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Poopship Destroyer
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody...

I was just curious. I wanted to price a Mac system. Where do you buy a Mac? What are the standards nowadays? What would a basic system start at pricewise? Is there a site like newegg.com for Macs?

Enlighten this PC lover...

John
 

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Premium Member
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6,138 Posts
I bought my mac at the Apple Store. I'm sure you could do a store search at apple.com and also do some research on their systems. CompUSA also carries macs. Are you looking for a laptop or desktop?

Just a plug, I've had a compaq presario laptop, gateway desktop, hp desktop and some other crap, and now I have a powerbook. My apple is definitely the best by far! Awesome system
 

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hehe.. I'm a Mac support guy, ironically.

Today Apple released the first two Intel Macs: iMac Intel and the MacBook Pro (I hate that name).

on to the goods. Apple is in a transitioning period; meaning they are moving processor architectures for the third time in the companies history. The first time was 1994 with the 68000 Motorola processors over to the PowerPC line by IBM. Now it's IBM PowerPC to Intel x86.

What does this mean? Well Mac OS X, being of a UNIX foundation, can run on either the PowerPC or Intel chips. It's what you want your Mac to do for you that will ultimatly decide your buying choice:

Mac Minis are 1.25/1.42/1.50Ghz G4 PowerPC systems in a 6.5" cube design that's about 6 CDs tall. It's tiny. It comes without a keyboard. It's base price is $499 and some Best Buys sell them.

iMac, in the G5 PowerPC version, is a single processor system that's just freaking fast. The Intel version is a new Dual Core Intel processor, at 1.67Ghz... it's supposedly 2x the speed of the G5 uniprocessor; at the same price (starting at $1299)


The G5 is a powerhouse. I can't say enough. It's really a UNIX workstation that comes in dual processor, dual core configs (reads: it's really got 4 processors). They're expensive, they weigh something in the 60-80 pound range with a solid aluminum case that's got nice holes punched into it with an ingenius water and 7-fan computer controlled cooling system. In short: you'd love it.

So, as always, it's price price price. Any of these units outpace my aging 4 year old iMac G4, and I find that it's still spitting out DVDs of various content, chatting and the like just fine.

All the units come with a base of 512MB, I'd say double that for 1GB for optimum performance (NOTE: Mac Mini has a single RAM slot, so you'll need an expensive 1GB DIMM -- if you order from Apple's Online Store or Retail store DO NOT BUY APPLE RAM IT IS WAY OVER PRICED ... get it from macsales.com and install it yourself).

Thats way more than I bet you bargained for. I'd say look at a close-out priced iMac G5, a Mac Mini or a new Intel Mac. Note: The Intel Macs supposedly can boot into Windows, being that they are all Intel motherboards now.

Feel free to ask more questions.. and if you're up for a roadtrip to an Apple store say in Durham, NC (~9 hours) I can get you a somewhat decent discount with my photo ID; but you'd likely do better online with free shipping on one of the suddendly discontinued 17 or 20" iMacs (they don't make the Intel in a 20" only 17").

Software is your key. All Mac apps right now are PowerPC native, and will be till at least 2008. New apps come in a Universal Binary, to run on PowerPC or Intel Macs. If you get an Intel Mac, older PowerPC coded apps run in an environment called Rosetta. Essentially, it's a PowerPC emulator that runs the OS X PPC app right on an Intel OS X Mac. It's spiffy; i've yet to see it in real life though. I'm personally sticking with PowerPC systems until Adobe, Microsoft and a few other apps I use have an Intel edition.. to which point I'll upgrade my software, OS and hardware at the same time.
 

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Poopship Destroyer
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Discussion Starter #6
Now, sell a PC guy on getting a Mac. I run a p4 2.8gig, currently 700somethin ram. It's a bit slow, but i'm aware why. Old mobo only take 2 pc2100 ddr 266 dimms.

I probably paid about $900 for this back in the day minus 512mb ram.

What would a Mac do to this system that would make me want one?
 

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Write it like it's hot!
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2,556 Posts
Work.

It would simply work.

I can not tell you how much easier my computing is now that I have the G4.

No more spyware slowing things down or hijacked toolbars.

It partitons things as you're working. So that one program does not rob ram from another.

