Which Mac Is Right For Me!!! Help Me!!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by esabourin, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. esabourin macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2006
    I've decided to switch to a mac :)
    But I don't know which mac to buy and when i should buy it!!!
    Here's my situation,,,

    Money Is an issue, i'm on a tight budget, which means the macbookpro and the powermac are out of the question,,,

    I'm currently living at two places (one appartment and one house) i also travel about 40 minutes to get to school (highschool), with my current living situation a macbook would be nice,,,but,,, i have a very large music and video collection, and i'm not sure when the new macbook will come out and i don't wanna buy a macbook right before the new one is released..

    I'm also considering a macmini because im between living places but the macmini lacks portability, also i'm concerned about now having the iSight cam and the mic because im very into podcasting and blogging, and video chat,

    I'm also considering an iMac,,they are cheaper than macbook but have much more storage for my music and video library, and a bigger screen and the cam and mic, but the iMac lacks portabilty because i'm between houses,,

    What should i do?!? please help me.. which mac is right for me...
  2. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    if portability is really an issue, go with the MacBook. Your other choice is the Mini which is semi-portable. As long as you always have a screen or tv to hook it to, it will work. You will also need a keyboard around. The mouse and power supply you can carry as easy as a laptop. However, all that said, get the MacBook. Remember it has an iSight and mic built in.

    For your music library, I would either replace the HDD with something larger or get an external. Cool Drives and MacAlly both make some pretty sleek fully size 3.5" external drives and enclosures.
  3. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    I'd also suggest going with a Macbook. You won't need to have to worry about having an extra keyboard, mouse and monitor at both houses like you would if you got the Mac Mini. Upgrade the hard drive on the Macbook if you can. Or get an external. Personally I like the LaCie Rugged ones because they're small and easy to carry around.
  4. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    I'd go for the cheapest macbook - if you need more storage, pick up a cheap external drive when funds allow, or pop in a larger aftermarket hd. Get memory elsewhere too.

    If money is that tight, the iMac sould be the better option, but being able to work on the go is invaluable to me, and I'm in a similar situation to you - home, apartment, school (but sooo far beyond highschool years it depreses me sometimes)
  5. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    id go with a refurbed macbook pro for 1400 ish. OTherwise a amcbook would be fine. (The macbook pro would be core duo not core2)
  6. jessep28 macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2006
    Omaha, NE
    Here is the question I would ask: Do I Really need portability?

    Portable machines are really nice, but they are expensive and a poor value compared to desktops and I would never recommend one to someone who just "wants" one rather than needs one. Yes, I would also love to flip open a MacBook in class or in my bed, but I didn't need portability every day, so I bought the iMac instead. The extra $300 for my 20" iMac got me a better processor, twice the HD space, better video card, screen etc etc.


    1) How much are you budgeting?
    2) How big is your video/music collection?
    3) How good are you with computers. If you are a novice, it's not a bad idea to go with a Mac Mini and external HD's for your collection so you can get used to Mac and the OS and not be out by much if you decide you hate Mac's.

    I know that us Mac users always chant "One you go Mac, you don't go back" but I have seen a few people not like the switch. Most do, but some don't. You might be in the minority.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you from buying a MacBook, but just trying to make you think of things before you invest into a computer you will be stuck with for up to 5 years (or more).
  7. esabourin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2006
    I still don't know what i should do,,,portability or overall better and cheaper computer,,
    and with the new macbooks right around the corner,it makes it even harder... ugh!!!
  8. AppleIntelRock macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    I would get the most affordable macbook and an external harddrive- possibly consider a refurbished model. Considering you're on a budget, don't mess with Macbook pros. New macbooks are not "right around the corner" and it's not like they be TOTALLY new. Do you need a computer RIGHT NOW? Based on the urgent tones of your posts it sounds like you do. In the world of Apples you need to learn not to let your buying revolve around rumors. Unless of course it's monday night ;)
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Really you need to decide if you want to go with a laptop or not. This is a difficult decision. You mentioned you were interested in pod-casting and such This sounds like you are interested in doing some more media centered things possible some imovie editing and such. The imac will perform much better with this type of thing. However do you already have a decent monitor? If so the mac mini may be better.
  10. miniguu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    I think you should also ask yourself this: Where would you be using your Mac?

    If you are going to tote it between house and apartment on an almost daily basis, and also bringing it to school, then I would suggest a Macbook.

    If you are not going to move your computer more than once or twice a week, then consider the Mini or iMac. Although...I think transporting an iMac would get old pretty fast.

