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Visit Charle Gaba's new System Shootout site for the latest shootouts!


Desktop Shootouts
New!
(U.S. $):
Apple Desktop Lineup
Laptop Shootouts
(coming soon!)
$800
Laptops
$1,100
Laptops
$1,600
"Mini-Me's"
$2,000
Laptops
$2,600
Laptops
$3,000
"LapZillas"
Apple Laptop Lineup

DATES CONFIGURED: 7/18/02-7/20/02
Must Include 13.8"+ (viewable) display

NOTE: SONY does not currently offer any complete systems (w/monitor) for under $1,100!

READ THESE IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS & EXPLANATIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING!!!
All images and logos are copyright 2001 to the respective companies listed.

Company
Apple
Dell
Compaq
Hewlett Packard
Gateway
= Best of Field
(where appropriate)
iMac G3
Dimension 4500S
Presario 4000
Pavillion 511n
500SE
Design/ Styling
Snow
Black Slimline Tower
Black Tower
Grey tower
Platinum Tower
Mobility:
All-in-one design
Built-in handle
35 lbs. total
Numerous pieces

45+ lbs. total
Numerous pieces

55+ lbs. total
Numerous pieces

60+ lbs. total
Numerous pieces

65+ lbs. total
Component Access?
Quick access to memory & wireless cards
Thumb screws for panel removal & component access
Screwdrivers required to remove paneling
Screwdrivers required to remove paneling
Screwdrivers required to remove paneling
Total Cords/Cables:
(CPU, Display, Web, Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse, Microphone)
4 cables/cords
10 cables/cords
10 cables/cords
10 cables/cords
10 cables/cords
Deskspace Used:
(CPU + Display)
255 sq. inches
300 sq. inches
337 sq. in. (appx.)
337 sq. in. (appx.)
380 sq. in. (appx.)
Noise Volume:
Nearly silent
(convection cooled)
Loud
(cooling fan)
Loud
(cooling fan)
Loud
(cooling fan)
Loud
(cooling fan)
Energy Use:
Energy Notes
150 Watts total
appx. $27 / year
appx. 300 Watts total
appx. $60 / year
appx. 320 Watts total
appx. $58 / year
appx. 320 Watts total
appx. $58 / year
appx. 370 Watts total
appx. $65 / year
Processor:
Rating Notes
650 MHz P4
600 MHz PowerPC G3
1.2 GHz P4
1.7 GHz Celeron
1.0 GHz P4
1.4 GHz Celeron
900 MHz P4
1.3 GHz Celeron
1.8 GHz P4
1.8 GHz Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
8k
32k
32k
8k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
128K on-chip
256K on-chip
256K on-chip
256K on-chip
L3 Cache:
--
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
SDRAM PC100
DDR PC2100
SDRAM PC133
SDRAM PC133
DDR PC2100
Frontside Bus:
100 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
100 MHz bus
100 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
128 MB
(1 x 128)
256 MB
(1 x 128)
128 MB
(1 x 128)
128 MB
(1 x 128)
128 MB
(1 x 128)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
512 MB
(2 slots)
512 MB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
40 GB
40 GB
20 GB
40 GB
20 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra DMA 66
Ultra DMA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 rpm
5400 rpm
5400 rpm
5400 rpm
5400 rpm
CD-Rom:
24x
48x
24x
40x
40x
CD-RW:
--
--
--
16x8x
24x10x
DVD-Rom:
--
--
16x DVD
--
--
DVD-/+RW:
--
--
--
--
--
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
--
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
0 / 2
2 / 4
2 / 3
2 / 3
Internal Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
0 / 1
1 / 2
1 / 2
1 / 2
External Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
0 / 2
1 / 4
1 / 3
1 / 3
Mouse Included:
USB Optical
(2-button wheel mice available)
PS/2 2-button
scrollwheel
Optical 2-button
scrollwheel mouse
USB Optical
2-button scrollwheel
USB Optical
2-button scrollwheel
USB Ports:
available = after keyboard & mouse
2 on CPU
+ 2 on keyboard
= 4 total
(2 available)
4 USB 2.0 in back
+ 2 USB 2.0 in front
= 6 total
(6 available)
2 in back
+ 2 in front
= 4 total
(4 available)
2 in back
+ 2 in front
= 4 total
(4 available)
4 USB 2.0 in back
+ 2 in front
= 6 total
(5 available)
Firewire Ports:
2 On-board
--
--
--
--
Available Legacy Ports:
--
1 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2 used by keyboard/mouse)
2 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2 used by keyboard/mouse)
1 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2 used by keyboard/mouse)
1 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2; 1 used by keyboard)
Graphics Card:
Rating Notes
ATI Rage 128 Ultra
Integrated Intel 3D
Intel Integrated 3D
Intel Integrated 3D
Intel Integrated 3D
Video RAM:
16 MB (dedicated)
"up to" 48 MB (shared)
"up to" 8 MB
(shared)
"up to" 11 MB
(shared)
"up to" 32 MB
(shared)
VGA Out?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out?
--
--
--
--
--
TV Out?
--
--
--
--
--
S-Video Out?
--
--
--
--
--
Dual Display Support?
(Mirroring)
--
--
--
--
Display:
13.8" viewable CRT
(integrated)
13.8" viewable CRT
13.8" viewable CRT
13.8" viewable CRT
15.9"
viewable CRT
Max. display resolution:
1024x768
1024x768
1024x768
1024x768
1400x1050
Microphone/
Line In:
Built-in microphone
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Headphone/
