8 years and time for new Mac (Help)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by xob, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. xob macrumors member

    xob

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    #1
    Hey all. I see a lot of these posts as of late and would like to some help/advise with my particular situation:apple:

    I have an old g4 tower (sawtooth) that came with 400 mhz. I've since upgraded to 1.5gigs of ram, better video, 1.8ghz processor, sounds card etc. It hasn't failed me once in my 8 years of ownership. I'm a graphic designer by trade and like to dable in music, photography etc.

    So..
    I'd like it up and running for web/print design and use it as my music server but its showing it's age. g4's have seem to hit their ceiling as far as scalablility and Apple seems to have a newfound fetish for Intel.

    What should be my next Mac?

    Macbook pro- quick and portable but expandability isn't there. I'd like my next purchase to last 5 years.

    iMAC- They are nice but could use one without a built-in monitor.

    Pro Tower - Seems to be a whole lot of muscle that I dont need. Good for games?



    Also, Having upgraded Photoshop from version 7 through to CS2, how do I install the newest version on a new computer?


    Thanks for any and all help you can give me.

    -Hugo
     
  2. Finlandboy macrumors 6502

    Finlandboy

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #2
    um, if you want it to be portable then get the macbook pro

    but if portability isn't a big issue then i would go with the imac, i plan on getting one soon and i've used my friend's imac a lot, there great machines

    but if you need a beast and you have the money them go for the mac pro

    hope this helps some :D
     
  3. xob thread starter macrumors member

    xob

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    #3
    I'd jump on the powerbook if I knew I could use my g4 for several years to come. I've never been in a situation where I've had two computers. The questions really comes down to, Should I seek an all out replacement for my g4 or get a new laptop to augment it and use it for the more intensive tasks and new (Intel only) software?
     
  4. Squonk macrumors 65816

    Squonk

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #4
    I think the key to your question is that you want the machine to last you 5 years. The only machine that is upgradeable enough for 5 years, imo, would be a MacPro. You have lot's of room for RAM expansion and disk upgrades to keep pace with newer applications and operating systems. And likewise, it is the most expensive machine.

    Now, if you were to look at things a bit differently and say "I'll spend less today by buying an iMac, then in 3 years-ish or whenever you outgrow the iMac that you'd upgrade to the next current iMac", then I'd say to go this route. I would think that a 2.4/2.8 iMac is going to be good to go for 2-3 years with great performance.

    The things that you will run out of zip with will be the 4GB RAM ceiling and the inability to install a larger internal drive. Sure, you can add external drives, but would you want to permanently want to boot off an external drive if you wanted a faster system disk? Thankfully the iMac does have a FireWire800 port to make this possible.

    The MacBook Pro has the same limitations as the iMac.

    So, the one solution to last (and to be upgradeable) 5 years assuming that you'll be staying current on software and OS releases = Mac Pro.
     
  5. Jebaloo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #5
    MacPro all the way. It'll last you.

    Only you know if you need portability, if you do - MacBook Pro is your solution.
     
  6. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #6
    Past G4 1.25 dualie here.....

    Just trading my baby in....was tired of waiting, etc. I am a graphic designer also. Same situation as you did not ned a monitor since I had an ACD.

    In my search for a new computer, I wanted a headless machine. Apple does not make one as you know. i looked at the Macpro and I still think it is to beasty and huge. RAM is very very expensive....and I do not need 4 HD bays!
    yes it will last you 5 years, or maybe 8 with your old sawtooth..... Also when I figured out what I needed to spend on RAM etc., I could not afford this Pro machine.

    My only other choice was a 2.8 Extreme imac with 4GB of RAM. I have had this computer now for almost 2 weeks and I am loving it! 500GB HD is more than enough for me, and with a 160GB external eGo Iomega drive I am more than all set.

    Going for 1.25 to 2.8 MHz for speed plus the faster EVERYTHING I am very happy.

    If you have the disks for photoshop CS2, just install as you normally do. Or use firewire to do the mitigation from your old G4 to the new computer!
     
  7. ribbonthecat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    The only significant hardware difference between the iMac and the MBP are the different graphics cards. The iMacs are essentially large laptops without a battery. If you want portability, buy the MBP. If you want the same computer, but with a larger screen, and no portability, buy the iMac.
     
  8. xob thread starter macrumors member

    xob

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    #8

    I wonder why there is such a premium for the powerbooks over the Imac then? What kind of developements do you guys expect in January for the MPB? Thanks for all the help so far!
     
  9. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #9
    I doubt having greater than 4gb RAM in five years will really be a necessity for most people. It depends on what you're doing I suppose. Regardless, it might be possible to upgrade the Santa Rosa machines to 8gb once 4gb chips become available.

    Plus, I'm not sure where you got the idea that only Mac Pros can accept new hard drives. You can replace the hard drive in any Mac, but some are more difficult to replace than others.
     
  10. moworks2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #10
    well, first, if you can wait the six weeks or so to MWSF then do it...new product is expected...no one 'Knows' but rumored Mac Pro upgrade/redesign and probably macbook pro upgrades, etc...

    I'm in the same situation you're in...my G4 450mhz will be 8 in January and i'm gonna buy something new...I'm a designer/photographer and am leaning toward a new tower...I've got 4 hard drives in my current tower, i just find the tower convenient...i've got space for large files, plenty of software, fonts, backup and redundant back up...i've also read that 5 or 6 gb or ram is a nice sweet spot for photoshop work...so i'm planning on that if i buy the Mac Pro...

    if you're gonna be doing a lot of photoshop work, big files for print, photography, etc. you'll never be sorry you went with a Mac Pro...but if most of the photoshop work will be smaller files for web use you'd do fine with an external monitor and the macbook pro...

    i'm waiting to see what apple offers in January for sure...

    also, I want the ability to choose my own monitor...it may be an apple 23" or NEC or even an Eizo...still doing research...but the apple monitors are a pretty good deal...and maybe we'll see some new stuff in January...

