Sell me a Mac

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by SkyHog, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Everything Offends Me
    Ok, you have 24 hours. Tomorrow, at 8:32PM Mountain Time, I'm buying a new computer. Here's what I'm looking at from Dell. Let's ignore software, since software is crap regardless of who writes it, I need the following:

    Good video card, at least 512MB of VRAM
    At least 500GB of disk space, MUST BE 7200RPM
    CD Burner
    Fast Processor (at least 2.7ghz, dual core minimum)
    Warranty doesn't matter, since I'm not dumb with computers
    At least 2GB of RAM
    No monitor requirement
    No worries about sound card

    Price must be <$1500. Ok, go.

    FWIW, the computer I am planning on buying ATM is the standard Dell XPS 625 for $999.
     
  2. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That makes no sense. This is all about software.

    It comes down to this. If you want Mac OS X buy a Mac. If you don't--don't buy a Mac. You are paying more to run Mac OS X, but personally, I don't give a **** about spending a few hundred more dollars to get the job done on a decent OS.

    I like Mac OS X because it is basically a Unix operating system that actually works for desktop use. 99% of my laptop use is server administration in a terminal or programming in eclipse. I would pay twice as much as a PC just to avoid Windows.

    I am an avid Linux user and Linux pays my bills and keeps me alive. All this said, Mac OS makes sense for my desktop/laptop use.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  3. wildwobby

    wildwobby Pre-Flight

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    Don't you have quite a few PCs already? I'd say get the mac for sure. And if in 14 days you decide you don't like it, return it!
     
  4. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I meant software beyond the operating system.

    I am honestly considering a Mac here, but I need something that's going to sell me beyond "It runs OSX." I have a bunch of computers sitting here, but I want a new one. I like the looks of the Dell, but I'm open to a comparable, not too much more expensive Mac, and that was the point behind the thread.

    So - do you have to install anything special to get access to the behind the GUI stuff on a Mac, or can you do it out of the box?

    I also want to play games, but I've already determined which games can/cannot run on the Mac, hence the "Software is not an issue" portion.

    I don't want a laptop, I want a desktop.

    14 day return policy?? Really? Anyone know if its no strings attached?
     
  5. wildwobby

    wildwobby Pre-Flight

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    There is a 10% restocking fee, other than that, no questions asked.

    Since you are looking for a desktop, an iMac is your only option considering the Mac Mini hasn't been revamped in almost TWO years. The iMac is also past its average product cycle, and should be updated in the next couple of months.

    Also, Apple gives hefty education discounts. If you have any kids in college, or are a teacher, definitely use it to your advantage. You also get a free printer with the purchase of any computer.
     
  6. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In /Applications/Utilities you'll find a program called "Terminal" that takes you right to the command line. And it's UNIX. Gotta love it. :yes:

    I'll look at prices tomorrow. Gotta hit the hay.
     
  7. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What's so special about a min of 2.7GHz processor?
     
  8. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Speed. I'm over-simplifying, but assume one operation gets done per clock cycle (addition, subtraction, memory read, memory write). 2.7GHz=2.7 gigioperations per second. Everything else being equal, that's almost 3x as fast as a 1 gHz CPU.

    Things that will blur raw speed are computer operations (some operations take several clock cycles and some software use more of these operations than others and would appear slower), CPU architecture (there's a lot that has been done to make programs run faster), and even the operating system. The Dual-core, if the operating system & software is well crafted, allows the computing load to be shared allowing for more speed. Back to the operating system- A 1.5 GHz machine rund Windows XP well. A 3 gHz machine runs Vista about the same (no gain)- Windows tends to fill the available memory & CPU speed and abhors a computing vacuum.
     
  9. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    This thread needs to be moved. And while we're at it, can we update the profanity filter to replace M*c and A**le? :D

    [​IMG]
     
  10. wildwobby

    wildwobby Pre-Flight

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    Why does this thread need to be moved? Technical Corner looks to be the right forum to me. Thanks for your PC fanboyism. It really helps!:mad3:
     
  11. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Hmm. I always just hit "Command+Space" and type "ter" and hit enter. :D
     
  12. wildwobby

    wildwobby Pre-Flight

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    Hmm. I just click the icon I put in my dock. :D
     
  13. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    It was a joke. Just like there are a couple of misguided souls on the forum who post, "Buy a M*c" anytime someone complains about a PC problem, I'm expected to post "M*c's suck" anytime the subject comes up. It would be wrong of me to do otherwise.

