The Word

  • Posted : 15/09/2007
  • Name: Gary
  • Subject: unfair mac comparison?


" The MacVsPC advert for your 3xs systems is versus a G5 Mac !!!!!!!!!!
Over three years old !!!
Even the most basic current Mac would utterly destroy any PC you could put against it.
How the hell can I trust you to recommend a PC to me if you are purposefully misleading ?
Remove the advert for heavens sake, it just makes you look stupid ! "

Scan's Action

" We thank Gary for his communication via our website.

We're always glad to receive feedback from our customers as this is invaluable in our efforts to ensure we're performing the best we can. I am concerned about your view that the Mac vs. 3XS PC test completed recently was unfair, and if I may, I would like to address that concern.

Firstly, I think it's crucial to restate that in fact the Mac vs. 3XS PC test was completed by an independent and well respected magazine (Practical Digital Video). The publication wanted to explore the comparison which is often discussed between friends, colleagues, on forums and indeed in the media in more detail. To this end we were contacted and invited to take part in a 'real-world' test with documented results. We were happy to be involved, as to be blunt, we were just as interested in the findings as anyone. At the time of our invitation to the review, we were only advised of two things - firstly, that we'd be competing with a Mac Pro, and secondly an approximate target price.

I take onboard your point about the two machines being slightly different in price, but I have to say that it's quite unlikely to match prices on systems to the penny, and the price difference exhibited in the review couldn't be described as enormous when considering these are pro-level, mission-critical systems where every penny spent should be justified by improved or increased workflow. Moreover, I think it is absolutely crucial to note that I think the most important element of the comparison would be value for money.

Yes, the 3XS PC was a little more expensive than the MacPro, but I'd say it offered considerably better value for money. If in fact a customer wished to boost the RAM on the MacPro to 2GB, the price would increase to £1,888 - well above the £1,786 price of the PC - and indeed the gap between the two prices would be larger that way around, with the PC having more RAM the price gap is £87, bringing the Mac on a par would have it £102 more expensive than the PC. This I think starts to put the value for money element into real terms.

Another consideration when examining the 'bang per buck' angle perhaps might be the graphics subsystem in the machines. For the additional £87 (inc. VAT) spent on the 3XS PC, there wasn't simply an extra gigabyte of RAM, but a considerably higher spec graphics adapter. So, if the performance of the graphics adapter makes a difference to the packages being used (if shaders are used during the rendering process), the extra £87 doubles the RAM in the system and offers an 8800GTS card over a 7300GT to considerable effect; if perhaps the performance of the graphics hardware isn't so crucial (in situations where processing and rendering is done exclusively in CPU), the 3XS PC could be shipped with the same 7300GT graphics card as the Mac Pro, but then the price would decrease by £94.46 - meaning the total cost of the 3XS system would be £7 and change less than that of the Mac Pro, while still offering double the amount of system RAM.

Please don't take my response as 'Mac-Bashing' simply for the sake of it, as that's absolutely not the case - as an engineer I have a lot of respect for the work that Apple put into their products and as someone in business I feel that competition is nothing but a healthy thing and great for the market. However, I do feel very strongly that the main element in the recent comparison is the finding that PCs on the whole offer better value for money; and in my examples above there are numerous ways to look at the position, but in whichever way you do the 3XS PC delivers better 'bang per buck'.

My sincere thanks again for your communication; I hope I have presented a satisfactory reply. "