FINALLY upgrading - need some buying advice!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheRat, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. TheRat, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011

    TheRat macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2004
    Hey all, i've been following this forum for years but rarely post. However i'm planning on investing in a new computer soon. This isn't a decision I make very often - i'm not one of those people who can afford to upgrade every two years - so i want to be fully informed before I purchase and I figured i'd bounce some ideas off of you.

    I'm currently using a first-gen iMac G5 1.8ghz (yup) with Leopard and a 2009 Macbook Pro 13inch base model with Snow Leopard. Here is my situation:

    - I bought my Macbook Pro (2009) for school, and I've always intended it to be a secondary machine so I did not upgrade anything and kept it at its base specs (2.26Ghz core 2 duo, 2gb ram, 160gig hard drive, 256mb graphics card). So far it's worked wonderfully and I love the portability it offers.
    - I've been looking at a new iMac, I feel i'll miss the portability that my Macbook offers but I need a machine that'll last. My iMac G5 had a host of problems (sound would cut out for weeks at a time, hard drive failures, etc) over its lifetime so i was less than happy with it. However, the new iMacs really impress me with their speed and gorgeous screens.
    - I've been waiting for the refresh but am also considering purchasing refurbished for the savings it could offer, especially on last-gen models after the refresh

    My priorities are:
    - Future-Proofing. I keep my computers for a long time and do not do much gaming on them but when I do buy them I tend to go all-out (aside from my Macbook of course). I want it to be as fast as I can afford. My budget is about $2000, but i'm willing to spend up to $2500 if it's really worth it.
    - I plan to return to Video Editing as a hobby. I did a lot on my iMac when I first got it but I haven't updated my camcorder in just as long (Mini DV) so it's a bit lower on the priority list.
    - Large, reliable hard drive. I have almost 200gigs of media I used my iMac for before it became more and more unreliable. I'm looking for about 1TB.
    - Good Graphics Card. I don't play much games on my computer but I want it to at least be able to run Starcraft 2 or Sims 3 on high settings, if possible.

    Here are my questions:
    - Should I go for a refurbished iMac? ($1599 current generation model disconted to $1349)
    - Should I go for a brand new iMac with the refresh?
    - Should I trade in my Laptop and try to get an uber Macbook Pro? My Laptop's been doing great so far but could you see an advantage for me going this route? I would still like a secondary machine but would the positives outweigh the negatives?
    - Should I go for a refurbished Mac Pro? Do you think it would suit my needs? IMO if i'm going to be spending over $2000 on an iMac I want to consider the potential benefits of a good used Mac Pro.

    Apologies for the long post but I appreciate any advice offered! Thank you!

    PS last question i swear: i will be selling my iMac G5 to make room for the new machine. It recently developed the problem where the screen dims and the whole computer shuts off randomly, which i've heard was very common with the first gen models. It seems to be OK for short-term use but what do you think would be a fair price to charge for it?
  2. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    Wait a bit and see what the iMac refresh offers. Unless you're in a rush..
  3. TheRat thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2004
    Definitely not in a rush, and I won't be making any decisions until after the refresh for sure.
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    So then... what is there for us to tell you now? lol. If you're going to do video editing, the better spec'd your computer is, the better. If you're waiting for the refresh (like you say) then once that comes out you'll know for sure where you stand in relation to the new specs and the price that goes with it.

    If you do end up getting an iMac, I would definitely keep the MBP because there are going to be times when you want to get out of the house or take your computer somewhere with you.

    In terms of future proofing... aside from video editing I don't see the need for getting faster and more powerful machines (aside from that and gaming/photo editing of course) for a few years. Until bandwidth speeds up and as a result we get a higher average bit rate (over 1080p) you don't really need anything faster than what you have now. That's just my opinion of course.

    I personally don't play games and I have a 2.2ghz, 4gb RAM black MacBook from 08 and it does everything I throw at it without a hickup; HD video (watching/streaming), editing, and plain browsing are all executed instantly and this machine is 3 years old.

    I hoped this helped :)
  5. TheRat thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2004
    it definitely did, sounds like i'll be looking at the higher-end refreshed iMac. I understand it seems like a redundant question at this point but there's a lot I could potentially consider!

    any guesses on what I could sell my randomly shutting off G5 for?
  6. durruti macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2004
    200-300 USD or so my guess. Check ebay, advanced search, 'completed listings'.

  7. nathanielonfire macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2011
    I think before you sell your iMac, you should try and get your facts straight. The iMac G5 and the iMac you describe are different machines.

    The iMac G5 is a PowerPC based machine, but it can't run OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. It can only run up to Leopard, as Snow Leopard is Intel-only.

    Later iMacs (which look largely identical) are Intel Core Duo and Core 2 Duo based and can run Snow Leopard.

    Check "About This Mac" in the Apple menu (or the documentation, if you can't get it to startup or whatnot) to find out which one you have, because the difference between selling a G5 and selling an Intel iMac is extreme, in terms of what price you could get, namely for the difference above.
  8. TheRat thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2004
    You're absolutely right, i got my OS's mixed up and It's definitely the PowerPC G5. I'll go back and edit my original post.
  9. nathanielonfire macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Glad to help. I'm not trying to be a stickler for correctness, but I'd hate to see you try and sell an Intel Mac at a G5 price. That being said, I've seen a few people talk about their "iMac G5 with a Core 2 Duo". :p

Share This Page