Mac vs. PC, a small cost comparison experiment

by Francois Joseph de Kermadec

Some of you may recall my last blog, about the new "cost efficient" computers... I received many mails about it and thank you for your feedback. Within these mails was one of my PC friends who, somewhat jokingly, asked me to show him how I got to such a conclusion.

For fun, we agreed, to "purchase" a PC and see what we could get for this price. This short blog presents the results of our little personal survey, for anyone who is interested. Of course, before we get further, allow me to say that I do not pretend to have written a definitive cost comparison between Macs and PCs : this is not my goal and such a thing cannot really be done. Consider the following lines the summary of a personal experience that I wished to share with my Mac friends.


How we proceeded : To gather the information, we decided to ask a sales person of a mainstream, inexpensive computer manufacturer. Since we may not be both aware of ongoing promotions at this company, we thought it was a better policy than simply looking at websites.

We began the chat by asking for a complete desktop system, under $800 since Apple's eMac can be found for $799, without any discount. Luckily, for us, there was one system in this range, but for $899. We agreed to have a look at the specs.

The first surprise came when I told the salesperson I needed to do some light video editing with it and, therefore, hook up my FireWire camcorder... No, this was not possible unless I was willing to invest $30 for an add-on FireWire card...

What about text editing, then ? Yes, we would probably manage to get Word installed on it...

Then, we talked built-in memory which was 256MB -- but see below...

The second surprise came with the screen, which was 15", much smaller than the eMac. It was also separate from the computer -- some may see it as a positive point but it adds up some space and cables that are difficult to manage in some environments.

I was lucky to hear that network ports were included (Uh? I didn't even know there were computers without them) and that I could hook up all the cool serial devices I can buy thanks to the super-cool built-in serial port (Re-Uh?)

We then discussed video capabilities... The "Integrated Intel Extreme video" system was, as I suspected, a cool name to explain that the system uses the main RAM for its video needs -- while the eMac has dedicated memory. Of course, with such a system, the sales person used the word "video chores" instead of "graphics calculations"...

Software-wise, the machine came with a whopping combination of Windows XP home, Free Internet Explorer (Uh?), Outlook Express, Encarta and Norton Anti-Virus...

To top the description, the person added there was a super-useful parallel port too !

Since these specifications let me somehow stumped, I kindly asked this man if I could do any small video editing onto it -- not a lot, I added, but a few home movies. The reply came : it's too slow and you should spend more than $1000 to get a system able to do video properly...

All in all, nothing compared to the entry-level eMac, especially when you take into account the peripherals, the operating system and all the software that Apples ships with it, which includes the iLife suite...

Sure this is only the conclusion of a home experiment... But next time someone tells you that Macs are expensive, you will have a few numbers to put into the conversation !

Until next time, dear Mac users, enjoy thinking different !

Update 2006.02.19: This little note to thank all of you who kindly took the time to comment and share your thoughts with the O'Reilly community and myself. While comments on this entry are still open and, as far as I can see, should remain so, please remember this post dates back from May 17, 2004. Many things have changed since then and I hope my musings here can be seen keeping these elements in mind. — FJ

56 Comments

jwenting
2004-05-17 07:14:59
looking at numbers...
I did some comparing of numbers for similar systems myself, and came up with a $5000 PC as compared to a $10.000 Mac for the same basic specs.


Sure you might at the low end get a Mac cheap, just as you can get a cheap PC.


But Macs still outshine PCs in the cost arena when you go into the highend machines.


Or take a powerbook and compare that to an equivalent Dell or HP laptop.


Your attempt is just another Mac-adept trying to make up bogus arguments why his God is God.


Barebones G5 1.6GHz will set you back over €2000 without a screen, cheapest screen to go with it costs over €800 (those are figures from Apple's own website btw).


Some little configuring to get to the same point as what I consider minimum specs (19" screen, 1GB RAM, 128MB vidRAM, larger harddisk) and we're up to over €4300 for the Apple (despite their generous €150 discount when buying a screen with it).
For just under €2300 I can get me a Dell with a 3GHz P4 and otherwise the same specs (20" TFT, same videocard, sized harddisk and RAM, etc. etc.).

boo
2004-05-17 08:34:54
Future numbers
In the future, we will each spent $20 in human labour hours (1) arguing about whether a Mac costs 25% more or less than a PC - which will amount to about $2.50.


Nonetheless, I've astutely discovered an important trend: Macs get cheaper and better every year. In 1996, I spent $12,000 on a hopped-up, top-of-the-line Mac to edit video. It really just didn't work. Today, a $799 eMac will let you edit multi-layered, broadcast quality video without breaking a sweat.


It seems to me that the cost of one's chosen religion is increasingly cheaper year on year, making the differences in costs between religions somewhat irrelevant.


Personally, I'm not gonna change religions to save a couple bucks. Changing religions is, by definition, not an option. (It's a re-lig-ion!)

linuxactivist
2004-05-17 08:50:03
Future numbers
This article is worthless. My home experiment got me a great 2.4 GHZ AMD Athlon system with 512 RAM for ~$600 bucks. If I didn't go through a reseller, I could build it for half that. Plop Linux and a bunch of open source editing tools on there and you have a decent small time editing system...


