Mac "buying guide"

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by TenSteel, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. TenSteel

    TenSteel Ted Cruz suicide hotline OT Supporter

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    Ok, so here's my situation:

    In about a year, I will be starting on the classes for pre-med. I also plan on getting an iPod and an iPod shuffle eventually (once the rumored "new models" come out in August of this year) for my music collection. Right now, I mostly use my computer (4 year old PC) for web browsing, e-mail, and some light photoshop work. Before I start the pre-med classes, I want to get a new Mac for here at home and a laptop for taking notes and such at school, since I can type faster than I can write. And God knows how many notes I'll be taking in the pre-med classes :p

    So what do you folks recommend? I'm thinking an 80gb Mac Mini and an iBook would suit my needs without breaking the bank too badly. My monitor is a 19" KDS which still works fine, so a monitor isn't an issue right now. I am a student, so I can get the student discount at the Apple stores.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. urban ape

    urban ape take that take that take that

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    i say do it. the mac mini will be a perfect workstation for notes/presentations/internet/email/digital media...

    as for the iBook, i have a 12" 1.2Ghz G4 w/ 768RAM that i take to class and take all my notes on (fits perfectly on the desks).

    so yeah, for the price, you should be a happy camper for several years to come.
     
  3. Devoidarex

    Devoidarex Rexversusu v.2.0

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    Sounds perfect for your needs.

    Beware the Apple upgrade army that lurks in this forum. They will do their best to convince you to buy a 17" G5 powerbook and a dual G5 tower with 30" cinema display. They will try to tell you that you will not be able to live without these items.

    However, the iBook and the Mini will provide you with all the processing power you need for what you want to do, at the lowest price.
     
  4. TurboDerek

    TurboDerek My favorite meal is horsemeat and rice.

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    the cheapest ibook ($899) and mini ($479) = $1378. I say spend the extra $421 and buy a 15" Powerbook ($1799). you can hook the 19" display up and have a extended desktop. One desktop for a project you are working on and the other can have a webpage or whatever open you a researching.
     
  5. hootpie

    hootpie New Member

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    :werd: ^ :werd:

    I was thinking the EXACT same thing when I initially read your post. The Mini and iBook are basically the same performance wise. If you get the 15" PB, you will have more power and you wont have to deal with having two computers.
     
  6. Devoidarex

    Devoidarex Rexversusu v.2.0

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    And it begins....
     
  7. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    perhaps, but i agree with them.

    i could see getting two seperate machines if he were considering getting a G5 tower to compliment his G4 powerbook, but the Mac mini's are almost identical spec-wise to the hardware in the current powerbooks, so what's the point in having two machines?

    best bang for the buck without buying a G5 tower is going to be a 15" powerbook with the 128 MB video card option partnered with an external display for a second monitor while working at home (keeping in mind that with the powerbook, you can truly have dual displays out of the box, while the ibook only supports display mirroring out of the box). the backlit keyboard on the 15" (and 17", but not the 12") powerbook is really nice too.

    think about it...a mini would gain him absolutely nothing over a powerbook other than a place to have a permanently connected display, keyboard and monitor -- all of which can be connected to a powerbook in a matter of seconds for a lot less money. also, if you have a mini and a powerbook or ibook, you'd have to mess with sync'ing your files between the two if you wanted to work on something on your desktop machine.

    15" powerbook with 128 MB video card option and superdrive + monitor would you give you the same or better functionality as an ibook + mac mini + monitor with the added advantage of being able to run dual displays off the same machine!

    also, the mac mini is slower than the current powerbooks (1.42 GHz max vs. 1.67 GHz max) and has a much less powerful video card (32 MB Radeon 9200 vs. 64Mb or 128 MB Radeon 9800) with no option to upgrade it. powerbook also has firewire 800, while the mini has only firewire 400.

    the mini just doesn't make any sense if you're going to buy a portable too unless others will be using the mini, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
     
  8. untoastytoast

    untoastytoast The Glory Days

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    Haha your first post and then the two after it were perfect timing :x:
     
  9. Devoidarex

    Devoidarex Rexversusu v.2.0

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    Lol. Well it was only a matter of time.

    All I'm trying to say is that it's only natural for techo-geeks to want bigger and better everything. But the thread-starter made it clear that they are only going to be doing basic stuff.

    So, an iBook is more computer than you will need to browse, do word processing and do basic photoshop work. I know, because I do all those things myself on a G4 iBook.

    The mac mini is a good replacement for a PC that will do the same things as your iBook, but allow you to use a bigger keyboard and monitor. It also makes it easy to network between the two computers.

