Setting up a complete system, what to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by entatlrg, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #1
    I'm new to Mac's and I love my MBA. I have the new 1.8ghz/128ssd model, it's become my main machine ... best computer I've owned and I'm liking OS X a lot.

    Now, we're trying to decide how to set up our Computers and Network, I'd like to make some changes.

    I use my MacBook Air for 90% of my work, I have an HP Desktop at home that I use for downloading torrent files, drawing in Publisher, light Photoshop work, back up's,it doesn't get used much except I'm often downloading something, so I need a stationary machine, I really enjoy typing on the MBA and using the trackpad, so I try and use it for everything, at my Office, home ... anywhere.

    My wife is currently using an LG 300, for communication, invoicing, bookkeeping, light design, and surfing. She likes notebooks so she can take it to the office, factory or around the house.

    All the computers are networked and everything is working, but the wife would like a new notebook, the HP always has some small nagging problem but it does the job. I'd like to set up the ideal home office ... we're due for a refresh, the question is to go all Mac or not ...

    I want to have a Desktop for movie downloading, back up, network/printer server, running Windows/Publisher when need be. I've thought of buying an iMac, with the hopes setting it up to download is easy, and networking, printing, and running Windows OS so I can use Publisher, that would be ideal.

    My wife REALLY likes my MBA but is a little nervous to try the Mac OS ... she's asked a LOT of questions, lol, her biggest concern is not being able to open up and work in Publisher at her leisure, it's a good idea we find a program like Publisher for the Mac ...

    The 'ideal' system for us could be me with my MBA and a get a new iMac for downloading, backup, base station etc. I'd use it instead of my MBA when I'm at the desk probably. Plus I'd buy a MBA for my wife. I'd get her the 24" Apple Display too. Plus I'd get the Time Capsule and the package would we complete! We'd sell HP Desktop, LGP300 and have only the iMac and 2 MBA's...

    Another possibility is me with the MBA, an iMac at home which I'd use in conjunction with my MBA and in stead of the MBA my wife could get the 13" Macbook, more power, storage etc, but, she's very intrigued by the thin MBA... who isn't? :) I'd still get her the monitor.

    Is that move worth it? Any ex-windows users out there who've made a similar move? So, what to do? Leave our system as is or make a move and do one of the two options above.

    Any advice much appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #2
    Macs can run XP and Vista, so just run Publisher on the Mac.
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    hey OP; read this before and would have posted a big long reply but didnt have the time. still dont! uni lecture is about to start...

    ill say this.

    torrenting is easy on the mac, you can even transfer your half finished downloads to your new mac and continue them with NO problems at all (use transmission).

    publisher can be run via parallels or bootcamp as im sure your aware. there is also a program called crossover and could possibly run publisher without the need for either of these programs (is software that can run windows programs. they are not emulated but must be supported in the software in order to run properly). youd have to check the crossover supported software list for a definative answer.. if it supports it then thats a pretty good solution to your publisher problem.

    uumm i would say the macmini would do the job for you if you want a desktop still.. its powerful enough for your needs by ALOT!!

    uumm any other questions just shoot.
     
  4. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #4
    this would be the ideal (mac) set up for us I think:

    iMac (24") for desktop
    13" MacBook for wife
    ACD monitor for wife
    MBA for me
    Time Capsule as a router, backup and online file access ...

    I'd install Windows on the desktop as suggested to run any windows software.

    The complete change to Mac would be refreshing to some degree ... but is it 'really' the way to go is what concerns and worries me, how bad is the learning curve, are mac's truly better and will we be happy with the change or confused and frustrated, lol....

    I'd install Windows on the iMac, I'm wondering if i should install it on my MBA too and partition so I can work in Publisher or other Windows files when I'm away from my desk ... Would have to buy two Windows OS's right? Not even sure what that's costs at Staples right now, can XP still be bought, I realize I should search here and read on the topic, I see there is a lot of threads with great a-z instructions ...

    What's making mac appealing to me as I go along is the OS is great, the support, instructions and focus is excellent, and you can buy a system from one seller like Apple where all the components fit and work together ... it is cool that the MBA, the iMac, Time Capsule right down to access your data online via mobileme ... it's so well thought out and organized ... reasons like this I'm assuming is why Apple has such a huge and loyal following ... wish I would of clued in earlier, lol ...
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    Mac Mini plus new MBA for the wife.



    "And 10% for the manager....." *holds hand out*
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    2nd'd by about 500
     
  7. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #7
    Can I ask why you suggest that?

    She'd have the Air and the Mini, you're assuming I'd still buy here the ACD monitor right? And she would hook the mini up to that?
     
