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Thread: Buying a new desktop..

  1. #16
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxingRed View Post
    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.
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  3. #17
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxingRed View Post
    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.
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    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.

  5. #19
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    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.

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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    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?

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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye33 View Post
    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.

  8. #22
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxingRed View Post
    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.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  9. #23
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    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.

  10. #24
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    I own an Alienware. Absolutely love it; killer gaming machine ... definitely not cheap, however.

    eye-candy: www.alienware.com
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  11. #25
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    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.

  12. #26
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    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.

  13. #27
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    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.

  14. #28
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 01-17-2008 at 03:18 AM.
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  15. #29
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post

    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.
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  16. #30
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    Re: Buying a new desktop..

    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.


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