Apple's big problem

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by stoaty35, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. stoaty35 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2002
    As I have just changed job, my work-supplied TiBook is being handed back so I am having to buy a new laptop. I have looked at what Apple has to offer (I am in the UK) and the prices, and the result is that for the first time since 1992 I wont have a Mac in the house.

    The ibook I am interested in is the 800 Mhz 14 inch combo drive version which costs (converting UK prices to US Dollars) $2164.00.

    Or alternatively I can get a Dell Inspiron 4150, with the same sort of spec, but with a screen which will run at 1400 x 1050 rather than 1024 x 768 (very important to me) for $1760.00. That is a big, big difference.

    I would much prefer to use OSX than XP from day to day. and in the past I have been more than happy to pay a premium to use a Mac, but I think the point Apple are at today is that the premium they are asking is just *too* much. This is especially true when you look at the bang for buck factor.

    For example, the iBook uses a pretty antiquated 800 Mhx G3, whilst the Dell alternative uses a far more powerful 1.8 Ghz mobile Pentium.

    I have also had money put aside to get a G4 desktop for months now, but we have the same in the desktop range. Over here the dual 1 Ghz G4 will set you back $3400.00 (if you take it with 512 ram).

    Again, we are asked to pay the premium, but when you look at the fact that *half* that amount will get you an Athlon based machine with TFT monitor (like the one I am writing this on) which - lets be honest now and forget Steve's favourite flakey Photoshop tests- will trounce the Mac speedwise at pretty much everything, then things don't look too rosey do they ?

    Please dont take this as an incitement for zealoutry - I am as much of a Mac nut as the rest of you are, I am just worried that Apple have taken their eye off the ball for way too long on this one.
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    If you will be able to work as well with your Dell and XP then that would seem like the better deal for you, but, then again will working with XP over OS X cause you more problems meaning your work load will take you longer than it need do. 'Speed' is not all that makes a machine quick ;)
  3. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    Re: Apple's big problem

    That sucks, can't you "buy it out" from them...
    no....don't go pc you'll never be happy with it.....

    Ouch that is a bit much, have you tried ebay, there may be someone selling a used ibook from the UK. Or one of the many resellers in the UK that may also be able to get you a better deal.
    Yes that is a big difference. But if you've used a mac for ten years you'll probably be very dissapointed in a pc.
    I think the ibook is an excellent value, it costs you more being in the UK but still.....
    Cough.....choke....excuse me..... the G3 is antiquated???? IBM has put more effort in to development of the G3 than Moto into the G4, the G3 also receives regular improvments and this current chip line is pretty powerful..Don't think just because the name G3 has been around that the chip is still the same one from 2 years ago...that would be a terribly wrong assumption. And the mobile pentiums are not the same as desktop pentiums where as the G3 your getting is powerful and full featured and not a special notebook chip.

    Say what you will about the price but the current G3 chips are good chips and the G3 has alot of life in it and a good roadmap for the near future.

    The 867 is a little cheaper and a great deal for the performance and will last you just as long as a dual gig at alot less $$$.
    I got to tell you, i work on both macs and pc's and unless you are working on the best PC money can buy or a custom built box for speed, the speed dif is really not terribly noticeable in comparable models of mac and pc from the same year. At least in my experience. Add to that the fact that OS X is a great OS experience and you have yourself a winner in the mac.
    I doubt apple has taken their eye off the ball. And i think apple knows that at the very high end that professionals want a little more processor ooomph under the hood for high end 3d, animation, and DV editting. But Also keep in mind that to survive on 5% of the market for over 20 years apple must be able to keep there customers coming back regardless, and it appears they have. So i don't think they "took their eye off the ball"... Maybe your just watching a different ball game.....
  4. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Those UK prices sound high...

    The Sahara G3 used in the iBook is not an antiquated chip either. The mobile pentium is an older design.

    I don't think the Dell laptop you compare is really comparable to the iBook, but it's hard to get a fix on Dell's features because they are constantly changing. Why don't you consider the 12" iBook?

    The 14" iBook is not a very good deal, and the screen resolution is poor. That is an older model. We expect that screen to be replaced soon with a higher-resolution one. (Maybe next week?)

    And another thing, don't use Apple's RAM prices. Third-party RAM is far less expensive.

    Using US prices, you can get the 700 MHz 12" iBook with 128MB RAM for $999, add 512MB RAM for $120, for a total of $1119. That's a lot cheaper than any comparable offering from Dell.

