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Old 03-29-2008, 11:32 AM   #21
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iMacs sure can be a nice choice if you dont mind paying 3-4x the price which sort of invalidates the "cheap" part and if you've already bought into the rest of the subjective marketing. BTW it has the exact same hard drive model as the above mentioned Dells, the graphics are only better if you're running modeling apps or advanced games, and according to consumer reports the Macs reliability isnt as good as many other models.

If you want a bigger, better display, one can be added to the cheap desktop mentioned above for <$200, and direct access to 2nd/3rd level support is also just a few hundred bucks. Still a lot cheaper.

But if you're in the market for hot hardware and spending a grand, you can get this:
The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Which is vastly superior in almost every aspect to the imac, and its still $200 cheaper.
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:03 PM   #22
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Cool. 4 processors but no speakers, what a joke.

The reality is you get what you pay for. Dell used to have great customer service but they have really tanked in the last few years. Apple consistently ranks #1 among PC retailers in customer sat. What's more Apple products do indeed "just work", and Mac OS X is a dream compared to that POS Vista. But to each his own... I have better ways to spend my retirement than dicking around with incompetent customer support, and buggy, incompatible OS updates. I don't mind paying a a modest premium for a superior product, and never have. More and more folks I meet are converting to Mac and wondering what took them so long.

Check it out:

Apple Store

<rant >
Whats up with MS? They have really lost their ability to execute anything anymore. 8 f'ing years for Vista, and they couldn't even make their UI work on an Intel 945! Apple had something very similar to Aero Glass (called Quartz Extreme I think) working in 2002 on much crappier hardware).
</rant>
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:09 PM   #23
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Wow, where to start?

I'm running Aero on a 945 right now and have been for almost a year; it works fine. Vista was supposed to run on some hardware sold over 2 years ago that it turns out wont run it very well...same thing happened with OSX. OSX sucked for almost 2 years after it was first released. I didnt like Vista much on release but now that we've gotten to SP1, its pretty good so they're ahead of Apple in that department. Apple was #3 in customer service a couple of years back.

Its also "fringe benefits", not "french benefits", steely dan is not just one guy, and James Dean was an actor, Jimmy Dean makes sausages.

Everyones first line support pretty much stinks right now except for Apples because they charge you an extra $700 for the machine so they can afford decent first line support. Even at that according to independent reports they dont beat out the #2 and #3 by that much. Most vendors let you pay a little extra to bypass the script monkeys to get to support people just as good or better than Apples.

I'm not sure what "just works" is other than a 15 year old marketing slogan since I rarely have problems getting anything to work in the windows world, although I notice that a bunch of products that I buy and use arent mac compatible, so I guess those "just wont work". For example, I just got a couple of high definition dvr's from directv. Those connect directly to my windows vista machine for transfers, but...no mac support built in. I just bought a digital photo frame that wirelessly connects to my windows vista machine for picture transfer but....no mac support.

Maybe its this vista crap that really "just works"?

Considering I can buy one of these desktops, a 17" dual processor laptop and an EEE for the same price as a baseline iMac or a Powerbook, I think I'll take the far better value.

In the meanwhile, you're cordially invited to start your own "overpriced desktop computers full of fairy dust" thread.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:14 AM   #24
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Sorry, I meant 915.

Anyway, you're right CFB, I can't believe anyone buys this Apple crapola. How do they stay in business?

PC vs. Mac

For an even better comparison:



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Old 03-30-2008, 12:55 AM   #25
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Sorry, I meant 915.
Oh my dear. Vista's advanced UI doesnt work on a graphics chip launched in 1998. How ridiculous! Of course, the OS runs fine on it without (oh the humanity) transparent window frames.

Quote:
How do they stay in business?
Raking thread trolls like you for a 300% markup.

By thread troller, I mean someone who decided to create a separate account to do nothing else (so far) than stir up the "pay off your mortgage" debate and turn a thread where I'm attempting to be helpful to people into another PC vs Mac debate.

FWIW, you arent the fastest person to make my ignore list. Nor by any means the most worthy.

In the meanwhile, I hope regular postings of good values in desktop computers is valuable to members who actually contribute in a positive manner to the forum.

