How do you compare a Mac to a PC?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by DougJrS, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. DougJrS macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2004
    Kansas City
    A friend at work is looking for a new computer. For what he wants to do I suggested that he get an iMac. He wants to play with some video editing, saving photos, web surfing, email and quicken.

    He told me that he thinks that Apple is over priced. I told that for what you get (Super Drive, iDVD, iPhoto, ect...) they are the same or cheaper then a PC. He said ok prove it and took me to ans said to build the same system. So, how do you compare the Mac to a PC?

    When he see 1.8 G5 he thinks that is is going to be slow compared to 2.8 Pentium 4. He also thinks that he must have a min of 500mb ram.

  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Well, he's right about the RAM... but the speeds are not comparable at all because they're different kinds of processors. Other people here will give you more details on that...

    I don't have a PC -- I have one at work but I couldn't tell you too much about it.

    Other things to consider is the quality of Apple hardware, OS X, better resale value... but if he's into games then it's not ideal. Also, it may be worth double-checking whether Quicken is available for Mac before going for the hard sell.

    Of course, you could always show him some stories of recent switchers on this site to soften him up... :) Very few go back to Windows, once they've gotten used to their Mac.
  3. Mertzen macrumors 6502


    Sep 25, 2004
    Well in some apps the PC will be faster .. but you can tell him he can make that up because he won't have to deal with virii, daily/weekly/monthl patches, spyware, adware, BSODs ..
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Oops, I forgot that. Massive selling point...
  5. 40167 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2004
    I'd ask him for a fair comparison on his end if he's going to judge a 2.8 (32bit) chip and a 1.8 (64bit) chip... (thinking the higher number is better; just for it being higher) make him get a pc made with a 64bit chip first... makes your life alot easyer.
  6. DougJrS thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2004
    Kansas City
    32 bit v 64 bit

    I like that!!!!! Also, Quicken comes preloaded on the iMac. He never mentioned any games. But I have some games and my Power Mac G5 does fine in my book.

  7. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    well I hate to bring up the fact but the G5 imacs are pretty heavily crippled by the graphic card (and before some agures that you dont anything better in a graphic card remeber most people who are under those restration dont need a G5 chip and the current emac would work just fine).
    The 64 bit part of it is really more or less a marketing gimic and can not truely bew used as a reason. Panther has noughting that 64 bit can use and tiger really not adding much to it. We are several years off from going truely to a 64 bit world (longer than the computers life). the g5 1.8 is about the same as an intel 2.8-3.0 give or take. For price to hardware spec dell is a little bit better than apple. Personly I would say look at building you own computer (and put in a AMD64) and in that market yeah apples are pretty are a lot more expisive.
    Your friend is right in the fact that a lot of the Apple computers are over priced in there current form. Right after an update then general are really competively priced but start falling off at a really fast rate.
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Doug JrS says:
    "He wants to play with some video editing, saving photos, web surfing, email and quicken."

    Excuse me, but how is an expensive video card supposed to help with this persons request?

    I've played Return to Castle Wolfenstein on a friends new iMac. It ran perfectly fine. Sure, maybe Doom 3 may not run too well but this guys not an intensive gamer...

    I've got a "crappy" crippled dual 1.42 with 2gbs of RAM with the stock card and yet I can do a days work on it easily including some pretty intensive Pshop work.

    Crippled, my arse... (to quote the Royle family)
  9. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I agree... Typing this on a 17" iMac G5, I've got first-hand experience :D Unless you're SERIOUS about your games, like Doom 3, or expecting UT2k4 at or above 100fps, this machine is seriously not too shabby in the gaming section. And again, the iMac isn't considered professional or "supa-fast", hence the "i" in iMac.
  10. lordmac macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2004
    Santa Cruz, CA
    you also..........

