Need tips on buying my first mac

barny

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
56
0
Near London, England
Hi everyone.

I am looking to buy my first mac when i have the money and seeing as the prices are apparently going to drop a bit i am even more eager to get my hands on a mac now!! I have been looking at both the macbook and the imac and am deliberating at which one to look deeper into with intent into buying one soon.

I like laptops as the compact size and transportability means that i can take them wherever i want. Hence why i currently own a laptop.

However with desktops/all in ones you do feel like you are getting alot more for your money, they come in higher specs and have bigger screens. This is really good for home use and doing work.

So generally im not sure about which would be best, or if there is another alternative to the imac and macbook? It would be good if you could reply with your opinions on the matter bearing in mind that i am a first hand buyer.

Thanks

Barny :apple:
 

Andrew D.

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2007
403
0
Chicago, IL
It really all comes down to if you want to be able to carry it around or not. For me mobility was important so there was no question with that. I love my MBP, but I also can't wait until I add an iMac to the arsenal, haha.

But with that said, don't feel like your getting the lower end of the stick with a MB/MBP. Even though you may feel your getting "more bang for your buck" with an iMac, the MB/MBP doesn't fall short on anything. Just as powerful, just as great.

I would also suggest looking into the refurbished section of the Apple Store, you'll find some great deals there as well. To everyone I have "converted" to Apple, I always send them there and they always come out with a little something. Good luck!
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
How about MacBook (Pro) and external monitor? It doesn't have to be the Apple one which is quite expensive but there are great Dells and others for less than 200$. Then it would serve you as desktop and laptop
 

scienide09

macrumors 65816
May 5, 2007
1,384
0
Canada
I'll echo Hellhammer's suggestion of a laptop plus an external monitor, so that you have the best of both worlds. That's how I compute at home. You get the benefit of a portable computer for working on the go, plus extra screen real estate when working at home.

Also, Andrew suggested refurbs, which are great products at great prices. Check them out if you're on a budget. If you only want brand new, you may qualify for an educational discount if you're a post-secondary student.

When you are looking at the all-in-ones, specifically iMacs, you mention that you feel you get more for you money. Just keep in mind that the iMacs are just laptops on steroids -- they use virtually the same laptop components inside, and are just as difficult to significantly upgrade down the road.
 

barny

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
56
0
Near London, England
I agree with you. I currently use my laptop with an external screen when at home and just unplug it to take places. So bascially you auggest that i continue this but just swap the laptop for a macbook/macbook pro. I assume the mac will work with my current dell screen.

Barny
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
I agree with you. I currently use my laptop with an external screen when at home and just unplug it to take places. So bascially you auggest that i continue this but just swap the laptop for a macbook/macbook pro. I assume the mac will work with my current dell screen.

Barny
Yup, it'll work.
 

Shake 'n' Bake

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2009
2,187
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Albany
I say a refurb MacBook (with 9400M) and your current external display, or a new one if you have the money for it. I recommend the Dell 2208WFP and 2209WA.

Or you can get a Mac mini refurb and use that with you display, but I think the MacBook would be better for you.
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,115
6
Apple's notebooks are now worse value for money than they have been for a long time. The main reason for this is that Intel just released its Core i7 mobile processors which are a HUGE step forwards in terms of performance. Manufacturers like Dell and HP are now offering them but Apple does not and continues to charge the same price as before for its outdated computers.

For $1074 Dell will sell you:
  • 1.6GHz Core i7 920-QM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD @ 7200rpm
  • 15" display with 1440x900 resolution
  • ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with 512Mb dedicated vRAM

For $1799 Apple will sell you:
  • 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD @ 7200rpm
  • 15" display with 1440x900 resolution
  • nVidia GeForce 9400m with 0Mb dedicated vRAM

The Dell machine would destroy Apple's in performance, despite costing $725 less. Can anyone come up with a reason to spend $725 more on a lesser machine?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
For $1799 Apple will sell you:
  • 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB RAM
  • 250GB HDD @ 7200rpm
  • 15" display with 1440x900 resolution
  • nVidia GeForce 9400m with 0Mb dedicated vRAM
That's not right. Where did you get that? For 1699$ you get 2.53GHz 15" MBP or for 1299$ you get prev gen 2.4GHz 15" MBP with 9600GT with 512MB VRAM. I would still get high clocked dual over low clocked quad because other than pro apps, there is no support for it.
 

couto27

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2008
264
0
lisboa,portugal
where we go again
why does anyone buy a zombie dell machine
specifications machine in mac vs win could not be able to compare itself because macs os x and hardware are beattifull in harmony and performance

buy the macbook 2,26 is more than enough
or wait 1 or 2 weeks for the new macbook,imac air
 