All of you can trust in the knowledge that if I should ever see a well equipped brand new Mac with a large lcd display thrown in for under $400 (or under $800 for that matter), I'll let you know.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:57 AM   #26
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Geez -- proud to make CFBs ignore list if that's all it takes. :confused:

GMA 915 was June 2004, and was promised to run "Longhorn" in all its glory Intel 915 Review . MS couldn't make it work in then end.

Talk about trolling, CFB started this thread and it basically became a Dell commercial. I got tired of it and decided to have some fun.

In all seriousness, if you're a feeds-and-speeds tech tinkerer, go for a Dell (or better yet build your own PC, its not that hard and really is the best value.) If you've been in the PC world for a while and are getting frustrated, do yourself a favor and wander into an Apple Retail store and spend an hour with a Mac, or talk to friends who have one. Rational people buy macs every day. Don't listen to me or CFB, decide for yourself.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:45 AM   #27
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Wow, where to start?

I'm running Aero on a 945 right now and have been for almost a year; it works fine. Vista was supposed to run on some hardware sold over 2 years ago that it turns out wont run it very well...same thing happened with OSX. OSX sucked for almost 2 years after it was first released. I didnt like Vista much on release but now that we've gotten to SP1, its pretty good so they're ahead of Apple in that department. Apple was #3 in customer service a couple of years back.

.
Maybe you can tell me what is wrong with my new Lenovo with Vista Business with Aero 1.8 intel duo; 150g hard drive; 2g Ram
Sometimes when I click on a program function like Update Spybot search and Distroy the screen goes black - I have to hit esc to get back.

The aero thing is nice but does it use up a lot of resourses? If so would the computer be faster not using it? It appears from what I can find out about it that it doesn't give a great deal of functionality over xp

The other one is with the cursor - The little circle thing is always popping up next to it and the hard drive light does the same thing. Like now when I'm writing this message.


Thanks
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:00 PM   #28
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Have you updated your graphics drivers to the more recent versions? You could find them either at the lenovo web site or intels web site under graphics downloads. Might solve the problem.

Have you applied all the vista updates as well?

Aero can use up some resources, but you've got plenty to spare. I found I actually had some minor troubles when I turned it off. It is like any other eye candy though...after a while you dont really notice it anymore.

The cursor spin/drive light means something is happening on your machine. Could be automatic disk defragmenting, downloading updates, or some program that came on the machine is doing something. Its hard to say.

BTW, I often have trouble with spybot versions hanging and misbehaving. Do you have the latest version?
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:12 AM   #29
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Bunny,
Keep the info coming. While I am not now in the market, who knows when, and a Mac it will not be. It does amaze me that you post a $300 computer deal and someone comes back 'yea a $1,200 Mac is really a better deal! It is like the thread about a Honda Civic and someone comes in and says 'Yea but a Bently is what your should really drive' I know, a bad analogy as a Bently really is a better car than a Civic. However it gets you from point A to B, and most computers out there get you email, light word processing, and the INTERNET.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:26 AM   #30
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Bunny,
Keep the info coming. While I am not now in the market, who knows when, and a Mac it will not be. It does amaze me that you post a $300 computer deal and someone comes back 'yea a $1,200 Mac is really a better deal! It is like the thread about a Honda Civic and someone comes in and says 'Yea but a Bently is what your should really drive' I know, a bad analogy as a Bently really is a better car than a Civic. However it gets you from point A to B, and most computers out there get you email, light word processing, and the INTERNET.
What he said. You know more about this stuff than I do; and at some point I will buy another PC (likely Dell).
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:31 AM   #31
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Ditto. I'm not in the desktop market now, but will be eventually and I learn a lot from CFB's posts.

My DW uses a Mac and likes it, but for what she paid, I could replace my PC 3 times - Macs are good but not a good value, IMHO.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:39 AM   #32
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What he said. You know more about this stuff than I do; and at some point I will buy another PC (likely Dell).
Right now I have a desktop computer and a laptop on a wireless connection.

I think I may not replace my desktop, once it craters. Cheap laptops have finally become powerful enough and my computing needs have diminished enough that I don't think I need a desktop any more. It's still interesting to read about the bargains CFB comes up with, though!
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:19 AM   #33
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I agree with keep posting. I also learn alot from your posts.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:45 AM   #34
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Eh, I dont think a loser troll who's too chickenshit to do his 'fun' trolling from his regular account is going to be much of a deterrent.

