Purchasing Advice

jessep28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
380
0
Omaha, NE
I am a longtime PC user going to buy his first Mac.
Uses (In descending order)
-------
1) Internet, E-mail
2) MS Office Apps
3) Possible accounting tasks when I graduate in May
4) Movie watching/Music Listening

The computer would be more of a desktop supplement than a replacement.

I would like a notebook so I can get away and get work on stuff without distractions like the TV, loud lab etc... However, I know all too well desktops are more economical.


Delima
--------
I am torn between just getting an iMac or spending a premium on a MB or an even greater premium on a MBP

1) The PC I have now is working fine. I also have a 19" flat panel I bought for it last year and I don't feel like giving away or selling at a discount yet.

Plus the PC would prevent me from having to buy another copy of Windows XP. But I eventually intend to replace this PC since it's 4 years old and the components are starting to wear and become outdated.

2) I am a college student so dropping $2500 on both imac and MB systems probably isn't smart.

3) I really like the imac a little more and it just makes so much more sense that you get more with what you pay for.

Conclusion/Question
------------------------
I am leaning towards a White MB with 1GB RAM, 2.0Ghz and an 80GB HD.

What is your final recommendation community?

Thank you so much,

Jesse
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
You'll get a lot more bang for your buck buying a well equipped iMac.
If you want the most from your system at a reasonable price the iMac
is a way better deal in the long run.
Performance, Storage, Video and Music editing capabilties and a beautiful
display. And it allows you to run your 19" as a second display.

If you decide on a portable to get your feet wet.
Since you are new to Mac OSX and since there will be rapid advancements in notebooks over the next 12 months, I would keep any notebook purchase very conservative.

MacBook 2.0 GHz with 2 GB RAM.
If you plan to boot Windows on any notebook, you'll want the largest hard drive.
Buy your extra RAm 3rd party.

I would get the one system you think you'll get the most use from, get to know
all the Wonders of Mac OSX and then buy your second machine after Leopard is released.
 

jessep28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
380
0
Omaha, NE
20" Imac
250 GB HD
Default Graphics (128 MB)
$1557 (Edu Priced)

That's only $200 more than the MB I was pricing out..and it comes with so much more.

I'm also at a desk space premium, so if I do get the imac, the Dell would go in mothball storage until I get my own place soon after I graduate this May.
 

xfiftyfour

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2006
2,573
0
Clemson, SC
gosh, with what you're using it for, you could just as easily go with a mac mini and be set - especially since you already have that 19".
 

jessep28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
380
0
Omaha, NE
jessep28 said:
-------
1) Internet, E-mail
2) MS Office Apps
3) Possible accounting tasks when I graduate in May
4) Movie watching/Music Listening
Mac mini is an option. However, I think they are underpowered processor wise (from what I saw. I didn't look real hard at them). But that's what you get for the price.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Apple's 2 GB RAM upgrade for the iMac is surprisingly reasonable, unlike their prices
for RAM on their notebooks.

I'm configuring an ideal 20"iMac system
Base Price $1399.00
Prices are education store.
I loaded the iMac with all the right stuff.
Even if you cut corners on the iMac, you're still getting a much more powerful
machine.

Specifications
2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ($225.00)
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB ($158.00)
250GB Serial ATA Drive
ATI Radeon X1600/256MB VRAM ($68.00)
SuperDrive 8X (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Apple Wireless Keyboard & wireless Mighty Mouse + Mac OS X (US English) ($54.00)
AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll ($119.00 )
20-inch widescreen LCD
AirPort Extreme
Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
$2023.00 before tax.

Ideal Macbook
Base $1199.00

Specifications
2.0GHz Intel Core Duo
512MB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x256
80GB Serial ATA drive ($45.00)
SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
Apple Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter ($17.00)
AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook/iBook - Auto-enroll ($183.00)
AirPort Extreme Card & Bluetooth
Subtotal $1444.00
ADD $250.00 for 2 X 1GB 3rd party RAM
$1694.00

If you need more storage buy a MyBook 7200 RPM 250GB external HD
 

makismagoo99

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2006
229
0
Jesse,

I don't think it's possible to find someone in a more similar boat, lol. I too am a graduating college student with a 4-yo Dell looking to buy my first mac. I have already decided on the Macbook and here's why:

1. Portability. I can take it to campus to get work done there, and I can take it on vacation or trips home to see Mom and Dad.

2. Great balance of power/speed and size. The MB has the same processor as the (IMO) overpriced Macbook Pro. If you upgrade your RAM 3rd party (a piece of cake to do yourself, btw), you can have a hell of a machine. The 13" widescreen is perfect for what you'll use it for, but not so small you'll hurt your eyes using it. And yet it's not too big for a backpack (the MB is about the size of your average textbook).

3. Price. In contrast to many of Apple's products, the MB is very competitively priced. You still get the great quality Apple hardware, but don't have to fork out your entire summer's earnings.

