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How much do Mac parts really cost?


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#1 black_death

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:03

An article by moi, enjoy :)

Big Macs

When Apple first started using Intel processors you could only get computers made by them and they could only be embedded inside an LCD monitor but now that's changed, or at least the embedded in a monitor part you can still only buy from Apple, anyways now you have the option of buying "more powerful" Mac Pros. When Apple released Boot Camp many "technology experts" bought Macs under the impression that Windows runs better on Macs instead of PCs but is it true? Well maybe if the Macs had better hardware that would be true but PC hardware is always released later on for Mac so the answer would be no. But these people can't just be making false claims, there must be some truth in it right? Maybe Macs cost less than PCs? Well let's see for ourselves: An entry level Mac Pro costs $2,121.00 and has:

Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" Dual Core 2.0GHz
1 GB (2 X 512MB) 667 Mhz DDR2
160GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3 Gb/s
Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB
16x "SuperDrive"
An undefined motherboard
A case and powersupply

http://store.apple.c...9dqDFdU7/2.?p=0


It also includes an Apple Keyboard and "Mighty Mouse" (you know, that tiny cube with one button and no scroll wheel?), free shipping and options for buying Mac OSX Server Edition (if only there was some kind of Operating System that was way better at being a server and free, hhhmmmmm....), some Apple Software, and AppleCare Protection Plan "world-class support" (if OSX is the world's most advanced OS, never gets viruses, and is the easist OS to use why would one need this protection plan?). Now the average person may think $2k isn’t a lot for a computer like this but let's look at how much this computer would cost if we bought the parts individually with the help of our trusted friend Newegg.com:


Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" Dual Core 2.0GHz - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819117086 $331.99 but I don't see why they're using processors intended for servers on a personal computer (Whoops thats what PC stands for! My bad, personal mac in that case, I'll never make the mistake of calling a Mac a computer a again!) when a Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4 GHz 4MB) is better and cheaper at $309.00? http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115003

1 GB (2 X 512MB) 667 Mhz DDR2 - "Mac Memory" the DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) by Kingston http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820134374 is
$253.99; if however you bought plain old PC memory like the DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) by OCZ http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820227059 it would be $105.99.

160GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3 Gb/s - The Apple page didn't seem to say the how much cache the hard drive had so let's assume it was 8mb. Anyways all the "mac storage" ones seem to be external (and they cost between $181 and $209 - these prices aren't considered in the total) http://www.newegg.co...SubCategory=552 so we'll have to go with a PC one: all the 160 GB 7,200 RPM Hard Drives with 8mb of cache cost between $54 and $65 http://www.newegg.co...;SubCategory=14

Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB - all the GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB cards cost between $70 and $95 http://www.newegg.co...;SubCategory=48

16x "SuperDrive" - Too bad Apple is the only company cool enough to make a "SuperDive" but since no one can make hardware like Apple can we'll have to settle for some lowly PC equivelant, mind you the CD reading and writing (R not RW) on the "SuperDrive" is only 32X instead of the standard for the past half decade of 48-52X but that’s ok it's not like Mac is the world's most advanced OS or anything. Once again Apple has left out some details so let's assume that it's an IDE drive with 2MB of cache: all of the drives with 2MB cost between $24 and $27 http://www.newegg.co...p;SubCategory=5

Motherboard - Apple doesn't mention the motherboard included but I assume the type is changed based on requirements (i.e. how many PCIe slots, how many SATA slots, etc.) and based on our requirements (1 PCIe Slot, 1 SATA slot, Socket 775, DDR2) lets try to find an equivelant: ASUS P5L-MX Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945G Micro ATX - DDR2 667 2 X 240pin slots - 1 PCIe x16 Slot - Retail: $75.99 OEM: $51.99 http://www.newegg.co...SubCategory=280

Other stuff: - There's also a few other things those being a case and a power supply, you can get a pretty good case for around $50 and based in this setup we'd proably need a 400W power supply now the prices are pretty varied but the majority of them cost between $20 and $50 with a few costing more and a few costing less. http://www.newegg.co...;SubCategory=58

Total cost: Depending on many factors including whether or not you want the (overpriced) "mac" part or a PC equivelant and which OEM you get it from: $684.98 - $948.97. Wow, I wasn't even expecting that much of a price gap! Assuming Apple pays around $700 for all the parts (they get it in bulk with no markup) plus the assembling they're making over $1,400 in profit per sale!

EDIT: The cost of one Mac OSX license ($129.00) should be included as well.

Keep in mind you can also buy parts which are "open box" which will cost even less and New Egg has to make money too so they have a little markup but Apple has bulk manufacturing contracts with the companies that make the parts for their computer so they’re saving even more than any of us on parts.


I didn't post this just to **** you guys off however, I also realize that some of my facts may be wrong because I've never actually used a physical Mac, I installed Mac OSX it on my PC (legitimately of course :whistle:) so If you have something constructive to say about my article I'd like to hear it.

Edited by black_death, 02 January 2007 - 19:15.



