imac or PC

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by needthephone, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. needthephone macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Hi, this is not meant to be provocative. I need another ""PC"" . This boot camp thing is really making me think about an apple this time as if I can run windows as well as what ever os apple runs I hopefully can have the best of both worlds.

    I have been onto the apple website and see that I can get (in Australia) an iMac for 1999$.

    It looks good but does it come with any useful software (not meaning to be snide here) but as far as I can tell all it comes with is ilife so I can make music, edit videos and store photos but I need boring office type software I'm afraid ie a MS Offices type programme. Essential is a word processor compatible with MS Word, same for spreadsheet (excel) and adobe PDF writer as well.

    I could get a Dell system (equivalent ram and hard disk ) for around a $1100 which includes MS Works or for a few 100 $ full MS Office. OK its much bigger (a huge tower compared to the sleek all in one apple-very sexy) no video, music and photo multi media editing stuff but this is an office machine)

    So should I spend an extra 1000 or so dollars on the imac and does it come with a office software as I can't tell from the apple webiste, they mention iworks but is this included and is it a wordprocessor, spreadheet, database suite or just software to create brochures? If it isn't, apple, if you want to sell to anyone but the hobbiest you should include an office suite although if I had my way I'd love to edit videos all day.

    If all I get is a nice one piece compact design I can't justify the expense of paying twice as much for it. My heart says apple but my mind is saying PC - I would love to get an apple but I have to be quite hard nosed about it. Reccommendations anyone?

    I really don't have any axe to grind for Microsoft or Apple. I am happy with Windows XP and don't buy into the Bill Gates is evil debate but I have always had a soft spot for apple.
     
  2. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

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    #2
    It includes a trial of M$ office and iWork for 30 days.. So you can decide whether you will buy one of them, or ask nicely if you buy a mac today, if they can throw in one of them for you. (At a physical apple store that is, not an online one.) :)
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #3
    If you have children (or if you have low morals) you can get MS Office Student Edition for Mac for £100. the iMac will also include wireless networking and PDF creation (its built into OS X) out the box for example.
     
  4. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thanks for the replies-this is a genuine question by the way as I need a new computer as soon as possible.

    If I run bootcamp al I allowed to use the windows XP from my old PC??

    I really think Apple is missing a trick not supplying an MS compatible office suite a la MS works as standard instead of (or at last offer the choice) ilife. All oem PC's do so you can get working straight away.Apple you are so frustrating, I want to buy your stuff but ...
     
  5. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

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    #5
    Yes, as long as it's ONLY being used on the mac, and on no other PCs. It also has to be SP2 AFAIK.
     
  6. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    #6
    Use OpenOffice as a free alternative, (But donate if you decide to use it).

    Rich.
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #7
    I agree with you, a free office suite would be useful, they used to include AppleWorks with Mac's (including mine, but i've never used it) however it hasn't been updated since 2000...
     
  8. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Thanks, just looking at open office now.

    I just don't get apple, its like they don't want to be too succesfull. Why not give a way an office suite surely much easier to develop than this ilife?
     
  9. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #9
    I'd hardly call MS Works an office suite (unmitigated crud, imo)

    But yes, there should be some sort of decent home use WP and spreadsheet package built in.
     
  10. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    works is ok, never used it as I have always had office but it's free. Why don't apple take the initiative by including an MS Office beater then? (it must be compatble with word as the whole world uses it. Iv'enever sent a word attachment and had someone ask me to send it in another format)

    Open office looks OK have to say but nobody is going to support it if it goes wrong.

    Apple why don't you pick some of those low hanging (yes) apples and don't try to be too clever all the time...
     
  11. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    #11
    I agree it woudl be nice to include an office type suite or even a real WP. (text edit is included which lets you type basic docs.) However, they include quite a bit of free software that you would probably have to buy otherwise for a PC so it is a trade off. Iphoto, iMovie, IDVD, etc or a WP. They figure you will buy a WP no matter what so they inlcude the ones they want to be sure you use with your Mac (and the programs that show what a Mac can do very nicely!)
    I am glad they don't include some token WP any more really. I would rather save a few bucks up front and buy what I want instead of having appleworks that I would never use sit on my computer and have the price be $30 or $40 more to include it.

    How many millions of users have Works included on their PC but buy office or Word anyway.

    Remember, quality of hardware is important to consider, the integrated and fast OS is another.
     
  12. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #12
    You're changing the goalposts there.
    Works generally comes free with new PC's, not Office. Why should Apple try to create an "Office" killer to compete with the disaster that is Works. I used it before (for about 3 days before I went out and bought Office in dsperation) and, although it may have changed since then, it's generally not compatible with ANYTHING (even itself half the time).

