This is probably the weirdest question for a Mac forum...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Michael CM1, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    #1
    But I'm looking to get a PC for my mom because, well, she's a stick in the mud. She's using a 5-year-old thing that I built, and it seems to be a little, er, slow. I would love to plop a Mac Mini down there for her (or get her to use my dad's iMac G5 that sits 2 feet away), but this is crazy talk.

    Anywho, I figured maybe some of you out there have a similar situation (you have a Mac, also have a PC just cuz) and might have recommendations for a desktop. I'm NOT buying anything from Compaq or HP because I do have standards!

    The least amount of problems I had with a Windows box was with my Dell laptop. Therefore, I'm looking at an Inspiron 530 with the C2D, ATI video card, Bluetooth+media card reader and all the other usual stuff. I do NOT want the Intel GMA because I hate shared memory, and I'm adding Bluetooth because I plan on this one lasting 5 years as well and I just figured it would help. The C2D is a must after the awesomeness of this MBP.

    So basically I want to make sure from the smartest of the smart (my fellow Mac users!) that I'm steering in the right direction. CNet says I am. I haven't decided on Vista Home basic or premium (leaning toward premium) because it's confusing as a MoFo.

    As I said, I'd plop a Mac Mini down and be done with it, but she's too old school. So any advice is grrreat.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #2
    Stick with the Dell Inspiron 530. It's a well rounded PC tower if you're not interested in gaming video cards.
     
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #3
    You could always get a Mac Mini, and install Windows via Bootcamp. Set it up so it boots right into Windows each time.

    Then when she sees that she can run Windows on the Mac Mini no problems, you can try to introduce her to the Mac OS.
     
  4. Michael CM1 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #4
    The only problem with that idea is it costs $800 (Mini+Windows) and she won't use the account I made for her on the iMac with, ahem, EVERY DARN THING SHE NEEDS. Yes, it's frustrating. But I guess I can kinda understand since they use Windows at her school.
     
  5. Michael CM1 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #5
    That's what all the reviews I read said. The most complex game she ever plays is solitaire. I have just had bad experiences with integrated video before and have never felt bad about an extra $50 for a "real" video card. Plus if I decided to download HandBrake for Windows to speed up getting some TV shows on my ATV, it wouldn't exactly hurt. :)
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #6
    I suggest going for the quad core Inspiron if you can afford it for Handbrake.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #7
    Definitely a good option.

    My only thought was that if she is using the Mac Mini as a PC, she might become curious enough to try the Mac OS side. The Mac Mini is not the most cost effective solution for sure.

    BTW, this has worked a few times for me where some folks switched. Kind of like using Aikido instead of Karate to get your point across. ;)
     
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #8
    you might even be able to find a copy of Windows XP out there if you don't want to bother with vista at this point, even if it comes pre-loaded.
     
  9. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #9
    Why not get VM Fusion, get it to load windows up on full screen, and then slowly get her into Mac?
     
  10. bc008 macrumors 68000

    bc008

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    #10
    i would try this on a mini..
    side by side, she will see that they arent all that different :)
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #11
    It seems to me like you're needlessly over-spec'ing for the task at hand... I mean, yeah, sure you could get all those things, but why not get something much simpler... like even that Asus EeeBox running XP....

    http://gizmodo.com/photogallery/eeebox

    And for real... is your mother going to be playing Diablo II? Why does GMA matter?
     
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #12
    An Asus eeePC would probably be enough for most folks.

    Since it is so small, I wonder how many will not even consider one since it looks like it might not have enough power compared to a regular desktop.

    There are some folks out there who assume bigger is better. ;)
     
  13. Michael CM1 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #13
    I want a tower just in case I need to expand it. I don't want to get the built-in wireless because it's $70 for 802.11n. Wasted money with it sitting feet from my AEBS (and I don't want to spend money on 802.11g at this point).

    As for why GMA matters, it's not for games at all. I just remember having a computer with built-in video and it was VERY sluggish. The ATI upgrade is only about $40.

    I know this is a little overkill for what she does, but I always err on the side of overkill. Like I said, I want it to last for about 5 years like this one has (it's really not that bad considering). As far as XP vs. Vista, I figure I might as well load it with Vista so I can learn the ins and outs myself just for educational purposes.

    And as far as using VMware or Parallels, you reeeeally haven't met my mom before. If you know any baby boomers that are deathly afraid of new technology, then perhaps you get the idea. She has a friend from work who I have done PC upgrades for that is the same way. I told her to get a MacBook, she got a Gateway. Can't save 'em all, Hasselhoff. :)

    Thanks for all the advice, folks. I knew I'd get some good input on here, even dealing with a Windows box.
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #14
    Understand, just throwing some options out there.

    Here is something to consider, have someone your mom's age talk to her about a Mac. Sometimes older folks don't want to listen to the younger folks on technology issues.

    Glad we have been of help.

    A bunch of us, while we love and use Macs, work in a Windows centric world and thus have PC experience whether we want it or not! :p

    Actually, Winders as I call it is not all that bad. Windows XP is a mature OS and works well. Vista, well...

    But given a choice I will take a Mac anytime over a Windows box. And with the Intel Macs, I can actually run various PC operating systems via VMware and Parallels in a usable fashion. The best of both worlds. So cool!

    Good luck! :)
     
  15. Michael CM1 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #15
    I have had someone my mom's age talk to her: my dad. He's the one I got switched to Mac (he has the iMac G5). She just doesn't do technology well. We have a sound system hooked up to a TV. She can't figure out the multi-input remotes to save a life. Eh.

    I ended heeding some advice about the video. I decided to go with the Intel GMA bugger since I know I can go buy a video card later and put it in if needed. That's what all those PCI/PCI-E slots are for!

    So if anybody cares, here's what I ended up with for $529:

    Intel C2D 2.4Ghz
    2GB 800Mhz DDR2 (instead of the 1GB 667Mhz that was standard...patooey for Vista)
    500GB HDD
    The Intel GMA graphics (I don't know how much memory it uses, but it's probably better than the 64MB card on the present one)
    Internal Bluetooth w/19-in-1 media card reader
    Vista Home Premium (Why do they have so many versions?)
    No wireless, just 10/100 Ethernet (a) why no gigabit?, b) no effin' way for $70 for 802.11n)
    I think everything else is self-explanatory. Dell said it has 10 USB ports, 2 of which are inside (I have NEVER used those before). Oh, the sound is that onboard stuff that works fine unless you're powering a dance club. I think playing flash movies of kitties waving at people doesn't require a $100 SoundBlaster card.

    Once again, thanks for the input. I hadn't bought a Windows box in about 5 years (bought a notebook, but not a box) and so a lot of this crap was new to me (whatever happened to AGP?). One thing I have noticed is some companies, like Dell, seem to have made their computers look a lot nicer instead of the rocket ship variety that a lot of HPs are. Yes, I used to have a huge-arse tower with 15 lights on the front, but old folks probably like iMac-looking stuff better. The Inspiron looks really "classy" with it's white/aluminum mix and the blue light(s) on the front.

    I just wish Apple would hurry up with an effin' $200 Blu-ray option!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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