↝ OWC / MacSales.com... ↜
↝ diglloyd Deal Finder... ↜
Buy other stuff at Amazon.com...
How to Choose a Mac
Related: CPU cores, how-to, iMac, laptop, Mac Pro, memory, video
Before you buy a Mac, consider how it will be used over the next 18 months, and don’t rush to buy a new model 12 months later unless there are compelling reasons that will actually make a differnce.
Be realistic about current and future usage
Web browsing, Mail and iTunes? Digital camera with which you shoot only JPEGs? For such tasks, just about any current Mac will do.
Needs can change over time; professionals in particular might find that serviceability and expandability might be key factors as a business or workload grows: this might mean a Mac Pro is a much better investment than an iMac or MacMini.
Dead-end Macs means any Mac limited in ways that offer no solution: e.g., a memory of 16GB. The memory limit is a “hard” limit, with no options.
Storage and PCIe slots used to be the province of the Mac Pro, and these areas offer solutions for many (but not all) configurations via USB3 and Thunderbolt, witih products like the OWC Helios.
NuGard KX Case for iPhones and iPads.
Outstanding protection against drops and impact!
Plus, excellent grip for wet hands, cycling, etc.
Application performance and your Mac PERMALINK
Applications vary in speed based on a variety of factors. Influences on application performance include:
- Memory. Insist on 16GB unless used only for web/email and light duty.
- CPU clock speed, faster is better, but the very fastest is not necessary.
- CPU cores: insist on four cores except for light duty.
- Hard drive: SSD preferred for most every purpose.
- Graphics card: all graphics cards are fast enough for general use.
- Network speed: ethernet for high performance, wireless OK otherwise.
Specialty needs (very large files, serious video work, etc) demand lots of memory and at least six CPU cores.
CPU speed and cores
A good rule of thumb for CPU speed is to pay proportionally. For example, a 3.0GHz CPU is 7% faster than a 2.8GHz model. Paying 7% more, perhaps 10% more is reasonable; paying 30% more is not a good value; in such cases consider more memory and/or more or faster hard drives instead. Note however that sometimes the type of CPU and the clock speed both change; in this case the computation is not so simple, and remember also that the CPU generally cannot be upgraded.
Insist on four CPU cores for any semi-serious use, six or eight or 12 cores for serious photography or video, but two fast cores are fine for web and email and light duty.
Hand-picked items for Sony.
8GB is enough for light duty, but prefer 16GB in all Macs, 32GB for iMac and Mac Pro (or more).
A solid state drive (SSD) is greatly preferred. Use hard drives for the big stuff (images, video, etc).
Generally of no concern for most users. Gamers, video processing and speciality uses can benefit however.
Refurbished is an excellent way to save ~15%. Just be sure to not buy into old models that might lack important features. see the Refurbished page.
Which Lenses to Choose?🌈
Avoid costly mistakes and get the ideal system for your needs: diglloyd photographic consulting.
AppleCare (extended warranty) is a good value on high-end systems, especially when the system includes an Apple monitor. On less expensive systems it’s not as good a value on a relative basis.
Laptops come at premium prices for the performance they deliver. Don’t pay for a laptop if it’s just going to remain on your desk.
You can usually get the same or better performance at lower cost by going with a desktop machine instead of a laptop. That means a Mac Pro or iMac.
$899 SAVE $380 = 29.0% $19 FREE ITEMS Apple 12.9" iPad Pro (Mid 2017, 512GB, Wi-Fi + 4G LTE, Gold) in Electronics: iPads and Tablets
$5999 SAVE $700 = 10.0% $49 FREE ITEMS Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Mid 2018, Space Gray) in Computers: Apple Macs
$1099 SAVE $200 = 15.0% Apple 21.5" iMac with Retina 4K Display (Early 2019) in Computers: Apple Macs
$649 SAVE $150 = 18.0% Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Mirrorless with 14-42mm EZ in Cameras: Mirrorless
$898 SAVE $200 = 18.0% Panasonic 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Leica DG Vario-Elmarit ASPH. in Lenses: Mirrorless
$50 SAVE $110 = 68.0% Sennheiser PMX 684i In-Ear Neckband Sports Headphone Kit for iOS… in Electronics: Audio