Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

QOTD: What Don't You Like About Macs?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 170 comments

I think it's fair to say that Apple has a hard time catering to the audience that reads Tom's Hardware. Based on some of my past articles, some things are really clear, while others are still up in the air.

A recent report by analyst said that Apple would have to reduce its price significantly, to do well in the current economy. The analyst gave a suggestion to Apple: reduce the price of its MacBook (the white one) down to $700. But, realistically, this one price reduction isn't going to make much of a huge impact for Apple during the recession. Let's look at some of Apple's prices:

- Apple Mighty Mouse Wireless: $69
- 8 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 4 GB) for the iMac: $1000
- 8 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM (4 x 2 GB) for the Mac Pro: $250
- 1 TB 7200-RPM SATA2 HDD: $300

I honestly think the above prices are stratospheric, insane. The 1 TB HDD for example, can be had for less than 1/3 of the price that Apple is selling it for. The 8 GB of memory for the iMac--which is Apple's mainstream system--costs a whopping $1000, four times as much as the same amount for the high-end Mac Pro. Obviously, there's the price issue here.

The question of the day is: What don't you like about Macs?

Is it the pricing?

Is it the software?

Is it the operating system?

Is it the compatibility?

Is it Mac users?

Or is it simply that it's Apple?

Explain your case.

About software: essentially now, there's hardly discrepancy between a Windows system and a Mac, because you can reboot into Windows natively. So in terms of software compatibility, both are the same. Moot point there for Apple. Also, with some recompiling of most Linux applications, you're able to run them on your Mac no problem. While Parallels and Fusion do virtualization, they're not as fast as running something native--hence Boot Camp.

Save for the actual design and some features, a Mac Pro a nicely built PC. The difference is clearly in the operating system. So it must be about workflow and the method in which you go about doing things. But even this isn't enough. And Apple's got a pretty bad rap with PC users.

But Apple's made some (limited) progress. Cutting some prices here and there. Apple's latest system, the Nehalem-based Mac Pro is quite a beast. The 8-core version is quite powerful, but it's priced at $3,299. Most PC users here will argue that they can build a very similarly equipped system for far less.

Challenge: Build your own Nehalem Mac Pro. The specs are as follows: 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-core Nehalem-based Intel Xeon processors, 6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC memory, compatible server boar, 640 GB 7200-RPM SATA2 HDD, Nvidia GeForce GT 120 512 MB, sound card, DVD-RW drive, case, mouse and keyboard. In fact, use our store here to find prices for cheap components, or use a well known online retailer like Newegg to build your PC. Try to beat Apple's pricing as far as you can. And then throw in a good operating system.

What's your final price? Post your build and price in the comments!

We all know Apple gives some heavy competition to big PC builders like Dell, and HP, and even give Microsoft good competition. So we welcome its presence in the industry. Competition is great for everyone. If you do like Apple hardware, what then would be the one major thing you would suggest Apple do differently

Update: Try to explain your arguments as best as possible; give examples wherever possible--but keep the comments clean guys, don't insult other commenters.

Discuss
Display all 170 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , March 15, 2009 7:56 PM
    I think any unbiased "geek" could only have two real complaints about Macs. The first is price. The hardware is overpriced, no doubt about it, but the margin is lowering.

    The second complaint is more philosophical: Apple doesn't have the best track record recording DRM and restrictive, proprietary software. But then again, neither does Microsoft.
  • 14 Hide
    radiowars , March 15, 2009 8:23 PM
    First of all, lack of support from 3rd parties. Obviously, look at games. Mac games are absolutely terrible in terms of selection and quality. Also, they're harder to upgrade than a PC and they lack the free-form of PCs.

    They focus way to much on them being "simple to use". If you honestly can't figure out the "point-and-click" ease of today's OS, then you have a problem.

    Also, pretty much everything Tindytim said.

    And lastly the users. The uptight snobs who make retarded claims like "Macs can't get viruses" and such. They put themselves above PC users because they feel the need to "rebel" against spread sheets. PCs are perfect, all around computers, and I hope with Windows 7, people will learn how efficient a PC is, and why they dominate the market.

    *iTunes is a bitch too. I hate that software more than anything... anything!
  • 13 Hide
    tuannguyen , March 16, 2009 4:57 AM
    MillemanYes, Apple are for iDiots. The ones that got granit floor, marble tables, a fully equipped stainless kitchen and doesn't know how to cook real food. Everything is is just a fasade and cosmetica. Those are the Apple iDiots that sticks to whatever that company is selling overpriced. Just for the trend of it.


