Sorry, but which mac should I get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kaze, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Kaze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #1
    Hi everyone I'm new here and to Macs. I'm from Singapore and am 18 yrs old this year. I'm going to start my tertiary studies in a private art school in 2 weeks time. The first year is foundation year but I intend to go into graphic design after the first year.

    I'm currently using an Intel pentium 4, 2.80GHz PC and I want to buy a new computer. I was wondering if I should buy a Mac or a PC. Is Mac really good for doing graphic design works? Because I'm new to Macs. I have a sister which had graduated with diploma in graphic design and she herself had used macs before, in school and she's telling me that Mac is good but might be difficult to use.

    Anyway, if it's a Mac, should i get an iMac or a macbook? My budget is really tight, it's around S$2500 which is around $1500 USD. So I really got not much money to buy a macbook pro. I like the big screen of imac and the amount of hard disc space. But I'd love the portability of the macbook too which will enable me to bring it to school. But I'm afraid the durability of the macbook isn't that good, or rather would it last long? I might still be using after my 3 years of studies.

    I've read a few threads and came across this "refurbished Macs". I understand that they're defective goods that people returned but have been replaced with usable parts and repackaged like the original. But I have doubt still because it used to be defective goods afterall. And my friend said if they're really that good as stated, why didn't they just sell it like new ones, nobody will know. I'm really not sure about that and would like to find out because if I'm buying a refurbished one, I will be able to get a 20 inch imac rather than a 17 inch one or a better macbook.

    Lastly, can I get the refurbished ones in Singapore? Must I get it online? There's an apple store in Singapore but I don't think they sell it there right? And can I get it shipped here to Singapore? Sorry I'm not very smart at all these.

    I understand that there've been lots of threads asking the same thing but it would be better if more people can give me advices on this. Sorry for the long post and my poor english and thank you.

    Thanks.
    ~Kaze
     
  2. eji macrumors 6502

    eji

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Inland Empire
    #2
    My sister bought a refurbished Intel iMac and it runs like a charm.

    The thing about refurbished Macs is that they are normally subjected to rigorous quality testing that the fresh-off-the-conveyor belt Macs don't get. And it is like buying a brand new computer, because you get them same kind of warranty (90 days support; 1 year warranty against defects).

    When I was ready to order my iMac G5, I was too eager to wait for refurbished. But in the future, now that we're aware of Intel's roadmap and can more or less predict with better accuracy the processor changes (which are the important ones), I'll buy refurbished and save a couple hundred bucks.

    You have to decide what you want: portability or power? A MacBook will be great and serve most of your needs, but the iMac does offer a bit more overall oomph at about the same price. If you'll have computers at school and will only need your computer to do work at home, then go with an iMac. Besides, you'll get a significantly larger screen size, which is essential for doing graphics work.

    As for the learning curve and finding Macs "difficult," that's nonsense. My sister -- the same one who bought the refurb Intel iMac -- had only known Windows and had never seen Mac OS X before. And she's not a wiz with computers by any means. But she's doing fine and finds almost everything a hundred times easier.
     
  3. kaboutertje macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #3
    Normally I would say buy the MB + A external screen/external HD. But since your budget doesn't allow this I would go with the imac.

    Or just get a windows pc with a big 20" widescreen, I'm not saying apple's are bad, but they are quite expensive. I love them but if I would have a tight budget I would buy a normal pc.
     
  4. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Yes, get an iMac. They are great.
     
  5. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #5
    There's an Apple store in Singapore?

    EDIT: Go to the Apple Store and change your country to Singapore. So yeah, they do business where you're at.

    EDIT x2: If you're going to be a student, you should also be able to get an edicational discount through the online Apple Store.

    EDIT x3: You can also buy refurbished Macs online at the Apple Store; if you do it through the education store, you'll save even more. Unfortunately, I don't see a 17-inch Intel iMac listed...
     
  6. Kaze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #6
    Thanks for the advice but I have more questions. I've checked the page for refurbished imac and compared the 4 imac sets available there with the original one and found out one difference. 3 of the sets only have 512k for the L2 Cache(which I do not know what it is) while the original one have 2MB shared. And also the refurbished sets seems to have different GHz as the original one, why is this so? So I was wondering if there will be better sets available if i wait for a while?

    One of the refurbished 20 inch imac :
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APP...30XX/11.0.0.19.1.0.8.7.3.5.1.1.14.1.5.1.3.5.0

    Thanks.
    ~Kaze
     
  7. eji macrumors 6502

    eji

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Inland Empire
    #7
    Refurbished models are take 'em as you can get 'em. They're going to differ from the "standard" models because they might be the last revision -- or in the case of a PowerPC, a different processor altogether, which is no longer sold on the most up-to-date Apple site.

    Wait around and the stock will change. People will buy some and new ones will come in.

    The one you linked to is a G5. It's not an Intel model, which is the newest processor in Apple computers.
     
  8. chairguru22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #8
    i was new to mac recently and i would recommend getting an intel imac (or refurbished intel imac) since they are newer and relatively the same price.
     
  9. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #9
    The Intel iMacs are different from the previous generation, which use IBM's PowerPC G5 processors. Generally speaking, the Intel chips make the G5 cry for momma as long as the software is built for it.

