While Dellis Precision 490 with a pair of 2GHz Xeon processors is barely cheaper than a Mac Pro equipped the same way, Apple handily beats its competitor when looking at models sporting pairs of 2.66GHz or 3GHz Xeon processors, even with a US$200 discount for small business applied by Dell. Apple is between $400 and $500 cheaper on both of those counts.
Over at Charles Gabais System Shootouts, he shows how one can buy a Mac Pro with a 20-inch Apple Cinema Display for a few dollars less than a comparable Dell Precision 690 without a monitor. Dell charges for the second Xeon processor as an upgrade, whereas all Mac Pro machines automatically come with two Xeon processors, regardless of the clock speed desired. Dell also charges to upgrade the RAM speed and install a 16X DVD burner, while Apple includes those in the Mac Pro too.
As The Inquirer pointed out, Dell does offer a better warranty than Apple when it comes to the Precision 490 and 690 machines (three years versus one), "but this is less important to small businesses who have their own IT support, and consumers who wish to get the cheapest deal -- something Dell usually wins hands-down," wrote Dean Pullen.
He added: "This is quite incredible ... You have to wonder what sort of discounts Apple are getting from Intel, and if this is why Dell is now holding hands with AMD."
3:34 PM EST, 8/10/06: Updated with information from System Shootouts.