Well said rydra. I find that many people want macs because of the status symbol attached. Main bulk of reasons are along the lines of "it is expensive so it must be good".
Not always the case. Another example is alienware as well as mac...for the same price I can build a better pc. Mac screw everyone in terms of OS though as they dnt want it installed on anything but their branded machines.
Oh....and one of my favourite pastimes is winding up my brother about his Apple fixation.....
I'm pretty ambivalent except for the walled garden rubbish!
But, I certainly wouldn't spend £2000 on something that I could build for £1000-£1200....That just wouldn't make sense!
Not comming down on the side of Apple here as I simply can't bring myself to but in regard to the original post there is a big difference. The Mac Pro supports multiple CPUs which can scale out better than a single one. The i7 can't be an SMP solution as far as I know as it lack support for SMP so you are limited to just the one, same with the Athlon instead of the Opteron, the big differentiator is SMP support.
As to the 'buying a whole solution' comment I have to disagree with the fundementals of that a little as a comparison. Your average PC also comes with Windows standard from almost anywhere, this is about custom builds but with the right OEM deals it is massivly discounted. This used to include all sorts of stuff right out of the box untill uptight governments got involved and made them strip it all out. Most of the good stuff is still free to download, live tools and MSE for example they just can't bundle it. The whole bundleing thing is just a politics matter rather than a technical one.
It really is a case of different tools for different jobs and the fact is that there is a huge whole in Apples lineup right where it would benifit their users the most in the midrange but upgradable area, its either proprietary difficult un-upgradable form factors or the top of the line most expencive thing they could put together without calling it a server.
At any rate the neg repping is getting a little out of hand and it is not intended to show disagrement. From the sounds of it it has been more than ballanced out by positive rep from others but if you do have real concerns about malicious or insulting negitive rep then please report the post that was repped with a note about the problematic rep comment.
Mac VS PC, it's like 2 women fighting.....best not to get involved.... ;)
Now There is such a steep jump between the different models and if I re call correctly the low end iMac used to be less then 1,000, now the cheapest one is £1020 so almost £80 more ( must be a combination between having to pay more for electronics and the increase in VAT by 2.5%
If you take the main features that were meant to make each OS ( windows vs mac OS ) - from what I can tell and I could be wrong on some points ( will see soon enough ) Mac OS seems to be ahead of windows as windows seems to copy OS X ( iCal - how it appears, the search text field ) there are some features in windows 7 that are nice but not jaw dropping.
Lets just take one feature ( that from what I can gather is done in linux, Mac OS ) but not windows the filing system with regards to it keeping everything indexed and not just dumping data randomly scattering it every where there is room or space.
I think Vista when in pre release ( beta ) was meant to have SQL of some description to keep a database of where everything was, this got dumped / scrapped straight away.
We all know all the weak points of windows ref explorer process, registry to name a few
Macs still have some down points and hardware wise is behind to a degree but I have had my Early 2008 Mac Pro ( 2 * quad cores , etc ,etc ) since august 2008 and the only time I have had to re install was when I was upgrading from Leopard to Snow leopard ( 10.5 to 10.6 respectively ) as apposed to having to re install windows every 6 months or so along with running AV, Anti malware, Firewalls etc constantly so constantly wasting CPU / Resources on running all that extra gumph software.
I tried on OS X running AV software but it seemed pointless as I never had any issues before nor do I have any issues for not running any AV, I do run clam XAV now and again but even so I have never picked up anything or have found anything.
No I am not being naive as I do know now that apple have moved to Intel there must be people who will want to target apple as it gets more and more popular
A lot of people buy Macs because of the status (eg my Dad) I groaned when he went out and bought one. However, the cries for help from him have dropped 90% from when he had his PC (a decent quad core Dell system)
I'm not saying they are more reliable, but for a lot of users they are the complete package - they come with everything they need, and are usually harder to break from fiddling.
Doesn't justify the prices mind, which are rather on the high side. Not so much the workstation end, but the budget end. £600 for the cheapest desktop and £800ish for the cheapest laptop is far too much.
However I use a 2006 iMac and a 2008 MacBook, both run all the latest software still (albeit the iMac needed a RAM upgrade) and should be fine for a few years to come yet. I'd struggle to get 7 years out of a PC if I wanted to stay up to date.
I personally prefer to use them at home because they are relatively hassle free. Certainly not hassle free in a school environment though, they need the same amount of support as the PC's do.
It's still just a personal choice, some people prefer PC's, some people prefer Mac's, some people don't know what they prefer and just buy into Apple because of the hype...but I would imagine most are happy with their purchase even if they could be using a far cheaper PC to send their emails and download photos of their kids. That's why Apple can continue to charge what they do, as long as the advertising and hype continues to do its job.