General buying advice/recomendations

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Captain Chips, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Captain Chips macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2011
    Hi all (my first post here too!)

    Just really needed a bit of advice from those in the know so any feedback at all would be great.

    About to splurge on getting myself a up-to-date Mac and I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my thinking. First of all the money is quite important as, without getting too mopey, it's made up of my inheritance from my Dad. Basically means that whatever I get I want/need it to last several years before replacing it.
    Currently running on a old Macbook (3,1) which is getting far too slow/tired for my needs as I'm trying to finally put myself into a job in graphic design (got the degree years ago but only ever done bits 'on-the-side' as it were).

    Obviously I'm gonna probably see a massive performance improvement on pretty much any Mac I get (Currently on a 2ghz Core 2 and 2gb ram on GMA X3100) it's just there's a few things I thought people could help me with.

    1)The new Macbook Pro or iMac?
    These new MBP sure look tasty and have some serious power to boot and obviously being portable has a few advantages. Just I've started siding with the iMac for a few reasons, notably I feel that having a base unit on a desk would actually help me get work done, otherwise I'd be inclined to just move and sit in front of the TV and procrastinate to hell and back. I also like the idea of having it as a 'hub' for the family life (getting married in October, very keen on setting up a good home). At least I can still use this old MacBook for portability. So I don't know, anyone with experience think one way is better than the other?

    2)i5, i7 or wait?
    Assuming that I go with an iMac, I'd want to go 27" and get top-end (again, I need this to last) but this kinda pushes me into nearing the very ceiling of my budget. So is upgrading to the i7 really worth it? Bearing in mind I wouldn't really say I'm a power user but i'd be pushing it a bit more than the typical consumer. Think I may be more than happy with the stock i5 Quad's performance over my current setup to really care about a few extra boosts or will it really make it feel more powerful to the point it feels like a step-up?
    And I can kinda repeat this with the whole rumoured Sandy Bridge update. Will it be a significant increase (I'm out the loop when it comes to processor advancements)? And while I understand price point would be pure speculation, does Apple hike prices up or do they usually stay about level? I'm impatient too y'see and could hold off if it's going to be about the same price and a step-up over this generation.

    3) Upgrades and other recommendations?
    Just want to know if there's anything else I should consider. Think i'm going to stick with the stock 4gb RAM on purchase (especially if I go for any other upgrade) as I gather I can upgrade it myself rather easily and cheaply. Thinking I should really go for AppleCare, especially as i'm looking to have the Mac for a long time. Never had it before on any other of my Apple products, as they've all been fine (thankfully) but think if I'm splurging I probably should, what have people's experiences been like with it?
    I'm pretty set for software as I've been buying things for this Macbook pretty regularly. Half interested in AppleTV and maybe even a TimeCapsule as my external HDD is a bit long in the tooth now.

    Sorry for the really long post full of probably really annoying questions but I really need to get this right. Any help at all from you guys would be great (bit of a forum stalker so I know a lot of you are really great with all this).
    Thanks, Tim.
  2. Spyriadon macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2011
    Hi Tim.
    First greetings from Leeds! :D

    Secondly if the tempt to procrastinate is too great for you i would get the imac. its a much more powerful machine and is more future proof.

    In that i am referring to the upcoming refresh which brings me to my second point. Wait!

    The imac is coming very soon in less than 2 months is the current consensus any time in April is likely so just wait for it. That said if you want a machine right this second go for a MBP as the second the new imacs come out you will just kick yourself. :eek:

    Good luck no matter what you decide!
  3. hobo.hopkins macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2008
    I would get a MacBook Pro. My mother purchased an iMac for more or less the same reason you mentioned - because she was just going to use it for work. She ended up buying a MacBook Pro about a month later because she didn't like having to sit at her desk to do any kind of work. The portability factor really is a huge bonus.

    I think you'll be fine with an i5. My mother's Core 2 Duo iMac is a screamer, and I can't imagine the i7 being significantly faster than the i5 for almost any task.

    You're right about the RAM, if you ever need to upgrade just do it yourself. Software-wise, there isn't much that you'd need to purchase alongside the computer except maybe Microsoft Office. And I'd definitely get the AppleCare, it really isn't too large of an investment considering the amount of coverage that you receive.
  4. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yeah, definitely the Applecare. I wouldn't buy it from Apple though. Get the box version from Amazon and save some coin :) Right now Amazon (LINK) has it for $147 while apple is $169. Free shipping and depending on state, no tax.
  5. Captain Chips thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2011
    Thanks for the info guys, particularly the heads-up on AppleCare, expected it t be one flat price everywhere with it being a warranty-type-thingy. How does it work then? Seems a bit odd that it doesn't have to be sold from the same store at time of purchase.

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