High-End Build-to-Order G4 vs. High-End Build-to-Order Dell Dimension

When I’m buying a computer, I look for the most options at the best price. In this article I will examine Apple’s Power Macintosh G4 and Dell’s Dimension desktops.

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Buzz of DOJ

DOS Daniel & Friends

High-End Build-to-Order G4 vs. High-End Build-to-Order Dell Dimension

Charlie Ruggiero – April 1, 2000

When I’m buying a computer, I look for the most options at the best price. In this article I will examine Apple’s Power Macintosh G4 and Dell’s Dimension desktops. Each company allows me to build-to-order a machine, and I will configure them with what I want, and then examine the value at the end.First I will configure the Dell Dimension:

  • 600 MHz Pentium III Processor
  • 128 SDRAM
  • 20.5 GB Hard Drive
  • 16 MB Rage 128 Pro
  • 8x DVD ROM
  • Turtle Beach Sound Card
  • 56k Modem
  • 1394 FireWire Card
  • 100 MB ZIP Drive
  • Keyboard/Mouse
  • 11 Mb Wireless Networking PCI Card
  • 3Com 10/100 Ethernet PCI Card
  • ATA 66 PCI Card
  • All for $1716.00

Next I will configure the Apple G4:

  • 400 MHz G4 (apparently equivalent to Pentium III 600 MHz)
  • 128 SDRAM
  • 20 GB Hard drive
  • 16 MB Rage 128 Pro Video
  • 8x DVD
  • Built-in Sound
  • 56k Modem
  • Built-in FireWire
  • 100 MB ZIP Drive
  • Keyboard/Mouse
  • Airport Card
  • Built-in Ethernet
  • All for $2248.00

Note that the Dell Dimension is $500 cheaper! Sure the G4 has AltiVec which counts for something (well, at least in Photoshop), and it has that nifty case which opens so nicely. It has four hard drive slots, and none of the PCI slots are used up with the options I’ve added. Also, the Rage Pro 128 cards have digital out on the Apple’s, and the Dell can only have 3 memory DIMMs, whereas G4s have 4. Apple Computers have a longer life span, and have a much higher resale value, but I think if you look behind this you may find other hidden costs.

Not many people know this, but Macs use Apple’s own operating system (Mac OS) and in order to get a quality, bug-free operating system like Windows on your Mac you have to buy a special program called “Virtual PC.” This program alone is $180 with Windows 98! But that’s not all, you will have to repurchase all your software for PC, so that’s like $700 right there. Virtual PC runs under the Mac OS, but you’ll need to buy more RAM because Virtual PC won’t be able to use the full 128 MB, so you need to buy another 128 MB at $200.

Basically if you really look at the facts, and you want to run Microsoft’s great, award winning, bug-free*, operating system, then you are looking at spending $1,550 more for the Apple. If you actually like an easy-to-use operating system, then I guess the Apple G4 may be the better deal.

* What’s with Apple anyway? Microsoft knows exactly how many bugs Windows 2000 has – Apple is being very secretive about the bugs in OS 9. C’mon, Mr. Jobs, how many are there?
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Keywords: #aprilfools #lowendwin

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