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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: 1/28/03 - 2/8/03
READ THESE IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS & EXPLANATIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING!!!

--Must include at least 17" digital LCD
--Must include both CD-RW & DVD-/+RW
--Must include speakers w/subwoofer

All images and logos are copyright of the respective companies listed.
System images & logos will be removed upon request by the respective company's representatives.
Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
PowerMac G4
Dimension 8200
Presario 8000
700xl
RZ26G Digital Studio
Design/ Styling
Polycarbonate Shell
Built-in handles
Black Tower
Beige Tower
Platinum Tower
VAIO Styling Tower
Mobility:
(all systems listed range from appx. 40-60 lbs. including tower + flat-panel display + speakers)
Component Access?
Side drops open for easy expansion & component access.
(all PC systems listed have thumb-screw or other relatively easy access for panel removal & component access)
Deskspace Used:
(all systems utilize appx. 260-300 sq. inches of total deskspace (CPU + flat-panel display + speakers))
Noise Volume:
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
2.7 GHz P4
DUAL 1.42 GHz G4
3.06 GHz P4
3.06 GHz Pentium 4
3.06 GHz P4
3.06 GHz Pentium 4
3.06 GHz P4
3.06 GHz Pentium 4
3.06 GHz P4
3.06 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:
2 MB DDR/CPU
(4 MB total)
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
DDR-SDRAM PC2700
RDRAM PC800
DDR-SDRAM PC2700
RDRAM PC1066
DDR-SDRAM PC2700
Frontside Bus:
167 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
512 MB (1DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
1.0 GB (2 DIMM)
1.0 GB (4 DIMM)
1.0 GB (2 DIMM)
Max RAM:
2.0 GB (4 slots)
1.5 GB (3 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 GB (4 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
120 GB
120 GB
120 GB
200 GB
160 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
32x CD
48x CD
32x CD
CD-RW:
16x8x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
48x24x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
DVD-ROM:
8x DVD
12x DVD
16x DVD
8x DVD
16x 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
Yes
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
Memory stick
PCI/AGP Slots:
4 available / 5 total
2 / 5
2 / 6
3 / 6
1 / 4
Internal Bays:
3 available / 4 total
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2
1 / 2
External Bays:
1 available / 2 total
2 / 4
0 / 3
1 / 4
0 / 3
Mouse Included:
USB Optical
USB Optical
3-button scroll wheel
USB wireless
2-button scroll wheel
Wireless USB Optical
2-button scroll wheel
PS/2 2-button
scroll wheel
USB Ports:
2 on CPU back
+ 2 on keyboard
+ 2 on display = 6 total
4 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
1 @ 800 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
1 @ 400 Mbps (?)
1 @ 400 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
Available Legacy Ports:
Legacy-Free
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
Unknown (?)
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
1 Ser, 1 Par
Graphics Card:
ATI Radeon 9000
ATI Radeon 9700 TX
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440
Video RAM:
64 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
ADC & DVI
DVI
DVI
DVI
DVI
TV Out:
--
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes; TV-in (TV tuner)
S-Video Out:
--
--
--
--
Yes; TV-in (TV tuner)
Dual Display Support?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No (?)
LCD Display:
17" viewable LCD
digital
18.1" viewable LCD
digital
17" viewable LCD
digital
18.1" view LCD
digital
17" v. digital LCD
Composite Video IN
Max. Resolution:
(this display)
1280 x 1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
1280x1024
Audio In/Out:
Microphone jack; Front-mounted Headphone jack; Audio in/out jacks
Mic./Headphone jacks
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
Logitech Z-340 2.1 Stereo Speakers
w/Subwoofer
Boston Acoustics BA7900 5.1
w/Subwoofer
Stereo Speakers
(no subwoofer option available??)
10/100 Ethernet:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet:
Yes
--
--
Yes
--
56k Internal 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?
Yes (internal card)
optional
optional
optional
optional
Hardware Extras Included:
HP Deskjet 3820 printer
w/promotion
--
--
Wireless Keyboard
2 FireWire cables
Epson Stylus
C40UX Printer
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
9.2 (via Classic);
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Professional
Windows XP Home
Windows XP Home
Windows XP Home
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)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(must be downloaded)
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Word Processor Included:
Office X Trial
Word XP
Word XP
Word XP
Word XP
Spreadsheet Software Included:
Excel X Trial
Excel XP
Excel XP
Excel XP
Excel XP
Presentation Software Included:
PowerPoint X Trial
--
PowerPoint XP
--
PowerPoint XP
Database Software Included:
FileMaker Pro 6 Trial
Works 6.0
Access XP
--
Works 7.0
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
Art Directors Toolkit
Graphic Converter
OmniGraffle
--
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
OS X Address Book, iCal, iSync
Entourage X Trial
Works 6.0
Outlook XP
Outlook XP
Outlook XP
Planning/Project Software Included:
OmniOutliner
--
Publisher XP
Publisher XP
--
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
Entourage X Trial
Outlook Express 6
Outlook XP
Outlook XP
Outlook XP
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
Financial Software Included:
QuickBooks 5
Money 2002
Quicken New Users
Quicken New Users
Turbo Tax Deluxe
Quicken 2002
Money 2003
Reference Software Included:
--
--
--
--
--
Graphics Editing/
Digital Photo Management:
Graphic Converter
iPhoto 2
Image Expert
Picture It!
ArcSoft MyPhotoCenter
Unknown ?
Photoshop Elements
Picture Gear
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 3
Roxio Movie Creator
MovieMaker 2
Pinnacle Studio 8
Hollywood FX
MovieShaker
Adobe Premiere LE
DVGate
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
EasyCD 5.0
Veritas RecordNow
EasyCD Creator
SonicStage
RecordNow DX
DVD Burning Software:
iDVD 3
Disc Burner
Unknown ?
Sonic MyDVD
Veritas RecordNow
EasyCD Creator
Pinnacle Studio 8
Click2DVD
Games Included:
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
The Sims!
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Age of Empires 2
Additional Software Included
FaxSTF
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Smart Capture
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/Services:
1 month EarthLink
6 months Earthlink
--
1 yr. AOL
--
Virus/Security Issues:
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
3 yr. ltd./mail-in
3 yr. phone
2 yr. ltd./at-home
2 year phone
1 yr. ltd./home/phone
1 yr. dmg. protection
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
Some
Very Little
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$3,498
$3,397
$3,432
$3,438
$3,470
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$99
$70
$64
$20
Total Price
as configured:
(Includes cost of all add-ons, rebates, etc.)
$3,498
tax not included
$3,496
tax not included
$3,502
tax not included
$3,502
tax not included
$3,490
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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