Need to buy multiple macs for studio - advice needed

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lindsayanng, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. lindsayanng macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    East Haven, CT
    #1
    I am FINALLY moving into a larger design studios and we are taking on two assistants and 3 interns to work with us. I currently have a 24" imac, a 27" imac, a mini, and two macbook pros. I also have another 27" imac on it's way.

    The 27" imac is staying at home for when we do some work from home, but the others will be in the studio. I can't expect the assistants to work on a laptop, so I need to buy at least two more computers in the near future. and wanted to know what you guys suggest.

    Obviously the goal is to make this as cost effective as possible. These will not be the 'workhorse' computers but will need to run Adobe CS4/CS5 but no video editing. We do graphic design, website design and photography. We do not need a ton of storage because we will be keeping a lot of the work files on a server or on a wireless hard drive.. The most important part, i guess, is computing power. It needs to be able to keep up with illustrator when doing large files or adding gradients, etc.

    I guess what I am saying is, I don't need the newest this year model, but what is the oldest model I can go without giving these people a piece of frustration ridden garbage.

    Also, does anyone have any good connections with some used mac dealers or mac re-builders out there that you can give to me??
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    I would get refurb iMac in your case. Maybe something with core i processor.
     
  3. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    May 4, 2008
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    #3
    I definitely anticipated used or refurbished, but was hoping even more so on the used because the mfg. refurbs only go back one year MAX and they aren't THAT inexpensive where as a 2 or even 3 year old imac that is used would be probably less expensive but still give me the power I need.

    That being said, I don't really know what the older models have for processors and which ones can have their memory upgraded and so on.. hence the reason I posted here..
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    Refurb Mac has full warranty.

    How much are you expected to save from the $1,019
    Refurbished iMac 21.5-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core i3 processor?
     
  5. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    May 4, 2008
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    East Haven, CT
    #5
    I know refurb from apple has a warranty, but you can get a warrant for almost any used electronic now.

    As far as price goes, I need to save as much as I can and I don't understand how you aren't getting this. I need the cheapest computer out there that will just get me by. Because I don't know all of the past model specs and the oldest computer I have is beyond out of date, I need the heLp of those that have these older computers or know about their memory and processor capability.

    We are just starting out in this new space, I'm not buying interns $1000 computers is something else out there will serve thier purpose.
     
  6. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    May 4, 2008
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    East Haven, CT
    #6
    I know refurb from apple has a warranty, but you can get a warrant for almost any used electronic now.

    As far as price goes, I need to save as much as I can and I don't understand how you aren't getting this. I need the cheapest computer out there that will just get me by. Because I don't know all of the past model specs and the oldest computer I have is beyond out of date, I need the heLp of those that have these older computers or know about their memory and processor capability.

    We are just starting out in this new space, I'm not buying interns $1000 computers is something else out there will serve thier purpose.
     
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #7
    there isn't much out there in terms of Macs, especially if you don't want to spend more than $1000.

    I wouldn't want anything slower than a 2.66 Core 2. note that the '07 and '08 iMacs can only support 6GB of RAM, after that 8GB, and then 16GB when Apple switched to the 21.5" and 27" models in late '09.
     
  8. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #8
    If you can't spend a little over a thousand per computer, I doubt you'll find something good Mac wise. I don't see the point of buying anything less than an iX series if you plan on keeping it for a while for your uses. Whats the point of buying a used Core 2 Duo Mac with no warranty for maybe $400 less than a new/refurbished one. With technology, you get what you pay for and there are differences between stuff. A 2007 iMac will "get you by" but the question is, what can a different computer do better and at what costs?

    I don't know what you want us to say, to be honest.
     
  9. matspekkie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #9
    Why not upgrade the macbook pro's

    Why not upgrade the macbook pro's with additional mem and an decent external monitor and maybe a faster drive? this will be about the same performance as an slightly older imac.:)
     
  10. Santabean2000, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

    Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #10
    That's a fine line to tread. If it were my business, I'd be scraping up a bit extra to get some machines that walk a little closer to the comfort zone. It's been my experience that machines that you hope will be 'just ok', can often not be, quickly.

    If you want them to make you money, then perhaps it's worthwhile making a slightly larger investment initially.

    Just my 2cents...


    Anyway, cheapest machines, minimum spec (to run CS4/5), I think the early '09 mini (C2D 2.0GHz, 120 GB HDD, 9400M 256 MB, 2GB RAM) is as low as you can go.

    cheers
     
  11. ZilogZ80, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

    ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #11
    As much as I love Macs, if you want the most bang for your buck why not just buy some cheap Windows machines? The Mac & Windows versions of Adobe CS are virtually identical to use.
     
  12. ZilogZ80, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

    ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

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  13. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #13
    Mixed signals, here.

    You want what all of us want - the most important thing is computing power, but the most important thing is also low price.

    The thing is, it will give you the power you need today. What about two years from now?

    Consider buying a couple of refurb iMacs, they're about $1,000 apiece. Just about any business-grade computer you buy is going to cost that much or more.

    We aren't getting this because you said the most important thing is computing power;

    ...and then you said this. Yet WE are the ones who aren't getting it?

    Buy the new computers and give them to your full-time staff. Let the interns use the hand-me-downs. That's how many businesses handle it.
     
  14. JustSomeDude macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    #14
    Maybe you could lease some systems to save the upfront cost and work towards actually purchasing systems at a later point?
     
  15. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    East Haven, CT
    #15
    Let me clarify a few things (sorry I have been MIA a few days, never got email updates about new posts in this thread)

    A few general clarifications:
    I have three relatively brand new iMacs for the studio. These additional computers will be for interns, so I have already made an investment of about $5000 on computers.


    @wordoflife: I CAN spend over $1000 but I know how you mac people are, you all suggest to get the best of the best. I have successfully run CS4 on my mac mini with 2.2ghz and 4GB of ram.. Minis are relatively inexpensive, but was wondering if there was one after the model I have that is even better at around $1000 >

    @matspekkie: Would you want to do graphic design work on a tiny laptop screen?? I'd rather take a smaller hit on computing power and get a larger screen. Not to mention I need the laptops to come with me on jobs

    @ZilogZ80: Buying a windows computer means buying more software, it wouldn't be cost effective

    @Tomorrow: Just because I said that computing power is important doesn't mean that the MAXIMUM computing power available is important. Computing power is important in that I need to run the software that I own (meaning its an important variable to consider).

    I honestly don't care if the computer can give me the power I need 2-3 years from now. The point that a lot of people here on the net see (mainly with mac forums) is that sometimes you need something to just get you buy right now and while you might take a hit 2-3 years from now, it's worth it to help build your business now.

    I have in total put $15,000 cash into this business and have signed a lease that totals $12000 for the year. If i can save some money up front and get additional people to work for me for 3 years, I can actually triple my profits meaning the hit that I take three years from now won't hurt as bad.

    The "hand me downs" ARE new computers. I'm not buying all brand new computers..
     

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