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Old 01-17-2005, 10:56 PM   #1
lmanchur.
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Default Question for Marc (Mac Talk)

I watched allllllllllllllllllll of Steve Jobbs keynotes speech (BTW, I also watched all of Bill Gates' keynotes speech) and was quite impressed. I was actually impressed by both.. that was easy beacuse each were on completely different topics.

Anyway, I have some questions for Marc:

1) You explained to me before but if the Mac processors are like 1.5GHz and stuff and PCs are pushing 3.0GHz, how does Mac claim theirs are faster or more powerful? I was reading the stuff on the G5 and from that I assume it has tonnes more on-board cache but are there other reasons?

2) I am impressed that Mac is trying to capitalize on their 10 million iPod sales with the Mac mini. While I have a hard time believing iPods make up 65% of all MP3 players out there (maybe he meant 65% of all MP3 player sales in 2004, in which case I can somewhat believe it), I'm glad to see they're trying to pull PC'ers in. I was wrong in other threads: Canada does NOT have an Apple store, but one in Toronto is opening later this year. At the keynotes speech I was most impressed with iLife '05 and how it's included in all new Mac computers. That's one cool software package I must say. I love my PC though and would consider buying a Mac if I were ever in need of a SECOND computer but I don't foresee that for at least 2 or 3 years.

They're good stylish products but I still don't like how you and other Mac people try to stuff it in our faces that it's better. They're still costly and the Mac mini though it's $500 is not powered up. I mean, a 60gb drive and 256 MB of RAM?? Sure it's "cheap" but by the time you upgrade to something reasonable up to my standards it is just as much as a PC.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:39 AM   #2
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I was going to suggest you watch the Jobs Keynote, glad you already did. And he and Bill Gates are polar opposites, let's face it. Bill is dry, Steve is charismatic and fun to watch. And Steve didn't have two crashes during his keynote. :lol:

1) You are right that you can't compare a 1.5 Ghz Mac vs. a 1.5 Ghz PC and say they are equal. They are not. I don't think it has a much to do with cache as it has to do with the differences in hardware. Do some Googling for this as I'm by no means an expert and have only used Macs for less than a year myself. But I will tell you my 1.25 Ghz Powerbook is definitely no slower in comparison to my family's 2 Ghz Toshiba laptop running XP.

In fact, my family is ready to ditch that Toshiba, our last PC, for an iMac or Mac mini. I always have to solve problems on Windows for my family, but my sisters just got new 12" iBooks and picked the whole platform up amazingly easy, they don't even need my help. I guess "it just works," a common Mac phrase.

2) It might be different in Canada, but I believe that iPod statistic. I see them EVERYWHERE. In fact, a guy in my dorm used my Mac to format his iPod today because it wasn't working well on Windows. As for Apple Stores, as soon as you get one, visit, because you will fall in love. They're truly unlike ANY other store on the planet.

3) As for the skimpy RAM standard, that's true, but you also have to remember that this is an entry level budget system, the Mac mini, and is comparable to budget PCs that don't come with any more. Why are we Mac people so defensive and pushy? We're the underdogs, the minority, we have to stick up for our cause because we're outnumbered. Surely, you can relate.

And let's face it, for the average PC user, there are less hassles. Most PC users, I know not the advanced people like you, are sick of viruses, spyware, trojans, etc. Macs are much safer, and look much cooler, to boot.
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:00 AM   #3
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Hi,
Firstly Iím glad to hear that you are objectively considering the Apple platform, even if not as a primary machine. As the person who ďconvertedĒ Marc himself, I thought Iíd chime in. Iíve been a Mac user for over 10 years, and a Mac enthusiast for about 5 years.

You asked about how a 1.5GHz G5 can compete with a Pentium of twice the clock speed. Iíll spare you the technical details (which involve the pipeline lengths of processors, among other things), and instead Iíll present an analogy with something that is more familiar: cars. In general, more pistons translates to more power. However, that is not always the case: a Subaru Impreza WRX would leave my familyís Volkswagen Passat in the dust, despite having 2/3 the cylinders. You have to take other things into consideration, as well as things that have nothing to do with the pistons itself (such as the turbo charger the WRX has).

