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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Borrowed a Mac... considering buying... sure seems expensive!


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livemusic

 
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Can you direct me to a thread on this? I'm sure this has been debated ad nauseum.

I have an Imac on loaner. So far, I like what I see. I use a computer constantly all day long, ridiculous hours, so, a good computing experience does have value. However, my use is general biz use... email, surfing, word processing, spreadsheets, plus some map drawing. (And the stuff I create must be shared with PC colleagues.)

Spending money is not so much an issue, I could afford to buy a Mac. However, it kind of grates on my nerves that everything seems so expensive! A 24" monitor on Mac is way more than for PC. The computer itself is much more expensive. RAM, etc.

I have looked into Mobileme. I might get an Iphone and being synced up would be nice. Although, the Iphone's weak vibration signal might be a deal killer.

So, do you have any comment on why a Mac is worth it? What do people say or what have you personally found?
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True Bassist

 
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Definately worth it.
- Loads more useful stuff is allready on their ready to use.
- The OS is just so much better and simplistic than anything MS at the moment (although W7 looks pretty nice)
- The speed and quality of the machines is just fantastic. I have never owned something as stunning and practicle before ever.

I do agree that there is a small price increase in Mac world than in PC world however I would suggest that the whole Mac experience is far better than anything the PC world has to offer at the moment.
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kahlil88

 
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I definitely prefer Mac OS X to Windows. It's built on top of the rock-solid FreeBSD (a Unix derivative) so viruses and hackers aren't really a problem. Their computers are beautiful, but can be a real pain to repair (the older ones anyway). If you're sick of Windows but can't afford to invest money in a Mac, you can always play around with GNU/Linux operating systems.

There is no system but GNU and Linux is one of its kernels.
Join the FSF as an Associate Member!

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Mama Luigi

 
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Even though I use Windows (I switched away from Macs a year ago because I'm a gamer), I can still recognize that Macs are some of the better pre-built computers available. Their desktops have been stagnating for a while, so if you want to get the best hardware for the money, look somewhere else. But Macs do have very good industrial design, and the software that comes bundled with them (specifically iLife, but Apple includes a lot of other minor software as well) is very high quality. I will always prefer homebuilt desktops over prebuilt ones, because I'm a gamer, but it would be unfair to single Apple out. All prebuilt desktops seem lackluster compared to the ones you build yourself.

Macs are like luxury cars. They get you where you want to go just the same as a $400 PC, but they're nicer along the way. They do often cost more, but if you can afford it, it can be worth it. It's when you are short on cash or have requirements that don't fit that Macs become not worth it anymore. I see a lot of people here trying to turn old Power Macs from 2001 into OS X machines, and it's just a waste of money. The fact is, if someone can't afford to get a decent Mac, then maybe they should just console themselves to "slumming it" and put up with using Linux instead (after all, it'll run on cheap hardware, and it's free).

But if you have the money, it can definitely be worth it.
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lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livemusic View Post
Spending money is not so much an issue, I could afford to buy a Mac. However, it kind of grates on my nerves that everything seems so expensive! A 24" monitor on Mac is way more than for PC. The computer itself is much more expensive. RAM, etc.
Study after study after study have shown that Macs, when compared to truly comparable PCs, are CHEAPER than those PCs. You heard me. Cheaper. The problem is that so many consumers are very price-oriented, extremely technically illiterate, and only look at a few basic features and think they tell the whole story. Anyone who really thinks their $400 PC is completely comparable to a Mac Pro is simply deluded. I used to build my own PCs and spent more than $400 for higher performing parts and higher-quality ones. Easily as much as a Mac woulda cost. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

The fact is Apple does not build cheap, low margin computers. They don't feel it's worth the hassle. Doing so would, if anything, cheapen their reputation because cheap computers are just that... CHEAP! Any given Mac will last you longer than any $400 piece of junk out there. Study after study after consumer satisfaction survey have proven this.
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Alexis

 
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You get what you pay for. The machine is well made, with good quality materials. The metal surround is fashioned from a single sheet of aluminum.

It's a custom design too - PC manufacturers will just buy a motherboard off the shelf and shove it in a case. In the iMac's case, fitting a board into a case that thin, with other peripherals and keeping it all cool isn't easy. The board is about half the size of a PC one, despite having the same number of components. Creating something with that kind of component density isn't cheap.
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livemusic

 
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I do admit, it does seem to be a really cool way to compute. And I use a computer so much, if it improves my experience, I'm definitely for that.

It just seems their hardware is overpriced. I said "seems," not is. I don't know, that's why I ask. For instance, RAM. I dunno, maybe they use better RAM?

I guess after I use this Imac for a month, I should know.

I do know that I am certainly not a Windows fan. This latest fiasco -- Vista -- I hope it continues to cost them customers like me. What a joke.

Back to price... thinking of having an Imac and also a laptop... wow, that's going to be some moola. I have considered buying an Asus Eee mini notebook and then an Imac for primary use. There are pros/cons there. Pros include the fact that I would be using only one OS and everything could be synced. Con includes the fact that I would have an inexpensive PC for the occasional software that I need that is only on PC.
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Qua Sar

 
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I like my macbook pro (although i want the new macbook). I just love the Operating System better and think they run smoother in certain situations. As well, some suggestions if you are looking into buying them. If you get a mac mini style or a laptop and just want a monitor for desk use and carrying it around as a laptop though, then I would look into a regular monitor, they work just as well on apple computers. As well if you are upgrading the ram when buying (if you do) then you are able to get the ram from somewhere else than able (like crucial.com) for a substantial discount over apple's ram prices (at least last time i looked). Just thought i'd offer that advice, wasn't sure if you knew since you were talking about monitor and ram high prices.

