Mac Pro vs Dell XPS Experience (Mac Lovers Will Enjoy)

osxhero

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 23, 2010
66
0
I know there are a lot of you out there that get asked questions about PC's verses Mac's and we all have our batch of answers that work well. I thought I would share with you my recent (last 2 years) experience with my Dell vs. Mac experience.

I have a company that creates software on the internet, and so each employee can use whatever machine they feel more comfortable with in order to achieve that work. UNTIL THIS YEAR where I've banned all Windows machines 100%.

We bought four computers...Mac Pro 8-core, Mac Pro 4-core, and two identical XPS 4-core machines. My Mac Pro's came with developer discounts, but even including that cost were about $4200 to $3800 with monitors. My DELL XPS machines where nearly $6000 a PIECE.

After two years, here's the maintenance status:

  • Mac Pros - 100% FINE, no problems, no errors, all running like tops.

  • XPS DELL Unit #1 - two sticks of RAM, DEAD. one video card, DEAD
  • XPS DELL Unit #2 - power supply FRIED

Each DELL died exactly to the month that the extra warranty ended. It was like they sent a command to each computer to die. We've now had to cannibalize one of the DELL's to keep the other one running. I won't sink another dime into DELL even if it means it collects dust and turns into sand.
 

MacintoshMaster

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2010
259
1
Britain
I know there are a lot of you out there that get asked questions about PC's verses Mac's and we all have our batch of answers that work well. I thought I would share with you my recent (last 2 years) experience with my Dell vs. Mac experience.

I have a company that creates software on the internet, and so each employee can use whatever machine they feel more comfortable with in order to achieve that work. UNTIL THIS YEAR where I've banned all Windows machines 100%.

We bought four computers...Mac Pro 8-core, Mac Pro 4-core, and two identical XPS 4-core machines. My Mac Pro's came with developer discounts, but even including that cost were about $4200 to $3800 with monitors. My DELL XPS machines where nearly $6000 a PIECE.

After two years, here's the maintenance status:

  • Mac Pros - 100% FINE, no problems, no errors, all running like tops.

  • XPS DELL Unit #1 - two sticks of RAM, DEAD. one video card, DEAD
  • XPS DELL Unit #2 - power supply FRIED

Each DELL died exactly to the month that the extra warranty ended. It was like they sent a command to each computer to die. We've now had to cannibalize one of the DELL's to keep the other one running. I won't sink another dime into DELL even if it means it collects dust and turns into sand.
Can I ask you three questions.

1. Are you a millionaire ?
2. Will the dell work on mac?
3. What does your business make?
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,931
54
England
Why didn't you buy Dell Precisions that come with 3 year warranties as standard and can be cheaply expanded to 5 years rather than gaming machines?

I don't understand how you spent $6,000 on them either for internet software, and these days quad core Dell Precisions are a lot cheaper than Mac Pro quad cores.

And not to sound harsh but you can see people having the same problems you had with your Dells with Mac Pros on the first couple of pages of the Mac Pro sub-forum here. Anecdotal evidence doesn't mean much really when it comes to hardware failure, more so with how it is dealt with by the vendor.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
32
I honestly don't think this is a very viable argument. Both PC and Mac receives hardware from different companies and are equally as vulnerable. Remember, Macs have an equal share in problems too.
 

Full of Win

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2007
2,615
1
Ask Apple
And not to sound harsh but you can see people having the same problems you had with your Dells with Mac Pros on the first couple of pages of the Mac Pro sub-forum here. Anecdotal evidence doesn't mean much really when it comes to hardware failure, more so with how it is dealt with by the vendor.
To be fair, he did state it was his 'experience' in the thread title. Also, I did not read any extrapolations made about the overall quality of Apple or Dell hardware.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
I know there are a lot of you out there that get asked questions about PC's verses Mac's and we all have our batch of answers that work well. I thought I would share with you my recent (last 2 years) experience with my Dell vs. Mac experience.

I have a company that creates software on the internet, and so each employee can use whatever machine they feel more comfortable with in order to achieve that work. UNTIL THIS YEAR where I've banned all Windows machines 100%.

We bought four computers...Mac Pro 8-core, Mac Pro 4-core, and two identical XPS 4-core machines. My Mac Pro's came with developer discounts, but even including that cost were about $4200 to $3800 with monitors. My DELL XPS machines where nearly $6000 a PIECE.

After two years, here's the maintenance status:

  • Mac Pros - 100% FINE, no problems, no errors, all running like tops.

