Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

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boglemania
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Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by boglemania » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:11 pm

Use iphones/ipods but never had Mac desktop (not interested in laptop). Suggestions at 2-3K? The options are overwhelming. Please give me some advice. Thanks

badger42
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by badger42 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:12 pm

What do you actually plan to do with it?

Jags4186
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:13 pm

Do you need a $3000 computer? What are you using it for?

Topic Author
boglemania
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by boglemania » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm

Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
Would love a decent sized screen, say 24 in .
Not sure if I need a 3k computer, that's why I'm asking. Typically buy one every 4 yrs-6 yrs.
Last edited by boglemania on Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jags4186
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:15 pm

boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
I’d just get either top top of the line 21” iMac model or the bottom of the line 27” model.

frugalecon
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by frugalecon » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:23 pm

If you don’t need a laptop, I would go for the 27” screen iMac. I have one that is five years old, and it is still plenty adequate. My guess is that it has 2-3 years of life left. Fast SSD storage and plenty of RAM are probably more important than a super fast processor.

BH13
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by BH13 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:33 pm

I'd suggest getting the low end 27" refurbished iMac here:

https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/27-inch-imac

Suggest either of these:
$1529 for 8 GB RAM / 1 TB HD - add extra RAM from here https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/ ... 17-27-inch
$1779 for 16 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD - add an external $100 3 TB hard drive for your media

frugalecon
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by frugalecon » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:49 pm

BH13 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:33 pm
I'd suggest getting the low end 27" refurbished iMac here:

https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/27-inch-imac

Suggest either of these:
$1529 for 8 GB RAM / 1 TB HD - add extra RAM from here https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/ ... 17-27-inch
$1779 for 16 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD - add an external $100 3 TB hard drive for your media
I checked out the refurb store after my post, and I zeroed in on these deals! I bought a MacBook Air out of the refurb store in 2011 and I still use it occasionally.

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Alexa9
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:10 pm

I would stick with Dell. Macs are overrated (pretty but limited software) and overpriced. You can get much better specs with a Dell XPS desktop custom built for half the price. You can get a much better monitor and speakers as well.

kjvmartin
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:48 pm

boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:11 pm
Use iphones/ipods but never had Mac desktop (not interested in laptop). Suggestions at 2-3K? The options are overwhelming. Please give me some advice. Thanks
My circa 2008 iMac is still functioning optimally. Anything in the lineup is going to be fine for your limited needs and anything over the base model will only increase the snappiness of boot up and app launches. I would buy a 4k or 5k Retina model with an SSD and you'll be set for about 10 years. Use a credit card with an extended warranty and purchase AppleCare for a combined total of 5 years of coverage.

People like to say Macs are a bad value for their specifications, but most ignore the fact that a Mac is optimized software designed specifically for customized hardware. I tried a $1400 Windows 10 laptop and found my $1400 MacBook Pro with less powerful hardware was a better experience.

My only warning is that the iMac line is rumored to be due for a spec upgrade, if not an entire refresh. You may want to check the rumor mill.

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Thrifty Femme
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Thrifty Femme » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:52 pm

If you are outside the NY/NJ area, consider purchasing new from B&H Photo for no sales tax. They are an authorized Apple seller.

jumbopapa
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by jumbopapa » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:37 pm

boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
You do not need to spend $3000 on a computer for your needs. You can get an adequate Windows PC for <$1000. All you need is at least an i5 processor, 8gb RAM and an SSD. If you're archiving photos I would recommend something with 2 hard drives bays and then you can have your SSD in one for things you need to be fast and use the second for the photos/videos. You could even buy a couple 27" monitors and stay well below your price limit.

Please do not waste your money on a Mac.

chuckb84
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by chuckb84 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:52 pm

jumbopapa wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:37 pm
boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
You do not need to spend $3000 on a computer for your needs. You can get an adequate Windows PC for <$1000. All you need is at least an i5 processor, 8gb RAM and an SSD. If you're archiving photos I would recommend something with 2 hard drives bays and then you can have your SSD in one for things you need to be fast and use the second for the photos/videos. You could even buy a couple 27" monitors and stay well below your price limit.

Please do not waste your money on a Mac.
There are several important points here.

First, if you're buying a Mac specifically NOT to have to use Windows, then it's well worth it. Subtract observer bias; I'm a Mac user since 1984, and I cannot STAND Windows. Windows 7 was almost, kinda, sorta, a usable OS, but it's been downhill ever since. NOT having to run Window is the major reason that I am so, so happy to use a Mac.

Second, Mac has a long, well-established low total cost of ownership. The things just work, and they work for a LONG time. Except for reboots to install OS updates, it is routine for me to run for hundreds of days without restarting the computer. My Macbook Pro is almost 4 years old and I literally cannot tell any difference from the day I bought it...except that it may now be a bit faster due to the macOS updates.

Third, the myth of "limited software" is....a myth. For the vast majority of mainstream software, it's all available on Macs and PCs. If you use specialized Windows-only software (I'm sorry), then use Bootcamp (or Parallels or VMWare) and run it as you wish.

