Building A Mac Killer – Part IIb

Here we are ACSMB fans, the next installment of the ‘Building a Mac Killer’ series. Today, we’ll examine the actual cost that an individual might expect to pay when purchasing each component in an iMac.



Let’s start with the base model iMac, that Apple sells for $1199:

  • 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 1GB memory
  • 250GB hard drive1
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB memory
  • 20″ Widescreen LCD
  • Keyboard and one button mouse
  • While a bit weak by current standards, that’s not too bad of a system right there. Certainly enough for someone who just wants to surf the internet, play an older game or two, etc. Now let’s take a look at a price list for comparable system components at NewEgg.com, a popular site for system builders.

    As you can see, it’s a system that pretty much identical in hardware specs to the iMac listed above, with a few exceptions:

  • It’s equipped with Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
  • The GPU has 256Mb of RAM (rather than 128MB)
  • An 18x DVD burner rather than the 8x that comes with the Apple iMac.
  • So it’s a bit more powerful, but nothing to write home about. Admittedly, that ATI HD2400XT is a piece of crap video card – I would personally never build a system with it considering the other options that are available. But, unfortunately, thats the only card that ships with the iMac.

    And what’s the price for those components folks? $867. We’ll be nice and round up to $900, factoring in shipping.

    So that’s a $299 premium for the basic iMac, vs building a slightly more powerful machine yourself. You also have to consider that Apple is paying MUCH LESS for individual components than you are, as they buy in much larger lots of 1000 or more…so their actual markup is quite a bit more than that.

    Now, before I berate Apple for being the highway robbers that they are, and the iMac for being an overpriced bucket of crap that it is, let me say that I do see where some may find an advantage to the iMac’s configuration. These are:

  • The all-in-one design
  • The glossy LCD screen
  • OSX Leopard (if that’s what you prefer)
  • To the Apple lovers among you, those alone may be worth an additional $300. If that’s the case, click an ad so I can make an extra cent and get the hell off my blog. :)



    To those of you that may be searching for your next machine, and are rolling the idea of getting an iMac around in your head because for some reason you’ve been falsely led into believing it’s the ‘best computer you can buy, consider the following:

  • The ‘all-in-one’ design is actually pretty lame. It’s difficult to upgrade, and it sits on your desk. A laptop, on the other hand, is difficult to upgrade, but you can take it anywhere. I see absolutely no point to the ‘all-in-one’ design other than someone who thinks paying a premium for a computer that will depreciate faster than their new car and in a few years be a useless household decoration is somehow cool. If that’s you – you’re an idiot. I’m sorry, but…you are one big gigantic freakin’ idiot.
  • You are confined to the 20″ display that you purchased with the computer. As LCD prices continue to fall, you might want to ad a larger main display in the future. With the iMac, you’re SOL. (that’s ‘shit out of luck’, apple fans!)
  • WTF is up with that 8x DVD burner? Do you know how slow that is??
  • WTF is up with that one button mouse? Do you know how stupid that is??


  • At this point, you may be saying to yourself “But…$300 is worth the expense to me…I love Apple and I think paying extra for what in 3 years will be a worthless household decoration is alright…you make me sad apple.cansuckmyballs.com!”

    So, if you really are saying that blurb of astinine stupidity to yourself, let me ask you this:

    What else could you do with that $300?

    Well, if you were building your own system, you could do a whole heck of a lot! Like…


    Upgrade to 2GB of memory
    AND a 320Mb NVidia 8800GTS video card!

    Or maybe…


    Upgrade to 2GB of RAM
    , a 24″ Display AND a sweet set of computer speakers!

    Or maybe…

    2GB of memory AND a super-cool high-end case with loads of potential for future upgrades!

    The point I’m trying to make here is that when you make the decision to educate yourself on what you’re buying, and when you decide to take the plunge into building your own machine…YOU decide the options. And YOU build the system that fits YOUR needs. Not Apple. Not Dell. Not HP. YOU. And who is going to be using the computer?

    And best of all, you save an assload of money.

    This also brings up another sore point I have with Crapple. They WONT make OSX available on any hardware platform. Obviously, this is to force anyone who wants to convert to the Mac OS to buy their crappy hardware…and you’ve just seen the little bonus they’re taking on for themselves when you make that move.

    For the record, I think OSX is actually pretty cool. I do prefer Windows myself, but wouldnt mind checking out the Apple OS if I could actually purchase it and install it on my machine. But Nooooooo…Apple has to make everything proprietary to further the myth that they’re some sort of super special high end computer master crafters.

    Well, as you’ve just seen, they’re not. They suck. And that’s why I’m here and you’re reading this article. :)

    Next time, we’ll see just how much that ‘Apple tax’ widens the higher you go up their scale…and just what kind of machine we can put together for that kind of money. Bring your hip waders, ACSMB fans, ’cause Apple’s BS is just gonna get deeper. And deeper. And deeper.



    51 Responses to “Building A Mac Killer – Part IIb”

    1. Dude, you need to take up drinking.

    2. Stephen Schneider on October 29th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

      I would say the iLife package, the integration of hardware and software, plus elegance is easily worth the $300 less you’d spend for your Frankenstein machine.

    3. Pete – funny you say that, I took up drinking as a hobby when I saw 3000 lemmings waiting inline for the iPhone.It was in that drunken stupor that I conceived the masterpiece that is this this fine website. :P

      Stephen – Listen son, I would hardly call a computer that you design, build, and tweak for optimal performance a ‘Frankenstein Machine’ (although that is quite a funny term, and I may just have to use it in future articles if you don’t mind). On that same note, perhaps I could call the iMac the ‘Dracula Machine’ – because it sucks the lifeblood of its purchasers bank accounts! Or maybe ‘The Mummy Machine’ because its all white like a Mummy?

      Seriously though…it’s not that the hardware and software are integrated, its that the software is locked down to Apple’s hardware – which is just standard PC hardware in a fancy case. iLife…meh – for that price difference you could buy a much more powerful suite of software for the Windows environment.

