Looking to purchase wife her first Mac....need advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tom McMahon, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Tom McMahon macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    Her current Dell laptop is getting a little beat and well, its old (2gig P4, 1gig ram, 18gig HD, CD-R drive). I was originally going to buy her a Macbook but the small screen is, um, well small (MBP is out as she doesn't need something that powerfull, plus I already have one). So next option is the iMac, which I was all set to buy, until yesterday. As kind of a "hey I wonder if this will work?" I attached the MBP to our HDTV via an old DVI to HDMI cable and surfed the web / played a couple games in 42" glory.....Which got me thinking about the Mini. The new plan now is to put a Mini in our entertainment system and she can use a wireless keyboard/mouse and the 42" to surf, email, iTunes etc....

    Now to the questions. I had zero video issues attaching the MBP to the TV, will the Mini be as easy (MBP has a MUCH better video card)? Also, the TV is an older 42" Sony Wega 1080i if that matters (basically, has anyone tried/currently use this configuration?). Would there be anything worth possibly waiting for @ Macworld (better graphics card)? 2gig C2D should be plenty fast for what she wants to do, so a speed bump is not that important. I would also get 2gig ram right off the bat, just because.

    Am I missing anything?
  2. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    If you go for a Mini, just remember that you'll need to pay some extra cash if you want to burn DVDs.
  3. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    That sounds good in theory, but remember that the mini doesn't have a very powerful graphics card and might not be able to support a 42" screen, when it can't even support apple's 30" display.

    Sorry didn't read the 2nd paragraph. go to apple.com when you configure something a little icon pops up on the webpage that says "chat now". If you click on it you will talk to a, um, specialist I guess.

  4. Stolencheese macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2007
    Why not get her the macbook still? Or perhaps an old G4!

    I have my macbook and after a while of using it the screen is anything but small. The small screen makes it unique to other laptops that now boast 67" screen sizes and that makes a good laptop somehow.

    But if she doesn't need portability I'd go for the mini and a HD-DVD player for her! Maybe someone on here knows if you could hook them up all I'm saying is that it'd seem a waste to just use your 42" BEAST of a TV for the mini. But i'd say a mini or refurbished G4.


    That's the old Mac G4 and apparently is still a pretty high-specced and fast Macintosh even for today's technology. Although it doesn't have an Intel chip it should still be good as long as you remember that you download software for Power not Intel.

    But I just found this image on google and if your TV is wall mounted this would be brilliant except for putting DVD's in. The mini is a less powerful mac but makes up for the fact that it's tiny!


    Whatever you choose I'm sure your wife will enjoy it! I've been using my macbook now for about two months and I love it! Best thing since sliced bread! I'm considering getting a Mac Mini for my 32" HD TV and a wireless keyboard and mouse set-up.

    All the best,
  5. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007
    For a Mac Mini, I would wait. It's been the same for so long they'll either have to upgrade it or discontinue it. Can't say which, as the Mini and the Apple TV are kind of playing in the same ballpark right now. Who knows what Apple has in mind...
  6. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    My Macbook, which uses the same graphics chipset as the Mac Mini (Intel GMA 950), doesn't have any problem using my 32" Samsung TV as a display. My Samsung is a 1080i compatible but its resolution is only 1366x768. The Apple 30" has a huge resolution of 2560 x 1600, the GMA 950 can only support up to 2048 x 1536. So the Mini should be powerful enough for the vast majority of HD TVs out there.
  7. mrmma macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2006
    I don't think that screen size, per se, has anything to do with whether the Mini can support it, I think it's overall resolution, which, unless you spent way too much on your TV won't be a problem at all. My MacBook has no problem running my HDTV with the same integrated graphics, though it's a pain to have to leave it open. (as I see someone else posted while I was typing...)

    I'd wait until MWSF in two weeks to see what's in store. As has been posted already, the Mini is due for an update.
  8. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007
    Screen size is not the same as resolution. A 30" monitor has twice the resolution of most flat panel TV's native resolution.

    The mini should be able to work fine with any TV screen up to 720p HD material.
  9. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    Normally flat panel TVs have the 1920 Resolution and the 30" display has a 2560. I would get a Macbook instead of a Mini because of the following:

    Laptop portability
    faster processor
    more ram
    You don't have to buy keyboard and mouse
    slightly better gpu
  10. Tom McMahon thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    That picture of the wall mounted TV/Mini is awesome!

    To answer some questions. She doesn't NEED portability per say. She had the Dell laptop because she didn't do much computer anything and I figured when she wasn't using it we could put it someplace. Now that she uses it daily, a desktop-ish computer makes more sense.

    In playing with my MBP on the TV I would more than likely run it at 1344 x 900 (don't remember the numbers exact), anything higher and reading from 8-10 feet away becomes impossible.

    Thanks for the responses. I will more than likely wait to see what happens at Macworld in two weeks.
  11. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    You know... you could get a macbook and hook it up to the TV in clamshell mode (maybe get a nice vertical stand dealy for next to the tv) and use it like you would a mini (cept you could up the ram in it more, then the mini etc) and when she wants to take it with her, you go on vacation or she wants to use it like a laptop that she's used to she could just disconnect the monitor and BOOM laptop.

    Best of both worlds that way! She can use her computer while you are actually watching the tv too!
  12. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2007
    I'd nix the mac mini idea. I think it's a project that is better for techies than non-techies. Especially a rear projection unit..if you're going to do it then flat panel 1080p (720/768 is too low) LCD is the way to go--native res, no overscan, bright, clean picture. Rear projection would not be good for long term viewing IMO.

    I would be surprised if she didn't miss having a laptop, it seems that once people use them they prefer them to desktop machines. even if you don't take it outside the home, it's nice to be able to move it to in front of the TV or to the family room or bedroom. i agree that the macbook is too small, i'd look at a refurb macbook pro. apple sells previous gens for around $1100 on occasion.
  13. srichart1 macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2007

    I'd get the 24" IMac unless the cost is an issue. The mini is great as well, but it may be either changed or refreshed soon, so if you go with the mini I'd wait.
    The 24" IMac has an incredible picture and is great as a TV using EyeTv.

    Good luck. I'm sure you'll make the right choice.

  14. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Agree. I don't think I'll ever buy a desktop; I love the portability inherent in laptops, and have never given thought to tying myself down with a desktop.

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