Fourth, although the OP stated that he/she had no interest in laptops, the clear way to go is to get a 13" MacBook Pro and dock it with a keyboard and monitor. If you never take it with you, fine, but you always can. And you'll be running a dual monitor setup from the outset.

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billthecat
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by billthecat » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:03 am

boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:11 pm
Use iphones/ipods but never had Mac desktop (not interested in laptop). Suggestions at 2-3K? The options are overwhelming. Please give me some advice. Thanks
boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
Would love a decent sized screen, say 24 in .
Not sure if I need a 3k computer, that's why I'm asking. Typically buy one every 4 yrs-6 yrs.
Sounds like you want to keep it simple and your needs are limited, but you want a large screen.

Base model 27” iMac.
We cannot direct the winds but we can adjust our sails.

Alchemist
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Alchemist » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:26 am

If the OP definitely wants to stick with MacOS, another option is to get a Mac Mini. Then you can select whatever keyboard/screen you want and still come out for quite a bit less than buying an iMac.

Valuethinker
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:58 am

chuckb84 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:52 pm
jumbopapa wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:37 pm
boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
You do not need to spend $3000 on a computer for your needs. You can get an adequate Windows PC for <$1000. All you need is at least an i5 processor, 8gb RAM and an SSD. If you're archiving photos I would recommend something with 2 hard drives bays and then you can have your SSD in one for things you need to be fast and use the second for the photos/videos. You could even buy a couple 27" monitors and stay well below your price limit.

Please do not waste your money on a Mac.
There are several important points here.

First, if you're buying a Mac specifically NOT to have to use Windows, then it's well worth it. Subtract observer bias; I'm a Mac user since 1984, and I cannot STAND Windows. Windows 7 was almost, kinda, sorta, a usable OS, but it's been downhill ever since. NOT having to run Window is the major reason that I am so, so happy to use a Mac.

Second, Mac has a long, well-established low total cost of ownership. The things just work, and they work for a LONG time. Except for reboots to install OS updates, it is routine for me to run for hundreds of days without restarting the computer. My Macbook Pro is almost 4 years old and I literally cannot tell any difference from the day I bought it...except that it may now be a bit faster due to the macOS updates.

Third, the myth of "limited software" is....a myth. For the vast majority of mainstream software, it's all available on Macs and PCs. If you use specialized Windows-only software (I'm sorry), then use Bootcamp (or Parallels or VMWare) and run it as you wish.

Fourth, although the OP stated that he/she had no interest in laptops, the clear way to go is to get a 13" MacBook Pro and dock it with a keyboard and monitor. If you never take it with you, fine, but you always can. And you'll be running a dual monitor setup from the outset.
I am a lifelong Windows user.

But I would substantiate that Macs keep running. My late father's Mac, which is now used by my mother, has been running for at least 10 years (we're not sure, exactly). Main problem now is that things like Firefox and Safari are now no longer released as compatible, the hardware and OS are so old. Migrating my mother to a new Mac would be very hard, unfortunately - changes in the User Interface totally defeat her (we are still working on left click & right click ;-)).

If one has specialized programmes, e.g. perhaps CAD or modelling software, then one runs with the Windows platform -- although the problem then becomes if it has been updated to run on Win 10, etc. There are all kinds of weird compatibility issues going on, arising in part because MSFT does not control the hardware.

I would say if you are a heavy Excel user then the Windows Excel is the standard - I don't even know the keyboard shortcuts on a Mac for Excel. That may also be true of Powerpoint (not sure) and Word (I hate Word, but it's another business standard).

You might well say that I am not a Windows user, I am an Office user.

onourway
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by onourway » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:48 am

A new Mac Mini might be a good option for you. You can get one well equipped for $1200-1300 (16GB RAM, 256/512GB SSD) then add a decent monitor and be well under $2k.

The other option would be to get an iMac from the refurbished store on Apple’s site. The 21” model starts at about $1200 with a Fusion drive. The 27” model at about $1500. Make sure not to get an iMac with a regular spinning hard disk. Fusion drive at a minimum.

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stickman731
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by stickman731 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 am

I do not have specific recommendation but I live in an Apple Universe - iMac, MacBook Pro, AppleTv, iPad, and iPhone. My rule of thumb is always purchase the fastest processor and the most memory.

Everyone will argue about the price but my 27" iMac is 9 years old and I never had an issue. When I purchased my iMac, the 27" was only a $100 more than the 24". I thought the screen was too large when I received it but now love it.

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nisiprius
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by nisiprius » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:52 am

It took me a full month to decide to buy my first Mac in March of 1984, and they were in "pay the list price" mode, and I drove thirty miles with my teller's check for $3,000 for my Mac with 128K of RAM and an ImageWriter--and had to make a second trip a month later to get the cable for the ImageWriter, which wasn't available yet. Let me think. Home computer history: Commodore VIC-20, original Mac, MacPlus, Mac Color Classic, Mac Performa 6400 with DOS card, Mac Mini, Mac Mini, Mac Mini, Mac Mini. You may take it that I like Macs.

