Advice on buying my first ever Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mr Mac Newbie, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Mr Mac Newbie macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi everyone

    I have been a PC owner all my life but now i have decided i want to ditch Microsoft and get a Mac.

    All i want is simple to use computing. I don't do much on my PC except from Web Browsing, email, a little Digital Photography and stuff like Word and Excel

    I love my media aswell. I've already decided that i want to buy an ipod soon to go with my new mac and they just look so cool.

    Also, i have seen a little about this new Apple TV which i may get as i love the idea of streaming all my content to my Big Screen especially as i am a big movie buff and love the idea of watching all the movie trailers available

    The situation i have is which Mac to buy? Either the Mac Mini, 20' iMac or a Macbook

    The Macbook does look real cool but i am not sure if i really need the portability of them as i am unlikely to take it everywhere i go.

    That leaves the Mac Mini and imac. I do have an LCD which i could simply use a Mac mini on using VGA however i like the imac just as much

    How much RAM should you have in a Mac?
    I know PC's like a minimum of 1GB these days but what about Mac's@ although i was considering having 2GB installed from the start to prevent me needing to upgrade for say 3-4 years

    Will there be a big performance differnce between the Mac Mini's 1.83GHZ dual core processor and the Imac's 2.16GHZ dual core?

    I have no idea where to start in getting a Mac but i just want one that won't need upgrading in 6 months or so like a PC but just make my life easier when using a computer

    Thanks
    Lee
     
  2. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #2
    as much as u can, for the word, excel, u want at least 1G RAM.
    for what u do, not much difference. CPU heavy work includes things like video encoding. not web surfing, email, or office.
     
  3. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    OK Thanks

    I will go with 2GB when i order the Mac to save any hassle.

    Which Mac is a better performer and more reccomended out of the Imac and Mac Mini or even the Macbook for that matter

    Does anyone also know whether Apple TV will be worth getting especially as Mac's can still simply be connected to a large screen TV
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    I own a MacBook, a mini, and a 17" iMac, so I feel fairly qualified to answer your question. :)

    The mini is hooked up to my HDTV and works well in that regard... but it's not all that useful as a "normal" Mac (as opposed to a multimedia one) simply because the TV is far enough away as to make too many things appear too small. Hooked up to a LCD? It'd be fine for most. The CD vs C2D argument always comes out in favor of the C2D, but, aside from some future-proofing, the CD is still perfectly fine for the apps you mention.

    However, an iMac with a separate graphics card and a faster C2D ship will run circles around a CD mini for 3D apps - and there might be more and more apps which will use those. Plus, it's aesthetically more pleasing than a mini/LCD combo in my opinion. Both, though, are worthy.

    The MacBook... is it's own thing. If you feel you'll never need to surf or work from the couch, on the road, or in bed, then the iMac is your best bet. But... it's hard to put down the MacBook as an option simply because its portability is so phenomenal. And you could connect your LCD as a second monitor surface when at the desk.

    If it were me, and I had one Mac, and I chose between your options using your criteria, I'd personally get either a MacBook or iMac. MacBook if the couch beckons, iMac otherwise. The iMac is faster in all ways and has better screen resolution.

    2GB is a very, very good idea.
     
  5. BenHoleton macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #5
    Congrats on making the switch. I sincerely hope you love your mac experience. For your purposes, I would recommend the iMac. You'll love the 20" screen and the isight. As far as the difference between the 2 processors, keep in mind that the mini is a 1.83 gHz core duo and the iMac is a 2.16 gHz core 2 duo. It's about twice as fast (in my experience...I don't have stats). I always suggest as much RAM as possible, so I'd go 2 gb on either system. You also get a MUCh bigger hard drive on the iMac. Hope this helps. Cheers!
     
  6. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #6
    well, u get what u pay for, so u know iMac is superior than mini, the only advantage i can think of is it is almost as easy to carry as a laptop.
     
  7. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Thanks for your adice. I think i mainly considered getting a Mac Mini as my room is small but i am tied of laying on the bed to use the computer (not good on the back:) )

    It's funny as i kind of miss sitting at a desk to use a computer.

    When i get a Mac i want a real nice powerful one with all the media stuff so maybe the Imac may be better for me
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #8
    I forgot to answer this.

