Goodbye XP Media Center...help w/ Mac setup.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by donandtamara, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. donandtamara macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #1
    The graphics card on the 4yr old Dell died (again) and at long last I will be buying a Mac. :D I've got an idea for a new setup and wanted some feedback and any other ideas/suggestions. So here's what I got and where I think I'm going:

    Have now:
    -Dell 4600C (blown graphics card) 2.8ghz 800bus 512MB RAM 120G HD (pulled using ext enclosure) 17" flat LCD- running XP media center, used by family for kids games (ages4-8), email, internet. I used it for home video editing/viewing, some music recording, listening, picture viewing.
    -160GB WD USB External HD not connected w/ single back up
    -Dell Latitude 640 laptop (work laptop used at home occasionaly)
    -Lynksys 2.4ghz 802.11g wireless router
    -42"LCD 1080i w/ DirecTV HDDVR
    -16GB iphone :apple:

    With the new set up would like to:
    -maintain current capability (home video editing, music recording)
    -keep and use current media center home video files for viewing/editing (probably need to convert. don't want to rip from camera again)
    -better backup plan while on a tight budget
    -planning on ripping DVDs (not many, 40ish)

    Looking at:
    -iMac refurb 20" 2.1-2.6 ghz?
    -use old the 160g Ext HDD, usb to iMac, use as to run itunes music and ripped DVDs.
    -1TB Ext HD usb/firewire use time machine for backup of both iMac and external HD
    -Apple 40 or 160g? to TV in living room

    Would like some suggestions on:
    -Which iMac configuration is sufficient?:confused:
    -Not sure if larger AppleTV does me any good? (Not going to be renting movies)
    -What's best way to get media center home video over and usable?:eek:
    -Best options for ripping DVDs?
    -Is there better backup setup?

    Thanks for you time and ideas. I'm really looking forward finally working with the :apple:Mac!
     
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #2
    The baseline iMac will be fine for editing video and the other tasks you've described. You might consider upgrading the RAM yourself to 4GB - it's only about $50 for the kit, and you'll appreciate the difference when editing video.

    As for backup solutions... any external HDD will do. OSX has built-in backup capabilities, all you need to do is supply it with an external drive.

    I'm not sure about your current files. What format are they in? In any case, I'm sure software exists to convert them from whatever they currently are. For DVD ripping, Handbrake is very popular. :)
     
  3. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #3
    You DO realize that a new graphics card for your Dell is only going to be like $40, right? Not that I would talk anybody out of getting a Mac... :) Just want to make sure you know the facts. I think the base model iMac would be a great improvement for you - and yeah, upgrade to 4GB.

    My ultimate advice would be to do BOTH - get the iMac and get the video card for the Dell. Keep it up for the kids to use and you can thoroughly enjoy your shiny new iMac. :)
     
  4. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #4
    I'd get a Mac Mini instead of an :apple:tv. Give it a wireless KB & mouse, it'll be awesome.
     
  5. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #5
    How did you format your old HD? NTSF or FAT 32?

    A Mac can read NTSF, but not write to it.

    A Mac can read and write to FAT 32, but you have a 4 GB file size limit.

    You can move some files around from HD to HD and reformat the old drive, but do it from the iMac, not the PC. It is just easier.

    +1 to buy a new video card for the old computer for the kids in addition to your iMac.

    +1 to install additional RAM yourself. Much cheaper that way.

    Welcome to the Switchers Club.
     
  6. donandtamara thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #6
    Actually did try to replace the card at first. Dell had 3 options they "said" were compatible...all around $150-$200. Bought one and had to return it because it wasn't compatible. I'm done. Could try again.

    Speaking of graphics though, any real huge difference on Mac graphics between the 128mb and 258mb cards for home video?

    The hard drive I think is NTFS formatted. I'll have to check. Once I have the mac, hoping I can reformat the old external back up drive to use for itunes and just move files over from the old pc drive to the mac.
     
  7. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #7
    NTFS-3G

    and

    MacFUSE
     
  8. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #8
  9. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #9
  10. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #10
    ???
     
  11. donandtamara thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #11
    Nice find. Good call, thanks. I think where Dell went wrong was PCI vs AGP. Still going for the :apple:. You think the kids will ever want to touch that Dell again after using the mac? HA! :D
     
  12. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #12
    If you're still looking at getting the Mac then take a look at the lower of the two 24 inch IMacs. The screen is vastly superior and the machine is very powerful and will ensure that you get a long time out of it.
     
  13. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #13
    I typed up a bunch of links, some guides etc, only to press and see "This member has chosen not to receive emails or pm's"

    *sigh* 7 paragraphs of info lost in the ether. Oh well. (didn't want to post an insanely long post on this thread)
     

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