intel or not intel - father/son relationship at stake

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mufngruf, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. mufngruf macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2009
    Hi there,
    I am a long time mac user, although not anywhere near to an expert. Like many, I can do what I need to do and probably don't fully use the machinary I own (Dual 1GHZ Power PC G4).
    My son, a windows user, only uses his machine to play shoot-em-up games and check his email.. AND STILL MANAGES TO RENDER IT INOPERABLE every couple of months or so.
    I can't help him with windows and so he has to keep wiping and reinstalling his windows system.
    he has now saved some money and wants me to get him a mac since he is partly convinced that his virus vulnerability will be markedly reduced and, much more importantly, he knows that I can often bring back my own machine from coma and near-death with a few well chosen applications. I have suggested to him that he get a mac and upgrade his PC as a gamer and NEVER allow it online. His budget for the mac is around £600 (give or take £100) and used/refurbished is just fine with him. A laptop will not work for him since he's a klutz and it'll get dropped/knocked off the desk.
    Now, having set the scene, here's the questions...

    1. It would appear that many of leopard's new aspects require an intel processor - which would limit the choices of machine for him - how necessary/preferable is an intel processor or is the requirement more a matter of processor speed rather than brand?
    2. Since he also plans to buy a large flatscreen tv with a computer input, he would probably not need a G5-type which has it's own monitor (although it doesn't really matter if that's where the best deal is. Is there a preference among the forum for such a beast for a coupla hundred quid?
    3. What's the going opinion about minis? They seem to have very small hard drives and not so much ram. Are they fairly easy/cheap to upgrade? Would it be better than a "normal" sized tower or imac?

    Mostly, it's the processor question that I need help with but if you can force yourselves to give an opinion about any/all of the rest of the quandary, I'd be most grateful...
    also, if anyone happens to have a suitable unit for sale, let me know.
    thanks for the help.

    ps is there much of a market for my own humble setup?
  2. MACoconut macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    I would recommend you to get the iMac.

    You can upgrade it to ATI 4850HD which is much better than the other graphics card or alternatively,

    get a mini (upgrade options are available, and easy i guess; but gaming wise, it won't be that good.)

  3. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    Scratch what I said, I read it properly this time.

    A Mac Mini will be fine for every day email, web browsing, keeping photos on and so forth. They're great little computers. 2GB RAM is enough, and you can use external hard drives if the internal fills up too much. Plus he can just plug that planned HDTV in, and not spend money on a monitor.
  4. kitch95 macrumors regular


    Jun 5, 2008
    At the moment you can get an alu, Intel 2.0 ghz 20" imac in the referb store for £625. That seems like a good deal to me.
  5. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    If he does boot camp and plays games on the Windows side, he will probably get viruses again. I mean sure you can say stay off the internet but that is hard to do since so much gaming these days relies on the internet.

    You should find out if he uses P2P file sharing programs to download music/videos/etc. Most virus infections on PCs these days are caused by that kind of thing (limewire, kazaa, bear share, bit torrent etc.). If he cuts that out he will probably stop getting viruses.
  6. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    What everyone seems to be ignoring that the OP said his son his going to keep the PC for gaming - the mac presumably doesn't then need to be a gaming rig?

    A new mini (which are upgradeable, search around the forum) would run everything else you could want fantastically (and you get a new machine for the money) or the refurb £625 iMac if you decide you do want the screen would also be fantastic. Tbh though, I'd suggest the mini to save some money if all he does is browse the internet/answer emails and will have another screen anyway.
  7. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I noticed the same thing about responders not really reading the op's original post.

    I also second the opinions about getting a mini for light everyday use. The base model with 2 gigs of ram should meet his needs nicely. As for upgrading it yourself, I'd get on a couple of online guides on this subject and see if it's something you'd be comfortable with. I'd definitely get a newer model with the nvidia graphics chip for overall performance and snow leopard.

    My 12" 1.5 ghz g4 powerbook can handle leopard quite well with 1.25 gigs of ram quite nicely, thank you; so it is not an absolute necessity to get an intel machine for that purpose. I'm having trouble thinking of what features it has that would not run on a late gen power pc mac.
  8. thecritix macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2006
    West London, England
    Why not an XBox and Mac mini?

    That was he has all the gaming capability, excellent graphics etc combined with a computer on a top o/s.

    No viruses, good gaming.

    Looks good to me?
  9. thecritix macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2006
    West London, England
    Because it's so badly formatted if i wrote all of my text like this how many of you would actually bother to read it. Probably no one because a big block of texts make you want to reach the end and skip reading it. The OP needs to format his posts better to get better answers. In seconds thoughts having re-read the original post get a mac mini anyway. Better to have new and intel etc with warranties than old.
  10. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    If hes using it online only and having a game machine I say iMac g4 or G5 no need for intel unless he would want to game on it.:apple:
  11. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    A lovely thread title – made me smile, anyway!