Now, back to the topic at hand. Per hertz (one GHz = one billion Hz), the G5 processor (developed by IBM) does more than the Pentium 4. You can think of it as efficiency, if you like. If you are familiar with the relative performance differences between AMD and Intel processors, this will sound familiar.

This is a bad thing for Apple, because uninformed customers look no further than GHz when determining the performance of the computer. As I stated earlier, it is like a person looking no further than the number of cylinders to determine the carís performance.

Additionally, since Apple has closed control over the system (OS X runs only on Apple hardware), they are able to make hardware-specific optimizations. Similarly, the Xbox has a measly 800MHz Pentium III, and 64MB of memory yet has impressive graphics (due to the game developersí ability to tailor the games for that precise hardware). Since Apple knows the hardware its systems will be running, they can take full advantage of the hardware, and come out with wonderful things in Quartz. If youíve seen Expose before, it is an excellent advantage of using the hardware to its full potential.

As you noted yourself, Apple makes excellent software. Since you said you use the iPod, I assume that you have also used iTunes, which is an excellent piece of software. Likewise, you were impressed with iLife í05. Mac OS X itself is wonderful, and is very productivity-enhancing.

I realize that other benefits of Mac OS X may not apply to you. Novices appreciate not having to worry about spyware and viruses, and power users are able to leverage its UNIX core. People in between can appreciate the excellent user experience, software that is extremely intuitive (without sacrificing power), and a stable and dependable working environment.

The Mac mini might not be for you. It is ideal for people who are fed up with their current Windows PC and want a new computer while retaining the monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc. It is an excellent deal for an entry-level PC, and itíd be hard to compare it to a Windows PC on a feature-by-feature basis. Youíd have to include Windows XP Pro, for example (since OS X doesnít have a crippled Home version), and youíd have to include software that is inferior to iLife í04 (Pinnacle Studio, Photoshop Elements, etc). Also, a 1.25GHz G4 is by no means sluggish. Thatís what Iím using right now in my PowerBook G4, and it is snappy. Also, the Mac mini has an amazing appearance (I have yet to see anything much smaller than the Shuttle boxes from the PC side).

If the Mac mini doesnít have enough horsepower for you, consider the iMac G5, which is also an excellent value. To justify the higher price, youíll get a speedy G5 processor, plus a gorgeous 17Ē or 20Ē integrated display, as well as a keyboard, mouse, and speakers.

Even though the first Apple store in Canada is still on the way, there may be an Apple Authorized Reseller in your area. If so, I highly suggest you visit one to use a Mac firsthand.

Anyway, I hope I have helped you understand where the Mac users are coming from. The Mac isnít perfect (last I checked it didnít make coffee or do my physics homework for me), but itís pretty dang close, and I think youíll really like the switch. I sure loved the switch (though I still use Windows on a daily basis).

-Aidan
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:21 AM   #4
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Marc, the XBOX got the blue screen and the wireless remote wasn't connecting at first during Gates' speech.

Also I seem to remember Jobb's slideshow not exiting near the start of his speech and then he said, "well, that's why we have different machines set up" and then someone flicked a switch and he was running off of a different computer after that.

$^!t happens no matter who you are.
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:24 AM   #5
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Okay, but that's not the point. I hope you read and at least acknowledge the post my friend above took the time to write. He's far more knowledgeable on computers, especially Macs, than me, so try to get some questions answered from our posts. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:32 AM   #6
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Lee, no follow-ups? Just wanted to make sure you read abahta's post because I think it'll answer a lot of questions.
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:16 AM   #7
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Ya, well, I'm kinda nerdy so want to know the actual details as to why it's faster.

I am still loyal to Windows and always will be but the iLife software package I thought was just phenomenal and one of a few reasons I'd like to test it out. I tried a few years ago and just got frusturated. I doubt anything has changed but I'll try again.
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:19 AM   #8
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I have an invention that stands on iPod's shoulders, so to speak. You have to admire Apple's attitude and ingenuity, but I am still running Windows for my Half Life 2 (and other games) and the cheap and easy upgrades.
Anyway more details on my invention if it takes off.
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