    I do what I can. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  14. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Wait a week or two. There will be a new iMac soon - probably within 2 weeks. It may be if you order the current one you'll get the new one automatically, but you prolly want to see what it looks like.

    I personally could use a desktop with some more horsepower and will be in the market for an iMac or the rumored Mac box in a year or two.

    If you like spending more time working on the computer itself - rather than working on what you want use the computer for - just buy a PC again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  15. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    That reminds me...I have another Apple appliqué to give you...it came with my new 3G iPhone. I figured you needed another one for your refrigerator. Maybe Hayden will deliver it. :smilewinkgrin: I crack myself up sometimes. :rofl:
     
  16. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    I may go to a Mac next time I purchase a computer. All this spyware, addware and these viruses are driving me nuts on MS. I understand a Mac will now run Vista if you want that. I'm ready to quit supporting MS. They should be providing systems to protect their software instead of me having to purchase third party software to protect theirs.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  17. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    You got it right, Dave, but running Windows on Mac won't get you free of the chaos. The way to handle Windows on a Mac, if you have to run it, is to run it in a virtual machine which is a mere figment of the Mac's memory.

    ANY instance of Windows has all of the problems and time-wasting of Windows.

    You can be in business on a brand new out of the box Mac in an hour or less. I've had to invest a week of off and and on tweaking each time I get a ALREADY CONFIGURED new-to-me laptop at work just to get things the way I expect them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  18. john smith

    john smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For anti-malware, try BLINK from eEye. Disable your existing firewall before installing, though.
    Also, Secunia PCI to keep thing up-to-date.
     
  19. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, that's what I do too. :yes:

    And of course there are many ways to launch an application, so each user can use whichever one works best for them. :yes:
     
  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Chip is here to add spice to the thread. :yes:

    See, Chip likes to think it's Apple's fault that his iPods always broke. In reality, the Toshiba hard drive was not designed to handle the ±10 G's induced by an airplane built by Extra.

    So clearly, it's Bush's fault. ;)
     
  21. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Rumors suck. You'll spend your whole life waiting if you wait for rumors.

    All you have to do is wait for Leo LaPorte to buy one of whatever you want, and Apple will release a new model the next day. :yes:

    Umm... He said sell him a Mac! I think he likes working on the computer itself...
     
  22. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dave,

    Unfortunately, to run Vista on a Mac, you have to buy a copy of Vista from... MS. So you're supporting them anyway if you actually run a copy of Windows.

    However, I think what you really want to do, is do the same things you do on your Windows machine right now, only without the hassle of Windows upkeep. Most people use a computer to run Office applications, browse the web, check e-mail, and the like. All of that can be done on the Mac too. I prefer to run Apple's $79 iWork suite for office apps (and it does open/save MS Office formats), but you can get MS Office for Mac OS X also if you want. And there are many options for e-mail and web browsers on any platform.

    If you want any help before or after the purchase, give me a call - PM me if you don't have my phone #. I've helped a lot of people make the switch (and in some cases, even told them not to.)
     
  23. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    True, I do like to think that. But it was actually my purchase of A**le's iM*c computer (for lack of a better term) for my family that did me in on the company. Two unrecoverable hard drive failures in one year, the absolute slowest browser I've ever seen, and a completely incomprehensible user interface. I've got that POS running at the hangar serving an audio feed to LiveATC.net. It's not good for anything else. Don't drink the Kool-Aid.

    Ah ha!!! You're coming around. :rofl:
     
  24. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    You're just pushing all my buttons today aren't you? Very funny stuff. Oh yea, very funny. :D
     
  25. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Thanks folks; I didn't mean I'd run Vista on the Mac. I'd just go to the Apple OS. Was just throwing that out in case someone needed to run Vista. There could be old files in XP or Vista someone might want to run is what I was thinking. I have a lot of old XP files; didn't know if I could still access them with the Mac OS.

    If I go to a Mac, I'm done with MS as much as I can possibly be.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  26. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why Dell? I'm done with them. They assemble components from all the lowest-cost bidders, without regard to how well they work together. I know that's endemic to the PC platform, but Dell seems to be worse than most, IMHO.
     
  27. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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  28. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    yeah, I know what CPU clock speed means. My question was why the OP set
    the bar at 2.7GHz.
     
  29. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Probably because that's the minimum speed he wants?
     
