New to Mac, Purchase & Switching Help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by vito, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. vito macrumors 6502a

    Apr 4, 2006
    Manchester, UK

    Not sure if I posted this in the right forum! :)

    I’ve been entertaining the thought of purchasing a mac for a quite a while now and with the introduction of the MBP recently I’ve been pushed even further to the Apple checkout. :D

    I’m primarily a Windows user (surprise, surprise) :rolleyes: I do however administer a couple of Centos servers at work.

    The only piece of Apple hardware I own is an Ipod Nano.

    I went to the Apple store at the Trafford Centre, Manchester yesterday and had a play with the various display kits they had. I found the whole experience daunting quite frankly as I wasn’t sure what hardware I should purchase and how it “all works” basically. The staff were very friendly and didn’t push for a sale which was refreshing to see as I usually shop online which means I don’t have to talk to sales staff.

    Whilst I was being shown around the system by Jay (G5 + 30” Display) I had second thoughts mainly because it all looked complicated which I’m sure it isn’t however I wanted to be sure that the mac is right for me as I am trying to part with Windows for good.

    What I use my PC for:-

    - General tasks such as Word processing, IM, Web Surfing, Email (POP+IMAP) etc
    - Watching movies (.avi, divx, various formats), listening to audio etc
    - Programming, PHP, MySQL, C, - development, FTP/SSH
    - Monitoring remote networks via the web / snmp
    - Photo, Image and Video editing
    - Video conferencing with colleagues when working from home
    - Torrent and Newsgroup downloads

    Mac Hardware to Purchase:- :confused:

    - 17” MBP
    - 30” Cinema Display (not sure if this will work with the 17”) – I might get the 23” not sure.

    Questions:- (a few to start of with)

    - What are the chances of a new 30” being announced at the WWDC? I would like one with built-in iSight which will probably not happen I assume?
    - Is Apple support good as their products, I was told If I purchase the two pieces of kit together the AppleCare cover will apply to both.
    - Is it fairly easy to get to grips with Tiger?

    Recently Switched?

    To those of you who recently switched from Windows to Mac, please share how you’re finding the new workspace and more importantly was it worth it?

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    A Mac can do all of those things easily. You'll find that some such as watching movies, listening to music, image and video editing, video conferencing and torrent/newsgroup (I guess you mean UseNet?) is all actually better on a Mac than on a PC! Web browsing is great too!

    If you use AIM, then I'd recommend iChat, I used it for the first time last night, and it's a bleedin brilliant piece of software! If you use MSN, then definitely go for the software Adium.

    The 30" Cinema Display requires two DVI connections. The MacBook Pro only has one, so you can't run the display at it's full resolution. You may as well get a 23".

    -It's possible they will release a new one. The current range isn't the most up-to-date series of displays out there, and there are many-a rumour that they will increase the contrast ratio to 1:1000.
    -They are good at support with their products. Some people have had no problems, while others have had to push for it. In the end, Apple have always helped though.
    -Tiger is incredibly easy to get to grips with!!!! I used Windoz for aaaages and my MBP was my first OS X based Mac (I had an old OS9 iMac, for a few months before). I have found Tiger to be incredibly user friendly and very very intuative! :)

    OOOOH yes! It was most CERTAINLY worth it! I've loved every minute of having a Mac. Firstly, I can reliably multitask, something my Dual P4 dell PC always struggled with, I also know it's going to be far more reliable. There is tonnes of seriously funky software out there for OS X. From what I've experienced, there's actually more OS X freeware out there than Windows freeware. I have tonnes of free software on my MBP. All I've purchased so far is iWork '06 and Microsoft Office 2004 (second hand).

    OS X is amazing.

    I personally would hold out with the cinema display, WWDC is only a few days away, but go ahead with the MBP. If they do give them Core 2 Duo processors, it won't make the world of difference. My 1.83 GHz Core Duo MBP is incredibly quick!!!

    One thing to watch out for, make sure you get at least 1GB of RAM with your MBP. ;)

    Have fun!
  3. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Hi and welcome.

    That's a nice setup you're looking at. Most people here would give their left fathering sphere to have that setup. The 30" will work with the mbp btw. It may be more than what you need though. If you need portability with maximum power, go for it, but if portability is not an issue, an iMac will do all that perfectly well and you could probably throw in a macbook with the iMac for about the same price, so you would still have portability.

    Your biggest thing will be RAM, and budget to max it out (if your getting a top of the line laptop why cripple it with less RAM). You can get Apple to do it, or do it yourself much cheaper.

    To your questions.
    1. I'd say it's highly likely that there will be a new 30" display, but even still, it might be worth while to check out other screens. Most people seems pretty happy wth Dells on these boards. I've never seen a 30" monitor, but one of my TV's is 32", and looking at it, I'm guessing that 30" is overkill. The 23" is definitely worth considering

    2. I don't know, but someone will be along to help you out on that one.

    3. I'm still using Panther, but it's extremely easy to use. It will frustrate you for a couple of days while you figure out how to do things, but pretty soon you'll find that you can just do things much faster especialy with iLife for photo and video stuff. Not having to deal with security and constant maintenance means that your computer time is spent actually doing stuff, rather than a significant amount of time being spent keeping the show on the road.

    I switched about a year ago, and haven't looked back. I still use Windows in work, and don't hate it, but that's because there is a team of IT people keeping the show on the road for me. I simply prefer the way OSX is put together.
  4. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Here's what the Apple site says:


    There is a distinction between 'dual-link' DVI and 'two' DVI connections. I the MBP should drive the 30" just fine.
  5. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Absolute total bollocks. Don't spread false information.

    The 30" Apple Cinema Display requires a dual-link DVI connection. This is not two separate connections, it is one connection with twice the throughput of a normal DVI connection.

    All MacBook Pro models support the 30" Apple Cinema Display

    If you want/need all that space then yes, buy the 30" display. It's gorgeous and your 17" MacBook Pro will run it very well right out of the box.

    All the stuff you said you do with your PC is available on the Mac. It DOES take time to learn, especially if you are very confident and knowledgeable on PCs as it requires you to almost forget the way you used to do things (with respect to the user interface, all your tasks are pretty much platform independent) and embrace a new, simpler way. Of course to all switchers it appears more complicated until you realise just how tightly integrated everything really is with OSX.

    And it all just works.

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