Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Psystar Open Computer Notes, Benchmarks and Video

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the fighting-against-the-too-good-to-be-true-adage dept.

Software 304

Engadget has had a chance to play around with Psystar's Open Computer and has a few things to say about the controversial machine. "Okay, so we've been playing with the Psystar Open Computer for a few hours now, and we've formed some early impressions and put together a short video of it in action. We haven't really tried to stress the system yet, but based on our other experiences with OSx86 machines, we're expecting things to generally go smoothly. That said, there are some definite rough patches and issues, all mostly having to do with the fact that OS X isn't really built for this hardware."

cancel ×

304 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (1)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258842)

Seems it's not a fraud box after all. Who'da thunk?

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258962)

Did anyone notice how long it took from button-push to actually seeing something on the screen? Felt like an eternity! 10 seconds or something. Same for waking from sleep.

My 3 year old dell laptop wakes up in about the same time in Linux and less in Windows XP.

finally, freeriding BSD paid off for apple (2, Interesting)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259494)

Ok, so Apple takes BSD, slaps a bubbly GUI on top of it that becomes popular. Because of its popularity, bunch of hackers decide they'll run it differently anyway. The result? More BSD! And i'm sure apple loves that, don't they?

Re:finally, freeriding BSD paid off for apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259928)

Yeah, that slapping a "bubbly GUI" on top of BSD was soooo easy that several FOSS outfits have done it.

They also implemented the Mach micro-kernel as well, didn't they?

Then they made it work seamlessly didn't they?

Ummm... no.

Re:finally, freeriding BSD paid off for apple (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260084)

Apple did not take BSD and "slap a bubbly gui on top of it". You should consider learning something about software one day.

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258994)

Seems it's not a fraud box after all. Who'da thunk?

That is irrelevant.
Right now, as you read this, Apple legal, ST_VE, and whomever else, are looking over their
Psystar 'Open Computer', to determine how it violates Apple's IP and EULA.

Their response will be measured, firm, succinct, and final.

Psystar will be out-of-business in a month.
Bon Apetit, suxors.

If I were apple I'd like this (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259400)

This thing is such a turd that If I were apple I'd be overjoyed someone made it. A mac mmin actually costs less, delivered! You lose less than a factor of 2 on graphics speeds and smidge on disk writes on the mac mini.

In return the mac mini has wifi and blue tooth, temperature control, software updates, you can re-install the operating system, optical audio, ilife, ...

oh and it doesn't sound like a supersonic jet landing. The mini has lower power bills too.

it's difficult to think of the niche where anyone could possibly want a turn like this.

SO apple should be please that no one can make a cheaper computer, since it sort of puts it to all the whiners who complain about the "apple tax".

Re:If I were apple I'd like this (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259480)

* Having a Mac without supporting Apple.

* Having a Mac on the cheap where you can upgrade your video card.

Re:If I were apple I'd like this (0, Troll)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259524)

* Having a Mac without supporting Apple.
okay then please remove the OS if you don't want to support apple. Where do you think the desirable OS comes from?

* Having a Mac on the cheap where you can upgrade your video card.
You may possible have some application where you need a fsater video card. remember we're only talking less than afactor of 2 between the 8600 and the integrated graphics in most cases.

You application can't be a pro-app since any pro would not be trying to save a few bucks on the machine if it's idiosyncracies cost them billable hours.

So assuming you are in this really tiny segment where you need an even faster graphics card you also need to consider the following.

most apps won't actually utilize the graphics card's boost since they can't count on it being there. Some pro apps will of course. And games may too. But most won't. But on macs the coders know they can optimize for a limited set of cards so they do.

so you've got to be in a pretty unusual case if you want the cheapest piece of shit computer with a graphics card faster than an 8600.

1)

Re:If I were apple I'd like this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259806)

LoL you are such a tool. L0LZ0rs.

lets use pico-ITX for a change (1)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259504)

you can make your own, in a box of your choice. And costs cheaper....

Re:lets use pico-ITX for a change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259650)

you can make your own, in a box of your choice. And costs cheaper....
if your time has no value.

Since you must work for free i'd like to hire you.

Re:lets use pico-ITX for a change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259816)

Since you must work for free i'd like to hire you.

And since you're obviously posting on the clock, you're fired. Enjoy having no life since friends don't make you money.

Re:If I were apple I'd like this (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259782)

it's difficult to think of the niche where anyone could possibly want a tur[d] like this.
Sure, but I think that misses the point.

This is a first-generation product. It's not polished at all. But, if Apple doesn't sue Psystar out of existence - or, better, if Apple tries and fails - then Psystar can put together a good version later on. So, I would look at this as a proof of concept, a testing-the-waters type of thing. I would say it's succeeding in that it's generating lots of noise (both in the press and the fan...), we have to wait and see if it passes the legal test. But if so, Psystar - or some other company - can put together a very compelling product and make a small fortune.

Re:If I were apple I'd like this (2, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259820)

This is a first-generation product. It's not polished at all.

So a buggy and flawed first generation system? They're not just cloning the hardware, they're cloning Apple's development model too!