  8. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #8
    Thanks, but wouldn't a mac mini and an ACD monitor cost around the same as an iMac, or for not much more money I'd get a lot more computer, right? You're not the only one to suggest that, I must be missing something?
     
  9. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #9
    Any other suggestions, I still think the iMac, MBA for my wife and Time Capsule would be the best additions to make, yes/no?
     
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #10
    hhhmmm well if your going to want to get an ACD then you COULD be better off going with the iMac..

    there are a few reasons why i think we both suggested the MacMini. basically, the requirements that your wife needs are pretty low power wise and most definately low graphically wise.. i can run a virtual windows machine on my 3 year old MBP VERY easily, publisher would run with no problems because its not a very demanding program.

    if your willing to spend the money for the iMac, go for it. it would end up giving you a more powerful machine with more upgradability (3.5" HD instead of 2.5", an actual GPU in some cases etcetc", however i dont think you will be needed 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, but the iMac gives you the option to in the future.

    in the end its your decision though :)
     
  11. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #11
    Yes, you have a good point, especially considering I mentioned I want to try and use my MBA for 90% of my work or more ...

    I'm still surprised about that, the MacBook Air has REALLY won me over ... talking about using a 13" notebook for my main computer just isn't me, lol, normally I'd plug into my 24" desktop monitor and sometimes us an external keyboard and mouse ... now just typing on the Air's keyboard, using the excellent trackpad and the screen suits me so much I don't see the need to hook up to an external display unless I'm doing design work etc...

    So true, there isn't much point to buy an iMac just to sit on a desk and download movies or get used 10% of the time for work/design etc..

    I'm going to go check out the mini's tomorrow and compare the price with a mini and an external monitor to the iMac packages ...
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    even though its small the MacMini is still pretty powerful. if your happy with your MBA's performance then even the MacMini would be a powerhouse!

    its a very decent machine!! light, popwerful, easy to use, especially when coupled with OSX. its becomes very easy to do things quickly

    i dont see any point in buying the iMac if you are going to be wasting it... would you go an ACD or just with a cheaper monitor? in all seriousness i got a GREAT 19" monitor a few years ago, it was about half the price of other monitors but in some cases it is much much better than the more expensive monitors..
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    IMO, the only desktop Mac worth buying right now is the Mac mini. The iMacs* and Mac Pros simply are too expensive for the processing power you get from them.

    (*The X-factor here is Snow Leopard's OpenCL. I reserve the right to change MO after it arrives. ;) )
     
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #14
    I own the rev B MBA 1.86 w/SSD. What a beautiful amazingly powerful and incredibly portable Mac. The coolest Mac ever for me. I bought the 24" LED ACD a short time after buying the MBA. I absolutely couldn't pass up the opportunity for a 24" LED ACD that worked like a docking station. I had purchased a nice ViewSonic 20" Display that was ok. But it didn't have the power cable built in, and it didn't have the USB hub built into it. And it wasn't 24" and it wasn't LED backlit, and it wasn't an IPS display. And it wasn't incredible, and it didn't make my MBA seem like a Mac Pro.

    Here's the thing. When I plug in my MBA to the 24" LED ACD, I feel like I am working on a Mac Pro. The SSD makes my MBA feel like the fastest Mac I have ever owned. The MBA is an incredibly portable machine that is cool. However, when plugging it into a real Apple Cinema Display, the MBA is an instant desktop. It truly is powerful too.

    So, at my desk, I leave my MBA charging cable in my laptop bag. I have a 24" ACD with all of my peripherals plugged into the ACD. I have a wireless Apple Keyboard and Logitech mouse. The "SYSTEM" feels like a desktop while at my desk. The MBA feels like the most incredible and portable Mac ever when away from my desk.

    What I would recommend:

    Keep your MBA.

    Buy your wife an MBA unless she needs Windows on it virtually. In that case buy a MB, as you really need 4 GB RAM to share 2 GB for Parallels or Fusion.

    Buy a Mac Mini as a "desktop" and as a "media server." Also, ideally use this as your ONLY Windows machine. Perfect to add 4 GB RAM, and run Windows virtually or in Boot Camp.

    Buy one or two 24" LED ACDs. One, could work with the Mac Mini and one of the MBAs. Or, you each could use one ACD. In a perfect world, keep Windows on the Mac Mini. No matter which of the three computers is being used, only two external displays would be the most required. And, the ACDs can charge the MBAs while still working as display for Mac Mini.

    Don't buy iMac:

    I would stay away from an iMac, as the display couldn't be used for both the iMac and MBA. This makes the Mac mini a nice dual purpose machine and allows you to share the 24" ACD between both MBAs and the Mac mini.

    Good luck.
     

Share This Page