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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?" :)

Mac "life expectancy"


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adammg
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I have been a long time user of PC's and even have an IT degree in them. I purchased a Mac mini Solo about a month ago to just try out Mac without spending alot. So far my experince has been great and the few times I have had to use Windows I have actually found myself lost and cringing. I have been using an old PC CRT for the past month with the Mini and instead of buying a flat pannel then trying to add parts to the Mini I've decided I kind of want to just upgrade it all. My fears come into play with this, I've always bought PC's or built them and felt I was in control being able to upgrade them easily. About how long is the expectancy on Mac hardware to kind of still be modern?

I am trying to decide between a iMac 17" and a iMac 20" ... Both have different resolutions yet both are Widescreen...other than size of the screens is there any technology advantages to getting the 20" that'll kind of make it alittle more future proof?

I know these questions are probably dumb and a little childish but when you are use to paying a few hundred less on PC's and still being able to do alittle upgrading as the market changes is kind of a secure feeling.

P.S. - I am not saying Macs are over priced ... I know the reason the Macs are more is cause you get alot more out of the software that comes with it, which PC's come with just the basics and make you purchase that addition software to make it equal or more.
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Zoolook

 
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Personally I think the beauty of a Mac is that it will stay current as long as you need it to, within reason. A 5 year old G3 will run Tiger (memory permitting) for example. If you're requirements are to convert 100's of RAW images to 80MB TIFFs every day, you'll always want more processing power. It all depends on your needs.

I reality, Macs are no more or less future roof than Windows PCs and certainly whenever a new version of Windows is released, you're always going to need to upgrade, sometimes a couple of times! Vista's recommend specs are very heavy, for example.

Your Core Solo should be fine for a couple of years, at least.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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wytwolf

 
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Yeah don't forget the way Intel changes processors the past 4-5 years upgrading on a PC usually involves a new CPU, motherboard and ram. Let's face it, that's most of the cost of buying a new computer. There was 3-4 versions of P4's, they went to rambus ram in 2 different flavours and then went back to DDR ram then DDR2..... when u upgrade an intel PC that's 4-5 years old your are pretty much buying a new computer.
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mblphnlvr

 
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My powerbook is 3 years old and it still works great for my media/web design. The main problem that i'm starting to have now is that my software (10.3) is getting a little dated.

I used to have tiger, and it felt right up to date but then my computer fell off a counter and my hd died!
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Check out the Macs in my sig.. Both fairly old.. both work amazing for their specs.. New iMac and MacBook Pro will be coming here soon. My girlfriend loves teh size of the 24" iMac..

I got to play with my buddy's 2.16 C2D, 256mb X1600, 2gb ram the other night.. It was insaaaaaaane... Can't wait to get mine.
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i use my 1ghz Titanium Powerbook all of the time and it is amazing. now this thing is 4 or 5 years old. the only reason i notice that it runs slow on occasion is because i use my dual 2.7ghz powermac 95% of the time.

otherwise i would have absolutely no problem with it and it handles everything i need to do perfectly from video editing, to logic express, to email/internet
-chris

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when?
i dont remember
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For most stuff even my 667Mhz G4 Digital Audio tower did quite well running tiger. I upgraded it to a 1.8Ghz G4, 9800 Pro Radeon and it flys.

Still a usefull machine after all these years.
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DrQuincy

 
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I had the same qualms as you when switching due to the fact they do seem, on face value, to be pricey. However, I heard off many Mac users that even after a couple of years your Mac will still fetch a good price on eBay (providing it is in good condition). Additionally, my friend bought a refurb and sold it on eBay for more than he paid for it.

So, it's safe to say your Mac will degrade really well.
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Alexis

 
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Quote:
I know the reason the Macs are more is cause you get alot more out of the software that comes with it, which PC's come with just the basics and make you purchase that addition software to make it equal or more.
I'm afraid not! You don't get that much software with a Mac. Macs are expensive because Apple have a small market share and need to make more of a percentage profit on each machine made. However, some costs are higher for Apple because they are custom made. PCs are just a case with the mobo and cards slotted inside. The Imac is a modified laptop in effect, in a custom case, with an LCD integrated on top. It probably took a lot of R&D!

There's the brand factor too. You pay more for a BMW than a Ford.
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DrQuincy

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
There's the brand factor too. You pay more for a BMW than a Ford.
Not to mention all the luxery extras like the Macbook's magnetic power cable and the light sensor behind the keyboard. A Royles Royce does need leather seats and walnut dash but it makes for a more comfortable ride.
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BIG D 04

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
There's the brand factor too. You pay more for a BMW than a Ford.
There's also that Design Factor, and in alot of ways as you say you are paying for a name. The style and space saving of alot of the Mac Mini's and iMac's have as much to do with their sales as the Software, Support and OS they provide..

Damien Healy
iMac 20" OSX 10.4.9 Tiger | thebigman87.com |
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Jem

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
I'm afraid not! You don't get that much software with a Mac.
eh????

Tiger comes with iLife suite including multi-track recording software (Garageband... excellent!!!), iPhoto, iMovieHD, iDVD, iMakeYouACupOfCoffee etc... now, what is it Windows comes with? Errr Notepad...

I do think the software contributes to the cost, whether directly through it's off-the-shelf cost, or indirectly by being absorbed slightly into the hardware cost.

They are much better equipped than a Windows based PC out of the box.
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Alexis

 
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I've never used any of the software you get with OS X. I'm not interested in making music or home movies, so there's not much for me!
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Jem

 
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Well, that's as maybe, but the software is supplied as part of OS X so to say "you don't get that much software with a Mac" isn't really accurate, I can't think of an OS that has more useful, fully featured applications "built in"

- hey if anyone else did that they'd be called anti-competitive
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Alexis

 
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Come on, the programs you get with OS X won't keep you amused for long.
Microsoft charge £55 per machine for Windows, so if Apple add on more than that per Mac, then that's not good value.
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