Now that you had a good look at the configuration of the four competitors it's time to compare the features of the low-end and the high-end systems side by side.
|Dell Dimension 8100Limited EditionPentium 4 1.3 GHz$1588||Gateway Select 1000CustomizedAthlon 1 GHz$1594|
|Processor||Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz||AMD Athlon 1 GHz(200 MHz FSB)|
|Memory||128 MB PC600 RDRAM||128 MB PC133 SDRAM|
|Hard Drive||20 GB||20 GB|
|CDROM/DVD||48x CDROM||48x CDROM|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 32 MB||NVIDIA GeForce2 Pro 32 MB|
|Sound Card||Soundblaster 64V PCI||Soundblaster AudioPCI128D|
|Modem||V90/56K Telephony||56K / Home Networking Combo Card|
|Network Card||n/a||56K / Home Networking Combo Card|
|Monitor||19" Dell OEM||19" Gateway OEM|
|Speakers||Harman-Kardon||Boston Acoustics BA265|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows ME||Microsoft Windows ME|
|Software||Microsoft Works 2001Microsoft Money 2001 StandardNorton Antivirus 2001||Microsoft Works 2001Microsoft Word 2000Microsoft EncartaQuicken 2001Norton Antivirus|
Dell's 'little' 'Limited Edition' Pentium 4 is not equipped that much worse than Gateway's Athlon system. There are a few remarkable things however.
First of all, Dell is realizing the 'low price' by equipping the Pentium 4 1.3 GHz with PC600 RDRAM. This memory type is no less than 25% slower than PC800 RDRAM, having a very bad impact on the memory bandwidth-sensitive Pentium 4. A Pentium 4 1.5 GHz with PC600 RDRAM is 5-8% slower than with PC800 RDRAM. If you should ever decide to go for a Pentium 4 system, please take my advice and invest in PC800.
The other and most important difference between the Dell and the Gateway system is clearly the 3D-card, which I marked in red. NVIDIA's GeForce2 Pro is of course way faster than the GeForce2 MX. This graphics card alone will assure that the Gateway system will kill Dell's Pentium 4 box in any 3D-benchmark. The good 3D-performance of Pentium 4 has simply been cancelled out.
Last but not least the Gateway system comes with a home networking card and a bit more software for the same price. The other components seem pretty much on par.