FX772LRF
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Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:46 am

So the time has come that I want to become a Mac user, because the new aluminum iMacs are becoming extremely appealing.

My dilemma is if I want to buy an iMac now, or wait and see what the future holds. The one thing I do not want to do is buy an iMac, then Apple release a new one. I've talked to my good friend that is extremely knowledgeable about Apple, and he mentioned that the next upgrade of the iMac will probably be a video card upgrade, and might integrate touch into the platform.

The only thing that is keeping me from just buying now is if the iMac could upgrade processors in the near future. The video card upgrade is irrelevant to me, as I don't look to play games on my iMac.

So my question is this: Should I buy the 27" iMac now, or should I wait for the next upgrade?

Thanks in advance for your help,
-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:50 am

 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:27 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 1):

Much appreciated.

It seems like my suspicion is confirmed, that the next iMac is going to be video card upgrade based.

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
Maverick623
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:46 am

Quoting FX772LRF (Thread starter):
The one thing I do not want to do is buy an iMac, then Apple release a new one.

This is how modern technology marketing works. Since the rate of technological expansion has slowed down, companies need ways to keep selling "new" stuff every year.

So they intentionally release an under-designed product, then next year they slap a new part on the same thing and call it revolutionary, even though the technology and/or engineering existed before.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:51 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):

Yeah, and that's where the problem with Apple products, at least the iMac, arises.

The unadjustability of the iMac makes it where if I want to change something in the future, I really can't, because I either void the warranty, or it's not possible.

I'm really debating making a homebuild vs. getting an iMac. I really want to have the MacOS around. I'm sort of lost on what exactly to do.   

I wouldn't be so paranoid and hesitant if it were my own money I was spending, but my father is paying for this, so I want to make sure not to make any mistakes.

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
Klaus
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:26 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
This is how modern technology marketing works. Since the rate of technological expansion has slowed down, companies need ways to keep selling "new" stuff every year.

Not really. It's not that simple, although sometimes it can look that way on the surface.

In reality every component has its price, limited availability, power requirements, thermal envelope (both heat production and limited thermal operating range) and other parameters.

And many of these parameters change during the life cycle of nominally identical components, due to technological developments, refinements and/or scaling of production processes, general market uptake, licensing issues and so on.

As a result, a manufacturer may elect to use a lower-specced component than theoretically possible in order to meet a given price point, because the machine would exceed reasonable or design-prescribed power draw and heat production limits or simply because the top-of-the-line component version was theoretically available but not remotely in the quantities the computer or device manufacturer would need for a broad market ramp-up.

It's good that regular computer buyers don't have to bother with all these issues, but that makes the manufacturers' decisions somewhat opaque and sometimes confusing and can give rise to myths like the one you cited. You're not the first (or the last) to suspect shady machinations there, but at least in most cases that's not actually the way things go.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
So they intentionally release an under-designed product, then next year they slap a new part on the same thing and call it revolutionary, even though the technology and/or engineering existed before.

At least Apple generally introduces component specification upgrades quietly, by simply updating the respective product pages on their web site, often even without so much as a press release. And other manufacturers handle it similarly (just think of the sometimes seemingly at random appearing or disappearing options at Dell, for instance).

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 4):
The unadjustability of the iMac makes it where if I want to change something in the future, I really can't, because I either void the warranty, or it's not possible.

As long as you don't damage anything, your warranty will remain intact.

But the main question is: What kind of changes are you actually likely to make over the lifetime of the product? Are any of these plausible changes impossible to make via the existing ports?

Your personal conclusion could go either way, but after buying several easily expandable PowerMacs in earlier years, I ultimately noticed that I simply didn't use most of these expansion capabilities, with further decreasing tendency.

I need plenty of RAM, but up to 16GB in the bigger iMacs (easily accessible from the outside) should suffice for quite a few years.

Mass storage is limited to one internal harddisk, but FIreWire800 and USB2 allow for almost unlimited external expansion as long as high-end performance is not needed there.

Upgrading the CPU is likewise not a realistic option, but incompatible CPU generations, socket changes, BIOS difficulties, power requirements, memory interfaces and other factors rarely make that an option even for tower-case PCs.

