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Buckeye33
01-14-2008, 04:38 PM
OK, I am not very well versed in newer computers. My wife and I are looking to purchase a new desktop. Our current one is about 6 years old and in cpu terms is ancient.

We do not need anything extravagant by any stretch. We mostly use our computer for internet browsing, music, and some gaming. We want to be able to do the whole picture thing, and my wife is big on her IPod/ITunes. We do not need a monitor or printer either. What are some good places to look for a desktop? I've looked at dell.com, Microcenter, etc.

We would like to stay in the $500 range. I found one that seems good to me. It's a HP Pavilion, and priced at $480. I'll list the basic components:

Pentium Dual-Core E2180
2G PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
500GB 7200RPB SATA HD
SuperMulti DVD Writer
128MB Nvidia GeForce 7100 SE card

I'd like to have a DVD burner so I can burn OSU game and such.

Anyway, any thoughts and help is much appreciated.

Thanks

CrackerJack
01-14-2008, 04:55 PM
I bought one similar to that recently and am happy with it. Vista is a huge memory hog though and 3GB's are recommended minimum if you're using any sort of graphic or memory intensive applications (games etc..,). But you can get by with the 2GB's.

That sounds like a great price for a 500GB HDD and the processor - I also like the Lightscribe DVD drives since you can burn designs/labels right onto the disc, if it comes with one.

If you plan on upgrading the video card you'll want a 400W or higher power supply - most of the Presario's come with lowly 300-350W models. Also make sure it has a PCI-Express slot for the newer video cards.

Honestly that desktop seems just fine for the price - go for it.

TRF
01-15-2008, 04:33 PM
I found this at tigerdirect.com.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3302675&CatId=2658

I prefer AMD to intel, but maybe that's just me.

dougdirt
01-15-2008, 05:20 PM
I prefer AMD to intel, but maybe that's just me.

Its not just you.

BoxingRed
01-15-2008, 07:15 PM
Any Mac users? The wife and I are considering buying an IMac, but have been PC users all our lives.
Any personal reviews on the new IMac or Leopard?

BoydsOfSummer
01-15-2008, 08:58 PM
C'mon Ry, you can't run Diamond Mind correctly on a Mac. Priorities, brother!

BoxingRed
01-15-2008, 09:48 PM
C'mon Ry, you can't run Diamond Mind correctly on a Mac. Priorities, brother!

Believe me, this is a major concern. As I understand it, Macs run windows quite well though.

GAC
01-15-2008, 09:53 PM
OK, I am not very well versed in newer computers. My wife and I are looking to purchase a new desktop. Our current one is about 6 years old and in cpu terms is ancient.

We do not need anything extravagant by any stretch. We mostly use our computer for internet browsing, music, and some gaming. We want to be able to do the whole picture thing, and my wife is big on her IPod/ITunes. We do not need a monitor or printer either. What are some good places to look for a desktop? I've looked at dell.com, Microcenter, etc.

We would like to stay in the $500 range. I found one that seems good to me. It's a HP Pavilion, and priced at $480. I'll list the basic components:

Pentium Dual-Core E2180
2G PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
500GB 7200RPB SATA HD
SuperMulti DVD Writer
128MB Nvidia GeForce 7100 SE card

I'd like to have a DVD burner so I can burn OSU game and such.

Anyway, any thoughts and help is much appreciated.

Thanks

I've had two HP Pavilions and have been very pleased, with no complaints. My only complaint with the first one was that it wasn't fire proof. :lol:

I bought my daughter an eMachine almost 2 years ago and haven't had one bit of trouble with it. It's been a solid computer.

I also bought my younger son a Dell for around $400. And we've had no problem with it either.