  • XPS DELL Unit #1 - two sticks of RAM, DEAD. one video card, DEAD
  • XPS DELL Unit #2 - power supply FRIED

Each DELL died exactly to the month that the extra warranty ended. It was like they sent a command to each computer to die. We've now had to cannibalize one of the DELL's to keep the other one running. I won't sink another dime into DELL even if it means it collects dust and turns into sand.
I don't blame you. I'm forced to use a Dell Windows laptop at work and it's nothing but constant troubles... won't sleep, won't wake from sleep, BSOD when I dock it, sometimes BSOD if I connect a USB mouse to it! LOL! Whatever money the company saved was not worth it.
 

CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
Anecdotal evidence of "Mac superiority," at best.

Mac Pros have their share of problems, too. One of the 2009 Mac Pro 8-cores at our production office was purchased late last May and has already received a new power supply and logic board.

Macs and PCs alike can fail from time to time and what it really comes down to is the level of service and support you receive from the manufacturer. In the case of our 2009 MP, an authorized repair shop fixed it promptly and on-site, too.
 

Eric-PTEK

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2009
450
2
You spent 6K on a desktop to develop "internet software", whatever that means.

I didn't spend 6K on workstation class machines for doing 3D CAD design. BTW, hard to code for asp.net on a Mac.

You can spend 24K on 4 computers but then have to cannibalize one to make the others work?

Lastly, you bought XPS's, not their workstation class line?

Please there are more holes in this story that I have time to point out.

Tell us, what were the spec's of these 6K Dell's? I doubt I could get a XPS to 6K.

BTW, software developers want 2 things, big monitors and VM's.

What good does a 8 core machine do a "internet software" developer anyways? What tools do they use? Your spending that kind of coin and spec for PHP coding? That's all you can do on a Mac, besides Cold Fusion, at least anything thats popular.

And as someone else said, you spent 6K a piece but didn't bother to buy the cheap on site NDS warranty?
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,036
1,056
Why didn't you buy Dell Precisions that come with 3 year warranties as standard and can be cheaply expanded to 5 years rather than gaming machines?

I don't understand how you spent $6,000 on them either for internet software, and these days quad core Dell Precisions are a lot cheaper than Mac Pro quad cores.
We have a few Dell Precisions at work (T7500). They are also crap. We're still trying to figure out why they take a whole minute to wake from sleep. The good news is I got sound working (it was broken out of the box.)
 

PenguinMac

macrumors member
May 21, 2010
96
0
I'm also hard-pressed to see how you got a Dell XPS to 6K - my i7 XPS (see my sig) cost $1600, the memory upgrades $300, and a Samsung IPS 24in monitor $600. (I won't count the drive upgrades because that's subjective depending on your storage requirements, and drives can be moved easily from PC to Mac if necessary.) While this is just a hobby for me, and my PC's are rarely in use more than 3 hours a day, I haven't had any hardware failures with my Dell.

For those having sleep and other software issues, those problems would be solved with Windows 7 I'm sure. But as Apple offers a complete hardware/software solution in the Mac Pro, I can see where you wouldn't want to make fixing the Dell's shortcomings your problem.
 

hexagonheat

macrumors member
May 1, 2010
69
0
Why would you get XPS?! And how the heck can you spend 6K on them? They aren't even pro machines so this is an unfair comparison.

Also if you want anecdotal evidence about "superiority" I could tell you how my PIII 800MHz Dell that I bought in 2000 is running Linux still by my side. In 11 years I had to replace the CD-rom tray and that's it. I also have a 1st gen centrino Dell laptop from 2003 and I haven't had a single problem with it, it's still running XP. On the other hand, my parents iMac from 2006 had to be replaced twice (faulty logic board the first time and thermal paste problems the second time that caused it to keep shutting down). My macbook from 2008 is cracking on the shell and constantly wakes from sleep for no reason even when the lid is closed.


I know there are a lot of you out there that get asked questions about PC's verses Mac's and we all have our batch of answers that work well. I thought I would share with you my recent (last 2 years) experience with my Dell vs. Mac experience.

I have a company that creates software on the internet, and so each employee can use whatever machine they feel more comfortable with in order to achieve that work. UNTIL THIS YEAR where I've banned all Windows machines 100%.

We bought four computers...Mac Pro 8-core, Mac Pro 4-core, and two identical XPS 4-core machines. My Mac Pro's came with developer discounts, but even including that cost were about $4200 to $3800 with monitors. My DELL XPS machines where nearly $6000 a PIECE.

After two years, here's the maintenance status:

  • Mac Pros - 100% FINE, no problems, no errors, all running like tops.

