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Mac Thread, Where to buy? and a few other things in Technical; ...
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    Where to buy? and a few other things

    One of our IT teachers wants macs for her media classes. I am trying to get some prices but i cant believe the Mac store presents the best value for money, or are my eyes broken because the prices seem rediculas. I mean i know macs are overpriced but £2000 for a "server" with a lower spec than my home PC i replaced 6 months ago seems just abit exsessive.


    Also do macs not come with a 3year warrenty unless you ask for it?

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    We got ours from Jigsaw 24

    UK Largest Reseller Of Apple Computers - Jigsaw Systems LTD

    Not sure about the warranty off the top of my head but the odd issue we have had (1 battery failure + 1 charger failure) were dealt with well. That said they are probably the most trouble free of all our systems.

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    www.krcs.co.uk or PC World Business - Taking Care of Your Business. When you log in with an account the prices com down little more.

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    Diello's Avatar
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    Misco do some pretty good deals, give their education team a call - No, you need to add AppleCare to the package for another few hundred.

    Yes - they're crazily overpriced for what they are.

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    Suppliers might not be able to bring the price down on kit but they may be able to come to some deal on applecare.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    The crazy thing about applecare, and why it blows, is that there's no onsite element or option...so if you have a hardware failure you will not have a service technician either from apple or an apple ASP come out to fix it....it's a case of pop it in to the nearest Apple authorised repair centre yourself or send via courier. Which will invariably take longer and be more inconvenient than a traitional 9x5 NBD-onsite agreement that is an option with PC builders.

    An apple resellers own support contract may be better value in terms of what they can provide, and depending on your relationship with your account manager....but they are not going to provide any kind of Onsite or advanced support for you for nothing....similarly with any design and implementation, they might throw some sweeteners in to keep you happy but they're not going to do it for nothing.

    fwiw, i would always go with an AASP for anything more than a handful of machines....an account manager or pre-sales contact who deals purely with apple kit is in preference to going with someone like pcwb or misco. Get a price for support from an AASP and find out what it covers...if there's too much overlap with the basic hardware cover provided by applecare you'll have to consider whether it's worth the extra price for going with both. Either way, you'll probably want a machine or two extra for imaging and straight-out swap in the case of hardware failure. When ordering i would seriously consider an n+2 formula. n being the number of apple machines needed for the suite/computer area.

    Apple really need to sort out the applecare and server support they currently offer if they are serious about getting into enterprise at anything above niche level.....even if they don't sell at the volume of Dell, applecare is very weak and they need to reevaluate what they are charging for the service as it currently stands. The proper Service contracts for Apple Server support are hideously expensive, if you've got a software or configuration problem with an xserve only what your AASP is able and willing to provide through a service contract as a customer and the internet forums are your only option. In other words support from apple on server products is non-existent.

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    Have you tried Misco. They are supposed to be an Apple preferred supplier.

    www.misco.co.uk

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    www.solutions-inc.co.uk. They are based in Hove (East Sussex) but they do great education deals...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We get ours from European Electronique. Always good prices for them there I find.

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    Applecr*p: they are overpriced re-badged PCs with a different operating system which industry uses as standard because they look nice ;-)

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    Albion Computers... give Manuel a call, if you are a school you can get spectacular discounts there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    One of our IT teachers wants macs for her media classes. I am trying to get some prices but i cant believe the Mac store presents the best value for money, or are my eyes broken because the prices seem rediculas. I mean i know macs are overpriced but £2000 for a "server" with a lower spec than my home PC i replaced 6 months ago seems just abit exsessive.


    Also do macs not come with a 3year warrenty unless you ask for it?
    The XServe isn't a cheap option- if by cheap you mean grabbing one for less than £1500 from KRCS. If you start adding things to the system- SAS drives, more memory, extra PSU (good idea anyway) and so on it will become more expensive than your desktop PC at home (by far) because it is a server and by definition has redundancy and management solutions built-in to support that function. Any vendor's server hardware can add up if you are careful to include important pieces of hardware that servers generally should have. An XServe also comes with a full copy of Mac OS X Server (Leopard) and unlimited client access licenses, with a lot of things in there you would pay extra for in Windows Server.

    Apple systems, like the XServe, come with a standard 1 year warranty. I would suggest you take a look at this:

    Apple - Support - Products - AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan

    I have the Premium pack for both my XServe and XServe RAID and it is great. Apple's support at this level is fantastic as far as I am concerned. And yes, there is an on-site element to it!

    Try:

    http://www.krcs.co.uk

    Hope that helps,

    Paul

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    The Xserve G5s aren't so good though.

    No hardware RAID, no graphics card (I'd have to drop another card as it's not onboard).

    Applecare support is rubbish too, you need the hugely expensive package if you want help with AD integration or anything remotely to do with windows, even if it's the fault of OS X.

    And I decided that it's not a real server when the LED colour for a working AND dead HDD was green.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    The Xserve G5s aren't so good though.

    No hardware RAID, no graphics card (I'd have to drop another card as it's not onboard).

    Applecare support is rubbish too, you need the hugely expensive package if you want help with AD integration or anything remotely to do with windows, even if it's the fault of OS X.

    And I decided that it's not a real server when the LED colour for a working AND dead HDD was green.
    The Xserve G5 is out of date now. And support-wise, the costs are in line with those provided directly by Microsoft. And RAID is via an optional card. Same with Dells and their low end/high end raid options.

    There is an onboard graphics controller in the current XServe too, an ATI X300.
    Last edited by localzuk; 12th July 2008 at 01:28 PM.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The Xserve G5 is out of date now. And support-wise, the costs are in line with those provided directly by Microsoft. And RAID is via an optional card. Same with Dells and their low end/high end raid options.

    There is an onboard graphics controller in the current XServe too, an ATI X300.
    i think in most cases windows server support is through SA for volume license cusomers, which for windows server support is cheap....and then there's the various tiers of windows OS and x86 hardware support from the likes of Dell and HP. IBM for instance have various telephone/on-line support options through their servicepacs should you need specific application support. The Apple premiun support for Xserve is certainly comparable but...

    I agree with DMcCoy to an extent, that for complete 360 degree coverage of Xserve and OS related issues, Apple support is very expensive - last time i checked £5k for just 10 incidents annually !!!!!. The premium support mentioned in this thread for xserve is a very reasonable package but it is very limited...no support beyond the GUI in OSX server. Yes, for hardware coverage and on-site replacement it is keenly priced and for many technical issues that can be resolved through ServerAdmin and WGM it seems like a good deal...but if you need to delve into the command-line or need help with editing configuration files, then forgeddaboutit - buying a shiny apple pizza box and more for applecare premium leaves you in no better a position than a linux bod relying on the online community to help them with an apache or nfs issue. And for those who've tried to setup an xserve as a web server or samba box, they know that they'll often need to go beyond the serveradmin gui wrapper for advanced config and troubleshooting....apple know this, and that's why there's that huge disparity in pricing.

    As a server, the intel xserve is a good piece of kit - but to gain most value from it, you'd probably want to be able to virtualize windows and linux on it. Something which is not currently available.....i persnally have no qualms about buying one to use exclusivey as OSX server, but i know many schools would want to squeeze more out of it than that. Lack of grafx was a pita with the xserve G5, but not the end of the world with serial connectivity and, remote desktop, urghh, which was only just a bearable experience.

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