First Mac??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macthismacthat, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. macthismacthat macrumors member

    macthismacthat

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Location:
    Macedonia
    #1
    First of all hello to everybody......this is my first post so my apologies in advance in case I post something stupid.
    My relatives are coming from the States this summer. I'm planning on purchasing a Mac from USA and have them deliver it to me(because they are very expensive in my country).I'm planning on developing apps for OSX and iOS. That will be my primary occupation. Also I do a casual gaming from time to time(WoW,SC2) and I would definitely like to play Star Wars:The Old Republic when it comes out :rolleyes:
    I had set my mind on the new MBPs with SB refresh at first. But then I think that a Mac Mini and (because I really like it) an iPad 2 ,would be also great and budget friendly (If I go with MBP it will be the 15").
    The 1st question is:
    When the new Mac Minis will come out and will they have a dedicated GPU and SBridge?
    The 2nd question is:
    Is this a smart move(Mac Mini + iPad)
    My budget is roughly 1700$,but why not lower it :cool:
    Thank u for your replies.
     
  2. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #2
    Looking at your situation and your budget (assuming that's $1700 US), your better bet is the Mini + iPad. The MBP 15" is currently $1799, which leaves no room in your budget for software/games, etc.

    The Mini + iPad combo gives you the best of both worlds: a decent iOS development station and an acceptable gaming machine-- not excellent, mind you, but adequate for gaming, and an iOS device for testing your apps. If you stick to the 16GB or 32 GB WiFi-only, that should leave you plenty of budget for a newer monitor and peripherals.

    To do what you need to do will not require Sandy Bridge. The NVidia GPU on the current Mac Mini does an acceptable job for gaming. Again, not extraordinary, but acceptable. (If gaming is an extremely high priority for you, you should be looking at a Windows-based machine anyway.)
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    Do you already have a monitor and other peripherals? The Mini itself may be cheaper but when you add a decent monitor and stuff, its price will go up.
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    Is it safe to assume you already have a keyboard and monitor for the Mini? Even if you have a PC keyboard, I recommend you consider getting an Apple keyboard. I used a Mini with a PC keyboard for about a week before I broke down and bought an Apple keyboard for about $50 at the time.

    As for using a Mini as your main machine, I think it will do fine. You might consider an external hard drive for large files such as photos and movies. Xcode is a fairly large install (over a gig if I remember correctly). I should admit that I only rarely do any gaming these days so I can't confirm or deny how well a Mini works for gaming. I have Macs and an iPhone but I still use my iPad quite a bit so I must agree with your idea to get a Mini plus an iPad. There are some fairly low cost apps that allow you to control your Mini from your iPad. They are well worth it and have allowed me to avoid countless trips downstairs to the basement to sit in front of my Mac when I only needed to do something quick.
     
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #5
    The Mac Mini is a good choice. However it is likely to retain its current integrated GPU. However, with Intel and NVIDA working on graphics together (to counter AMD/ATI) it won't really matter, aside from sharing memory. One would hope that the next revision would start with an i3, but there is no guarantee.

    TEG
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    No, they are not. The agreement simply continued Intel's license to use NVidia patents in their GPUs. Those GPUs are more or less needed to make any GPU at all. That is not same as Intel and NVidia working together on the IGP. The IGP we will find in future Intel CPUs will be developed by Intel. On side note, NVidia is working on their own CPUs based on ARM architecture.

    It's surprising how much confusion a poorly titled article can cause
     
  7. macthismacthat thread starter macrumors member

    macthismacthat

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Location:
    Macedonia
    #7
    Thank you guys for your opinion very much. I also think that it would be a budget save choice and the beauty of having two machines....in a way. I was planning on buying Razer peripherals but......here u talk that it will be harder....if they are not apple keyboard and mice.
    @Hellhammer:Also any monitor to suggest?...I suppose it will be an LG,but anything over 22" will be too much.
    To answer to another question....
    @dXTC:I like decent gaming,nothing extreme....but as I look the Star Wars:The Old Republic it will be a massive graphics demand...so if I can run it on a fair settings it will be great ( they have not yet posted the minimal required
    specs :( ).
     
  8. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #8
    A non Apple keyboad is not a big deal. I was coming from Windows so I was distracted by key labelling that didn't include option and cmd so I decided to get Apple keyboards to make my "clean break" easier. If you want to save $ and use a win kb, once you learn where the keys are, you are good to go. But if you want a nicer kb, I recommend the Apple kb. They cost more but I liked them a lot better than any of the "windows" kb I had lying around when I got my Mini.
     
  9. Blakeco123 macrumors regular

    Blakeco123

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    #9
    At you budget and needs I would recommend the base line imac.
    it has a discrete graphics card, double the ram of a mini, almost double the hard drive + a 21.5 inch screen (right at your limit) and a wireless apple keyboard and mouse for $1099. Also make sure you buy the appropriate power cord if you have a different connection than the u.s. Then you also have enough money left to buy an ipad.
     
  10. macthismacthat thread starter macrumors member

    macthismacthat

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Location:
    Macedonia
    #10
    I have thought of that but......if they ship the iMac from the States....I will have to pay shipping which is aprox~200$ at least and pay %5 tax to my country.It will be much expensive than buying a MBP when it arrives in Macedonia. Given the situation......+ the iPad 2 it will be more than 1850$. I'm in love with the iMacs,but it is a huge thing and you will have to pay weight+dimensions when you ship it. The Mac Mini is smaller than a laptop,they can put it in their bag pack. If the MBAs were with core ix I would definitely ordered one in a heart beat.....but that is that.....I don't fancy buying old hardware. By the summer I think that the Minis would probably have core i proc. so .... given that and the iPad 2 I think it would be a killer combination :cool:

    Also I would like some opinions on monitors.....Thanks guys in advance.
    So excited....it would be my first Mac.....I have Lenovo ThinkPad R61 C2D T7100 120GB HDD and X3100 Integrated Intel Graphics. Don't get me wrong,the thinkpad is amazing and the keyboard on it....dream. I have been using Windows for as long as I know,way back since 1994....and I think it's time to go in on a new adventure...cheers.
     

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