So far - I haven't heard good things about Vista. I was listening to a computer tech program on the radio a couple weeks ago and he said that Microsoft has a program integrated into Vista that will completely shut your computer down and not allow you to use it if it cannot verify any Microsoft programs, like Office and others, that you have on your computer. It will only allow you go to a certain Microsoft link in which you must verify that you legitimately purchased the program(s). He said it happened to him, and he had to go through a bureaucratic process that was a pain in the butt to prove he legitimately purchased the software. And in many other instances people, wanting to avoid the frustration and hassle, and needing to use their computers, re-purchased the software when they shouldn't have had to. Anyone heard more on this?

nate
01-15-2008, 10:36 PM
Any Mac users? The wife and I are considering buying an IMac, but have been PC users all our lives.
Any personal reviews on the new IMac or Leopard?

I'm a Mac user. If you can, just take some time to sit down in front of one and use it for a little while. Decide if you like the way it works. Some people like it, some don't.

The one nice thing is, if you don't like the way it works, you can still run any OS a PC can run on it.

BoxingRed
01-15-2008, 11:23 PM
I'm a Mac user. If you can, just take some time to sit down in front of one and use it for a little while. Decide if you like the way it works. Some people like it, some don't.

The one nice thing is, if you don't like the way it works, you can still run any OS a PC can run on it.

Our closest Apple Store is about an hour away, but we are thinking of making the drive.
I think we have really been attracted to the IMac all-in-one system. My wife hates the wires that inevitably come with a tower. None of the PC versions of the all-in-one come close as far as I can tell.
Had any trouble running windows? How has your Mac hardware held up over time? This would probably be our last computer purchase for about 5 years, so we's like it to last.
Sorry if I am hijacking the thread.

nate
01-16-2008, 12:00 AM
Our closest Apple Store is about an hour away, but we are thinking of making the drive.
I think we have really been attracted to the IMac all-in-one system. My wife hates the wires that inevitably come with a tower. None of the PC versions of the all-in-one come close as far as I can tell.
Had any trouble running windows? How has your Mac hardware held up over time? This would probably be our last computer purchase for about 5 years, so we's like it to last.
Sorry if I am hijacking the thread.

No problems running Windows. I use Parallels (http://www.parallels.com/) and I run it every day alongside the Mac OS. Been using it this way for a year and a half. You can also use Apple's Boot Camp (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/bootcamp.html) although that forces you to start up into Mac OS or Windows.

About the Mac hardware, I've only had a couple of problems in nearly 20 years of Macing. My wife's MacBook had a bad internal drive last year that was replaced under warranty. This MacBookPro I use has a problem with one of the fans. I had an older machine in the mid-90's with a bad power supply but that got taken care of under warranty.

I usually get a new desktop every 3 years or so. That seems to be what it takes to keep up in the music bidness. If you don't need the latest, greatest, specification, 5 years should be pretty reasonable.

Hope that's helpful!

WebScorpion
01-16-2008, 11:21 AM
iMacs use an Intel Core 2 processor, just like other PCs. Apple has added DRM code to their Leopard OS so that it won't run on other hardware. Some people have managed to do it, (run Leopard on non-Apple hardware (http://dailyapps.net/2007/12/hack-attack-install-leopard-on-your-pc-in-just-one-step/),) but I'm not too certain of the legality of it all. It always irks me when a manufacturer artificially disables their product.

The new iMac is a beautiful box, though. I'm considering getting my wife the 24-inch WS version for her B-day. She works as an editor for a magazine and has worked with Apple products for most of her career. I built my machine myself to play high end games, (extra memory, striped set of SATA drives, top end video card, etc.,) so I'd never use a Mac. I like tinkering with the parts too much.
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/whacky061.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

Unassisted
01-16-2008, 11:38 AM
iMacs use an Intel Core 2 processor, just like other PCs. Apple has added DRM code to their Leopard OS so that it won't run on other hardware. Some people have managed to do it, (run Leopard on non-Apple hardware (http://dailyapps.net/2007/12/hack-attack-install-leopard-on-your-pc-in-just-one-step/),) but I'm not too certain of the legality of it all. It always irks me when a manufacturer artificially disables their product.It's not legal or supported at all and people who go that route shouldn't expect to be able to use future updates. Apple is a hardware company that depends on the revenue from selling hardware to be successful. The CEO before Steve Jobs tried licensing the Mac OS to run on other companies hardware and it nearly killed the company.