I like Mac Minis. They have low cost of ownership because you aren't buying a new monitor with every new CPU. The biggest knock I have on them is that--uncharacteristically for Apple--the low end of the line typically does not have enough RAM or a fast enough disk, and therefore the ones actually on the shelf at the Apple Store are disappointing. Buy through the online store and don't cheap out on the RAM or the disk.

If you interact frequently with work, e.g. work at home and there's any possibility that you need to use specialized work software, unfortunately, using a Mac at home just turns out to be a royal pain. Sorry about that, and forget all "run-Windows-on-Mac" stuff, it's always ended up being disappointing, starting with the Performa 6400 with DOS card (separate card with a whole PC on it). I've used several kinds of PC emulator software. Even since they went to Intel: I've used Bootcamp, I've used Parallels. There are always glitches. Pure 100% software may be OK, but things like hardware access for dongles have issues. And the "mean life" is short. Several times I've had situations with "run-Windows-on-Mac" solutions where I started out being amazed and pleased by how smoothly it all went, and then ended up in a world of hurt when the next Mac OS version came out. (Typical detail: printer support just stopped working).

I have long bought and paid for the Mac versions of Word and Excel. I don't buy every version, I wait as long as I can and skip one or two. In the first place, they aren't half bad. In the second place, even though Microsoft is unforgivably irresponsible about maintaining full compatibility across platforms, it is still much better than trying to exchange stuff weekly with work colleagues if they're using Word and you're using Apple Pages, or LibreOffice Writer. (Or just use Google Docs and have everyone be miserable.) Just wait until you are working on something to be submitted by deadline with a hard requirement of a 20 page limit, and the 20-page document your colleague sends you prints out as 21 pages with two lines at the top of page 21.

Open source software (e.g. LibreOffice) only works if you're actually in a Unix-centric work environment (as I was once).

If you just want the nicest experience for yourself, I believe that yeah, the Mac overall is noticeably less infuriating than Windows, and I prefer it, Apple overpricing and all. And the just-plain-hardware quality is good.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

cheapskate
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by cheapskate » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:28 pm

For your needs, I would highly recommend the new Macbook Air 13". You can get the 8 GB RAM/128GB SSD configuration for something like $1050, without taxes or shipping (at B&H). Add a HDMI(+USB-A)<-->USB-C dongle and a 27" monitor and you can set this thing up with dual screens, external USB keyboard and mouse. Plus you have the portability of the Macbook Air when you travel (or even want to go to a Coffee Shop and work from there).

The dongle + external Monitor + USB keyboard/mouse should cost less than $300 total.

The Mac Mini option is going to be a few hundred dollars cheaper, at the expense of portability.

Either Mac Mini or Macbook Air should last you 5 years easily.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:27 pm

Alchemist wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:26 am
If the OP definitely wants to stick with MacOS, another option is to get a Mac Mini. Then you can select whatever keyboard/screen you want and still come out for quite a bit less than buying an iMac.
This is what I'd get, best bang for the buck if you want the Mac experience. Buy a separate non-Apple monitor.

Inframan4712
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Inframan4712 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:42 pm

Alchemist wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:26 am
If the OP definitely wants to stick with MacOS, another option is to get a Mac Mini. Then you can select whatever keyboard/screen you want and still come out for quite a bit less than buying an iMac.
But not less than buying a Mini + 5K monitor. And the iMac 5k has the best 5k monitor out there. I know. I've looked. You won't find a better 5k monitor for less than the price of the 27" iMac - it's like getting a computer for free. I'm not sure there is a better 5k monitor for MacOS out there, in the sense that all the ones I've seen have display resolution matching issues or sleep issues, etc. Love my 5k iMac. But I also love my Macbook.

Windows PCs are cheaper. But Windows sucks. It does. It really does.

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bottlecap
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by bottlecap » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm

Good Lord.

We just replaced our gifted iMac with a PC desktop and a 32 inch monitor for about $500.

The iMac is expensive. It's fine for a few years and then it bogs down.

In 4 years when this PC slows down, we will replace for a few hundred bucks. An iMac would be another $2,000. Why on earth pay for an iMac unless you need something specific from it?

LOL on the "windows sucks" posts. Maybe 10 years ago the Apple IOS was better. In reality, there's little difference for most users now. Apples "suck", too. And they are far more expensive.

Good luck and wait for some Christmas sales.

JT

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:24 pm

I have a 2008 iMac. Still functions well.

Inframan4712
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Inframan4712 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:58 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm

LOL on the "windows sucks" posts. Maybe 10 years ago the Apple IOS was better. In reality, there's little difference for most users now. Apples "suck", too. And they are far more expensive.

Good luck and wait for some Christmas sales.

JT
I have a 1 year old Dell XPS 8920 desktop, loaded, intel i7, gtx 1080, 16gb ram, 512gb SSD right next to my 3 year old 5k iMac. Every single time I turn on the Dell, which is infrequent, it wants to reboot multiple times to install yet another patch to its POS operating system. And it eats up my Wi-Fi bandwidth downloading said updates, leading to my family complaining about how slow their online gaming just got.

Whereas my iMac just works. And the screen is gorgeous.
And it’s a single, silent item on my desk.