Line out:
2 Headphone jacks
Line-out jack
Digital-audio ready
Headphone jack
Line-out jack
digital-audio ready
Headphone jack
Line-out jack
digital-audio ready
Headphone jack
Line-out jack
digital-audio ready
Headphone jack
Line-out jack
digital-audio ready
Speakers:
Harmon-Kardon
stereo speakers
(integrated)
Harmon-Kardon
HK-206 stereo speakers
JBL Platinum
stereo speakers
Polk Audio
stereo speakers
GCS 300 Speakers
10/100 Ethernet?
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
Yes (via PCI)
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
56k Internal Modem?
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
Yes (via PCI)
Yes
Yes
802.11b Wireless Card Included?
--
--
--
--
--
Integrated 802.11b Antennae?
Yes
--
--
--
--
Hardware Extras Included:
--
--
--
--
--
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
Mac OS 9.2;
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows/DOS Support:
DOS/95/98/ME/
2000/XP
(via Virtual PC)
DOS/95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP (Native)
Mac OS Support:
Mac OS 8,9,X
(Native)
Mac OS 8 only (via emulation)
Linux OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Unix OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(must be downloaded)
Word Processor Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Word compatible)
MSFT Word XP
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Word XP
MSFT Works 6.0
Save-as PDF Support:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Spreadsheet Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
Presentation Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Database Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
--
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
Planning/Project Software Included:
--
--
--
--
--
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
Netscape 4.7
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
E-Mail/Address Book Included:
OS X Mail
Outlook Express 5
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Media Player Included:
Quicktime 6
DVD Player
Media Player 7 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Media Player 8
DVD Player
Quicktime 6 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Media Player 8
DVD Player
Quicktime 6 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Media Player 8
DVD Player
Quicktime 6 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Media Player 8
DVD Player
Quicktime 6 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Financial Software Included:
Quicken 2002 Deluxe
Money 2002
Money 2000
Quicken New Users
Money 2002
--
Reference Software Included:
World Book OS X
Encarta 2002 Std.
Streets & Trips 2002
Encarta 2000
Encarta Deluxe Online (1 yr.)
Encarta 2002
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 1.1
Image Expert Premium
PictureIt! 2002
--
ArcSoft My Photo Center
--
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 2
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
--
MusicMatch 6.0
HP RecordNow
--
Games Included:
Chess
Otto Matic
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
The Sims!
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software Included
FaxSTF
Palm Desktop
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/
Other Services
1 month EarthLink
6 months MSN
--
--
6 months MSN
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
90 days phone
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
1 yr. phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. phone
Quality of Products & Service:
Consumer Affairs
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
Easy
Poor
Easy
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
Full
Limited
Full
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$799
$708
$718
$799
$699
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$99
$85
$30
$99
Total Price
as configured:
$799
tax not included
$807
tax not included
$803
tax not included
$834
tax not included
$798
tax not included

The information above is as accurate as I could make it based on a reasonable time studying the respective companies' Web sites. There is no guarantee that these configurations, prices, and features are the best that one could come up with; assorted bundles, free internet access, free extra memory, and so on can most likely be found for any of the above systems. The point of this chart is to demonstrate that Apple's lineup holds its own against any brand-name computer, even in areas in which it has traditionally had resistance. In short, do not base your purchasing decisions solely on this chart or information. Neither I, nor The Mac Observer will be held responsible or liable for any purchase decisions you make based on this presentation.

Charles Gaba started the AAPLTalk System Shootouts at AAPLTalk.com, and has brought them to TMO. Charles is the creative talent behind Brainwrap Web Design.

AAPLTalk System Shootouts Archives

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