Mac Buying Advice

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
My mother is looking for a better computer (Currently she's using my HP Pavilion a824n) Problem is this PCI based computer justcan't do what she wants. She cannot play alot of games she likes and she cannot watch videos her friends' put up on Facebook without severe lag. I am trying to decide if i should get her a PowerPC Mac like a PowerMac QS or MDD or if i should get her something like a iMac G4 or G5. How would a 1st Generation Intel Mac Mini work for these tasks?
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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Kentucky
Any Intel Mac can run Snow Leopard, which still has updated mainstream browser support(Firefox and Chrome), up to date Flash, and current versions of Silverlight.

All of these make any Intel Mac an infinitely better choice for non-enthusiast uses since they handle stuff like Facebook, Netflix, Youtube, and sites like that many times better.

Yes, many of us use PPC Macs every day, but IMO they've reached the point where they require some computer know-how to remain relevant today, as well as acceptance that some things just aren't possible. Even though I use my PPC computers a LOT, I also have three Intel Macs, and my Macbook Pro gets about as much use as my most-used PPC system.

I agree on an early aluminum iMac, a late Polycarbonate one, or late 2000s Mini. The plastic Macbooks are also a great portable choice, and very affordable. Do your research on the right models, and you can even run Yosemite on some of these machines.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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Agreed with everyone here. Forget PowerPC. PowerPC Macs are only good for people like you/me/us who know their way around and know a lot about it. It's not a good choice for an inexperienced nanny because soon things would break again and she wouldn't know how to fix it. Besides, I don't think a PowerPC Mac would run any of those games any better, if at all.

I suggest you (try to) upgrade what you have. Your machine has a CPU socket so you can upgrade the CPU, and you can also install a new graphics card.

If you can't upgrade or don't want to and you want a Mac then you should at least get a Core 2 Duo 2006 MacBook Pro as it is still supported (not officially but the processor is the same as newer Macs so you can run the same things). Avoid Core Macs before that as those are 32-bit and can't run anything later than Snow Leopard.

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Or better yet an iPad.
Although an iPad may seem like a good idea, I advise against this.
One reason is no Flash. Another reason is it is too limited. And it would go obsolete quickly. And you cannot downgrade the OS. So if it is old like an iPad 2, iOS 8 would ruin (or almost ruin) it.
An iPad would probably be worse than the Pavilion.
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
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The plastic Macbooks are also a great portable choice, and very affordable. Do your research on the right models, and you can even run Yosemite on some of these machines.
The plastic Macbooks from 2009 onwards are fine. Anything before has a crappy Intel gpu that chokes on flash and is incapable of hardware decoding of video. Plus is stuck on Lion 10.7.5 tops.

In fact, given the reliablilty lottery of the Alu/Unibody MBPs I would plump for the rubber bottomed Macbooks over anything else. Just find a clean one. I think Apple's base cover replacement programme has probably finished by now.
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
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Rochester, MN
Agreed with everyone here. Forget PowerPC. PowerPC Macs are only good for people like you/me/us who know their way around and know a lot about it. It's not a good choice for an inexperienced nanny because soon things would break again and she wouldn't know how to fix it. Besides, I don't think a PowerPC Mac would run any of those games any better, if at all.

I suggest you (try to) upgrade what you have. Your machine has a CPU socket so you can upgrade the CPU, and you can also install a new graphics card.

If you can't upgrade or don't want to and you want a Mac then you should at least get a Core 2 Duo 2006 MacBook Pro as it is still supported (not officially but the processor is the same as newer Macs so you can run the same things). Avoid Core Macs before that as those are 32-bit and can't run anything later than Snow Leopard.

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Although an iPad may seem like a good idea, I advise against this.
One reason is no Flash. Another reason is it is too limited. And it would go obsolete quickly. And you cannot downgrade the OS. So if it is old like an iPad 2, iOS 8 would ruin (or almost ruin) it.
I could upgrade what I have, even thought of it, However, the computer will ONLY take a Pentium 4 Socket 775 the board was and is made to support ONLY the P4 so I cannot upgrade it to a C2D or anything better than a 3.4GHz P4 (It currently has a 32bit-only 3.0GHz P4). Also It's PCI Only. No AGP no PCIe, And i have been told on here that the PCI Radeon HD5450 will NOT be any better than the current PCI GeForce FX5500 in handling facebook videos.

As far as iPad's, that was never an option. Both me and my mother do not believe in these BS smartphones and Tablets that just pretend to be computers. We want REAL computers not a mobile device that provides no pros or benefits.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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Although an iPad may seem like a good idea, I advise against this.
One reason is no Flash. Another reason is it is too limited. And it would go obsolete quickly. And you cannot downgrade the OS. So if it is old like an iPad 2, iOS 8 would ruin (or almost ruin) it.
An iPad would probably be worse than the Pavilion.
The classic anti-iPad argument.