Graphics cards cannot be replaced (theoretically the card is replaceable, but it is unlikely there will be actual aftermarket upgrade options).

Other expansion cards have largely become obsolete by now. Most of what had previously been done that way is now solved with USB, FireWire or BlueTooth peripherals.

I had never thought I would ever buy an iMac, but this time I found it sufficiently compelling and after more than half a year with the i7 iMac 27" I still don't miss a tower machine.

Especially with that kind of high-resolution LED-backlit screen, the low noise footprint and the elegant form factor it has a pretty good price/value ratio which isn't easy to match in total elsewhere.

But again: Your mileage may vary – check your own priorities.
 
Brendan03
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:31 pm

If you had of waited for me to get home from work...

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 4):
I'm really debating making a homebuild vs. getting an iMac. I really want to have the MacOS around. I'm sort of lost on what exactly to do.

Don't do Homebuild -- I'm still having trouble with mine so I've been using Windows as you know. It's... It's frustrating and problematic, It's not how MacOs is designed to be used. MacOs is supposed to be easy to use. Not endlessly frustrating like a customized Windows install (as it basically is comparable to)

As for Touch on an iMac? ... I can't see it happening just yet personally. Seems a bit... too soon?
Coolier than thou.
 
HNLPointShoot
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:26 pm

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 4):
The unadjustability of the iMac makes it where if I want to change something in the future, I really can't, because I either void the warranty, or it's not possible.

If you're someone who likes tinkering with computer components (like a number of my friends, a few of whom have personally custom-assembled their machines), you may want to think twice about buying a Mac. Otherwise, it's not much of an issue; I personally use a mid-2007 MacBook Pro for my non-gaming computing needs, and it hasn't been modified since the day it was purchased. (For that matter, it's what I'm typing this post on.)

Quoting FX772LRF (Thread starter):
The only thing that is keeping me from just buying now is if the iMac could upgrade processors in the near future. The video card upgrade is irrelevant to me, as I don't look to play games on my iMac.

Other than what Klaus has already said, I'll only add this: If you're happy with what Apple is offering now, you might as well jump in.
 
Ken777
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:02 pm

I would wait. I think that there will be a new iMac announced soon and it will have a few more features under the hood. I doubt if there will be any major changes to the external design.

I consider the iMac to be between a desktop and a notebook in terms of parts and therefore believe in the extended warranty. It covers parts and also provides free phone support for the life of the warranty.

The Apple Store is going to give you an education discount, which is nice. It also has a promotion on for a free iPod during the Back-To-School promotion. And a $99 rebate for a printer purchased when you get the iMac.
 
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OA260
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:45 pm

Im holding off til Christmas to get mine. Im looking at the package for £969 which is not bad at all.

http://store.apple.com/uk/configure/MB950B/A?mco=MTM3NDc3MDM

Although if something comes out better around November/Dec then I will look at that also. Also not sure if its worth paying an extra £163 for the 3.3GHz
 
Cadet57
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:12 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
So they intentionally release an under-designed product, then next year they slap a new part on the same thing and call it revolutionary, even though the technology and/or engineering existed before.

Bingo, Apple does this constantly. It wont be too much longer before the iPhone 4G or the 4Gs or some other nomenclature they come up with comes out.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Not really. It's not that simple, although sometimes it can look that way on the surface.

Sure it is.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 8):
I would wait. I think that there will be a new iMac announced soon and it will have a few more features under the hood. I doubt if there will be any major changes to the external design.

Yeah doesn't Apple usually do updates around August and/or Christmas?

Personally, I've been looking at a new Macbook Pro. But I've been waiting to see if another refresh comes out. Im torn between the 13 and 15 inch models. I am leaning more towards the 15 because it can come with an i7 and a better video card. Two things which the 13 lacks. I wish the 13 models were equipped, or even optionally equipped closer to the 15 inch.
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Klaus
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:20 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 8):
I consider the iMac to be between a desktop and a notebook in terms of parts and therefore believe in the extended warranty. It covers parts and also provides free phone support for the life of the warranty.

