I'm saving up for a Mac desktop computer

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by LindaZ, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. LindaZ

    LindaZ

    Jul 29, 2007
    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.
     
  2. 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)
     
  3. leahp26

    leahp26

    926
    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    I have a 17 inch MacBookPro and I love it - much nicer not to be tethered to a desk
     
  4. SP77

    SP77

    Jun 4, 2007
    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.
     
  5. Alan.Tran

    Alan.Tran

    75
    Jun 5, 2008
    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.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. LindaZ

    LindaZ

    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    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.
     
  8. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin
    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:
     
  9. LindaZ

    LindaZ

    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    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.
     
  10. stayathomedad

    stayathomedad

    Mar 11, 2008
    Alaska
    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!
     
  11. LindaZ

    LindaZ

    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Thanks, maybe they have monitors there too!
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. bozola

    bozola

    Feb 28, 2006
    Seattle WA
    The 20 inch iMac screen is not as good as the 24" screen.
     
  14. Alan.Tran

    Alan.Tran

    75
    Jun 5, 2008
    California
    Not really. Unless you're a robot and can tell the difference between 800:1 contrast ratio and 750:1
     
  15. bozola

    bozola

    Feb 28, 2006
    Seattle WA
    More details on the 20 vs 24 inch display can be found here.
     
  16. LindaZ

    LindaZ

    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    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.
     
  17. Alan.Tran

    Alan.Tran

    75
    Jun 5, 2008
    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
     
  18. LindaZ

    LindaZ

    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    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!
     
  19. Alan.Tran

    Alan.Tran

    75
    Jun 5, 2008
    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
     
  20. stayathomedad

    stayathomedad

    Mar 11, 2008
    Alaska

    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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