    Textedit will save in RTF which Word can read, but for ease of use I use NeoOffice (a native port of OpenOffice), which admittedly is not as good as MS Office, but it's free and does the job.


    Edit: and I've never had any problems with compatibility.
     
  13. localnet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #13
    From personal expierience...

    I would go with the Mac. As far as MS Office, I picked up an OEM latest Mac version for under $100 (us) on the internet from a reputable online store.

    If I were you, I would get the Mac and download Boot Camp if you need to run Windows. You can get an OEM copy of XP Pro sp2 for cheap on the net. And get an OEM copy of Office for the Mac, it is very stable and fast on the Mac platform. It actually runs better on the Mac. Now you have 2 computers on one machine for the price of one.

    As far as the Mac compared to a PC, I will say, that after my latest PC purchase, Pentium D 2.8 and all of the upgrades to bring it up to snuff, it still cost more then the latest PowerMac G5 Dual 2.3 sitting right next to it.

    My latest desktop PC purchase, bringing it up to snuff: 2 back up hard drives and one enclosure (been there, done that), Virus software, video card to run 2 monitors, memory, wireless card, various software, upgrade keyboard and mouse, speakers, time spent removing all of the MS junk and buying and installing a fresh copy of Windows XP Pro SP2 that was not included with PC (they just give you a restore disk), and my time.

    My latest desktop PowerMac purchase, bringing it up to snuff: Install extra memory, one internal Raptor 10,000 rpm hard drive, and a copy of MS Office for the Mac. nuff said.

    The Mac will do everything I need it to do except run 2 pieces of transportation industry software. The Mac runs quietly and does its job without ever spitting in my eye. If it were not for those 2 pieces of PC software, I would have no need, or desire, to own a Windows PC.

    Mike
     
  14. carfac macrumors 65816

    carfac

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    Feb 18, 2006
    #14
    I think if you look at what you NEED it for- that is, general office stuff, the choice is obvious: buy the PC.

    Sure the Mac has a bunch of software, but that is all stuff you do not seem to need, so WHO CARES. IOt adds NO value. If you are not going to use iLife, it is worthless. So all the Mac software is not even worth considering.

    Looks like you will need to purchase MS Office in either case, so this point is a push...

    Esentially, you would pay twice as much for something thats ONLY advantage is that it looks good on your desk- hardly a good decision unless you have buckets of money, which does not seem to be the case.
     
  15. Whistleway macrumors 6502

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    Feb 16, 2005
    #15
    Nice points.

    Apple Works sucks and it is hardly worth the effort. Similarly iWork isn't that good either. Office on Mac looks and works nicer than Office in windows.

    But beware, that coming from Office on Windows, there is a learning curve to the Office on Mac. Different icons, different menus etc.. Also Access is not available on the Office for Mac.

    I haven't used OpenOffice on Mac. People say neooffice or abiword is better open alternative. But OO on Windows is such a memory hog and isn't much clean or nice.

    All in all, if you gonna use office extensively, stick with a pc for a while. Maybe things will get better in a while.
     
  16. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

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    #16
    I have to disagree there. I find it has useful tools in word processing and painting, for when textedit doesn't quite have the options you need (multiple columns, word count, etc) or you don't want to whip out photoshop just for a quick sketch. Drawing in appleworks is definitely pointless, as it is just a crippled version of painting with dotted lines everywhere. :rolleyes:
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #17
    I tend to agree with Whistleway and carfac, if you want your new PC primarily for MS Office, particularly if you already have a license of Office that you can transfer to the box, stick with the Dell.

    Note that most licenses of Microsoft products that came with any PC you purchased before are most likely NOT legally transferrable, as their EULA usually ties them to the machine they were shipped with.

    I disagree however with Whistleway's assessment of iWork. I find Keynote far superior to PowerPoint, and I use PowerPoint a LOT. Pages is different than Word in that is is positioned somehwere between Works or Publisher and Word, you probably don't want to write your novel using Pages, but for simple reports, pamphlets, letters, etc.. it's actually quite decent. Of course if what you need is Excel or Access you probably should stick with the Dell.

    Note that as someone previously mentioned ALL applications on OS X that can print can create PDFs which are usually closer to what you see on the screen than any PDF tool I have used on Windows.

    B
     
  18. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    sydney
    #18
    Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking that I although I would love to go for the the imac, its really not justifiable (as this is a business decison) .

