Some of that immaculate design, inside and out, has for a long time helped foster the opinion among Mac Zealots that Apple builds their machines a step better than the PC competition. Well, after a unique encounter with a smoking dual processor 800MHz G4 today, I am here to tell you that Apple is no better than Compaq, HP, IBM, or Dell.
The Mac in question carried a single 256MB stick of Micron/Crucial memory. Something about it struck me as funny though. After reading over the label of the stick and checking out the markings of the module it all became clear. It was a 8ns PC133 3-3-3 stick. Those of you familiar with RAM know that 8ns modules are typically used on PC100 2-2-2 or 3-2-2 modules. True PC133 uses a 7.5ns module that is rated for either 3-2-2 or 2-2-2 operation. Apple, in an effort to save a buck, was having Crucial validate PC100 modules for 133MHz 3-3-3 operation. To save a buck, they are overclocking PC100 to operate at 133MHz.
The fact they were doing this doesn't surprise me. Most of the PC OEM's follow through with similar practices. That isn't so much the point for me. It's just that this puts the final nail in the coffin of the illusion that somehow Apple PCs are better engineered and use better components.