I generally don’t get into this, but a series of columns by Paul Murphy at LinuxInsider (LinuxInsider!) caught my attention.
In Macs Are More Expensive, Right?, he compares Apple’s offerings to Dell’s and finds the PCs cost about the same or more than similarly equipped Macs.
At the low end…the PC desktops are marginally less expensive than the Macs — if you can do without their connectivity and multimedia capabilities — and considerably more expensive if you can’t. At the very high end, however, all of the design focus is on multimedia processing and the PCs simply aren’t competitive from either hardware or cost perspectives.
In short, yeah, Dell will sell you that $600 PC, but you can’t take it home and expect it to run Windows XP at anything faster than a crawl, and you certainly won’t be doing video editing or even organizing your digital photos. The low-end PCs are under equipped compared to the Macs, and upgrading them costs more.
His followup, But Macs Are Slower, Right?, concludes that Macs hold the edge on performance, too. The hardware itself is 20 to 50 percent faster than X86-based machines, and the daily performance, though harder to quantify, matches that:
think the intuitive bottom line on the Macintosh versus PC productivity debate is actually pretty simple: I’ve never met a PC user whose focus on the job he or she was supposed to be doing wasn’t significantly diluted by the need to accommodate the PC and its software, but I’ve never met a business Mac user who considered the machine anything other than a tool, like a telephone or typewriter, for getting the job done.