Two people living alone in a house with Windows PC probably wouldn’t notice the difference, I agree. But when you have four people, 4 computers, it’s nice not to have to do any tech support at all to keep them running smoothly and silently.

chuckb84
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by chuckb84 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:54 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm
Good Lord.

We just replaced our gifted iMac with a PC desktop and a 32 inch monitor for about $500.

The iMac is expensive. It's fine for a few years and then it bogs down.

In 4 years when this PC slows down, we will replace for a few hundred bucks. An iMac would be another $2,000. Why on earth pay for an iMac unless you need something specific from it?

LOL on the "windows sucks" posts. Maybe 10 years ago the Apple IOS was better. In reality, there's little difference for most users now. Apples "suck", too. And they are far more expensive.

Good luck and wait for some Christmas sales.

JT
Just for clarity: It's macOS on Macs. iOS is what runs on iPads and iPhones. iOS barely existed 10 years ago.

This is a religious question for most people. In my view, Windows has very deep flaws that can never be changed, but that's just my view, and certainly opinions may differ. However....

A good question to ask, whether it's Window or Mac is: Why should it "slow down" after 4 years? Macs don't do that. It's a question of design. If anything, my 4 year old Macbook Pro is "faster" than the day I bought it because macOS has gotten better over the years.

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RootSki
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by RootSki » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:12 am

I’m a big fan of the Mac Mini. My 2014 Mac Mini with solid state hard drive is just as fast if not faster than when I got it.

iCloud is genius.

onourway
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by onourway » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:16 am

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm
Good Lord.

We just replaced our gifted iMac with a PC desktop and a 32 inch monitor for about $500.

The iMac is expensive. It's fine for a few years and then it bogs down.

In 4 years when this PC slows down, we will replace for a few hundred bucks. An iMac would be another $2,000. Why on earth pay for an iMac unless you need something specific from it?

LOL on the "windows sucks" posts. Maybe 10 years ago the Apple IOS was better. In reality, there's little difference for most users now. Apples "suck", too. And they are far more expensive.

Good luck and wait for some Christmas sales.

JT
Your Windows PC will slow down far more than the Mac during the same period of time, and after 4 years, the Windows PC will be worth close to $0 while the iMac will likely be worth at least 50% of its purchase price.

Total cost of ownership is where Macs usually win in the long run. Like others, our 2007 iMac is still running great.

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by bottlecap » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:24 am

Inframan4712 wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:58 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm

LOL on the "windows sucks" posts. Maybe 10 years ago the Apple IOS was better. In reality, there's little difference for most users now. Apples "suck", too. And they are far more expensive.

Good luck and wait for some Christmas sales.

JT
I have a 1 year old Dell XPS 8920 desktop, loaded, intel i7, gtx 1080, 16gb ram, 512gb SSD right next to my 3 year old 5k iMac. Every single time I turn on the Dell, which is infrequent, it wants to reboot multiple times to install yet another patch to its POS operating system. And it eats up my Wi-Fi bandwidth downloading said updates, leading to my family complaining about how slow their online gaming just got.

Whereas my iMac just works. And the screen is gorgeous.
And it’s a single, silent item on my desk.

Two people living alone in a house with Windows PC probably wouldn’t notice the difference, I agree. But when you have four people, 4 computers, it’s nice not to have to do any tech support at all to keep them running smoothly and silently.
We had the exact opposite experience. And Apple support for anything more than a couple of years old is a joke.

That said, I liked our iMac when it wasnt lethargic and didn’t require tech support that doesn’t help.

But the vast majority of users can get every bit of functionality out of a PC for a third or a fourth of the cost of an iMac And the proof is in the pudding - PCs dominate the market. They can’t all be like your Dell or they wouldn’t.

And you don’t need tech support for PCs because you can just buy a new one every few years for next to nothing.

JT

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by bottlecap » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:25 am

onourway wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:16 am
bottlecap wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm
Good Lord.

We just replaced our gifted iMac with a PC desktop and a 32 inch monitor for about $500.

The iMac is expensive. It's fine for a few years and then it bogs down.

In 4 years when this PC slows down, we will replace for a few hundred bucks. An iMac would be another $2,000. Why on earth pay for an iMac unless you need something specific from it?

LOL on the "windows sucks" posts. Maybe 10 years ago the Apple IOS was better. In reality, there's little difference for most users now. Apples "suck", too. And they are far more expensive.

Good luck and wait for some Christmas sales.

JT
Your Windows PC will slow down far more than the Mac during the same period of time, and after 4 years, the Windows PC will be worth close to $0 while the iMac will likely be worth at least 50% of its purchase price.

Total cost of ownership is where Macs usually win in the long run. Like others, our 2007 iMac is still running great.
Our 2012 is junk and has been for a few years.

onourway
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by onourway » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:44 am

bottlecap wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:24 am
Inframan4712 wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:58 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm

LOL on the "windows sucks" posts. Maybe 10 years ago the Apple IOS was better. In reality, there's little difference for most users now. Apples "suck", too. And they are far more expensive.

Good luck and wait for some Christmas sales.

