View Full Version : A Mac Vs. PC debate in Montana.

Jul 6, 2004, 01:56 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: A Mac Vs. PC debate in Montana. (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040706145649)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Jul 6, 2004, 03:35 PM
No argument with anything the article says.

I'd just add that even the oft-cited price issue isn't much of an issue.

Yes, the cheapest PCs you can get from a good vendor (like Dell) cost around $450, while the cheapest Mac you can get (an eMac) costs $800.

But look at what you get for that $350 difference in price.

That $800 eMac (http://www.apple.com/emac/specs.html) includes everything a typical user needs - a 17" monitor, 256M RAM, a 40G disk, a ComboDrive (CD-RW/DVD-ROM), Radeon 9200 video card with 32M, Modem, Ethernet, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 FireWire-400 ports, simple stereo speakers, Mac OS X, and a really nice software bundle (Mail, iChat, Safari, iLife, AppleWorks, Quicken 2004, World Book 2004, and some games.)

The $450 Dell (http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/dimen_2400?c=us) (A Dimension 2400) doesn't include as much. A 17" monitor, 128M RAM, 40G disk, CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, Intel Extreme graphics (integrated, using up to 64M your main system memory), Modem, Ethernet, 6 USB 2.0 ports, serial port, parallel port, no FireWire, no speakers, Windows XP Home edition, and a simple software bundle (Word Perfect, Corel address book, Pocket Oxford dictionary, Microsoft Money, Microsoft Encarta)

To upgrade that Dell to a computer close to the eMac, you're looking at another 128M RAM ($50), a FireWire card (not available from Dell. $30 from CompUSA), basic speakers ($10), Windows XP Pro upgrade ($70), Software upgrade to MS Works suite (to match AppleWorks) ($30). Quicken Basic 2004 (not available from Dell, $35 from CompUSA). And because this is a Windows PC, a virus scanner is critical ($70 for a 12-month subscription to McAfee or a 15-month subscription to Norton).

Which brings this Dell up to $745. We still have an inferior video card (which can't be replaced because the 2400 has no AGP slot.) We still have no equivalent to iPhoto, iMovie or GarageBand in the software bundle. And after tomorrow, the free optical drive upgrade offer expires and we'll have to add in the cost of upgrading the stock CD-ROM drive to CD-RW/DVD-ROM.

So instead of comparing a $500 PC against an $800 eMac, we're now comparing a $745 PC. For that $55 savings in price, we get a system with inferior video and a smaller software bundle. And Windows itself will be harder to use/maintain than Mac SO X. as well.

Not that much of a discount after all, is it?

Jul 6, 2004, 04:28 PM
The only thing I don't agree with in the article is the scanner issue. What scanner doesn't work with Mac? They are either scsii or usb both of which will work. Supplied software may not be compatible, but there are Mac freeware's that will run scanners.

Other than that, he's got my vote.

Dr. Dastardly
Jul 6, 2004, 05:50 PM
This was probably the most on the money article I have read concerning Macs. Most of what was said is what I have told people in the past.

The only thing I would change is when he said that Dell spent 5 hours on the phone to resolve a problem I would have said that most likely he wouldn't even have had the problem if he used a Mac to begin with. :cool:

Jul 6, 2004, 06:44 PM
i also agree this article was pretty much right on. it really comes down to money and computer ease of use. i've converted everyone in my office to use macs here as well as at home, because in general they can take care of their mac without an i.t. guy. financially speaking, i don't believe macs are really that much more expensive. if you compare what you actually get as far as each component is concerned, you'd probably end up equally priced between mac and pc.

lastly the mention in the article about the computer having to last her through school, all i'm going to say is we still have a powermac g3 (beige) at work (granted no one uses it). it's bout 7 years old and is comparatively slow as hell to my g5, but it still works perfectly and can be used for general tasks no problem.

Jul 7, 2004, 01:09 AM
I totally agree that when you compare an equivalent machine from Dell (which is not even a particularly good brand) to one from Apple, the prices are pretty close; sometimes, the Apple is hugely cheaper.

I managed to order one of the last 20" iMacs last week (I'm a switcher!). The iMac is arguably Apple's least-bang-for-buck deal right now, until the new lineup arrives in September, but I just wanted a good machine with a really big LCD screen.

The iMac came to about $3200 Canadian. Out of curiosity, I decided to configure an equivalent machine at Dell.ca. With a gig of quality RAM, decent speakers, a DVD writer, a SATA hard drive, wireless ethernet, and Dell's 20" LCD, the price was $4500 (CAD)! Sure, the Dell's P4 had a higher clock speed, but the Dell was also missing internal Bluetooth (not available) and software on par with the iMac's. The greatest drawback would have been Windows XP, of course!

Anyway, I got Microsoft-free a few months ago, and I've been using Mandrake Linux on my PCs while saving up for the Mac. Mandrake's good - no complaints here - but you just can't do media stuff in Linux yet.

Jul 7, 2004, 07:02 AM
The only real glaring inaccuracy that I saw was his assertion that the new MacOS is coming this week. It's actually arriving... next year. But, you know, whatever.


Jul 7, 2004, 11:28 AM
The only real glaring inaccuracy that I saw was his assertion that the new MacOS is coming this week. It's actually arriving... next year. But, you know, whatever.
Well,he said "appearing this week". It did appear - it's simply a developer pre-release.

But you're right - he implies that it's ready for shipment when it clearly is not.