The Car Analogy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hate it when people flame negatively about how you are stupid for buying mac? They can build a PC for so much less, why do people get excited when Apple releases stuff like the new iMac even though faster PCs have been out for a year?



I like to post this analogy:



I can already buy a mustang GT500. Yep. Great car, kicks ass, no question. But if I like mercedes better, even if the mustang offers more power for less money, I'm still going to get more excited about that mercedes having a new model, because the "experience" is more important to my buying behavior. I'm not just in it for that extra 100 HP, I'm in it for style, touch or reliability. No one ever bitches about BMW as they do apple. Yet, both charge a premium for their products.



Oh and sure, I could build my own super car off a base car, but 98% of people don't care how it works, they just want it to be reliable. I know lots of custom built PCs that crash and have incompatible hardware. I know a crap ton about computers, I still choose a Mac, because when I pay 2500 for something, I want it to work perfectly and last 5 years, which every one of my macs has done. My PCs, not so much.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.Buzz View Post


    Hate it when people flame negatively about how you are stupid for buying mac? They can build a PC for so much less, why do people get excited when Apple releases stuff like the new iMac even though faster PCs have been out for a year?



    Yeah, I hear people bring up the argument about building your own machine and it gets less relevant as time goes on. You can't really build your own laptop and they outsell desktops 3:1 these days so they are talking about the minority of computer buyers.



    It's also interesting that when a new PC desktop comes out, people don't usually say they can build one cheaper, only when a Mac desktop comes out but the same rules apply to both.



    When it comes to the Mini, you can build a far more powerful machine cheaper but then it's not the size of an optical drive and the Mini is comparable in price to other mini PCs.

    When it comes to the iMac, you can build a cheaper tower but once you add in an IPS display and peripherals, the difference is not that significant and the PC design & footprint is nowhere near as good.

    When it comes to the Mac Pro, it could be cheaper and has been in the past but it has been moved to a different audience and is competitive in that area, at least once it gets updated.



    As time goes on, Apple's design decisions make more and more sense, which shows how forward-thinking they are. The manufacturers who think about the present and try to cater to it give so much for so little that they end up out of business in a matter of a couple of years.



    It is interesting that some people choose to apply certain arguments to certain things to meet with their preconceptions of value. Someone who argues about building their own PC would not argue that growing or catching and killing their own food is cheaper than buying food from the supermarket. They also wouldn't argue that buying an $8000 car is a rip-off and they could build their own kit-car for $2000.



    The conclusion you have to reach is that the arguments are based on their fruitphobia. They resent seeing a company they perceive as arrogant being successful when they simply can't afford (or rather have preconceptions about how much computers should cost and are therefore unwilling to pay for) computers that Apple make.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Yeah, I hear people bring up the argument about building your own machine and it gets less relevant as time goes on. You can't really build your own laptop and they outsell desktops 3:1 these days so they are talking about the minority of computer buyers.



    It's also interesting that when a new PC desktop comes out, people don't usually say they can build one cheaper, only when a Mac desktop comes out but the same rules apply to both.



    When it comes to the Mini, you can build a far more powerful machine cheaper but then it's not the size of an optical drive and the Mini is comparable in price to other mini PCs.

    When it comes to the iMac, you can build a cheaper tower but once you add in an IPS display and peripherals, the difference is not that significant and the PC design & footprint is nowhere near as good.

    When it comes to the Mac Pro, it could be cheaper and has been in the past but it has been moved to a different audience and is competitive in that area, at least once it gets updated.



    As time goes on, Apple's design decisions make more and more sense, which shows how forward-thinking they are. The manufacturers who think about the present and try to cater to it give so much for so little that they end up out of business in a matter of a couple of years.



    It is interesting that some people choose to apply certain arguments to certain things to meet with their preconceptions of value. Someone who argues about building their own PC would not argue that growing or catching and killing their own food is cheaper than buying food from the supermarket. They also wouldn't argue that buying an $8000 car is a rip-off and they could build their own kit-car for $2000.



    The conclusion you have to reach is that the arguments are based on their fruitphobia. They resent seeing a company they perceive as arrogant being successful when they simply can't afford (or rather have preconceptions about how much computers should cost and are therefore unwilling to pay for) computers that Apple make.



    As someone who has built their own PCs for the past 15 years or so, I'll just say that price is not a primary reason I choose to build my own instead of buying a pre-built. Customization, expandability / ability to upgrade, and control are my main reasons.



