Macs are more expensive ... why?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mmahoney, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. mmahoney macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    I'm looking at a much needed computer upgrade and have always used PC's. This machine will be running Lightroom & Photoshop only.

    With the Vista woes I thought to look at the Macs and quickly discovered that they cost more than a similarly configured PC .. even allowing for the additional cost of a better SIPS or SPVA monitor to go with the PC.

    Basically if I price out a PC with the same hardware the Mac costs 30% more. Here in Canada a 24" iMac runs about $1,850 and the same PC box will cost me maybe $800 max., then maybe another $600 on a good monitor .. so approximately $1,400 total.

    I understand the performance to be about the same .. so can someone tell me what I get for my extra $450 besides a great looking aluminum box?

    And can someone also tell me what panel type is in the 24" iMac?
    Many thanks,
  2. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    Look dude, ppl will try to convince you that "a similarly priced PC will run about the same or even more." I aint gonna blow that smoke up your behind because the fact of the matter is Macs cost more.

    However, you do get a very nice piece of hardware, thats nice to look at, ultra quiet, and most importantly runs OSX. Doenst matter what you spend on the PC side, you cant run OSX. And that is really what we are paying for with a Mac.


    Let me just re-iterate, what you get is OSX. And I suppse you could also say iLife, since that comes with all new Macs. Is that worth an extra cpl hundred bucks? To most of us here absolutely.
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Not this again... :rolleyes:;)

    OS X.

    You really shouldn't need more justification than that. You want an operating system that actually works, get a Mac. The performance is NOT the same, as OS X knows how to multitask. Don't give me that "Vista does..." crap; I'm forced to use Vista for The Orange Box in Boot Camp. I'm telling you that compared to OS X, Vista is Mac System 9 when it comes to multiple apps/usable CPU processes.

    Oh yes... and if you need Windows for heaven know what, you can install it. Not virtualized, not sequestered to a portion of hardware usage, but fully installed and capable of using the full, raw power of your Mac. Mac Pro users get 5.9 across the board in Vista with it's rating system (which is worthless but proves that the Mac Pro is more than Vista can handle).
  4. pank macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
  5. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    I dont give alot of credence to those articles. Yes, IF you spec it out piece for piece then I suppose 2 comparable computers (one Mac, one PC) are about the same.

    However, there are infinite options on the Windows side, you can pick and choose what you want and need and save money not getting things you dont. With Mac you choose from a handful of options.
  6. purelithium macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2006
    Kingston, Canada
    For me it's the Elegance and seamlessness of the finished product that justifies the purchase.

    The fact that if I really wanted, i could unplug every cord from the back except for the power cable to the back and I still have a functioning computer that looks just as beautiful as any stylish piece of furniture/art in my house.

    The iMac boots, you answer a few dialogs and you are up and running, connect an external drive and you have instant automatic backups. You can instantly do ANYTHING you want, without having to install multitudes of third party applications. Of course iLife and OSX don't have everything, but in my experience windows is just bloated with useless garbage that you have to get rid of with something like nlite and then replace it with a 3rd party app afterwards.

    It's all the little things, if there's no USB mouse connected, the bluetooth wizard automatically attempts to search for and pair with a bluetooth mouse. If you need to look at a disc image without burning it, you double click on it. If you need to burn something, go to Disk Manager and drag and drop what you want to burn and click burn. Open itunes, switch to your browser and still control itunes with the media buttons on your keyboard. Truly plug and play. Almost any device i've connected to my mac is automatically detected and installed without me even having to search for drivers and tell it what to do.

    But if I want to get down and dirty with the OS, i can. the Terminal app is fantastic, powerful and allows me to fell connected to the guts of my machine. I can easily compile that rare *nix app i need for work if I installed Xcode tools from my Leopard disk. I can use the data dump command to rip backups of my software.

    The "little things" are endless for me. The only words I can find to describe my interactions with Apple products are Functional Elegance.

    Not so "pretty" as to be hard to get down and dirty with, but it is extremely beautiful when doing daily tasks. I've never found Windows, or the multitudes of linux distributions accomplish this.

