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Is The "Apple Tax" Real? Mac vs. PC Pricing Compared

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realneil replied on Sun, Nov 28 2010 3:08 PM

BrianM:
even with standard windows systems, most users only upgrade ram and boot drive

Not so sure of this statement, but I've been tweaking windows systems in every way for many years. The one component that I change the least, is the case that it's all enclosed in. Everything else is fair game, often.

BrianM:
I would need 2-3 iMacs to equal what I do with my Mac Pro

My 24" iMac has the Intel 2,800MHz. 'Extreme' dual core CPU in it with 4GB of RAM, and it's very fast for what I do with it. You must be curing Cancer or something with yours,......Wink

Actually, my two Quad Core Windows boxes encode video lots faster than the iMac does.

I bought my iMac in frustration with Windows Vista Ultimate. I had bought three copies (pre-ordered) based on all of the hype that Microsoft was regurgitating back then, and as many of you know, it turned out to be a major bust. Vista Sucked. I had it installed onto some very high-end computers too. Well then I got mad and sold two of my PC's and bought the iMac shortly afterward. I was happy as can be with the Mac's form and function, and what a difference OS-X was compared to (steaming turd) Vista. At that point in time, I had no plans of returning to a windows solution ever again.

Wilted Flower Then, Microsoft GAVE AWAY Windows 7 BETA for a whole yearWilted Flower  (smartest move they ever made)

When I tried it, I was hooked. It was stable and it played my games without any problems. (even the old ones) So, now I have five PC's with Win-7 on them and they work just as good as my iMac does. I can play ANY games on two of them but not on the iMac so much. Now that I'm retired, Games are important to me. One PC is for my Photo collection and never even goes online. One is a Laptop for when I travel. And my wife has a totally upgraded Dell that she loves.

I've migrated all of my data and photos off of the iMac in the last few weeks and my son will be here to get it before long. With my Windows boxes working so well, I'll never miss the Mac at all.

BrianM:
You would have similar restrictions from most "PC" notebooks, small form factor systems, and all-in-one designs.

I agree, most notebooks are an all inclusive, total design, and I usually only upgrade the RAM and HDD's in them. I just did a HDD, RAM, and added a Super Drive to an Intel MacBook-Pro for one of my kids. It was easier than what I thought it would be.

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Well the article , in my opinion, is fare and clear on what is based on from what I understood, which is comparing base models (Price/Components) from major PC vendors and not a comparison of a Build it Yourself  Pc vs an Apple Machine. Plus the pros and cons relevant to each side, such as battery life, the OS , Build quality and more, were clearly described. Good research and very unbiased.

But , I felt that it wasn't  complete and the title "Apple Tax" was not fully represented.

To me , the heart of the "Apple Tax" comes from the Upgrade path. Base configurations of these machine (and upgrades) "'TODAY" are better priced than what they used to be, and I do Agree Apple makes Beautiful and excellent crafted builds with high standards that are well worth the premium.

But the complaint has always been the abusive prices on "Upgrading" components straight  from Apple, such as video cards , Ram , Hard Drives, heck, everything, especially on the Pro models.

I'm sure every body here in the last couple of years has hit the "Configure" button on the Mac Pro and Macbook Pro, plenty of times. And also, go to another site ,like Dell or HP, and fully maxed the limits of each computer to compare.

Sure ,I wont get into arguing that building a PC yourself, a lot of times,is cheaper than buying from a PC Vendor, but what you pay is for quality, guarantees, warranty, customer service, and reliability, not to mention that factory workers salary that does an exceptional build at assembly.

But Jesus, I Remember just adding 2 GB's of ram to A Mac Pro cost an additional 300 or 400 bucks, and don't even get started with the minuscule Video cards, also $300-$400 upgrade cost for a card that's worth  $100 to $150. Hard Drives, don't even talk about it, even today , adding a 2TB 7200 rpm drive cost $300.

Yes, Apple's Computers are a work of art, the finest of craftsmanship, Fashion Leading and graceful. Every body falls in love with their Mac , that I respect , but the to join the club , the title shouldn't be "Apple Tax" , it should be "Royalty'...

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blog101 Surprise [:O] replied on Sun, Nov 28 2010 10:03 PM

That's just silly. Macs use the same hard drives and upgrade components as PCs. Most Apple users usually buy the base model and purchase upgrades on the open market at the same price as Windows PC users. So there is no reason to purchase these upgrades from Apple unless you don't want to do it yourself.

 

The most important thing to remember is that upgrading and building a Mac or Windows PC is easy. Building one the other hand is something else, something that 95% of people will never do. In fact, beyond hard drives and RAM most users never upgrade their computers. By the time the average user decides it's time to upgrade the video card, they are usually ready to purchase a new computer.

 

Most of the people on this forum are in the minority when it comes to computer usage, since so few people build PCs these days or even bother to upgrade them beyond hard drives and RAM. Most people also don't need a high-end video card, even if they are doing serious work. The only real exceptions are 3D (games and professional 3D apps).

 

As a professional filmmaker a stock MacBook Pro, iMac or MacPro would do just fine. High-end video cards just don't make that much difference outside of 3D apps like After Effects, Motion or Auto-CAD. Going beyond 2 processors or 4GB of RAM has diminishing returns, since most apps can't utilize more than 2 cores or 4GB of RAM in any meaningful way.

 

If the average users really wanted to see a difference in performance, they'd be wise to replace their hard drive with an SSD. Hard drives are the most significant bottleneck these days. This is why the addition of an SSD as a standard component in the MacBook Air has made this new model so popular.

