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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: 7/17/02 - 7/18/02

Must include: CD-RW, DVD-RW, and either 17"+ LCD or 16"+ (viewable) flatscreen CRT display

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
17" iMac Flat-Panel
Dimension 8200
Presario 8000
Pavilion
500X
VAIO RX-770
Design/ Styling
"Lamp"-style / White
Black Tower
Beige Tower
Baja Blue Tower
White & Black Tower
VAIO Styling Tower
Mobility:
All-in-one design
23 lbs. total
(all PC systems listed range from appx. 40-60 lbs. including tower + flat-panel display + speakers)
Component Access?
Quick access to memory & wireless cards

(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:
CPU + Display + Speakers
88 sq. inches
appx. 390 sq. in.
appx. 390 sq. in.
appx. 220 sq. in.
appx. 200 sq. in.
appx. 390 sq. in.
Noise Volume:
Ultraquiet Fan
Loud (full-size cooling fans)
Energy Use:
Energy Notes
130 Watts total
appx. $24 / year
appx. 380 Watts total
appx. $69 / year
appx. 380 Watts total
appx. $69 / year
appx. 250 Watts total
appx. $40 / year
appx. 230 Watts total
appx. $38 / year
appx. 320 Watts total
appx. $58 / year
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.2 GHz P4
800 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
2.2 GHz P4
2.2 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
RDRAM PC800
DDR PC2100
Frontside Bus:
100 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
256 MB (1 x 256)
512 MB (2 x 256)
512 MB (2 x 256)
512 MB (2 x 256)
512 MB (1 x 512)
512 MB (2 x 256)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
2.0 GB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
2.0 GB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra DMA 100
Ultra DMA 100
Ultra DMA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
5400 rpm
CD-Rom:
24x CD
48x CD
48x CD
32x CD
40x CD
40x CD
CD-RW:
8x4x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
24x10x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW
DVD-Rom:
6x DVD
8x DVD
6x DVD
16x DVD
6x DVD
4x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
2x1x DVD-RW
2x1x DVD+RW
2x1x DVD+RW
2x1x DVD+RW
2x1x DVD-R/RAM
2x1x DVD-RW
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
Zip 250
Memory stick port
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
2 / 5
3 / 7
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:
USB Optical
(2-button wheel mice available)
USB Optical 2-button scrollwheel
USB Optical 2-button scrollwheel
PS/2 2-button scrollwheel mouse
USB Optical 2-button scrollwheel
PS/2 2-button
scrollwheel
USB Ports:
available = after keyboard & mouse
3 available
5 total
(2 on keyboard)
2 available
4 total
(2 in front)
3 available
4 total
(2 in front)
4 available
4 total
(2 in front)
5 available
6 total
(2 in front; 4 USB 2.0)
4 available
4 total
(2 in front)
Firewire Ports:
2 On-board
2 ports (PCI)
3 ports (PCI)
(1 in front)
1 port (PCI)
2 ports (PCI)
2 On-board
Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
1 serial
1 parallel
2 PS/2
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
GeForce4 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 Ti 4200
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
--
--
--
--
DVI
--
TV-Out:
--
Yes
Yes
--
Yes
--
S-Video Out:
--
--
--
--
--
--
Dual Display Support?
(Mirroring)
--
--
--
--
--
Display:
17" viewable
widescreen LCD
100% digital;
180° swing arm
16.0" viewable
flat-panel CRT
16.0" viewable
flat-panel CRT
16.0" viewable
flat-panel CRT
16.0" viewable
flat-panel CRT
16.0" viewable
flat-panel CRT
Max. display resolution:
1440x900
1600x1200
1600x1200
1280x1024
1280x1024
1600x1200
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
Speakers:
Harmon Kardon
stereo speakers
Harmon Kardon
HK-695 speakers w/Subwoofer
JBL stereo speakers
Philips Multimedia Speakers
GSC 300 Speakers
Stereo Speakers
10/100 Ethernet?
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
Yes (via PCI)
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
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:
--
--
--
--
--
--
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
(MSFT Word compatible)
MSFT Word XP
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Word XP
MSFT Word XP
Corel WordPerfect 10
Spreadsheet Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(MSFT Excel compatible)
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Excel XP
MSFT Excel XP
Quattro Pro 10
Presentation Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Corel Presentations
Database Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
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
--
Outlook XP
CorelCentral 10
Planning/Project Software Included:
--
--
--
--
Publisher XP
--
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 XP
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
PowerDVD
RealOne Player avail.
Financial Software Included:
Quicken 2002 Deluxe
Money 2002
Quicken 2002
Money 2000
Unknown ?
Unknown ?
Quicken 2002
Reference Software Included:
World Book OS X
Encarta 2002 Std.
Streets & Trips 2002
Encarta 2000
Unknown ?
Encarta 2000
--
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 1.1
Image Expert
PictureIt! 2002
Unknown ?
ArcSoft My Photo Center
Unknown ?
Photoshop Elements
Picture Gear
PhotoPrinter 2000
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 2
MGI VideoWave 4
Studio DV
Studio DV
Pinnacle Express
Adobe Premiere LE
MovieShaker
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
EasyCD 5.0
EasyCD 5.0
MusicMatch 6.1
HP RecordNow
Pinnacle Express
SonicStage
RecordNow
DVD Burning Software:
iDVD 2
Disc Burner
MGI VideoWave 4 (?)
DVDit!
Unknown ?
Pinnacle Express
DVDit!
Simple DVDMaker
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
Media Bar
Smart Capture
VisualFlow
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
2 yr. ltd./at-home
2-yr. phone
3 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. phone
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
1-yr. phone
2 yr. ltd./at-home
2 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 Little
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$1,999
$1,916
$1,956
$1,948
$1,911
$1,998
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$99
$80 (?)
$50
$99
$25
Total Price
as configured:
(Includes cost of all add-ons, rebates, etc.)
$1,999
tax not included
$2,015
tax not included
$2,036 (?)
tax not included
$1,998
tax not included
$2,010
tax not included
$2,023
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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