The Worst Time to Buy a Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Shacklebolt, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    Is it just me, or is now, March 2005, the worst possible time to buy a macintosh computer of any configuration (save, perhaps, the mini)? I only mention this because I've had my G4 Sawtooth (oh yeah, it's pretty bad) for the past 5 years, and I keep telling myself that I'm going to wait until something great came out. When the G5s came out, I was going to wait for the 980 generation, but it's STILL not here. Anyway, as one who's computer is rapidly crapping out, I'm still so frustrated that I don't feel comfortible buying any Apple computer right now.

    The Powermacs - it's been almost 2 years since the introduction of the G5, and, with no rumors of the 3ghz that Steve promised by the summer of 2004. The current configurations are 9 months old. The iBooks are at the end of their cycle. The eMacs are way, way past the end of their cycle. The powerbooks - this is the end of the line for the Al-Books as we know them. Everyone expects G5/Dual-core models by the WWDC, and, as frustrated as I am with Apple's update speed, I think they can make it by then. I don't want to drop 2 grand on a powerbook now. And the iMacs also are near update.

    I honestly can't see any reason to make a major investment in an Apple right now. And I love my Mac; but I can't in good conscience spend 2000 dollars on a computer when all of them are dated.

    Anyone else feel the same way?
  2. kwajaln macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2004
    No. What exactly are you waiting for? People (like you) should buy when they can afford to, enjoy what they get, and not fret over what "could have been." Enjoy life, don't watch it pass you by. My 2 cents :)
  3. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    I just want to buy something that's going to last. If I can get something newer that will last longer, then that's what I want the most.
  4. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    No disrespect intended, but I just don't understand that attitude.

    The best time to buy a Mac is when you need a new one. End of story.

    Whatever you buy, it's going to be at least 4 years before it really starts showing its age. Personally, I tend to replace my primary box every two years; that's partly because I depend on it to make my living, but mainly because a two year-old Mac is still worth decent money when sold on eBay, so it doesn't cost too much to upgrade.

    Whatever you buy and whenever you buy it, it's gonna be out of date a few months down the road anyhow ;) , so I'd quit worrying and buy something that will do what you need now.
  5. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    March 3rd 2005, 5:36pm GMT, give or take a few seconds.

    :eek: :eek: :p

    I would consider the folowing 3 factors:
    * your needs;
    * your cashflow;
    * your desires.
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If you keep up with that philosophy, you'll never get a new Mac. The G5 2.5s are fast enough for most things -- next you'll be worrying about the Cells etc. It never ends...

    But I also know exactly how you feel. I bought my dual 1.42 G4 about 6 weeks before the G5s came out but it does almost everything I need it to. It's got a superdrive & FW800, I've upped the RAM to 2gb and I'll put a USB2 pci card in it soon to keep it useful...

    Just get the damned thing :)

    You're wasting time & worry by using your old G4.
  7. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    I always feel that way when I buy a computer...I should always wait, wait, wait unti something new comes out. Same with iPods. And everything else, pretty much.

    I would wait until a revised PowerBook, iMac, or PowerMac comes out, and I would buy that machine. I don't think the wait will be very long, especially for the desktops.

    In the meantime, if you back up all of your important (and necessary) files and clean install panther on your hard disk (and then download all of the files), you will probably find your current computer a lot more responsive and fun to use.
  8. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This seems to be the only argument for going PC. I've continually updated my system for a little bit here and there and it is currently top of the line. You can easily sway mobos and cpus for a small fraction of the cost of a new machine when the time is right. Macs don't seem to offer as much flexibility in this area. I guess that's the trade off for style and sophistication. What Macs lack in this area they make up for in the area of user interface and OSX. What good is my superfast 64-bit system if I can't fully utilize it?

    Buy it when you need it. It will give you use far longer than any PC based system which is why they are so easy to upgrade. Mac has found a good balance of form and function in its product line.
  9. pianodude123 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2005
    in the internet
    Ouch, I know how you feel...i think the reason he is doing this is because he/she wants to have the best. It is a bad disease. I have caught it, try to find a vaccine or it will cost you lots of money. But i am also waiting for the next gen of the dual g5 to come out.
  10. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    While that is true, what about the times before large overhauls, like when the G3 was being phased out?
  11. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    It is best to always buy what you need when you have a need. I also know that it give a very sick feeling to purchase a new Mac and then have one come out just after. Following the rumors on this forum can help to eliminate the problem for the most part. Looking at the "Buyer's Guide" is also is of great assistance. Lately I've fallen into the waiting game.
  12. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2004
    I fell into the waiting game too - waited ages for my PM - MWSF, WWDC - all the rumours were 3GHz, 980FX etc. Finally bit the bullet just after WWDC last year and was so happy. I kicked myself for not doing it earlier but I know I'll feel like c*** when the new ones are released. Just do it and be happy with your purchase. And avoid this site for 3 months after you buy :D
  13. illustratorDavi macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2004
    North Yorkshire
    Has the Macrumors buyers guide been threatened with legal action or something?

    They used to have DON'T BUY - updates soon next to the powermac now it just says buy only if you need to buy.

  14. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    dude....just by the damned machine!
    Even if Steve Jobs comes out and announces a quadrupal processor 3ghz G5 tommoro and you go buy that with 8gigs of ram 1 year from now there will be something better.
  15. Beck446 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    I totally agree with the original poster. You should buy when you need, of course, but he can hold out a little longer. The PMs are absolutely a terrible deal for the money right now and will be updated (have to be) soon, not just in terms of processor, but in all components. With Macs, there are great deals and not so great deals depending on timing. A buyer should want to get the most for his money.

