Easiest way to get into a mac.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nateco, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. nateco macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2006
    Well.....I've made the decision to switch, I've read into and researched as much mac stuff as I could.

    I was wondering...what is the best/easieast/cheapest way to get into a mac.

    I need a whole new setup....monitor too.

    Is a used g5 or g4 or a mabe a slightly used macintel the way to go.I'm not the type that upgrades or buys new systems, so I want something to last.

    I want to use it for basic stuff as well as some light recording, torrents mabe get into graphic design.....nothing crazy professional.

  2. Butters macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2006
    I'd say buy new, and buy an intel machine.. If you want it to last for a long time that is.

    an iMac may be the best option if you can afford it? if you're price range is lower than iMac level then look at a Mac mini and affordable displays.

    They're all good basically it just depends how much you're willing to spend.
  3. jkaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2004
    Upper Mid West
    i recommend the imac.

    you need a monitor, imac has one built in.

    you want it to be easy, pull it out of the box, plug in keyboard, mouse and power supply, turn machine on.

    with a mac mini, you are basically buying a laptop without a screen. harder to upgrade than an imac.

    laptops: i would recommend a desktop if you are just getting started with macs to serve as your home base if computing operations.

    the imac will easily last you up to 5 years if you are casual to beginner in graphic design.

    in those first five years you can get a laptop or prepare yourself for a new imac or the beefier desktops for more power.

    get the imac, it has the greatest combinations of ease and features.
  4. mattthemutt macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    I agree; the iMac is a very good option. I've used my grandparent's brand new Intel iMac, and it's blazing fast. I'm not so sure about the Mac mini. In terms of price, if you don't have a monitor, it starts to come close to the iMac, but the power certainly doesn't.
  5. AnthonyKinyon macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2006
    If you need the monitor either get an iMac or a laptop (MacBook or MacBook Pro). Don't bother getting a PowerPC machine at this point. Intel opens more doors for you at this stage.

    I have a Mac Mini Core Duo and it works great. I know you said you need a monitor, but bear in mind that you can use pretty much any monitor with a Mac Mini if you already have one or want to purchase one separately. The cost might still be less than an iMac even if you buy a separate monitor for the Mini. The performance is good but I also have 1 GB RAM, not the stock 512 MB.

    If you want the easiest (but not least expensive) path then I'd say an iMac. The video on an iMac is better than that on a Mini but if you are doing only basic graphic stuff a Mac Mini might be OK.

  6. tabaczka macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    I am with jkaz on this one. The iMac is your best bet. Right out of the box you have everything you need for the Apple experience...

    If you don't have the money to spend the Mini is an option but when you add a monitor, keyboard, speakers, and mouse you might as have bought the iMac.. and you wouldn't be getting the cool built in camera ;).

    Also, if you expect it to last you five years or so you can prorate the price out to be something like 250-300 dollars a year...
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'd also say iMac. The all in one is really the best way to enjoy the Apple experience, because you won't have to worry about setting anything up. You really pull it out of the box, plug it in, and get right down to having fun. :)

    If you're not that big on having recent software, you can do fine with a used iMac G5 (pretty much anything after the revision A -- which means it will have a 128 or 256MB video card and Airport and Bluetooth built in and so on), which is not so expensive. But if you get one with an iSight built into it (Intel or not), I think it'll be even more fun.

    Of course, if you can afford an Intel one, then that's the best. And you can always also run Windows on it.
  8. slackersonly macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2006
    iMac (intel version) sounds like a great fit for you.
    I love my refurb iMac.
    It is a great one step solution. It is affordable. It will allow you to stay up with the Mac software trends that look to be picking up speed.
    Get it and you will be happy too. :D
  9. xyian macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2004
    I'd say a Mac Pro, take off the case and climb in. You must be really small though. ;)
  10. amin macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I would buy a refurbished Intel iMac from here: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APP...FrVf72j0DfND1LWYN8ks/

    If you can wait, fist see what they introduce with the next iMac update, which many think will come this month. One month after it is introduced, it will probably be available at substantial savings in Apple's refurb store. Also, if you intend on keeping the machine more than a couple years, I recommend getting Apple Care (adds two years to Apple's standard one year warranty).
  11. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I was going to suggest a nice dinner with some exotic foods and lots of good wine. ;)

    But seriously folks, the iMac would be a great option. If a refurbished Intel iMac is within your budget then snap it up. If they're a bit too expensive, look for rev. c G5 iMacs (with the built-in iSight camera) as they have all the features of the Intel versions but are a bit slower and can't run Windows but they have Front Row and Photo Booth and all those goodies.
  12. jkaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2004
    Upper Mid West
    if you think that you will be getting into graphic design as a professional or even more as a prosumer you might want to consider a 3 year cycle.