      This $300 price hike in the above article is just the beginning, as you start adding performance to the Mac lineup, in increases exponentially as you’ll soon see…

    4. Here’s the first fanboy response.

      As a former system admin for a university I got to look at lots of computers. Cheap PC’s seemed to all need repair within the first 15 months. Macs came in at about 1/10 the rate per machine used. When you start counting pennies also add in the extra AV software you need. How much do you add for the extra reliability of Macs?

      Oh, and make sure that your cheap Windows box gets upgraded with ultra silent fans. You simply don’t hear modern Macs. 5-6 fans at $0 per makes up for your cost savings real fast. Also make sure you you have a firewire/1394 input for your video camera. Gigabit ethernet is nice, as in built in bluetooth and wi-fi. I use my iMac as a base station for my MacBook and sync my phone with both. Do all these come with your “bargain?”

      Also compare the cost of an upgrade from the bottom of the line Vista. Macs all come with the full OS and you don’t have to pay more for the it.

      Then the kicker. For the cost of a Windows license I also have a Windows computer. With rebates, I paid $19 for a copy of Parallels and can run both systems at the same time. I guess with two boxes and a CVS switch you could kinda sorta get the same functionality. Nah, not really.

      Yes you can pay less for a Windows box, but then you do get what you pay for.

    5. RhinoHornAphrodisiac on October 29th, 2007 at 5:19 pm

      Admin, if that is your real name… I agree with Stephen! Apple has produced an extremely well executed package of hardware, software and contemporary art. I personally believe that the $300 mark-up on your parts list easily pays for the labor I would incur from actually having to put that beast together, and in the end it doesn’t look anything like an iMac. I certainly respect your decision to build your own machine, but some of us just don’t have the time. Out of curiosity, how much would you charge me to design, order and build one of the “Frakenstein” machines?

    6. Michael – Thanks for your comment, allow me to retort:

      ++++++++
      >As a former system admin for a university I got to look at lots of >computers. Cheap PC’s seemed to all need repair within the first >15 months. Macs came in at about 1/10 the rate per machine used. >When you start counting pennies also add in the extra AV software >you need. How much do you add for the extra reliability of Macs?
      ++++++++

      How long ago did you hold the sys.admin position? I assume you’re talking about PC’s for end users here, in which case I would have to disagree on the reliability of the Mac vs PC. For one,they are both based on pretty much the exact same hardware today…from a hardware perspective there isnt going to be any difference in reliability between an iMac and a Dell. Infact, Id wager the iMac would be more likely to fail sooner due to the case design. It’s a fact they run quite a bit hotter than a comparable tower-based PC.

      On the software end, I would have to conceed that the PC solution would have a greater potential for failure, and that’s just due to the much greater occurance of windows-based viruses. This is not to say that OSX is at its roots a more secure piece of software – as you can see in this article:

      http://apple.cansuckmyballs.com/2007/09/16/newsflash-apple-freaks-vista-more-secure-than-mac-osx/

      That’s just not the case. But, due to the much lower market share of the Macintosh – there just arent as many viruses written to take advantage of it. You could install WinXP 64-bit and experience the same sense of pseudo-security – there just arent that many 64-bit viruses yet. YET.

      ++++++++
      >Oh, and make sure that your cheap Windows box gets upgraded with >ultra silent fans. You simply don’t hear modern Macs. 5-6 fans at >$0 per makes up for your cost savings real fast. Also make sure >you you have a firewire/1394 input for your video camera. Gigabit >ethernet is nice, as in built in bluetooth and wi-fi. I use my >iMac as a base station for my MacBook and sync my phone with both. >Do all these come with your “bargain?”
      ++++++++

      Your fan/noise level argument really doesnt hold weight, as modern PC’s are just as quiet as modern macs. Again, they’re based on the same hardware. The big difference here is, a PC will generally have at least 1 ultra-silent 120mm fan to keep the system cool. The iMac will just run hot. As a system admin, you know that heat over time will eventually lead to geater hardware issues. Also, most cases ship with all the fan’s you’d need. And if you wanted to get into system overclocking (next article), you could always design a silent cooling solution that would allow for that.

      Also, the components for the PC in the main article were anything but cheap – that’s all quality stuff. As good or better than what you’d fine in a comparable Mac. As far as the connectivity options you mentioned, that’s easily attained with careful motherboard selection and/or expansion cards if need be. Most motherboards will have a full complement of USB/Firewire I/O. Wi-Fi/Bluetooth are stock on many higher end motherboards, or can be easily added at a nominal cost.

      ++++++++
      >Then the kicker. For the cost of a Windows license I also have a >Windows computer. With rebates, I paid $19 for a copy of Parallels >and can run both systems at the same time. I guess with two boxes >and a CVS switch you could kinda sorta get the same functionality. >Nah, not really.
      ++++++++

      Well, if you really must go there I could run OSx86 in virtualPC or VMWare and have the same setup – albiet faster, and cheaper. However, because Apple refuses to make OSX available for all hardware platforms…that would be using a hacked copy of OSX. While I think its admirable that the DIY community has made great headway into OSx86…I’m really not a fan of supporting pirated software. Even if its from Apple, I won’t use it. Also consider that parellells is a virtualization application – when you are running the Windows environment inside your Mac, you are taking up a lot of system resources from both environments. Its not like having two separate machines, or running one OS. The dual core helps make up for that…but barely.

      ++++++++
      >Also compare the cost of an upgrade from the bottom of the line >Vista. Macs all come with the full OS and you don’t have to pay >more for the it.
      ++++++++

      Oh believe me, I think Microsoft is a big Barrell of Dumbass for their wacky Vista pricing scheme…but note the system specs in the main article include a copy of Vista Ultimate 64-bit. That is the full version.

