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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 10:36 AM   #1
 
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in limbo: iMac G5 or Dell.

This might sound silly and irrational to ask at an apple forum but i still do it anyway.

Now this is the pressing matter: I am shopping around for a desktop computer at the moment. I am stuck in limbo on whether to purchase a dell from Dell USA and take advantage of the $700 off promotion or, to get an iMac with edu. discount and get a free ipod mini also.. of which i will propose to sell off as i have 60g photo at the moment.

Specs:

Dell Dimension 9100

Pentium® D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80GHz, 800FSB)
160GB2 Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
1GB2 Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs
19 inch E193FP Analog Flat Panel
Dual Drives: 16x DVD+/-RW Drive + 16x DVD-ROM Drive
$1100 US. With tax about $1200US. (Wondering if paying $300US extra is worth replacing the 19' analog flat panel to 2005FPW also..)

VS

20' iMac G5 Rev.B
# 512MB DDR400 SDRAM - 1 DIMM (will probably have to upgrade to 1.0g somewhere just not via apple)
# • 250GB Serial ATA drive
# • SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD+RW/CD-RW)
# • Keyboard & Mouse + Mac OS X - U.S. English
# • 56Kbps Modem
# • 20-inch widescreen LCD
# • 2GHz PowerPC G5
# • ATI Radeon 9600 with 128MB DDR Video Memory
# • AirPort Extreme
# • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
$2099 + gst + pst + free iPod mini (more or less $250 back) + memory upgrade (anyone have any idea how much this should cost? to 1.0gb.)


in terms of speed.. i have no idea how fast these two computers are relative to each other. what does a PowerPC G5 2GHz mean as opposed to Pentium® D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80GHz, 800FSB)?? Clearly I am no computer geek.

FYI - I am an undergrad student, not an arts major or anything (economics), but occasionally like to mix/create music via pc (ie. garageband for Apple I suppose). I do not play any games. Never was a Dell user or an Apple user previously. We have two vaio notebooks in the house both of which proved to be rip-offs and especially this 12" notebook display - is clearly making me claustrophobic.


Also.. i have a possibility of immigrating to Europe in two years.. if that is even relevant to my dilemma.


any comments? feedbacks? suggestions? appreciated.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 11:22 AM   #2
 
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OH DEAR GOD, DO NOT GET THE DELL!

If you want to make music, get the iMac. Garageband is so awesome you will die. Go to a best buy and park yourself in-front of an iMac and play with garageband for half an hour.... then you'll buy the iMac for sure.

EDIT -

Let me just add, i bought a new iMac last month. I also have a pretty fast year old pc. The iMac is just better at everything. General use ie. web browsing, emailing, is so much faster on the iMac, and i dont have to worry about running spyware/virus software and updating all the time like my xp machine.

I love my iMac, and i only keep my PC to play counterstrike. You can't go wrong with the iMac.






Quote:
Originally Posted by let down
This might sound silly and irrational to ask at an apple forum but i still do it anyway.

Now this is the pressing matter: I am shopping around for a desktop computer at the moment. I am stuck in limbo on whether to purchase a dell from Dell USA and take advantage of the $700 off promotion or, to get an iMac with edu. discount and get a free ipod mini also.. of which i will propose to sell off as i have 60g photo at the moment.......

any comments? feedbacks? suggestions? appreciated.

Last edited by corinthian; Aug 28th, 2005 at 12:23 PM.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #3
 
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does the dell box come with xp home or xp pro?
xp home sucks
add price of xp pro and don't forget u.s. dollar
never mind spyware, anti-virus

if you are not a gamer i would think the mac is a better investment in the long term
unless you like wasting lots of time tinkering with your system

nevermind how much better the 20" iMac G5 looks and takes up so little desk space

for me it's a slam dunk - mac

i only have Windows boxes 'cause i have to for client support

whenever clients ask me which platform i prefer, i just tell them to look at my powerbook and tell them; "why do you think i use this?"

one more thing
why do you think that this box is $700 off?
because it is selling so well?

sale prices rarely reflect quality
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 12:00 PM   #4
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I'll echo both comments already made, and add this technical perspective:

The dual-core intel is technically a faster processor, but the G5 will feel faster 90% of the time. Here's why:
- only dual-processor aware apps will take advantage of the dual-core.
- there is no 64-bit windows OS yet (vs Apple's Tiger)
- Windows systems get bogged down with time and get slower
- IN MY OPINION Windows file systems are crap compared to Unix or HFS

So, what that all boils down to is this. If you JUST installed the operating systems, never connected to the internet, only installed Photoshop, and ran Photoshop side by side on both systems, the PC might be faster at rendering filters. Everything else (email, browser, Word, etc) would be about the same. One month later (if your Windows system is even still running at that time) the same Photoshop test would likely show the Mac would be faster.

