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Ask Max: Mac Pro or an earlier non-Intel Mac?

Asked on 11/02/2006:

Hi Jacob! I have been reading a lot of the questions and answers and I still need some clarity, if you have an opinion, since you seem to be quite the expert. I have been dying to have a Mac Powerbook G4 for a long time now and then, as I was finally ready to purchase, Apple came out with the new MacPro. I know very little about computers and such and so didn't think anything of the "upgrade" until I had some Mac hardcores tell me I didn't want this new Mac with the Intel because of glitches and viruses, etc. So now I am totally paralyzed. I am a PC user now, not really by choice but rather by circumstance, and so I assumed I wanted my new Mac to be able to run windows. One reason for that was because I heard some software for trading commodities and the Forex market, which I am just beginning, does not run on Macs. Is that true? This is what I want my new Mac to do: run fast, I want to be editing video within the next year, to be able to run a music program to DJ dance classes and use software to trade on the Forex market. And of course all the other misc.. computer stuff (photos, etc.) and be as close to virus free as possible.. So what's your opinion on this? Do I go with the new MacPro or buy a refurbished G4? And is it even possible to buy a brand new G4, because ideally, wouldn't I want a new one if I could find it and afford it? Thank you so much for listening to my banter. I appreciate it immensely.Have a great day!


A MacBook or MacBook Pro would be the best solution for the work you currently do and the things you want to be able to do. Both are laptops so you can take it with you when you DJ. Any new Mac will come with iLife applications for organizing you music and your photos. Part of iLife is iMovie for your future video editing. The Mac environment currently has no spyware or viruses and will likely be that way for a long time, even on Intel Macs. An Intel Mac is going to be faster than a G4, but the main reason you want an Intel Mac is for running Windows applications. Many commodity-trading software is for the PC only and you will need Windows to run it. On an Intel Mac you can use "Parallels" virtualization software to run Windows XP in a window with the Mac OS X. Then you can do your trading in Windows XP and everything else in the Mac OS. Windows viruses that find their way into the Parallels copy of Windows XP won't hurt your Mac.Take a look at the MacBook, it should suit you well.

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