Apple: Love it or hate it.
Ok, so I'm going to start one of these.... I'm not here to apple bash, I like them in their own place, but i've heard a lot of yay/naying on it recently and felt like voicing my thoughts without derailing other threads....
I built my own PC at the end of last year.
Core I7 950 3GHz Quad core
Gigabyte UD7 mobo
6GB DDR3 memory
1.5TB SATA 6Gb/S drive
Sapphire ATI Radeon 5870
Blue Ray RW drive
new Case and 100W Corsair PSU.
plus Windows 7 Pro
total cost just shy of £1400.
Now I'm a heavy gamer, and it's fair to say I'm engrained in MS tech, and have been for most of my life. My first PC was DOS and Win 3.11, and i've worked along and up as i've got older.
I don't really do and media work beyond tinkering with some screenshots or the odd digital photo from my phone or compact camera. I also tend to prefer a machine i can upgrade over time to help keep up with the times without replacing the whole PC, eg memory, graphics, hard drive, and occasionally CPU...
So if I take a look at what I can get from Apple that as closely as possible matches what I bought....
I looked at the Mac Pro, as it's unfair to compare to macbooks or imac's.
Now there are 2 base models, and since it's starting price was £2000, I went for that one...
So i customise the machine to closer match what I got already... CPU is a xeon instead of Core i7 and is slower by 0.2GHz.
I can match the memory and the graphics card, but cannot get a 6gb/s hard drive, so go for a 1TB SATA 3gb one.
Apple do not support blue ray at this time, still, so cannot get one of these added either.
I leave off all addons (except for the display port converters )and support options, and the total cost comes to: £2450.
£1100 in difference.
So you can argue, that Mac OSX comes with some stuff bundled.... OK so lets add a few bits of software to the Windows PC...
Full Nero 10 suite with Blue ray support: £60
Let's add Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 as well: £55
I'll also add Cubase Studio 5: £300
and let's add Serif Photo and Draw Plus X2: £100
So we're still £500-600 under the price of the mac, with software that should cover most if not all of what a basic mac has, and in some respects exceeds it.
If you wanted to do full video editing or really go into photo manipulation etc, then arguably Final Cut Pro is enough of a reason to want a mac, and Adobe CS works on both platforms.
But as a bog standard home user, who wants a home pc to play with, work with the family video's, play some music, touch up the holiday pictures.... as a gamer it's generally inadviseable, though with steam now porting to mac this is improving...
I just cannot see, beyond the specialist role, how/why a Mac is better than a normal PC, especially not to the cost of £500-1000 extra. I can do 95% of what that mac does for 1/2-2/3 of the price.