 

The bottom-line is that upgrading beyond 2 cores, 4GB of RAM and a mid-level graphics card has very little impact on 90% of users, thus making upgrades somewhat irrelevant. Again, by the time its become long in the tooth, they are ready to purchase a new computer. This is not the 1990's when computers were always underpowered, now a days stock computers are more than powerful enough to do 90% of what most people want them to do right out of the box.

 

The fact that 34% of people purchasing a laptop in the next 6 months are buying a Mac laptop or 24% of people purchasing a desktop in the next 6 months are buying a desktop is very telling. IT means more an more people see a value in the easy of use and level of integration that Apple is providing.

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BrianM replied on Sun, Nov 28 2010 10:05 PM

You are not most users =)    Most users are lucky if they know the name of the program they are using to do things, like "surf the web" or "email".  They have no interest in opening things up to replace ram, or have no idea where to even start to upgrade their hard drive.  (Much like I have little desire to learn how the engine in my car actually gets repaired, not to mention lacking proper tools)  My mother at least knows what program she is using, but has never had anything other than ram upgraded in a computer she has owned (PC or Mac, she has been working with computers since punch cards in the 60's)

I do many things, jack of all trades, master of none, many things always running, video editing of various projects it the biggest demands on storage space though.  1 TB is dedicated to my security system (gives me about a week of history)  While I'm not an expert in any one field, I have a large general base of knowledge which comes in handy doing Sales, Training and Service.

Actually, a 27" iMac Core i7 with 8 to 16 GB of ram might meet my needs for processing & ram requirements, plus a decent video card (although not quite as good). but I would need either several external hard drives, or a multi-drive box, both of which would add to the cost.  And the video card isn't upgradable then. And I'd be restricted to the one built-in display (it is very nice, but I've long since gotten very used to having at least one monitor for status information, email, and my main one for working, plus the connection to the HDTV at full 1080p, which would require another iMac, or at least a Mac mini in addition)  Cost of outfitted iMac 27" like this would be about the same as a Mac Pro I would buy now (without monitor).

Windows 7 is the least annoying version of Windows I've ever used, if Mac OS X did not exist, I would likely be happy using it.  And the Beta program that public users could try out was genius, mostly techie types tried it, and it did swing opinion from what had happend with Vista.  There are still things that annoy me about it, especially at the technical support level.  (for Mac work, I frequently use an external hard drive with the latest OS version installed to verify that a problem exists, completely isolating the internal drive, it can boot any Mac released up until that OS version was released)

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blog101 replied on Mon, Nov 29 2010 1:21 AM

Actually, only Mac user can play any game legally, because the Mac will run OS X,  Windows, Linux and Unix native without any kind of hack. Cool

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What baffles me about this entire article is that it's done for a hardware site. People who visit hardware sites are usually tech savvy enough that they know how to build their own computers. Coupled with the fact that because they know how to build their own computers, they also know how to shop for them, thus know the prices of hardware. With this in mind, most techies have already come to the said conclusion as Ray stated. As others have posted, from a hardware pov, depending on deals and discounts, you can definitely further the price gap (and even further by building your own).

However, we do get new people to this site and people that are just starting to dabble in building, repairing, or adding stuff to their PC. This article is perfect for those people who actually compares the hardware pov and then tries to price the software/design pov. I have to disagree with one thing as I work as an IT consultant with heavy traffic. From what was monthly, I feel like we get bi-weekly customers now where people say they think they got a virus on their macbook. It should also be noted macbooks do crash and they also do need a reformat sometimes, which definitely also seems to be occurring more frequently.

Just my 2 cents.

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 4:42 AM

What baffles me are your comments...

 

"From what was monthly, I feel like we get bi-weekly customers now where people say they think they got a virus on their macbook."

The Mac has no virus in the wild. Socially engineered malware, yes, virus no. So did you actually find a Mac virus on any of these computers? Sure I find plenty of PC virus but they don't run on a Mac nor can they infect a Mac. They get on Macs via file copies from PCs.

 

"It should also be noted macbooks do crash and they also do need a reformat sometimes, which definitely also seems to be occurring more frequently."

Might have something to do with Mac market-share going from 3% to 10% in the US. Amazing how that works. Include the iPad and Apple hold 25% of the US PC market. Of course, the iPad is a PC so 25% it is.

Might want to take note of this...

 

Winners and Losers

Apple once again smoked the competition

http://www.pcworld.com/article/211074/the_tech_brands_you_can_trust.html

"Apple once again smoked the competition in the desktop, notebook, and smartphone categories, winning high praise from customers in all reliability and service categories."

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^an Ipad is not a PC... Its more a Smart phone than a computer. My droidx can do more than the Ipad can... 

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 5:38 AM

By your logic an iPad is a computer because can do more than a VIC-20 or Commodore 64. Those are computers the last time I checked.

Plus the iPad large screen enables it to be used for far more tasks than a DroidX. Last time I check no one has been able to beat Apple on price either, a 7" Android tablet for the price of a 10" iPad... please... that's 55% less screen space. Where is the Apple Tax?

  • Apple: Repeating his Buy rating, Reid raised his December quarter EPS estimate to $5.21 from $4.93, “following recent store checks and industry data that suggest Mac, iPad and iPhones are tracking above our previous estimates.” He inches up his iPad unit forecast to 6.6 million units from 6.5 million, boosting his FY 2011 forecast to 22.5 million units from 22.1 million. For iPhones, he now expects the company to sell 9 million units in the quarter, up from 8.4 million. His Mac forecast goes to 4.27 million units from 4.13 million.

