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Rkiver
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Postby Rkiver » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:52 pm

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Babylon5
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Postby Babylon5 » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:54 pm

Heh.

Sweet, sweet irony.
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Postby xander » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:56 pm

Rkiver wrote:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5283424.stm

Yes, great Macs there. :P

Is anyone suprised by this? They got their batteries from the same place Dell did... Jeez, we just can't win with you PC people -- first you complain that Macs don't use standard parts, then, when they do, you complain that those parts explode! ;)

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Postby Rkiver » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:58 pm

They shouldn't have used sub standard parts. Simple as really. I was using it as an example that all machines have their pros and cons.

If the new generation macs weren't such a bloody rip off and could be upgraded as easily as pcs, I'd get one. Have it triple boot and I'd be happy.
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Postby xander » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:59 pm

Rkiver wrote:They shouldn't have used sub standard parts. Simple as really. I was using it as an example that all machines have their pros and cons.

If the new generation macs weren't such a bloody rip off and could be upgraded as easily as pcs, I'd get one. Have it triple boot and I'd be happy.

Sigh... that was meant as a joke. Hence the winking smiley.

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Postby trickfred » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:03 pm

xander wrote:*snip*


Um... somehow I wound up looking like I was convincing you to get one, though all I was trying to do was say that you wouldn't need to spend as much as you had thought on a PC just to play Darwinia/Defcon.

*scratches head, looks at posts again*

...

...

...(Really, think about Guild Wars. It's fun. ^_^ )

...

*stumbles off to make a sandwich*
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:28 pm

Babylon5 wrote:
Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Babylon5 wrote:Somehow, Stews fails quoting.


Heh, I tend to forget that the quote tag requires quotes (ironicly). :)


:lol: I assume the edit for this post was the quotes?


Heh, no, I used the auto quotes for that one. I decided the post deserved a smilie, which was added in the edit. :)


As for the batteries, there was really no way for Apple to know the batteries were bad. They were getting them from Sony (just like Dell), so the recall is reallty just another sign that Sony is heading down the tubes.
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Postby Babylon5 » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:31 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Babylon5 wrote:
Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Babylon5 wrote:Somehow, Stews fails quoting.


Heh, I tend to forget that the quote tag requires quotes (ironicly). :)


:lol: I assume the edit for this post was the quotes?


Heh, no, I used the auto quotes for that one. I decided the post deserved a smilie, which was added in the edit. :)


Aw. :( That would have been brilliant if it was...
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Postby NeoThermic » Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:00 am

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:Mac Pro ($2500):
* Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon “Woodcrest” (Core2)
* 1GB (2 x 512MB)
* 250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
* NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB (single-link DVI/dual-link DVI)
* One 16x SuperDrive
* Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
* Mac OS X - U.S. English

You'd also have to take into account the ridiculously well designed and constructed case and system boards (4 hard drive bays and upto 16GB RAM).


Ok, so lets price up the compoments in GBP. In the UK, the same spec above from Apple UK is £1,699.00, so I've got a large amount of play here.

All prices below include VAT at our stupidly high 17.5%:
  • 2x 2.66GHz Xeon Woodcrest core - £498.51 each, £997.02 total
  • 1GB (2x512MB) DDR2-667 - £61.72
  • 250GB SATAII 7200RPM - £47.93
  • 7300 GT 256MB - £53.29
  • "One 16x SuperDrive" - I've no damn clue what a "Super Drive" is exactly, so I've gone for a 16x DVD+/-RW drive - £19.85
  • Keyboard and mouse - I've gone for Logitech since they are a decent brand (with wireless mouse) - £17.85
  • XP Home - I'm not going to include the price of this for two reasons. One, when windows users update their machines, they reuse their copy of windows (after all, it is still only being used on one machine), and two, I can just grab a linux distro and run that, which is free.


Total: £1197.66

Of course, you'll then say that a) I've not mentioned a motherboard b) case. However, I've now got some ~£501 to get a motherboard and case. I can deduct £99.28 of that for a case, a Coolermaster Stacker STC-T01, which has 11 5.25in bays and enough internal mounts for 16 HD's. A Supermicro X7DAE costs only £369.27, so I've got ~£33 in my pocket over the cost of a Mac Pro.


