New to mac. When to buy a new mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Astacun, May 12, 2006.

  1. Astacun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    #1
    I am new to mac and to this forum. This is my first post, so Hi to everyone.

    I have always owned Windows based PCs and had never even used a Mac before until my mother decided to buy a PC a few months ago and got herself a Mac. The other day I went to visit my Mom and got to use her Mac and I can only say...WOW..I want one. After using it for a few hours I just wanted to throw my windows based PC to the garbage and get myself a Mac. So my mind is already set on making my next computer a Mac. I am planning on buying a Mac during the next couple of months. I have been reading about Macs on this website and I am a little puzzled about Macs switch to intel and the future of its lineup. I know that it is difficult to say, but I just wanted to ask you guys; if now is a good time to buy a new Mac or should I wait a while longer until the second generation Intel based Macs (featuring Core 2 chips)are available? Thanks in advance.

    Astacun
     
  2. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
    #2
    Hi and welcome to MacRumours

    To answer your questions we'll need to ask you a couple

    Laptop/Desktop?

    What do you want to use it for?

    Once we've narrowed down what you want we might be able to help you.

    TBH though, if you're switching from PC to Mac, I'd just do it now, and save the frustration of dealing with a pc when you know your mind is made up that you want a Mac. Sure better machines will come out in the future, but the current line up is excellent (even the G5's for certain needs), and technology is always moving forward. With Bootcamp you don't even have to worry about software - just as you buy newer versions replace the Windows stuff with Mac equivalents.


    By the way, I'm waiting a couple of months to get an Intel mac, but that's because I have a mac already and you don't :p
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    Congrats!

    Before we can advise you to the point where all your questions are answered and you feel even more confused, we need to know:

    Do you need a portable computer?
    What sort of work do you/will you be using your Mac for?
    When do you need to have the computer by?
    What flavour of Kool Aid do you prefer?

    Get back to us with reasonably detailed answers to these questions, don't hold back as all info is vital and we can begin to provide answers.
     
  4. Astacun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    #4
    I need a desktop computer. I currently use my PC for web surfing, music, photos, agenda, word processing, watching videos and dvds, email, calendar, etc...No gaming, web design, programming or proffesional video editing, but I will start my Radiology residency in July and I will need to review imaging studies (CTs and MRIs) on my computer. I am in no hurry to buy a new computer...I just wanted to treat myself, but I definitely want a new PC by the end of the year. I like strawberry Kool aid.

    Astacun
     
  5. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
    #5
    Anything in the line up would suit your needs, although there's a rumour that there's a red MacBook coming out which would ideally suit your Kool Aid taste - they'd look nice on the table together.

    If you have a decent monitor and keyboard, consider a Mac Mini, if not an iMac will give the same power as the MacBook Pro for a lot less $, and looks cool too.

    If you fancy waiting, the autumn is likely to provide speed bumps, but not much more, and if you fancy waiting until the OSX 10.5 is out, that will probably be next year. If you can wait, by all means do so, but you're missing out on the ease of just getting things done which a pc (generally) doesn't offer.
     
  6. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Breton Island
    #6
    I think based on what you have said that any of the iMacs would suite your needs perfectly.

    We will even offer to help you configure it if you have any questions about accessories and what Apple tries to push on you.

    For example I would suggest you get 1 GB of RAM and AppleCare.
     
  7. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #7
    Well, sounds like an iMac or a Mac mini would suit you down to the ground.

    The iMac is where the value is and it's likely to be updated before the year is done (moving to Core 2 processors either based on Intel's Conroe or Merom design - the name isn't really important, Conroe is faster but Merom will be quieter and draw less power as it's Intel's big new mobile chip).

    With the iMac you'd get basically all you really need, Microsoft Office:mac is a great office suite - better than the Windows version in my opinion - and would be a good idea to purchase it as most Unis will require their stuff in Word format etc and Pages/OpenOffice just isn't quite up to the task as yet.