      ++++++++
      >Yes you can pay less for a Windows box, but then you do get what >you pay for.
      ++++++++

      You get a less expensive, more powerful machine? For the price Apple is charging for their iMac, I’d expect a hell of a lot more. The article described the base level iMac. When you start adding features…then it’s much, much less of a bargain.

    7. I built my first computer in the mid-70′s ( that dates me as a very old computer hack ) – I had to use a soldering pencil and the processor was an RCA 1802. RAM was 256 Bytes – No OS, just Machine Code.
      The point is that there have been many iterations of code on many processors that many of us have lived through and learned.
      I’m an old Mac guy ( still have the original … and it still works after 20+ years ).
      Windows came along late in the game and kept me employed fighting with it long enough to put two daughters through college and pay for a house, cars, etc.
      Windows support is a money-making engine that will go on from now to forever.
      When I am at home, I want a machine that I can boot-up and get to my applications. I don’t want to search endlessly for drivers, etc.
      I really don’t care about the latest hardware to let me spend another $300 on a video card that will let me play some stupid “shooter” game to acheive another 2 FPS. Those people need to get their hand off their privates and get a real life.
      So you can build your Monster Windows Machines and save so much money, but if your own time is worth anything … well, I guess you don’t value your time, have a relationship or family but concentrate on all the X-Boxes and Playstations you have bought or wish you had.
      Get a Life – people like me need you versus people in competition for intelligent resources ( India and China for example … ) Build something that furthers the world – help us all – Good night around the planet, because I know you are already asleep.

    8. Um… Apple hasn’t sold a one button mouse for a long time now. BTW the word is “asinine”, not astinine. Sorry but it seems like you’d want to get that one particular word correct.

    9. Excuse Me -
      I reply to a lot of Blogs when they catch my attention.
      Did not mean to bore you with my history.
      Computers are computers – silicon, metal, and plastic -
      It’s what we do with them that counts …
      Whatever you have, and whatever means you have to communicate – Do It.
      Whoever you can ask to help us better the world – Do It.
      It’s our world, and our responsibility.
      I trust in you … I am only a single individual running scared … please help in any way you can -
      Thanks -

    10. Apple hasn’t made a one button mouse for quite a while. For you to say this makes me suspect that you haven’t really had much experience with a recent Mac. If you like PC’s that’s fine. But what if somebody else prefers Macs? Why are you so vicious against them. You are almost foaming at the mouth with your name calling. You seem obsessed with hating. Leopard is truly an amazing operating system and you are telling people not to try it. I think you are very threatened by Apple’s recent successes.

    11. You seem to really like ball sucking. I personally don’t like it much when someone sucks my balls. It kinda hurts. Having my cock sucked feels much better. I think that if I were in your place I would tell people they could suck my cock. But maybe that’s just me.

    12. Are you about 12 years old? Just asking.

    13. Yeah, right, one button mouse. Please document yourself before being sarcastic.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Mighty_Mouse

    14. Incredible – While I may not be as old as you, I feel like I have a good breadth of experience with computers through the years. I can remember my Dad brining home a terminal for access to his corporate network and I would play Adventure and other text based games. Our first computer was an Apple ][e which I used to do simple graphics animations with Deluxe Paint or Paint Deluxe (can’t quite remember, brain is going on me). When my father switched jobs we got an Intel based DOS 5(?) 286 PC it had a killer 800×600 display and I used a separate paint application (name escapes me) to do static art (this application didn’t support animation), but I did have the trusty Mac Plus available at the computer lab in school, and I did my animations with Hypercard (not quite the best tool for that job, but hey it was all I had available). Since then I have owned a 486dx2, an Apple Performa, a personally built pentium 300Mhz which I would overclock to 450, an iMac, a 2.6 AMD XP, and a bunch of intel laptiips from work. Through them all, I have continued to do a bunch of art and animation, and while I would say that most artists seem to choose Macs, I really don’t see much of a difference. I don’t worry about drivers on either types of systems, and for the most part the applications always run well without hiccups. I happen to agree with this lunatic that Apple is sucking us dry with what they want for a machine. Realistically, I don’t need the Mac (as much as I like how they look) in order to get the applications I use running so I can get my work done (English is not my strong point). Anyway, here’s to Macs as they have served me well, but in the long run, I will be using a Windows based machine for the next couple years (although I hope that Apple begins to sell a non-Apple hardware version of OSX… I would certainly snap that up in no time).

    15. ‘One Button Mouse’ commentors – Gotcha!!! Muhahaha:) I knew someone was listening :P

      PoopyFace – You sir, need to give ballsucking another chance. Get a girl with a tongue ring.

      Gurgle – I am actualy 487 years old.

      Thomas – My little Macobite, I am not viscious toward your kind. I only seek to educate, to teach. There is a world out there beyond that which you know, embrace it…come to ACSMB.com to learn and seek the guidance which Apple fails to provide. Blessings of the state, blessings of the masses. These are the things that make one great.

      Incredible – That last post was quite introspective, thank you for the comment. Every week we try to lay down some sweet poetic musings:

      http://apple.cansuckmyballs.com/category/poetry/

      please join us this Friday for an old-fashioned Mac vs PC poetry slam! Personally, I would be honored…

    16. PC World named a MacBook Pro as the fastest Vista notebook they’ve ever tested — http://tinyurl.com/24a2cg

      Computerworld named Macs as the most reliable computers sold, see http://tinyurl.com/3e5fy3

      A Microsoft web evangelist in Australia is wowed by his experience of buying and using his first Mac — http://tinyurl.com/ywj4sd

      Tim Berners-Lee uses a Mac. BTW, he also invented the web.

    17. Victor,

      It looks to me like the ‘microsoft evangelist’ isnt particularly wowed…he’s impressed with his $3000 laptop(as he should be, its a powerful machine). He comments in that article how he winced at the cost of the thing, and how he’s having trouble installing applications. He also mentions that he could have built a monster desktop for that money…kind of reinforces everything we already know.

