CNET First Look
Psystar Open ComputerThe Psystar Open Computer's hardware isn't made by Apple's design team, it will likely never work as a full member of the greater Apple ecosystem, and one ill-intended software update could turn it into a $750 brick. But get past all of that and you'll...
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior editor for CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Psystar Open Computer. This is a little bit of a controversial PC, the reason being because Psystar built this system with Apple's OS X in it. It is not a system built with Apple's blessing that means, technically, it's a violation of the software terms of service. We can confirm that it works and that is really fast and it's actually pretty affordable. The problem is that you can't update the software via Apple software service, so it's sort of frozen in time. If you do that through with a software update, you could end up breaking the system. You could end up losing some kind of functionality. It's sort of unpredictable at this point. Still it works and in large part mostly like you'd expect. We plugged in all kinds of peripherals, we've launched time machine, we got them on the web. Pretty much everything we tried in the system performance as expected. We even connected an iPod and it recognized it with no problem. And as we said, we're also happy with its performance because of the fact that it has a full pledge graphics card that's actually really fast as a gaming system for video editing and in general app performance that Mac many in all respects. But what it doesn't have it should be apparent is Apple's traditional build quality. This is pretty much the standard looking mid-tower. There is no Bluetooth, there's no Wi-Fi, there's no little fancy remote control. Pretty much just the basic looking desktop that happens around the Apple OS. So that said, the hardware itself is actually pretty straight forward. There's a DVD burner up here. There's a set of ports down here, but there's no media card reader. You're gonna have to provide one of those yourself. And as it looks plain on the outside, it's pretty straight forward inside as well. You see a standard hard drive here, there's a graphic's card, Intel Duo Core processor and 4 gigs of RAM between two memory slots. Now the open computer is actually pretty configurable. You don't even need to get it with OS X. You can get a Bare Bones with Windows or even with Linux. This model though is a little bit higher end. We got more memory than a traditional load out, as well as a graphics card, which is an upgrade option. Still you can go even further with the system. You can have FireWire, you can add a PC Express wireless card. You can have more hard drives and a faster CPU. Psystar tells us that it's actually working on a solution to the software update problem. It's trying to find a way to make it available only the updates that it knows works. Even if Psystar squares' latest software updates, we still wouldn't rely on the system as a member of he greater Apple Eco system. That said it's plenty fast and it's a really a good deal. If you're willing to take that risk, we recommend it. So I'm Rich Brown, and this is the Psystar Open Computer. ^M00:02:18 [ Music ]