PC Magazine perpetuates myth of ‘too expensive’ Macs

“PC Magazine is flat-out wrong in pricing the PowerMac G5 Quad, and they should correct the error. You can buy a PowerMac G5 Quad for less than half the price they list, which means: For about the same as an equivalent PC, or somewhat less,” Leland Scott writes for Musings From Mars. “The serious error here is that PC Magazine lists Apple’s Power Mac G5 Quad as costing . . . Guess! You’ll never guess how much they say it costs. Honestly.”

Scott writes, “OK, I gotta spill the beans at some point. PC Magazine says a Quad costs $7,023 to $9,522!

“When I first read this in December, those numbers struck me as very odd, since I had just bought a new Quad for myself, and I didn’t pay anywhere near $7,000-$9,500 for it. The unit I bought was hardly the base model, either: I had paid an extra $350 for the Nvidia GeForce 7800 graphics card with 512MB of VRAM when it became available as an option, and also added $99 for Bluetooth and Airport wireless cards,” Scott writes. “And I got all this for only $3,448! How is this possible, you ask?”

Full article here.

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  1. With these options, the price is about right !

    Type: Media, Business, Workstation
    Processor Family: Apple G5
    Installed RAM: 4096 MB
    Hard Drive Capacity: 1024 GB
    RAID: No
    Graphics Card: nVidia Quadro FX 4500
    Primary Optical Drive: Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
    Monitor Type: LCD Widescreen
    Monitor Size: 30 inches
    Notes: $9522; $7023 without monitor

  2. It’s not so much an “error” as an omission (a misleading omission). They stated the price they paid for their UPGRADED, maxed-out system. If there is an error, the error is that they lead the reader to believe the base system contains all their upgraded options and costs as much as it does – out of the price range for most home and semi-pro users.

    PC Mag should publish a correction / clarification.


  3. They basically got the best of everything, graphics card, the biggest hard drives, the most expensive RAM – 4 Gigs of it.

    Hardly a fair review or comparison with other computers. The review with all the added stuff was still only four and a half out of five stars. Pretty ridonkulous.

  4. Maybe they were using Singapore dollars.
    Or maybe they are hungry, scared, mean and slightly psychotic with latent fratricidal tendencies, multiple hangnails, painful, open ulcerations, oozing pustules, and multiple internal lesions causing a backup of cerebrospinal fluid. No wonder they were off by so much.

  5. Just got my Quad G5 yesterday at work. It’s fast for having only 512 megs of RAM (two gigs of DDR2 ECC RAM coming) but with the mid-level graphics card upgrad it was about $3,400 (education price).

    If I had put two 500 gig Hard drives and four gigs of RAM from the Apple store and a 30″ monitor, sure it would be a tad more expensive.

    And what’s with the Dell only havinga gig of RAM? What, XP Pro more efficient than OS X by four times?

    We bought a Dell for a guy doing 3D renderings in our department and it cost $2,000 more than my computer, and it won’t be as fast as mine when there’s more RAM. In fact, we took delivery on another Quad for that guy so he doesn’t have to drive himself crazy working on a PC.

    So the facts are, Macs are very competitive – especially when all things are equal in terms of specs.

  6. MDN overract a bit?

    The review clearly states

    “The basic configuration of the 2.5-GHz model comes in at a more reasonable $3,299 (without monitor); the system we tested was outfitted with top-of-the-line components, pushing the price up significantly.”

  7. Their price is basically in line with reality. I don’t have an educational discount and the price quoted for the system that they built is correct.

    Now…if you compare the price with a dual Xeon or whatever Intel is making now, I think that you would find the Quad G5 to be cheaper and probably a better buy. As a Mac user, that would of course be my biased opinion, but I think that the quad is a better machine in many ways.

    As for buying a Quad G5 for $3500….I don’t know about that. Sure you can do it but why would anyone purchase a top of the line computer with only 512 meg’s of RAM ?? That’s frickin stupid. And why would you put the crappiest video card that Apple offers in such a machine ?? Once again…stupid. So can you assemble a system for 3 grand….I guess so. Should even be purchasing such a desktop as the G5 Quad with less than 2 gig’s of RAM ? In my opinion….NO !!

  8. Hi there!

    I wrote the review of the PowerMac in question, and the pricing came directly from Apple Computer. Yes, the system we reviewed is a tricked out system with 4GB of RAM, workstation-class Quadro card and an extra hard drive.

    “For anyone other than graphics or video professionals, this system is probably overkill—not to mention a bank-account obliterator”

    If you are a graphics professional, who needs the PowerMac’s power to do work, it is worth every penny. If you’re a ‘normal’ user (whatever that means) or even a power home user, iMacs and Mac minis are more than enough, and are good systems for the money.

    PC Magazine

  9. I have myself a DP 2 Ghz G5 PowerMac and a 30″ with a pair of 74 GB Raptors a boot drive and 4.5 GB of RAM and a 6800GT, sure it cost some but I don’t plan on upgrading anything for quite some time.

    I can run Quake 4 easily when it comes out.

    The best bang for performance buck has to the G5 Quad at this time.

    When the Intel 64 bit CoreDuo’s arrive in November we should see a new PowerMactel Quad, but I’ll warn you, the performance won’t be a substancial leap over present PPC Quads, but it will be air cooled.

  10. Oh what I mean by the best bang for performance buck, is that if you keep the machine for it’s estimated 5-7 year lifespan running all the current software, it’s total cost of yearly ownership is lower than any other Mac.

    For instance a MacBook Pro has a life of only 2-3 years, provided you don’t drop it.

    A iMactel has a life of 2-3 years because you can’t upgrade the video card or hard drive to a faster verision.

    The Mini is a joke, it’s like every year you have to replace it.

    On the other hand a PowerMac or Tower is upgradable with faster drives, more RAM, faster video cards, and it doesn’t move, which greatly lenghtens it’s lifespan.

    In fact one can put upgrade kits in PowerMacs to extend it’s life even further.

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