Stifel Ups Apple Ests; Downgrades RIMM

http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/11/17/stifel-ups-apple-ests-downgrades-rimm-starts-garmin-at-sell/

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Um by my logic an Ipad is not a computer I was mearly making a comparison to something that is smiler and  is also not a PC. Also in case your fan-boy-ish is blinding you, there have been tablet PC's out for years (about 6) that even the first one could run circles around an Ipad. The current generation has 10-13" scenes, CD2 processors, 4gb ram, 500gb HD, and also have a keyboard, they cost about $799. An Ipad and all current "tablets" such as the Samsung galaxy S are not PC's they are net tables. 

 

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 6:56 AM

How is an iPad or Galaxy Tab not a computer? What, because it doesn't run Windows? It sill does 90% of what people need a computer to do. Yeah, those Windows tablets have been around for a long while but they have dismal sales, I believe 1 million a year. The iPad will end the year with 22 million sold and up to 70 million next year, compared to the PC market with 354 million projected for this year. Sure sounds like the iPad is replacing something.

Of course, the iPhone is also projected to sell 100 million next year. The Mac is growing 25% over-over-year and currently stands at 10% US market-share.

I think your confusing raw power with usefulness. Clearly the vast majority of consumers are more interested in a easy to use iPad than an overpowered, battery draining, brick-like, non-finger friendly Windows tablet. Windows tablets are a complete failure.

Steve Jobs is right, “PC Folks Feel Like Their World Is Slipping Away. It Is.”

Building your own PC is a hobby and price/performance is no longer king, it's usability and usefulness for the average consumer, which means portability. Desktops are not portable and soon will be a niche market, as is building your own computer. The world no longer revolves around geeks, surprise, surprise.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 7:54 AM

blog101:

 The world no longer revolves around geeks, surprise, surprise.

 

Heya blog101, can't say I agree with that statement at all.  With all the growth the tech industry has experienced the past couple of years, with things like smartphones, tablets Digital camers and SSDs exploding, I think the world has gone geek and geeks are in fashion more than ever before.  Cool

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:06 AM

Yes, but then that means the definition of Geek has changed to be consumer electronics focused, with such products such as the iPod, iPhone, Touch, iPad and AppleTV or other devices like them. These are not build your own devices and they are not geared towards tinkering. By this definition owning a home theater system would make you a geek.

The point is that consumers and business want easy to use devices that do not require technical expertise. This was always true, unfortunately until now no one really provided that experience. The market is speaking for itself now that it's no longer trapped in technical specs.

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realneil replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:13 AM

blog101:
Blah, Blah, Blah,......

I think that no matter what we say on this thread, you're going to 'correct' our thinking. You are the 'Apple political correctness patrol' and we will BE assimilated!!

You're just sitting there with the refresh button at hand, waiting to rapid-fire respond to whatever anyone has to say, aren't you?

Ha-Ha!

 

 


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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:39 AM

I'm simply stating the obvious. There is a seismic shift occurring as we speak - The consumerization of computing technology. Apple is leading the way and the industry is following. It's not about Apple, it's about where they are taking us and where we'll be in the future. Computers were created to perform a task and those tasks have been masked by the complexity of technology, when ideally technology should be transparent to the task.

Wether anyone likes it or not that's where the industry is going for consumers and business users. So it doesn't matter what I think... the writing is on the wall with another blowout quarter for all of Apple's products with the explosive growth of copycat products that model themselves after Apple products everywhere.

This isn't a a fad, it's the future.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:53 AM

countcristo:

What baffles me about this entire article is that it's done for a hardware site. People who visit hardware sites are usually tech savvy enough that they know how to build their own computers. Coupled with the fact that because they know how to build their own computers, they also know how to shop for them, thus know the prices of hardware. With this in mind, most techies have already come to the said conclusion as Ray stated. As others have posted, from a hardware pov, depending on deals and discounts, you can definitely further the price gap (and even further by building your own).

However, we do get new people to this site and people that are just starting to dabble in building, repairing, or adding stuff to their PC. This article is perfect for those people who actually compares the hardware pov and then tries to price the software/design pov. I have to disagree with one thing as I work as an IT consultant with heavy traffic. From what was monthly, I feel like we get bi-weekly customers now where people say they think they got a virus on their macbook. It should also be noted macbooks do crash and they also do need a reformat sometimes, which definitely also seems to be occurring more frequently.

Just my 2 cents.

Great observations and insight there, countcristo.  Good to have you with us!

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@blog101: There is at least one virus "in the wild" for macs, but also for linux and windows. This virus was just engineered several weeks ago and actually runs on Java, thus targeting all platforms capable of Java. I agree with you that consumers who buy these Macs don't know what they're talking about and that's why they mistake viruses for malware/spyware/trojans/keyloggers/etc. When I do look at their infested Mac, the problem usually is annoying enough to warrant a reformat.

I am quite aware of the fact that Apple is doing extremely well in the market. I understand they're gaining greater market share and have become the #1 tech company in stocks, which they overtook Microsoft a few weeks ago. So yes, it is obvious as to why more people are coming in with their busted macs solely because more people have them. However, that wasn't my point. My point was to show that Macs can break and they do, but before you retort this, I'll agree that Macs don't break as often. Then again, Macs are Unix-based and Windows is Windows NT. I'm just going out on a limb here and assume that most people will agree that Unix is more stable.

