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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Question Best Mac for Non Techie Internet and Media User
    My five year old Sony Vaio desktop pc is showing signs of aging and giving hints that it's time to move-on to something newer/faster/better. I was raised on Macs, then "converted" to PC's in college 10 yrs ago during the internet boom and now after hearing all the negative reports about Windows Vista, I am strongly considering switching back to Macintosh. I feel that a Macintosh will be more trouble free, require less constant system updating, be less of a memory hog, have better resale value and won't go obsolete as quickly. I usually keep a desktop on average 4-5 yrs. I mainly use a desktop computer to surf the interet via cable modem, burn music cd's/dvd's and watch youtube clips. I often have 6 or more Internet Explorer windows open at once along with Windows media player and it's frustrating when the computer "hangs" or thinks to much. So I need a lot of ram. I'm not a techie and want something that's plug n play and will last a long time. I basically want to buy the machine and not have to do anything to it (except for buying an OS upgrade) for 4 yrs. I don't play video games, do graphics processing, or do anything with photos. My first hunch was to get an IMac, since it seemed like the sweet spot, but after spending a couple hours reading hundreds of posts about the faulty screens on the new aluminum 20" and 24" Imac and people not liking the glossy look, I'm reluctant to buy an Imac. I currently have a 17" Sony LCD which came with my VAIO that I'm very happy with. I'm not sure if it's glossy or matte but I do like it a lot. I live in AZ where the summer sun is bright and causes glare through the windows even with a tinted screen on the windows. A quality crisp high resolution screen that's easy on the eyes is a must, since I spend a lot of time on the computer each day and wear eyeglasses. I don't want to get eye strain. Would a 20" or 23" Apple Cinema monitor help me view multiple windows open at once more and be easier on the eyes (is bigger always better)? Are they glossy or matte? Would a Sony brand LCD work on a Mac? I've had great luck with Sony CRT and LCD monitors in the past as well as their trinitron televisions.
    As to the desktop itself, I'm thinking a MacPro might be overkill for my needs and a MacMini too underpowered, whcih leaves me to the older white IMac's (since I assume they don't have LCD problems right?). I see a lot of G5's for sale in the classifieds but I'm kind of reluctant to buy an older style processor for fear the newer apps and os's might not support it or be optimized for it. Which Mac or setup would you all suggest? Thanks.

  2. #2

    RiDE's Avatar
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    For what you are wanting to use it for... you can choose anything from the Mini to the MacPro simply depending on your personal preferences and your budget.. The mini will certainly do everything you are wanting... they are inexpensive, you already have a Monitor, etc... The iMac's are great too... go to an Apple store and check them out yourself.

    If I were you... I personally would get a MacBook with the SuperDrive and then ScreenSpan (Dual Monitors using your 17" LCD or another monitor) while at home... then unplug and go when you take a trip or head to a bookstore or library.

    Welcome to Mac-Forums.

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    I would suggest a mac mini or imac to you. Just as the above said take a look at one yourself. But if you need portabiliby at all and don't really want to game then a macbook will be your best bet.

  4. #4

    mac57's Avatar
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    For what you want, I would suggest a MacBook Pro. The 15" is nicely equipped, quite powerful, will drive your external monitor (any DVI external monitor will work) AND has the benefit of being portable. It is a great mix of capabilities. You can set it up and use it as your "desktop" computer, but when you want to, you can unplug it and take it with you. The "stock" 15" MacBook Pro is priced at $1999 and comes with 2 GB of RAM. You MIGHT want to upgrade to a larger hard drive than the stock 120 GB, but that is entirely up to you.

    Since you are not doing any heavy duty graphics or video processing, the Mac Pro is overkill.

    The Mini *is* a great machine, and you can get it nicely equipped for about $1024 (thats with 2 GB of RAM and the larger 160 GB hard drive). The Mini is therefore also an option for you, but it lacks a real graphics chip (uses shared memory graphics) and it doesn't have the portability aspect. No WiFi support either.

    So, like all things, it is a price/features tradeoff. Let us know what you decide!

