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Old 03-31-2008, 09:14 PM   #41
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I do some gaming. Apple doesn't fill my gaming needs.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:19 PM   #42
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I would think the iMac is clearly superior in build quality (not to mention ID) to the Inspiron...
No, it is not. They use roughly the same motherboard, similar power supply quality, and IMO the inspiron is far better ventilated and much easier to service and upgrade.

But dont take my word for it. I've only got 30+ years of experience in the PC business, including apple products going back to the IIe.


Notmuchlonger...pretty slick for the price, eh? Thought that'd be right up your alley. Too bad its a gateway though...not the best made machine and they might not be around a lot longer. CPU is a little weak compared to the rest of the box, but IMO any intel dual core cpu is probably good enough for most apps and a lot of the games you like are more graphics dependent.

I'll bet the sucker runs pretty hot with that 8800 in it when you're cranking Bioshock. Might need to use my old trick...stick a flat cookie sheet between it and your lap to avoid overheating any crucial components I got a nice one thats just a thick flat piece of aluminum with one side slightly turned up about a 1/4". Just slightly larger than the laptop. Keeps your knees from blocking any vent holes and makes it a lot more comfortable to use. I might velcro it on to keep it from slipping off.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:21 PM   #43
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Im wondering about battery life. It is a good price. I been trying to get Dell's in that price range and they all came up pretty weak.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:26 PM   #44
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Figure 2-2.5 hours at best. If you're running it flat out, maybe 90 minutes. Get a second battery...

Drive is only a 5400rpm, so its a little light in that department as well, but again most games arent too disk intensive and that might run a little cooler.

But yeah, you're looking at another $800-1000 to get similar specs in a dell or alienware. But they'd be around in 2 years.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:21 PM   #45
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Ya Im comfortable with fixing my desktop I built our own. However a laptop is a different story. At least with Dell I know Im getting customer service.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:26 PM   #46
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You could always buy a 3 year extended warranty through bestbuy and make it their problem.

$250. A little stiff but that makes the whole thing still cheaper than a basic alienware or dell that only has a year warranty.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:59 PM   #47
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Just noticed Dell's XPS One line. Clearly the XPS is being positioned against Apple in terms of style, features, and quality. It also looks like the price points are quite similar, with the entry level iMac actually starting out lower. So if you're in the market for an entry level all-in-one, iMac's are actually cheaper.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:32 AM   #48
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Because people like you are willing to pay!
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:03 AM   #49
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Yep, theres a reason why companies like starbucks apple, dyson and bose can turn out mundane everyday products and get paid twice as much for them. Kinda laughable to be buying up something and paying extra based on marketing, but to then ptui on a company that sells stuff cheap as using "marketing tricks".

I wouldnt ever recommend an all-in-one product to anyone unless they have severe space constraints and simply cant make due with a slimline tower and separate monitor. Considering some of the slimlines are about the size of a large hardcover book, you'd have to be pretty badly constrained. In those circumstances, you might want to consider a 17" laptop instead. Windows based 17" laptops can be had for under $600 pretty much any day of the week.

All-in-ones are usually a lot harder to upgrade and repair, require specialty parts that are very expensive, and its a wee bit hard to upgrade the monitor or keep the monitor and upgrade the rest of the system.

I'll just take the $350 computer that comes with a 19" or 20" monitor. You can always add any speakers you want, have it equipped with any wireless/comm option that makes you happy, upgrade the monitor if you want something different, get a little more cpu horsepower if you're going to be encoding video and making dvds, or put a big honking disk drive in it if you want to store a lot of digital media.

Anyone can fix them with parts off the shelf, any part can be upgraded or swapped for a different type at a minimal cost, and if it just doesnt suit you a year or two from now you can sell either the monitor or system unit for $100-150 and buy a replacement and you'll still be doing well financially vs an all-in-one.