Shake 'n' Bake

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2009
2,187
0
Albany
where we go again
why does anyone buy a zombie dell machine
specifications machine in mac vs win could not be able to compare itself because macs os x and hardware are beattifull in harmony and performance

buy the macbook 2,26 is more than enough
or wait 1 or 2 weeks for the new macbook,imac air
Let's dissect this post.

where we go again
Probably means "Here we go again." Maybe throw in a :rolleyes:

why does anyone buy a zombie dell machine
Maybe they've owned it for awhile?

specifications machine in mac vs win could not be able to compare itself
OK, I have no idea what that should be.

because macs os x and hardware are beattifull in harmony and performance
Probably should be "Mac OS X and the hardware it runs on is beautiful and harmonious. Don't forget the great performance."

buy the macbook 2,26 is more than enough
or wait 1 or 2 weeks for the new macbook,imac air
There's no 2.26 GHz MacBook. There is a 2.26 GHz MacBook Pro, however. And nobody knows if the rumors are true, but I can tell you there will be no "iMac Air."

That should have read "Buy the 2.26 GHz MacBook Pro, or wait a few weeks and see if anything new comes out."
 

couto27

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2008
264
0
lisboa,portugal
sorry for my bad english , im trying to keep up

:D

i will try again
here we go again
why anyone buy a dell=windows
the specs on dell are better but it uses windows , is like a race car with defect engine.(allways slowing down)
all macs are great in performance and design.
2,26 mbp ,wait a few days not long for the new apple updates
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
Why did you have to be so pedantic. couto27 isn't native speaker (he's from Portugal) so can you expect him to speak excellent English? I've been in Portugal and I know the knowledge of English sucks there so it's good that we even understood him... It's same as I ask you to speak Finnish
 

barny

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
56
0
Near London, England
Dont worry about the bad English. I understand what you are trying to say. :)
I know macs are lower spec but the reason i want one is that the operating system is far more flawless and it is just perfect. Also the shells/cases are really solid and not all plasticy. :apple:
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,115
6
Dont worry about the bad English. I understand what you are trying to say. :)
I know macs are lower spec but the reason i want one is that the operating system is far more flawless and it is just perfect. Also the shells/cases are really solid and not all plasticy. :apple:
How can you say that the OS is "far more flawless" than the one you are using right now?

In my opinion, Apple has been making backwards steps with OS X ever since Tiger was released in 2005. It was a great OS and the two that have come since then have been buggy and unstable.

I don't know if you realise this but later this month Microsoft is releasing Windows 7 and having tried it myself I can say truthfully that it is the best version of Windows to date. I've been using a preview version for several months and my system has not locked up or crashed once. Snow Leopard has given me three "kernel panics" (like the Windows Blue Screen of Death, but on a Mac) since I upgraded. Countless programs now fail to function, I've had to do away with my interface tweaks and I can no longer use my printer.

Hellhammer, the prices I quote are directly from the US stores of both Apple and Dell. I tried to match the specifications as closely as possible and to do that I had to add a 7200rpm hard drive to the Apple notebook (it comes on Dell's as standard). Sorry, my original post read 250GB for both machines when it should have been 320GB.

Barney, I didn't notice that you are from the UK when I made my original post. Here are the relevant prices from the UK stores:

For £699.00 Dell will sell you:
  • 1.6GHz Core i7 920-QM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD @ 7200rpm
  • 15" display with 1440x900 resolution
  • ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with 512Mb dedicated vRAM

For £1379.01 Apple will sell you:
  • 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD @ 7200rpm
  • 15" display with 1440x900 resolution
  • nVidia GeForce 9400m with 0Mb dedicated vRAM

Apple's machine is almost double the price of Dell's but is significantly slower. I can't stress just how big the difference is - the Dell machine has a quad core processor and a dedicated graphics card, whereas Apple's has a dual core processor and integrated (read: cheap) graphics.
 

Shake 'n' Bake

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2009
2,187
0
Albany
Why did you have to be so pedantic. couto27 isn't native speaker (he's from Portugal) so can you expect him to speak excellent English? I've been in Portugal and I know the knowledge of English sucks there so it's good that we even understood him... It's same as I ask you to speak Finnish
Sorry, didn't see the location. I should be more observant.