JT
I have a 1 year old Dell XPS 8920 desktop, loaded, intel i7, gtx 1080, 16gb ram, 512gb SSD right next to my 3 year old 5k iMac. Every single time I turn on the Dell, which is infrequent, it wants to reboot multiple times to install yet another patch to its POS operating system. And it eats up my Wi-Fi bandwidth downloading said updates, leading to my family complaining about how slow their online gaming just got.

Whereas my iMac just works. And the screen is gorgeous.
And it’s a single, silent item on my desk.

Two people living alone in a house with Windows PC probably wouldn’t notice the difference, I agree. But when you have four people, 4 computers, it’s nice not to have to do any tech support at all to keep them running smoothly and silently.
We had the exact opposite experience. And Apple support for anything more than a couple of years old is a joke.

That said, I liked our iMac when it wasnt lethargic and didn’t require tech support that doesn’t help.

But the vast majority of users can get every bit of functionality out of a PC for a third or a fourth of the cost of an iMac And the proof is in the pudding - PCs dominate the market. They can’t all be like your Dell or they wouldn’t.

And you don’t need tech support for PCs because you can just buy a new one every few years for next to nothing.

JT
$400-600 every few years for a device that appreciates to zero costs as much or more in the long run than a $1500 Mac that typically lasts for 8-10 years (and still has value at that point). Low cost PC’s dominate because most people can’t think long term, or don’t have $1000+ to spend on a computer without financing it.
bottlecap wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:25 am
Our 2012 is junk and has been for a few years.
Define ‘junk’. IMac boxes are worth more than the typical 6 year old desktop PC.

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SpringMan
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by SpringMan » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:57 am

If I were to get a desktop Apple Mac I would consider the Mac Mini especially if you already have display monitor(s). The iMac all in one computers are nice if you need a builtin monitor. 2000-3000 dollars seems like too much IMO. I would not get a MacPro desktop. I just retired my old Win Vista era Compaq desktop. I went with a Dell XPS 8930 desktop on sale and am very happy. Buying it from Dell you get to configure it as you want. For $800 I got a 256GB primary SSD, 1TB 7200 rpm secondary drive, I5 six core processor, 8GB RAM and an Nvidia 4GB VRAM graphics card with Win 10 home. It boots up in seconds rather than minutes. I hooked up an existing pair of 27 inch Acer monitors.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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GMCZ71
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by GMCZ71 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:18 am

Alchemist wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:26 am
If the OP definitely wants to stick with MacOS, another option is to get a Mac Mini. Then you can select whatever keyboard/screen you want and still come out for quite a bit less than buying an iMac.
+1
I just replaced my 2012 mini with the new 2018 mini. Upgrade the ram when you purchase and for the hard drive its cheaper if you store stuff on an external drive. A larger internal drive will be more expensive.
mac mini $1000 from Apple
monitor $150-250 from Amazon 24 inch curved
keyboard-mouse $100 from Amazon
ext drive $100 from Amazon
If you still need to run a Windows program you can add Parallels Desktop to run Windows on Mac.
John

stimulacra
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by stimulacra » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:53 am

I would lean towards a mid-level Mac Mini ($1,099) + Magic Keyboard and Mouse ($248) + LG Ultrafine 4k 21" display ($699).

You'll have a nice, good looking and modular system there for under $2k.

You can save a few hundred bucks on the peripheral side by going with third party keyboard/mouse and a cheaper display.

Upgrading to the LG Ultrafine 5k display ($1299) will get you a 27" display.

The iMac is a good value in comparison but you do face two additional risks that you don't necessarily face with a headless unit:

1) The iMac is a top-heavy item physically. I know quite a few people who have knocked theirs over and severely damaged and cracked the screen. Usually from wearing wired headphones and walking away obliviously or messing with wired peripherals. You have the same risks with large LED monitors but those can be replaced for a lot cheaper than a damaged iMac can be repaired. People with damaged iMacs will then usually just live with it till it's time to replace or upgrade.

2) If the video or logic board dies outside of warranty you essentially have a paper weight. If the video goes out one might be able to use an external monitor on the iMac but it's not an elegant solution or allocation of desktop space.

If considering the iMac, make sure placement on the your desk is bullet proof or consider a VESA mount solution.

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by kerplunk » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:00 am

This may help to make sure you don't buy something right before they update the product:

https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac

moehoward
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by moehoward » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:04 am

chuckb84 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:52 pm
jumbopapa wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:37 pm
boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
You do not need to spend $3000 on a computer for your needs. You can get an adequate Windows PC for <$1000. All you need is at least an i5 processor, 8gb RAM and an SSD. If you're archiving photos I would recommend something with 2 hard drives bays and then you can have your SSD in one for things you need to be fast and use the second for the photos/videos. You could even buy a couple 27" monitors and stay well below your price limit.

Please do not waste your money on a Mac.
There are several important points here.

First, if you're buying a Mac specifically NOT to have to use Windows, then it's well worth it. Subtract observer bias; I'm a Mac user since 1984, and I cannot STAND Windows. Windows 7 was almost, kinda, sorta, a usable OS, but it's been downhill ever since. NOT having to run Window is the major reason that I am so, so happy to use a Mac.

