Why you should never buy a Mac

Sometimes as long time Mac users we take for granted that most of us know to ALWAYS buy the base model Mac and do any and upgrades ourselves – In fact, if I could somehow have gotten  “NEVER buy RAM from Apple” to fit cleverly on a license plate I would have. But Apple has a lot of new customers these days who may not be so savvy or willing to crack open their boxes to perform upgrades themselves, and I think even we as fanboys might have a little trouble arguing most of the points laid out here in this info graphic from TheNextWeb. (Click image to embiggen).


Click image to embiggen

While I disagree with the final statements that Macs are difficult to upgrade (certainly the Mac Pro, listed above is a cake walk, although I admit certain models of Mac mini and iMacs have been a little tricky without the right tools… and while I’ve done a bunch of MacBooks over the years, I haven’t tried any of the new unibodies without removable batteries… so maybe he has a point here) I DO disagree that any Apple you buy will be obsolete “in a few years”. I have a 5 year old Mac mini and a 5 year old Mac Pro still going strong and running the latest Apple OS without a problem. I figure they both have another 2-3 years in them easy and 8 years is not unreasonable for a computer. In fact, I’ve yet to see a PC last that long, or at least that long without a LOT of grief, viruses, reinstalls etc.

Still the complaints about Apple price gouging for standard, off the shelf components is a valid one that is hard to defend. Honestly, they should probably just list the Mac Pro Chasis as a separate $1000 item, and then put the actual cost of the other components in. I think that would sit better with most people.

via TheNextWeb

Comments
25 Responses to “Why you should never buy a Mac”
  1. Ajan says:

    He forgot to mention the MotherBoard.. Guess Apple is charging for the Casing (eco friendly and stuff) and also the MacOSX DVD

  2. sine.nomine says:

    While the hard drive prices are much too high, Xeon processors are expensive no matter where you look for them, and Apple’s prices seem to be pretty well inline with what you’d expect. The RAM is still higher than what it should be, but nowhere near what it used to be, and he fails to note that the Mac Pro doesn’t use plain old DDR3.

  3. Justin says:

    Just to let you know, I have a 2010 MacBook Pro, so its a uni-body with a non-removable battery. It is cake to upgrade. You just pop off the whole bottom piece with 12 screws and have access to everything inside. It is definitely a lot easier to upgrade the hard drive in it than a non-unibody MacBook Pro.

  4. St.Jimmy says:

    The creator is wrong on the Office 2008 price… Which makes the image just some act of jealousy.

  5. Jay says:

    This is pretty rich. The entire thing is a rant about price, which is the ONE thing that a consumer can easily evaluate for themselves. This should be entitled, “Why You Should Consider Upgrading Your Mac Yourself.”

    It reminds me of the classic App Store review. “Love it. Use it every day. Thanks for great feature set. But it costs $2.99, and I wanted to pay $.99. Two stars.”

    I used a Mac Pro for seven years with only a drive upgrade as my *primary commerical computer* doing 3D design and graphics. Impossible with a Windows machine. Think of all the money I saved buying one machine instead of three.

  6. Paul Johnson says:

    This is just as much an indictment of PC hardware makers as it is a criticism of Apple. PC makers have bid down the price of hardware to the point that they make almost no profit on the machines. So how do they make it up? By installing crapware on the machines to get royalties from software companies, by cutting corners on the bulk purchasing of subcomponents (how do you know that every display, every peripheral, every WD hard drive, every Nvidia graphics card, every RAID card, every Intel processor that comes off the line is of identical quality?), by cheapening the value of warranties and service contracts through making remedies more difficult to obtain, by cutting spending on the kind of research & development that makes hardware and software work better together, etc.

    All you are saying is that you as a savvy customer may be able to protect yourself better from the chiseling strategies of PC hardware makers than from Apple. But since you say nothing about the quality problems of PCs, you make it seem like Apple is the only company who is trying to make a profit. That’s ridiculous, and it’s unfair to the casual user.

  7. Bobby says:

    They are showing the Mac version of office 2008 and comparing it to the PC version of 2007 for price? Sorry, that is the microsoft price – not the Apple price for that horrible, crippled suite. If you must use MS office, buy the PC version and run it in boot camp. Cheaper and more capable.

    The Mac Pro is simple to upgrade. It is also usually purchased by professional users. Any Mac User I know (100’s) who would purchase a Mac Pro would buy the model with the processor they wanted and add their own memory and hard drives based on their needs. The included superdrive is fine for most and an additional external USB or firewire burner of your choice is typical for the professional user.

