Looking for first Mac, what should dad get??

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by VoodooDaddy, May 15, 2003.

  1. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #1
    First the usual: long-time pc user, looking to be first-time Apple owner. I build my own pcs, have 2 mid to high end systems AND I just bought a new Sony Vaio about 3 months ago.

    Now what I'm looking for is a low(er) end Mac that I can get at a reasonable price to see if I like it. I briefly considered getting a new ibook before I got the Vaio but I didn't want to spend that kind of money on a notebook not knowing if mac was really a direction I wanted to go.

    Then I considered a ew emac for $999, or the older crt stlye iMac for $799 from apple.com
    but even now I'm not sure I want to pay that much just to experiment with a mac. For $800-1000 I can build a very high end pc.

    I guess you may be wondering "then what exactly do you want?"

    Well, what about the older ibook, the "clamshell" style (I think I've seen it called that). Would it suffice for what I want to use it for and would it give me a fair glimpse of what mac has to offer?? Basically I aim just to use it for web, music, minor photo editing stuff. That's about it. Anything else can be done on any of my other pcs.

    So what exactly should I look for? Obviously I'm looking to get it off ebay, but I have no clue what is a fair price for whatever amount of hardware I'm getting.

    Or if someone here is looking to sell one I'm interested. Ideally my price range is say $400-500, I really don't want to go beyond that as any more and I should just pop for the cheapest new ibook at $999 (or less off ebay). Also, an older imac is an option, same deal, what is a fair price for a used machine compared with what it actually has in it??

    I have no idea about mac processors. The clock speeds seem way behind amd or pentium, but with the g3 and g4 I do know that they don't compare the same way.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mmmdreg macrumors 65816

    mmmdreg

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    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    Go for an eMac. The old iBooks and iMacs are OLD and will not give a good glimpse of the mac world. eMacs are relatively cheap and they perform nicely. They also have nice specs for what they are.
     
  3. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #3
    Yep, emac. They start at $800 new. You could probably find an older one slightly cheaper. The older ibooks and imacs will work fine under OS 9 but will crawl under OS X. The newer ibooks are similar in price to the emac but you pay for portability rather than performance.

    The G3 and G4 have roughly similar performance clock for clock but the G4 has an SIMD unit (like SSE2 or 3DNow only done better) which is used quite heavily by both the OS and Apples apps to speed up performance so there is a difference between the two in real world stuff. To compare them to P4's is hard but they are a more efficient design than the P4's so are more powerful than a clock speed comparison would suggest. At the risk of being flamed I'd guess a single 1GHz G4 is similar to a sub-2GHz P4 but that's only an estimate.
     
  4. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

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  5. mrjamin macrumors 65816

    mrjamin

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    #5
    huh?

    anyway, i agree - the emacs - they're really good for the money.
     
  6. primalman macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    at the end of the hall
    #6
    yes, eMac, the $999 1ghz with the combo drive, not the $799 CDROM. Blech!
     
  7. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #7
    I believe the best deal is a refurbished imac. 17'' flat panel, 80 gig hdd, dvd burner, the iapps, and its 800mhz, and its like 1500. best deal out there. try and put a 17'' flat panel, dvd burner, and 80 gig hdd in a wintel for 1500. :)
     
  8. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    #8
    I would agree but he wants it cheap and the $799 bargain basement one is still more than he really wants to pay...
     
  9. Groovsonic macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    Re: Looking for first Mac, what should dad get??

    Hey! I have an idea!

    Buy either a fully loaded iBook, or any other mac that tickles your fancy. If you don't like it, sell it! Macs have really high resale values. Lets say you spent even $1500 on a mac. Lets say you hate it. Sell it and you will make most of your money back. Go ahead and buy any mac model you like, just make sure it has AT LEASt 256mb of ram. The computer runs MUCH better with at least 256. 128 really dosent cut it very well.
     
