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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: 8/12/02 - 8/14/02

Must Include: DVD, CD-RW, & 15"+ LCD

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
Sony
iMac G4
Combo Drive
Dimension 8200
Presario 8000
Pavillion 761n
500X
VAIO PCV-RX750
Design/ Styling
"Lamp"-style / White
180° swing arm
fully repositionable
Black Minitower
Beige Tower
Baja Blue Tower
Platinum Tower
VAIO Styling Tower
Mobility:
All-in-one design
22 lbs. total
(all PC systems listed weigh 40 lbs.+ total including tower, flat-panel display & speakers)
Component Access?
Easy ccess to memory & wireless cards only

(all PC systems listed have thumb-screw or other relatively easy access for panel removal & component access)
Cords/Cables:
6 cables/cords
(all PC systems listed require appx. 10 cables/cords total,
including tower, display, modem, speakers, keyboard, mouse & microphone)
Deskspace Used:
88 sq. inches
(all PC systems listed use up from 180 - 220 square inches of space for tower, flat-panel display & speakers)
Noise Volume:
Ultraquiet fan
+ convection cooling
Loud (full-size cooling fans)
Energy Use:
130 Watts total
appx. $24 / year
(all PC systems listed use appx. 170-200 Watts total (appx. $70-80 / year))
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.1 GHz P4
700 MHz
PowerPC G4
2.0 GHz P4
2.0 GHz
Pentium 4
2.2 GHz P4
1.67 GHz
Athlon XP 2000+
2.2 GHz P4
1.67 GHz
Athlon XP 2000+
2.26 GHz P4
2.26 GHz
Pentium 4
2.0 GHz P4
2.0 GHz
Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
128k
128k
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
256K on-chip
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
L3 Cache:
--
--
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
SDRAM PC133
RDRAM PC800
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
Frontside Bus:
100 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
384 MB (1x256, 1x128)
256 MB (1 x 256)
256 MB (1 x 256)
512 MB (2 x 256)
512 MB (1 x 256)
256 MB (1 x 256)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
40 GB
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
60 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra DMA 100
Ultra DMA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
5400 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
CD Rom:
32x CD
40x CD
40x CD
40x CD
48x CD
40x CD
CD-RW:
12x8x CD-RW
40x10x CD-RW
40x10x CD-RW
24x10x CD-RW
48x24x CD-RW
24x10x CD-RW
DVD-Rom:
8x DVD
16x DVD
16x DVD
16x DVD
16x DVD
16x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
--
--
--
--
--
--
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
--
Memory stick
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
3 / 5
3 / 6
1 / 4
2 / 4
2 / 4
Internal Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 2
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2
1 / 2
1 / 2
External Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 4
0 / 3
0 / 3
1 / 3
0 / 3
Mouse Included:
(Kensington)
USB 2-button optical scrollwheel
USB 2-button optical scrollwheel
PS/2 2-button scrollwheel
PS/2 2-button scrollwheel
USB Optical 2-button scrollwheel
PS/2 2-button scrollwheel
USB Ports:
available = after keyboard & mouse
3 available
5 total
(2 on keyboard)
3 available
4 total
(2 in front)
4 available
4 total
(2 in front)
4 available
4 total
(2 in front)
5 available
6 total
(2 in front; 4 are USB2)
4 available
4 total
(2 in front)
Firewire Ports:
2 On-board
2 (via PCI)
(+1 internal)
3 ports (PCI) total
(1 in front)
3 ports (PCI) total
(1 in front)
--
2 On-board
Legacy Ports:
--
1 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2; 1 used by keyboard)
2 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2; 1 used by keyboard)
2 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2 used by keyboard & mouse)
1 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2; 1 used by keyboard)
1 serial
1 parallel
(2 PS/2 used by keyboard & mouse)
Graphics Card:
Rating Notes
nVIDIA
GeForce2 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
nVIDIA
TNT2
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
32 MB (shared)
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
--
--
--
--
DVI
--
TV Out:
--
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
--
S-Video Out:
--
--
--
--
--
--
Dual Display Support?
(mirroring only)
--
Yes
--
--
--
Display:
15" viewable LCD
(attached)
100% digital
15" viewable LCD
15" viewable LCD
100% digital
15" viewable LCD
15" viewable LCD
15" viewable LCD
digital
Max. display resolution (monitor):
1024x768
1024x768
1024x768
1024x768
1024x768
1024x768
Microphone/
Line in:
Built-in microphone
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Headphone/
Line out:
Headphone jack
Line-out jack
Digital-audio ready
headphone jack
Line-out jack
headphone jack
Line-out jack
headphone jack
Line-out jack
headphone jack
Line-out jack
headphone jack
Line-out jack
Speakers:
Harmon Kardon
stereo speakers
Harmon Kardon
HK-395 speakers w/subwoofer
JBL Platinum
stereo speakers
Polk stereo speakers
Boston Acoustics
BA-745 speakers w/subwoofer
Stereo Speakers
10/100 Ethernet:
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
56k Modem:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
Yes (via PCI)
802.11b Wireless Network Card?
--
--
--
--
--
--
Integrated 802.11b Antennae?
Yes
--
--
--
--
--
Hardware Extras Included:
--
--
--
--
Lord of the Rings DVD
Epson Stylus
C40UX Printer
MicroVault 32 MB USB keychain storage
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 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)
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
Corel WordPerfect 10
(Word compatible)
Spreadsheet Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
Quattro Pro 10
(Excel compatible)
Presentation Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Corel Presentations
(PowerPoint compatible)
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
CorelCentral 10
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
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
CorelCentral 10
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.
Quicktime 6
Media Player 8
DVD Player
RealOne Player avail.
Financial Software Included:
Quicken 2002 Deluxe
Money 2002
Quicken 2002
Money 2002
Quicken NewUsers
Unknown (?)
Quicken 2002
Reference Software Included:
World Book OS X
Encarta 2002 Std.
Streets & Trips 2002
Encarta 2002
Encarta 2002
Encarta 2002
Streets & Trips 2002
--
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 1.1
Image Expert 2000
Unknown (?)
ArcSoft My Photo Center
Picture it!
Photoshop Elements
Picture Gear
DigitalPrint
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 2
MGI Videowave 4
Studio DV
Pinnacle Studio 7
Pinnacle Express
DVgate
MovieShaker
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
EasyCD 5.0
Unknown (?)
MusicMatch 6.1
HP RecordNow
Pinnacle Express
SonicStage
Games Included:
Chess
Otto Matic
Deimos Rising
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
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
Smart Capture
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/
Other Services
1 month EarthLink
6 months MSN
--
--
1 year AOL
--
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
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
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
Quality of Products & Service:
Consumer Affairs
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
Easy
Poor
Easy
Poor
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
Full
Some
Full
Very Limited
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$1,614
$1,507
$1,605
$1601
$1,505
$1,569
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$99
Free (ltd. time)
Free (ltd. time)
$99
$25
Total Price
as configured:
$1,614
tax not included
$1,606
tax not included
$1,605
tax not included
$1,601
tax not included
$1,604
tax not included
$1,594
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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