Quadrilemma resolution

We have good news: I’ve decided which Mac I wish to buy. This decision follows a fairly extensive discussion with Ben while wandering around the botanic garden (it’s a standard geek self-defence mechanism – when surrounded by plants, talk tech). The reasoning goes somewhat like this:

  1. My choice is between an iBook, a PowerBook, an iMac or a PowerMac.
  2. Fun as it would be to be like the guys in this astounding photo, I really don’t need the portability that a PowerBook or iBook would offer me. This quite neatly halves my choices.
  3. The PowerMac line gets very expensive very quickly: essentially once we get into the territory of dual-processor machines things get prohibitively expensive for no real benefit other than satisfaction of my “power-whore-age”. As we’re talking £1350 minus student discount plus price of a new monitor, this is probably out of my price range.
  4. This leaves me with just the different iMacs to choose from, which basically boils down to lower-end 17″, higher-end 17″ or higher-end 20″. Being the resolution whore that I am, it’s going to have to be the 20″ jobbie.

Money-wise, this works out at £1300 – student discount + cost of more memory (from Crucial, as Apple’s prices are obscene) = £1100 or so – I can’t give you an exact figure because the Apple Education store is kinda broken at the moment.

Anyone got any thoughts on this? Want to congratulate me on finally making a decision? Want to convince me I should go for a different Mac? Want to try to convince me I should stick with my x86 box, Jonty? We got over 20 comments last time: let’s see if we can beat it.

6 Responses to “Quadrilemma resolution”

    •  Gravatar for Meri
    • From Meri
    • Sunday 1 May 2005 at 15:13

    To be honest, I think you should go for a Mac Mini. That way you get to really use a Mac, see what it’s good for, what irritates you, etc, with your current peripherals. If it’s a mistake, it’s only a £300 mistake, if you’re completely convinced then you can be more sure about whether you need a laptop or not (I know you don’t think you do now, but once you’re working you may change your mind). If you decide to go better, then it’ll be when you have job (and therefore more money) and I’m sure the little Mini will make a great multimedia station if you want it to.

    •  Gravatar for Jo
    • From Jo
    • Sunday 1 May 2005 at 18:22

    Meri seems to talk a lot of sense. On the other hand, that would mean that you’d have to start the whole decision process again… Stick with what you decided so I can have my boyfriend back!

  1. I’d personally go with a Mac Mini too. At the end of the day your primary interest is in the operating system and associated features, right? The Mac Mini allows you to run the OS without splashing out exorbitant amounts of money (I’m sorry for £1100 for a computer which isn’t bleeding edge is rather insane :)). Add to this the fact that the Mac Mini is a) beautiful b) uses your existing peripherals all makes for a great stop gap.

    What’s the worst case scenario? You get it, you hate, you sell it on eBay and your losses are minimal. With an iMac those losses are likely to be far greater. Or, best case scenario, you love the Mac Mini, become a Mac addict, then make the switch to a more powerful/apt solution somewhere later down the line free from indecision and worrying about whether or not you’ll like it.

    Let’s also not forget that you won’t be abandoning Windows altogether. You’ll still need it for games, and unless you purchase/acquire equivalent software for the Mac, some of your apps. may remain on your Windows machine. Blowing all your budget would prevent any further cash being spent on this system, not to mention the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 you had been considering.

    Anyway, your call, but if you must go for a Mac then I’d personally choose a Mac Mini, until Apple snap you up post-university and give you a 17″ PowerBook as part of the job 😉

    Kind Regards


    P.S. Didn’t Apple have a 30-day try-at-home scheme at some point, or was that just in the US? That could be an alternative way of ending your indecision.

  2. I also forgot to mention a potential downside to the Mac Mini, doesn’t opening it up to add more RAM void the warranty? I’m not sure, but if so this could be a minus point against the Mini.

    Kind Regards

  3. Opening up the Mac mini to add more RAM only voids the warranty if you break it during the process. If you open it up and shove a screwdriver into the CPU, no warranty for you. If you open it up, pop more RAM in, close it and things break further down the line, I think you’re covered.

  4. That’s fair enough, then. I wouldn’t put it past some companies to be very harsh when it comes to warranties.

    Kind Regards