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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: 5/06/03

Must include: 17"+ flat-screen CRT display, stereo speakers & CD-ROM

Note: Read the AAPLTalk System Shootout FAQ before proceeding!!!
All images and logos are copyright to the respective companies listed.

Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
Best of Field
(NO COMPLETE
SYSTEMS AVAILABLE
W/MONITOR
FOR UNDER $950)
eMac
Dimension 4550
Presario 6420nx
300S
n/a
Design/Styling:
White
Black Minitower
Black Minitower
Platinum Tower
n/a
Mobility:
All-in-one design
50 lbs. total
(all 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:
4 cables/cords
appx. 10 cables/cords (Tower, Display, Web, Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse, Microphone)
Desk Space Used:
270 sq. inches
(All PC systems listed take up appx. 330 - 400 square inches
including tower, CRT & speakers)
Noise Volume:
Nearly silent
(ultraquiet fan)
Loud (full-size cooling fans)
Energy Use:
170 Watts total
appx. $30 / year
(All PC systems listed use between appx. 300 - 400 watts total
including tower + CRT + speakers; appx. $50-$70/year)
Processor:
Notes
800 MHz G4
1.2 GHz Pentium 4
2.53 GHz Pentium 4
1.8 GHz Athlon 2200+
2.3 GHz Pentium 4
2.2 GHz Celeron
1.5 GHz Pentium 4
n/a
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
128k
32k
n/a
L2 Cache:
256K
512K
256K
128K
n/a
L3 Cache:
--
--
--
--
n/a
RAM Type:
SDRAM PC133
DDR PC2700
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
n/a
Front Side Bus:
133 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
400 MHz bus (?)
n/a
RAM Amount:
128 MB (1 DIMM)
128 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
n/a
Max. RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
512 MB (2 slots)
n/a
Hard Drive
Capacity:
40 GB
30 GB
80 GB
40 GB
n/a
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
n/a
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 RPM
7200 RPM
5400 RPM
5400 RPM
n/a
CD-ROM:
32x CD
48x CD
40x CD
48x CD
n/a
CD-RW:
--
--
40x10x CD-RW
--
n/a
DVD-ROM:
-
16x DVD
16x DVD
16x DVD
n/a
DVD-/+RW:
--
--
--
--
n/a
Floppy Drive:
--
--
Yes
--
Yes
Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
n/a
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
3 / 5
2 / 4
3 / 4
n/a
Internal Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2
n/a
External Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
3 / 4
1 / 3
2 / 3
n/a
Mouse:
USB Optical
PS/2 Optical
2-button scroll
PS/2 Optical
2-button scroll
USB Optical
2-button scroll
n/a
USB Ports:
3 on CPU side
+ 2 on keybd = 5 total
3 USB 1.1 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
6 USB 2.0 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
6 USB 2.0 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
5 USB 2.0 available
n/a
FireWire Ports:
2 @ 400 Mbps
--
--
--
n/a
Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
1 Ser, 1 Par
1 Ser, 1 Par
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
n/a
Video Card:
ATI Radeon 7500
NVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
Integrated ProSavage
Intel Integrated Graphics
n/a
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
"up to" 32 MB (shared)
"up to" 64 MB (shared)
n/a
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
n/a
DVI/ADC Out:
--
--
--
--
n/a
RCA-Out:
optional adapter
--
--
--
n/a
S-Video Out:
optional adapter
Yes
--
--
n/a
Dual Display
Support?
Mirroring
--
--
--
n/a
Display:
integrated 16" view.
flat-screen CRT
16" viewable
flat-screen CRT
16" viewable
flat-screen CRT
16" viewable
flat-screen CRT
n/a
Max. Resolution:
1280x960
1600x1200
1600x1200
1280x1024 (?)
n/a
Audio In:
Built-in microphone
Line-in
Line-in
Audio Out:
Headphone jack, Line-out jack
Speakers:
Harman Kardon
(Integrated)
Harman Kardon
HK-206
Platinum 2.0
(attached to monitor)
GCS300
n/a
Ethernet:
10/100
10/100
10/100
10/100
n/a
56k Modem:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
n/a
Wi-Fi Card?
optional 802.11g
(54 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
n/a
Bluetooth Card?
optional
optional
optional
optional
n/a
Hardware Extras:
Canon i450 printer
(free after rebate)
--
--
--
n/a
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
n/a
Windows Support:
DOS/95/98/ME/
2000/XP
(via Virtual PC)
DOS/95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP (Native)
Mac Support:
Mac OS 8,9,X
(Native)
Mac OS 8 only (via emulation)
Linux Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Unix Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(must be downloaded)
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Handwriting
Recognition:
Inkwell
--
Word Processor:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Word compatible)
WordPerfect 10
(Word compatible)
MS Works 7.0
MS Works 7.0
n/a
Spreadsheet:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
Quattro Pro 10
(Excel compatible)
MS Works 7.0
MS Works 7.0
n/a
Presentation:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
n/a
Database:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
MS Works 7.0
MS Works 7.0
n/a
Drawing/Painting:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
n/a
Projects/Planning:
--
--
--
--
--
Web Browser
Safari 1.0
IE 5.2
IE 6
IE 6
IE 6
n/a
E-Mail/PIM/
Address Book:
OS X Mail/
Address Book
iCal, iSync
Outlook Express
CorelCENTRAL 9
Outlook Express
Works 6.0
Outlook Express
Works 7.0
n/a
Media Players:
*free download
QuickTime 6
Media Player 7*
RealOne*
DVD Player
QuickTime 6*
Media Player 8
RealOne
DVD Player
QuickTime 6*
Media Player 8
RealOne
DVD Player
QuickTime 6*
Media Player 8
RealOne*
DVD Player
n/a
Financial:
Quicken 2003 Deluxe
Quicken New Users
Money 2003
Quicken 2003
--
n/a
Reference:
World Book OS X
Encyclopedia
Britannica
Encarta Online
--
n/a
Digital
Photography:
iPhoto 2
Image Expert Std.
--
--
n/a
Digital Video
Editing:
iMovie 3
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
n/a
CD Burning/
Music:
iTunes 4
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
Veritas RecordNow
--
n/a
DVD Burning/
Authoring:
Disk Burner
--
Veritas RecordNow
--
n/a
Games
Included:
Chess
Otto Matic
Deimos Rising
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
n/a
Additional Software:
Asstd. system software
Free Services:
1 month Earthlink
6 months Earthlink
--
6 months AOL
--
Viruses/
Security:
Firewall:
Built-in
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./at-home
1 yr. phone
n/a
Quality of
Products/Service:
Consumer Affairs
n/a
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
Fair
Easy
n/a
Customization?
Some
Full
Full
Full
n/a
Subtotal:
$898
$798
$850
$799
n/a
- Rebates if any:
- $99
--
- $50
--
n/a
+ Ground Shipping:
n/c
n/c
n/c
n/c
n/a
Total Price
as configured:
(tax not included)
$799
$798
$800
$799
n/a

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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