That's my reasoning. I considered the iMac and Mac Mini as well espeically cuz of the bang-for-your-buck you get with either of those (now that Minis are CoreDuo), however I believe I would get far more use out of a notebook currently. Plus, a year or two down the road, I can sell it once I'm settled down and buy myself a Mac Pro with a 30" ACD if I so choose.:cool:

Hope this helps...
 

Neonguy

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2006
275
0
For College student I would recommand the portable one like the one you going to get seam fine. You can carry around and do all your work, make it easier for you. Then play games on your PC.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
jessep28 said:
20" Imac
250 GB HD
Default Graphics (128 MB)
$1557 (Edu Priced)

That's only $200 more than the MB I was pricing out..and it comes with so much more.

I'm also at a desk space premium, so if I do get the imac, the Dell would go in mothball storage until I get my own place soon after I graduate this May.

I think that is the system that I would reccomend you getting jessep28. Unless you absolutely must have mobility, in which case a 2GHz MacBook would work nicely for you. :)
 

netdog

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2006
5,758
37
London
Buy an iMac and a MacBook for about the same price as a 17" MBP and have the both of best worlds.
 

jessep28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
380
0
Omaha, NE
jessep28 said:
2) I am a college student so dropping $2500 on both imac and MB systems probably isn't smart.
netdog said:
Buy an iMac and a MacBook for about the same price as a 17" MBP and have the both of best worlds.


Believe me, I would. However:

1) I am new to Mac OS, so I am strongly taking into consideration the FFTT's suggestion to get a system so I can get my feet wet wtih Mac OS and get the 2nd system when Leopard comes out. Then I'm not dropping $$ into two copies of the OS.

Plus it will allow til spring for processor and other improvements to come out for the system I choose not to buy.
 

jessep28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
380
0
Omaha, NE
dalvin200 said:
correct.. altho u can also get bluetooth wireless ones of the same too..
That's what I thought. It's always nice to have a couple extra USB ports around.

Although, I wonder why Apple didn't put anouther USB port on the front of the iMac (I don't remember seeing/reading about one). Everyone and their sister has a portable USB drive with them these days.
 

jessep28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
380
0
Omaha, NE
How do the Core Duo's outperform the Pentium 4's with the lower clock speed?

I am running a 2.0 GHZ P4. You see a zero to marginal clock speed increase on the Macbooks and iMacs, etc...
 

jessep28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
380
0
Omaha, NE
I figured I would tack on this unrelated question on here:

I have been looking into OpenOffice to prevent springing for MS Office 2004 when I buy my iMac. I'm sure a UB version is on the way.

Anyone out there frequently use the program between platforms (Office and OOffice) and could lend me into pros/cons of my decision. I will need easy, cross-platform compatibility since I probably will edit/print from my PC filled college campus.

Thanks!
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
jessep28 said:
I figured I would tack on this unrelated question on here:

I have been looking into OpenOffice to prevent springing for MS Office 2004 when I buy my iMac. I'm sure a UB version is on the way.

Anyone out there frequently use the program between platforms (Office and OOffice) and could lend me into pros/cons of my decision. I will need easy, cross-platform compatibility since I probably will edit/print from my PC filled college campus.

Thanks!
You won't have any problems with .doc (Word) and .xls (Excel) files transferring between operating systems unless there is some weird formatting thing. Equations using MathType won't show up on a Windows machine using equation editor, if you are a math person...but if you are doing equations and stuff you shouldn't be using MS word anyways.

.ppt files I haven't had as much luck with, but I hardly ever do presentations so I can't offer much help here.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
The P4 single is no match for the dual core processors in the iMacs.

The entire industry is moving away from clock speed, making more processor cores
work more efficiently and using less power.
 

zimtheinvader

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2005
203
0
the capitol
what premium>? the MB is cheaper than the imac or about the same price... like $50 difference... unless you feel the need for the CD2 there is little difference in power/value between the machines, they have almost never been closer... there is no more G5 desktop vs G4 notebook dillemma, thankfully. there has also never been a better time to want a mac notebook, unless (again) you want a CD2 Macbook Pro
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
With exception to the base education iMac, all other iMac Core Duo 2's have a much better dedicated GPU section.
The MacBook uses shared VRAM

I don't think this is a matter of which one to buy as much as it is of which one first.

The iMac Core Duo 2 could be a quad core next year.
The MacBook might be on 45nm cool and efficient Penryns next year.

It's all going to be leapfrogged rapidly.

Plan C

Buy a loaded iMac 17" WS with 2 GB RAM, upgraded VRAM
and get to know Mac OSX as a conservative hold over buy.

Hold for the 45 nm Penryn notebooks.

2008 buy a 24" QUAD CORE iMac or Mac Pro OCTA CORE Tower. :D