That tight integration also makes support much simpler. If they supported installing the OS on any old processor, they would have to devote more resources to support than development.


The new iMac is a beautiful box, though. I'm considering getting my wife the 24-inch WS version for her B-day. She works as an editor for a magazine and has worked with Apple products for most of her career. I built my machine myself to play high end games, (extra memory, striped set of SATA drives, top end video card, etc.,) so I'd never use a Mac. I like tinkering with the parts too much.


I have the 20-inch iMac from the previous generation. It's been a great machine. :cool:

Roy Tucker
01-16-2008, 11:58 AM
It always irks me when a manufacturer artificially disables their product.



Back in the day, DEC marketed something called a VAXstation II/RC which was a low-end VAXstation. The way they made it low end was to take a full-blown VAXstation and use epoxy to seal over selected ports in the backplane and crippling it, i.e. low tech DRM.

Rumor had it you could disassemble the system, put the backplane in an oven, and melt out the epoxy and gain about $10K worth of functionality (systems cost much more back in the day). Once customers found out about this, they were quite irate.

FIRELEFT
01-16-2008, 12:16 PM
It begins and ends with a mac.

oneupper
01-16-2008, 02:21 PM
Any Mac users? The wife and I are considering buying an IMac, but have been PC users all our lives.
Any personal reviews on the new IMac or Leopard?

I've used Macs for about 20 years. The current generation of computers and the OS are very, very good.
However, I still use a PC for several things, like accounting.
Quicken and Quickbooks for the Mac simply didn't cut it.

For a PERSONAL computer (photos, movies, music, etc.), and just your regular browsing and email...Macs are great. It will entice you to do more on your computer than you would otherwise.

I've had a lot of Macs and a few were lemons. Apple is very good with the waranties and afterwards you can usually find a third party fix. Simple stuff (like swapping out a hard drive) you can do yourself.

As for running Windows on the Mac, my daughter runs Boot Camp (I set it up for her). You'll need to BUY a copy of Windows, though. Take that into consideration.

If you do buy a Mac, don't keep it for 5 years. Macs have pretty good resale value so after 2 or 3 years you can get a new one and eBay the old one without that much pain.

Caveat Emperor
01-16-2008, 05:10 PM
Any Mac users? The wife and I are considering buying an IMac, but have been PC users all our lives.
Any personal reviews on the new IMac or Leopard?

Been a Mac user for over 15 years. My one attempt at PC Ownership resulted in my Dell laptop, which died after less than 3 years of ownership in law school.

I still use my Mac desktop (the infamous G4 Cube) that I bought as a freshman in college some 8 years ago. It still runs well enough to surf the web, e-mail, and word process. I'm in the market for a new laptop, and I'm staying with apple.

Their consumer-level products simply can't be beat for music and video.

BoxingRed
01-16-2008, 06:36 PM
For a PERSONAL computer (photos, movies, music, etc.), and just your regular browsing and email...Macs are great. It will entice you to do more on your computer than you would otherwise.

Thanks for all the responses and, again, sorry for the hijack.

I think oneupper articulates our desire to turn to Mac. From the demos, Mac just seems to be more attuned to the type of things we are hoping to do e.g. movies, pictures and music. I love the flexibility of a PC, but sometimes it just seems to be a hassle to do the simplest of things.
I still have a few PC games that I love to play, Masters of Orion, Civ and DMB, and wanted to make sure I could still load those on to a Mac and play them with Windows.
Now if we could just get past the price and inability to upgrade, we'll be IMac owners.

westofyou
01-16-2008, 06:49 PM
I develop on PC's have a Mac too, it never impressed me enough to switch over myself and for business applications it's often costly. I'm an application guy anyway so the platform doesn't strike me as a sexy tool to entice me not to dig into the OS's settings.

