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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    g8slord's Avatar
    iMore Newbie

    28 Posts

    Default Looking to Make the jump to Mac...Advice? Help! :-)

    I am considering making the jump to Mac and was looking for some advice to get me going. I am tossing around getting a Mac Mini (paired with 24" multimedia monitor), iMac, or a Macbook Air. I would like to use the new system for basic computing, iTunes, iTunes streaming to Sonos and Apple TV, basic gaming (nothing heavy), Shutterfly (for the wife), Citrix Based VPN for work, possibly centralized backup for iPhones/iPads/Windows devices.

    I have a self built i5 quad core gaming PC and 2 Core i5 Laptops, so this isn't as much about a big upgrade as much as it is looking for a new and possibly better experience. I have grown to love my iPhones and iPads and was hoping pairing that with a new Mac would sweeten the deal.

    So after all that...Here is my question:

    Which device would be best to start with and why? I don't want to have regrets (wanting more or needing much less). What apps/programs should I look in to getting right from the start to give this experience the best chance to succeed? (for both my wife and I) Is it worth getting the Airport Extreme or Time Capsule and how will all of this work with my existing windows computers?

    This forum has been great to find out info in the past and I am hoping this will help make my decision earlier. Thanks in advance for everyone's help!
  2. #2  
    kch50428's Avatar
    iMore Genius

    20,845 Posts

    Default Re: Looking to Make the jump to Mac...Advice? Help! :-)

    Get the one with the most storage, RAM, and fastest processor - in that order - your budget allows and you'll do well... And a TimeCapsule is a good thing to have...your Mac will manage backing up fine...and you can connect external drives to the TimeCapsule that your Windows boxes will be able wo use as shared storage.
    g8slord likes this.
  3. #3  
    Algus's Avatar
    iMore Pro

    533 Posts

    Default Re: Looking to Make the jump to Mac...Advice? Help! :-)

    Going from a custom gaming rig to a Mac will be rough. If you spend top dollar on a nice high end iMac, you'll get a video card that will help the iMac to compete with a gaming rig in performance (but certainly not price!) but for most Macs, integrated graphics are your only real video solution and this definitely hurts computer games.

    The Mac Mini is pretty much a surefire bet if you're curious about OS X. It was originally designed with switchers in mind. The hard drive is still end-user replaceable so if you are looking for a machine that has a ton of internal storage you can get something setup with your Mini quite easily. It's also small enough that an external hub can be plugged into it and you're not giving up to much desk space.

    I wouldn't dump a ton of money into a Mac until you are sure it is something you want to go with. It'd be a shame to buy a $1500 iMac only for you to decide you don't really like how OS X is designed. If you're nervous about buying a cheap machine that won't be powerful enough, the good news is that Macs hold their resale value pretty well so you could get at least a portion of your money back.

    My recommendation would be to start with the $699 2.6 ghz core i5 Mac Mini. It comes with 8 GB RAM and 1 TB HDD plus Iris graphics so it is actually quite powerful. It won't be a hot rod but it will run everything you mentioned and if you're leaving just OS X on it, 1 TB ought to provide you plenty of storage space for internal backups.

    AirPort Extreme/Time Capsules are nice but fairly pricey as backup solutions. The software essentially automates backups for you without significant setup time on your part though, so the expense of the equipment can be well worth it for the time saved.
    g8slord likes this.

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