The components are not the reason I would generally recommend an extended warranty for a mobile device. They are just as reliable as desktop components (or as unreliable, depending on the quality of design and manufacturing of the device integrating them).

It's the much more risky usage scenarios on the road which speak to additional precautions.
 
flanker
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:22 pm

Quoting FX772LRF (Thread starter):
So the time has come that I want to become a Mac user, because the new aluminum iMacs are becoming extremely appealing.

Another one bites the dust!

           
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
 
EA772LR
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 pm

Whatever you do, get one with the Nehalium Processors-either the i5 or i7. Since the 27" is new, replacing the 24", I'd say anything Apple does to the iMac will be nominal internal upgrades. That's why it makes sense (to me) to go with either the i5 or i7.

I just bought a 27" i5 Quad 2.66GHz and upgraded to 'just' 8GB of RAM and am more than happy with performance. I use it exclusively as my recording tool running Logic Studio and other recording software, and it's wonderful.
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
flanker
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:30 pm

I am extremely disappointed with the i5 540m. This is the first time i have bought an Intel processor in 10 years.

But i dont have a mac
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:38 pm

I appreciate everyone's replies.

I think that I'll just go ahead and plan to purchase the 27" iMac, and not wait for the upgrade. I think in comparison to my 2GHz Dual Core laptop, with only 2GB of RAM, and no dedicated video card - that the iMac would surely be way more power than I'll need for years to come.

Someone mentioned the education discount. I'm actually not going to be buying a new iMac, but a refurbished one. $1,699 for the i5 and $1,849 for the i7 is a hell of a deal, at least to me.

I'm curious as to how much performance I would gain in the long run if I steadily upgraded the RAM to 8GB, and maybe to 16GB? Anyone had experience with that? Does it seem to compensate for not being able to change out the processor?

Again, thanks all for your replies!

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
EA772LR
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:45 pm

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 15):
Someone mentioned the education discount. I'm actually not going to be buying a new iMac, but a refurbished one. $1,699 for the i5 and $1,849 for the i7 is a hell of a deal, at least to me.

That's a great deal. Refurbs are as good as new for the most part, at least the ones I've seen at local Apple stores. Get the i7.

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 15):
I'm curious as to how much performance I would gain in the long run if I steadily upgraded the RAM to 8GB, and maybe to 16GB?

Depends on what you're doing, but if it's video intensive, graphic intensive, or you're going to be running multiple apps simultaneously, then you'll want at least 8GB or more. One of the cool things with the iMac is it has 4 RAM slots available up to 16GB, so you can configure it with 4 2GB cards , or 2 4GB cards and leave 2 slots open. !!!DON'T BUY RAM FROM MAC!!! They'll rip you off. Just google RAM for iMac and you'll find plenty of places that sell RAM for a lot cheaper. Even the sales guy at Mac (admittedly was an acquaintance) told me to buy my RAM elsewhere.
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
flanker
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:45 pm

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 15):
and no dedicated video card

I would die without a dedicated vid card. LOL.. how do you do it. Teach me.
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
 
Klaus
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:49 pm

Quoting cadet57 (Reply 10):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Not really. It's not that simple, although sometimes it can look that way on the surface.

Sure it is.

So price, availability, power and heat concerns are entirely irrelevant to the design of a computer?

I'm sure Apple, Dell and others will be delighted to learn that they've been worrying about such problems entirely without reason. Excellent!

Quoting EA772LR (Reply 13):
Whatever you do, get one with the Nehalium Processors-either the i5 or i7.

The codename is Nehalem. But not a problem.

And while I've also gone with an i7 myself, it is still possible that some people won't ever do anything demanding enough to seriously outgrow the much more power-efficient Core 2 in the noticeably cheaper entry-level machines.

The i5 or i7 machines are primarily faster when actually using heavily multithreaded software (such as some image rendering or movie editing ones or certain code development tools).

I'm not saying one should necessarily scrimp on CPU performance, just that the top model is not necessarily ideal for absolutely everyone.

