You'll get your Mac news here from now on...

Help TMO Grow

Subscriber Login

Advertising Info


The Mac Observer Express Daily Newsletter


More Info

Site Navigation

Home
News
Tips
Columns & Editorials
Reviews
Reports
Archives
Search
Forums
Links
Mac Links
Software
Reports
Contact

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: CD-RW, DVD-/+RW, and 17"+ digital LCD

READ THESE IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS & EXPLANATIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING!!!

All images and logos are copyright 2001 to the respective companies listed.
Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
17" iMac Flat-Panel
Dimension 8250
Presario 8000
700S
VAIO RZ-22G
Design/ Styling:
"Lamp"-style / White
Black Tower
Black Tower
Platinum Tower
VAIO Styling Tower
Mobility:
All-in-one design
23 lbs. total
(all PC systems listed range from appx. 40-50 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)
Desk space Used:
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:
130 Watts total
appx. $24 / year
(all PC systems range from appx. 300 - 400 watts of electricity total
including tower + flat-panel display + speakers; appx. $50-70/year in electric bills)
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.5 GHz P4
1.0 GHz G4
2.4 GHz P4
2.4 GHz Pentium 4
2.53 GHz P4
2.53 GHz Pentium 4
2.4 GHz P4
2.4 GHz Pentium 4
2.4 GHz P4
2.4 GHz Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
32k
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
L3 Cache:
--
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
DDR PC2100
RDRAM PC1066
DDR PC2700
RDRAM PC800
DDR PC2700
Frontside Bus:
133 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (2 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.5 GB (3 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 GB (4 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
80 GB
120 GB
60 GB
120 GB
80 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
CD-ROM:
32x CD
40x CD
48x CD
24x CD (?)
40x CD
CD-RW:
16x8x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW (?)
16x10x CD-RW
DVD-ROM:
8x DVD
16x DVD
8x DVD
6x DVD (?)
2x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
4x2x DVD-RW
4x2.4x DVD+RW
2.4x2.4x DVD+RW
2x1x DVD-RW (?)
4x2x DVD-/+RW
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
Memory stick port
PCI/AGP Slots:
0 available / 1 total
2 / 5
2 / 6
3 / 6
1 / 4
Internal Bays:
0 available / 1 total
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2
1 / 2
External Bays:
0 available / 1 total
1 / 4
1 / 3
3 / 4
0 / 3
Mouse Included:
USB Optical
USB Optical 2-button scroll wheel
USB Optical 2-button scroll wheel
USB Optical 2-button scroll wheel
PS/2 2-button
scroll wheel
USB Ports:
available = after keyboard & mouse
3 on CPU back
+ 2 on keyboard = 5 total
3 USB 1.1 available
6 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 8 total
7 USB 2.0 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
5 USB 2.0 available
4 on back (2 are USB2)
+ 2 on front = 6 total
5 available
(1 USB 1.1; 4 USB 2.0)
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
6 USB 2.0 available
FireWire Ports:
2 @ 400 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
1 @ 400 Mbps
1 @ 400 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
Unknown (?)
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
1 Par.
Graphics Card:
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
ATI Radeon 9000
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
Video RAM:
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
--
--
DVI
DVI
DVI
S-Video Out:
Yes
--
--
--
Yes; TV-in (TV tuner)
TV-Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes; TV-in (TV tuner)
Dual Display Support?
(Mirroring)
--
--
--
No (?)
Display:
17" view. digital
widescreen LCD;
180° swing arm
17" viewable LCD
(digital but card only supports analog ?)
17" viewable LCD
digital
17" viewable LCD
digital
15" v. digital LCD
*(see below)
Native display res:
1440x900
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1024x768
*(see below)
*Note: system configured with smaller LCD instead of reduction in RAM/lhard drive size/etc. due to
lack of customizable options on SonyStyle Web site; next tower down would have been inappropriate for this comparison.
Microphone/Line in:
Built-in microphone
Line-in jack
Line in jack / Microphone jack
Headphone/Line out:
Headphone jack; Line-out jack; Digital-audio ready
Speakers:
Harman Kardon stereo speakers
Harman Kardon HK-395 w/ Subwoofer
