What to do now?!?!?!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by BiggeeC, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. BiggeeC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2002
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    #1
    Hey everybody. First of all, I just wanted to tell everybody who responded to my previous message "THANK YOU!". I've decided to switch to Mac. However, I'm not too sure as to which Mac to buy. I know that there is that convention thing coming up soon, but hopefully you can help me out with that too. Here's a little info on me. I'm a 24 year old police officer. I spend most of my time working. On my days off, I like to spend time away from my house. Basically, I'm not a hard-core computer user. I surf the net for an hour or two a day. I like to burn CD's, don't play games all that much, don't do anything involving Office, Photoshop, or any other program like that. (although my mom would appreciate it if I transfered some pics onto CD for her...) I'm pretty much a basic, boring user. I don't need too much power or speed. However, I don't want to have to worry about upgrading or not being able to run something I might want to run. And finally, I want a Mac that will last me for awhile.
    So, having said all that, and taking into account that convention or whatever it is, what do you all recommend? Thanks!

    Chris (BiggeeC)
     
  2. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #2
    Well...

    If you want to take your computer with you, I would reccomend an iBook 700MHz with 12.1 or 14.1 inch screen. It will burn cds and do everything you want to.

    If you wont be going portable, I would reccomend the new eMac. Its more powerful than the iBook, but it is a lot bigger.

    eMac= about $1149
    iBook= from 1400 to 1749 dollars
     
  3. evildead macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #3
    portable?

    Do you want a portable or a desktop? If you want a desk top then I sugest that you get the new iMac, there are 3 of them out I think. The low end one has a CD-RW, the mid-rnage has a CD-R and DVD player, the High-end one has a supper drive (to burn CD-R and DVD-R)

    If you want to Burn your own DVD's then get the top of the line, if you want to just paly DVD movies then get the mid-range, if you dont care about DVD's at all and want to just burn CD's (allyour moms photos) then get the low end one.

    RAM is cheep and you can get it and install it your self or pay some one do do it (or a geek friend of yours) So dont worrie about the RAM diffrences in the computers. Its much cheeper not getting it from Apple. top end one has a 60GB hard drive and the other 2 have 40GB HD. If your a average users, 40GB should be plenty for you.

    As for upgrades, Macs have a much longer life than PC's and higher resale value if you deside to get another one later. I would suggest you get as much RAM as possible and after that, you probably wont have to get another computer for a very long time.

    You should beable to run any application you want with that computer even if you wanted to use Photo shope or something like bryce, you could still run it, it just wont run as fast. Unless your a 3D graphic artist or you touch up photos for PlayBoy , you should be very happy with the new iMac for a long time.
     
  4. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #4
    If you want something that you will be able to [easily] upgrade parts of in the future (like memory, hard drive and such) get a G4 tower. With the processor being on a daughter card, you can [fairly] safely upgrade it later when you want to (or they make something faster). It is fairly common to see the blue and white towers still in active service (about four years old now) and even some beige G3's too. You don't see too many iBooks that old still in hard use (or much use for that matter).

    Something else to consider is drive price. While portables are nice to have (I have one, and am using it to write this), the internal hard drives are rather expensive (cost per GB). The G4 towers use the same 3-1/2" hard drives that you find at your local computer shop (ATA100/133).

    Another thing in favor of the tower is the fact that you can [easily] add PCI cards to add new technologies as they come out. While this may not seem important now, it will when you want to get a device and need to add the port to your computer. PCMCIA cards for laptops run anywhere from 1.5x to 3x more then PCI cards for the same technology.

    The tower could end up costing more then the iBook. It all depends on which one you purchase. Since you are a self-professed non-power user, I would say that you should go with either the low end or mid-range tower. IF you can wait until after MWNY, you can [most likely] get the current mid-range tower (the 933MHz model) for at least a few hundred dollars less then it sells for now. All you need to do then is get a monitor. You can pick up a 17" [quality] screen for under $200 (I prefer/recommend ViewSonic, but Sony also makes very good monitors). You can always get a larger screen later (or even attach a second one, to the tower).

    Bottom line... For a long usefull life span, with the ability to upgrade it as you want, get the tower. If you want something you can take with you, get a portable. If you want something that will be able to [easily] run software that comes out over the next few (to several) years, get a G4 processor.
     
  5. BiggeeC thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2002
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    #5
    Desktop...

    ...is the way I want to go. I guess I should have mentioned that earlier.
     
  6. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #6
    Do you have a max that you can afford to spend??? Or an amount in mind??? I would venture to say, that you could pick up a 933MHz tower, and monitor after MWNY for about $2000. That is, depending on what they announce. Apple very well could put the current 933MHz tower to the $1600 spot. You can then go and get a monitor from someplace like BestBuy. Without knowing if you have sales tax, or how much, you very well could get away for under $2000.

    Check the online catalogs after MWNY to see what they are offering for the low end then... If it is the 933MHz tower, and showing for ~$1600, grab it. Get the stock configuration (unless they toss in some stuff for free, real free not the "plus $30 installation fee" type free).

