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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 both CD-RW and DVD-RW (SuperDrive)
--Must include Subwoofer w/speakers

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
PowerMac G4
Dimension 8200
Presario 8000
Pavillion
700xl
RX780G Digital Studio
Design/ Styling
"Cyclops" Quicksilver
Polycarbonate Shell
Built-in handles
Black Tower
Beige Tower
Baja Blue Tower
Platinum Tower
VAIO Styling Tower
Mobility:
(all systems weigh appx. 45 - 50 lbs. total (CPU + flat-panel display + speakers))
Component Access?
Side drops open for easy expansion & component access.
"Thumb-screws" for panel removal & component access
Screwdrivers required to remove paneling
"Thumb-screws" for panel removal & component access
Screwdrivers required to remove paneling
Screwdrivers required to remove paneling
Deskspace Used:
(all systems utilize appx. 260-300 sq. inches of total deskspace (CPU + flat-panel display + speakers))
Noise Volume:
(combination convection cooling + ultraquiet fan?)
Loud (full-size cooling fans)
Energy Use:
(all systems use appx. 340-380 watts of electricity on average (CPU + display + speakers); appx. $60-70 / year)
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.7 GHz P4
DUAL
867 MHz
PowerPC G4
2.4 GHz P4
2.4 GHz
Pentium 4
2.3 GHz P4
1.8 GHz
Athlon XP 2200+
2.3 GHz P4
1.8 GHz
Athlon XP 2200+
2.53 GHz P4
2.53 GHz
Pentium 4
2.2 GHz P4
2.4 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:
1 MB DDR/processor
--
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
DDR-SDRAM
PC2100
RDRAM PC800
DDR-SDRAM
PC2100
DDR-SDRAM
PC2100
RDRAM PC800
DDR-SDRAM
PC2100
Frontside Bus:
133 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
512 MB (1 x 512)
512 MB (1 x 512)
512 MB (2 x 256)
512 MB (1 x 512)
1.0 GB (2 x 512)
512 MB (2 x 256)
Max RAM:
2.0 GB (4 slots)
2.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 GB (4 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
120 GB
80 GB
80 GB
120 GB
120 GB
120 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra DMA 100
Ultra DMA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
7200 rpm
CD-Rom:
24x CD
48x CD
48x CD
40x CD
48x CD
48x CD
CD-RW:
8x4x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW
32x10x CD-RW
48x24x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW
DVD-Rom:
6x DVD
8x DVD
8x DVD
8x DVD
?x DVD
8x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
2x1x DVD-RW
2x2x DVD+RW
2x2x DVD+RW
2x2x DVD+RW
1x1x DVD-RAM/DVD-R
2x1x DVD-RW
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
Zip 250
--
--
--
Memory stick
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
4 / 5
2 / 5
3 / 7
2 / 4
3 / 6
2 / 4
Internal Bays:
Available / Total
3 / 4
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2
1 / 2
1 / 2
External Bays:
Available / Total
1 / 2
0 / 4
0 / 3
0 / 3
1 / 4
0 / 3
Mouse Included:
(Kensington)
USB Optical 2-button scrollwheel
PS/2 2-button
scrollwheel
USB Optical
scrollwheel
USB
2-button
scrollwheel
USB Optical
3-button
scrollwheel
PS/2 2-button
scrollwheel
USB Ports:
available = after keyboard & mouse
2 on CPU back
+ 2 on keyboard
+ 2 on display
= 6 total
4 available
2 on CPU back
+ 2 on CPU front

