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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

I need help choosing a mac!


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WireFire
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Hi guys, I am a current PC user getting ready to pick up a mac. I currently am running Fedora Core, but I would be willing to turn my PC into a server after getting a mac. Most of my time on the computer is spent coding, but I surf the web a great deal. I also need my computer to be able to have decent productivity software as I write quite a bit.

I have arround 800$ or so right now, and should be able to rase arround another 700-800$ by the end of summer. I understand in this price range I have quite a few options, but I would like to more or less narrow things down to the Power Mac G5 w/ single 1.8 and 512-1gig of ram, the 1.4 mac mini, or an iBook/PowerBook. Anyone have any good recomodations? I guess on ebay I might be able to afford a dual 1.8 power mac, but I have a feeling that that is stretching the edge of my budget. Any help is really appriceated!

-FireWire
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Mr Bobbins

 
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It's best to buy the computer and upgrade the ram yourself as this works out cheeper.

I have only ever owned iMacs and my ibook, they are both great machines. If you are thinking of getting a Powermac G5 single 1,8mhz and already have a monitor then that will be beneficial otherwise the iMac G5 1,8 mhz will be a good option for the price.
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James

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WireFire
but I would like to more or less narrow things down to the Power Mac G5 w/ single 1.8 and 512-1gig of ram, the 1.4 mac mini, or an iBook/PowerBook. Anyone have any good recomodations? I guess on ebay I might be able to afford a dual 1.8 power mac, but I have a feeling that that is stretching the edge of my budget. Any help is really appriceated!

-FireWire
Either an iMac G5 1.8, or PowerMac G5 1.8 single would be a good choice for you if you want a desktop. With either i highly recommend that you upgrade the ram to 1 gig for smooth mulitasking. If your more into upgrading things the PM 1.8 G5 would be your better bet.

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WireFire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James
Either an iMac G5 1.8, or PowerMac G5 1.8 single would be a good choice for you if you want a desktop. With either i highly recommend that you upgrade the ram to 1 gig for smooth mulitasking. If your more into upgrading things the PM 1.8 G5 would be your better bet.
Well, the more I think about it, the PowerMac may be getting into things to fast. It certainally is not cheap. Would the mac mini be a good stepping stone bettween my current rig and a power mac?

By the way, any idea if the Mini Mac 1.4 w/ 512 (I would get another 512 stick later and install myself) would be faster then my pent 1.6 w/ 256 ram? Im guessing deffinatly, but I just need a gage speed wise. About what equivelent is the 1.4 processor (compaired to wintell and AMD)?
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The Mac Mini is a good idea, but it only has a single memory slot. The standard 256MB is barely adequate (it runs, but multi-tasking is slow). 512 is the minimum you'd want, and if you want more than 512 you have to buy a 1 gig stick.

Speed wise I'd say it's equivelent to a 2.4 P4.
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Mr Bobbins

 
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If you double the speed of apple processors then that will give you a rough estimate compared to a Wintell, AMD machines, but they are not really comparable as Macs are just a different kettle of fish. Here is a link to some mac benchmark tests:

http://www.macintouch.com/perfpack/comparison.html

I take it from your response that you already have a monitor that you'd like to carry on using ?
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WireFire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan828
The Mac Mini is a good idea, but it only has a single memory slot. The standard 256MB is barely adequate (it runs, but multi-tasking is slow). 512 is the minimum you'd want, and if you want more than 512 you have to buy a 1 gig stick.

Speed wise I'd say it's equivelent to a 2.4 P4.
Ok, thats a rather beefy upgrade for me, and I really dont need much. The only game I would be playing is UT2004, and even that is unlikely. The nice thing about the mini is that I have the money allready. I figure, I could get the mini, see what I think of a good quality mac, and then if I enjoy it, Ill go ahead and save for a dual processory G5 (or probobly G6 by the time I get a powermac). Im use to using a two button mouse, but I really like the look of the mac single button mouse. Any ideas on how I can get the best of bolth worlds? If not, I can just use my MX1000. Also, im rather partial for black keyboard wise, so any ideas on black mac keyboards? I like the minimalistic layout and style of the normal keyboard, but as far as I can see, it is only white. Thanks a ton for your guys help!

