Switching from PC to Mac. Which do I need?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by singit5366, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. singit5366 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    #1
    Been using a PC for many years. My 3rd PC is about to die....or at least Windows is. I do not want to continue with headaches, and I'm hearing that Mac is the cure.

    My main use is for a home based business and personal use. Will definitely need to bring over my QuickBooks database, but prefer to buy new Quickbooks software for MAC rather than trying to run my PC version (it's old 2003).

    Need to be able to use Excel and Word files. Again, if I can use existing files in a Mac Version of Word/Excel (does that exist?), then I prefer this over trying to run XP. My XP version was an upgrade and I prefer to TRASH it and start clean with all MAC stuff if that is possible. Really don't want to recreate all files and docs on Mac - can PC files be opened in Mac Office type software? Of course, need to be able to get e-mail. I'm assuming there is email software included.....

    I don't really understand all of this "parallel" lingo or partitioning drives to run both, etc..... Oh, and for what I'm describing for use, is 1GB of RAM enough? I have 512 on my sick PC and it takes minutes to open programs....but again, it is terminally ill, I'm sure. No gaming planned. Would love to be able to convert home videotapes to DVD down the road, so expandability is great.

    I have a monitor that is new (17inch), so I think the MacPro is what I need. But, I am not sure about any of it. Software advice is appreciated too.

    Pricing, of course is a strong consideration, but so far comparing a new Dell to the MacPro (true specs), it appears that the Mac is not really that much more. Oh....I can only dream of what it will be like without Windows Updates.........

    HELP!! I need to make the right decision - and being proficient in Windows and not in MAC makes me uncomfortable. Can anyone shed some comforting light for me?
     
  2. WICK3D macrumors member

    WICK3D

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    Monterrey, Mexico
    #2
    Why dont you try a Mac Mini?
    the minis works great for office apps and you already have de monitor, just add it a mac keyboard.

    in my experience the mini is a good start

    regards
     
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #3
    The usage you've indicated would not in any way require all the horsepower of a Mac Pro, unless you plan to use pro audio/video/graphics applications later.

    You should be fine with the education version of MS Office for Mac for your
    normal Office requirements.

    In fact, a well equipped mini with an external back-up drive would more than handle your business requirements.

    Personally, I would recommend buying either the 20" or 24" iMac and either
    connect your 17" display to the iMac for extended process viewing or just sell it.

    Otherwise, you could go for the base MacBook Pro, using your external display
    for those long hours of work.

    The Mac Pro is a serious heavy use workstation meant to handle considerable
    workload.

    The 2.66 GHz model with 2 GB RAM and your choice of GPU would more than cover your needs for quite some time, but you're into $2600.00 for a nice set-up before you buy any software or decide to get a larger display.

    I think the others here will agree that the iMac is your best bang for the buck
    given your needs.
     
  4. singit5366 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    #4
    Can't find much info on them in comparison and what I did find focused on lack of upgrade capability and maximum 512 memory??? Was also unsure about DVD/CD drives, etc....
     
  5. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #5
    Well, there is Quickbooks for Mac - don't know how good it is though.

    Microsoft Word and Excel were originally Mac programs and Microsoft continues to produce Microsoft Office:mac to this day. Office:mac 2004 is the most recent version, to be replaced with Office:mac 2007 late next year - it'll be a Universal Binary then. The current version of Office:mac runs in the rosetta emulation layer meaning it can be a little slow but it's certainly fine for normal use. You'll need to purchase Office:mac. Office:mac comes with Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Entourage (outlook-type app).

    Apple make a small office suite called iWork that has a basic word processor/page layout app called Pages and a brilliant (better than Powerpoint) called Keynote. It's cheaper than Office and Pages can open and save Word documents but you may run into some formatting problems so I'd recommend Office. All your Office docs should be cross-platform compatible and Office:mac includes a "Compatibility Report" that can show you where possible conflicts (if any) could exist if you opened the same document on a PC. Generally you should be fine though.

    OSX includes Mail - a very good email application.


    From what I can see I doubt you'd ever come close to needing the pure, unadulterated grunt of the Mac Pro - that thing is for your serious video editors, photo gurus and power-junkies.