@Dave_HH Thanks for the welcome! =)

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conutsristo:

I would much agree with the overall stability of the unix platform vs the NT platform. And I can also attest to seeing more macs in need of repair. Mostly imacs with screen issues or HD problems. But like with all computers they all the the same ability to break as the next. 

As far as malware/spyware/trojans/viruses I think if people in general took a few computer classes the majority of infections would go do. I can truthfully say I have never had a Virus at all. I have had some malware,and some trojans, but nothing a free AV cant take care of.... 

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Shakespeare said it best, gender notwithstanding:

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

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@Der Meister Nice, I've gotten a virus before, but that was mainly due to me being young and stupid. I get people coming with Kernel crashes, which is really funny for me.

@Paul I wasn't trying to protest or cause any wars, sorry I guess I'm done replying on this topic.

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@countcristo: That wasn't directed towards you (and it was meant in jest, anyway). It's all good, debate away fellas.

BTW, anyone catch the new Vostro V130 ultraportable? Slim, sexy, and no fruity taxes. Wink

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 2:49 PM

countcristo:

@Der Meister Nice, I've gotten a virus before, but that was mainly due to me being young and stupid. I get people coming with Kernel crashes, which is really funny for me.

@Paul I wasn't trying to protest or cause any wars, sorry I guess I'm done replying on this topic.

Count, you're certainly welcome to reply all you like!  Not sure what bug crawled up Paul's a$$.  LOL

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 2:50 PM

Paul_Lilly:

@countcristo: That wasn't directed towards you (and it was meant in jest, anyway). It's all good, debate away fellas.

Paul is just a big meany.  He picks on me all the time too.  The Red Sox jokes he makes are especially painful and I may need therapy.

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realneil:
I think that no matter what we say on this thread, you're going to 'correct' our thinking. You are the 'Apple political correctness patrol' and we will BE assimilated!!

I was reiterating Realneil's observation.

My serious opinion on the matter? That was posted way back on page 1.

Go Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, Bruins, et al.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 3:15 PM

Paul_Lilly:

realneil:
I think that no matter what we say on this thread, you're going to 'correct' our thinking. You are the 'Apple political correctness patrol' and we will BE assimilated!!

I was reiterating Realneil's observation.

My serious opinion on the matter? That was posted way back on page 1.

Go Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, Bruins, et al.

I know.  I was just messing with you.  Since when did you get so sensitive? Hmm  I just still ache from that time you photoshopped that Yankees hat on my head.

 

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 6:17 PM

countcristo:
There is at least one virus "in the wild" for macs, but also for linux and windows.

No, there's not.  It's a trojan called Boonana.  A trojan which you have to click through multiple warnings and accept shady certs to run (though I've never seen it actually run on non-Windows platforms.  I would bet money that no one on Linux fell for it even as a trojan:  Java's not installed by default so noobs were safe, and anyone that's used Linux for any amount of time knows it's completely atypical to be prompted to install anything from a web browser on that OS.

Back to my point:  If Boonana autoran with no prompts, that would be different. but as an example of OS insecurity it is irrelevant.  Convincing someone to run a random program is not an OS shortcoming, it's social engineering that attacks via the user... not the machine.  I't not anything that can be fixed in the OS short of only allowing users to run software signed by the company making the machine like a game console or jailed phone.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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realneil replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 6:59 PM

3vi1:
not anything that can be fixed in the OS short of only allowing users to run software signed by the company making the machine like a game console or jailed phone.

Maybe require a license to drive computers? Wink

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 7:46 PM

realneil:
Maybe require a license to drive computers?

Not a bad idea.  As I've said before, 15 minutes of instruction in "Safe Computing" would help people who fell for Boonana immensely more than any anti-virus/malware product.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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Like they need a sing in front of the computer section....

You must be this smart to buy one....

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PMartin replied on Thu, Apr 7 2011 6:14 AM

You talk about the power and the ability to play games freely on here, when, lets face it, there are not nearly a fraction of the games available on PCs that are available on Macs.

When it comes to gaming on consoles, Windows can sometimes seem a little lack lustre, but when it comes to PC gaming it is the undisputed champion.

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PMartin:
lets face it, there are not nearly a fraction of the games available on PCs that are available on Macs

Huh? You think that?

PMartin:
When it comes to gaming on consoles, Windows can sometimes seem a little lack lustre, but when it comes to PC gaming it is the undisputed champion.

My experience with gaming on Windows-7 is hardly lackluster, unless the game is a POS. A PC game, when it's coded correctly, and if there is good quality hardware in the mix is well worth it to me.

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The other interesting thing about PC games vs Console games is they are usually cheaper by 10-20 dollars since they don't have to pay licensing fees to the console makers. I love PC gaming and believe it is far superior to my PS3 or Wii.

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DHampton replied on Tue, Jul 12 2011 3:06 AM

OK great article except two facts now I know not everyone does this but we are talking price to performance for min maxers. Most min maxers dont mind clipping a couple pieces plastic together and you look at that for 2500 dollars I can makes the most awesome computer using newegg and amazon. LIterally twice the performance of a mac.

Then on top of that prices dont drop as fast cause pcs are just the value of the hardware. Rather than macs trend value.

As for the single biggest value. PCs can be upgraded rather than buying new. Cause things like ram harddrive case psu cd player can be used for very long time. which can save you tons especially if you need tops of the line hardware all the time instead of buying new mac 3 times a year.

