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Just a quick thread to ask which iMac is the better buy, for those that own one or know in depth information about them. I'm trying to choose between the $1199 one, and the $1499 one. I am looking for something that would be able to take 8 hours of use per day, some of which would be online gaming (I don't get on the computer 8 hours a day all the time, but that is at least what I want it to be able to do). I would obviously prefer to buy the cheaper one, but I am using savings on this, so it's not something I can change my mind about later. I am also considering the MacBook Pro because I like having a laptop, but my assumption is the desktops will last longer and be able to handle more usage.

 

Bottom line is I don't want to see unreasonable declining performance in the computer after only a year of use.

 

Just looking to know what you guy's opinions are. Thanks! :)

 

P.S. If there is a cheaper choice for an equally as amazing computer, let me know please :P

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Haha ok' date=' that works too :P

 

Have any advise on what to buy then? Because my radioactive laptop with 120GM memory and 1 GM RAM is obviously no good. Not to mention it was ruined with Norton by the previous owner.[/color']

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If you're going to be doing online gaming, I would advise against a Mac. However, if you feel you won't be playing games on it (or know already that there are mac versions of the game(s) you want) and don't really care for a ton of customization, then I'd say Macs are superior, albeit more expensive.

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Are you looking at a desktop or a laptop.

 

For a laptop, I stand by Lenovo ThinkPads. They are extremely tough computers and mine takes up to weeks of running solid (the whole [email protected] thing. Yes, a laptop, running Defense Grid, solid for like 4 days without even a reboot) on top of being carried absolutely everywhere and being dropped, handled, even thrown once.

The newer ThinkPads have i5 and i7 options as well as higher end nVidia graphics cards. Last I remember, they were cheaper than Macs too.

MSI also makes very very nice laptops that are quite inexpensive (an i5 model sells for ~$900). I've never owned one myself, but I know MSI has a reputation of being very high quality.

 

For a desktop: anything but a Mac, Dell, or HP really. HPs are ok, but I'd go with them if there's nothing else.

 

The issue with a Mac is there's very little hardware support. Good luck getting most printers, tablets, digital cameras, etc. to work. And software support: again, anything except video editing software and a few select games, good luck getting it to work in and emulator.

BootCamp is nice, but its still virtualization. Even if you're running Windows on it, it's not running on physical hardware and won't have the performance.

Not to mention, you're getting more or less the same or inferior hardware for a much higher price: it just has a prettier case.

 

/me totally digs Mac based video editing software, has a couple Macs around his house..

 

Also, if you want any recommendations for software, I can give you a list of the software I install on every computer that comes my way (antivirus, office suite, etc.)

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Macs are good for music, and photoshop. PC's are good for gaming.

 

I would recommend that you look at the Asus laptops, they are pretty affordable, and offer really good performance. Quite a few people I know use them, and soo far they have run very cool and smooth.

 

HOWEVER, if you have the money to afford an AlienWare, they are the best of the best. They are going to perform just as well as a Asus, but the reliability on those laptops is just rock solid.

 

Now if you want a desktop, it will be best to just buy the parts and build one yourself. Its not very hard, very budget friendly, and allows you to get whatever parts you want.

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HOWEVER' date=' if you have the money to afford an AlienWare, they are the best of the best. They are going to perform just as well as a Asus, but the reliability on those laptops is just rock solid.

[/quote']

 

The AlienWares I've seen were kinda cheapy. It seems like they put a big price tag on the name... I will say tho, the Acer computer I bring to school every day has put up with a lot of abuse.. It's gone through 3 hard drives (have an SSD in it now) and one side is held together with epoxy, but it still works great (and boots Linux in like 15 seconds)

 

/me is very hard on technology...

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Guest Wolfin

Just to echo what's been said here -- if you want gaming, don't get a Mac. Macs are very expensive hardware compared to what you can get elsewhere, you're just paying for the Apple name on the case and a hands-tied operating system with almost nothing in the way of free software. (One windows, lots of freebies, on Mac, you're paying $20 for even a simple app).

 

All the alternatives above are good -- with the exception maybe of Alienware. They recently merged their production line with Dell's (they've been owned by dell for some time but with different production warehouses) and I've heard bad things about their recent quality due to that.

 

/Robin

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HOWEVER' date=' if you have the money to afford an AlienWare, they are the best of the best. They are going to perform just as well as a Asus, but the reliability on those laptops is just rock solid.