    However, I've heard that European purchasers pay premium prices, and I don't know why. A little, but not much, of it could be VAT.
  5. zoetropeuk macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2002
    Oxford UK
    This PC trouncing MAC speed comparison is getting really, really old and boring. People are missing the point behind Apples Dual Processor strategy, the DUAL being the operative word.
    If I gave you a dual 1.25Ghz Mac and a 3Ghz P4 and the following tasks to do:

    1. Colour correct, in Photoshop using a batch process say 50, 100mb images.
    2. Render 5 minutes worth of video effects in After Effects.
    3. Render a 30 sec 3D animation in Lightwave 7
    4. Stitch a hi-res panorama from 100 source files in PTMac
    5. Continue building a dynamic coldfusion web page in Dreamweaver

    Whilst the computer is doing the following in the background
    1. Playing iTunes all day.
    2. Checking the mail every 5 minutes
    3. Have address book open, synched via bluetooth to a t68i, constantly updating to do list, appointments, new contacts and changes.
    4. Running Coldfusion server, PHP and Apache
    5. Running JRun server
    6. Running the following Databases mySQL, Oracle 9i and Sybase 12
    7. Leave your calendar and chat program open
    8. Watching TV via firewire TV tuner
    9. Plus numerous other processes and apps.

    WITHOUT having to RESTART every 30 minutes.

    I bet you'd be blown away at the final outcome.

    This is the scenario that I am faced with on a day to day basis. At the office I am FORCED to USE a Sony PC and at home I have the luxury of using Macs. There is no way in the world that the PC would ever be as PRODUCTIVE at the end of the day as a DUAL G4, it's as simple as that.
    I agree that in a straight out single task the PC is faster but who works like that, I certainly dont !!!! I hate having to hold my breath everytime I switch between apps on the PC just in case it crashes just as my render queue reaches 98%

    If you don't agree with me then you need to read some of the productivity reports from the big agencies like Forresters reasearch. One paper I read clearly showed that in a typical production environment running state of the art equipment that a Mac based shop is, on average 40% more PRODUCTIVE than a PC based shop.

    A dragster is pretty quick in a straight line but I bet my civic could beat it to the corner store !!!!
  6. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    I know we get tired of car anologies....BUT i like this one. very nice...:D

    And just think you can make it to the corner store and back with a cup of coffee in your cup holder. How's that for multitasking. Try that in a dragster.....;)
  7. stoaty35 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2002
    Cubist - yes, the US prices are much more reasonable, but I am taling UK prices here which makes a big difference. For example, you mentioned the 700 Mhz 12 inch ibook, at $999. Well, taking the same base spec from the Apple UK store, UK price, converting that to USD at today's exchange rate, it comes out at $1362 which is approximately half as much again !

    My comment on the G3 as used in the ibook being antiquated should be looked at in the context of what you need to run OSX these days, and - lets be honest here - OSX does stretch that chip to its limit.

    Zoetropeuk: I take your point, but for more on the speed difference check out

    There are plenty of other similar tests around.

    My line of work centres around CD and web dev in Macromedia Director and Flash - I know that this is due also to Macromedia's Mac version of Flash MX, but spend some time in MX on a Mac and you will see what I mean about slowness.

    And as for restarting every 30 minutes, well the Tibook I am parting with next week was by far the most unstable machine I have worked with.

    I know this may be due to that particular machine (which in the space of a year had a new mobo, hard drive and case - to replace those lovely paint chippings!).

    My Athlon running XP never crashes, never had a BSOD. Yes, there is more messing around with drivers etc, but even that is far less of an issue than with previous versions of Windoze.

    Let me just reiterate something here - I am not trolling, yes I much much prefer Macs, yes OSX is the best OS around by miles and is only in its early stages and can only get better. Windows XP is nowhere near as nice to work in. Yes, since 92 I have always had macs (and PCs too, most of the time).

    In short, I am an Apple man - but that does not make me a zealout, blind to economic realities.

    My point is that - particularly in Europe - Apple has some serious work to do on the price - performance ratio. Whether that involves upping the performance (which I think the latest rev of G4s failed to do) or dropping the price, either is fine, but I believe they have an issue to face here, and they need to do it quickly.
  8. zoetropeuk macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2002
    Oxford UK
    I don't think you take the point at all. These speed comparison tests are futile. These tests are targeted towards power users and professionals, yet there is no relation to these tests and the WORKFLOW of the professionals who use these PC's or apps.

