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Part: 4 Extending Your Reach > Understanding Your Needs

Understanding Your Needs

Given that your choice of Mac isn't the slam-dunk decision the grid implies, how do you determine which Mac is right for you? For most people, budget is of primary importance. If you've earmarked no more than $1,200 for a Mac, monitor, and printer, your decision is pretty well made: You'll be buying an iMac or a used Mac.

But in addition to the depth of your pockets, consider the kind of work you intend to do with this machine over the next couple of years. If your work demands little from your Mac—e-mail and word processing, for example— go for one of the less expensive Macs and you'll be happy with your computer for a long time to come. If, on the other hand, you work in the graphics or desktop-video business, you need the fastest Mac that Apple can build, with a huge hard drive and tons of RAM—and you'll still wish it were faster. And if you need to burn DVDs that will run on commercial DVD players, you should look for a Mac model that features the SuperDrive—a CD/DVD burner made by Pioneer that, as we go to press, is available in the top two models of the Power Mac G4.


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