Which Mac to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by SeenTheLight, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. SeenTheLight macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    #1
    I am looking to switch – I just need some help picking which apple to buy.

    I used to have an apple II+, Mac Plus, Mac SE but have since been using IBM computers – my current OS is Windows 95 :eek: . I do have a 17” CRT monitor.

    I plan to do iLife (especially iPhoto/ iMovie/ iDVD), MS Office and Powerpoint as well as dabble with Final Cut Express/ Photoshop and maybe even webdesign. The computer will be my primary personal computer – I’ll be sharing it with my wife (she’s a stay-at-home-mom). I am not a computer gamer. We have two small kids (2 & 4) who seem to get into everything. I am a doctor – I do not qualify for the educational discount (although I do teach medical resident trainees – and my oldest child is enrolled in preschool).

    I have never had a laptop – I’m interested (being able to work anywhere in the house/ portability with presentations) but also a bit concerned with the kids around.

    Questions:

    1 -- If I were to get one computer, what would you recommend?

    2 -- If I were planning on eventually getting 2 computers (laptop and desktop), one now then one later (1-2years) what would you recommend – which order would you purchase (laptop first then desktop or vice versa).

    3 – I have read that the eMac and iBook are not equipped for the upcoming Mac OS which is to be launched next year. Does this mean they will not work, be a little slower than their pricier big brothers or be so slow as to warrant/ require a new purchase?

    Thanks in advance :) ,
    Bill
     
  2. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #2
    Hi Bill,

    unfortunatly you leave it open how much money you want to spend ! Thats quite important. OK, so here are my answers:
    1) If you get one I recommend the 20" iMac. The LCD is huge and thats important for doing video editing. Just more fun. And it looks like you don't have the need to work outside your home.
    2) If you get two, then get an iMac 20" now and later an iBook probably 12" is better.
    3) Both eMac and iBook will perfectly run the new OS codename Tiger.

    In my suggestions my guess is that you don't want to spend "endless" money. If so, you can always get faster stuff like PowerMac and Powerbook.

    my 2 cents
     
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #3
    if you were getting just one computer, i'd go with the new G5 iMac or an eMac, depending on your budget. with kids around, i'd be a bit shy about the only computer being a laptop.

    if you'll get two, i'd get an eMac first to make sure that a Mac is indeed what you want and also to keep your kids happy and then purchase an iBook or a PB for yourself/wife.

    the next OS is called Tiger and currently, none of the Macs ship with it because it hasn't been released - not just eMac and iBook. but Tiger will run on any machine you purchase brand new right now.

    remember to budget for some RAM.
     
  4. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #4
    First of all, your point no. 3 is not correct. You will be able to run Mac OS 10.4 Tiger (the next release of Mac OS) on current models of both the iBook and the eMac. There is a new technology coming named core video that isn't compatible with the Radeon 9200 graphics chip which is used in iBooks and eMacs. This means that certain 2D/3D video functionality will not work on those models. But I wouldn't be too worried about that because developers as well as Apple will have to write new software first before they can take advantage of that technology.

    To answer your question, if you want to use your computer anywhere in the house, get a laptop. From what I read you plan on doing, I'd suggest either the 12" PB which you can hook up to your 17" CRT if you need more real estate on the screen than the 12" PB offers (1024 by 768) or rather a 15" or 17" PB which might serve you better because it allows to do some Photoshop or video editing anywhere. As for which you should get first (laptop or desktop) I'd say buy a PowerBook and now and see how you go with your photo/video editing. If you find that you need more processing power, you can still buy a PowerMac later and use the PB for less CPU-intensive task. Also by then, your kids might be interested in more "serious" gaming. A brand new PowerMac will then serve well for that purpose as well.
     
  5. SeenTheLight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    #5
    Thanks

    Thank you all for the helpful suggestions :)

    I would appreciate any additional input from others!

    Sincerely,
    Bill
     
  6. JLS macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Kent, England
    #6
    Laptops will probably be boosted performace wise in the next month or so, but the desktops are pretty up to date anyway, so I would buy your desktop first.
     