  10. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    Apr 6, 2003
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    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #10
    dont buy the G3 new, for the same price you can buy the lowened G4. its not worth it to spend the same and get less. go with the emac.
     
  11. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

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    Nov 27, 2001
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    here (for now)
    #11
    the store

    any stores near you with macs?

    try spening a few days (an hour or so at a time) at the store playing with the different macs. they're pretty spendy too buy just to try out. or better yet find someone who already owns one and play with it.

    *remember your machine should run smoother than a store model or someone elses machine. assuming you will learn how to maintain it properly and give it enough ram and HD space.

    if you buy a low end and like it, you'll be kicking yourself for not just buying a high end machine and replacing some of those wintel machines.

    if you are into linux check out yellow dogs machines here
     
  12. toughboy macrumors 6502a

    toughboy

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    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Izmir, Turkey
    #12
    I really do agree but you may need a ram upgrade with a combodrive eMac..

    I'm just like you, I also plan to buy a mac this summer.. I've become a real mac-lover with iPod. I'm curious about seeing what I adore is really worth to love and I'm planing to buy a iBook or maybe a Powerbook because I want a notebook, but you seem to be looking for a desktop computer rather than a portable one...

    as a result I'd recommend an eMac too... :)
     
  13. primalman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    at the end of the hall
    #13
    If you are a student or work for edu....listen up.

    There are some unadvertised specials on Powerbooks and iBooks for EDU purchasers, but you must ask your buyer to contact the Apple rep. They are standard configs only, shipped from Taiwan, and are limited....

    PBs...It is only the 12" combo and Superdrive, 15" 1ghz only and all iBooks.

    I just bought a 15" 1ghz superdrive TiBook for $2060! WOOT! iBooks go way cheap on this special....get to the school buyer now!
     
  14. evil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    chicago ex-toronto
    #14
    about the education discount. yes its a sweet deal and some machines are discounted more deeply than others. so keep a look out.

    about trying out a mac-
    i also was weary on how i would feel about a mac, so about 5 months ago i bought a used 500 mhz g3 i book.
    i fell in love with it and having it for only 3 months or so i sold it for almost as much as i paid for it. no big loss. i then used the money that i got back plus extra to pick up a brand new powerbook.

    2 lessons here i guess. if you spend the money on a mac and dont want it, youll be able to sell it again for a good price. macs hold their value better than wintels.
    second, you wont want to use a wintel again. dont go too lowgrade in your mac purchase because youll want a better one.
     
  15. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

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    Mar 15, 2003
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    In my head
    #15
    Why dont you rent a new mac for a month. I have seen ads for $100-$150 a month for Powermacs. Must be similar deals for emacs?

    Renting is a dear do for using a computer in the long term, but for what you need, Id have thought its the way to go.

    It seems ridiculous that you have to spend $500 or more just to see if you like Mac. Doesnt say much for the chances of attracting switchers does it?

    FWIW I bought my PB in the hope that it was as good as all the info and reviews that I gleaned on the internet. Having chopped and changed my mind between ibook and Powerbook - there is a massive price difference - my "blind" purchase worked out fine. I am so glad I went for the top end, because there is just so much spare capacity in the thing and I can do everything I wanted with such straightforward ease. I cant believe you won't be impessed by a digital hub mac.
     
  16. yzedf macrumors 65816

    yzedf

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    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #16
    VoodooDaddy - the problem with buying older Mac hardware is it will not run OS X properly. OS X requires a minimum of 16MB of video memory. I am making the assumption that you are looking at Mac's due to OS X...?
     
  17. MacFan25 macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

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    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    I would either go for an older eMac, or just go ahead and get a new eMac. Apple recently lowered the eMac's price. The eMac now starts at $799, which I think is a great deal.

    The thing about getting an older "Clamshell" iBook, is that it is not going to be fast, and may not run OS X well.
     