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realneil replied on Sun, Nov 28 2010 3:08 PM

BrianM:
even with standard windows systems, most users only upgrade ram and boot drive

Not so sure of this statement, but I've been tweaking windows systems in every way for many years. The one component that I change the least, is the case that it's all enclosed in. Everything else is fair game, often.

BrianM:
I would need 2-3 iMacs to equal what I do with my Mac Pro

My 24" iMac has the Intel 2,800MHz. 'Extreme' dual core CPU in it with 4GB of RAM, and it's very fast for what I do with it. You must be curing Cancer or something with yours,......Wink

Actually, my two Quad Core Windows boxes encode video lots faster than the iMac does.

I bought my iMac in frustration with Windows Vista Ultimate. I had bought three copies (pre-ordered) based on all of the hype that Microsoft was regurgitating back then, and as many of you know, it turned out to be a major bust. Vista Sucked. I had it installed onto some very high-end computers too. Well then I got mad and sold two of my PC's and bought the iMac shortly afterward. I was happy as can be with the Mac's form and function, and what a difference OS-X was compared to (steaming turd) Vista. At that point in time, I had no plans of returning to a windows solution ever again.

Wilted Flower Then, Microsoft GAVE AWAY Windows 7 BETA for a whole yearWilted Flower  (smartest move they ever made)

When I tried it, I was hooked. It was stable and it played my games without any problems. (even the old ones) So, now I have five PC's with Win-7 on them and they work just as good as my iMac does. I can play ANY games on two of them but not on the iMac so much. Now that I'm retired, Games are important to me. One PC is for my Photo collection and never even goes online. One is a Laptop for when I travel. And my wife has a totally upgraded Dell that she loves.

I've migrated all of my data and photos off of the iMac in the last few weeks and my son will be here to get it before long. With my Windows boxes working so well, I'll never miss the Mac at all.

BrianM:
You would have similar restrictions from most "PC" notebooks, small form factor systems, and all-in-one designs.

I agree, most notebooks are an all inclusive, total design, and I usually only upgrade the RAM and HDD's in them. I just did a HDD, RAM, and added a Super Drive to an Intel MacBook-Pro for one of my kids. It was easier than what I thought it would be.

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Well the article , in my opinion, is fare and clear on what is based on from what I understood, which is comparing base models (Price/Components) from major PC vendors and not a comparison of a Build it Yourself  Pc vs an Apple Machine. Plus the pros and cons relevant to each side, such as battery life, the OS , Build quality and more, were clearly described. Good research and very unbiased.

But , I felt that it wasn't  complete and the title "Apple Tax" was not fully represented.

To me , the heart of the "Apple Tax" comes from the Upgrade path. Base configurations of these machine (and upgrades) "'TODAY" are better priced than what they used to be, and I do Agree Apple makes Beautiful and excellent crafted builds with high standards that are well worth the premium.

But the complaint has always been the abusive prices on "Upgrading" components straight  from Apple, such as video cards , Ram , Hard Drives, heck, everything, especially on the Pro models.

I'm sure every body here in the last couple of years has hit the "Configure" button on the Mac Pro and Macbook Pro, plenty of times. And also, go to another site ,like Dell or HP, and fully maxed the limits of each computer to compare.

Sure ,I wont get into arguing that building a PC yourself, a lot of times,is cheaper than buying from a PC Vendor, but what you pay is for quality, guarantees, warranty, customer service, and reliability, not to mention that factory workers salary that does an exceptional build at assembly.

But Jesus, I Remember just adding 2 GB's of ram to A Mac Pro cost an additional 300 or 400 bucks, and don't even get started with the minuscule Video cards, also $300-$400 upgrade cost for a card that's worth  $100 to $150. Hard Drives, don't even talk about it, even today , adding a 2TB 7200 rpm drive cost $300.

Yes, Apple's Computers are a work of art, the finest of craftsmanship, Fashion Leading and graceful. Every body falls in love with their Mac , that I respect , but the to join the club , the title shouldn't be "Apple Tax" , it should be "Royalty'...

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blog101 Surprise [:O] replied on Sun, Nov 28 2010 10:03 PM

That's just silly. Macs use the same hard drives and upgrade components as PCs. Most Apple users usually buy the base model and purchase upgrades on the open market at the same price as Windows PC users. So there is no reason to purchase these upgrades from Apple unless you don't want to do it yourself.

 

The most important thing to remember is that upgrading and building a Mac or Windows PC is easy. Building one the other hand is something else, something that 95% of people will never do. In fact, beyond hard drives and RAM most users never upgrade their computers. By the time the average user decides it's time to upgrade the video card, they are usually ready to purchase a new computer.

 

Most of the people on this forum are in the minority when it comes to computer usage, since so few people build PCs these days or even bother to upgrade them beyond hard drives and RAM. Most people also don't need a high-end video card, even if they are doing serious work. The only real exceptions are 3D (games and professional 3D apps).

 

As a professional filmmaker a stock MacBook Pro, iMac or MacPro would do just fine. High-end video cards just don't make that much difference outside of 3D apps like After Effects, Motion or Auto-CAD. Going beyond 2 processors or 4GB of RAM has diminishing returns, since most apps can't utilize more than 2 cores or 4GB of RAM in any meaningful way.

 

If the average users really wanted to see a difference in performance, they'd be wise to replace their hard drive with an SSD. Hard drives are the most significant bottleneck these days. This is why the addition of an SSD as a standard component in the MacBook Air has made this new model so popular.

