I'm saving up for a Mac desktop computer

Joined
Jul 29, 2007
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Wilmington, NC
Right now, I'm only using my little MacBook but I would like a nice desktop Mac and I was hoping you guys could help me out a little since I am pretty new to the Mac world.

I shoot RAW and use CS3. But I burn a lot of DVDs by habit.
The monitor doesn't have to be huge, anything bigger than 17" feels pretty big to me.

Well, that's really all I know :redface: and I don't even know what to look for or what all the names are..etc.

A little guidance would be appreciated, thank you.
 
In the Mac world, as far as desktop machines you will have a choice of:

Mac Mini (will need to provide your own mouse, monitor, keyboard)

iMac (comes with monitor as part of the unit) (comes in 20", 24")

Mac Pro (tower configuration; will need to provide your own monitor)

Another option is to purchase a MacBook Pro laptop (15" or 17")

Still another option is to purchase a monitor, keyboard and mouse and attach these to one of Apple's laptops (MacBook, MacBook Pro)

Check out all of the offerings on Apple's site:

http://www.apple.com

(Sorry this is so short but I need to be heading out the door right now)
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
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Rockville, MD
I'm lovin my 24" iMac. The extra screen real-estate is great for photography. I started off with a Core Duo Mac Mini which was a great little machine too. I actually still have it and am going to set it up for my daughter to use in a few months when she's old enough to start doing computer stuff. :smile:

Make sure you get a ton of RAM. 1GB isn't enough, 2GB gets the job done, but 4GB is even better. That's more important than a faster processor IMHO. I don't fret about internal disk drive sizes too much because I've used external ones for ages now. I have a 500GB and 1TB (Time Machine) drives running off of my Firewire 400 interface now and they work great. If you shoot RAW you'll probably want a gigantic external drive anyways.

If you get a Mac Mini, don't cheap out on the screen! Mac monitors are niiiice, have great contrast, and very good color accuracy, all of which is very important for photography.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
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California
I'd probably get the 20" iMac. The 24" is HUGE. When you go into an Apple store it'll look nice but at home it will be huuuuuuuuuge. hehe.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
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Cincinnati, Ohio
I need a desktop as well but the 2gb RAM limit on the mini is an issue, as well as the fact that there is nothing in between the mini and the pro (which is 2k to start).

I wish they would come out with something that is competitively priced to a windows based pc in this range. I would venture to guess most people who own the pro aren't taking advantage of all the horsepower. I have a MBP 15" which is a fantastic machine but I need a dedicated desktop. I never thought I would say it, but I've been hovering over the current Dell desktop deal which is a 2.4 core 2 duo, 22" monitor, 160gb drive and a combo cd/dvd-rw for $484. I couldn't even buy the mini alone for that...

I wont consider the imac as I dont like the all-in-one idea. Tons of these things on Apple's website in the refurb area speaks volumes.
 
Joined
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You guys are wonderful. Thanks. I think the iMac is what I would like to have. 20" would feel like a luxury after all these months with 13" screen.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
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I just got myself an iMac about 2 months ago(my first ever!) and I couldn't be happier! I have the 20" and it's plenty for what I do. Often times I will have PS, Lightroom and other various applications and it doesn't ever struggle. Of course I did upgrade to 3GB of ram :smile:
 
Joined
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Ah, ok. I just realized how expensive that is. My laptop is totally functionable. Maybe I should just get a big nice monitor for it.

Is it adviceable to stick with Apple for monitors? I'm really impressed by the Mac products so far.
 
Joined
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make sure you buy it with as little RAM as possible... then go to crucial.com and buy your memory there... will save you a ton of money!
 
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I highly recommend going with a different monitor. There is no denying the Cinema displays are nice but not double or triple what you could get a similar Samsung or equivalent. You can pick-up a nice 20" monitor and get a calibration system for less than half what the cinema display would run you.
 
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Ok, so I can get a Samsung screen that would fit my tiny Macbook and the connectors?

I guess I would need a different connector to hook it up to my Mac. Meanwhile, I'll save up for a iMac 20" - it will be good enough for me.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
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California
Your MB has mini-DVI on it, so you'd just need a mini-dvi to (whatever your monitor uses) ex: mini-dvi to vga, mini-dvi to dvi
 
Joined
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Alan, is that a separate connector I can buy? I have a 4 year old Samsung syncmaster monitor, but it's for my old PC and has this one huge connector. I wonder if I could get like a converter for that monitor to fit into my Mac? My terms aren't great, but you probably know what I'm trying to say. lol

Thanks for being so helpful!
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
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Location
California
If its an older display, it might not be DVI, at which point you would need to purchase a mini-dvi to VGA. That cable is around 20 dollars. Most newer displays now are DVI :)

hope that helps
 
Joined
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Alaska
Ok, so I can get a Samsung screen that would fit my tiny Macbook and the connectors?

Any external monitor you connect to your macbook will still be limited to 1280x800 max resolution!

Meaning your external monitor would not increase your screen real estate... just increase the size of the screen!
 

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