[/quote']

 

The AlienWares I've seen were kinda cheapy. It seems like they put a big price tag on the name... I will say tho, the Acer computer I bring to school every day has put up with a lot of abuse.. It's gone through 3 hard drives (have an SSD in it now) and one side is held together with epoxy, but it still works great (and boots Linux in like 15 seconds)

 

* flechmen is very hard on technology...

 

I don't know about the older series, but the M series is rock solid.

 

My dad has owned a M15x(It belonged to a business he no longer works at, so its not in his ownership anymore), and he currently has a M11x. The casing on those laptops are extremely durable, and they have very nice cooling systems in them.

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550x-updateyourOS-500x304.jpg

 

/me chuckles

 

Also a note on wanting it to not loose performance after "only" a year: All computers do that. Regardless of the OS, if you use it every day for general stuff it gets bogged down.

The OS should be re-installed every 12 months at the latest, no matter what it is.

I usually re-install mine every 4 or so, my computer stays running as fast as possible.

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I like the suggestions! Just to clarify though, when I say "gaming", that for me means about 5 (I counted them) BROWSER based games. My hardcore gaming is done on my PS3 :P

 

And yeah, I agree with flechmen on the re-installing the OS, but I meant more in line of the actual parts not performing any less. My family thought dell was the best way to go, and not even re-installing OS can save them now. One's already been gutted and ripped apart to try and save it's miserable hard drive my dad forgot to back up.

 

Here is my situation: I have no job besides the odd handyman work (I'm not lazy, but we all know how jobs are in the US right now), I need a new computer because the best one in the house right now is that miserable radioactive laptop I mentioned (It's a dell that burns your hands after typing on it for a while), and my budget are my savings bonds I have that I have been given by my great-grandmother which add up to around $1,300 right now. I also have about $250 cash. I know I like how the Mac works, but I also know it's expensive. So flechmen, if I wanted to run Linux on something but have high performance as well, is there a good setup for me? Specific parts or computers to look at would be great.

 

The other two perks about the Mac I like is there is less of a need for security software at all, and also I am a major iTunes user (I save all the cards I buy just for records sake...I have over $1000 of iTunes cards sitting in my closet :P) and I know my iPod and a Mac would work well together. But as far as games go, RuneScape is probably an example of the biggest game I will run, and again it's all browser based.

 

Meh what a choppy post I just made... ah well, flechmen (Or anyone else with computer building experience), if you could type up what you would advise me getting both for a laptop OR a desktop that I was gonna run Linux on, that would be great. I'm talking maybe a list of items I could search and compare prices on, or maybe just a good already built computer that could run Linux, cause personally I prefer the already built one (my dad "built" two computers and one caught fire because of bad cooling...kinda scars me but I will look at my options anyways). Thanks!...And thanks for your patience! :P

/me thinks he needs to get caught up on technology other then the latest Mac updates :s

 

EDIT: Also, it would be nice if it could run Microsoft Office...I hate the software, but it's required for college...

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Yeah, if that's the case then I'd say build your own system. You're going to get a far better computer for the money.

An AMD Phenom 2 dual or quad core system will stay performing very well for a very long time.

 

Also, the Mac versions of MS Office are NOT compatible with the PC versions.If you write your paper or make a presentation on a Mac, it will NOT work properly on a PC, and visa-versa.

This has caused so many headaches at my church that we tell people that they have to make their presentations on a PC.

 

Dells and HPs are cheap computers made from the cheapest parts possible. I've found Macs to be comparable...

Acer, Asus, MSI, and Lenovo all seem to be really decent quality.

 

I do have some suggestions though that apply to any computer:

If it has anything - I mean anything - other than an ATi or nVidia graphics card, move on.

If it says "up to" or "shared" video memory - move on.

If it has an Intel graphics card - move on (two words: Utter. Garbage.)

 

The other thing with a mac is they are not upgradeable. You need special tools to replace anything in them and if something goes wrong, you're looking at replacing the computer (I've seen repairs cost that much).

They also use very specific parts (read: expensive) even if you do look into upgrading it. I don't use my Mac laptop at all because I can't get the RAM it takes anywhere, and it's 128 MBs short of the minimum requirements for Leopard.

Most PCs use very generic and standardised parts (read: cheap and easy to find). Most laptops will have a door on the bottom that's openable with a normal screwdriver that has the RAM under it for easy upgrades, most desktops come apart with just a couple screws.

 

Anyway, recomendations..

Newegg is a very good place to find pretty good deals, or Ebay is great too.