Granted, that isn't much, but would you be willing to hand me £33 right now for no reason? Lets also say that taking Two Woodcrest Xeon's and putting them with a 7300 is a *bad* idea. Sure, it might have buckets of CPU power, but absolutly crap 3D power. You could drop back to one Core 2 Duo @ 2.4GHz, get a far far better graphics card with the money saved, and OC the E6600 (the CPU mentioned) to 3GHz without needing any extra cooling over stock. You would also then save a huge amount of money on the motherboard, as a decent Core 2 Duo motherboard doesn't break £150.

As for Xander's question, I got my comptuer two years ago for free. Even if I get a new computer, everything that I can't use in this one (which is the CPU, RAM, graphics card, mobo, PSU) can just go into a decent & cheap case and I'll still use it. Chances are that I won't upgrade until I'm out of uni, which is two more years time. Although by then I would of got a new computer for free under my DSA.

Do not forget that what drives me to update is things that the average Mac user doesn't do. I do 3D rendering, video editing, gaming, game development, and Overclocking. I would wager that those who keep their systems for 6 years don't do much more than use it for causual things, like web browsing, checking e-mail the occasional document, that kind of stuff. If you do any of the above items, you must keep up to date with the hardware industry, as new things come out so often. For example, I've no SM3 support, so I can't dabble in SM3 without getting my CPU invovled (which totally defeates the point of SM3). HDR on my card isn't nativly supported, it must be done via SM2 instructions, which are not fast on my card, so I can't also play about with HDR much. These are the things that drive me to update. If I only used this machine for general things, then I could keep it till the cows come home.

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Postby ShepFan » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:50 pm

Neothermic,

Nice job, well thought out. A few points:

* I'm not familiar with the specs of, for example, the mobo & RAM, so I'll assume they're the same as the Mac Pro (1.33GHz dual indendendent FSBs, fully-buffered ECC DIMMs, & so on).

* Joe Average has to buy all the pieces when he builds his first machine. Comparing apples to Apples, you should include the cost of the OS.

* Linux, XP, or OS X, you still have to include the cost of the applications, or the hardware is merely a nice doorstop. It is a big reason to buy a name-brand box, especially a Mac-- you get an integrated system, software and hardware, that does more than most buyers realize, right out of the box. For instance, ou mentioned you do video editing and game programming. All Macs come with that software, plus DVD authoring, and really a pile of integrated software (you can easily incorportate your music or photo library right into your movies & DVD menus without fuss) that do make the machine very useful and add a lot of value, but that home-builders seem to discount. But it does cost money--Visual Studio is $299 or £158, and XCode is included on every Mac. Honestly, it is quite a nice product.

* I think "being at int" means you're a student. This saves you some money on Visual Studio for your PC, but it also saves you £127 (VAT included) on your Mac Pro, due to the student discount.

* 17% VAT! Ouch! That is painful.

* A tangential benefit: When I'm done with my Mac and I upgrade, I have an older, fully functional computer with all-legal software I can recoup some costs on. Home-builders (correct me if I'm wrong) have old chips, maybe mobos, optical drives, etc--my sense is there's less value to recover there.

Finally, I think you must admit that the Mac is pretty darn competitive on price, even ignoring the value in the packaged software.

And even more finally than that, thanks for your civility. The Windows/Mac debate has gotten turned on its head with the conversion of Macs to Intel chips, so here we all are again stirring up old passions and well-entrenched opinions, with all the selective perception that goes with it. I own and work with both, so I'm not as partisan as I sound. But I really feel the need to get the story straight when the public is told something like (not quoting anyone in particular), "Get/Build a XXX, you'll save £500/$940!" I figure if Dell, with their volume buying is ~ $900 more expensive than an equivalent Mac Pro, it's got to be tough for a home builder to do it without skimping somewhere. Anyway, I apologize if I came across as personally critical to you. That was never my intent, only to keep the debate balanced and fair. I know I owe trickfred an apology too--that one comes next.

Sincerely,
-ShepFan
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Postby trickfred » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:05 pm

ShepFan wrote:*snip*


No apology necessary, really. I kind of felt bad about the 'trolling' comment myself, but I did think you were nitpicking just a bit. I know 'the debate' gets heated, but I really wasn't trying to convert xander to the PC camp or anything - I was just saying that if you shop around, sometimes you can find a bargain that does what you need it to (though maybe not much more).

