Bill MacKenty

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Mac vs PC

Posted in Educational Tech platform on 15 - August 2007 at 03:50 AM (16 years ago). 164 views.

One of the common issues in the perennial Mac vs PC debate is cost.  However, when comparing like-systems, the difference is negligible.

This is my experience in schools. I know, you could order a cheap machine from New Egg or Tiger Direct, but what I hope to do here is demonstrate similarly spec’d machines are very close in price. And in fact, Apples come out on top. I’m using educational pricing for one machine - in my experience, volume pricing works out to the same percentage with each vendor.

Neither unit has office, however educational pricing for both platforms is similar.

The contenders:

iMac: $1568
Dell: $1550


iMac 20-inch 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
OS X - full version
1GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 1x1GB
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
Apple Mighty Mouse
320GB Serial ATA Drive
Apple Keyboard
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
AppleCare Protection Plan


OptiPlex 745 Minitower:
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor E6600 (2.40GHz, 4M, 1066MHz FSB)
Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2, x32, with Media
1.0GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM, 667MHz, (2DIMM)
256MB ATI Radeon X1300PRO, Dual Monitor VGA (TV-out)
20 inch UltraSharp™ 2007FPW Widescreen, Adjustable Stand, VGA/DVI
Dell USB Enhanced Multimedia Keyboard, English
Dell USB 2-Button Optical Mouse with Scroll
250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s and 8MB DataBurst Cache
1.44MB 3.5 Inch Floppy Drive
Dell™ A225 Speakers
48X32 CDRW/DVD Combo Roxio Creator™ Cyberlink Power DVD™
3 Year NBD Plus (NBD onsite w/ Gold Tech Support)

What iMacs offer (for free) that Dell’s don’t:

integrated video camera and microphone
iLife (iMovie, iTunes, Garage Band, iWeb, iPhoto, and iDVD)
Great speakers
Bigger hard disk
firewire ports
built-in bluetooth support
mail program
instant messaging program
no need for anti-virus
free disk imaging utility (asr)
developer tools

As far as my position on Macs vs PC’s, I am open to both platforms. However, when I ask teachers what they want to do, they usually talk about movies, podcasting, creating websites for their students, etc… All things iMacs do exceedingly well. I prefer OS X and Mac’s (and OS X Server).