Future Mac User: When and What to Buy?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I'm a PC user (Windows and Linux) who wants to join the Apple world, but is waiting for the right time to buy. If Mac OS X were available as an x86-compatible operating system, I would already be running it on commodity hardware.

There are several compelling reasons for me to run Mac OS X:

1) Excellent user interface, which is light years ahead of both Windows and Linux

2) Unix/ Open source tools, including command line tools, Fink, X Windows, and the ability to compile Linux source tarballs and run that software

3) Greater variety of commerical software than Linux

4) No need to dual boot between Windows and Linux, which I find really annoying

5) Secure OS with absolutely no need to worry about viruses, worms, trojans, exploits, worms, patches, virus updates, etc

6) No need for complex maintenance inherent in maintaining a Linux installation

Unfortunately, running it requires me to buy Apple hardware. In light of this, four factors are holding me back from purchasing an iMac right away:

1) The Canada-U.S. exchange rate between the U.S. apple.com price compares to the Canadian apple.ca price at an approximately 74 cents U.S exchange rate, whereas the current Canada-U.S. exchange rate is about 82 cents, which is an incredible rip-off. Seeing as I anticipate the U.S. dollar to decline sharply, there's no reason for me to buy at such a poor exchange rate right now

2) I'm hearing humours of a hardware revision for the iMac (ie, a faster and cheaper iMac) after Christmas

3) If possible, I'd like to wait until Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) is released before making my purchase

4) My Windows/Linux PC is adequate as a short-term solution

This is mostly what I want to do with my iMac:

i) Surf the web, send email, and use the internet, mostly without having to worry about viruses, exploits, etc

ii) Listen to music, watch video, sync with my iPod

iii) Compile and run open source software, as well as making liberal use of Fink and other cool tools

iv) Do some Java programming (web applications, mostly)

v) Make data DVDs with a DVD burner

vi) Occasionally manage photo collection

In light of these objectives and the amount of computing power that I would to fulfill them, I have two questions. Bear in mind that my eventual budget will be the Canadian dollar equivalent of $1,600 U.S.:

A) When do you think would be the right time to buy?

B) Which of the three iMac models do you recommend I purchase?


  • Reply 1 of 3
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Buy either now, or late spring of next year if you can wait for an iMac rev and/or Tiger. I don't see either happening before March/April, but that's really just speculation on my part.

    Based on requirement (v), I'd recommend the middle model (17" superdrive).

    Just FYI, the prices overseas for Apple products almost never match up with the exchange rates. Don't expect it to change.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    I wouldn't exactly call Canada overseas but MCQ is correct. The only way to get US prices is to buy in the US. I would recommend this if you were buying a laptop due to its worldwide warranty, but desktop systems are only warranted in the country of purchase.

    That said, I would say either the 17" Superdrive model (base model excluded because you want to burn DVDs) or the 20" model.

    Right now the only differences between the 17" and 20" iMacs are (of course) the LCD size & resolution and stock hard drive size. The 17" comes with 80GB and 20" comes with 160GB.

    Of course if you don't mind waiting you could always BTO a 17" iMac with a larger hard drive. But between these 2 models it really comes down to how large of an LCD you desire.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Sometimes I think rumor forums and websites hurt Mac sales... here is yet another example.

    If you want the iMac, get the iMac. It's going to be a great machine for at least the next couple of years (if not longer, depending on your uses). Tiger will run fine on it and you can get that when it comes (it's going to be a while).
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