    Customization is probably the biggest reason why I choose the build. Yes, Apple, Dell et al. offer the ability to 'customize' your computer, but their choices are so limiting that its almost insulting. I can't choose, for example a different case for better airflow or acoustic characteristics, a different motherboard with SLI or Crossfire support, or specific storage options (for example, my last build had 5 drives - an SSD boot drive, a drive dedicated to steam, and a RAID 3 array).



    Expandability and ability to upgrade are pretty self explanatory.



    Control is another big issue with prebuilts. I've never seen a prebuilt PC that gave me control over things like CPU voltage, memory timings, or other things such as fan RPMs. This is actually a pretty big deal, as with this control, I can choose to buy much cheaper components without sacrificing performance.



    Its funny you should mention the car analogy though. I was just thinking about how the smartphone OS market is really starting to resemble certain car brands:



    iOS is like a Lexus - Smooth and reliable, great for the person that just wants a car that works

    Android is like a BMW - not as smooth or reliable as a Lexus, high maintenance, but great fun to drive and push to the limits

    BBOS / Symbian is like a Cadillac - Giants back in the day, but behind the times now, and increasing more irrelevant.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majjo View Post


    Customization is probably the biggest reason why I choose the build. Yes, Apple, Dell et al. offer the ability to 'customize' your computer, but their choices are so limiting that its almost insulting. I can't choose, for example a different case for better airflow or acoustic characteristics, a different motherboard with SLI or Crossfire support, or specific storage options (for example, my last build had 5 drives - an SSD boot drive, a drive dedicated to steam, and a RAID 3 array).



    Control is another big issue with prebuilts. I've never seen a prebuilt PC that gave me control over things like CPU voltage, memory timings, or other things such as fan RPMs. This is actually a pretty big deal, as with this control, I can choose to buy much cheaper components without sacrificing performance.



    The behaviour that you see typically though when a new machine comes out from Apple and announced on a site somewhere is that PC users will come out in droves saying that you could build one cheaper yet the likelihood is they either own a laptop or a pre-built PC. I rarely see the same people say that when a Dell/Alienware is announced.



    The control aspect is important to some people but as computers are reaching a certain level of performance, it's becoming less and less important. Adjusting CPU voltage for overclocking lets you get a bit of performance out of your machine but even at the most extreme level, it's not worth the effort.



    Here is the latest Sandy Bridge i7-2600k overclocked to over 5GHz:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV1GpgBcCI8



    It scores a 9.25 in Cinebench. The i7 Macbook Pro gets 5.23:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9770So2nZ0Q



    Who knows how long a machine will last running at 5GHz and it's only managing 75% faster and only 50% faster than the highest i7 iMac.



    It will be cheaper but you'll have to do a lot of work in cooling it.



    As for the GPU, you can get better performance with SLI/Crossfire but the 6750M GPU plays most modern games on high quality. Big desktop GPUs give you 2-3x the performance (single GPUs only double and matched by the 6970M) but it just translates to more AA, higher resolution, more FPS, which you mostly won't even notice. The 6750M in the MBP is faster than the Playstation 3 and while hardcore PC gamers would criticise that quality, over 150 million console gamers don't.



    When it comes to storage, now that we have Thunderbolt, you can get a 4 drive RAID box like the following FW800 one:



    http://shop.promise.com/index.php?p=product&id=59



    and have an SSD boot drive in your machine.



    It always seems like at the present it's better value to get the OC tower for performance but in a year, that build is almost worthless as your resale market is so small and the next laptop matches it anyway.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The behaviour that you see typically though when a new machine comes out from Apple and announced on a site somewhere is that PC users will come out in droves saying that you could build one cheaper yet the likelihood is they either own a laptop or a pre-built PC. I rarely see the same people say that when a Dell/Alienware is announced.



    The control aspect is important to some people but as computers are reaching a certain level of performance, it's becoming less and less important. Adjusting CPU voltage for overclocking lets you get a bit of performance out of your machine but even at the most extreme level, it's not worth the effort.



    Here is the latest Sandy Bridge i7-2600k overclocked to over 5GHz:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV1GpgBcCI8



    It scores a 9.25 in Cinebench. The i7 Macbook Pro gets 5.23:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9770So2nZ0Q



    Who knows how long a machine will last running at 5GHz and it's only managing 75% faster and only 50% faster than the highest i7 iMac.



    It will be cheaper but you'll have to do a lot of work in cooling it.