Quoting EA772LR (Reply 13):
I'd say anything Apple does to the iMac will be nominal internal upgrades.

Almost certainly – they've just had a major form factor overhaul when they introduced the current versions. The next change will most probably be a more or less modest specification bump.
 
flanker
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:54 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
I'm not saying one should necessarily scrimp on CPU performance, just that the top model is not necessarily ideal for absolutely everyone.

I wish i went with the core 2. Kicking myself right now.
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
 
Cadet57
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:00 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
So price, availability, power and heat concerns are entirely irrelevant to the design of a computer?

Hmm. I never typed that. Must be you making assumptions again.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
EA772LR
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:03 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
The codename is Nehalem. But not a problem.

Oops!!    Thanks for the correction Klaus!!

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
And while I've also gone with an i7 myself, it is still possible that some people won't ever do anything demanding enough to seriously outgrow the much more power-efficient Core 2 in the noticeably cheaper entry-level machines.

   Totally agree. It's like SQ buying 77Ls for their regional routes.
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:06 pm

Quoting EA772LR (Reply 16):
Depends on what you're doing, but if it's video intensive, graphic intensive, or you're going to be running multiple apps simultaneously, then you'll want at least 8GB or more. One of the cool things with the iMac is it has 4 RAM slots available up to 16GB, so you can configure it with 4 2GB cards , or 2 4GB cards and leave 2 slots open. !!!DON'T BUY RAM FROM MAC!!! They'll rip you off. Just google RAM for iMac and you'll find plenty of places that sell RAM for a lot cheaper. Even the sales guy at Mac (admittedly was an acquaintance) told me to buy my RAM elsewhere.

Yeah, I'd probably get it off Newegg. They seem to carry the products that I need to buy most of the time. Most of the stuff I'd be doing on it would probably wouldn't be too graphic intensive, just photo editing.

Quoting flanker (Reply 17):
I would die without a dedicated vid card. LOL.. how do you do it. Teach me.

Hahaha, well...I have another PC for my flight simulator. I use my laptop just for photo editing and internet browsing. (And the occasional research project for school if I'm not procrastinating.)

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
Almost certainly – they've just had a major form factor overhaul when they introduced the current versions. The next change will most probably be a more or less modest specification bump.

Yeah, if it's a slight bump, I'm not really worried about it. The thing I just really want to avoid is missing a complete overhaul of the iMac, like a processor upgrade.

Thanks again!

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
Ken777
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:17 pm

Quoting cadet57 (Reply 10):
I wish the 13 models were equipped, or even optionally equipped closer to the 15 inch.

From what I understand it is an issue of cooling the 13". I have a 13" MBP, which replaced a 15" PB. I like the 13", but would probably be happier with an iPad for the lap and a 27" iMac for the desk.

All I need is money to make it happen.  
Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
It's the much more risky usage scenarios on the road which speak to additional precautions.

But some of the parts can be pricy on the iMac - like the display and the mother board. The ability to call with questions is also a major help - especially for those new to the Mac.

Quoting EA772LR (Reply 16):
Depends on what you're doing, but if it's video intensive, graphic intensive, or you're going to be running multiple apps simultaneously, then you'll want at least 8GB or more.

That's true, but I have to smile at 8 Gb. My first computer (an Atari) come with 16 Kb and I dropped a fortune to bring it up to a blazing 64 Kb.

Quoting EA772LR (Reply 16):
Just google RAM for iMac and you'll find plenty of places that sell RAM for a lot cheaper.

But check out the sellers to make sure you're getting quality.
 
Cadet57
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:51 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
From what I understand it is an issue of cooling the 13".

That was my assumption. I've heard the i5 and i7 can get toasty, not to mention since it is a small form factor than the 15 it would have more trouble displacing heat. I'll probably go with the 15" only because I have a 15 now and like the balance between portability and a decent viewing area, not to mention the much faster i7 and better nvidia card.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
Klaus
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:00 pm

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 15):
I'm curious as to how much performance I would gain in the long run if I steadily upgraded the RAM to 8GB, and maybe to 16GB? Anyone had experience with that? Does it seem to compensate for not being able to change out the processor?