  18. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #18
    honestly, why not look at the refurbished emacs, they are usually 700, and have the combo drive and everything. those are the best deals out there; those and the refurbed imacs. just my 2% of 1.00
     
  19. CMillerERAU macrumors regular

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    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Fresno, CA (Prescott, AZ for school)
    #19
    I got a low end eMac (700MHz, CD-R) and its been an OK machine. I say OK because it needed a RAM upgrade to be really useful in OS X and the monitor has been flaky. I'm sure Apple has ironed out the monitor problems of the older eMacs (though I had it sent in once and it still flickers at high resolutions). I would go for something refurbished since those are cheaper and are looked over with a fine tooth comb.
     
  20. VoodooDaddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #20
    sorry ppl, I know you are trying to help but apparently some of you cant read. I dont want to spend $1000 for a Mac just to see what its like. Odds are, 99.99999% Im not going to switch to Mac. For $1000 I can build myself a near cutting edge pc.

    If I cant get a $400-500 clamshell ibook or older imac then I dont even want to mess with it. Billybob summed it up perfectly I think:

    Billybob: "It seems ridiculous that you have to spend $500 or more just to see if you like Mac. Doesnt say much for the chances of attracting switchers does it?"


    The more I read here actually the less interested Im becoming. OS X really isnt that important. I know its the newest OS and the best one, but if I cant get a feel for Mac on OS 9 or 10 (I dont know all the variations) then I guess I dont want to spend the money.

    I just bought a Vaio notebook for $1400 so I dont have any interest in the new ibook, unless someone wants to give me one.
     
  21. Freg3000 macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

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    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #21
    I guess you just can't get a Mac then. If you just want to buy a cheap one to fool around, I doubt you'll find one that runs anything well. Spending $400 on a clamshell iBook is just like throwing money away. Wait a little while (or sell one of those PCs!) and the get the recommended eMac.
     
  22. VoodooDaddy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 14, 2003
    #22
    So what you are saying is the older macs are crap?? Were they crap back when they were new or just because they are dated?? I mean my P3 450mhz system was good back in the day, but now its crap. BUT, it can still do what I want the mac for: net, music, photo managment, photoshop, games (obviously not anything really recent but Sims, Sim City, Roller Coaster Tycoon, I dont play alot of graphics intense games anyhow), dvds...


    Im confused. Most here would say that macs are far and away better than pc, but you are saying buying an older ibook is throwing money away??
     
  23. Tequila Grandma macrumors regular

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    May 17, 2003
    Location:
    Boston MA
    #23
    OSX isn't just like a "newer" version of 9 (as 9 and 8 were really newer versions of 7, etc etc), it's a completely different OS. I refuse to touch OS9 anymore -- if you're looking to see what Macintosh currently has to offer, and you start out using 8 or 9, you're not at all going to be seeing the full capabilities.

    Arigato,
    Brook
     
  24. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2002
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    Europe
    #24

    Ignore him, what he said was wrong. I guess the people here are worried you'll get a slow machine and not like macs as a result. Mac OS X runs okay on any machine form the last 5 years, I know this from experience, you jsut need to have lots of RAM.

    The faster the better obviously, and an eMac would be good.

    As for getting to know mac os on 9 or 10,, it does make a huge difference. OS X is lightyears ahead of OS 9, much more than the difference between 98 and XP.

    You do not need 16mb of VRAM to run os X, you jsut need it for the on screen graphics to be run of the video card, systems are still useable without it.

    Macs last a lot longer than wintel PCs. My 6 year old Beige G3 is running Mac OS 10.2.6 (the latest) and is under heavy use by my dad's secretary for databases/office/internet/ email etc.

    Another thing to note tho, its short sighted to say you will not start using it for more. There are things that people use their macs for everyday that doesn't normally occur to windows users, not so much anymore, but iTunes is the best mp3 player out there and apples other included Apps are similarly superior to anything included with Windows.
     
  25. VoodooDaddy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 14, 2003
    #25
    I just think its a very high probability that I wont switch completely. I may use both, probably use the pc twice as much as the mac, but I'd at least like to try mac.
     

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