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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > What Is Your Upgrade Criteria?

What Is Your Upgrade Criteria?
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aehaas
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Feb 26, 2005, 07:01 PM
 
We cannot know what will come out next but we can predict if we will buy it:

1- We always buy the current top of the line with all the bells and whistles, money is no object. We just want it.

2- We are in business and time is money. We always upgrade every other model or two, always with full features.

3- For me it is pretty much non-emotional:
I will buy when the new machine is 200 percent faster than my current one but not the first release, always rev. B. Here is how I do the math:
Let us say I have a dp 2.0 and a dp 3.0 comes out. I call that 50 percent faster. If my old machine had a 4,000 RPM drive and the new machine has an 8,000 RPM drive that is 100 percent faster. The total is now 150 percent. If the RAM is 20 percent faster and the video card is 30 percent faster that is 200 percent and I buy the machine. I always get a ton of RAM and usually 2 HD's.
My use: Mostly Photoshop and Quark but i always have a bunch of things open: 'scanner, databases, World Book, internet browsing, Quicken, iPhoto and a half doz. others. I do a lot at once. I love printing to two different photo printers at once.

4- Exceptions - My Pismo was almost as fast as my Ti 800 but I wanted the 1 inch larger screen, the thinner, lighter profile and more RAM and HD.

What is your excuse?

aehaas
     
MORT A POTTY
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Feb 26, 2005, 07:21 PM
 
being a college student (at a private, mucho expensive university no less!) I can rarely afford an upgrade. so, it's pretty much whenever I can afford it and justify it.

if I was unrestricted in my finances I'd obviously buy a ton of XServe cluster nodes and put 'em in a rack and use 'em with a single top end XServe and an XServe RAID.... but obviously this is not the case
     
Freeflyer
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Feb 26, 2005, 07:34 PM
 
I'll only upgrade when the new machine allows me to do something that the current one doesn't, or when the speed of the current one is insufficient for my needs.

I have a final revision Tibook and I can't see any reason to upgrade it any time soon. It just does everything I need it to.

J.
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out - Richard Dawkins
     
Ganesha
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Feb 26, 2005, 09:25 PM
 
1) The old computer is broken and it's not the hard drive.

True of 2 of my upgrades.

SE/30 --> Power Macintosh 6100/60
12" PowerBook (867 MHz) --> 12" PowerBook (1 GHz)

2) A new computer is 4 times faster or more in clock speed then my current one.

True of 3 upgrades.

60 MHz P-1 --> 350 MHz K6-2
750 MHz Athlon --> 3 GHz P4
Power Macintosh 6100/60 --> PowerMac ([email protected] GHz G4)

3) I don't need a new computer but I want one.

PowerMac ([email protected] GHz G4) --> PowerMac ([email protected] GHz G5)
     
ajprice
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Feb 27, 2005, 07:38 AM
 
First Mac: 1996 - Performa 6400/200.
Current Mac: 2001 - G4 867
Next Mac: 2006....maybe???

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
jamil5454
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Feb 27, 2005, 08:47 AM
 
I haven't upgraded yet. I'm still using my first Mac - a 3G 12" iBook G4. Although I'm thinking about an iMac or DP PowerMac since this thing is so slow at GarageBand, iMovie, etc.
     
Big Mac
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Feb 27, 2005, 09:38 AM
 
Two-pronged test:

1. Most importantly, I wait for several processor generations to pass. I have gone from my original Mac, my LC, to my Quadra 650, from my Quadra to my 8600/300 and from my 8600 to my DP 2.0. My 8600 lasted seven years before I was desperate for an upgrade, although I probably should have upgraded earlier. Of course, I probably would have been forced to upgrade earlier if I had not had my iBook 466, yet I do not consider that a normal upgrade. My LC lasted four years as my main Mac, while my Quadra only lasted three years.