  • XPS DELL Unit #1 - two sticks of RAM, DEAD. one video card, DEAD
  • XPS DELL Unit #2 - power supply FRIED

Each DELL died exactly to the month that the extra warranty ended. It was like they sent a command to each computer to die. We've now had to cannibalize one of the DELL's to keep the other one running. I won't sink another dime into DELL even if it means it collects dust and turns into sand.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
... My DELL XPS machines...
I'm forced to use a Dell Windows laptop at work and it's nothing but constant troubles... won't sleep, won't wake from sleep, BSOD when I dock it, sometimes BSOD if I connect a USB mouse to it! LOL! Whatever money the company saved was not worth it.
Both are consumer grade systems though, and aren't the same as workstation grade systems (enterprise systems are built for much more abusive conditions, such as 24/7 operation). It really does make a difference as to the details (better components on the boards, better cooling, and more extensive validation testing for example). It's the reason better warrantys are offered. And as Umbongo pointed out, how the warranty is handled is even different (much less hassle, and faster turn-around times on enterprise grade systems).

Please understand, these distinctions between the system grades are important in both reliability, and how you'll be treated if a warranty claim is made.
 

314631

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2009
909
0
iDeaded myself
I have a Dell XPS 420 still kicking around long after the warranty expired. And that machine has done some serious processing and encoding. Life expectancy is really pot luck since Dell uses a lot of the same manufactured components that you'll find in a Mac these days.

Out of dozens of Dell machines we have owned, I can only remember one failing on us. An Inspiron 9300 laptop that suffered from a vertical line issue that plagued several models a few years ago. The defective LCDs were also shipped in MacBooks though, and Apple took even longer than Dell to acknowledge any kind of a hardware problem.
 

maghemi

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2009
317
0
Melbourne Australia
I Love it!

The guy complains about his experience with PC machines and people here stick the boot in.

Go into another thread complaining about a Mac and people stick the boot in.

I get the feeling people love to just stick the boot in when anyone complains about anything.

Love it!
 

tunerX

Suspended
Nov 5, 2009
355
825
I Love it!

The guy complains about his experience with PC machines and people here stick the boot in.

Go into another thread complaining about a Mac and people stick the boot in.

I get the feeling people love to just stick the boot in when anyone complains about anything.

Love it!
Yep, thats MR life.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Both are consumer grade systems though, and aren't the same as workstation grade systems (enterprise systems are built for much more abusive conditions, such as 24/7 operation). It really does make a difference as to the details (better components on the boards, better cooling, and more extensive validation testing for example). It's the reason better warrantys are offered. And as Umbongo pointed out, how the warranty is handled is even different (much less hassle, and faster turn-around times on enterprise grade systems).

Please understand, these distinctions between the system grades are important in both reliability, and how you'll be treated if a warranty claim is made.
My Macbook Air was 10x the machine my Dell laptop is and the Air is a consumer machine and the Dell is from their Latitude Business Line. So even Apple consumer products are superior to Dells business crap.

BTW, if you guys had to use a Dell Windows laptop everyday, trust me, you'd take any and every opportunity to lay the boots to em. They truly do suck and are probably a good reason why Apple has so many fanboys.
 

tunerX

Suspended
Nov 5, 2009
355
825
My Macbook Air was 10x the machine my Dell laptop is and the Air is a consumer machine and the Dell is from their Latitude Business Line. So even Apple consumer products are superior to Dells business crap.
I think it depends on the systems and system versions. My latitude e6400 ran better geekbench numbers than the new MBP 13". It was only by about a score of 100 something but it was enough.

I laughed and laughed at my coworker, he was pretty upset. I rubbed it in his face for a couple days before the novelty wore out.

I ran the same test against my old latitude D830 and it was way slower by about 2000.
 

johnnymg

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2008
1,316
5
I Love it!

The guy complains about his experience with PC machines and people here stick the boot in.

Go into another thread complaining about a Mac and people stick the boot in.

I get the feeling people love to just stick the boot in when anyone complains about anything.

Love it!
10+

Must be the Internet Loser Squad roaming from site to site. :p
 

SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Jun 16, 2007
3,381
436
Nowhere
This is bollocks. All computers die, regardless of their origin.

Apple uses Intel motherboards and so does Dell.

I've built PC's that have lasted as long as any Macs I've had.

BTW XPS uses mainstream parts, but the Server class Dell PC's use the same workstation mobos as the Mac Pro.

You're comparing Apples (no pun) to Oranges here.
 

Eric-PTEK

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2009
450
2
My Macbook Air was 10x the machine my Dell laptop is and the Air is a consumer machine and the Dell is from their Latitude Business Line. So even Apple consumer products are superior to Dells business crap.

BTW, if you guys had to use a Dell Windows laptop everyday, trust me, you'd take any and every opportunity to lay the boots to em. They truly do suck and are probably a good reason why Apple has so many fanboys.
Really, 15 years of using Dell laptops including my 4 year old D620 I just retired. Never a problem and I was a heavy user.

