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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Which is the faster computer?

Which is the faster computer?
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striker100
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Aug 11, 2006, 04:12 PM
 
My best friend is deciding between two computers, one is a MacPro and the other a Dell XPS 700. He does not really care which platform he uses, he uses both OS X and Windows, he just wants to know which is more powerful. He does video editing mostly along with web searching and email. The two choices are:

MacPro
Quad 2.0Ghz Xeon processor
1GB ram
Nvidia 7300GT 256mb video card

or

XPS 700
Dual 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo processor
2GB ram
Nvidia 7900GTX 512mb video card

My question, does the Quad 2.0GHz Xeon processors in the MacPro trump the XPS 700 with the Dual 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor?
     
mduell
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Aug 11, 2006, 04:19 PM
 
Video editing (and related tasks like encoding)? The Mac Pro by a significant margin.

Gaming? The Dell by a significant margin.

I'd strongly recommend throwing another gig or two of RAM in the Mac Pro; buy it from a third party (like Crucial), not Apple.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 11, 2006, 04:21 PM
 
EDIT: Yeah, what he said.
Chuck
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"Instead of either 'multi-talented' or 'multitalented' use 'bisexual'."
     
Gossamer
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Aug 11, 2006, 04:23 PM
 
If you simply add up MHz (which you can't, realistically) the Mac Pro gets you 8GHz, and the dell does 4.8GHz. Assuming that the applications he's using are able to take advantage of multiple cores (most can under OS X) then the Mac Pro should be faster. I spec'd an XPS like that at Dell's site, and it looked to me like you couldn't order it without a 20" monitor. A Mac Pro quad 2GHz with the 20" Apple display (overpriced) and 2 GB of Apple RAM (also overpriced) will run about $3-$400 more than the Dell. If the MP and XPS are both given 1GB of RAM from the start, though, the price is pretty much equal.
     
striker100  (op)
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Aug 12, 2006, 09:10 AM
 
I got the whole story from my friend last night. Since his wife is a teacher in a public school she gets the Apple education discount as well as a Dell education discount.
It seems the Dell XPS 700 comes in at quite a bit less than the MacPro, For the MacPro in the first post with a 160GB hard drive the total comes to about $2,180 total, the Dell comes in at $1,480 in total including a 3 year warranty (the MacPro has one year). If he chooses to go with the Dell he asked me if it would be smart to upgrade to the 2.6GHz E6700 Core 2 Duo processor which would add $165 to the price. I said I didn't think the difference between the 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz would make much of a difference but maybe I'm wrong. He plans on doing some wedding videos with whatever system he gets so I don't want to steer him the wrong way.
     
Gossamer
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Aug 12, 2006, 12:00 PM
 
If he's doing multimedia stuff, the Mac Pro's the way to go...Final Cut Pro, iMovie HD, etc are only available for it. And remember, the Dell is a dual 2.4, the MP is a QUAD.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 12, 2006, 01:29 PM
 
What software does he use? Avid? Final Cut? I suppose that would make a big difference.
Chuck
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SierraDragon
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Aug 12, 2006, 02:55 PM
 
Presumably price is an issue. If so, all aspects of any PC box, esp. Dell, need to be carefully scrutinized because they conceal what you are not getting simply by not discussing it. Things Mac folks assume are included with any tower like fast Ethernet, multiple Firewire 800 and 400 ports, etc. are often not included in PC boxes. Neither USB 2 nor FW 400 are adequate for modern external hard drive connectivity. Note that the Macs are using Woodcrest/Xeon and the Dells are using ??

There is a cost to dealing with the security susceptibility of Windows PCs, and it is not a small number. Once included in Total Cost of Ownership calculations, any thorough cost analysis of upper end boxes will show Macs as cheaper.

As already noted, the Dell is a superior gaming box. The Mac is the video editing box to get, but IMO the 2.66 makes way more sense than the 2.0 for life cycle cost. Also I think the X1900 card would be a good idea, but of course a high end graphics card can always be retrofitted in the future as needed. More RAM is definitely desirable, but that too can be retrofitted in the future as RAM prices fall.

-Allen Wicks
     
Chuckit
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Aug 12, 2006, 03:17 PM
 
The Dell is using Core 2 Duo (Conroe), he said.
Chuck
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"Instead of either 'multi-talented' or 'multitalented' use 'bisexual'."
     
   
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