    As for the GPU, you can get better performance with SLI/Crossfire but the 6750M GPU plays most modern games on high quality. Big desktop GPUs give you 2-3x the performance (single GPUs only double and matched by the 6970M) but it just translates to more AA, higher resolution, more FPS, which you mostly won't even notice. The 6750M in the MBP is faster than the Playstation 3 and while hardcore PC gamers would criticise that quality, over 150 million console gamers don't.



    When it comes to storage, now that we have Thunderbolt, you can get a 4 drive RAID box like the following FW800 one:



    http://shop.promise.com/index.php?p=product&id=59



    and have an SSD boot drive in your machine.



    It always seems like at the present it's better value to get the OC tower for performance but in a year, that build is almost worthless as your resale market is so small and the next laptop matches it anyway.



    Ok, I don't know which sites you hang out on, but the ones that I frequent do laugh at Alienwares and high end Dells, probably even more so than Macs.



    A 50% increase in performance is HUGE. hell, the jump from wolfsdale/yorkstown to nahalem wasn't even that big.

    Assuming you don't do anything overly stupid, OC builds will last the life of the processor; at least to the point where you would upgrade anyways. I've been running my 2.5Ghz @ 3.2 for over a year now, and have never had issues with it (I actually have the thermal headroom to push it much higher)



    You can't really compare console GPUs to their computer counterparts; hell, IIRC the xbox 360's gpu config is 'only' 48:16:8. GPU needs are going to greatly depend on the resolution you game at as well as the game itself. even today there are games that can bring a 6970 to its knees (crysis and metro 2033 come to mind), so there is a use for multi-gpu setups (especially when you bring multiple monitors into the mix).



    I'll give you the external raid setup, but keep in mind most dells or HPs don't have lightpeak yet or eSATA ports for that matter.



    in the computing world, in a year, any computer, be it custom built or from Dell, Apple, HP, et al. is going to be obsolete. The difference is that on a custom built computer (especially one that had upgrade paths well thought out ahead of time), you can quickly and easily mitigate this by switching out 2 or 3 components. Its generally not that easy with Dells or HPs, and probably damn near impossible on iMacs.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majjo View Post


    A 50% increase in performance is HUGE. hell, the jump from wolfsdale/yorkstown to nahalem wasn't even that big.



    It's close to what you'd expect from a die-shrink or an architecture change though. You generally expect 100% increase over 2 years. Plus, you wouldn't be guaranteed to get 50% in all scenarios of overclocking. Obviously it's subjective but I think that the design required to accommodate overclocking weighed up against the performance benefits is not worth it.



    For people who want the best performance per dollar sure but the performance race is over for such a huge part of the computing population that it's not worth designing computers for the small minority (under 10%).



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majjo View Post


    even today there are games that can bring a 6970 to its knees (crysis and metro 2033 come to mind), so there is a use for multi-gpu setups (especially when you bring multiple monitors into the mix).



    The gaming industry has found out the hard way that there's little point in making games so resource intensive that nobody ends up buying them. In some ways it's disappointing when developers don't push the boundaries but they have to survive and when you have 150 million gamers who bought consoles dedicated to playing games and over 300 million computer owners with lower-end graphics, why risk your business on the remaining 15 million at best who can play your games the way you'd like and miss out on 450 million?



    I think there will always be developers who try to see what is achievable but even current generation consoles have hit a performance bar that means developers can stop worrying about performance and start focusing on content. The next jump going by some tech demos looks to be post-production quality and when it hits that level, there's nowhere left to go.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majjo View Post


    in the computing world, in a year, any computer, be it custom built or from Dell, Apple, HP, et al. is going to be obsolete. The difference is that on a custom built computer (especially one that had upgrade paths well thought out ahead of time), you can quickly and easily mitigate this by switching out 2 or 3 components. Its generally not that easy with Dells or HPs, and probably damn near impossible on iMacs.



    The thing about upgrading components though is that it's more difficult to sell your old parts. With a Macbook Pro however, you have no trouble selling the machine and migrating to a new one so the question would be whether the cost difference between upgrading parts vs upgrading a machine is significant. I'd say it's not that much different, especially when you factor in getting a new warranty and all new parts in your machine.



    I think by now it should be clear the appliance model is going to win the long race and that's how it's meant to be. Technology serves a purpose and it's the purpose that's the focus and always will be, not the technology itself. When technical specs supersede the requirements to fulfil the purpose they are intended for, they become irrelevant.
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