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New iMacs pricing equal/beats comparbly loaded PC

Entralled by the new 24" iMac, I decided to comparison shop. Here's what I got at Apple.com and Dell.com:

24" iMac
2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo
2 GB RAM
500 GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB SDRAM Video Card
8x DL Super Drive
Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse
$2,559.00

Dell XPS 410
24" widescreen display
2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo
2 GB RAM
500 GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT 256MB SDRAM Video Card
16x DL-DVD Burner and 16x DVD ROM
Dell AS501 10W Flat Panel Attached Spkrs
LOGITECH MX 3000 Laser Mouse/Keyboard Combo
Single TV Tuner with Remote Control
Logitech QuickCam Fusion Web Camera
13 in 1 Media Card Reader
IEEE 1394 Adapter
$2,706.00

(I added a camera and IEEE 1394 to the Dell for better comparison, as these are integrated in the iMac)

What the iMac has over the Dell:
1) Design Design Design
2) Integrated Bluetooth
3) Integrated Wi-Fi
4) More powerful speakers (24W v. 10W)
5) Superior included software (iLife in particular)
6) Can run OS X and Windows (sold separately)

What the Dell has over the iMac
1) Video Card
2) separate speakers (subjective)
3) Expandability
4) More USB ports
5) Faster optical drive, 2 drives
6) card reader
7) TV tuner

I think this clearly shows that the Mac / PC price gap has all but vanished. So they only question is, have you ordered yours yet Veronica?

Jeff

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dell? i can make a 4.1ghz dual core pc for 700.00

In reply to: New iMacs pricing equal/beats comparbly loaded PC

i have twin 4.1ghz dual core computer they are way more powerful then the imac and with 2 the imac is a no show. plus there are way better pcs then the dell you used and for alot cheaper, this is biased.

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You make good points, but my comparison is still valid...

In reply to: dell? i can make a 4.1ghz dual core pc for 700.00

Yes, I'll admit that as I Mac user I have a bit of a built-in bias; the subject of my post gives that away to some degree. Perhaps ''Dell vs. 24'' iMac pricing'' would have been more neutral.

However, you'll notice that I made every effort to outfit the two computers as closely as possible based in the options available on their respective websites so as to have a fair comparison. (I added iEEE1394 and webcam to the Dell b/c the iMac has these built-in, not b/c it wanted to inflate the Dell price. Also, Apple didn't have a tuner option, so I couldn't add that). You'll also note that I actually listed more pros for the Dell than I did the Apple.

Having just help my in-laws buy a Dell, and given that Dell has the largest PC market share, it's natural for me to look at Dell vs. Apple. Also, there's been a lot of recent press on Mac Pro prices vs. Dell, so again, it's a natural comparison.

I realize that cheaper PC's can be had, but my point is still valid -- if you outfit a Dell with as close to matching components as possible (so that you're comparing apples to Apples, if you'll pardon the expression) to the new 24'' iMac, the price of the iMac is extremely competitive.

It's up to the buyer to consider the various pros that I listed (which can also be thought of as cons for the other machine) and decide for themselves. For some, the Dell's expandibility, dual optical drives (faster, too), built-in tuner, card reader, speakers, and better video card trumps the iMac. And if I were a gamer, I wouldn't consider the iMac. But for my needs, the ability to run OS X and Windows on the same box, coupled with the included iLife software makes it an easy choice.

The upshot is that Apple has closed the price gap with major market PC makers, which makes for more choices (and tougher decisions!) for the consumer.

Jeff

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Competative, Yes. Cheaper, Can't Say Using This

In reply to: You make good points, but my comparison is still valid...

I own a PC, but plz realize, I'd love a Mac esp. now w/ boot camp, so otherwise I agree, I hope Apple does well, not only cuz I like them, but maybe it'll light a lil fire under the rears of PC makers... that whole competition forces evolution thing. Happy

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I really don't see this as a good example...

In reply to: You make good points, but my comparison is still valid...

It just comes down to the consumers own knowledge of computers. I own a Mac Pro and its my only link to Apple's OSX that I have. I deal with the buying of computer parts whether its form Apple or a PC a lot and I can say without a doubt that Apple's components are overpriced and this is also a fact with dell's high-end models too. There are other options out there with savings of up to 500+ for the same type component format. I myself took the option of building my own I built two identical desktops with nice stats:

Pentium D 805 2.6ghz Stock (Overclocked to 4.1ghz)
4096mb Ram DDR2 (Overclocked to 1066mhz)
Two nVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX OC Water Cooled (Production Overclocked)
Two 500gb 7200rpm hard drives (16mb cache)
150gb 10000rpm hard drive (16mb cache)
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro 7.1 Channels 24-bit (PCI)
Hauppauge 1062 WinTV-PVR-150 MCE Kit Tuner Card (PCI)
1000W Continuous at 50

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Depends on what it's an example of...