As long as you're not using more than you've installed, you wouldn't feel any improvement.

But as soon as the system is forced to swap out virtual memory to the harddisk, you'll see a major slowdown. In that case more RAM will make a lot of sense and indeed preserve the original speed further.

Basically the more programs your using simultaneously, the more document windows and/or tabs you're having and the larger the files you're working with, the earlier you'll hit the swapping boundary.

Quoting EA772LR (Reply 16):
!!!DON'T BUY RAM FROM MAC!!! They'll rip you off.

Well, the name is Apple , but their RAM prices are indeed very high in many cases. Comparing prices with other reputable suppliers who are willing to give you a guarantee that the RAM will work in your machine can save you a bundle.

Please note that the iMac requires DDR3 SO-DIMM modules – the big ones of these are still relatively expensive, and you'll need four of them to get to 16GB.

And if you've got the smaller ones installed, you can't continue using them when you're upgrading, so it may be a good idea to start with two large DIMMs right away, even though they're more expensive, if you already know you'll upgrade afterwards.

Quoting cadet57 (Reply 20):
Hmm. I never typed that. Must be you making assumptions again.

Either my explanations were correct or they weren't. But if you can't explain why you disagreed – okay then.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
But some of the parts can be pricy on the iMac - like the display and the mother board. The ability to call with questions is also a major help - especially for those new to the Mac.

All good arguments for Apple Care, indeed.  

It deserves mentioning that this program is more expensive for mobile devices than it is for desktop machines, so they're apparently figuring the actual risks into their prices as any decent insurance would.

Anybody should ponder the risk of potentially paying out of pocket for an expensive repair or being covered by a warranty extension paid up front – it's a question of one's personal appetite for taking risks...
 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:18 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Please note that the iMac requires DDR3 SO-DIMM modules – the big ones of these are still relatively expensive, and you'll need four of them to get to 16GB.

And if you've got the smaller ones installed, you can't continue using them when you're upgrading, so it may be a good idea to start with two large DIMMs right away, even though they're more expensive, if you already know you'll upgrade afterwards.

If I have the 4GB standard in the iMac (2 x 2GB DIMM), then can I just add two more 2 x 2GB DIMMs for 8GB?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
It deserves mentioning that this program is more expensive for mobile devices than it is for desktop machines, so they're apparently figuring the actual risks into their prices as any decent insurance would.

My sister just got an iPhone 3GS, and her Apple Care was only $70?

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
Cadet57
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RE: Buying An IMac

Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:24 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Either my explanations were correct or they weren't.

You're not entirely right. Computer companies DO push out new products with the smallest updates to keep people on their toes. Well most people, because some aren't foolish enough to spend money on new technology that just came out.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
But if you can't explain why you disagreed – okay then.

I'm sure you'd rather me not

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Well, the name is Apple

Which is zero excuse for their ram pricing. Especially when the companies that make it for them sell it for much less directly.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
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czbbflier
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RE: Buying An IMac

Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:28 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
All good arguments for Apple Care, indeed.  

It deserves mentioning that this program is more expensive for mobile devices than it is for desktop machines, so they're apparently figuring the actual risks into their prices as any decent insurance would.

Anybody should ponder the risk of potentially paying out of pocket for an expensive repair or being covered by a warranty extension paid up front – it's a question of one's personal appetite for taking risks...

Allow me to post a loud HEAR! HEAR! on Applecare.

Saturday night, I was loading tunes from a CD onto iTunes. The CD wouldn't eject. It had happened before but never was it this bad. It wasn't a software issue, rather the drive simply didn't spit the disk out.

I called my regular techie guy, but he was going on (much deserved) vacation and couldn't help me. I went to another Apple place and they told me that to replace the optical drive was going to cost at least $250CAD. I held out, hoping that the disk would come out. It didn't.

So I booked an appointment the next day at the Apple Store Genius bar.

The Apple Guy immediately said that there was a bad bearing in the drive and that it would have to be replaced. I braced myself for the estimate but after looking at my account / file, he looked up and said, "You still have 43 days left on your AppleCare extended warrantee".

