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View Full Version : Advice needed on hardware purchase...


cavemanstudios
Jul 22, 2003, 11:30 AM
I am looking upgrade my system and I have spent many hours in the Apple Store (online) putting together different orders looking for what would work best for me.

First to mention what I currently have:
1) PB G3 Pismo w/ 1GB RAM 20 GB HD and AirPort running Jaguar. (works very nicely and I love the machine, just a little slow when working in PhotoShop and things, also would like a little more desktop space)

2)PM 8600/300 with Sonnet upgrade to G4/450, 305 MB RAM, 40 GB HD (although I think my big drive is dead) with USB card, also an ATI Rage video card to allow on 19" Samsung and a 17" MAG monitor in a dual monitor arrangment. This system has never worked reliably with the upgrade and OSX, but I may just not be doing things right. This system draggs behind my laptop at this point.

So, my problem is what to do. I want to update my desktop system so that my laptop can act as my portable system and be on my coffee table when I am at home. I want to be able to edit video work with high res images and such. I really do very little gaming on my computer. That is what my PS2 is for.

So, the most cost effective option I have come up with is to get a 17" iMac 1GB RAM, SuperDrive, Formac Sutdio, LeCie d2 200 GB FireWire Drive, Final Cut Pro 4.0 Academic, Canon ZR-70, and an iPod (30GB) while I am at it.

(I do plan on waiting a while before I actually buy to see what is in store for the iMac because I think something is coming fairly soon)

I guess what I am wondering is, what are your thoughts on this setup and how it will fit my needs on a budget.

Someday down the road when I am done with school and making good money I will most likely buy a PM but untill then I hope this will get me by. What do you think. Please be honest. And I would love to hear personal experience with this hardware.

MacManDan
Jul 22, 2003, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by cavemanstudios
So, the most cost effective option I have come up with is to get a 17" iMac 1GB RAM, SuperDrive, Formac Sutdio, LeCie d2 200 GB FireWire Drive, Final Cut Pro 4.0 Academic, Canon ZR-70, and an iPod (30GB) while I am at it.


It sounds like you've done your research and come up with a good solution. That iMac would be great for doing videos and such, but I only have issues with the LaCie firewire hard drive. If you're on a tight budget, save yourself some money (up to $100) and build your own firewire hard drive. All you need is a 3.5" IDE hard drive (standard hard drive, you can find them at your local Best Buy or Circuit City .. whatever, but look around for great deals), and a firewire enclosure box. You can find a firewire enclosure by doing a simple search on the internet (but find one with the Oxford 911 chip because it offers the best performance), or you can find some good ones (although a bit pricey) at OWC (www.macsales.com). It's simple to buy and make, just make sure you get the right size enclosure for your hard drive, and installation is as easy as plugging in two cables and screwing the enclosure box together. And you save lots of money!

I've heard great things about the Canon camera, good choice.

Other than that, it seems more reasonable to go with the new iMac than upgrade your old PowerMac. I think at this point, since it already has issues, you may only make a bad thing worse if you try to upgrade it some more.

[Edit: the only thing I'm not sure about is if you can have dual-monitor extended-desktop on the iMac. I know you can at least do video mirroring, but if you want the extra space of an extended desktop, make sure the iMac supports it]

crenz
Jul 22, 2003, 12:09 PM
Why not get one of the PowerMac G4's? They are rather cheap now, and even a single 1.25 GHz would be faster than the iMac. At least here in Europe, the 17" iMac is considerably for expensive.

Also, with the G4 you could continue to use your two monitors, and it would allow you to add more internal hard drives (cheaper than Firewire drives).

Edit: AFAIK, the iMac doesn't allow dual monitor display. And it only has a VGA out -- bad if you want to get TFTs in future.

pncc
Jul 22, 2003, 12:24 PM
I agree with getting a new G4 now. It is faster, more upgradeable, more internal storage and will support multiple monitors while the iMac supports none of the above.

What do you need teh Formac Studio for? Everything you mentioned is already digital, do you anticipate needing analog video in/out? (That is what the Formac Studio is right? I haven't checked it out)

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 05:13 PM
I'd scrap the 30 GB iPod and go for the G5 with a 21" CRT. You'd be about the same price as the iMac at that point.

Sun Baked
Jul 22, 2003, 05:46 PM
Keep your old monitor for awhile and sink the money into the CPU.

A dual G4 1.25 machine is $1999 with superdrive/80GB HD/256MB Ram/G4Ti video card

You can use all your old HDs in this machine and it has room inside to add them on the cheap, and memory is really cheap for it.

---

A G5 starts about the same price, but the old HDs need to be added externally -- a bit more expensive, but some of the cases can be had cheap.

And you can still use your old CRTs

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If you really must have and LCD screen...

A single G4 1.25 Tower w/SuperDrive and a 17" Apple LCD monitor is a good compromise at 2199.

Just add the memory on yourself for cheap.

It's extremely flexible and you won't run into the agravation some of the iMac owners run into when the want to max out mem, HDs, etc.

cavemanstudios
Jul 22, 2003, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by pncc


What do you need teh Formac Studio for? Everything you mentioned is already digital, do you anticipate needing analog video in/out? (That is what the Formac Studio is right? I haven't checked it out)

I would like the ability to use video from video tapes and TV, the Formac Studio allows both and I have heard really good things about it.

cavemanstudios
Jul 23, 2003, 09:35 AM
So, would the NVIDIA GeForce Ti graphics card support me using my two older CRTs???

Sun Baked
Jul 23, 2003, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by cavemanstudios
So, would the NVIDIA GeForce Ti graphics card support me using my two older CRTs??? I though they were all dual headed cards, don't know off have what ports they have besides the ADC.

Adapters from ADC&DVI to VGA would probably be needed.

Though one of these adapters should be included with the machine. (DVI to VGA)

You can buy two LCD monitors to use on the machine, so two VGA monitors shouldn't be too big a problem. Think Dr. Bott ADC to VGA extender.