Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
Fair enough if we were comparing the 5770 to the 5750, where the price difference is only a few bob, but we are talking 3 and a half times the cost here, and the difference between professional grade and consumer, not a fair comparison at all.
Perhaps a better question would be, why aren't Apple offering workstation-class graphics cards as a build-to-order option on their website? Most home users don't buy dual quad-core Xeon workstations so I am not quite sure why you are complaining about the price of the FirePro.

By the way, did you see the ridiculous image Nephilim posted on page one of this thread? He is comparing a Mac Pro with off-the shelf components from NewEgg? How is that a fair comparison?

Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
when your livelihood depends on it, do you go for the certified option over the cheap option?
If your livelihood depends on it, would you take the risk? If you (or your employer) are spending £2,500+ on a 2D/3D graphics or CAD workstation, why would you not spend an extra £200-£300 on top of that for a card which is guaranteed to work with the application(s) you will be using? There is no reason to skimp when potential productivity losses are involved.

Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
You can't possibly say the fair way to compare is to limit yourself to the components the OEMs offers
As Localzuk explained, you are buying a complete system. You typically don't buy parts from various suppliers and fit them yourself because they won't be covered under the OEMs warranty. If the system has a next business day on-site warranty, you would obviously want an engineer on-site within 24 hours to replace any parts which are deemed faulty so you can carry on working. You won't be able to do that if you buy a HDD from supplier X and a graphics card from supplier Y. Do you honestly want to be diagnosing issues when you are working on a project and need to meet deadlines?

Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
Why does a certified professional get paid more than one who isn't?
Being a certified professional doesn't really have anything to do with hardware certification. You don't have to be an AutoCAD Certified Associate to use an AutoCAD certified graphics card.