    Guys -

    Some of the comments are getting a little bit out of hand. Calling people who use Mac products ignorant, morons, and idiots, isn't a legitimate factor for why you dislike Macs. I'm all for calling out Apple and its hardware, but customers shouldn't have anything to do with why you dislike a company and its products. Let's stick to the hardware here guys.

    The comment in quotes is an example of something not to say. Leave people out of this. Saying you dislike a Mac's hardware because Apple customers don't know how to cook real food doesn't make any sense.

    Thanks / Tuan
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    jaibot18 , March 15, 2009 7:46 PM
    the main gripe that i have with apple is the overpricing of their products. If only a little research is done one will be able to see how they can get a much better deal.
    The main thing that annoys me is not the company itself but some of the consumers that buy their products. These are the people that will drop 500 bucks on an mp3 player before researching the alternatives, and when asked why they like their ipod will respond by saying, "Its awesome."
    that's it though, i feel that apple is a fairly innovative company and is necessary as they provide some competition for microsoft
  • 0 Hide
    twanto , March 15, 2009 7:47 PM
    I think you mean "moot" point.
  • 5 Hide
    IzzyCraft , March 15, 2009 7:49 PM
    It's their upgrade options seriously over priced you think their ram is from rambus and the hdd are made of gold or something. Then it's the obscurity they put around upgrading their hardware to make us fearful of buying anything not from apple If they really opened it up to allow anyone to build mac computer then we might actually have something to compete with Microsoft but their whole quality control bull shit doesn't fly for their overpriced stuff.
  • 3 Hide
    twanto , March 15, 2009 7:52 PM
    For me it is a combination of the price, the inability to build your own (that is officially sanctioned and supported), and the fact that mostly all the good games are only released to Windows. To a lesser degree I don't care for the front-end design of their OS. There are many quirks about the OS that I just hate, but not really worth going into detail about here. Maybe it is because I am so used to Windows, but I have used OS X extensively during the 10.2 and 10.3 years so it is not for lack of experience.
  • 8 Hide
    NuclearShadow , March 15, 2009 7:53 PM
    "Is it the pricing?

    Is it the software
    ?

    Is it the operating system?

    Is it the compatibility?"

    Yes to all of these and lets not forget their untruth marketing such as they try to say they aren't a PC and their annoying ads. Plus the censorship factor they will delete or lock any topic where people report common problems with their apple product and they also do the same to any constructive criticism.

    Anyways I'll try and make a similar or better system later and post the results.
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , March 15, 2009 7:56 PM
    I think any unbiased "geek" could only have two real complaints about Macs. The first is price. The hardware is overpriced, no doubt about it, but the margin is lowering.

    The second complaint is more philosophical: Apple doesn't have the best track record recording DRM and restrictive, proprietary software. But then again, neither does Microsoft.
  • 1 Hide
    deck , March 15, 2009 7:57 PM
    They stole the linux kernel and returned nothing to the open source community. For that, they get a life time boycott.
  • 10 Hide
    wicko , March 15, 2009 7:59 PM
    It's the pricing, the OS, and the company itself.

    Cheapest macbook I could find was 1099 CDN, for a previous generation. The newest gen was 1399 at it's cheapest (at futureshop/bestbuy). The upgrades are unbelievably priced, and there wouldn't be a chance in hell I would ever purchase one.

    The OS isn't too bad, but I hate the dock. I hate that Windows 7 is copying it. It is not at all intuitive, and its inefficient. I much prefer reading a word or two rather than deciphering what each program's icons are. I do like how it organizes its apps though, in terms of switching between running programs. command+tab to switch between apps and command+tilde to switch between windows in that app. I hate how painful it is to select a section of a line of code when I'm developing. I have to do some awkward 3 button press, where on the PC I just hit shift+home or shift+end depending on the direction I want. I constantly use those keys along with page up/page down, insert and delete, and I find it awkward now that they are missing.

    I hate the company for the image they try to create for themselves. Especially their commercials.. sure, they can be funny, but it is so childish and completely off target. I don't think there's anything really revolutionary about their products that justifies their price, other than maybe the ipod touch.

    However I am extremely biased because I'm a PC gamer, and I've used windows for most of my life, from 3.11. I've only used OSX for about 2 months, and I certainly haven't "made the switch". If I could do ipod touch dev'ing on the PC, you bet your ass I would. I certainly would not have dished out 1300 for a macbook..
  • 11 Hide
    Tindytim , March 15, 2009 8:05 PM
    I don't like Macs because of their marketing, and their users.

    They make false claims in their marketing, intentionally marketing to people who are ignorant, and playing on that ignorance. In fact, they idealize ignorance.

