Looking for a new computer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by WarEagle, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. WarEagle macrumors member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #1
    Hey all I have a MacBook and a MacMini but of which are 3years old. I am doing a lot of news group downloads, unrar, dvd ripping, encoding for Apple TV etc on my MacMini and well its slow. I really need to buy a new computer but I am not sure what to get. Looking for a desktop.

    My monitor that I have now I got in 2002 and it wasnt top of the line then just needed something smaller then a CRT for my dorm room and its only a 19inch 4x3 screen. So I am open to the iMacs or a MacPro and use this screen. I also have a Drobo that I keep all my video files on.

    I want a computer that will last me so I was kinda thinking about saving up a little bit for the 27inch i7 iMac. Go with default ram for a little bit and upgrade down the line. I have plenty of space now for that screen but I also would have plenty of room for an older MacPro. I would like a desktop I am thinking about doing a hacked Dell Mini10v as a laptop for fun.

    So with what I am looking for doing with the computer what would you go with?

    BTW I dont want to do a Hacked computer....dont have the time to mess around it when I get home. I work around computer and VOD systems all day and sometimes I dont feel like messing around with what I already have let alone a hacked system as my main system

    Thanks for reading the long post I was trying to put in as much information.
     
  2. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    iMac makes good sense to me. You get a newer computer and monitor in one.

    A new mac pro will run 500 or so more than the iMac, without a monitor or nicer graphics card. Used you may be able to find a 08 with some upgrades, but it may take some time.

    Either one will be good, but buying the iMac will be much easier.
     
  3. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    Atlanta, Ga
    #3
    If iMac...which one? Jump up the the i7? I would like to multitask. Be able to unrar something while I am settting up encodes and while I am adding meta data in Meta X. Try this on my MacMini and it gets very pissed at me.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #4
    The i7 will certainly perform admirably, but my June 2008 iMac with the 3.06 does just fine as well. I think any iMac will do the job.
     
  5. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Will the i7 or the i5 give me a longer life for the computer?

    They seem like a nice jump in the specs over an older or base model iMac. I would like to get a computer that will last me at least 3-4 years. I know something big could come and change everything but that MacMini lasted 3years and didnt start to mess up until I started to encode .mkv HD Files into AppleTV files. It started to create choppy video.
     
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #6
    I'm not sure what you're asking, exactly, but a processor doesn't really deteriorate over time; if it does, they all do it, and an i7 wouldn't really last any longer than an i5 or a C2D.

    My MB has a C2D that still performs as admirably as it did 3+ years ago when I bought it, so I don't know that the processor selection affects the machine's lifespan.
     
  7. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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  8. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    I know they don't deteriorate but what I was asking was is the speed spike and performance spike in the i7 going to mean that the machine will last that much longer...well keep up much longer.

    I have not seen a lot of real world tests on the i7 or i5 with timing on an encode or things like that. If the % change in the performance is worth the $200 jump. When I use to build my own machines you could find a proc that was at that point where it was a good price for the performance but with apple products you dont get to price a system out like you can when its a custom built one.
     
  9. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    Atlanta, Ga
    #9
    I dont want to go crazy and get a 3k MacPro but for a computer that will last me and do what I need/want 2k isnt bad. If I can get out the door for less and get what I need/want then I will be happy. I dont need the 27inch but the i5 or i7 seem like a nice upgrade...I think.
     
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #10
    Any iMac will do the trick, even an older 3.06, is there going to be a huge difference in how long Computer A can last over Computer B - no. Lastly, my thoughts on "futureproofing." In short:
    It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Say for example you bought the highest iMac two years ago, that's $2,198. Chances are, the low-end iMac could have performed most of the tasks over the past two years and it would cost half that. The new base model iMac is definitely faster then the one you would have bought two years ago.
     
  11. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    Atlanta, Ga
    #11
    That is true. Get the lower iMac and then upgrade faster. Maybe every 2 years sell it used? Is the resell market on the iMac make that possible? I have never sold a computer before. When I moved 2 years ago I got rid of my first computer....the Apple IIGS. So I keep computers and then put them up to never see the light of day again.
     
  12. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    Atlanta, Ga
    #12
    Would unrar, visual hub, meta x, iTunes etc use the extra cores and Hyper Threading? I dont play games (I have an Xbox 360 and Wii for games). I edit photos and video for family and videos for my AppleTV.

    I guess I am also use to the VOD servers I have a work. When I need to make a change I have a room of computers! I'm spoiled at work!

    Buying a new computer is the only part of the whole Apple thing I dont like. I miss building my own computer and picking out each part. But I dont want to go back to Windows and I dont want to mess with the EFI and crap.
     