    18. “This entry was posted on Monday, October 29th, 2007 at 1:05 pm and is filed under Technical. ” HUH??

      More like MORON RUDE BOY WANKING
      You certainly know a lot about ‘sucking’

    19. Nice one Timelord…the intelligence of the average Mac user once again on display for the world to see.

      Maybe if you didnt need Apple to tell you how to use a computer you could actually type something relevant and cohesive.

      I am pretty rude though, Ill give ya that:)

    20. “Nice one Timelord…the intelligence of the average Mac user once again on display for the world to see.”

      Cheap flame bait, man. If i’d generalize PC users as much as you do for Mac’s, I’d say they are pretty shortsighted trolls, based on you. :)

      Hey. Say it all, instead of baiting.

      You hate Mac zealots, do you? You are right to do so, because every zealot deserves torture, be it Mac, M$ or Linux. Everybody hates zealots. They represent a little part, but god are they taking all the place and making everyone look bad. I hate them enough to hit.

      Say you hate (Apple) zealots. It feels good.

      You hate Apple? A company with so much arrogance deserves disdain. Like Microsoft or SCO, for that matter. Or Google.

      Say you hate Apple. It feels good also. I use Macs and do hate Apple too.

      Now, the part that I dispise is the part where you insult people on their choice of computer. Right now, i’m drinking a really good wine. I could have bought a cheap junk at 5$ the litre and be as much drunk at the end of the evening. Will you insult me because of my choice?

      A part of people that I know to use Mac’s are doctors, teachers and scienticists. Some also are mechanics or caretakers or whatever. They are willing to pay more for the computer they like and demand little care. I don’t see how they can be morons.

    21. The “cool” all-in-one iMac design is a false philosophy. Once you start adding all the bits that the Jobs and Mr Ive won’t put in because it blasphemes the sensuality of the worshipped, the design integrity falls to pieces.

      Or have you not seen all the bits n’ bobs with their entrails snaking like umbilical cords on the desks of actual iMac users?

      iMac in theory as seen in the head of The Jobs and magazine shots? Goooood. iMac as seen in real life usage? Not so good.

    22. Normally I don’t bother to reply to posts by people who wear their biases so overtly on their sleeves, but this particular article is so full of half truths and inaccuracies, stated as unequivocal facts, that it bears examination.
      Leaving alone for the moment the fact that your “comparable systems” are not comparable by spec, the fact that you choose to compare a BYO component system to a brand name system is bogus from the start. It is not an indictment of Apple, per se, that their system cost would be higher than your custom built system, but of ready-made systems in general. You could make a similar complaint about brand name Windows boxes from any PC manufacturer, HP Dell, Gateway, whatever. The issue is not mac vs. winPC, and is thus not even remotely germane.
      That said, let’s examine the “comparable system” you listed anyway. First, you compare a mail order retailer vs the OEM brand name manufacturer. As with the point above, this is another bogus comparison. But that aside, if you are going to pick a cheap mail order firm like New Egg, then it is only fair to shop around for the mac. A very cursory search turns up that several sites, such as macmall, sell the system for as little as $1,144, $55 less than your quote. In addition, this system comes with additional items conveniently not included in your comparison. First, there is the Apple remote. Using New Egg again, that requires that you add about $30 to your home built system, and take up a PC slot or USB port for the infrared receiver. The imac includes firewire 400/800 ports, adding another $50 to your system cost, and taking up another PC slot. In addition, the mac comes with a free $100 printer. Then there is the built in iSight. Adding a camera of equivalent quality would add significantly to your system cost, but we’ll allow for a little leeway, and just add a cheap video camera, say for $30. As others have noted, you would also have to add in a WiFi/Bluetooth card, taking yet another one or two PC slots/USB ports, and adding more to your quoted cost. Being generous again, let’s say $45. Adding some cheap speakers and a microphone adds another $20 bucks plus shipping to your system.
      All this leaves aside the fact that your “comparable” system actually ships for $882, not $867 as you cite. It is telling that you choose not to really configure a comparable system, and speaks to your obvious agenda.
      So where does that leave us? Your “comparable” system comes in at $1157, at a bare minimum (and realistically more) slightly more than the imac. This does not even take into account such things as the difference between slot loading DVD drives (which are a necessity on an all-in-one, such as the imac) and the tray loader you chose. This would add $43 to your cost, and reduce your write speed down to 8x, equivalent to the imac. Likewise, it also does not take into account that the imac has the USB ports on separate busses, instead of on the same bus. Nor does it take into account that the imac is available with free shipping. Shipping your components to my house would run me over $32 additional. It also does not take into account intangibles like footprint, resale value, iLife, and other things that are the standard response to all the rants (yours is hardly original) of this kind. It is not necessary to even address these intangibles, since a cost comparison of tangibles alone puts the imac on a par with your ready made system. The fact that a brand-name system can compete in this regard against a BYO machine, far from confirming your original thesis, serves to highlight how baseless your charges are, and how ill-informed your arguments are.

      And just like that, you $299 price premium evaporated into vapour.

      Now let’s look at your total lack of knowledge about Apple hardware. It has already been pointed out that all macs have been shipping with a five button mouse standard for YEARS now. Your failure not only to know this, but to criticize Apple in this regard highlights the legitimacy of your claims,
      You further state:

      “You are confined to the 20″ display that you purchased with the computer. As LCD prices continue to fall, you might want to ad a larger main display in the future. With the iMac, you’re SOL. (that’s ’shit out of luck’, apple fans!)”

      Do you bother to check your facts (or your lack thereof) before you post? Seriously, do you? All imacs come with a built in Mini-DVI port, offering not only the ability to connect an additional digital monitor in either mirror or extended desktop mode (either of which void your above complaint) but also offers VGA, S-video, and analog video ports. In fact, the imac can accommodate analogue resolutions up to 2048 x 1536.
      You then write:

      ” I see absolutely no point to the ‘all-in-one’ design other than someone who thinks paying a premium for a computer that will depreciate faster than their new car and in a few years be a useless household decoration is somehow cool. If that’s you – you’re an idiot. I’m sorry, but…you are one big gigantic freakin’ idiot.”

