getting dad his first mac...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by flat6, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. flat6 macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    His PC refuses to start up. Wants to get a Mac desktop as replacement.

    My dad basically uses the internet, e-mail, and a little bit of Photoshop. No music or movies, no games... nothing really powerhungry. That's pretty much it.

    Would I be correct in advising a Mac Mini paired up with a 23-inch display? It'd be a 1.4 GHz, 80 GB, memory would be upgraded to 512 MB, with SuperDrive.

    I'm thinking a Power Mac would be utter, wasted overkill, while the iMac itself... well, it's a tough choice between that and the Mini. But I think I like the packaging of the Mini & Cinema display better.

    My only concern is whether a top-spec Mini would be utterly powerless, even for something as benign as internet surfing. I'm guessing no, it'll do just fine. Also, is 512 MB (of DDR333...) enough for Tiger? I'm guessing the pricy upgrade to 1 GB would be overkill.
  2. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House

    Put in another 512 stick of Crucial RAM in, and he'll be loving life.
  3. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    Wow, that's love.
    If money is no object, then that's what I would do.
    I'd max on the memory, as more is always better.
    Make sure to get him a two button mouse, and to leave a note about command key equals the control key for cutting and pasting.
    My father hasn't really made it to the GUI. He can use command line, but not Windows.

    You might also think about MS Office and iLife.
  4. flat6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    Why pick the iMac over the cheaper Mini?
  5. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    Because it sounds like your also getting a ACD as well which ups the price 1,500 right there. The screen real estate would be nice but if your doing all this I would probably just get a 20" iMac. 3 inches less on the screen but you get a much better GPU, faster proc, ect for about the same price. I just think it would last him longer but if you think he will want to just use the mini then upgrade in a year to a PowerMac then go with the mini. If not go with the iMac.
  6. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    What he said.
  7. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    iMac G5 vs. Mac mini Reliability

    As a iMac G5 owner (admittedly rev. A), I would encourage you to get the Mini with a Dell display.
  8. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    The mini is a fast little machine it will handle most anything you throw at it and will handle internet surfing without breaking a neednt worry about that,

    ShadOW :cool:
  9. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    A mini with a cinema display costs so much, that you might as well get an iMac. iMac has a much better processor and frontside bus. As well as a better graphics card.
  10. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    Go for one of the nice under $1000 iMac G5 refurbs. Very nice computers!
  11. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    All for that iMac. Once you add in display costs, upgrading RAM, etc. the cost of a Mac mini quickly approaches the low-end iMacs. The iMacs have the advantage of processor, hard drive speed, more base RAM, better video card, and um... everything else.

    I bought my father an iBook last week and it came in this Monday. This is first Mac and he is loving the experience so far. I think he has an affinity with GarageBand too. Good luck with your purchase!
  12. kant macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2004

    Get him one that suits his needs. If you have a choice in that subset, get the one you'd like to have.

    Option 1 - He likes Macs enough to upgrade. You end up with this current machine. He's happy, you're happy.

    Option 2 - He hates Macs and goes back to a PC. You end up with this current machine. He's happy (to be back to PCs). You're happy.

    Option 3 - He likes Macs but is satisfied with this current machine. He's happy. You're happy he's happy.

  13. jwp1964 macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2004
    Enterprise, KS
    Go with an eMac

    I bought my Dad an eMac in Jan for his birthday (forced switch). It works out great for him and he really likes using his computer now. All I did was up the RAM for him. He likes the all in one aspect (less cables and stuff to mess with). He mainly just does email, web searches, photos and some word processing.
  14. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Surely a 23in ACD is "utter, wasted overkill" for

    "something as benign as internet surfing..."


    "the internet, e-mail, and a little bit of Photoshop. No music or movies, no games... nothing really powerhungry. That's pretty much it."

    No? The iMac is the better choice, tbh - although with regards style, you're right - the mac mini and 23in ACD does it for me too.

  15. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    The mini will do fine for your dad's needs. Although, If I was in your shoes, then I would spring for a 20" iMac G5 w/ 1GB DDR. The iMac is faster, more expandable (more ports, more RAM, etc...), and similar in price to a mini and a 23" ACD.

    Either way you go your dad will be happy!
  16. cgratti macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    I cant see getting a 23" display for Internet surfing, email, and a little Photoshop.
    20" iMac all the way.
  17. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    regardless of what you are doing with this computer, the G5 processor and faster bus will just make everything seem a bit more responsive. I am writing this on a 1.5 ghz g4 laptop - it has almost the exact same hardware as the mac mini. My dad has an imac G5 1.8 ghz w/ 20" display. It runs EVERYTHING significantly faster than the powerbook. That includes safari and mail.

    Listen, one of the major reasons why apple felt compelled to switch to intel is because they couldn't get a processor to replace the very old G4. The G5 was/is great for it's desktop line, but the G4 is slow. Yes, when it came out it was one of the more, if not the most powerful processor available, but times change quickly in the computer world.
  18. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    First off - it's nice that you're helping your dad out with this. I totally understand where you're coming from. I just helped my father upgrade from his PowerComputing clone running OS 8.6.

    The choice was a mini or a iMac G5. The mini was cheaper, but the decision ultimately was why buy technology that is at the limit of its freshness date (this from a proud owner of a dual G4 PM and a 1.5 PB) when we could get a 64-Bit G5 running at 2 GHz? The overall package was just a better fit for him too and when the FANTASTIC upgrades occured in early May (doubling ram, VRAM, HD, speed bump - for the same prices!) that sealed it for him.

    He's not a power user - 78 yrs old, email, word, internet - but he'll use this computer like his Mac Clone - for at least 8 yrs. Let me tell you, a 603 may have seemed powerful in '97, but not in 2005. So, we wanted to buy something that's newer in the technology life span - I have a better feeling about a 2 GHz G5 in 8 yrs than a 1.42 G4.

    What I struggled with a little was the monitor - this was a few weeks before the Intel announcement. I don't like the notion that you lose the monitor when you upgrade a G5 iMac. A sony CRT from 92 still works fine and soldiers on as a school district donation, but the IIsi it was originally connected to has exceeded its 16MHz power system days. BUT - as I said, it's the best deal for his needs and gets him a great 20" lcd too. It also saves some space over his current set up and can be moved from room-to-room more easily.

    So, it seems that your choice is going to be based on the unique circumstances of your dad's use. If he upgrades a lot, the display may more sense - keep that when the box is changed every few years (although I'd look at the sub-$1000 24" Dell (see review comparing it with the Apple) if you go that route (asthetics are important and so there's still a lot to be said for the Apple). If he keeps his machines for awhile, the 20" iMac may just make more sense - economically and as a system to use for several years.

    Good luck.

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