Computer for a 9th grader

Discussion in 'iMac' started by boomhower, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. boomhower macrumors 68000

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #1
    He's getting to the point that his coursework is computerized. It doesn't need to be anything special noor super fast. Just neds to be able to do the normal school work plus his playtime. Mainly online games I assuming are flashbased.

    I would like to keep the budget in the $400-$600 range Deoending one the actual machine. If an iMac is out of this class then I'll move onto macbooks.

    Am I being right or completely nutts doing this. He has to have something as crappy netbook is on its last leggs. I'm getting a Macbook Pro shortly and my 6 year old decided she wasnt an iPad. That will almost completely remake the house apple except my wifes notebook and my HTPC. She will change wth time but the HTPC is here to stay.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    I suggest a mid-2007 aluminum iMac. They may be old, but they are still good. It'll be able to run Mountain Lion, if you ever want it. I suggest staying away from any PPC base Mac if the games are Flash based.
     
  3. boomhower thread starter macrumors 68000

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #3
    Considering I know nothing you guys provide be with links to any suggestions so I can at least get a visual. Thanks! Definately has to be intel based.
     
  4. -tWv-, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    I just graduated and had a late 2008 aluminum MacBook all through high school, you should be able to get one in the price range that you are looking at. They really are great machines and as long as he isn't doing any serious gaming (online games will run fine) it will be able to do anything he needs for school. I would also agree to stay away from PPC machines for anything needing flash. I have an iBook G4 I bought for like $200 and it struggles with any type of flash games.

    For schoolwork I would suggest against an iMac because I really benefitted from being able to take notes in class on my laptop. This made it easy to transfer that work directly into whatever sort of papers i was writing without having to look through binders for the right notes.


    If you can't find a late 2008 aluminum MacBook, the previous generation MacBooks have similar specs without the unibody design and will do what he needs as well.

    Here's one:

    http://www.macofalltrades.com/Apple_MacBook_13_inch_2_4GHz_Black_p/mb-13-24-e08b.htm

    I bought an iMac from this website before and had no issues.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    Here are three links to eBay Buy-It-Now iMacs, in no particular order:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iMac-...6395079?pt=Apple_Desktops&hash=item3a75ea56c7
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iMac-...6337047?pt=Apple_Desktops&hash=item2571ff2717
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iMac-...4181077?pt=Apple_Desktops&hash=item416731a555

    Those prices are a little high though. They can be gotten slightly cheaper on an auction. Just remember to look at the shipping. They can sometimes get pricy to ship.

    I also suggest 4Gb of ram. This is about $35 if the machine doesn't have it already and very easy to install. For an operating system, Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion (when it comes out) are all good choices for this model once it has 4Gb of ram. Snow Leopard will work well with only 2Gb, but best with 4Gb.
     
  6. boomhower thread starter macrumors 68000

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #6
    Those look like just the ticket and fit in well price wise. Upgrading ram is cheap as longs as its accessible How hard is the HD to get to?
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #7
    The hard drives in the iMacs are a bit difficult to get to. You need to use suction cups to remove the glass, then unscrew the aluminum frame, remove that, unscrew and remove the LCD, then the hard drive. All while unplugging things and being careful not to harm the logicbaord.

    The hard drives in the Macbook is much easier to get to. Just unscrew and remove the bottom panel and pull it out.
     
  8. TheMacBookPro, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020

    TheMacBookPro

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    #8
    The iMac is a fine computer, but for a high school student I'd think a laptop would be better suited- if he doesn't need to bring it to school for taking notes and projects yet (which some high schools already do require), he will need it in a few years.

    Late 2008 13" unibody MacBooks are probably the best choice around the $600 mark (buy-it-now). I'm sure you'd be able to get one for a bit less if you're willing to do a bit of bidding:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-MacBo...ple_Laptops&hash=item4ab8ac0ad3#ht_500wt_1208

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-MacBo...pple_Laptops&hash=item20c6c91d79#ht_927wt_963

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-MacBo...pple_Laptops&hash=item20c6fc8830#ht_586wt_963

    The integrated NVIDIA 9400M graphics on these aren't bad at all either. Certainly enough for flash based online games, and I've even done quite a bit of Call of Duty (MW and MW2 via Boot Camp/Windows) on them without issue.

    Just my 2c :)
     
  9. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #9
    When I bought my brand new 27" iMac I gave my 2007 24" iMac to my son and he couldn't be any happier.

    It does everything he needs to do and a lot more.

    I'd look for a 2007 / 2008 iMac .... maybe the smaller version if the 24" is out of your budget range.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #10
    The Nvidia 320M didn't come to the Mac lineup until 2010. The 2008 unibody Macbook had the Nvidia 9400M.
     
  11. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #11
    The 9400m can still handle flash games fine. I played through portal with it without an issue as well.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #12
    The 9400m is a good GPU. Better then the iMac's ATI2400/2600, but not by much. I've done Portal on my iMac as well. No problems. When it comes to Flash based games, most any Intell based Mac will work. With the possible exception of the 1.5Ghz Core Solo Mac Mini. Things might get choppy on that.
     
  13. boomhower thread starter macrumors 68000

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #13
    He has the option of a laptop, I'm letting him pick with that fits in my pricerange. Historically it seems you get better performance on the desktop. Since we are talking several year old machines I'd like to get the best we can.

    If I go with the iMAC I'm sure I'll have to replace the HD as it's very old and just needs to be done. I'd like to slide either a hybrid drive or an ssn into it.
     
  14. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #14
    Even though the iMac may have better performance, the portability of a laptop for school is going to much more useful.
     
  15. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #15
    The hard drive in one of my 2007 iMacs is still going strong even with daily heavy usage and it'll probably last me another five years.

    If you are wanting the fastest machine within your price range, the late 2008 is faster then the 2007 iMac. But you could also spend a bit more money and get an early 2009 iMac. Same size as the 2007, but with the Macbook's internals.
     
  16. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020

    TheMacBookPro

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    #16
    Ah oops, mixed up my integrated nvidia graphics :eek: Thanks for the correction.

    It's still not a bad chip by any means. I've done GTA IV and COD:MW on mine- it did COD just fine but GTA required that the graphical settings be dialed down. Still would be perfectly adequate for flash games though.
     
  17. boomhower thread starter macrumors 68000

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #17
    He won't be taking it to school. Only times it will leave the house is on vacations. When he gets to high school where he will be taking it to school we'll get him a modern air.
     
  18. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a

    Nyy8

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #18
    Let me just chime in here, Im going into 9th grade next year, and let me just say the 2011 iMac is a dream for a high schooler, its fast quiet, and a bit out of your price range; My parents always told me, if you are going to be spending this much money on something, buy something good.
     
  19. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #19
    Alright then an iMac would make more sense, that would have been good info to put in the OP so people could focus their attention on desktops in your price range.

    If you have the peripherals just get him a mac mini. These have modern specs and are great little machines. Just get a baseline model off Amazon for ~$500 and upgrade the RAM. I convinced my parents to buy one and they love it.
     
  20. Rlnplehshalo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    #20
    There are guides to help you get through the process. Its not easy.

    A few things you would need to get access to the hard drive would be as follows:
    Suction cups (To removal glass panel)
    Security screws (Get the multi-pack, its easier that way.)
     

Share This Page