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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?" :)

Seeking Purchase/Switching Advice

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Member Since: Dec 08, 2006
Posts: 11
NMIke is on a distinguished road

NMIke is offline
I really would appreciate some advice on which machines to get. I would be completely new to Apple (unless you count the 2 or 3 times in middle school I played Oregon Trail in the lab or the ipods I've gotten for all my family members).

Here's my situation: I'm a government atty on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Work with Microsoft all day (that's not gonna change) but am looking to buy a computer for home (desktop) and a personal laptop. I will use the laptop 99% of the time for simple wordprocessing and occasional websearching (lexis/westlaw). I will use the home desktop for video editing.

I'm thinking of the macbook (black) and a stacked Mac Pro. But, I would consider a macbook pro and an Imac, or a macbook pro and the Mac Pro. Is the Macbook Pro overkill?

Thoughts? Assume money isn't the primary consideration. I worry about reliability/durability (nearest apple store is, literally, an ocean away). Is the macbook more reliable than the MBP, or is it the other way around.

Again, ABSOLUTELY ANY light you could shine in my direction would be greatly appreciated. My kids aren't old enough to teach me computers yet....

OH, and enjoy your winter back in the States. (I can tease...I spent 30 years in Wisconsin)
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Member Since: Dec 03, 2006
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If you'll only be using the notebook for simple applications, then the Macbook has MORE than enough horsepower for your needs. Just make sure it has 1GB of RAM and you'll be quite content. In your case, you would only need to consider a Macbook Pro if you want the larger screen size. Otherwise you won't really get much of a performance benefit.

As for your desktop, what are your needs for it? If you plan on using the desktop the same way as the notebook, then an iMac with the largest screen you can afford would be the way to go. However, if you need some serious muscle for your desktop, for example video editing, then a Mac Pro might be a better choice as you have the option for much more powerful hardware.

I bought the black Macbook two weeks ago and I am LOVING it. I use it far more than my desktop PC (heck, I've been using it for 12 hours straight for the past three days to help me study for finals). In fact, I've unofficially relegated my PC just for watching videos and the occasional game while I do all my school work and browse the Internet with my Macbook. The screen size is absolutely perfect, especially considering how light it is. My only gripe about it is that it's practically a fingerprint magnet. Ah well, nothing a little cloth can't get out :black:
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Member Since: Dec 15, 2006
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After doing some research myself as far as what would work best for me, I would consider a Macbook and an iMac. Unless you're clipping a full-length feature-film, a Mac Pro may be a lot of wasted horsepower. A stacked iMac would do quite well in that application, giving you plenty of horsepower for the daily use as well as the casual video editing.

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NMike, for your desktop, I would recommend the 24" iMac. Get the 2.33 GHz version, which has plenty of umphh. The Mac Pro would be faster, but only noticeably so if you went for the 3.0 GHz version, which is CONSIDERABLY more money than the "standard" 2.66 GHz version. I would consider the 3.00 GHz Mac Pro to be prohibitively expensive for most folks... and you have to then buy a monitor to go with it!

For about $2500 you can pick up a 24" iMac with 2GB or RAM. This is a fast, beefy machine with a HUGE display. I am guessing that you can't go to your nearest Apple store (an ocean away), but you don't really appreciate how big that display is until you sit in front of one. It is wonderful.

If you consider then that your choices are a 2.66 GHz Mac Pro, plus a monitor, for about $4000, or a 2.33 GHz 24" iMac for about $2500, and consider that minor 0.33 GHz difference in speed, the decision would seem to be obvious. I know that I am making the leap to saying that a GHz on a Mac Pro is the same as a GHz on an iMac, and they ARE different chips, but all the performance tests I have seen would seem to bear this out.

If you are wondering why I haven't followed my own advise, I bought my current PowerMac G5 before the 24" iMac came out - if it was available when I was making my purchase decision, I would be driving one right now. As it is, a 2.3 GHz PowerMac G5 is about the same in raw power as a 2.33 GHz iMac, so there is now no advantage except the larger monitor to moving to a 24" iMac.

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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Member Since: Dec 08, 2006
Posts: 11
NMIke is on a distinguished road

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Thanks for your replies! Looks like we're almost there.

Will get a macbook with lots of ram. Again, I don't expect to do much more than word processing on it.

NOW, between the Imac and MacPro. This will be used to run a part-time law practice, household things, and I want to edit family videos. Maybe a full lenght dvd as a hobby (I have lots of underwater video). But nothing professional video-wise.

The advice re: the Imac is well taken. My only concern is what many would consider its greatest strength...the fact that its all-in-one. I am really worried that, if something goes wrong, fixing it will be darn near impossible. Something tells me that I would have better luck getting a MacPro serviced out here, if only because it seems more like the usual PC.

Not having to pay extra for a nice screen may just tip me over towards the imac, though.

Thanks again for all your help!
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