  7. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #7
    The iBook will work fine for what you want, but you wouldn't have the high end features of 10.4 like CoreImage, as mentioned. The 12" PBook will barely run those, but it will. That's if you are actually going to be using them though. Unless you do heavy Photoshop/Video effects-type-stuff, you wouldn't need them. Everything else with 10.4 will work fine with the iBook, it would just be a little slower than the PBook. But the iBook is more durable, and the PBook doesn't come with AppleWorks and some of the games and other fun stuff. If you're buying Office anyway, it doesn't matter.

    My advice would be the new G5 iMac. The 1.6 would work if you just want to try something out. But be aware that they won't be available for a couple of weeks, and by then the new eMac or Laptops may be out. We're not sure exactly, but they will both be due for updates soon. Could be a couple of weeks, could be months.

    If nothing else, buy a refurb Laptop and accessorize as needed. If you want to upgrade in the future, PowerMax and Smalldog have some nice trade-in policies. You send them your old Mac, they'll credit you toward a new Mac.
     
  8. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #8
    If you just wanted a desktop I would recommend the 20" iMac G5 desktop. It has everything you need (and more).

    However you are also interested in a portable, I can honestly say that having a laptop in conjunction with wireless is one of the most liberating aspects of using a computer at home. No longer are you chained to a particular desk, if you want to show your latest iLife creation or something on the Internet to your wife or kids, then just close the lid, walk over to wherever they are, and pop open the lid and they can see it instantly.

    If you had the budget for a iMac G5 and a iBook then that would solve all your problems. You wife or kids could be using the iMac and you could be reading e-mails on your iBook ( I can assure you, the entire family will want to share your iMac/iBook). The only problem with the iBook is it not the ideal computer for (heavy) Photoshop and Final Cut Express use, which the G5 iMac would handle much better.

    One other option if you are just going for a Laptop would be either the 12" Powerbook with an external display or a 15" Powerbook.

    Anyway just my thoughts.
     
  9. SeenTheLight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    #9
    Just ordered a 20" G5 imac

    Thanks for the help. I look forward to using a Mac again :)

    Sincerely,
    Bill
     
  10. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #10
    Excellent choice I think you are really going to enjoy it. Post back when you get it and tell us what you think. Good Luck !
     
  11. whw5 macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    Ur the first person I have heard of ordering the G5 imac. Good Luck!
     
  12. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #12
    I'll be getting one when I start working again. Which is hopefully when they'll be available in the stores.

    Good luck SeenTheLight, and good choice. I think you'll be happy. Feel free to come back here if you have any questions or problems.
     
  13. SeenTheLight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    #13
    Thanks again!

    I'll write back after I've had a chance to try iLife, etc. I am psyched :)

    Sincerely,
    Bill
     
  14. SeenTheLight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    #14
    I love my imac

    This thing is awesome!

    I am having a great time using it. Thanks for the help!

    Sincerely,
    Bill :D
     
  15. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #15
    Glad you enjoy it!

    Btw, how much RAM do you have?
    If you have the standard 256mb, your machine WILL be bottlenecked by the ram.
    You will surely notce it when your iphoto library grows or when you are using several apps.
    Anyway adding more RAM is easy on the new iMacs:)
     
  16. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    Fantastic, really pleased that you are enjoying your iMac.
     
  17. SeenTheLight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    #17
    Thank you all

    I have G5 iMac/20"/BT/250GBHD/512MBRAM (single unitDIMM)/AppleCare/.mac

    So far so good. Anyone have a suggestion for a good all-around text and photoprinter as well as a separate scanner suggestion?

    Thanks in advance, :D
    Bill
     
  18. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #18
    Hi there.
    I see I´m a bit late with suggestions as you already bought the iMac. (Congratulations). I was in the samw position as you and decided to go the other way. I bought a 12 "iBook first, planning to get an iMac later.
    For me the price drop on the 12" did it.

    I recived my iBook today and I´m writing this on it now, lying in bed, using some neighbours internet connection!!! Life´s sweet.

    It´s soo good to be back on the Mac-

    :)
     
  19. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #19
    It may be more than you are willing to spend, but I have the Epson R800 Printer, which is one of the best A4 Photo inkjets on the market. It can produce photo quality output on the correct paper that most people can't tell the difference between it and photo lab quality output. Text output is good too. The printer is also good for printing onto CD-R's and DVD-R's as well (they need to be inkjet compatible though). This is handy for producing professional looking CD's of songs purchased from the iTunes music store.
     

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