      Um… ahem. Let’s look at this. If you had bothered to do even a few minutes of research, as opposed to just pulling BS out of your ass, you would know that mac of all kinds hold their resale value an order of magnitude better than ANY wintel machine of any brand. Macs of five years ago still sell for at least 50%, if not more, of their original sales price. This is most certainly NOT the case for commodity PCs. I know this empirically, since I get my Windows/Linux boxes from the best source for such things, from the curb on trash day when people throuw out their commodity hardware, since it has essentially ZERO resale value.

    23. http://apple.cansuckmyballs.com/2007/11/02/acsmb-presents-stupid-mac-user-comment-of-the-week/

      :D

    24. DeusExMachina,

      [SuckMyBalls]
      You pick trash man? I can give you a few bucks if you need a vid card or something…
      [/SuckMyBalls]

      Regards,
      SuckThis

    25. As stated in the other thread:

      Funny how you conveniently move the goal posts when your point is demonstrated to be without merit.
      Your rant in response to my post essentially boils down to “Of course I didn’t include everything, but I could have if I wanted to. Motherboard X is available that has that feature.”
      Then why, pray tell, did you choose not to use that motherboard in your comparison? Instead you chose one that did not compare to the imac. From your own statement of purpose:
      “Today, we’ll examine the actual cost that an individual might expect to pay when purchasing each component in an iMac.”

      You then proceed to do nothing of the kind. Instead you admit that you make comparisons between non-equivalent hardware. That in and of itself makes your point invalid.
      But let’s address the content of your diatribe (ignoring, for the most part, the senseless ad hominem, since your decision to resort to such tactics speaks for itself, and makes my point far more succinctly than I could hope.)

      First though, if you are going to respond point by point, it serves no purpose, besides a waste of bandwidth, to post the full text first.

      “Actually, I do make similar complaints about other OEM manufacturers – if you actually read the whole article you’d have realized that. But – this site isnt called Dell Can Suck My Balls now is it? It is actually an indictment of Apple, per se, that their system cost is higher than the custom built system – because it’s higher than most brand name manufactuers that spec out the same as well. In my humble opinion, they all suck – but Apple sucks the most, and that’s why I feel compelled to bring truth to the masses, and set them free from the Cupertino BS Machine. I’ll give you credit though – germane is a pretty cool word.”

      I did read your full article, paragraph by painful paragraph. Perhaps your higher faculties were on hiatus when you were writing it. Your stated purpose of the article was to examine the cost of the imac. Making this comparison to component vendors is simply irrelevant (as in not germane, glad you looked it up.) The point is further eroded by the fact that, as demonstrated, Apple’s price is very close to your itemized list. Certainly you present NO credible evidence, and in fact present no evidence at all, that your claim that Apple’s systems are the highest in price relative to component cost. In fact, no where is there any mention of even a single vendor’s competing system. Just saying something does not make it so.

      “Well – I could comb through http://www.pricewatch.com and nail the absolute rock bottom price for each component in the BYO system as well, knocking off at least another $50 – $100. Going through all that would have made the article unnecessarily obsfucated – kind of like your post. Because capitalism is such a great thing , you can shop around for the best price on anything. Macs AND PC components. Had you known anything about building a PC, or – read the article – you probably would have realized that and not claimed the crown of Captain Obvious there bud.

      This would not prove any point, and it is a sad indictment of the US educational system that you think that it would. First, shaving $50-$100 off the price would still leave the Apple imac within a few dollars in cost. Your components would come in at $1189, with shipping. Taking even the higher estimate of cost reduction leaves you with $1089. Simple arithmetic shows that this is only $55 less than the cost of the imac. This essentially insignificant difference in cost is more than made up for for many people in the fact that you now have all your parts from a single vendor, with arguably far better customer service than you can hope to find from your myriad, disparate, most likely foreign, vendors.
      I am fully aware of how to build a PC. I do it on a regular basis, as I sell custom systems, from mini Via boards in custom enclosures all the way up to liquid cooled 8-16 processor server components. It is funny that PC weenies invariably fall back on the IBMO (I build my own) argument, and act like it is some major accomplishment. A trained marmoset could assemble a PC. What is so great an accomplishment in knowing “Lefty loosey, righty tighty?” and plugging rectangular plugs into rectangular sockets? It never ceases to amaze me that people think this is such an accomplishment, bud.

      “That’s a $154 motherboard. There’s your 2 IEE1394 ports…and also 8 SATA2 3.0GB ports (That means expansion for up to 8 hard drives for those who don’t know), 2 PCI Express x16 slots, 3 PCI Express x1 slots, 2 PCI slots, room for up to 8GB of system RAM, 6 USB Ports, and an onboard Intel Matrix RAID controller. How much would all that cost to get on your iMac? If you actually could get those features on an iMac!
      And since when did an add-on card for Firewire ports cost $50? Did you even research your statements before you decided to form your pathetically weak argument? Look at this:
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815124003
      12 bucks son. And it’s got THREE IEE1394 ports. Add that to the motherboard listed above and you could have 5. Can you do that with the iMac?”
      *Sigh. Again, if you are going to switch the game in mid field, you can hardly claim to have made your original point. If you were going to use the mobo in the comparison, then you should have done so. You did not.
      That said, lets examine the above example of your inability to make factually correct arguments.
      Your $12 card does not meet the criteria necessary to be included in the comparison. If you had actually looked at the imac specs with any sort of attention to detail, you would have seen that the imacs have firewire 800 ports. How many firewire 800 ports does your new mobo entrant have? How many firewire 800 ports does your card have? You don’t get to just pick and choose which ports you are going to replicate if you are going to do an honest comparison. Then again, my point is that an honest comparison was never you intent.
      Your are an intellectual fraud.

