Do we pay way too much for a computer that we don't need?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Kendo, May 4, 2011.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Somehow 3 months ago I was dead set on a base 21.5" iMac for $1200. I somehow convinced myself to opt for the base 27" for $1699 due to that glorious screen. When the new iMacs released yesterday, I somehow convinced myself to get the $1999 model for the AMD Radeon HD 6970M.

    In a short 3 months, my needs haven't changed at all but I convinced myself to spend almost double my budget. Out of 100 people you meet everyday, maybe a few would be in finance, a few in law, a few doctors, a few in the restaurant business, etc. I'd imagine only a handful are actual programmers or multimedia designers. I'd expect the same on a message forum where only a handful of people actually need a fully maxed out iMac.

    Do we spend too much on our iMacs? Anything I do computer related can be done on a $500 Windows PC. And yet suppose an iMac lasts 4 years, I'm essentially paying $500 per year. Granted OSX seems so user friendly compared to Windows 7, and yet in the end it is just an operating system that lets you use a computer to go on the Internet, manage your photos and home movies, etc.

    Anyone else ever think about the costs associated with their actual needs? By the way, this doesn't change the fact that I'm still getting the 1999 iMac. :)
  2. Pintail macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Of course we do. ;)

    We are consumers at every level, driven by both paranoia and narcissism.

    I also have 200 HP more in my car than I need.

    I have more food in my fridge than I need.

    We flock to disposable technology and we pollute and generally suck, but do you really want to go there?

    Continue enjoying the 4-6 wk high you will get from your recent over-purchase and smile like the rest of us. We'll save the world another day.

    (with much tongue in cheek)
  3. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I am lucky enough to be buying the computer for my business so the faster it is, the better for me to get my tasks done quickly; more importantly I pay less tax and claim more VAT if I spend more on my computer goodies, so I might as well do it.
  4. treebark7182 macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    I understand what you're saying but I've always had pretty incredible resale for any apple product ive ever bought. I just sold my 2007 macbook for 650 bucks. I'd love to see a 4 year old hp laptop sell for that. The user interface is the most important part of general use I think, not to mention the reliabilty and less headache. Having things nice and organized in an intuitive format makes the whole experience nicer. I know these things come at a premium but worth is relative from person to person. I'm getting the same model you are and I cant freakin wait.
  5. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    I want to upgrade my computer basically every time Apple comes out with new machine. But I keep my 2007 Macbook because it just makes more sense to me. I'll upgrade when Macbook Air's go quad-core.
  6. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    It's a completely subjective matter that differs from individual to individual. Did I spend too much money on an 800 dollar headphone rig? Did the guy across the street from me spend way too much money on the mercedes benz parked out on his driveway?

    If an individual is fine with the premium they pay for the apple formfactor and experience, I say it's a completely understandable decision.
  7. melb00m macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Well yeah, I think many people do. In fact, many people would be able to fulfill their needs just as well with a simple, say Atom-based, computer they can use for surfing, e-mail, photos, and video. This is what most people really use.

    I think the point is when you decide to spend some more to get an Apple product, you already opted for quality and design instead of going the cheapest route. And if you do so, you might as well spend a "little" more here and there to satisfy the craving for state-of-the-art technology. The specs page already shows you that you you're going to be "inferior" if you don't get the best model. Who wants that?

    I'm a programmer, and I definitely wanted to go with 27" for the screen estate. After some pondering I chose the bigger model, too, because I want to play games and Flight Simulator from time to time, and Flight Sim needs a LOT of processing power, and other games need a decent graphics card. I did not get any BTO options except the Magic Trackpad (I already own the magic mouse). However, I plan to add SSD later on, which is something I always wanted to have, although it really is pure luxury (and expensive...).
  8. topmounter, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 4, 2011

    topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    I'm moderate to heavy business user... no coding, but lots of diagraming, MS Office, Aperture, etc.

    I sold my 3-year old 15" MBP for more than half of what I paid for it new (and replaced it with a new 13" MBA Ultimate).

    My 2-year old 24" iMac (bought as a refurb) is still going strong with no need for an upgrade or replacement.

    The durability, longevity and resale value of my previous Windows machines hasn't been nearly as good as what I've gotten out of my Macs... so from a pure hardware perspective I definitely feel like I get my money's worth out of my Macs. Add in the benefits of OS X over Windows based on my purposes and experience, then spending a bit more for a Mac is an absolute no-brainer for me.
  9. colour macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    A time line of my macs over the past 4 ish years.
    (i'm a graphic designer & architect)

    1. 2006 entry level 13" macbook 1.8 c2d 2gb RAM - AUS $1700.00
    2. 2008 MacPro 8 core 16gb ram + 23" ACD matte - AUS $5000.00+
    3 2009 entry level 13" Macbook pro - AUS $1600.00
    ------windows 7 year---------
    5. 2001 PowerMac 2 x 1.0 ghz 1gb RAM - AUS $80.00
    6. 2011 macbook pro i7 8gb ram + dell 23ultrasharp - AUS $1800

    All that hype for a $5000 workstation and realized that a imac or mbp half or less the price would be sufficient and cheaper to run ect ect. I never owned more then 1 mac at a time and the jump to a 10 year old machine was interesting. I switched to win7 for a year also as its plane and simple cheaper and its "better value for money"". I will upgrade my macbook pro only for something of its equivalent in a year or 2 but dont plan on that for a long time. Luckily i always get very good returns when i sell my macs but i did learn that a $5000 computer wasn't as useful as the $5000 cash itself.

