Did you purchase the right Mac?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
This is really a three part question.

1. What Mac do you own?

2. What do you do with it?

3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

I am the type who carefully considers my computing needs before purchasing a computer. Two years ago, I decided on the 12" iBook G3 800. I wanted to write a book that I knew would take me about a year to write, as well as a few other things, That is just what I did. In retrospect, I made the right decision considering my needs and budget. I have no regrets about my purchase. Now my needs have changed so I have been going through the needs assessment process again. Guess what. The low end iMac is the winner. I get the feeling from hanging out here and reading the posts, that some of you wish you had purchased a different machine. I am just curious how many people actually bought the right machine for themselves based on their needs. I know there are a lot of PM owners who would probably be perfectly happy with an iMac but did not buy one because of incorrect preconceived notions. There are probably some who bought i/eMacs or iBooks who find themselves wishing they had something more powerful.

If enough people respond and stay on topic, this thread could be a good resource for people who have some specific needs but don't quite know which machine to buy. By looking at what we bought, how we used it, and what we now think would have been the wiser purchase, it might help them avoid some of our mistakes. So now that you've read this, post your experience.


  • Reply 1 of 24
    1) 15" 1.5ghz, 1.25gb, 80gb (5400) 128mb vram

    2) Vid editing, stream stuff to tv, vid chatting, usual web junk..

    3) I got the right one, I am very happy with purchase..

    Due to various life issues I was like you and had to very carefully choose my next computer purchase.. I had a DVSE500 iMac (donated now to the olds) and had been waiting/saving for 3 yrs or so for something I really wanted... I went backwards and forwards between a 12" and 15" pbook a hundred times, thought about waiting longer still for a G5 iMac.. I wondered if I could live with a portable as my only pooter. A 12" ibook and bottom end tower was considered but dropped due to price constraints.. Finally in May this year I bit the bullet and got it.. It will prob be a while b4 I can upgrade so I had to be choosing well, and in this case I did. Roll on future lotto win and a 2.5ghz dual core G5 powerbook, 200gb hdd, 256mb vram x800m
  • Reply 2 of 24
    1. What Mac do you own?

    (from my signature):

    Dual 2.5 G5, 4.5GB Ram, Radeon 9800XT, 2 SATA drives

    12" Powerbook G4

    2. What do you do with it?

    lots and lots of video--editing, motion graphics, and dvd authoring

    3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

    this exact G5 --its absolutley perfect

    on a side note, the powerbook is an excellent compliment to my G5. i use them both equally, one for notes in lectures and the other for actual work. its a great system.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    1. What Mac do you own?

    Aluminum, 15", 1.25GHZ PowerBook, 1GB RAM

    2. What do you do with it?

    InDesign documents (for reports and teaching docs), a few DVDs made from iMovie, some AppleScripting, some database and record keeping, manage digital photographs, Mail and Safari, one proprietary windows app via VPC, iTunes, DVD player.

    I'm not there yet but I'd like to figure out better ways to present technical information to my customers (scientific instrument sales). It would seem that DVDs, QT-VR and Keynote presentations and such would be cool but distilling that desire down to a something real is difficult.

    3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

    I replaced a Pismo and a G4 tower with this. I'm very happy with this computer. This is the best Apple I've ever had and I've owned a bunch since the PB140. This the first laptop I've had that can handle everything I throw at it. Some things would go faster with a G5 but I haven't run into anything that simply fails because the machine isn't up to it. I think this will easily last me another year.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    1. What Mac do you own?

    I own a 1.6ghz G5

    2. What do you do with it?

    Primariliy homework and chatting with friends online. A lot of research and occasionally "movies" slowly starting to do web design type work again.

    3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

    Basically an iBook or Powerbook would have been reasonable at the time. As of now I am happy I got the G5 because I was debating between the G5 or a G4 of similar speed. I am happy I spent a little more to just have the newer design. Also having a desktop is good because it gives me room to expand my ram more then that of an iBook or powerbook. I am soon going to use it more as a server, since around new years I should have enough money to start hunting(or waiting) for the next gen of Powerbook.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    1. 12" powerbook rev b with an 'old' apple 20" lcd

    2. web, iapps, heavy garage band, small photoshop and small illustrator

    3. Though it is truly "the best of both worlds" due to the portability and large screen, I think today I'd go with a low end ibook and a mid range iMac. I've found that my garage band use is high enough where I could really use a G5. Unfortunately the iMac G5 wasn't around back then. Overall though, this really is the perfect setup and even when a 1 Ghz G4 isn't quite enough, it'll work for the next couple of years just fine for 90% of what I do. I figure once it feels really slow or once it can't run software that I need to run I'll upgrade to a top of the line iMac.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    1) don't laugh.

    a pb G3 pismo 400Mhz 512mb ram 20gb hd intern with an external 19" lacie crt and an external 160gb firewire harddisk.