I'm switching my wife to all freeware, she's going to be our Mozilla toolshed.

Platform will be Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/

Free... and easy.

BoxingRed
01-16-2008, 07:06 PM
Another question for the Mac folks: How about firewalls and antivirus? I understand that Macs are far less susceptible to viruses, but do you Mac users still have an anti-virus program running? Are firewalls easier to manage?

eichstadtreds
01-16-2008, 09:40 PM
OK, I am not very well versed in newer computers. My wife and I are looking to purchase a new desktop. Our current one is about 6 years old and in cpu terms is ancient.

We do not need anything extravagant by any stretch. We mostly use our computer for internet browsing, music, and some gaming. We want to be able to do the whole picture thing, and my wife is big on her IPod/ITunes. We do not need a monitor or printer either. What are some good places to look for a desktop? I've looked at dell.com, Microcenter, etc.

We would like to stay in the $500 range. I found one that seems good to me. It's a HP Pavilion, and priced at $480. I'll list the basic components:

Pentium Dual-Core E2180
2G PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
500GB 7200RPB SATA HD
SuperMulti DVD Writer
128MB Nvidia GeForce 7100 SE card

I'd like to have a DVD burner so I can burn OSU game and such.

Anyway, any thoughts and help is much appreciated.

Thanks

I work for Dell; so, I'm a little biased, but I would stick with Dell, and it is not just because I get a discount.

nate
01-16-2008, 09:41 PM
Another question for the Mac folks: How about firewalls and antivirus? I understand that Macs are far less susceptible to viruses, but do you Mac users still have an anti-virus program running? Are firewalls easier to manage?

Firewalls are easy to manage. Although, it's not really that hard to set with XP either.

Haven't used an anti-virus in years on the Mac. I did have a virus infect my PC virtual machine running on my Mac. Now I run some free PC virus thingy.

westofyou
01-16-2008, 11:27 PM
Haven't used an anti-virus in years on the Mac.

Me either... and I have a PC... of course I use Mozilla for everything.

WMR
01-16-2008, 11:36 PM
I own an Alienware. Absolutely love it; killer gaming machine ... definitely not cheap, however.

eye-candy: www.alienware.com

AtomicDumpling
01-17-2008, 12:08 AM
I am a computer professional and have been building computers for years. Personally I would never buy an Apple. It is kind of like the AOL of hardware. If you aren't computer savvy enough to surf the Internet get AOL. If you aren't computer savvy enough to use a computer buy a Mac.

A PC can do absolutely everything a Mac can do, except the PC almost always does it better. If you open up the computer and look at the components inside there is no difference between a PC and a Mac. They are both identical under the hood. Apple doesn't make the components inside the case. They just buy the parts from the same companies as PC-makers do, assemble them and put their logo on the case. Under the hood a Mac is no different than a Dell or an eMachine or a Compaq or an HP.

It is much easier to upgrade or repair a PC. The components of a Mac are hardwired in so you can't upgrade anything.

The biggest reason to go with a PC over a Mac is the availability of software, games and compatible peripherals (printers, cameras, etc.). Go to Best Buy or some other store and compare the amount of PC software to the Mac software. There are 10x more programs available for PCs. Even the programs that are available for Macs are usually an older nearly obsolete version compared to the current PC version.

The reason people buy Macs is because they like the more stylish cases. Apple does a great job of marketing and convincing people that Macs are the upper crust of computers. That perception doesn't match reality.

It is similar to the MP3 player market. Apple iPods aren't nearly as good as some other brands such as Creative Labs'. Apple has been able to sucker people into paying extra money for an inferior product. A couple years ago Apple had to pay Creative Labs over $100 million because they stole their patented technology and used it in the iPod.

Apple as a company is great at marketing to the non-technical consumer. That is why they go after primarily the art community and students -- people that are interested in image more than substance.

