Thinking of buying my first Mac, and I've got two questions...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Zephirias, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. Zephirias macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    I'm thinking of buying a Mac in the future since I'm getting a job soon (I'm in 11th grade right now), and I really need a new computer. I've used Macs before, and they're really nice, plus I hate Windows, and all I really use it for nowadays is gaming and typing stuff up (Linux doesn't generally provide enough support for me). So, here's some questions:

    1. First of all, when Apple sells machines though the Education Store, does that include students? It appears that way to me.

    2. As for the system I get, this is my largest concern. Depending on how much I can earn (I assume I could make around $100 a week or so, especially during the summer), I'm considering saving for anywhere from the iMac 15" 1Ghz model, which would be $1199 through the school, to the Dual 2Ghz G5 model, which would be $2299 through the school also.

    See, this is my problem. I wouldn't have a problem getting an Apple loan and paying $50 or so a month (that's around what it would be at a minimum, but I'd probably pay $60-100), but I don't want to get a computer that's going to be "obsolete" very quickly. The G5 series appeals to me, especially the Dual 2Ghz since it has tons of power upgradablity, which I really want, while I can't do nearly as much with even the best iMac G4, which is at 1.25Ghz with a SuperDrive.

    Any opinions on what I should do would be very helpful...should I buy one, or just wait out for those heavily awaited Dual 3Ghz computers by saving up?
  2. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    1. Yes, it applies to students.

    2. If you can afford it go ahead and get a G5. Personally, I would look at the Superdrive eMac. It may not look like much, but it will do just about anything just a little slower for some tasks. I would reccomend this over a G5 for you, because you are a student and you really shouldn't take out a loan just for a computer (unless, you really need it). The loan thing sounds nice, but can be a big pain later on. What is the term of that loan anyway? If it is like a 3 or 4 year loan, but you want to upgrade before it's paid off, you are SOL.

    My $0.02, buy a less expensive one now, and set aside the money you would have been paying on the loan for a newer faster computer in a year or two.
  3. Zephirias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    Well, what about the 15" iMac? I can get that for about $1199 through school, and I could add the Superdrive to it and it'd be around the same as it would've been originally. The thing is that I do want some power for the computing, and while I'd probably save up in the meantime, I want something sort of nice. I also don't care for the eMac's design, but that's just me.
  4. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    Unless you really hate the eMac design I would say steer clear of the eMac. The Superdrive (8x, by the way) model can be had for $999 retail (the education price will be less) and you could do it BTO with more RAM and a 160GB HD with Airport Extreme for about the same as the 15" iMac. And you get a 17" screen versus the 15". Like I said, this is just my opinion, but speaking as someone who sells Macs (work at CompUSA), I don't reccomend the iMac's in general because the value is not there. Now if you can't stand the eMac design then it's a whole other ball game...
  5. Zephirias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    Well, I'm looking in Apple's store right now, and I can get a 17" eMac with this for $899:

    • 256MB SDRAM DDR333 - 1 DIMM
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive
    • Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • 1.25GHz PowerPC G4
    • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)

    I could upgrade the RAM on top of it to make it about $960, but is it really worth it? It seems that it might be, with the good processor and all, but I also do like the iMac's design, it's just that they're expensive.

    Any other opinions?
  6. PowerMacMan macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
  7. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2004
    Hudson Valley NY
    Yes, the edu discount applies to students, but not high school students. You have to be enrolled in higher ed. Thats what the dude told me when I called to find out for me.

    I would save a little longer and get the dual 2. It will be way better than any other thing you can get, and will allow you to play games really good too if thats your thing. Also, it can be easily expanded for the future. According to Apple, there will be no 3ghz in the near future due to problems with the 90nm technology. I would definitely not get an eMac, they are the worst for long-term up to dateness. If you don't go with the dual 2ghz, go with the 20" iMac, max out the ram, and save by not getting the superdrive unless you think you will be burning DVDs.
  8. tamara6 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    There are a couple of other things to consider here - the eMac has a 17" screen, but it is a CRT, which means that the viewable area will be less than 17 inches. You should look that up, as well as maximum resolution, on Apple's web site to see what the real numbers are. And then look up the numbers for the 15" iMac to see how they compare.

    The iMacs are possibly going to be updated at the end of June - maybe even to a G5 (no one knows at this point). So right now is not really a good time to buy an all-in-one type Mac. In two weeks the landscape may change. If they do introduce new iMacs then you might be able to get one of the old ones (like the 15") at a substantial savings from somewhere. Or the prices/features on the new ones might be something that you can afford and want.

    I agree that right now eMacs are a better buy than iMacs, and if you get an eMac and increase the ram to 512MB then you will surely be happy while saving for your next computer (in two years or so?).

    The other thing I want to mention is the edu discount. I am not sure it applies to people who are not in college. You should read the fine print (or call the Apple store) and ask.

    Good luck!
  9. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Chances are that the iMac will have an update at WWDC. I wouldn't buy an iMac right now. The eMac seems like a good deal. My only beef with the eMac is it's stinky video card. I would probably upgrade the RAM on the eMac to at least 512 MB. So, if you want to go iMac, wait till WWDC. If you want an eMac, go ahead and buy. They won't be updated for a while.
  10. Zephirias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    Thanks for the opinion. I'll probably go for the higher end iMac, or just save up a lot for the G5...I'll probably have enough by then. I'll just have to think about my options and make the best decision.
  11. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Whatever you do mate, do NOT get a loan. Especially not at your age.

