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Apple Hardware costs demystified

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by soupratt, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. soupratt

    soupratt Member

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  2. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Member

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    demystified ? When you can build an equivalent system to an imac for almost half the price or get a equivalent laptop to a macbook for almost half the price, i'd say apple has a huge markup.

    everyone knows you bend over and let apple take a bit of your dignity when you have to pay their apple tax.
     
  3. patdaly

    patdaly Member

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    Did you even read that article before you trolled?
     
  4. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Member

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    Yes I did, i skimmed through it after the first page because of their bullshit comparison. Why are they comparing a macbook pro to a xps m1730 ? Doesn't make sense. Do toms hardware get paid by apple for this crap ?

    This is a more realistic comparison :

    M1530 2.6 ghz
    4gb ram
    320gb hard drive
    15.4"
    256mb 8600m gt
    dvd burner
    802.11n
    - 2 year warranty
    $2200

    MBPro 2.4 ghz
    2gb ram
    200gb hard drive
    15.4" (LED)
    256mb 8600m gt
    dvd burner
    802.11n
    backlit keyboard
    - 1 year warranty
    $2700

    $500 for a much slower cpu, half the ram, 120gb hard drive space and less warranty. LED and a backlit keyboard nowhere near makes up for this.
     
  5. Marlborosmoker

    Marlborosmoker Member

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    I don't want to troll but that is a bullshit article. Its pretty close to trolling in itself. It's not a very well written article. let alone the poor comparison. Fair enough if they try to justify it with ergonomics and styling but there's nothing of any substance in the article than pissweak arguments excusing the hardware markup and premium branding ala Harley Davidson

    certain statements just don't fly with the point he is trying to make article

    Apple’s high prices are a matter of being "premium." Apple really isn’t out there to only sell a bunch of computers. It is out there to market a certain computing life-style.

    To Apple: Please, take a good hard look at the prices you offer for hardware upgrades and then do a quick browse through online stores. Your hardware upgrades are marked up to ludicrous levels. Get real with your prices Apple.

    And the real killer here is on the 1st page
    In terms of hardware, there’s nothing really special about a Mac aside from elegant designs, be it a Mac Pro or MacBook Pro, that makes it incredibly more worthwhile than the PC equivalent. And there’s no doubt that you can get an equally equipped PC, or build one yourself, for less money

    It's done nothing but demystify that Apple are still out to screw the consumer. Basically the author acknowledges that Apple is well prepared to well for lack of a better word "screw" you. OSX isn't that good. Any way you cut it, gaming is an important function of pc's. It's not as inherently secure as claimed. There's a benign proof of concept now, how long until someone unleashes the fury on the unsuspecting users?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  6. ghettro

    ghettro Member

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    I personally don't think the macbook pro is particularly good value myself. Although the other feature you forgot is that the MBP is thinner and is made of aluminium. Still from a pure grunt perspective, the dell wins out by a mile.

    Still I think there are a few things that don't come across on paper that are nice about the apple lappies, the hinge design is probably the best on the market. I'm a bit of an anal **** as well as coming from a design background so these things matter to me. So read on if you dare or care :)

    -The damping of the hinge as well as the weighting of the screen & base is just perfect so that you can have the laptop sitting on a table and open the lid with one hand. Pretty much on every other laptop I have seen on the market, the damping is much to heavy and causes the bottom case to lift up with the screen forcing you to use your other hand to hold the bottom case down, either that or the bottom half lifts with the lid, eventually releases and hits the table and clunks (which I imagine isn't to nice to the hard disk).
    I have also found that the hinges seldom develop play, even on an old ibook G3 (from 2001) still doesn't have any play in it's hinge. Most other lappies I have seen less than 2 years old develop play in the hinge so the screen will swing back and forth quite freely about a cm or two. This is across dell, ASUS & HP lappies.

    -I like how the vent design is incorporated into the hinge so it exhausts under the screen front as well as the back (so if the back gets blocked it will still vent out the front).

