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Mac advise

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Deadbear77, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Hello, I'm really thinking about investing in a new computer. I have an iPhone, an iPad 3, laptop running windows 7 and a pc running windows vista ( barely running).

    I will basically use it for image and music editing.

    My thought was to get a MacBook with retina, after looking at prices it seems a better for me to invest in a 27in iMac instead.... Upon further looking in the Mac store I stumbled upon the mini. Would it make more sense for that? I don't know.

    I won't be using this away from home so I really don't need to be mobile, and if I do go mobile I already have a laptop but not great for image editing.

    Any thoughts?
    It's a lot of money to spend for me so any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Orange

    Orange TalkEmount Veteran

    203
    Jan 4, 2013
    England
    It's not Orange!
    Hi. Macs are great but they ain't cheap are they?!

    I have a 2008 iMac 20" which is more than enough for me, I bought it refurbished from the Apple Store (online only), and saved a good few quid! They come with the full warranty as one you'd buy in the shop, plus you can still add on the extended AppleCare too! So this may be an option to look into, as you may be able to afford the MacBook via that route.

    I've no experience of the mini, though as far as I know it's a good, cheaper way to get a mac, though of course you'd need to also get a mouse/trackpad, keyboard and a decent display to make it worthwhile.

    However, don't get sucked in by the retina display, good though it is, any iMac you buy (or Mac mini for that matter) won't be Retina equipped! Unless you bought a retina display for your Mac mini lol!

    Hope that's of some help
     
  3. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Go to the Apple Store online and look through the refurbs in the bottom left corner. If you're an educator or student, you'll get a discount everywhere on the store, or in the brick and mortars. Every little bit helps.
     
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I had an older 21inch iMac before I got my MacBook Pro. The iMac was nice, but had limited upgrade options. The MBPro has the same issues, but is readily portable. For low cost, assuming you already have an appropriate monitor the mini makes the most sense since you don't plan to travel with it.

    With any of the 3 you're probably looking at an external hard drive to increase storage space inexpensively. Not sure about the mini, but the other two are not user friendly in replacing internal components.

    Since I couldn't afford both a desktop and a portable I got the 17" MBPro as a nice compromise unit. Nothing has happened to change my mind.
     
  5. Orange

    Orange TalkEmount Veteran

    203
    Jan 4, 2013
    England
    It's not Orange!
    Oh yeah and if you don't see much there at any time you visit, ALWAYS check back, it changes DAILY! Here in England it's usually updated over night, and stuff sells on there ALL DAY LONG!!! It's definitely worth it, I'd highly recommend it!
     
  6. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Thanks. I think I'm leaning toward the iMac.
     
  7. Aslondon

    Aslondon TalkEmount Rookie

    24
    Jun 12, 2012
    Florida Panhandle
    Al
    I have been a confirmed Mac user for years. As much as I like the iMac (can't afford one, I have a 2012 macbook air and a later 2010 Macbook. I have a mini at work. The mini has limited upgradability though there is some. You still need a monitor but it doesn't have to be a mac, you need keyboard and mouse again doesn't have to be apple (although that is most compatible). I truly like the Macbook which I have upgraded to a 500gig 7200rpm hard drive and 8gig of ram. The Macbook air is great because it is so fast and has USB 3.0 ports as well as a thunderbolt port which can be used for quality video output. I have bought each one used on craig's list and saved a bunch. Just my .02 YMMV

    Al
     
  8. Chuck Lawson

    Chuck Lawson TalkEmount Regular

    140
    Nov 23, 2012
    Dallas area
    It's hard to go wrong with it; the new iMac is a beast. I just orded a 27" to replace my '09 27" -- being able to go to 32 gig of RAM was just too much temptation.

    A couple of things you may want to consider -

    Apple is always expensive on RAM, and RAM is user upgradable in the iMac -- consider just ordering it with the base memory, and going to someone like Crucial to load it up. 32 gig of RAM from Apple is $600; it's around $160 from Crucial.