2. Nearly as important in influencing my purchase is the amount of time a new Mac has been on the market. I now only buy Macs at the top of their product cycles rather than the bottom, which means a month or less from product introduction. It makes me feel better to not have my newly purchased Mac be discontinued only months after purchase.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Madrag
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Feb 27, 2005, 10:52 AM
 
for me it's mostly the money...
If I could, I would get a new mac every day and give them to my friends...

Out of joke, if my mac preforms, then I see no reason to get a new one.
As soon as the mac starts to become slow, I plan to get a newer machine, but then I waist hours/days/weeks/months, searching for the right machine (in the macs case there aren't many options, but...)
When I come to a conclusion, I wait for the prices to drop.
When they do, I get the mac...
(that's the reason I'm still using a PM G4 400, and finally tomorrow I'll order a G5 2x2
     
Boochie
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Feb 27, 2005, 10:53 AM
 
Just about every computer I've ever bought has cost around $2300, and I'm loathe to spend more than that. So my criteria is to look at at that price point, and see whether Apple's offering is sufficiently better than what I have to be worth the expense (e.g., twice as fast, twice the graphics power, twice the media burning speeds, twice the storage, etc.). On the face of it, the current crop of G5s would appear to satisfy this criteria, but I'm still holding back. The most recent G5 tweaks were the only ones where I thought they'd improved to the point of being worth the trouble, but then we went and spent a bundle on kitchen renovations instead. So now I await the next update, whenever that will be.
     
Big Mac
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Feb 27, 2005, 11:03 AM
 
Originally posted by Madrag:
for me it's mostly the money...
If I could, I would get a new mac every day and give them to my friends...

Out of joke, if my mac preforms, then I see no reason to get a new one.
As soon as the mac starts to become slow, I plan to get a newer machine, but then I waist hours/days/weeks/months, searching for the right machine (in the macs case there aren't many options, but...)
When I come to a conclusion, I wait for the prices to drop.
When they do, I get the mac...
(that's the reason I'm still using a PM G4 400, and finally tomorrow I'll order a G5 2x2
I adore my DP 2.0, but are you certain you really want to buy one at this point? It's nearly March, and Apple is essentially certain to refresh the Power Mac by late June at the latest, at WWDC. Unless you're itching for one, it is much more prudent to wait.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Cadaver
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Feb 27, 2005, 11:55 AM
 
I'll upgrade whenever I think I can sneak it past my wife
     
GORDYmac
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Feb 27, 2005, 04:35 PM
 
I am in the market if I feel that my current system is no longer acceptable. That being said, I will only make a purchase if I feel that the new machine will be significantly better (3-5x) than my current setup in terms of speed, upgrade potential, and expandability.

Looks like I won't be buying a G5 any time soon.
     
ReggieX
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Feb 27, 2005, 11:42 PM
 
Generally, it has to be at least twice as fast as the last machine. At the moment my Sawtooth is almost 5 years old, and it does everything I want to perfectly, after being upgraded a number of times (1GB RAM, 900MHz processor, Radeon 8500) .

I want a new machine of whatever the next generation of G5 Power Macs is, but saying goodbye to this one is going to be hard!
The Lord said 'Peter, I can see your house from here.'
     
villalobos
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Feb 28, 2005, 12:55 AM
 
Originally posted by ReggieX:
Generally, it has to be at least twice as fast as the last machine. At the moment my Sawtooth is almost 5 years old, and it does everything I want to perfectly, after being upgraded a number of times (1GB RAM, 900MHz processor, Radeon 8500) .

I want a new machine of whatever the next generation of G5 Power Macs is, but saying goodbye to this one is going to be hard!
Money. Nothing above $1000.
     
villalobos
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Feb 28, 2005, 01:06 AM
 
dp
     
DrBoar
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Feb 28, 2005, 03:35 AM
 
I also got a Sawtooth ATI8500 but with a 1.2 Ghz G4. While still good its age start to show on some new game and the 2X AGP stops any resonable APU upgrade and the CPU is allredy pretty much maxed out.