On the other hand, if you add mor ram, a couple of extra processors and other niceties, it would be hard to have a high end system for a relatively low cost.


This example shows nothing new (neither does mine)... use the tools that you are comfortable with (price AND feature wise).

borozen
2004-05-17 09:04:39
It's not the numbers
Whenever someone starts with me about how cheap a PC can be, compared with a Mac (wich seems to me like comparing pears with apples, no pun intended) I just tell them that I don't care how cheap their super-deluxe-bargain-PC was, I just care about all that tiny little details that makes my computing expirience that pleasant. That expirience, for me at least, can't be achieved from any PC, don't matter the price. And that's what makes my investment in Mac hardware and software worth it.
strikeman
2004-05-17 09:05:49
Yeah Europe is getting ripped off
Check out the American Apple Store - the basic 1.6GHz G5 is US$1800 which is €1500. You are paying a lot more in Europe for the same stuff.


And I'd question how you've configured your Dell. When I try the configure a Dell to the same specs at Dell.com I get $3208 vs $3498 for the Mac. Hardly a massive difference.


When I was buying a notebook a Powerbook was more than cost effective as compared to your name brand Intel books.

eableson
2004-05-17 09:11:03
On the pricing front...
For all practical purposes, if you are willing to invest the time and be an educated consumer, you can build a PC box with relatively close specs for the same price or cheaper than an 'equivalent' PC. Heavy on the 'equivalent' since every consumer has different priorities that translate into different specs.


However, on the high end laptop front, the current Apple lineup is (oddly enough) the value leader when you compare equivalently equipped PC laptops, with many features that simply aren't available on most PC laptops. The only place the Apple laptops fall down is not offering a stupendously high res screen like some of the DELLs and SONYs with their insane 1600*1024 LCDs, but you really need to have good eyes to use those ones :-)


I think that one of the reasons that you often see Mac machines with a longer lifecycle is because today's machines are shipping with leading edge technologies, so there's less incentive to upgrade just to get access to something new.


The PC market generally waits until a given technology has reached critical mass on the production front to drive down the costs. Case in point, try finding a laptop equipped with FW800 and Gigabit ethernet. Rationnally, I don't need either of these things today, but I won't be desperately looking to upgrade in two years because I want to buy the latest FW800 array or am running up against the 100Mbit wall transferring multi Gb video files to a client's server.


My 2 cents, for what it's worth...

puggsly
2004-05-17 10:14:25
looking at numbers...
You will have a hard time convincing anyone at the extreme high end or the ultra low end as trying to create "equivalent" systems is not possible.


I can show a dozen examples of PC laptops comparing them to every mac laptop and show the benefits you get from apple. You might post up a specific Windows Laptop that you don't feel Apple can compare to and why but this will be a tough fight to win.


The same is true on the entry level. How much does dedicated video memory add or subtract? How fast is the G4 vs the Pentium 4. How do the iLife applications compare to windows equivalents? Suffice it to say that you can get a very useful computer for less than a grand Mac or PC.


But if you want to show Apple's price weakness. Price out a killer mid-range system $1200-$1800 (US). The air gets really thin there for mac users because we can't offer much more performance than we do at $800. This is where Apple gets it's ass handed to it. Sure you can argue the power of the G4 1.25 vs 2-2.4 but up over 3Ghz? And yes Apple ships with a good video card but by moving up to this price range the PC can step up to a great video card.


This could all change very quickly with the 970fx potentially moving through the Mac line but until that happens there is quite a hole between 1.25 G4 and even a 1.6Ghz G5.


jbelkin800
2004-05-17 12:19:57
ilife
while itunes is free, it's pretty hard to put a true price of ilife if you're going to work in video. imovie is definitely worth $150 right there - have you actually tried Moviemaker or whatever MS calls it? Ha-ha, it is to laugh.


And while there are a couple drag and drop iDVD like apps cheap on the PC side (that work okay), there is NOTHING that so easily and elegantly creates DVD Themes and navigation as easily - NOTHING. Certainly nothing at the INCLUDED price of the computer and or even at the $49 cost.


iphoto looks nice. I don't take a lot of photos so it's not real useful for me but everyone else seems to have thousands of photos lying around.


I'm not a musician but garageband looks like imovie for musicians - it's stilla basic toolset but for 95% of people, it does 95% of what they want to do.


But software is one of those times that's hard to quantify. When you are stumbling around in the morass of MS Moviemaker, you want to scream, I'll pay a thousand dollars if I can just drag and drop, lay in audio, etc ... without having to spin around and jump through hoops and wonder what happened to my file.


But people just don't know any better. On their TV, MS talks about dreams and Hp talks about Shrek - in the stores, they talk up the specs and all the hardware goodies you get - parallel ports - space age technology! (well, the Mercury program ...)