Second, Mac has a long, well-established low total cost of ownership. The things just work, and they work for a LONG time. Except for reboots to install OS updates, it is routine for me to run for hundreds of days without restarting the computer. My Macbook Pro is almost 4 years old and I literally cannot tell any difference from the day I bought it...except that it may now be a bit faster due to the macOS updates.

Third, the myth of "limited software" is....a myth. For the vast majority of mainstream software, it's all available on Macs and PCs. If you use specialized Windows-only software (I'm sorry), then use Bootcamp (or Parallels or VMWare) and run it as you wish.

Fourth, although the OP stated that he/she had no interest in laptops, the clear way to go is to get a 13" MacBook Pro and dock it with a keyboard and monitor. If you never take it with you, fine, but you always can. And you'll be running a dual monitor setup from the outset.
I agree with your statements. Limited SW is a myth. I found Shareware that is as good the purchased SW for Windows. I understand people have different needs and bias, which is fine. But wasting my money on a MAC? sorry, didn't happen. Also, I have a VM with windows 7 (the good version)

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Small Law Survivor » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:13 am

Reading this thread prompts this question:

I have a 2010 MacBook. I will replace it soon, probably with a Macbook Air, since the new Airs seem to fit my needs.

But - I have vision challenges, and I need to use the Macbook with an external monitor. When I go to the Apple store I see the iMac displays, they are incredible. That's what I'd like.

Is there any way I can get that display quality using an external monitor with the Macbook Air?

Thanks in advance.
68 yrs, semi-retired lawyer, 50/40/10 s/b/c, 70/30 dom/int'l. Plan: 4% WR until age 70, 3% after social security kicks in. Boglehead since day 1 (and M* Diehard before that) under various other names

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by stimulacra » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:16 am

chuckb84 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:52 pm
jumbopapa wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:37 pm
boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
Please do not waste your money on a Mac.
First, if you're buying a Mac specifically NOT to have to use Windows, then it's well worth it. Subtract observer bias; I'm a Mac user since 1984, and I cannot STAND Windows. Windows 7 was almost, kinda, sorta, a usable OS, but it's been downhill ever since. NOT having to run Window is the major reason that I am so, so happy to use a Mac.
I recently bought a ThinkPad T480 for my daughter and am spending the weekend setting it up. The physical design of the laptop is actually quite nice and is unique and different from Apple's future-minimalist but dealing with Windows 10, trying to set up a child account with the sufficient amount of privileges and parental controls, has been an interesting exercise in patience.

Some comical things I've noticed, in order to set up a minor account under Window's family, you have to allow Microsoft to charge $0.50 to prove that the primary administrative account is a legal adult. At the moment I'm feeling it's about 2 or 3 times harder than it needs to be but am slogging through the process.

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by onourway » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:17 am

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:13 am
Reading this thread prompts this question:

I have a 2010 MacBook. I will replace it soon, probably with a Macbook Air, since the new Airs seem to fit my needs.

But - I have vision challenges, and I need to use the Macbook with an external monitor. When I go to the Apple store I see the iMac displays, they are incredible. That's what I'd like.

Is there any way I can get that display quality using an external monitor with the Macbook Air?

Thanks in advance.
The iMac tends to have exceptionally good displays (another factor often left out of their comparison with bargain-basement pc’s). However you can buy a very good 4K monitor for about $500 or so that will be near to the quality of the 5k 27” iMac monitor. I would look towards Dell for a high-quality, reasonably priced monitor.

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by stimulacra » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:23 am

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:13 am
Reading this thread prompts this question:

I have a 2010 MacBook. I will replace it soon, probably with a Macbook Air, since the new Airs seem to fit my needs.

But - I have vision challenges, and I need to use the Macbook with an external monitor. When I go to the Apple store I see the iMac displays, they are incredible. That's what I'd like.

Is there any way I can get that display quality using an external monitor with the Macbook Air?

Thanks in advance.
Ever since Apple discontinued their external monitors, they've recommended LG's ultrafine displays as their “official” monitors for the product line (excluding some pre-thunderbolt) models.

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HKMY ... 4k-display

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HKN6 ... 5k-display

Click on the compatibility section towards the bottom of each page to see if it includes your model.

fundseeker
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by fundseeker » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:35 am

boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
Would love a decent sized screen, say 24 in .
Not sure if I need a 3k computer, that's why I'm asking. Typically buy one every 4 yrs-6 yrs.
This may have been said, but it seems like a Dell with whatever size screen you want to buy (it can even be an LG or whatever) would be the best option. And, you can buy one Dell's best and the large screen for around $1,000 or even less and save $1,000 to $2,000.

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by mindgap » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:49 am

My Bogelhead approach for a new Mac is.....drumroll... a 5,1 MacPro (Cheesgrader).

Yes, they are older but they still run super fast (I do photo and video editing on them professionally), you can go crazy with hardware and max them out to the point that they almost reach the processing power of the new Macs. Also, Apple still supports them with new firmware updates (because they know how much they went into the wrong direction with the garbage can).

Make sure that you get a Dual Core 5,1 and you are good to go. You can upgrade the RAM and GPU if needed or even upgrade the CPUs if you like.

