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A Guide to Buying a Used Mac

If you are buying your first computer, then an Apple Mac is a good place to start. Not only are they extremely user friendly, they are also very stylish and have a large following. On the other hand, you may be fed up of your PC and fancy a change, especially if you are intending to use graphics or photo-manipulation software, which they excel at.

If you still want to use PC software, then modern Macs can run PC operating systems as they are Intel based. The only downside to Macs is that they are expensive compared to PC’s, which makes a used Mac all the more appealing. So what do you need to know when looking for a used Mac? Here we have a quick guide to help you on your way.

Which Version Should You Look For?

In the world of Apple Macs there are a few different variants, so you might want to give some of them a miss. The PowerPC and G series up to the G5 use processors made by IBM. Whilst these Macs (especially the G5) are very capable machines for general use, they are limited in their upgradability and are no longer supported, as they ceased production in August of 2006 when the new Intel Macs came out. They are also limited to using OS X 10.5.8, known as Leopard.

Next are the Intel based Macs which, with the later models, can be upgraded to the latest OS X (for free). You will need to check on the specific model though as the early ones can’t go beyond OS X 10.7.8 (Lion). These are very capable machines that can outperform their PC equivalents. After that they are all Intel i5 or i7 based. If you can afford a newer model, then you will be able to run the latest apps, although there are still plenty of available apps that run on the older OS versions.

Why Choose a Mac Over a PC?

There are many reasons why people prefer Macs: not only do they have a great design ethos (even when not being used they are a work of art), they are also very well engineered. You only have to open the side door of a Power Mac to appreciate the solid aluminum construction of the case, and the distinct lack of wiring inside. Changing a hard drive is a simple case of pulling it out, and plugging another in. When you look inside a PC, all you see is a mess! Macs are very quiet in operation, with multiple fans giving optimal cooling, everything works just right.

Operating a Mac is easy: to delete an unwanted program, you just drag and drop it into the trash can. Loading programs is just as easy, you just drag the program icon to the appropriate folder and everything is done automatically. Another big advantage is the operating system comes preloaded with many useful programs so you can get going from the off. As a bonus, when the newest OS X becomes available, you can upgrade for free!

Are There Any Disadvantages?

There are a few disadvantages. If you are a gamer for example, you will find PC’s are better suited to you due to customization options, as many gamers like to upgrade to the latest components when they become available. Though to turn it around, if you are fond of being infected with viruses then a Mac will disappoint as they are rarely attacked. This is partly due to Macs being used by far fewer people, and hackers are more interested in attacking Windows machines. There are alternatives to using Windows on a PC however, such as Linux which is an open source operating system, which is less susceptible to hacking but can be limited by the software it can use. Macs can also run Windows using a dual boot, whereas a PC cannot run Mac OS X (unless they are hacked into, which is possible if you have the knowhow).

When you change from a PC to a Mac, it will feel strange at first as you will be unfamiliar with the layout. After a little while, however, you will soon be whizzing around as if you’ve used one for years.

When you do finally succumb to buying a used Mac, it will be advisable to download an app such as Mac Cleaner, which will ensure it will run smoothly and trouble free. You’ll soon be wondering why you hadn’t changed over a long time ago.

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