    Apple products are like your hot friend that is drop dead gorgeous, but loves to watch football and drink beer with you on sundays. The perfect woman ;)
  7. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    tell me where you can legally run a 800 dollar PC with Mac?

    you cant!
  8. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    Also keep in mind that the Apple displays (Integrated in the iMac or the ACD's) have more accurate color than PCs. If you're serious about Photoshop and Lightroom, you want that accuracy.

    You really want a deal? Set up a Mac Pro, then configure the same thing from Dell. The Mac Pro is cheaper, though it's still almost $3K. :p
  9. Globetrotter macrumors regular


    Nov 5, 2007
    If you want a tower, then yes, it works out cheaper.

    But what about window style iMacs?

    Meet dell's answer:

    iMac ********************* Dell XPS

    $1499 ******************** $1799
    2.4Ghz ******************* 2.33Ghz
    1GBRAM ****************** 2GBRAM
    RadeonHD2600 ************* RadeonHD2400
    20inchscreen *************** 20inchscreen
    all-in-one ****************** all-in-one

    AND, the iMac is due an upgrade any week, so you can bump it up to 2GB standard when that happens.

    Peace and God Bless!
  10. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    No Vista woes, software not available at any price on the PC (some of which is free with the computer), and possibly enlightenment. If that is not worth $450 to you, you should get the PC. Best wishes.
  11. ribbonthecat macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    You can't even find a $8000 one!

    Plus, if you factor in time, there is less time trouble-shooting, virus-hunting, and so forth.

    And there is the complete integration of the OS and iLife with programs like iCal, Dictionary, Mail, and so forth, which is really great.
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf

    Can you provide us a link to the specific WinPC you're comparing to the 24" iMac? Only then can we provide you with the reasons why the iMac is actually less expensive or more capable.

    My 24" iMac has an S-IPS Philips panel in it.
  13. mmahoney thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Thanks for the replies.

    Nothing too convincing for me so far .. I'm a meat & potatoes user, just two programs so the features mentioned so far will probably be lost on me. As for the OS I find XP to be stable and fast and from what I understand will run Lightroom & Photoshop as good as OS-X.

    I do like the way it looks but can't really consider that a buying reason.

    The display may be worth the extra bucks .. are the 24's PVA?
  14. MKnight macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2007
    They are more expensive for the following reasons:

    1. Premium build quality of hardware and software
    2. Simple integration of various products
    3. Brand name association
    4. Because having a higher price on a product can sell more because people believe there is more value in the higher priced product. This goes back to having a higher quality product.
  15. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 603

    Knowlege Bomb

    Feb 14, 2008
    Madison, WI
    How about this. Take your bare-bones PC (cuz I'm sure that's what you'll get for $800) and add all the money you have to spend on anti-spyware, anti-virus, and any other protection you might need to keep your machine from crashing and having to reinstall your entire operating system.
    It may not come to your $450 yet, but I guarantee all that protection is going to require subscriptions renewable every year... There's money saved by buying a Mac.
  16. takeabyteoutta macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2008
    You pay more upfront for a Mac, but its net worth and resale value more than justify the extra cost.

    Apple computers depreciate in value by less than 10% per year, whereas PC's are up in the 25+% range.

    As for the Aluminum case, thats about an extra $100, but the price of aluminum is constantly increasing, so you'll actually be able to make more money of the case if you decide to scrap it in 5-10 years, assuming the rest of the computer is toast.
  17. mmahoney thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Thanks for the panel info. That panel in 24" explains a lot of the price difference.

    This is the PC I'm considering:

    And monitor:
  18. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    They are more expensive because there is not as much demand for them as Windows PCs. That and Apple is the only company making hardware that can run OSX. I pay the price because I want a stylish machine that can run OSX. For me, it's worth it. If all you care about is running those two apps, then it might not matter as much to you.
  19. mmahoney thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    I have a separate box for the web .. outside of software downloads or updates (very few & from known sources) my main work computer is not online.
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Here are just a few by glancing

    Item, Mac, PC
    Cache, 4mb, 2mb
    Vid card, Radeon HS2600 Pro 256 mb, Radeon X1250 shared RAM
    Audio out, Digital Optical, analog stereo
    Audio in, Digital optical, analog stereo
    Hard drive, 320, 500
    Card reader, none, multi
    Display, DVI, analog
    Firewire, 400 and 800, 400 only
    Mouse/Keyboard, USB, PS2
    WiFi, 802.11n, none
    Bluetooth, 2.0, none
    Built-in vid camera, yes, no
    Display, 24" S-IPS, 20" unknown panel (doesn't show up in the panel database)
    OS, Mac OS X Leopard, Vista home premium (Ulitmate would be more fair comparison)
    Built-in wireless router, yes, no

    (I gotta get the kids in bed, so I'm going away for an hour or so...)
  21. mmahoney thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    To me the biggest differences would be in the graphics card & the monitor .. the NEC is S-IPS but 20".