      “So that leaves us with the iSight and the Remote – which I admit I did not talk about. I figured, that anyone who actually read the article would realize that the intention was to impress upon people that by designing your own PC – you have the choice of what components you want to ad to your system. The iSight is far from being anything spectacular – there’s a myriad of webcams available that would more than surpass it an a nominal cost, like this one:
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826105033

      Um, no, your original intention was not to impress that upon people. Your STATED purpose, as above, was to “examine the actual cost that an individual might expect to pay when purchasing each component in an iMac.” You did not even come close to doing this. Perhaps it is you who needs to read his own writing.
      As for your suggested camera, it is hard to judge, seeing as how that link is not static, which anyone who understood net protocols would know, and thus brings up different things to different people, in my case a list of various optical computer mice.
      That said, it really does not make much difference, as it still does not change the fact that you failed to include it in your spec list, which makes you list duplicitous, at best.

      “And the wi-fi/bluetooth – which can also be inclusive with the right motherboard selection. Or installed via expansion options, as you mentioned…for $12, not $45:
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&Description=bluetooth&bop=And&Order=PRICE
      You’ve also made it sound as if taking up an expansion port with a wi-fi card is some how a detractor from a BYO PC-uh…that’s what expansion ports are there for bud. At least a tower-based computer HAS expansion ports.”

      First, again, you attempt the same bait and switch. Not only do the USB dongles you link to cost more than you quite, but, more importantly, it does not address the issue. To match the imac specs, the machine must do both bluetooth and wifi, not one or the other.
      And taking up a PC slot IS an issue, since it counters the inevitable argument, that you yourself made above, that having expansion slots is a plus. Ignoring the fact that almost no one bothers to expand their systems in this was, if you insist on doing s, it negates this advantage, thus making your above argument irrelevant. After making your system meet the imac’s specs, you will NOT have the slots or ports you claim. Your voodoo math aside.

      “Price quotes on PC hardware are never fixed – they rise and fall based on current market demand and the release of new technology. Again, if you had ever even attempted to look beyond your Apple-colored glasses you might have realized that. When the article was written, one of those components may have been a few dollars cheaper. Why don’t you try checking that NewEgg wishlist in a month when the prices on harddrives, RAM, and the CPU drop some more…I can guarantee the system will be a few dollars cheaper. That iMac is still going to run you $1199 though…Apple doesnt pass its savings onto its customers.”

      And in said allotted time period, the imac, while still retailing for the same price, will more than likely have different specs, such as, say, a larger hard drive, more RAM, or a faster CPU. Claiming that Apple does not pass savings along to customers just shows that you don’t pay much attention to specs. But that has already been made amply apparent.

      “I’ll keep it simple for ya:
      Footprint – PC’s can be built into any number of small form factor cases. An iMac setup still looks like ass with all the wires hanging out all over, unless you want to add wireless connectivity for another $50. I would think that the possibility of future upgradability and a choice of custom components (including a video card that doesnt suck) would more than make up for the worthlessness of having a PC built into the back of a monitor.
      The DVD drive – when building a system into a tower case, why would anyone choose a slower, more expensive slot loading DVD drive? Again, the concept of the article was not to directly mimic the Apple hardware, but show how a system with similar performance specs could be built for much less. It’s not my fault that Apple thought limiting the resources of the iMac and building an all-in-one design that couldnt be upgraded is a good thing. Well, maybe it’s a good thing for them. After all – if you did want more out of your iMac you’d have to buy a new one. Thank goodness for that resale value huh?”

      Your stupid condescension aside, lets look at this.
      PCs CAN be built into a number of footprints. Your stated goal was a comparison of components, and you chose a non-comparable system. Regardless of what form factors PCs CAN have, your stated system has the form factor that it has. No amount of distracting rhetoric can change that.

      “Again, the concept of the article was not to directly mimic the Apple hardware, but show how a system with similar performance specs could be built for much less.”

      And again, no it wasn’t. Your stated ráison d’être WAS to mimic the imac. Otherwise, your article is pointless. Certainly it would have been more appropriate to have chosen a mac mini if your stated purpose was as above.
      Once again, you unscrupulously try to move the goal posts, and try to conceal the fact behind asinine histrionics.
      Also, stating that the imac is not upgradable is just moronic.

      “USB Ports – A PC’s USB ports are generally on separate busses to there champ. Again, the concept of the article that you obviously didnt comprehend was to show that by building a PC, you have a CHOICE of configuration. ”

      Um, no they aren’t, and again, no it wasn’t.

      If I wanted to add more USB ports to the mac, I’d do what I’d do with a PC, ad a USB hub. If I needed so many ports that would not be sufficient, I would not have gotten an imac. So what?

      “Resale Value – I admit, the resale value of a Mac is decent compared to other OEM systems. That’s because mac freaks really don’t know much about computer hardware, and think that by spending extra on the Apple brand they are somehow getting a crazy deal vs the price of a new Mac. ”

      It does not matter what the reason is. It makes no difference if people buy used macs because the great C’thulu instructed all it’s followers to buy macs to drive up their price. The fact remains they retain their resale value far better than PCs, which makes you, once again, wrong.

      “I hate to say it again but if you READ THE ARTICLE you’d see that I actually rounded up the final cost of the system to $900 – more than enough to cover shipping.”

      Which is irrelevant, since the final cost of the system is NOT $869, $900, or anything close. As demonstrated, a feature for feature comparable system, as called for in your original article, would cost closer to $1189, not $900.

      “Printer – I did not match Apple’s $100 rebate on a printer, because that offer expires in Jaurary 2008. You can find great temporary rebates on PC compents as well, but focusing on that would have made the article unfair and outdated.”

