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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
READ THESE IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS & EXPLANATIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING!!!

--Must include at least 17" LCD
--Must include either DVD-RW or DVD+RW

All images and logos are copyright 2001 to the respective companies listed.
System images & logos will be removed upon request by the respective companys' representatives.

Company
Apple
Dell
Compaq
Hewlett Packard
Gateway
Sony
17" iMac Flat-Panel
Dimension 8200
Presario 8000
Pavillion
700x
RX770 Digital Studio
Design/ Styling
"Lamp"-style / White
Black/Silver Tower
Beige Tower
Baja Blue Tower
Platinum 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)
Deskspace Used:
(CPU + Display)
88 sq. inches
(all PC systems range from appx. 260 - 300 square inches including tower + flat-panel display + speakers)
Noise Volume:
Ultraquiet Fan
Loud (full-size cooling fans)
Energy Use:
Energy Notes
130 Watts total
appx. $24 / year
(all PC systems range from appx. 350 - 400 watts of electricity total
including tower + flat-panel display + speakers; appx. $60-70/year in electric bills)
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.2 GHz P4
800 MHz
PowerPC G4
2.26 GHz P4
2.26 GHz
Pentium 4
2.2 GHz P4
1.67 GHz
Athlon XP 2000+
2.3 GHz P4
1.8 GHz
Athlon XP 2200+
2.4 GHz P4
2.4 GHz
Pentium 4
2.2 GHz P4
2.2 GHz
Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
8k
128k
128k
8k
8k
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-SDRAM
PC2100
DDR-SDRAM
PC2100
RDRAM PC800
DDR-SDRAM
PC2100
Frontside Bus:
100 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
512 MB (2 x 256)
256 MB (1 x 256)
512 MB (2 x 256)
512 MB (1 x 512)
512 MB (1 x 512)
1.0 GB (2 x 256)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 GB (4 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 GB (4 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
80 GB
120 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
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
CD-Rom:
24x CD
48x CD
48x CD
32x CD
48x CD
40x CD
CD-RW:
8x4x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
40x12x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW
DVD-Rom:
6x DVD
8x DVD
8x DVD
16x DVD
? x DVD
8x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
2x1x DVD-RW
2x2x DVD+RW
2x2x DVD+RW
2x2x DVD+RW
?x?x DVD-R/RAM
2x1x DVD-RW
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
--
Memory stick
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
2 / 5
3 / 7
2 / 4
3 / 6
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
2 / 4
0 / 3
Mouse Included:
(Intellimouse)
USB wireless Optical
4-button scrollwheel
USB Optical
2-button
scrollwheel
USB Optical
2-button
scrollwheel
USB 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)
4 available
4 total
(2 on front)
3 available
4 total
(2 on front)
3 available
4 total
(2 on front)
5 available
6 total
(2 on front;
2 are USB2)
4 available
4 total
(2 on front)
Firewire Ports:
2 On-board
2 ports (PCI)
3 ports (PCI)
(1 in front)
1 Cable
1 in front (PCI)
1 (PCI)
2 + Cable
Available* Legacy Ports:
--
1 serial
1 parallel
1 PS/2
2 serial
1 parallel
1 PS/2
2 serial
1 parallel
1 PS/2
1 serial
1 parallel
1 PS/2
1 serial
1 parallel
Graphics Card:
Rating Notes
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 Ti 4200
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 Ti 4200
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
64 MB
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
--
DVI
--
--
DVI
--
S-Video Out:
--
--
--
--
--
--
TV Out:
--
Yes
--
--
Yes
--
Dual Display Support?
Mirroring Only
Yes
--
--
Yes
--
LCD Display:
17" viewable LCD
100% digital;
180° swing arm
17" viewable LCD
digital
17" viewable LCD
17" viewable LCD
18.1" viewable LCD
digital
17" viewable LCD
digital
Max. Resolution:
1440x900
(widescreen)
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
Audio In/Out:
Headphone jack
Ext. speaker jack
built-in microphone
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio jack
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio jack
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio jack
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio jack
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio jack
Speakers:
Logitech Z-340 stereo speakers w/Subwoofer
Harman Kardon HK-395 Speakers
w/ Subwoofer
Creative Inspire 2400 2.1 speakers w/Subwoofer
Cambridge SW 320 2.1 speakers w/Subwoofer
Boston Acoustics BA745 speakers w/Subwoofer
Stereo Speakers
10/100 Ethernet:
Yes
Yes (PCI)
Yes (PCI)
Yes
Yes (PCI)
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet:
--
--
--
--
--
--
56k Internal Modem:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes (PCI)
Yes (PCI)
802.11b Wireless Network Card?
--
--
--
--
--
--
Integrated 802.11b Antennae?
Yes
--
--
--
--
--
Hardware Extras Included:
--
--
--
--
Lord of the Rings DVD
--
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:
Windows 95/98/ME/ 2000/XP
(via Virtual PC)
Windows 95/98/ 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 Word XP
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 Excel XP
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
--
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
OS X Address Book
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Outlook XP
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 6.0
CorelCentral 10
Planning/Project Software Included:
--
--
MSFT 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
OS X Address Book
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
Money 2002
Money 2002
Money 2002
Quicken 2002
Reference Software Included:
World Book OS X
Encarta 2002
Streets & Trips
Encarta 2001 Std.
Encarta 2002
Encarta 2002
Streets & Trips
--
Graphics Editing/
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 1.1
Image Expert
Picture It!
Unknown ?
ArcSoft My Photo Center
Picture It!
Photoshop Elements
Picture Gear
PhotoPrinter 2000
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 2
MGI VideoWave 4
Studio DV
ArcSoft ShoBiz
Pinnacle Express
MovieShaker
Premiere LE
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:
(reqires DVD-RW)
iDVD 2
Disc Burner
--
--
HP RecordNow(?)
Pinnacle Express
Simple DVD Maker
DVDit!
DVDGate
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
--
--
6 months MSN
--
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Warranty:
3 yr. ltd./mail-in
3 yrs. phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. 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
Terrible
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
Full
Some
Full
Very Little
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$2,412
$2,297
$2,318
$2,408
$2,313
$2,420
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$105
$85
Free (Ltd. Time)
$99
Free (Ltd. Time)
Total Price
as configured:
(Includes cost of all add-ons, rebates, etc.)
$2,412
tax not included
$2,402
tax not included
$2,403
tax not included
$2,408
tax not included
$2,412
tax not included
$2,420
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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