    I would vote for the mini as well – is you son at school or any other type of student? I assume yes, in which case the standard education (non-HE) discount means the higher-end mini costs £609 – not a massive saving, but £40 is £40. It comes with 2GB and costs £75 to upgrade it to 4GB – if you’ve got a putty knife and feel brave then you can do it yourself (search online for instructions).

    The top model comes with a 320GB, which isn’t too shabby. In terms of extra storage, just go with externals.

    Can’t really help with the other questions much!
  12. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Or depending on how long he plans to keep the computer he might want to go with intel. The new OS Snow Leopard probably won't run on ppc macs and while I'm still working on a fantastic iBook G4 (which btw OP, runs Leopard like a champ, so your mac should be fine) it's undeniable that every intel out has been much faster than their ppc equivalents.

    If he's planning to keep the computer for a few years and might want to upgrade in that time I'd say to go with intel.
  13. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    In the interest of making his first Mac experience a great one, why not kick in a bit to help him get a newer Intel iMac?

    He has obviously saved a lot himself, and that is to be commended. But it may validate his choice even more to have a bit of financial help from you to make it happen. Switching isn't always easy, and money can be a hindrance.

    If it is possible to help him out a bit to get a newer machine, I think that would be the best solution. :)
  14. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    How about an iMac from Apple's refurb store?

    "Every little helps…"
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Absolutely not. Unless dad wants to keep paying out for his son until he is retired, it's much better to let them stand on their own two feet. Consider that dad might want a new Intel Mac himself one day, and who is going to pay for that?
  16. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    re: his budget, the OP hasn't said where this is actually from - for all we know, the OP is paying.

    Personally, I think the mini would fit the needs the OP's son nicely - obviously, iMacs are nice but how much a better purchase they would be in this instance, i'm not quite sure.

    Recently, the UK refurb store has been rather light of late with desktops, but they do have one today for £799.
  17. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    But it is still worth a look.

    I remember a few years back the Apple refurb store (UK) was only "open" on a Thursday if I remember… The early morning rush back then. :D
  18. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Oh, it's most certainly worth a look - no question! Actually, I missed that post about the £625 iMac.

    *laughs* Yeah, I remember how the cupboard was bare by lunchtime.

    And since I posted that, another two models have been added!
  19. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    There's nothing wrong with parents helping out if it's appropriate. It can even encourage an attitude of saving for what you want and discourage impulse spending or relying on credit in later life.

    I saved over £1,200 for my first mac in less than 5 months, I was living off the bare minimum needed for board, travel and a few beers on the weekend. On my 21st birthday my dad gave me £500 towards it.

    £600 + an additional £200 - 231 would get either of these systems from the Apple Store at present.

    Refurbished iMac 2.66Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

    20-inch glossy widescreen display
    2GB memory
    320GB hard drive
    8x Superdrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 with 256MB of GDDR3 Memory
    Built-in iSight camera



    Refurbished iMac 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    24-inch glossy widescreen display
    1GB memory
    320GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Built-in iSight camera


    I've always being the type of person who will save to buy what I want, knowing that the impatience of waiting always gets me either what I wanted cheaper, or something better for the same price and once august comes along (my next birthday), I'd probably be doing exactly the same thing, pooling whatever savings I have myself by then with any money I get for my birthday to buy the fastest intel based Mac I can get.
  20. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    If it's a choice between a G5 or an intel, I'd go for intel. Apple are not going to be supporting G5s for much longer.
  21. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    yeah, i'd go for intel just because they are newer and programs that aren't universal binaries will be most likely written for Intel - and not PPC.

    plus... most intel processor's these days are way faster than the G5's of back then
  22. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    The OP's post is just fine. Yours, however… :rolleyes:

    For the OP, on the assumption that you can keep "work" and "play" machines separate, than a Mini is more than sufficient for quite a while. As has been noted, Intel is the only viable consideration moving forward--as been the case for quite a while now--as well as refurbs giving more value for the dollar (or pound ;)).
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    This just sounds like a poor excuse for not reading the original post, but replying anyway. ;)

    Like others have said, get the Mac Mini. Your son's gaming PC would be virus-free if he didn't use it to surf the internet or download things other than game patches and such. He'll probably need internet on it anyway because so many games rely on internet for interacting with other gamers. However, tell him to keep his PC strictly for gaming, and his internet use for his Mac Mini.
  24. mufngruf thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2009
    thanks and WTF...

    Format THIS melonfarmer... apart from one missing capital there's sweet FA wrong with my post...

    now, for the rest of you. thank you so much for your input. I certainly didn't mean to open the side canoworms about parental/kin financing but, for the sake of clarity, it's HIS money that he was awarded in a national minimum wage claim that WE handled for him - so go figure..
    I believe that I shall go the G5 intel route.. spend a little more of his cash on something that will last a system upgrade or two.. (plus, frankly, I think he'll have difficulty believing that something as small as a mini will be worth such a chunk o' change).
    But, all this looking and window shopping has whetted my appetite to replace my own machine.
    and spend my own money...

    thanks kid.
  25. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.

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