Which mac is best for a coder on a budget?

Kaamoss
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Post: #1
Right now I have a 12" ibook g4 and I must say I love it. I want to get a desktop mac for home as well and finally make the switch too all mac and unix machines. Anyways, I'm not exactly the richest person so I'm currently toying with say a used 400 mhz imac g3, a mac mini, or perhaps a power mac g4. Of those three, or any others you might think would suit my needs...for around 600 dollars or so (used is more than fine) would be great. I just want to write code on it with xcode and maybe do some 3d rendering for opengl types of things and that's about it. Don't want to use it to try to play any games aside from ones I make and what not. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
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Post: #2
I'd go with the PowerMac G4. Then you can put a decent gfx card into it and have the latest OpenGL extensions and features to play with.

---Kelvin--
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Kaamoss
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Post: #3
Dual processors or single, which would you go with?
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Post: #4
I'd get the Mac mini. You get a decent G4, ok video card and more spare change than a 2nd hand Powermac G4.

As the Mac mini comes with Tiger (or at least a 'free' upgrade to Tiger) and iLife 05, you're getting better value for money than a 2nd hand Powermac and for the money you're saving you can afford to stick a decent amount of memory in it and get a nice keyboard and monitor for it.
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Kaamoss
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Post: #5
True, though I don't worry about ram considering I work for a RAM manufacturing company as a software engineer so I get it at cost. Got a 1 gig ddr2100 sodimm for my 12" ibook for 41 dollars. I love working there. Oh, we have Apple developer connection so I already had tiger a while ago.
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Post: #6
The Mac Mini would be better unless you really need top-of-the-line graphics or hard drive speed... as a coder, you probably don't. The OpenGL on a Mac mini is just fine - it runs any moderately-intense game at a decent frame rate (except maybe Doom 3).

Mac Mini - skip the old, slow, loud, and large G4 and go with a super-sleek, drool-producing machine.

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Post: #7
I would say mac mini as well, with second hand computers you never know what is going to fail you. Some people dont take good care of their computers at all.

Kyle Richter
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Kaamoss
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Post: #8
Sounds pretty unanimous then...now the only thing is finding the time to save up the 600 dollars. Ohh well I'm sure I'll get it sooner or later. Just need to find some scheme to make lots of money wicked quick legally.
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Post: #9
Kaamoss Wrote:legally.

Such scruples! You can't succeed in business these days like that! Sneaky

Just kidding Rasp

I got a blue and white G3 off of Craigslist a while back for $250. I love the cases on these things, and the machine itself isn't such a bad base. On retrospect, I've spent almost as much upgrading that thing to be a really useful machine with modern software as I could have spent if I'd just gotten a Mac Mini. But of course they didn't have the Mini back then either Wink

So yeah, if it's cheap you need, and a desktop you want, the Mini is definitely the way to go...

If you don't mind a little debt then Apple has payment plans on their web site but I don't have any experience with 'em.

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Kaamoss
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Post: #10
I'm only 18 and unfortunatly lack the credit history to get thier credit. Ohh well probably would get it in two months if I didn't have so much damn debt. Think after work I'll stand on the street corner in my suit with a cardboard sign..."will code for a mac mini". That oughta do the trick.
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Puzzler183
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Post: #11
It's generally been my experience that if you are going to save up $600 for a computer, you might as well wait to get a little more so you'll get something that will last a little longer and work a little better. Just my two cents.
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Post: #12
Man, you must be one tortured soul! The only time that it's a good time to wait longer is either Apple is expected to put out a new product within the next few months, or you just can't afford it yet. Waiting longer to get something that presumably lasts longer is like holding off on sex as though it won't be as good as if you do it now! Rasp Anytime you pick up a new Mac you should expect it to last about four years in my experience. Holding off the purchase doesn't change the length of useful ownership. Pick a time and do it. You'll never own the newest model except for a few short months if you're lucky.

If you want to spend money on upgrade cards to play the latest games, get an Xbox instead. If you want to do GLSL programming you'd better just chill out for a while and wait like the rest of us or buy a PC if you can stand it. I'd just go for a Mac Mini for now.
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Post: #13
I wanted to get a Mac mini, but decided to wait until it came with Tiger. Now, I decided to wait until it comes with 512 RAM standard. By the time that happens, I'll probably want to wait until it comes with an X800. Rasp

Seriously, Apple decided to drop educational discounts in Latin America, and that really pissed me off Sad
I'll get a Mac mini... eventually.
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Max
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Post: #14
Credit cards, educational discounts, loans... bah! I use cash! I paid my $4000 Mac, cash! The reseller was a bit surprised... Wink

Freelance video game artist and video game compliance tester at Enzyme Testing Labs.
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Post: #15
I'm not buying a mac mini until ~end of summer. I don't trust anything new. Sneaky just look at the iPod's battery! At least now I'm prepared for the worst Ninja

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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