Wow. So out came the other concerns. The screen ghosted after I used Excel for a number of hours and I was having issues with the computer slowing down generally, even after installing Leopard Snow.

Folks, I just got the computer back today.

New Optical Drive - $250.00 +
New LCD screen - $1000.00 +
New HDD - $300.00

All for $199.00 I paid about 2 years ago and had forgotten I had even done so!

Runs like new. And the new HDD is bigger than the old one.

The best part, I use Time Machine, a archiving / back-up utility that comes with every iMac so when I learned I had a new HDD, I wasn't at all concerned that anything was lost.

I fired up the computer, restored the computer from Time Machine and within 45 minutes, I was back up and running, exactly where I left off on Sunday night when I backed it up and shut it down to take to Apple the next day.

I know Apple is more expensive. But this experience confirms that holding out to get one was absolutely, absolutely, the right choice. Not only get an Apple and use Time Machine but most importantly, to

GET APPLECARE!
 
Elite
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RE: Buying An IMac

Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:43 am

I got AppleCare for my 20" iMac that I bought in early 2008, and for a while I wasn't sure why I needed it... but then the LCD broke down - after some research, it turns out that the problem is quite common on Apple computers. Perhaps they are also common on all LCD monitors, but the point is that 1 repair like that would have cost more than what AppleCare cost me. They came up to my house and fixed it within 20 minutes, and just 1 fix made sense financially. I haven't bought AppleCare for my laptop yet, but for someone as accident-prone as a laptop I'm sure its a no brainer.
 
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OA260
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RE: Buying An IMac

Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:59 am

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 26):
My sister just got an iPhone 3GS, and her Apple Care was only $70?

Sounds about right in the UK is £60 , I will buy it for my iPhone 4 in a few weeks. As long as you buy it before the 1 year is up your still ok .

For small items I dont bother with these things but for iPhone/iMac's its certainly a must.
 
Elite
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RE: Buying An IMac

Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:48 am

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 26):
My sister just got an iPhone 3GS, and her Apple Care was only $70?

Price varies from product to product; obviously, a AppleCare plan for a iMac will be much more than one for the iPhone 3GS.
 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:37 am

Quoting Elite (Reply 31):
Price varies from product to product; obviously, a AppleCare plan for a iMac will be much more than one for the iPhone 3GS.

Yeah, I was just questioning the wording of this:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
It deserves mentioning that this program is more expensive for mobile devices than it is for desktop machines, so they're apparently figuring the actual risks into their prices as any decent insurance would.

But now that I've read it over...I realize he means laptops, not cell phones, as mobile devices.

Anyway, I thank you all for your imput! I would appreciate any more comments or imput!

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
EA772LR
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RE: Buying An IMac

Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:39 pm

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 26):
If I have the 4GB standard in the iMac (2 x 2GB DIMM), then can I just add two more 2 x 2GB DIMMs for 8GB?

Yep. It's cheaper (obviously) to have the two 2 GB RAM cards added to give you 4 2GB RAM for 8GB vs taking out the two 2GB RAM cards and installing two 4GB for 8GB total and leaving the other two RAM slots open. 8GB ought to be plenty for the tasks you described you'll be doing.
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
Klaus
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RE: Buying An IMac

Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:35 am

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 32):
But now that I've read it over...I realize he means laptops, not cell phones, as mobile devices.

AppleCare for iPhones is only two instead of three years as it is for Macs, that is why it looks less expensive for iPhones (they're apparently matching it to the usual contract length).
 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:03 am

So...

I thought I'd come and bump this thread back up one last time.

I have purchased the iMac.   

This morning, I checked Apple.com out of habit, knowing it was a Tuesday - I had a slight feeling that the iMacs had gotten their update, but I didn't think much of it.

I scrolled down to the bottom bar where all of the updates to anything other than the iPhone 4 would be.

I was amazed to see that the iMacs got their update. I can't even explain the feeling I had at that moment.

I ended up, over the course of the day, perusing different options - and figured out the best one.

