One more reason...

Thursday, September 11, 2008
I couldn't sleep tonight, so instead I thought I would go computer shopping. In a few months our church will need to purchase a new computer for the sound booth in the new sanctuary, so I thought I would go out and see what was out there...

...and now I remember one of the biggest reasons I like Macs: choices. Apple gives you plenty of choices, and lets you customize your computer, which is great. Dell, on the other hand, gives you so many choices that your head explodes before you even get to the third line.

For example, I pulled up their OptiPlex 740 Mini-Tower (whatever that means). Under "Processor", here are the choices:
AMD PHENOM™ 9600B (2.3GHz,512KBX4) [add $457]
AMD PHENOM™ 9550 (2.2GHz,512KBX4) [add $404]
AMD PHENOM™ 8750 (2.4GHz,512KBX3) [add $337]
AMD PHENOM™ 8600B (2.3GHz,512KBX3) [add $291]
AMD ATHLON™ 64 X2 5600+ (2.9GHz, 512KBX2) [add $168]
AMD ATHLON™ 5400B (2.8GHz,512KBX2) [add $143]
AMD ATHLON™ 64 X2 5200+ (2.7GHz, 512KBX2) [add $133]
AMD ATHLON™ 5000B (2.6GHz,512KBX2) [add $108]
AMD ATHLON™ 4850e (2.5GHz, 512KBx2) [add $83]
AMD ATHLON™ X2 4800+ (2.5GHZ,512KBX2) [add $68]
AMD ATHLON™ 4450B (2.3GHz, 512KBx2) [add $63]
AMD ATHLON™ X2 4400+ (2.3GHZ,512KBX2) [add $43]
AMD ATHLON™ 1640B (2.7GHz, 512KB) [Included in Price]


And this is just one computer out of DOZENS of Dell configurations.

Looking at that list, I honestly couldn't tell you how each processor is different. I consider myself tech-savvy, at least more tech-savvy than your Average Joe, but to me, that list is just a big grouping of letters and numbers. I couldn't even tell you which AMD line is better, Athlon or Phenom.

I am sorry, but this is ridiculous. Can we not find a better way to buy computers? Instead of offering 50 different computers each offering 50 different options at 50 different points, why not offer a few good computers and let people customize it from there. (Oh wait, Apple already does that!)

At least I am on the business side of Dell.com... the home side is even more confusing! *sigh* Buying a computer shouldn't be this hard.

Oh, and most of their business computers come with both Vista and "downgrade XP"... Some people say that the whole "Vista Sucks" mentality is just because of Apple's smear adds, but this proves otherwise.

EDIT: So I went and looked at their "XPS One", which is an all-in-one computer (although there are other XPS computers that aren't all-in-one... I still haven't figured that one out). Anywho, there are three pre-built models, so I click on "Customize It" under one of them. This takes me to a page where I can customize the computer. There are two options:

Processor
20 widescreen display with Intel® Core™2 Duo E4500 [Included in Price]

Operating System
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium [Included in Price]


Yup, when you click "Customize It" you can't customize anything. SHOCKER! Buying a PC is one of the most asinine things I have ever seen. In leet speek, this could be called "EPIC FAIL!"

Matthew

3 comments:

Sara said...

So let me see if I can sum this up -

First part of your post: Choices are baaaaad

Second part of your post: Choices are good.

(this was meant to be only slightly obnoxious)

gail said...

and the last part - as always - buy a Mac caz it's the best!!!

Matt said...

HAHA!! Yeah, I like choices. But Kat doesn't... or does he? I'd much rather have to go figure out which one is the best than have to choose the better of two not-top-of-the-line options.

You know why? Because (especially in this situation) the decision really isn't all that hard at all. Athlon processors have 2 cores, Phenom processors have 3 or 4 (512x3 or 512x4). More cores are better (generally speaking) and faster speeds are better (generally speaking). So, (depending on your budget) pick the Phenom that you can afford, the faster the better.