The G4 replaced a 7200/90 that also lasted 5 years as a 7200 and 5 more years as a 7500 with first a 200 MHz 604E and then a G3/355

So it should have been time to get a new system but I wait for several reasons.
1. With both Intels and AMDs dual core CPUs just months away I expect Apple (IBM) soon to follow, with more powerful CPUs.
2. If my next mac is to last me 5 years it better have PCIe. My guess is that in 2008 or 2009 the number of good Mac AGP card will be as limited as the PCI cards are now.
3. With 1&2 under the belt there might be other useful revisions of the tower case of the G5/G6

So I wait...
     
Crusoe
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Feb 28, 2005, 06:30 AM
 
I'm on a ~twice the processor speed trend.

Mar 1998- Performa 180Mhz (free, novelty item because of OS 8.6)
Jan 2002- Powerbook 500Mhz ($275 + Jaguar $130, finally a non proprietary, multitasking OS) Windows free since.
Jan 2004- Powerbook 17" 1GHz ($1999 Refurb)

Next, I'll probably swipe up a 2Ghz 20 or 23" iMac or a refurb 20" 1.8. My performa has retired to the garage, the 500 is my wife's, and the 17 is my current workhorse. Mostly upgrade to support my hobbies, software dev, 2/3D design, and iLife stuff.
If a group of mimes are miming a forest and one falls down, does he make a sound?
     
ajprice
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Feb 28, 2005, 06:54 AM
 
OK then, a secondary question - do you buy new, second hand or refurbished? I've bought new, but a refurb might save some money on the next one.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Madrag
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Feb 28, 2005, 07:41 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
I adore my DP 2.0, but are you certain you really want to buy one at this point? It's nearly March, and Apple is essentially certain to refresh the Power Mac by late June at the latest, at WWDC. Unless you're itching for one, it is much more prudent to wait.
I know, but I've got a big project in my hands and I've aited for more than 15 months already!
BTW, the project will pay for the mac entirely
I know it's bound to happen the situation of buying it, and the next month the prices drop or a new line comes up, but no problem, I feel hypnotised already by the mac that is coming...
thanks for the advice anyway, maybe I'll buy another one in June!
     
ReggieX
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Feb 28, 2005, 02:28 PM
 
Originally posted by ajprice:
OK then, a secondary question - do you buy new, second hand or refurbished? I've bought new, but a refurb might save some money on the next one.
All my computers have been new, going back to my VIC 20 to my current Power Mac; the only used one I've owned was a 386.
The Lord said 'Peter, I can see your house from here.'
     
Madrag
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Feb 28, 2005, 02:35 PM
 
I bought a tiBook G4 500 second hand for half the price and I don't regret it!
the rest of my macs (which I keep), I bought first hand
     
MORT A POTTY
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Feb 28, 2005, 02:39 PM
 
lets see, new Preforma 6200CD, used Pismo, used Quicksilver, Open box iMac that subequently died a few years later (hence the Quicksilver), new iMac G5

the new machines weren't mine, but they're my mothers. I don't get to use the iMac G5s though, I'm never at her house anymore
     
OldCodger73
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Feb 28, 2005, 04:57 PM
 
Basically I upgrade when my old computer will no longer do the things I want it to at the speed I want. For example, I went from a Mac 7300/200 to a G4 Dual 450 when I got into digital photography and needed USB, a larger hard drive and more and more affordable memory. I went from my original tangerine iBook to a TiBook 867 when I got hooked on iTunes and needed a much larger hard drive and firewire. By the same token I went from the G4 Dual 450 to a G5 Dual 2.5 when I decided I wanted to use iDVD.

I don't make money with my computer, just spend it on it, so in a desktop computer I normally buy the middle of line. However this time I decided to treat myself and go with the top of the line. Money for computers isn't a problem, it's getting SWMBO's approval that necessitates having a valid reason why I need a new computer.
     
