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Buy now or wait?
Authored by: pete on Jun 07, '05 10:44:40AM

I was looking at buying a 20-inch iMac G5 or fully decked out mini-Mac this summer.

Now that Steve wants to change to Intel, I'm not so sure I want to buy now. My old iMac has done me well for the past 6 years and I want another that will last as long, while being supported in some way.

Maybe I'll save my money, put up with this slow beast and see what happens next year - or maybe buy it now so that all my software will work OK.

Or maybe... I stick with a PDA and the benevolence of friends!

I spent a small fortune upgrading software from System 9 to OS X - I don't want to have to do that all over again next year with Intel. Being a home user, I can't afford BIG changes every year or so like governments & companies with money to burn!



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Buy now or wait?
Authored by: Wayne_S on Jun 09, '05 11:21:31AM

The standard hardware maxims still hold true even with Apple equipment. The best way to see a performance increase is usually to increase the amount of RAM available. If you aren't maxed out, I would do that before buying a new machine. RAM is relatively inexpensive and hopefully the performance increase will give you enough time to further evaluate things when Apple decides to release some more detailed information - like, for example, exactly WHICH Intel processor(s) will be used.

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Every rule has an exception. Especially this one.



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Buy now or wait?
Authored by: dasil003 on Jun 15, '05 12:48:35PM

Personally I think you'll run into more compatibility problems if you buy one of the first Intel Macs (which will likely be laptops anyway).

The way I see it is, it will take some time for apps to be recompiled, and for developers working outside of XCode or on highly optimized apps, the wait could be even longer. The PPC stuff works now and I imagine everything new will work on on PPC AT LEAST until Apple ships the last G5, which I see being at least 2.5 years from now. After that new versions will likely continue to work on PPC for most software for several more years (if the promises of XCode fat binaries hold true).

I'm actually planning on buying one of the last G5s (just ordered a new PowerBook G4 yesterday) because I think it's such an amazing architecture that I want to own one while I still can. Down the road in the distant future when it's no longer supported at all by Apple's OS, I can see myself putting Linux on it to get even more mileage. Then 50 years from now my kids will inherit it and sell it on e-bay for $50,000 (not adjusted for inflation).

Of course, I could be totally wrong... but when have computers ever lasted forever anyway?



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Buy now or wait?
Authored by: ebow on Jun 09, '05 12:07:31PM
I'm in almost exactly the same boat. My G3 iMac is nearly 5 years old, and while it's mostly good enough for what I do with it, I've been promising myself a new computer for a while now. My take on the situation is:
  • If I got a new iMac and the Intel transition wasn't happening, it would last me 4-5 years.
  • Even with the transition, I'll probably feel compelled to make it last as long.
  • The apps I want to use (mainly iApps, Office, mail, and web) might stop being updated for PPC in 2.5 years or so, which could leave me with "stale" apps for 1.5 - 2.5 years.
  • But even if that's the case I probably won't mind, judging by my current habits (e.g. I find Office v.X and iPhoto 2 good enough to put up with until I get a new computer).
So if you're in a situation similar to mine, a new iMac might just be the thing to coast you well past the transition without sacraficing too much. Hmm, I could even treat myself to one of the inevitably sweet notebooks in 3 years or so if the iMac is really showing limitations.

And yet, part of me thinks getting a Mac mini would be the smarter move right now, to last me maybe 3 years until the 2nd revisions of Intel-based Macs are available. Tricky call.

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Buy now or wait?
Authored by: lemkebeth on Jun 11, '05 03:06:46AM

To be honest, I'll be upgrading at some point. I have an old Grape iMac DV/400 running 10.3.9.

In any case the transition will be like the 68K to PowerPC transition in every respect. It was several years before the OS for the 68K machines was stopped being updated after the release of the first PowerPC Mac. In fact the last version of the classic OS to run on 68K machines was 8.1.

Me, I'd buy a G5 at a nice discount thank you very much.



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