why is apple so far behind?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by thorshammer88, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #1
    Hello, this is my first post on the forums here. Until recently I new little about Macs, after talking about my frustration with PC's with my friend he suggested I look into getting a Mac. Ive been researching a lot over the past two months and I and close to sure that I would like to get one. One thing that I dont understand is why are apple's so much more expensive then PC's while being slower and using cheap video cards as the standard? My brother just bought a dell with a 3.8 ghz processor, a gig of ram, and a 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 GTO Graphics Card for $1700. The computer I am typing this on was bought in December of 2001 and is 1.6 ghz. I am not saying anything bad about Apple just curious as to what the story is with this because Im new and very interested in getting a Mac. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #2
    They're expensive because they're Macs and that's the way Apple likes it. (It's the reason that they, along with Dell, are two of the few profitable PC companies). As for using cheap video cards as the standard, I wouldn't say that's really true. A 256MB 6800 is a top of the line card and is not really necessary for most home users.

    As for clock speeds, you can't directly compare x86 (Intel / AMD) to PPC (Mac). They have different architectures and just aren't the same.
     
  3. macrumors member

    tateusmaximus

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    sydney
    #3
    the architecture of each processor is so different you cant compare them. same with AMD and pentium. i am a recently converted windows->mac mover, and although i still enjoy my PC when i use it, the mac is a much better machine. although the mac is noticably not as quick as my P4 3.0GHz, it works! everything just works with a mac. no fluffing around changing thi and that to get the PC to do what you want it to do, that mac just does it... just slightly slower.

    and they look alot nicer too!
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #4
    The processing speed aren't comparable because of different setups in their architectures. You really can't compare any processors. The AMD, Pentium 4, and the Centrino are all gauged differently, and the speeds aren't really comparable.
     
  5. macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #5
    Also remember, clock speeds are a marketing tool to sell computers. Don't buy a computer just on the speed of the processor alone, look at other factors such as hard drive and the amount of memory and graphics cards ect ect
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #6
    hey thor,

    good job on researching this topic, as it is very convoluted and controversial, not only on the mac web but also in pc land. there is no easy answer, but in my real life experience my pc at work runs at 3.6 ghz and my 1.33 pb seems like it can handle more, more tasks, more programs without bogging down or crashing...i really can do things faster and that really amazed me! and basically that's what it really comes down to. AMD knew this two years ago when they started marketing their chips as 2000xp+, not according to the actual mhz. the mhz wars are over anyway, so who cares.

    look at linux, i did before coming to mac. seems to me that linux runs faster and better on the same hardware than win xp. but (and there's a big one), if you want it for gaming then there is no comparison. when video chip makers market their cards for the mass market, of course the windows world will win on price and quality due to the huge market share.

    i don't care about gaming, i play halo on my pb @ 35 fps and madden on my ps2
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #7
    AFAIK, Apple is not behind, they are ahead.

    The hardware is two years old (in some cases) but the OS is four years ahead of win xp! hello Longhorne :confused:
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #8
    Thanks for all the replies, Ive never had this many responses so fast on any forum. So what you are all telling me is that mhz ratings dont mean anything? two 1.8 ghz computers can run very differently? So what is the point in this rating if it means little besides marketing? Manzana, that is pretty amazing to hear that you feel your 1.33 pb is running more efficiently than the 3.6 pc, are you speaking about running the same apps on each? In regards to PC's winning on price and quality, I kind of figured that since they probably are putting in a ton more money into R&D. One last thing though, if the whole mhz rating is a marketing ploy, why isnt apple doing what they can to get theirs up to compete better with pc's? Thanks again for the help
     
  9. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Why are the paper specifications important to you? More important is the real world productivity and experience of using the machine. What are you wanting to do with your computer?

    Your brother spent extra on a high capacity 3-D gaming card. I'll say this up front: if playing the latest 3-D games (and continually spending $$$ to keep the gaming machine on the cutting edge) are the main reason for the computer, stick with Windows.

    But a 256 Mb video card is absolutely unneccessary for 2-D applications such as most graphic, audio and office productivity software.