    On an apple forum I have to say I was expecting more of the 'but apple is so much better because its an apple ' but I thank you for your frankness as most of you seem to say go for the PC as it would suit my requirements for half the cost

    Still think that apple should at least offer the choice of an office suite over a multi media suite. OK I can run bootcamp but I will have to buy another copy of XP though.

    From looking at the website I thought that the word processor in iworks is more like publisher and meant for creating brochures. All I need is a decent fully featured word combatible word processor. They seem to be selling their computers as glorified ipods, just touting all the fancy multimedia stuff you can do on them

    My first experience of apple was a macintish in my uni library and they were all used specifically for word processing (so they started off from my recollection) as being used for word processing!

    Just don't understand apple, do they just want to sell niche machines to the devoted few? I'd love to buy one but as most of you agree for me at least the sums don't stack up yet. Fancy design isn't worth paying twice the price. Maybe things will change as boot camp seems to represent a new found realism?
     
  19. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #19
    Ah, but there's the flaw in your logic. You are not comparing Apples to apples, you're comparing a lower end PC to a mid-range Mac.

    Once you get to comparing Apples to apples, i.e. a PC and iMac with similar specs, you generally find that there is maybe only a 10-20% difference between the price of a beautifully designed Mac with OS X versus a run of the mill boxy PC with XP Pro.

    What generally tips the balance is iLife and OS X itself, though the "fancy design" helps some too. ;) If that's not what you need (or want) you'll just end up disappointed.

    B
     
  20. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I went to see an imac in a domayne store and I am totally sold on it. As you pointed out I was I think comparing the lowest end PC I could get away with the imac but in comparison with the PC's they had on sale in the store (Hp, Compaq, whatever) the imac looked good value. It does look superb and all the icons and that mouse were a pleasure to use. It's a bit like a nano once you see one you MUST have one. Apple should really appreciate that industrial designer guy from the UK.

    So I'm getting one! Going to use open office and see how it goes. I can't wait to get it going..
     
  21. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

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    #21
    I absolutely love it:
    - Multiple posts on how an iMac isn't worth it because it doesn't come bundled with MS Office and only looks pretty
    - No acknowledgment that if you really want a mac, and price is an object, you could simply get the mini
    - Then when everyone tells you that you're right & stick with the Dell, you're getting the iMac because of the icons and the mouse!

    I'm not sure about your decision making process, but it steered you in the right direction this time. :p

    Kidding aside, I use both macs and wintels at work. I use MS Office constantly on both systems and find office 2004 much better than the pc version. The built-in PDF writing support is also much better than pcs. You may find yourself relying less and less on boot camp as time passes.

    Good luck on your switch and welcome! :)
     
  22. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Yes, I did go 180 degrees but I wasn't comparing apples to apples and the imac I tried was SO nice to look and at to use when I tried it. The mighty mouse was so good to use, the scroll wheel was almost as if it did what you were thinking without having to move your hand!I do have a need (a personal one) to edit video so this should be an added benefit. The software package does say that AppleWorks is included (maybe an OZ only thing?)-OK I'm trying my best to justify it but I am looking forward to hopefully the best of both worlds-Open office looks good, I hope it runs OK on the imac too.
     
  23. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #23
    Who says that split-second changes of heart can't be the right ones :rolleyes:
    Even though you may have changed your mind once you got in the store, I'm pretty sure you won't find too many people here will fault you for it. We've all be seduced by the Macness.

    Welcome to the switcher club, it's a two drink minimum :)
     
  24. needthephone thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Iv'e just spent the last hour or so watching Steve Jobs give his January 06 Macworld speach. Can't wait to get this now! Looking forward to using idvd and iphoto.

    It struck me though (sorry to hark on) that they can do all this amazing stuff but they don't offer a good office product as standard. Is there a problem with patents or something perhaps?

    If they offer this then they will have it compleatly sewn up. I could get MS office mac but I think at first I'll take my chances with open office.
     
  25. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #25
    I actually think a big part of the reason why they don't include a very functional office suite is to keep Microsoft happy. If MS stops producing Office for the Mac, that will hurt Apple. By encouraging people to buy MS Office instead of just using a bundled Apple Office package, Apple is ensuring that MS makes money and continues to produce Office for the Mac. There are people who need perfect Office compatibility, no matter how good the alternatives are. Those people won't buy a Mac if MS stops making Office for Mac.

    As a side note, I've got Office for the Mac, and it's really quite good. I generally don't like Microsoft's products at all, but they've done a nice job with Office for the Mac (and Office for PC really for that matter).
     

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