argh I'm having so much trouble making a decision!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by patchouli, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. patchouli macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #1
    1)iMac 2.66Ghz, 4GB, 640GB includes software, and still under applecare warranty for almost 2 more years.. but it's on eBay and you never know?

    2)iMac 2.93Ghz, 4GB, 640GB from Apple Refurb, 1 yr limited warranty - have the opportunity to purchase 2 more yrs applecare... no software to speak of.. and it has the Nvidia GeForce GT120 (not the ATI 4850 which I read kept crashing) (but now I'm scared because of all I have read about iMac screens yellowing?)

    3)older model MacPro 2.66Ghz (or thereabouts) (expandable options but getting pricier) (no warranty other than no DOA, no software other than OS) - also on eBay but it's a store and it's local where I could actually go there

    4)MiniMac 2.4Ghz (or thereabouts) with a 24" Apple Cinema Display (this combo pricier than the iMacs, but half the cost to replace the processor in a few years if I want to upgrade?) (both refurb, warrantied for a year plus can purch applecare for 2 more) (does the ACD also have yellowing issues?? I haven't read about any??) (Is the power of the current MiniMac less than the year-old iMacs?)

    5)just go with a newer, smaller, 21.5" iMac from refurb, but something about that just doesn't do anything for me.

    I have an acquaintance who will sell me his large Dell monitor for about half the price of the ACD, but man, those Apples are just amazingly pretty :)

    What's your vote?


    I've spent sooooo many hours researching the different things.. I just need to get it done and live with it!

    Thanks for any voters! Help me get on with my life!!!!

    (Oh,. . and what I use it for is lots and lots of admin work, multi-tasking, many windows open of many diff programs simulateneously.. ie word, excel, outlook, quickbooks, remoting to my work (IBM) computer, 'publisher', a bit of photo editing, research on the net, dabbling in web design, etc.. and I want to cross over to a Mac)
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    I would get 21.5" iMac from refurb store. It's enough in terms of power and if you need more screen estate, get an external monitor (or go for 27").
     
  3. peoplevoice, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010

    peoplevoice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    #3
    Quad-Core and 27

    Any option of a new iMac 27 QuadCore. But I'd wait until next year, we're really close.
     
  4. patchouli thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #4
    money

    The reason I got it down to the 5 choices above is because they're all in 'roughly the same price range.. except it looks like the Pro is out because they're getting too up there.. I'm trying to keep it to around $1500CAD including taxes.
    This will also be my first Mac :)
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #5
    http://store.apple.com/ca/product/FB952LL/A?mco=MTU3ODU5MzY

    How about that? Gets you an enormous display and still fits in your budget
     
  6. patchouli thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #6
    thanks

    Yes, I noticed that. I'm not that keen on getting one that big, however not opposed if it makes sense. I just figured that the larger the screen, the more power it needs, (correct me if I'm wrong), and the specs on it didn't really impress me. Do you think that's a better system than the 5 listed above?

    Is the 24" cinema display a better display than the 24" imac display? Somehow I thought it was from what I had read?

    Would the 24" iMac with 2.93Ghz as above be much slower than the 27" with 3.06Ghz which you noted?
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    #7
    I think you get a lot more bang for your buck with that 27". It's also faster than the ones you listed (Mac Pro may be faster though).

    Cinema Display uses LED backlight while iMac uses CCFL. I have 24" iMac which I love and I find the screen amazing.

    Not really noticeable in normal use but 27" has 4 RAM slots and can take more RAM. For your usage, I would get at least 8GB of RAM and that's cheaper due to the extra RAM slots
     
  8. urkel macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #8
    Why aren't you considering a Macbook Pro + external monitor?

    MacBook Pros are very powerful, they're portable, the current gen have incredible battery life (5-10hrs) and hold a MUCH higher resale value than iMacs.

    I have a MBP 15" that I can carry around and have a 24" monitor with KB/Mouse that I dock it to when I need to do desktop work (photo editing). It's the best of both worlds.
     
  9. patchouli thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #9
    so confused

    Ok so I spent (wasted) another day researching.
    I am even more confused.
    I had thought that with everyone's seeming complaining about old technology used in the Macs (C2D), the advent of the i3/i5/i7 series was taking it to the next level.. of quads?
    But in the descriptions.. it will say '3.6Ghz Intel Core i5', (for the 21.5"), and then it will say '2.66Ghz Quad Core Intel Core i5' (for the 27")...

    I was thinking that since I really don't want such a huge screen, I would get the best processor in a 21.5"... but it seems that an i5 in a 21.5" is different from an i5 in a 27".. so now I'm REALLY confused!

    I just don't want to make a mistake since it's a large amount of money (to me). I also don't fancy buying something today that is going to be obsolete by summertime.

    I read some really good reviews on the 2.66 Quad Core i5.. can't find anything on the 3.6 Core i5.. I figured if the same processor is used in both machines, the smaller one would be more powerful since would take less to run?? Is my thinking flawed?

    Also, it seems that all the iMac screens are saying 'LED backlit'.. where I thought that was unique to the cinema display and that the iMacs used CCFL (whatever that is)?
     
