Help me choose a Mac!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by storage, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. storage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    #1
    I just can't figure out what Mac to get! I've been thinking about a 17" or 24" iMac, a MacBook or a 2.66GHz/X1900XT mac pro. But it's impossible to decide! Is it just me?

    At first, I planned on getting the base white MacBook (with 2GB memory), but then decided against it, mainly because I'm not sure I need the portability and I'd also like better graphics (for World of Warcraft :eek:).

    So, when the C2D iMac's came out, I was ready to buy a 17" one (with 2GB memory), and hooking it up to my Dell 2405FPW 24" display. But again, I wasn't sure if it would be enough to play World of Warcraft at 1920x1200 while still running Mac OS X on the 1440x900 17" iMac display. So, I started looking at the 24" iMac (2GB memory, 7600GT). To me, 2x 24" displays seems excessive, and I don't think I'll ever have any use for it. The 24" would only cost me about $150 more than what I had planned to buy with the 17", but I think it still wouldn't be worth it (the 24" display itself is like what, $800 at least?), it just feels like I'm paying a lot of money for something I don't need.

    And then there's the Mac Pro. Which I have now realized is way out of my league economically (I might be able to afford one with 1GB memory, a 160GB HDD, 2GHz processors and the X1900XT).

    I also don't really want to get rid of the Dell display either.

    If you read through all of this, thank you very much for your time :). I know I've made a lot of threads about what I should buy and whatnot, but I still can't figure this out.

    Do you have any ideas or opinions? Any help is appreciated!

    Thank you so very much in advance.
     
  2. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #2
    What about a 20" iMac with the upgraded video card? That'll only run you around $1600ish, less if you qualify for the student discount. It ought to be plenty to play WoW, and since you already have a 24" display, why pay extra for the built in screen.

    Personally, though, I would probably sell the dell monitor and go straight for the 24" iMac, but mainly because I wouldn't like the look of dual monitors if one of them is the iMac's screen. Also, with the 24", you can get a better video card.

    I agree that the Mac Pro is not the best choice. On top of already being more expensive, all the extra upgrades will run you quite a bit. The iMac will play WoW just fine.
     
  3. slackersonly macrumors 6502a

    slackersonly

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    #3
    I think the best all around option would be to wait just a bit for these new iMacs to show up refurb, buy a 20" iMac refurb, upgrade it with what is important to you (video, ram, hd).
     
  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #4
    The best way to choose a computer is based on what you need it to do. You only mention WoW. Is gaming most important to you. What other applications do you need? Let us know and we can give you a better idea of the advantages of various models.
     
  5. storage thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    #5
    Oh yeah, sorry about that. I'm also planning on doing music production (Reason 3, Adobe Audition, which I need to find a substitute for), and of course listening to music, watching movies, browsing the web, writing, maybe some web design and other various everyday tasks. The only games I'm planning on playing are World of Warcraft, Civilization IV and Warcraft 3.

    I don't think any of the Macs I mentioned would have any problem with the tasks I'm planning on doing. I have a weaker computer right now and it handles it fine (Opteron 144 at ~2.0GHz, 2GB memory), but it's a PC and I just can't stand Windows anymore. I have nothing against Windows itself, I'm just tired of all the poking around needed to make it work efficiently. I just want something that just works, something that doesn't sound like a jet plane and something that doesn't need to be scanned for spyware every now and then.

    Thanks everyone for your replies.
     
  6. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #6
    I think the 20" iMac with the upgraded graphics card and 2 Gb of Ram would be great for you. Also, the 500Gb hard drive might come in handy if you would ever want to stream movies from your Mac to the set top box Apple is releasing in Q1 '07. 250 gigs gets eaten up fast if you save any large movies or uncompressed audio/pictures on your hard drive. Its up to you though.
     
  7. storage thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    #7
    But isn't the graphics card in the 17" and 20" the same card, but with more video memory? I don't really think the World of Warcraft textures or shaders would make much use of the extra 128MB, but the multisampling might be able to use it though. Well, I'm sure it would do some good, but I don't think the little extra performance is worth ~$380. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    About the iTV, I don't think I'll have much use of it as my TV is a 14" "CRT-TV" :p. I'd much rather watch movies on my 24" Dell. And about the drive space, I was planning on getting a couple of external 250GB USB2 drives for archival storage.

    Thanks for your opinion :)
     
  8. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #8
    The upgraded video card on the 20" iMac is only $75 on the US store with double the VRam. I don't think it is necessary to play WoW at all but you never know what you will be doing in the future and you can't upgrade it later....

    I just pointed out the hard drive thing because many are starting to get hd plasmas and hard drive space will start to become more important if we use our Macs as media servers. I already have 2x 250Gig externals but having all of those external drives kinda defeats the purpose of buying an all-in-one computer. Good luck with you decision!
     
  9. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #9
    Any of the iMacs will handle your applications. The 24" with the upgraded graphics card would be best for games, but it is a big jump in price. Since you plan to watch movies on your Dell, you might as well use it for gaming.

    I would go with the 17" iMac (the one with the video card, not the bottom of the line ed. version). It is a very nice machine and fits comfortably on a desk. If you have applications that really benefit from more screen space, plug your Dell monitor into the iMac. Best wishes
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #10
    I like the 20' iMac option that several others have mentioned.
     

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