In reality, an iPad Air or iPad Air 2 would be faster and more powerful than an old C2D Mac, especially one without an SSD, and will be able to do the tasks the OP needs for years to come.

Flash is not as much of an issue because of HTML5 and many apps that run natively. I don’t even have it installed in my primary browser anymore.

As far as iPad's, that was never an option. Both me and my mother do not believe in these BS smartphones and Tablets that just pretend to be computers. We want REAL computers not a mobile device that provides no pros or benefits.
I actually see plenty of benefits, such as a retina display, SSD, and faster CPU/RAM compared to older hardware.
 

MagicBoy

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May 28, 2006
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Manchester, UK
As far as iPad's, that was never an option. Both me and my mother do not believe in these BS smartphones and Tablets that just pretend to be computers. We want REAL computers not a mobile device that provides no pros or benefits.
Erm, it fullfils the requirements in the OP :
She cannot play alot of games she likes and she cannot watch videos her friends' put up on Facebook without severe lag.
My Mum loves her iPad. She's got a decent PC, but uses the iPad in preference. Facebook and YouTube work stunningly well even on an original iPad. For that type of targeted use they are more responsive than an older laptop.

Personally I'm not an iPad fan, I'm just happier with a laptop however to dismiss smartphones and tablets as BS is just ignorant IMO.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
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Erm, it fullfils the requirements in the OP :


My Mum loves her iPad. She's got a decent PC, but uses the iPad in preference. Facebook and YouTube work stunningly well even on an original iPad. For that type of targeted use they are more responsive than an older laptop.

Personally I'm not an iPad fan, I'm just happier with a laptop however to dismiss smartphones and tablets as BS is just ignorant IMO.
My 65-year old mother is sitting in her recliner about 5 feet away from me at the moment on her first generation iPad. She pretty much spends her time on it reading Kindle books and looking at Facebook. It works perfectly for everything she needs to do-the only time she uses the computer anymore is for typing.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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In reality, an iPad Air or iPad Air 2 would be faster and more powerful than an old C2D Mac, especially one without an SSD, and will be able to do the tasks the OP needs for years to come.
You still could do more with the MacBook Pro.

IF the iPad was not so limited then yeah it would be nicer but it's still a tablet and you touch the screen and get it dirty.
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
Erm, it fullfils the requirements in the OP :


My Mum loves her iPad. She's got a decent PC, but uses the iPad in preference. Facebook and YouTube work stunningly well even on an original iPad. For that type of targeted use they are more responsive than an older laptop.

Personally I'm not an iPad fan, I'm just happier with a laptop however to dismiss smartphones and tablets as BS is just ignorant IMO.
My mom plays COMPUTER games NOT those pointless mobile games. My mom has alot of medical problems one of them being virtually blind. She couldnt focus her eyes on a tablet screen. Smartphones and Tablets ARE BS! Why? Because they are just excuses to be lazyer and not ONE person i have ever talked to that has either or both can actually give a valid or practical excuse to use one. Why you would pay for a $750 iPhone or a $600 iPad is beyond me when you can buy a Mac Mini for those prices (or even a mid-range PC) and be able to do WAY more with and have it be WAY faster and more powerful for a fraction the cost.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
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My mom plays COMPUTER games NOT those pointless mobile games. My mom has alot of medical problems one of them being virtually blind. She couldnt focus her eyes on a tablet screen. Smartphones and Tablets ARE BS! Why? Because they are just excuses to be lazyer and not ONE person i have ever talked to that has either or both can actually give a valid or practical excuse to use one. Why you would pay for a $750 iPhone or a $600 iPad is beyond me when you can buy a Mac Mini for those prices (or even a mid-range PC) and be able to do WAY more with and have it be WAY faster and more powerful for a fraction the cost.
Agreed

And after reading that I got an idea

You can install a desktop on a high desk that requires you to stand, or even better, install it over a moving treadmill, so that if someone really wants to play on the computer, they gotta work hard to do it LOL :D but they'll be playing on the PC they won't even know they're walking! good way to get exersize without wasting time!
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
You still could do more with the MacBook Pro.

IF the iPad was not so limited then yeah it would be nicer but it's still a tablet and you touch the screen and get it dirty.
A Mac was just a option and if I decide to get her one it would most likely be a Intel Mini or iMac and run Windows
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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A Mac was just a option and if I decide to get her one it would most likely be a Intel Mini or iMac and run Windows
If you will run windows then just get a wiodows laptop.