 

The bottom-line is that upgrading beyond 2 cores, 4GB of RAM and a mid-level graphics card has very little impact on 90% of users, thus making upgrades somewhat irrelevant. Again, by the time its become long in the tooth, they are ready to purchase a new computer. This is not the 1990's when computers were always underpowered, now a days stock computers are more than powerful enough to do 90% of what most people want them to do right out of the box.

 

The fact that 34% of people purchasing a laptop in the next 6 months are buying a Mac laptop or 24% of people purchasing a desktop in the next 6 months are buying a desktop is very telling. IT means more an more people see a value in the easy of use and level of integration that Apple is providing.

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BrianM replied on Sun, Nov 28 2010 10:05 PM

You are not most users =)    Most users are lucky if they know the name of the program they are using to do things, like "surf the web" or "email".  They have no interest in opening things up to replace ram, or have no idea where to even start to upgrade their hard drive.  (Much like I have little desire to learn how the engine in my car actually gets repaired, not to mention lacking proper tools)  My mother at least knows what program she is using, but has never had anything other than ram upgraded in a computer she has owned (PC or Mac, she has been working with computers since punch cards in the 60's)

I do many things, jack of all trades, master of none, many things always running, video editing of various projects it the biggest demands on storage space though.  1 TB is dedicated to my security system (gives me about a week of history)  While I'm not an expert in any one field, I have a large general base of knowledge which comes in handy doing Sales, Training and Service.

Actually, a 27" iMac Core i7 with 8 to 16 GB of ram might meet my needs for processing & ram requirements, plus a decent video card (although not quite as good). but I would need either several external hard drives, or a multi-drive box, both of which would add to the cost.  And the video card isn't upgradable then. And I'd be restricted to the one built-in display (it is very nice, but I've long since gotten very used to having at least one monitor for status information, email, and my main one for working, plus the connection to the HDTV at full 1080p, which would require another iMac, or at least a Mac mini in addition)  Cost of outfitted iMac 27" like this would be about the same as a Mac Pro I would buy now (without monitor).

Windows 7 is the least annoying version of Windows I've ever used, if Mac OS X did not exist, I would likely be happy using it.  And the Beta program that public users could try out was genius, mostly techie types tried it, and it did swing opinion from what had happend with Vista.  There are still things that annoy me about it, especially at the technical support level.  (for Mac work, I frequently use an external hard drive with the latest OS version installed to verify that a problem exists, completely isolating the internal drive, it can boot any Mac released up until that OS version was released)

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blog101 replied on Mon, Nov 29 2010 1:21 AM

Actually, only Mac user can play any game legally, because the Mac will run OS X,  Windows, Linux and Unix native without any kind of hack. Cool

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What baffles me about this entire article is that it's done for a hardware site. People who visit hardware sites are usually tech savvy enough that they know how to build their own computers. Coupled with the fact that because they know how to build their own computers, they also know how to shop for them, thus know the prices of hardware. With this in mind, most techies have already come to the said conclusion as Ray stated. As others have posted, from a hardware pov, depending on deals and discounts, you can definitely further the price gap (and even further by building your own).

However, we do get new people to this site and people that are just starting to dabble in building, repairing, or adding stuff to their PC. This article is perfect for those people who actually compares the hardware pov and then tries to price the software/design pov. I have to disagree with one thing as I work as an IT consultant with heavy traffic. From what was monthly, I feel like we get bi-weekly customers now where people say they think they got a virus on their macbook. It should also be noted macbooks do crash and they also do need a reformat sometimes, which definitely also seems to be occurring more frequently.

Just my 2 cents.

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 4:42 AM

What baffles me are your comments...

 

"From what was monthly, I feel like we get bi-weekly customers now where people say they think they got a virus on their macbook."

The Mac has no virus in the wild. Socially engineered malware, yes, virus no. So did you actually find a Mac virus on any of these computers? Sure I find plenty of PC virus but they don't run on a Mac nor can they infect a Mac. They get on Macs via file copies from PCs.

 

"It should also be noted macbooks do crash and they also do need a reformat sometimes, which definitely also seems to be occurring more frequently."

Might have something to do with Mac market-share going from 3% to 10% in the US. Amazing how that works. Include the iPad and Apple hold 25% of the US PC market. Of course, the iPad is a PC so 25% it is.

Might want to take note of this...

 

Winners and Losers

Apple once again smoked the competition

http://www.pcworld.com/article/211074/the_tech_brands_you_can_trust.html

"Apple once again smoked the competition in the desktop, notebook, and smartphone categories, winning high praise from customers in all reliability and service categories."

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^an Ipad is not a PC... Its more a Smart phone than a computer. My droidx can do more than the Ipad can... 

"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 5:38 AM

By your logic an iPad is a computer because can do more than a VIC-20 or Commodore 64. Those are computers the last time I checked.

Plus the iPad large screen enables it to be used for far more tasks than a DroidX. Last time I check no one has been able to beat Apple on price either, a 7" Android tablet for the price of a 10" iPad... please... that's 55% less screen space. Where is the Apple Tax?

  • Apple: Repeating his Buy rating, Reid raised his December quarter EPS estimate to $5.21 from $4.93, “following recent store checks and industry data that suggest Mac, iPad and iPhones are tracking above our previous estimates.” He inches up his iPad unit forecast to 6.6 million units from 6.5 million, boosting his FY 2011 forecast to 22.5 million units from 22.1 million. For iPhones, he now expects the company to sell 9 million units in the quarter, up from 8.4 million. His Mac forecast goes to 4.27 million units from 4.13 million.

