College Student Needs Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by XboxEvolved, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. XboxEvolved macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2004
    So I was looking to see what would be best in buying a computer. I am a college student majoring in Graphic Design who uses mostly programs like Word, all of Adobe Creative Suite CS, Flash, and Quark Xpress. I am wondering what is best for me to get? I probably wont be buying a Mac anytime soon, and in fact probably won't buy a new one until summer or fall, so of course the specs and prices of these models are subject to change. With a new computer I may try to play games, but that is pretty doubtful. I am looking for something that could last me another three years, and I think any one of these could at least last me two years, while others could last me up to four.

    What I currently have is this:
    15' NEC monitor
    PowerMac G4 466Mhz
    386MB Ram
    30GB HD
    GeForce 3 card

    Limit is roughly $1500

    Choice A: 17' iMac G5 with 512MB ram $1500
    Choice B: emac with SuperDrive 512MB ram $966
    Choice C: 12' 1.5Ghz Powerbook Superdrive $1500
    Choice D: 1.42 Ghz Mac mini with 512MB ram $646

    So what should I do? Any suggestions I may have not thought about are welcome!
  2. benwa02 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2004
    Choice A

    You need at least a 17'' monitor.
    And get at least 1GB of ram. You will be glad you did.

    edit: But that would just be my preferences
  3. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    What kind of monitor would go with the Mac mini? Your current one?

    How important is portability for you? Does the ~$1500 include both computer AND software? Or do you already have the apps?
  4. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    As of right now i would say choice A. But put a gig of ram in. But sonce your not buying right away, i guarantee there will be an upgrade in atlease one of those machines. So your just going to have to wait and see what your options are at the time of purchase.
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    The iMac may be the best value option for you over the medium to long term... Don't forget the possibility of being eligible for the educational discount or purchasing a refurb machine.

    Only get a laptop if space or portability are the most important issue. A desktop is more expandable and will remain useful for far longer...
  6. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    Yeah, you really have to decide the portability thing first. Because if you don't need/want portability, the iMac for the same price has more going for it than the PowerBook, whose portability costs.

    If you already had a nice monitor, or care about not having an all-in-one, the Mini looks better in some situations. In your case, I guess only the latter might apply. I think you can pretty much eliminate the eMac, though, and make Mini + new monitor your budget choice, PowerBook your portability choice, and iMac your best-computer-by-the-specs choice.
  7. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Get an iMac w/ your edu discount and buy your RAM from a 3rd party source. You can get a 512mb DIMM for $70, the edu iMac (1.8ghz 17") is $1399, I think. You'll have 768mb of RAM total then, and still be in under $1500.

  8. shane-o-mac macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2005
    If you do not need portability then forget the powerbook. For your needs and price point ditch the mini..great base user machine but forget upgrading it much and it is in its first generation. Get the Imac..they rock with the G5 and displays built in and with your edu you can get a great deal...but if you wanna save even more do this:

    Go to the main page on the apple sight and click on the developer tab. Become a student developer for a hundred bucks and you are entitled to a one time only hardware discount..which for the imac and powerbooks will save you an additional two hundred bucks...minus the hundred dollar membership fee.....hey you save an extra hundred bucks......check it out.
  9. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    The student developer deal isn't worth it for buying a sub-$1500 machine. For example, if you buy a mid-level iMac, you are actually paying more than you would if you just went for a plain student discount ($1350+99 vs. $1399). Same goes for the iBook. The PBs and SP PMs will save you about $50-100 by getting the ADC student rate. The DP PMs will start to see some real savings ($200+).

    For an under $1500 machine, you're better off saving your one time discount for a bigger purchase.

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