Timberwolf
2004-05-17 13:30:08
Inconsistent Purchasing Habits
It's a little amazing to me that, in general, the majority of people are willing to spend the money to buy a more expensive car (like say, a Honda Accord as opposed to a Ford taurus), more expensive audio/visual equipment (Bose vs. el cheapo brand) or designer clothes or even some more expensive household appliances. Yet, when it comes to computers, they always seem to choose the cheapest computer they can possibly find.


If it really is just about cost/price, then why not apply the same logic you use to buy computers to all other purchases? Don't buy that Honda Accord, buy a Yugo or much cheaper car. Forget about the Bose Amplifier and Speaker system, get the lower cost Radio Shack stereo instead. Designer clothes? Do you really need to have Ralph Polo or DKNY clothing? You can shop for much less expensive clothes in the bargain shops and flea markets.


My point is, if you're going to be a discriminating buyer when it comes to your car, tv/stereo, appliances, furniture and clothes, then you should also be just as discrimintating when it comes to buying a computer.

e-twelve
2004-05-17 15:21:38
Hidden Costs of Windows
I just got out of an all-day security meeting with PriceWaterhouseCooper auditors concerning security -
They quoted the cost of patch-management for Windows systems as being $250 US per workstation per patch.
I found this hard to believe, but if it is even reasonably true by a lesser order of magnitude, I wouldn't take too long for the ongoing cost of supporting the Windows platform to pass the "sweet spot" of being "inexpensive".
Unconfirmed, but I know from experience that supporting the Windows platform these days is causing a lot of large corporations to examine closely what they have really bought into.
funkyfido
2004-05-17 19:00:53
looking at numbers...
$2000? 2300 for the Dell? Least expensive, QUALITY Flat panel From Apple is $699 (See Below) Did you add a DVD Burner to the Dell? If not Subtract $200 Dollars from any of these configurations. Low End G5 with a DVD Playing/CD burning Combo drive + 17" Apple Flat Panel (Quality monitor, pure digital interface) + 1GB of RAM ($229 from RamJet shop around you can probably get a better price. 512 MB of RAM $109. TOTAL: $2527 with 1.5 Gb of RAM. $2407 with 512 MB of Ram/17" QUALITY Flat Panel. Apple doesn't sell a 19" monitor.


$699.00
17" diagonal viewable image size
1280 x 1024 optimal resolution
16.7 million colors
17.3 x 17.6 x 6.9-9.8 inches
14.6 pounds
Two USB ports
Apple Display Connector



G5 - base configuration
$1,799.00
1.6GHz PowerPC G5
800MHz frontside bus
512K L2 cache
256MB DDR333 128-bit SDRAM
Expandable to 4GB SDRAM
80GB Serial ATA
SuperDrive
Three PCI Slots
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
64MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem


1. Don't buy ram from Apple buy it from a number of different vendors.
2. You don't have to buy a monitor from Apple.
Even though the quality of that monitor is probably better than you are getting from Dell. All of Apple's monitors are excellent as far as quality goes...even the low end. They are also price competitive with QUALITY flat panel monitors from other vendors.



When you talk about high end go price those computers with duel Xeon processors or Duel AMD 64s. Duel 900 & 1Ghz sytem busses. That's right each processor has a 900Mhz or 1Ghz system bus. Windows XP Pro. That is what you can compare Apple Duel G5's with.


Mid range G5
$2,499.00
Dual 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
900MHz frontside bus/processor
512K L2 cache/processor
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM
Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA
SuperDrive
Three PCI-X Slots
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
64MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem



High end G5
$2,999.00
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
1GHz frontside bus/processor
512K L2 cache/processor
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM
Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA
SuperDrive
Three PCI-X Slots
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
64MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem


Got Gigabit ethernet? iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, Garageband?
I don't know what web page you were looking at.

funkyfido
2004-05-17 19:01:56
looking at numbers...
$2000? 2300 for the Dell? Least expensive, QUALITY Flat panel From Apple is $699 (See Below) Did you add a DVD Burner to the Dell? If not Subtract $200 Dollars from any of these configurations. Low End G5 with a DVD Playing/CD burning Combo drive + 17" Apple Flat Panel (Quality monitor, pure digital interface) + 1GB of RAM ($229 from RamJet shop around you can probably get a better price. 512 MB of RAM $109. TOTAL: $2527 with 1.5 Gb of RAM. $2407 with 512 MB of Ram/17" QUALITY Flat Panel. Apple doesn't sell a 19" monitor.


$699.00
17" diagonal viewable image size
1280 x 1024 optimal resolution
16.7 million colors
17.3 x 17.6 x 6.9-9.8 inches
14.6 pounds
Two USB ports
Apple Display Connector



G5 - base configuration
$1,799.00
1.6GHz PowerPC G5
800MHz frontside bus
512K L2 cache
256MB DDR333 128-bit SDRAM
Expandable to 4GB SDRAM
80GB Serial ATA
SuperDrive
Three PCI Slots
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
64MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem


1. Don't buy ram from Apple buy it from a number of different vendors.
2. You don't have to buy a monitor from Apple.
Even though the quality of that monitor is probably better than you are getting from Dell. All of Apple's monitors are excellent as far as quality goes...even the low end. They are also price competitive with QUALITY flat panel monitors from other vendors.