#2 vetmarkjensen

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:08

Breaking news: Adding up the costs of materials used to build a Lexus shows that you are charged a lot, too. Perhaps you can evaluate the "real cost of a Vista Ultimate box". The materials aren't that expensive there, either.

First, if this is a serious evaluation, the childish snide remarks should be dropped if you wanted to be taken seriously.

Secondly, you ought to compare against equivalent assembled systems available from Dell, etc.

Third, you need to consider the OS and applications into your cost evaluation.

#3 OP black_death

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:14

Alright my bad, I'll include the cost of a $129.00 Mac OSX license into the final price. I dont know Apple's manufacturing costs but they're a large multi bullion dollar company that makes millions of computers so I assume it's not alot. As for my remarks Apple makes plenty of similar remarks and they're taken seriously, and many people make similar remarks about Microsoft and they're also taken seriously so why should keep my opnions to my self if I'm talking about Apple?

Edited by black_death, 02 January 2007 - 19:17.


#4 vetmarkjensen

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:18

Because it is called flame-baiting, if you are pretending to be serious and unbiased, yet post these things to lure people into flaming you for them.

It is against the rules to flame-bait.

But whatever floats your boat. Welcome to Neowin.

#5 Neil

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:23

By the way you need 2 Intel chips and the reason they are Xeon is because of the power they produce and are 64Bit. So before you bash make sure your facts are right.

Welcome to Neowin.

#6 OP black_death

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:28

Sorry Mark I wasn't aware of that rule but I wasn't tyring to get people to flame me I was trying to make a point using sarcasm but I guess it can be viewed that way. And Nezer that specific part about the Xeons wasn't part of my bashing but a legitimate question, thank you for answering it. Thank you for your welcomes whether or not they were sarcastic :)

Edited by black_death, 02 January 2007 - 19:28.


#7 vetJohn S.

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:32

I stopped reading at "Mighty Mouse" (you know, that tiny cube with one button and no scroll wheel?). If you have no clue that the Mighty Mouse actually has 3 buttons and a clickable scroll ball, I seriously doubt the rest of your info.

#8 PyX

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:40

If someone gets convinced by an article like that, I shoot myself.

You took all the cheapest parts for the PC, and the SuperDrive of Apple can also write DVDs and rewrite them. Maybe you should reevaluate that part, as well as the cost of Vista. The OCZ memory is a value kit - it's poor quality. You're choosing a different processor for the PC also... don't be afraid to choose the real one. You chose the worse power supply ever. Don't make me believe that for 20 bucks you get a good power supply.

Very poor article, and yeah, it's a flame-bait article too.
Thank you, come again.

Edit : The one aove me is right, you have no clue what the mighty mouse is. Keep looking.

Edited by PsykX, 02 January 2007 - 19:40.


#9 stadsport

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:41

Wow, this is nothing BUT flamebait.

It also includes an Apple Keyboard and "Mighty Mouse" (you know, that tiny cube with one button and no scroll wheel?),

The Mighty Mouse is a normal mouse-shaped object with 4 buttons and a 360º scrollwheel.

free shipping and options for buying Mac OSX Server Edition (if only there was some kind of Operating System that was way better at being a server and free, hhhmmmmm....)

No, this doesn't sound biased at all. Also some people just might prefer OSX Server.

some Apple Software, and AppleCare Protection Plan "world-class support" (if OSX is the world's most advanced OS, never gets viruses, and is the easist OS to use why would one need this protection plan?).

The protection plan is for hardware.

Now the average person may think $2k isn’t a lot for a computer like this but let's look at how much this computer would cost if we bought the parts individually with the help of our trusted friend Newegg.com:

Of course any computer is going to be cheaper when you buy the parts individually on Newegg, but the Mac Pro isn't a computer made from parts you bought on Newegg. It's already built, has an OS you can't just install on a machine from Newegg (not legally at least), and has protection/support that's important to a lot of people.

Also, your component comparison isn't realistic. The Mac Pro's motherboard has 4 PCI-E slots, the one you listed has one. The Mac Pro's mobo has 8 RAM slots, the one you listed has 2. Also, the "SuperDrive" you compared to is just a CD writer, DVD reader, whereas Apple's SuperDrives are dual-layer DVD burners.

That said: Oh god, companies are making PROFIT?

#10 OP black_death

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:41

Ok I stated in my closing paragraph that my facts may be wrong and that the reason I posted this here is to get my facts verified! I was't sure about the mighty mouse but I used it in a computer store once and thats how it felt to me. If all the responses are going to be like this then I don't know why I even bothered posting this.

EDIT: Yes I realize that some things cannot be compared but in reason!!! All those extra incomparible factors would only end up a few hundred dollars more, the point of my article is that Apple is making HUGE profit on their sales!

Edited by black_death, 02 January 2007 - 19:44.


#11 stadsport

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:49

Ok I stated in my closing paragraph that my facts may be wrong and that the reason I posted this here is to get my facts verified! I was't sure about the mighty mouse but I used it in a computer store once and thats how it felt to me. If all the responses are going to be like this then I don't know why I even bothered posting this.