    You also have to factor in the built-in monitor which is often forgotten when comparing the two. Yes I know that dell though in free monitors with everything but the monitors they give out with stuff are very very bad when compared to the built-in apple displays. Also the front side bus on the imac G5 is faster then some and slower then some pentuim chips so I don't what kind of p4 is in that dell that your looking at but that is something to look at. Also if you look at the speeds between the two chips in flops rather then ghz then the G5 comes out much better, its the same with the Athlon chips vs. the pentuim chips. Also quicken dose most defiantly runs on macs. Here is a link to quicken for mac:

    Last but not least MAcs are just so much sexier, I mean honestly ask your friend what turns him on more a shiny Imac G5 or Dull bluish box. :D

    Attached Files:

  11. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Dells are always going to be cheaper, because you get what you pay for. IMO Macs are much better for editing video. Even iMovie is better than a lot of what is out there for PCs. Not to mention FCP and FCE. Same goes for image editing, for some reason the color matching is better on Macs. And as mentioned, web surfing is more secure because there aren't any viruses, spyware, etc.

    Best thing to do is have him go to an Apple Store, or CompUSA or something, to play with one. Some people are more concerned about up front costs, and nothing anyone says will dissuade them. A build-you-own is going to be cheaper, but even if you know what you are doing, there can be hassles involved.

    You can mention the possible new headless Mac that is expected to be around $500-600. If he can wait a week, it might be worth it for the casual user. Whatever you do, just tell him to get more RAM. Third party if he can, if he's worried about price and can do it himself, or knows someone who can put it in for him.
  12. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    I know for the PowerBook a 500mhz G4 is comparable to a 800mhz PIII. Proportionally then a Mac 1.5ghz would be as fast as a dell 2.4Ghz but I'm sure it doesn't exactly work that way LOL. Umm... I have used my friends PB G4 1GHz 15" Ti, and it seems almost fast as my P4 2.53Ghz Dell. Then again I haven't tried anything with photoshop and advanced software.

    Free Virus Protection (for the most part) and the beautiful simplicity of a Mac is enough for me plus all the great apps. Also the Apple Store (if you have one nearby is wonderful)

    Random Funny Story though- I was at the Apple store and I used iMovie to put in a title on a slide using a PM G5 Dual 2Ghz + 2gb of ram (also had an AMAZING 30" LCD). Then I did the same thing on a powerbook G4 1.33ghz with 512mb of ram. The powerbook did the task faster than the G5. Maybe the computer was getting tired or something (all other apps were shut). -
  13. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Compare them by using both of them side by side. A rumored $499 iMac vs a $399 or slow killer spec $499 2.8 Ghz (Giggle Hurts) PC. That would be a fair test and still be under a grand. After about 3 months, sell that junky PC that gave nothing but problems.
  14. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Of course Macs are a lot more money then Dells. Think about all the software you get pre-installed for Macs, verses Dells which come with what... JUST Windows XP. Tell your friend you get about $1000 in programs when you get a Mac.
  15. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Well, here's the best I can do... compare the followign system to a 17" 1.8ghz iMac ($1500 new, $1400 edu, $1300 refurb)...

    -2.8ghz P4 (this is about right speedwise - don't compare a G5 to a Celeron!)
    -XP Pro (OS X has all the features of pro... only fair right?)
    -256MB RAM (you'll want more in either system)
    -80GB HD (the iMac has a SATA which will probably be a little faster)
    -8x DVD-RW (Superdirve)
    -RecordNow and MyDVD Delux (looks like a psuedo iDVD type app... gotta have something to use w/ DVD-RW)
    -Intel Integrated graphics card (the iMac's 5200ultra may suck, but it destroys this integrated, shared memory piece of crap... on an aside, anyone know if these systems even have AGP ports? Dell doesn't offer any upgraded video card options for their lower end machines, and I can't find a listing of available expansion ports on their site).
    -17" LCD (which won't compare to the iMacs display... I use a Dell 17" LCD at work and it's nice, but the iMacs display is gorgeous and widescreen!)
    -Firewire add-on card (built into all Macs, essential for anyone wantign to do DV work)
    -Basic Speakers (iMac has some decent built in sound... about equal to basic desktop speakers, imo)
    -Keyboard + Optical USB mouse (APple Pro Keyboard is very nice, imo, and the mouse is usable :) )
    -MS Works (Appleworks comes with iMac)
    -McAffee virus scanner, internet firewall app (Mac OS X will still be more secure than a PC with this software, but you HAVE to do SOMETHING with a PC)
    -1yr warranty (same as basic Apple warranty)