    Consider buying from on online retailer. More custom options at discounted prices.

  8. Wade says:

    First of all, the graphic is outdated, so you can throw every price and price comparison out the window.

    The CPUs in the 8-core Mac Pro cost around $400 each, and the upgrade option to two 6-core CPUs cost an additional $600 a piece (they cost about $1000 on newegg). Apple charges an extra $1500, so they charge a couple hundred more than the OEM price, but it’s not the gouging the graphic implies.

    We all know that Apple charges a lot for their RAM upgrades, along with every other brand name supplier. Nevertheless, in recent years their RAM prices have dropped significantly. The price differences on Crucial are similar, and in some cases Apple is cheaper. Remember, Mac Pro RAM is the more expensive ECC RAM.

    I don’t know the specs on Apple’s RAID card, but newegg has cards in excess of $1300, so I don’t think Apple’s $700 is out of line. Comparing the “highest rated” card on newegg doesn’t say anything, since they could be totally mismatched on specs.

    For their hard drives, Apple charges about twice the price of the cheapest available on newegg.

    I don’t know much about video cards, but again the graphic is out of date. There are no nVidia cards available in a Mac Pro anymore. Adding a second 5770 in a Mac Pro is a little pricey, but upgrading to a 5870 is right in line with prices on newegg.

    $100 is a little much for a Superdrive, but I didn’t find anything comparable for $20. The cheapest I found today was closer to $40. A Superdrive is a dual-layer burner.

    Apple’s monitors have always been expensive, but Apple only sells IPS monitors. Apple’s 24″ monitors also include a microphone, webcam, USB ports, speakers, are all LED backlit and provide power and data to a connected computer. I found similarly spec’d monitors on newegg for about the same price, some even more expensive.

    “And apparently, 6 more inches of screen size doubles the price.” That’s just stupid. That 6″ makes the 30″ monitor 56% larger. And the 30″ display has a far higher resolution than the 24″ monitor.

    Apple’s price for MS Office Business Edition is precisely Microsoft’s MSRP, $399.95. The MSRP for Office 2010 Professional is $500, while the Home and Business Edition is $280.

  9. Andyburnbaum says:

    But does this also apply to other Apple products?

  10. Zac Bedell says:

    Definitely second Justin on upgrading the new Unibody’s. They’re a dream to work in. Pop eight screws (I think — my MBP’s upstairs right now), pull off the flat under side, and you’re in. No pop-clips or magic pressure points. RAM, hard drive, and “unreplacable” battery are all at your fingertips. Optical drive or keyboard would take a bit more work (lawn sale the machine, I fear for the keyboard), but for the stuff you’re most likely to want to mess with, it’s cake.

    As for the “info”graphic, anyone expecting linear price for linear increase in spec numbers hasn’t been in the computer business for long. Anybody remember the price differences between a 75MHz and 100MHz Pentium? Mortgage your first born…..

    NO2APLRAM — NY at least can have 9 characters in a vanity plate. That would fit. =)

    -Zac

  11. tony says:

    So what did we learn? just get a Hackintosh ;-)

  12. Tom B says:

    If you don’t care about security, stability, or performance, sure, go ahead, buy a PC. If you care about these things and don’t want to spend one penny more than necessary, LINUX is very nice.

    Me? I’m a professional, and I like to have PROFESSIONAL tools. I am fluent win MS Windows, but prefer the Mac’s usability and reliability.

  13. Jonro says:

    One thing’s for sure; changing the hard drive in an iMac should be left to a professional, and that’s a pain. Two things that should be accessible in every computer: RAM and hard drives (and batteries in laptops).

  14. imajoebob says:

    While it’s tempting to burn this down point-by-point, I have matured to the point where useless idiots aren’t worth the time. Suffice it to say, the reason it costs more to upgrade from 6 to 8GB than simply the cost of two 1GB of RAM chips is that you are removing 6 cheap, smaller chips and replacing them with 4 larger, expensive ones.

    In my professional experience, a single glaring, stupid error/lie like this makes the rest of the conclusions suspect and the entire document worthless.

  15. imajoebob says:

    Oh, I would also point out that if reading this would actually stop you from buying a Mac then it’s true: you shouldn’t buy a Mac.

  16. Anaria Conner says:

    Honestly the price gouging is much less than folks normally complain about. The mac pro/macbook pros use business/workstation class hardware. When you get down to it, the difference in price (when you go to windows 7 ultimate) is ~2-300. a far cry from the usual figure people give.