The computer I have is a Lenovo T61, and it has been an awesome computer. It runs Linux flawlessly. Windows XP perfectly. Windows 7 like it was made for it (even though the laptop pre-dates Windows 7). It runs just about every game on Steam with the graphics on medium or low. Which, a newer Lenovo has a far better video card in it >.>.

The T61 you can find on Ebay for ~$300. I paid close to $1k for mine when it was new (I had it customised a bit).

 

For a desktop, I don't really shop for them very often, so I just kinda browsed through Newegg a little and found this. It seems like a really decent computer for $360.

 

The computer I use for school is an Acer netbook. I put an 8 GB SSD in it and I run Linux Mint 10 LXDE on it. It works for what I use it for, but I wouldn't really recommend a netbook unless you just want something cheap that you can abuse and not care about.

 

Last I remember, the Mac Servers were pretty comparable in price and hardware to PC servers... Still like $6k tho.

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I like the suggestions! Just to clarify though' date=' when I say "gaming", that for me means about 5 (I counted them) BROWSER based games. My hardcore gaming is done on my PS3 :P

[/quote']

 

Lol, those little Java games should run on just about anything. No need to buy a AlienWare for those :P

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Yeah' date=' if that's the case then I'd say build your own system. You're going to get a far better computer for the money.

An AMD Phenom 2 dual or quad core system will stay performing very well for a very long time.

 

Also, the Mac versions of MS Office are NOT compatible with the PC versions.If you write your paper or make a presentation on a Mac, it will NOT work properly on a PC, and visa-versa.

This has caused so many headaches at my church that we tell people that they have to make their presentations on a PC.

 

Dells and HPs are cheap computers made from the cheapest parts possible. I've found Macs to be comparable...

Acer, Asus, MSI, and Lenovo all seem to be really decent quality.

 

I do have some suggestions though that apply to any computer:

If it has anything - I mean anything - other than an ATi or nVidia graphics card, move on.

If it says "up to" or "shared" video memory - move on.

If it has an Intel graphics card - move on (two words: Utter. Garbage.)

 

The other thing with a mac is they are not upgradeable. You need special tools to replace anything in them and if something goes wrong, you're looking at replacing the computer (I've seen repairs cost [i']that[/i] much).

They also use very specific parts (read: expensive) even if you do look into upgrading it. I don't use my Mac laptop at all because I can't get the RAM it takes anywhere, and it's 128 MBs short of the minimum requirements for Leopard.

Most PCs use very generic and standardised parts (read: cheap and easy to find). Most laptops will have a door on the bottom that's openable with a normal screwdriver that has the RAM under it for easy upgrades, most desktops come apart with just a couple screws.

 

Anyway, recomendations..

Newegg is a very good place to find pretty good deals, or Ebay is great too.

The computer I have is a Lenovo T61, and it has been an awesome computer. It runs Linux flawlessly. Windows XP perfectly. Windows 7 like it was made for it (even though the laptop pre-dates Windows 7). It runs just about every game on Steam with the graphics on medium or low. Which, a newer Lenovo has a far better video card in it >.>.

The T61 you can find on Ebay for ~$300. I paid close to $1k for mine when it was new (I had it customised a bit).

 

For a desktop, I don't really shop for them very often, so I just kinda browsed through Newegg a little and found this. It seems like a really decent computer for $360.

 

The computer I use for school is an Acer netbook. I put an 8 GB SSD in it and I run Linux Mint 10 LXDE on it. It works for what I use it for, but I wouldn't really recommend a netbook unless you just want something cheap that you can abuse and not care about.

 

Last I remember, the Mac Servers were pretty comparable in price and hardware to PC servers... Still like $6k tho.

 

Thank you sir! I shall look into that :)

 

/me looks into it

 

That looks kinda impressive... I'm glad I didn't spend my money yet! :P

 

I like the suggestions! Just to clarify though' date=' when I say "gaming", that for me means about 5 (I counted them) BROWSER based games. My hardcore gaming is done on my PS3 :P

[/quote']

 

Lol, those little Java games should run on just about anything. No need to buy a AlienWare for those :P

 

This computer crashes when most flash or java items (Not only games) try to load. It's that bad. :dodgy:

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What browser are you using?

 

I have a list of recommended software if you want it.

 

Also on that computer I linked to, I think you'll need a monitor (I don't think it comes with one).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824254037 is the cheapest. 17" LCD, $80 sent to your door.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824228019 would probably be a better one tho. Its a little odd (its been debranded) but still a perfectly good monitor, so Newegg is selling it for a huge discount.

