Thinking of buying a new mac ---- 4, yes, 4 options

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iMacZealot, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    I'm a film editor, and I bought an iMac G5 in May two years ago, and it's been amazing (2.0 GHz, 17" Superdrive, 512 MB RAM, Tiger), although I'm starting to consider buying a new mac. I have four options -- two that would complement my G5, two that would replace it.

    The two that complement it:

    MacBook:Before I bought my G5, I was considering an iBook--- not because I need portability, but because of the price. Luckily, my dad convinced me to save a little more for a G5. That summer, my sister needed a new computer, and an iBook was laughable at that point (1.2 GHz, 30 GB hard disk, 256 MB RAM?????), so we bought her a 12" PowerBook. However, the MacBook is much more appealing to me. In retrospect, I couldn't possibly imagine doing FinalCut Express on anything other than a widescreen display, and a 13" widescreen display on the MacBook is very appealing now. Plus, I like its speed. What I do a lot is go to rock venues, film the show, and make a 3-5 minute movie in FCE for their website. The MacBook would complement the G5 in a system where I could bring the MacBook to these shows, begin importing the footage, start editing, put it onto one of my external hard disks, and then finish it at home on the G5. I could also use a MacBook for class. It wouldn't be necessary for class, but it might be nice to have a computer with me.

    MacBookPro:I'm also considering one of these, especially becuase I'm very envious of my brother and his 15" PowerBook. I'd use it for the same reasons above, but it's hard to justify the extra $400-500 for a bigger display and slightly faster processor than the MacBook.

    Finally, the two that would replace my iMac G5:

    A new iMac:My G5 is great, but there are two things I regret about my G5 purchase: 1) Settling for a 17" display. I never realised how important screen real estate is when working with FCE. 2) Hard disk size. I was coming from a 500 MHz iMac G3 with a 20 GB hard disk, and a 160 GB hard disk sounded like more than enough space I'd ever need. I currently have two external hard disks: an 80 GB one, and a 100 GB one. Of that 340 GB of disk space I have, I've used 271 GB. It would be nice to have a 20" iMac with a maxed out hard disk. A 24" iMac might be nice as well, but I don't have a single FW800 peripherals. I could give my current G5 to my mom, as she is thinking of buying a new computer. While this would be a nice way to upgrade my desktop, I'm not sure if it's really worth the money, as it's so similar to my current lineup.

    Mac Pro:This would be an amazing choice. I would love a dual core 2.66 GHz Xeon for FCE! I also love the aluminum look of the ACD, too. I could also upgrade it as necessary later on. The only problem, though, is its price, and I wonder if it's maybe more power than I need.

    Portability:Portability would certainly be a nice thing to have as it would complement my G5 very well. As I said earlier, I could establish a system of importing the footage on my MacBook(Pro), begin editing, save the project to my external hard disk, and then finish on the G5. I could also use a portable in class. While portability would be a nice thing to have, it's not necessary.

    Affordability:Like my G5, I'll probably pay for 2/3 of whatever I get. Since my sisters are still in college, I can also get an education discount. So far, I've saved up about $600, and the cheapest machine (MacBook) I'm considering is $1433.

    What I'm leaning towards:I'm leaning closer to the MacBook not only because of its price, but I think it would serve the most functionality. I like the size, its speed, and portability would be a nice quality to have. But, I wonder if I should save a little more for a faster MacBookPro or a desktop to replace my iMac entirely.

    What do you think I should save up for?
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Um, except for Motion the MB would replace the iMac G5 (as would the MBP, including Motion), especially with only 512MB RAM, I'd say my Core Duo (2ghz) MB was about as far as my 2Ghz iMac G5 with 2GB RAM, now it has 2GB RAM too it flies!

    Also for video editing you want the externals as scratch disks.
  3. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Yeah, I'm actually using FinalCut Express, so no Motion here. The scratch disk is the 100 GB external disk while the 80 GB is for older projects and final, compressed, movie files.

    I was considering buying an ACD along with a MacBook/Pro, but I'm really not sure what to do.
  4. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2006
    Columbia, SC
    the MacBook Pro - uh, just because! (mainly 'cause that's what I want):)
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I would suggest going with a refurbished MacBook Pro. You can get a 1.83GHz Core Duo for $1350 and upgrade the RAM to 2GB and you have an amazing computer. I have the MacBook Pro and it's really fast, the extra screen real estate as you said is very important and I came from a 14" iBook so I've gained quite a bit in resolution, an inch in real estate and a widescreen. The MacBook Pro is a phenomenal computer and much better than the MacBook IMO.
  6. furcalchick macrumors 68020


    Dec 19, 2006
    South Florida
    i would go for either the macbook or imac, the pros would be overkill for what you need at this point.

    the macbook pro costs too much extra for the little improvements you would probably see in your work. a dedicated graphics card isn't really required for your work, and the processor in the macbook is nearly as fast as the pro models. if you want portability, the macbooks would be better.

    on the desktop, i'm not familiar, but if you want to hook up extra monitors later, the pros would be a good choice, but the price is kinda steep, especially for a high schooler, also considering you will have to invest in a new monitor as well, but you can get a cheap one for about 200 bucks.

    now, between the imac and macbook, i would go for the macbook as you already have a desktop that is working fine, but you can replace the imac in two years when the imac becomes out of date, but you will have a decent two year old mac that would serve as reliable.

    so in this order i would put the computers:

    mac pro
    macbook pro
  7. furcalchick macrumors 68020


    Dec 19, 2006
    South Florida
    1350 is about the same price as a new macbook btw with a faster processor and 64 bit, which means better for leopard. i paid around 1450 after student discount and taxes, and that's with the 2 gb max ram put in. since you already have an imac at home, i would say the screen real estate is pretty much a non factor.
  8. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Well, I just came back from the Apple Store, and I talked to a clerk, who, by the way, was wearing an anti-Vista shirt.

