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Dahlia
10-16-2006, 09:39 PM
hey guys, i have a question. I might be (most likely) getting a computer for my b-day which is in a few weeks, but i have no clue what kind to suggest to my parents. It needs to be cheap, probably nothing over $1000-$1500. I'll mostly be using it for designing, music, maybe some games and thats about it. So is there anything really good out there that is able to support that kind of stuff, but is also pretty cheap?

Dahlia
10-17-2006, 01:07 AM
anyone wanna help?

maX_Andrews
10-17-2006, 01:07 AM
The new imacs from apple are a pretty good deal, and you can have the best of both worlds: install windows to play games and run your windows apps, and then use OSX for music, photos, movies, and web stuff. And it's core2duo with a decent garphics card, so it will handle most stuff quite easily.

And since it comes with the monitor integrated, there's not really anything else you have to buy.

You can get a discount by going here: http://www.apple.com/education/k12/homeschool/ and clicking "yes, i qualify," since i'm guessing you are indeed a student of some sort, or else bring your student id to an apple store with your parents if you want to buy it retail.

You should get the 20" model and configure it so that it has the 256MB graphics option, which comes to $1467 and has the following specs:
2.16Ghz intel core 2 duo processor
20" 1680x1050 widescreen LCD
1GB DDR RAM
250GB SATA Hard Drive
ATI X1600 256MB graphics card
DVD/CD burner
wireless and bluetooth
isight webcam (actually very good and quite functional in OSX)
remote with frontrow software (also pretty nifty)

and it takes up a lot less space, because the monitor "is" the entire computer. I wasn't a fan of the older G5 imacs, but I've been playing with these new ones at the store lately and they are quite capable.
For comparison, a dell XPS configured as identically as possible and with a dell 2007fpw monitor (same thing as in the imac 20") ends up costing EXACTLY the same.

I'd say, go to the apple store and give the imac a whirl. Play some games, open garageband, browse the web for a while, and see if you like it. If you do, I'd say go with that. If not, get the identically configured dell xps with the 2007wfp monitor option.

maX_Andrews
10-17-2006, 01:13 AM
Forgot a few links.
Here's the imac overview page: http://www.apple.com/imac/
http://www.apple.com/imac/ilife.html
and here's the dell xps page: http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsdt_410?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

Hope it helps!

maX_Andrews
10-17-2006, 01:19 AM
one last one, here's info about installing windows onto it as well: http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/

Dahlia
10-17-2006, 01:27 AM
thanks so much for the info! but theres one thing, although i'll definitly check out the apple, i dont really like them too much :P is there anything else you have in mind?

maX_Andrews
10-17-2006, 01:32 AM
well I did also mention the dell xps 410. If you configure this online at dell.com, you can get the same essential thing as the imac for exactly the same price. But then it's a dell :P

Dahlia
10-17-2006, 01:37 AM
ok thanks again :)

lots
10-17-2006, 03:03 PM
As a side note, the Dell Dimension 9200 is the same computer as the XPS 410, but cheaper. We recently purchased a few of these machines, and they're quite nice.

Dahlia
10-18-2006, 02:34 AM
ok, thanks guys, i think im going with the 20" Mac. now, can you people list some pro's and con's on the machine so i know what to expect? thanks. :)

maX_Andrews
10-19-2006, 04:42 AM
pros:
decent screen
fast, dual core processor
decent graphics card that can handle modern games well
apple's software suite which makes editing photos, making music, movies, and DVD's not only easy but fun and with professional results
dvd burner with software you can actually create dvd's with (I've looked and tested, there is no sotware available for windows that even comes close to iDVD on a mac)
good sized hard drive
remote control and "frontrow" software let you control your photos, music, movies, and dvds from across the room.
webcam actually works.
small form factor, quiet, very few cables
abilty to run both mac OSX and windows, thereby having "the best of both worlds"

cons:
upgradability. You are pretty much limited to the specs as the are, except for Hard drive and RAM. If you want to add some more RAM or switch in a bigger hard drive, that's pretty easy. But you're not going to be able to (easily) swap out the processor or graphics card down the line. These computers are designed to stay relevant and usable for a long while, so I don't see it being much of an issue, but if you like to do this with your pc's this is the single biggest con.

I can't really think of anything else that's considered bad. If you do a search for imac core 2 duo reviews n google, you'll see that it gets good rating from everyone of all types. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2017637,00.asp (this is a review of the 24" model, which is essentially the same except for the screen size)
http://www.macworld.com/2006/09/reviews/imaclineup/index.php

Dahlia
10-19-2006, 08:51 PM
haha, thanks for convincing me to get a mac. now i just need to talk my parents into buying it :P

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