    You get for your money a ripper of a processor, a good video card with plenty of grunt and the ability to run not only the iMac's primary screen but an additional monitor up to 1920x1200 - once you go dual-monitor you never go back. Keyboard, mouse, all the OS X handy iApps for your calendars, device syncing, online chatting etc. iLife will handle all your photos, video editing, making DVDs of any home movies/photo slideshows etc. with aplomb. iLife is one of the greatest features of any new Mac and the iMac really does make it scream along.

    Remember to buy RAM. Third party is fine so long as it's a reputable dealer that guarantees the RAM for use in Macs. Crucial is widely regarded on here as the best, with OWC, Newegg etc getting good reports. RAM is the single thing that when added to your Mac makes a huge difference. As you know, there are a number of big applications that are not compiled for Intel processors on the Macintosh platform (Office:mac, Adobe Creative Suite) and to run these programs requires OSX to use an emulation layer (Rosetta) that sets up like a mini PowerPC based Mac environment within the Intel system. To make this run as fast as possible it routes as much of it's information through the system RAM so the more you have the less Rosetta has to palm off to the much slower hard drive.

    You shouldn't really consider purchasing a Mac with less than 1GB of RAM.

    Any more questions? You'll have to direct to our more awake members, it's 2:20am here now and I'm orf to bed.
     
  8. iEugene macrumors regular

    iEugene

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    AZ
    #8
    Welcome to the MacRumors forums.

    It's always good to hear of another PC user switching to Mac (your story sounds extremely simillar to mine and why I wanted to switch). Judging from what you need your Mac for, the iMac is looking the best. Don't be fooled (like some folks here and there are) into thinking that anything below the Pro lines (PowerMac, MacBook Pro, etc...) are not good computers. I own an iMac Intel Core Duo that I bought 2 weeks ago, and whilst Intel is releasing another chip already to upgrade (probably) the iMac and Mac Mini ( and probably including that chip in the new PowerMac line of computers) I myself am 110% satisfied with my iMac.

    As stated, get at least a gig of RAM in your computer. (I wish that the iMac shipped standard with 1 gig) A gig is plenty, and you can always upgrade to 2 gigs if need be.

    One thing though, don't do what most people (at least the people that I see) do. They are curious to switch over to Mac but feel like they should wait for something better to come out and then get it....Fact, unless you have the money to shovel out over and over, no one's computer will be constantly state of the art, things come out all the time. I'd say if you REALLY wanted some speed then wait if they place an Intel 2 Core Duo into the iMac. However my true personal opinion would be just to get it now, it's everything you need and more.

    Have fun.
     
  9. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #9
    So nice to hear another one switchin.

    Ok. As it`s already stated in the thread. Buy an iMac today only. Ok you can wait till monday. The upgrade to Core 2 duo will take atleast 4-6 months IMO. And the difference wont be that much. Every 6-8 months Mac lineup will be upgraded and your latest Mac wont be the best any more. So go for iMac. It`s a really great machine. Just imagine if you wait till august for Core 2 and find out that it`ll be launched at MWSF in JAN 07 instead. Then you might also be waiting for Leopard too(ie OSX10.5). Take a look at some of the recent posts bout MacBooks. People have been holding for it since last november. I m waiting for only a month now and it`s really really frustrating.
    Bottom line,again, is... Buy the 17" iMac now if you have the cash in hand.

    Tip: Dont buy extra RAM from Apple. It`s way over priced. Upgrade later from Crucial.
     
  10. Astacun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    #10
    Thank you all for all the replies. You have been very helpful.

    The more I use my windows PC the more I want to just steal my mom's Mac. So I think I am going to follow your advice and get the iMac as soon as possible, which*for me is late July. I configured an iMac on the apple store website, tell me what you think:

    1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 1x1GB
    250GB Serial ATA drive
    ATI Radeon X1600/256MB VRAM
    iWork '06 preinstalled
    Wireless Keyboard & Mouse + Mac OS X - U.S. English
    AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll
    20-inch widescreen LCD
    2GHz Intel Core Duo

    Price: $2,182.00

    I wanted to get the RAM up to 1GBx1 so that I can add another 1GB module in the future. What do you think about using the iMac for watching and recording TV? Any experiences with the Plextor ConvertX PVR by ELGATO?