When you talk about high end go price those computers with duel Xeon processors or Duel AMD 64s. Duel 900 & 1Ghz sytem busses. That's right each processor has a 900Mhz or 1Ghz system bus. Windows XP Pro. That is what you can compare Apple Duel G5's with.


Mid range G5
$2,499.00
Dual 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
900MHz frontside bus/processor
512K L2 cache/processor
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM
Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA
SuperDrive
Three PCI-X Slots
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
64MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem



High end G5
$2,999.00
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
1GHz frontside bus/processor
512K L2 cache/processor
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM
Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA
SuperDrive
Three PCI-X Slots
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
64MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem


Got Gigabit ethernet? iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, Garageband?
I don't know what web page you were looking at.

funkyfido
2004-05-17 19:09:17
looking at numbers...
$2407 with 512 MB of Ram/17" QUALITY Flat Panel.


Correction: The $2407 price would be with 512 MB of ram added added.
Should read: $2407 with 768 MB of Ram/17" QUALITY Flat Panel.


$2527 with 1.5 Gb of RAM
Should be: 1.25 GB of RAM

geuerp
2004-05-17 22:39:08
Yeah Europe is getting ripped off
I guess the European Apple store lists VAT which the US one doesn't?
bioinfotools
2004-05-17 22:39:12
Re-training cost in switching
At least one thing is missing in most cost comparisons: the machine that switches you away from your current OS has a retraining cost.


While this may not matter at all to first time users (as they need not retrain!) and not much to home users (as the learning experience may be part of the deal), it is something smart businesses will consider. They need to determine if, in the long run, switching will prove profitable.


There are obviously other factors too (particular software, networking, availability/access to Unix, etc.). I just wanted to raise this issue of retraining as I rarely see it included in the costings of one machine over the other. Despite Apple's campaign, it does take time to become proficient in a new OS.


FWIW, I use OS X & Linux in my office and Windows (in a limited way) on off-site contract work. I personally like OS X, but then it suits my needs: the Unix core is more-or-less vital to my work.

boud
2004-05-18 00:14:54
On the pricing front...
I have very bad eyes, but I just love my Dell's 1600 * 1200 screen -- all fonts are perfectly formed, not fuzzy as on my old Pismo Powerbook. Anyway, I've done a similar price comparison, but for laptops when I was in the market for a new laptop. I really wanted to be able to justify a 15" powerbook, but it was twice as expensive as a similarly specced Dell:
Comparing Apples and Dells.
davidmeyer
2004-05-18 14:55:07
looking at numbers...
Since you are insisting on that "with QUALITY flat panel monitor", you might as well note that the latest Consumer reports has an article on computer monitors and rates the Apple 17" as #1 - despite its price being among the highest in the group.


I got mine as a fully-warranted refurb for $500 - I thought it was a good deal. ;^D

fneunemann
2004-05-19 00:31:11
looking at numbers...
Last October I did a price comparison myself when I was thinking about the purchase of a G5 Mac to replace my old G3 b&w. In order to avoid comparing oranges to bananas I was looking for a brand name PC with similar computing power as the G5 2x2 GHz and picked a Dell with dual Pentium Xeon 3.3 GHz and similar "accessories".


In fact I was unable configure a Dell exactly as the G5 and ended up with 2 configurations that came close to the G5 and the result? The price difference was Euro 300 in configuration 1 and Euro 700 in configuration 2, the G5 Mac was cheaper in both cases! I did not include a monitor in these calculations because with both machines the same monitor can be used using a DVI connection. However I preferred the Apple 17" display.


Of course I bought the 2x2GHz G5 and I am still extremely happy it. :-)


The PowerBook to PC notebook comparison is a different story. Here I think Apple still has to do a lot to lower prices and more importantly, increase the quality of their PowerBooks.


A month ago I had to return a G4 PowerBook 1.25 GHz (for full refund) after 3 failed repair attempts by Apple. The display as well as the keyboard were way below standard in a notebook with a Euro 3500 price tag.

Whit
2004-05-19 07:10:37
looking at numbers...
I'm sorry to hear about your failed attempt at buying a new PowerBook, but I have to take issue with the last comment. It's one thing to want a super-high resolution LCD as offered by some WinTel manufacturers, but arguing that the actual quality of the PowerBook display is below standard is just silly - except for the iBooks and the 12" PowerBook (neither of which you bought), Apple uses the very best LCD screens available. I'm typing this message on the very machine that you took back and the screen is vibrant and crystal-clear.


And what on earth is below standard about the keyboard? Not only is it automatically back-lit when the lights go out but the tactility and overall feel are superb.