    Part of the performance of a system has to be the performance of the OS, as well as the applications themselves.

    So throw out the spec sheets, make a prioritized list of what you want the machine to accomplish for you, and visit an Apple dealer to get some hands on time. Judge for yourself whether the machines are fast enough, and whether the user experience is going to make you happy.

    Now I have to get back to my Pentium 4 machine to figure out why it sponteneously has stopped networking, why the SATA drive that worked last week is now on a mutually exclusive-turf war with the DVD-RW, why it stops printing, but only after being on for 6 hours, and do my weekly round of BIOS upgrades, anti-virus, firewall and spyware upgrades. (Seriously, I worked on the thing til 4 AM last night, finally got a reply from MSI today saying that the BIOS setup has to be changed to a counter-intuitive setting. Rebooting for the 30th time, waiting 10 minutes each time for it to finish booting).

    If you go Mac, you are saying goodbye to a lifetime study of trying to be a Windows security and compatibility expert.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #10
    yes, the operating system is what is really attractive about the Mac, at least for me. playing around at the apple store without touching a Mac for almost 20 years and I was doing things I couldnt imagine learning on my PC. Come on though two years is an eternity in the computer world
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #11
    Yes. Two identically configured computers will usually run the same, but if you are comparing PowerPC (Apple) to AMD or AMD to Intel or any permutation of the above, you aren't comparing apples to apples.

    Very little. That's why Intel and AMD have both moved away from using it directly in the model numbers of the processors.

    Dell may put a lot into R&D on making their operations more efficient to widen their margins but they aren't doing much R&D on their basic systems. Apple on the other hand innovates and pushes the industry further. They were the first mainstream system to use water cooling, and that's just the latest of their "firsts".

    I think you just answered your own question...If it's a marketing ploy, why should Apple play along? As I mentioned earlier, they are one of very few profitable PC companies. They might not have huge marketshare but they are good at what they do.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #12
    Yes Ram, all those things you have mentioned is what is making me want to switch. in regards to the video card, I have a ps2 so video cards dont make a difference to me. The point I was trying to make was how much PC you get for the price compared to Mac, regardless of how Apple has the better OS and more reliable hardware. Im really not trying to upset anybody, but when I see how much PC I can get for an Apple it makes it even harder for me to click the place order button on apple's website
     
  13. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #13
    Oh my gosh. don't get me started on the quality of HP, Compaq, Dell.
    There is no company in the business that delivers better quality engineering and components than Apple. Apple is not perfect, but they are head and shoulders above the PC makers -- As evidenced by Apple winning virtually all the independent industry repair and satisfaction surveys since forever.

    I think you're still a little fuzzy on the MHz question. The architecture of both the processors and the operating systems makes CPU Megahertz meaningless, essentially. The only time that MHz is comparative is when you are putting two of the same model processor side by side -- even among different Pentium 4s you can't directly equate the clock speed with performance.

    So Apple does have a marketing problem, but the problem is *not* "how can they get the MHz up to keep up". That's like saying "Many pro basketball players are 7'; why isn't Steve Nash doing what he can about getting taller so he can compare with them?"

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #14
    yes, but if its a marketing ploy that sells computers you would think apple would take notice right?
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #15
    Yes Ram, I have had much experience with crappy compaq's and gateways, what I should have said was PC's will win on price and newer hardware. Also Ram, in your earlier post you mentioned why I would be concerned about specs. Im concerned because that is all I have to go on having little experience with Macs aside from the apple store
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Southeastern Louisiana
    #16
    Should I dig up the link to the "Apple Explains the Megahertz Myth" Video?
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #17
    thanks but, Ive seen that one already during my research into Mac's. Look at the source, Im not saying that they are not telling the truth but apple isnt going to be very objective
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #18
    I'd say just gauge on your experience on the Macs in the Apple Store. That's how the machine will perform doing the tasks you're interested in. Talk to the representative, see if they have a machine in the store of the same model you want to buy that has the apps you'll be using on a regular basis installed on it and give them a whirl. Really the specs don't matter if you find the machine performs to your satisfaction.