  30. john smith

    john smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can download Windows 7 Beta for free. MS is allowing it to work until August, but bets are that that will be extended.
     
  31. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dave,

    Files themselves are tied to a particular piece of software, not an operating system. For example, an MS Word file on Vista is substantially the same to an MS Word file on the Mac, and they can easily be read and exchanged.

    Some files might have to go through a conversion process.

    The nice thing is that if you go to an Apple Store to buy yourself a Mac, you can bring your PC with you and they'll transfer all the files over to the Mac for you.
     
  32. rpadula

    rpadula En-Route

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    Nick,

    I don't think you're going to find what you're looking for in a Mac. Your specs hit upon the hole in their line-up. Plus, you're cheating just a bit by picking a Dell with AMD processors rather than Intel. :nono:


    Any Mac in the sub-$1500 price tag will have an LCD screen attached to it, and the cost of that comes out of the bigger HD and better video card. For example, there's a refurb 24" 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB/320GB/ATI Radeon 256MB video in the Apple store for $1549 (+ tax). There is an iMac with a 512MB Nvidia 8800 (and a 500GB HD), but it's the 3.06GHz model, at $1899.

    The Dell 625 appears to be more of a gaming machine. Is that what you're looking for? If you're not looking for that much horsepower, Macs have good longevity otherwise.

    Rich


     
  33. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It all comes down to Mac OS. That is all there is to this. All I can say, (don't tell Apple) I'd pay a 50% increase in hardware cost for Mac OS. For my purpose, that cost increase, is quickly paid for with a productivity increase.

    I'm not the average user. I live in the Terminal. I don't even use the GUI file manager.
     
  34. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Thanks Kent! Good stuff to know.

    Best,

    Dave

    Lost student pilot: 'Unknown airport with Cessna 150 circling
    overhead, identify yourself.' -----------------------
     
  35. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nick...

    I'm not going to sell you a Mac. Yeah, you heard me. We haven't heard anything about what you want to do with this computer, just a very specific set of fairly meaningless performance criteria that seem to be tailored towards the computer you want.

    If you want the Dell XPS, then buy the Dell XPS. If you want to feel "superior" because you have a WinAMD box, go ahead. Enjoy. Hell, go for the free red bezel, it looks pretty cool. But you don't need to have us tell you to do that.

    Now... If you want to get into the Mac OS cheap, just get a Mac Mini and plug it into existing DKM. If you like it, maybe you'll decide to get an iMac or something with a bit more horsepower.

    If you really are interested in a Mac with more horsepower, I'd suggest a Refurb iMac. They have the full warranty and all that, and there's a lot of people who have said very good things about the refurbs. Plus it'll even save ya a couple hundred bucks.

    As far as that particular model - What it does NOT have from your list is 2.7 GHz (it's 2.66), 500GB HD (320) and 512MB VRAM (256). Do you really need 512MB of VRAM? It doesn't sound like this is gonna be a gaming system, so what's the point? :dunno: Were you to spend the extra $200 to get a non-refurbished model, you could upgrade the hard drive to 500GB for $50.

    What it DOES have that's not on your list: A beautiful 20-inch LCD display, a stylish design, Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard", and the ability to run any operating system you want.

    And yes, this is about the software. Mac OS X is the gold standard for ease of use *and* functionality. That doesn't mean "ooh, look at the pretty stuff on the screen." What it means is that you have a backup system included for FREE that's so dirt simple to set up - You plug in a drive, computer will ask if you want to use it for backups, you click "Yes" and you're done. What it means is that you'll never again have to go looking for drivers for that new digital camera or other peripheral you just bought, you just simply plug it in and it just plain works. What it means is that everything just plain works, without any hassle, the vast majority of the time (99.9% - I cannot claim that they work 100% of the time, because nothing does).

    So again - If you want to try Mac OS X, buy a Mac. If you don't, just buy the damn PC already and be happy with it. :yes:
     
  36. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I understand that 2.7GHz is the minimum speed he wants. I got that from post #1.

    My question is still why.
     
  37. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    At this point, I'd like to get away from Windows just because it decides it knows more than I about what to select in a document. I wind up letting it do its selection and deleting the stuff I dont want:mad3:
     
  38. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Why bigger engines? Why slick up the airframe?
     
  39. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    LOL, my bad, sorry. I currently have a 2.6ghz. I want to upgrade, so 2.7 is the minimum upgrade for me.
     
  40. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which processor do you have? Exact model please. There is a lot more to this than clock speed.