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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 03, 2005
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    Dell 8400 versus 20 iMac G5, any suggestions?
    Hi,

    Im new to this forum, and I know this question may cause a few long sighs (the endless debate between PC and Apple). :spook:

    Ive been shopping for a home computer for about 2 months now. Ive narrowed it down to the Dell 8400, and the Apple iMac G5. Right now Dell has a great deal on their systems, but something is drawing me to the Apple.

    I primarily use the PC for web browsing, very heavy/advanced Excel/Access use (mostly work related), Photo editing, music, and very limited gaming.

    For fianc is a senior computer programmer and utilizes a host of advanced programs, including Access, SQL, and other programming stuff (Shes leaning more towards the Dell). Many of her cohorts have told me/her that the Apple is only 1.8 gigs, whereas the Dell is 3.4 gigs, Duh, go with the Dell.

    Im sure some of you have been in a similar situation. What caused you to pick the Apple over a Dell (or other PC)?

    For those of you whove owned iMac G5s for a few months now, how do you like it? If you previously owned a PC, how does it compare to the PC?

    Your input would be greatly appreciated! :cool:

    Thanks,

    Vake J.

  2. #2

    Macman's Avatar
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    Specs:
    PowerMac G4 Cube 450mhz 832mb
    the imac g5 and that dell 8400 with those processor specs and equal ram amounts will
    be very different. the imac g5 will outperform that dell at most if not all tasks. the mac is way faster off the bat cause the OS runs so much smoother and doesnt get fragmented and OS X handles all your stuff for you. add more ram to the imac g5 and leave that dell in the dust. as far as deciding, it all comes down to other specs, like hd size, monitor size, optical drive and extras and ultimately, the price.

  3. #3
    Danster
    Guest
    in my opinion the iMac is the best computer desktop to date it's cheap easy to maintain and is sooooo fast also a G5 which mean can handle and program with ease the only problem you have though is that there isn't access for it which i needed to use for my coursework (i had to use college pc's bummer) and you need that but there is appleworks database with is a lowcost suit version of it access i have never use it so i cannot comment on

    it check out

    Office 2004

    If you can survive without access i strongly reccomed you buy the iMac it will be superior in all areas of your computing lifestyle compared to crummy windows pc's

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Keep in mind, there is no version of Access on the Mac. If you or your fianc really needs Access, or other Microsoft software, then an iMac is probably not a viable choice, unless you're willing/able to switch to 4D MySQL or another Mac-compatible database.

    I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the 3.4GHz Dell. Clock frequency isn't everything, but it does matter. For photo or music work, the Mac should be faster, but for gaming, the Dell would win hands down. Excel and database work would probably be faster on the PC.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 03, 2005
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    Thanks everyone for your input...


    "Technologist," thanks for pointing out that Access is not part of the "Office" suite. I just assumed it was part of the "Office" package.

    Thanks again,

    VJ

  6. #6

    James's Avatar
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    Specs:
    Mac Pro 2.66 - 4 Gig Ram, iMac G5 2 Gig ram 20"
    If your into games, Dell wins hands down.

    However, for other things especially graphics and music your gona find it hard to beat the Mac. Don't be blinded by speed numbers, they actually mean little in the long run, it's what does it do in real life. That is why the Amd chips eat ibms lunch many times in the real world. My amd 64 running at 2.2 can out do many times a 3.0 or 3.4 in actual practice.

    My wife has an iMac G5 with a 1.8 processor and i find that it compairs quite well in actual work with an ibm 3.0 under most conditions. I have a dual 2.0 G5 that will hold its own very well with a 3.4

    "I primarily use the PC for web browsing, very heavy/advanced Excel/Access use (mostly work related), Photo editing, music, and very limited gaming."

    As for your stated uses above, i think you will find that the iMac G5 1.8 with 20" monitor will do a kick a** job of web browsing with Safari as a browser, and doing graphics and music is definatly one of the Macs strong points.

    For the excel and access usage that would be kind of up for grabs. I would highly recomend upgrading the stock ram to the 2 gig max. Excell usage is no problem, simply use the Mac version of Open Office which accepts the Excell data. Access...hmmm, doesn't that save in the .db format?, if so that can also be imported into the Open Office spreadsheet and worked with... It isn't a well known fact, but Open Office does indeed have database capibilities and can accept and save db files. It actually works quite well once you get it set up and going.

    I used the ibm style computers from about 1985 up to just a couple months ago, then finally had enough of its problems and switched to the Mac. I have loved every minute of it since. Both my wifes and my computer have performed great with no problems what so ever. They are easy to use and do a great job.

    My vote would be the iMac 20" with 2 gig ram. Very nice looking on your desk with no tower and wires all over the place, especially if you use a wireless keyboard and mouse.

