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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: 2/04/03 - 2/08/03
Must Include 13.8"+ (viewable) display

NOTE: SONY does not currently offer any complete systems (w/monitor) for under $950!

READ THESE IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS & EXPLANATIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING!!!

All images and logos are copyright of the respective companies listed.
Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
= Best of Field
(where appropriate)
iMac G3
Dimension 2350
Presario 6000
300S
Design/ Styling
Snow
Black Tower
Black Tower
Platinum Tower
Mobility:
All-in-one design
Built-in handle
33 lbs. total
Numerous pieces;40-60+ lbs. total
Component Access?
Quick access to memory & wireless cards
Thumb screws for panel removal & component access
Cords/Cables:
4 cables/cords
10 cables/cords
Desk space Used:
255 sq. inches
all PCs take up appx. 300 - 400 sq. inches
Noise Volume:
Nearly silent
(convection cooled)
Loud (cooling fan)
Energy Use:
150 Watts total
appx. $27 / year
appx. 300-400 Watts total; appx. $60-$80 / year
Processor:
Rating Notes
650 MHz P4
600 MHz PowerPC G3
1.4 GHz P4
2.0 GHz Celeron
2.3 GHz P4
1.8 GHz Athlon XP 2200+
1.4 GHz P4
2.1 GHz Celeron
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
128k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
128K on-chip
256K on-chip
128K on-chip
L3 Cache:
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
SDRAM PC100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
SDRAM PC100
Frontside Bus:
100 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
266 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
128 MB (1DIMM)
256 MB (2 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
512 MB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
40 GB
60 GB
40 GB
40 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 RPM
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
5400 RPM
CD-ROM:
24x CD
40x CD
40x CD
48x CD
CD-RW:
--
40x10x CD-RW
32x10x CD-RW
48x24x CD-RW
DVD-ROM:
--
16x DVD
16x DVD
--
DVD-/+RW:
--
--
--
--
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
No
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
PCI/AGP Slots:
0 available / 1 total
2 / 3
2 / 4
1 / 3
Internal Bays:
0 available / 1 total
0 / 1
1 / 2
0 / 1
External Bays:
0 available / 1 total
0 / 3
0 / 3
1 / 2
Mouse Included:
USB Optical mouse
USB Optical 2-button scroll wheel
2-button scroll wheel
2-button scroll wheel
USB Ports:
available = after keyboard & mouse
2 on CPU side
+ 2 on keyboard = 4 total
2 USB 1.1 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
5 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
6 USB 2.0 available
FireWire Ports:
2 @ 400 Mbps
--
1 @ 400 Mbps
--
Available Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
1 Ser, 1 Par.
1 Ser, 1 Par.
Graphics Card:
ATI Rage 128 Ultra
Integrated Intel 3D
Integrated ProSavage
Intel Integrated 3D
Video RAM:
16 MB (dedicated)
"up to" 48 MB (shared)
"up to" 32 MB (shared)
"up to" 64 MB (shared)
VGA Out?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out?
--
--
--
--
TV Out?
--
--
--
--
S-Video Out?
--
--
--
--
Dual Display Support?
(Mirroring)
--
--
--
Display:
13.8" viewable CRT
(integrated)
13.8" viewable CRT
16" viewable CRT
13.8" viewable CRT
Max. display res.:
1024x768
1024x768
1280x1024
1024x768
Microphone/Line In:
Built-in microphone
Line-in jack
Line-in jack; microphone jack
Headphone/Line out:
2 Headphone jacks
Line-out jack
Digital-audio ready
Headphone jack; Line-out jack; digital-audio ready
Speakers:
integrated Harman-Kardon
stereo speakers
Harman-Kardon
HK-206 stereo speakers
JBL Platinum
stereo speakers
GCS 300 Speakers
10/100 Ethernet?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
Gigabit Ethernet?
--
--
--
--
56k Internal Modem?
Yes
Yes (via PCI)
Yes
Yes
Wi-Fi Card?
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
Bluetooth Card?
optional
optional
optional
optional
Hardware Extras Included:
HP DeskJet 3820 printer
w/promotion
--
--
--
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/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)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(must be downloaded)
Save-as PDF Support:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Word Processor Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Word compatible)
WordPerfect 10
(Word compatible)
MSFT Works 7.0
WordPerfect 10
(Word compatible)
Spreadsheet Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
Quattro Pro 10
(Excel compatible)
MSFT Works 7.0
Quattro Pro 10
(Excel compatible)
Presentation Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
Database Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
MSFT Works 7.0
MSFT Works 7.0
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
iCal, iSync
CorelCENTRAL 9
MSFT Works 7.0
MSFT Works 7.0
Planning/Project Software Included:
--
--
--
--
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
Netscape 7
Internet Explorer 6
E-Mail/Address Book Included:
OS X Mail/Address Book
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
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.
Financial Software Included:
Quicken 2002 Deluxe
Quicken New User
TaxCut Deluxe
Money 2002
Quicken New Users
--
Reference Software Included:
World Book OS X
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encarta Online
Encyclopedia Britannica
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 2
Image Expert Std.
--
--
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 3
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
(Unknown?)
Veritas RecordNow
Easy CD Creator
DVD Burning Software:
--
--
--
--
Games Included:
Chess
Otto Matic
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
The Sims!
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software Included
FaxSTF; Palm Desktop
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/Services
1 month Earthlink
6 months Earthlink
--
1 yr. AOL
Virus/Security Issues
Built-in Firewall?
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
3 yr. ltd./at-home
lifetime phone
Quality of Products & Service:
Consumer Affairs
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
Fair
Easy
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
Full
Full
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$799
$699
$778
$713
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$99
$30
$99
Total Price
as configured:
$799
tax not included
$798
tax not included
$808
tax not included
$812
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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