    The :apple:TV is useful if you don't want to use a computer with your TV or if you need its particular video inputs. Personally, I'd spend more, get a base mini, and be able to do basically everything with it you could with the :apple:TV but also have all the Mac's capabilities. The :apple:TV also consolidates multiple iTunes sources, which wouldn't seem to be too handy for you.

    If the computer will store multimedia files and be in a different room, the :apple:TV might be good for you. Otherwise... probably not so much.
     
  9. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    The imac souns cool. It just means getting a desk back in the room not that the Mac would take much up. The only thing is that because my bedroom is not Huge that i will have a 20'' imac with a 32'' lcd on the wall behind it.

    Also, out of interest will mving my broadband to a Mac be easy? It will be wireless
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #10
    Note that you could also connect the 32" LCD to the iMac as a 2nd (spanned or mirrored) display.
    It should be trivial.
     
  11. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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    #11

    Would having that throw out the need for :apple: TV?

    How lould are the Mac's? Could i leave it on in my bedroom 24/7?
     
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #12
    If that's the TV you'd use, yup. Assuming it has a DVI or VGA input open (or, I suppose, S-Video).
    You will never hear it except when it spools the fans for a second when booted. They're silent. As in can't-hear-them-from-a-foot-away silent.
     
  13. holamiamigos macrumors 6502a

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  14. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Yep that would be the TV i use for Apple TV. I assume that as the imac comes with a remote that i can access all of my mac content from my bed or chair (say 5 feet away from the Mac) but have it all copied on to my big screen as if it was apple TV?
     
  15. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #15
    Yeah... the easiest way to do that would be to mirror the display (i.e., show the same thing on the HDTV as on the iMac). Also, the remote has great range (well, easily over 10', the farthest I use mine).
     
  16. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    That's great. 1 more thing and then i'll stut up for tonight

    As apple TV has the cool feature of viewing movie trailers streamed from apple.com and because if i don't have apple tv i can't do that, could i instead download the trailer and store it in say 'videos' file (or whatever it's called on a mac) then use the remote to view them that way mirrored onto my Big TV?
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #17
    Any Mac you'll buy comes with Front Row, which will show those movie trailers for you. No need to download them first. :)
     
  18. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    WOW. :eek: My God i can't wait to get a Mac. Life sounds so easy with one.

    Thanks for all your help tonight guys :D
     
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #19
    No worries. It's what we're here for. :)

    Let us know if you have any questions once you buy the Mac of your choice.
     
  20. Mr Mac Newbie thread starter macrumors member

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  21. eenu macrumors 65816

    eenu

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    #21
    Sorry disagree on both counts. Word and excel don't warrent 1GB. OSX doing word processing will be fine on 512mb. 1GB is making things nice and comfortable and 2GB is pimping it.

    As for the iMac is superior, i disagree. For the price and size performance the mini totally holds its own and if he is just wordprocessing and emailing etc there will be no difference between them except the few hundred $'s he will save using his existing screen.
     
  22. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #22
    Not true. Word under Rosetta with 512MB, esp. on a mini where some of that goes to graphics, is not fine. It's horridly slow.

    iWork Pages is fine. Word is not. And Word + just about any other open app is intolerable. 1GB minimum is a fair recommendation. And, when using it on my MacBook that's at just 1GB, it's fine. 2GB would be better, and is better on my other systems, but the 512MB -> 1GB jump is a no-brainer.
     
  23. eenu macrumors 65816

    eenu

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    #23
    Sorry disagree. I have no issues writting a PhD Thesis sized document with 512mb ram on an intel mac under rosetta with word. Maybe your definition of fine is different to mine.

    Out of pure interest Rosetta was designed here at my uni approximately 20metres from where i am sat now :p
     
  24. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #24
    lol, there won't be many ppl will agree with u on 512MB Office, especially excel, app opens slow, moving from cell to cell is slow too, on top of that, if u want to open other apps at the same time.....

    when talking about superior, I was talking about the system performance, doesn't include price, and as my first post at #2, I did say there is little difference for the OP, considering the apps he is going to use for.
     
  25. simontarr macrumors 6502

    simontarr

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    #25
    You are going to regret calling yourself Mr Mac Newbie in a few years! (If you continue to frequent these forums, that is) :D:p
     

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