New Mac convert, where to start?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by slapguts, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. slapguts macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2008
    I recently got a shiny new iPhone, and its sold me on the idea of a Mac. My iguana decided to ruin my laptop today, so I need a replacement. It was the excuse I was looking for, I guess.

    I'm not sold on a laptop or desktop, either would be fine. I'm on a bit of a budget. Around $500 or so.

    My current computer has an AMD chip, 40gig HD, a DVD burner, and 1.25 gigs of ram. I'm looking for something similar. What would be a good model to look for? I'm assuming used is the best option to stay in budget.

    G3? G4? iMac, MacBook, no clue what any of this means.
  2. ghettochris macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2008
    if you go new, the mini is the only one around $500, if you can get a around grand then you much choose between the imac, and the macbook. i have had lots of powerbooks, and now love my 20'' imac. and to me it's like carrying around just a monitor, not even a mac mini!
  3. ricke46 macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    I agree with ghettochris. If you want a new mac the mini is your only option for $500.

    Personally, I would save up and get an imac. Their about $1200 new. You can save a couple of bucks and use apple's student discount. Why do I suggest the imac? Well, for the money you get into a pretty descent mac. The screen will be much larger than if you opt for the macbook which is around $1100. So for an extra $100 you go from a 13" screen to a 20" screen. You also get a much bigger harddrive, 250Gb instead of 80Gb.

    And if you can't wait long enough to save money to buy it, open a credit line with apple. Put your $500 towards the computer and finance about $700. Your payment won't be much and when you do get the money, pay it off.

    Just my .02 cents. Hope I helped some.
  4. ghettochris macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2008
    the imac gets you a separate graphics card too, something the mini and macbook don't. to me it's like a super sweet cheap macbook pro, and instead of carrying my monitor and my laptop somewhere, i just take the monitor with the computer inside it! damn heavy for a monitor though.

    look for refurbs on apple's website too

    right now there is a current imac for $999

    or maybe you should buy apple stock that is 40% off and try and turn your $500 into more. life's boring with no risks. :D
  5. slapguts thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2008
    Thanks for the advice. Leaning towards an iMac, but ouch, the new ones aren't cheap. Is used a bad idea? I figure a new one will be used the second I plug it in, anyway.

    Is there a specific model I should look for, as far as 'bang for the buck' goes?
  6. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    Refurb iMac Aluminum 20" is $999 today.

    That is a crazy price, and it comes with a full factory warranty. Hard to beat a $200 savings on a $1,200 computer.
  7. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    As a PC user myself I can tell you the first thing you have to forget is pricing. PC prices are MUCH different than Apple pricing. Get used to seeing similar specs for PC and Apple machines, but with Apple costing more. But, in return you get a better overall product - I feel. $500 won't really get you what $500 of a PC will. If you want a good computer I'd up the money to around $1000. It costs more but it's worth it. Go to and to read feedback and reviews.
  8. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    Considering that you're on a budget I suggest that you check out the Apple Outlet. There you can check out the prices on refurbished Macs (they come with a 1yr warranty).

    Good luck!
  9. ricke46 macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    There's a deal for you slapguts.
  10. TopGear300 macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2007

    You will love it here on the bright side!

    Hmmm on a $500 budget there are options!

    The new mac mini is pretty nice and will give you great performance at a good price. It is made for new switchers just like you on a budget and is a great machine!! Keep in mind you will have to put up with your old monitor though!

    If its a desktop your after I recommend the :apple: G4 iMac.

    A pretty sweet computer overall and I do know a few people with these machines and they say it runs leopard fine

    Laptop is where I would recommend going in this price range

    I myself am looking for a kick around laptop in this price range and am in love with the PowerBook!! You will to... it gives you the full snarling apple experience just because the design has yet to be beat and can be upgraded to good specs even by today's standards.

    I would say 15" powerbook with a SuperDrive (Burns CDs and DVDS) and purchase the fastest processor you can afford

    * My mom had an iBook back in the day and that also was a very nice little machine. Not as powerful and you will notice the age on an iBook but it will get you to "switch" and keep your wallet happy as well
  11. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    I bet for $500 and a little searching he could find a G5 iMac.

    If you can save a little more, you might be able to find a used first gen MacBook for $700.
  12. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I was in a very similar position to you. I ended up buying a Mac Mini (That I *love*) as the cheapest entry to Mac-world.

    While I love it, and would recommend it, I wish I'd bought an iMac instead. If I knew now what I knew then, I would have gotten an iMac.

    But that said, I really do love my mac Mini.
  13. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    $500 is too low for either a mac or a pc. Youd just be wasting your money on a machine that cant cut it by todays standards. You couldnt even build your own PC at that price if you also need a monitor/keyboard/mouse.
  14. DanoftheDead macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2008
    For first time mac buying I would try to stay with the newer technology. The older generations like the g4 and g5 are still good machines but its starting to get to the point where they need some upgrading and the more recent programs coming out are starting to ask for more power then those offer. The mac minis are fine computers but you would be much better with an imac or macbook. If you really want the portability and dont plan on doing much in the video end of things then the base macbook at 1099 will be a good choice.

    ps just for your reference the G3, G4, G5 are generations of the PowerPC processors that apple used prior to the Intel chips that came around almost 3 years ago. Because of the big switch it has caused some newer programs to require Intel processors which is why I would suggest avoiding the PowerPC chip based ones.
  15. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    Get a refurb iMac. The prices can't be beat, and fellow convert speaking, they're great machines.

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