The only downside is that they use quite a bit of power but you can burn through a lot of KWh with the savings compared to a 3k machine :)

3-20Characters
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by 3-20Characters » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:43 am

boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:11 pm
Use iphones/ipods but never had Mac desktop (not interested in laptop). Suggestions at 2-3K? The options are overwhelming. Please give me some advice. Thanks
OP, you’ve received some good advice. Can’t go wrong with an iMac, imo. I’d get the 27”. I’ve never heard of them toppling over so that’s a new one on me. I have a 27” late 2009 iMac still running strong that still has some life left in it. I also recently purchased a used MacBook Pro. The mini looks very interesting and if in the market for a desktop, I’d probably go that route for myself after looking at it more closely.

Been a Mac user since 1984 and owner since 1988. No complaints. Macs keep getting better and better imho and whatever perceived premium you may pay, it’s recouped over the life of the computer and then some.

People who disparage Macs and Mac users tend to have an axe to grind. They tend to think that we are sheeple without minds of our own. I put a lot of thought into my life and how I run it, so thanks for your concern but I know what I’m doing. Apple to me is a gem of a company if you understand how they operate and it fits your needs. For one thing, Apple sells you complete solutions meant to work together (some call it a walled garden, disparagingly or not). If that doesn’t appeal to you, of course you won’t like Apple. Move on.

For another, Apple charges a premium for your privacy and security. They guard these more closely than say, google, whose whole biz model is to monetize your info. It’s not that google doesn’t care about these things. They wouldn’t stay in business long if they didn’t. But much like Facebook, your privacy conflicts with their business model, so there’s that. I happily pay the Apple premium and have not been disappointed. Also, Apple’s hardware is usually top notch, although like any company, they have released some dogs here and there.

Even though you’re not looking at laptops, let me tell you about the MacBook Pro I just got. Used, fully loaded mid-2015, 15” MacBook Pro off eBay, paired with a 40” 4K display from Best Buy. I don’t have a TV so it serves triple duty as a desktop design station work computer, portable laptop to take to client or coffee shop, and TV. I’ve been running it through it’s paces and it lacks nothing. The set up cost me a little over 2k. A mini would work well in a similar configuration if you don’t need the mobility of a laptop. Just add the display of your choice.

Lots of goood Mac options out there if you define what you want. Don’t overlook deals on phased out models or refurbished. But there’s nothing wrong with spending 2-3k on a nice computer solution that does what you want and is a pleasure to use every day. A Chromebook or a Windows Dell is not the answer to everyone’s dreams.

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telemark
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by telemark » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:52 am

onourway wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:48 am
A new Mac Mini might be a good option for you. You can get one well equipped for $1200-1300 (16GB RAM, 256/512GB SSD) then add a decent monitor and be well under $2k.
That's what I do. I have a very nice 24-inch monitor (Dell U2412M) and a keyboard I like better than the Apple ones. Whatever you decide on, make sure it comes with enough RAM, because adding more later will be either difficult or impossible. Apple's obsession with making everything small, light, and pretty has not served its customers well on the desktop side.

For storing your videos and pictures, adding an external drive is easy and inexpensive. It doesn't need to be fast.

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corn18
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by corn18 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:13 am

I have the best of all worlds: 15" MacBook Pro (5 years old). It is my work computer and personal computer. Work loads Win 10 in a virtual machine and I do all my work on that. Then I do the 4 finger flip and I am in my personal computer. Not sure if Windows is better than Mac OS. They are different but not better. What I like the most is the stuff just works. Work gave me an IBM as they are going to stop supporting my Mac. That darn thing is constantly updating and rebooting and just a PITA. But for some reason, Windows running on my MBP just works all the time. I can't remember the last time I had to restart my Mac. That's why I like it. It just works. All the time.

For the OP, consider getting the Apple 27" 5k monitor and then attach a MacMini or MacBook Air to it. Then enjoy it for the next 10 years.
Don't do something, just stand there!

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by inbox788 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:18 pm

boglemania wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:14 pm
Old Dell worn out. Just surfing, video/pic archives, streaming youtube/other prgms, but no gaming.
Would love a decent sized screen, say 24 in .
Not sure if I need a 3k computer, that's why I'm asking. Typically buy one every 4 yrs-6 yrs.
Why not just replace the worn out one with the same thing? What model and specifications? OS? Processor? Memory/storage? What size and resolution is your current monitor? You many not need to replace your monitor, and your current monitor may work just as well with a Mac Mini as some have suggested. This give you a new onscreen desktop when the computer is on, but your old monitor when it's off, so may not be satisfying as furniture/decoration.

Of if the computer is working fine, you could give it a tune up and replace the monitor with a 4k/5k one, kind of like refinishing your cabinets. Are you comfortable adding RAM and HD/SSD? That and a fresh install of Windows 10 might be all that you need. You may need to add or update a video card.

How does it handle your current needs? Are there new things you're going to do that the current system can't? Do you have any external devices?

For what you're doing, almost any modern computer will handle the tasks you've mentioned. So whether you spend $300 or $3000 depends on what specific needs you have that demand that added cost.

FWIW, turns out my old 5 year old computer has USB3 that wasn't working at top speed because I hadn't updated the drivers. Also, while I was having trouble plugging in a device, I took a closer look and discovered an eSATA port. I used to find a lot of unused iLink ports that went unused.

