Getting a Desktop

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Guitarius, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Guitarius macrumors 6502a

    Guitarius

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #1
    Well...a few months ago, I switched from PCs to Macs by getting myself an iBook. I love it. I love Macs. I hardly ever use my desktop PC anymore. I'm mostly on my laptop. But I've found that staring at the rather small screen until the wee hours of the morning kind of wears on my eyes. So, how do we fix this? I've decided to get myself a desktop. But...I just don't know what to get. Of course, I'd love to get one of those dual processing Power Mac G5's...but let's face it, its rather pricey, and I just don't need that sort of thing. My computer usage is really rather limited to word processing (I'm a writer), listening to music, and surfing the web. I'm considering one of the iMac G5's. But with 3 different models, which one to get. Any and all advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #2
    You can use the "screen spanning hack" for the iBook and connect a larger screen to the iBook. use google for the hack.

    I cam sure you can find a cheap LCD or CRT on the web. If the iBook you have works for you and all you need is a larger screen there is not need to buy a 20 inch Cinema Display or an iMac G5. It all depends on your budget in the end and your needs.

    Best to you, hope that helps. :)
     
  3. OryHara macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    San Bruno, CA
    #3
    if all you do is word processing, listen to music and surf the web, the 17" 1.6Ghz model should do just fine. For your needs i dont think the 20" screen is worth an extra $600.

    Edit: Well he makes a good point too
     
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    well if you have a monitor around already, why not get the single processor Powermac, it gives you a bit more longevity with being able to upgrade the graphics card and that

    or the screen spanning hack is always an option
     
  5. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #5
    A bigger monitor with your iBook is definitely one inexpensive option, but having a desktop machine can be nice for other reasons, and any of the G5 iMacs is going to be considerably faster than your iBook.

    Having recently set a couple up, I can say that the G5 iMacs are VERY nice machines, but which to buy pretty much depends on how much you want to spend. The 20" uses the same panel (at least, I think it does) as the 20" Cinema Display, which I have at home and is absolutely beautiful. On the other hand, even the 17" iMacs have very nice screens and probably plenty big for most uses (particularly moving up from an iBook).

    I'd say pick a budget, then buy whatever fits it. If you can get the 20", great, otherwise either 17" will be fine. Oh, and when you're pricing things, if you didn't already know this remember that getting hard drives and RAM from a 3rd party and adding them yourself is a lot cheaper than getting Apple BTO parts.
     
  6. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    I hear you... I switched over with a powerbook in the spring to test the waters. Loved it, and only needed VPC for one non-graphic intensive app which runs reasonably well. Then bought a dual 2.5 PM for work, and just ordered a G5 iMac 20" for home.

    I first used the powerbook with a 20" cinema display, and it worked great. I have heard about the iBook hack, and if you are ok with using it that is probably all you need. In fact even if you are uncomfortable using the hack, just using display mirroring should work if you have enough real estate.

    But I sense by your post that what you need and what you want may be 2 different things. I'm not suggesting that you buy something you really don't need, but man the iMacs are nice machines.
     
  7. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #7
    If you are referring to me as a he you best get your eyes checked. :mad:


    It seems all he wants is a larger screen, why buy an iMac g5 even a 1.6 to surf the web and do basic things. All he needs is a cheap CRT or LCD screen even a 15" will do the trick. Besides the imac G5 has some issues as all or most rev A systems do, so not a wise choice.

    Buy or get an external screen from someone and save yourself some money.
     
  8. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #8
    Nice looking machines yes, however its running on the older G5 chips has heat issues, noise issues, PSU issues, etc... Then again its a rev A so this could be normal however not worth the $$$ for the problems.
     
  9. chanoc macrumors 6502

    chanoc

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska USA
    #9
    If all you do is word processing, music, and Web browsing, get an older Power Mac G4 of eBay - more than enough power.
     
