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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Time to buy a PC?

I've started shopping for a new PC. The 2.2 GHz Athlon-64-based HP I've been using for almost exactly two years is finally starting to get a bit long in the tooth, what with second generation dual core chips now available and Windows Vista on the way. Whatever I get, it will be based on Intel's Core 2 Duo microprocessor. It's down to three choices: An Apple iMac, a Dell XPS 410, and an HP Media Center PC. (My current PC, incidentally, is the predecessor to the HP listed below and I've had very good luck with it.)

The Apple has one advantage: It can dual boot between OS X and Windows, giving me quick access to Apple's excellent iLife suite. But the Apple has a number of disadvantages, some of which are specific to my situation. First, I don't really need a display: I'm using a gorgeous 23-inch Sony right now, and it runs at 1920 x 1200. I can save some money and desk real estate by not getting another display. Also, the Apple isn't as expandable as the other options (both of which are tower designs). You can't get a multi-format media reader built into the iMac. You can't configure an iMac with the high-end Core 2 Duo chips that are available on the other machines. And so on.

The two PCs are comparable in both features and price, though the HP comes with some TV tuner stuff I won't need (and can't remove from the configuration). The HP will ship more quickly (September 14 vs. September 20 during today's configuration runs). The HP, ultimately, is cheaper, despite coming with more stuff. On the other hand, the Dell has a single 500 GB drive, while the HP is a 2 x 250 GB RAID 0 configuration. The video cards vary across all three machines, so I just went with the highest-end card in each case.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to do. I certainly don't need to buy this right away. But here's what I'm looking at right now. Were I to buy it this second, it would likely be one of these machines. I configured each with 20-inch displays that match the Apple's capabilities for comparison purposes only:

What to do, what to do...
[ Posted at 6:52 PM | Permalink ]


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