Based on that comparison Ariens takes the lead on features, the one thing that isn't compared is the 14" auger/impeller on the Ariens, as opposed to the 12" auger/impeller on Simplicity. I've seen the Ariens model at Homedepot and the only thing Ariens seemed to skimp on was the tires they're not as aggressive as found on last years models which seems to be the only area the Simplicity model gains a plus.
Overall, they do seem very similar, but personally I feel Ariens is the best bang for the buck which is why I purchased a Platinum 30 at the end of last year. Throwing distance is impressive and build quality has been great so far.
I noticed the different size auger/impeller too. How much of a difference does that make?
I would assume a larger auger would mean that more snow can be fed into the impeller at a faster rate, however, I would also think that would be limited to the speed of the auger itself. That speed (rpm's I assume) is probably effected by the engine (which in this case is the same) so since the engines are the same, as a result, would the 12" auger spin at a faster rate (more rotations) than the 14", hence supplying the impeller with more snow?
I think that there is more than just impeller size to factor into the equation on this. If run at the same rpm, you have to consider the number of vanes on the impeller, the depth and size of the vanes, the size of the chute opening along with the rate the augers feed the snow into the impeller just to name a few. Personally I think the more vanes, deeper and wider they are with a large chute opening will handle more types of snow, including the wet slushy stuff.
I used these two last winter (plus another the same size as the smaller one):
Both did well until we got "alot" of heavy, wet snow then the bigger machine had the advantage. Between the increased depth that ran over the top of the auger housing of the smaller one, when the snowplows pushed the wet stuff 2'-3' up at a time, the bigger one had more power and able to injest it alot better than the smaller one could. Plus the bigger one has 2 more HP to put into the auger/impeller to throw the stuff when it was wet and heavy.
About the only way to answer the question of impeller rpm's, about the only thing I know to check that would be to see the size of the crankshaft and auger pulleys. If they are the same then the ultimate speed of the bigger impeller should be rotating faster at the ourside of the arc (the point where it's actually throwing the snow from out the chute).
Doesn't answer your question as I am not familiar with these two machines, but may give you something to look into. Good luck whatever you get.
I went with the Ariens 24" Deluxe over the Simplicity. Both were good, however, the Ariens had several features that the Simplciity didn't. Namely, this year Ariens has included a cast iron gear box for starters. That should out last any comparable aluminum type any day. Then of course it has a 14" auger and impeller compared to the Simplicity's 12". Finally, it was $70.00 cheaper.....that's a round of wings at Hooters for me and my friends!!