    Thanks in advance,

    Astacun
     
  11. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #11
    It cant get any better. Go for it. The only problem is a lot of people on this site are suggesting to wait until Meroms are out. And the jump from 32bit computing to 64bit is supposedly very siginfacant. But thats not what I believe. I think if the current computer satisfies your need then just buy it. I m myself waiting for the new intel iBooks. But some people are commenting that waiting till August might mean a Merom in a MB.
    I decide not to listen to them and a buy a MB as soon as it Launches. You just have to decide for yourself if you need a core 2 cpu. If I was in your place then I`d just buy it rite now.
     
  12. truz macrumors 6502a

    truz

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    Florida
    #12

    Great setup and I would highly recommend it. I have the same setup but with 2GB of ram. You can always upgrade your cpu later on. It's worth every penny to get away from windows. :) Not only that, but if you still need to run window apps you can install windows using bootcamp. Gaming runs flawless on my mac with windows on it.. Enjoy and keep us posted once you make the purchase.
     
  13. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #13
    The general rule is each product gets updated after a certain amount of time. So the longer it's been since a product has been updated, the more likely it is that a new version will be out soon. Very generally I'd say it's about a year between major revisions of each individual product. But the more important rule is you should pretty much buy what you need when you need it because there will ALWAYS be something newer coming just around the corner.
     
  14. ray_uk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    #14
    For me at the moment its all about the new CPU's that are about to come out, so in their release order we have,

    Merom the new laptop CPU coming out in June
    Conroe the new single desktop CPU coming out in July
    Woodcrest the new Multi CPU workstation / server chip coming out in August

    I believe that all of these CPU's will be dual core.

    All of these are going to be faster, run cooler and use less power then the CPU's there succeeding.

    If im off on the launch schedule or order please correct me.

    :D
     
  15. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #15

    And they will all be 64bit?
     
  16. sunfast macrumors 68020

    sunfast

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #16
    Hi Astacun. Don't now which software you've used for reviewing medical images on windows but have you heard of Osiris? A mac version is available (Osirix) which is vastly superior (and absolutely free). I'm an imaging scientist and it's great for all my PACS/Dicom needs. I'd recommend a mac with enough grunt to run it - it's really very good.
     
  17. quidire macrumors 6502

    quidire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    #17
    Wouldn't he be better off getting a Mac Mini Core Duo w/ 2GB RAM and a 23" ACD than an iMac? (they are roughly the same price)

    The ACD can be used w/ future computers, the mac mini can always be a home server or media center, (and so piecemeal upgrading is easier) and based on that list of activities extra monitor real estate matters far more than a bit of extra graphics hp. The 23" ACD has 33% more screen area than the 20" iMac or ACD (238 square inches vs 179 square inches).

    Anyway, that's my vote.
     
  18. Astacun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    #18
    What's your opinion on Apple Certified Refurbished Products?


    Astacun
     
  19. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #19
    For what I've heard, they are very reliable, sometimes more reliable than the new macs because Apple fixes them up, I have heard little or none negative feedback about Refurbs. You could get an amazing deal on refurb macs off their website.
     
  20. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
  21. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #21
    If you wanna save some cash then go for the refurbs. From what I`ve read in these forums, Apple Refurbs are great value for money. It`s just bout as good as a new one. The only thing missing might be the cute box and packaging. Otherwise it`s the same.

    But you wont have the option of a single 1 gb RAM stick with it. But then that`s not a big deal.

    One more thing in favor of refurbs.. Until now I`ve read from atleast 20 posts on this forum from people who`ve bought a refurb Mac. And all of them got another 512MB stick inside the Mac for free. That is you pay less than a new Mac and still get more than what newer one has. But it`s not official. Dont take my word for it. It`s more bout your luck actually.
     
  22. quidire macrumors 6502

    quidire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    #22
    I have access to educational pricing through my gf, and those prices are just as good as the refurb'ed hardware. (The discounts do not stack.)

    Do residency students count as... students?

     

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