    Total: $1192 (current 10% off sale brings it down to $1,084)

    So a little bit more for the iMac, but you also have to look at what 'extras' you get with the Mac...
    -all in one design is great for saving space and just looking good :D
    -VERY nice display as opposed to adequate (1440x900 vs. 1280x1024)
    -better video card in case he (or kids?) wants to do any gaming down the road (sad when the iMac has a better video card than a competitor)
    -iLife apps... the only thing we added to the Dell was an iDVD "equivalent", there's also iMovie (great if he wants to start getting into DV!), iPhoto, and Garageband.
    -better customer service... Apple's isn't perfect, but it is leaps and bounds better than Dell's... at least AppleCare reps speak english, and can (usually) do more than read from a computer prompter.
    -and as mentioned earlier in two years that Dell will be worth about... $250, and the iMac G5 will still get $800-900 (assuming the used PC and Mac markets stay how they are now).
    -lastly, if he has a family, OS X's multi user account system is infinately better than Windows XP. There's really no comparrison there (just like most of Windows vs. OSX :cool: )

    Anyways, that's the best I can do for comparring a Dell to a Mac... try and get him out of the 'megahertz marketing myth' and take him to see an iMac in person... they are amazingly impressive when you are standing in front of one... see one Dell, you've seen them all, but the iMac isn't even in the same ballpark as a regualr desktop PC... not even the same game!

  16. yuc7zhd2 macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2003
    You shouldn't stress the sheer power aspect. Tell him about the ease of use of the mac os. Mention the power of the free applications, which he would pay much more for something as easy to use on a pc. Mention networking ease. Tell him about apple care. If something ever goes wrong, you get a new mac (I'm sending mine in next week for a trade right after the PBook revision), and when you get the new mac, you can get a new applecare warranty on it (essentially you could buy a mac that lasts the rest of your life if each one gets a flaw - THAT is how good apple service is; no product is flawless, but apple deals with and accepts it when the products they have sold are flawed). Let him use your computer for an operation that frequently frustrates him on a PC. There are infinite ways to convert people; they just have to realize how bad wintels really suck.
  17. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    well to answer you retort I was mainly pointing out how unbalnced power wise the imac is. Great chip crappy graphic card comparitly. The GPU is a huge bottle neck in the computer really limiting the power of the CPU. you get a g4 with the same GPU and there would almost be no diffences.
  18. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    If you take a look at the Dell machine I configured above this is true for PCs as well. The default video card on all dell desktops under $1000 base price is the Intel Extreme Integrated chip. You can't even have a BTO better grphx card on the bottom two models, which are really the only ones that beat the iMac pricewise. Assuming there is an AGP port on the MB (I have to believe there is, I think all P4 mobos have an AGP port) you'd still have to buy, install, and configure it yourself, which is often more than a 'regular' user is willing/able to do.

    Anyways, I've said it once, and I'll say it again, the 5200ultra isn't THAT bad (it's not great, or even good) and it is sure better than a shared video memory Intel Extreme GPU in the standard Dell.


    PS I'll crack a Dell open at work this week and verify they have AGP ports.
  19. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    and every time you do you so call compareson I normal see an extra 100+ worth of blot you add make it look better. first drop XP pro to home how long until you all get it though you think head everyone who getting pretty much an imac or less DOES NOT NEED XP PRO and should not get it. You dont know the diffence bettween the 2 and why some should get pro or not. use XP home to compare if you can give me a good list of reason why some should go pro over home and the diffence bettween the 2 I may consider listening to it but until then you dont know anything about the really diffece bettween them. I used to be like that you should always go pro until I really started looking at the 2 and realzed unless you know you need pro you dont need it
  20. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    In my experience, no. Dell also limits your IRQ's so sometimes you can't use all 6 PCI slots (if that many). Only 1 hard drive bay, optical drives locked in, etc. No expandability except for the RAM.