    I dont't know anyone that just sits and watches the screen while a DVD burns or an After Efftects composite is rendered. When somebody finally shows me some real world comparisons that include similar tasks being run concurrently then I might start listening. Have you ever tried doing ANYTHING else on a PC whilst burning a DVD, well you can't.

    I regularly work on files in photoshop that are over 1gb. I'm afraid at this level Windows XP cannot cope regardless of how fast the processor is. You could stick a 10,000ghz P10 in the thing and XP will still crap itself.

    Try working on a 300mb file in Photoshop while After Effects is rendering in the background on a PC, you can't without risking a crash. I just can't afford to have my machine crash and corrupt a file after its been rendering for 6 hours !!!

    Anyway enough said, I get more work done on a Mac then a PC fullstop. This allows me the time to do other things. So the next time your PC crashes and you waste a couple hours having to rerender or whatever, just think of me lying on the beach in the sun.
  9. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    Have you tried Ebay for a used machine from the UK??? Forget the apple store if you really want a mac you'll find a way to get one. Sound s to me like you've decided to go PC already and came here either looking for someone to help you justify the move(doubt you'll find tht here), or for someone to talk you out of it(which i doubt because you seem set in your mis-information on certain aspects of the comparison).
    I think you just destroyed any credibility you had left on the subject of the G3. I'm not sure where you got your info regarding requirements for OS X.

    In regards to what is needed to run OS X no where has anyone apple or otherwise said that a G4 is needed to run OS X. OS X on a new ibook would probably run smoother than on a rev A. Tibook because of the better graphics card in the new ibook being able to take advantage of Quartz to a greater degree. Of course if your doing high end graphics and video the G3 is not suited to this at all but otherwise the speed of OS X on a new ibook should not be noticeably less than what it would be on a G4.

    Unix can run on even the slowest of machines with ease and the OS X gui is largely handled by the new graphics cards and not very processor intensive, thus making OS X run well on any processor equipped machine provided the graphics card is up to standards. (16mb at the very least).

    I know what you mean, I do web design and development and flash mx has been sluggish on every mac i've used it on. Its slow on my tibook and it crashes often. This is not due to OS X but macromedia not fully optimizing flash for OS X. Look at how nice and smooth photoshop 7 is and its quite snappy, esecially compared to flash mx. So Flash being slow is macromedia's issue not OS X....

    Really??? i've had no problems with my Tibook and the poeple i worked with that also had them enjoyed them very much. Mine has never crashed on me since switching to OS X at version 10.0.4.
    My girlfriend has a new windows xp box. Only crashed once (internet explorer took it down). But it has a slew of other problems and drivers are still a pain...
    No one said your blind but some of your arguments are grossly misinformed. Like your G3 vs G4 being needed to run OS X smoothly. Your price arguement is quite valid, i can surely understand that. My girlfriend bought a pc because of the price difference but now she's seeing how much trouble even a new PC can be and hopes to be able to own a mac soon..
    Apple has recently cut prices on ibooks, powerbooks, and 15" flat panel imacs. Also the power mac prices stayed the same for the most part and apple added an extra processor(the dual 867 is a great buy) so I think the bang for the buck is better now than it has been in a while.....
  10. Pete W macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2002
    Petersfield, Hampshire, UK.
    About Those UK Prices.


    Cubist said 'Those UK prices sound high... '

    Sorry if I'm swinging the lamps but when I got my first Mac in 1988, one of the magazines quoted A**le (UK) marketing department as having said that they wanted the Mac to be 'a machine people aspired to'. That is, they were going to price it high.

    It was said that you could book an Apex return ticket from London to New York, buy an SE from a down-town 'box shifter', carry it back to Heathrow and pay the duty and VAT and you'd still have spent, all-in, less than the official UK list price (And yes, that includes the price of the flight).

    Of course, you got no warranty (did many of them go wrong? No.). And you might have had a job to find the pounds sign (£) instead of the hash (#) and the date might have been <mmddyy> instead of <ddmmyy> but you still had a fine computer.

    (Oh, by the way, I didn't get my SE that way; I don't like flying! But after a lot of telephone calls, I did find a supplier who didn't take list prices too seriously. ;) )

    That marketing decision must have cost Apple lots and lots of sales and has resulted in the advantages and virtues of the Mac being concealed from thousands of potential users by a local and artificial stigma of high price.

    If only they'd decided to go for volume rather than per-item profit!!

