Thinking of getting a Mac in the near future

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by i-Want-Apples, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. i-Want-Apples macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    I've been wanting to get a Mac again for several years. I had one in high school, overall I really liked it, minus the two major crashes it went through and I lost all of my school work (It was an online school and this was while I was still in the learning process of getting everything right with computers) But again, overall I really like the look and feel of the Mac and have been wanting to get one for a while.

    I keep talking myself out of getting a Mac for one reason or another. But, I'm finally going to get an iPod touch (soon hopefully, just waiting for local stores to get some) After I see how I like it and if I feel the Apple product really lives up to all its hype, I'm thinking I will dive into Macs next. Of course I would wait for a refresh, or whatever is to come. But, I have a few questions first (I always seem to have questions, sorry about that!)

    1). I do a lot of work on the computer, at the moment the job I'm doing (which I could do 24 hours a day) is all on the computer. But even the other jobs I would do would require a computer. How do I know before buying a Mac that I can actually do everything I need to do on them? Some of the work I do couldn't be tested on a display unit, not to mention there really are no nearby retailers that sell Apple. Would I be best off to buy a starter product, say a Macbook, try it out and see if it works, or do I have other options?

    2). If I know my work currently works on Vista, does that mean it would run on a Mac running Windows? (I don't know why, but it just seems so wrong to run windows on a Mac, but maybe I'm just crazy :p )

    3). Are Macs really as good as I hear and think they are? I sometimes have in my head that Macs are perfect, while I know that can't be the case, I'm just curious if they really are that much better than a PC. My experience in the past hasn't been that good, so that probably is why I question now.

    4). What would be a good Mac to start with? I like the Macbook, but I already have a PC that is basically the same size with similar specs and I don't really think I need another one. I also have a laptop comparable to the MacBook Pro, which is what I currently do all my work on. I like the MacBook Air, but I'm not sure if it would be able to handle as much as other computers. Since I have so many laptops, I'm thinking I may go with a desktop this time instead. I will be moving soon (closer to an Apple store luckly :D ) and I am going to redo my entire office and will have more space for a desktop, so I'm thinking this may be the way to go. As far as my needs, I'm not sure how much of my work I would do on the Mac since my computers now seem to do the job well, but I would certainly want something that would be quick for internet browsing, word processing, photo editing, etc. Right now I'm not in school, but once I move I hope to go back, I've not really decided on what I will study, but I know it would be something in computers, leaning towards Engineering, IT or possibly graphic design. I don't think it would be important, at this time anyway, for it to be able to handle something in one of those careers, but something that could handle the school work would be awesome.

    Sorry for the length of this post, but I've found myself lost in the orchard and I'm hoping someone can give me some advice!

  2. opeter macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    If i were you, i would go for a Mac mini. It does work for me.
  3. i-Want-Apples thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    I was looking into the Mac Mini... I'm just not sure if I'd want to do everything separate for my first Mac. I do like the idea of being able to use some of the things I already have just to give it a test drive.

    I will definitely look mor into the Mac Mini, I wasn't really looking into that at first... But I think it may be something worth checking out.

  4. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    I was in a similar situation to yours a year ago, and made the switch.
    Let's take a look at your issues, in order:

    By all means, start small. The Mac mini may be perfect for you, especially if you already have a monitor with a DVI interface. If you don't have a monitor, then the base-level iMac would be an equally good choice-- and the iMac has a dedicated graphics card if that's a requirement for your work.

    Yes, your new Mac will run just about anything you can throw at it, even Windows-only apps. I use Boot Camp to run Windows XP in a separate partition specifically for a Windows-only pro audio app (Cakewalk SONAR), and it works beautifully.

    It's no longer "wrong" to run XP or Vista on a Mac; otherwise, Apple would not have come up with Boot Camp to make the process easy. As I said above, yes, Vista works well on a Mac. The only Vista feature that may not be impressive on a lower-end Mac is the Aero graphics enhancement.

    Yes. Yes, they are. Sure, no product is perfect, but Apple has made significant strides with OS X. If your past experience was with OS 8 or OS 9, you're in for a very pleasant surprise.
    Based on this, since you're looking at engineering or graphic design, I recommend the iMac. The dedicated graphics card will be a must for 3D design. Of course, any current Mac will do the 'Net, word processing and photo editing very well. One of my colleagues at Work has used a Mac mini for her wedding photography business, and it hasn't failed her yet.

    Check both the mini and the iMac, though, and let us know what happens!
  5. i-Want-Apples thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    Thanks a million dXTC for your reply. I really, really think a Mac will be in the near future for me, I really can't wait to take the plunge.

    I'm thinking I may just go with the iMac, mainly because it has more power (at least it seems to) but also because I don't have a monitor that I could use for it. At the moment all my monitors are being used. I also think I would like the clean look and feel of the iMac, over having the mac mini and a monitor, not really a big deal, but when I really get to working, I can't find my desk the way it is :)

    It's good to know the new Mac can run almost anything, that has been one of my main concerns over the years. Making the switch after this many years makes you question everything.

    I'm not sure if I would run Windows on it or not. I would prefer to get buy with not having to use windows, since I would still have some PCs I don't know if I would have, but I'm glad to know the option is there, especially if down the road I would go with all Macs.

    I graduated in 2005, so I don't know what OS would have been current at that time, but I'm thinking I started with OS 8 and then got OS 9 shortly after. OS X looks awesome, especially compared to what I had. I also believe mine was called the eMac(?) possibly, it was one of the ones with the colored monitor.

    I think that the iMac has definitely moved to the top of my list. I think that may be what I start with, then down the road I will work on adding a Macbook, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air to the collection... My goal is to eventually fill my house with nothing but electronics... Oh, to dream ;-)

    Thanks again for all your help. I was hoping to be able and get my iPod touch locally to avoid having to make a pretty long trip to the nearest Apple Store... However, I'm so excited now I'm ready to drive four hours or so and go to the Apple Store. But then I would probably leave with a computer and an iPod touch and I don't know if that would be a good thing!

    Thanks again!!!!

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