I was disappointed at having to ship my early-batch 15" PB back to have the screen replaced (white spot glitch), but aside from that this is the finest piece of computing machinery I have ever laid my hands on.

jwenting
2004-05-19 07:32:13
Yeah Europe is getting ripped off
yes it is legally required to.
But last I checked European salestax wasn't 100%...


In fact, the highest European salestax is something like 21% at the moment.


Europrices ARE a ripoff compared to the US.
I know people that mailorder stuff from the US and are cheaper off despite having to pay not only salestax and shipping but also import duties on the goods (tax and duties are very democratically leveraged over the shipping cost as well).
Stores are now starting to run their own import channels getting stuff from the US (which is somewhat illegal under EU law where any goods for which there is an importer or manufacturer inside the EU may not be purchased for resale outside the EU) to be able to compete somewhat with the online retailers.

jwenting
2004-05-19 07:44:20
Inconsistent Purchasing Habits
it's all about priorities.


Personally I don't buy a more expensive car once I find one that meets my requirements in performance and safety.
As a result I drive a small Ford which is cheap to maintain and drive as compared to the larger models which offer more but also cost more.


Same with AV equipment. I set minimum specs and buy something as close to that as I can get.


Both AV and car with me at least last a long time.
I still use the same old stereo I purchased back in 1988 (though it's not relegated since about 1998 to being an amplifier for my computer).
My car I hope to use for as long.
My previous TV lasted for over a decade as well.


OTOH many people expect (and the market makes them) to replace their computer every other year if not more often.
Computers are becoming commodity items, pretty much like GSM phones.
They're seen as throwaway things that shouldn't cost anything because their economic life is so much shorter than their techical life.


For computers I AM the discriminating buyer who gets all A brand components and selects those to give the best possible performance and expansion options within my budget.
But then I expect my computers to last longer than 2 years as well, upgrading bits and pieces regularly to keep them up to date so that now I've last month finally retired the last 4GB harddisk that I got back in 1997.

jwenting
2004-05-19 07:47:54
Re-training cost in switching
what's also not commonly taken into account by Apple and Linux pushers is the considerable cost of retooling to replace custom software.


While for SMB this may amount to not all that much if all they use is COTS without any customisation at all (how many companies like that are there that have not even a few form-letters and fax cover sheets with company logo and address???), for larger businesses that retooling alone can run into the hundreds of thousands of Euros easily for a company with a hundred or less workstations.


And then of course the training on the new sofware...

davemurphy
2004-05-31 05:10:24
mac v pc price
There seems otbe an assumption that you want to do video editing etc - I don't - so all those free mac apps becoem irrelevant.


No oen seems to take into accouny anyonr swapping frm a PC to mac, and having to repurchase all their apps again - eg development tools, web dev tools, ms office or equivalent tools, games etc.


Every time I hav considered upgrading (I am planning a new laptop and would LOVE to get a mac - but I canot justify the cost. MACs are not cheap, and I am at a loss to see from my price comparisons how anyone can say so. Add in the cost of conversion (I am ignoring the learning curve in this) and mac still appears very expensive to me.

microcrap_sucks
2004-05-31 08:17:38
Inconsistent Purchasing Habits
Oh, sorry dude, but I wouldn't be bragging about what you own, sounds as if you are in a loser category. Well if you do decide to buy a new computer, consider joining the rebel alliance and moving over to the good side of the force. In other words screw microsoft, viva la Apple.
microcrap_sucks
2004-05-31 08:27:36
On the pricing front...
I think the reason you stated for why Mac machines have a longer lifecycle is true in part, but the technology actually changes very rapidly on the PC front. My old clunker PC is more than 3 years old and cannot be upgraded past the point of perhaps a new graphics card. I would literally have to throw the guts away and start afresh. I bought an iMac last year, and since going mac I will never go back. I now use the PC very occasionally as it generally gives me headaches, and screws up for no apparent reason on a daily basis. The Mac just lasts and lasts, and thats why people hang onto them longer, the old PC just runs like a dog unless you keep the same old buggy systems running on them. Every time Microsoft releases a new operating system, it requires you to use hardware made for the system, and if you don't you are just asking for headaches.
etyrnal
2004-08-23 14:34:01
mac v pc price
"development tools, web dev tools, ms office or equivalent tools, games etc"


comes with some of the BEST development tools in existence... in other words FREE and BEST


web dev? there are free tools that will run in X11


Office? what do you need to do in office that you think you can't with the Apple? it has Mail, iCal, Address Book, Keynote, Text Edit (Rich Text text editor), you can fax from any program now...


and i imagine there is a CROSS-GRADE possibility for Office ... and the Mac version of Office is better anyway.


i believe you can get Ragtime for free too which is an Office suite that i believe can use MS Office file formats etc...


games? i personally don't care. But as far as Graphics goes... I'll take a Mac anyday and keep that PC away...


oh and go ahead and buy that Cheap pc laptop and you'll get just that - cheap.


th cheapest apple lap top is rockin! i'd take one... I have a Powerbook and i think Apple's 'bottom of the line' iBook is better than MOST PC laptops...



etyrnal
2004-08-23 14:41:15
Re-training cost in switching
retraining?


you are talking about on eof the SIMPLEST computers to use on he entire market...


simle but NOT weak... there is more power there than meets most eyes... heck they are building Super Computer CLusters out of thses things...


