In the last 2 months Scott Hanselman and Jeff Atwood built the "ultimate developer rig". Probably you all are also readers of Scott's and Jeff's blog so I'm not going to repeat all the specs (here is the last Scott's post with a recap of all the steps of the decision and building process).

Basically the CodingHorror-Hanselman PC is a Intel QuadCore 2.4Ghz (overclocked to 3Ghz), 4GB of RAM, GeForce 8800 with 768MB of RAM.

And the cost for such a PC, monitors (3 of them), keyboard and mouse excluded, is US$ 1903. I don't know how much the same parts will be in NZ or in Italy, probably a bit less since the prices for Intel parts dropped a bit since they bought them. Adding 2 monitors will add other US$ 5-600, and with mouse and keyboard the total price can be US$ 2600.

I always wanted to buy a MacBook, but now this "ultimate rig" adds a new option: shall I buy a MacBook with a Cinema Display or shall I build this "ultimate PC"?

It's difficult to compare the setups since they are very different:

  • one is a laptop, the other one is desktop
  • one can run Mac, the other only Windows
  • one costs US$ 2600, the other almost one grand more (3600)
  • with one you can show off around town, with the other you can't
  • one is lot more powerful then the other

That's a very tough decision. Go for portability and the cool factor, or go for a lot of horse power (and keep my old but revived laptop to go around)?

Or I might buy the MacBook myself and ask for the desktop to the company I'll be going to work for when I finally decided what to do with my life: "Ai posteri l'ardua sentenza" (cit.).