    If you need the portability then the Macbook pro with externals will work fine...but know that they can get pricey...good enclosures with fans and sata drives are very fast but aren't cheap...i've priced a macbook pro with the ram i need and four or so esata drives plus enclosures and it's more expensive on the whole than a Mac Pro...

    not sure about the photoshop transfer, you might have to contact adobe for a key or something...i'll be upgrading my CS software as well...never had to use that key nonsense yet...

    can't answer you about the macbook pro premium but i have read that anything portable costs more cause they're using similar tech in smaller sizes and it costs more to produce...

    I'm still not 100 percent sure about a Mac Pro for myself...it's just a solid investment that should last you five years with upgradeable options...i may go with the Macbook pro, external monitor and drives...there may be a need for the portability in the coming year but until now my tower has been all i've needed...just waiting to see how work grows in the next two months or so...

    good luck with your decisions...

    M
     
  11. Squonk macrumors 65816

    Squonk

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #11
    True - for average users 4GB is more than fine. For graphics users, more memory is always welcome. I didn't think about the possibility of 4GB chips for the iMac or MBP. That would help that issue for sure.

    As for drives - yeah, the MacPro is the only "user replaceable" drive option besides the MB. I was mainly speaking of the iMac. From what I gather here on the forums, swapping that out is nasty even compared to a MBP.
     
  12. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #12
    Mac Pro all the way. It'll last you a long time. I know that's why I buy towers- they're expandable and upgradeable like no other in the product line.
     
  13. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #13
    Sure, a Mac Pro maybe overkill (ish) for what you intend to use it for... but, in 4 years time, I really dont see much in speed improvements, just more cores..

    And 4 cores is plenty for the next 5 years or so. hopefully, any new chips should be swappable too. Win-Win situation.

    MP Ram prices have lowered alot since they first came out, and I'm sure they will continue to fall.

    If you're still concerned about the cost, look for a refurb?
     
  14. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Nunya, Business TX
    #14

    Because the iMacs don't weigh 5lbs, and can't fold to an inch thin and fit in a bag. :)
     
  15. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #15
    MacBook Pro has ExpressCard slot so there's the expandability you're looking for in threeish years. I believe that will easily last 5 years and it's going to be waaaaaaay cheaper than MacPro. In fact, you can buy two MBP's in 5 years for the cost of single MacPro! Think hard how much expandability and power you *need* and buy wisely.
     
  16. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #16
    Another thing to consider: you'll need CS3 for an Intel Mac

    If Photoshop performance is important to you, you should count on upgrading to CS3 when you get your Intel based Mac.

    CS2 will run through Rosetta on an Intel Mac, and will therefore run about 4 times slower than the native version would. Also, it will require more RAM and will start up slowly.

    CS3 is Intel native (actually it's Universal, so it's native for both PowerPC-based CPUs and Intel CPUs) so it will do great on an Intel-based Mac.
     
  17. nickweston macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    #17
    no question

    Mac PRO

    unless it's a hobby...

    as far as games, I don't know. I make $$$$ with my Macs, then go on cool vacations.
     
  18. xob thread starter macrumors member

    xob

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    #18
    I hear you there. Been meaning to go to Tokyo for the longest time but funds are going into a new system instead.:(

     
  19. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #19
    Stay away from the 20" imac, the screen is terrible for graphic design. A poor viewing angle causes the pixels to shift value like a gradient regardless of how you look at it, this WILL affect your work, I guarantee it, you may oversaturate colors or undersaturate or make them darker or lighter than what you intended on different parts of the page.
     
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #20
    You got 8 years out of your current comp by buying something top-end and then upgrading it. If you want to keep your next mac as long (or even close) then you need to do the same thing again.

    But wait for the update - you've had this one 8 years, so another month won't kill ya! ;)
     
  21. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #21
    You got 8 years out of your current comp by buying something top-end and then upgrading it. If you want to keep your next mac as long (or even close) then you need to do the same thing again. Look at what the consumer machines were like 8 years ago (low-clock G3 imacs) - is there any possibility you could still be using that in a productive way today?

    But wait for the update - you've had this one 8 years, so another month won't kill ya! ;)
     
  22. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #22
    You got 8 years out of your current comp by buying something top-end and then upgrading it. If you want to keep your next mac as long (or even close) then you need to do the same thing again. Look at what the consumer machines were like 8 years ago (low-clock G3 imacs) - is there any possibility you could still be using that in a productive way today?

    But wait for the update - you've had this one 8 years, so another month won't kill ya! ;)
     
  23. Decahedron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    #23
    3ple posting ftw.


    id wait till january and grab more power for the same money, or what you wouldve today for less money
     
  24. xob thread starter macrumors member

    xob

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    #24
    I think my solution is to wait until January and pick up the macbook pro and stagger my purchases every 3-5 years between desktop/laptop. My g4 tower has juice in it still. I have a hard time replacing the old guy. It actually feels a bit snappier than the Dell workstations I put up with at work, although that has more to do with the clunky Windows 64bit emulation bs. I may just max its ram out and see how it plays out for the next 2 years or so.... I reserve final judgment until Macworld however. :D
     

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