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Does US$2000 Get More Mac Or PC? Handy-Dandy Chart Has The Answer

Does US$2000 Get More Mac Or PC? Handy-Dandy Chart Has The Answer

by , 2:00 PM EDT, July 31st, 2001

Charles Gaba has posted a very interesting round up at AAPLTalk.com of comparable G4 and Pentium 4 (P4) systems. Sparked in part by the recent TechTV shoot out between a 733 MHz G4 and a 1.8 GHz P4 (check out MacUnlimited's deconstruction on that piece as well), this is a massive comparison chart on exactly what kind of Mac or PC you can get for your money. The shoot out on TechTV shoot out showed roughly the same results as the shoot out shown by Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller at the MACWORLD Keynote, despite cries of bias from many in TechTV's own forums. Mr. Gaba's (BlueDjinn in The Mac Observer Forums) chart is an excellent tool for those looking to make a purchasing decision on a new Mac. From the introduction to the chart:

I spent a few hours going through the online stores of 6 major players in the home-PC business, configuring the best entry-level system I could for under $2,000 (I gave myself a $50 range either way for practicalities' sake).

I also gave myself a few rules and/or guidelines:

  1. Wherever possible, I tried keeping the major stats even (memory, CD drive, etc.)
  2. If a system came in significantly lower than $2,000, I beefed up the specs to bring the price in line, since the $2,000 price is the basis for this comparison.
  3. All system configurations and prices were taken directly off the respective company's Web sites between 7/30/01 - 7/31/01. Given the crazy PC market, any number of the bundles, add-ons, promotions, etc. could have changed by the time you read this.
  4. To keep it as fair and reasonable as possible, All hardware & software had to be configurable right on the manufacturers' own online store (no refurb products); sure, you can get RAM dirt-cheap from Bob's Memory Hut, but that's hardly the point.
  5. For this comparison NO MONITORS are included because ALL systems, both Mac- and Windows-based, will work with any standard VGA monitor.
  6. "Winners" in some areas are debatable, and may be a matter of opinion. If you don't like my results, come up with your own chart. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY.
  7. In a few cases, I was unable to find information even after calling the company directly.
  8. IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMERS ARE LISTED BELOW THE CHART--PLEASE READ BEFORE MAKING ANY PURCHASING DECISIONS!!
  9. For the record, I AM A *HUGE* TECHTV FAN. I am a strong supporter of just about every show, feel that they have an immensely talented group of reporters and hosts, and have generally agreed with most of their product reviews in the past. I also have no beef with Jim Lauderback (who ran the networks' benchmark report).

Check out the full chart. Note that this is a very wide, and somewhat cluttered looking, Web page, but the information is well worth it. If you are interested in this issue, we have a forum topic raging in full force.

The Mac Observer Spin:

First of all, thanks to Mr. Gaba for putting the work into this chart. Second of all, the chart itself is an excellent one. This is one of the most comprehensive efforts we have seen to compare systems from Apple and major PC makers. In addition, Mr. Gaba has gone to great lengths to point out that some of his decisions are subjective, and encourages people to come up with their own charts if they disagree with him. It's all too easy for partisans on either side of the fence to be dogmatic, and we applaud Mr. Gaba for taking the higher road.

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