In summary, if you are going to use your computer to surf the Internet, do your home finances, play with music files, and manage your photographs you would best be served by buying a PC for about $1000. Then you can put the money you saved into a color laser printer, a digital camcorder or an investment fund.

BoxingRed
01-17-2008, 12:37 AM
I am a computer professional and have been building computers for years. Personally I would never buy an Apple. It is kind of like the AOL of hardware. If you aren't computer savvy enough to surf the Internet get AOL. If you aren't computer savvy enough to use a computer buy a Mac.

A PC can do absolutely everything a Mac can do, except the PC almost always does it better. If you open up the computer and look at the components inside there is no difference between a PC and a Mac. They are both identical under the hood. Apple doesn't make the components inside the case. They just buy the parts from the same companies as PC-makers do, assemble them and put their logo on the case. Under the hood a Mac is no different than a Dell or an eMachine or a Compaq or an HP.

It is much easier to upgrade or repair a PC. The components of a Mac are hardwired in so you can't upgrade anything.

The biggest reason to go with a PC over a Mac is the availability of software, games and compatible peripherals (printers, cameras, etc.). Go to Best Buy or some other store and compare the amount of PC software to the Mac software. There are 10x more programs available for PCs. Even the programs that are available for Macs are usually an older nearly obsolete version compared to the current PC version.

The reason people buy Macs is because they like the more stylish cases. Apple does a great job of marketing and convincing people that Macs are the upper crust of computers. That perception doesn't match reality.

It is similar to the MP3 player market. Apple iPods aren't nearly as good as some other brands such as Creative Labs'. Apple has been able to sucker people into paying extra money for an inferior product. A couple years ago Apple had to pay Creative Labs over $100 million because they stole their patented technology and used it in the iPod.

Apple as a company is great at marketing to the non-technical consumer. That is why they go after primarily the art community and students -- people that are interested in image more than substance.

In summary, if you are going to use your computer to surf the Internet, do your home finances, play with music files, and manage your photographs you would best be served by buying a PC for about $1000. Then you can put the money you saved into a color laser printer, a digital camcorder or an investment fund.

I see where you are coming from here. But my impression is that Mac can also do anything a PC can do as you can run Windows on a Mac pretty easily. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I guess we have sort of fallen for the IMac packaging. We are just sick of the endless number of cables and power chords that seem to follow every PC. Not to mention, my wife goes nuts about the space a tower takes up and the dust is collects.(Yes she is a bit nuts overall;)) The wife is in love with a lot of the ILife programs and I am interested in doing some recording. Can I do those kind of things on a PC without tons of different software titles?

We looked at the PC all-in-one computers, but they just don't add up to the IMac i.e. no 24" screens and the processors tend to be a step below. Believe me, I have done the comparison between what I can get for $1700 at Apple and what I can get from Dell or HP standard desktop and that may be what's holding me back.

AtomicDumpling
01-17-2008, 03:03 AM
There is nothing wrong with buying a Mac. It is just a matter of opinion.

If you think paying $700 extra is worth it to get rid of wires and have a more attractive case then by all means do it.

Personally I would advise building your own PC. It is surprisingly easy. It would save you lots of money and it also allows you to build a more powerful computer than you can buy in the store -- Mac or PC. Building yourself gives you the option to buy whatever case you find most attractive.

If you want to get rid of wires you can get a wireless keyboard and mouse combo and use a wireless network for your Internet connection. Then the only wires visible would be the monitor cable, speaker cable and 2 power cables. You will have a power cable and speaker cable on the Mac too.

The best reasons to go with a PC are price, performance, better software, and the ability to upgrade your computer so it won't go obsolete.

The best reasons to go with a Mac are the retro-chic design and the fact it is often easier to figure out how to do common activities like download music or manipulate photos.

I compare buying a Mac to buying a house that is already furnished and decorated in such a way that you can never redecorate, remodel or buy new furniture.

Macs are easier. PCs are better. Just my opinion.