      First, if you had read my post, you would have noticed right at the beginning, that I was NOT purchasing the system from Apple. But rather from an independent retailer. Second, if you knew what you were talking about, you would know that the free printer is a routine incentive on mac systems, and has been available for years, and is in no danger of disappearing in January, or any time soon.

      “Now let’s look at your total lack of knowledge about Apple hardware. It has already been pointed out that all macs have been shipping with a five button mouse standard for YEARS now. Your failure not only to know this, but to criticize Apple in this regard highlights the legitimacy of your claims,
      Did you read the comments? If you had, you’d have realized that the one button mouse bit was just a ploy to aggrevate Mac crazies like you. Considering the amount of hate mail Ive received this week – it worked perfectly. ”

      This just makes you a troll, hardly a bragging point. What’s worse, while it may make sense to YOU as a defense against being incorrect, simply saying “I meant to be wrong” is hardly the greatest rhetorical ploy. It is, at best, juvenile.

      “Do you bother to check your facts (or your lack thereof) before you post?
      Yes, i do!”

      I think it quite clear from your post that you do not.

      “Seriously, do you?
      I said yes!! Geez!! Are you deaf too?”

      Simply stating it multiple times does not make it any less incorrect.

      “Did you READ my initial complaint, Mr. Smarty Pants? You CAN’T change the main monitor on the iMac, because its an ALL-IN-ONE design. You can add and additional one, sure…but what if you want to REPLACE the main display as larger and better displays become affordable? What are you going to do – just turn off the main iMac display and push the whole unit off to the side? Would that make sense? That would not only shitcan the iMac small footprint benefit, but it would look absolutely retarded.”

      Why, yes, I DID read your initial complaint. Did you? To refresh your memory:
      “You are confined to the 20″ display that you purchased with the computer. As LCD prices continue to fall, you might want to ad a larger main display in the future. With the iMac, you’re SOL. (that’s ’shit out of luck’, apple fans!)”

      You did NOT say anything about replacing the LCD, You wrote of AD’ind [sic] one. And as stated, I am NOT SOL if I wish to add one.
      As for the rest of that ridiculous retort, are you claiming that multiple monitor setups look retarded? Are you serious? Tell that to all the engineers, stock analysts, film editors, designers, office workers, and others, who routinely use multiple monitor setups every day, and in fact make this ability a key criterion in system choice. You do know what a dual head video card is for, right?

      “Dude…did you really think ‘Um…ahem’ before you typed it? Do you realize this paragraph reads like you are a pretentious mac user? Oh wait…you ARE a pretentious mac user. Plenty of other Mac fans have made very valid points on this website without sounding like they were sipping espresso with their pinky in the air and a wearing powdered wig.”

      Do you realize that everything you right makes you sound like a pompous, ill-informed, flame-bainting, logically inept, intellectually vacuous, morally corrupt troll? Plenty of Windows fans have valid point, you, I’m afraid, are decidedly NOT amounst them.
      Besides, the way that my points come off in no way invalidates them, raised pinky or not.

      “Listen chuckles, Ill say it again: If you are buying a computer with resale value in mind, you are an idiot. If you buy a used mac, and pay all that money for an equally spec’d PC you could ‘find in the trash’, you are an idiot. Do you realize that with this extreemly lengthy, poorly researched, and pompously written drivel you have essentialy insulted all of your Mac using friends?”

      Funny, seeing as you did not make a single, factually accurate, substantive reply to anything I wrote.

    26. And yes, I do pick through trash. What of it? You get what you pay for, after all.

    27. Ruhayat wrote:

      ++++
      Or have you not seen all the bits n’ bobs with their entrails snaking like umbilical cords on the desks of actual iMac users?
      ++++

      I’m not sure what you are talking about. With a typical iMac setup, there are definitely fewer wires on the desktop (none required for speakers, monitor, and web cam). A real neat-freak can opt for wi-fi networking and bluetooth perpherals. The wired keyboard’s built-in USB hub is handy for a temporary digi-cam or iPod connection, although access to the ports on the rear of the iMac is very easy as well.

      About the only thing Apple doesn’t build into Macs is a set of front-access slots for flash RAM cards. How often does one use those anyway? I upload pictures from my digital camera via USB port and have have never needed to connect an individual memory card. If I did, I ‘d just plug in a $10 universal card reader that I’d keep in drawer most of the time.

      The all-in one form factor appeals to many people’s desire, as witnessed by the recently announced Dell and Gateway “iMac clones”.

      No one is saying that an all-in-one computer is the best choice for everyone. Just because a product may not be right for you doesn’t mean that everyone should share your values.

      In my opinion, Apple SHOULD offer a less expensive (than Mac Pro) mini-tower that is user-configurable and upgradable. Until they do, there is a small, but highly vocal market segment that will whine, stamp their feet, call for Apple boycotts, hurl schoolyard epithets, and the like.

      Even if Apple eventually does address this market, there are some that still won’t be happy until Apple unbundles MAC OS X altogether. And if Apple were to do that, there are others that will complain that Apple charges any money at all for it’s OS and will call for Apple to give it away and open source it. There will always be haters.

      If Apple doesn’t make a computer that suits you needs, by all means go buy something else. Let Apple know why you made your decision.

      But if you choose to build you own computer (even if it ends up with higher performance than a similarly priced Mac) it is not a “Mac Killer”. Macs will keep gaining market share, and Mac owners will continue to enjoy using their computers, oblivious to your hobby.

    28. Hi…Thanks for the nice read, keep up the interesting posts..what a nice Wednesday

    29. Computer Maintenance Tips…

      I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…

    30. Girl Sucking Dicks…

      Sorry, it just sounds like a crazy idea for me :)

    31. I used PC’s foreverm But I suffered a severe traffic accident a few years ago. Now I have brain damage. Most of my cognitive function is gone, I find myself drooling alot, and I have developed terrible cravings for applesauce and tator tots. That’s why I use a Mac. Finally, a computer built for people like me.