    2) lot's and lot's of light photoshop (under os9), dtp, internet etc.

    3) this pb was the best thing i could have bought at that time.

    i was holding off for another powerbook, but couldn't justify the costs just yet (the pismo still rocks). another big problem to me was the space the 19" lacie crt occupied on my desk. and shelling out another 1200 euro for an external screen above the 2350 euro for the powerbook was really to much. so the moment i saw the 20"iMacG5 i knew that it was the machine i needed for my work.

    i ordered one and...i'm still waiting
  • Reply 7 of 24
    regreg Posts: 832member
    1) Dual 2.0 with 4GB ram and pb17, 1Ghz with 1 GB ram

    2) Photoshop, imovie and idvd

    3) Perfect for me.

  • Reply 8 of 24

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    This is really a three part question.

    1. What Mac do you own?

    2. What do you do with it?

    3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

    1. I use an iBook G4, 12 inches, with an 800 mhz processor.

    2. Nothing heavy duty. Write papers and articles for school publications takes the cake, but I still can't type as fast on this as I did on my old WIndows desktop. Also moderate to heavy internet use (browsing websites and handling email messages) and file downloading. Gets taken to school a lot; te iBook G4's small size and the school's partial wireless network doesn't hurt. A small music library is maintained on this computer; this would be much larger if the HD didn't offer only 27.94 GB of memory. But that's what my iPod is for.

    3. This one; the good far outweighs the bad. It may not stop me from buying a desktop to do whatever the iBook can't, but I don't know if Apple's offerings today and by early next year will suit me. They are definitely in the running and highly favored, though; the incredible experience with this iBook makes me balk at buying a Windows machine next year even though they offer more hard drive space and better graphics cards.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    1) Dual 1GHz G4, 1280MB RAM, expanded to have 4 HDDs (the original IBM one died this summer though), Radeon 9000 Pro, SCSI PCI card (unused).

    2) Using it for some lighter gaming (mostly Quake 3, Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3, but once in a while a modern game), music composition in Propellerheads Reason 2.5, music mastering in Soundtrack/T-Racks, graphic production and manipulation in Photoshop CS, video editing in Final Cut Pro, Cinema 4D rendering/work (very rarely in these days though), light programming in Xcode, DVD ripping in HandBrake and the usual web-related purposes.

    3) Reviewing my choice of computer hardware back in 2002, I'm absolutely satisfied with the purchase. It's an expensive piece of equipment, but has gotten the job done in every situation. It's not been until recently it's has begun to let me down in terms of capabilities. Newer games, Motion, and some of the other tasks I use it for are making it seem old. I plan to purchase another dual processor mac in the next 6 months.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    i got a PB 12 inch 1.33GHz but I feel that this PowerMac G4 733MHz at the office is faster than it

    I think its because of the ram. I STILL have stock 256MB on the PB and 1.25GB on the PowerMac.

    I like to game a lot, and, I wish I had a Dual 2GHz or 2.5... but I still like the portability and size of the PB *sigh*

    I'll see if I can afford to keep this PB and buy the latest mid/top end G5/G6 in a couple years
  • Reply 11 of 24
    1. What Mac do you own?

    Dual 2.0 G5 Rev B, PB G4 17"

    2. What do you do with it?

    Video/DVD production on the G5 - Weddings, software architecture consulting on the PB (lots of document prep and Java development)

    3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

    The one's I bought - The Dual 2.0 G5 does everything we need and does it fast, and the PB is an excellent machine for what I do. Both are fast enough for what I need.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    G5 Dual 2.5 w/ GeForce 6800.

    I play video games, surf the net, and sometimes edit/convert bootleg movies.

    Got the one I wanted.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    1. What Mac do you own?

    2. What do you do with it?

    3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

    1. A 450MHz G4 Cube, since upgraded with 1GB RAM and a 60GB 7200RPM hard drive, and a 15" Studio Display.

    2. Everything. The usual writing/surfing/emailing, development, some graphics work, lots of text, HTML and XML editing, light gaming.

    3. You can have my Cube when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    My next computer will probably be two: The 20" iMac/12" iBook combo. That, or a nice big PowerBook. At that point the Cube will become my stereo system, and a full-time [email protected] node.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    maffrewmaffrew Posts: 166member

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    This is really a three part question.