Apple Upgrade Tax (1, Flamebait)

copponex (13876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259910)

The complaints I have about apple:

1) Highway robbery for RAM/HDs from their website
2) Bank robbery for their hard drive prices for XServe
3) Spreadsheet performance (Excel 2008, OOo 2.4, Numbers '08)
4) Closed, shitty file formats for their iWork and iLife products
5) Pain in the ass to install free *nix software

Their computers are over priced, but are perfect for casual, non-technical yuppy types, or people who have to use Final Cut / Logic Pro.

Re:Apple Upgrade Tax (1)

aquarajustin (1070708) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260006)

5) Pain in the ass to install free *nix software
Have you ever tried MacPorts? It is far from a pain in the ass.
http://www.macports.org/ [macports.org]

Their computers are over priced, but are perfect for casual, non-technical yuppy types, or people who have to use Final Cut / Logic Pro.
What operating system do you use? From my experience, Mac OS is generally the system that is used by non-yuppy technical types who have reached enlightenment. ;)

Re:Apple Upgrade Tax (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260062)

The complaints I have about apple:

1) Highway robbery for RAM/HDs from their website
That's why you buy the extra RAM/HD elsewhere. If you buy extra RAM from Apple then you're a fool.

2) Bank robbery for their hard drive prices for XServe
I haven't bought any XServes but I assume they can also be obtained elsewhere.

3) Spreadsheet performance (Excel 2008, OOo 2.4, Numbers '08)
That's what you get for using spreadsheets!

4) Closed, shitty file formats for their iWork and iLife products
Well, um, so there!

5) Pain in the ass to install free *nix software
Fink and MacPorts make this as easy as it is on any other *nix. The only difficulty is choosing between the two.

Re:Apple Upgrade Tax (1)

codemachine (245871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260078)

Actually Fink and FinkCommander make it pretty easy to install unix software. Especially if you have Apple's X11 or install the latest from Xorg.

MacPorts is another option, as another person already mentioned.

Maybe not as easy and integrated as apt-get is in Debian/Ubuntu, but better than Cygwin. Some would say better than Solaris even.

Re:Apple Upgrade Tax (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260120)

They are also perfect for busy programmers like me who deploy to Unix/Linux and who are sick to death of the endless clusterfuck nightmare that is desktop Linux. Of course, desktop Linux is perfect for casual, non-professional hobbyist types, or people who place no value on their time.

Re:Apple Upgrade Tax (1)

Nitewing98 (308560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260134)

The complaints I have about apple:
1) Highway robbery for RAM/HDs from their website
No Mac user with any intelligence buys RAM or HD's from Apple, that's common knowledge.

2) Bank robbery for their hard drive prices for XServe
See #1 above, though I'm not an XServe owner and can't testify that outside drives would work.

3) Spreadsheet performance (Excel 2008, OOo 2.4, Numbers '08)
What? Each product you mention has a different code base, I don't see how ALL of them could have similar performance? Are you implying that Apple's processors don't do math fast enough? (oh, wait, they're using Intel, the same as everyone else)

4) Closed, shitty file formats for their iWork and iLife products
Agreed. You got me here.

5) Pain in the ass to install free *nix software
It's no harder to use Fink or Port than it is apt-get or aptitude. If you use the GUI's (FinkCommander and Porticus), then you get the same functionality with a Mac UI. Either way, this comment is junk.

Their computers are over priced, but are perfect for casual, non-technical yuppy types, or people who have to use Final Cut / Logic Pro.
Or for IT types (me included) who get tired of using Windows at work and dealing with blue screens and drivers that don't work (or that Windows "can't find") or software that "just breaks." My Mac has always been a calm oasis in the desert that is Windows, where I can focus on what I'm doing, not how to fix something that's broken.

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259294)

Seems it's not a fraud box after all.
I guess it depends on your definition of "fraud". Selling a computer that is "crazy loud" and has several things that don't work is pretty close to fraud as far as I'm concerned. It's obvious that they didn't put a lot of effort into this. They're just trying to get them out the door as fast as possible so they can make some money before Apple shuts them down.

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (1)

marimbaman (194066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259364)

I guess it depends on your definition of "fraud". Selling a computer that is "crazy loud" and has several things that don't work is pretty close to fraud as far as I'm concerned. It's obvious that they didn't put a lot of effort into this. They're just trying to get them out the door as fast as possible...

What? Sounds like every other PC maker I know of... :)

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259862)

Selling a computer that is "crazy loud"
And we all know that's impossible to fix.

There is something inherent about running OSX on the CPU on which it is meant to run that makes it "crazy loud"?

By the way, we also know it's going to be a failure because the box isn't refrigerator white. That's a "fatal flaw".

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23260174)


There is something inherent about running OSX on the CPU on which it is meant to run that makes it "crazy loud"?

Actually, yes. OSX doesn't know how to talk to the fan controller.

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259452)

I don't know, did you?

My Psystar sucks (0, Redundant)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259486)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Psystar fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Psystar for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Powerbook G3 running OS 9, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Psystar, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Safari will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even TextMate is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Psystars, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Psystar that has run faster than its Mac counterpart, despite the Psystars' similar chip architecture. My Powerbook G3 with 16 megs of ram runs faster than this Psystar machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Psystar is a superior machine.

