that PPC computers by default cost more so Macs may not be overpriced compared to them is 100% valid. no argument about it and thanks for the orig. post on this issue.

    however, most consumers who'd compare shop do so between Macs and Windows PCs. and frankly, most of them don't care about PPC computers. so telling them that the components are PPC so they naturally cost more isn't very useful. it's correct, but not very useful. i think that's all iJon was saying.
     
  17. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

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    #17

    then it wouldn't be a fair comparison... here hes comparing PPC to PPC. Otherwise, he'd be comparing PPC to Wintel.
     
  18. thatwendigo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

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    #18
    If your idea of "functional" includes integrated graphics and other such cost-cutting measures, then I suppose that you're right. However, we're still comparing machines that were built by companies with vastly differreny revenue streams in most cases. With the exception of Dell, nobody in the game is a large distributor that is also a profit on their computers. HP, Sony, and the others are typically propped up on some other electronics sales (whether servers and enterprise or cameras, printers, and consumer devices), so that they can sell their computers as cheaply as humanly possible.

    Indeed.

    Don't try to out-Dell Dell.

    Oh, I don't know about that. Three-quarters of a million people isn't pocket change, and it's about the same number of cars that BMW sold in the same timespan.

    It's plenty useful if you explain to them why PPC is a superior architecture, why the design is going to keep going strong, and why they should worry about Microsoft bloatware and the problems of PCs. Most consumers want value for money, and while many aren't all that keen on paying more for something that lasts, you could certainly show them how TCO for macs tends to be far lower than those "better" PCs in the long run.
     
  19. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #19
    i said not many people buy PPC. i didn't say not many buy Macs. i guess you aren't seeing my point.
     
  20. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #20
    Macs are PPC-based anyway - are you comparing the number of PPC buyers to the total number of buyers? to the total non-PPC buyers? Mac buyers to total buyers? Mac buyers to non-Mac buyers? It's unclear to me.
     
  21. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #21
    Either thatwendingo got too busy to answer those questions, or those questions cause his argument to fall apart. I'd like answers because it's unclear to me as well.
     
  22. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

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    Maryland
  23. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Las Vegas, NV
    #23
    yeah, thanks... well, after 6 months I suppose the original poster could have researched the answers and returned with his findings.
     
  24. joshua_msu macrumors regular

    joshua_msu

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    chicago (formerly detroit)
    #24
    If you buy Dell through Slick Deals, which is totally legit. This is what you can get for $1162 today only.


    Dimension 8400 3.2GHz, 19" LCD, X800SE
    Select 1GB DDR2, 160GB HD, DVD+-RW, Free 19" LCD & X800SE options.

    Specs
    Pentium 4 Processor 530 with HT Technology (3.2GHz, 800 FSB)
    Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz (2x512M)
    Dell Quietkey Keyboard
    FREE UPGRADE! 19 in E193FP Flat Panel Display
    Video Card 128MB PCI Express x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon X800 SE
    Hard Drive 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    Mouse Dell 2-button scroll mouse
    Network Interface Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
    Modem 56K PCI Data/Fax Modem
    Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
    Sound Card Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio
    WordPerfect, Powerful Word Processing
    1Yr Ltd Warranty, 1Yr At-Home Service, and 1Yr Technical Support


    Id take that over the 1.6 any day, Windows or not. Also comes with a 19 inch LCD.
     

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