Upgrade advice for a Macintosh newbie?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BulmaSMG, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. BulmaSMG macrumors newbie

    BulmaSMG

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    #1
    Hey.

    I currently own an eMac that I bought a couple of years ago. And considering it's age and the fact that it's running Tiger and has PPC, I'm thinking of upgrading.

    Things to consider:

    I'm a student and investing in the newest hardware would take a really long time.

    I want to know what to look for when it comes to being stable. As in: What's the most stable OS X version right now that comes with an inexpensive machine?

    I'd go for a Mac Mini but the $599 price tag is a bit high for me. I saw an iMac from late 2006 around $200 and it can apparently run up to Lion. Is a late 2006 machine any good?

    I'm looking for a machine that's stable but can match that $200 price tag. All help is appreciated!
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #2
    Upgrading such and old Mac will get away that $200 real quick and is not really worth it. Just continue to save up to get a Mac Mini because they should be updated within a month or two. This way the saving you do between these two points you should be able to budget for yourself to get one.
     
  3. BulmaSMG thread starter macrumors newbie

    BulmaSMG

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    #3
    Thanks for the advice.

    How long should that machine last me? I've had the same PC for awhile and the only upgrade I've done to it is going from XP to 7. I really have no idea how long a newer Mac is going to last.
     
  4. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #4
    One save that windows 7 disk because you can BootCamp and have the best of both worlds.

    In my signature you will be I have 2008 & 2007 Macs so if you treat most any computer right you can make it run for a long time. Also there are many upgrade videos (along with a cool site named Accelerate Your Macintosh).
     
  5. BulmaSMG thread starter macrumors newbie

    BulmaSMG

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    #5
    Thanks again.

    It's going to take awhile but it should be worth it. Even with this slow PPC Mac I still use it more than my Windows machine! OS X has got me hooked.
     
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    A 2006 iMac is still a very capable machine, but it's getting towards the end of its life. The hard drive may fail soon (or it may go on forever, you never know); and you may start to get other hardware problems. I had one which started getting monitor problems last year.
    The Lion limitation also means it's not going to last you long, as things start to require newer OS versions.

    It's also not that much older than your current Mac -- an eMac is likely to be 2005 or earlier.

    I would look for a 2009 MacMini. That's old enough to get a bargain, but new enough to get some value (in life expectancy and capability).
     
  7. BulmaSMG thread starter macrumors newbie

    BulmaSMG

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    #7
    Thanks.

    Do you have any links to Macintosh sellers?

    I'm most likely going to go for the $599 computer. Mostly because I want a fresh start with a brand new machine right out of the box. I've never ordered a Mac from the Apple website before(obviously)... Do the Mini's come packed in with everything I need? Keyboard, mouse, monitor.
     
  8. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    AK, USA
    #8
    A refurbished Mac mini 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 is going for $509 right now. I've occasionally seen some 2011 models going for less than $500 there. Keyboard, mouse and monitors do not come with Mac minis.
     
  9. BulmaSMG, Jul 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013

    BulmaSMG thread starter macrumors newbie

    BulmaSMG

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    #9
    Just checked to see what the cost is to add those to the package. $999 for just the monitor? I think I just lost all interest in the Mac Mini. Seems like it'd be better to just save up 1k for the iMac. But that's going to take a long ass time. Best to go out on a job hunt for that kind of money....

    edit:

    I have a perfectly fine Dell LCD monitor. Would that work with it? I hope so seeing as any PC peripherals I've added to my eMac seem to work.
     
  10. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #10
    The whole point of a MacMini is that it will work with any existing monitor and keyboard, even PC keyboards.
    Yes, Apple's monitors cost a grand, but you don't have to use them! You can use any monitor you like.
     
  11. throAU, Jul 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #11
    The biggest bottleneck for performance for most "general users" is RAM. Old ram is more expensive and of more limited ability to upgrade (i.e., some pre-2008 machines max out at 3 GB - and 2-3 GB with Lion or onwards is... tight).

    Put a little bit more money away and try to find a 2010-2011 onwards Mini. I.e., one with a core iX processor, it should be able to take up to 8-16 GB of RAM (upgrade as you need it), which will keep your machine relevant/capable for a good few years yet.

    I'd say look for one with 4 GB or more but really, even if it has 2 GB, upgrading to 4-8 GB is very very cheap now so it's not a deal breaker. 8 GB is currently the price/performance "sweet spot" unless you work on large projects, and is about 50-60 bucks if you need to upgrade to 8 (assuming the machine you buy can take it).
     
  12. BulmaSMG thread starter macrumors newbie

    BulmaSMG

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    #12
    Thanks for the info. Just checked and saw that I can add an adapter for VGA displays to the package. I think I'm all set on which computer I'm going to be investing in.

    Thanks to anyone who gave me advice here.

    ----------

    I have a lot of RAM lying around the house so I think I'm covered on upgrading RAM. Thanks for the info.
     

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