Psystar addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Psystar over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:My Psystar sucks (1, Flamebait)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259676)

Who modded a win3.1 troll up(insightful)?

What a moron.

Re:My Psystar sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259754)

This topic is chock full of Apple astroturfers.

Apple hates the idea of competition, so they'll be doing anything they can to preemptively poison this well.

Stacking tech forums with shills is pretty standard for the majors now.

Re:My Psystar sucks (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259966)

Yes, a moron with a sense of humor.

It was a joke, laugh.

Re:Did the Slashdot crowd jump to conclusions? (1, Funny)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259536)

Seems it's not a fraud box

No, just a piece of shit.

Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

backpackcomputing (1249130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258872)

The price of the Psystar seems cheap compared to Apple branded products, although there appear to be several rough edges. A base system with the Leopard 10.5 OS, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB HDD and Core2Duo processor costs $555 plus shipping. It does not come with a monitor or keyboard. By comparison, for example, a Mac mini with 2GB of RAM, but a smaller HDD and slower CPU costs $949. Although, the aesthetics of the mini can't be denied. http://backpackcomputing.com/ [backpackcomputing.com]

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258894)

Although, the aesthetics of the mini can't be denied
odd, i would have said that aesthetics is the one area where you will always have someone denying its value.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258920)

The Psystar systems can take a real video card the mini can't also the open pro has a bigger case and likely less fan noise.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258984)

The previous psystar video had horrible fain noise.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259448)

The Psystar systems can take a real video card the mini can't also the open pro has a bigger case and likely less fan noise.
The previous psystar video had horrible fain noise.
The Psystar in that video with the horrible fan noise was not the OpenPro [psystar.com] , which uses the famously quiet Antec P182 [antec.com] case. That video, and the current article, featured the cheaper Open Computer [psystar.com] , which uses the much cheaper Asus TM-211 [newegg.com] case.

However, the current article [engadget.com] says the loud fan problem seems to be caused by incompatibilies between the motherboard/case fan controller and OS X (and maybe the hacked EFI). If the same motherboard/case was used with Windows, it would surely be much quieter.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

njcoder (657816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259152)

What part of "it's not cute" don't you get? Leave your techno mumbo jumbo out of this.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258936)

Look at the specs though, you cant compare the two. Where the clone is faster and has more memory, it lacks firewire, wireless (while you could get away with no wireless unless your using it for a media PC, firewire I find essential no matter what until Apple adds external SATA), and the options to select it bump it up to the same price as the only slightly slower Apple Mini.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (-1, Troll)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259210)

After market firewire cards come in at about $20, plus id assume this thing supports extra SATA drives.
This is a desktop if your using wireless on a desktop you sir are an idiot!

Stop being such a fan boy and accept that apple arse rape you on price for everything other than high end systems.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

1729 (581437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259442)

This is a desktop if your using wireless on a desktop you sir are an idiot!
Uh, why?

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (2, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259460)

What's wrong with wireless on a desktop? I've done several installations for people who wanted a primary computer hooked up to the router, but had their kids' systems (and I think TiVo, in one case) hooked up via wireless because they didn't want the hassle of running cables to other rooms. It's not a good case for transferring large files all the time, but it works perfectly fine for them for the Internet browsing, e-mail, and gaming that they were doing.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259596)

if your (sic) using wireless on a desktop you sir are an idiot!

It's a lot easier than running cables through concrete.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

uhlume (597871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260026)

Good luck getting acceptable wireless signal through concrete.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (2, Interesting)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259610)

Look at the specs though, you cant compare the two.

and the options to select it bump it up to the same price as the only slightly slower Apple Mini.
Slightly slower? Did you read TFA [engadget.com] ? The MacBook (which is comparable to the Mac mini) got pwned by the cheap Psystar. This shouldn't be surprising, since the MacBook (and the Mac mini) has a slower notebook hard drive, a slower CPU (with slower frontside bus), and the slower notebook version of Intel's integrated graphics (lower GPU clock speed and less allocated memory).

Where the clone is faster and has more memory, it lacks firewire, wireless (while you could get away with no wireless unless your using it for a media PC, firewire I find essential no matter what until Apple adds external SATA),
The $600 Mac mini only has a DVD/CD-RW combo drive and 80GB hard drive, while the entry-level Open Computer comes with a DVD writer and 250GB hard drive. You need to spend $800 on the Mac mini to get a DVD writer and a whopping 120GB hard drive.

Of course, I'm not saying the Psystar "hackintosh" is a better value than the Mac mini. In fact, I think the Psystar is a piece of crap when it's running OS X (no fan speed control and not update-able). It's kind of ridiculous to compare the two, but I guess we're "forced" to since Apple doesn't offer a headless desktop Mac with desktop (not notebook) parts. At least the Mac mini works like it's supposed to.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259720)

Look at the specs though, you cant compare the two.

and the options to select it bump it up to the same price as the only slightly slower Apple Mini.
Slightly slower? Did you read TFA [engadget.com] ? The MacBook (which is comparable to the Mac mini) got pwned by the cheap Psystar.
no it didn't. The cpu performance was comparable. THe disk perfromance was not bad. Yes, the video card performance lagged but by less than a factor of 2. who cares? what niche buys the cheapest piece of crap so loud you can't stand to be in the same room with then cares about graphics speed within a factor of 2?

if you want faster disk or a dvd burner s on a mac mini you can put one in with a screwdriver or even smarter add a firewire drive.

besides which this argument is about TCO not chest beating performance or spec for spec. it's about what's the entry level price for a mac.

