My PC died! AKA Help me choose a mac.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Vidd, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #1
    (For those wondering, i'm typing this on the wii and since it has taken ages to type, any input would be appreciated).

    I've wanted a mac for what has seemed like ages and this is finally my chance!
    I have to replace my home desktop and it seemed best to ask before heading down to dublin to buy a stock mini as we had planned previously.

    I'm not looking for an octo-core monster but something cost-effective that could take on the role of its predecessor and possibly outdo it.

    The stock mac mini looks decent but very weak compared to the rest of the line-up which has made me wonder: is it getting upgraded soon?
    I realise this is guesswork but when is that likely to be and what will it be like?

    Although we have a fairly new wireless keyboard set (coincidentally with windows and mac os marked keys), i'd like even the wired apple one so this could affect cost.

    What do you recommend?
    - stock mac mini
    - mac mini with upgrades
    - iMac

    Here's what it would be replacing:
    3Ghz P4
    1x512mb RAM
    120GB
     
  2. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Do you have a screen that you want to keep? If not I would go with the 24" iMac...
     
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #3
    What's your budget like?

    Unfortunately, the Mac mini is getting pretty long in the tooth, so I don't see it as a very good value. The iMacs are great machines, but they are definitely a healthy step up in price and come with a monitor that you may not really need. I think the entry-level 20" iMac is an very solid machine, but that may be a bit out of your budget...it depends.
     
  4. Vidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #4
    The 24" is a little bit out of my price range!
    What I meant was maybe 17" but the screen i have, although small, is nice.
    edit: sorry about the clumsiness of this but it was rather sudden!
    I'll have to check the prices again.
     
  5. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #5
    I would hope it's the better 17" imac it's much better value when it comes with the specs and what is included
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #6
    How about the 2.0 GHz 17" model? The entry-level one is a bit crippled, but the upgraded model is a nice machine. I might be a bit worried about the screen size, but perhaps you could use your existing monitor along with it for plenty of extra real estate.
     
  7. Vidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #7
    It's a pity that it happened to die just now because at the moment i couldn't really go for the 20".
    The better 17" would be my limit right now which is a bit of a shame.

    By the way, i've been surprised by the volume and speed of comments so thank you very much!
     
  8. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    I would also sugest the iMac over the mini. You might also want to check out the refurbished 20" iMac.
     
  9. Vidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #9

    What price are they typically in the uk?
     
  10. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #10
  11. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    I had a great experience with my refurb 20" iMac. Extremely fast shipping, looks brand new, came with all parts & software etc. Also, although I didn't get any, your refurb Mac may come with some "presents", such as an upgraded processor, more RAM, larger harder, more VRAM, etc. I think the refurb macs are a great deal. :)
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    One option is to buy a macbook. They are about $1100. You can use them with the lid closed as if it were a Mini with an external LCD monitor and wireless keyboard. But when you want you can take it with you too.

    Budget?? That's what credit cards are for.

    I'm debating between a Mac Pro and a 24" iMac.
     
  13. Vidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #13
    Upon review i guess the top would be the 17" or just possibly the 20".
    I'm surprised that no-one has supported the mini!
    Does nothing lie in store for it?
    Thank you all-time for your suggestions!
    I'd still really appreciate any further input!
     
  14. McGarvels macrumors 6502

    McGarvels

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    #14
    The Mini is just not worth it for the price. Maybe if it gets updated at WWDC this year, it might be a good idea, but until then an iMac seems like your best bet. I would suggest saving up a bit more and getting a 20" iMac Refurb (I was lucky and got a processor/video card upgrade). I was debating btw the 17" and the 20" and I realized that the extra screen real estate really was worth the extra money.

    Cheers!
     
  15. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #15
    I would suggest a Macbook. Truthfully, having the ability to move around your computer whereever you go makes your life that much easier. You can go to the library, a coffeehouse, or even watch movies in your bed, or check up sports stats while you're watching the game on your TV, or check up on game tips when you're playing video games, etc.

    It's a fast computer too, so you won't notice much of a difference between that and an iMac, unless you're doing graphics work or games. If that's the case, I'd suggest a low-end MBP.
     
  16. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    Even with graphics work like in Photoshop, a graphics card still isn't nessesary. It depends on your processor speed & RAM.
     
  17. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #18
    Dont get a 17" iMac. The screen is too small. If you can, by all means get the 20" model, you'd really appreciate it, when you'll get one :)

    Mini is a very bad deal right now. Try to stay away from it.
     
  18. ericssonboi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #19
    As much as everyone is offering suggestions..

    What was the source of your PC dieing?
    Maybe it would be just as effective as either fixing it for now, or purchasing a used system to hold you over.
     
  19. Vidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #20
    A hard drive failed and then there was some form of bios problem but it's been slowly becoming useless.
    Last specs:
    3Ghz P4
    512mb RAM
    160Gb Storage
    2 BROKEN CD-Drives
    1 BROKEN Card Reader
    1 CRAP wifi dongle (source of constant problems)
     
  20. Yoursh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    MN
    #21
    If you need something right now, go with the imac. If you can hold out for a few months, wait for a mini update. Like others have said, the mini is the model with the oldest spec's and should be updated soon. It's still running on a Core Duo as oppose to a Core2Duo like the rest of the line. Not to mention the new imacs have wireless n cards. Also, the imacs have a mini-DVI out so you could hook up an larger external monitor.

    I think it just boils down to how quick you need to replace your dead PC, how much you want to spend, and what your needs are.
     
  21. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #22
    that no one commented on you typing this on a wii is amazing. i tried inputting text into the wii browser, and it really takes some time. i applaud your patience. i, as so many others suggested, would stay away from the mini. no keyboard or mouse adds to the cost, and the lack of core 2 duo processors would really be a deal breaker for me. my vote is for the imac, maybe even the macbook. also, since you are on a budget, you could save a few bucks by waiting for leopard and ilife 07 to come out.
     
  22. ericssonboi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #23
    I wouldn't call it useless.. considering its just the HD that died.. you can easily pick one up for 60-80 bucks.
    CD drives .. find these used for 10 bucks each..
    Card reader.. 20 bucks
    Wifi internal card (never use usb dongles) .. another 20 bucks

    You can be easily up and going in around 100-150 bucks.. and either way.. you could always use it as a backup system..

    Save up and buy a 24"!
     
  23. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #24
    Or he could part out the working components of the PC system and sell them on eBay. People will buy CPUs, motherboards, graphics cards, memory...all that stuff, to upgrade their existing machines bit by bit. It's a little different from the Mac system where entire systems are mostly sold at once.
     
  24. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #25
    Going back to the original question, there's nothing out there which beats the 20" iMac at the moment. In fact, I got to use one at length for working in Cubase the other day, and it's the fastest machine I've EVER worked with, by a pretty massive margin!

    Awesome price too, really very cheap considering design/performance...
     

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