Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Is The iMac G5's Price Right?

Quite simply, the 20-inch iMac G5 is a good deal ($1899US). The "it only costs $600 dollars more than Apple's $1299 20-inch LCD monitor" argument is somewhat simplistic, but valid overall. Go see the specs on the 20-inch iMac and you'll see that you get one awesome computer for that money.

But what about the low end? I loaded up the lowend iMac's specs and then I went to in search of something similar. I chose the Dimension 4600C, a compact desktop model and started rasing it approximately to the iMac's specs, including software where possible.

I bumped the processor to 3.0 Ghz. Considering that my 400Mhz iMac DV performs competatively with my 2400Mhz PC at work, I think this is fair. I swear that I'm serious. In daily use my iMac is slower, but not but not by much and I find that the PC slows to a crawl at far more annoying times. Add $27

I upgraded the OS to XP Pro. XP Home is hobbled, MacOS X isn't. Add $71

I added Microsoft's Plus! Digital Media Edition for $18. Considering the power of Apple's iLife, I figure the Dell got off easy here.

RAM is the only place I can't make the machines equal. Dell is running a free upgrade to 512Mb, and there's no way to reduce it for a price cut.

I had to upgrade the 40Gb hard drive to 80 Gb. Add $27

I had to upgrad the 24x CD-ROM to a combo drive (CD-RW/DVD-ROM.) Add $116

Gotta put on that 17" display, $368.

Can't forget firewire: $63.

Gotta updrade that useless "Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics" to a 64Mb NVIDIA card: $63.

Crap, the Dell doesn't come with speakers, add $9.

Bah, it only comes with an old-fashioned mechanical mouse. Upgrade to an optical mouse for another $9.

What's the total? $1607. But you can't forget that you still have to pay shipping, which Apple provides for FREE but for which Dell charges $99.

Is this comparision fair? I could probably build a comparible PC for less, but that's not a real comparison. The iMac is a name brand computer so to compare it to a PC you have to buy name brand. Maybe a buyer will decide they didn't need all the options the iMac includes. Still, my point isn't that the iMac is even more of great deal than a Dell, only that it's price is right.

I agree with this article where he says that people complaining about the iMac G5's specs are crying that Apple isn't selling them a PowerMac G5 with a monitor at the iMac's price.


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