  If you want chest beating then the pystar is not what you want anyhow. if you want to talk TCO, then those slower disk and slower graphics cards save you about $160 a year in power bills if you leave this thing on 24/7. the mac mini draws laptop size sips of power and has power management to boot. this thing runs at full bore.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259888)

If some little outfit had built a homebrew box that ran the XBOX360 or PS3 system, you'd all be throwing bouquets of roses at them, even if it was loud as hell.

Can we just admit that the only reason this company is getting trashed is because it dared to assault the holy Apple Grail?

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258942)

The psystar sound like the deck of an aircraft carrier. Even on the relatively crappy video I've seen so far, the first thing that jumped out was how damn loud the thing is.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (0)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258960)

The mini is a great value compared to other small windows PCs like the shuttles (for size it can't be beat at the price) or the ITX boards (mini is much more powerful for the price). The issue is that the mini has Zero upgrade path for a Windows switcher with halfway decent hardware. You can't have internal 3.5" drives (7.2k or 10k). You can't pick a reasonable video card. You can't put two drives in there, or upgrade your burner... etc. Buy an off the shelf HD3850 or 9600 and you've topped every 3D offering Apple has even at $3k+, at least to play a few games, even if they're windows games... at least you don't need a second machine to keep what you've got invested in the Windows world.

I regret my Macbook for that one simple point. The graphics are more poor than on the iBook I picked up used at a garage sale. (no, I'm not replacing a $600 Windows machine with a $2000 notebook just to play the SAME games on it.) When a 3 year-old game like WoW is painful on a dual core 2.1Ghz processor/ 2GB ram something is seriously wrong with the hardware selection. Where's a "just" Mac equivalent like this Psystar from for the hacker switchers from Actual Apple?

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259090)

The mini is a great value compared to other small windows PCs like the shuttles


Oh horse shit. I love my Apple, but I've built numerous Shuttles for people and I usually come in right around what a mid-range mini would cost. The difference is that the Shuttle machines do not use laptop components and can accommodate real video cards and can generally be expanded to four or eight gig of ram. And yes, I usually load Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS on them. They run rings around the mini.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259138)

How is the mini a good value compared to an XPC? You can put together a 3Ghz E8400 XPC with an 8800GTS etc. for a pretty decent price. Hell use a 65nm quad and you're still not doing too bad. I'd like a mini and all but 2Ghz for HOW much?! I must admit that building a Hackintosh is VERY tempting when looking at the prices critically. $800 with 1Gig of RAM and THAT video card?

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259268)

The mini is a great value compared to other small windows PCs like the shuttles (for size it can't be beat at the price) or the ITX boards (mini is much more powerful for the price).


Mac mini + 2gig of ram + Superdrive + 160GB HD = $949.00

Shuttle SG31G2 + 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800 + Western Dig 320GB HD + Pioneer DVD/RW + Asus GeForce 8400GS passive vid card + a Wolfdale 3.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU = 608.94

So.. now you can either add OEM windows for around a hundred or linux/*bsd for zero. Either way it makes the mini look like a real piece of shit and you like an idiot.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

amabbi (570009) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259474)

The mini is a great value compared to other small windows PCs like the shuttles (for size it can't be beat at the price) or the ITX boards (mini is much more powerful for the price).
Mac mini + 2gig of ram + Superdrive + 160GB HD = $949.00 Shuttle SG31G2 + 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800 + Western Dig 320GB HD + Pioneer DVD/RW + Asus GeForce 8400GS passive vid card + a Wolfdale 3.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU = 608.94 So.. now you can either add OEM windows for around a hundred or linux/*bsd for zero. Either way it makes the mini look like a real piece of shit and you like an idiot.
Mac mini: 6.5" x 6.5" x 2"
Shuttle SG31G2: 11.8" x 7.9" x 7.3"

Geez louise. You don't know how to read, do you?

Wrong price (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259450)

A mac mini delivered costs 599. Go over to mac mall and you get 2Gb memory, parallels, ilife, a printer, and free shipping for $599

Conversely, the a Pystar running mac OS costs
399$ + 155$ (OS) + $50 shipping. = $604

if you want firewire add $50 , the mini comes with it. (note you need pystar to install the firewire for you).

if you want wifi, blue tooth, optical audio, etc.. you'll have to buy them. Maybe they will even work with the OS too. who knows.

then of course the annual power bill is a lot less for the mac mini since not only is it lower power, the operating system power management actually functions.

Re:Wrong price (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259580)

More to add to this.

First it's really dumb to be comparing things spec for spec when were talking about what's the cheapest way to get into mac osx computing. the ground floor is a batter value from apple.