In reply to: I really don't see this as a good example...

Silvermunkey,

I think we're talking about apples and oranges here. My point is that the price gap is tighter than ever between iMacs and *comparably equipped* mass market PC's. I'm looking at it from the standpoint of the typical consumer, who will buy something off the shelf and/or do minimal customization.

You, however, are obviously an enthusiast with a great deal of knowledge, and would approach the buying/equipping of a computer differently than the typical consumer. The system you put together is truly shock and awe, and at $2,500 a tremendous value. However, Joe Consumer wouldn't know where to begin putting together the kind of system you're talking about, especially if it involved getting various components from different sources.

So you're correct in saying that it comes down to the buyer's knowledge and that a prosumer enthusiast could take $2,500 and put together a box that would smoke my Dell and Apple examples faster than a brick of weed at a Snoop Dogg concert. (And yes, Apple's components are *way* overpriced. That's why added more RAM to my iMac myself rather than pay for the full 2GB off the shelf.)

And I'm correct in saying that comparably equipped iMacs and mass market PCs (and who's more mass market than Dell?) are now extremely price competitive. I generalized too much in my initial post, when I should have made it clear that I was taking about iMac vs a typical PC (as opposed to a custom job).

Thanks for following up with such a solid, concrete example. It helped me to understand just how much computer you can get if you're willing to work at it.

Regards,
Jeff

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Yeah your right Apple is taking the right direction...

In reply to: Depends on what it's an example of...

In my case I don't see myself buying a computer from from any brand anymore although I do like HP and Apple. After I learned what can be done and made with a computer every time I look at an advertisement about a computer I just LMAO. When you can turn a 110.00 lowly processor like the Pentium D 805 into a godly processor for the price you just cant see consumer PC the same. For the cost of iMac that you used I can make two of the custom computer I showed you even my Mac Pro has not caught up with it yet and the Pentium D 805 has been out since last December and its a dual-core not a quad-core.

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ya unfair comparison, doncha think?

In reply to: New iMacs pricing equal/beats comparbly loaded PC

you add a 100 webcam to the dell but no TV tuner or second optical drive to the mac? the would most assuredly make the mac more expensive. I understand that the systems aren't identicle and you have to make compromises, but you post didn't seem fair at all. It's fine if everyone's a mac fanboy, but plz play fair Silly

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Why doesn't anybody look at HP?

In reply to: New iMacs pricing equal/beats comparbly loaded PC

Look at the HP IQ804t:

25.5" Screen, Same Layout as iMac (computer built into screen)
2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo
4 GB RAM
500 GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS HD Video Card
8x "SuperMulti" Drive
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse (stowaway feature so keyboard stows behind display)
Logitech X-230 speakers (2.1)
TV Tuner Built-in (included in base price)
Webcam Built-in
5 in 1 Media Card Reader Built-in

All of this for only $1960.00

Where HP is better than or at least equal to both Mac and Dell:

1) In my opinion better design than iMac (strictly opinionated comparison... everyone is different)
2) Integrated Bluetooth
3) Integrated Wi-Fi
4) Video Card
5) Separate Speakers (subjective)
6) TV tuner

And it is something that anybody can buy easily... the only thing changed from the base layout is the Logitech speakers. This thing is still a mainstream product.

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Also,

In reply to: Why doesn't anybody look at HP?

Almost forgot,

- Comes with Blue-ray player
- Has Touch Screen
- Can be mounted on wall (like a plasma tv)
- As low as one cord: power cord and it is Energy Star qualified (if you aren't in range of Wi-Fi, an ethernet cord is needed, obviously)

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But the iMac

In reply to: Also,

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Hmm....

In reply to: Why doesn't anybody look at HP?

iMac 24"
3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
500GB hard drive1
8x double-layer SuperDrive
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS with 512MB memory
$2,199

The iMac is faster, the CPU and GPU are significantly faster, although it has less ram. The 9300m GS is a 9th generation low end card. Where the 8800GS is a high end 8th gen card.
Apple compares quite well in price to HP's all in one I think.

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How about:

In reply to: Hmm....

