Need opinions on what Mac to buy...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Chrispy, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #1
    Hello! I am in the very unfortunate situation of having my computer stolen :-( All is well tho, because it was an IBM thinkpad anyways and I have been looking for a reason to get back to Mac. I have about $1500 to spend, and I have an external dell 19" Ultra Sharp monitor with DVI. I will be outputting to the monitor most of the time and having dual monitors does not matter much to me.

    I looked at the G4 iBooks, but the graphics card is pretty low on memory at 32MB and they only output to VGA (and at only 1024x768 at that). How well does the hack work? Will it run at 1280 x 1024 well and can I keep the laptop closed and still output the image on an iBook?

    The Powerbook 15" is too large and too expensive in my opinion. However, the 12" Powerbook with the hard drive and ram upgraded is appealing. This is my first real consideration.

    The other option I am looking at is the iMac G5, but it has the same VGA only out problem. However, it is fairly easy to lug home on breaks for a desktop computer. Is the G5 iMac really THAT much faster than the Powerbook?

    Finally, there is always the Powermac G5. However, I am a college student and I move around a lot on breaks and each school year when I move into a new place. The Powermac is pretty beefy and would be a pain to move.

    Finally, I plan on doing web design work, office tasks, running Virtual PC 7 in order to use Access (for work of course ;-), iTunes, iMovie and other usual computer stuff like surf the net and play the occasional game. I get educational discount so all options listed above are in my price range and doable. What would you all recommend? Thanks!
     
  2. jestershinra macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    #2
    The PM will offer the most expandability. Problem is that for $1500, you'll get the very lowest level (don't get me wrong, it's a great computer- jus the lowest apple offers). It'll come with 256MB RAM- that's painful. You'll want al least a gig. I'd (and did) order 2 512 sticks from Crucial- about $99 each. The hard drive is 80 gigs, I think, and you'll probably outgrow that in a hurry. Plus, PowerMac's are not mobile at all. They're monsters.
     
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    well if you dont need a portatable i would go for the iMac then, it is more powerful, but i would still wait and see what happens with the powerbooks come MWSF, they might be more appealing then
     
  4. MentalFabric macrumors 6502

    MentalFabric

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    #4
    The iMac really, really is a lot faster than the powerbook… and it's easy enough to move between two desks. as always, upgrade the RAM… but the iMac sounds like the best bet for you.
     
  5. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #5
    Hey all. Thanks for all the comments. The only issue that I see with the iMac is that it does not have a DVI out port on it. Same problem with the iBook. What is the speed difference between a 12" powerbook with a 5400 RPM HD and 512 MB of RAM? I will probably be waiting until after MacWorld to see what is coming out but it would be good to know where I stand now. Thanks!
     
  6. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #6
    Well, the widescreen 17" on the iMac is probably very close to the resolution of the 19" you have. Most 19's only have 1280x1024 for whatever reason. At 1440x900 on the iMac you'll probably not really need the 19".

    A 1.6Ghz G5 iMac will skin the raw flesh off a 1.2Ghz G4 iBook regardless of configuration. Is that a real world benchmark? :D
     
  7. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #7
    If you do not need portability, buy the iMac 1.8
     
  8. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Breton Island
    #8
    I'll give you the benifit of the doubt and say yes, that is a real world benchmark.
    ;)
     
  9. iGary Guest

    iGary

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  10. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #10
    Thanks for all the opinions everyone. The iMac looks like it will be hard to say no to. I will be waiting till MWSF to see what surfaces on the iMac and Powerbook line. If the Powerbook gets a kick in the pants on either the CPU, GPU or HD (I want 7200RPM) then it will be more tempting. However, the way it stands now, the iMac is the best bang for the buck. Then again... anything is better than the old Pentium 133 / Windows 98 Compaq I am using now haha. Thanks all!
     
  11. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #11
    Yes, the iMac G5 or iBook G4 would skin the raw flesh off your Pentium 133 in real world tests. No exageration.
     
  12. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    Dec 27, 2004
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    Avon, IN
    #12
    I enjoy your benchmark naming convention ;)
     
  13. sjpetry macrumors 65816

    sjpetry

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    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    #13
    If I where you i'd wait until MWSF to see if they upgrade. :)
     
  14. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #14
    Yeah, I have to agree with you there. My instincts keep telling me to hold off until then. I know I would kick myself in the butt if I bought something now and two weeks later there was something better for less money. :D
     
  15. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #15
    A new headless iMac seems good for you... ;)

    Look. Why don't you get, if they release them...

    Headless iMac: $500
    iBook 12" for portability if you ever need it: $999
    = $1499, and we're just in budget! :eek:
     
  16. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #16
    Thanks! I figure there are certain benchmarks that need more than Xbench, or Photoshop tests. Sometimes you need the real world "skin the raw flesh" test. You may also use the "spank the crap out of" test, or the "beat the everloving snot out of" tests.
    When these tests are put to good use, they symbolize so much more than a 14 second speed increase on a Gaussian blur, a 86.31 vs 101.25 xBench, or a 46 second faster MP3 rip.

    They're 'fo real'.

    :)
     
  17. McMakMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    #17

    ok, riding on Chrispy's post. I want some advice. I'm thinking of getting a new computer too. I was about to go get my imac tonight. but after reading about the headless imac for $500...I'm tempted to wait. Because the imac is slightly over my budget. Any suggestions? Should I go ahead and get my imac G5 or wait till march for the headless???? (as accurate as it may be, it is a rumor after all) AHH...i'm confused.
     
  18. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #18
    I think its pretty sure it WILL happen, but remember, it is headless. The iMac will have a nice moniter with it. Also, the G5 will be a lot more powerful in years to come, and will, beat the crap out of the 1.25 G4. Your choice :)

    If you already have a moniter, and are doing only light stuff, why not save the money...
     
  19. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Location:
    here (for now)
    #19
    apple store speacial deals

    if you can cough up another 200 you could get a dual 1.8. :D

    Power Mac G5 DUAL 1.8GHz/ 256MB/ 80G/ SuperDrive/ PCI/ GeFr5200/ GigE/ 56K - Apple Certified
    Learn More
    • Save 16% off the original price

    Original price: $1,999.00
    Your price: $1,699.00


    Estimated Ship:
    1-3 business days
    Free Shipping



    There's also a single with change to spare for more RAM.

    Power Mac G5 1.8 GHz 512MB/ 160GB/ SuperDrive/ GigE/ 56K - Apple Certified
    Learn More
    • Save 42% off the original price

    Original price: $2,399.00
    Your price: $1,399.00


    Estimated Ship:
    1-2 business days
    Free Shipping



    peace.
     

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