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A list of software would be awesome! =P

 

Now can Linux run iTunes? Mac or not, iTunes is a must for me. Also I see it says that particular computer comes with Windows 7... I've heard Windows 7 dosnt really need anti-virus software. What's your opinion on that?

 

Also if you were to name any cons on this particular computer, be it areas where performance would be less or simply areas I should or could upgrade from the start, what would they be? Seeing as I'm basically saving $1000 I have no problem paying to buy better parts where it could be upgraded.

 

I'm sure you can see I'm learning a lot of new things right now XP... Hopefully I'm not being too much of a bother with all the questions >.>

 

Ah!... One more question for now XP... Is this stuff sold brand new, or used, or both? I couldn't tell from the website but perhaps I didn't look hard enough


I apologize for double posting but I'm on the iPod and you can't imagine how it stinks trying to edit a large post :(

 

Anyways I wanted to add, Flechmen, that I found this computer on Newegg after looking at the one you provided.>Click<

 

It seems to be the same thing, just already upgraded which I REALLY like. What are your opinions on this one?


Wait that was really cool how did it merge my posts?

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The forum merges posts automatically.

 

PCs need antivirus. It doesn't matter what version you're running, you need antivirus on a Windows PC.

 

iTunes is very picky software. You can get it to work on Linux, but its so much of a pain in the butt that its easier to just use Windows.

 

As for software:

  • MSSE - Ranked very highly, higher than other free antivirus solutions and a lot of paid ones. I think in 2009, the only ones that surpassed it was Avira and Comodo. Its also very light on processing power. You won't notice it running at all on the computer I picked out or the one you did.
  • Firefox - Fast and secure. Chrome is cool and all, but I don't particularly like having my browsing habits sent to Google for advertising purposes... I also found that Chrome doesn't render forms properly and I can't print Ebay shipping labels from it.
  • LibreOffice - Very capable office software, can even open and make MS Office documents. Not to mention, free.
  • Ccleaner - Nifty little maintenance tool. I like to run it after doing an install, I don't really use it much otherwise.
  • DNS Black Hole - Think AdBlock+ on steroids and applied to your entire computer instead of just Firefox. It even blocks ads in Youtube videos.

 

I have a script I wrote that installs all of this as well as Java, Flash, and Adobe Reader silently and automatically :P

 

As to the other questions, Newegg only sells brand new or refurbished/recertified stuff. Stuff like that oddball monitor that they're selling for super cheap came from the factory that way for example.

The computer you found isn't bad either. Heck, its a nicer computer than my laptop. That'd run some pretty high end games :P And I mean actual games, not Java things. The one I showed you is more than adequate for your needs I think, based on your original post.

You could build the whole thing for $450 and either be able to get it faster or have $600 to spend on other things (a tablet maybe?).

Otherwise, I think that's a pretty spiffy computer for under $600. Though, for that kind of money, I'd go for something with a Phenom processor.

 

Both computers should be easily upgradeable. Lenovo makes business grade machines, so things inside of it should be pretty standard and not that hard to take apart.

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Well when you were about to spend over $1500 on an iMac, $600 sounds like pocket change XP... I even took the time to compare that and the iMac, and the iMac was $500 cheaper there. Either way it looks like I can save a ton of money, and for that I am very grateful to ya =P... You should consider writing a book or something about how people could save money on electronics.

 

So now all this begs the question...How can someone sell a computer like an iMac for so much money, when there are computers like these available? Are people actually paying an extra $1000 for a shiny white shell with an Apple logo on it?

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I don't understand it either.

 

It seems to me that in the '80s and earlier '90s, Apple was releasing products that were far superior in performance and useability to the competitors and still had lower prices. I'm not sure what happened there...

 

Considering a book by me about saving money would probably consist of only the words "Shop around", I'm not sure how really profitable such a book would be :P At least that's all I could really say without advertising PriceGrabber and Newegg (or NCIX for the Canadian version).

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Well either way...the fact that someone could get almost twice the performance for a third of the price is amazing, and I think it's sad that Apple and Dell and other big companies get away with confusing the world.

 

I have a few questions about the OS and how it works...

 

1. Is Linux particularly better then Windows 7, and if so, how?

2. Can you run both Linux as well as Windows 7 whenever you want one or the other?

3. Are there any particular reasons why Linux would be better then Windows 7?

 

I'm not an enormous fan of Microsoft products, but then again I still use Windows XP... *cries* Basically, after thinking, is Linux going to be any better then Windows 7? I knew I would like it over Windows XP but I'm just curious =P

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Well either way...the fact that someone could get almost twice the performance for a third of the price is amazing' date=' and I think it's sad that Apple and Dell and other big companies get away with confusing the world.

