Best Mac bang for your buck (about $1500 usd)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Meever, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    I've got about 1500 saved up and I'm sick and tired of Windows. Vista still gives me nightmares and honestly, 7 isn't much better. I'm ready to make the shift.

    I'm a power user/semi-pro. I do a lot of photo editing on top of the casual consumer stuff like play games surf the web and whatnot.

    I'm open to both laptops and desktops.

    So basically.

    Something that'll run photoshop well, and has enough gaming muscles to play some newer titles (Mostly looking at Starcraft 2 and WoW)

    oh and I don't mind waiting a few months if something new is in the works or if there's some great holiday deals coming up or something.

    Thanks for your help guys.
  2. tofagerl macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    27" iMac at 1700 is your best bet. You're getting so much bang for your buck, I think Apple is taking a loss on it.
  3. zbasarab macrumors member

    May 29, 2009
    I agree with this guy. The base model MBP 13" is pretty decently priced too. Just don't go buying the iMac i5 or i7, they would be at a great price point but they're having problems right now:mad:
  4. Jpoon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2008
    Los Angeles California
    iMac IMO, the 4850 is the least amount of card I'd want for upcoming titles. Granted, lesser cards play WoW okay.

    Laptop cards aren't going to cut it in your situation imo.
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Huh? :confused: WoW has been around for ages, pretty well any halfway decent card will handle it just fine. And I'll bet even money the same goes for Starcraft II: Blizzard has a good reputation for releasing games that don't require the latest, most cutting-edge equipment to play. Any modern computer will probably handle it just fine when it comes out.

    To the original question: if you can afford another $200, the 27" iMac is really incredible value. If you wait a little, they'll start to turn up in the refurb store and you can save at least $100, maybe more. Or, if you're a student, you can save $100 that way.

    If you absolutely cannot go above $1500, then the top-end 2.5" iMac is right up your alley: it has the same specs as the 27", but with a smaller screen. Also a fantastic machine with incredible value. :)
  6. bjorn989 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    Didn't think they were shipping the i5/i7 configuration yet. If they aren't being shipped, how are people reporting problems?

    I think it is only the 27" 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo that is reporting problems.

    I would get the i7 when it comes out. Just make sure you look at some reviews first.
  7. Meever thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    would the i5 and i7 processor be of substantial benefit to me? Obviously it would help with a lot in photoshop and video, but I've been pretty satisfied with a overclocked dual cores, and I'm guessing photoshop runs better on OSX so... hmmm.... what do you think?

    would that extra few hundred for the performance really benefit me?
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    21.5" iMac at $1500 is pretty awesome, IMO. I saw the new 27"er today and it might actually be too big.
  9. zbasarab macrumors member

    May 29, 2009
    my mistake, for some reason I thought the problems were with the i5s and i7s. why in the world would the core2duo 27" be having problems :confused:
  10. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Excellent advice from all the others so far.

    But I was going to answer your question with another 3 questions ...

    Do you need a big monitor ? By that I mean, do you already have a big flat screen you could use with a Mac Mini / Mac Pro ? Like already highlighted, a good flat screen, like that on the 27" iMac costs nearly as much as the iMac itself.

    How much budget do you have for your new software required ? Is it a separate budget ? or part of the $1500US ? Do you have any budget for extra memory ? Photoshop isn't cheap, and if you're coming from a Windows world, you'll need plenty of money for those games, Office or iWork, etc.

    And related to that question, do you have any pending budget, ie. to pay for the memory upgrade / new games in say 6 months time ? If you're using Photoshop a lot, the base RAM may not cut it, so you will need an upgrade.

    Option D (I always have a final option in projects, usually called "can it", or "do nothing", if the benefit doesn't justify the cost), is to buy a cheap new Windows 7 PC. It'll be faster than your current PC, have more memory, bigger disks, nearly all your existing software will run with a re-install, and you'll save a fortune (in the short term) over buying a Mac). Find it hard to believe that so soon after buying Windows 7 you want to switch. Can you get your money back ?
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...fact check on isle 3 please. the i5 and i7 core machines aren't even shipping yet... what ever you do, wait until they sort the problems with these new Rev A machines first...or get the prev gen top model 24" that used to be $2199 for $1,349 - $1499 in the refurb section or macmall...
  12. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    highest spec 21.5 imac, or lower spec 27 [​IMG] don't go with any of the laptop macs, they arent too hot atm if you ask me (spec wise) i do love them though but the imacs are just too good to miss
  13. jseyf5 macrumors member


    Aug 26, 2009
    go refurb 15 inch macbook pro. Just bought one. for 1299 you can get one with 2.4ghz and the dual 9600gt video cards, so then you can play WoW in bed ;)

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