Why a Mac costs more than a PC...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Giuly, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Giuly macrumors 68040


    ...but is CHEAPER in reality.

    People say, we are a Sect, with Saint Steve as our leader. We pay way to much for what we get. Apple belongs to Scientology, we‘re all brainwashed anyways and don‘t mind dying for our fix of iProducts - or would do even worse things.
    However those people are ignorant anyways, but no one really felt to clear their ignorance and gave them an analyzation why.

    The Hardware
    The build quality is insane. Most G3s are still running regardless of their age, most of them without any chattering or outstanding noise. Modern Macs with their aluminum unibody enclosures are not comparable to the plastic bags most PC laptop makes wrap their logic board into. There is no color which can chip off, making the machine look nasty and worn out. The keyboards, both standalone and the ones integrated into MacBooks, are outstanding and a pleasure to type on. This is however depending on personal preference, some might not like the flat keys of the aluminum keyboards, but the previous generation standalone keyboards are still way better than most PC keyboards. I own both, and I like both, however I prefer the clicky-clacky sound of the acrylic keyboard when typing, but it‘s more comfortable to type with the flat keys of the aluminum keyboard. The Magic Mouse is ahead of it‘s time, there is no PC mouse with such advanced multitouch functions. The old Mighty Mouse however has it‘s disadvantages when it comes to the scroll ball, which is much nicer then the scroll wheel of PC mouses - as long as it works properly. As soon as it got cleaned however, it continues working like a charm.
    The MacBooks come with a magnetic lock, so there is no mechanics to keep both halves together which can wear our or break. Laptop PCs often break the pin inside the coaxial power connector, the Mac has a system called MagSafe, you can rip it out like a monkey and won't brake it, because it's connected magnetically.
    In short, they are the most sophisticated computers out there, at least in terms of details to make it easier working with them.

    Then it comes to the raw facts. MacBookPros have the fastest processors in there. The i5 and i7 are the fastest ones with a TDP of 35W, anything other would be to hot to fit in there. The MacBook and it‘s 2,4GHz Core2Duo is not, one may wonder why they don‘t put a i3 in there. This is due it‘s smaller form factor, it‘s not capable of accommodating a discrete graphics cards - like all the other 13“ notebooks. Intel has a license agreement with nVidia that allows them to develop chipsets for Intel CPUs. However they claim that this don‘t cover the Core-i family of CPUs, which left Apple to decide between a i3 CPU and Intel‘s integrated graphics, or carry on with the Core2Duo and use the much more powerful, for Apple exclusively developed 320m chipset. Apple went the Core2Duo way, until other possibilities are given. The same goes for the MacBookAir, there would be a 18W i7 CPU available.

    The Software
    Mac OS X is the most advanced operating system out there - pretty hard to doubt that. I could explain that in a septillion ways, but people don‘t care for that anyways. So I have that for you:

    iTunes - FREE
    The whole world of music - under your cursor. The biggest music store out there, the best way to organize it. It‘s a tie here, because you can download that for Windows, too.

    iLife - FREE with every Mac
    Mac users know why they love iLife. No fooling around with folders full of photos, you can make really good looking videos, compose DVDs, and even semi-professionally record music. It‘s just there, and so easy to use that virtually everyone can use it.

    iPhoto? -> Picasa2 for free
    iMovie? -> Windows Live Movie Maker? Not even close. Corel Video Studio Express, $39.
    iDVD? -> Nero Media Suite, $70.
    iWeb? -> Microsoft Expression Web, $150. Let‘s be generous on this one, Google Page Creator, $0.
    GarageBand? -> At least Mixcraft 5, $75

    Adds up a total of $185 to replace iLife, which came with your Mac for free. Remember that we were very generous here, most of them can‘t really replace the equivalent from iLife. If you‘re a Linux user, you‘d have here Picasa2, dvdauthor+growisofs, nvu and Audacity for $0, but they are hilarious compared to iLife.

    You want to do backups? Well, a Mac comes with Time Machine. Want to have that on Windows? Genie Timeline Professional, $60.