Wow...I thought for a second there that I'd price up a mac mini, the cheapest available mac, just to get an idea of what their 'cheap' discrete system would cost. $599 for the system unit, a couple of hundred bucks to kick up the ram and disk to match the cheap dell system, $599 for a monitor, a hundred bucks for a keyboard and mouse...it ended up at $1499. At that it has an older motherboard chip set, and an inferior graphics chip (950 vs x3100).

When I went to look at the Mac Pro, which would be good competition for the $999 dell system I pointed at earlier, the price was $2399 similarly equipped with no monitor.

What a rip!
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:41 PM   #50
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Timely post today about Apples PC biz in Fortune. Money quote:

Quote:
...although consumers and investors tend to believe Macs cost 20% to 30% more than comparable PCs, according to Munster, he did some price comparisons and found that on average, the price difference is closer to 16% for desktop machines and 9% for laptops — essentially unchanged from a similar comparison he made two years ago.
(Despite the date ... I promise ... no rickroll... really... honest...)
Analyst: Apple’s U.S. consumer market share now 21 percent

The article also notes that Apple's ability to buck the trend and slightly increase ASP in a climate of declining ASPs, while simultaneously increasing its market share is "evidence of a compelling product line". ( IMO its also more evidence that Apple is smart to avoid the bloodbath of the <$500 PC business. )

So yet another analysis reveals that the fairy-dust lower techno-stress Mac lifestyle can be had for a modest premium of 10-15%. I think its a reasonable value, as do the couple of million of people who will buy Macs this quarter.


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I do some gaming. Apple doesn't fill my gaming needs.
I hear you. I would not recommend Macs for serious gamers. However, the transition to Intel has seen some slight improvement (my 81 year old Dad gets great satisfaction out of trouncing me at EA's Tiger Woods PGA Tour '08 on his Intel iMac). Two other factors also hold out some hope for Mac gaming -- increased Mac marketshare is a big driver of the economic viability of mac based titles. The fact that Apple is now over 20% of US consumer sales can only help. Also the iPhone SDK looks to be a great platform for games, and since development for the iPhone occurs on Macs, I wouldn't be surprised if there is some halo effect around Mac gaming. But these are potential 2-3 year trends, and like you say, if your in the market now as a serious gamer, your better off with an tricked out gaming PC. (And help the PC guys subsidize those <$500 configs!)

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Old 04-01-2008, 01:19 PM   #51
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Once again, you're cordially invited to start a "mac vs pc" or "why apple computers are great and you should pay $1500 for one!" thread of your very own.

The dell $350 computer is plenty good enough for what 95% of people want to do 95% of the time, and can be inexpensively customized to suit what 98% of people want to do 98% of the time.

I'll be starting a new "good deals on computers" thread and will ask the moderators to do what they can to keep it as a place to post available deals and not endless and unnecessary discussions about less filling/tastes great, ASP's or market share.

In the meanwhile, I saw that Suze Orman was on tv yesterday advising people to pay off their mortgages.

Hitler in a kayak eating avocados!
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:24 PM   #52
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When I went to look at the Mac Pro, which would be good competition for the $999 dell system I pointed at earlier, the price was $2399 similarly equipped with no monitor.

What a rip!
C'mon CFB, you of all people should know better. Mac Pro is a dual quad core Xeon "Harpertown" platform. It doesn't look like Dell XPS has anything in this league. I have to go to the Precision line, where I find the following: Precision T7400 w/ 2x2.8GHz Xeons: $3,688. MacPro w/ 2x2.8GHz Xeons: $2,599.

Over $1000 of Dell fairy dust.

A rip indeed.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:45 PM   #53
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Yep, I'm a little bit familiar with Harpertown.

Just what every home user needs. Dual quad xeons, and quite an appropriate comparison for a cheap home desktop thread.

Seems Dell doesnt offer a cheap dual quad xeon product because almost nobody needs one or would buy one. Nice niche for a small player like Apple.