Stifel Ups Apple Ests; Downgrades RIMM

http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/11/17/stifel-ups-apple-ests-downgrades-rimm-starts-garmin-at-sell/

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Um by my logic an Ipad is not a computer I was mearly making a comparison to something that is smiler and  is also not a PC. Also in case your fan-boy-ish is blinding you, there have been tablet PC's out for years (about 6) that even the first one could run circles around an Ipad. The current generation has 10-13" scenes, CD2 processors, 4gb ram, 500gb HD, and also have a keyboard, they cost about $799. An Ipad and all current "tablets" such as the Samsung galaxy S are not PC's they are net tables. 

 

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 6:56 AM

How is an iPad or Galaxy Tab not a computer? What, because it doesn't run Windows? It sill does 90% of what people need a computer to do. Yeah, those Windows tablets have been around for a long while but they have dismal sales, I believe 1 million a year. The iPad will end the year with 22 million sold and up to 70 million next year, compared to the PC market with 354 million projected for this year. Sure sounds like the iPad is replacing something.

Of course, the iPhone is also projected to sell 100 million next year. The Mac is growing 25% over-over-year and currently stands at 10% US market-share.

I think your confusing raw power with usefulness. Clearly the vast majority of consumers are more interested in a easy to use iPad than an overpowered, battery draining, brick-like, non-finger friendly Windows tablet. Windows tablets are a complete failure.

Steve Jobs is right, “PC Folks Feel Like Their World Is Slipping Away. It Is.”

Building your own PC is a hobby and price/performance is no longer king, it's usability and usefulness for the average consumer, which means portability. Desktops are not portable and soon will be a niche market, as is building your own computer. The world no longer revolves around geeks, surprise, surprise.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 7:54 AM

blog101:

 The world no longer revolves around geeks, surprise, surprise.

 

Heya blog101, can't say I agree with that statement at all.  With all the growth the tech industry has experienced the past couple of years, with things like smartphones, tablets Digital camers and SSDs exploding, I think the world has gone geek and geeks are in fashion more than ever before.  Cool

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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:06 AM

Yes, but then that means the definition of Geek has changed to be consumer electronics focused, with such products such as the iPod, iPhone, Touch, iPad and AppleTV or other devices like them. These are not build your own devices and they are not geared towards tinkering. By this definition owning a home theater system would make you a geek.

The point is that consumers and business want easy to use devices that do not require technical expertise. This was always true, unfortunately until now no one really provided that experience. The market is speaking for itself now that it's no longer trapped in technical specs.

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realneil replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:13 AM

blog101:
Blah, Blah, Blah,......

I think that no matter what we say on this thread, you're going to 'correct' our thinking. You are the 'Apple political correctness patrol' and we will BE assimilated!!

You're just sitting there with the refresh button at hand, waiting to rapid-fire respond to whatever anyone has to say, aren't you?

Ha-Ha!

 

 


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blog101 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:39 AM

I'm simply stating the obvious. There is a seismic shift occurring as we speak - The consumerization of computing technology. Apple is leading the way and the industry is following. It's not about Apple, it's about where they are taking us and where we'll be in the future. Computers were created to perform a task and those tasks have been masked by the complexity of technology, when ideally technology should be transparent to the task.

Wether anyone likes it or not that's where the industry is going for consumers and business users. So it doesn't matter what I think... the writing is on the wall with another blowout quarter for all of Apple's products with the explosive growth of copycat products that model themselves after Apple products everywhere.

This isn't a a fad, it's the future.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 8:53 AM

countcristo:

What baffles me about this entire article is that it's done for a hardware site. People who visit hardware sites are usually tech savvy enough that they know how to build their own computers. Coupled with the fact that because they know how to build their own computers, they also know how to shop for them, thus know the prices of hardware. With this in mind, most techies have already come to the said conclusion as Ray stated. As others have posted, from a hardware pov, depending on deals and discounts, you can definitely further the price gap (and even further by building your own).

However, we do get new people to this site and people that are just starting to dabble in building, repairing, or adding stuff to their PC. This article is perfect for those people who actually compares the hardware pov and then tries to price the software/design pov. I have to disagree with one thing as I work as an IT consultant with heavy traffic. From what was monthly, I feel like we get bi-weekly customers now where people say they think they got a virus on their macbook. It should also be noted macbooks do crash and they also do need a reformat sometimes, which definitely also seems to be occurring more frequently.

Just my 2 cents.

Great observations and insight there, countcristo.  Good to have you with us!

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@blog101: There is at least one virus "in the wild" for macs, but also for linux and windows. This virus was just engineered several weeks ago and actually runs on Java, thus targeting all platforms capable of Java. I agree with you that consumers who buy these Macs don't know what they're talking about and that's why they mistake viruses for malware/spyware/trojans/keyloggers/etc. When I do look at their infested Mac, the problem usually is annoying enough to warrant a reformat.

I am quite aware of the fact that Apple is doing extremely well in the market. I understand they're gaining greater market share and have become the #1 tech company in stocks, which they overtook Microsoft a few weeks ago. So yes, it is obvious as to why more people are coming in with their busted macs solely because more people have them. However, that wasn't my point. My point was to show that Macs can break and they do, but before you retort this, I'll agree that Macs don't break as often. Then again, Macs are Unix-based and Windows is Windows NT. I'm just going out on a limb here and assume that most people will agree that Unix is more stable.

