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Seriously Thinking Of Getting My First Mac.


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26 replies to this topic

#1 Izzy

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 12:44 AM

what can be recommended for the first time mac user, i thought of getting a second hand one but i thought again just get a new one considering they resell better than a PC anyhow.

What i intend to use it for:

Internet Surfing and Downloading, Office Apps, Burning DVDs/CDs, emailing, CD/DVD cover printing.
Now should i get Office:Mac or iWork? I thought Office:Mac 2008 due to my uncle has Office 2007 for PC like i currently have. Or would you have both?
Should i get Toast?

I will also use iTunes and iPod quite a lot. Would i be best to get an external HDD to my my 40GB of music files on?

Anyway i understand Mac use hardware different to PC. But what is my better option:


20" iMac 2.0Ghz
2GB Ram (optional upgrade to 4GB ram for $395)
250GB HDD
Applecare
ATi HD 2400 XT 128mb video
$1947 (Australian Dollars)

or am i best to spend the $451 extra on this one?

20"iMac 2.4Ghz
2GB Ram (optional upgrade to 4GB ram for $295 [why its cheaper to upgrade ram on this model to the other i do not know])
320GB HDD
Applecare
ATI HD 2600 Pro 256mb
$2398 (Australian Dollars) (or 24" with 4GB ram for $2848)

Should i get the Kingston 4GB ram kit 2x2GB for $189 on eBay)

Aww, what about virus protection, i know they don't get virus hardly, but should i have something at the least?

look forward in hearing responses.

Edited by Izzy, 09 April 2008 - 03:25 AM.


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#2 Buddyme2

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 05:12 PM

Either model is more than enough for what you want to use it for. You will need the iMac with a Super Drive to burn DVDs with though. You should take a look at NeoOffice before buying a license for either MS Office or iWorks, it's a donationware office like suite. It is compatible with the PC version of Office 2007.
With the size of the HDD of the iMac you don't need to use an external yet for music etc. But it is recommended that you get an external firewire drive for backing up your docs, music, photos, videos etc. Better yet, create a bootable clone using either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. As for AV, you don't really need one unless you don't want to transmit any windows virus that you received from a windows user ie attachments, docs etc. They will not affect your Mac in any way. I would suggest you just use a routers firewall and the Macs built in firewall along with Little Snitch. If you really want an AV I suggest using ClamXav, it's made for a Mac.
I wouldn't bother letting Apple upgrade the RAM (it's too expensive), get 3rd party RAM from Samsung, Kingston (not the value line), Crucial and OWC to install yourself.
Which RAM to buy
Upgrading RAM: FAQs

#3 Izzy

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 12:31 AM

thank you for your reply, i'll probably get either one when i get one, which will be about 2 months from now, can't wait to try one out.


How does Applecare work, does it still cost me $$$$ to repair the mac if it needs it? (it comes with it don't know how it works) I will have to send it away because don't have a authorized apple reseller/repair place where i am.

#4 Buddyme2

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:38 AM

It will cost you $$ if you cause any type of accidental damage to the Mac ie you dropped it or poured water, coffee, beer on it etc. Apple Care will cover any defects that occur during the time of the protection plan (3 years from the date of purchase of the Mac) ie HDD crashes, motherboard fails, defective RAM etc. A new Mac or a refurb bought from Apple's online store has a one year warranty with the first 90 days having free phone support, after 90 days without Apple Care you will be charged for any phone support you might need.
At anytime within the first year of purchasing a Mac you can buy Apple Care and thereby extend the warranty for 2 more years, 3 years total starting from the date of purchase. After one year of purchasing the Mac you won't be able to extend the warranty. So if you want AC, either buy it with the Mac or within the year. If you need warranty work contact Apple Support and if they deem that the Mac needs servicing, Apple will send you a shipping box with instructions on sending in the Mac with prepaid shipping. That was the way it went with my one and only time I used AC for my Mac in the US.
AppleCare FAQs will explain it better than my rambling.
If you have installed any 3rd party RAM in the Mac, remove it/them before sending in the Mac to Apple for warranty work. I've read that Apple has a tendency to blame 3rd party RAM for any hardware problem and will not work on the Mac because of the 3rd party RAM.

