How To Select The Best Mac For You

We hear people telling us everyday to just rush out there and buy a Mac. Awesome idea, they provide a lot to be celebrated. Unfortunately what they don’t touch on is how to select the best Mac for you. Seriously, it amazes me no end the focus on the one size fits all lifestyle that we seem to think encompasses Apple. Fact of the matter is, this is a company that has increasing begun offering options. Why not take advantage of some?

Casual home user – think Mac Mini

Perhaps not the ultimate solution for everyone, but if you already have a great monitor, keyboard and mouse, why not considering buy a Mac Mini? Today’s Minis are fairly powerful compared to early models of the PPC era. Best of all, it’s going to do just about everything an iMac can do anyone. The biggest difference besides the more condensed specs, are the options with being able to use your own stuff. No need to bother with an iMac when you likely already have everything you need.

Now clearly a Mini might not be the best candidate for super heavy usage, such as heavy graphics work or lots of video editing. But I am steadfast in saying for most people, it’s a fantastic option.

On the go – MacBook and MacBook Pro

How To Select The Best Mac For You
Photo by SolGrundy

If you are someone that needs a Mac that can be closed and put away or perhaps just a model that can come on the road with you, then going with a MacBook makes a lot of sense. Basically this is the notebook answer for the Mac user. As to whether or not you’re looking to go with the Pro or the standard MacBook, it really comes down to whether you’re looking for something super portable or a desktop replacement kind of system.

Generally speaking, people who are using their computers for a living, end up going with the MacBook Pro due to the extra screen size and raw power it provides over the standard MacBook. But if you’re looking for something a wee-bit smaller, then a standard MacBook ought to be ample for you.

On the desktop – iMac and Mac Pro

My wife owns the iMac and swears by it. With the speed provided, coupled with plenty of RAM, she is able to tackle the most sophisticated Photoshop projects without much thought at all. And given the fact that there are two sizes to choose from, finding one to meet your needs shouldn’t be too difficult. Most people needing plenty of horse power from their desktop Mac will find that the iMac offers plenty with power to spare.

For those folks who are rendering endless amounts of video or other insanely heavy CPU intensive types of things with massive power at the helm, this is where a Mac Pro makes a lot of sense. Maya, Blender, Final Cut, are all examples of things that would benefit from dropping some serious coin on this beast of a machine.

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  • http://novastormsoftware.com Justin Mrkva

    I’d add a couple things to that.

    Between the MacBook and MacBook Pro 13″ there’s really not a lot of difference but there are a few. The MBP has FireWire, 4GB of RAM instead of 2 (and can go up to 8), and is thinner, lighter, and aluminum. As for RAM though, I’d recommend going with 3rd party like OWC if you plan to upgrade since it’s a lot cheaper than Apple’s upgrade options.

    Also, you didn’t mention the MacBook Air, which in my opinion is a major contender. For $1700 you get a 13″ Air with a 256 GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, and a 1.86 GHz processor, and if you can live with 128GB storage you can get it for $1400. Believe me, if it’s between a faster processor or a SSD, go with the SSD. You don’t really appreciate how fast a SSD is until you use one. The Air is really the best deal because of the SSD, so if you don’t need FireWire and you can live with an external or no optical drive, seriously consider the Air.

    And while I’m on the topic of SSDs, DON’T upgrade to an SSD as a build-to-order option, go with something 3rd-party like the OWC and get an external enclosure. You not only get an extra backup drive, it’s also cheaper, and (after running tests on both) quite a bit faster than Apple’s SSD options.