@Dave_HH Thanks for the welcome! =)

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conutsristo:

I would much agree with the overall stability of the unix platform vs the NT platform. And I can also attest to seeing more macs in need of repair. Mostly imacs with screen issues or HD problems. But like with all computers they all the the same ability to break as the next. 

As far as malware/spyware/trojans/viruses I think if people in general took a few computer classes the majority of infections would go do. I can truthfully say I have never had a Virus at all. I have had some malware,and some trojans, but nothing a free AV cant take care of.... 

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Shakespeare said it best, gender notwithstanding:

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

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@Der Meister Nice, I've gotten a virus before, but that was mainly due to me being young and stupid. I get people coming with Kernel crashes, which is really funny for me.

@Paul I wasn't trying to protest or cause any wars, sorry I guess I'm done replying on this topic.

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@countcristo: That wasn't directed towards you (and it was meant in jest, anyway). It's all good, debate away fellas.

BTW, anyone catch the new Vostro V130 ultraportable? Slim, sexy, and no fruity taxes. Wink

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 2:49 PM

countcristo:

@Der Meister Nice, I've gotten a virus before, but that was mainly due to me being young and stupid. I get people coming with Kernel crashes, which is really funny for me.

@Paul I wasn't trying to protest or cause any wars, sorry I guess I'm done replying on this topic.

Count, you're certainly welcome to reply all you like!  Not sure what bug crawled up Paul's a$$.  LOL

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 2:50 PM

Paul_Lilly:

@countcristo: That wasn't directed towards you (and it was meant in jest, anyway). It's all good, debate away fellas.

Paul is just a big meany.  He picks on me all the time too.  The Red Sox jokes he makes are especially painful and I may need therapy.

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realneil:
I think that no matter what we say on this thread, you're going to 'correct' our thinking. You are the 'Apple political correctness patrol' and we will BE assimilated!!

I was reiterating Realneil's observation.

My serious opinion on the matter? That was posted way back on page 1.

Go Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, Bruins, et al.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 3:15 PM

Paul_Lilly:

realneil:
I think that no matter what we say on this thread, you're going to 'correct' our thinking. You are the 'Apple political correctness patrol' and we will BE assimilated!!

I was reiterating Realneil's observation.

My serious opinion on the matter? That was posted way back on page 1.

Go Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, Bruins, et al.

I know.  I was just messing with you.  Since when did you get so sensitive? Hmm  I just still ache from that time you photoshopped that Yankees hat on my head.

 

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 6:17 PM

countcristo:
There is at least one virus "in the wild" for macs, but also for linux and windows.

No, there's not.  It's a trojan called Boonana.  A trojan which you have to click through multiple warnings and accept shady certs to run (though I've never seen it actually run on non-Windows platforms.  I would bet money that no one on Linux fell for it even as a trojan:  Java's not installed by default so noobs were safe, and anyone that's used Linux for any amount of time knows it's completely atypical to be prompted to install anything from a web browser on that OS.

Back to my point:  If Boonana autoran with no prompts, that would be different. but as an example of OS insecurity it is irrelevant.  Convincing someone to run a random program is not an OS shortcoming, it's social engineering that attacks via the user... not the machine.  I't not anything that can be fixed in the OS short of only allowing users to run software signed by the company making the machine like a game console or jailed phone.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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realneil replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 6:59 PM

3vi1:
not anything that can be fixed in the OS short of only allowing users to run software signed by the company making the machine like a game console or jailed phone.

Maybe require a license to drive computers? Wink

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Nov 30 2010 7:46 PM

realneil:
Maybe require a license to drive computers?

Not a bad idea.  As I've said before, 15 minutes of instruction in "Safe Computing" would help people who fell for Boonana immensely more than any anti-virus/malware product.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Like they need a sing in front of the computer section....

You must be this smart to buy one....

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PMartin replied on Thu, Apr 7 2011 6:14 AM

You talk about the power and the ability to play games freely on here, when, lets face it, there are not nearly a fraction of the games available on PCs that are available on Macs.

When it comes to gaming on consoles, Windows can sometimes seem a little lack lustre, but when it comes to PC gaming it is the undisputed champion.

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PMartin:
lets face it, there are not nearly a fraction of the games available on PCs that are available on Macs

Huh? You think that?

PMartin:
When it comes to gaming on consoles, Windows can sometimes seem a little lack lustre, but when it comes to PC gaming it is the undisputed champion.

My experience with gaming on Windows-7 is hardly lackluster, unless the game is a POS. A PC game, when it's coded correctly, and if there is good quality hardware in the mix is well worth it to me.

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The other interesting thing about PC games vs Console games is they are usually cheaper by 10-20 dollars since they don't have to pay licensing fees to the console makers. I love PC gaming and believe it is far superior to my PS3 or Wii.

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DHampton replied on Tue, Jul 12 2011 3:06 AM

OK great article except two facts now I know not everyone does this but we are talking price to performance for min maxers. Most min maxers dont mind clipping a couple pieces plastic together and you look at that for 2500 dollars I can makes the most awesome computer using newegg and amazon. LIterally twice the performance of a mac.

Then on top of that prices dont drop as fast cause pcs are just the value of the hardware. Rather than macs trend value.

As for the single biggest value. PCs can be upgraded rather than buying new. Cause things like ram harddrive case psu cd player can be used for very long time. which can save you tons especially if you need tops of the line hardware all the time instead of buying new mac 3 times a year.

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