good reliable mac, on the cheap?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by johnnytablet, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. johnnytablet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #1
    Well my current pc (generic dell, 2.4ghz sempron 2gb ram nvidia 6200gt windows xp) pardon my french, is total ****... so after many nights of cold sweats and hot flashes it hit me MAC! and the problem is i'm low on cash and not looking to spend much ( 800 tops) and i found a good imac within my price range

    http://www.macofalltrades.com/Apple_Intel_Core_2_Duo_2_0GHz_17_iMac_1_0_160GB_p/ic2d20im171.htm

    and reviewing the specs i think that could hold me off for a good 4 years i would say but in your opinion is there a better deal around there for around that price range? and how does the x1600 ati handle lets say tf2 (low setting of course) because i like the occasional game here and there. and could i upgrade later on? beside ram, because i know the recent 24 inch imac had an mxm or xmx port (laptop graphics don't remember the name of it) which you could in theory swap out. Besides that the only things i do mainly are photoshop and sound recording which macs are perfect for.

    so please could someone help me choose a good cheap mac that would keep me up to date for a while?
     
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #2
    Since you have a monitor, etc. my first thought would be a new Mac mini. Otherwise I would keep watching the refurbished section of the Apple Store for an iMac you can afford. A 30 day warranty scares me. Best wishes.
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
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    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #3
    I have that model and my daughter plays TF2 under bootcamp XP on it with no issues. You can't swap iMac video cards out (they are part of the main board on the 17"). You should be able to pick up an aluminum iMac with an HD2600 card for less than $800 on eBay if you are patient. That would be a much better game playing machine.
     
  4. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #4
    I saw both the former 20" aluminum iMac (2.4Ghz, 1GB RAM, 250GB HD, 2400HD graphics) and the former 13" Macbook (2.13GHz, 2GB, 160GB HD, 9400M) for $749 on the Apple refurb site. Apple refurbs carry the same warranty as new machines and are eligible for Applecare.

    Check for yourself. It changes all the time, however... so they may not be available later.

    EDIT: BTW, I have that same iMac, too. Very happy with it - just FYI, I bought mine for $499 on eBay last October with free shipping and 2GB RAM.
     
  5. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    im going to vote for the Mac Mini. With apple keyboard and mouse you can get one for just under $700. Id say this is the most future proof way for you to go on your budget... for basic purposes the ram and HD will be enough, you can always add an external later and max the ram if you need to later as well. I have an iMac that ive seen others selling for around 800-1000 on ebay. the late 2007 alum imac. 20" 2.4ghz 1gig ram(upgraded to 3) 320gbHD ati radeon 2600 graphics... its a great machine and i love it, but i honestly think the current mini makes more sense for you asuming you already have a monitor. If you dont, you can get one for around $100 at best buy also. so you could have the whole mini setup for right around your 800 max. and it would be new and have a 1 year warranty that many setups on ebay will not have.

    also if you are a k-12 educator, or government employee, or you have a kid in college who can show their student ID, you can get a discount on a new mac from apple.

    EDIT: heres something to look at...
    http://www.clubmac.com/clubmac/shop...ombo+Keyboard+and+Mouse-Mac+Mini&dpno=7956151
     
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #6
    Either one is fine, but the refurb store is also a nice option.
     
  7. johnnytablet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #7
    the only thing i have against the mini is that sleek look and for 800 i could just get a higher model imac on ebay with the same specs and the more all in one profile, the cheaper the better.
     
  8. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    yeah i understand that completely, and the mini is no more upgradable than an iMac so thats not a bonus... the real reason i am recommending it is because although used macs can be great buys, its safer to buy new, that one year warranty could save you... if you look at an iMac on ebay, try to find one from 2007 that comes with about one year left on applecare.

    oh and by the way, i forgot to mention.... my sister had that 17inch model you were looking and the fans were super noisy and eventually the logic board went out... might not be a widespread problem, but it brings up red flags to me.
     
  9. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #9
    First I've heard of it. Ours is very quiet.
     
  10. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2009
    #10
    I would want to buy new and therefore would be recommending a mini.
     
  11. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    good to know, the faulty logic board may have been the cause of the excessive fan speeds...
     
  12. flipper99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    #12
    Avoid Mac of all trades

    I would stick to a refurb mini from the Apple Store. I purchased an iMac from Mac of All trades and the first machine they sent me with known issues. It had failed the Apple hardware test, and they still shipped me the machine(had a bad fan.) The superdrive on the next iMac they sent me failed on the first day. So be patient and check the Apple refurb section often. Just today the had a Mini for $399 and an iMac for $749.... Plus you get the warranty, Snow Leopard and iLife.
     

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