= 4 total
4 available
2 on CPU back
+ 2 on CPU front

= 4 total
3 available
2 on CPU back
+ 2 on CPU front

= 4 total
3 available
4 on back (2 are USB2)
+ 2 on CPU front

= 6 total
5 available
2 on CPU back
+ 2 on CPU front

= 4 total
4 available
Firewire Ports:
2 ports onboard
2 ports (PCI)
3 ports (PCI)
(1 in front)
1 in front (PCI)
1 (PCI)
2
Available Legacy Ports:
--
1 serial
1 parallel
2 serial
1 parallel
1 PS/2
2 serial
1 parallel
2 PS/2
1 serial
1 parallel
1 PS/2
1 serial
1 parallel
Graphics Card:
Rating Notes
ATI
Radeon 9000
nVIDIA
GeForce4 Ti 4600
nVIDIA
GeForce4 Ti 4600
nVIDIA
GeForce4 Ti 4600
nVIDIA
GeForce4 Ti 4600
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
Video RAM:
64 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
ADC & DVI
DVI
DVI
DVI
DVI
DVI
TV-Out:
--
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes (Giga?)
S-Video Out:
--
--
--
--
--
Yes (Giga?)
Dual Display Support?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes (Giga?)
LCD Display:
Viewable size
listed
17" viewable LCD
(Digital)
17" viewable LCD
digital
17" viewable LCD
digital
17" viewable LCD
digital
18.1" viewable LCD
digital
18.1" viewable LCD
Composite Video IN
Max. Resolution:
(this display)
1280 x 1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
Audio In/Out:
Microphone jack
Front-mounted Headphone jack
Audio in/out jacks
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio in/out jacks
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio in/out jacks
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio in/out jacks
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio in/out jacks
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Audio in/out jacks
TV-in/out jacks
Speakers:
Logitech Z-340 2.1 Stereo Speakers
w/Subwoofer
Harman Kardon HK-395 Speakers
w/ Subwoofer
Creative Inspire Slim 2600 speakers
w/Subwoofer
Creative Inspire 5300 speakers
w/Subwoofer
Boston Acoustics BA7800 Stereo
w/Subwoofer
Stereo Speakers
(no subwoofer option available??)
10/100 Ethernet:
Yes
Yes (PCI)
Yes (PCI)
Yes
Yes (PCI)
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet:
Yes
--
--
--
--
--
56k Internal Modem:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes (PCI)
Yes (PCI)
802.11b Wireless Network Card?
--
--
--
--
--
Yes
802.11b Integrated Antennae?
Yes
--
--
--
--
--
Hardware Extras Included:
--
--
--
Deskjet 3280 Printer
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:
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:
ThinkFree Write
(Word compatible)
MSFT Word XP
MSFT Word XP
MSFT Word XP
MSFT Word XP
Corel WordPerfect 10
(Word compatible)
Spreadsheet Included:
ThinkFree Calc
(Excel compatible)
MSFT Excel XP
MSFT Excel XP
MSFT Excel XP
MSFT Excel XP
Quattro Pro 10
(Excel compatible)
Presentation Software Included:
ThinkFree Show
(PowerPoint compatible)
--
MSFT PowerPoint XP
--
--
Corel Presentations
(PowerPoint compatible)
Database Software Included:
FileMaker Pro 5.5 Trial
--
MSFT Access XP
--
--
--
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
Art Directors Toolkit
Graphic Converter
PixelNhance
OmniGraffle
--
--
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
OS X Address Book
MSFT Outlook XP
MSFT Outlook XP
MSFT Outlook XP
MSFT Outlook XP
CorelCentral 10
Planning/Project Software Included:
OmniOutliner
MSFT Publisher XP
MSFT Publisher XP
MSFT Publisher XP
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 XP
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Outlook XP
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.
Quicktime 6
Media Player 8
DVD Player
RealOne Player avail.
Financial Software Included:
--
Money 2002
Money 2000
Peachtree First Accounting
Quicken New Users
Quicken 2002
Reference Software Included:
--
--
Encarta 2000
Encarta 2001 Std.
--
--
Graphics Editing/
Digital Photo Management:
Graphic Converter
iPhoto 1.1
Snapz Pro X
Image Expert
Unknown ?
ArcSoft My Photo Center
Unknown ?
Photoshop Elements
Picture Gear
PhotoPrinter 2000
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 2
MGI VideoWave 4
Studio DV
ArcSoft ShowBiz
Pinnacle Express
Giga Personal Video Recorder
MovieShaker
Adobe 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 DX
DVD Burning Software:
iDVD 2
Disc Burner
Unknown ?
DVDit!
HP RecordNow (?)
Pinnacle Express
DVgate
DVDit!
Games Included:
Chess
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
PCalc
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:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
2 yr. ltd./at-home
2 yr. phone
3 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. phone
3 yr. ltd./mail-in
3 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
Terrible
Easy
Terrible
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
Full
Some
Full
Very Little
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$3,233
$3,095
$3,105
$3,202
$3,119
$3,160
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$105
$85
Free (Ltd. Time)
$99
$40
Total Price
as configured:
(Includes cost of all add-ons, rebates, etc.)
$3,233
tax not included
$3,200
tax not included
$3,190
tax not included
$3,202
tax not included
$3,218
tax not included
$3,200
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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