Not everyone who comes in the door is always going to know how to use your particular software anyway... and most people i know can find there wat around a Mac with out having their hand held...


have you ever spent some time in an Apple store? ?


People who do NOT own macs and have never used them before just walk up and find their way around like they understand them.... they were designed fomr the BEGINNING (1984) to be INTUITIVE... they are...


say the people at your company use 5 basic apps...


put those apps on the dock... tell them "There's MS Office. There's Mail. There's Keynote. There's iCal. There's Quicken or MYOB."


and you're DONE.


training time 21 seconds...


total cost none... you would have watsed that time later on in the day anyway... and you gain the benefit of having INVESTED time in your people...


Billsigo
2004-10-04 14:01:20
mac v pc price
I made the switch last winter and never regreted it. I was so tired of seeing the "Blue Screen of Death" on a fairly regular basis and broke down and bought a iBook. Since then, I also got an iMac (from Ebay for less than $600).


The cost of apps was not that much (Office X Education pack $129 with 3 licenses, and Adobe Photo Elements-$60). Pretty much everything else I needed was bundled with OS X. I am not a gamer (I own an Xbox for that), so I wasn't out much for games.


If you are considering switching, you owe it to your self to at least check out a used system from Ebay. My son's school runs OS X 1.3.5 on 333 mhz G-3's. Try running Win XP on a similar x86.
LSG_Ltd
2004-11-03 06:32:36
mac v pc price
Actually, my roomate runs Windows XP on a 233 MHZ with 128 ram. He also uses photoshop on it as well. Perhaps you should look at the system requirements for a PC?
mode_flux
2005-01-13 08:50:06
mac v pc price
What? I bet it takes an hour to boot up too.
surfbumm
2005-01-19 09:42:36
your an idiot
ok so i have officialy deemed that the person that wrote this is an idiot. you cant just go to any random store and check a computer on prices. you compare computers based on their computing capabilities. you find a pc that has basically the same kind of hard ware as the mac, and then you test them to see which one runs faster. cause i can guarentee that if you had gotten a dell that you would have had your issues delt with. and it would have been cheaper and faster than your oh so great mac. so simply your an idiot.
F.J.
2005-01-19 10:10:21
Maybe I am indeed... But...
Hi!


Thank you very much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me ;^)


Seriously though, as you can see, I tried in my comparison to be as accurate as possible and to put side-by-side the technical capabilities of two computers that each were the cheapest offered by the brands in question.


I realize that this comparison is by no means scientific but I thought it was of interest — and still think so. Of course, the recently introduced Mac mini would justify a new blog entry by itself! 8^)


FJ

computer_man_69er@hotmail.com
2005-01-23 10:11:26
mac v pc price
Actually i have a pc with 64mb and 133mhz proceser and it starts up and runs awsome but i still prefer a mac
DreamM
2005-01-27 10:39:49
PC vs MAC
I have been looking through the net for a comparison of the performance of PC vs MAC processors. I haven't really found anything useful.


On one hand, one hardly finds comparisons done by PC users. Seems only Mac users are interested in such comparisons (mostly). The problem is that the tendency of these articles is cynical and biased. So there isn't much in terms of objectivity.


I have been fortunate enough to be able to work with Mac, PC, Sun and SGI computers. They are all good for different things, and most of the time they can all do well in many tasks.


With respect to video editing... I think the PC sales representative contacted in this article was probably not very useful.


Last year (2004) I made a 40 min movie that was an official selection of a couple Film Festivals. It was done with a prosumer DV camera, and edited on a PC. Now, my PC is not even comparable with the one mentioned in the article. This is a 5 yr old Pentium II, 450Mhz computer with 384Mb. For $30 I added a firewire card, and for $100 a 120Gb external HD. I edited, color corrected, added SFX, on this old PC.


I also used a 3-4 yr old Laptop. Sony Vaio PGR-33 (or something like that). It is slightly smaller than the 12" ibook, and has integrated Firewire. It runs on a 600Mhz Celeron and has 128Mb or RAM. And it was perfectly capable of capturing and editing video. Oh, and it cost $999 at Fry's Electronics (back then).


So I am convinced that any PC that can be purchased in the present time (2005) is more than capable of editing video (my 1999&2001 computers clearly were).


I wish computer users were not so much like cult activists and were open to the possibliity that Macs, PCs, SUNs, and SGIs can all be good computers with strong and weak points.


So... does anyone know of an objective comparison of processors?