But let's suppose you want to trick out the apple with larger faster drives or a dvd burner.

Now it's not a big deal just to crack the case on the apple and put in a bigger drive and the dvd burner.

But an even smarter solution , for just a little more cash is to buy external HD and external DVD and plug them in. Even externally the footprint of the machine is less than the pystar and you get valuable portable devices.

If you were buy fleets of these then you could save money over the pystar by buying just one DVD burner and one uber disk drive and networking it.

And please don't go pricing this out using apple components, those are notoriusly expensive. (not that you don't get some value in assurance of quality, says the man who bought cheap disk drives and learned his lesson). Buy third party and add them.

Re:Wrong price (1)

backpackcomputing (1249130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259760)

Although not an exact comparison, Psystar definitely offers a bigger hardware bang for the buck, particularly with respect to the HDD and the CPU. I didn't see the $599 configuration described above at macmall.com. Here are the $$ stats below comparing the three different vendors: Here is what $555 plus shipping gets you at Psystar: Case Color: Black Intel Processor: Core2Duo/2.2GHz E4500 Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM SATA Graphics Processor: Intel GMA 950 Firewire: Not Included Operating System: OS X 10.5 Leopard (+ $155.00) Memory: 2GB DDR2 (you could get 3 firewire ports for an extra $50) Here is what $949 buys at Apple.com: * 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo * 2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB * 160GB Serial ATA drive * SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) * User's Guide (English) * Accessory kit Here is what $769 (after $25 rebate) buys at macmall.com: Apple Mac mini Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz,4MB L2 cache, 667MHz FSB, 1GB DDR2 SDRAM, 120GB SATA HD, DVD-RW/CD-RW Super Drive, Intel GMA 950, AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0, Apple Remote, OS X 10.5 Leopard MacMall Part #: 7288185 Platform: Macintosh Your Price: $794.00 Mail-In Rebate(s): $25.00 Net Price: $769.00 http://backpackcomputing.com/ [backpackcomputing.com]

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

mh101 (620659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259622)

Don't forget the Psystar system doesn't include iLife either, so that's one more thing you'd have to buy separately to get the equivalent of something from Apple.

Re:Psystar- cheap, but is it a deal? (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259902)

A base system with the Leopard 10.5 OS, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB HDD and Core2Duo processor costs $555 plus shipping. It does not come with a monitor or keyboard.
Since TFA [engadget.com] reveals that the motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L (and the black case is obviously an Asus TM-210 [newegg.com] ), I think we can further evaluate its "value" by "building" a nearly identical system on Newegg. Here's what I got: Since companies like Psystar can buy parts at much lower prices than we can, it seems like Psystar is making a nice profit on each system. In contrast, when I try to "build" a Newegg PC that's comparable to a cheap HP or Dell, the HP or Dell is always cheaper.

The price of the Psystar seems cheap compared to Apple branded products, although there appear to be several rough edges.
The two articles I've seen on shipped Psystar computers seem to indicate that they did a craptacular job of hacking OS X to work on their hardware. I'm sure most of us can do a better job by referring to OSx86 Project [osx86project.org] . I'm sure the "rough edges" can be avoided by simply asking on the OSx86 Project's forums, "Which motherboard works correctly with OS X?" (including fan control and OS X Software Update)

By comparison, for example, a Mac mini with 2GB of RAM, but a smaller HDD and slower CPU costs $949. Although, the aesthetics of the mini can't be denied.
Of course. Although, comparing an expandable minitower to a SFF computer with laptop parts is ridiculous. Also, don't forget the bundled iLife that comes with the Mac mini (assuming the buyer wants it).

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23258906)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse open ass notes, benchmarks and video [goatse.ch]

Fan Noise (2, Funny)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258954)

"It's LOUD. Crazy loud. OS X doesn't seem to interface with the fan controller, so it runs at full tilt all the time. It doesn't really come across on the video, but it's loud enough so that it's hard to talk on the phone when the machine is running. There's no way we could deal with this thing on a daily basis."

I watched the video, and he's completely wrong. The fan's so loud that at about 2 minutes into the video it drowns out a passing fire truck.

If you looking for a similar experience, hold a hair dryer (on low heat) about 3 inches from your ear. :)

Re:Fan Noise (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259030)

Yep, not a Steve Jobs product.

The products he's been involved in have been either truly silent or blessedly quiet.

There's a difference, by the way, and truly silent is better.

They may overheat, of course... but until they do, they're a pleasure to use. You don't realize how fatiguing fan noise is until you work with a machine that doesn't have any.

It was a sad day when I had to clip a Kensington fan to my Apple ][+

Re:Fan Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259368)

Yep, not a Steve Jobs product.

The products he's been involved in have been either truly silent or blessedly quiet.
My Power Mac G4 MDD would like to have a word with you. :)

Re:Fan Noise (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259214)

The fan's so loud that at about 2 minutes into the video it drowns out a passing fire truck.
Nah that's just the commentator's hairy, distorted, monotonous voice.

Re:Fan Noise (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259584)

If you looking for a similar experience, hold a hair dryer (on low heat) about 3 inches from your ear. :)

Unfortunately I think they're using the same asus case I ordered for a media center PC I wanted to put together. That just sucks, I need to find something quiet.

