Best Time to Buy a New MacIntel

by Derrick Story

I was just reading a column by Ted Landau where he discusses some things to keep in mind before you buy a MacIntel. Ted raises some good points, and the column is worth a read.



I've been thinking about this issue myself. At the moment, my driving need is to edit Raw images in Aperture on a laptop, and then have room to store them. My current PowerBook can't apply the changes as fast as I want to make them. And my 80 GB hard drive... well it's feeling like one of those miniscule trunks in a two-seater sports car. To tell you the truth, I'm beginning to loath my hard drive.



So even though an Intel processor is tempting, what I really need is a better video card, more RAM, and a bigger hard drive. This is what will drive my decision to buy a laptop. Yes, the CPU is important. But it's not my sole consideration for buying a new computer. I need the whole package. And that's when I'll make the leap.


5 Comments

rufferto
2006-01-25 10:17:57
Best Time To Buy
Ted Landau's article notwithstanding, you just summed up the best time to buy a new Mac nicely. Buy one when you feel that your current Mac just can't keep up with what you want to do. And then choose the model that is adequate for your needs.


Buying for any other reason is just giving in to a whim.

applekoolaid
2006-01-25 10:26:43
time to upgrade
I need to upgrade my dual G4 500. I'm getting frustrated in having to dock my powerbook to an external harddrive just to update my iPod and download music. I really need USB 2.0 and enough power to use the iLife apps at a reasonable speed. I feel tethered to the desk because my tower can't cut it anymore. I'm just hoping the Intel Mac mini will match my needs and expectations. Otherwise, I'll probably get a new iMac to be my digital media hub and actually use my laptop to view and listen to media wirelessly, as intended.
dave60607
2006-01-25 11:39:40
Buying at the Bottom of the development curve...
I too have an old slow mac. I didn't want to buy at the end of the power pc cycle, thought a quad is sure temping. But to buy a brand new chip on a brand new platform? Yonahs anticapated upgraded version is only 6 months away (when it will be 64 bit and capable of virtualizied cpus, plus fixed erratas, probably more ghz). After Intel builds these new 65 mm cpus for 6 months it'll be a different world. Then Apple and developers will have caught up a bit, too.


My solution has been last summer to upgrade my ancient 6 year old (unbelievably old for a computer!!!) 450 DP with a dual 1.6 G4 (running 1.8) from gigadesigns as a holding patern. I figure it will be kind of a "throw away" investment that will buy some time, like a year, then the machine will still be very usable when I hand it over to my nieces to use when I finally buy new :) amazingly, this RELIC of a computer runs GREAT and benchmarks close to a G5 desktop! One consideration as well I didn't have to re-buy new big harddrives, ram (already had 4 300gigs w/ ide card + 2 gigs of ram) had a firewire 800/usb2 card too was set there as well). So I figure I get some more use out of computer that's otherwise worth next to nothing, while Apple and Intel do their development thing for possibly a year.


But if you HAVE to buy, then of course buy.


Apple is selling nice, very cheap G4 lapstops cheap ($1000up) in their Special Deals section, as well as amazingly good G5 desktop deals, and these are like to get somewhat cheaper as they start shipping MacBooks. So there is some temptation to buy a cheap laptop (or desktop as a stopgap measure and be able to productive for a year or two. But then after new ram, harddrives, software... well it adds up. Still great gear, but...


We all know the future is Intel and eventually buying anything else you're going to be orphaned, esp 2-3 years plus. New Power PC vs. new Intel, no question Intel (unless other issues play into it, i.e. software). I was around for the Power PC switch so this is like deja vous for me :)


Overall, kind of a hard time to buy. I think that's why so many of us are on the fence for know.


skipc
2006-01-25 13:37:11
Now's not the time.
As referenced above, the refurb Powerbook G4 is the best option for me—I never buy an Apple Rev A product. I have a G5 DP desktop, Photoshop is my primary third party Application, so it could be up to 18 months before a MacBook would even be an option—Photoshop in Rosetta is not an option. Before that, Lightroom will be consumer and preferred over Aperture. Adobe products may start up slow, but aren't the Systems hog the Aperture is..skip
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