HP m9400z upgraded to 20 dollars more ($2219) with this:

AMD Phenom(TM) 9850 quad-core processor (2.5GHz)
8GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM (4x2048)
768MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600GS, DVI-I, VGA, HDMI
750GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
Wireless-N LAN card and Bluetooth
Blu-ray DVD writer/player & 16x Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner
15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, 1394, audio (in front; more USB in back)
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (sound card)
HP w2408h 24in Wide flat panel, integrated speakers
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse (which the iMac for $2199 doesn't have)


Much more bang for your buck, I think. Only thing the iMac has over it is the fact that the computer is built into the monitor. Say what you will about Mac OS X being so much better than Vista, but I personally don't see it. They both get the job done, and if you really think that Vista slows it down that much, consider that it has a beast of a processor (quad-core 2.5 GHz) and 8 GB RAM. Also, Vista can be scraped for Linux if you really want to go that far.

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I can price up a...

In reply to: Hmm....

Dell XPS 420 with:

2.66Ghz Q9400 (on a desktop motherboard), 4Gb / 500Gb
Dell 2408WFP display, HD3870 GDDR4
BT Mouse/Keyb/cardreader, N wireless
Dual DVD / DVD+-RW drives
Bose Companion 2 speakers
Quickcam 9000
3-year onsite
Microsoft Office H&S 2007
+ Sony Imagination Suite
for $2335

While the iMac 3.06 (on a notebook motherboard) with Applecare and Microsoft H&S 2008 comes to $2567.

Not a huge difference in price, but the scope and the capabilities of the two systems are very different. The Dell hardware spec is better in virtually all respects and the software bundle is functionally better in most ways, while the iMac is better in terms of style and has better idiot-proofing in some respects. What is important to you is I guess up to you.

OS X vs Vista - you know, as an actual everyday user of both and not just in terms of 'I'm going to hate it because everyone else says so', Vista for me on a machine of this class is just as snappy and more reliable than OS X, not to mention more flexible.

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That's a tower though...

In reply to: I can price up a...

And it's not really a fair comparison, as all-in-ones tend to be built from laptop components to reduce cooling requirements to allow it to be small and thin and be able to fit in the screen.
Also I'd value OS X enough to pay around $1000 extra for it, it's a big deal to me. 3rd party software on it tends to be much better, has invaluable features like the built into the OS spell checking for every text input box, and a unix command line. It's both more idiot proof OS and a more geeky OS, I mean, it will run pretty much anything that will run on linux, unix is a standard.

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PS

In reply to: That's a tower though...

Actually a headless mini-tower mac is something many in the mac community keep asking for. Wink It's a gap in their product line.

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Wow...

In reply to: That's a tower though...

"Also I'd value OS X enough to pay around $1000 extra for it, it's a big deal to me."

Now, THAT'S a fanboy! $1000 premium for an operating system? You really can't be serious.

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(NT) Well yeah, but at least he's blatant about it.

In reply to: Wow...

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Why?

In reply to: Wow...

An operating system is really important, it determines the whole experience.

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Huh?

In reply to: Why?

The "experience"? Do you just let it sit at the desktop and marvel at it or something? Me thinks you need to get out more. Happy

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Yes experience

In reply to: Huh?

A computer is not just a box that does things, it's a whole world of it's own. And without the OS it's a paperweight. Wink

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I don;t know if I'd be willing to go 1K extra

In reply to: Yes experience

Just for the operating system but I gotta agree with Nicolas here: The experience does matter.

Its not always just about specs and price. I am willing to pay extra for Apple stuff because of the attention to detail they give to their OS and their industrial design. The fact that they include the iLife bundle with all new Macs sweetens the deal even more.

The best "value" is not always synonymous with the cheapest price. It depends on what the user's needs are. Apple's target demographic is not the hardcore gamer who builds his or her own PC.

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Who said I was a gamer?

In reply to: I don;t know if I'd be willing to go 1K extra

On another subforum here Tom, you and I went briefly over the 'quality' of Apple hardware. I'm sorry, but buying a couple at most and using them in an undemanding way and calling it quality is like driving a SUV to work over a freeway every day and calling it a capable off-roader. When you, like me, have actually purchased a number of these machines for somewhere near the power they are supposed to have to work in a moderately hostile commercial setting where they?re not lavished with babying care, then the difference between what really ?just works? and what doesn't becomes very, very clear.