    Another question is whether you do anything that requires the processing power that the iMac provides. Any video or photo work? Do you intend to play games on the Mac? If not, then you're probably better off with the consumer machines.

    I'm a little biased toward the MacBook because from your description, it sounds like you probably won't need more than the processing power of the 'Book. Good luck :)
  11. Zwhaler macrumors 603


    Jun 10, 2006
    The stock 17" 2.0GHz iMac looks quite perfect for you. On top of having better processor, it is far superior to the 1.83 in many ways, such as the graphics card, super drive, and the double memory. If you don't mind having a non-portable machine, it should be perfect for you.
  12. esabourin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2006
    Need Advice on which Mac to buy; Please help me out guys!!!!!!

    I'm switching to a mac!! LOL
    Maybe it's those silly commercials, maybe it's my PC causing me trouble, maybe it's my iPod, leaning me towards a mac, but whatever it is, i'm switching,

    One Problem!!; which model to get???

    Here's what i'm planning to do with my mac;
    -Downloading music, and television, podcasting, videopodcasting possibly, video chat, video editing, schoolwork, school projects (i'm in highschool), something to use on the road, web design, website building,

    Here's what i'm not planning on doing,,,
    -Gaming, photoediting (for now),

    My living situation is crazy lol,,
    i'm between two places, an appartment and a house, and they're 40 mintues away, so a macbook would make sense,,

    but, i'm a big music and video guy, and i'm scared the macbook won't hold all my files, i've alredy filled my new 80GB iPod Video,

    but i'm on the road alot,, so a macbook would make sense,,,

    but i'm on a budget,, this is where the macmini comes in,,i'm on a tight budget, so the macmini defintly makes sense,,

    but i'm a big podcaster, and the isight are really important to me which takes me to the iMac

    but i'm between living places, so the iMac would be hard to move around which brings me back to the MacBook!!

    so please help me,,i put together some pros and cons of the 3 possible macs i would buy

    plese help me out!!

    Pro: Its cheap and fits my budget
    Pro: It pretty portable and can be moved easily from home to home
    Pro: Its a beginners Mac, and theres room to upgrade to an iMac
    Con: It lacks true portabiliy, i can't bring it in the car, or travelling or the car etc.
    Con: It lacks the iSight and the mic wich is essential for podcasting,
    Con: Very dependant on monitor, mouse and keyboard
    Con: Lacks Mac Beauty lol,,the trademark white.

    Pro: Better machine for less the price than a MacBook
    Pro: Big Screen although i'm not a gamer, still great for video editing
    Pro: It's attractive lol, unlike the MacMini which is just a box?!? lol
    Pro: Built in iSight and mic
    Con: Lacks portability, as i'm between places,
    Con: A Littlemore expensive, but not over-priced, it's a great computer

    Pro: Truly portable, perfect for my lifestyle
    Pro: Built in iSight and Mic
    Con: Not sure if it can hold my music and video library, someone said something about external memory, but i'm not sure what that is..
    Con: It's expensive, i'm on a tight budget, unfortunantly
    Con: I'm one of those people who have to wait for the updated version because i'd hate myself if i bought one now and a new model came out like a couple weeks later,

    Please Help Me...

    thankyou guys,,,
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    I would say get a Macbook and an external hard drive. When buying an external hard drive save money by going to Newegg.com and buying a hard drive and enclosure separately.

    320GB 3.5 inch hard drive $95

    External Enclosure 3.5in $32

    Macbook 1.83Ghz with 1GB RAM, Combo Drive $1200

    Macbook 2.0Ghz with 2GB RAM, Super Drive $1400

    I am not sure what student pricing is or if it applies to high school students.

    Whatever Mac you choose you need at least 1GB of RAM and 250GB of storage if you are doing any video editing. 2GB of RAM is far superior, of course. You can end up using that 250GB fast though, as 600GB is pretty tight for me. The most you should go to in RAM is 1GB through Apple, any higher go through Newegg. Just read the customer reviews to see if the memory has worked in Mac's.

    I know you are just a high school student, but if this is important to you. You will save your money through your job to purchase this or get one if you do not have one.

    Since you are going back and forth an iMac and Mac Mini would be inconvenient. The iMac would be better than the Mini since it is faster, has more storage, upgrades are cheaper and since it is all in one there are less components to move around.
  14. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    Redlands, CA
    I would go for either the iMac or MacBook. The education discount in only for higher education so I would recommend getting a refurbished Mac. Seeing that the MB hasn't seen updates like the iMac, I would hold off buying one until they do, if possible. Assuming that you do settle down eventually, I think an iMac would be perfect. I'm not sure how demanding your video needs are but there are several refurbished iMacs that would suit you nicely. If you decide portability is a must then grab a MacBook now or play the waiting game. I avoided the Mac mini because it is the least portable, needs a display & keyboard & mouse, has no iSight, no refurbs available, and I feel that the price points are a bit high for what you get.