 

I have a few questions about the OS and how it works...

 

1. Is Linux particularly better then Windows 7, and if so, how?

2. Can you run both Linux as well as Windows 7 whenever you want one or the other?

3. Are there any particular reasons why Linux would be better then Windows 7?

 

I'm not an enormous fan of Microsoft products, but then again I still use Windows XP... *cries* Basically, after thinking, is Linux going to be any better then Windows 7? I knew I would like it over Windows XP but I'm just curious =P[/color']

 

IMO Windows 7 is better.

 

The only thing I really like linux for is running servers. However I know fletch wont agree with me on that :P

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Windows 7 is quite nice, but to answer your questions from a Linux administrator's standpoint..

 

1. It depends on what you're doing. For a server, oh yes. I don't know why you would run a server on Windows to begin with... For a home system, it really depends on what you're doing.

I see Linux as being good for two groups of people: People that want control over every little aspect of their computer, and people that know almost nothing about computers or want it for very simple tasks like checking email. For everything else, Windows is just easier... like for getting games and a lot of software to work with minimal effort. Linux can pretty much be as difficult or as easy as you want it, the customisation is literally endless. Don't like the user interface? Download a different one!

In that regard though, iTunes, which I find to be horrid software, is well... if you can get it to run on Linux, you deserve an award.

 

2. Yes. You have one of two options. You can dual-boot your computer, where when you turn the computer on it will ask you what operating system you want to load into. Or, what I would recommend, is you can run Windows 7 on the native hardware and run Linux in a virtual machine. That way, you can switch between them at will.

 

3. As stated above: Its fast, its secure, its customisable. But, for running Office, art software, anything beyond java games, you really need Windows.

 

I would say Linux is an absolute must for servers. I actually prefer Windows for a workstation. I run my netbook on Linux because I don't use it for anything and I just want it to work.

 

Windows 7 is a HUGE improvement on XP though. Give it a chance.

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Or' date=' what I would recommend, is you can run Windows 7 on the native hardware and run Linux in a virtual machine.[/quote']

 

I have no idea what that part right there means... Wow I need to sit down for a while and do some research :P And what do you mean by servers? Something other people will be accessing for a website? I'm only looking into a computer for personal at-home use.

 

iTunes used to be a lot nicer I think but now it just lags the life out of everything... The only reason I use it now is because of my owning an iPod (2 in fact) so it all just feels easier.

 

So what it looks like to me is that Windows is my best option, and that Linux is just going to be an added perk for me personally.

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Maybe you'd like Mac OS too, I dunno. Personally, I don't like how Mac OS functions, I find the UI cumbersome and limiting, and I'll just open a terminal full screen and use that. (I'm more comfortable with the Linux command line than I am with any graphical interface).

 

A server is a computer that's usually always on and rarely has someone sitting in front of it that provides a service. For example, Fishden is the server that CF runs on. It provides web hosting for us, FTP to transfer files to it, SSH to manage it, and email, as well as things like IRC.

It hasn't been shut off since we installed the OS on it, and it runs "headless" (meaning it has no keyboard, mouse, or monitor attached to it) It also lives in a large room with a bunch of other servers, but that's kinda irrelevant.

We run Ubuntu Linux on it.

 

A Virtual Machine is basically an emulated computer. Its a program that you can run on your computer, and it will be treated like any other program.

You can install another operating system inside of the VM, and assign it resources it can use and stuff. The operating system inside of the VM doesn't know that its running in a VM, and thinks its using physical hardware.

Its great for testing things on different software platforms and stuff because you can usually have several virtual machines open at one time.

 

At school here, we have Windows 7 running on the computers (the physical hardware) and I'll run a Windows Vista virtual machine that has all of my programs and personal settings on it. Windows Vista thinks its running on a physical computer, when in reality, everything it sees is emulated.

 

This is how Bootcamp works.

 

Now, Virtual Machines cannot have the same performance as the hardware they're running on, because you have resources being used my the host system and the VM software. So, its not something you can set up to play games on or anything, but for just about everything else, its great.

 

If you really wanted, there's ways to get Mac OS to run in a VM if you really wanted it. Useful for playing around or if you wanted to run some higher end video editing software.

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