Caveat Emperor
01-17-2008, 03:15 AM
I am a computer professional and have been building computers for years. Personally I would never buy an Apple.

And you're absolutely positive that there isn't a TINY bit of bias in your analysis because if everyone owned a Mac, you'd be out of a job? ;)


It is kind of like the AOL of hardware. If you aren't computer savvy enough to surf the Internet get AOL. If you aren't computer savvy enough to use a computer buy a Mac.

Isn't this is kind of like saying "the only people who buy reliable cars are people who aren't smart enough to be mechanics."

And come on -- "computer savvy enough to use a computer?" The vast majority of Mac users encounter PCs every day at work or elsewhere. Nobody faints when they get into their office and they see a "Start" button at the bottom of their screen.


A PC can do absolutely everything a Mac can do, except the PC almost always does it better. If you open up the computer and look at the components inside there is no difference between a PC and a Mac. They are both identical under the hood. Apple doesn't make the components inside the case. They just buy the parts from the same companies as PC-makers do, assemble them and put their logo on the case. Under the hood a Mac is no different than a Dell or an eMachine or a Compaq or an HP.

If the components are the same, how does the PC "almost always [do] it better"? That might be your opinion -- you might prefer the PC aspect of things -- but that doesn't necessarily make it better.

You make the "PC does it better" statement several times -- cite examples if you want me to take that claim seriously. What does a PC do better than a Mac? Does it organize, create and play music and media files better? Does it browse the internet better? Does it read and answer e-mail better? Does it create Word and Excel documents better? Am I dense, or is there just this world of computing tasks I was never exposed to because I use a Mac?


It is much easier to upgrade or repair a PC. The components of a Mac are hardwired in so you can't upgrade anything.

If we're talking about an iMac, yes. If we're talking about a MacPro, no.

I also have no real desire to ever upgrade a computer, other than perhaps maxing out the available RAM, which can be done on any computer. I'm not bothered that I don't have the absolute fastest or latest graphics card or processor in my machine -- if you are bothered by that, you're probably right to buy a PC. If you're cool waiting through the upgrade cycle and just getting a new machine every 3 or so years, I don't see how lack of upgrade ability impacts anyone that greatly. For that matter, I highly doubt that the percentage of computer users who crack the case and upgrade their machine components is even close to 50%.


The biggest reason to go with a PC over a Mac is the availability of software, games and compatible peripherals (printers, cameras, etc.). Go to Best Buy or some other store and compare the amount of PC software to the Mac software. There are 10x more programs available for PCs. Even the programs that are available for Macs are usually an older nearly obsolete version compared to the current PC version.

Unless there is a particular piece of software that you absolutely cannot function without for some particular reason, then this argument is somewhat of a nonstarter. The peripherals part, in particular, is just outright false. There are software drivers for virtually every major camera manufacturer that allow them to work with Macs. A large number of them are recognized instantly by iPhoto (free with the Mac) the minute you plug the USB cable in, with no additional software to install. I've used Kodak, Cannon, Nikkon, and Sony cameras with my Mac and never had a single problem (or piece of software to install). I doubt you could find more than 1 non-Mac friendly camera in any Best Buy. Most printers also produce software drivers for Macintosh as well. I suspect there are currently more peripheral issues with Vista than there are with OSX.

The only real area where Macs lag significantly behind Windows machines is games. If you're a gamer, the Mac probably isn't the best choice for you. Other than that, virtually every consumer-level task can be accomplished just as quickly by a piece of software available on the Mac as it can with the PC.

And, if I REALLY want to play a game, I can boot into Windows on my Mac. XP, of course -- Vista sucks something fierce.


The reason people buy Macs is because they like the more stylish cases. Apple does a great job of marketing and convincing people that Macs are the upper crust of computers. That perception doesn't match reality.

