New to Macs, need advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by buughost, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. buughost macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2005
    I'm an electronic arts major at my school, so as most people I know when they hit their junior or senior year i'm opting to buy a mac. for starters it needs to be a laptop and very portable (i have to bring it everwyhere with me) and i'm also not sure about prices (i'm not sure i want to spend $2.5k on my first mac for a 17" powerbook). any input would be appreciated. thanks in advance
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    15" PowerBook is a good option, it's cheaper and more portable.
    Get lots of RAM, and a big HDD.
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    So you want a very portable cheap Mac.

    Get a 12" iBook and some extra kit if you can spring for it, like another 512MB of RAM, a carrying case and maybe an extra battery.

    The iBook is very rugged, quick, light and capable. And it's pretty damned good value too.
  4. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    Get a 12" iBook. All the power you'll need in the short term and it will introduce you to the land of apple. You can always sell it off and get something more powerful when needed. Much better to do it that way than spend 2.5K on a PB and find out you don't really want it...

    Just make sure to get a crap load of ram. 1GB is a minimum if you are anyway into computers. 512MB def doesn't do it justice if you have a few app's open at once, 768MB is a good bit faster, 1GB will give you extra breathing space without breaking the bank.

    Oh and as always... get your memory from crucial :)
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    If you're just thinking about getting a Mac and you're not sure you'll like it, be sure to choose wisely. But if you're set on a Mac here is my advice.

    The PowerBook seems to be your best option if you intend to use it as a your primary, feel you need the extra power (IE: video, hdd speed, processor). Many people will tell you to wait until the Mac/Intel machines come out, but if you need one before they do, then you must buy the current machines--which by no means is a bad thing.

    If you do decide that a PowerBook is the best choice then you have two options. Used and new. New will certainly run you upwards towards $2k. Used--I've seen the current PBooks (1.67) go for as low as $1500 in some parts for the 15".

    Do you need 17" Do you need that much screen? The reason I ask is that the verdict is out on whether or not the 17" is as portable as some would want it to be. Some will say yes, others will say no. I see many auctions online going for 17" because they say they got the bug saw the 17" and all it's wonder and bought, now they want a 15" so they can lug it to class.

    I bought a 15", had more than enough for a 17". I nearly bought the 17" when I saw it, but I remembered that while I am out I want to carry that, a binder and some books. While at home it's plugged into a LCD. So the 17" would not be used as much and I didn't feel the need for the extra weight. The 15" offered just as much power. the 12" was out of the question due to the fact that by the time I put a superdrive into it and upgraded the video as much as possible (if possible) I could have bought a lower end 15".
    Think of it this way. When you're in your dorm or where ever you live, will you use an external display? If not, maybe the 17" is for you. I can't honestly think that an EA major wouldn't have an external display, but that is just me.

    My solid advice to you if it were me is the 15" loaded up with a larger hard drive and BTO 1 gig ram stick (leave the other slot open) and then an external display (dell 20" wide, 24" wide or ACD 20", 23", 30") whatever you can or want to afford. The second slot of ram should be filled with another gig from or Crucial. I would buy newegg. I bought another stick of Kingston and it works so great. The things I upgrade with the BTO machines are hard drives because buying and replacing it would be tough, but not impossible, and video of course.

    I couldn't be happier with my decision to go with the 15" I would have been sad with the 12" because I do happen to run around on vacations and such with the machine so I am looking at photos on my screen. School would have been fine with the 12", but I knew the notebook would serve a higher purpose.
  6. buughost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2005
    does anyone know when the intel chip macs are commin out?
  7. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Nobody knows exactly, but the first ones should come out summer 2006. The whole Mac line won't move to Intel until late 2007. I personally wouldn't hesitate to buy a current PowerPC Mac. In fact, I'd be more worried about buying an early Intel Mac because there will be a period during which Intel native software will be less common that PPC native software. That probably won't change for a fair while.
  8. buughost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2005
    so what i'm hearing is 12" ibook, 12" pb or 15" pb.... still not quite sure lol
  9. buughost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2005
    ok since i also wanna be able to burn dvd's i think i've decided to go with the 12" powerbook for now to get myself started and eventually move on to a 15" or 17" pb later on, i'll also prolly go get a nice display, any suggestions on displays too? (dont wanna spend another 2k on apple display lol)
  10. iAFC macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2005
    sul do brasil
    Hmm... The best option for you is an iBook 14"! For $1299 you get a gorgeous screen and SuperDrive. I think it will fit your needs. Spend the extra $200 you would use to get a PB 12" buying more RAM and HD.
  11. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2005
    Honestly, I really don't think the 12"Pb is a good deal at all right now. 12"ibook or 15" Pb would be my advice. How often are you planning on burning dvd's. I edit video and still do not use it often. Whatever you are doing, the 12"ibook will have enough power and fantastic portability, wifi reception, durability and battery life. Plus its 500 dollars cheaper than the PB- money that could be used for an external dvd drive. If you really want the larger screen and power than i would go 15"PB as it is another great pc that is worth the money especially with its new high res screen and better battery. Ive posted many times aboout this subject, and while i adore the 12PB, i simply cant justify its pricetag (especially since it wasnt been updated at all). Of course, if money is no issue then i say go for it and dont look back.
  12. buughost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2005
  13. pionata macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2005
    Well, the 15" powerbook is great if you plan on getting a cinema display for home in the futur.

    As for the Ibook, I have a 1year1/2 old 800mhz 12" G4 and it still works fine and never crashed except for minor program conflict, burns cds fast and loads games faster than my 1.6ghz pentium 4 (NwN, GRecon). The screen is also great on it and it weight almost nothing being 12".

    The only thing I dislike now is that I have no dvi out and want a cinema display now. Also the hardrive are laptop size limited unless you get an external drive.

    Honestly, in your place I would get the 15 inch powerbook with superdrive. It is very portable and will make the envy of everyone in your class. It is also an amazing piece of computer design.
  14. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    14" iBook does everything you need and includes a DVD burner. It's more durable and more affordable. Not to mention, if you decide to upgrade, iBooks resell at a significantly higher % of original price than powerbooks. A USED 12" iBook 1.33ghz goes for $900-$950 on ebay - that's $50-$100 off retail. A used 15" powerbook goes for $1550 to $1650 range... $350-$400 off retail. Most power users want new and can afford new... they aren't looking for deals.

    Get the iBook. Once you get through college you'll be ready for a new computer and if you find a job in the field, you'll have the cash to get a fancy powerbook.

    Also if you want an external display, go for a used CRT. If you look around (i recommend checking, you can find a 21" CRT for like $50-$100.
  15. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The 14" iBooks are very nice, but I think you'll be happier with either the 12" or 15" Powerbook.

    While most of the specs are very close between the iBooks and PowerBooks
    the advantage of being able to connect via DVI to a larger external display
    is the reason many opt for the PowerBooks.

    The education price ( excluding extra RAM ) for the new 15" model
    @ $1799 is hard to resist for the additional features you get.

    My best advice would be to go to the nearest AppleStore and compare side by side before making your final decision.

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