Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Should I buy one?

Some friends ask me regularly if they should buy a Mac now or wait a little more. Instead of repeating it every time, I'll write my reasoning here and let them decide:

  • You should buy a Mac if and when you need it: with computers the only certain thing is that it will be replaced by something bigger or better in the next few months (if you are lucky) or days (if you are not);
  • The current Intel Macs are a good buy if you have an old G3 or G4. The speed increase will be noticeable. If you have an G5, I would not buy a new Mac right now;
  • If you think a Macbook pro 15" is too big, wait for the Macbook, the iBook replacement. I would bet that you'll see them before the end of May, because the education buying season in the US ends sometime after that;
  • The Yonah chips that the current Macs are using will be replaced later this year. Check this Ars Technica article for more information about the CPU roadmap of Intel;
  • I would expect the PowerMac successor to use one of the new Intel CPUs, not the current generation.
  • I would expect laptops using the new line of CPUs either by Christmas or in January'07 Macworld;
  • I don't have the faintest idea what kind of hardware could be introduced in September, in Paris.

Given all that, let me tell you my own plans.

I do plan to buy a 17" Macbook Pro as soon as I can get one in Portugal. My TiBook 800Mhz is five years old in a week, and I want to switch to a 17" screen, and the Yonah CPU is good enough for my modest needs in the next five years. Remember that I'm still pretty happy with my TiBook, and I'll keep it as my second/backup laptop, but I want to run a Linux VM for some work that I do that requires Linux.

I also plan on buying one of the the new Matrox external cards, probably the DualHead2Go, although my hormones want me to buy the TripleHead2Go. If I could get a Graphics card to plug into the ExpressCard slot of the new Macbook Pro, I would probably get two DualHead2Go for a total of five 17" displays.... Pixels....

By the way, this DualHead2Go cards are great. Instead of having a big 23" display, I can buy several 17" displays for less money, and I still have the felling that I don't loose all my real estate if one of the monitors breaks down. Monitor redundancy.

Now I only have to wait one or two months to get my new Macbook Pro.

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