Or if you want simplicity get a chromebook. Chromebooks are cheap and suitable for her.
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
Agreed

And after reading that I got an idea

You can install a desktop on a high desk that requires you to stand, or even better, install it over a moving treadmill, so that if someone really wants to play on the computer, they gotta work hard to do it LOL :D but they'll be playing on the PC they won't even know they're walking! good way to get exersize without wasting time!
LOL! Good one! That's pretty clever!

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If you will run windows then just get a wiodows laptop.

Or if you want simplicity get a chromebook. Chromebooks are cheap and suitable for her.
she cant play games on a Chromebook she plays games from BigFish none of those work on Linux, I have been trying to get her to goto Linux for years but she won't do it for that sole reason.

What's with all the suggestions for a laptop? Why would I want a LAPTOP to replace a DESKTOP? We bought her a laptop not too long ago... It died hence the crap Pavilion she's using now.... I don't trust laptops they are minmal upgradeable ALWAYS run too hot and over heat EVEN with fans on them and they dont last long.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
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Kentucky
I don't know why you keep asking us questions here when you seem to already always have your mind made up.

Several of us have given suggestions for good, affordable Mac desktops that will do what you need-the iPad was just tossed out as an alternative.

Honestly I'm just going to quit bothering trying to answer your questions because it seems like you already know the answer before you ask.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
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she cant play games on a Chromebook she plays games from BigFish none of those work on Linux, I have been trying to get her to goto Linux for years but she won't do it for that sole reason.

What's with all the suggestions for a laptop? Why would I want a LAPTOP to replace a DESKTOP? We bought her a laptop not too long ago... It died hence the crap Pavilion she's using now.... I don't trust laptops they are minmal upgradeable ALWAYS run too hot and over heat EVEN with fans on them and they dont last long.
Ohh I thought you wanted a laptop... dunno how I got that idea.
Yes laptops are not very reliable and sturdy and they have cooling difficulties, however the portability, lower cost, and lower power usage is a major benefit, especially for transient people, who cannot have a desktop, or don't have the space for a desktop. But if you have the space and don't need to move around then a desktop is better.

Ok so you need a desktop... well since you are going to be running windows then you should aim for a typical windows pc, like a dell or hp or acer or assus or lenovo. The most common/popular is some model of dell optiplex, I think in the 700 range.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR11.TRC1.A0.H0.Xdesktop+computer.TRS0&_nkw=desktop+computer&ghostText=&_sacat=0
or you can find a pc in a junkyard or something
OR, what you could do, you could reuse the old PC and just replace the motherboard.


So do you have an answer now or do you need help finding a pc?


Or do you want a Mac?
Macs would be more expensive.
If you want a Mac then get any Core 2 Duo Machine or newer. Don't get Core 1 ones because they use a different architecture and cannot run Lion or later. Core 2 Duo machines are still supported (not officially but they have the same CPU as recent, supported machines so they are supported in the aspect of compatibility). PowerPC is a bad idea because it lacks support and constantly loosing more and more support so things would break and an inexperienced person wouldn't know how to fix it or work around it.
When giving an inexperienced person a PC it needs to just work, and have the most support.
 
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poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
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What's with all the suggestions for a laptop? Why would I want a LAPTOP to replace a DESKTOP? We bought her a laptop not too long ago... It died hence the crap Pavilion she's using now.... I don't trust laptops they are minmal upgradeable ALWAYS run too hot and over heat EVEN with fans on them and they dont last long.
how did it die?

it seems these cheap pcs run at high clock speeds (or windows os does) whereas Mac OS X runs the processors at a lower clock speed which produces less heat and lasts longer. I've noticed that when running Windows on my MacBook Pro, while I get significantly better performance, the machine runs quite hot, and I also hear the hard drive thrasing and ticking more agressively than OS X. this is probably one of the reasons why Windows PCs don't last as long.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
My mom plays COMPUTER games NOT those pointless mobile games. My mom has alot of medical problems one of them being virtually blind. She couldnt focus her eyes on a tablet screen. Smartphones and Tablets ARE BS! Why? Because they are just excuses to be lazyer and not ONE person i have ever talked to that has either or both can actually give a valid or practical excuse to use one. Why you would pay for a $750 iPhone or a $600 iPad is beyond me when you can buy a Mac Mini for those prices (or even a mid-range PC) and be able to do WAY more with and have it be WAY faster and more powerful for a fraction the cost.
Calm down and step away from they keyboard.

News just in - I'm not psychic. ;)

By the way, I'm a person with a valid reason for an iPhone according to my employer who pay for one for me. I'd count this forum as talking, so you can't claim that any longer.

Have a nice day.