    the two most obvious reasons to do this would be the rate that technology changes and the apple care protection.

    take a look back at what you could have bought 3 years ago and compare it to what's available today(or even on sept 12)

    massive difference in machine.

    take into account the potential for a computers rise in prominence in the tv room.

    so let's say you buy an imac now and plan on buying a new imac or it's equivalent after your 3 years of apple care have expired.

    you will still have a sleek, relatively portable and usable desktop computer that you can give to a relative, sell to a friend or relocate to another room in your home.


    i wouldn't recommend a refurb. the depreciation factor is huge on computers and the value per dollar decreases dramatically as you go backward.

    and as always, wait to order your computer on the day the updates were released. this is very important. you want to put as much space as possible in between your computer purchase and the next update/revision/upgrade.
  13. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    Congrats on your decision to make the switch :D

    I say go for an Intel based iMac. What's your timeframe to purchase? There's a good chance that the iMac will be update in the near future. You may want to wait to see what's released on the new models. If a new model is released, you'll see markdowns from various retailers on the current but soon to be older iMacs. You'll then be able to get the iMac for less.

    If you're interested in financing a Mac, you can pay over time via monthly payments. I think CompUSA has a 24 month plan right now that can be used on Apple purchases. You may want to double check.

    Good Luck!
  14. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    refurb macbook, imac
    or ibook g4 ($700 at compusa, new one)
  15. nateco thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2006
    I was thinking sometime soon...kinda vague, but mabe in the next month or so.

    I was definitly waiting for the next update....might even drive the price of a 1st gen intel imac down.

    The mini is inviting, but by the time i get a screen that has some visual appeal, I think the imac might be in the same ballpark price wise.....not sure though, lots of friends have recomended the mini.

    But iw as almost thinking...is the imac gonna get a makeover soon....like from g4 to g5.......I'm looking at the start of a cycle for my usage, just as mac is ending one....or so it seems.

    PS, I'm in canada....no compusa for me.
  16. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I'm not sure if we're about to see a design change but if/when it does happen, Apple will cease selling the old one on it's online store. You will have to look to the refurb store to pick up an older version.

    There is a refurb Canadian Apple Store online, head in there and check out the deals. It's the only place I'd consider buying a second-hand (well, most refurbs are second hand, others are ex-demo etc) as Apple run over them with a fine tooth comb and everything is guaranteed tickety-boo with a full Apple warranty. I'd steer clear of eBay and anything under a G5 in the desktop market. The marketplace on here might be good, you'll need 100 posts to get in there though.
  17. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Personally, I'd get a MacBook ... maybe wait till the next revision. I really don't see the need for a desktop machine these days if you are a regular user.
  18. jkaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2004
    Upper Mid West
    i've been watching and considering purchasing an imac for over a year now.(i currently have 5 computers, one of which is an imac from last fall, with the built in isight)

    there are 2 changes that i can see happening that would affect my decision making process:

    1) High Definition screens. I have no idea if/when this will ever happen.

    I have upgraded my television and video camera to HD since february and to me, buying a non HD imac would be like not getting the intel processor.( i might be in for a long wait)

    2) Integration into the home entertainment system. I've only used front row a handful of times, but so far I like it. For those who haven't used it, you could essentially replace your TV with an iMac and use frontrow to navigate and play your library of music and tv shows(a la apple store purchases) as if you had your own digital media server.

    Apple could extend their reach even further in this area in a way akin to a page 2 rumor.

    As a side note, as is strongly rumored, screen size could be growing. In this case it could mean that there are 3 sizes of imacs available for purchase. Or, the 17" iMac could go the way of the 17" apple monitor and be discontinued, presumably selling the 20" for the same price as the 17"...3 free inches.

    With the rumors of the 23" iMac, this could perhaps coincide with the HD scenario as apple has been selling a 23" HD monitor for quite some time.

    in my opinion, and i've worked on both 17" and 20" imacs, 17" is very sufficient even for prosumers. Power and extreme users, of course, want more more more. But if you are just getting started, 5 years down the road you won't regret 17".

    But as I've said before, a) buy immediately after a model update and b) get yourself ready to buy a computer in 3 years or less from the date of your next purchase.

    by following recommendations 'a' and 'b' you will be less likely to 'overcommit' to your pending purchase and you will be more likely to be less burdened by the agony of upgraded technology. spend light now, spend light again in 2.5 years.

    but if you don't have an apple computer as of right now, get an imac. it's the complete package and you are good to go 15 minutes after the machine arrives.

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