    Also, keep in mind there are some differences when comparing the perceived speed of a Mac to a PC. There's different design philosophies at work between MacOS X and Windows XP. Windows seeks to be Snappy™ at all costs—if that means drawing windows on the screen before there's content to fill them, Windows will do that. This gives it the impression of being "faster" that OS X, which wants to get a window ready for display before it puts it up on the screen. However, Windows XP can get very bogged down under multitasking loads, causing the system to get sluggish. OS X on the other hand scales very well under load—the interface might not feel as "snappy" as Windows, but it always chugs along smoothly. Speed vs. smooth is just one of the differences you'll find.

    Apple's hardware will probably never compete on every level with PCs of the same price. Apple must charge more for its machines because they're a small company making (more) proprietary boxes out of components not priced like commodities. They need larger margins on their hardware to survive profitably. One of the difficult (but rewarding) things about entering the Apple fold is being able to swallow the higher cost of entry. Even if it seems iffy at first, it's well worth it.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #19
    thorshammer88:

    And do what, drop half-a-billion dollars on a compeditive high-clockspeed design (for the sole purpose of marketing)? Look how far that got Intel in their war with AMD.
     
  20. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #20
    "How much PC I can get for the money" has to be measured by some criteria.

    You also get far more for your money, measured in dollars per pound, with a Kia or a Hyundai than you do with a Toyota or a Lexus.

    Question is, is the criteria chosen for comparison actually meaningful?

    Please go and hang out with a iMac G5 or an entry level G5 tower for a while, and see if you don't end up throwing the specifications/critera out and reevaluating based on other values.

    (I'm going to regret this I know) If you must, a "very rough" way of thinking about speed is that 1 GHz PowerMac G5 = 2 GHz Pentium 4. So compare an iMac G5 17" at 1.6 GHz with a Dell P4 3.2 GHz with a 17" LCD.

    Remember , a '71 Corvette may have the 400+ HP engine but it still has to drag around an extra 1000 lbs of metal, so the Mini Cooper will beat it on most courses.
     
  21. macrumors member

    mactropy

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    M&M's
    #21
    CanadaRAM, I definitely have to agree with you. Usability and "Doing what I WANT" is really important for me. From a productivity and computer usage experience make up for a faster processor. Especially for me. I only do basic stuff like blogging, email, some video editing and Photoshop.
    I'm not a gamer -have never been- and therefore my requirements are less pronounced. Also, I don't really care if rendering a video project takes three minutes longer on my Mac than on a PC. I would have spent 4 hours longer to get a same quality project on the PC.
     
  22. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #22
    Oh yeah! My P4 machine puts MS Outlook up on the screen at boot time a full 5 minutes before it is actually usable...
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    SuperChuck

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Location:
    Chucktown, SC
    #23
    Well, they have taken notice. Before the G5 came out, Apple did a lot of PR based around "the megahertz myth." They even ran ads that tried to explain this myth, but in the end, it didn't work for them. With the G5, however, Apple is closing the megahertz gap without sacrificing the performance of its chips.

    We are now entering a period where megahertz have hit the wall for EVERYBODY, and the name of the game is squeezing more performance out of a chip with very limited boosts in Mhz speed. In this game, Apple is way ahead of the curve. They've been working under this model for years.

    I'm certainly no expert on these matters, but I'm an avid reader of MacRumors forums, and this is the gist of things as I understand them.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #24
    CanadaRAM:

    Heh, yeah that "1ghz G5 == 2ghz P4" thing is pretty generous to Apple. ;) With such modern processors, in code comprised of roughly comperable instructions (no vector instructions) its difficult to get that kind of per-clock performance disparity.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #25
    yes ddtlm, a billion dollar company like intel must be stupid to get as large as they have. Cless you brought up something Ive never given much thought to and took for granted. After booting up and my display shows, I wait another few minutes until Im actually able to use anything, while my computer sounds like its about to explode. Same thing happens while closing large apps, it closes but my computer gets bogged down and starts hummin and I cant use anything for a minute or two. Is this something Mac users dont deal with? Thanks again
     

Share This Page