Anyone could probably give a better tech explanation....:rolleyes:
 

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Premium Member
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angelworks, i love you :)

Well, really, you did a decent job on the big one: there are no confirmed viruses for Mac OS X, there IS a trojan; it's well known and docuement. To date, Mac OS Virii: 400-something, Windows: 4 million.

I'm over my fanboys days. So I'll be upfront and straight. My 800Mhz G4 with 768MB RAM iMac still can multiplex a DVD while I am able to chat and even work in the "nice" photo editor app, iPhoto. iMovie, for making DV camcorder footage or QuickTime-readable files into masterpeices to show your family and friends, also is able to run effects and cut a movie considerably easier than a comparable 1.0GHZ PC.

I have had a host of real world examples over the year of where a Mac did something a PC would not; the most recent was taking a failing IBM DeathStar hard disk from a friend's PC, sticking it into a FireWire hard disk case, and slowly recovering all of his personal data (having to turn it off and back on after it'd hit "the bad sector," of course) without fail. We couldn't replicate this on his PC. Now, it was NOT A NTFS drive, and I haven't successfully made NTFS work with my Mac. Not to say it cannot.

The Unix OS core is really cool; if you like to mess with stuff it'll let you. With a USB adapter and some CUPS drivers from linuxprinting.org, I can print from my Mac to a 1994 Parallel-based HP printer with a USB cable. A feat that was never capable prior to OS X; and something HP never thought possible (back then they made networked-Apple compatible printers and local PC-only ones).

I say it's about the OS. I like how it works, disks show up on my desktop. The desktop is always viewable. There is one single menu bar and every apps window floats on its own. I have photoshop and office and the print shop deluxe... I'm rather set.

I will say that I think that a Mac has better color, and I personally think they handle media better (even Windows media with VLC Player), but they have some limits. If you can't find an OS X-comptable app to replace a windows app, I don't recommend using VirtualPC to run it.

However, all in all, i end up reconfiguring my hardware less. I can make something from 1994 work faily well on my 2003 hardware (like the printer), USB really is plug and play, and the built-in media apps (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie) make what I want to do easy (organize/share digital photos, listen to mp3s and make mini movies). Also most units come with an optional DVD+/-RW drive, at a minimum it comes with a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo.

Oh, and the systems are well designed; minimal yet functional.. and functional for years. I'm pecking this out on a 500Mgz G3 PowerBook from 1999 (384MB RAM/12GB HD/DVD)... I can still unload and edit video footage from my video camera on this system, and it's 6 years old. Mac OS and the hardware is generally designed to last a bit longer, and thats why I like them.

Really... what don't you like about Windows, and I'll contrast that issue to the Mac. That would be easier.
 

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Premium Member
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angelworks said:
Work.

It would simply work.

I can not tell you how much easier my computing is now that I have the G4.

No more spyware slowing things down or hijacked toolbars.

It partitons things as you're working. So that one program does not rob ram from another.

Anyone could probably give a better tech explanation....:rolleyes:
I second that! My powerbook has never frozen on me, I've never lost documents. I love the apps it came with - iPhoto is awesome, iChat is fun, Garageband is very cool if you play guitar. I also absolutely love the expose buttons! love love love. If you press one of the F keys (i have it on one of my mouse buttons too), all the open windows kind of resize so you can see every open window on the screen. You pick whatever window you want, and it maximizes it. Another button will do the same for open windows just in the app you're using. And another will move all the windows out of the way to see the desktop. I dunno, I thought it was really neat :)

Moral of the story: my mac is better than any PC I've ever used. I don't hate PCs, I just like the mac much more ;)
 

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pixel pusher
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Isn't it funny how many people you hear say how they love their macs, funny how you don't hear that about PCs!
 

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squeebug said:
Actually I do "love" my PC. I have never had a problem with it :)
Its good to share the love with your hardware. I love my 1997 IBM ThinkPad 380x (I think it's a 380.. it's big, black, and boxy. I love it.)
 

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mrbeetlebrain said:
Isn't it funny how many people you hear say how they love their macs, funny how you don't hear that about PCs!
Oooh...my bf's Jetta has classic apple logos with Apple Computer in Garamond on them on his rear window panels. I have a classy euro-Apple. But I dig the classic logos :) Looks good with silver...
 
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