I'm going off to college and I'm bringing a...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by d33pthought, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    computer. Except I'm not sure what's a good buy, and what I should shell out for because it's truly top-quality.

    I'm seriously considering the mac mini, because it's tiny, easily as capable as my current desktop, and cheap ($500-700), but I'm not sure if the graphics card is up to snuff. It's got a Radeon 9200, but only 32 megs of ram for it. I can upgrade system ram to 512megs or 1gig, so will that help a little?

    Or is it just cheaper and better to get one built from scratch? I can only really afford about $1200 on a system (if that).

    I've got an XBox for games, so I don't need a gaming computer. I'd be happy if it can do video editing without having an aneurysm, and is reliable enough not to need a call to the repair guy every few months.

    I know some of you will tell me to post this on easy-tek, but hey, it's empty over there right now, and there's a computer section in this forum anyway. So there.
  2. Trae

    Trae Valued Member

    Undergrad? Are you moving into a dorm?
    Space is going to be at a premium. Consider a laptop.

    A full desktop replacement: expensive and heavy but powerful and still moveable.
    A "compact" laptop: cheap(er), light. Not as much in terms of computing power.
  3. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    That's exactly it, though: if I get the mac mini, the whole 'computer' part is 6.5"x6.5"x2", and is compatible with vga and dvi monitors. Keyboards mice and speakers are small compared to the monitor.

    A laptop would be attractive, except a good one starts at around $1200-1500, and that's too rich for my blood.

    I'm still not sure about my actual housing arrangement, since all it said in my acceptance package was 'non-dorm'. That could be damn near anything. Except a dorm. I'll do more looking as the months progress. Maybe apple will beef up its graphics card on the mini.
  4. Trae

    Trae Valued Member

    hmm, if you're thinking cheap, than go with a wintel box. You can still get a generic pc box for much cheaper than a mini. you can probably spend extra on a good mini-atx case and end up with the same footprint as a mini for a cheaper price (unless you're specifically looking for OS X). I got an el cheapo laptop two years ago, and while it wasn't as trouble free, it prooved to be a good investment.

    Also look at Apple educationial discounts. You can get an iBook for 999 canadian here, which means that you should be able to get one for 700-ish? The performance won't be there but the portability (taking it to class, studying in the library) - will.
  5. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    We will indeed :D

    But which would you prefer? Advice from people whos speciality is MA, or advice from people whos speciality is computers? ;)

    pssst, go to easy-tek
  6. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Instead of cursing the darkness --- light a candle :D
  7. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    In other words...

    If its empty, make a post! :D
  8. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    Good thing I already did make a post to this effect. You know what they say about eggs and baskets, I guess.
  9. BlueDragon1981

    BlueDragon1981 In the House of Draven

    Whatever you get make sure it has RAM....RAM is the most important in my opinion...also make sure it is not shared....seperate video RAM is much better. I would try to get 512 system ram with 128 video RAM if you can manage it on that budget.
  10. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    I agree. From what I've read, I shouldn't even bother with OS X if I have less than 512mb. Whether for a mac or pc, I'd like to try for about a gigabyte of ram, and at least 64mb of dedicated graphics ram.
  11. Jamo2

    Jamo2 The Louie Vitton Don

    Seriously, Unless you really got your heart set on it try and avoid a mac. They are reliable and all, but way unsupported compared to a pc.
    Try to get yourself a half descent pc for about $400 and then if anything needs upgrading itll only cost you like $100 for a new CPU or GFX card.
    And you got all the video software you need in a shop. If you bought a mac youd have to search that much harder to get the same software just saying "mac compatible" on it.
    I would suggest building your own if you know what your doing. Im in UK so im not sure about prices over there but you could build yourself a kick-ass pc for around $500 that wont go out of date anytime soon.
    And that leaves money for all your software and stuff.
    Have a think on it. Its nice to make friends with the guys at the pc store too.
  12. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    I will consider it. Hopefully, I'll have a small amount of financial aid coming, so I'll use part or all of that on a computer. I'm gonna go to the local apple store on saturday to try one out first hand. Actually using one will pretty much determine if I want to buy one or not.

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