First Time Mac Buyer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nightsky, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. nightsky macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2007
    These are the software I need to run:Quark Xpress, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat. I do not play pc games. Can I use a MacBook or older Imac 14.1" 1.41GHZ or Power Book 15." G4 1.67 GHZ, are these upgradable? Do I need a Mac Book Pro or can I use a older ver that are upgradable? What is the advantage of buying from Apple Store vs. MacMall, Amazon Stores? Why does MacMall advertise SATA HD and Apple Store only ATA HDs?
    I have read and compared ram cost, hd size and types, screen size is important but can I get away w/ 13" or 14" displays? I would love 15" but not sure if cost justifies function? Please explain the graphic card specs I need to run the software I have to use. Can graphic cards be upgraded? Are upgrades worth it? 1GB Ram upgrade cost $168 - $200. But we are looking at $1100. vs $1800 plus all the software, not to speak of training.
    I built my own pc back in 2001 and its still running strong. So I am computer proficient. My problem is that all my graphic design and print production experience and education was never upgraded w/computer software skills and now I can't get back in that job market w/o mac os, and production software experience. Thanks
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    These all have mac versions

    For PC games you need a macbook or macbook pro as they have intel processors, which allow them to run windows

    The macbook's graphic card is not strong enough for an interested gamer...casual gamers are often satisfied

    Macs are the way to go with will find it easy and fun to switch, I guarantee it.
  3. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    If you want an Apple laptop for graphic design, you definitely don't want to skimp on the display. The 15" or even 17" MBP is what I'd go for, though I realize those are expensive and not nearly as portable. At least the 15" is absolutely worth it over the smaller ones in my opinion.

    Either the Intel integrated graphics on the MB or the ATI graphics card on the MBP will do just fine for Quark, Photoshop, etc. If you want games you want the MBP. The graphics can not be upgraded.

    As for hard drives, all current models use SATA. I don't know where you saw ATA, maybe it was an old advertisement or a misprint.

    More important than any of those specs is RAM. Get as much RAM as you can possibly afford — up to the maximum amount even. Buying from third party (like Crucial) is a lot cheaper than buying from Apple.

    There isn't any advantage in ordering from MacMall or Amazon instead of Apple unless one of them is having a special deal, or the price is simply less. I always buy directly from Apple and am happy with their service.
  4. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Agree on Ram but could disagree on the ordering. I always like ordering from Apple, but if price is an issue you can usually get it a little cheaper through MacMall or MacConnection as you can get certain upgrades free such as extra Ram or a free printer or case or something. I take it you are not a student or teacher as they get ed. discounts directly from Apple- is anyone in your family a teacher/student? That is another possibility.

    also, if you want to play games that are PC based you will need a copy of Windows to run them on your Intel based Mac. But if you have a copy you used for your PC you built you will be fine. I would just sell the PC for parts and keep the windows to use for games if that is necessary.

    As far as learning the Mac, etc. it is easy to use the Mac and I am sure you can learn the Quark, photoshop, etc programs through the provided guides, or online, or through books if need be.

    One question- do you already own the software programs? If so, I assume they are PC based...which means you must install windows anyway to run them.

    One other thought- if you don't own the software, you might look into how much of a discount you would get being a student- then maybe you sign up for a class or two to learn the sofware easier and get the student discounts for the software as well as the Mac. I am not sure if you have to be a full time student for the Apple student discount and exactly what schools it would work at- check into it. You could save bunches if you qualify. gives student discounts as well as MacConnection I think.
  5. nightsky thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2007
    No computer games :)

    I do not play computer games, its not a concern. I am looking at the Power Book 15-inch 1.67GHz SuperDrive, $1150. Brown Box from a reputable seller, ram is cheaper for this model and it has I would prefer 15" display over 13" on 2.0 macbook. What do you think?

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