    32. @booboocaca

      Mmmmm… Applesauce and tater tots!

    33. Notice that a lot of the username links link to porn sites. Show where those CPMs are coming from.

    34. LOL – still thinking about that adsense revenue man? Stop posting on this site and go start a blog of your own, so that you may bathe in the copious cash surplus that mocking your favorite computer company can afford :)

    35. on a side note….just how useful is firewire anyway?

      pfft

    36. I like what I see here

    37. boy are you a dickhead.

    38. Awwww…little macfreak gonna cry? Ill tell you something shitass..your mac sucks. You sucks. And guess what? You can suck my gigantic windows using balls!

    39. I’m guessing that the idiot that wrote this crappy article is also a registered republican who voted for bush twice and will soon cast a ballot for Mc Lame.

    40. Oh great – a fucking Obamite. Listen dillweed, I hate Obama. FUCKING HATE Obama. He’s a liar, a theif, and a corporate whore just like EVERY politician.

      You don’t see that though, because your a Steve Jobs worshipping pole smoker – you attach yourself to the ideals of others and cling for dear life because you can’t think for yourself. Bet you got an iPhone too right? Because ZOMG its the kewlest phone EVAR!! Like you need to get on the goddamn internet 24/7, and pay $50 a month extra to do it? MORON!

      Fuck Bush, Fuck McCain, Fuck OBAMA, Fuck your worthless piece of shit Mac, and fuck you.

    41. btw, this little ‘macfreak’ as you liked to address me by, is a professional graphic artist at the top of the heap in the highest end photo retouching on the mac platform using Photoshop for the past 21 years, weighs in at 240lbs,can kick your pocket protected ass through a wall with one kick from his massive leg which he gets from cycling every day competitively, and nets over 150,000 usd a year using Apple products.

      They don’t even do what I do on PCs for one single reason- a computer being down for even 10 minutes means a lost deadline and client. PCs also didnt even EXIST when I started working in this field, the only competitor was unix based proprietary systems that cost 500,000 dollars and up, macs got faster, cheaper, and adobe made Photoshop more workflow friendly, and poof, no more competition, and guess what butt munch?

      Apple STILL doesnt have a competitor in the art of photography based advertising using computers.

      so laugh it up fuzzball, you’re still lame.

    42. you are so laughable.

      Have fun with your stupid webpage, I am so over talking to an idiot like you.

    43. You full of more shit than a Christmas goose son.

      If you were a competitve cycler, who weighed 240 lbs ‘in real life’, you wouldnt feel the need to troll on this website and brag about yourself. Nor would you be able to ‘cycle every day competitvely’ because, well, you wouldnt weigh in at 240lbs if you did that much cardio.

      I am constantly amused by the little mac turds that come here, try to insult me with their pretentious, mac loving agenda, and then when backed into a corner – brag about how big and strong you are.

      Its really funny – you’re like the 5th person to do that now. I know ‘in real life’, you’re a pathetic little shit playing on your macbook that your daddy bought you. And you’re going to vote for Obama because he’s going to save the world,and Steve Jobs and Apple love everybody and la dee da everything’s all gumdrops and sunshine.

      Listen good, you worthless piece of Apple loving shit. You’re an asshole. A skinny, pretentious asshole who probably hasnt been a woman’s bare chest since you stopped breast feeding.

      The ONLY reason this page is here is to piss little fuckwads like you off, because I KNOW your love for that piece of crap apple just wont let you keep your damn mouth shut. And it works so well! Just look how upset you are now, Mr. Pro Cyclist.

      Oh, and by the way, if you were a graphic designer making 150k a year, I would think you’d have a little more creativity than to rip off Han Solo to hurl an insult.

      “Laugh it up fuzzball”…LOL! Fucking priceless.

      I can just see you at the Apple keynote “Help me Steve Jobs, You’re my only hope…”

      Goddamn you are a fucking idiot arent you?

    44. >you are so laughable.

      >Have fun with your stupid webpage, I am so over talking to an >idiot like you.

      Awwww…and now you’re gonna leave. Its because you can’t think of anything else to say, and you know I’m right!

      MACS SUCK. Pure and simple.

    45. Dear Mr. SacsRule,

      A vote for Obama is like sex in the ass; yeah, you punch a hole in something, but the end result will be full of shit. It’s not hard to see through the transparent “change” campaign. In any event, Hillary won the popular vote, good luck beating McCain.

      I too, would love to see a 240lb cyclist.

      Also, I work supporting some of the largest enterprise applications and in all honesty, 95% of them are Window based systems. Furthermore, 99% of the issues reported are with the application itself, not the system. One of our internal on-line services group, has a remarkable 99.995% uptime, all on Windows.
      Any issues with Windows based system are largely embellished by conforming non-conformists mac freaks like your 240lb-incredible-hulk self.

    46. Really nice blog so far. Little wanker got his nuts busted. lol

    47. Amen brother!!:D Thanks for the post – reminds me I have to keep this joint updated more often!

      -admin

    48. hi
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    49. hi
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    50. I would like to reply to the fanboy that said OS X has no viruses. I mean, who would like to write code that hacks a fanboy’s computer that’s gonna have nothing more than mp3′s, homemade videos and some Apple BS? And there’s really no point a virus taking over a Mac that can’t really do anything. Point made, no viruses necessary for Macs as no useful (financial or ‘save the world’)work is done on them.

      I’ve never liked a Mac in my whole life, as I build my PC’s from scratch. Its the joy of putting together all the components you bought yourself and seeing that baby whirr to life. At the same time being way faster than any Mac can ever dream of.

      I’m a gamer, I love AMD and really, Apple can suck my balls.

    51. Its fun watching poor Mac users getting PWNED on this blog. HAHAH admin, you can let these guys rant on saying “Macs rule, Macs are the best” and so on lol while we can continue playing L4D2 or MW2. Well if you Macboys don’t know what they are, go get a life (no, not iLife) lol.