New Mac dilema

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by harveypooka, May 16, 2007.

  1. harveypooka macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #1
    In September this year I'm going back to University to study Design and Computing. I've decided it's time to get a new Mac, but I'm confused as to what I should do. I want my Mac for games in Windows and I want it for all the applications I'm going to use (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Audition, Lightwave) in MacOSX.

    I've owned three iMacs (a CRT G3, a sunflower G4 and now an Intel CD) and they're great for a few months, but then then lack of upgradability is a killer. Ruling out the iMac, where can I go? The only choice is a mac pro. Starting at £1700 it is a very expensive, especially on a student's income. The thing preventing me from going out today and getting a new Mac is the small range of computers - iMac or Mac Pro. That's it for anything other than basic stuff.

    My flatmate is looking at upgrading his six year old PC and we managed to find an Intel 2.8GHZ Core 2 Duo and motherboard, nVidia 8800GTS 320MB, 200GB 7200RPM Barracuda all for £349. He wants it primarily for games and music, but he's literally given his slow PC a new lease of life for £350. Since he bought it for £600 all those years ago, he hasn't fared badly.

    I know I'm repeating what's been said before, I'm just trying to highlight the need for a greater range of Macs. You can visit Dell, Mesh, Evesham online and customise PC's down to the last widget, but all I want is a Mac between the iMac and the Mac Pro. Call it 'Mac', I think it would sell. As a consumer I do not need the option to upgrade to 16GB of RAM. I won't be able to afford this anytime soon, so it's pointless to have it if it's costing me more. I don't need three full size HD bays and to be honest I don't need to size of the Mac Pro Tower.

    What about a half size tower - 2 PCI-E slots, upto 3 or 4GB RAM, cap it at Dual Core processors and sell it for £600 less. Fantastic. I'd buy one.

    It's not that I think Apple's Mac Pro's are useless or too much money - they are great for workstations and really heavy graphics work, but for the everyday joe like me, who wants to run do his uni/hobby/freelance stuff and relax with a few games, it's a difficult choice. I'm leaning towards a PC, but can't quite bring myself to accept it...

    Thoughts?
     
  2. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #2
    As a student, you can get here a Mac Pro from £1267.83, not £1700...here :)
     
  3. harveypooka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #3
    How did you get that page? Is it the Higher Education page? I can only get on the Education for Individuals page since I'm not using a institution's network. So the base price (for the 2.66GHZ version) is £1,562.75. Still a chunk of green...
     
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Well yeah there is an obvious hole in Apple's line, but it doesn't appear that they are going to do anything about it. Aside from buying older high end hardware cheap, you can't have OSX and the power level between an iMac and Mac Pro with the current range. The best you could hope for is the current mac pros being affected by the intel xeon price drops and/or the next generation of Mac Pros.
     
  5. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a

    Dynamyk

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Ever think about getting a Macbook Pro?

    If they indeed upgrade them at WWDC, then (hopefully) it will fit the needs you listed.

    I find as a student portability helps a lot and with the student discount and a free iPod you can't go wrong :).

    You can buy an external monitor when you use it at home.

    What games are you looking to be playing?
     
  6. harveypooka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #6
    Games (when they're released!): Quake Wars: Enemy Territory, BioShock, Unreal 2007, HL2 EP 2.

    I want to get away from having no upgrade options. I'd rather spend £700 on MacBook and then spend more money on a desktop... :(
     
  7. JKitterman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    #7
    What exactly, do you want to upgrade? The current iMac can take up to 3Gb of memory and you can add external drives or raid. The video card is ok and even if there was a midtower design, putting in an ATX 1900 would set you back a bit at this point.
     
  8. harveypooka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #8
    I want to upgrade everything! My iMac is only going to get worse and loading it up with more memory ain't going to give it a sudden ability to run the latest games, unfortunately! :(

    It's more that I want to know that I can upgrade in the future. My iMac is a dead end, but the Mac Pro is too much cash...
     
  9. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a

    Dynamyk

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    It's sad to say, but if you are gaming that much, it's much better to get a PC rig with a Macbook on the side. I use my Xbox to game and only play Warcraft on my Macs.
     
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #10
    I was going to give you similar advice, but I wanted to ask what your non-gaming needs would entail. If it's just basic apps, then the mb would be ok, but since you said that you're going into design, then a mbp might be better for the long haul.

    As a student, you should be considering a notebook over a desktop. People always say to themselves "where am I going to go with it?" Soon enough, they realize that notebooks are much easier to move, store, and handle. Even on your desk, you'll find the smaller notebook preferable to any desktop.
     
  11. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Im sorry but from reading ur responses seems like you wanna play games, hence the upgradability issues.

    Thing is, if you wanna play games, the only way is a PC rig as someone already mentioned. Macs are pretty poor for gaming with the lack of a decent machine that can run any game, and getting a MBP for gaming is a complete waste of money, the MBP is for other things, in my case running a portable music studio, in that sense its a great machine and I love my MBP.

    For gaming tho, u shuld just build urself a simple small windoze machine and leave it like that and get a macbook for school. The macbook is spectacular value in my opinion, IF you wont game.
     
  12. harveypooka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #12
    I had an iBook when I was at University a few years ago and I didn't really use it all that much to be honest. Maybe it'll be different doing a design based course. I get the portability aspect but I can't have a laptop as my main machine....arg! I don't know! I relax by playing games, doing the odd bit of web design (badly!) but I'll need a meaty machine for CS3.

    I really don't think I can buy a PC - I cannot make myself buy one! Getting a Mac is the best of both worlds; but that Mac Pro is just too much...I guess I'm still holding out for a mid-range tower this year...:confused:
     
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #13
    Do you mean that the iBook wasn't useful because you had another computer, or that you didn't think it was useful because you have no need for a laptop? In either case, a lot has changed, and if I was in your position, I would buy the mbp for design programs, and then save up and buy a PC tower for gaming. Realistically, you have a need for the design programs, but gaming can wait a little longer n'est-ce pas?
     
  14. harveypooka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #14
    I can't buy a PC! I'd rather get the Mac Pro at £1000 more! I can't spend £1000 just on a games machine - the Mac is the way forward I'm just trying to think up wonderful situations at the WWDC when Steve says: "And we're introducing the MacPro Mini at $2000 dollars!".
     
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #15
    Understand though, that Macs are not meant to be gaming machines. Certain titles never even come out for OSX. I know you want to have your cake and eat it too, but that isn't going to happen in the short term. As for your medium-sized tower, I think the reason it doesn't exist is because most people would either:
    1. Buy a laptop if size was an issue
    2. Buy a Mini (although not with the current specs)
    3. Buy an iMac
    Apple knows that those who need computing power are not going to care about the size of the tower as much as they will about the specs. Those who do care about size will go after the aforementioned product lines.
    Life sucks sometimes, so just find a way to turn these lemons into lemonade (although I prefer limeade, much better). :)
     

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