Purchase advice for Mac newbie

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stitch777, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. stitch777 macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2008
    OK, I'm a complete newbie to Macs, unless you count that Computer Lit class I had on an Apple 2E back in 1988. When we finished early we got to play Oregon Trail . Woohoo!

    Anyway, I have decided I want to go with a Mac for my next computer, but I'm completely lost. I'm really hesitant to buy something for $1,500-2,000 and then discover down the road I picked the wrong options or paid for things I never use. And I'd really rather keep it under a grand to begin with.

    Laptop/desktop is irrelevant. I assume desktop will be cheaper. I'm just doing everyday word processing/web surfing/email, etc. Minimal downloading, no game playing. My partner is a bit of an amateur photographer, but I'm guessing the standard iLife software will cover that just fine.

    What I really need is some guidance on the specifications. Is there a meaningful difference between the Imac and the mini and so forth for my purposes? How much RAM do I actually need for those basic programs? What else should I know? What is the version of OS X I should be looking for?

    All non-snarky responses very much appreciated.
  2. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Any mac should be fine for your purposes. I'd wait til macworld before I bought a mini, though; it's getting a bit long in the tooth for the money Apple's wanting for it.

    If you want maximum bang for the buck, I'd suggest a 20" iMac. If portability's more your thing, try a unibody Macbook. (For the iMac, I'd buy a refurb off of the apple website for maximum savings, or see what they'll discount for black friday in the US.)

    And for standard iLife iActivities, iWould suggest 2 gigs of iRam.
  3. The Hammer macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    The 2.66 is the one you want among the 20". MacWorld UK predicted at introduction that it would be the most popular iMac.
  4. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008
    I have an entry-level iMac, had it since March this year, and it'll do all you require of it with it's eyes shut.

    The questions I asked myself about whether or not to plump for a Mac Mini were:

    1) Am I willing to pay Apple prices for RAM or am I willing to take a palette knife to it to upgrade myself?

    2) Remember the entry-level Mini doesn't, currently, have a DVD burner. Just a CD burner.

    3) Do I have a good keyboard, mouse and display already? (I had the keyboard and mouse but my monitor was on its way out- that's what swung me toward an iMac).

    Deffo wait a few months if you want a Mini, though. It's very much up in the air about what is happening to it but if it is upgraded, it could well be early next year. IF.

    If you did buy the entry-level iMac, bear in mind mine's only a 2.0 based on old architecture, you won't be disappointed. They're great machines. I use mine for digital photos, printing, editing HD videos from my camcorder, music, web, email, spreadsheets, word processing, gaming- it's a belting all-round machine.

    And here's me promising myself I'd never become an Apple fanboy ;) :D

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