EDIT: Yes I realize that some things cannot be compared but in reason!!! All those extra incomparible factors would only end up a few hundred dollars more, the point of my article is that Apple is making HUGE profit on their sales!

It just seems to me that the point of posting an article like this is to GIVE information, not get it, especially since the missing/wrong information is easily accessible from Apple's site, regardless of a disclaimer at the end that basically says "I didn't do any research so don't flame me for posting misinformation." And what's the point of making a hardware component comparison at all if you're not even comparing the same components?

Apple is making HUGE profit on their sales!

Isn't that kind of the point?

Edit: Oh yeah, you also didn't factor the cost of the mouse/keyboard on the "cheap" version you constructed on Newegg.

Edited by stadsport, 02 January 2007 - 19:52.


#12 bryce_56

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 19:50

I configured a simular computer on Dells website and it came in at $1895 without an OS so I don't think that there is much difference. And as everyone knows you are paying a premium for a premium product when you get an apple. Of course if you bought the parts seperate and assembled it yourself it would be cheaper but if you are going to make a comparison then you should compare apples to apples. Or I guess you could say Dell is making a huge profit on the parts as well.

#13 OP black_death

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 20:03

It just seems to me that the point of posting an article like this is to GIVE information, not get it, especially since the missing/wrong information is easily accessible from Apple's site, regardless of a disclaimer at the end that basically says "I didn't do any research so don't flame me for posting misinformation." And what's the point of making a hardware component comparison at all if you're not even comparing the same components?

I'm receiving information as well, I included the price of the OS, I didn't know about the mobo configuration I just assumed Apple would want it's customers not to pay for features it doesn't need, I didn't know why it used Xeons insted of normal Core 2 Duo's, maybe because I'm getting such a swarm of replies I can't incorporate all those changes quickly? And no research? How many other people have tried something like this? I spent hours working on this and you have the nerve to say I did no research because I don't know about a ****ing mouse!!

Isn't that kind of the point?


No the point is Mac users have no choice but to pay extra where as Windows and Linux users can build there own PCs for less.

Edit: Oh yeah, you also didn't factor the cost of the mouse/keyboard on the "cheap" version you constructed on Newegg.


Oh my bad, a mouse and keyboard, damn that's really gonna hike up the price isn't it? Mice and keyboards are to peoples own descresion based on how comfortable they, if I just included the price of any old keyboard and mouse then I'd get flamed for that too.

#14 stadsport

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 20:41

I'm receiving information as well, I included the price of the OS, I didn't know about the mobo configuration I just assumed Apple would want it's customers not to pay for features it doesn't need, I didn't know why it used Xeons insted of normal Core 2 Duo's, maybe because I'm getting such a swarm of replies I can't incorporate all those changes quickly? And no research? How many other people have tried something like this? I spent hours working on this and you have the nerve to say I did no research because I don't know about a ****ing mouse!!
No the point is Mac users have no choice but to pay extra where as Windows and Linux users can build there own PCs for less.
Oh my bad, a mouse and keyboard, damn that's really gonna hike up the price isn't it? Mice and keyboards are to peoples own descresion based on how comfortable they, if I just included the price of any old keyboard and mouse then I'd get flamed for that too.

I wouldn't personally say it would take that much research. You go to Apple's Mac Pro page, look at the specs, then find the same parts on Newegg. Drop the links in Notepad, post, and you're done. It's not like you configured and compared similar systems from multiple OEMs. I have the nerve to say you didn't do any research because it's obvious you didn't. At the very least I would think you knew about a mouse, which is why I used it as an example. At any other rate you should be willing to look into expandability (ie number of RAM slots), features (SuperDrive), and maybe even what the warranty does ("protection" = hardware).
Also, whether or not a mouse and keyboard is going to severely hike up the price doesn't matter. Not including them makes you come off as neglectful, biased, or both. And yeah, you would get flamed for just including any old mouse and keyboard, as some people prefer the Apple Keyboard (which has a USB hub) and the mighty mouse (whose ball isn't found on other mice). If you're comparing apples to apples (no pun intended), I'd say it would make the most sense to either find a best match or just the same keyboard/mouse, since they're available without buying a Mac.

Comparing prebuilt Macs to home built PCs is not a fair or logical comparison, as Apple isn't competing with parts, they're competing with other OEMs who sell complete systems.

#15 Edrick Smith

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 23:11

Alright and the biggest thing that he's missing here with saying the Mac Pro. Lets take a second here and read the Pro ending.

Pro is short for Professional you may view the definition here http://dictionary.re...se/professional

The Mac Pro is made for the Professional High End Users. Hence the Xeon processor and other things that come configured with it. If you're a home users you get the Mac Mini or iMac if you're a Pro User again look for the word following the product name MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, or in the case of software Final Cut Pro. Apple users pay what they pay because they expect quality, I bought a Toshiba Laptop 2 years ago had nothing but problems with it and their support, I bought a MacBook Pro because i needed something that would meet my needs and work since I do presentations and video and all sorts of other things and I haven't had a single problem with it since September when I bought it.



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