  7. #7

    the_New_guy's Avatar
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    imac g5 any day,
    Mac OSX is the bomb :bomb:
    The Gadget Cast Gadgets.in

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Since you are only a light gamer, I wouldn't worry to much about the speed, I think either would do fine. I would just choose based on which platform has the applications you need.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    15" MacBook Pro & 23" ACD
    Quote Originally Posted by James
    If your into games, Dell wins hands down.

    However, for other things especially graphics and music your gona find it hard to beat the Mac. Don't be blinded by speed numbers, they actually mean little in the long run, it's what does it do in real life. That is why the Amd chips eat ibms lunch many times in the real world. My amd 64 running at 2.2 can out do many times a 3.0 or 3.4 in actual practice.

    My wife has an iMac G5 with a 1.8 processor and i find that it compairs quite well in actual work with an ibm 3.0 under most conditions. I have a dual 2.0 G5 that will hold its own very well with a 3.4

    "I primarily use the PC for web browsing, very heavy/advanced Excel/Access use (mostly work related), Photo editing, music, and very limited gaming."

    As for your stated uses above, i think you will find that the iMac G5 1.8 with 20" monitor will do a kick a** job of web browsing with Safari as a browser, and doing graphics and music is definatly one of the Macs strong points.

    For the excel and access usage that would be kind of up for grabs. I would highly recomend upgrading the stock ram to the 2 gig max. Excell usage is no problem, simply use the Mac version of Open Office which accepts the Excell data. Access...hmmm, doesn't that save in the .db format?, if so that can also be imported into the Open Office spreadsheet and worked with... It isn't a well known fact, but Open Office does indeed have database capibilities and can accept and save db files. It actually works quite well once you get it set up and going.

    I used the ibm style computers from about 1985 up to just a couple months ago, then finally had enough of its problems and switched to the Mac. I have loved every minute of it since. Both my wifes and my computer have performed great with no problems what so ever. They are easy to use and do a great job.

    My vote would be the iMac 20" with 2 gig ram. Very nice looking on your desk with no tower and wires all over the place, especially if you use a wireless keyboard and mouse.
    I agree about everything, except, why are you pushing so hard for 2 gb of ram? One, thats pretty expensive, and two, it's a waste since according to the described uses,they need no more than 512 MB!

  10. #10

    James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApplejustWorks
    I agree about everything, except, why are you pushing so hard for 2 gb of ram? One, thats pretty expensive, and two, it's a waste since according to the described uses,they need no more than 512 MB!
    Ram is not that expensive when you consider the benifits of having enough against not having enough. If he wants to limp along with 512 that is his choice. I don't find the 256 it comes with as good for much and while 512 will give better performance 1 gig is better and smoother. For normal letter writting and small tasks 512 will be fine, but he is talking about doing some higher end graphics that can take lots of ram and spreadsheets and data basing which can certainly take advantage of the higher ram.

    But that's why there are Fords and Chevies isn't it. Myself I would rather have more than i need than to limp by with less than is needed. A iMac G5 with 2 gig of ram will take him well into the future running multiple programs and doing all kinds of things. If he wants to do it on 512, go for it, just don't expect the smoothness and speed of better memory when putting the pedal to the metal. He asked for an opinion and I gave him mine.

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApplejustWorks
    I agree about everything, except, why are you pushing so hard for 2 gb of ram? One, thats pretty expensive, and two, it's a waste since according to the described uses,they need no more than 512 MB!

    I concur, 2gb is too much. I would say get 1gb tops, there is no point to having 2gb when you would never use that much.

  12. #12
    Echo_
    Guest
    if your gettin a pc build one.. its much cheaper and you get better parts but if you cant... dells ok but blah i wont buy from an oem unless its apple for computers

  13. #13

    James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynameis
    I concur, 2gb is too much. I would say get 1gb tops, there is no point to having 2gb when you would never use that much.
    "Never use that much"... ever done any high end video editing? How about a good sized 25 colum 250 deep or better spread sheet with lots of math and what ifs...? Like they say, if you build it they will come, and in computers if it can be done it will be done.

    Granted, the average, probably even 85%, of computer users never need more than 512 ram to do what they do, but 2 gig of ram is many times very usable for the other 15%.

    But, then here we are with Fords and Chevies again. Personally i would rather work at the top end of the barrel than at the bottom.

    "very heavy/advanced Excel/Access use (mostly work related)"..Vakej

    I take this to mean that the man does the type of work that could very well take advantage of 2 gig of ram, perhaps I misunderstood him and 512 or 1 gig would be more than enough, that is up to him to decide, not you.

    One thing i think we can all pretty much agree on is that he would probably be happier on a nice Mac than on an ibm style machine with all its problems.

  14. #14


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by James
    "Never use that much"... ever done any high end video editing? How about a good sized 25 colum 250 deep or better spread sheet with lots of math and what ifs...?
    Nope, never.

  15. #15
    Danster
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by VakeJ
    Thanks everyone for your input...


    "Technologist," thanks for pointing out that Access is not part of the "Office" suite. I just assumed it was part of the "Office" package.

    Thanks again,

    VJ
    I pointed it out first.

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