The original iMac that I was going to buy had the Core i7 2.8GHz with no hyperthreading capability, and the smaller 512MB video card for $1,849 Refurbished. The new iMac, with the i5 2.8GHz, and the larger video card - for $1,999 - I originally thought no deal, but then I factored in the education discount, and it came out to only be $1,899. $50 more for the larger video card, and the same processor speed. Deal.

My father also has been looking at iPods for his music collection, and I mentioned the iPod deal with a new Mac.

We ordered later that night.

I settled on the 27" iMac with the Core i5 2.8GHz, 1TB 7200rpm HDD, ATi Radeon 5750 w/ 1GB GDDR5 RAM, 4GB RAM, and the wireless keyboard/Magic Mouse combination.

The iMac should be here on either Friday, or Monday depending on the wire transfer arrival.

I thank you all for your insight and imput. I am confident I made a good choice.

Thank you all again!

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
Klaus
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RE: Buying An IMac

Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:16 am

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 35):
The original iMac that I was going to buy had the Core i7 2.8GHz with no hyperthreading capability

The i7 has always supported Hyperthreading (I'm looking at the eight load indicators on mine right now). In the new models almost all of the CPUs seem to have it, with the sole exception of the quad-core i5 which you've just ordered.

It is not really that big a deal in most cases, however. Hyperthreading will only help noticeably under certain special circumstances and even then the virtual cores will be far less efficient than the real ones.

Four real cores plus the larger cache will provide more effective performance in really multithreaded applications than the faster i5 dual core with the smaller cache plus Hyperthreading; However in many situations fewer cores at a higher clock can effectively be faster when the code is not fully multithreaded. It depends on what you're doing.

Intel's CPU numbering scheme is in total chaos – i5 can mean a dual core with Hyperthreading (as in the 3.6GHz iMacs, apparently) but with a different model code i5 can also mean a quad-core without Hyperthreading (as in the 2.8GHz iMacs).

They could basically stop propagating the i3/i5/i7 labels altogether since they've made them next to meaningless without detailed examination of the actual features. Quite a train wreck.

That said, the iMac updates look like a decent improvement, not least the GPU/graphics RAM upgrade. And the 27" display is really a joy to use (as long as you're not planning to watch horror movies with lots of dark sequences in a brightly lit room, that is).

[Edited 2010-07-28 03:17:24]
 
FX772LRF
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RE: Buying An IMac

Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:20 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 36):

Coming from my 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM, onboard video card, $400 Acer laptop - I think I'll be just fine with pretty much any Mac at this point.  

I can't wait to use the Quad-Core. Everything will be so much faster than on my laptop. The huge screen will also be really nice to have around for multi-window browsing.

-Noah.   
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
 
Klaus
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RE: Buying An IMac

Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:25 am

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 37):
Coming from my 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM, onboard video card, $400 Acer laptop - I think I'll be just fine with pretty much any Mac at this point.

I agree, that is a pretty safe bet!   

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 37):
I can't wait to use the Quad-Core. Everything will be so much faster than on my laptop. The huge screen will also be really nice to have around for multi-window browsing.

The trouble is, you can get used to the new luxuries rather quickly...

But it's still really nice after seven months of intensive use. No doubt about that!
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Buying An IMac

Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:39 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 38):
Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 37):
Coming from my 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM, onboard video card, $400 Acer laptop - I think I'll be just fine with pretty much any Mac at this point.

I agree, that is a pretty safe bet!

Heck, ANY new computer would be better than that, aside from the in-store specials. But then again, it's why I don't go for the in-store specials and go for custom builds instead.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
Brendan03
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RE: Buying An IMac

Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:15 pm

You'll have to get adventureous with dual booting and Flightsim and general gaming for me so I can follow you when I replace my big ass clunky PC setup with a Mac setup (however I do it)
Coolier than thou.
 
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OA260
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RE: Buying An IMac

Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:34 pm

Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 35):
I thought I'd come and bump this thread back up one last time.

I have purchased the iMac.   

Congratulations. Funny after I read your post I got an email from Apple about the new iMac.

http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/8730/imac.jpg

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The Magic track pad device looks pretty cool also .

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