    It might come out to be more then the low end iMac or eMac, but I think it is a better value for your money. Plus, you can always upgrade it if you decide to. Towers also hold their value for a long time.
     
  7. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

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    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
  8. BiggeeC thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2002
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
  9. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #9
    Healthy amount there Chris... I would say that you should wait until the MWNY (in July) and then go with the low end G4 tower at that point. If you can, get the Apple 15" LCD, or get the largest CRT you can with what you have left. It is possible to get a good 19" for under $400 (ViewSonic).

    BTW, welcome to the good side of computing... :D
     
  10. BiggeeC thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2002
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    #10
    iMac

    I've been looking on the apple website. I kind of like this. I know the majority of you are telling me to get the tower, but...I kind of like the iMac. Is there anything wrong with this choice? Why has no one recommended this? Am I a fool not to get the tower?

    Chris
     
  11. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #11
    The tower has a better video card, and is all around easier to upgrade for future use. Check out the spec's on the 933MHz tower, see that L3 cache?? THAT makes a HUGE difference in performance of the computer.

    You can expect many years of service out of both, it's just the specifications are much higer/better on the tower then the iMac.

    Tower, 2MB L3 cache, video card: NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 64MB of DDR SDRAM, room for up to four hard drives. Three memory slots total, all can use 512MB chips = 1.5GB max, all user accessible.

    iMac, no L3 cache, video card: NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with 32 MB of DDR RAM, room for only one hard drive. Two memory slots, can use 512MB each = 1GB Max, only one is user accessible.

    Check out the full "tech spec's" for the G4 tower and G4 iMac at those url's...
     
  12. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #12
    if $2000 is your "cap", then i'd suggest the middle of the line iMac as your best bet. you'll be able to watch movies and burn cd's, but you arent paying for the DVD burner and extra power you don't really need. you can use that extra $$ to pay for AppleCare, which should be considered a necessity, and some accessories such as a printer or extra memory.

    if i were your salesman, i would suggest the following configuration, posted as an image from the apple store. you are getting more for your money here and you are prepared to do everything you need, including print photo quality, out of the box. the RAM is a nice spot to have for OS X, and if you really want more later, you can just upgrade it. 384MB of RAM and a G4 should make you happy now for a good while.

    i wasnt a good salesperson because i sold ice to eskimos. i am a good salesperson because i can fit the needs of a potential customer if he or she will let me know.

    edit: sorry I forgot to put the total. before taxes the total is $1988
     

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  13. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #13
    Hey sparkleytone, chances are, the 933MHz G4 will be moved to the low end slot after MWNY, which puts it at $1600... A 17" screen can be had for under $200, and it leaves the rest of the expansion for later.

    BTW Chris, don't get an HP printer, go with an Epson... :D HP printers suck, Epson printers work (and wonderfully under OS X I might add).
     
  14. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #14
    if you are willing to wait until after MW, and then wait further for the inevitable shipping delays, then that is Biggee's prerogative. To your average consumer those things don't matter Alpha. Your experience may be different, but in my extensive experience HP and Epson work at around the same quality at the same prices. With HP it's a little faster with the same quality and wet ink, and with Epson its slower, with same quality on instantly dry ink. The iMac is the better all around package for the average non-techie consumer. It takes up very little space and is fun and easy to use.
     
  15. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #15
    Dude, if I was you and based on what you want you want, I'll recomend you two things.

    1. An iBook, any of them that can burn CD's. Even you want a desktop, the good thing about the iBook is that, as you are new with macs, you can go with your portable any ware if you have a problem, you can go too to your friends house to burn the CD's or even to your mother's (if you do not live with her).

    2. The old iMac (or the new one if you like). This one is gonna do what you want for a lower price, it is easy to transport if is necessary.

    What you do not want: a Powermac, even this ones are very powerfull and upgredable, you will be paying for some features that you are not going to use like PCI ports. Then you will need to add the monitor, you will be over $2000 very easy to do the same thing with half the price.

    If you are gonna do simple stuff get a simple system.

    Even, You may be getting the iBook and the low end old iMac with the $2000.

    Any Mac is gonna last you for years.
     
  16. k00tgrrl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #16
    Thoughts from a chick:)

    biggiec,

    you sound a great deal like me in the sence of what you want. Spec numbers, GhmZHMB power and RAM etc. kinda make me scratch my head (and trust me I am not that dumb) I just want a computer that works.

    The imac is a great choice because it is a computer that has the ability to do all the fun things you want and won't whine at you. (It looks pretty darn sexy too not to mention)

    I would suggest actually visiting an apple store if you have one near you, if not a store like CompUSA carries imacs on display. Go play with it, see if you like the set up, mouse etc. pick some brains see what YOU want.

    then buy it online.....monitarily speaking it is the best deal. I am doing the same thing now to get an ibook:)


    Good Luck!!
     
  17. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #17
    First off, didn't you read that he want's a DESKTOP, not a laptop??? Scroll up and read again.

