PC Guy seeks advice on first Mac purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by talmania, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. talmania macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2007
    Hello all:

    I'm a longtime PC user that's considering getting his first Mac. As a owner of numerous iPod's I've been long thinking about getting a Mac. The fact that I can now dual boot with Parallels/Bootcamp/VMWare makes the purchase completely risk-free. If I end up hating OSX (which I doubt), then I'm left with one hell of a sexy PC. :D

    The second driver for my purchase was a discussion I had with an acquaintance where he told me about (and later showed me) Delicious Library. I absolutely HAVE to have that application. As the owner of well over a thousand DVD's, HD-DVD's etc., and hundreds of CD's that application looks like an absolute godsend.

    I initially considered a Mac Mini but the value just doesn't seem there when compared with the other Apple offerings. In comes my third driver: I recently purchased a true-HD Canon HV10 camcorder and am very, very interested in learning Final Cut Express HD (perhaps even the full studio some day---I have some experience in Premier).

    I currently have a Dell 2407FP monitor and love it. I have an older Dell laptop that could stand to be replaced but portability isn't all that big of an issue to me. I'm considering an iMac and while IMO it seems to clearly be the best value (really like the 7600 videocard option) but with the 2407 I can't help but think it's completely redundant (already have a DVI/USB KVM not to mention the 2407). So logically that would lead me to a Mac Pro but that seems extreme for a first-timer and for my needs not to mention another big tower under the desk. :eek: But it does have a clear path right into Final Cut Studio.

    What route should I go experts? I'm getting my masters degree so I can use an edu discount. Any and all advice is sincerely appreciated!

    Edit: Yes I know to wait until after the Mac conference....I've learned that much already! :D
  2. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    Depends on how much money you are willing to spend, or if you are going to mac money using your mac.

    If you have the money for the toys, or you are making money with your mac, then a mac pro makes tons of sense. Nothing does it faster, faster == more money.

    Or you could go macbook pro. Which is a more reasonable compromise, even if you use it largely as a desktop machine.

    I use a black macbook, and often as a desktop, because it generally works really well for my needs. UB stuff screams along just fine. And I don't do anything that requires bootcamp (parallels meets all my needs).

    If I needed bootcamp, then it make sense to go macbook pro.

    I mac I think makes a good choice for the kids and easy peasy setup. Mac Mini for something that hooks up to the TV or for the kids.

    But as always you gotta wait 5 days and see what happens.

    (I have an extra copy of delicious library (but they recycled my reg on the second copy, so I don't know how to get rid of it).

    (BTW if you like delicious library, trust me and download the 30 day trial of notebook from www.circusponies.com. Play with it for 30 days. If you don't buy it, you will know exactly what you need at the end of 30 days.)
  3. Mac'Mo macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    you might consider a 17" MBP, that would offer you some of hte higher end technology like the MP (which you could use FCP) but not the overkill of paying an extreme amount of money
  4. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
    Not really sure what kind of budget you're looking to stick to, but I would say go for a MacBook Pro. You could keep your Dell monitor for desk use (without the MBP taking up much space), and still have a sweet new notebook for the times that you do need/want to go portable!
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    I guess the question is what do you see yourself using the computer for. Given the fact that you have an HD camera, you'll probably need all the HD space that you can get. This would suggest the MP, given that you can cram 4 HDs in there. Alternatively, the iMac would be good if you have spare externals. The monitor you have is awesome (I have one), thus you should probably not consider the added value of the iMac screen. Depending on your budget, I would personally go with a MacPro. Shoot for the lower end of the spectrum, and remember that you can always upgrade that puppy. Though it may seem like more dough out the door, you'll probably have a very functional machine for 6-7 years. Upgrading the iMac is slightly more difficult, and not worth the trouble.
  6. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    You can still use the 24" monitor with the iMac - think, a 24" iMac and a 24" external monitor.

    Although ... I bought my first Mac (an iMac) just after the Intel Macs were released last February, and although I love it, I'm increasingly regretful that I didn't get a MBP.

    I'm stuck using a Dell at work, and as I see increasing numbers of my colleagues working on their MBPs (all three of our network admins - Linux gurus to a man - are currently using MBPs, as is our CTO, who says all our developers deserve Macs ... unfortunately the VP of engineering, who would be responsible for approving such a purchase for me, is anti-Mac), I wish I could do the same. So I'm thinking of putting my iMac on Craigs List and putting the proceeds towards a MBP.

    You might feel you don't need the portability, but you will be glad if you have it.
  7. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    If you have the money i'd say go for the Mac Pro. For HD video editing you'll need all the processing power you can get and all the hard drive space possible. The Quad Xeon configuration in the Mac Pro is great for video, and the ability to add extra hard drives in the Mac Pro will come in handy for a video editor. If you're on a tighter budget, than the iMac with 1-2gb of RAM will suffice, you can always get extra firewire drives later for more hard drive space, and you can also use your existing Dell Monitor with the iMac in a dual monitor setup.
  8. know-it-all5 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2006
    if you want portability, get a macbook pro, otherwise, imagine all the incredible you will have with dual screens on your desk. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! go get the imac. If you dont want portability, or an extra monitor, then you are forced into a mac pro. if you can afford it, go for it.
  9. talmania thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback!

    My budget isn't limited but I hate the idea of spending 3K for something when 1.5K will suit me just fine. I was thinking around the 1.7 to 2K mark but am flexible---I want the best solution for my needs.
  10. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2007
    The Imac 24 is a wonderful bit of kit. Its screen is perfect for working in HD and you get a firewire 800 port which will totally fit your hard drive needs. Witht hat port I doudbt hard drive space will be an issue. You also have your firewire 400 port for less data intensive storage, and finally USB 2s for music, videos and other media.
    As to the pro, well if you want to keep upgrading and deal with all that hassle, by all means get. But if the Imac 24 does all you want it to, saves you cash, and gives you a nice big owl screen then it wins outright. My logic was I wasn't buying a mac to muck around with eeking performance out of.
    I bought an Imac 24 as a centre of a little DAW (digital audio workstation), which involves many similar things to working with video. In terms of hard drives I would go for a glyph, or something with one of those really fast oxford chipsets, and don't worry about space too much. Back up to a cheap big USB 2, but never us that interface for work that requires good real time data throughput. Its rubbish. Whichever you decide. I wish you luck!
  11. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    I would go for the 15" macbook pro (Middle one, 2.33 Ghz etc) as it is more portable thna the 17" and you have your external monitor
  12. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    Agree with this - I video edit on a G5 with dual 2.0's and 4.5 GB Ram and just in exporting small clips of standard mini-dv from FCE I get page-outs and in watching the activity monitor I can see the little beasties working very hard. Get the best processing power and much Ram for HD video...
  13. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Sounds like the iMac would suit you best for your current needs (plus dual monitors is always awesome), but if you think you might get into video editing or anything like that the Mac Pro will provide you will more power and expandability. Especially the RAM — 2GB is almost the minimum these days it seems. :)
  14. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    whatever you decide on, you'll regret your purchase if you don't load it with RAM. when using Mac OSX, RAM is the best place to focus your money. I'd take a MacBook (or even a mac mini) with 2 GB of RAM over a 1 GB MacPro.

    ...that's a little exagerrated, but do you see my point? RAM makes your experience so much more enjoyable.

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