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View Full Version : Thinking about buying an iMac but I have some reservations...




redvettez06
Jan 17, 2011, 07:09 PM
I almost ordered an iMac today but I stopped myself after I did a little reading here on the forum. I was wondering if anyone would care to answer a few questions for me. Any advice would be appreciated.

1) How hard is it to add RAM to an iMac yourself? Does it void the warranty or apple care? I ask because it is ridiculously expensive for them to add it at the factory when you order one. Can I just buy (for example) 2x2GB of DDR3 Corsair (1600 mhz) for $50 off Newegg and pop it in? Do mac users run into a lot of problems with adding their own RAM?

2) I'm getting this computer to make short podcasts for my patients (I'm a healthcare provider), edit some home photos, make a few movies, and all that average home media manipulation jazz. I know that this is the realm where Macs excell (especially in the last few years) and I honestly don't need my computer for anything more than that (and maybe surfing the net a bit). Do you guys feel that iLife is enough to accomplish those tasks or would you recommend upgrading to Logic, Aperature, Lightroom and/or other software to meet my needs? Objectively, do you think that price/performance/hardware of a Mac is worth if for me as opposed to say buying a comparable (or slightly better) Dell and then buying similar software suites (Sony Acid, Photoshop elements, etc.)?

3. Lastly, what sort of iMac do you recommend I go with. I'm gonna be honest and say that the 27" screen is attractive but probably not needed. That being said, it's not that much more and it seems that more future proof hardware comes with it. I'd like this computer to last about 4 years doing the aforementioned tasks. Is the i5quad the way to go? The ATi 5750 seems highly recommended over the weaker GPU. I'm always tempted to go big on these sort of things but it may be overkill. I would get a lesser system if you guys thought I could comfortably get by for about 4 years on this.

I had a iBook (the colored ones) back in 2000 with my wife and it was a good computer but I haven't used a mac since. I don't mind macs and I know that there are pros and cons to anything you get but I am just not sure what to do here. Couple that with the fact that we are mid product cycle and I'm wondering if I shouldn't wait for that either. I don't own any of the media software I need so I would have to buy all of that if I got a PC which is expensive. It's attractive to me that the mac comes with decent software for "free". Anyways, sorry for the long post and any advice for any of these questions would be awesome.

Thanks,

Kelly



wordoflife
Jan 17, 2011, 07:14 PM
Upgrading the RAM on the iMac is easy. Theres a slot right under the screen: http://www.techdc.com/wp-content/uploads/imac-hdd/imac-hdd-01.jpg and when you open it up, it looks something like this:
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/gV6rsCOHxg0/0.jpg

And you just slide in more RAM.


Any iMac will accomplish what you want to do with your computer and should future proof your uses.
It narrows down to how much you want to spend.

SandboxGeneral
Jan 17, 2011, 07:16 PM
I almost ordered an iMac today but I stopped myself after I did a little reading here on the forum. I was wondering if anyone would care to answer a few questions for me. Any advice would be appreciated.

1) How hard is it to add RAM to an iMac yourself? Does it void the warranty or apple care? I ask because it is ridiculously expensive for them to add it at the factory when you order one. Can I just buy (for example) 2x2GB of DDR3 Corsair (1600 mhz) for $50 off Newegg and pop it in? Do mac users run into a lot of problems with adding their own RAM?

2) I'm getting this computer to make short podcasts for my patients (I'm a healthcare provider), edit some home photos, make a few movies, and all that average home media manipulation jazz. I know that this is the realm where Macs excell (especially in the last few years) and I honestly don't need my computer for anything more than that (and maybe surfing the net a bit). Do you guys feel that iLife is enough to accomplish those tasks or would you recommend upgrading to Logic, Aperature, Lightroom and/or other software to meet my needs? Objectively, do you think that price/performance/hardware of a Mac is worth if for me as opposed to say buying a comparable (or slightly better) Dell and then buying similar software suites (Sony Acid, Photoshop elements, etc.)?

3. Lastly, what sort of iMac do you recommend I go with. I'm gonna be honest and say that the 27" screen is attractive but probably not needed. That being said, it's not that much more and it seems that more future proof hardware comes with it. I'd like this computer to last about 4 years doing the aforementioned tasks. Is the i5quad the way to go? The ATi 5750 seems highly recommended over the weaker GPU. I'm always tempted to go big on these sort of things but it may be overkill. I would get a lesser system if you guys thought I could comfortably get by for about 4 years on this.