  10. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #10
    Refurbished is my suggestion. I've bought several and never had any issues at all.

    As for the "obsolete by summer", well, your whole list is. But you have to decide what obsolete means. Nobody ever wins that war, so get what you can afford.
    As for the 21 over the 27, I defy any casual user to tell the difference in speed.
    Don't buy eBay.
    Ever.




    Ever.
     
  11. shrakner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    #11
    Agreed. My current 15" MBP is great, purchased from Apple Refurb.

    Sorry Les, gotta disagree. My previous Powerbook was purchased from eBay and was fine until I dropped it a couple times too many. :rolleyes: As always when buying used, you have to exercise a fair amount of caution- purchase only from a very reputable seller (i.e. 99% positive and over 1k items sold).

    However, that said, I would go for Apple Refurb rather than eBay if possible.

    And as far as screen size vs. power- iMacs have plenty of graphics power, and more screen real estate is always helpful.
    You also asked about the i3/i5/i7's and quad core processing- that lineup varies from two to four cores, but even the low-end dual-core i3's can act like a quad-core with Hyper-Threading. Given that you tend to use many applications, none of which are excessively demanding, a dual-core i3 will be better than a Core 2.
    That's my 2c. :)
     
  12. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #12
    Okay, there's nothing wrong with Apple hardware -- I really like my 27" iMac Quad i5. It's an AWESOME machine.

    BUT: There can be a LOT wrong with switching to Mac OS X, especially in your case.

    Why? It looks like Microsoft dominates your computing needs, and as everybody knows, Microsoft software runs best on Microsoft platforms. No surprise here and end of discussion. Eventually, you might end up running Windows exclusively on your new shiny Mac. For some people - especially on this forum - that might defeat the purpose of "switching" to the Mac. Because, you know, when you fire up Parallels/VMWare/VirtualBox or boot natively into Windows via "Boot Camp", you are ultimately turning your Mac... into a normal PC. Yes, your Mac just says "Hi, I'm a PC, too." A designer PC, but still a PC. And when you still have to use Windows for the one or the other application, then the simple truth is that the "switch" to Mac OS X was a failure, because you still need crutches to get the job done. Doesn't make much sense from my perspective.

    Remote Desktop use on the Mac: As long as you are using an English keyboard, that works okay on the Mac. But I live in Germany and use German keyboards, and ALL Remote Desktop Clients that I've used on the Mac (Microsoft RDC, Cord, you name it) share the same bug: I always have to switch the keyboard layout on the remote machine manually from American to German after I've logged in. I don't have that problem in Windows or Ubuntu Linux. It appears to be a Mac issue that nobody ever cared to fix. It's just one tiny but extremely annoying thing. And the more you have to communicate with Windows applications or Windows machines, the more of those annoying issues you will find. And no, Microsoft Office for the Mac is NOT a perfect alternative to or substitute for Microsoft Office for Windows: You -will- have a lot of document conversion issues.

    Anyway.

    I can recommend to the 27" Quad Core iMac i5/i7 to anybody who wants a nice desktop computer. It's one of the best machines out there.

    However, you should think A LOT about whether you also want to switch to Mac OS X. You might be better off with switching directly to Linux (on that Mac) or by just staying in Windows on the Apple hardware. Switching platforms can be VERY expensive - and it gets even more expensive when you have to support two platforms on one machine (OS X and Windows in virtualization) or when you discover that you're better off when you switch back from OS X to Windows.
     
  13. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #13
    I see your point and I actually bought my first Mac Laptop on eBay, a glorious 160, and it was great. However, for every great transaction, there are a few that turn out real bad. It's a personal thing with me pretty much only on high-end stuff: No storefront, no deal. I'll pay a premium to have their address. :)
    If he follows your good advice, he'll be okay.
     
  14. patchouli thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #14
    thanks

    Thanks for your input. I will elaborate later as to why I want to switch.
    And I have a couple more questions between models.
    Later...
     
  15. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #15
    2 or 5

    2 or 5 - refurb is covered if there's a problem, and new is (usually) better. :D
     
  16. patchouli thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #16
    Yes, Microsoft dominates my computing uses.. absolutely.. but.. do I want to be dominated by Microsoft? THAT is the question. The answer for me is NO. Thank you for your comments, perhaps I'll keep 2 machines going, this antique, and a shiny new designer Mac :) At least until I see what the ramifications will be before pitching the PC.
     
  17. patchouli thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #17
    ended up

    In the end, I decided a 27" screen was just too unimaginable for me as a beginner Mac, since I won't be using it for other than 'work'.

    That left my options pretty slim... so I got the best processor I could get in a 21.5".... from the refurb store.. and it arrived today! Yay! It was SO impressive when I turned it on for the first time.. WOW!

    So now I have many more questions.. which I'll ask in their appropriate threads.. thanks again for everyone's input!
     
  18. The.316 macrumors 65816

    The.316

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    25100 GR
    #18
    Ive never had a major issue with Ebay. I bought my current MBP on Ebay, and my previous MB as well. Took about a month to get to me in Greece, but aside from that delay, they were perfect. Brand new BTW.
     

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