    But then they do say that hindsight is an exact science! :)
  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    in the past when the pc machines were not multimedia oriented, it was easy to say, "go mac"

    certainly apple has fallen behind, but the price differentials are not as extreme here in the us, but still many are buying pcs due to the lower price and the greater amount of features for the money

    let's see what happens next week
  12. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    if the dell works better for ya, with pricing the way it is, more power to ya. I don't blame you - i've stopped recommending consumer Macs to friends. It's becoming harder and harder to justify the price difference, OS X notwithstanding... admit it people, processor speed is a problem. Dual processors aren't available in iBooks, so stop spouting about that... And MHz myth aside, they're continuing to outpace us. How long before you guys admit these processors just aren't keeping up? Does Intel need to produce a 4GHz, 5, 6, what?

    i'm starting to wonder what apple's going to do. Something drastic i hope, it could take years to catch up speedwise... for every MHz we gain, it seems like they gain 5.

  13. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    i agree, we need to work it so that at least for every 2Mhz they gain we gain 1. At least. and that is from an even starting point.

    Now a 5Mhz a day if they didnt speed up at all, it would take 362 days to catch up. in other words a year.

    The only way i see us catching up anytime soon (i.e. in the next 2yrs) is if we make 700Mhz - 1Ghz jumps every revision, which occurs 6-12months apart.

    well go for the dell. i didnt. the only problem i have had. msn messenger is super dooper unstable.

    but then that is MS paying apple back for not pushing OS X enough. oh well.
  14. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    benixau> forget the offical client! check out proteus you'll never look back!

    in the more general discussion of speed comparions, apple is just too expensive. speed is not such an issue, the prices of a consumer computer (with the exception of the ibook) are simply not on par. and as paulwhannel said, i too have found it difficult to reconmend the mac.

    right now, mac has one outstanding feature: OS X. i do think machine aesthetic really counts.
  15. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    I think you have it backwards here. And you would recommend, what, a $1700+ PowerMac? I bought my first Mac recently (iBook) because I think it's the best value in a mobile laptop. The only reason it doesn't work for stoaty35 is because he needs a higher resolution screen than the 12.1" iBook's 1024x768. What I would say is I would recommend Apple's laptops to friends, but not the desktops (unless money was no object).

    Personally, I wish Apple would translate its recent iBook strategy to the CRT iMac. From everything I've read Apple had a surge of iBook sales since the speed bump/price cut. If Apple would put the 800MHz Sahara G3 and ATI Radeon 7500 in the CRT iMac, and drop the price to $699 or lower, I think they'd have a winner on their hands. I don't think they'd be cannibalizing sales, I think they would be picking up new sales. And a $699 (or $599) iMac that gets the same performance as my iBook is definitely a consumer Mac that I wouldn't hesistate to recommend to my non-power-user, non-gamer friends.
  16. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    i did. prtoeus is hard to use. it has options that are not relevant. it cant tell me which email box my mail is in. it doesnt get my list from the server. shall i go on. ii do however give it credit for one thing, and one only, it is cocoa.
  17. macmusix macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    SE Asia
    apple's big problem

    Stoaty35 has a few points that would be foolish to overlook (especially by the corporate Apple people):
    - I've been working both on G3s and G4s and it is a fact that the G4 chip tends to crash on me, what never happens with the same applix on the G3.
    - As cool as OS X may be, there are applix that just don't exist or run under OS X. ANY Pro Audio guy will have to use OS 9 for example, there is stil too much stuff missing under OS X.
    - Outside the US Apple machines are unbelievably expensive, particularly when you compare them to "apparently similar" Win machines. I live in SE Asia and I know what I'm talking about.

    The only "positive" thing I could tell our UK friend is that I am using a Mac because:
    - for my use Win machines are still so much worse.
    - And frankly: If Win XP is not crashing (what would surprise me) there's a lot a big lot of applix that require another version of Win - and that is quite bad.

  18. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    Price Help!!

    If you have a good friend here in the US you should send him money for a TiBook or iBook and have him buy it here in the US. Then he can ship it to you. That way you can afford the TiBook without breaking the bank. Besides shipping is only like $40. Well worth the $500 UK difference. I feel so sorry fot you good luck though please don't cross over! Try my idea!
  19. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    The G3+SIMD unit = G4.

    G3 @ 1Ghz = G4 @ 900Mhz if using alti-vec optimized app.

    G3 @ 1Ghz = G4 @ 1.25Ghz (wierd!) if using non-alti-vec app (i.e. 98% of OS X apps).

    you chose which is a better architecture.

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