I really want to pick the best computer this time!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by vjjohnson3, May 23, 2006.

  1. vjjohnson3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    #1
    :)
    Hi,
    I am trying to find the best mac computer that I can buy right now.

    Here is what I would like to use it for:
    1. primarily as a home computer (but if it has mobility that's ok, just looking for the best computer here)
    2. as a media device (hooked up to a large projector and large lcd tv) and hopefully both at the same time, and ability to show different images from the same computer on each monitor.
    3. As a dvd player/burner. Ability to show large dvd images in exceptional quality playing from the dvd drive. Best resolution, best scaling, etc. Also compatiblity to play as many compact disc formats as possible. i.e. burned dvds from other computers, dvd-audio, surround sound, etc.
    4. Relatively quiet running and not too hot running
    5. Professional quality music recording and playback
    6. Ability to sync with palm treo smartphone well through bluetooth and ability to read sd cards
    7. Ability to have a lot of windows open at the same time while streaming audio or video
    8. Ample storage space for music and moderate quality photos.

    iMac Intel Duo Core? MacbookPro Intel Duo Core? or Mini Intel Duo Core?

    Everyone please respond!!
    Thanks,
    Vincent
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    Any Mac will do there, but 1 GB minimum RAM is recommended.
    You'd need to buy a PowerMac or wait for the Intel version of a PM, due out this fall. All other current Macs do not support >1 external monitor. However, any current Mac will support either one of the two options you mentioned just fine.
    Shouldn't be a problem with any, but you'd get best quality from a mid-to-high-end DVD player.
    True for all non-PowerMac models now. Laptops are a bit warm.
    True for all models, with the right software.
    True for all for Treo (with software) but SD reader will require external hardware.
    Not a problem. RAM is your friend here.
    Just buy a big HD. External for MB/MBP and mini, 250GB for iMac.

    Best of luck. Aside from the dual-external-monitor requirement, a mini duo with 2GB RAM and a Lacie external HD would work fine.
     
  3. vouder17 macrumors 6502a

    vouder17

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Location:
    Home
    #3
    If i was you i would go for the iMac. It is the best for the money, you might not have the portable option, but still a damn good computer for the money. If you want portability i wouldn't drop below the Macbook Pro. You seem to be doing some intensive stuff, so the extra options that come with the MBP will aid you in that.

    Oh and how much are you planning on spending?
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #5
    The only thing holding me back from an iMac recommendation is the apparent desire to use it as a home entertainment center component, and the difficulty in dimming/blanking the iMac screen might be an issue.
     
  5. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #6
    Good point.

     
  6. vjjohnson3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    #7
    Thanks, guys, I really appreciate the advice

    Ok, someone asked me about price. I really just want the best computer to do the job in all ways. In other words I will pay for what's right and better.

    That said, am I correct in assuming that all of the new macs display and play dvds on external monitors with the same quality? Or does the imac have better video quality or the macbook pro.

    Also, can I get mobility with a desktop computer? i.e. bluetooth keyboard and mouse all over the house, as long as I have a monitor to view on somewhere in the vicinity.

    I am leaning towards an imac here, I think. Is there an issue with the fact that the imac has mini dvi out and not dvi-D for displaying quality images, dvds, etc. on a large external monitor?

    And... am I going to be upset that i didn't get a macbookpro as it is actually better than the imac (all around?) and that I can't walk all over the house with it or outside onto the patio. Or is the imac just as good , if not better?

    Thanks, everyone, I love this forum,
    Vincent
     
  7. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    get the MBP or the iMac . . . you can at least have one built in display and one external display. . . that will at least equal 2 displays and you can have different images on each. not sure if thats what you were going for. or go for the MBP and hope someone comes out with an ExpressCard video adapter soon. that way you could actually have 2 seperate external monitors as well as the internal MBP monitor!

    if it were me, id go for 2 seperate mac mini's! for the dual core minis 2x800 = $1600 yet for the MBP the cheapest you can get is $2000. so maybe that is a thought! then get a gigabit ethernet switch to allow for fast sharing b/w the two minis, so one could hold movies, and the other could hold music!
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    The iMac and MBP are essentially clones of each other, with a smaller HD on the MBP.

    iMac's support of larger internal HD's and a higher-res screen (20" in particular) is a real plus, but portability is also nice.

    And a BT mouse/KB won't let you use the Mac on any monitor... you'll still need it connected, so it's not like you can wander the house and play online. But, FWIW, with an AirPort and wireless KB/mouse, all you need to do is unplug it to move it around.
     
  9. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    evil jealous look. . . .

    yeah, all macs have DVI out (i will address the mini-DVI later) they can put out more pixles than a normal TV or projecter can accept (even HD 1080p if you know what that is). so they are all equal in this sence.

    all have BT built in.

    now on to the mini-DVI question. all it means is you need an adapter to go from mini-DVI to standard size DVI. but the quality is exactly the same once you have the monitor.

    if money is no matter, then get the iMac for entertainment, and get a MacBook for roaming around the house and surffing the net!

    in the straightest possible way, we love you too!!! heh . . . sounds like youll end up with a pretty cool set up!
     
  10. vjjohnson3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    #11
    getting closer

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vjjohnson3
    3. As a dvd player/burner. Ability to show large dvd images in exceptional quality playing from the dvd drive. Best resolution, best scaling, etc. Also compatiblity to play as many compact disc formats as possible. i.e. burned dvds from other computers, dvd-audio, surround sound, etc.

    Shouldn't be a problem with any, but you'd get best quality from a mid-to-high-end DVD player.

    so, you are saying that even a mid quality dvd player is going to look better than the dvd superdrive in the imac or macbook pro? or that just for the surround sound/other disc formats I would want to get an external dvd player?
    I'm really hoping that the dvd player in my mac can produce and play excellent quality for the projector as well as not rejecting play with certain discs.

    The only thing holding me back from an iMac recommendation is the apparent desire to use it as a home entertainment center component, and the difficulty in dimming/blanking the iMac screen might be an issue.

    uhoh, a monitor problem. Is it that I can't turn the screen off while using an external monitor? Is that a flaw in the design? Can I get a black screen on the monitor? Can I put a blanket over the computer?? face it towards the wall? anything so that it's dark in the room. Is it a big enough issue that I would want to get a macbook pro instead?

    Are there any other issues like this that I should be aware of, in comparing the imac and the macbookpro. I think I at least have it down to these two computers.

    Here's what I'm planning on buying so far:
    1. Imac Intel core duo with as much as possible already installed in it
    2. sd card reader
    3. wireless keyboard and mouse
    4. 65 inch lcd television (as a computer monitor and for viewing tv)
    5 windows xp pro (for running windows on mac with bootcamp)
    6. norton antivirus software
    7. copier/fax/scanner
    8. hd dvd player/sacd/dvd audio player
    9. surround sound receiver
    10. surround sound speakers, 7.1
    11. FURNITURE!!!!
    12. Anything else I'm forgetting

    Thanks, everyone,
    Vincent
     

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