G5 PowerMac component cost estimates

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by benpatient, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Let me know what you guys think about these numbers.

    I was curious the other day exactly what Apple is charging us for with the G5 towers...Since most of the specifics can be eliminated because their prices on the market are generally well known.

    I made the following presumptions, from my experience buying things online and building PC systems for a few years:

    (I'm being generous with most of this...Apple doesn't pay nearly this much for some of these supplies)

    • 64mb nVidia 5200 Ultra: 50 dollars (the 128mb version is like 65-75 online now)
    • 8x single-layer DVD±RW: 75 dollars (actually, a 16x dual-layer costs this much now)
    •*keyboard and mouse: 75 dollars (not that they are worth it!)
    • 80gb 7200rpm SATA hard drive: 70 dollars
    • 160gb 7200rpm SATA hdd: 120 dollars
    •*56k modem: 10-15 dollars
    •*256mb of RAM, high-quality brand, PC 3200: 70
    • 512mb of RAM: 120 dollars, ditto.

    depending on the model (for example, single 1.8 vs. dual 2.5), these are the "standard" options and their approximate prices.

    now, the G5 lineup:

    single 1.8: $1,500 (US)
    dual 1.8: $2,000
    dual 2.0: $2,500
    dual 2.5: $3,000

    after subtracting the appropriate prices from the list of things above (graphics card, HDD, RAM, kb/m, 56k, DVD±RW, etc.), we end up with these un-accounted for prices for the lineup:

    single 1.8: 1,150
    dual 1.8: 1,450
    dual 2.0: 2,050
    dual 2.5: 2,450

    That cost must include the following items:


    So, I ran some numbers and tried to figure out how much each component might be expected to cost based on the retail price...These numbers must necessarily include a presumed markup from Apple.

    Here's what I came up with:
    single 1.8 processor: 500 dollars (2 needed for 1.8 Dual)
    single 2.0 processor: 600 dollars (2 needed for 2.0 Dual)
    single 2.5 processor: 800 dollars (2 needed for 2.5 Dual)
    single proc mobo: 300 dollars
    dual proc mobo: 350 dollars
    case, etc: 300-400 dollars dollars

    Using those numbers, I find myself within 50 dollars of each retail option as they appear on the apple website.

    Those numbers put the G5 relative value somewhere near the P4EE processors or the Athlon64-FX processors.

    The case and PS are, of course, high quality, and should be that expensive.

    The mobo price seems to be in the workstation range, which I guess is appropriate, except for the single processor model, which seems like less of a bargain when the price is broken down.

    Suffice it to say, Apple is making a pretty great profit on these systems...
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'm pretty sure the exact margin is published in their financial reports. For the division, anyway, if you're curious. I remember the numbers being somewhere between 25% and 30% profit.

    Interesting exercise, but unless I didn't read carefully enough you're leaving out at least one thing: the OS and software. Yes, Apple doesn't "pay" anything per se for those, but they still have huge development costs in both areas, and I'm sure part of the cost of the G5 goes into the OS division to recoup R&D costs. It might not be as much as the retail boxes (assuming retail OS sales make up a disproportionate amount of R&D), but it's not zero.

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