    It's the only way they could get away with what they charge for their systems, and upgrades.
  • 14 Hide
    radiowars , March 15, 2009 8:23 PM
    First of all, lack of support from 3rd parties. Obviously, look at games. Mac games are absolutely terrible in terms of selection and quality. Also, they're harder to upgrade than a PC and they lack the free-form of PCs.

    They focus way to much on them being "simple to use". If you honestly can't figure out the "point-and-click" ease of today's OS, then you have a problem.

    Also, pretty much everything Tindytim said.

    And lastly the users. The uptight snobs who make retarded claims like "Macs can't get viruses" and such. They put themselves above PC users because they feel the need to "rebel" against spread sheets. PCs are perfect, all around computers, and I hope with Windows 7, people will learn how efficient a PC is, and why they dominate the market.

    *iTunes is a bitch too. I hate that software more than anything... anything!
  • 4 Hide
    armistitiu , March 15, 2009 8:24 PM
    I can't believe how much credit you guys are giving to Apple. I mean come on they're unique stuff is just the OS (which in fact is based on BSD). So they tricked you into buying overpriced PC hardware add the OSX wrapped up in white shiny box and they call themselves "different". That is just insane. You give them way too much credit for "their" stuff just get the OSX ant paint you case in white and it's pretty much the same thing. iPod and iPhone is a whole different marketing story but we're talking about computers here.
  • 4 Hide
    red_kryptonite , March 15, 2009 8:33 PM
    2x Xeon E5520 Nehalem = 419.97 x2 @ keenzo.com
    2x Crucial 3x1GB DDR3 1066 RAM = 49.99 x2 @ newegg
    WD Caviar Black 640GB 7200 RPM Sata2 HD = 89.99 @ newegg
    GIGABYTE GV-N95TOC 9500GT (GT 120) = 79.99 @ newegg
    Lite On 20x Superdrive 23.99 @ Newegg
    Asus Z8NA-D6 (Can't find this anywhere, but can't be more than $400)
    Cooler Master Stacker 830 w/1000W PSU 399.99 @ Newegg

    Total = 1933.88 + Tax & Shipping.
  • 6 Hide
    Sicundercover , March 15, 2009 8:34 PM
    Before I go any further i want to say that my first PC was a Lisa and my first PC i rebuilt was a Apple 2e.

    1st
    I like building my own machines. Many people today do. I liken it to the days when guys would sit in their garage and wrench on their muscle cars all day. However you cant just sit and wrench on an apple. There are a few things you can change but overall there are only a handful of parts that are compatible. I might be more compelled to use their OS if they allowed the same kind of freedoms that using MS or Linux/Gnu does.

    2nd
    The advertising. What else needs to be said. The Apple adds openly suggest that if you use any other product then theirs, you are and uncool dweeb who has never been with a woman. Likewise many of the people who buy their product reflect the advertising by acting this way in return.

    I would probably like Apple a lot more if it wasn't for the people that use their product. Their like Raiders fans, only wimpier, and frail.


  • 4 Hide
    magnus962 , March 15, 2009 8:34 PM
    Honestly for me it is its difference from the niche that I have dug into with microsoft/windows based PCs and products. I havent ever used an apple product except for an ipod to any significant degree. The few times i have tried to screw around on apple products their equipment seems so very different I have no real urge to try and learn the OS and the features. If i were to look around online it would be very obvious that Mac's are more expensive but I honestly dont know what it is about them that warrants the price. Due to these things it wouldnt matter if Apple had anything that was superior. I as a consumer wouldnt know it and wouldnt really see the reason behind trying to learn it.

    PC it is.
  • 4 Hide
    tipmen , March 15, 2009 8:34 PM
    The whole apple thing... Their ads, their crappy hardware for price, price, OS, people who use macs, the company. Its basically image and thats what people care about. I can't bash them too much people are still buying from them i guess image means that much to people and therefor we must have a need for overpriced PCs.
  • 6 Hide
    Greatwalrus , March 15, 2009 8:39 PM
    To me, it seems there is no reason to spend an overpriced amount on a system you could build with a similar operating system (BSD or Linux, or even OSX) and better components for (sometimes) much less. Also, I've never really liked Apple's DRM and patent use (refer to the most recent EU problems). Finally, I have always thought of Apple users to be a little too proud of their systems. They seem to bring them everywhere (don't really blame them - I probably would too if I spent that much on a laptop).

    After having written this, I'm now also wondering why we are being asked to "Explain our case" why we don't like Apple. Seems strange.

    Oh and it also frustrates me how they have to name almost everything beginning with an 'i' You have the iPod, iMac (yuck!), iTunes, iPhone, iTV, iDisk, iSync, iWork, iLife, iMovie, iPhoto, yada yada yada.
  • 10 Hide
    MrF430 , March 15, 2009 8:40 PM
    TindytimI don't like Macs because of their marketing, and their users.They make false claims in their marketing, intentionally marketing to people who are ignorant, and playing on that ignorance. In fact, they idealize ignorance.It's the only way they could get away with what they charge for their systems, and upgrades.