    When it comes to software development on Windows, you‘re pretty much screwed. Visual Studio comes in 3 flavors: Professional, Premium and Ultimate. Cost? $750, $5500 and $12000. There is VS Express for free, but it isn‘t really meant as a serious development environment, it‘s rather a version to test things out.
    On the Mac there‘s Xcode, for free, which does all the things that Visual Studio Ultimate does. Also you don‘t have to renew your MSDN membership yearly for thousands of dollars, there is one Mac Membership program for $100, which lets you gain access to the pre-releases of Mac OS X to develop software for it prior it‘s release, and an iPhone Developer Membership program that let‘s you put your Application on the App Store.
    So costs saved for software developers: At least $750.

    This makes „Coding Woz“, a software developer, who occasionally uses iLife actually get his MacBook for free plus $60 on his hand to go to the movies, compared to a Windows machine.

    Leaves us with „Average Steve“, a fictiv Mac owner who‘s MacBook costs $755 at the moment. A year goes on, Microsoft delivers minor updates, major bug fixes and calls it Windows 8 to rip-off people. „Average Bill“ has to score an update for his Home Premium for $100. With Windows Ultimate however he‘s screwed again, $250. „Average Steve“ however hits the Update-Button a couple of times until 10.x.6 or so, then get‘s the update to 10.x+1 for $29.

    „Average Steve“'s MacBook? $685.

    Let‘s see what NewEgg offers us for that.
    MSI CR620-031US Intel Core i5 430M(2.26GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD, $684.99.

    Thank you there, but with the Intel graphics, I‘ll take the MacBook, even if it's screen is smaller. The CPU toggles between 2.26-2.53GHz, so it's just a touch faster then the Macbooks, but this is more due to the new architecture.
  2. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    Great post, I'd love to see it stickied, as this is discussed far too often.
  3. mondesi43 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2007
    Don't forget (unless I missed it in your post) iWork vs Office costs. For what the majority of people do outside of work, iWork is just fine. Plus keynote is better anyway.
  4. Giuly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I left that out on purpose, as Office is A) more comprehensive and B) Available on both PC and Mac. As soon as anyone uses a Mac, he'll switch to iWork anyways.

    But "Avarage Steve" will update his MacBook soon (aka I'll add a passage about the prices of used Macs vs. used PCs).
  5. craiger902 macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010
    The reason Mac costs more than a PC is because of the brand name. They can charge more and get away with it.
  6. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    See OP, you can say as much you like, making a huge post with losts of reasoning and points, but you'll still get this.
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Have you even read the OP? Have you heard of TCO?
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I bought a MacBook for £850. My daughter bought a Toshiba laptop for about half the price. My MacBook is going strong after more than four years. You can see the age, and the battery is gone, but it works just fine. On the Toshiba first the charger connector broke, then the battery, then keys dropped off the keyboard, then the motherboard was gone and that was it, all within less than two years. If you don't calculate dollars or pounds per computer, but dollars or pounds per year of computer use, Macs are doing absolutely fine.

    And that is before you consider that all the time I had a much, much nicer computing experience.
  9. darkplanets macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2009
    I would tend to disagree for the "best" hardware aspect of it, as macs don't have the best hardware in lappys or desktops, at least in terms of raw power. They do, however, typically win out in TCO, as you so aptly pointed out.

    It seems like the higher spec laptops (I'm looking at you Sony), with quadcores and blueray outperform the best mac notebooks, but at additional cost (A fully kitted one is hella expensive). While tech-comparable PC laptops can be had for less, and tech-better laptops cost more or similar to a MBP, the TCO undoubtedly in the end comes home to roost. Typically with the better hardware, at least in terms of guts, comes lesser overall build quality, bloat ware, and of course, increased TCO. This is usually because they try to keep the increased cost of better components down by including less, or homegrown solutions that are far cheaper to implement, but not as satisfactory when it comes to performance or features.
  10. heavy2healthy macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2009
    I have a macbook its got a nice screen but for the price its fair at best. I have a gateway laptop, I just wanted to upgrade that's close to 8 yrs old and works fine. There is open office its free and works great. I have a macbook, ipad and iphone and what I learned. Apple doesnt give you the most for your money. They give you just enough so you have to upgrade real soon.
  11. Giuly thread starter macrumors 68040


    You want to find a 17" i7 laptop with a 1920x1200 19:10 screen - there is only the Nexoc E806, it uses desktop CPUs and has a height of 3 stacked MBPs. i5? Only HP EliteBook 8740w at the same cost.