    Good luck.
  15. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    Get the MacBook and upgrade to 120 GB drive. As the poster above said, you can get an external drive if you're going to be doing a lot of video work. But I'm sure you still want all your music, etc. on your main hard drive. The problem is it's an expensive $250 upgrade bringing the price to $1349, and that's with 512 MB of RAM and no DVD burner. If you feel up to it (or have a tech-savvy friend), you can buy your own 160 GB hard drive upgrade for $175:


    ...but you may as well buy the $100 upgrade to 1 GB from Apple because buying 1 GB separately will cost you over $100 anyway. So now you're looking at $1449, and still no DVD burner.

    Sorry, the MacBooks get expensive with upgrades :eek:

    I was lucky in that 60 GB hard drive and no DVD burner was fine with me, I just use my computer for web browsing, watching DVDs, and listening to music (but my music collection is rather small). So I only spent about $1200 total (upgraded the memory).

    That being said, if you can afford it go for the MacBook. It's the best laptop I've ever used (and I've used some pretty good IBM ThinkPads, HP Pavilions, and Apple PowerBooks).
  16. esabourin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2006
    thanks i need all the help i can get,,this is gonna be a tough decision, and i'm gunna be stuck with this mac for a while,,

    unfortuantly i'm on a tight budget,
    but i'm starting to lean towards the macbook,,,the bad thing is that at this point, i'm not gunna buy the current macbook,,i have to wait for the updated one,,

    thanks for all the help guys,,keep posting ur thoughts,,u guys r helping me out,,
  17. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    Redlands, CA
    Good choice. It's tough when you need a portable on a tight budget. Seeing that you intent to keep this computer for awhile you should definitely wait until a new revision.

    I might add that I purchased a PowerBook for college thinking I would need the portability. But living in the dorms didn't require me to take my computer many places. Sure it was nice to take home on some weekends but, for the $2000 I put into it I would have been better off with an iMac. Now I live at home and do need the portability for school. My point is: be certain that a laptop is necessary and consider how much you could save if you sacrifice portability. I plan on keeping my PowerBook untill it dies because I don't need a powerful portable. I will supplement it with a good desktop soon (iMac) so I can run demanding apps at a relatively low cost.

    So think carefully my friend but know that you will be very happy with any Mac you get. :)
  18. esabourin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2006
    thanks for the imput,,really appreciate it guys,,
    i'm excited about switching to a mac, but stil deciding what to get.
    keep posting ur thoughts,,ur really helping me out
  19. bigjimbob macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I Switched straight to a Macbook - i would have preferred an iMac, but i can salary package a notebook through work and esentially got a 40% discount on top of the edu pricing.....

    any way - despite me not needing or using the portability, i still love it. I've got a wireless network at home so it's nice to just pick it up and use it in any room, or watch DVDs in bed/on train....

    When i'm at my desk i use an raised external monitor and have duel screens set like as attached (excuse the XP screenshot):

    get the macbook you won't be disapointed.

    Attached Files:

  20. Fredou51 macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Since portability is important, I really think the Macbook is your best bet. Like it was mentionned a little higher, since you don't get the edu rebate, you should think about a refurb (even if the new model is released, it will take some time before you get the new model on the refurb store). Also, the hard drive is accessible in the macbook so you could get a 2.5" 160 GB off newegg and install that and you could keep you 60GB to put it in an enclosure. That being said, you're still looking at close to 1500$ with the macbook at 949$ on the refurb + hard drive + ram upgrade + tax and maybe applecare in the next year (always recommended on a laptop).

  21. esabourin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2006
    can u get an educational discount in Canada??

    thanks for the help guys, keep posting.
  22. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    you get Edu discount in every country ( I believe)
  23. Fredou51 macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Yes you can get edu discount in Canada but only for higher education or for staff (teachers).
  24. esabourin thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2006
    because my mom is a university student,, in canada, so technically she can get an educational discount? (for me.)
  25. Fredou51 macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, you could do that. The only thing is that with her edu rebate, she can buy one desktop and one laptop per year so she can't buy a laptop for herself right after, she'll have to wait for next year (not too far though).


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