  13. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #13
    I bought the refurb 3.06 iMac with 8800GS a couple of months ago (right after the 27" announcement. I fully intent to pass it to my wife next fall and buy the 27" as a refurb. I'll sell it after two years and pass the 27" to my wife hoping a new even better GPU is available in 24 months. When at all possible I buy the refurbs.

    Cheers,
     
  14. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    Atlanta, Ga
    #14
    I was just looking at the 21inch Refurb 3.06 Core 2 Duo for $1300.

    I have 2 friends that have setups that are close the the iMacs (other thing both custom built Windows machines). One has a 2.86 Core 2 Duo and the other has an i7. I will have them run a few rar files and encodes and time them to see what the difference is. The i7 has 6gb of ram and then C2D only has 4 but that isnt huge. The i7 also runs osx so that will be nice to see what the 27inch could be like.
     
  15. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #15
    None of those things are going to need the extra power, iTunes might benefit from hard drive speed, but that's it.
     
  16. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    They would have to run faster. Maybe its bc I try to run Meta X while I am unraring something and doing an encode. When I come home from work I try to do it all at once and then let stuff run over night. My MacMini is having problems encoding these mkv files to m4v. It also cant play the mkv files I get a message saying the computer is too slow.

    Is the new Core 2 Duo enough faster that I would be able to multitask these programs? I love my MacMini but damn it cant keep up with me. iTunes will lock up or unrar, sometimes to the point I have to force quit things.
     
  17. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #17
    I'd wait for 3-4 months and see what rolls out this spring. Cheaper
    deals on the 2009 models and you got the 2010 models to drool
    over.
     
  18. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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  19. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    I would go for a quad core 27. While those programs aren't going to each use 4 cores, the system will be faster if you multitask while using it.

    Perhaps refurbs will show up in a little bit, and you can save some money that way.

    What do you use for DVD ripping? If handbrake, it uses all 8 of my MP cores.
     
  20. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Location:
    Sacramento
    #20
    Anything you buy today will pretty much kick your 3 year old stuff to the curb.

    Seems to me, best bang for buck would be an i5.

    $1580 after rebate (Im fine with rebates), makes it $350 cheaper than the i7 (no rebates on i7s). Im sure the i7 is faster, but not $350 faster?

    http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10682041

    Add another 4 gigs for $100 for a total of 8.

    Then add what ever else you need as necessary -- a second screen, large external backup, etc, etc.

    Sell in 2-3 years and buy whatever the next iMac is, i15 or whatever.
     
  21. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #21
    Thats a really good deal! I don't know if the i7 is $350 better then the i5. I could almost get a 2nd Drobo for $350...or I could go get a Time Capsule for around that. Hmmm... Im leaning toward the Quads bc Handbrake and a few other programs will use all the cores and that should be a pretty good jump in encode speeds.

    Do many people use a 2nd screen with an iMac? Seem that a 2nd screen would look odd next to it. I guess I could use my current 19inch was going to keep that with the mini and put it in my bedroom (Also thinking kitchen with the 19 inch or my little 15inch screen)....
     
  22. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #22
    I have used dual screens for over 10 years.

    Never can do a single screen anymore.

    I was moving some machines around (so thats why that extra 20" is on the left), but here is the setup in my office right now (well, its a lot cleaner now :)

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1417918/officed.jpg

    (and just for clarification, from L to R; Canon MP780, 20" 2.4 iMac, 24" 2.4 iMac, Dell 2001FP, in the upper right corner 2 OWC FW 800 500 gig drives, 1 SiiG FW800 400 gig drive, 1 USB 2 1.5TB Seagate drive, Lower left, MDD Dual 1.25, under 24" iMac: WD 400 gig 2.5" FW800, 80 gig FW400 Firelight, FW400 16X CD/DVD-R, 15 gig 3G iPod and in the lower right Epson R1800... lots more not pictured)

    A drobo? meh. Id rather have one of these: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEQX2KIT0GB/

    or these (in a RAID 5): http://www.provantage.com/promise-technology-ds4600~7PROM1C5.htm
     
  23. WarEagle thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #23
    Drobo is just easy... I mess around enough at work that I don't feel like doing it at home. I like how Apple products just work and thats how the Drobo is for me. I toss a drive in and I'm done.

    Guess I will end up using one of my current screens as a 2nd screen. I will wait and see if I see some refurb i5s or wait a little bit and see if the i7s come. Sounds like the quad core will be helpful and speed up my work. I can wait a little bit I don't need it tomorrow. What is the normal amount of time it takes for a refurb to show up?
     

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