Reliability and ease of use plays a large part. Since I've owned my Mac, I've never once scanned for spyware, installed or updated virus protection software, worried about security fixes, firewalls, or anything of the sort. I prefer the UI and find it to be more intuitive than XP (my opinion). I also like the fact that it came, out of the box, with top-quality software to do things like manage music and photos.

But, I suppose you're probably right -- I'm just dazzled by the shiny cases like an infant staring at a set of car keys.


It is similar to the MP3 player market. Apple iPods aren't nearly as good as some other brands such as Creative Labs'. Apple has been able to sucker people into paying extra money for an inferior product. A couple years ago Apple had to pay Creative Labs over $100 million because they stole their patented technology and used it in the iPod.

Your opinion. Both MP3 players do about the same thing -- Apple has the iTunes store attached to it, which is a definite plus in my opinion, as I enjoy using it to buy songs quickly when I hear something on XM that I like.


Apple as a company is great at marketing to the non-technical consumer. That is why they go after primarily the art community and students -- people that are interested in image more than substance.

But you've already conceded above that the substance is identical. Same components going into my Mac as went into your Windows tower.

But again, maybe I'm mistaken, since according to you the most important thing to me for my purchasing decisions is the image I put out there. If only Abercrombie & Fitch made clothes in my size, I'd have it all. ;)

pedro
01-17-2008, 03:46 AM
The only real area where Macs lag significantly behind Windows machines is games. If you're a gamer, the Mac probably isn't the best choice for you. Other than that, virtually every consumer-level task can be accomplished just as quickly by a piece of software available on the Mac as it can with the PC.



Macs may be a viable home alternative to windows based PC's but they are not practical for most business usage. I'm a professional software developer. Macs aren't even in the conversation when it comes to software development.

dougdirt
01-17-2008, 04:12 AM
The only thing Mac's are good for business wise that I have ever run into is for Video editing and for graphic design. Thats it. Being a video editor myself, I have no problems whatsoever with a PC for either task. Sure, I can't use Final Cut Pro, but I have no problems with Premiere or After Effects.

Caveat Emperor
01-17-2008, 08:53 AM
Macs may be a viable home alternative to windows based PC's but they are not practical for most business usage. I'm a professional software developer. Macs aren't even in the conversation when it comes to software development.

My post was directed specifically towards their consumer usage. I probably should've made that a bit more explicit.

oneupper
01-17-2008, 09:26 AM
I see where you are coming from here. But my impression is that Mac can also do anything a PC can do as you can run Windows on a Mac pretty easily. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I guess we have sort of fallen for the IMac packaging. We are just sick of the endless number of cables and power chords that seem to follow every PC. Not to mention, my wife goes nuts about the space a tower takes up and the dust is collects.(Yes she is a bit nuts overall;)) The wife is in love with a lot of the ILife programs and I am interested in doing some recording. Can I do those kind of things on a PC without tons of different software titles?

We looked at the PC all-in-one computers, but they just don't add up to the IMac i.e. no 24" screens and the processors tend to be a step below. Believe me, I have done the comparison between what I can get for $1700 at Apple and what I can get from Dell or HP standard desktop and that may be what's holding me back.

It sound like you (or your wife) has made a decision. Go for the mac. I don't think you will be sorry. I don't know how things go in your place, but making my wife happy would certainly sway any decision of mine. (happy wife = happy me)

Yes, you could probably cobble up some software/hardware combination on a PC that could cost you less. Do you have the time? Does $300 or $400 you might save spread out over the life of the computer (say three years) make it worth it? Paying for style? Why not? Every car doesn't have to be a model T.

Are you going to develop software (like woy?) or do some extreme gaming? How much?

With computer prices these days, I'm surprised this is so much of a decision. If you don't like it...ebay it for a small loss.

Buying (and selling) a computer is much less of a problem than buying a car or even a large screen tv.

