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Thursday, October 9, 2008

How much are you paying for being Apple?

We all think Apple products are a little overpriced, but hey, you’re paying for the brand, quality and the tight integration. But considering you can install plain old vanilla OS X on a PC with similar hardware to the Mac, how much are you paying premium just for the Apple logo?

It’s now trivial to install plain old Mac OS X vanilla on regular PC’s using the EFIX stick. You can even install updates directly from Apple using this method. Alternatively, you could install one of the many EFI emulators out there. And, if you choose your hardware carefully, you’ll get out of the box support for everything from graphics to sound.

In this article we’re going to configure a PC, with the same spec hardware to the hi-grade iMac, and then do a price comparison.

The Mac


There’s not much you can say but ‘Ouch, that’s a lot of money'. I think we all appreciate the design and elegance of Apple products, but is it really worth it?

The PC

It seems that just about everyone is using Newegg, and they’ve got pretty good deals, so we decided to use them for this article.

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I chose an Antec case – it’s brand name, black and has a decent power supply. You can go crazy here, from the ‘Three Hundred’ to the smaller barebones cases – it’s all up to you, just make sure the motherboard fits in. You can also opt for a DVD or Blu-Ray burner.

Which brings us to a total of $1,178.90 for a Hackintosh.


Less than half of an iMac with the same specs. That includes a nice black case, 2×500GB SATA, a good 24-inch LCD monitor, high quality keyboard and wireless laser mouse.

Let’s assume that you’re not willing to put the computer together yourself; maybe you don't have the skills or the time, and you pay a friend 200$. Maybe add 50$ for EFIX and 120$ for a Mac OS X.


That leaves you with 1,121$ in your pocket.

While building yourself a MacBook isn’t possible – building your own Mac Mini, iMac or Mac Pro is certainly a good idea – and saves you money.

Is that white Apple logo worth it? Tell us in the comments.

Stefan Neagu is the author of the Tux Geek Blog where he discusses network security, linux and other issues regarding the tech world. He's a student, an amateur C# programmer and photoshopper.