For completeness, I haven't seen the common BH answers, but I'll mention using linux (Mint/Ubuntu/etc) or build a Hackintosh.

OP, since you're interested in Mac, and if you don't go the Mac Mini route, and since you want >= 24" screen, that eliminates the 21.5 iMac. Seems like your choices are quite limited: https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/imac/27-inch

Pick any one. They're all fairly priced. You get marginal better performance and increased longevity, but pay extra for it. I'd pick the least expensive one, since you probably won't notice much the first few years. If you do use it a lot, you might save a few seconds here or there that add up faster, and a more expensive one makes sense for you now. [how much disk usage do you currently have? When will you fill 1TB?]

Here are some new features if you can wait for the iMac Touch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLf2d2Js_hk
https://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Surfac ... B01M73SWUB

stimulacra
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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by stimulacra » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:14 pm

mindgap wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:49 am
My Bogelhead approach for a new Mac is.....drumroll... a 5,1 MacPro (Cheesgrader).

Yes, they are older but they still run super fast (I do photo and video editing on them professionally), you can go crazy with hardware and max them out to the point that they almost reach the processing power of the new Macs. Also, Apple still supports them with new firmware updates (because they know how much they went into the wrong direction with the garbage can).

Make sure that you get a Dual Core 5,1 and you are good to go. You can upgrade the RAM and GPU if needed or even upgrade the CPUs if you like.

The only downside is that they use quite a bit of power but you can burn through a lot of KWh with the savings compared to a 3k machine :)
At my current place of employment (and previous) they could not give away any of the cheese grater Mac Pros. In terms of sheer size, weight, and power consumption at idle (150 Watts), they were overkill for anyone who might have been interested. The logic at the time was that a Mac Mini would break even on energy costs in the first year or two for the casual user.

The fully loaded ones were shuffled off to the server closet or used as a heavy duty backup machine in the office. The rest are collecting dust or were recycled. We have four of them lying around at work, there's some talk about turning them into benches (the aluminum chassis is engineered well enough to have a useful second life as furniture).

They could definitely be of use to photo and video editors who need that extra grunt but for casual users it's a bit of overkill.

If one were interested in these models, ask around local design firms or ad agencies. There's plenty just quietly collecting dust.

Also these two sites are great resources to extending the life of your old Macs.

Low End Mac
http://lowendmac.com

Otherworld Computing
https://www.macsales.com

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:31 pm

The new Mac Minis are overpriced. If you do decide to get one, and are a little adventurous, you can upgrade the ram yourself and save significantly over Apple’s outrageous RAM prices. The hard drive is not user replaceable and if you want more than the standard 128gb you should decide if you are okay with an external drive or if you want more internal storage. Personally, I’ve moved most of my needs to the cloud and 128gb would be fine for me. I am not a big picture or video person though. I would upgrade to the Core I7 processor.

The biggest con of the Mac Mini is that you do not get a discrete graphics card, you get intel integrated graphics, and not even their best one. If discrete graphics is at all important to you, get an iMac.

Regarding whether you should get a Mac or a Windows PC, ignore everyone saying “Windows has too many updates, Windows sucks, etc. etc.”. Windows 10 is a fine operating system. Guess what, if I don’t turn on my Mac for a month I have a million updates as well, and the MacOS updates take forever to download and install. They just bundle everything so you see 1 giant update instead of Windows 50 tiny updates.

Regardless, I do prefer the MacOS to Windows. Just understand you will be paying $300-$1000 more for the equivalent hardware in a Mac vs. a PC. Since your budget is $2000-$3000, you can basically get whatever you want. Have fun!

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:02 am

chuckb84 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:52 pm

There are several important points here.

First, if you're buying a Mac specifically NOT to have to use Windows, then it's well worth it. Subtract observer bias; I'm a Mac user since 1984, and I cannot STAND Windows. Windows 7 was almost, kinda, sorta, a usable OS, but it's been downhill ever since. NOT having to run Window is the major reason that I am so, so happy to use a Mac.
At the risk of drawing the ire of Mac supporters, I’d submit that one could also meet the objective of abandoning the Microsoft ecosystem by trying Linux Mint. It’s similar enough to the Windows (pre-8) user interface that the learning curve would be minimal, and native versions of Chromium browser, Thunderbird email, and LibreOffice come bundled with it. And it’s free to download, so no Microsoft tax.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

Post by robphoto » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:46 am

I think the iMac is a great option for someone who just wants to do work without a lot of setup.

The basic 27" is 1699. delivered from B&H and other vendors.

It might be that the 21.5" ($999.!) is big enough for you-- you could go down to your local Best Buy and take a look at the options.

If you budget is really 2000. - 3000., I would go ahead and spend the money for one with an SSD

For myself, I use a 2011 i5 that I bought for 500. on eBay and upgraded with 16gb ram (easy) and SSD (fussy, but cookbook)

(If you look at them on eBay, there's definitely a range of conditions from sat-in-a guy's-home-office to seven-years-in-a-tough-high-school)

Have fun shopping!

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