With amazing PC Prices, is OS X the single driving factor to use macs?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Chrispy, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    I just wanted to get some opinions started here. Recently Dell released their Dimension 5100C and I have to admit it is a nice looking computer. I priced out the new 5100C and new Dimension 9100 and came up with this...

    Dimension 5100C
    Pentium® 4 Processor 531 with HT Technology (3.00GHz, 800 FSB)
    512MB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz (2x256M)
    160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    8X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double layer write capability
    128MB PCI Express™ x16 ATI Radeon™ X600 SE
    For pics of this computer go here.
    All this comes out to $902 with Free Shipping.

    Dimension 9100
    Pentium® D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80GHz, 800FSB)
    1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs
    160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
    16x DVD+/-RW with double layer write capability
    9 in 1 Media Card Reader
    256MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) nVidia GeForce 6800
    For pics of this computer go here.
    All this comes out to only $1039 with free shipping.

    I have a Powermac 1.6 Refurb on the way that I paid more for than the $1039 Dell and now I wonder if I should return it and go with the Dell. I know I would have to use windows XP but you get sooooooo much more power now with the dual core Pentium 4s that I wonder if I should not go that route. What do you all think (and I know this is a mac forum so opinions will be swayed towards the mac)? Please give me some constructive opinions on what you would do in my shoes. Thanks :)
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you like games, go PC.

    If you know how to keep your machine running, go PC.

    If you like playing with the guts of the machine, go PC.

    If you are sensitive to price and want the most bang for the buck, go PC.

    If you don't care or want to deal with the above, go Mac.


    The Mac's major productivity boost, comes not in speed, but in the lack of time dealing with keeping the protection up-to-date.

    Edit: since you are here asking, you probably should buy the Dell.
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
  4. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
  5. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I agree. At least for me, the hardware's design is a major factor for me when I purchase a computer (or just about anything, really).
  6. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    Thanks for the honest and open responses. This is why I like this site so much. You can actually get constructive answers to your questions. I love OS X and I am bored with Windows XP but I know how to make it run trouble free. I worked in the PC service industry for years and I still help out friends, family members and students at my college with keeping their XP machines up to date and running well. I have an iBook and someday will probably upgrade to another mac laptop but maybe I should go with the Dell for my desktop machine instead... I think I would go with the 9100 even though I think it is not a sexy as the 5100C. You just get so much more bang for the buck plus the ability to easily upgrade by going with a full size tower vs. a smaller machine. Keep those opinions coming folks :)
  7. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    You're old enough (as forum member) to recognize that by yourself!!

    I hope you posted this just to let the flames start ...

    If you gotta ask, go dell!

    Gotta sleep!
  8. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    Haha yeah you are right I should know better. I do want to see what people think of those prices too. Macs are so beautifully designed and they are the only laptop I would ever use, but they are just falling so far behind technolgoy it seems... I can't help but swing towards the Dell side.
  9. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    Chrispy-- you've been around the block several times-- I recall your 15" PB review/return and I know you had a 12" PB for a while. You know the drill, in other words. I think that most of us on this forum would be bummed to get a notebook running XP. I still have one and I have not pulled the trigger on an OSX machine. However, Xp on a notebook is quirky (at least it is on my toshiba). The sleep mode is always a gamble (sometimes it has not gone to sleep at all when closed), and waking up takes a LONG time. I've never had more than a week of cumulative uptime. I spend a lot of time running virus and spyware scans; I run 2 firewalls. All of this stuff takes updating and maintenance. Obviously you can get more raw power with a Pentium M these days; if you are a "power" enough user you should go with the dell. An emailing, website hosting, web-browsing lightweight like me does not face the choice you face, in my opinion.
  10. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    If you are doing any kind of video editing go with the G5, I've had nothing but trouble with the Dell at work, It took +3 months to get it to edit video, the task we got it for. My G5, 30 min out the box & it edits video flawlessly.!
  11. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2005
    It depends on what are you planning to do with the thing. If you want it to be a backup/emergency computer, file server, gaming machine or to run heavy stuff without much interaction (as it happens in my case), then go for a cheap PC and install linux on it (except for the games, in that case you have no choice). On the other hand, if you are planning on actually working with it, or using it as your main computer, then I think the Mac is the only smart choice... I have right next to me a self-built box that can run circles around my PB in terms of power, yet I use the Mac instead... it's just such a great platform to work with!
  12. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    Very well said :) I have been around the block a lot. I would never buy a PC laptop for many of the reasons listed above. I am just wondering how far behind the 9100 my 1.6 would be in performance if I put a 256MB Radeon 9800SE in it. I do some video work (mostly just video slideshows when I do), web design, some photoshop work, web browsing and e-mail, watching videos, and playing WoW. Would I see a large increase in performance by going with the Dell 9100 over the 1.6 Powermac? Thanks for the opinions all.
  13. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Its not just OS X.

    Sure, when you get up to the higher priced Macs, the PCs look better. But can you get a GOOD $500 PC? No, only a cheap one. Can you get a GOOD $500 Mac? Yep, its called a Mac mini.

    Also, OS X is the best OS out there.

    If you know how to not let XP get a virus, it still will. By accidently clicking a link or even putting a CD in your computer, you could get a virus.

    Plus, XP you always need to maintain. And, put video on a Mac and the SAME video on XP and which is clearer? The Mac.
  14. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Well, it sounds like you want a Windows XP machine as a desktop, and a Mac as a laptop. Not a bad idea.

    Except your DELL decision.

    I mean, have you ever like heard of Alienware? Or CyberPowerInc?

