Making the switch - is now a good time?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by 46and2, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. 46and2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    #1
    Let me start of with some background, since this is my first post. I am starting my PhD in MSIS this fall at Oklahoma State University. I am a long time Linux geek (started on RH 5.2).

    I am wanting to try out OS X, but I am not sure how to go at it. My wife has had her laptop for 3 years. It's an old Dell that still runs resonably well with Ubuntu on it. However, I need a computer for school, preferably one that will last throughout the 4 year program. I bought an HP Lance Armstrong, but I am returning it this week. My wife suggested that we get an iMac now, and around December or January, get me a Powerbook (Yonah maybe?). Ideally, we would both like to have laptops, but she said she would take an iMac instead. What do you think?
     
  2. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816

    Gizmotoy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #2
    I hate to dissuade anyone from purchasing a Mac, but the whole Intel switch would make me a little nervous. Sure, Apple says that everyone will continue binary compatibility for the PPC for the next howevermany years, but we all know that not all 3rd companies will hold to that. I'm sure they'll rather develop for the newer platform once the installed base is great enough to sustain their software. If you weren't planning on keeping the machines so long, I might have a different recommendation, but 4 years is a long time and a lot could change.

    On the other hand, if you're happy with the software that's available now and in the very near future, and don't see yourself needing anything more, by all means go ahead and make the jump.
     
  3. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

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    Apr 26, 2005
    #3
    As a Linux user, you'll find that you'll quickly come up to speed with OS X when it comes down to doing anything at the command line. If you need portability, I would suggest that you get a Powerbook ... but who know's if they will be updated at September's Apple Expo in Paris. If it will be a system that you'll only use at home, get the iMac as it's more bang for the buck and wait for the Powerbook updates if the line isn't updated in September.

    Either way, you'll be happy with your Mac and OS X and I offer my congrats on the decision to Switch.
     
  4. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #4
    go for it!

    I don't think you will have a problem. What is your major, this may make a little difference. Such as, if your an engineer you will most likely have to run VPC for certain software. When they switch to intel this won't be as big of problem. You could always sell your laptop when they update, which I plan on doing. For your wife...not to sure what she does but if it's mainly for email internet word processing then I don't see a problem.

    The current platform should be supported for the next 4+ years from what jobs said...

    Nuc

    edit: Why not get the mac mini that way you won't lose that much when they update to intel...for your wife that is....
     
  5. 46and2 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2005
    #5
    My major is Management Science and Information Systems, with an emphasis on Telecommunications Management. So I will be doing web browsing, papers, statistics, neural networks, and some network simulations.

    My biggest fear, like Gimzotoy mentions, is the 4 years. Ideally, my wife wants a 12" PB, as she thinks they are "cute". I figured if she is willing to compromise on an iMac, that might not be so bad. For web browsing, email, etc, even a PPC should last 4 years, right?

    Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll announce intel PBs at Paris! :p
     
  6. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #6
    I don't think you will have a problem then. Statistics software such as SAS runs well under VPC on my 17" PB. Or you can do stat in excel. Go for it but I doubt there will be intel macs until next year. It would be nice if they did though. If you can't run something well on your mac then your university will most likely have a computer lab.

    Nuc
     
  7. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #7
    I'd say go for it. PPC Macs are still going to be for sale 2 years from now, and there's no way Apple's going to let those Macs become unsupported/obsolete much sooner than about 2010 I figure, so any PPC Mac you buy now is going to last at least 4 years just fine, and probably more like 5. Just for reference, Tiger will still run on (some) Macs sold in 1999, 6 years ago, and it only came out a few months ago.

    As for the question of PowerBook versus iMac, I'd probably go with the iMac at this point, but if portability is really important, an iBook or PowerBook is still a really good value right now IMO.
     
  8. fartheststar macrumors 6502a

    fartheststar

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #8
    When you say "last four years".... it will be able to do the same things in 4 years that it can do today... likely more.

    Most things that your wife would be looking for (from the description) will be supported (even with OS upgrades) on this iMac for the next 4 years.
     
  9. 46and2 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2005
    #9
    I just talked with my wife, and she mentioned a mini with a nice flatscreen. That way, we could keep the monitor and it would (hopefully) last for multiple computers. Also, when I end up getting a laptop (and I will), I could hook it up to a monitor if need be.
     
  10. 46and2 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2005
    #10
    As far as a laptop lasting 4 years, it needs to stand up to daily use & abuse too. My wife's Dell, while still running, has scratches, cracks, etc.
     
  11. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    Jul 14, 2005
  12. 46and2 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2005
    #12
    Rock on!!
     
  13. freiheit macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #13
    Now's as good a time as any

    Frankly, if any computer lasts four years these days then it's doing well. The rate at which ultra-fast PCs have become obsolete has quickened significantly in the last 4 years. Consider it took from 1981 until 2000 to get to the first 1GHz. From 2000 until 2005 we've nearly quadrupled that (with 3.8GHz Pentium 4s). A 1.2GHz Athlon (pre AthlonXP) was incredibly awesome in 2001. Today it's hardly enough to even be considered a PC and you certainly wouldn't want to do any video editing with it.

    So going into a purchase with the intent that it will last you 4 years is a) aiming awfully high and b) very good if you can pull it off. If your needs won't grow very much during those 4 years, then it's entirely possible. But what will happen 2 years from now when you see a 4GHz Intel based PowerBook and realize how much more you could do with it?

    Now to answer your original question, now is as good a time as any to switch to the Macintosh platform. Any PC is virtually outdated by the time you get it home and open the box. The fact that a current Mac will use a different processor than a Mac 2 years from now is therefore irrelevant. Since PowerPC based Macs will continue to be sold until the end of 2007 (according to Jobs' WWDC keynote this year) it would be utterly stupid of any self-respecting Mac developer to NOT support PowerPC based Macs until at least that time.

    And even until 2009 the majority of the installed based will still be PPC based (heck, people are running Tiger on G3s which haven't been sold since like 1999), so developers would be cutting off their noses to spite their faces if they dropped PPC support before then. Will some do it? Sure they will. Will they regret doing it? Most likely. I'd say 4 years from now is pretty safe for the PPC based Macs, again as long as you don't find that you NEED the extra gigahertz of an Intel Mac.
     
  14. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #14
    Your laptop will last for 5+ yrs!!

    I still have a G3 Pb "pismo" I've had it from June 2000. So the powerbooks will last this long, however your hard drive will not. This is an easy fix though. So go buy it, especially if you have a tax free day. Combined with an edu discount that's a pretty good deal!

    Nuc
     
  15. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #15
    You could easily get by with a mini, but adding a "good" display, keyboard and mouse, you're roughly into about $1100 before you ad anything else.

    You already have a laptop to cover basic portable needs for a bit longer,

    So... I must agree that the new "Rev B" 17" 2.0 GHz iMac G5 is your best deal.
    You get a much faster processor, a very nice display, a conventional 7200 RPM HD. SuperDrive and the much improved 128MB VRAM graphics card.

    Since you will be going to school, you definitely qualify for the educational discount, so you are well covered with a fantastic iMac system for $1499.

    You'll be fine starting out with the stock 512 MB RAM but I would order additonal 3rd party RAM when the time seems right.

    Mac OSX loves RAM.
     
  16. 46and2 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2005
    #16
    Whatever I go with desktop wise, I will be adding a wireless keyboard and mouse with scroll wheel. I will also be adding a 1 GB DIMM for either 1GB in a mini or 1.5 in an iMac. OS X might love RAM, but I lust after it! :D So there's another $200 or so. :(
     

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