    Second, you CAN get a tower AND monitor for UNDER $2000 (under $1850 depending on the screen size). With a 17" ViewSonic CRT you get under $1850.

    I know too many people that picked up an iMac, but now need to get a new system because it doesn't have enough options any longer. Installing an EXTRA hard drive into a tower is a snap, where in an iMac it is a major affair.

    I also know many people that turn into minor techies after getting a Mac at home. Within a year or so, they want to jack up the memory, or eventually increase the video card. With any iMac you can forget about that, with the tower you can do all of it.

    One last thing... remember the L3 cache (2MB on the current towers) makes a HUGE performance increase in the system.
     
  18. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #18
    learn to assess someone else's needs. he said himself he doesnt necessarily care about power, and he already likes the iMac alot. The video card is more than fine for any nongamer, nonphtoshopper, etc. 40GB of Hard Drive space is plenty for anyone who isn't doing said tasks. The RAM on my "quote" is more than sufficient for any casual computer user, and can be upgraded in the future. In this case it seems that more isn't necessarily better, but just more. Leaving spending room for things like AppleCare and accessories is much more important than having 233 more MHz and some L3 cache. read again: APPLECARE!! Don't leave the Apple Store without it.
     
  19. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #19
    sparkleytone, the L3 cache makes it more then just 233MHz for a difference. It makes it over 2x faster.

    The memory you are listing uses all of the memory slots. Essentially, he cannot add ANY more unless he finds someone to take at least one of the chips that is installed. That makes upgrading memory in the iMac later, very difficult.

    How many 24 year old people start off saying 'I won't play games on this computer' only to see a very cool game come out that they want to play. With the iMac, games coming out over the next year or so will tax the video card, where the stock card inside the tower will handle it no problem. Even if they do [eventually] proove to be too much for the tower's card, it is a snap to install a new one (another option not available with the iMac).

    Applecare IS important, BUT you have ~11 months from when you purchase the computer to get it. You DON'T HAVE to get it at the same time that you get the computer... :p

    I say, plan for the future, give yourself enough options to more then handle your current needs. If you don't, and you really want to do something later that pushes your system, you will be kicking yourself then for getting just an iMac.

    As for your shipping delays, I do not recall any time [in recent history] where the low end tower has had an "inevitable shipping delay".

    I got my brand new TiBook about a week or so after they were announced. The store I purchased it from ordered one, and had it within a couple of days. That worked out fine for me, since I went and picked it up in person. The Apple stores in my area ALL had the one I wanted IN STOCK... No delays, at all. That was for the 800MHz model, and they had even more of the 667MHz model. Considering the delays that have happened for the top speed systems, it was a pleasant change.

    Without knowing if there is an Apple retail store near Chris, it's hard to say where he will get the system, but chances are, they will have enough towers in stock for him to walk out the door with one.
     
  20. kishba macrumors 6502a

    kishba

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Location:
    Michigan
    #20
    here's my suggestion based on my current considerations for a new machine for myself... although i have a powermac right now i am currently considering getting an ibook as my main machine and just using the powermac when i "need" power (for video editing)

    i currently use my old powerbook g3 a lot and the ibook seems like an incredible little machine... it will be able to hold all my mp3s, connect to my camera and ipod and be plenty for my web design work (with bbedit/photoshop)

    it's really a nice system... but no matter what wait until macworld

    and if you don't want an ibook i say go ahead and highly consider the imac... it is powerful, QUIET, and has a small foot print... the only major problem with my powermac right now is the noise (that's why i'd love to get a cube)

    alpha has good advice but i personally would rather get the imac... it's a good value with the very beautiful lcd and comes with MORE software than the powermac... you'd have to buy office or appleworks with the powermac (an unforeseen cost) whereas the imac comes preloaded with appleworks and a few other useful programs

    and any ways... if you choose a cheaper mac right now and find out later you want something more powerful you'll be well on your way for getting a new one with the money you save... i'd rather know for sure than waste money hoping you'll need the power

    just my advice :D
     
  21. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #21
    ATTENTION ATTENTION!!!

    Tower would be great. Go to dealmac.com and look for the 800. I am positive I saw a store selling BRAND NEW 800MHz G4 Towers for 1199.

    That would put the price 200 dollars below a low end iMac, and you can get a ViewSonic 17in PF for 230 bucks.

    More power, same price, more expandibility....
     
  22. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #22
    Ahhh...

    Sorry, 1299...

    http://macresource-al.com/DealMac/

    DealMac has an Apple 15in LCD for 349 also...it would total out around 1700...

    Way better deal than the iMac

    But I would reccomend the ViewSonic 17 or 19in PF
     
  23. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #23
    Consider my self as an invisible person and I would do the same with you.
     
  24. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #24
    One, DO NOT put words in my mouth. Two, I am NOT the same as you. :p Three, get bent.

    End of story.
     
  25. mmmdreg macrumors 65816

    mmmdreg

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #25
    I reckon a middle iMac G4 with more memory is the way to go...you don't exactly seem in need of the best towers or anything so an iMac should last you a few years...
     

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