    -I prefer the slot loading drive, less mechanisms exposed, never had a jam problem personally. Although I think these are appearing on more and more lappies, like the dell studio range.

    -The profile of the laptop is flat, there are no bumps, no things sticking out the bottom (personally I hate how most lappies have either the battery sticking out or massive 5mm bumpers to tilt the lappy towards you), the thinness is uniform which means that it is more compact when you are slipping it in a bag inbetween books or whatever.

    - the trackpad is huge, the way right click is implemented rocks, and multitouch scrolling etc works very very well. The synaptic trackpads you typically find on most other lappies is pretty poor, particularly in scrolling, the scroll area is tiny, the feel is very choppy and laggy and it only works horizontally and vertically - not in 360deg, although this may be a software related thing. not sure

    Whether these things are attractive to you is another question altogether but it is this attention to detail that I think makes the lappies attractive. I can understand that if you care more about specs and grunt which would make other lappies more attractive. From a specs/hardware perspective The macbook pro is poor value, the macbook which only has integrated graphics whereas some other 13" lappies at least have a crap mobile nvidia chipset.
     
  7. ghettro

    ghettro Member

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    Apologies for the long windedness. In summary it is my opinion that Apple hardware on the whole is usually less grunt for the same money but smaller and sexier form factor with more attention to detail. This is excluding any discussion about software, purely hardware.
    iMac
    - Personally I would probably never buy one because they are less upgradeable than the lappies, they use mostly laptop components but without the portability.
    - Although price wise, you would be hard pressed to find something as cheap off the shelf in the same form factor. You could easily buy an off the shelf dell/lenovo tower with much better performance but it's really a strawman argument as it will be much larger, noisier and consume much more power. There are not many similar all in one form factor PC's on the market to compare to.

    Mac Pro
    - If you look at the article it compares a similar system which shows next to no difference in price with the equivalent hardware. Bottom line is that Xeon systems are expensive, the Mac Pro is actually quite cheap for a Xeon
    - Many people compare the Mac Pro system to a home built Q6600 or whatever, even if the home built is cheaper and outperforms it in some benchmarks it really is irrelevant because you need to compare specs not performance. Again xeons are simply expensive and suited more to the server and workstation market, not the gamer or home user. Also comparisons need to be made for off the shelf computers not homebuilts as the extra price for an off the shelf is for support and warranty.

    The problem is that Apple is missing a mid priced tower in it's lineup based on consumer level hardware, as much as I would like to see one I don't think it's going to happen as the market is going towards mobility, small form factor and low power consumption. This leaves out a niche of the market who don't want the un-upgradeability of the iMac, but can't/don't want to fork out $4000 for a xeon system which is complete overkill. Although realistically this niche is a tiny percentage of the market, the vast majority of people don't give a rats arse about upgradeability, and would be perfectly happy using external storage on their imacs.
     
  8. BGH

    BGH Member

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  9. OP
    OP
    soupratt

    soupratt Member

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    For desktop PCs (unless you plan to run OSX) then Apple is well overpriced. For SOME notebooks there is NO comparison.
    Someone please show me a 17" (1920x1200), Backlit LED screen, well specced CPU,1" thick, weighing in LESS than 3kg and with a battery life of 3-5 hours AND costing < $4000 .....(I got the 17" MCP with LED screen and 4gb RAM for <$3800). And NO the XPS 17" Dells are no comparison unless you are permanently attached to a power source or have a portable crane.
    There is some value in SOME of the models. And as the article says, just DONT buy any options :)

    In relation to BGH's quoted article .. All it says is that people on a very strict budget will go for the cheapest piece of hardware (ie not MACs). That isn't rocket science. I doubt Apple really worries about that sector anyhow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  10. hdkhang

    hdkhang Member

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    I agree 100%, but you can say the same in reverse...

    How many ultraportables does Apple make with inbuilt optical drive? None.