    ^ QFT!!!
    Plus I totally agree with what radiowars said, especially about the damn iTunes!!!!!!!!

    Plus any company that drowns out the voices(be it constructive criticism or just a complaint) of its users, is not one I like to associate with. Don't even get me started about their retail store tactics (in stores like Best Buy, Fry's, CC, etc.) regarding the iPod's and competing pmp's! Any company that gives incentives to stores for not placing their competitors products on the shelves is a pretty big piece of shit company IMHO.
  • 1 Hide
    JMS3096 , March 15, 2009 8:48 PM
    I don't have a problem with Apple. I even do all my computing (5 different OSs, Windows 7, OS X 10.5.6, OS X 10.4.11, Solaris (including the OpenSolaris variant), Ubuntu 9.04 alpha 6, all sorted between multibooting and virtual machines) on a first-gen MacBook Pro that I got used for $500. I do CAD work, Java programming in Eclipse, gaming in Windows and under CrossOver (a Wine variant that supports hardware-accelerated DirectX), VB6 and VB Express 2008, Photoshop and GIMP work. I use 5 different browsers: Chrome, Safari 4, Firefox, IE8, and Opera. This is just by way of saying that I don't think that anyone can call me an Apple fanboy and keep a straight face.

    Does Apple charge a price premium? Yes. Is it worth it? I certainly think so. Why?

    Because Apple takes care of you. You have a problem, they fix it. I've had two reasons to make calls to Apple support. The first, they shipped a replacement part right away. I had it within two days, and it was easy to install. The second time, they had me come in to an Apple store to replicate the problem for them. They saw, and immediately ordered me a new logic board, at no cost to me.

    I've never had that kind of service before from anyone, not even Lenovo, who are legendary for their amazing support.

    Oh, and regarding the RAM prices: $1000 is 4 times $250, not 5 times. It's that much more for two main reasons. First, the modules themselves are laptop SO-DIMMs. Not only is DDR3 not as widely available in laptop size, but the small size of laptop modules make it more expensive to get a certain amount of storage per module. Second, 4GB modules of any type of RAM- even DDR2 desktop RAM- are exorbitantly expensive. Laptop modules ratchet up the price even more. Add DDR3, and that's only a greater premium. So, it's not just senseless markup.

    If liking to use OS X for normal use makes me an Apple lover, then by all means, consider me guilty. But first, read this comment, and think it through. Apple isn't a Sony, charging extra for no additional benefits over comparable products. Apple adds value, not only in the quality of design and construction of their products, but also in post-purchase support.
  • 11 Hide
    mwinfie , March 15, 2009 8:53 PM
    I don't feel like most of the people here are looking at Mac's fairly.

    Why don't I like them?
    * Compatibility - Most if not all of my games will not run on a Mac. I am a gamer and this is above all else the most important thing when I look at a system.

    That is pretty much the only reason I don't like them. People say price is their biggest issue but honestly, unless you are looking at upgrades, the prices are too bad when compared to other high end gear such as a Zune vs iPod or a Envy vs Mac Book.

    The little premium that is there is more then made up for by their clean style. I love the all aluminum silver Mac Book and I also love the carbon fiber Envy. I would buy the Envy over the Mac Book any day though.

    What would have to happen to get me to buy a Mac? Well honestly, if the Tablet/Netbook rumors are true, I might just buy one but other then that, I would need to dual boot a Mac Book for me to even consider it. Productivity on OSX with entertainment (ie. gaming) on Windows.
  • 4 Hide
    thepeganator , March 15, 2009 8:54 PM
    Nehalem Xeons aren't out yet.

    Macs have a lot wrong with them:
    Over priced in the first place.
    Over priced upgrades.
    Using ECC memory when it's not needed.
    Lack of real gpu's, the 8800gt just doesn't cut it now.
    IMO they are not that nicely built and don't look terribly good (flame on people).
    The Apple image.

    The fact that apple try to limit what you can use OSX on
    Saying "we're so compatible you can use windows with us" isn't right when they restrict OSX to mac branded systems, it's unfair on other companies.
    Can you imagine the uproar that would start if MS limited use of Windows to pcs that MS built itself? That would be crazy, it's only because macs have a smaller market share that Apple get away with it.

    Why is Toms trying to defend Apple so bad?
    Been a lot of pro-mac talk recently, which is always rejected by the readers.

    And I love building my own pc, Apple take the fun out of that.
Display more comments