MW: The New Rules for Buying a Mac

The old purchase rules, based on the previous limitations of the Macintosh platform, no longer apply, according to Macworld on Thursday. Some buying myths that have persisted need to be rethought by the prospective buyer.

In the past, power users needed to go for the high end desktop, nowadays, the Mac Pro. However, the market position of the Mac Pro and iMac have shifted. The Mac Pro may be expensive overkill, and the 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo in the iMac may be enough.

Second, expandability was king in days of old, and it was accomplished with add on-cards. Now, high-speed peripherals can do much of that work. A Mac Pro with slots may be more than necessary for many users.

Third, in the past, Macs needed to be as fast as possible to run WIndows in emulation mode with Virtual PC. Today, Intel Macs can run Windows at full speed even in virtualization mode.

Finally, the mix of computers may need to be rethought. Powerful MacBook Pros can suffice as the only required computer -- no desktop needed. On the other hand, those who donit need an expensive notebook and transition from Windows will find that a 20-inch iMac with a slightly slower clock wonit kill their budget at US$1,199.

The in-depth article by Jonathan Seff and Jason Snell does a great job at looking how the profile of the Macintosh product line has changed based on technology and the needs of customers. Some veteran Mac users may have heartburn with some of the assertions, but anyone who is switching from PCs to Macs or hasnit bought a Mac in awhile should take a look at the feature article.