    Anyways, I talked it over with my dad, too, and I'm starting to lean towards the Mac Pro. I'm going to be doing a lot more video editing soon, and I'll probably start getting paid, soon. I think I'm going to need more from a mac in the next 6 years, and I think expandability would be a nice thing to have. I will need more disk space, and I love the whole idea of the four snap-into-place hard disk bays. I did never realise how screen real estate is important, and with a non-all-in-one, I can go with two monitors. Portability isn't really something I need. Plus, my dad is thinking about replacing his tablet with a MacBook, and he said that I could just use that for video editing on-the-go (which I probably won't do that often, anyway, especially considering that I'm being sent footage now instead of making it.) And, what do I do with the G5? Give it to my mom. Before my G5, I used an iMac G3 with Panther, and last weekend, I swapped that out with my mom's PC. She loves it and the inuitiveness of Mac OS 10, and a G5 definitely could suit her needs better and faster.
  9. Mr L macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2007
    I would go with the regular macbook since the processor and not the gpu is doing the work with video editing. so you have plenty of power.

    with the safed money I would go for a descent screen, maybe those 22" which are pretty cheap right now and a 160gb samsung hd to replace the original one.

    Oh, I just seen, portability is not important. well, then I would wait. iMac-updates are overdue....
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    wait till leopard...especially since i dont think u truely need it now...but i sorta agree..the 17's are a hassle, but it's a desktop macbook and mac pro...

    as for real estate on the screen...u prbly should take a cheaper route and avoid apple...but it makes a difference...especially if ur not using a laptop...there is a big difference as to what u can do with a macbook pro and a mac pro....
  11. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    I'm not buying a MacBook Pro...all I said was that my dad might replace his tablet with a MacBook, (sans the pro) which I could begin importing and editing on a trip.

    I would like to buy a Cinema display (or perhaps a studio display) because I really like the quality of them, and I've seen other monitors, and they do have a cheap feeling to them. Plus, money probably won't be an object for me once I start getting paid.

    I will wait for Leopard. There's no way I'd be able to buy one before then. Plus, maybe the octo (Clovertown, right?) Mac Pro's might be out by then.
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I would go for the Mac Pro, simply because it gives you the most performance. I think it's worth sacrificing portability for power unless you absolutely need the portability.

    For me the ideal setup is a very powerful tower and a medium power laptop (either an optioned out MacBook or base MacBook Pro).
  13. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Based upon your first post, and that in #8, I would agree that the Mac Pro would be first choice - if you can swing the cost. However, an edu discount will save you some there, and then there is refurbed route too:

    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 2.66GHz Intel Xeon for $2200.
  14. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    Go with the macpro.
  15. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Yeah, I'm going to go with the Mac Pro. I'll probably have enough money at the end of the year for one.

    I probably would only use a portable for about a week every 6-10 weeks, so it's not really required. For the time that it would be helpful, maybe my dad will've upgraded to a MacBook. I've converted him (and his investments) to Apple.

    Now, I had a question: What's a PCI slot or whatever it's called?
  16. z00y0rk macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2006
    Long Island , New York. USA
    gotta love them.
    I would say go for it. It's an awesome computer, if you like video editing it should be amazing on it. Good luck on whatever you desire.
  17. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
    Unless you do compositing or any 3D work, you don't need the MacBook Pro. I agree upon waiting for the next round to come with Leopard and all since your G5 can handle, I think, at least one more year. I have myself the last of the 15" PowerBooks and am waiting for the new towers to be released hopefully around the time Avid finally releases its updates for the Intel processors.
  18. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Thanks. I'm already making 3-5 minute videos for record labels, and I'll probably start getting paid next month or the month after.

    I'm very envious of my brother's 15" PowerBook (same year as yours). I don't understand why he needs all that power when all he really does is surf the web and use iTunes.

    My G5 was a little frustrating today when it incessantly dropped frames. I think it might be because I installed this app that supposedly "transferred unused CPU power to the front app." It's been a great computer, though. I don't know if I should upgrade my RAM or not for the time being because I'll probably still be using this until the end of the year and possibly early next year (it turns 3 on 5.5.08).

    I'm looking for a monitor, and while it is more expensive, I like the Cinema Display. I read a thread on here comparing it to a Dell display, and I think color accuracy is a somewhat important quality to me. I wouldn't mind getting an older generation Apple Display with the easel styling, but I can't really find one that's bigger than 17 inches.

    Oh, and I'm excited to be able to use my black Pro Keyboard again. I always like those better than the current one. It doesn't match my iMac, but it will probably match the Mac Pro.

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