P
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Feb 28, 2005, 06:22 PM
 
I've had an LC III, a Performa 5300, and iMac DV/400 and now an iMac 1.8 17". Before the latest G5, there was exactly 4 times the clockspeed between two consecutive models. This time I upgraded when the first 1.6 GHzer in a decent price range came around, but opted for the 1.8 because I wanted a Superdrive. I guess that's a decent yardstick, but I may have to get a new one now if the MHz race dies.

I also try to look at the complete model, not just the CPU. The LC III was the first LC with a full 32 bit databus - the LC II has a 32 CPU on a 16 bit databus, and I didn't want that. The Performa 5300 had a 603e and an L2 cache - I would never have bought a 6100 (no L2) and not the 5200/6200 (603, not 603e, which killed 68k emulation). The DV had a 100 MHz databus and a Rage 128, instead of the 66 MHz/Rage Pro of the combination before. In general, I have bought machines when the motherboard was brand-new and lived with the consequences of patching it. The Performa was of course an old motherboard, the last of its generation, but then the next generation wouldn't have brought me much. I might have held on until the 5400/6400 models, and maybe got myself a 6360 with the old LC III monitor, but then I got a great deal on the 5300 so that was it.

The old iMac was the perfect choice. The only thing I wanted in future models was the CD-RW, but that was a year and a half away with little else in the same package, and who wants Blue dalmation anyway?

As for the current iMac, I suppose time will tell, but I'm just transcoding a movie to DVD in twice realtime, so it's working out fine so far...
     
tooki
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Feb 28, 2005, 07:16 PM
 
[rant] "Criteria" is a plural. The title of this thread should read either "What are your upgrade criteria?" or "What is your upgrade criterion?". [/rant]

tooki
     
Lateralus
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Feb 28, 2005, 07:25 PM
 
Tooki... You need a hug.

Volunteers?
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Please de-liv-er
     
macaddict0001
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:24 PM
 
pick me please...I need love.............Badly.....please.

btw how did you come up with the name lateralus.
     
villalobos
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:36 PM
 
Originally posted by Lateralus:
Tooki... You need a hug.

Volunteers?
eeewwwwwwwwwwwww.










     
Lateralus
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:47 PM
 
Originally posted by macaddict0001:
btw how did you come up with the name lateralus.
Oh... I was inspired.
I like chicken
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Kenneth
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:32 AM
 
well.. when I feel like I need to upgrade my equipment.. of course if I can afford it. I always check online and paper for the best deal.

My first Mac: Performa 6116CD (1996)..okay..my dad bought it for me.
Second Mac: iMac Rev. A (1998).. my dad paid for it again.
Third Mac: TiBook/400 (2001)...with ADC Student discount.. my mom paid for it.
Fourth Mac: DP PowerMac G4 1.25 and 17" ASD (2003)...I drove down to Portland, OR to get them. My mom paid for the G4 and I paid for the display.

My 2nd hand Mac:
iMac Rev. D (333) x2
My sister's co-worker gave it to me and I socred one from the G-sale.

Honestly, I'm still using a SONY 1.3MP digital camera since 2001.
     
Ixion
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Mar 1, 2005, 01:13 PM
 
I upgrade when my hardware doesn't support the latest and greatest. It looks as though I'm going to have to ditch my Rev A PowerBook 12" for CoreImage.
Michael J Burling
Systems:
Rev.A 12" PowerBook G4 (867MHz//1.12GB 266MHz//100GB HDD @ 5400rpm//Re-writable//Tiger)
Rev.B 13" White MacBook (1.83GHz Core 2//512MB 667MHz//60GB HDD @ 5400rpm//Re-Writable//Tiger)
     
spiky_dog
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Mar 1, 2005, 03:27 PM
 
Originally posted by Ixion:
I upgrade when my hardware doesn't support the latest and greatest. It looks as though I'm going to have to ditch my Rev A PowerBook 12" for CoreImage.
i upgrade when my current hardware doesn't support what i want to do. my 800 MHz/2MB L3 quicksilver handled the 3 megapixel images from my D30 just fine, but it's noticeably pokey when juggling the 8 megapixels of my 20D... unfortunately upgrade cards (and new G5s) are exorbitatntly priced, imo, so i will perservere.
     