I had a iBook (the colored ones) back in 2000 with my wife and it was a good computer but I haven't used a mac since. I don't mind macs and I know that there are pros and cons to anything you get but I am just not sure what to do here. Couple that with the fact that we are mid product cycle and I'm wondering if I shouldn't wait for that either. I don't own any of the media software I need so I would have to buy all of that if I got a PC which is expensive. It's attractive to me that the mac comes with decent software for "free". Anyways, sorry for the long post and any advice for any of these questions would be awesome.

Thanks,

Kelly


1. Adding RAM yourself is as easy as pie. A 4-year old could do it. Just remove the panel on the bottom with a small phillips screwdriver and pull the chips out by the tabs and then insert the new ones. It will not void the Apple warranty if you add RAM yourself. Get your RAM from OWC (http://www.macsales.com) and you'll be golden.

2. I think you'd be good with iLife. I use it all the time for just the things you mention.

3. The screen size is all up to you. How much space do you want compared to the price you're willing to pay. I think the i5 will also be a good investment. The iMac should last you for many years to come and be sure to get the Apple Care too.

emptyCup
Jan 17, 2011, 07:26 PM
As others have said, adding RAM is easy and iLife has all the software you need to do what you want. You probably won't even need to add more RAM. Your needs are simple. Even a mac mini will do what you want. Have a look at refurbs (http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac?mco=OTY2ODY3Nw) if you want to save a little money.

redvettez06
Jan 17, 2011, 07:42 PM
Thanks for all the answers!!! One last question. I see Apple care recommendations a lot (including your own). Buy it from Apple or get it off Amazon? Do people have a lot of hardware issues with Macs?

aristobrat
Jan 17, 2011, 07:50 PM
2) I'm getting this computer to make short podcasts for my patients (I'm a healthcare provider), edit some home photos, make a few movies, and all that average home media manipulation jazz.
If you have an Apple Store near you, and you buy your iMac from them, you might want to consider their $99 One-on-One program. It gets you a year's worth of in-store personal training, including help with personal projects like podcasts, home movies, etc.

Not that iLife is hard to learn, but being able to sit down for an hour-at-a-time with a person that knows the stuff inside and out has helped a lot of people start turning out cool stuff a lot quicker than learning it on their own.

redvettez06
Jan 17, 2011, 08:06 PM
If you have an Apple Store near you, and you buy your iMac from them, you might want to consider their $99 One-on-One program. It gets you a year's worth of in-store personal training, including help with personal projects like podcasts, home movies, etc.

Not that iLife is hard to learn, but being able to sit down for an hour-at-a-time with a person that knows the stuff inside and out has helped a lot of people start turning out cool stuff a lot quicker than learning it on their own.

I would totally do that however there is no Mac store in Alaska yet....:mad:

skiltrip
Jan 17, 2011, 08:26 PM
The base model iMac should more than meet your needs. I do all that on a base model MacBook Pro (weaker specs than the iMac) and it's great. I also prefer the 21.5" screen. The 27" is impressive but it's a monster. It'll swallow most ordinary desks.

Mic360
Jan 17, 2011, 09:06 PM
I have had my 27" for over a year now and at first it was huge but now I would go even bigger given the chance. Wife wants me to sell it and get a mbp, but thats not happening. Anyway, get what you can afford because any of the Imacs will fit your needs for what your going to be throwing at it.

SandboxGeneral
Jan 18, 2011, 07:32 AM
Thanks for all the answers!!! One last question. I see Apple care recommendations a lot (including your own). Buy it from Apple or get it off Amazon? Do people have a lot of hardware issues with Macs?

Typically most people don't have many or any hardware issues. I get the AppleCare for peace of mind, because after all, they are still computers made by humans and sometimes things break. With AppleCAre you get 3 years of full warranty and don't need to worry about out of pocket expenses.

Last week I had the CPU fan replaced on my iMac because a spider got in there and died/was killed when it started up and threw the balance off and made a grinding noise and caused the whole machine to vibrate. AppleCare covered the cost of three fans for $69. They just ordered and replaced all the fans initially just to be safe.

Sue Photostock
Jan 18, 2011, 12:22 PM
Yes just to confirm that the Ram upgrade really is a breeze found it easier than changing a fuse, done in no time at'all ;)

Did the 2x1gb to 2x2gb upgrade to try and solve my problematic 2 year old iMac issues.... the result being the Ram is fine the rest is not :rolleyes: my precious is currently away for repair with John Lewis

Hope to hear back soon need it for work << use the word loosely lol