updated 01:45 pm EST, Fri December 12, 2008
Millenium Mac clones
The American distributor of the EFi-X open-platform USB dongle has created the Millennium series of desktop computers that are designed to compete with the Mac Pro, according to AppleInsider. The Millennium 4 will be the first product released, featuring a Core 2 Quad processor overclocked to 3.8GHz, 4GB of RAM, a GeForce 8800 GTS video card, 150GB 10,000RPM drive and a 1TB 7,200RPM secondary drive. The company claims that its computer is 80-percent as fast as the 8-core 3.0GHz Mac Pro, but will sell for less than half of Apple's price.
The technology takes a much different approach than Hackintosh systems or clones such as Psystar. The EFi-X dongle attaches to a USB connection on the motherboard, re-creating the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) environment found on Mac systems.
The EFI method is claimed to allow users to simply install OS X without any hacks or system modifications, with full support for updates as well. The company engineers suggest that Apple would effectively disable OS X on its own Macs if the code is changed to cause conflicts with the EFi-X hardware.
Considering the heated legal battle that is raging between Psystar and Apple, the company has chosen to tread lightly with its marketing and sales tactics. The computers do not come with OS X installed or bundled, customers must obtain their own copy and install it themselves. The EFi-X dongle is also sold separately and not included with the package, meaning that the computer, clone technology, and operating system will not be sold together.
The exclusion of the operating system would seem to avoid many of the initial copyright infringement and EULA charges that were presented in the Psystar case. Apple recently amended its case against the clone-maker, however, to include charges of DMCA violation.
The DMCA code prohibits companies or individuals from manufacturing, providing, offering to the public or trafficking any technology or product that is designed "for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner..."
The Millennium 4 system will be available for $1900, with the EFi-X dongle priced at $200. Millennium 8, 16, and 24 models will be available sometime in the next few months, with the highest end model featuring six 2.13GHz Xeon L7455 processors.