    Just look at the precision workstations from Dell and compare that to the Mac Pro, same with the precision mobile workstations and the macbook pros.

  17. Merry Prankster says:

    My last Mac was a G4 Quicksilver which I used as my primary computer to edit video for nine years. The folks I know who do the same type work on Windows machines, had to buy new computers every two years. In that time I never installed one piece of virus software, had any crashes I couldn’t easily fix myself, or lost any productivity because of crashes, virus problems or needing to tinker with the computer. It just gets out of the way and lets me do my work.

    Who made out better in the long run? Remember, it’s total cost of ownership that counts.

  18. John says:

    None of my Windows machines have ever lasted more than a few years, after which I need to pay someone to trash it properly. i had a Mac Pro that I sold after 5 years of trouble-free use for $500. That says something in my book.

    Yes, Apple charges too much for memory upgrades for those who don’t know that they can do it themselves. It kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth, which can only be removed by buying RAM for a lot cheaper and installing it myself.

  19. Imagine Engine says:

    I wouldn’t mind the prices of Macs so much if Apple would offer financing for Canadian buyers. Currently only the USA can one finance Apple products through Apple’s website.

  20. Dan says:

    Let me just say, “Doi!”

    Of COURSE you don’t upgrade anything that’s readily available elsewhere when buying a mac, *especially* if you’re buying a tower like a mac pro where it’s main feature is upgrade-ability.

    As someone who’s been saving for a Mac Pro for some years now, I agree with the guy – buy your RAM, your video card, additional optical and hard drives elsewhere. The same goes for RAID cards, WiFi, audio and video cards, the whole bit.

    And if you think you can’t upgrade other kids of macs, consider this: my 2005 1.67Ghz Powerbook G4 has *two* internal HDs (optical drive now sits in an external case) and is still holding me over until I can buy that base model Mac Pro. It serves as a media server, professional photo editing workstation, internet terminal, 3D modeling machine, drafting machine, video production machine, and the list goes on.

  21. Loque says:

    Sorry, but i build computers myself and have recently bought a mac laptop (first ever) – at home I have a homebuilt OC’d quadcore to 4ghz, 6gb of tri-channel mem, 2 ati 5770’s… its a beast of a machine and it cost me half the money of a mac.

    However, its no good for work… you know why, becuase:

    1. Windows sucks ass (no 2 ways about it, OSX kicks its ass to the hills)
    2. My custom built beast crashes occasionally, hardware locks, not often, but my mac will never do this. Every PC & Mac is an amalgamation of parts made from almost hundreds of companies, getting it to run smoothly together takes loads of research and time… Apple do this, and if your machine goes titsup, send it to some people and it will returned fixed… your PC…. hah, take it to some noobs, or spend hours beating your head against the floor if you did it yourself.
    3. Its time to sell your old machine, your windows machine is worth shit all 2-3 years later, however your mac is still worth half its value, if not more.
    4. You like virus? Get windows. I put a friends USB stick into my work laptop and bang… one of the worst bootloader virus’s raped the vista thing to pieces… all my sensitive work data open to a hacker… yes yes, glad I saved that money so i could upgrade it!

    For me, windows for home, osx for work. Upgrade? ahaha, not everyone knows what they are doing, and the amount of research involved, the messing around with it, lolz, tell my family to upgrade their RAM, or HD, no chance, I tell them to get a mac and enjoy smooth living… o ye, no hacks/virus’s for OSX either… im adding that to 4..

    Saying apple charge too much for XEON’s, you dont know what your talking about sorry… go check intels pricing.

  22. nanons says:

    I’m currently comparing a Sony VAIO EC with a comparably equipped Macbook Pro.

    VAIO EC

    – Intel® Core™ i5-460M processor (2.53GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 2.80GHz
    – 500GB Hard Disk Drive (7200rpm)
    – 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3-SDRAM-1066
    – 17.3″ Full HD VAIO Premium Display (1920×1080)
    – ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5650 GPU (1GB VRAM)
    – Blu-ray Disc™ Read and Write Drive
    – Adobe Bundle (Photoshop, Premiere, Acrobat)
    – Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student

    Total Price – $1349.99

    Macbook Pro

    – 2.53GHz Intel Core i5
    – 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2X2GB
    – 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    – MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Glossy Widescreen Display (Didn’t Pick No Glare)
    – SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    – Backlit Keyboard (English) & User’s Guide
    – Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student
    – (Added on store) Adobe Photoshop 9

    Total Price – $2598.90

    If I went with the macbook I would lose the ability to view and write bluray, adobe premiere & acrobat, 1 GB dedicated graphics, and get a smaller screen (not to mention loss of HDMI port and two USBs) for well over $1000 more? tell me why this is a good deal.

