Who's interested in a non-Apple Mac?

Who's interested in a non-Apple Mac?

Summary: Interested is buying a non-Apple Mac? If so then Psystar might have the machine for you.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
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Interested is buying a non-Apple Mac? If so then Psystar might have the machine for you.

Note: At around the time to writing this piece the Psystar website went down.

OpenMacFor $399 you can pick up the "OpenMac" which Psystar claims is a Leopard-compatible system built from standard PC parts.

  • 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB of DDR2 667 memory
  • Integrated Intel GMA 950 Graphics
  • 20x DVD+/-R Drive
  • 4 USB Ports
  • 250GB 7200RPM Drive

That's a heck of a system spec compared to the Mac mini which sells for $599.

Mac OS X compatibility is achieved using an EFI emulator.

With the EFI V8 emulator it is possible to install Leopard's kernel straight from the DVD that you purchased at the Apple store barring the addition of a few drivers to ensure that everything boots and runs smoothly.

Now if Psystar continue to offer to install Leopard on these systems, I expect Apple's lawyers to come down hard on the company. Sure, violating the EULA isn't the same as the action being illegal, but that doesn't stop big corporations throwing their weight around. However, if this system is merely offered as being "Leopard compatible" I'm not sure how Apple might proceed. Drawing too much attention to clones not only offers them free publicity but could also start a wider debate about the price of Apple systems. There's certainly a demand for cheap Macs, but I don't see Apple making them available any time soon.

This comes across to me as an interesting project, but little more. The main worry I'd have is how future-proof this system is given that it has to run the EFI emulator. Updates will most likely trash the system. That makes the system a science experiment. Also, there's no guarantee that Apple doesn't somehow try to block the EFI emulator.

I guess if an update trashes the OS you could always install Windows on it ;-)

[poll id=281]

Thoughts?

(MacRumors, via Techmeme)

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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64 comments
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  • wrong price

    You cannot compare the $399 fo this system with the $599 for mac mini for several reasons:

    - first of all it is sold w/o an operating system. adding mac os would give a tag privce of $528

    mac mini is a small form factor box; it simply is not the same box, as a result you cannot conclude from the availability of a standard desktop configuration that mac mini is too expensive. It could only raise the question of the absence in apple catalog of enry level desktop computer ( bar the mini ) But if apple dropped these item was because they did not sell well. The question being then not who is interested in a non apple mac, but who is interested in a sub entry level desktop mac... answer no one, be it by apple or anyone else
    s_souche
    • Apperently not true!

      "but who is interested in a sub entry level desktop mac... answer no one, be it by apple or anyone else "

      I doubt this company would be making these available if there was no interest. It is that old pesky profit motive at work again!
      ShadeTree
      • Only the future will tell

        But over time, plenty of compagnies have tried to sell plenty of articles that interested no one.

        One thing is sure apple stopped selling entry level desktop system, even entry level systems altogether, since ibook cannot be considered an entry level system anymore, given the tag price. They wouldn't have stop if they could make good profit on these systems.
        s_souche
        • Since this story was announced ...

          ... the site has been swamped. that would seem to mean there is a lot of interest. Looks like you are all wet.
          ShadeTree
    • Unfortunately with the site down I can't verify this

      However if there are PCIe (or even AGP) expansion slots so that you can improve the graphics on the system, that alone would make it better than a Mac Mini. I do have a Mac Mini and my one regret with the system is that I cannot achieve 1080p resolution on it. I'd even settle for 1080i.
      Michael Kelly
      • Which Mini?

        The current generation Mini can display 1080P. It can run video at that res too, although it uses up about 160% processor to do it.
        Stuka
        • If it use 160% of the processor ....

          ... then it cannot run 1080P. Last time I checked 100% is all you get!
          ShadeTree
          • Dual Core Maybe?

            Then again, if you overclock, you can also achieve this.

            Although overclocking by 60% should probably require liquid nitrogen or some other method of cooling that costs an insane amount.
            nucrash
          • Mac Mini's don't overclock ....

            ... and they report total usage. nice try though!
            ShadeTree
          • it means...

            it means 160% of the 200% available... 100% for each core.
            doh123
        • It's about a year old, maybe a little more

          I don't have it in front of me, so I can't check the model number.
          Michael Kelly
    • The person who would be interested is...

      ...someone who likes the MAC OS but only needs very low end hardware.
      cornpie
      • Not really...

        I like OSX but will never buy a machine from Apple just to run it...I've built all my systems and i don't build low end...the problem i've always had with Apple-ware is that i can't do anything i want with it...i usually upgrade my boards at least 3 times a year and change processors to tweak my systems...So a Mac is clearly out of the question for me...If, however, i was able to buy OSX compatible logic boards made by companies like ASUS, i would have completely dropped windows years ago. I've got lots of friends who are builders like myself and the only Macs we have are macbooks...
        eMJayy
  • Apple the hardware company

    can not afford to lose business to a clone as they make little money off of the OS itself.

    [i]Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war![/i]
    GuidingLight
  • RE: Who's interested in a non-Apple Mac?

    This is the last hurdle for Apple to overcome to become a
    mainstream platform. The hardware, which very good, is
    simply priced out of the reach of most mainstream users
    and businesses. I've wanted a Mac for years, but I can't
    swallow paying a premium for the same hardware I can get
    on my own for less. If I want a fancy smanzy box, sure I'll
    pay the premium, otherwise let me build my own and save
    the coin.

    If Apple truly wants to compete with Microsoft, they will
    have to loose the restrictions on the hardware. Plain and
    simple. This will enable commoditization of the platform
    which in turn will lead to, dare I say, mass adoption.
    r0n1n812
    • apple is not interested in commodity market

      Their only mass market product, the ipod, has not make that move, so there is no chance they will for their other products. Commodity market means small profit margin, apple thrives in high profit margin.
      s_souche
      • Think again...

        Remember the HP rebadged Apple iPod.

        Dumb move on HP's part, but they still entered the market and died just as quick as they became known.
        nucrash
    • Maybe...

      They aren't interested on mass adoption, maybe Microsoft is not the competition to fight to for them.

      Maybe, they wanto to be the Elite on computer hardware & software integration.

      I would Apple to remain as is. Different.
      hal9000mx
    • interesting

      people keep talking about a non apple mac. i have always thought that the way for apple to get its product out there is to have mac os X on a pc. now it seems that someone else has done this and for a small price. i say good for them and i might actually buy one to get the mac experience. the onlything that stops me from buying a true mac is the software, like clinton said its the software stupid. if i cant run the software on the mac that i can on a pc (which is all of my software) then why would i ever want a mac??
      yldkat
    • Apple doesn't compete...

      with MS, but withe the likes of HP, Dell, Toshiba
      etc. For equally featured computers, Apple
      prices are not that far away from the name
      brand PC. Apple doesn't make rock bottom
      computers, just as BMW doesn't make rock
      bottom cars. Apple isn't even necessarily
      interested in winning the Windows market share
      war. They are selling plenty of their hardware
      and making a better profit than their
      competitors. Their laptop systems are still
      selling rather well, bringing them more profit
      than any of their competition makes on similar
      products.
      arminw