Cheapest Way to Get Into Macs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2008
    Alright, So I am 17 and have been a mac fan since about 2001. I religiously follow the rumor websites in hopes of one day being able to afford such expensive computers. Macrumors was for a short while even before Leopards release, my homepage.

    Well three years ago, I bought an alienware computer with my brother...and right about now I have gotten really sick of it. It breaks down constantly I have had t replace nearly everything in it minus the processor and ram. So I have decided to blow what money I earn this summer on an apple computer. I already have a relatively nice new 24" dell monitor from dell, and I will be getting a laptop when I graduate from high school next year.

    So really it isn't a question of portable versus desktop, but rather which desktop to get. I will earn roughly 2500 dollars from my two jobs this summer and school year. I don't do web designing, photoshop, gaming, or other gpu intensive tasks, so it sounds like the mac mini is a perfect fit for me (as well I would wait for the badly needed update to the mini).

    However my question is this: should I spring for a top of the line mini, or get an older ibook/macbook and just attach it to the external monitor? Or should I get the least expensive quad core Mac Pro and future proof myself for the next 5 years?
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    1) Go refurb or Education store if you qualify
    2) The iMac is a better value than the Mini
  3. soccersquirt82 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2008
    I would say go with the Mini just because it's cheaper. The refurbished are really good though, too.
  4. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    This is the worst idea. Don't buy an expensive machine in the hopes of using it forever; within a year, machines half its price will be twice as fast. Any c2d machine will be enough for most people's needs for the next several years. I'd suggest saving your money until you're absolutely sure of what you want.
  5. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I disagree- the best value for YOU is the mini only because you have the 24" monitor. buy the mini, enjoy it and sell it in a year for several hundred at least! Or else keep it and set it up as a backup drive.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2008
    I planned to go through the education (whether i qualified or not)
    or once i have the money, wait for a suitable refurb
    or use the developer discount option

    either way, I don't plan to pay full price
    would you guys think the mini could last me through college?
  7. Hyde244 macrumors member


    Mar 16, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mac Mini would be able to do the trick, though you would lose the obvious mobility you would have with a laptop, which 99% of college students.

    If you are really looking for something suitable for college, wait and save money until you can afford a MacBook, buy it cheap through the refurb store, and buy additional RAM through should you wish for more RAM.
  8. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    I'd recommend a refurbished Core 2 Duo mini since you already have a 24" monitor. Since you said you'll be earning $2500 this summer put some of that aside and then use it for a MacBook next year before college.

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