    I reckon you'd be perfectly fine with a 20" or 24" iMac (they fly, they really scream in terms of performance) and using your 17" monitor as a second display. You could then use the money you save for some other nice office stuff and a copy of Office:mac 2004 (keep some money aside to upgrade to 2007 next year and enjoy a real speed boost - don't get me wrong, it's not painfully slow, I run a 1.2GHz G4 so Office is running natively on mine and the iMac runs it faster in rosetta than it runs natively on my machine, but when Office:mac 2007 comes out it will blow my little iBook away) and some other stuff like external HDDs for backing up your business data.

    Unless there's some majorly intensive part of your workflow you haven't told us about the iMac would seem the best choice for you rather than the Mac Pro.
     
  6. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #6
    The Mac mini has a maximum RAM capacity of 2GB.

    The 1.66GHz Core Duo model has a ComboDrive (burns CDs, plays DVDs), the 1.83GHz Core Duo model has a SuperDrive (burn and play DVDs).

    The iMac (17" 2.0GHz, 20" and 24") has a maximum RAM capacity of 3GB - all these models have SuperDrives. The 17" 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo model has a max RAM of 2GB and has a ComboDrive.
     
  7. speakerwizard macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    also, there are instructions on the web about how to open / upgrade a mini, not as hard as some might think! if your inbetween the mini and the pro though, you could sell the monitor and put it towards an imac, they truley are fantastic.
     
  8. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #8
    ithnk most of your questions have been ocvered, there is quick books and word for mac. Congrants on planning the wswitch. I would recommend an iMac and selling the display you have now. good luck,
    fivetoadsloth
     
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #9
    The 20" and 24" iMac help your workflow and your eyes by allowing you to
    easily work on full sized 2 page layouts.

    Meanwhile you can track other data management off your external display.

    Since you're not dealing with Windows security issues, your workflow is greatly
    increased each time you begin any project.
     
  10. singit5366 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    #10
    Had not really looked at iMac's, but the price difference alone seems to more than make up for the $150 I spent on a monitor.

    Opinions on having everything "all in one" when problems occur??

    Everyone is very helpful (more than the 800#'s!!). Thanks for the feedback. Still trying to determine software needs....
     
  11. BackInTheSaddle macrumors regular

    BackInTheSaddle

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    #11
    I think a lower-end Mac would do just fine for you. Be careful though about migrating from QuickBooks on Windows to QuickBooks on the Mac. I don't think they are the same animal. Also, I had a lot of problems transitioning from Quicken on Windows to Mac--lots of translation issues. You may be better off using Parallels to run QuickBooks on XP instead of migrating.
     
  12. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    For what your needs are, I put in another vote for the iMac. It will fly on any of the programs you just mentioned and is great for personal, non-business stuff too. I would recommend the 20 inch just because I think the upgrade to its stunning glory is worth the money; make sure to put at least 1 GB of RAM into it, as that will make your Mac experience all the better.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #13
    Well that's the tradeoff isn't it, in most cases you'll be fine but if a problem does unfortunately strike you'll be down a computer. That's why as a business with mission critical processes you should always have a back up system somewhere (even a dodgy old laptop that would get you by in the case of something going wrong).

    But, from general consensus the iMacs have been stellar performers with very few reported problems and none of them systematic (ie, just your normal random hardware failures that all PC vendors have) and all would be covered by warranty. As a business you'd be making a wise choice in purchasing the extended Apple Care warranty to extend your phone and store coverage to three years.

    I would recommend keeping your display and using it with the iMac as a secondary display - two screens are always better than one.

    The 24" iMac has the advantage of a Firewire 800 port meaning you can use the faster FW800 interface with supported external drives to make backing up large amounts of data much faster than normal. But if you don't see a need for the 24" screen the 20" would work just fine too - the iMacs are the real bargains of the Mac line up, they offer stonking performance for very good prices.
     
  14. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    #14
    With your own screen as a "back-up" you are no worse off with the iMac than a mini as far as problems with it being a all-in-one.
     
  15. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #15
    Go to VersionTracker and search business software, accounting, project management, billling, inventory control, etc. I think you'll be quite pleasantly surprised at how many options are available.
     
  16. singit5366 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    #16
    All great points. Definitely going to go iMac.

    Are there any other Quickbooks people out there who can give me a warm fuzzy about what to do with that?
     
  17. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #17
    No matter what, be sure to buy a good fast external drive for back-up.

    NewEgg is selling the Western Digital MyBook Pro 250 GB and 500 GB for a great price.

    You might also consider a .mac account or other offsite storage for redundant
    data management.
     

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