Editor
2005-02-13 14:56:49
your an idiot
That may or may not be true, but you clearly need a grammar book. How about this: Go to Google. Type "contractions" and see if you find anything interesting. Come back when you know the difference between "your" and "you're".
mosbricka
2005-02-21 15:24:56
Compatibility
Hi! sorry for my bad english, im tired and it's not my native tounge:)...


i have a question, and it's proberbly something you don't have an answer to. Im wondering if any of you guys know how mac computers function with diffrent CAD programs, like ArchiCAD, solidedge and so on and so forth...


would appriciate the help! Need it for my school work...

warhawk92
2005-03-02 06:35:40
let he who is without sin cast the first stone
You really are a moron, (and you desperately need a grammar book. Now, I am going to completely dismantle your argument, but you won't believe what I say. Firstly, basically the same kind of hardware doesn't make a PC as good as a Mac. A Mac is plug-and-play. Always (with the exception of Bluetooth). Also, the supposedly cheaper and faster Dell that you claim is so much better is really not. Think of it this way: the Dell probably doesn't come prepackaged with Windows. The Mac comes with OS X. The Dell will probably explode within the week, and you will waste a few hours on the help hotline fixing it. And finally, the Dell will get a virus and you'll have to reinstall the OS. Now, let's replay the same scenario with a Mac. For ease of writing we'll use a Powerbook G4. So, you go to the Apple Store and buy the Powerbook. Take it home, put in the system disk, install. All of your configuration takes about twenty seconds, and then you leave the installer to its work. Then, you boot up the Mac. It works. And doesn't break. *insert angelic music here*. Then, you realize that you have great, easy to use movie editing software, much better than the cheap ripoff that came with XP. Then, you open GarageBand and make a professional quality song within the hour. You know the drill. Have I proven a point? (oh, and by the way, that subject that you're too idiotic to understand, it means: It takes one to know one.) that's all. Have a nice hour of troubleshooting.
natrobius
2005-03-04 19:01:18
Re-training cost in switching
"While for SMB this may amount to not all that much if all they use is COTS without any customisation at all (how many companies like that are there that have not even a few form-letters and fax cover sheets with company logo and address???), for larger businesses that retooling alone can run into the hundreds of thousands of Euros easily for a company with a hundred or less workstations."


You are showing your ignorance in the linux field! SuSE has had SMB conquered for a LONG time. Linux is now FULLY windows compatible, in the sense that it allows you to edit Office files with Open Office, and anything else you can do on windows you can just about do in linux!

aysiu
2005-03-09 17:36:55
How about for non-video editing?
For basic computer use, I'd say an eMachine blows any Apple configuration out of the water in terms of value. Granted, Dell isn't exactly a "straw man," seeing as how more people buy from Dell than eMachines, but if you're just comparing Macs to PCs, why stick with just Dell?


More details here with real numbers, not just some poorly equipped salesperson yammering on.

imac101
2005-04-05 00:03:27
PC vs MAC
Hi there,


To answer your question it is quite tricky to comprare mac processors to pc based ones. Macs generally use RISC chips (reduced instruction set computer) these chips have limited intructions so the execution of the instructions is generally faster becuase the instructions are simple and there are less instructions for the CPU to look for. Most PC based systems used CISC (complex instruction set computers) which has a large number of instructions, which odviously takes longer to find and execute.


That is why it is hard to compare the speed of porcessors. Hope this helps your question. :)

MACnPC
2005-05-10 17:30:45
your an idiot
Well first off this post does not belong here.


Secondly .. MAC vs PC is like Xbox vs PS .. 9 times the games for the PS or PS2 but quailty games always are on the xbox.


Same thing with MAC n PC .. There are great games for both systems but not as much as on the PC but out of 300 titles on the PC only 2 to 3 are worth playing. lol ..


I have both systems .. NONE are better then the other .. I like the mac for UNIX and its awsome front end ..


I love the PC for the speed of something and wider choice of games.


I probably would not turn on my pc if i bought a console. lol but hey ..


Now into the downsides :


Incase i get a PC wiredo which i know i will and a mac wierdo which i know also I will get commenting ..


Listen .. these no bad or good or better or worse .. in the mac vs pc.


This statement is fact.


You got faster machines and stable machines.


Everyone needs to let me troll somemore lol ..


FACTS:


MAC sucks
PC sucks
Console SUCKS!!


now that we come to that where are you now?


lol ..


I enjoy both machines and think they are nice to have a change of enviroment as well as trolling for hours on sites like this that make no difference what anyone types its just there way of looking at what they want to express.


NOW lets get into the real good and bad.



SPAM ..

ITChris
2005-05-11 11:46:55
Compatibility
We run AutoCad 2002 on our Macs using Virtual PC and it works great.


Here are the simple facts at the Company I work for.


We have G5 Macintosh computers
We have AMD and Intel PC with Windows XP pro



At the front end the Mac’s cost a little more
In day-to-day use the Mac’s run better and have a much lower cost to run.


That is the tangible information.


Not the intangible information:


To date we have lost about 3800 hours in our XP machines due to breakdowns and nasty computer viruses. 3800 hours is a like having one person working 40 hours a week for a year and a half.