Westfoto
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Mar 1, 2005, 05:18 PM
 
This post is of great interest to me as I am thinking of getting a new Mac.

I have gone from my first Mac IIsi, which was a loner from my dad. Then I purchased a 8100/80 right when they came out. And we all thought that 16 MB of Ram was alot, I latter uped the RAM to 112MB and that cost a fortune. The next Mac was a G3/233 which I keep for 3+ years before getting my curent desktop mac a G4/533 DP very good workhorse, but it has hit the end with my new purchase of my Canon digital camera. I have two internal HD in the 533 and use it to the fullest that I can. But I am now waiting too long on some of the Photoshop stuff that I do with it.

I have had several portables too. Currently I use a TiBook 1GHz, with 1Gig of Ram.

I am lookiing at a new machine with an envious eye. I am just worried that as soon as I do Apple will upgrade the machines and I do not want to have to pay extra for the new OS that is coming out soon. I guess that puts my purchase some time this summer or fall. when Mac OS X 10.4 is in the box.
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dfiler
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Mar 1, 2005, 08:53 PM
 
I'm holding out for dual 3 or 3.5 G5s with more than 1 external and 2 internal drives.

Currently running:
Dual 1.4G Sawtooth
2G ram
9800Pro
airport card
usb2 card
m-audio sound card
4x superdrive
ata100 card + 4 HDs

With all that in my G4, I have little incentive to upgrade... especially when tiger is going to be the equivalent of an upgrade.
     
fishguy
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Mar 1, 2005, 09:49 PM
 
... I'm in the same boat as you...DP533, which I consider to be an outstanding machine. Mine is still fairly snappy. Upgraded superdrive, three internal hard drives and a soon-to-be burly external SATA enclosure with Sonnet tempo 4+4 internal/external controller. I made the argument to the wife that the Burly can migrate effortlessly to the new G5! I think I have her won over on the G5 but will wait to see if the G5s are updated in June/July. Only difference is mine takes a Nikon.
     
CatOne
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Mar 2, 2005, 11:38 AM
 
I like to at least triple the performance.

Last upgrade was (for home use) from an 800 MHz PowerBook to a dual 2.5 G5. That met the criteria
     
Westfoto
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Mar 2, 2005, 01:27 PM
 
Originally posted by fishguy:
... I'm in the same boat as you...DP533, which I consider to be an outstanding machine. Mine is still fairly snappy. Only difference is mine takes a Nikon.
I was using a Nikon D100 and because I photograph things using wide angle lens I did not get much coverage with the Nikon. The chip size of the Nikon is smaller than the lens coverage (1.5 magnification) The Canon 1Ds-MKII is a full size chip and the file size is 90+MB and when you do anything to it get very large very fast. and That slows down the computer very fast.

Than is the one reason I am looking at the new computer.

West
( Last edited by Westfoto; Mar 2, 2005 at 01:35 PM. )
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bbales
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Mar 2, 2005, 05:25 PM
 
Originally posted by ajprice:
First Mac: 1996 - Performa 6400/200.
Current Mac: 2001 - G4 867
Next Mac: 2006....maybe???
My pattern is similar, but my first mac was a Classic, picked up in 1991.
Second: February 1997 -- Performa 6360/180
Current: Late 2000: G4 400 MZ (upgraded processor last year to 933)
Next Mac, like ajprice -- probably 2006
     
GSixZero
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Mar 2, 2005, 06:06 PM
 
Hmm, lets see

September 1996: LC475
June 2000: 700 Mhz PIII
Spring 2002: 900 Mhz Celeron Shuttle
Sept 2003: 867 Mhz 12" Powerbook
February 2005: 1.67 Ghz 15" Powerbook
     
TimmyDee51
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Mar 3, 2005, 12:58 AM
 
1. Bang for the buck.
2. Bucks.
3. Three to four year turnover.

I guess it's a factor of all three. Really, though, the last one starts to take precedence as time wears on, meaning I start making excuses to cover my a** when I break the first two.
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ReggieX
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Mar 4, 2005, 01:20 AM
 
Originally posted by Ixion:
I upgrade when my hardware doesn't support the latest and greatest. It looks as though I'm going to have to ditch my Rev A PowerBook 12" for CoreImage.
Don't worry too much about CoreImage, anything the video chip can't handle will be processed by the CPU.
The Lord said 'Peter, I can see your house from here.'
     