    I can't help but think that most of you are conflicted, at least subconsciously, because you have a newer machine. For those of us who are waiting to buy and are using older machines, nothing here (except the Mini and some iPod models) represent a good deal for the money.

    And I expect that to change shortly.

    Oh yeah, and it is important to note that the very worst time to buy a Mac is before a major overhaul (as opposed to a small bump). If the powerbooks are going to get a new processor, you can expect the value of all old powerbooks to drop a couple hundred that day (I would guess a good 20%). Same thing happened w/ powermacs when they updated to G5. A smart buyer who has no pressing needs should be able to use the information at his/her disposal (by reading macrumors and following this stuff for years) to make a great purchase.
  16. jbrjake macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2004
    Dear Apple:

    Please refresh your PowerMacs.

    Two thousand, eight hundred dollars are burning a hole in my pocket and I really want them to belong to you.


    PS: No need for dual cores or Cell co-processors or even PCI-E. I don't ask for much. But Bluetooth 2.0 and some more RAM would be kinda nifty :)
  17. zimtheinvader macrumors regular


    Jan 10, 2005
    the capitol
    I think this sort of thing does not occur in regards to all computers, but only really in regards to Macs. For example, if I wanted a PC (still deciding) I would feel totally secure in buying an XPS2 laptop, despite the high cost and high-component quality similarities that could be made to Apples. Why? because the PC world isn't so rediculously tight-lipped, and I would be assured of having technology that was literally *just* innovated. (vs. the senescent G4.)
    Also, they typically are highly predictable, put out preview models, and offer relative assurance that some manufactor will deliver the promised product by the deadline (except games of course! :rolleyes: )

    Anyway, why I'm nervous to about replacing my G4 800 (to the point of being ready to go PC) is that I have been stuck with a piece of comparatively sub-par technology, namely a 256k L2 cache, for FAR too long. I mean, 512K is recommended for UNREAL, the original version. While PCs continue to advance linearly, Apple has wierd scemes like lowering or boosting the cache, fsb, ect. to purposefully cripple some NEWER machines simply to drive up the value of more costly ones...

    On the other hand, if I had need of an ipod or mini, now would be a great time, and had I bought a month ago, my fears would have been validated. (In this sense, buying a PM= buying a minix1000!!)
  18. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    There's a real simple solution:
    * Get a Mac mini now, to replace the Sawtooth, and re-use screen, keyboard and mouse.
    * Use this until the 980/G6/Cell/etc PowerMac you feel is good enough is inroduced (you'll know it when you see it).
    * Replace the mini with a shiny new PowerMac.
    * Do what you seem fit with the mini, maybe it can function as a media hub, or you can sell it, maybe give it to needy friends or relatives, make a lottery with it as main price or use it as a door stopper... endless possibilities... :)
  19. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Come on, almost nobody changes motherboards or CPUs in PCs anymore. It's just too time-consuming and difficult. How much is your time worth? Much quicker to just buy a new case & PS (cheap!), put the new mobo in it, move over anything worth moving over (not likely to be much of anything), and pass the old machine on to your kid sister. But that's not upgrading the PC, it's building a new one.

    My sister has my old Sawtooth G4, too...

    I'm hoping for a small speed-bump to the iBooks before I get one. As for the PowerMacs, this is an OK time to buy; I wouldn't expect a big upgrade. Another hint, you're likely to lose less value if you get the middle system rather than the low-end one. For example, the 1.8 single G5 will probably be discontinued when the next bump occurs, whereas a dual 2.0 will probably still be a current system. FTM, you might look around for a used dual 2.0.
  20. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
  21. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Hehe, you means websites like this?

    Yeah, the only real "waiting" for the PC-side is for the GPU lineups. If you bought a X800Pro just a few months ago, it woulda been a huge waste of money in comparison to the X800XL that was released in the next GPU refresh cycle.

    X800Pro = $399 or so at launch.
    X800XL = $299 (finally) and >> 16 pipelines (vs. 12 for the x800Pro).

    CPU/Mobo releases? Its not as big a deal, unless its a completely new socket, and even then, the architecture hasn't changed significantly in the last 2 years.
  22. macOSX-tastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    i bought my iPod 3G ***1 DAY*** before the 4G's came out. i was literally kicking myself. but i got over it, and i still love my 3G and really make sure it has it's mirror polished finish.

    i bought my vaio FS after buying a powerbook, and then a mac mini.....i realised that if you wait for the latest and greatest, you will be waiting forever.....the big day will never come.....

    i say bite the bullet and buy the thing!

  23. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    The worst day to buy a mac is when you don't need it ... period.
    The best day is when you're serious enough to accept what you get for what you paid and enjoy...
  24. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    Hate to say it but you have a 400mHz Sawtooth which i bet still runs everything pretty well. Granted I have a TOL D2.5 G5 but at school we were using the Sawtooth till this semester and it was doing everything well. Even running at OS 9.2. And only 256 RAM and such. Your Sawtooth has lasted 5 years and I know my D2.5 will lasty at least 4 years with all the upgrades I can put in it. Anything that Apple makes will last a pretty long time. I waited for about a year till i ordered mine because I was watching macrumors and seeing they were going to update, "this week," or "this week" The D2.5 is a great machine and I know it still has the upgrade potential.
  25. madrobby macrumors regular


    May 3, 2003
    Like it was said before, get it now if you really need it.

    That said, if you can hold out a few more months, you'll likely get much more value for your money than now (with the current models around a very long time).

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