    Nobody mentioned that TextEdit is a full featured WYSIWYG text editor that can open Word files...
    And that iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, and iPhoto are all free and all integrated.
    There was a thread on this a while ago... too lazy to search now, though.
  21. mcarvin macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    Southern NJ
    Good point. They're integrated in a good way, unlike IE and the rest of Windows. Right now, I have a friend in Michigan who's system is so screwed up that it takes forever to open My Computer. She took it to CompUSA today and she'll be installing Firefox when she gets it back.
  22. khammack macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Portland, OR
    The way I did it was to make a spreadsheet, and painstakingly include every item of hardware. I'm getting my first mac in 2 months.

    Turns out, comparing hardware only, some macs are a better deal, some aren't.

    I'm interested in a laptop, so that's what I've been looking at. Specifically, iBooks are a better deal than any similarly priced PC laptop I've found, especially the 12".

    On the other hand, though I favor the 15" powerbook, it is nearly identical spec for spec with the hp zt3000 series (when I last compared them, the zt3000 was $1500 and the powerbook is $2000). Same size, same screen resolution, same video chip, io ports, etc. The hp has much better battery life also; my sister in law just bought one, it has a Centrino and it lives more than 5 hours unplugged. Apple only claims 4; some claim to squeeze 4.5 hours out of the powerbook but most people I've seen here claim a bit less than 4 hours as a realistic battery life.

    So if price is the only issue, Apple can't claim an across the board advantage, but specific models are in fact a better deal. And though I've only been following the mac scene closely for a few months, I suspect that this changes over time. Perhaps the powerbook will be a better deal when the next rev is out.

    As a guideline and starting point, I used this site:

    Basically, they did the work for you, or at least give you a starting point from which you can work.

    Also, there is a "processor equivalency chart" on the same site:

    It seems to be a little optimistic on the G4 ratings considering their slower system bus, though I don't have access to a G4 at the moment so I can't be sure. In any case, the iMac has a G5 which uses HT400mhz, and their estimates don't look too unreasonable.

    As others have pointed out, there are more considerations than just a direct hardware to hardware comparison. But if apple wins, it makes the whole thing a much easier sell. Just knowing that for certain some apple computers were a better deal was enough to get my attention. Now I'm buying my first apple ever. I may even buy the 15" powerbook, in spite of the fact that the HP zt3000 is almost $500 less for very similar hardware. (Given that I won't have the money for another 2 months, I'm hoping Apple comes through with a reasonable upgrade. Otherwise, I may end up with an iBook...)

  23. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Hasn't worked for me so far :(

    My Dull PC friend keeps on harping about how much more expensive Apple is than Dull, and how so few apps are available for it even although the Mac will do everything he wants it to do i.e. photo editing, video editing/conversion etc

    He keeps on harping to me how the spyware and viruses drive him batty, but not batty enough to want to fork out a few extra dollars for security, reliability, ease of use and, most important of all.... peace of mind.

    This past weekend I gave up on him. I told him to go buy his Dull, but that I didn't want to hear any complaints from him after spyware and viruses cripple his comp. So, we'll see what he ends up doing in the end :rolleyes:
  24. Sir_Giggles macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2003
    I learned the more you try to convince someone to buy Mac, the more they resist. Only way to get them to try it is when their PC breaks down, and you let them borrow yours for a few days.
  25. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    No chance. If they didn't take my advice in the first place, there's no way they're getting to borrow mine when their PC dies. Funnily enough, the guy next to me at work had been decided on an iMac and over the weekend, bought an HP + display that ended up costing more than the iMac (tho it does have a TV tuner built in) since he couldn't wait for Adobe to send him new Mac versions of Photoshop CS. We'll see what he's saying in 6 months. ;)

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