#5 Izzy

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 06:13 PM

a good read and very interesting, thanks for that. in a couple of months i hope be using a mac. i've never been excited over a computer before but i suppose a mac gives you a different experience to a crappy PC.

thanks again guys.

#6 Buddyme2

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 11:04 PM

Your welcome Izzy. In the mean time you might want to read these.
http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/
http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/

#7 Izzy

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:06 PM

just another question:

Refurbished iMacs, are they ok, since being a first time mac user, i can get a refurbished iMac bottom line current generation for AU$289 less.

What about a Mac Mini, apart from the scabby hard rive size are they ok? in case something hapens along the way and i can't save up enough for a iMac.

Are second hand ones ok or better to get a new one?

Edited by Izzy, 14 April 2008 - 05:16 PM.


#8 Buddyme2

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 05:03 PM

just another question:

Refurbished iMacs, are they ok, since being a first time mac user, i can get a refurbished iMac bottom line current generation for AU$289 less.


I think the refurbs are very good deals. They have been checked over twice by Apple and have the same warranty as the new Macs. The only difference that I can think of, is you can't upgrade the refurbs in house (RAM, HDD, CPU etc.) and the refurbs might have some cosmetic flaws ie dents and scratches, but internally they are like new.

What about a Mac Mini, apart from the scabby hard rive size are they ok? in case something hapens along the way and i can't save up enough for a iMac.


I have no experience with Mac Minis. I've read that they are pretty good for basic stuff like your planned use for a Mac. You can listen to music, view photos etc. off of a firewire external drive if the startup disk doesn't have enough space for them.

Are second hand ones ok or better to get a new one?


You won't go wrong with either a refurb or new Mac. Both have the same warranties and if you find you don't want the Mac you can return it for a refund or trade within (2 weeks?), I'm not sure of the return time limit of a Mac so you should look into that just in case.
I have a refurb Mac going on two years now, it had to go back for warranty work once (maybe due to me dropping it a couple months before it stopped running) and since had no major problems ( I dropped it again last year :thumbsup: ). My next Mac will also be a refurb when I can afford one again.

#9 Izzy

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 11:23 PM

thanks for the info, i may just go for the refurb, saves some $$$.

#10 Buddyme2

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 06:06 AM

Your welcome :thumbsup:

#11 Izzy

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 02:52 PM

what size external drive (Firewire) should i get?
one the same HDD size as the mac?

#12 Buddyme2

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 03:04 PM

If you'd like one the same size, it will be fine. I have 2 (so far) USB/FW external drives. A 120 GB for cloning my 100 GB drive and a 400 GB for backing up my docs, photos and movies.
I bought the external enclosures and the drives separately and built them myself. The drive has longer warranty when bought separately, 5yrs - 1yr.

#13 TVT

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 03:58 PM

Depends on what you want to use it for. If youre gonna use it for backup clones or external storage, one the same size is good. But if youre looking at using Time Machine, go for one bigger.
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#14 Izzy

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:03 PM

so if i get a 320GB HDD iMac, a 500GB external Firewire will be good


I also came across this website today http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#iMac
it is saying not to buy an iMac due to upgrades soon, so i'm puzzled if i should get one or wait. Should i wait for new Penryn processors, or get one before hand while the current iMacs are less of bugs. Since macs are a lot of money i might as well cover all angles i can.

Edited by Izzy, 20 April 2008 - 03:26 AM.


#15 Izzy

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 09:33 PM

I'm so Excited!!!!

My iMac 20" is on Order should have it in 5 days, can't wait.

2.66 Ghz
2GB Ram
320GB Hard Drive
Superdrive
AppleCare

A$2267

it was such a shame i couldn't stretch to a 24".




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