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Dell’s $1,304 Premium over Mac Pro

June 20, 2008 11 comments

If you’re following along with my blog, you know that I recently came to the conclusion that even Windows developers would be smart to pickup a Mac as their next developer machine. In that article, I made the argument that even if buying a Mac has a $500 premium, it would still be a non-issue and choosing a Mac would be the wiser choice. Taking my own advice, I just upgraded Axosoft Developer machines to Mac Pros, without doing any comparison shopping.

Today, I decided to see how much I would have saved for each developer if I had chosen similar Dell machines. Of course, I wouldn’t have cared what my savings would be, because part of the incentive to buy Mac Pros was to provide our dev team with the flexibility to develop anything for any platform. But to my huge surprise, buying a comparable Dell had a $1,304 premium!!! Take a look for yourself:

Dell Dual-Proc XEON Workstation

As you can see from the images above, the Dell price without tax is $4,153 while Apple’s price is $2,849. 

Who is Dell joking here? Now to be fair, there are 2 differences in configurations:

  • The Dell System bus is 1,333 Mhz vs. Mac Pro’s 1,600 Mhz bus
  • The Dell Memory is 667 Mhz vs. Mac Pro’s 800 Mhz

That’s right! The Mac Pro has even a better configuration and costs $1,300 less. Upgrade pricing was equally insane. While Apple charged $200 for a 2nd 500GB drive, Dell’s price for that same upgrade was $339.

So now taking the Dell premium into consideration, the faster Mac Pro, better style and looks, the easier component access and ability to run OS X, is there any reason to stick with Dell?

Taking the Plunge: Upgrading Dev Machines to Macs

June 19, 2008 11 comments

Taking some of my own advice, I have started the transition of developer machines at Axosoft. Our previous dev environment was:

  • Dell Latitude D630 Notebooks
    • 4GB RAM
    • 7200 RPM Drives
    • 2.1Ghz Core 2 Duo
  • 2 x 20″ Dell LCDs (1600×1200 resolution)
  • Docking station (to allow 2 monitors)

Here’s what a setup looked like:

There’s a great story behind the pink pony in the picture, but that’s for another blog :-)

So we just started a transition for our developers to a Mac Pro setup.

  • Mac Pro With:
    • 2 x 2.8Ghz quad-core Xeon (8-cores total)
    • 6GB RAM (buy memory upgrade elsewhere, much cheaper)
    • 500GB Drive
  • Apple 30″ Cinema Display (2560×1600 resolution)

So here’s what the new setup looks like:

These workstations are absolutely amazing. They are the world’s fastest workstations for running Windows, and of course, they are the world’s fastest for running OS X. The idea is that our developers now have the best of both worlds and they have the flexibility to meet changing Axosoft demands. With such blazingly fast machines, they could choose to run Windows in a virtual environment and still run it faster than their old setup.

One question you might have is why did we switch to desktops from laptops? We had initially gone with laptops to allow for easier portability of the machines in case of travel, meetings, etc. However, about 51 out of 52 weeks of the year, the laptops didn’t move from the desk. For the 1 week that they did, the developers determined it wasn’t worth giving up the performance boost that comes from a desktop.

Lets see what develops…

Categories: Development, Team, Tools Tags: , ,
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