A new Intel Mac for Grandma?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by woodjo, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. woodjo macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2006
    #1
    I'm a recent switcher and could use some insight from the apple gurus on this forum. My grandma's computer and monitor are 7 years old and barely usable. I just got an intel mac mini for myself and she's really interested in it . So here's my question:

    Should I even consider getting her a G4/5 mac to save $$ or will an intel be a wiser choice?

    Now she doesn't need extreme power, or any 3rd party applications. Her budget range pretty loose ($800-$1300)and she'd like a big screen (20ish). So I'm leaning toward an old mac mini + 20in or an 20 in. iMac G5. Am I crazy?
     
  2. CoMpX macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    #2
    Well I seriously don't think a grandma is going to need the power of an iMac, so why not just give her your mini and buy yourself an iMac?

    EDIT: Have her chip in her $1000 or whatever her budget is.
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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  4. bighairydoofus macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Buy her a G4 mini...

    since they're likely to be heavily discounted. I don't see the need to go with an Intel mini unless she needs it for some reason.

    :edit: misread initial question, sorry - not used to seeing the word intel associated with Macs yet...
     
  5. woodjo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Easier on the eyes?

    She's had a 19inc CRT all these years so I guess I could go 19inc LCD. I make her icons/fonts large but still want her to have screen real estate, ya know? Its all about ease of use.

    The reason I ask about the intels vs PPC, is because I'm afraid she'll keep this comp for another 4+ years and it wont be supported because its a PPC. Am I wrong to think that?

    So I'm not so much concerned about power, just if a PPC Mac will be a good idea for the long term.
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #6
    Yeah, I don't suggest LCD's for the elderly. They don't really scale down well for easy viewing. I think a 19" LCD would be your best bet otherwise just get a new CRT. You can have a low resolution without ruining the clarity.
     
  7. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    #7
    If you're going to get her a big LCD, make sure it has pretty crappy resolution. A 1024x768 17" might be good, just because it'll make everything really big and easy to read.
     
  8. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #8
    I directed grandma to buy a 20" iMac and she won't run it at max resolution :cool: Get a Mini with CRT or low res LCD. They like their icons BIG.
     
  9. nosser macrumors regular

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    #9
    That's an awesome sight! I can imagine my grandma playing sims on her intel mac mini w/ a 20" acd. seriously, I think a intel mini with a 19" lcd would be great for her and it won't break the bank.
     
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #10
    I'd say given her budget, that the 17" WS iMac Core Duo is the way to go.
    It's the best overall bang for the buck
    If you can swing an education discount through somebody in the family
    that's $1199 for a very nice system.
    I'd add at least 512 MB RAM to get the system up to 1GB.

    The mini is definitely enough computer, but adding a display and extra RAM in the mini gets you so close the the iMac purchase price, you might as well get her the iMac.

    The new Intel iMac displays are excellent!
    Also way less desk clutter and she'll be the hippest granny on the block.

    Take her to lunch and drop by the nearest Apple Store and let her choose, but
    I would still try to go for the education discount if you can.
     
  11. ironic23 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    i'd say get your gma the intel imac. it has a built-in isight which might come in handy for communicating with you or other relatives who are far away. you get more for the $$ as said previously and also, it's a space saver.
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #12
    Yeah, I'd go with the iMac for the value. But make sure you're happy with the LCD screen when you reduce the resolution on it.
     
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #13
    Running an LCD monitor below native resolution just gives you a blurred image. Go for a 19 inch 1280 x 1024 (0.29 mm dot pitch) with digital connector; they are really cheap and MUCH easier on the eye than the iMac 20 inch screen. Worst case you'll have to go for 32 inch 1368 x 768 LCD TV :)

    Just take your grandmother to a shop where she can check out what is best for her.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    My suggestion was still a CRT and a Intel Mac Mini. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #15

    The remaining G5s, refurb or otherwise, don't seem much better priced than a new intel iMac. I guess if the screen is the big issue, sure. Why not just get her a 17" intel, and be set for years to come?
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    My guess is that you are not 40 years old yet or you wouldn't be asking.

    The older you are the worse your eyesight gets. A 20 inch LCD screen is "way easy" to read even for me without my glasses.
     
  17. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #17
    No, no. A 19 inch LCD would be better. It's the same resolution of the 17 inch model but at a lower DPI. Even so, a CRT would be the best. You wouldn't have to deal with pixel scaling issues and the blurred text and images.
     
  18. woodjo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2006
    #18
    Great responses - Thanks!

    Thanks for all the great responses and insight.

    I'm leaning heavily toward a stock Intel Mini Solo with a good quality 19inc LCD. That should be the best balance of screen real-estate and form factor for her budget. (yea the 20in mac would have more, but the higher screen res isn't good for her and its the cost is a bit higher)

    Summary:
    $680 - stock core solo (w/ edu discounts & applecare :) )
    $300 - *nice* 19 in. LCD
    $980 - small form factor & big ole screen w/ lower native res than an apple 20in!

    Good work all!
     
  19. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #19
    You're thinking a single core 1.5 GHz with a non matching $300.00 19" display.
    You still need to figure in kb, mouse, modem, and at least 512MB extra RAM.

    over a 2.1 GHz DUAL processor, much larger storage, Dual Layer DVD burner excellent bright crisp 17" Wide Screen display, iSight, double the GPU, kb and mouse.

    That's a tremendous difference you're passing up to save $200.00

    The new Core Duo mini is a fantastic deal if you already have a good display,
    but for a complete system, the iMac is so much more computer for your money.

    She'll be spending a considerable amount of time with this purchase.
    You really should let her see all the models side by side and let her make the choice based
    on what she likes.

    BTW, you are aware that when viewing any web page, all you need to do to increase the text size
    is to hit Apple(command)/+
     
  20. john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

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    #20
    Or for elderly webcam naked cybering...
     
  21. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #21
    Find an old G4 20" iMac, that should do just fine for Granny.

    Tell her I said hello.
     
  22. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #22
    The other drawback to the newest mini is that it uses shared VRAM, where the last unofficial 1.5 GHz 64 MB VRAM stealth model minis used dedicated VRAM.

    The iMac is available with 128 and 256 MB VRAM PCI-Express.

    Once you show her the text ZOOM feature I mentioned above, I think she may be perfectly content with the 17" WS iMac.

    If not, let her live a little and help her get the 20" iMac.

    Hopefully you have an Apple Store near you so she can make the decision
    after seeing the entire line-up side by side.
     
  23. cruxed macrumors regular

    cruxed

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    #23
    In my opinion, even buying a 17" iMac is a waste.
    Are you going to see her use 160GB of memory on her harddisk?

    And honestly, why will the Integrated Graphics chip on the Intel Mini bother her, she's not doing intense 3D rendering.

    In my opinion, go with the 19" CRT and the Intel Mac mini solo.

    Then she can go with a low res (say 800 x 600) and still have a relatively sharp image :)

    (She can also crank up the res real high when her eye sight becomes mighty)
     
  24. john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

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    #24
    I tend to agree. With the iMac, you are locked into a "set" resolution. It may be too small. I got a 20" iMac for my parents, but they are still in their 50s. They love it, but I suspect when they get a little older, they'll not only have to piss out of a tube, go to bed at 7 p.m., and get a Craftmatic adjustable bed, but they'll also want to make everything bigger.
     

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