"it just works" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23258956)

A lot of what makes a Mac a Mac is the whole "it just works" thing. Many people don't quite get this until they've actually used a real Mac for more than a few weeks. Plug things in and you don't need to dick around with fighting to get it to work right. Sleep and hibernation that work the way they're supposed to. But with a machine like this, you toss all that out the window - which means one of the most attractive things about owning or using a Mac (aside from the joy of OS X) goes out the window too.

Re:"it just works" (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258986)

It just works until it just doesn't and then you're just fucked.

Bend over.

Re:"it just works" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259284)

Yeah, I don't get it either. I've used Macs too, and while they may require less fiddling overall, there are plenty of instances where they don't "just work". It doesn't recognize every device you plug into it, software still crashes, they are very finicky about memory modules, and I could go on. The more you try to go against "The Apple Way" of doing things, the more you'll run into it. I wish the "just work" meme would go away.

Re:"it just works" (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259166)

If something "just works", your not trying to do anything cool enough on it
e.g install MacOS on non apple hardware
convert a 5 y/o box into a PVR
mount your HDD through a loop over a coat-hanger.

Anonymous Fanboy (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259272)

A lot of what makes a Mac a Mac is the whole "it just works" thing. Many people don't quite get this until they've actually used a real Mac for more than a few weeks. Plug things in and you don't need to dick around with fighting to get it to work right. Sleep and hibernation that work the way they're supposed to. But with a machine like this, you toss all that out the window - which means one of the most attractive things about owning or using a Mac (aside from the joy of OS X) goes out the window too.

You don't happen to work in a macshop or something, do you?

Heaps of computers 'just work'. Maybe not Windows ones. And heaps of Macs just die suddenly. They are pretty, they are easy to use, but they still aren't worth the money.

Re:"it just works" (4, Interesting)

shadwstalkr (111149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259868)

Except that it doesn't. I use Linux mostly, but I work in a physics research lab that uses exclusively* macs. We still use several G4s with OS X 10.3.9. I can't install network printers on half of them, for no apparent reason. I can't mount them using firewire on newer macs. No error messages, it just stalls.

We got two new iMacs last month. One of them turns off randomly. Both of them crash randomly when we use our analysis software (a two-year old powerpc program). The OS is so slow it's nearly unresponsive (to me, the people that only use macs don't have a problem with it). On a related note, the iMac makes no hard drive noise, so I can never tell if it is just slow in responding, or if I didn't double click fast enough. File sharing is a pain to figure out. I can't easily change my icon theme without buying third party software. Don't get me started on the usability of the single menu bar. I can't find any easy way to uninstall Garage Band, et al, so that the automatic updater stops bothering me about them. I can't find a way to move windows between desktops ("spaces"), and all new windows seem to open on the same desktop that the program originally opened on, making multiple desktops virtually useless. I need third party software to have an automatically changing desktop wallpaper. Our IT guy told me that to take apart the iMac you have to buy suction cups from Apple to pull the glass off before you can unscrew the case. The "mighty mouse" can fake a right button, but you have to lift your index finger off the left side for it to work. My advisor was so used to this that he didn't even realize he was doing it. I can't drag windows around by alt-clicking on the window. I can't close a window that is minimized without showing it.

These are just the bad things that I can think of off the top of my head. There are a lot of great things that I haven't mentioned. Maybe coming from Windows I would be blown away, but in Linux all this stuff actually just works, plus all the stuff that does work on the mac. If macs work for you, great. Just realize that you're paying a 100% tax for a pretty box, and stop telling me that it just works.

Note that I'm not claiming in any way that macs can't do something. All that I am saying is that if I, a power user of several decades, couldn't figure out how to do it over the last year it didn't "just work." I welcome any solutions to problems that I mentioned, except solutions that include spending money.

* The computers that run our expensive research equipment are windows. It's cheaper for them to give you a computer with windows than it is to develop a cross-platform solution.

Re:"it just works" (2, Informative)

hagbard23 (51894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23260182)

I'm not doubting you might be having hardware problems, but several of your complaints are not actually problems.

Move windows between Spaces: Hit your spaces key, and drag the windows between spaces. Easy peasy.

Automatically change desktop wallpaper: right-click (or control-click) on desktop, select "Change Desktop Background". I have a folder of Digital Blasphemy pics, so I hit the + button at the bottom of the left hand side, and navigate to that folder. Then I check "Change Picture", select "Every Hour", and check Random Order.

I have a feeling that Spaces is "supposed to" separate things by application, not necessarily by window. Linux and Windows throw all windows into one huge Alt-Tab clusterfsck, where Apple says: Command-Tab is for switching applications, and Command-` is for switching windows within an application.

Menubar at the top of the screen? Ever hear of Fitt's Law? [wikipedia.org] Rather than the fiddly wasted screen space of dozens of menu bars repeated in every window, I've just got one.

Uninstalling Garage Band? Just delete the folder. No uninstaller application needed.

