I use this software, tell me which Mac to buy and why

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dferigmu, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. dferigmu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    I'm just looking for opinions. This is pretty much what I would use:

    iLfe '05
    MS Office
    Safari/Firefox
    Dreamweaver MX
    a little Photoshop when I learn how to use it
    Tiger (when it's released)

    That's what I need a new Mac for and not much else. Now, please tell me what you think I should buy with these additional facts in mind:

    - I don't have a monitor
    - I have max $2000 to spend
    - I would configure whatever I buy with 512 MB RAM, an AE card, and APP

    Thanks!
     
  2. boneca macrumors 6502

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  3. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    With 512MB RAM, AE card, APP, and edu discount, it's over $2000 though, so the 20" iMac is not really an option.
     
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    I'm not familiar with Dreamweaver, but as a rule your safest bet is to go with a Powermac when Pro-level apps are involved, even though any new Mac can run them to some degree. I'd recommend a Powermac G5 1.8Ghz single processor ($1500) with whatever display you can get for the leftover cash. It is highly upgradable, and even stock will run everything you want pretty well. As time passes you can throw more RAM, hard drives video cards and displays at it as funds permit. It can hold more RAM and storage than any other Mac, and you can put state-of-the-art video cards in it.

    Your other option is an iMac G5. Pretty much the same performance wise with a good display built in. However, the Powermac will last years longer because of its upgradability. Still, there are a lot of pro users out there on iMacs who are happy with them.
     
  5. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I guess I should also consider the fact that I might be moving to New York in about a year. The Powermac might be too big for the space I would be in.

    Also, to have it configured the way I would want it (512 MB RAM, AE card, APP, edu discount) the tower alone would cost about $1700. With an LCD, it would put me over $2000. $2000 is the absolute max. I'm really hoping to spend less than $1700.
     
  6. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #6
    I would get the base iMac 17". 1.6 ghz G5 should be good for your needs, and you didn't specify the need for a Superdrive. Besides, it is probably better to buy a stand-alone DVD-burner, as they are cheap(er) and will perform better than the slot-drive on the iMac.

    In any case, configured how you want, it comes out to about $1500

    Alternately, if you wanted, you could buy a MacMini and a decent CRT or cheap LCD for a little less. The resultant system wouldn't be as powerful, but would still perform admirably.
     
  7. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

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    Jul 19, 2004
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    Orange County, CA
    #7
    have you thought about

    a mac mini with a 20inch display, bto with AE, 512mb?
     
  8. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    The 1.8Ghz iMac was my main choice until the mini came out. I'm still leaning towards the iMac, but if I would buy that, I would wait till Apple fixes the fan/heat problems.

    About the mini, how would it do with Tiger? And what about pluging in external speakers?
     
  9. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #9
    Considering that you are moving and want something easy to carry and fit in the new place. I would buy a portable.

    You needs are not heavy duty needs, and Tiger will run on older Mac systems as long as it has a FireWire port on it native.

    Either buy an iBook (now) or PowerBook (when updated), I have do not know if you want to use a larger external screen or not and if you need a SuperDrive.

    However both system have AEcard so you have nothing to worry about.

    A Mac mini is great for a switcher who ALREADY has a keyboard,lcd, and mouse. It is also good as a second system to connect to a TV or projector for watching movies and convert it to a PVR.

    I would recommend one of the notebooks, more ram can be installed than the Mac mini. :)
     
  10. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #10
    It will do just fine remember that Tiger will run on G3 based systems as long as it has FireWire native. :)


    Why do people think and believe a sub 1GHz G4 is not inadequate for the job of running as OS. No one ever said will Panther run my XYZ? :)
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #11
    The mini will run Tiger just fine, and you could do external speakers by using the headphone or line-out jacks - but the speakers would need to be amplified.

    The mini is cheaper. But, if it were me, I'd get the 17" 1.6GHz iMac upgraded as you mentioned. <$1500 with edu discount. It'd handle everything you mentioned, and it's not going to take up any more room than the mini - less, once you count the monitor. I'd add Bluetooth, if you get the iMac.
     
  12. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #12
    Something tells me you have not carried the iMac G5 have you. :)

    That thing is heavy, I would not even consider to mount it on my wall. And the person in question is MOVING. DO you realize that the iMac G5 is not the best product for what this individual wants to do.

    What is the point of having AE when you are going to be stuck to a desk? <---- let me guess I don't want to see wires. :rolleyes: :)
     
  13. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

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    Location:
    London
    #13
    I think I have a solution, with photoshop and dreamweaver I think you will really benefit from a 20" screen and I really wouldn't settle for less even if it meant getting a slightly slower machine (mini mac). Although I don't think you have to...