    There is no question that faster and more expensive Macs will do the same things, often better and faster, but the question was regarding having both a mac at home, and a laptop, WITHOUT breaking the bank.

    Like I said, the iBook and the Mini would be the best way to go about that.
     
  10. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    15" powerbook all the way. only machine you will need.
     
  11. TenSteel

    TenSteel Ted Cruz suicide hotline OT Supporter

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    and it looks like there's enough usb ports to easily hook up a full size keyboard and mouse for home use. if i did the single laptop thing, i would have to make sure not to lose it or pray it never gets damaged. then again, for the money invested, i'd probably never let the thing out of my sight.
     
  12. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    i do exactly that with my PB at work every day. though i don't currently hook it up to an external monitor, it will work as such. right now, i put it on a monitor riser/shelf, then plug the full size keyboard into the USB port on the left side, and the receiver for my wireless mouse goes in the USB port on the right side. i also have a pc laptop that does have a full size monitor, but i rarely use the pc, so i'll probably rearrange things so that the external monitor is functioning as a second display for the powerbook instead of the PC. no point in wasting a perfectly good flat panel monitor on a PC. :mamoru:
     
  13. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    ...and as far as worrying about damage, just get an external firewire hard drive and set up a back up routine.
     
  14. TenSteel

    TenSteel Ted Cruz suicide hotline OT Supporter

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    and you don't need the 128mb vid card option to run the extended desktop, right? the 64mb card will do the trick?
     
  15. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    correct. some snippets from apple's powerbook info pages that might be of interest...

    "Standard on the 17-inch PowerBook and optional on the 15-inch model, 128MB of graphics memory with dual-link DVI functionality supports the massive 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display. With a Mini-DVI to DVI adapter, even the compact 12-inch PowerBook (Edit: ...and 15" PowerBook with the 64MB card) connects to the 20- or 23-inch Cinema Display."

    "It’s Automatic.
    The system automatically displays to the external monitor when you connect it to the PowerBook. Alternatively, you can toggle between dual display and video mirroring modes through one touch of the F7 key. And here’s the best part: The hardware mirroring included in the PowerBook G4 lets you display video content such as QuickTime movies on an external monitor with performance equal to that of the built-in display."

    "The 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4 models come standard with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics processor featuring 64MB and 128MB of DDR SDRAM, respectively, with a 128MB option available on the 1.67GHz 15-inch PowerBook."
     
  16. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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  17. TurboDerek

    TurboDerek My favorite meal is horsemeat and rice.

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    if you wanted to save a few bucks you can always back up stuff to the ipod you mentioned buying
     
  18. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    good point. get a 60 GB Photo Model, allocate 30-40 GB for storage space and you'd have gobs of room to back up your stuff on it. the only downside would be that you'd probably be carrying both at the same time, so the chances of both getting stolen or damaged at the same time would be greater than keeping your backups on an external hard drive that stays at home when you're out and about with the powerbook.
     
  19. IcyHot4Life

    IcyHot4Life Str8 Ballin'

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    I hear what you're saying... it's a tough call though. Hard to justify buying two machines when you could get one that is faster than either, and has better resistance against obsolescence (though for slightly more money). That goes further when you consider things like applecare for one vs. two machines, etc.

    On the other hand, redundant hardware can be a godsend should anything ever happen to one of the units (knock on wood). The desktop could also act as the backup for the notebook, etc. or even a sandbox if you wanted to mess with tiger, etc.

    Glad I don't have to make this decision :p
     
  20. Braddlac

    Braddlac OT Supporter

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    what does the 128 meg graphics card help with if im not planning on playing games?
     
  21. Fucker

    Fucker out of the fast lane, bitches

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    You can get a student discount from the Apple Store website. However, the deals on referbs in the "sale" section are ususally better than the discount. Also, sometimes they have new models in there after a speed bump. The longer you wait, the faster and cheaper the machines are going to get. I don't forsee a G5 laptop this year.

    Good sites to check: www.dealmac.com or www.smalldog.com
     
  22. untoastytoast

    untoastytoast The Glory Days

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    It probably has more features
     
  23. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    it will support pretty much any external display up to and including apple's 30" cinema display.

    64MB Video Card Simultaneously supports up to 1280 x 854 pixels on the built-in display and up to 2048 x 1536 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors

    128MB Video Card Simultaneously supports up to 1280 x 854 pixels on the built-in display and up to 2560 x 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors

    Aside from that and game performance, it would also likely help with things like DVD playback, Quicktime performance and general interface "snapiness".
     
  24. Braddlac

    Braddlac OT Supporter

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    how about video editing?
     
  25. nelly

    nelly Guest

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