I currently have a Dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 Mac. It has 1 MB L3 cache per processor, and 1.75 GB DDR SDRAM for Memory (I don't know what most of this means; I'm just looking under "About this Mac" ). I am running OS X 10.5.8.
I know that obviously my computer is outdated. And it's beginning to become more and more bothersome. I play an online game pretty regularly that runs like crap on my computer, forcing me to borrow my mom's Intel core laptop. I also lately have been trying to run larger video files on my computer, and it seems like it's just too much for my computer to run them very smoothly. I do reset the PRAM and stuff, but I think my computer is just too outdated. On top of all this, I think my computer is just getting into the later days of its lifespan; the most recent issue for me is it takes a long time to boot up. It kind of suddenly just started happening. It used to boot in about a minute's time, and now I have to wait probably a good five minutes for it to even get to the home desktop screen (it sits for a while on a bright blue screen and then just before it boots it gets a distorted pixelated image in the lower half of the screen).
So, I'd like to start considering possibilities for a new computer. I don't have much money right now, and my job is typically part-time hours with minimum wage pay. Naturally my attention turned to Mac Minis, but people who responded to a previous thread I made about it didn't seem to think it was the best way to go. I'm open to considering other computers, but I just can't set my sights on the 00ber expensive ones.
It's also not like I'm trying to do all kinds of big, heavy-duty stuff that would require some supercomputer. I want to run big video files, play my game, and do basic stuff like surfing the web (and using today's common functions on it, including viewing video online or browsing Facebook) and drawing with Photoshop. I'd also like to have a disc drive (preferrably a Blu-Ray one, as long as it can still write and hopefully even rip DVDs (I know I can't rip Blu-Rays legally)), and several USB ports, and the audio plug-in so I can plug in my small speaker system.
Speaking of Photoshop, that opens up another potential issue, also discussed in the aforementioned thread: newer systems. Newer systems tend to mean buying the new versions of the software I have, and when it comes to Photoshop and Microsoft Word, that runs into a lot of money, money I'd much rather not spend. I'm just fine with the versions of the programs I have now; I don't need the new hotsy-totsy versions. So I need to know that the computer I am potentially buying doesn't require me to use a system so new I have to get all new software for everything, or I need to know if there is a way to run old software on a newer system anyway.
Hopefully now what I am looking for in a computer is pretty evident. So now I have a request of all of you: what Intel Mac do you recommend for me?
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20
Thread: Looking for a new computer...
"They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west." - Hosea 11:10
Just so you know, you will probably get more responses if you can possibly come up with a budget for the new computer. For example, how much can you save up in 6 months? 9 months? You get the idea.
I am a PC man, but the church I attend is ALL Mac stuff. So, in order to be able to serve my church in a greater capacity, I purchased a 17 inch Mac Pro about 6 months ago on Ebay. It was in very good condition and has an i7 processor, 8 GBs ram, the latest OS, and an optical drive. I wanted to get a larger screen than what is currently offered in laptops, hence buying the older computer. So far I LOVE it.
One of the advantages of using a mac is that there really aren't a whole lot of choices. Really, just go to the apple site and figure out what you can afford. You don't even have to worry about hunting down a better deal -- except for used, there isn't one. Apple no longer believes in blu ray or DVD so you will have to get an external thunderbolt drive. You probably will need to upgrade your software as well, but there's no harm in trying your current versions.
edit: You might want to go over your previous thread again. It looks like the subject was covered pretty well in that one. Nothing wrong with modern mac minis.
Last edited by smrpix; 16th Aug 2013 at 02:26.
I am using a late 2012 Mac mini (2.5GHz Core i7). It's the top of the line (but not "server" version). Dropped in 16GB of RAM. Works beautifully. A few months ago I also installed (using an adapter from OWC) an additional hard drive but it's a 250GB Samsung "840" SSD. I did not combine the internal drives into a "fusion drive"; I left them as two separate volumes and have configured most apps to use the 1TB spinning HD (a 7200RPM unit) for storage (iPhoto, Firefox downloads, iTunes, etc.).
The Blackmagic disk speed test shows the SSD 2.5x faster then the original HD so booting and most disk intensive tasks happen much faster. It's a great machine (with USB3, FW800, Thunderbolt, analog audio in/out. etc.).
For a display, I'm using one of the "almost-frameless" Viewsonics (24" 1080). Lousy touch-button config but, once you've set it, you'll never touch it again. The screen is excellent.
