Best mac for Garageband on a budget

jinny1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 1, 2004
53
0
My friend is a songwriter and wants to get a mac and use garageband as a composing/demo tool. She only has vocals, guitar, and maybe down the road a midi keyboard.

She's on a really tight budget and I was wondering if an off the shelf mini would give her the power she needs to run Garageband.

I saw a 1.66 intel mini with 1GB of ram on craigslist for $699. That's more than budgeted, but I think the extra ram would be the most essential thing.

Also, if you buy from the Apple refurb shop, can you get them to upgrade the ram?
Thanks,
Jinny
 

mdickson

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2006
162
1
Baton Rouge, La.
The 1.66 ghz mac mini will be fine for that. But instead of buying off CL I'd get one form the apple retail store for $699. Granted, it only comes with 512mb of ram, but you can buy a 1 gig stick of ram for under 75 bucks.
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,197
286
Raleigh, NC
I'm no expert, but I've been able to do small dumb songs using the provided loops on my 933MHz iBook. It starts to choke when I have a lot of software instruments, other than that its fine.

So for demoing I expect it to work fine.
 

jinny1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 1, 2004
53
0
mdickson said:
The 1.66 ghz mac mini will be fine for that. But instead of buying off CL I'd get one form the apple retail store for $699. Granted, it only comes with 512mb of ram, but you can buy a 1 gig stick of ram for under 75 bucks.
I watched a video of someone installing ram into a mini....It looked really tricky, but I'm willing to try that route.

I'm skittish about buying off craigslist and inheriting someone else's problems, but if it's still under warranty I could still get it serviced as the second owner, true?
 

mdickson

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2006
162
1
Baton Rouge, La.
jinny1 said:
I watched a video of someone installing ram into a mini....It looked really tricky, but I'm willing to try that route.

I'm skittish about buying off craigslist and inheriting someone else's problems, but if it's still under warranty I could still get it serviced as the second owner, true?
I wish I could answer that question, but I just don't know.

I typed 'retail' in my original post, obviously it should've been 'refurb'.
 

Killyp

macrumors 68040
Jun 14, 2006
3,860
5
If you start using effects and virtual instruments, it will take up the CPU in no time at all. I'd want at least a Duo...
 

jinny1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 1, 2004
53
0
Killyp said:
If you start using effects and virtual instruments, it will take up the CPU in no time at all. I'd want at least a Duo...
So, maybe she'd be best served getting the refurb duo and upgrading the ram later.
 

ricgnzlzcr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
802
0
I recorded a handfull of songs with various loops and tracks on a 1.33 Ghz powerbook with 768 ram. It was just fine. A core duo mini would do the job amazingly.
 

jinny1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 1, 2004
53
0
thanks everybody!

I'm gonna recommend the refurb duo.

if you're curious about the tunes, check itunes under: Wendy Bucklew.
preview "I'm In".