A company named EFi-X USA plans to offer a desktop PC that could allow customers to create their own Mac systems with the help of an internal adapter that allows many generic PCs to run Mac OS X.
The EFi-X USA Millennium 4, as the machine is called, is expected to appeal to gamers and power users thanks to a Core 2 Quad processor overclocked to at least 3.8GHz, 4GB of RAM, a GeForce 8800 GTS video card and both a 150GB, 10,000RPM boot drive and a 1TB, 7,200RPM secondary drive that holds the bulk of the computer's storage, according to AppleInsider.
In fact, they'll throw in two DVD rewriters, too. (OK, now you can breathe.)
The system will reportedly sell for $1,899 (plus the not-so-new $199 EFi-X dongle that makes it happen) and deliver "85 to 90 percent" of the performance of a top-end Mac Pro for less than half the price, according to an unnamed company spokesman in the article.
Buyers can also potentially custom-order systems themselves.
But wait, there's more: Faster models based on Xeon hardware, named the Millennium 8, 16 and 24 (for their two, four, and six quad-core processors, respectively) are coming in at least 60 days. " The Millennium 24 is known to have six 2.13GHz Xeon L7455 chips that trade their raw clock speed for multi-processor support," according to the article.
These configurations pave is a new road to the "Mac clone": through existing Mac users, specifically those wild about Mac Pros and their performance. Instead of wooing Windows fans, EFi-X USA is instead targeting people who need Mac Pro performance...for less.
The EFi-X adapter is the keystone of the setup, replacing the BIOS of the motherbard with an autosensing EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) subsystem that controls the pre-boot environment of a system.
Debatable. The systems could potentially avoid the legal pitfalls that have spurred an exchange of lawsuits and countersuits between Apple and Psystar because EFi-X USA won't install the software itself, nor will it pre-install the EFi-X dongle (it must be purchased separately).
Will that work? Apple's case against Psystar has focused on violating the end-user license agreement by running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware -- in other words, are there any lawyers in the house?
To boot, EFi-X USA believes it can prevent customers' systems from being bricked by Apple software updates that could lock out competing clones:
"According to [our] engineers, there is no way Apple can disable the EFi-X card without disabling their own Intel Macs," the spokesman further points out. "There is no way that Apple can disable the EFi-X card because it utilizes the same open firmware that [its] own boards use and thus would render all of [Apple's] own desktops useless as a result."