I’ve been meaning to do this comparison for a while now, but this morning I decided to just jump in and do it. A lot of people are constantly complaining about how expensive Macs are and I’ve long held the notion that they are quite reasonably priced.
Here’s my break down:
- CPU (i7 2600K 3.4GHz Sandybridge) $320
- Motherboard (ASUS P8P67) $185
- RAM (8GB DDR3 1333MHz) $83
- Hard Drive (WD 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6G) $85
- Video (ATI Radeon 6970M) $300
- Keyboard/Mouse (MS wireless) $80
- Monitor (Dell Ultrasharp 27″ 2560×1440) $1000
- Webcam (Any) $50
- Speakers (Any) $15
The main expense here is definitely the CPU and the monitor. However, for equal comparisons I wanted to add a monitor that was comparable in quality, display, depth, etc. You could obviously go with a cheaper monitor from an off-brand, but I think that’s not a fair comparison.
Here’s the results:
- Apple iMac 27″ with 3.4 GHz CPU and 8GB RAM factory installed: $2,199
- BYO with above specs: $2,118
The difference is about $81.
I poked around a bit at some desktop solutions as well, and even an entry level desktop with the i7 2600K and the Dell ultrasharp monitor is going to start around $2,000.
It looks like my notion about the value of a Mac is accurate. Furthermore, with the fact that the iMac is a single piece of equipment that includes the computer and the monitor and you get what I still feel is the worlds best operating system plus a bunch of free software, it is hard to argue that an iMac isn’t a great value.