    How many gaming oriented 17" laptops does Apple make? None. (8600GT on a high res screen is not gaming oriented), where is the BluRay option on the 17" model? Why is it that the 17" macbook pro on the apple shop does not actually spec the resolution of the screen? $110 to upgrade from 5400RPM 250GB to 4200RPM 300GB??? Where is the dual hard drive RAID option? Where is the yada yada yada... see what I mean, you can't make a case for the apple's uniqueness without also being subject to it's lack of competitiveness in other areas.

    For the same price, you can get the Dell 17" model with SLI 8800GTX which on their own is more than twice as fast as the 8600GT let alone a pair of them, twin 7200RPM hard drives in RAID 0, BluRay combo, WUXGA screen and a decent warranty. You lose out on absolute portability, but then again, some would not want to be carrying around a 17" laptop of any sort, regardless of weight, the size may seem a bit unweildly... it works for some, not for others. Now if I want to game at a LAN party, I could bring the 1730 along and have a pretty beefcake system, and if I'm always tethered, the battery can be seen as a kind of UPS... Different strokes for different folks.

    N.B. I don't own the 1730, too big for me.
     
  11. Jay

    Jay Member

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    For me it's the post-purchase costs/support. We have a couple of Apple laptops. Once you have to get them fixed or upgraded at some stage you're wondering why the hell you got one in the first place.
     
  12. ghettro

    ghettro Member

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    It is true that Apple doesn't even compete in many markets, although let me ask how many RAID 0, SLI 17" gaming laptops get sold as a percentage of the laptop market? Probably fuck all really. It's a very very niche market. The vast majority of consumers just play casual games, like flash games, The Sims, or even WOW.

    Although from a consumers point of view, the laptop range is covered by 3 primary models, with 3 variations within the MB and MBP range, and 2 MBA variations. Thats it. Compare it with your typical Dell/Sony/Toshiba range, which all have some incongruous model number SZ0130134 for example as a name, multiply it by about 20, offer each one in 13", 15" 17" and then it starts to get bloody confusing. Even geeks find it confusing, there are so many bloody models that it's understandable that you get lost.

    Whereas you can say, I have a macbook, and people understand what the hell you are talking about. Part of Apple's success I think can be contributed to this simplicity, as well as consistency through everything they do. the whole mac range from mini, imac, macbook to mac pro all look like they are from the same family. They don't try to cater to every niche which really diffuses their image.

    anyway that's going off topic
     
  13. Marlborosmoker

    Marlborosmoker Member

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    That's a fair point - but simplifying product ranges should have the opposite effect in terms of pricing. Laptops unlike desktops are still very focused purposes. There are tradeoffs in design for focusing on certain aspects. And if the consumer is unwilling to find the best deal - that does not make it the best value. The competitive value is there - it's not hard to find.

    The more I analyse this article the more it's clear to me that currently Apple mainstream gear is a fashion statement. I don't have a problem with that. If that's the way they choose to make the company so be it. It works for them. The failpod is a horrible product (at least early generations were and I've soured on apple from my experiences with a g2 and a ipod mini) but was marketed really well. But Apple doesn't need to BS me with lame propaganda like this article. To say to me it looks pretty and they are an "exclusive" "premium" lifestyle brand as a reason for their pricing is insulting. It's a computer - obsolete within 5 years. It's not a freaking car or motorbike that at least has some chance of retaining value and at least retains functionality in the same span.
     
  14. Vaempyr

    Vaempyr Member

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    I thought it was pretty well accepted that, when it comes to hardware specs, PCs are almost always going to deliver better "bang-for-buck" (i.e. better specs for the same dollars).

    The problem with a straight price comparison is that you can't "cost" or "value" the less tangible things that make a particular device "better".

    For instance, as ghettro pointed out, the MacBook touchpad - including multi-touch - is (IMHO) substantially better than the touchpad you'll find in most Dell, Toshiba or similar PC notebooks. How many dollars better is it? Impossible to say.