To date we have lost about 16 hours on our Macintosh computers running OS X. Most of the time lost was due to a few units with hardware issues, that by the way Apple corrected in 24hours or less.


Needless to say we are in the process of removing our PC and will be replacing them with G5 Macs.


So this would be my advise: If you want to play games get a PC running Windows, if you want to get work done and keep you business running get a Macintosh. It is that simple.


desrick
2005-05-11 17:02:31
looking at numbers...
First of all u cant say that a pc would be faster because of the lastest hardware in it. The mac put more emphasis into thier hardware. A g-force 5200FX for the mac would probably be much faster than a g-force6000 or something for the pc. The mac puts more work into thier graphic cards and softwares. I was testing a game on a g3 500mhz 128mb ram ati ragepro against a athlonXp 1700 256mb ram and the G3 500Mhz ran faster which surprized me, because the G3 only runs at a 100mhz bus. o and like the guy was saying earlier, A virus can kill your machine which is expensive . but with the mac your investing your money. Its worth spending more money for something that will last longer and is faster. Than for something that isnt that stable. Even windowsXp still have hundreds of down falls and glitches. Thats all i want to say. By the way, I live in the bahamas and used Pc for years. Now i switched to the Mac because of the stapability, beauty and power they have. thank you
braziliano
2005-07-14 21:50:58
Computer for college
I'm gonna buy a laptop for college next year. From what I've read it sounds like pcs are better for gaming and macs are better for getting work done. Is this true? Would a mac be better for college?
CottonJMC
2005-10-11 16:31:11
Computer for college
That statement is a myth. I had a fujitsu 1.76Ghz PC with 1Gig of Ram with a Radean video card in it with a 15" true color screen. I play World of Warcraft and the PC would lock up horribly and crash me out of the game. I have a 15" G4 Powerbook with the same Ram and it works flawlessly. I've even forgotten to close apps like messenger and mail before going into the game and I've never crashed on my Mac.
KirikaYamura
2005-12-06 12:04:55
your an idiot
"You're an idiot." Would be the correct spelling anyways. And, in this article it was mentioned that this wasn't a foolproof plan. Nor is it claiming to be definitive of Mac vs PC pricing and quality. Also, hopefully if you're so keen about which one runs faster that you've had time and resources to professionally test this yourself.


Hee hee. These posts are really old huh?

DeadSpace
2006-02-09 09:01:30
oh frackin give me a break, i have an AMD 64 htt 2GHz, 2gb ram, nVidia 6200 w/128 Ram, 2 120gb hdds, all for less than $700.
You were getting snowed by the salesman and let it happen just to try and prove a point. Real test if you were looking at prebuilt systems would have been to talk to Dell or HP...(this is how mac users delude themselves?)
Half a Brain
2006-02-16 18:00:33
OK I do a lot of web design a bit of video editing and listen to music. I also have a small home/office network with a mac mini a thinkpad and a 2.2 p4 w/512mb of ram. I have used widows xp linux and osx and I am absolutly baffled as to how people think they save anything by going any other way than mac. First of all compareing specs like Ghz and ram and even haveing the "same video card" means absolutely nothing if the OS is incapable. Through sheer experience and frustration in windows xp is a lost cause and some versions of linux are capable of doing a few things well. If you wan't the basic balance required to have a small network do a little video and some word processing you will most definitly save time and money with a Mac.


Its all good to save some money on your hardware but you will probably eat sh** on tech support antivirus "solutions" or just trying to do something basic that any computer should be able to do. I use a lot of software and like to tinker I had my mac mini for 3 weeks before I even installed a program because I had so much fun and was so intrigued by apple's inovative software that they ship with there computers. Many people could buy a mac and never install anything other than an update, for useful software not Service pack 2 and antivirus updates.


I belive that this article is merely poking fun at how people think PC's are cheaper not stateing that all desktop PC's cost more than Macs. Oh and as far as the brainwave (jwenting) compareing a G5 tower to a Dell, I have a mac mini that blows the doors of my dell with higher specs so I can't even imagine how his Dell compares to a G5 tower.


I have never ever met anyone that has used a Mac in the last 5 years that would even think of going back the the M$ trap. Ahh Micro$oft they created spyware so norton could create spyware to protect the beloved XP now please people explain the genius that possesed people to contribute to this madness.


Compare numbers all you want the end result can only be judged by true all around performance and value, and that is what apple has to offer.


That's just my 2 cents, I truely hope that the M$ propaganda quest will fall and the M$ massive market share works hard to build a friendly future, Just as Steve Jobs is working so hard for.

Will
2006-02-28 12:00:39
PCs are cheaper Macs are more expensive


Macs are the better computer. They have never made junkboxes and never will. $300-$800 PCs running "Windows (anything)" are junkboxes.


See a site devoted to the study of OSX vs XP ----> http://www.xvsxp.com/

getreal
2006-03-15 20:02:06
well, how about criteria being:
PC for use as a workstation on my company network (along with 3,000 other workstations) to connect to internally developed databases using internally developed software..... in other words, the bulk of the business market.