what kind of mac should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LBmacman, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. LBmacman macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Strong Beach
    I'm just a high school student that does the typical teenager things (AIM, music, photos, essays, etc.) and I want to venture into sound design with logic express. I'm tight on cash (~$750) but I don't need the latest and greatest tech, just something that will last me until I go to college (about 2.5 yrs). I have no idea on what I should buy. Any suggestions?
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    well the only new mac that you could get would be the mac mini. I suggest you look in the apple refurbished section and wait for a good deal. I've seen the 12" iBook G4 1.33GHz go for around $800 in there. The macbooks just started to pop up in the refurbished section also, so you might wait for the low end macbook to show up there and nab it. If you save up $150 more dollars then you can get the low end iMac that just showed up in the apple education store.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Your best bet is really an iMac, but those start at $1299. You could probably get away with a Core Duo Mac mini starting at $799.

    It really depends on how much sound editing you will be doing. If it weren't for that, the mini would be more than enough for AIM, music, photos, essays, etc.

    Do you know anyone who qualifies for the edu discount? They could save you a lot of money.
  4. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    If you qualify, or know someone who does, I would go with the $899 edu iMac.
  5. gallagb macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2004
    w/ 750

    or so
    i'd go looking on flea-bay
    or craigslist
    or even here

    for a used ibook g4
    the other guys will tell u the specs of what u can get or what u want

    or even other sites to get them
    but a cheap used machine
    will work fine for 2 years

    will be fine for AIM/e-mail/web stuff
    the logic express stuff... well
    it might be slow-
    really slow
    i'd say go to the logic express site & see what the minimum system requirements are

    but seriously- get a g4 imac or ibook
    a g5 imac if u can afford it

    i'm sure the other guys here know some good used machine sites to point you too

    but- you specifically said you didn't need the latest & greatest

    do u have an external monitor/keyboard/mouse already?
    that would make an old Mac mini a possibility
    i just picked up a 1.42 ghz w/ superdrive unit for 450 on flea-bay

    just my thoughts
  6. LBmacman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Strong Beach
    Uhm my sister is in college so I can probably use her student discount for the edu iMac. I don't have a display, kb or mouse to spare because I'm in the process of selling the two comps in my sig. I'll probably go with a rev a or b iMac G5 since their values must have dropped to to the edu iMac coming out. Oh, and that craigslist has loads of deals. Thanks you guys.:D
  7. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    I would get a refurbished iMac G5 from the Refurbished Apple Store... :)

    And do note that you can not get a edu discount on refurbished products.
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Yes, a refurbished iMac G5 from the Apple Store would be a nice system for you LBmacman. You might also want to consider saving up a little more money and going for the new education only model iMac. :)
  9. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I'd personally go with the edu intel iMac. They seem to have little problems and you get a lot of bang for the buck with newer technology. I know you don't need the latest and greatest but if you have that amount to spend there is no reason to not have a new dual core processor, specially since you want to get into audio projects.
  10. LBmacman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Strong Beach
    hmmm... good point. But G5's are supposed to be 64-bit, so aren't they better than the 32-bit yonahs?
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'd go with the G5. The software that's out there today isn't entirely universal binary, and with a G5 iMac, you're guaranteed that the software will work at full speed. Also, a G5 iMac will get you an iSight camera built-in, bluetooth, and a real video card.

    On the other hand, the new Intel Core duos are likely faster than the G5s in all universal binary apps since they are faster processors.

    It's a tough decision. :p
  12. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    i read somewhere that you won't notice 64bit until you get above 4GB RAM.

    For school work, and i/MacBook will be perfect. They are robust, and powerful enough to last you for a few years to come.
  13. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    I will recommend the EDU iMac, good time tested design, very stable, better value than the mini if you don't have your existing screen and keyboard, and even if you have them, it is still good value as compared to the upper model Mac Mini.

    I strongly recommend against a PowerPC machine though. Especially if you are actually a.. serious.. user who is not going to be just using it for emails and "internet". Over the next 2.5 years more applications will go universal and the Core Duo will outserve you better than the predecessors.
  14. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    In a word, no.
  15. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    Like miniConvert said, no.

    Well, yes and no.

    The G5 has it's advantages and the Intel Core Duo has it's advantages... :)

    Take and Give.
  16. LBmacman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Strong Beach
    I guess I'll just have to save up for an edu iMac and a RAM upgrade. Is there any chance they wil show up on the Apple refurb page?
  17. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    They were only released so I doubt it'd appear soon. Anyway since you are already buying under EDU pricing I'd suggest you stick with it, refurbished pricing is not very much more competitive than EDU anyway.
  18. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    My Nintendo 64 was a 64-bit machine too... :D

    You've identified a weakness in Yonah, but it has so many strengths that the Intel performance is still better. The biggest strength is the two cores - gives you dual processing capability on a single chip. But the upcoming Intel Core 2 Duos will be 64-bit chips.

    By the way, I would recommend for you a refurb Mac Mini Core Duo + 512m more RAM + a nice 17" LCD monitor that you find on sale. (These are getting dumped.)
  19. LBmacman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Strong Beach
    I hate to bump my thread but...

    Any advice on what i should buy since the edu iMacs aren't available to students anymore? :confused: :(
  20. MacbookJoe macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2006
    I was in a new computer predictiment a while ago. My teacher advised the newest and latest you possibly can. He's right. Even if its temporary. if new intel edu imac is out of question, then imac g5 or intel mac mini should. I have a friend who runs logic on a powerpc mac mini with a gig of ram, but...i dont know how well it runs. :-\
  21. encro macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2002
    If you dont need the latest and greatest then buy the cheapest and dirtiest machine ;)

    The Mac mini has a slow harddrive so if your triggering audio samples constantly from the harddrive you may find it starts to get choppy so perhaps the iMac is the better option.

    You will able to run most software pretty well on it, the most important thing I believe is to get extra RAM. That makes all the difference. When you get more into making music you will find you start running out of CPU for plugins and when running multi tracks. At that time you can decide whether to upgrade to a new machine again or just compromise by bouncing down audio stems to reduce CPU activity.

    P.S. Ableton Live is another good app to have alongside Logic for music production.
  22. LBmacman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Strong Beach
    Screw it, sound design programs are too expensive for me, I'll just use fruity loops on my neighbors PC :(. Now I'm thinking of getting a 12 inch PB or a rev a iMac G5. Or if there is a mac mini price drop ill pick up one of those and a 17 inch LCD.
  23. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    You know...

    just bite the bullet, borrow the money, whore yourself off...

    do whatever,

    get a 2.0 Macbook (sell the iPod & printer) use your sister's education discount.

    Best choice for you in the long run. Don't buy a used computer if you can help it.

    A couple hundred from what you have might sound like a lot...

    but in the long run...

    it'll be worth it. If you don't believe me, just look back on what I just told you in 2 years & see if you still think you made the right decision.


    (Sorry, I'm in a grouchy mood.)

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