Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mac or PC 4 Part Mini Series: Part 1: Price:

Welcome to the Mac or PC mini-series. My purpose with this series is to educate, not indoctrinate. The purpose is to discover which machine you prefer. I don't want you to care about what I think, necessarily. I hope to present the facts for each and help you figure it out for yourself. We are going to explore the differences and similarities between a Mac and PC broken down into the following 4 factors: Price, the Operating System, Perks, and Quality. I have broken them down like this to model the decision-making process for a computer. I have had to take a few liberties, however, in generalizing the many hundreds of models a consumer can choose from. I have chosen the standard for each in both desktop and laptop computers, as one or the other is bound to meet your computing needs. Remember the specific models we are currently considering as we will be referring to them through the rest of the series. Let's begin with the laptop.

Laptop Comparison: First, why would you need a laptop? I hope that question has an obvious answer to you. To determine whether you need a laptop or not, consider the mobility and computing power you need in a computer. Do you use a computer in more than one place or mostly in one place? Remember, our focus for this first part is Price. We will ONLY consider price at this time. We will extend the discussion into the other factors through the coming parts. I got on both dell.com and mac.com and built my own laptop on each. This is what I found, click on the links to see the specs:

Dell XPS Laptop = $1099.00
Mac Macbook = $1099.00

It is important to recognize 2 differences between the above two models. The Mac has less hard drive space by 40gb but has a slightly better processor than the Dell. The Dell has more memory than the Mac, but the Mac needs less RAM than the Dell. I found these differences to be trivial and the machines to be relative equivalents.

Desktop Comparison: Let's now consider the question of price in the terms of a typical iMac and a Dell Desktop with equivalent design and specs. The two computers are the basic iMac and the XPS Dell all-in-one. Again, I got on both dell.com and mac.com and built my own computer on each. I built them to be as close to the same as I possibly could. Here are links to the two computers and their prices:

Dell XPS all-in-one = $ 1,299.00
Mac iMac = $ 1,299.00

What? The same price?!? I thought PC was cheaper? As you can see, I got the two computers as close as possible to being the same. The most important thing I couldn't control for was the video card in each system. I am sure the Dell is slightly better than the Mac, however, they are fairly close equivalents. Had I not upgraded the RAM on the Mac, it would have been $100 less than the Dell. The Mac doesn't need 2gb of RAM like the Dell needs it.

Conclusion: from today's discussion, focused solely on price, we can conclude that Mac and PC are equivalents. This is very important as we move through the rest of this mini-series because it helps frame the rest of the discussion. Concluding that both are RELATIVE price equivalents, we have determined that both can be considered equally in terms of what you can afford. It is important to note at this time that you can buy a very powerful computer (both Mac and PC) that is not all-in-one and that is much less expensive than the models considered. Click the following links to see those models: Mac Mini or Dell XPS. In this case, the Dell is better than the Mac in terms of hard drive space (150 to 250 gb) and video card but the Mac mini is much MUCH smaller than the Dell. The price of both, Mac Mini= $850.00 and Dell= $900.00

1 comment:

Derek and Tara said...

I'm kind of surprised to see the prices coming in about the same on comparable models. I'm excited for the rest of the mini-series.