Whose market share is actually 8.1% (according to Gartner) not 21%. Gartner also makes the claim (which I agree with) that the market share increase is largely a one time uptick as a result of Apples migration to a better hardware base that also runs windows.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:05 PM   #54
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...quite an appropriate comparison for a cheap home desktop thread.
Hey, you brought the MacPro into the discussion not me! I'm just trying to keep a lid on the hyperbole.

Sorry that this thread has gone OT. I find the dynamics of the PC industry very interesting right now, and an interesting backdrop for the sub 500 PC phenom.

moving on...

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Old 04-01-2008, 03:46 PM   #55
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Dizz, please post here when Apple releases a Mid-Tower PC with a quality power supply and case, extra memory slots, HD expansion, good and quiet cooling, a mid range processor and chipset, and standard memory for the same price as a comparable PC. They can't do it now because it will cannibalize their MacPro which is sold as their 'workstation' to people who think they need a Mac/OS-X, but would do fine with hardware that's 1/3 the price.
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:58 PM   #56
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Dizz, please post here when Apple releases a Mid-Tower PC with a quality power supply and case, extra memory slots, HD expansion, good and quiet cooling, a mid range processor and chipset, and standard memory for the same price as a comparable PC. They can't do it now because it will cannibalize their MacPro which is sold as their 'workstation' to people who think they need a Mac/OS-X, but would do fine with hardware that's 1/3 the price.
(well if you ask for my opinion...)

I'll leave aside allegation that people who spend $2-4k on a workstation class PC today are clueless dupes. I'm sure those customers are savvy enough to know if something 1/3 the price would meet their needs - don't forget they are getting 8X the compute power, and in this segment time == money.

JB, I doubt Apple will ever compete in the mid-range tower market. They appear to be moving much more towards the computer-as-appliance model on the consumer side, minimizing moving parts, focussing on convenience of packaging, mobility, setup, etc. I also think they want to keep to their simple understandable 2x2 matrix line -- (desktop, portable) X (consumer, pro). They have decided that the consumer desktop quadrant is best served by an AIO. The only new ground they have broken recently is the Mac Book Air, which seems like a much more interesting space to be exploring, given the explosion of laptops.

I've spent some time on the Dell site recently , and you guys should be glad that CFB is helping you find the deals. Their lineup and branding is incredibly confusing: XPS, Inspiron, Vostro, Lattitude, Precision, OptiPlex, Dimension. While the Apple approach may leave out some segments (like low-end towers), I admire their ability to focus on a few things and do them well.

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Old 04-01-2008, 06:29 PM   #57
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(well if you ask for my opinion...)
Actually, I didn't
But go ahead and post here when Apple releases a 'Cheap, Decent Desktop'.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:56 PM   #58
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I think my only allegation was that people who spend $1000-1500 for a computer thats worth $350 because they think it has some special qualities that it doesnt actually have...are, in fact, clueless dupes. People who spend $350 for a machine that meets their needs are pretty smart. Especially when the flat screen and the operating system cost about $350 to buy separately, and you get the rest of the computer, assembly and warranty for free.

But then some people pay 1.5% ER on their mutual funds, $3 for a cup of coffee and $500 for a mediocre vacuum cleaner and feel very good about their choices. If it makes you feel good to own it, you oughta buy it. Life is short.

But a cheap desktop bargain? Cant be had from Apple. And their cheapest arent any "better" for most people than a cheap Dell or HP machine. I'm willing to bet that 90% of the people who lay out $2-4k for a "workstation like" mac pro have absolutely no need for the horsepower and just want to look wealthy.

Not that theres anything wrong with that...
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:05 PM   #59
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CFB, I am going to be in the market for a gaming machine this summer. I don't play first person shooters so top notch graphics performance isn't important, but even the slower paced games have some pretty heft requirements.

Is Tom's Hardware guide still a good source of info. Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:11 PM   #60
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Lets get back on topic here.

What do you think about this one...

Compaq - Presario Desktop with Intel&#174; Pentium&#174; Dual-Core Processor E2160 - SR5410F

For an extra $120 you can add on a 17 LCD.

Can anyone find something comparable, cheaper?

Thanks.
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