    Example 2: MagSafe power adapters. Having lost a Compaq Aero 8000 ultra-light to my then-gf tripping over the power cord and yanking the whole power socket off the mainboard, I think this is great. Again, how much is it worth when considering the purcahse price? Impossible to say.

    And perhaps the biggest non-hardware thing of all: OS. You can't "value" OSX vs XP Pro or Vista. For some people, the OS is important enough to spend more to get what they want. For others, it's not.

    At the end of the day, the purchasing decision should be made on need and use, not specs. If a 15.4" laptop is as big as you want to carry, comparing it to a 17" laptop because the price is the same is silly. If you don't intend to game on your notebook, forget the graphics chipset; it probably doesn't matter all that much. Forget the pricetag - focus on what the machine does, then decide if it's right for you, or if something else is better, whatever "better" happens to be.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    soupratt

    soupratt Member

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    I was going to say the same thing but not as eloquent.
     
  16. Marlborosmoker

    Marlborosmoker Member

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    Correct - opinion/personal choice etc etc. So it's impossible to quantify.

    err, widespread complaints about the "premium" quality of magsafe. Averages 2 stars out of 5 (600+ reviews on apple's website). Doesn't inspire much confidence. See-
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MA938LL/A?fnode=home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/power&mco=MTEzNDE0

    But you have to ask especially in an article consisting of a pc vs mac price comparison, what functionality does osx have that doesn't appear in any other o/s? What significant advantage is there? Honestly, It does some things better and some things worse than the competition. The whole point of the article was to "demystify" the apple product pricing structure.

    This is not an attack on yourself. It's an attack on the poorly crafted article. No-one can go around telling others what to buy. Hell no-one needs to justify their purchases. Your money - your choice. But when an journalistic article comes out and does a piss poor job of representing any sort of fair and balanced thought, when it claims to be able to justify the pricing - it deserves to be shot down in flames.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  17. skootyloops

    skootyloops Member

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    With OS comparison its more what the user prefers I guess. I mean Vista/Linux/OSX, all pretty much do the same thing with a few features here and there that are different.

    For myself, I prefer the look and feel of OSX, but I feel it has no greater functionality then windows or linux.
     
  18. xcalibur

    xcalibur Member

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    i beg to differ on this one. only because i swear by cover flow and quickview for my uni work. it makes finding pdfs hell easy, and doesn't require opening a doc like windows. linux has a feature that is somewhat similar (not coverflow, but opens an app for quicklook), but doesn't offer the same ease and and ability. plus the built in preview program in OS X lets me highlight pdfs which windows does not do (not sure about linux). because i need statistical packages i have to stick with windows or linux.

    so imho OSX does offer feature that windows doesn't and linux does not offer coverflow.
     
  19. bugayev

    bugayev Whammy!

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    So you're basing that on the opinions of people who have had to buy ANOTHER charger for their laptop, rather than those who have never visited the (American online) Apple store to purchase one the adapter for a Macbook Pro (which is different to the one for the Macbook), because they are perfectly fine with it?
     
  20. Xplora

    Xplora Member

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    A brief read of the pro-Apple comments shows pretty quickly that Apple's customers are NOTHING like Wintel PC customers.

    I work around graphics people on occasion. They all use Macs. Big meataxe Mac boxes with 23" screens. For the majority of Apples sold, they are a business expense, and they provide a simplicity that I suspect you can't get from a PC. A bit like buying a multipoint injection car vs one with a carbeurettor. Not everyone wants to let the computer decide how their fuel gets mixed. Some people want the control of their OS, with all the toggles and dials, and some (Mac users) are happy to let Apple decide how their machine works for them.

    Completely different market segment. I know that if I bought a PC for 1 purpose alone, like media production, I wouldn't care if I could change the cache options or how good the aftermarket addons are. I want it to produce media as quickly and easily as possible, for as long as possible before needing to upgrade.

    A lot of the geek crowd forgets that business isn't the same as pleasure!
     

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