First, let me begin this post by saying I never wanted to have a bias towards any type of machine. It's just not worth it. However, with the knowledge and experience I've gained over the past several years, I just cannot help it. I'll try and keep this short.
Are you a victim of aggressive branding? You might be if you purchased Apple hardware. After all, they just LOVE to rip you off. Now, I know fervent Apple enthusiasts would love to man their battle stations and pull some reason out of the air as to why they're not too expensive. However, some of the things I have pointed out on the BBS have gone unanswered and ignored, even by Mac nuts defending their territory to the left and right of me. I'm posting this here in hopes that somebody can enlighten me regarding the points I am about to bring up.
Not too long ago I was curious about what Apple has to offer on their online store. I clicked on the "Mac" tab and began to configure a Mac Pro (Apple's only computer that is reminiscent of the modular hardware that most of us are familiar with). What I saw on the configuration page was one complete ripoff after another. I'm talking about some of the biggest ripoffs I've ever seen in my life -- coming right off of apple.com. Here are some of them.
This is the worst deal I have ever seen in my life. You can build an entire computer that has 4gb of RAM for the price of this upgrade alone. You would think the RAM is really high end, so I checked. DDR2 800 mhz. Gee. I built a machine a couple weeks ago that also had 4gb of DDR2 800 RAM. The RAM cost me $75 (And it came with really nice metal heat spreaders too).
I hope you don't want 8gb of ram. That'll be $1500. Forget that you can purchase an entire computer with 8gb of ram for this price and still have room for a new LCD monitor -- Apple wants your business.
Anyone want to tell me what justifies this?
Where the fuck do they come up with these prices? Most of you probably aren't that familiar with RAID cards. Basically, the Apple RAID card lets you use up to four hard drives in a RAID configuration. I mean, forget that you can get a card that lets you connect up to eight drives for only $250. The Apple card has Apple in its name. That's worth the extra $550, right?
So what's up with that?
Price rape with an LCD. What a great idea -- Ripping people off who still think that LCD monitors are "the new great thing". They'll never know that you just reamed them. For $600, this better be a wonderful fucking monitor. Let's look at its specifications:
Apple Cinema 20":
-Opt. Resolution: 1680 x 1050
-Brightness: 300 cd/m2
-Contrast ratio: 700:1
-Response time: 14ms
Wait, are you kidding me? No, are you serious? This is possibly the worst 20" monitor I have ever seen on the market, and you're being charged up the ass for it. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at another 20" LCD on the market.
KDS K-20MDWB 20":
-Opt. Resolution: 1680 x 1050
-Contrast ratio: 1000:1
-Response time: 5ms (2ms grey to grey)
Jesus Christ, people. If you're not fucking shocked, then you might need to read this again. This monitor is EQUAL OR BETTER THAN THE APPLE CINEMA IN EVERY SPECIFICATION. YET THE APPLE CINEMA COSTS MORE THAN THREE TIMES AS MUCH. That's right. You can by THREE BETTER monitors for less than the price of one Apple Cinema 20". I'm going to have to say this one more time: Apple is charging you three times as much for a monitor that is not as good. Or good at all, for that matter. Apple's 14 ms response time is going to give you ghosting while you game. The other monitor's 5/2ms response time is VERY GOOD. Without being a third the price.
It's bad enough that you get ripped off for a monitor with bad specifications, but it doesn't stop there. At least not for me. I've seen Apple Cinema displays in real life. Tons of them, in my school's digital arts labs. They are the worst monitors I've ever seen. If you leave a window up on the computer for five minutes, the image of the window gets burned in to the monitor so bad that when you close the window, you can still see a ghost image of it that's vivid enough that you can even read its text.
By the way. The Apple Cinema has a couple USB and firewire ports. For a little extra money (We're talking in the ~$220 range), you can get a monitor that has all of that plus a 9 in 1 card reader and extra input connections. Unfortunately for the Apple Cinema, Firewire is all but phased out at this point, and USB ports are abundant everywhere.
What about the OS? I could almost leave that to another news post. Just let me say that Mac OSX has crashed on me more than any other operating system I've ever used. We're talking about on high-end Mac Pros that have been booted from a fresh disk image. Multiple Macs have crashed on me while I was simply using Photoshop, Maya, or even clicking "Go -> Connect to Server". It's not just me -- Everybody has these problems.
By the way. At my university, there's a large computer lab that is divided in to two. One side has 12 high end PC computers. The other half has 12 high end Mac computers. As of the last time I checked (About five days ago), all the PCs are operational, but 4 out of the 12 Macs on the Mac side had paper taped over the screen saying they were out of order. That's just in that room alone. I know ITS has been busy with the Mac lab down the hallway.
Also, the OS has so many annoyances. One of the foremost annoyances is that you can not treat dropdown menus as an active object. For example, in Photoshop on the PC platform, you can select the dropdown menu for font, or perhaps the blending mode of a layer, and then use the arrow keys or mouse wheel to quickly zoom through all of the options and quickly see which one works best. The Mac OS doesn't let you do this at all. Things like that, aside from crashing and being less functional, is just another thing on the list that drives me away from Mac machines.
Oh, and Macs being better at video/imaging/art crap? Stop living in 1989. Not applicable anymore. There are so many fucking idiots who still believe this. There was a topic recently where a user wanted to know if he should buy a computer from Apple or from Dell. Long story short, the Mac was half as powerful as the Dell (It had half the processor cores and half the memory), and yet numerous idiots were still recommending it for imaging/media work. Nice job, recommending a dual core over a quad core for video editing. Along with having less memory, slower memory, and a worse video card. (By the way, the Mac still managed to cost $300 more).
I'm sorry, people. A couple years ago I would have said that Macs are just another approach to computing solutions. Now I just think they're shitty ripoffs. I'm not as familiar with the Macbook line of products, but I'm already completely turned away from Apple as it is.
Any rebuttals to this damning evidence? Anyone?