CincyGamer
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Mar 4, 2005, 02:21 AM
 
My crit..

1. Applecare must have expired.. much too expensive to buy and not use computer
2. I am waiting for the 3 GHZ PowerMac to come out and buy that if it has pci-express, but more than likely get the 2.5 GHZ one
3. Might buy the Powerbook G5 if it is 1.8 GHZ with a good video card > (rad9700)
* 4. my Apple loan is paid off
5. when I get too many games i cant play on my current system
6. Doom3 will make me get the new Powerbook G5 or the 3 GHZ powermac..

-Jake
     
hotani
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Mar 4, 2005, 11:59 AM
 
1- current machine has to be slow enough to bother me with no possibility to upgrade cheaply.

2- i usually try to double the processor speed with the new machine. So I have a dual 867 now, I'd buy at least a dual 1.7GHz.

However... with my current machine I'm able to upgrade the processors to 1.4GHz which is probably what I'll do, unfortunately that currently runs about $600.
// hōtani
MDD G4 dual 867
     
Floyd WHO
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Mar 12, 2005, 09:15 AM
 
When you just can stand it anymore.

G4 sawtooth 400 Mhz which will be getting a new processor upgrade very soon.
     
AC Rempt
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Mar 12, 2005, 08:34 PM
 
Cash plain and simple. If I have the dough, it's time for a new machine.

Sad but true.
     
polendo
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
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Mar 12, 2005, 11:16 PM
 
Great post. Currently I'm selling all my PC equipment (1 Toshiba laptop & Compaq desktop)and my iBook which I bought just to try the Mac world for a second time. After that I'm going to regroup resources and get a newer Mac laptop and desktop. My criteria of upgrading was that now is the point where I can get more money for that Toshiba/Compaq PC's and the iBook still is fine, but I don't want to stick with the G3 time bomb. So I rather sell the whole ordeal and get new equipment.
     
Kyros
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Mar 14, 2005, 09:24 PM
 
Let's see:

I started with a performa a long time ago, which was given to me by my dad when he got a new computer. Later (a few years, I believe) I got a faster performa handed down from my grandmother. My brother and I shared these two computers and we had them for quite some time. Our next computer was an old 7500, I believe, used from my dad's work. (It was cheap and reliable that way, I think we got it for ~75 dollars). After using it for quite a while, we upgraded it to a g3/450 from Sonnet.

Around this time we wanted to have 2 separate computers, so I got an old g3/233 from a garage sale for 50 dollars, knowing that is had slight hardware issues. I immediately upgraded it to a g4/733 from Sonnet, as I had planned. That computer did not last long, only about half a year, however, as it kernel panicked while I was updating it to 10.2. That computer was very fast to me, but it did have some problems and was a little unstable. Fortunately, the g4 upgrade still lives. I was stuck with a pc for about 2 months (made me very, very sad), until, as luck would have it, one of my dad's colleagues was selling his cube. This was last summer. The going price for cubes was around 500-600 dollars at the time, I believe, and I got it for 550, being very happy, knowing that this was a person who took very good care of his computers. The cube was in excellent condition and it is the computer I use now. I plan to upgrade it in the summer (from Sonnet again, probably 1.2 gigahertz).

So basically, I upgrade when I see a good price. I am a senior in high school, so I don't have enough money to buy a new computer. I am sure if the mini had been available when I got my cube, I would have gotten it instead, but now I am glad I got the cube. It's far more upgradable, and is really and awesome computer, all around. And now you can get them as low as 400 dollars too!
     
   
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