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Thread: Buying a Mac..........?

  1. #1
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    Buying a Mac..........?

    OK, we are going to buy a Mac

    This one is for home use, I want to be able to edit video, and just plain use the darn thing. The Windoze computer we have at home is getting long in the tooth, it is a Pentium Four 1.6GHz unit, not that fast, and the video card is failing, plus other issues, it will be fine to use for the kids for some stuff, but I really do want a new computer, and except for the Liquor shop, which requires a Windoze computer (the software to run the shop's cash register etc is ONLY Windoze) we really do not want another Windoze product, we want to go Mac, but which Mac?

    I really do not know which one to choose.

    I'm fairly certain we will be going with a desktop unit, not a laptop.

    What do the Mac guys recommend?

    PS please don't turn this into a Ford vs Chevy thing, we have made up our minds, we want a Mac.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Stu,

    I recently discovered macrumors.com/ for mac related news. In particular they have an apple "buyers guide" section where they discuss which apple products are or are not a good buy based on various factors. This mostly is good to decide which time of year is a good time to buy, since they monitor how often Apple "refresh" their products and therefore can tell you if it is likely that a product is about to be superseded.

    For instance, right now they recommend that it is not a good idea to buy a mac mini, since it has been a LONG time since the current version was released.

    I plan to buy an Apple iMac for myself for my next system. It's not crucial for me, so I'm going to time the market a bit and wait to see if any deals or upgrades happen in the next 6 months.

    For your needs, I think the iMac will be fine. The all-in-one design is very nice on the desk, and it should have enough oomph for what you want. I do strongly recommend getting a minimum 2GB of RAM in the system -- the base 1GB is okay for email/word-processing/web-surfing. But once your iPhoto library gets large (it is a pig on RAM) you'll be unhappy, and for video editting and big Sketchup files you'll be happier with more.
    Also with 2 girls using/sharing the machine I bet you'll do a lot of user-switching and more ram is better. With the iMac you CAN replace/upgrade the RAM yourself, it isn't that hard. So you could buy the base 1GB model, and then just buy some inexpensive 3rd party ram yourself.

    Now, if you have a fair chunk of money in a good monitor, then you might consider a Mac Mini, but be aware that it maxes out at 2GB of RAM -- the iMac will let you go up to 4GB of RAM.

    Do you have an external USB drive? If you do, then it'll go great with the Mac -- the Time Machine software will happily manage it as your automated backup device.

    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  3. #3
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    I recently purchased a Mac Pro for a client who needed one more mac for his apparel design department. This one came with an Intel Xeon Quad core processor and 2GB of RAM. The client primarily runs Adobe Illustrator software on it. We soon found out that 2GB of RAM was not enough for this application and had to upgrade it to 4GB.

    You will need a lot of RAM for video editing.

    Tip: RAM purchased from Apple is very expensive. You can buy the same type of RAM from an outside source for a lot cheaper.

  4. #4
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    As a "PC" I'm resisting the temptation to get a mac....

    But I am looking forward to the next version of Ubuntu and maybe, just maybe, ditching windows on my home pc. I just cant quite commit to that.

    I do have a small linux box that runs my weather station.

    I'm thinking that using a Mac is just too easy for me. I need a real challenge...

    It's url is http://www.palominovalleyweather.com



    This whole site was hand coded in perl from scratch...
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  5. #5
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    Stu,

    I would go for either an iMac or a mac mini, if they are upgraded, which looks like it might happen soon. I had a mini before (sold it to get my Jet mini) and would buy another without hesitation. I have a friend that does quite a bit of video and photo editing with his older mini, and he is very pleased with it.

    I currently have a 17” iMac and have been very pleased with it. (it’s what I use most of the time I post here. I also have a dual processor MacPro that I really love, but it uses the older G5 chips…still a race horse of a computer, though.

    http://www.apple.com/imac/specs/

    They are scheduled to be upgraded, possibly as soon as next month… It would be worth the wait, IMO, for a new screen and especially a new Nvidia graphics chip/card. I think the iMac will be great for your needs.
    You will get iLife software with it which contains iPhoto for your still pics and iMovie for your video. iMovie should be fine for your basic movie making/editing, and you can always later upgrade to Final Cut Express later, if you need.

    One thing to consider…does your video camera use a firewire or USB cable? Apple dropped the firewire connector on the MacBook “consumer” notebook, but kept it on the MacBook Pro. There is concern that Apple might drop it on other “consumer” models, but there is no word yet on what they are planning on the upgraded mini or iMac. Hopefully you camera uses USB.

    With the Macs using Intel CPU chips, you can run Windows software on Macs using either Parallels http://www.parallels.com/ or VMWare http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/. I have used Parallels with Win XP on my iMac, and it works very well. You can easily switch back and forth between Mac OS X and Windows using either of these programs. (Apples Bootstrap allows you to run Windows, but you have to re-boot to switch…PIT”R”).

    Crucial is the place to get your memory... Apple prices are outrageous!

    http://www.crucial.com/

    MacRumors and MacCentral are both good sites for Mac info. I follow “Rumors” regularly.

    Bottom line is get as much info as you can, think of your needs/uses and then wait a bit more...

    Dinner time, so more later.

  6. #6
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    Thanks much for the info and the links guys, lots to research.

    We are not going to buy this soon, but most likely by the end of the year, unless I learn that there are big savings to be had by waiting until early January

    Greg, the video camera does use a USB cable, so that is good.

    I have never liked the all in one units, as I've seen other windows bases systems have trouble and then you are a out a computer and a monitor.

    The monitor we have now is a 15" flat screen, that is rather small, I think it will stay with the old computer, and I'll look at getting a new monitor, so maybe the iMac would be a good choice?

    More RAM is ALWAYS a good idea

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Looking at the iMac 24" 3.06GHz basic set up.

    US price $2,100 (207,000 yen)
    JP price $2,598 (244,600 yen)



    Also the extras, the extra 2GB of ram;

    US $150 (14,110 yen)
    JP $183 (17,220 yen)

    HDD 750GB
    US $150 (9,390 yen)
    JP $118 (11,130 yen)


    HDD 1TB
    US $250 (24,475 yen)
    JP $297 (27,930 yen)

    AppleCare Protection Plan

    US $169 (15,893 yen)
    JP $234 (22,050 yen)

    If I bought the 24" 3.06GB iMac in the same spec;

    RAM 4GB
    HDD 1TB
    Appe Care

    US $2669
    JP $3426

    That is a difference of $757

    Taking it in the teeth again for living in Japan

    I guess it would only make sense to buy local, if I needed it fixed, I would have problems if I bought the computer in the US, I would think.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I have never liked the all in one units,
    ... so maybe the iMac would be a good choice?


    If you want to be able to easily mess around with guts, then you're basically looking at the Mac Pro tower, which carries a big price premium.

    Go with the iMac.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Looking at the iMac 24" 3.06GHz basic set up.
    Cha-Ching!

    If you've got a 15" LCD now, then you will find the 20" iMac to have a screen that is plenty big enough. Sure, the 24" is really nice, but check out the 20" also, and maybe save yourself some bucks.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

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