    1. What Mac do you own?

    2. What do you do with it?

    3. In retrospect, what Mac should you have bought?

    1. 15" 1.25ghz Powerbook w/ 512mb

    2. Web browsing, (lots of) file downloads, chatting, playing music, general digital hub stuff

    3. The one i got.

    This Powerbook as been fantastic for me. It is the first Mac i've ever owned and was a perfect step into Macville. Next will be a 20" iMac G5, but not until sometime next year because i can't afford it
  • Reply 15 of 24
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    1: eMac 1200

    2: Email, web, hobbiest development

    3: Perfect choice

    I wrote about this in another thread, having used the new iMac, it really doesnt have a significantly different experience to my eMac. It is faster, and a bit smoother. But sitting in front of it, you can hardly tell them apart ( as an experience, they are obviously aesthetically different ). The iMac is no doubt a better machine, but I think the extra cost is discresionary ( if you get it, spend it ).

    For my next machine I will be skipping the iMac ( although I like it ) and getting a low end PowerMac. Why? Because I can buy a monitor now, and use it with my eMac while I save for the tower. Im going to get a Dell 20" ( perhaps the new widescreen version ). Total cost will come out about the same as the 20" iMac, but with an expandable machine ( I do want a faster video card ).
  • Reply 16 of 24
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    1. 15" G4 iMac, 800MHz, 768MB RAM

    2. Web surfing, chatting on AIM, iTunes, iPhoto, school work, little things like that

    3. At the time, I wanted something better, but now I realize that it was the right choice. I don't do anything too demanding, so a 800MHz G4 is plenty for me.

    If I had to guess, my next computer will probably be another iMac. I don't like the design of the G5 iMacs as much as my iMac, but they're still amazing looking and more than practical for me.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    excellent thread !

    1. G4 450MHz Cube with 15"LCD

    2. Coding, mathematics, DV creation

    In 2000, I purchased an iMac 450 DV+ because I wanted to get into video-editing as a hobby. Me and my girlfriend bought a Sony DV cam 2-3 months later. That indigo iMac was truly a joy for both me and my family.

    Later, I bought a Cube because the design and I planned to install a DVD burner later. Because I am doing more and more dv-editing and now DVD-creation, the G4 is no longer up for the task. Converting an hour of mpg-4 into mpg-2 is a drag, taking 8-12 hours.

    For a long while, I have been thinking about the new iMac but I have changed my mind. I really need a dual G5. It means I have to use my old 15" LCD untill i can afford a new screen. And it will not be an Apple screnn. ( way too expensive )
  • Reply 18 of 24
    1. 12" Powerbook G4 1 Ghz

    2. AIM, web surfing, email.

    3. I wish I got the Powermac G5 1.6 Ghz. When I got the Powerbook I was thinking that when I needed the portabilty, I would have the powerbook. But, as it turns out I didn't need it. Another factor though for me buying a notebook especially was the LCD screen. If I bought the Powermac, I would have gotten a CRT most likely. The iMac G4 didn't really appeal to me because it didn't have the right specs. It had the G4, an inferior GPU, and unable to change componets. If I waited intill the iMac G5, I would of bought it in a heart beat though.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    chipzchipz Posts: 100member
    I presently use an iMac 700 MHz unit with 15" FP, 256 MB RAM and a 40 GB HD. The primary use is surfing the web, emails, and writing a book, which will probably take me a while to complete. I've also used it to do some data base work - cataloging my various collections of old vinyl (78s, 45s and 33s), CD collection of 500+ albums of all genres, cassette tapes, books, etc. I've recently ordered a new G5 iMac with the SD (my present iMac only has a combo drive). I figure the SD will come in handy making backups of all this data. I also ordered the new iMac with Bluetooth and Airport Express to use with my network of peripherals including a wireless mouse and keyboard. I will be channelling the sound out to my Linn amplifier and the two huge Linn speakers which produce sound you wouldn't believe! I guess I forgot to mention that I do a lot of audio work with my unit, too. Eventually, I'll have my 700+ vinyl collection transferred over to CD and my 100+ video tapes and laser disks transferred over to DVD. Unfortunately, by the time I get all that done, the iMac will be out-of-date as will be CDs and DVDs!
  • Reply 20 of 24
    I bought a 12" PowerBook, which was the wrong Mac, because:

    a) I didn't need the portability

    b) display was too small and dim (good for a portable, but dim compared to a desktop LCD)

    c) using the trackpad frequently tended to cause RSI (granted you could get around this by using a mouse)

    d) 256Mb was inadequate to run well. Could've added more, but couldn't afford to with the premium price of the PBs.

    e) 60Gb Hard-drive would've filled with my music collection and the odd game (which wouldn't be that worth it on such a small screen) Sure I could've got a removable drive, but this would've looked cumbersome and taken away from the portability.

    So I sold that and am getting an iMac! (right comp for me!)

    160Gb hard-disk and 512Mb RAM for same price as 60/256 with the Powerbook, not to mention a faster processor and bigger screen. Only thing you lose is portability, which I didn't need.
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