Don't underestimate the power of the OS. Pure technical hardware comparisons are pretty much irrelevant these days, since there are so many other factors. Besides... both are really fast systems. Do you really care if your web browser takes 1.2 seconds VS 1.6 seconds?

What should seal the deal for you is the fact you want to use it for music. GarageBand is great (and included for free with the system!). If that's not enough for you, Soundtrack Pro is simply amazing. As mentioned, go play with a Mac with Garageband and see for yourself.

A7
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #5
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Hi there,

I have just purchased an iMac G5 a couple of days ago, and so far it's been great.

Of course with anything new, there's a learning curve. For example, took me a while to figure out that right click is cntrl + click on a one buttone mouse.

On the other hand, wifi, bt set up is an ease... took a total of 3 minutes to get up and going. As I do have a wireless access point set up in my house. It's amazing not having to deal with cables etc.

There are still a number of issues that I have to sort out, for example printing through the Win network printer, software compatibilities etc. But I'm sure that those sort of software issues will sort themselves out for me in time.

In terms of Dell, I also had a couple of their desktop and notebook. Never really had a problem with any of their products. What I can say is that from my personal observation, Dell build their pcs for businesses and hence configuration for stability is important. ie. you're not going to get the fastest speed from your Dell unless you're going to tweak it a bit.

I agree with others that technical specs suggest that the Dell will be faster, on the other hand, in practical terms who knows. I don't think that you will be able to notice the speed difference because the iMac G5 is very very fast.

And of course, I've been getting a lot of ooohs and aaaahs from my neighbours ... never gotten that reaction from them with my pcs.

ps. ipod works a lot smoother with the iMac than with your pcs. Trust me on this one, I know ... pretty much gave up on trying to mount the ipod on my pc.

Cheers
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #6
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For the sake of your mental health, stay away from the iMac G5.

$2000 is too much to pay for the privillage of being a guinea pig. If your going to spend that kind of money, go for a G5 tower.

The Dell is none the less a very good alternitive, although I am really not sold on the current dual-core Pentium.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor...
For the sake of your mental health, stay away from the iMac G5.

$2000 is too much to pay for the privillage of being a guinea pig. If your going to spend that kind of money, go for a G5 tower.

The Dell is none the less a very good alternitive, although I am really not sold on the current dual-core Pentium.
While I agree that the iMac G5 is less stable than other Macs with it's overheating issues, it's not that big an issue and is being over-exaggerated. I would suspect that, of the few that actually have problems, over half suffer from "stupid user syndrome", i.e. someone placing it in a confined area, or up against a wall with no ventilation. Despite all that, the new iMacs are better than the old rev A, and if you're stuck with a defective one you get 2 years warranty. (http://www.apple.com/support/imac/re...ensionprogram/)

And for the record, there is no way anyone can get a Powermac G5 with a 20" widescreen digital display for $2100. Just not gonna happen. The 20" wide display is $900 alone! (Cheapest I've seen is $700, and that's for an Acer).

A7
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 02:28 PM   #8
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I have to support the damn thing, and I can tell you the problems are real.

And there is no reason to buy the Apple 20" display, the identical display from Dell can be had $500 to $600. And the dell version is better in several ways, including two monitor inputs, S-Video and composite.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #9
 
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I also wouldnt suggest the imac. At work we have a few and I've lost two drives so far and I suspect it to be a heat issue. I opened up one (it had been off for about 2 minutes before I was able to crack the cover off) and let me tell you that when I touched the hard drive, I screamed like a little girl.

I have never in my life touched anything nearly that hot. Actually I am wrong. Ages ago I used to have a pretty hefty car stereo and amplifiers were Orion 225 and 250 HCCA models. When the 250 HCCA had thermaled on a hot summer day, I touched it and let out a scream. This was the same.

After seeing the terrible cooling in the machine, I can no longer recommend it to anyone. If you want a mac, buy the tower...look for a deal on 1.8's and maybe skimp a little on the monitor if you have to... for now anyway.

I personally dont like Dells much. I'm mostly a PC guy but I've had better luck with HP machines vs Dell but maybe thats not fair because we use HP EVO workstations and not their home line...


PS... so did I mention that the drive in the imac G5 was the hottest thing I've ever touched? My 15,000RPM scsi drives in my current machine run at around 36C. I'm willing to bet that IDE drive was running at something like 60C!!
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #10
 
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The argument shouldn't be about iMac vs Dell.

It should be about Mac OS vs. Windows.

Sort that out in your head, and you'll have the answer.
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