New To Mac-Forums?

Welcome to our community! Join the discussion today by registering your FREE account. If you have any problems with the registration process, please contact us!

Get your questions answered by community gurus Advice and insight from world-class Apple enthusiasts Exclusive access to members-only contests, giveaways and deals

Join today!

 
Start a Discussion
 

Mac-Forums Brief

Subscribe to Mac-Forums Brief to receive special offers from Mac-Forums partners and sponsors

Join the conversation RSS
Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

What Mac Should I Buy?


Post Reply New Thread Subscribe

 
Thread Tools
DarkestRitual

 
Member Since: Apr 09, 2009
Location: Ithaca NY
Posts: 2,073
DarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really nice
Mac Specs: 13 inch alMacBook 2GHz C2D 4G DDR3, 1.25GHz G4 eMac

DarkestRitual is offline
As requested. I figure since I sold computers for a long time, I'm probably a fairly decent candidate for pairing people to computers. Feel free to expand upon this or offer suggestions.

This is a general overview of Apple's current (as of December 1, 2010) computer line up, attempting to fit each computer to each segment of the consumer market.

The Desktops
Mac Mini - The Mac Mini is a great computer for family if you will have relatively few users (only upgradeable to 4GB of RAM) who will be mostly using the computer for web browsing, email, word processing, light 3D gaming, photo organization and light editing. It also makes a very nice home theatre PC with the addition of an HDMI port, or a desktop for a single user for those previously stated purposes. The mini is also more than capable of handling some light audio and video editing with programs like garage band, iMovie, or even adobe CS5.

iMac - Compared to the Mini, you pay more to get the iMac. You also get a whole lot more with the iMac. The medium to high end dedicated video cards in the iMac paired with the new hyperthreading intel core processors combine to give you a whole lot of power starting at $1200. If you're looking for a very powerful home desktop computer, the iMac is a great choice. Expandable to 16GB of RAM no matter which version you get, you know that the iMac is set for the future. If you plan on having a powerful computer but don't plan on using any professional audio or video software, the quad core i5 and i7 models may be overkill for your needs, but if you're tempted by the power, you will by no means be let down.

Mac Pro - This is some serious computer. This is what the professionals use for rendering audio and video. If you are not a professional customer and are just a consumer looking at this computer, it is probably because you have a lot of extra money to spend and you want to get the absolute best computer money can currently buy you. This computer is complete overkill for 99.99999% of all consumers. Expandable to 32GB of RAM, available with up to two 6-core Xeon processors at 2.93GHz pre-turbo boost with hyperthreading enabled, these computers will pretty much obliterate any task you set them with. The lower end models may appeal to potential iMac customers who want further ability to expand their machine in the future and/or more ports. To borrow a line from Ferris Bueller, "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."



The Portables
MacBook - A good student/home use portable. The battery life is excellent, the processor plenty powerful enough. This is basically a portable Mac mini paired with a screen. To recap, this is meant for people who will be using the computer for web browsing, email, word processing, light 3D gaming, photo organization and light audio/video editing. Some people will be turned off by the lack of a hyperthreading capable chip (the Core 2 Duo is merely a 64 bit chip, no hyperthreading like the newer i3), but the inclusion of the OpenCL ready nvidia 320m graphics chip (the reason for sticking with the core 2 over the i3 is a feud between intel and nvidia over licensing the bus to use an integrated graphics chip on the newer i3) more than makes up for this loss. The 320m provides another 48 pipelines ready to computer information via the OpenCL API that developers will take advantage of more and more. You can bet your butt that Apple will be coding much of Lion to take advantage of OpenCL!

MacBook Pro - If you are a student of audio/video editing, this is the computer for you. It's a portable machine and capable of most tasks. The higher end intel core i5 and i7 CPUs are hyperthreading capable and you will notice the difference while using professional software like Final Cut, Premiere, or Protools/Logic. If you need a slightly more powerful portable, pick up the 13 inch pro. The aluminum enclosure alone is worth the extra cash over the regular MacBook in this user's opinion.

