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Cheap switch to use garage band and iLife

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hey guys im at that point, ready to switch. well ive actually been in love with the mac since the mac classic i used to use hypercard on in middle school EC projects. so now i want to switch but on the cheap. so mac mini, right? or no? ive found cheap mac minis on ebay but most with older specs, are these fine if i want to use mostly iLife stuff and only one app at a time or should i shy away from the non intel based mac minis? what would i need to work well within garage band, iphoto, idvd, etc? as in memory, processor speed, etc. and really i plan to buy a macbook in future, maybe nine months or so, should i wait or should i even consider a used macbook on ebay, again something cheap like a G3 or G4. as you can see i need some help. im commited to the decision to switch but not to the hardware choice i should make. thanks in advance!!!

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im guessing that when you say a used "macbook" on ebay "G3 or G4" you mean a powerbook. i have a powerbook, mac mini, and macbook and if was to give you the best advice on switching for cheap it would be to go with the mac mini right now. The mac mini is great and does what you need to do. then if you decide later on that you want something more portable the macbook is also a great machine. really anything you buy will be a great choice (and upgrade). but i would definitely shell out the extra bucks to get a brand new or refurbished machine. check out apples website and they have macbooks and mac minis that are refurbished and basically brand new with warranty.

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As the previous poster mentioned, a refurbished Intel Mac Mini would be a great machine to start out with. That's what I bought at first until I got my Macbook and later traded that in for a Macbook Pro. I wouldn't recommended getting a PPC Mac Mini (I tried one at work) because it's so sluggish compared to the Intel version. Besides an Intel Mac Mini, even the entry-level one is a much better investment because you'll be able to continue using it in the future even after you get a Macbook. If you can't afford an Intel Mac mini now, I'd suggest you wait a little and save up for one rather than throwing that money at a PPC mini.

 

Best of luck in whatever choice you make, and welcome (back) to the Mac community :)

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I have a first gen Mac Mini. If had it for a little over 2 years now, and have been using it as my main computer. Since i've had it, I've upgraded to 1GB of RAM, a SuperDrive, and recently to an 80GB HD (only because the original failed). It does everything I need it to. An Intel-based mini would be ideal if that's what your budget calls for, but don't be too leary of a PPC-based mini if it's a steal. Upgrade the ram and you be able to run iLife with no problems.

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I would hang fire and save those pennies for an Intel Mac, don't shy away from ebay but do remember the safe buyers code and in any case I would want to see and test the Mac before handing over any cash so ask the seller. I have always purchased refurbed Mac direct from Apple and have never had any problems and have saved a mint!

 

Spend as much as you can afford on the best possible specs.

 

Welcome back to the fold ;-)

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I've bought off ebay and it is a good way to get a mac for cheap(er). I got a G3, but if you can save for a few more months I would try to get an Intel Mac they are so much faster and run Tiger a lot better. Just my thoughts.

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A store called Micro Center is selling the Mac mini (Intel, 1.66) for $499 after rebate. (link)

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If your going to get a mac mini intel, dont buy an early core solo one they were sloooow

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hey guys im at that point, ready to switch. well ive actually been in love with the mac since the mac classic i used to use hypercard on in middle school EC projects. so now i want to switch but on the cheap. so mac mini, right? or no? ive found cheap mac minis on ebay but most with older specs, are these fine if i want to use mostly iLife stuff and only one app at a time or should i shy away from the non intel based mac minis? what would i need to work well within garage band, iphoto, idvd, etc? as in memory, processor speed, etc. and really i plan to buy a macbook in future, maybe nine months or so, should i wait or should i even consider a used macbook on ebay, again something cheap like a G3 or G4. as you can see i need some help. im commited to the decision to switch but not to the hardware choice i should make. thanks in advance!!!

 

Yes eBay is a great resource. I bought my first Mac on there - a g3 - and had great results. I think you need to be aware of what specs you want though, when buying off eBay -- be careful that you don't get one with super low RAM or something. I think sometimes some of the items being sold on there are just someone trying to make a few bucks selling the lowest-end item they can for the highest price. However... if you know what you're looking for, it can be a good resource. And there is also the possibility of upgrades too, if you're willing to open up your computer and add things to it (RAM, etc). If you do it right, you'll end up with a very nice machine for cheaper than new.

 

I think too, it depends on what you want to do with your computer. Personally, I had to decide, was is more worth it to just get switched over to the Mac, or to wait and save up for the biggest and best Mac? When I'd finally decided to switch, I planned on saving up for a new MacBook, but after a few more months of further and further frustrations with Windows, I decided it was more important to just switch, even if it meant getting an older model, and worry about getting the latest hardware later when I could afford it. So I bought a Power PC and am liking it fine. It can't run the latest video games, and I'm sure there are other things it can't do too, but it does the typical computer things wonderfully -- loads better than any and all PC's I've ever used. I'm more than happy.

 

I also think it's important to remember that Apple makes a good machine, and thus, an older model isn't necessarily obsolete, such as it would be with a Windows-PC. That's still a paradigm-shift I'm trying to wrap my head around. I'm so used to the second a new OS or processor comes out, the current PC I'm using is instantly obsolete. Not so with the Mac! Granted, eventually any computer will become obsolete, don't get me wrong, but the shelf-life is much longer with a Mac than a PC.

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