    So you can get a refurb stock 20" iMac for $1699 which gives you a 160GB hard disk as well. Add Applecare at $119 (edu) and airport extreme card $69 (edu) gives $1887 leaving $113 for the extra RAM. At crucial.com 256MB (which would give you 512MB) costs $41 or 512MB (to give 768MB) would be $77. I would definitely go for the 20" iMac and if you really don't want a refurb the new edu cost is only $2028 with 512MB of ram. Surely you could stretch the extra $30, although I do recommend the refurbs.
     
  14. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    The iMac and the mini would be fine. I don't need my computer to be portable. I just can't get something huge like the Powermac. Plus I kind of don't like portables. :D
     
  15. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #15
    I'm used to the PowerMac, which weighs something like, oh, a zillion pounds. I'm afraid that, if I put my external drives too close to it, the combined mass will cause it to collapse into a singularity, which would be nice for portability reasons but a pain because it's difficult to plug a monitor into something that has zero volume.

    Plus, the biggest iMac is 25 pounds. The smaller one weight 6 pounds less. Really, not too bad.
     
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #16
    Then get the iMac - the mini has really no advantage to it unless you already own the peripherals or want to use a KVM switch.
     
  17. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #17
    iMac G5 + 512 MB RAM upgrade and AE and APP.

    That'll do everything. Heck, my 1 GHz G4 runs Photoshop and Dreamweaver and Microsoft Office and should run Tiger, so technically you could buy the 1.42 GHz Mac Mini for $599, throw in a 20" display for $999, and your RAM upgrades, Airport Extreme, and APP, and you'd be set. Plus you could keep the monitor when you replace the system in 4 or 5 years.
     
  18. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #18
    Get the 17" iMac G5 with Airport and if you want it, Bluetooth. Upgrade the RAM yourself, as Apple RAM is overpriced. It'll be great for what you want to do. My only computer is a 12" Powerbook, and I use it for a fair amount of heavy duty stuff (audio, 2D and 3D graphics, webdesign, etc) and it's plenty fast. The Mac mini would be fine too, but you'd have to add a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and by the time you do that, it's not really going to be all that much cheaper than the much faster iMac.
     
  19. ebook macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Go for the iMac. As cool as the mini's are they do have some downside. In the future you might want to add more ram and if you did that on the mini it would void the warranty where in the iMac you could add up to 2gb no problem. Also, the all-in-one design is a great space saver...I realize the mini is small, but you still have it plus the monitor, where with an iMac you just basically have the monitor. Finally, order the 20" if you can. That's what I did and it was barely over $2000 with the edu price (I didn't get ram), and I ordered the BT mouse and keyboard along with the extreme card.

    Also, don't let anyone fool you...a power cord coming out of the back of they iMac with just a speaker cord and a usb for the printer is dang SWEET
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #20
    If the Powermac is going to be too big then I would join everybody else in recommending the iMac. For your $2000 limit you'd have to get the 17" though, since a RAM bump on the 20" would put you over the limit. Keep in mind however that you can upgrade the RAM on the 20" later but you can't upgrade the 17" iMac's screen later.
     
  21. cemorris macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    #21
    ibook

    My vote is for the 14" ibook. I use the same apps as you list above. I have a 1.25 15" powerbook and everything runs fine plus the portability is fantastic and it is guaranteed to fit in any apartment. Screen realstate is sometimes and issue, but you will quickly learn to use expose to avoid that problem. You can configure the system with 512 memory plus upgrade the HD to 80 gig and add applecare for $1,923.00.

    EDIT: Didn't notice your comment before about not wanting a portable. So you may want to ignore this comment.
     
  22. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #22
    Dunno if you can do this, but maybe wait until you move, then buy the computer that fits your eventual living space?

    The PowerMacs are large by Apple standards, but I've seen them in the Apple Store, and they're really not that big. My PC case is MUCH larger than the PowerMac's. So if you can see your living space with a regular PC tower in it, the PowerMac won't be too big at all.

    I'm not saying you should get a PowerMac, just saying that you should give it a thought.
     
  23. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Buffalo
    #23
    I could not agree more with this, but you could get the 17in 1.8 iMac G5 refurb as well.
     
  24. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    The one main reason I would not get a Mini is that it comes with a G4. I'm not complaining at all since this is the perfect Mac for the price, but I think I would rather spend more for the iMac and be ready for Tiger and 64-bit apps, when they come.
     

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