I'll easily admit the MB Pro is a better constructed machine, but its also 2X the cost. Your Air is way more expensive too.

In a business situation warranty and repair is what matters. If you buy a Toshiba and the Toshiba breaks once in 3 years but you have to mail it back to Toshiba and its gone for 10 days, versus a Dell that breaks 3 times but each time its fixed within 24 hours, any business person would take the Dell.

I doubt the OP will be back in this thread.

We sell Dell for desktops/laptops, not because its the best, but because of the warranty and service. HP/IBM/Lenovo are outrageously priced compared to Dell. I'd love nothing more than to find another vendor but its not even remotely close.

Acer comes close in price and their warranty offerings are getting better but they are the only one. For a standard business desktop w/ NBD warranty HP/IBM is nearly 75 percent more than Dell.

I'll even admit that Dell's laptops are getting cheaper. The new E-series has a few minor flaws but the D-series was rock solid in the 620/630. Same with the 820/830. The first line of Vostro's were really nice but the latest ones are significantly cheaper.

Still Dell is on site the next day to fix and that is what matters.

All the OP has done is prove that IT purchasing is not his forte and he wasted 24K of his businesses money. He spent even more buying Mac Pro's when they could have gotten away with something more reasonable for developing 'internet software', whatever that means :rolleyes:
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,583
1,044
Hearst Castle
My experience mirrors the OP. We used Dell machines. Utter garbage. Processors failed, ran hot as hell -- and the Nvidia video cards regularly burned out. Now perhaps part of that is Nvidia's fault, but it doesn't reflect well on Dell's testing for longevity of the machines.

We switched our office over entirely to Macs. Mac Pros, iMacs, and OS X Server. Not a single problem since we made the switch.
 

Eric-PTEK

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2009
450
2
My experience mirrors the OP. We used Dell machines. Utter garbage. Processors failed, ran hot as hell -- and the Nvidia video cards regularly burned out. Now perhaps part of that is Nvidia's fault, but it doesn't reflect well on Dell's testing for longevity of the machines.

We switched our office over entirely to Macs. Mac Pros, iMacs, and OS X Server. Not a single problem since we made the switch.
Processors failing?

I've been in the industry 20 years, NEVER have I seen a processor fail. In experiences with over 60K pieces of equipment, never a processor failure.

I'd love to see ONE service order showing a processor failing. Just one.

Or better yet, you knew it ran 'hot as hell' but never did anything about it? Never checked into it?

Based on the few posts here my guess would be it had more to do with the quality of the IT department than the actual hardware.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
My Macbook Air was 10x the machine my Dell laptop is and the Air is a consumer machine and the Dell is from their Latitude Business Line. So even Apple consumer products are superior to Dells business crap.

BTW, if you guys had to use a Dell Windows laptop everyday, trust me, you'd take any and every opportunity to lay the boots to em. They truly do suck and are probably a good reason why Apple has so many fanboys.
You've not indicated the Dell model though, so it's hard to gauge what's being compared (i.e. old Dell v. far newer Air?).

I've seen mixed results from Dell (not my favorite laptop brand, but as mentioned, the warranty support is better than others - I like Toshiba's, but the turnaround is too long in a business environment, as they're consumer grade). The Toshiba's I've used have held up well though (older systems by todays standards, so I've no personal experience with newer models produced).

Apple uses Intel motherboards and so does Dell.
It would depend on the model, and who they contracted as the ODM for it. Hon Hai Precision (parent company that owns Foxconn), is a massive player in the ODM/OEM market, and makes the majority of Apple's gear, as well as others (particularly HP). The '06 - '08 MP's used Intel as their board maker, but I'm not so sure about the '09's (need to see the boards, and search for an ID #, as I suspect that Hon Hai Precision is making those now as well).

In a business situation warranty and repair is what matters. If you buy a Toshiba and the Toshiba breaks once in 3 years but you have to mail it back to Toshiba and its gone for 10 days, versus a Dell that breaks 3 times but each time its fixed within 24 hours, any business person would take the Dell.
I'd have to agree here. Warranty turnaround is a major concern in a business environment. Far more so than for consumers (quite inconvenient for the user, but not considered critical by system vendors, and is a means of cutting costs).

I've been in the industry 20 years, NEVER have I seen a processor fail. In experiences with over 60K pieces of equipment, never a processor failure.
I've seen a couple, but it's rare in my experience (bad paste in both situations; so thick it looked like the filling out of a Double Stuffed Oreo cookie).

But I could see the IT staff not getting reports early enough to solve the issue in a timely manner (nothing prior to system becoming DOA), or having the time to investigate (i.e. too few IT personnel, so it keeps getting put to the back of the To-Do list). There may be other reasons, but none are really coming to mind (non laziness/skill level related for their actual job expectations).