    BTW, the Apple monitors are all matte at this point, so they would fit your need nicely. However, from a technology perspective, they are getting "long in the tooth". You can get better specs for the same price from other vendors these days. The latest 22" and 24" offerings from Samsung come highly recommend by many folks, and of course the Viewsonic Pro line (about the same price range as the Apple displays) are also excellent (I have their VP2130b monitor and love it).
    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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  5. #5

    xstep's Avatar
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    None of your mentioned needs would stress even the lowest model Mac. So unless you need portability, look at the mini or an iMac.

    Since you are concerned about the glossy finish of the iMac, I suggest you look at it in a store and consider where you will be placing it in the room. I hadn't heard of screen issues, but I don't follow every detail either. As you hinted, you could look into an older model and buy that used.

    If your purchase is a way off, you might want to follow the Mac Buyer's Guide at macrumors.com.

  6. #6

    xstep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac57 View Post
    The Mini *is* a great machine, ... No WiFi support either.
    Actually it comes with Wi-Fi. From the mini specs page; "Built-in 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme wireless networking (based on 802.11g standard)". It also has bluetooth, which I find handy for syncing my cell phone.

  7. #7

    Tanner31593's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xstep View Post
    None of your mentioned needs would stress even the lowest model Mac. So unless you need portability, look at the mini or an iMac.

    Since you are concerned about the glossy finish of the iMac, I suggest you look at it in a store and consider where you will be placing it in the room. I hadn't heard of screen issues, but I don't follow every detail either. As you hinted, you could look into an older model and buy that used.

    If your purchase is a way off, you might want to follow the Mac Buyer's Guide at macrumors.com.
    Am i the only one who doesnt understand that site?
    It says the Mac Mini and iMac are reaching the end of a cycle,
    already? Is that up to date?
    It confused me.

  8. #8

    Josh.'s Avatar
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    If your purchase is a way off, you might want to follow the Mac Buyer's Guide at macrumors.com.
    Geez, it said that the iMac is reaching the end of a cycle.. I just bought a brand new iMac like 2 weeks ago.

  9. #9

    xstep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanner31593 View Post
    Am i the only one who doesnt understand that site?
    It says the Mac Mini and iMac are reaching the end of a cycle,
    already? Is that up to date?
    It confused me.
    There is end of life and end of life cycle. End of life means a discontinuation of the product line. End of life cycle means that the product will change in some minor or major way via a newer version. An upgrade is a cycle change.

  10. #10

    hndcvcboi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanner31593 View Post
    Am i the only one who doesnt understand that site?
    It says the Mac Mini and iMac are reaching the end of a cycle,
    already? Is that up to date?
    It confused me.
    That site hasn't been updated since last August. I wouldn't believe much from that site at this point.

  11. #11

    mac57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xstep View Post
    Actually it comes with Wi-Fi. From the mini specs page; "Built-in 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme wireless networking (based on 802.11g standard)". It also has bluetooth, which I find handy for syncing my cell phone.
    EXCELLENT - thanks! I have missed fact all along.
    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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  12. #12

    mac57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh. View Post
    Geez, it said that the iMac is reaching the end of a cycle.. I just bought a brand new iMac like 2 weeks ago.
    Yeah, I am impatiently waiting for the next cycle of iMac. My guesses:

    1/ Penryn based

    2/ Up to 3.0 GHz (stay under the maximum Mac Pro so as to not challenge its specs)

    3/ Quad core on the 24", dual core on the 20"

    When such a beast comes out, this PowerMac G5 is up for replacement!
    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
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  13. #13

    xstep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hndcvcboi View Post
    That site hasn't been updated since last August. I wouldn't believe much from that site at this point.
    Clearly you are wrong. The Macbook Air is listed.

  14. #14


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    Can I use Internet explorer on my macpro as well.

  15. #15

    Chris H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirzabaigmd View Post
    Can I use Internet explorer on my macpro as well.
    No. However, you can run Windows by way of BootCamp and then use IE.
     iPad Air 2 - iOS 9.3
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