-WireFire

EDIT: Thanks for the benchmarks. It looks like the 1.4 mini stacks up fairly well against other macs of a few hundered dollars more in value. The size is also VERY appealing. As for my monitor, im working on a 6 year old 15' sony which is absolute crap. I would, however, be willing to work on it until I can afford a new monitor. By the way, any chance of compatability issues with the monitor?
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James

 
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Originally Posted by WireFire
By the way, any idea if the Mini Mac 1.4 w/ 512 (I would get another 512 stick later and install myself) would be faster then my pent 1.6 w/ 256 ram? Im guessing deffinatly, but I just need a gage speed wise. About what equivelent is the 1.4 processor (compaired to wintell and AMD)?
If you decide on a Mini be sure to get the 512 ram with it. If i remember rightly the mini only has one slot for ram so if you wanted a gig you would have to get a gig chip. And yes i would say the mini with 512 would be faster than your pc 1.6 with 256.

The mini does a very nice job running regular apps and can match any pc similary configured and priced.

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I'd just buy an iMac if you are thinking of upgrading the monitor as well, they are good value for money, great machines and can handle more ram, but then I guess I've already made my choice.
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James

 
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Originally Posted by WireFire
Im use to using a two button mouse, but I really like the look of the mac single button mouse. Any ideas on how I can get the best of bolth worlds? If not, I can just use my MX1000. Also, im rather partial for black keyboard wise, so any ideas on black mac keyboards? I like the minimalistic layout and style of the normal keyboard, but as far as I can see, it is only white. Thanks a ton for your guys help!
Mice are no problem neither are keyboards. I use a M$ black wireless keyboard and a Logitech wireless mouse on my G5. As long as they are usb critters they should work fine. You will probably want a usb hub for it though or you will quickly run out of places to plug in.
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WireFire
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Wow, James, thats one heck of a nice set up!

I looked arround the forum a bit and noticed that there is a two button mouse with wheel that looks a lot like the current mac mice. Mabey that is something I should look into......

Would there be any monitor compatablity problems with non-mac made monitors? Mine is insanely old, and I am getting ready to get a new one any ways, but would I still be able to plug my old sony into the mini? Thanks a ton guys,

-WireFire
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Mr Bobbins

 
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What kind of connection has the monitor got WireFire ?
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customsoftware
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As a Wintel developer who is migrating to the Mac, this is my $0.02 worth: If you want to tinker with the machine, then get an older dual G4. If you're not a tinkerer then get a Mini with 512 MB of RAM. Keep in mind the earlier posts about the upgradeability of the RAM. (To upgrade you remove the one you have and replace it.)

The price will work out about the same in either instance. The dual G4's are sweet machines even though the clock speeds may lead you to think they're under powered. I use a dual 450 G4 for Oracle PL/SQL development and an occasionial foray into eclipse. It handles it rather well. I haven't tried multi-media work with it because that isn't what I do.

However, if you want to get into something like Garage Band or anything beyond dabbling in DVD and movie authoring, the Mini's hard drive is to slow to make it a useable platform. I had a cinematographer tell me that even a single proc G4 700+ machine with fast hard drives is better than a mini when it comes to video editing. He said the speed and capacity of the mini's hard drive just wont cut it.
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Mr Bobbins

 
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That is becuase the speed of the MacMini's harddrive is 5400rpm. It's a laptop size harddrive so it can be upgraded to a 7200rpm one which is much better.
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Originally Posted by Mr Bobbins
That is becuase the speed of the MacMini's harddrive is 5400rpm. It's a laptop size harddrive so it can be upgraded to a 7200rpm one which is much better.

No man, it's even worse than that. Minis only have a 4200rpm hard drive. :x

-Chris
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