Also a good pick up if you've got a main computer for your professional production, but want to pick up a portable unit as well.

13 inch is a good size and capable of most high end computing tasks, 15 inch is a lot more powerful and gives you faster cpu options, 17 inch is just ridiculously big and gives you the same cpu options as the 15 inch.

MacBook Air - great computer if you're looking mainly for something for internet access and some light word processing/spreadsheet type stuff, but need it to be ultraportable. Great second computer or primary computer if you're an extremely light user.

the iPad - A great pickup as a satellite computer geared mainly at media consumption rather than creation. This tablet is super handy and fast for looking things up on the web, running other great mobile apps, and a plethora of things, but it should not be considered as a main computer. Ever. At least not until things really get an overhaul in terms of media creation. This would be a great replacement for a netbook if you intend not to try and use a netbook as a cheap main computer (as much of the netbook consumer segment does) but as a supplementary device meant to deliver a light weight ultraportable internet browsing experience. Another perk of the iPad is the number of sweet games readily available. It's fairly expensive as far as a portable gaming device goes, but it's a nice benefit. Try gaming on a netbook, even with nvidia ion graphics!
QUOTE Thanks
CrimsonRequiem

 
CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posts: 6,006
CrimsonRequiem is a name known to allCrimsonRequiem is a name known to allCrimsonRequiem is a name known to allCrimsonRequiem is a name known to allCrimsonRequiem is a name known to allCrimsonRequiem is a name known to allCrimsonRequiem is a name known to all
Mac Specs: MBP 2.3 Ghz 4GB RAM 860 GB SSD, iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 32GB RAM, Fusion Drive 1TB

CrimsonRequiem is offline
No mention of the iPad?

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
QUOTE Thanks
DarkestRitual

 
Member Since: Apr 09, 2009
Location: Ithaca NY
Posts: 2,073
DarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really nice
Mac Specs: 13 inch alMacBook 2GHz C2D 4G DDR3, 1.25GHz G4 eMac

DarkestRitual is offline
It's not a mac, I suppose I could add iOS devices...
QUOTE Thanks
the8thark

 
Member Since: Jan 27, 2007
Location: *Brisvegas*
Posts: 5,658
the8thark is a name known to allthe8thark is a name known to allthe8thark is a name known to allthe8thark is a name known to allthe8thark is a name known to allthe8thark is a name known to allthe8thark is a name known to all
Mac Specs: 17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3

the8thark is offline
Apart from the fact you did not mention that the Mac Pro is overkill for 99% of home users I think it's a nice post. And yeah the ipad or MB/MBA question does come up a lot in various places too. Also price wise Mac Mini + screen can equal an imac. So that's a consideration too. Not everyone has a spare screen lying around.
QUOTE Thanks
6string

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2009
Location: Down Under :D
Posts: 5,484
6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold
Mac Specs: Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)

6string is offline
Great post, and I think an overall summary here would be really good.

Other than that, short term resale value could contribute to the purchase decision.
For instance:
An i series intel processor will hold it's resale value a little longer than a C2D intel processor will, when the next generation of processors pops up and makes the C2D another PPC.
This will apply for all the advances in technology.

I'm certain that this can be worded a little better, but you get the gist of it
QUOTE Thanks
DarkestRitual

 
Member Since: Apr 09, 2009
Location: Ithaca NY
Posts: 2,073
DarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really nice
Mac Specs: 13 inch alMacBook 2GHz C2D 4G DDR3, 1.25GHz G4 eMac

DarkestRitual is offline
Well, the C2D won't be the next "power pc," and if it is, then the core i series also will be. They're all based on the X86-64 architecture. When you change instruction set, then worry about that... for now it's just the hyperthreading vs not.
QUOTE Thanks
harryb2448

 
harryb2448's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2007
Location: Nambucca Heads Australia
Posts: 17,549
harryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond reputeharryb2448 has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: iMac i5 2.7GHz OS X.9.4 and OS X.10

harryb2448 is offline
And as for the Mac Pro being overkill, all other models come with laptop type optical drives which do seem to have a much, much higher failure rate than 'real' desktops, not including the glossy beefed up iMac which is really only a step up from the Mini and Macbook.