Its still amazing how much you can get for your money on some of these cheap deals. They do tend to mostly be Dells because anything else I find at these price points arent better build quality items or have some deficiency that makes them something I wouldnt really recommend vs other options.

My desktop is an HP and my laptop is an Acer. But my wife and MIL have matching Dell 17" laptops and my BIL has a 4 year old Dell desktop. Havent really had any problems with any of them other than some very early Vista problems on the Acer.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:18 AM   #35
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OK I admit it, my getting involved in this thread was meant partly as a joke. I hereby publicly apologize to CFB for rickrolling Rickroll him.

But its only partly a joke... the reality is that the premium on an iMac over a similar configured Dell is likely at most 10%, not 3-4x. What CFB didn't tell you about his "look what I get for a grand" Dell config is that it had no monitor, no speakers, no wireless, and no bluetooth (all of which are standard on the iMac.) I went to Dell's site and tried to configure an XPS and similar to an Apple iMac, and guess what: add that stuff into the XPS and it comes in around $1449. The similarly configured iMac is $1499. (Apple does gouge you on additional memory, though...) This price delta in this segment is not atypical. Dell has recently been running its business around 5% margin, where as Apple is around 15%, so a 10% premium is in line with this. In the core segment of the PC business its probably much closer though since Dells margins are dragged down by their competing in the $500 PC market (where Apple does not). Also Apples PC margins are probably lower than their iPod margins, so I wouldn't be surprised if the PC business is somewhat less than the Apple average. Overall, I'll bet the margins on a $1500 PC for Apple and Dell are within 5%.

More broadly, I think the PC business is in serious trouble. The PC manufacturers have no ability to innovate and the only lever they can throw is price. When you compete on price, quality does down. They end up holding less and less of the PC profit pie as more and more goes to Microsoft and Intel. I can assure you that no one (with the exception of MS and Intel) is making money on $500 PCs. Dell used to compete by being the most efficient manufacturer, but now Apple regularly beats them on inventory and cash conversion metrics. Anyway, these macro issues are probably of little concern for someone looking for a "decent cheap PC", but keep in mind these $500 PCs are "loss leaders" designed to get you in the door -- oldest marketing trick in the book. In the $1500 PC range, Apple is actually quite competitive, providing good value at a fair price in a very sustainable way.

Yes I am a relative newbie, and yes this is my real and only account.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:19 PM   #36
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Those tricky PC makers can keep fooling me into buying these super cheap computers on the occasions when I need one.

Since you still wanna play the game, I configured an Inspiron desktop to compare with the iMac (the XPS is an upscale machine...the iMac is not) with a better processor, more memory, a better graphics processor, Klipsch speakers, bluetooth, wireless-N, a combo Blue-Ray player/dvd burner/cd burner, a larger and better monitor, and a FOUR YEAR in home warranty WITH accident protection and it was a whopping $1200 vs $1499 for the inferior iMac.

When I dropped the specs and warranty to almost exactly match the iMac, it was around $800.

Oh, and if you long for the Mac OS, buy a copy and use one of the many available free hacks to make it run on your el cheapo Dell machine.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:35 PM   #37
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Slacking on the laptop front CFB. Im getting awfully close to pulling the trigger
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:05 PM   #38
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I've got something for ya...

Gateway - Laptop with Intel® Centrino® - P-6831FX



Some decent deals in Dell small business for Vostros and Latitudes. Nice deal on a latitude d530 for $679 reasonably well equipped with solid build quality.

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:07 PM   #39
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Thats a lot of video card for that price!
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:12 PM   #40
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I would think the iMac is clearly superior in build quality (not to mention ID) to the Inspiron... but to each his own...

Mac vs PC pricing appears to be a popular topic on the net. From scanning these articles, it looks like at best, the Mac models are at reasonable parity and even cheaper in some cases. At worst, its maybe a couple hundred more for a comparable config.

Apple's New MacBook: Favorable Price Comparison to Dell - Seeking Alpha

Mac vs. PC Cost Comparisons - a Fair Fight? :: My First Mac - Help Buying and Getting Started with Your New Mac

Apple vs Dell Comparison

The myth of the $500 computer « Island in the Net

Apple Packs the Boxes with Treats « Confessions of an Ex-Windows User

I saw no evidence to back up the original claim that Apple was gouging 3-4x for its "fairy dust". I don't see how Apple could have a viable PC business at all if that were actually true. (there are only so many suckers in the world...)
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