Have we all kissed and made up yet?

*hugs everyone, breaks out a case of Creemore Springs lager*
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Postby ShepFan » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:31 pm

trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:Sure, I agree $750 will get you a basic machine. But you corrected xander and said $300, without mentioning all the gotchas. Is that where the "trick" in trickfred comes from? :)

-ShepFan


Yes, that's it. I'm trying to 'trick' xander into buying a PC, and paying more than he bargained for.

Watch out xander! :roll:

Tack on $150 for a 15" lcd or crt, keyboard, mouse - or even less for a kvm switch (if Mac stuff is compatible). Still much less than $750 and Darwinia/Defcon capable.

Have you finished trying to troll my off-hand comment to shreds now?

Hi trickfred,

I think we crossed wires a few times. I definitely did when I read your post:
trickfred wrote:I was merely making the point that $750 was pretty much way more than he needed to spend to get a Darwinia/Defcon capable machine.
I misread and misunderstood your post--I thought you were backpedaling on your, "Try about $300 USD or less," comment and agreeing with xander that it costs about $750 to get a basic Windows machine (as you can see by my confused reply). I disagree that I was being picky to read your link and point out there were hidden costs (monitor, kbd, mouse) and risks (discontinued, refurbished model, 2nd-tier manufacturer). Still, within those constraints, I have to agree you are right that xander could get a Darwinia/Defcon-playing machine for under $750. Not $300, but as you say, perhaps around $450, which is still a healthy discount. (Not that he actually wants or would buyone, which makes this part of the thread all the sillier.)

Also, I apologize for my, "Is that where the 'trick' in trickfred comes from? :)" comment. I was trying to add a sign-off line to lighten the mood after being called picky, and I genuinely meant it as a joke. (Recall that I once called you "an evil, evil man," again as a lighthearted, even appreciative comment.) I should never try to reply to a heated debate when I'm 20 minutes late leaving the house, but I thought you'd understand, given our history on the board and in PMs. I can see why it would sound like trolling, and I'm sorry I didn't respond more carefully.

Sincerely,
-ShepFan
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Postby ShepFan » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:34 pm

trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:*snip*


No apology necessary, really. I kind of felt bad about the 'trolling' comment myself, but I did think you were nitpicking just a bit. I know 'the debate' gets heated, but I really wasn't trying to convert xander to the PC camp or anything - I was just saying that if you shop around, sometimes you can find a bargain that does what you need it to (though maybe not much more).

Have we all kissed and made up yet?

*hugs everyone, breaks out a case of Creemore Springs lager*

Whoops! Crossed wires and crossing posts (like in the mail, if that makes any sense).

No smooches for me, thanks, but I will take a Creemore!

-ShepFan
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Postby ShepFan » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:44 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
ShepFan wrote:That'll buy a lot more of a Mac, but none of the major players is yet shipping the Core 2 Duo machine (Dell is listing September shipment as of today), so a real comparison can't be made.


Well the Mac Pro is a Core 2 machine and it is shipping now.

Also the Intel Macs can boot Windows so you don't even have to wait for the port. :)


Hi Stewsburntmonkey,

I think you're confusing the Dual-Core Xeons ("Woodcrest") in the Mac Pro with the Core 2 Duo ("Conroe" for desktops, "Merom" for laptops). At least, that's what I was trying to describe.

I don't have a MacIntel yet, but I hear that Parallels (virtualization software that allows you to run full-speed Windows and OS X side-by-side without rebooting) is way cool. I can't wait!

-ShepFan
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Postby NeoThermic » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:54 pm

ShepFan wrote:* I'm not familiar with the specs of, for example, the mobo & RAM, so I'll assume they're the same as the Mac Pro (1.33GHz dual indendendent FSBs, fully-buffered ECC DIMMs, & so on).


I highly doubt that the Mac Pro uses a SMC mobo. It's actually going to be more expensive than the one in the Mac Pro (although if anyone can tell me exact part numbers, we can go looking!). The RAM the Mac Pro uses is strange. 667MHz FB-DDR2. Why not DDR2-800? Strikes me as the oddest thing :P

ShepFan wrote:* Joe Average has to buy all the pieces when he builds his first machine. Comparing apples to Apples, you should include the cost of the OS.