    No matter how good a job at your age sounds in the beginning, it will begin to grate sooner or later. When you want to quit, you can't - you've got the loan to pay. What happens if you need to quit? If the hours you're working interferes with school? Or if your parents decide they don't like you having a job, or if you have a problem with someone you work with that makes the job a pain for you? You're shafted... don't get a loan at your age :)

    By all means, get a job - but save the money, don't get a loan.

    Just my opinion. Good luck on the purchase though mate, you've started early! Always good :) I'm 17 (that would make me the equivalent of 13th grade I think in the US) and got my Powerbook - great for schoolwork and everything. A mac takes the hassle out of it all!

  12. Zephirias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    Yeah, and if the iMac is expected to have an upgrade, I'll just keep saving until then. I really love the design of it. :)
  13. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    It's the best way man :) A while back I thought about taking out a loan for a Cinema Display, and decided not to, just in case.

    Now, I'm leaving my part time job because one member of the senior-sales team where I work is a total pain to me and someone else just, despite having no reason to be. And also, have you thought what it's like to be paying for something outdated, that you've been using for say, 20months? You lose the will to pay for it after a while, once it's not new! :)

  14. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    Several of my friends have eMacs that have been updated more recently and have faster processors than my iMac (17" 1GHz 4X SuperDrive), and were a lot cheaper than my iMac. But there is no way I would want the money saved and the eMac (instead). The G4 iMacs are just superior in design to any other computer (externally at least). They look great on a desk and in the 2+ years I've had G4 iMacs(had the original 15" with Superdrive when they first came out) I've never gotten over the 'wow' factor of how they look and how great the LCD screen is when you need to move it around. I'll probably have one of these around for 50 years (may not be useable that long but I'll keep one).
    Wait until WWDC to see if they upgrade and then buy one......especially if they put G5's in them.
  15. Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004

    You're missing the most important point. You say you're in 11th grade? So that means you're going to be a senior or next year is your junior year. You can't get an educational discount unless you have your acceptance letter from the college or university you applied and got accepted to. The educational disount only applies to those in higher education. However, teachers in k-12 can get a discount.

    As for loans... i think thats a terrible idea. You'll be out way more than you think.

  16. budaapple macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2004
    G5 Imac ?????

    Wait a little while a big bird wispered in my ear that a G5 Imac was just around the corner.
    Peace Out
  17. PowerMacMan macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Yeah, those birds have been flying around here for some time... ;)
  18. ooohbeggie macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    question about educational discount

    does anyone happen to know if the educational discount applies to part-time students, or just for those attending full-time?

    planning on buying my first mac this month and could sure use the discount.

    thanks for any info you can provide.
  19. sambo. macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2004
    outback, far from the surf
    my two cents....

    as far as i know, yes you can get an edu discount when only part-time.

    on the topic - i wouldn't get an iMac right now. eMac is plenty. yah it's not as sexy as an iMac, but the guts are both essentially the same and the price is nicer.

    don't get a loan if you can possibly avoid it. look around, maybe there is a decent second hand deal to be got on a powermac G4, maybe even a dualli.

    unless you are doing heavy amounts of video/3d animation at stupid high resolution, a G4 system will suit all your needs.

    if you can afford it, by all means get a G5, but don't go into hock at your age. a loan at 17 is scary stuff. default, and that home loan you want in 10 years time might be a little hard to come by. if you can borrow from understanding parents/rello's etc, then ya, but not from a bank.


    a G4 will last through until you finish college, then it'll be time for a G6. if you get a G5 now, you will barely have finished paying for it by that time. bear in mind, there are a lot of business' out there still running beige G3's and OS9. i have never had a Mac that gave less than five years service (my SE - 7yrs, my G3/333 PB - 5 years and counting.......) so only get what you NEED ("want" is a whole 'nother q. a lot of people on this board "want" a 3.0Ghz G5, weather or not they NEED a 3.0Ghz 5......)

    stay out of hock at the age of 17. trust me on this. :eek:
  20. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2004
    You CANNOT get a student discount if you are in high school. Students only mean college/university students. If you want a discount, buy it through the school teacher.
    I would recommend powermacs over iMacs. I find that I use a lot of firewire ports and that can only be done on powermacs unless you buy a external thing. Or wait until WWDC for possible G5 iMac.

    If I repeated other people, sorry about that. :D
  21. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    I strongly agree on the question of a loan. Take it from a man who knows this through personal experience. Sears gave me a credit card when I was SIXTEEN. Even as "smart" as I thought I was, it took years to clear the resulting mess up. Earn the money, and you will be all the more happy that you did. Besides, your parents will have to sign, and the result will feel like you didn't earn it. A good life-lesson there.
    As for the e-Mac/iMac question: Since this is your first purchase and you are young, start earning money and wait till the upgrades then get an G4 eMac REAL cheap. It's a pretty hefty update, but I doubt most users would notice the difference. I just got 120 eMacs decked out for my school. You just can't beat the price to performance ratio, and I doubt you would either. Fight the urge to have the best of the best... it's a losing battle. I just got a Dual 2.0 the day before the 2.5's came out (!) and I don't care.
    My humble but experienced opinion.
  22. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    MBNA will gouge the **** out of you. Especially with an educational loan. If you were to get a loan, don't do it through Apple (they use MBNA) go through your bank or local credit union.
  23. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    lol respect to you guys, but when you hear a 17 year old telling someone that they've started early... it makes you feel kind of old ;) And I would never have thought that otherwise lol :eek:

Share This Page