For £699.00 Dell will sell you:
  • 1.6GHz Core i7 920-QM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD @ 7200rpm
  • 15" display with 1440x900 resolution
  • ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with 512Mb dedicated vRAM

For £1379.01 Apple will sell you:
  • 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD @ 7200rpm
  • 15" display with 1440x900 resolution
  • nVidia GeForce 9400m with 0Mb dedicated vRAM

Apple's machine is almost double the price of Dell's but is significantly slower. I can't stress just how big the difference is - the Dell machine has a quad core processor and a dedicated graphics card, whereas Apple's has a dual core processor and integrated (read: cheap) graphics.
The slowness depends on the app. Right now, the MBP would probably be faster, but in (I think) a year or less, the Dell would be faster. I wouldn't buy the Dell because the clock speed is so low, and I don't feel the quad cores make up for it.
 

couto27

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2008
264
0
lisboa,portugal
heres the prices of an upgrade of mac

29$ takes 25 to 30 m

heres the prices of w7

Windows 7 Home Premium Edition: USD $259.95
Windows 7 Professional Edition: USD $299.95
Windows 7 Ultimate Edition: USD $319.95

upgrade cost 220$ it just take 1220 minutes almost a full day
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,115
6
Sorry, didn't see the location. I should be more observant.



The slowness depends on the app. Right now, the MBP would probably be faster, but in (I think) a year or less, the Dell would be faster. I wouldn't buy the Dell because the clock speed is so low, and I don't feel the quad cores make up for it.
The clock speed is dynamic, which is one of the major features of this generation of processors. It runs at 1.6GHz by default, but can "turbo boost" to up to 2.8GHz when needed.
 

Shake 'n' Bake

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2009
2,187
0
Albany
The clock speed is dynamic, which is one of the major features of this generation of processors. It runs at 1.6GHz by default, but can "turbo boost" to up to 2.8GHz when needed.
I forgot about that. In that case, I'd go for the Dell. That throttling of the processor probably increases battery life a noticeable amount as well.
 

kngelv

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2004
76
14
Detroit
Hey! I thought this thread was about which Mac to buy, not a OS or Apple/Dell debate. With that said, I vote for laptop and external monitor.

James
 

barny

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
56
0
Near London, England
Thanks for bringing back the subject james. And i do get your point, that windows 7 is alot better than vista and you are getting more for your money with the dell. The mac graphics arnt very good either.

However my opinion is that i just like the looks of macs more and also my mate has a 2.93ghz imac 24" with 4 gigs of RAM. He was running two high memory using games at the same time (world of warcraft and roller coaster tycoon). He didnt even notice til he came to closing the windows when he had finished. It was that fast!. Anyway either way i will probably getting a laptop of either windows or mac so i will continue with the external screen idea.

Im still not sure as i really like the imac but i will ponder on the subject.

Also whatever i get it will be massively faster than my current laptop!!! Look in my signature for the terrible spec!!

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neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,115
6
Thanks for bringing back the subject james. And i do get your point, that windows 7 is alot better than vista and you are getting more for your money with the dell. The mac graphics arnt very good either.

However my opinion is that i just like the looks of macs more and also my mate has a 2.93ghz imac 24" with 4 gigs of RAM. He was running two high memory using games at the same time (world of warcraft and roller coaster tycoon). He didnt even notice til he came to closing the windows when he had finished. It was that fast!. Anyway either way i will probably getting a laptop of either windows or mac so i will continue with the external screen idea.

Im still not sure as i really like the imac but i will ponder on the subject.

Also whatever i get it will be massively faster than my current laptop!!! Look in my signature for the terrible spec!!

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It's worth remembering that Apple now uses the same internal components as most other PC manufacturers. A 2.6GHz machine from Apple will use exactly the same processor as a 2.6GHz machine from Dell, for example. The only thing you get which is different is the OS and the case. The memory is the cheapest Apple can come across when they're building your machine, as is the hard drive and there are plenty of machines available which have the same GPU as the MacBook range as well.

So when you say that you were amazed that your friend's iMac could do that, what you are forgetting is that any machine with the same processor, same RAM etc. will be capable of it.

A lot of people also don't appreciate that an iMac is a laptop. It uses laptop processors, laptop memory etc. You do not get desktop performance from an iMac and you have to buy the hugely expensive Mac Pro if that is what you want from a Mac.
 

barny

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
56
0
Near London, England
OK we are thinking of buying a dell for general use and it is just me myself wanting the mac because in my opinion they look very nice. We will probs get a dual or quad core dell with windows 7 when it comes out :)
 

Shake 'n' Bake

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2009
2,187
0
Albany
OK we are thinking of buying a dell for general use and it is just me myself wanting the mac because in my opinion they look very nice. We will probs get a dual or quad core dell with windows 7 when it comes out :)
You don't have to do that; check the refurb store for MacBooks and Mac minis and iMacs. Just a suggestion, but I'd wait a few weeks and see if the iMac gets a quad core CPU.