Hope that helps
-Kamron
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lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livemusic View Post
It just seems their hardware is overpriced. I said "seems," not is. I don't know, that's why I ask. For instance, RAM. I dunno, maybe they use better RAM?
Actually most of us here will concede that Apple does charge an excessive amount for RAM. In fact, some will say to get the bare minimum with a new Mac, order the amount you really want from a reputable 3rd-party, and toss the existing RAM.
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Mama Luigi

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livemusic View Post
It just seems their hardware is overpriced. I said "seems," not is. I don't know, that's why I ask. For instance, RAM. I dunno, maybe they use better RAM?
One area where Apple is definitely the worst (and far worse than any other PC OEM) is built-to-order upgrades. Hard drives and RAM especially. The amount they charge is laughable. It used to be somewhere around double the "street price," which wasn't entirely bad when you consider that BTO upgrades are installed by Apple (no hassle on your part) and are covered by Apple's warranty. Nowadays, they cost 3-5x as much as it would cost to buy the parts on NewEgg or something. Upgrading the entry-level iMac (which ships with 1 GB of RAM) to 4 GB of RAM costs $225 from Apple, but less than $50 from NewEgg. At least RAM is easy to install yourself. The unfortunate part is hard drives, where Apple also overcharges, but in many cases it's very difficult to install your own aftermarket hard drive, so you have to decide between an overpriced Apple upgrade, a potentially dangerous self install, or an inelegant external solution.

As for their other hardware, it varies. Apple doesn't have as many products as other OEMs like Dell and HP, and they don't touch as many markets. You can get a Windows laptop that has better stats than the MacBook for less money, but it'll generally be fairly big and heavy, and often kind of flimsy too (the unibody MacBook is anything but flimsy). You can get a Windows desktop that roughly matches an iMac for a lot less as well, even with a comparable monitor, but as soon as you configure a Windows AIO, the iMac comes out ahead. The vast majority of Windows desktops are towers that can be easily upgraded, something that Apple just doesn't offer unless you get the expensive Mac Pro. If you're a gamer, you'd be insane not to get a Windows desktop (especially a homemade one) so you can trick it out with a powerful graphics card while saving money on other parts (with the right parts, a $600 DIY Windows desktop can perform better in games than a Mac Pro).

The worst Mac right now in terms of value is the Mac mini. It's just been so long since it was updated that it is stagnant and old. That's the only one that is simply bad, though, and only because of the circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livemusic View Post
I do know that I am certainly now a Windows fan. This latest fiasco -- Vista -- I hope it continues to cost them customers like me. What a joke.
Have you actually used Vista for any length of time on a new computer? A lot of people hate Vista because they upgraded their crummy old computer and it ran slowly (incidentally, I had a similar situation with trying to run Leopard on a G4, but I've since learned my lesson). Beyond that, a lot of people have simply jumped on the "I Hate Vista" bandwagon. It's actually pretty good. On a decently new computer it runs well and looks good, and otherwise it's not that different from XP.

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Originally Posted by livemusic View Post
Con includes the fact that I would have an inexpensive PC for the occasional software that I need that is only on PC.
Macs can both boot into Windows (Boot Camp) and run Windows software through virtualization (Parallels). No real need for an extra PC just for Windows stuff.
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Alexis

 
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On a decently new computer it runs well and looks good, and otherwise it's not that different from XP.
That's the problem. Apple knew to ditch OS 9 and start from scratch with X (albeit using an existing kernel base).

Imagine if Apple's latest OS was still a derirative of OS 9, or even 7 or 8?

Because Vista is still basically Windows 95 (yes I know a lot of code has changed, but come on) it's stuck in the past.

Windows is a relic.
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Mama Luigi

 
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Because Vista is still basically Windows 95 (yes I know a lot of code has changed, but come on) it's stuck in the past.
Have you used it?
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Have you used it?
it still incorporates plenty of legacy API's.

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Mama Luigi

 
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Have you used it?
it still incorporates plenty of legacy API's.
Interesting. Back to my question of whether you've used it or not?
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Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
That's the problem. Apple knew to ditch OS 9 and start from scratch with X (albeit using an existing kernel base).

Imagine if Apple's latest OS was still a derirative of OS 9, or even 7 or 8?

Because Vista is still basically Windows 95 (yes I know a lot of code has changed, but come on) it's stuck in the past.

Windows is a relic.
Wouldn't it be XP as when NT was released, which was after '97?, it actually changed the way drivers and hardware and memory were handled...something like that. Server, XP, and Vista are all based on NT if what I'm remember from some schooling is correct.

And OS X is just a pretty face on a body builder. It's Unix based. It's like a version of Ubuntu that actually is user friendly. There's nothing wrong with that, but each OS has it's strengths and weaknesses and sometimes it's not entirely the developer's fault. *Ahem, supporting thousands upon thousands of hardware configurations and actually managin to keep the majority of things running correctly?*

And like Vista shares visual cues with '95 (start menu, minimize, maximize, close buttons, file menus, control panel, etc...) OS X does share characteristics with OS 9. I remember using Apple machines in the nineties and some of the things from then I recognize today.

Not like it matters though. They're all tools to get a job done. I run XP, Vista, OS X, and Ubuntu at home. '98, 'XP, and Server at work. I work with what I'm given.

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