    I dont even like the looks of a macbook. Tell me why I’m making a bad choice by following simple logic.

  23. anonymus ness says:

    To those making the “I would never have to upgrade” argument, I would rather build 3 $1000 PC’s in a 6 year period than spend $3000 in one go. Thats not to say thats a realistic forecast either of PC’s, cuz it isn’t, the only PC i’ve ever owned that crapped out early in my 20 year history of owning computers is a Compaq Presario I bought in 1996, which went about 2 years later. Rest of them I can still turn on and use.

    And I’ve seen this in a lot of Mac users, its not that they necessarily don’t need to upgrade, its that they don’t want to because they have engraved in their minds that it will be too costly and want to convince themselves that just because they paid that $3000 then that automatically means they don’t need upgrades. Fine, convince yourself of that, live in that bubble.

  24. peterbreis says:

    There is no doubt that Apple overcharges on MacPros, even though they are a very nice solid, well designed and easy to upgrade desktop computer.

    There are however some huge fallacies in this “analysis”:

    1. This is a fully assembled computer delivered to your door ready to start up with considerable very useful software preinstalled. Nothing to do but plug it in.

    2. It is no more valid to compare the prices of raw computer parts to a finished product delivered to your door than a box of groceries to a restaurant meal.

    3. A great many of the extras are easily installed by the user so irrelevant if you are comparing with other DIY components. In fact I would say the Mac Pro has to be one of the most easily accessible and upgradeable computers I have come across.

    4. The Mac Pro case is by far the best desktop case I have seen and it irritates me that nearly all PC cases are by comparison junk made of pressed metal and plastic without much thought of functionality or clean design.

    5. The Mac Pro, like all Macs is all inclusive, there is very little not already installed or installable. That goes for software as well especially OSX which comes in 2 versions only, the second being the server version which has no licensing restrictions. It is simultaneously 32/64 bit with no separate installation of either and there are no deliberately missing features as with Windows. NO registration or nasty procedures to endure. Highly sophisticated and yet easy to use on many levels down to terminal into Linux. It comes with a wide range of free excellent programming tools and basically everything to do day to day computing.

    6. Like most PC users you seem to be blind to the quality of Apple’s displays. All you read is the size and think that makes them like similar size PC offerings. They are in fact brilliant, solid, sharp, true color, HIGH RESOLUTION LED with wide viewing angles. Nearly all 3rd party displays are clearly rubbish when you put them alongside. I have tried to hunt down equivalent displays but can only find 2 possible candidates both way more expensive and with inferior finish and design

    7. Finally you are not compelled to pay full price for a Mac anymore than you are anything else. Something that mysteriously seems to fly over the heads of most PC users. I have always got discounts on my Macs, recently major discounts, eg over 23% on my last iMac.

    To sum up you are comparing discounted, unassembled, undelivered parts, with no warranty or support with a full price fully warranted, supported and home delivered ready to go computer. That is so obviously ridiculous it makes you wonder at the thought processes behind it.

    Typically it is coming from someone who largely uses it for wasting enormous amounts of time playing probably violent games, who therefore considers wasting more time on building, testing and supporting the usually rough looking result as par for the course.

  25. Brian says:

    @Peterbreis

    There are a few things you need to know about building a pc before you say it’s irrelevant.
    1. Cpu, motherboard, hard drive come with 3 year warranties and lifetime support through their manufacture. Ram comes with lifetime warranty, gpu’s come with 2 or if you pay for the $10 more model, lifetime warranty and support.
    2. It takes me and 2 hours to build set up and run a computer, even if you ad $100 to the build cost for that, I’m $1200 cheaper than a Mac Pro. (Taking your time to build is well worth saving $1200)
    3. I’ve never had a virus or my computer crash, so I don’t know where you get this pc are unreliable. Probably cause you don’t know how to take care of one.
    4. Cases you can buy on newegg are way cooler than that ugly Mac Pro case, and cheaper.
    5. I don’t have to send my pc in for 2 weeks to let some underpaid employee screw up my pc at a rediculous amount of money. I can just fix it myself.

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