New to Mac...What to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by steve88, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. steve88 macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2005
    After years of freeze ups and crashes, repairs and viruses, I have decided to jump the fewnce to Mac. A friend has a G4 with dual 1.25 processors and a bunch of ram. He does a lot of work with Photoshop and Illustrator and claims that you need all the power, including the dual processors.

    I also plan to use PS and Ill. but not as a major thing. I guess my question would be:
    Should I get a G5 iMac (which I really like the looks of) or a used G4 dual processor unit from ebay or some refurbishing center? Right now, I am using a 17" CRT display that I would want to replace with an LCD if I go for the Powermac. I do not want to spend $1000 on an LCD from Apple, however.

    I would have to say that my budget is about $2000 for everything. Please let mr know what you think.

  2. TheWama macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2004
    If you do go with the iMac G5, I would wait for the rumored soon-to-arrive update, which should replace the somewhat dated graphics card with something significantly faster. Also it might be nice to wait till Tiger is pre-installed, or at least included in the box.

    As for the PM G4 vs iMac G5, I can't really give you any guidance, as I've never used the PM G4. I can say that the iMac is an excellent computer.
  3. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    Right now, the budget will get you a 20" 1.8GHz G5, which is nothing to sniff at if you don't wanna use it for games!
    But, as the above post says, you may wanna wait a tiny bit...
    With that budget don't forget the dual G5 1.8's (but the ram you want will put you over!)
    It is always a better option to go for something new, and get applecare (which on desktops is pretty cheap!)
  4. salmon macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2004
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I agree with TheWama's post. I have an iMac G5, and am pleased as punch with it. I'm not a photoshop user, but do Java development (which requires a bit of horsepower), and it's been just fine for me.

    And yes, wait for the update - the iMacs are 6+ months along, should be due for an update of some type, and you want to just get Tiger along with it.

    Cheers, and congrats on freeing yourself from Microsloth. Always beware of proprietary file formats, and making switches like these are little trouble!
  5. steve88 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2005
    Yes, I will definately wait for the new upgraded versions and Tiger. I thought about the Powermac G5 dual 1.8, but that would about blow the entire budget on the computer, and have to use the CRT 17 with it. It just seems silly to me to spend a bunch of money on a new Mac, and have to use the old monitor. It is about 8 years old, so it does not owe me anything, but I would not be surprised if it just died. Then I would have a nice new mac with no display. I read somewhere that a lot of mac users were using Dell LCD displays. Any info?
  6. macbaseball macrumors 6502a


    Feb 27, 2005
    Northern California
    A lot of Mac users, use new Dell 2005FPW, which is a 20 inch widescreen display. It can be purchased for about $500. Dell prices it at $749, but there are constantly coupons for discount. Look here for discounts. There aren't any right now, but I bet there will be by the end of the week.
  7. macbaseball macrumors 6502a


    Feb 27, 2005
    Northern California
    I was right :D. Dell came out with some new coupons and one of them was for the Dell 2005FPW. This coupon code will get you 35% off:

  8. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
  9. deebster macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2004
    Olde Englande
    Photoshop loves RAM. This is as important as, if not more than sheer processing power. So whilst a dual G4 might be faster than a single G5, you may not actually see that difference so well in what you plan to do.

    Plus, you would be using older technology and might at some point wish you had a Mac that was at least current at the time you bought it.

    And there's the warranty, AppleCare option etc.

    I'd say get an iMac, a nice 1GB stick of RAM and see how you go.
  10. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Photoshop isn't really that processor-intensive unless you're working in print publishing with large 300 dpi images. If you're doing web or video work, a single-CPU G4 will work fine. I still do lots of Photoshop work on my old 800 MHz G4 PowerBook, and I'm rarely if ever waiting for the computer to do something. Mostly I do video-resolution work, but I recently used InDesign to lay out a 16 page full-color magazine preview issue with 300 dpi images on it too, and it worked fine. As deebster says, though, RAM is good for Photoshop, get as much as you can afford. Also, if you can afford dual disks configured in a RAID array, it can help a lot, depending on what you're doing.
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'd go for a Dell monitor and as much of a G5 as you can afford.
  12. steve88 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2005
    Thanks to everyone who took the time to post. I am definately leaning toward the G5 imac. I see that MacMall has them for $2174 with a 20" display, 768 mb of ram, 250GB HD, bluetooth and airport. I gave them a call today, and they said that they had no idea about if or when the imacs will have a new version (2GB G5?) They did say, however, that Tiger will come out on the 29th of this month, but the Macs will not be shipped with it until later. Now I don't know if I should wait for the newer imacs or just go for it. What would you all do? As I am posting trhis right now, my Winbox is making a wierd sound from the fan. Could this be a death rattle?
    I kind of hope so. That will make my decission a lot easier.
  13. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Get iMac G5. It has a 64-bit CPU - the future of CPUs - and cool design. Also it has a widescreen LCD :D

    Oh and wait a week or 2 for the iMac line-up update

    I also heard that PowerMac G4s are pretty noisy

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