  10. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #10
    Lets see cost of a 15" LCD or 17" CRT would cost 100-300 USD depending on where you live and where you buy. Cost of buying a used G4 from EBAY, hmm much more with all the hassle of not getting ripped off, and making sure all is well. Not worth the trouble. external monitor with screen spanning hack is the way to go. If you were rendering or encoding big music files then yes a new machine would be a choice, however not needed in this case. :) Save the money and buy a more powerful mac next year. :)
     
  11. jaromski macrumors regular

    jaromski

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    zion
    #11
    a bit a ramble

    i would put the money is a sweet 20" cinema display or dell makes a nice 20" panel from what i've read in other threads. plus they are cheaper, $799 + coupons that pop up from time to time. a better value than 1299 for the apple cinema and they are _functionally equivalent_.

    it depends on if you really want another machine or not. for me it is all about the incremental upgrades, you get more bang for your buck that way. so you have an ibook now, why not buy a 20" display and that should keep you for the next bit. 6-12 months depending on your aversion to the mac addiction that sets in quick after that first purchase...

    but then in 6-12 there will be some cheaper (not cheap) G5 units out and that 20" display can go with the new < $2000 DP2.0 G5 system.

    the more computers you have around the more entropy you have. documents find their way onto the different machines, you update one copy on one machine but not the other, then you forget and update the old copy and you have an inconsistent state between machines. i know you can get more software to sync files back and forth, but there is a management headache there having multiple computers. my internal routing table is only so good, and having multiple computers can cause little problems here and there if you aren't mindful of your actions 100% of the time.

    well maybe i overdramatized it a bit, but i would get by on the least amount of technology you can stand because it just keeps getting cheaper and less is more in most cases (except for cinema display sizes, more is definately more)

    jaromski
     
  12. Guitarius thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Guitarius

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #12
    Wow...that was much faster than I expected. Thanks for all the help thus far. Allow me adress the issues that have been put forth.

    First. The issue of a hack. Look...I'm not the most comptuer savy person. Hell...lets face it, I don't know much anything. I got a mac to begin with because I was told they were easy to use, plug and play. I could be wrong...but it seems to me like the idea of hooking up a monitor to my laptop seems a little difficult. Definatly something beyond what I think I can handle. Plus, the idea of using a hack sounds a little shady. Plus...the whole idea of upgrading and adding stuff to my own computer scares the crap out of me...

    Second. The whole synced files thing. I thought about that. If I were to get a desktop, that would definatly turn into my main machine. So, in my opinion, I don't have a lot to worry about there.

    Third. Price. I can warrent spending the $1300 for a new iMac. Plus...I got some extra money kicking around and money is like manure. It doesn't do any good unless you spread it around :) I don't know where I heard that...a musical I think.

    But you know...all that aside...I kinda want a desktop, you know? What I need and what I want are too different things. I haven't made up my mind yet...or maybe I made up my mind long before I even posted all of this. And I don't plan on getting it for a little while, so who knows, maybe something bigger and better will come out by then. But thanks for all the input. It was a big help.
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    Actually, leaving the hack people are talking about aside, I'll bet you'd have no problem with it. Pretty much you just use a little adapter (I think one came with your computer) to plug the monitor into your iBook, turn it on, and you should see the same thing on both screens. It takes almost no effort at all.

    The screen spanning "hack" part, if you do it, enables you to display something different on the two screens, which is more useful for obvious reasons--more room to work, and you're not limited by the resolution on your iBook screen. Even that isn't very involved, but I understand your being uncomfortable with anything that isn't "standard".


    And really, that's what counts. Few people "need" more than a three year old iMac, but that doesn't mean you won't have fun with a brand shiny new G5. If you're not in a rush, you might as well take the time to think it over, maybe find an Apple Store or other retailer and play with a new iMac and see what you think, sleep on it, whatever.

    Eventually, you'll probably get an idea of what "feels" like a good idea to you.

    Incidentally, despite the occasional problems reported with iMac G5s and the fears of new models you always hear, I reiterate that they're very nice computers, and I've seen no issues with the two at the lab I work at, nor have I heard any complaints from a co-worker who bought one. Any initial glitches, if you do get unlucky, will be covered under warranty, but I wouldn't worry too much about it.
     

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