Thurrott: Should I buy an Apple iMac 20-inch, a Dell or a HP 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,” Paul Thurrott writes for Internet Nexus.

“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,” Thurrott writes. “What to do, what to do…”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why would anyone limit themselves with a Dell or HP that can’t run Mac OS X, iLife, Front Row, etc.? Only Apple Macs can run Mac OS X along with Windows and Linux. What Thurrott should obviously do is buy the iMac, use his existing 23-inch Sony as an additional display in extended desktop mode via the iMac’s mini-DVI port, and pick up an inexpensive USB media reader like Belkin’s US$39.99 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer, for example (even less expensive media readers exist). Considering the iMac’s built-in iSight camera, the included remote, Mac OS X, iLife, Front Row, and more, it’s a no-brainer.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Fortune compares Mac vs. Dell: ‘you’ll get more for your money with Apple’ – September 11, 2006
Mossberg: Apple makes ‘best desktop computer on the market’ iMac even more attractive – September 07, 2006
Apple iMac line gets 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processors; pricing starts at $999; new 24-inch model – September 06, 2006
Thurrott pits Apple Mac Pro vs. similarly configured Dell, figures out the Mac is less expensive – August 18, 2006
Microsoft Windows five times more expensive for users than Apple’s Mac OS X – August 15, 2006
Apple Mac Pro with/ 20” Cinema Display less expensive than Dell Precision 690 sans monitor – August 10, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Apple iMac the finest, most reliable, stable, elegant and intuitive personal computer available – February 14, 2006
Thurrott: ‘I highly recommend Apple’s new Intel-based iMac’ – January 31, 2006
Thurrott: ‘Nothing on Windows approaches the quality of Apple’s iLife ’06’ – January 31, 2006
InfoWorld: Apple perfects the desktop personal computer with new iMac Core Duo – January 25, 2006
Mossberg: New Intel-based iMac the best consumer desktop with the best OS and best software bundle – January 18, 2006


  1. oh MDN, please, $40 for a USB 2.0 card reader

    mine’s 8-in-1 and i bought it for $7… shop around! Belkin and Griffin are always all too eager to rip off uninformed mac users (don’t get me wrong… i’ve been using a mac for years, but there’s no question that Apple appeals to the new Whole-Foods shopping, expensive and alternative = automatically better crowd).

  2. Um, anyone hear of the Mac Pro? You know – the one with the Xeon CPU – hook that Sony 23″ monitor right up to it

    MDN: nothing – as in “This article contains nothing.”

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  3. Most people that say that the iMac isn’t upgradeable usually buy the machine that they can upgrade, but then they never upgrade it. I considered that and by the time I felt it was needed to upgrade, I ended up just getting a whole new computer beause so many things needed to be upgraded or the motherboard would have limited the speed of the things I upgrade. He should get the iMac, and dual screen if he needs it. The 24″ imac is the same resolution as the monitor he has.

  4. I am so thankful MDN posts this stuff for us.

    I refuse to give Thurrot any direct hits, and I recommend you do the same. He is so trolling lately for hits from Mac folk its incredible. He’s the new Dvorak!!!

    So again, no hits to Thurrots site. Let him live in his own misery, as he’ll never jump over, and don’t think he ever will either.

  5. Silly article, but…

    His dilema is valid. He can save quite a bit of money and airspace with the PC Options, especially since he’s a Windows user already. If he’s honestly interested in upgradeability, the tower form is key.

    That said, he’s NOT interested in upgrading if his dual 2.2 is already “long in the tooth” for him. He’s got money and will replace his machine by the time he’d want to upgrade the video or IO hardware. The resale value on the SONY display will bring the pricetag closer on the iMac, if he doesn’t mind giving up some size. 20″ to 23″ is a big step down.

    In his situation, with no OS X interest, I’d probably go with the Dell.

  6. Can someone please explain to me what purpose Thurrott serves? His articles rarely have a point or discernable direction. It’s as if he’s holding an imaginary conversation with himself. He really DOESN’T make a whole lot of sense most of the time..Kind of feel bad for the guy

  7. Because Thurrot is a bit tard. He proved it countless times.

    He is way capable of overpricing a Dell, spend more than on a Mac Pro and then writing an article to justify his choice and piss off Mac people for hits.

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