For me a machine where you can crack it open, replace the drives, memory and graphics card in the twinkle of an eye with limited expertise is the way to go and surely is not an overkill.

Rather the others are underkill!
QUOTE Thanks
DarkestRitual

 
Member Since: Apr 09, 2009
Location: Ithaca NY
Posts: 2,073
DarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really nice
Mac Specs: 13 inch alMacBook 2GHz C2D 4G DDR3, 1.25GHz G4 eMac

DarkestRitual is offline
Haha, say what you want, harry... the Mac Pro is far beyond what almost all consumers need.
QUOTE Thanks
DarkestRitual

 
Member Since: Apr 09, 2009
Location: Ithaca NY
Posts: 2,073
DarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really nice
Mac Specs: 13 inch alMacBook 2GHz C2D 4G DDR3, 1.25GHz G4 eMac

DarkestRitual is offline
Is this going to be stickied or did I waste a bunch of time helping to sell computers to people I've never met?
QUOTE Thanks
6string

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2009
Location: Down Under :D
Posts: 5,484
6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold6string is a splendid one to behold
Mac Specs: Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)

6string is offline
Based on reactions to the thread that I started http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/any...y-threads.html I doubt it will, however, I will be directing people to this thread when the question comes up!
QUOTE Thanks
pigoo3

 
pigoo3's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 20, 2008
Location: U.S.
Posts: 26,760
pigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

pigoo3 is offline
Yes...a REALLY great post! Lots & lots of details...and good differentiating rational between the models.

We do get a lot of newer members posting questions about "Which Mac Should I Buy?" (just like this threads title). I would sure think that this would be a great place for them to start if they're unfamiliar with the Mac model lineup.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
QUOTE Thanks
MacDude121

 
MacDude121's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 22, 2010
Posts: 1,416
MacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of light
Mac Specs: Black MacBook 2.2GHz C2D, 4GB Ram - iMac G4 700MHz, 512MB Ram

MacDude121 is offline
This is a great post to redirect people to, especially with all that detail. Although I think adding starting prices to each of the computers wouldn't be a bad idea.
QUOTE Thanks
mac_giver_1

 
mac_giver_1's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posts: 16
mac_giver_1 is on a distinguished road

mac_giver_1 is offline
Good thread, thanks. It could help a few friends of mine.
QUOTE Thanks
DarkestRitual

 
Member Since: Apr 09, 2009
Location: Ithaca NY
Posts: 2,073
DarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really niceDarkestRitual is just really nice
Mac Specs: 13 inch alMacBook 2GHz C2D 4G DDR3, 1.25GHz G4 eMac

DarkestRitual is offline
I agree, MacDude, starting prices would have been good... Unfortunately, it won't let me edit it now. Doh!
QUOTE Thanks
MacDude121

 
MacDude121's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 22, 2010
Posts: 1,416
MacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of lightMacDude121 is a glorious beacon of light
Mac Specs: Black MacBook 2.2GHz C2D, 4GB Ram - iMac G4 700MHz, 512MB Ram

MacDude121 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkestRitual View Post
I agree, MacDude, starting prices would have been good... Unfortunately, it won't let me edit it now. Doh!
Hmm, that's odd. I wonder why it won't let you edit.
QUOTE Thanks

Post Reply New Thread Subscribe


« How do I pack my imac for a move? | Any book people here? »
Thread Tools

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Running Windows on a Mac: A Switcher's Guide cwa107 Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac 290 09-18-2014 02:51 PM
Mac Songs The mac 13 Switcher Hangout 7 05-06-2010 12:35 AM
About to buy mac.. what do I need? Charliesmomuk Apple Desktops 8 08-02-2008 02:19 AM
Looking to buy a mac Nef Productions Switcher Hangout 5 08-20-2006 11:09 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:12 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
X

Welcome to Mac-Forums.com

Create your username to jump into the discussion!

New members like you have made this community the ultimate source for your Mac since 2003!


(4 digit year)

Already a member?