    The problem is that there are two major families of programs that don't run at full speed on Intel chips: Microsoft Office (not that big a deal) and Adobe (big deal: Photoshop people don't need slow speeds). Since you're going into graphic design, I'm not sure how much you're going to notice the speed differences between the two types of processors.

    EDIT: Intel is the future, PowerPC is the past.
     
  10. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #10
    Can I have a source on that? Thanks.
     
  11. Kaze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #11
    So you're saying I should buy an Intel model? I didn't notice there was a difference...haha. I'm still new to Mac. I just realised they don't ship to outside US so I've checked the singapore website and it has only one refurbished imac 20 inch 2GHz Intel core duo with ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory(is this good or bad?). I wanted to know more about that product but the "learn more" link didn't actually let me learn more.

    link to the set :
    http://store.apple.com/1800-MY-APPL...j8xcZ/7.0.0.19.1.0.8.7.3.5.1.1.12.1.5.1.0.5.0

    How can i know more about it?

    Thanks.
    ~Kaze
     
  12. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #12
    Just go to the Refurbished section of the Apple Store online and it will have a big "One Year Limited Warranty" button near the top.
     
  13. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
  14. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #14
    Being a student, I would pick up a base MacBook and increase the RAM to 2 Gigs from another RAM supplier. Portability is priceless when you are in school.
     
  15. Kaze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #15
    ermm i meant specifications of the refurbished one I was looking at.

    Do I have to buy online or can I buy from the apple store?

    Thanks.
    ~Kaze
     
  16. eji macrumors 6502

    eji

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Inland Empire
    #16
    From Apple's refurbished website:

    "Apple Certified Refurbished products are pre-owned Apple products that undergo Apple's stringent refurbishment process prior to being offered for sale."

    In that block of text is a link, which goes to a page that has this to say:

    "Each Apple Certified Refurbished Product:
    - is fully tested (including full burn-in testing).
    - is refurbished with replacement parts for any defective modules identified in testing.
    - is put through a thorough cleaning process and inspection.
    - is repackaged (including appropriate manuals, cables, new boxes, etc.).
    - includes the operating software originally shipped with the unit and the custom software offered with that system. See each products "Learn More" for more details.
    - is given a new refurbished part number and serial number.
    - is placed into a Final QA inspection prior to being added to sellable refurbished stock.

    Refurbishment procedures follow the same basic technical guidelines as Apple's Finished Goods testing procedures."

    I googled "Apple Finished Good testing procedure" but didn't come up with anything so useful as a list of guidelines that I could compare to the refurb process above. But also I think it's generally common knowledge (or, at any rate, an widespread assumption), as you'll see if you hunt around for threads discussing Apple refurbs, that refurbs are given a little extra testing because they're not rolling off the line at the same rate as the brand new models -- and they're also known to be defective. Could this be the "burn-in" that's mentioned above?

    Which isn't to say that a few duds don't slip through the cracks. Again.

    EDIT: Or did you mean the 90-day/1-year warranty? In any case, that seems to have been answered by another poster.
     
  17. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #17
    Not sure what the problem is. The link works for me.

    The specs are listed as:
    512MB (single SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    250GB Serial ATA hard drive
    Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

    Between that and the general iMac info site, that should give you all you need to know spec-wise.

    Refurbs are online only.
     
  18. Kaze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #18
    I meant like, if all the other specifications are the same?

    Oh ok

    Thanks
    ~Kaze
     
  19. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #19
    Just compare it to a regular brand new iMac at the online store. Off the top of my head, everything's standard except for the hard drive (which is extra roomy).

    EDIT: I'm off to vacation, so I won't be replying to this thread anymore. Good luck.
     
  20. Kaze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #20
    Thanks bluebomberman, hope u will have a nice vacation.

    I've read threads about refurbished apple products and have only seen good comments about it. Even when the refurbished products is DOA, apple took good care of the customers and replaced it with a new one. I guess I'm going for a refurbished one.

    Thanks.
    ~Kaze
     
  21. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #21
    Smart choice;)
     
  22. Kaze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #22
    But if i use the education discount. I can get a 20 inch imac at S$2714.25 and get another Ipod nano free after rebate. While if I buy a refurbished one, it's S$2318, the difference is about S$400. Is it worth buying the refurbished one?

    Thanks.
    ~Kaze
     
  23. Huskers31 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #23
    If you buy the nano, you have to pay for it up front, and then send the rebate in to get your money back. Since your budget is very tight (S$2500), do you have that money to spare before turning in your rebate?
     
  24. Kaze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    #24
    If i have, would it be a better deal than the refurbished one?

    because it's my sister who wants that ipod

    Thanks.
    ~Kaze
     
  25. Huskers31 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #25
    IMHO, I think the refurb is better than the new one, if you don't plan on getting an ipod with either. If you want, you could get a nano with the refurb, even though you wouldn't get the rebate...

    Refurb iMac+new 2gb nano=S$2645.60

    A savings of S$68.65 vs. new iMac+new 2gb ipod

    In that case, since it's so close in price, you might as well go for a new iMac...

    Or, if you wanted to save more in terms of the refurb + ipod, you could get a refurb 2gb nano, or a new 1gb nano...
     

Share This Page