They’ve actually grown to the point where they are ‘super computers’ unto themselves, as far as multi-core processing goes since modern cards contain many, many cores that, while relatively weak, can run operations really, really fast so long as you break up the problem into sizable chunks for each core to perform in parallel. They’ve reached the point where it can be very advantageous to use the gpu for performing tight, non-graphics related operations commonly found in research or mathematical simulations (what games should be moving toward, thanks to this…before they modeled things like physics by taking shortcuts and making assumptions, but now they don’t need to and are moving closer to the real). Both AMD and Nvidia know this and are building toward this. Nvidia has CUDA for offloading operations to their cards and…I don’t have any experience working with AMD, but I know they have -something-.
As for that guy talking about the Mac hardware, the way I’ve always seen it is Apple being very smart on the business side. By ensuring that the hardware stays exactly the way they ship it, they reduce the amount of money they have to put into things like support, the amount of testing both they and 3rd party companies need to put into developing software (more money saved), etc. It isn’t to help the consumer in any way other than a roundabout way (i.e. they don’t have to spend as much on support, but at the same time the process of ‘support’ should be easier too so it should be better for the end consumer). In practice, this isn’t -always- true even.
What you say about saving costs about support are absolutely true. This is the reason why Blizzard makes their games for mid range or low range computers because it limits the problems of support.
Of course, Origin only made games that required you to buy a brand new computer for as they loved being on the cutting edge. I don’t remember there being any support back in those days (Can you imagine support for Ultima 7 in getting that damn VooDoo graphics engine to start up?). If you weren’t smart enough to get the computer to run a game, then the game wasn’t going to run. End of story.