I run Lightroom daily and am not disappointed in the mini's performance. I love the fact that i can lock the mini in my safe when I go away on vacation. I'm very happy with the mini and, when Apple seriously increases its power (probably not this year but next), I'll consider a new one.
What is "OS X Server"?
I would prefer not to spend over $800, but I'm open to ideas and opinions. I'll probably look at getting a used computer to cut costs.
EDIT: Just from looking at Amazon's basic search results, I may need to go for a Mac Mini based on my budget, huh?
Last edited by Jeikobu; 16th Aug 2013 at 17:23."They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west." - Hosea 11:10
OSX Server is for (among other things) file sharing to more than 10 concurrent users, an eMail server, web server, DHCP server, blah, blah. If you can't imagine why you'd want such services, you don't need it.
Spend the money on the Core i7 mini as it's a quad-core. (My mini is the 2.6GHz, not 2.5GHz as I misstated in my earlier post.) You may add RAM later if you wish. You may add an SSD later and/or upgrade the HD. If you're not ham-fisted, it's not too bad to work on. It's also very quiet (unless you've got some video transcoding going on in which case the fans will kick on to keep thing cool).
Get a new one or there are some refurb's at Apple (so you may get AppleCare before the 1 year warranty is up). Do note that the 2011 models do not have USB3, only USB2 and the video chip on the 2011 model is the HD3000 whereas the 2012 model gets the HD4000. I think it's worth the $$ to get the new one.
I'm sorry, I'm not very familiar with all these tech terms, and I don't even know about how to add on this and that to a computer. I kind of need things in dummy terms, sorry. ^^;
In essence, though, you think the Core i7 Mini will meet my previous mentioned criteria? And is this the model you are speaking of?
And I should get it new because I will get a 1 year warranty?
What's the difference between USB2 and 3? The number of ports?"They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west." - Hosea 11:10
My main computer with a phenom II x6 cpu died recently, and I need to fix it up and don't have the money for that.
So in the mean time I bought a dual core computer off of ebay for $50 with an Athlon 64 x2 cpu. I got a 9600 GT video card for about $40, and I can watch 720p video with no problem, and play my older games (the only one I play) at good resolution (Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Age of Empires 2).
For a relatively small investment you can get a decent used computer off of ebay. There are many sellers who buy old computers in bulk from companies who are upgrading their systems. Many of these sellers even offer extended warranties.
here. There -will- be an upgraded model in a few months with the Haswell chip (latest low-power chip from Intel). Probably won't be much more horsepower as the improvements in the MacBooks (where Haswell is now being used) seem to be limited to battery life. I have 2.6GHz mini model but 2.3GHz is fine if that's your budget. New unit comes with 1 yr warranty but you may buy AppleCare for $99 here. Buy it before warranty expires because you can't buy it after that. RAM is easy to upgrade when you get the $$ available. Buy that here. You may find RAM slightly cheaper elsewhere but OWC stands behind their warranty (lifetime). RAM upgrade does not invalidate warranty.
As another has posted, USB3 is a lot faster than USB2 (5-8 times faster).
Generally, the mini is for someone who already has a keyboard, mouse and display and doesn't want to spend a lot of $$. I'm even running Windows 7 under Parallels and it's faster then the new PC I recently bought (and sold yesterday).
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
I see the link you gave to the mini says it comes with Mountain Lion. Can I still run the old versions of Photoshop and Microsoft Word on that? I don't want to fork out hundreds of dollars on the new versions of those softwares. If I can run old programs on the newer systems, I need to know if I can run an older system on that mini.
I don't need a super fast computer. The speed of my mom's laptop is enough for me. It has 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, with 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. Hope that helps. Not sure what I should mention beyond that as I don't know to find what the RAM is or what video card it has, or USB#.
Photoshop (why not save some money and get Photoshop Elements, instead, if you don't absolutely need everything Photoshop has to offer?) and Word (you can always try OpenOffice/LibreOffice, or any of the variants, with Intel Macs, too. Word is generally only available as part of Microsoft's Office suite on the Mac, at this time, I believe.)If cameras add ten pounds, why would people want to eat them?