    Only a small portion of people require the high end power they buy.
  10. Jazwire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2009
    I've been paying for more computer than I use for 15 years, why stop now. :D
  11. Lara F macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
    Seriously? I have a 2007 MacBook (though yours might be one refresh later if you got it towards the end of the year). I never thought I'd get that much for it at this point. That's half the cost of a new base iMac/MBP! ;)
  12. JeepGuy macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2008
    It's crazy what some people will pay, you may be surprised what you will get. Remember it's a premium computer, so it holds its value.
  13. tdream macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2009
    Most people only need internet access, some light office work. Which a G4 mac can still accomplish quite handily. In terms of hardware and OS we really haven't moved far at all, probably due to cpu power languishing. Before each generation would be a 100% increase in power and it would be noticeable in day to day usage. Now from last year's i5 to this year's i5. I seriously doubt you would notice the difference unless you were told. If you look at your cpu usage most of the time it's hovering between 10% and 0% and yet people think quad core makes an appreciably difference. You'll have some who cares about the seconds you shave off with SSD and encoding and what have you but really it doesn't make a blind bit of difference if you have some patience.

    So until there is shift in how we use the OS, think Minority Report or fully 3D interactive OS. Everything sold today is overkill.
  14. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Yes. I want one of these new iMacs very badly even though my MacBook air handles everything I throw at it with ease (except Starcraft 2, where it's only ok). But the same could be said about a lot of the things we buy. I think very few people really get by with the bare minimum they "need," and I think that's fine.
  15. tulsamal macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2011
    Vinita, OK
    I'm just minutes away from pulling the trigger on a new BTO i7. But I'm typing this from an eight year old G5 Power Mac. A Mac that I still like and don't have many problems with. But the real reason the G4 and G5 Macs have to be upgraded is because we are orphans now. From the OS to the apps, it's all Intel Only now. I'm sure I'll love my new iMac but it's going to have to last a very long time and do a very good job to equal my G5!

  16. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

    Nov 7, 2010
    Apple Manor
    Nearly everything we buy is something we dont need, but we want it anyway.
  17. tdream macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2009
    Congrats on keeping a mac that you actually use for that long! I hope to upgrade to a top spec imac too as soon as my pc bites the dust, but that won't be for a loooong time :)
  18. mackage macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2011

    Yes, they do....I DON'T. I have stated this many times on here and hardly anyone will ever admit it which is the problem. You admit it and are still willing to spend the money...why? Do you lack the ability to be rational?

    Most all MR members could get by more than fine/normally with the old C2D processors, but yet they won't and sit here and talk about how old and outdated they are. It doesn't make any sense. Some of us know the value of a dollar (me and Apple), and others do not.
  19. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008

    Funny thing, I am sitting here typing this on my almost 4 yr old iMac, and doing everything else I need to do on it as well.

    I was considering a new iMac and have $2500 on hand for the purchase.

    My motivation for buying new was " the Apple Care on my iMac expired in December 2010. "

    Well thinking about that reason I realized that buying now was a dumb thing to do.

    I am better off running with what I have until it breaks or can no longer do what I need it to do.

    If I bought new, now, with Apple Care I would be under warranty until May 2014.

    If I run with the current iMac and say it breaks in January 2012. I will replace it with new and be under warranty until January 2015.

    Tomorrow I will be going to the bank and depositing that $2500 back into my account.

    It's better to run an old computer and have $2500 in the bank, then to have a new computer and $0.00 in the bank.
  20. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    I love Fight Club too, sure I can´t be as cool as Tyler Durden
    But he wasn´t real either, was he? :p

    So yeah, many times we pay more than we need. And things you own will get owning you back. But let´s enjoy this iMac before it own us :p
  21. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I'm sure enjoying my iMac .... one of the best computers I have ever owned! ;)
  22. dwarnecke11 macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    My last Mac, a first-generation Mac mini G4, lasted me nearly six years. Being an entry level machine, it showed its age rather quickly.

    Perhaps I overcompensated for this when I bought this BTO i7 iMac last year... its as if I'm driving a Lamborghini around at 20 mph in 4th gear.

    And yes, by my subjective and objective metrics, I couldn't imagine a much better computer for me than this machine.
  23. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    No one pays me enough to read these types of threads.

    If you can't afford it, then whine online about it. :D
  24. mackage macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2011
    Where in this thread does anyone talk about not being able to afford something? The thread is about throwing money at new technology you don't even have the need for.

    I am assuming you are one of those people that don't understand how the rich get richer.
  25. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    Rich people don't whine about buying stuff they dont need.

    Is capitalism so evil? So what if the rich gets richer. :rolleyes: Everyone wants to be a billionaire but often thumb down the concept because they can't hack it.

    You're just angry that someone can sell anything so unneeded and make money from it.

    If you can't afford it, go online and bitch about "need".

    To a point, does anyone here really "need" a computer? Would you die if one is not present in your life? I'd understand food, shelter and clothing but any electronics are not a basic need.

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