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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: 3/20/04 - 3/24/04

Must include: 17"+ digital LCD, DVD-/+RW/CD-RW, & Stereo Speakers w/subwoofer

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

IMPORTANT UPATE 3/29/04: Due to time constraints, space constraints, as well as the fact that several of the PC brands' systems have become either indistinguishable from each other or nearly irrelevant to the market as a whole (i.e., Gateway), I have decided after much thought to limit the general shootouts to Apple and Dell. Yes, I'm aware that Toshiba, Sony, HP etc. make some fine systems, and obviously there are a dozen or more additional large-volume desktop & laptop makers, but Dell is fairly well established as "the brand to beat," in the mind of Joe Consumer, at least in terms of raw price/performance ratios.
Best of Field
Apple PowerMac G5 w/17" LCD
Dell Dimension XPS w/17" LCD
Design/Styling:
Aluminum Casing
Blue Minitower
Mobility:
54 lbs. total; integrated handles
appx. 60 lbs. total
Component Access?
Side panel pulls off; for easy access
thumb-screws; relatively easy component access
Desk Space Used:
appx. 300 sq. inches including tower, LCD & speakers
Noise Volume:
under 35 decibels
(computerized cooling)
Loud (full-size cooling fans)
Energy Use:
appx. 450 - 550 watts ($75 - $90/yr) for both tower + LCD display
Processor:
Notes
DUAL 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5
3.8 GHz Pentium 4
3.4 GHz Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
8k
L2 Cache:
512K
512K
Other:
64-bit architecture
hyperthreading tech.
RAM Type:
DDR-SDRAM PC3200
DDR-SDRAM PC3200
Front Side Bus:
1.0 GHz bus per processor
800 MHz bus
RAM Amount:
512 MB (2 DIMM)
2.0 GB (4 DIMM)
Max. RAM:
8.0 GB (8 slots)
4.0 GB (4 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
160 GB
250 GB
Hard Drive Type:
SATA 1.5Gbs
SATA 1.5Gbs
Hard Drive Speed:
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
CD-ROM:
32x CD
40x CD
CD-RW:
16x10x CD-RW
32x16x CD-RW
DVD-ROM:
8x DVD
16x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
4x2x DVD-RW
8x4x DVD+RW
Floppy/Other Drive:
--
Floppy
PCI/AGP Slots:
3 available PCIx slots; 1 filled AGP 8x slot
1 avail. PCI (4 total); 1 filled AGP 8x slot
Internal Bays:
1 available / 2 total
2 / 3
External Bays:
1 5.25" bay (filled)
1 / 4
Mouse:
USB Optical mouse
Wireless Optical 2-button scroll
USB Ports:
7 total: 3 USB 2.0 (2 on back, 1 on front)
4 USB 1.1 (2 on kbd, 2 on monitor)
8 total: 6 USB 2.0 on back
2 USB 2.0 on front
FireWire Ports:
2 400 Mbps (1 in front)
1 800 Mbps (3 total)
3 @ 400 Mbps (1 in front)
Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
2 Ser, 1 Par, 2 PS/2
Video Card:
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
ATI Radeon 9800 XT
Video RAM:
64 MB DDR
256 MB DDR
VGA Out:
Yes (adapter included)
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
Yes (DVI and ADC)
Yes (DVI)
RCA-Out:
--
--
S-Video Out:
--
Yes
Dual Display Support?
Yes (mirror or span)
Yes (mirror or span)
Display:
17" viewable digital LCD
19" viewable digital LCD
Display Res. (Native/Max.):
1280x1024 / 1.3 Mpx
1920x1200 2.3 Mpx
1280x1024 / 1.3 Mpx
1920x1200 2.3 Mpx
Viewable Angle:
160 vertical; 160 horizontal
160 vertical; 160 horizontal
Brightness/Contrast:
200 cd/m; 350:1 contrast ratio
250 cd/m; 600:1 contrast ratio
Audio In:
Analog & Optical digital audio in
Line in, microphone jack
Audio Out:
Analog & optical digital audio out (Toslink);
front headphone jack
5.1 channel out (3 jacks) via Audigy 2
front headphone jack
Speakers:
Creative iTrigue i3350 2.1 speakers w/subwoofer
Dell 5650 5.1 speakers w/subwoofer
Ethernet:
10/100/1000
10/100/1000 (via PCI)
56k Modem:
V.92 (integrated)
V.92 (via PCI)
Wi-Fi Card?
optional AE card (802.11g / 54 Mbps)
optional 802.11b or g (11 or 54 Mbps)
Bluetooth Card?
optional
optional
Hardware Extras:
Epson Stylus C84 Printer
(free after rebate)
--
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther; Mac OS 9.2;
BSD Unix; Apache Web Server
Windows XP Professional
Windows Support:
DOS/95/98/ME/2000/XP (via Virtual PC)
DOS/95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP (Native)
Mac Support:
Mac OS 9 (Classic Environment),
Mac OS X (Native)
Mac OS 8 only (via emulation)
Linux Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Unix Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Handwriting Recognition:
Inkwell
--
Word Processor:
MSFT Word v.X trial
MSFT Word 2003
Spreadsheet:
MSFT Excel v.X trial
MSFT Excel 2003
Presentation:
MSFT PwrPt v.X trial
--
Database:
FileMaker Pro 6 trial
--
Drawing/Painting:
Art Directors Toolkit; GraphicConverter
--
Projects/Planning:
OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle
MSFT Publisher XP
Web Browser
Safari 1.2; IE 5.2; Sherlock 3.0
IE 6
E-Mail/PIM/Address Book:
OS X Mail/Address Book; iCal, iSync, iChat AV
MSFT Outlook 2003
Media Players:
*free download
QuickTime 6; Media Player 9.0*
RealOne Player 9.0 *;
DVD Player
QuickTime 6*; Media Player 8
RealOne; DVD Player
Financial:
QuickBooks Pro 5
Money 2003; TurboTax Standard
Reference:
--
--
Digital Photography:
iPhoto 4.0, GraphicConverter
PaintShop Pro; Photo Album Premium
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 4.0
MyDVD Deluxe
CD Burning/Music:
iTunes 4.2; Disk Burner
MusicMatch 7.0; RecordNow! Deluxe
Audio Engineering:
GarageBand 1.0
--
DVD Burning/Authoring:
iDVD 4.0, Disk Burner
MyDVD Deluxe
Games Included:
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software:
Asstd. system software
Free Services:
1 month Earthlink; 60-day .Mac trial
6 months Earthlink
Viruses / Security:
No known viruses effect Mac OS X.
Firewall:
Built-in, configurable
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./at-home; 90 days phone
2 yr. ltd./at-home; 2 yr. phone
Customer Service:
Subotal:
$3,896
$3,890
- Rebates if any:
- $99 printer rebate
- $200 system rebate
+ Ground Shipping:
n/c
+ $99
Total Price
as configured:
(tax not included)
$3,797
$3,789

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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