    If you do a lot of post-processing, you may want to consider going for the upgraded graphics -- products like Lightroom and Photoshop are using GPU acceleration more and more with each new version, and the graphics card upgrade should give you better performance from them.

    AppleCare is probably one of the few extended warranties that is usually worth the price (particularly with the first release of a new design, like the new iMacs). You can purchase it any time in the first year (the factory warranty period), but not so much as a day later, so be sure to mark your calendar if you're thinking about getting it but not buying it up front.
     
  9. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I've been a Macintosh user since the very first 128K (yes, kilobyte, not megabyte) Mac in 1984. These days (and for the past 10 years or so) my favorite configuration is a MacBook hooked up to a good external monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse/trackpad. You get portability with all of your files/applications for when you need to travel with them, a large monitor, plus a second monitor on the MacBook. When working in Photoshop, I keep all the tool palettes on the MacBook's screen, and have my entire 27" monitor free as my workspace. I've had several iMacs and also desktop Macs hooked up to an external monitor. The MacBook/external monitor combo beats them both, hands down.

    Oh, and I agree with SRHEdD. Apple refurbs are definitely the way to go unless you're made of money.

    David
     
  10. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I have a late 2009 27" iMac and it's been wonderful. I think I can squeeze at least another year out of it for what I do. It's been very dependable and I leave it on all the time. I had been looking at perhaps getting a Mini next go around but if I can afford it, I'll stick to the iMac with one of those fusion drives. SSD makes such a huge difference too.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I have a new Quad core i7 Mac Mini and it's very fast. I went the mini route for a few reasons...

    1. I already have a nice 27 inch monitor
    2. I have a number of firewire drives and i can't use them on the iMac as it doesn't come with a firewire port
    3. I had a pretty tight budget and I got more bang for the buck with the Mini

    That said up until recently I had a 27" iMac at work and it was really nice as well.
     
  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I scoped out all the options last year and went with iMac. If portability is not a requirement you get a lot less bang/$ with laptop. Mini was an option but the iMac offered more robust performance for not a lot more $$$. (Maybe if I'd had a monitor handy...)
    My only regret is not going for the 27" screen. (Figured I wouldn't need it but that was JUST before I got really serious into photography again- d'ohhh!)
    YMMV HTH
     
  13. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I concur. I never had anything but Macs from the 90's and they've always been great, dependable, etc. For photo editing I guess large iMacs are Heaven.
     
  14. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Whatever you do... don't get TWO monitors.







    ...you'll never be able to live with just one again!
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I have a Mac Mini (same one as at home) at work with a 27" Dell Ultrasharp and a 24" Ultrasharp and it is REALLY addictive. FWIW the new iMac could have THREE monitors. The built-in, one coming off the thunderbolt port (can also use a thunderbolt to VGA adapter) and one coming off the DVI port.
     
  16. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    And for the über-geeky, you can even use an iPad as a second (or third) display, with an app called AirDisplay. It works over WiFi, and it does have a little bit of a lag. But if you don't want to spring for another monitor, and already have an iPad, it's a great place to stash your tool palettes while reserving the big monitor for your work space.

    David
     
  17. lapdog99

    lapdog99 TalkEmount Veteran

    219
    Sep 3, 2011
    Colorado
    The Retina MacBook is spectacular and can be used with the 27" display ( vs. iMac ) my wife's setup. I use a MacMini with 27" and a MacAir for editing while traveling.
     
  18. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Geez, I'm really behind the times Mac-wise. I really haven't paid much attention to things since I got the MBPro almost 4 years ago. I guess I should go look at the Apple web site once in awhile… or not. I can't afford a new computer. :(
     
  19. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Same here, MBPro owners here, we have three in the close family (2 at home and one at my in-laws), never looked at anything else.
     
  20. Simsy

    Simsy TalkEmount Regular

    141
    Dec 23, 2012
    I use a 13" mac book pro connected to a 26" LCD TV for my monitor works great also have the PlayStation plugged in so I can watch a blue-ray while I'm surfing the net.