Platinum 2.0 stereo speakers
Boston Acoustics BA745 w/subwoofer
Stereo Speakers
10/100 Ethernet?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet?
--
--
--
--
--
56k Modem?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wi-Fi Card?
optional 802.11g
(54 Mbps)
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
optional
Hardware Extras Included:
HP DeskJet 3820 printer
w/promotion
--
--
--
--
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
Mac OS 9
(via classic);
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
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)
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)
Word XP
Works 6.0
Word XP
Works 7.0
Spreadsheet Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
Works 6.0
Works 6.0
Works 7.0
Works 7.0
Presentation Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Database Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
Works 6.0
Works 6.0
Works 7.0
Works 7.0
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
iCal, iSync
Works 6.0
Works 6.0
Works 7.0
Works 7.0
Planning/Project Software Included:
--
--
--
--
--
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
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
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
PowerDVD
RealOne Player
Financial Software Included:
Quicken 2003 Deluxe
Money 2002
TaxCut Deluxe
Money 2002
Quicken New Users
Money 2003
TurboTax Deluxe
Quicken 2002
Money 2003
Reference Software Included:
World Book OS X
Encarta 2002 Std.
Streets & Trips 2002
Encarta Online
Encarta 2003
Streets & Trips
Encarta Online
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 2
Image Expert
PictureIt! 2002
ArcSoft MyPhotoCenter
Picture It!
Photoshop Elements
Picture Gear
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 3
Roxio Movie Creator
MovieMaker 2
Pinnacle Studio 8
Hollywood FX
DVGate
Adobe Premiere LE
MovieShaker
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3, Disc Burner, Sound Studio
MusicMatch 6.0
EasyCD 5.0
Veritas RecordNow
EasyCD Creator
SonicStage
Veritas RecordNow
DVD Burning Software:
iDVD 3
Disc Burner
Roxio Movie Creator
Sonic MyDVD
Veritas RecordNow
EasyCD Creator
Pinnacle Studio 8
Click to DVD
Games Included:
Chess
Otto Matic
Deimos Rising
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
The Sims!
Age of Empires
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software Included
FaxSTF
Palm Desktop
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Smart Capture
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/Services:
1 month EarthLink
6 months Earthlink
--
1 year AOL
--
Virus/Security Issues:
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
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
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
Fair
Easy
Fair
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
Full
Full
None
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$1,799
$1,704
$1,140
$1,714
$1,800
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$105
$70
$99
Free (ltd. time)
Total Price
as configured:
(Includes cost of all add-ons, rebates, etc.)
$1,799
tax not included
$1,809
tax not included
$1,810
tax not included
$1,813
tax not included
$1,800
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

Back to The Mac Observer For More Mac News!



Today's Mac Headlines

[Podcast]Podcast - Apple Weekly Report #135: Apple Lawsuits, Banned iPhone Ad, Green MacBook Ad

We also offer Today's News On One Page!

Yesterday's News

 

[Podcast]Podcast - Mac Geek Gab #178: Batch Permission Changes, Encrypting Follow-up, Re-Enabling AirPort, and GigE speeds

We also offer Yesterday's News On One Page!

Mac Products Guide
New Arrivals
New and updated products added to the Guide.

Hot Deals
Great prices on hot selling Mac products from your favorite Macintosh resellers.

Special Offers
Promotions and offers direct from Macintosh developers and magazines.

Software
Browse the software section for over 17,000 Macintosh applications and software titles.

Hardware
Over 4,000 peripherals and accessories such as cameras, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice and more.

© All information presented on this site is copyrighted by The Mac Observer except where otherwise noted. No portion of this site may be copied without express written consent. Other sites are invited to link to any aspect of this site provided that all content is presented in its original form and is not placed within another .