Skip Navigation

Youch

Earlier today I stumbled upon an interesting article over at Macs Only! pointing out a little journalistic inaccuracy in PC Magazine’s G5 overview.

Yes, it’s great to see the G5 lauded for its speed and ability, especially from someone like PC Magazine, but that isn’t the problem; the problem is a misleading claim about the price of Apple’s hardware. For the longest time Apple has been branded the ‘expensive’ brand, the ‘boutique’ computer manufacturer, and for the most part that has been correct. I spent more on my first Macintosh than I did on my first car, if that’s any indicator; and though I am happier than ever that I became a Mac user in this glorious day and age, the price is… prohibitive… to many of the Wintel drones out there.

Still, that isn’t the point of this entry. The point is to debunk PC Magazine’s claim that similarly–specced G5’s and Xeons are also similarly priced. A quick trip to apple.com.au and dell.com.au confirms it, so here’s the raw data.

Apple Macintosh G5
  • Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors
    • 512Kb L2 cache per processor
    • 1Ghz frontside bus per processor
  • 2Gb DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200)
  • 160Gb Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • SuperDrive
  • Firewire
  • USB keyboard and optical USB mouse
  • 64Mb ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
  • 56K v.92 internal modem
  • 20" flat panel Apple Cinema Display
  • Mac OS X 10.2.7
A$9 989.00
Dell Precision 650 MT
  • Dual 3.06GHz Intel Xeon processors
    • 512Kb L2 cache per processor
    • 533Mhz frontside bus per processor
  • 2Gb DDR266 SDRAM (PC2100)
  • 120Gb Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • DVD+RW/+R Drive
  • Firewire
  • USB keyboard and optical USB mouse
  • 64Mb nVidia Quadro
  • 56K v.92 internal modem
  • 20" flat panel display
  • Windows XP Professional SP1
A$11 644.60

So what can we learn from this? That Apple has released a high–end workstation which, despite its ‘slower’ CPU clock speed, is “neck–and–neck with Intel PCs”? That despite its lower price, the G5 has faster RAM, a larger hard drive, a better operating sytem (subject to personal opinion, of course) and Apple’s famous industrial design to boot? Naw… I’m pretty sure we haven’t learned a damn thing.