    CyberPowerInc's Gamer Ultra SLI Pro:

    Nvidia Nforce 4 SLI chipset MB w/ Dual 16x PCI-E
    Corsair 1024 MB PC3200 DDR400 Memory
    250 GB Serial ATA 150 7200 RAM HD 8mb Cache
    (2) Nvidia Geforce 6800 GT 256 MB DDR3 Powered by XFX. Over 80% performance gain over single video card solution.
    LG 16x DVD +- RW Drive & 16x DVD-ROM
    Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS 7.1 Surround w/ IEEE
    Creative Cambridge Inspire P7800 7.1 Surround Sound System
    6 IN 1 Digital Media Reader
    Logitech Deluxe 104 Keyboard
    Microsoft Optical Intelli Explorer Mouse
    Asus Vento 3600 Xtreme Gaming Case w/ 500 Watt Power Supply
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ CPU
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional X64 64 Bit OS
  15. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    That Dell 5100 doesn't look bad. It probably sounds like a freight train, though.

    On a happier note, I just sold my three-year-old Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop, for $850 to some poor soul.

    Boooo Dell. But, sadly, their customer service is better than Apple's.
  16. ClarkeB macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2005
    Dells are the worst. I had a Dell for three years and finally decided to replace it. I got a refurb machine and it lasted for about a year until, now, Explorer (the program that IS the OS...not the web browser [that one is only half of the OS]) crashes whenever the computer is started, the mouse might freeze and you have to either control via keyboard, or restart, their cheap media player thing doesn't work for ****, and it was a bit annoying having to use ctrlaltdel to just get the machine moving a bit. That's why I got an iMac G5 (and I even knew how to spell it...not even I-Mac or i-MAC)


    Oh, and if I ever tried to run Adaware, I would no longer be able to use the internet, unless I ran system restore. Yes, the program DELETED the internet.
  17. GodBless macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2005
    Especially when Dell comes on in 3 hours and transfers you again for another 3 hour wait. :rolleyes: Good joke.

    This is what happened to me when Dell sold me a faulty laptop. The first day I was on the phone I wasn't ready for the 3 hour wait just to talk to someone and I had to hang up after 2 hours of waiting on the phone. The next day I was on the phone for 6 hours until they finally directed me to someone who actually knew how to deal with the problem. I sent my computer back and will never do anything with Dell again unless they do something totally different with their business model that helps me their customer. They didn't even give me a full refund by making me pay for the shipping and handling.

    On the contrary Apple has been fast (I haven't been on the phone waiting for more than 25 minutes), friendly and knowledgeable with me.
  18. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005

    You now only need to spend $150 for a better iBook!
  19. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Exactly. It's all about what you're using it for. I have a single 1.8 G5 tower, and I'm sure that I could sell it and buy a faster PC... but to what end? I don't encode video, play fps games, crunch massive amounts of numerical data, or do anything else that requires a lot of pure processing power.

    I want my computer to be easy and fun to use, virus and spyware free, fast enough to use photoshop (casual use) easily, and to elegantly do a lot of routine daily tasks. My mac does all of that, and could do more if I needed it to, but I don't.

    There are certainly people who should go with a PC, but I'm not one of them. Think about what you need your computer for and decide if you are.
  20. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    How do you get $902? I get $1230 when I add that all up. Do you have some coupons you're using or something? And that's before I add XP Pro, antivirus, and a warranty. If you are going to buy a PC, buy a better one than either of these Dells. Or better, build your own. The Dells at work aren't great, and neither is XP IMO.

    Otherwise, enjoy your PowerMac. Just buy more RAM and think about upgrading the video card eventually. If you don't mind XP, you've already answered your own question.
  21. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    You can get 902 if you go to the small business section of the web site. The prices are lower if you go over there. I have XP Pro at home so I just kept the OS as XP Home. Basically, I just want to know if I upgrade the video card on a 1.6GHz PM to a good card if my WoW and video work will be about the same as on the Dell?
  22. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    You ask what we'd do you in your shoes. I suppose I've been in your shoes each time I've purchased a computer. When I got my Dual 1.42 G4 PM, it was a base cost of $2699. I thought about a Dimension 650 series workstation with dual xeons, upgraded with a FW card, but for me that was fleeting thought. I've had that computing experience and it doesn't get me excited enough to talk about it on a forum.

    The same when I purchased by PB 1.5 15". That was also mid-$2,000s. I thought about getting a super-IBM at the time, but again - fleeting thought. I LOVE to use both my PB and my PM. My office issued TP 1.7 GHz Pent. M is fine and a nice, new machine with a great keyboard (reminds me of older Apple's, that keyboard does). But I don't look forward to using it like I do my Apples. My PC doesn't help me to do new things like creating movies and dvds like the iLife suite does. So everytime I've been in your shoes over the last few years, I've gone Apple.

    What's the xBench comparison of a PM 1.6 G5 vs. a dual 1.42 G4?? I have a recollection that the dual G4 is faster, so that might be a way to save some money (by getting a dual g4 refurb).

    (PS - are those systems you priced out spec'd with XP Pro or home? - that's one of Dell's favorite initial cost savers that they know helps bait the upgrade hook)

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  23. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    very wise words of wisdom
  24. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    Well after thinking about this more and more... I just can't leave the mac side. Just out of curiosity, does anyone have a 1.6 or 1.8SP system with a Radeon 9800 who plays WoW. I would love to know how your performance is with it. Thanks :)
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia

    When I did a comparable config to my new iMac G5 20" I came up with $1889 with comparable specs. So much for PC's being so much cheaper.

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