Just because something is different doesn't mean it's broken

what's in a name? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258966)

pystar, any relation I wonder to starmax ? (the last Mac clone)

Re:what's in a name? (1)

illumnatLA (820383) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259502)

pystar, any relation I wonder to starmax ? (the last Mac clone)
Not much at all... Starmax was a Motorola product--the people who made the Mac processors up until the Intel switch.

mac mini (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258978)

is seriously outdated. Yes, it has C2D. But it has 5400rpm drive and intel GMA950 which is from 1st supporting C2D chipset, intel has gone thru two more generations since then.

Is it too much to ask to have GeForce 7300LE like on Apple TV? At least that GPU can decode something.

Re:mac mini (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23258996)

I think the biggest issue with the Mini is that its outdated (its not meant to be powerful at all) but that its 600 bucks for something you could build for 300.

Re:mac mini (1)

Traxxas (20074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259078)

Fit that $300 in the same case as the mini. BTW I paid $300 for my mini, new.

Re:mac mini (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259134)

Get me a factory and deals with suppliers and ill do it for $150

Re:mac mini (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259304)

The Mini is still a good deal for an ultra-small system, take a look at the PC equilivents of the Mini and you'll see most of them are underpowered too. The problem is that most people would be willing to accept something the size of, say, a Shuttle if it meant a massive improvement in performance for the same price.

Re:mac mini (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259120)

and they stick a DVD / CDRW in there they should have DVDRW in all systems now days.

So it's a used Mac for a used Mac price. (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259046)

In performance and price it's a 2-3 year old Mac, I guess. The fan problem though could probably be eliminated with a cheap PCI slot blower fan.

Re:So it's a used Mac for a used Mac price. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259128)

OTOH, the parts are new,

Anything novel here? (4, Interesting)

Lachryma (949694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259122)

How is Psystar's Mac install any different from what someone would get from, say, the Kalyway Install Disc?

In fact, is there anything to suggest that Psystar isn't just making a quick buck from someone else's hacked Mac OS X installer?

They've shown that it's possible (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259196)

Presumably a better version will follow. There's no reason it has to be a full tower case with noisy fans. And if they get some volume, they can revise the BIOS to work better with the MacOS.

It would be amusing to see Dell or HP in talks with Apple. They both need something better than Vista. It would actually make sense for Apple to sell off the desktop market to another vendor, and concentrate on portable devices. "Never trust a computer you can't lift", remember.

Re:They've shown that it's possible (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259324)

It would be amusing to see Dell or HP in talks with Apple. They both need something better than Vista. It would actually make sense for Apple to sell off the desktop market to another vendor, and concentrate on portable devices. "Never trust a computer you can't lift", remember.

They do have things better than Vista. They're still selling XP, and they're also offering various Linux distributions.

Re:They've shown that it's possible (1)

larkost (79011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259478)

You are assuming that they did any real work in developing this setup. Instead they put together pieces of work that the OSx86 community had been working on, and put together some hardware that could run it and started selling the combination. They don't seem like the type of company that is going to be putting many development dollars into much of anything.

Re:They've shown that it's possible (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259922)

Instead they put together pieces of work that the OSx86 community had been working on, and put together some hardware that could run it and started selling the combination.

Are you talking about Psystar or Apple?

Re:They've shown that it's possible (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259784)

It would be amusing to see Dell or HP in talks with Apple. They both need something better than Vista. It would actually make sense for Apple to sell off the desktop market to another vendor

It would be a mistake for Apple to sell off their desktop market. Apple seel hardware as much as software. Actually Apple is a systems integrator, they design whole systems so they "just work".

Falcon

Wow, the mail must work slowly there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259244)

They obviously haven't received Apple's C&D letter yet

One small problem... (4, Informative)

sessamoid (165542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259356)

"The DHCP lease drops every fifteen minutes or so and you have to manually renew it in prefs."

So you have to go into preferences and renew your dhcp lease every 15 minutes or you have no internet? Yeah, these'll sell well.

Why Psy more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259444)

The AppleTV is a nice silent box that runs Linux. It cost $250.

No, I don't really want to run OSX. I bought a Mac Mini. I bought an apple tv, not because of OSX or some Apple logo. I wanted a small quiet box.

A noisy box that runs OSX ? Worst of both worlds?

I don't get the Paystar, I mean Psyatsr.

Yes, Apple should get over itself, and certify OSX on a limited number of PC's like certain Dell models ...

[Hasta la] Vista flopped, It is a key opportunity to compete directly with MS. I still prefer Linux, but just FYI mr Jobs.

Mac becomes PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23259546)

"...we're expecting things to generally go smoothly. That said, there are some definite rough patches and issues, all mostly having to do with the fact that OS X isn't really built for this hardware."

Its not your fault Mac, all your parts and software are made by different manufacturers ...

How easy is it to roll your own? (1)

RelliK (4466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259606)

How easy is it to build your own machine with specs closely matching Apple's and install OSX on it?