    I'm checking out the 24 imac at a friends tomorrow .. if the display is as good as I think (hope) it is that alone would be more than enough to justify the price difference.
  22. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    You can buy non-Apple monitors that use exactly the same LCD panels
    as the Cinema Displays. OTOH, they're not "authentic" ACDs, because:

    - non-Apple monitors are less expensive

    - non-Apple monitors have multiple video inputs

    - non-Apple monitors have 4-year or 5-year warranties

    The previous-generation iMacs used similar-quality LCDs, but that all
    ended with the ALU iMac introduction. The 20" ALU iMac has the worst
    display I've ever seen -- bar none! -- and many of the 24" ALU iMacs
    have had serious brightness-gradient problems. For example:

    If you're serious about graphics design &/or photography, the ALU iMacs
    are a very poor choice. BTW, that's not just my opinion (and experience),
    that's what AppleCare has been telling disappointed ALU iMac customers:

    "iMac is [now] a 'consumer' product; if you want accuracy, buy a Mac Pro."

    ...IMO, the ONLY rational excuse to buy a Mac is to run OS-X,

  23. mmahoney thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Cave man reports his 24" iMac has an S-IPS Philips panel in it. I don't think that is a consumer grade display.
  24. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Well comparing some big generic pc box to an all-in-one design like the iMac isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison there.

    The iMac build is definitely a more expensive design. It looks much better. It uses better more expensive materials. It's whisper quiet. And it's a space saving design which takes up not much more room than the monitor itself.

    I know the iMac I have uses laptop parts for the cpu and gpu. I'm not sure that's still the case, but the laptop parts are more expensive. The benefit is they less power and generate less heat and thus can be cooled much more quietly and thusly are ideal for a compact desktop design.

    I have my imac in the kitchen right now. I couldn't do that with my old pc box.

    iMacs also use slot-loading disc drives which are more expensive than the disc drives with pop-out trays. And an Imac comes with a built-in camera and microphone....and a fairly nice albeit low wattage set of speakers.

    Another big benefit of an Apple computer is that Apple does both hardware and software. The benefit works in subtle ways. I don't worry about drivers for one thing. When I put my computer to sleep it goes to sleep. IF there is a problem you know who to contact. And it all seems to work together a bit nicer.

    Next you have OS/X. I think it's a much nicer looking operating system. I think it's more stable. It also seems better organized where information isn't as buried as in XP. IT's a more standardized O/S in that I think Apple itself and 3rd parties follow a few more standards than pc developers. IT's enjoyable to work in. Then you have nice apps like iPhoto and iMovie and Time Machine and many others. You don't get any bloatware either. And currently no viruses or spyware which is a nice bonus.

    Last Macs do have a higher resale value. The same thing that makes Macs a target for naysayers that decry Macs are too much money makes them easier to sell than some generic pc box. And that's the name brand along with the fact there just isn't that many different Mac models. So it's easier to know you're getting something good if you're buying a used Mac.

    Plus Apple supports their older systems for longer than MS or Dell would do. You can still load Leopard on some much older machines and it works pretty good. Good luck doing that with Vista.

    I'm not going to say you that you can't get a much cheaper pc dollar wise. You pay less per/Mhz or gb on the pc side. But there's more to computing than that. Even Gates says it's all about the software and that's a big reason for going Apple. Vista is much more of a resource hog from what I understand and thus you're going to have to have even faster hardware to get the same performance as OS/X. And Apple does spend a big more on build design. They could make cheap generic boxes, but they don't. They are more of a BMW of computing in many ways.
  25. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    It's a real nice matte (white iMac) true 8-bit panel. I run CS3 and Aperture on it (as well as my Mac Mini). I wouldn't get a current iMac for photo work solely because of the glossy display; S-IPS panel or not.

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