Yes, I'm a mac user and a bit bias (four macs in the house + 1 PC). Macs have had their ups and downs. But "working" with them is a pleasure these days. The iLife series is excellent (comes with the computer).

iPhoto for organizing and actually DOING something with all those photos.
We make DVDs of all our trips (with iDVD/iPhoto, music from iTunes)...the family LOVES them (especially the grandparents)
iMovie...same thing (put together video clips).
iWeb...actually did a travel blog. The whole family followed our adventures.
and Garageband (which I admit never using) would probably be something you could get into.

If you get into this stuff, you WILL spend money (additional software/services/supplies, upgrades, etc.). It's like any other hobby.

Listen, if all you are going to do is browse and email...get a cheap PC with a good anti-virus program. You'll save a ton of money. Want to build one? Sounds like a fun hobby project (not time effective, however - do you also change your own motor oil?)

Otherwise, get a Mac (or get two...your wife is going to need one of her own eventually anyway).

Anyway...good luck and enjoy whatever you do purchase.

nate
01-17-2008, 09:29 AM
Me either... and I have a PC... of course I use Mozilla for everything.

As was I when I got the virus.

BoxingRed
01-17-2008, 09:38 AM
It sound like you (or your wife) has made a decision. Go for the mac. I don't think you will be sorry. I don't know how things go in your place, but making my wife happy would certainly sway any decision of mine. (happy wife = happy me)

Good advice, oneupper. I am going to check out the refurbs to see if I can knock off a couple hundred.
BTW, the computer will primarily be the wife's, but I'm paying for it, so she's letting me make the decision. But as you pointed out, there seems to be only one decision to make.:thumbup:

nate
01-17-2008, 09:44 AM
Well, it couldn't be a computer thread without "platform fundamentalism" rearing it's ugly head.

Back to the question:


I see where you are coming from here. But my impression is that Mac can also do anything a PC can do as you can run Windows on a Mac pretty easily. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Correct. There is very little PC hardware and software that doesn't run on late-model Macs. I used to use two machines for my music and sound design work because one of my clients has a custom applications; some of which run on the Mac, some on the PC. I've used both Boot Camp and Parallels and find both to work very nicely with these custom applications, USB MIDI interfaces, USB audio, Firewire audio, etc. If you're going to run stuff in Windows it's worth going to the Parallels (http://www.parallels.com) and making sure the peripherals and software titles you want to use work. Most do but I've read about a few things like smartphones that have trouble syncing. They seem to be pretty good about interfacing with their customers and improving compatibility.


I guess we have sort of fallen for the IMac packaging. We are just sick of the endless number of cables and power chords that seem to follow every PC. Not to mention, my wife goes nuts about the space a tower takes up and the dust is collects.(Yes she is a bit nuts overall;)) The wife is in love with a lot of the ILife programs and I am interested in doing some recording. Can I do those kind of things on a PC without tons of different software titles?

Absolutely, you can do those things. I'm not familiar with the iLife-style packages on the PC but for doing audio either with Garageband all the way to Logic, there are many alternatives. Nuendo, Sonar, Cakewalk, Acid Pro (probably the closest thing to Garageband).

Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions about specific music soft or hardware.


We looked at the PC all-in-one computers, but they just don't add up to the IMac i.e. no 24" screens and the processors tend to be a step below. Believe me, I have done the comparison between what I can get for $1700 at Apple and what I can get from Dell or HP standard desktop and that may be what's holding me back.

I would again encourage you to spend some times using a Mac to see if you really like the way it does what you want to do.

TRF
01-17-2008, 09:51 PM
I develop on PC's have a Mac too, it never impressed me enough to switch over myself and for business applications it's often costly. I'm an application guy anyway so the platform doesn't strike me as a sexy tool to entice me not to dig into the OS's settings.

I'm switching my wife to all freeware, she's going to be our Mozilla toolshed.

Platform will be Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/

Free... and easy.

Sometimes i literally worship you.

I'm a big time open source guy. I use an opensource CMS for my college's website, I love mozilla, and I have downloaded ubuntu. As soon as I figure out how to run photoshop on it, I'm formatting my HD and installing it.