First time Mac Buyer need advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by billyergs, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. billyergs macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2005

    I've finally decided to purchase a Mac so that I can do work from home.
    Just a few questions, any responses would be a great help.

    What I know I want:

    G5 dual 2.5
    atleast 2 gigs RAM
    atleast 250 gig HD
    23 Inch Apple HD LCD monitor

    1.) I will be running typical GD software along with some film editing software and Maya. What is the reccomended amount of RAM so things run smoothly? Also, I've noticed people recommend buying third party RAM on these forums. Is this a good idea? Any particular brands and configurations?

    2.) Which graphics card should I go with ATI 9800XT or Nvidea 6800 Ultra DDL?

    3.) Should I wait for the next generation of Macs to come out?

    Being my first Mac purchase, I really want something nice so I'm looking to spend between $5,000-$6,000.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. altair macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Holly balls, 5-6k.

    Well. The general rule of thumb for ram on OS X is as much as you can afford :) But I cant imagine the 2gigs you suggest being to little. Think it sounds pretty good to me.

    2) I found this link about the nvidia card.

    3) I think now is a pretty good time to buy, but looking at the MR buyers guide

    it appears the PowerMac is nearing the end of its life span and updates are to be expected semi-soon. (id still buy now :p )

    Good luck, as us questions, we like to answer.
  3. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    There probably won't be much of a "jump" when the new PowerMacs are released. Probably around 2.8GHz for the Highest. If you need the computer now, get it now. You will be much happier using then waiting around. Also, if they release new ones, they usually don't ship right away, so you will be waiting even longer.
  4. SteveC macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2003
    $5-$6000... first of all: wow. ;)

    As for the RAM, crucial seems to be pretty popular (and is among members here, too). The prices are good, too. They're probably in the mid range, with Apple more expensive and places like 1800memory being cheaper.
  5. billyergs thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Is there a performance difference between apple ram and 3rd party ram?

    Also will 3-year apple care still be valid if I install 3rd party ram?

    thanks again!
  6. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
  7. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    no and yes in that order to be short. Crucial ram will probably the same type from the same manufacturer(Samsung I believe) and installing ram will not effect your Applecare.
  8. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Most of what you've posted looks like what you'd want. I'd recommend maybe going with a Radeon X800 XT (if you can find it). Doesn't take up as much room, and I hear it's a little quieter, though not as much as the 9600, but it will be faster and almost as fast as the Nvidia (if not faster in some things). But the 6800 isn't bad if you don't want the hassle of doing it yourself and don't need the PCI slot. RAM and Hard Drives can easily be added third party. I like Newegg myself, especially the user reviews. You could buy a bunch of 512MB sticks or 2 1GB sticks for 2.5GB total. Just remember to install in pairs. It won't void your warranty unless you damage something, but that's not as much of an issue in the Towers.



    Good luck.
  9. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    Wow, that is a nice setup man. I doubt that any updates that may come will be enough to effect your system (maybe a millisecond on PS), and your system will be able to handle pretty much everything that is thrown at it. Hope that you like! :)
  10. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Definitely go ATI, you'll be happier in the long run. A better card with superior support. And as already mentioned above, it's quieter and takes up less room.

    If you can hang on until the WWDC in June, then it might be worth your while to wait. That way you'll end up with a slightly faster computer and with a Tiger in your tank too ;)

    Great set up by the way, you'll really enjoy it whenever you do decide to get it.
  11. madrobby macrumors regular


    May 3, 2003
    Hmm. Why is the 9800XT a better card? It's quieter and less roomy, yes. But given the Nvidia is one generation ahead of the ATI, and with Final Cut Pro 5 and Motion 2 just around the corner, I'd go with the NVidia (or maybe an ATI X800). These cards have much better performance for GPU-accelerated stuff used with CoreImage/Video in Tiger.
  12. ct77 macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    3rd Party RAM

    Ramjet is also a good choice for 3rd party RAM. Excellent customer service -- if you call, you will immediately get a human being on the other end to speak to.
  13. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    If you've followed most of nVidia's offerings of late, they give tweaked preproduction units to Extremetech and Anandtech etc, then have a difficult time actually producing a card capable of delivering the goods.

    A perfect example is Apple's introduction of their 30" cinema display which was relying on this card because it was prior to ATI's introduction of the 9800XT. Apple had no choice but to delay the introduction by a few months because, once again, nVidia couldn't deliver the goods.

    As I've said in many previous posts about ATI vs nVidia, ATI is a superior product with superior support. Sure the nVidia may be better in some areas under some conditions, but in the long run most consumers will be happier with ATI due to less aggravation and better support.
  14. billyergs thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Thanks again for all the help...
    I'll post what I finally end up getting when I make a few decisions.

    Is the Apple 23 inch LCD monitor recommeneded?
  15. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    I've never used one, but Macworld (Mar. 05 issue) gave it a mixed/negative review, saying (under "Cons"): "Default colors were off on first unit we received; no VGA connection; no S-Video or composite connectors." Their pick was the HP L2335, which also retails for less, for 23-inchers. I don't know, it's just Macworld.

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