"old" version of Photoshop...how old? CS4 runs without a problem; CS3 has some hiccups (and they're noted on the Adobe support pages). If all you're doing is photos, consider Lightroom (or the free, now open-source Lightzone). As Ai Haibara says, no more Rosetta so PowerPC apps are history. If you look for an older Mac running Snow Leopard (10.6), then you get Rosetta. However, you also get a considerably slower Mac (and/or one without a warranty) so you'll be spending $$ regardless.
Last edited by smrpix; 19th Aug 2013 at 16:03.
I wonder if it's the first version of CS. The application name simply is "Abode Photoshop CS" and in the "About Photoshop" option the year only goes as far as 2003.
just a summary:
- version cs is OK on 10.4, 10.5, 10.6
- with newest OS versions (10.7, 10.8) you need at last Adobe CS3
…don't know about Maverick, I didn't install it yet
PS: CS works on computer PPC & intel
CS3 only works on intel
Actual apple's computers (eg: macbook pro 2012) do not boot anymore onto 10.6, so with a brand new computer YOU NEED CS3 (or more)
PPS: just for info about hardware, I have an old iMac (core 2 duo, 2010). It boots on 10.6 (and with difficulties I managed to boot it onto 10.5)
Things have changed quite a bit since the days of your G4 tower: Apple makes nothing like that anymore, so there's no directly comparable upgrade path. It boils down to either a Mini or a Mac Pro tower, and the towers are way out of your budget range. The Mini cannot accomodate internal HDDs beyond its startup drive, so you would need to get external FireWire cases for the additional HDDs currently installed in your G4 tower. Any additional HDDs you want to add later would also need to be external. FireWire externals are preferable for the Mini but fast disappearing in favor of USB2 or USB3. USB is OK but not always as speedy or reliable as FW on the Minis when it comes to external HDDs. Ditto DVD or BD burners: you need externals, most likely USB.
Since you would prefer not to spend a huge amount of money to update PhotoShop, your first priority (given your other requirements) should be to decide whether you really need the full version of PhotoShop at all. If you can live with PhotoShop Elements instead, you will be free to buy any newer faster "Lion" Mac you choose, because PhotoShop Elements is so cheap to buy. So think about exactly what it is you do in Photoshop: if it is mostly simple retouching, you can opt for Elements v11 and be perfectly happy (if anything, you'll find some automated tools that aren't in the full PhotoShop). See a comparison of features here. The Microsoft Word/Excel issue is also fairly affordable: just buy the "Student/Teacher" 2008 or 2011 edition, and you'll have compatibility with Lion OSX. Total cost of a current Mac Mini + External DVD Drive+ PhotoShop Elements 11 + MS Office Mac 2011 would be approx. $950.
If you absolutely must have use of a specific feature in your old PhotoShop that is not available in Elements, you'll be forced to consider an older second-hand Mini that is capable of running OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard (the final OSX compatible with the Rosetta translator needed to run ancient G4 apps like Photoshop CS v 1). The drawback to doing this is that PhotoShop CS runs HORRIBLY slow under Rosetta. Simple common tasks like cropping an image and pasting it into a new one really drag and are unpleasant. Its usable if you aren't a heavy-duty power user, but it kinda sucks. If at all possible, go for a newer Core i5 or i7 Mini and new Elements (or Elements+Lightroom). The older version of MS Office Mac 2004 works fine under Rosetta, somewhat sluggish but no big deal (again, if you're a power user you won't like it). The most recent Mini compatible with Rosetta was this one. You would need to buy it from an independent computer store, Craigs List or eBay. Make sure it comes with its original model-specific OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.4 installation DVD: you will need it to guarantee proper Rosetta installation. Installing Rosetta after-the-fact via Apple download is a pain and often screws up, the DVD is better.
As a user and administrator of both Mac and Windows systems, I think it only fair to note that Macs are not the focus of the gaming world and Apple has recently written off DVD and BluRay as if they never existed. Reading between the lines, I think you're hoping for AMAZING improvements in your game performance and easy ability to author all kinds of video discs. If so, you may want to consider adding a cheap recently-discontinued Windows 7 i5 or i7 PC of some kind after you update your Mac. The Mac Mini is great if you are oriented mostly to what it does well, and it does do many things well, but gaming and BluRay are not strong suits: not by a long shot. I use Macs for my graphics stuff, office tasks and web browsing, but keep a Windows 7 desktop and laptop for video disc authoring. Availability of burners is better and easier, as is the selection of authoring tools and tutorials.
Last edited by orsetto; 26th Aug 2013 at 16:36.