The real difference in ?quality? is that Apple doesn?t sell hardware at price points where it is not generally possible to get acceptable user results with either OS. Other manufacturers do somewhat inadvertently but unavoidably (due to competition) shoot themselves in the foot with their $500 laptops. At comparable price points, the ?quality? barometer is ? in my far more relevant experience to most people out there ? not in favour of Apple, in all but the most superficial way. Predictably and ironically, taking the potential buyer for an idiot as Apple indirectly does results in better user satisfaction than a manufacturer which leaves the user to make the detailed (and usually wrong, since they don't know what they're supposed to be buying) purchasing decision.

The lack of quality is not in the design, it stems from inadequate engineering and issues in the core build quality / quality control of the product. Why do you think Apple has so many Rev.A issues for real? They?ve done such a good job of bamboozling the Apple faithful to date so that they don?t realise that hardware-wise, it?s actually been Mobileme every time. Companies like Dell and HP have access to the same build quality: The only difference is that they engineer their machines to deal better with variations in build quality. If you run the ragged edge of what your factories can achieve and what your design actually needs to run reliably, then you get problems like those I get with Apple. The rumours about Apple building their own factories? This is perhaps good news and if true, an indicator that they have known what I have also known for quite a while.

You can actually see the difference in approach to engineering in things as simple as the drive carriers. The Dell workstation drive carriers are made of moulded plastic and connected via cables exposed at the front of the PC. The Apple carriers are made of sculpted metal and slot directly into the motherboard, so no cables. Dell =ugly. Apple = neato. To take out and replace the drives on the Dell, you pull off the cables and pinch the two tabs on both sides of the plastic carrier to remove the drive with zero effort, then bend the plastic carrier to take out the hard disk without any tools. In contrast you need to develop a variety of grip styles depending on the drive slot position on the Pro since the force required to remove each drive from the motherboard slot is not inconsiderable, then you need to unscrew the 4 screws from the carrier in order to remove the disk. Also if the drive deviates in any way from the standard SATA arrangement in terms of connector placement, you?re hosed on the Pro. And even with the supposedly more secure fixture on the Pro, the deformation that the metal carriers can undergo in regular slotting / unslotting means that the carrier can develop play in the slot, leading to loud buzzing noises. In contrast, the toolless carrier on the Dell stays put once whacked in. The relative differences carry on in much the same manner throughout the system ? 160mm fan against 120 for better airflow, more carefully placed fans for better separated cooling without a major noise penalty ? the list goes on. And should it ever go wrong, you should check out the difference in service between Apple's supposedly Pro equipment and Dell's uplifted Precision support... it'll open your eyes. The difference is somewhat equivalent to the F-150 against the Escalade - One actually does stuff. The other is for show.

Recently at the earliest opportunity, I've swept my business largely clean of Macs, with also something of a purge at home. The remaining octo / FX5600'd Pro at home is used primarily running EyeTV, for easy transcoding of recorded TV to the Touch. I will sit down on it and crank up Firefox as well as do other things from time to time, but these days it is the only thing I feel I need the Mac for in a domestic setting. I also have an iMac in the kitchen, also running EyeTV and iTunes. My Precision T7400's now do the actual Pro-equivalent octocore heavy lifting with a variety of superior-or-equivalent applications under Windows. My Sony TZ's, SZ's and Z's have more than capably taken over the role previously occupied by the hopeless-all-round Air and the hopelessly fragile Macbook Pro in an actual laptop utility, and should I genuinely require serious amounts of usable power for transportable use I have the HP 8710w's - which will shortly be complimented by the Precision M6400's.

Even in terms of the bundled iLife, if you're saying that it caters better for anyone who can't be bothered to look for anything better, sure. I can - and there are better entry-level media creation suites for Windows for under $200.

As I might have said elsewhere, generally speaking if you're serious about work and play you'll run Windows as an application platform. And conversely, generally speaking if you're serious about sitting in Starbucks while Facebooking the Twittering about your Blog, then you'll run OS X. And if you are as painfully nerdy as to be into OS's for OS's sake and not it's effectiveness as an application platform, yeah - then BSD + makeup in a pretty case makes for a powerful aphrodisiac for some.

However, knowing what you want and having objectives beyond using the OS doesn't necessarily mean that you're just a budget-obsessed gamer. It means you can genuinely make up your own mind with truly informed opinions.

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Pony Up

In reply to: New iMacs pricing equal/beats comparbly loaded PC

I think any time I've checked the prices between computers that are the same (and I mean actually the same level, not a high end Dell and Low in HP) they come out about the same... Sometimes one brand gets an edge for awhile, but it doesn't seem to last.

I was checking Dell Precisions and Lenovo W series Thinkpads. They came out the same.

When I look a a MacBook Pro it's still pricier. Laptops right now have the glory. Maybe that's why desktops are closer in price.

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