    There are 1920x1080 screens, but if you want a large screen, you want a large screen.

    So there is no substitute for the MBP 17".

    any 15" i7 w/ dedicated nVidia graphics? 5 Laptops.
    any 15" i5 nVidia dedicated? 4 Laptops.

    any 13" nVidia IGP? 6 Laptops.
    any 13" ATI dedicated? 13 Laptops.
    any 13" ATI IGP? 3 Laptops.

    I didn't even know that the vast majority use crappy integrated Intel graphics. Gives a whole new point of view. That's why they're that cheap.

    That would be the quad-cores, still no reason not to get a MBP. Levono's 4x1.66GHz is really not an option.
  12. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    If you are a spec whore, then yes. If I would still have my 2001 laptop, it might still work, it was robust and clunky, I wouldn't use it, as my line of work would be seriously slowed down by this. The G4 iBook I used did give me many years of joy and was a good tool, but one has to eventually update, if the software you use does not support older architectures.
  13. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    I love Macs but to try to defend them by saying they aren't overpriced is just bs. They are overpriced for most people. It's all about what it's worth to you though.
  14. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    You could also include cost of AntiVirus renewals in there? You don't have to renew it at $70/Year on a Mac, so over the years you save even more money.. (for now) lol
  15. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    You're right. Only, you're so wrong it's not funny. Apple charges so much because they have a monopoly on OS X, and now, the brand image. For Apple to be able to charge so much, and to not, would open them up to lawsuits from their shareholders.

    Oh yeah, and you're also wrong about their hardware being better. It's not. It's just better than a $400 Toshiba. It's on par with any business class computer, that's not bargain bin.

    The software is exactly why Apple can charge so much for a mac, but like I originally stated, it's more to do with a monopoly of OS X. I can get a free audio or video editing suite for any OS. The only difference is that a mac's editing suite is 1st party.

    P.S. iTunes isn't a free media player anymore, it's a content distribution system that pays for itself via the iTunes music store and App store.
  16. Giuly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I don't care why does Apple this and does that - I care for the bang-for-the-buck I get.
    A Mac is a symbiosis of Mac OS X and hardware which works seamless with it. You can't separate that.

    A free Audio and Video editing suite? Superior even to iMovie and GarageBand (Let alone Logic and Final Cut)? You refer to Warez here. If I break into the Apple Store at night and rob my Macbook, it's cheaper than every PC too, $0.

    As I stated before, the "Business Machines" you refer, are for 15" and 13" exactly 31 Models. Most of them are cheaper, yes, but only about $100-$300 - That's the price tag I put on iLife.

    Everything other then that uses Intel X4500 graphics. Sure they are cheaper, but so are used MacBooks with superior graphics than the Intel X4500.

    You guys seem to turn your brains off as soon as it comes to $. I wonder why US isn't filled with $5000 Fiat Pandas then. It drives more then 80MPH, fits 5 Persons and consumes less then any American car with the exception of the Tesla Roadster. Wanna go to the holidays? Ship your luggage via UPS. Need room to transport something? Rent a truck then.
    But try to find a Fiat dealer anywhere in Nevada - you won't have that problem with a Chevrolet. Ever saw a MSI, Lenovo, HP or Fujitsu physical Store you can go and get your machine fixed?
    Same principles.
  17. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    You get what you pay for. I take my computer serious and thus I will pay the Mercedes price to get the Mercedes quality. Feel free to fill in your car analogy of choice. My ability to earn money is based on how well my computer runs. That is why I choose Mac.
  18. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area

    If Macs weren't worth the price people wouldn't by them.
    It has nothing to do with a supposed monopoly. If it were just because of the alleged monopoly then why stop at current prices? Why not 2x or 3x?
  19. dipm06 macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2009
    i love macs but i have to say that some of the stuff you mentioned is just bull. OSX being the most advanced operating system out there? thats the biggest fanboy statement someone could say.

    number one in hardware? i suppose you meant the build of it. i personally dont like the aluminum that they are using on MBP because they get dented way too easily. i do agree about the build quality of older macs though. theyre are pretty though. also, have you used thinkpads before? far more durable than any mac out there and i have to say, i love the look of them. many people dont though. in terms of the specs, you can get a pc with far grater specs for a lot less. some people need that power, so would a mac be worth it to them then?

