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macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 25, 2013
I'm finally ready to retire the Dual processor G4 (running Tiger) that I bought in 2001. It still works but I've decided that I need to buy a new machine and I really don't know what to buy!

I don't have a great deal of money to spend but I do want something that will hopefully last nearly as long as my G4 has. I thought of the Mac Mini but I also need something I can do graphics on. I generally don't do graphics professionally but sometimes have to and am going to try teaching myself Web Design and maybe put up some sites. So I'm not sure a Mini can do the job for graphics.

It was suggesed by the folks at Apple that I get a new iMac but I'm not sure whether I want or need Retina Display and the 27" - which I love cause it can be maxed out to 32g memory - is really big for my tiny home office and maybe 32G is overkill? And then my friends are telling me to get a MacBook Pro cause "Desktops are the past, not the future", but those laptops seem ultra expensive for what they're offerring.

So what do people here think? I really need help with this from unbiased sources (unlike the sales people at Apple). I even thought of getting a used MacBook Pro or iMac on Craigslist - but is that a "safe" place to buy a computer?

Any and all help and ideas will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance.

Lil Chillbil

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2012
If you can swing it, get a white intel imac today and use it until november when we start seeing the new mac pros and get one of those if you want something that will last you as long as your g4 did


macrumors 68000
Sep 6, 2009
Try sourcing out your Mac at eBay as it's a "controlled" buy and sell venue unlike Craigslist.


macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2013
British Columbia
What about a 21" iMac. That is similar to the 27" iMac but smaller and cheaper. It has plenty of power unless you really need that 32 GB RAM option. But then again 32 GB is a bit overkill isn't it, especially if you are considering a Macbook Pro.

$1299 and $1499 options directly from Apple.


macrumors member
Jul 15, 2012
If you have the money, I would go for iMac. However, I have a mac mini myself (mid 2011 if I'm not mistaken) and it works fine. I actually do quite a bit of web development, and you don't need a lot of hardware to do that. Photoshop could be useful, but with CSS getting more and more advanced, your need for Photoshop (and applications like it) will get less and less.

Tldr, the iMac is great, but I think the mini will suffice.


macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2007
My vote would be for a Mac Mini. Coming from a G4, the Mini is a huge leap forward. Stick with the base model, bump the ram yourself (easy to install) and sell/upgrade in four years without losing more than half your investment. People confuse what graphics chips do and need to do. Higher end stuff is for serious 3D, which doesn't sound like what you are doing.

If you wait a couple of months, the Haswell Mini should be out, which will have improved graphics. The early reports on Haswell graphics performance have ranged from barely any improvement to 4x, though again I'm not sure you need it.


macrumors demi-god
Apr 27, 2011
If you have a good monitor that will work with the Mac Mini then that will get you a great machine for low cost. Otherwise consider the iMac so you get a great display.

Have you considered Apple's refurb store? You can get an older iMac with upgradable memory for just over $1k.
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