Generally we were talking about updating, but do not forget that Apple can charge the user an OEM price, of which the OEM price for XP is something around £80. Granted, not cheap, but at least we do not have to pay for service packs ;)

ShepFan wrote:* Linux, XP, or OS X, you still have to include the cost of the applications, or the hardware is merely a nice doorstop. It is a big reason to buy a name-brand box, especially a Mac-- you get an integrated system, software and hardware, that does more than most buyers realize, right out of the box. For instance, ou mentioned you do video editing and game programming. All Macs come with that software, plus DVD authoring, and really a pile of integrated software (you can easily incorportate your music or photo library right into your movies & DVD menus without fuss) that do make the machine very useful and add a lot of value, but that home-builders seem to discount. But it does cost money--Visual Studio is $299 or £158, and XCode is included on every Mac. Honestly, it is quite a nice product.


Here-in lies one of the oddest double-standards in the world. MS is not allowed to bundle a media player, web browser, etc else we slap it with a monopoly. Yet Apple can bundle in all the iNamedApps they can think of without incurring any legal problems. I'm very sure that if MS didn't get a lawsuit about its bundled apps, then you would get a lot more in a default install.

ShepFan wrote:* I think "being at int" means you're a student. This saves you some money on Visual Studio for your PC, but it also saves you £127 (VAT included) on your Mac Pro, due to the student discount.


It saved me somewhere in the reigon of £1,300 because I got this machine, and all software, free :P

ShepFan wrote:* 17% VAT! Ouch! That is painful.


Welcome to the UK!

ShepFan wrote:* A tangential benefit: When I'm done with my Mac and I upgrade, I have an older, fully functional computer with all-legal software I can recoup some costs on. Home-builders (correct me if I'm wrong) have old chips, maybe mobos, optical drives, etc--my sense is there's less value to recover there.


They can still use the machines or give them to other famaly. My current machine will probibally end up being a render workhorse if I get a new computer soon.

ShepFan wrote:Finally, I think you must admit that the Mac is pretty darn competitive on price, even ignoring the value in the packaged software.


The can be because they buy in bulk. Lets not forget that they won't be paying some £500 for each CPU. God no, I would say that they could pick them up for abotu £300 each. Looking at the spec, Apple can make quite a profit due to the gap of production cost to selling cost. :P

ShepFan wrote:And even more finally than that, thanks for your civility. The Windows/Mac debate has gotten turned on its head with the conversion of Macs to Intel chips, so here we all are again stirring up old passions and well-entrenched opinions, with all the selective perception that goes with it. I own and work with both, so I'm not as partisan as I sound. But I really feel the need to get the story straight when the public is told something like (not quoting anyone in particular), "Get/Build a XXX, you'll save £500/$940!" I figure if Dell, with their volume buying is ~ $900 more expensive than an equivalent Mac Pro, it's got to be tough for a home builder to do it without skimping somewhere. Anyway, I apologize if I came across as personally critical to you. That was never my intent, only to keep the debate balanced and fair. I know I owe trickfred an apology too--that one comes next.


Don't worry. I'm always civil. If I say something, then I try back it up with hard fact. In this case I do give credit to Apple for making something well-priced, but I still managed to save £32 on the base specification ;)

However, here's my main kicker. While the Mac Pro is nice, it has a silly spec that means it's unbalanced. Bascially, the RAM and GPU let down some god-like CPU's. As I noted, one could just drop back to a dual-core duo, up the RAM and graphics card, add more HD's and walk away laughing. While it might not have as much CPU grunt than dual-woodcrest's, it would make up for it with a more-rounded system, so it wouldn't stutter and die in something like Oblivion, and could fly through more RAM intensive operations, like level loading, etc. If I had two suggestions to Apple, they would be to aim for a better GPU, and get better RAM. DDR2-800 should be used with woodcrest, not silly 667's. One should also get something more than a 7300 GT in a system that is a pound short of £1,700.

I have nothing against Macs, I just find that some people love to make comments that are just untrue when you find out the facts behind them.

To use a car analogy though, a store-bought PC is like a normal car. It's decent, but nothing to shout about. A Mac is like a Jaguar, it looks nice, it runs well, and everyone who buys one swears with it. (or at it, I'm never sure). A custom-built PC is like a kit-car, and while it might not hold the name like a Jaguar, it can certinally beat it in a quater mile ;)

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