    in terms of software you are right, but you put too much value to it as they're selling the ilife package at a much lower price than you stated. also, there are so much more options for free software for the mac that you cant get on a mac. there are also lost of software that you cant get on a mac that some people need. lost of 3D software is Windows only. im sure right now yorue thinking BOOTCAMP (duh), but why run windows software with bootcamp if you can run it far better on a pc with better specs??

    the OS argument is somewhat true. what makes the development process for new Microsoft OS is that it has to make changes for so much more hardware and software for compatibility. OSX doesnt have to go through as much. its really a lot more work. this is the reason for the pricing. also, OXS gets new versions more regular while Windows has a 3 year cycle. If you ever tried vista and windows 7, the improvement form their predecessor was HUGE! (although vista should have been tested out more before release)

    your development argument shouldn't be there at all. there are only a handful of people that buy macs for development. also, like the OS argument, theres a lot more to be done with windows development because of compatibility. also, most developers who spend that much make so much more in software sales.

    you could say that its Microsofts fault for wanting to be compatible with all hardware, but i think thats just being plain selfish. they're doing it so that more people have access these kinds of tools for information. sure, its all business, but its their system, and cheaper hardware that is allowing even very poor people access to the same kind of information we are through the internet.

    lastly, the mac community is like a cult, not for all but for many. i mean, you're posting on a site called "macrumors.com" right? i dont think there is a "sony rumors" (there is one but its not focused on computers). or "dellrumors" "or "hprumors". you're posting about how macs are better than pc's right? by creating the thread, you just proved it. by taking the time to actually look for arguments and posting them, you just proved it.

    well, thats me trying to give an unbiased opinion. i love macs and use one myself, but i cant say that they are always worth it :p it depends on who is using it. it could be worth it to some, but not worth it to others. its still kinda early for me and im still a bit sleepy so i apologize for any typos or sentences that dont make sense at all :p have a nice day everyone :D
  20. Giuly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Have a look at gnome, KDE and Windows 7 then.

    Edit: Don't start blathering now, read post #71 first. I am referring to Aqua here, and whatever Windows calls their UI.

    There are exactly 31 released or at least announced models which have the same or better specs on every major and minor reseller in Germany, plus the quad-cores in the image. You won't find that much on NewEgg, let there be 5 more on the major and minor resellers in the US. Most of them aren't more then $200-300 cheaper then a same spec'd MacBook(Pro). Post #11.
    You people don't get that these $500 laptops have the same specs as a late-2007 Macbook.
    A same-spec'd 17" i7 laptop is worthless without at least FullHD screen. I don't want 1600x900. With 1920x1200 they start at $2000. Or are cheaper and have 1.6GHz quad-cores and 1920x1080 screens. Run a single-threaded Application on them, you want a 2.66GHz dual core, that's why they are $1500. Every braniac out there can do the simple math of 4x1.66=6.64 and 2x2.66=5.32, so even in a stupid popular scientific comperasion with the assumption that anything runs more than 2 threads, they aren't that much faster. Want 4x2GHz? $2100, and you have the same slowdown on single-threaded applications. Which are most on Windows, I didn't saw them introduce anything like GCD, they have fork(), and you have to implement a couple of lines of code prior they run multithreaded, if even possible depending on the application. On Xcode, this is 5-10 lines of code everyone automatically implements to speedup things where ever possible.

    If you run single-threaded, you want raw GHz. If you run dual-threaded, too. If you run massively parallel, THEN you want cores, even slower ones.

    Get an Elgato Turbo.h264 HD or a (H/)Mac Pro (Don't start blathering about this one before Tuesday. I'll get to that one after they updated it. If you buy a mid-to-end lifecycle Apple machine, you're not that fast anyways. It's "Get it while it's hot". If you'd need a machine now, you'd get a Mini and sell it when the new Mac Pro comes out. 1-3 month old machines have virtually no loss of value on eBay.).

    Once CUDA, OpenCL or whatever you want to call it gets implemented (I guess 10.7/FCS'11/iLife'11), you won't care for the CPU speed anymore. Sandy Bridge's IGP adds just a little node on that, I don't think it will outperform any recent nVidia graphics. If Intel has no eye on this one and carries on with it's Only-Intel-Chipsets-Agenda, Apple may end up with AMD processors, at least in the MacBook and the Mini. Going to AMD is like switching from ICH8 to MCP79 in software and Core2Duo to i5/7 in hardware. No big deal at all.