Re:How easy is it to roll your own? (1)

PenguSven (988769) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259732)

Simple: 1) Goto www.apple.com/store/ in a browser 2) Select desired form factor. 3) Identify predefined configuration and click "Configure" 4) Purchase. You wouldn't beleive how well it will meet Apple's specs. And you wont even have to install OSX, it'll be pre-installed. Seriously though, all this shit about "i want OSX but I don't want to buy a mac" is ridiculous. Either buy a mac, or go back to your parents basement and fuck your dog some more. You wouldn't buy a cheap-ass Hyundai and then try to force the seats and interior from a Mercedes into it, would you? If you really want to install osx on your POS frankenstein PC, go ahead, and wait to see how many things don't work because SUPRISE SUPRISE, OSX is built to work with APPLE HARDWARE. Stop being such fucking dick brains and get a real fucking job so you can buy a real fucking computer.

Re:How easy is it to roll your own? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259934)

You wouldn't beleive how well it will meet Apple's specs.
Sure, at those prices, it should meet NASA's specs.

Let me repeat: if some small company had cloned an XBOX 360 or PlayStation3, you'd be delirious with joy.

Re:How easy is it to roll your own? (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259790)

It's actually not that easy. First you have to get a hacked iso, and do an install. Then you have to go and hunt around for patches for audio and your graphics chipset. I have an ATI 3870 Radeon HD and setting that up wasn't a picnic.

Then, since I have a wireless connection - I had to find a suitable wireless controller that would work with Mac OS X 10.5 -- and there was only ONE I could find, and the driver was for 10.4 .Still I got it working in 10.5, but sometimes, the system failed to recognize it and I had to plug and unplug it in the USB socket in order for it to show up.

I think third-party wireless controllers supporting MacOS X are going to die a slow death because Apple has built in wireless across their range of computers.... So expect more wireless driver hacks.

All in all, it's a headache to set up.

Apple Won't Bother with Pystar (1)

macsforever2001 (32278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259638)

I figure Apple is not going to bother to sue Pystar. After all, when people see what a load of crap the computer is and how it does not integrate with Apple's wonderful software, people on the fence will realize what a really great *system* Apple has to offer in the Macintosh. People need to realize that Apple is a hardware company and a software company and a service company. The Macintosh is a combination of great hardware, software and support all working together. When you have a problem with Mac OS X or your Macintosh, you pick up the phone and call Apple. Or you walk into an Apple store and ask a genius. Can you do that with Pystar? Hardly.

It's the integration stupid.

Re:Apple Won't Bother with Pystar (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259704)

Yes, but it's also shinning more light Apple's infuriating decision not to offer a reasonable quad-core desktop that doesn't cost more than my car. People look at the PsyStar and see it's insufficient, but when they go to the Apple store, they have to chose between the Mini and the Pro -- the Psystar fails to fills the gap but it doesn't make the gap go away.

I really just don't understand it, Apple could get away with selling an equivalent of the Dell 530 (minitower, Q6600@2.4, 2GB, 250GB, 8XXX GPU, $600ish) for $1000+, and consumers would lap it up. Perhaps that would cannibalize some of the Mac Pro sales, but they would quickly make up in volume what they lost. More volume means more apps, more drivers, better support on the web and a healthier Apple. Instead, they sacrifice it at the altar of temporary profits.

Re:Apple Won't Bother with Pystar (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259948)

yep. no matter how you look at it, putting pressure on Apple to offer better prices and more hardware configurations can only be a good thing, even if you are Fan Number One.

Re:Apple Won't Bother with Pystar (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259890)

The Macintosh is a combination of great hardware, software and support all working together. When you have a problem with Mac OS X or your Macintosh, you pick up the phone and call Apple. Or you walk into an Apple store and ask a genius. Can you do that with Pystar? Hardly.

First of all, please put quotation marks around "genius." Secondly, for such "great" hardware, Macs sure tend to have design flaws; I've owned two and both were glitchy throughout their lifespan, and both eventually broke down for good (which I've never had a PC do; I have a 20+ year old PC that last time I checked still works). As for the support, the only way you can get reasonable support is to pay for it, which is a lousy thing to do to your customers. And they definitely overcharge for their computers, which they give you very few choices when configuring. There is no real reason to not provide a discrete graphics cards in the mac minis, for example.

The only thing Apple does really well are the aesthetics, and their operating system, and even that's only a recent thing (pre-X MacOSes were almost as bad as Windows).

Re:Apple Won't Bother with Pystar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23260028)

The only thing Apple does really well are the aesthetics, and their operating system, and even that's only a recent thing (pre-X MacOSes were almost as bad as Windows).

I must disagree. The "classic" Mac OS interface ran circles around Windows. In fact, good old "platinum" still has some touches I like over OSX's aqua (app menu, launcher, chooser, bordered windows).

The Importance of OpenMac (3, Insightful)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23259698)

The machine doesn't look that impressive. The thing that's really important is that they've forced the ball into Apple's court. At this point, Apple can respond to the violation of the EULA and see if a court says that the provision is legal or they can ignore it.

If they ignore it, others are likely to follow Psystar (after a long enough time to see that Apple doesn't go after them). Of course, in this case, there's still some threat, but I don't think it's outrageous to argue that if Apple ignores it for over a year that the provision looses some weight.

Personally, I hope they get sued. If they win their suit, it will be a new era for the Macintosh. If they loose their suit, they've lost, but at least we know.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>