Revised Dell Versus Apple Comparison

Based on the feedback received over the last few days, I decided to go back and rethink starting points. Instead of the more robust Dell workstation, I chose a lower-end machine with a slower bus and processor. Instead of the base-level PowerMac, I chose a dual 1 GHz unit. Other features are now closer I believe, such as the graphics card, and I was able to add FireWire/IEEE 1394 to the Dell configuration and remove the modem cards from both. The Apple is pushing 2 GHz versus a single processor running 1.8 GHz on the Dell, but many comments indicate that the Pentium architecture allows faster bus speeds and memory access, which offsets the better raw performance of the G4, cycle for cycle. More feedback welcome.

Dell Precision Workstation 340

Apple PowerMac dual 1 GHz

Price with these options

$1,823 (includes $250 mail-in rebate, but excludes $100 small business purchase discount which you must qualify for)



Single Intel Pentium Processors, 2.20 GHz, 512K Full Speed Cache

Power Mac G4 Dual 1 GHz w/167 MHz system bus: 256K Level 2 Cache, 1MB DDR SRAM Level cache per processor



256 Mb PC2700 DDR SDRAM


Entry Level Quietkey Keyboard, PS/2, (No Hot Keys)

Apple Pro Keyboard

Graphics Card

ATI Radeon VE, 32 Mb VGA (dual monitor capable)

ATI Radeon 9000 Pro dual-display w/64Mb DDR

1st Hard Drive

80GB ATA-100 IDE 1-inch (7200 rpm)

80GB Ultra ATA drive

Floppy Drive

3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive


Operating System

Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional

Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), OS 9.2


Dell, PS/2 (2-button, no scroll)

Standard optical mouse

Additional Network Card

Intel PRO/1000 XT, Gigabit PCI NIC

Built-in gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000)




CD ROM, DVD, and Read-Write Drives

"32X" DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive

8x DVD-ROM/16x CD-R/10x CD-RW/32x CD-ROM (Combo Drive)

Sound card

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Value

Front headphone minijack and speaker, rear Apple speaker minijack, audio line in, audio line out

Hardware Support Services

Promotional support deal: 3Yr Same Day 4Hr Response Parts + Onsite Labor (M-F 8am-6pm) and Gold Technical Support by phone (no details as to limits)

3-year AppleCare warranty (carry-in, onsite w/in 50 of service center, prepaid express mail in) which includes both hardware and unlimited phone support for software and hardware


IEEE 1394 controller card

Two FireWire ports