    It comes FREE FREE FREE with every Mac, I stated the prices that you had to pay when you buy the same software for Windows.

    If you need to work with AutoCAD, no one minds you getting a PC.

    Every peace of hardware ships with a driver's CD/DVD. If you want your hardware to run with Monopol-Windows, you need to provide a driver, or people buy the same hardware from another manufacturer, Microsoft doesn't care. This is hard business, it's not the Linux community. And even there you find greater corporations providing code for their hardware. Also, most drivers are generic, like Mass Storage, or a single driver for the X58 chipset that runs on all Socket 1366 motherboards, and it's developed by Intel and not by Microsoft.

    Windows 7 is what should have been Windows Vista SP1 for free. You can't sell a product full of bugs because Mac OS X Tiger was a even whole different genre of OSs than Windows XP, release it before you completed it because Apple was going soon to release Leopard which would have made XP look like Windows 3.11, fix the bugs you haven't had time to fix, give the UI a minor polish and sell the update for $100. This is criminal behavior, like shipping a new car whose engine strumbles upon first fire up, and then charge you $200 to put in new spark plugs and coils (I love those car analogies).

    Oh, and virtually every hardware is especially build for Windows or according to some industry standards. I wonder how they managed to increase compatibility on that one.

    Yeah, even beginning coders make millions between school and homework. Also, "Average Steve" doesn't code, Xcode and Visual Studio didn't affect his calculation.

    Poor people use linux-based stuff, every OEM has to pay Microsoft about $60 for a Windows license, if they ship their laptops with <insert linux distribution here>, they can substract that from the retail value. And it runs faster on older hardware, which is likely to be sold in poor countries.

    Engadget. Gizmodo. They don't do Sony, Dell or HP, they do 'em all. Mac users don't care about the 5 same-spec'd, same-foxconn-assemblyline identical-to-the-reference-design laptop releases a month.
  21. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    No, you're turning your brain off. If I need a word processing machine, I can get a capable machine for $500. That's 1/2 the price of the MacBook. I can get a better gaming rig with comparable build quality for less than a comparable MBP. So once again, it comes back to the software and OS that it runs.

    If I want a PC with audio/video editing software, I can get it easily for a PC. Microsoft makes a free suite, which includes a video editor and there are a few sound editors around too - songbird rings a bell? Of course if you're going to spend money, get the adobe elements collection. Sure it might not be much, but lets face it, if you're trying to tell me that iMovie or GaragrBand is the be-all end-all of movies or audio, you're not going to miss much with adobe products.

    And you're right, I cannot walk into a Dell store and get my computer fixed. But I can do one better. I can have Dell come to my house/work, the next day. You can't get that from Apple, can you?

    Like I originally stated, macs are able to sell for so much because you're paying for the "hip" status, and the monopoly on OS X.
  22. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    You've got to be joking. I agree that the build quality is topnotch, the battery is awesome. I am a mac lover myself but I know that the prices are a ripoff. That's why I always buy refurbed or used. If you buy brand new, it's definitely a very bad deal.

    You could probably buy two PC laptops of similar or even better specs than a single brand new macbook pro 17 inch for the same price. I bought my MBP 17 used for roughly the same price as a PC laptop of similar specs.

    And it is not like macs never have problems. Go to the apple defects website to find out.

    In the lower end, sure the price difference is not that much great. But then the prices are also not that great. But for the higher end, they are much more expensive than they should be.
  23. Giuly thread starter macrumors 68040


    You made me curious. I want to see those better spec'd, cheaper laptops. I couldn't find any, they must be hiding from my eyes pretty good. Intel X4500MHD doesn't count, nor quad-core's with clock speeds slower than at least 2GHz. All there is are 17" i7 MBP spec'd ones for the price of the 15" i7 MBP - or like I said earlier: $200-300 cheaper.
  24. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    A nice writeup. I do agree completely with the longevity of Apple computers. They just don't die.

    You do know that MS Frontpage hasn't been out since Office 2003, right? Besides, I could never get it to work the way I wanted it to.

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