The Bay Areais Contra Costa Times has published a comparison between Appleis Power Mac G5, an Alienware PC, and a custom built PC. The article doesnit offer benchmarks and speed tests, but rather takes a close look at the features and price for the units, including their relative noise levels (the G5 is referred to as "amazingly quiet," the newspaper says the Alienware "never could be considered ultra-quiet," while no description is offered for the custom built machine). From the Contra Costa Times:
We picked three machines aimed at three types of users:
- A build-it-yourself PC from Computer Builders Warehouse (www.cbwnet.com), a national chain of computer stores headquartered in Michigan. We picked out the parts from the Madison Heights, Mich., store and from CBWis online catalog, based on our preferences and suggestions from store manager Joe Hannawa. Store technicians assembled the computer. Price: US$3,388.89.
- An Alienware Area-51 (www.alienware.com) tricked out with amazing audio and video features for folks who want to edit home movies or play high-end games. Price: US$5,453.
- An Apple G5 system from Apple Computer. We used the online store (www.apple.com) to configure our unit, and then Apple built one with awesome audio and video capabilities for us to test. Price: US$6,265.95.
Note that the prices in the above quote are devoid of meaning taken out of context of the full article. The G5 includes 2 GB of RAM at Appleis inflated price (US$1050 above the base configuration of 512 MB included), while both PCs were configured with but 1 GB of memory each.
The G5 also has a larger hard drive than both PCs, and the displays are wildly different. The custom built PC has a lo-res 19" off-brand LCD, while the Alienwareis configuration included a US$1,500 high-end NEC display, and the G5 came with Appleis US$1299 20" Cinema Display. The Alienware unit also came with better video card. All in all, in an apples-to-apples comparison, the Alienware unit is comparable in price to the G5.
We should also note that the point of this article was to build "dream machines" for different uses, and not to offer a tit-for-tat price comparison. Our breakdown above was intended for reactionary types who might be tempted to incorrectly start screaming about how much more the G5 is.