A few questions about intel imacs, upgradability

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dwd3885, May 3, 2006.

  1. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

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    #1
    While I'm now debating on whether or not to buy the Intel iMac or build my own pc, I was wondering a few things.

    I see that the cpu in the iMac is socketed and can be removed. Does this mean that when Merom chips come out, I'll be able to upgrade it to that? I know I cannot upgrade the gpu, but that is not much a problem. I usually do not like an all-in-one system, but the iMac seems so great I just might make an exception. Because I'm a tinkerer for the most part who likes to upgrade hardware. Seems that ever since I switched to the mac in september, I have been constently selling them and buying other ones. Where as with a regular pc, I can easily upgrade instead

    It's either that or a Dell 2007WFP and Mac Mini core duo/my own pc box.
     
  2. dr_lha macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Nobody will really know the answer to this until the Merom comes out, but Intel have implied that Merom is a drop in replacement for the Core CPU.

    The biggest issue with the iMac is actually disassembling the thing, which is non-trivial.
     
  3. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #3
    I seem to recall there being a report of the socketed chip being switched with something else without any problems, but I'll have to try to dig up the link for it. And maybe it goes without saying (though I will say it anyway), but swapping out the processor will undoubtedly void your warranty. Just something to keep in mind when the urge to tinker starts to get the best of you.

    Your best bet might be getting the cheaper Mac, keeping your PC, and getting a nice monitor and a KVM switch (like you suggested). That will let you use one of the nice, new Macs while still having a PC around to satisfy your urge to upgrade components.
     
  4. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #4
    while that is a good idea, i actually do not have any desktop computer right now! just a laptop.

    so i'm actually looking for a really good, fast computer that can serve as my main computer. i'm used to powerful ones, i bought the powermacs before i realized that i do not need that huge amount of power, i'm no professional, but a student
     
  5. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #5
    Sorry, the way I read your first post made me think you were already in posession of a PC tower. You could still hook that laptop up to the monitor the way I said, though.

    Anyway, you say you need a fast, powerful computer, but then you say that the Powermacs were more computer than you need? Does that mean that you really just want something that will be quick, but not amazingly expensive? You could always get a refurb G5 iMac. You won't have the upgrade capabilities of the Intel, but at less than $900 you could always build your own PC with the leftover funds.
     
  6. milo macrumors 604

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    #6
    Actually, we do know. Someone already got their hands on a Merom and swapped it in a mini. Worked great, no problems. The same should work in an imac.
     
  7. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #7
    one thing i do need is the ability to fun windows on a powerful machine. my laptop is basically only good for web browsing from time to time and a lil word processing. I would like to play some games, do other editing in Windows. So I'm really going for the intel. I also do not have too much space where i can have two or three computers. I totally wish that someday i will have a nice desk area with 3 or 4 computers, but not yet.
     
  8. dr_lha macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Chinese whispers at work here. Nobody has put a Merom in a mini, because nobody outside Intel and presumably Apple has got hold of a Merom. Unless you can provide me a link to a report of this, I'm afraid you're simply wrong here.

    What has been tried is putting a higher speed Core Duo into a Core Solo machine, and this worked. Also Intel reported that a Merom can be put into a motherboard that takes a Core chip, as was demonstrated by someone at Intel. This is good evidence it will work in a mini, but not proof.
     
  9. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    #9
    Part of the reason why I didn't really like the iMac is really because of the built in screen.

    Think about it, it seriously does restrict your options somewhat. And what'd happen when you are tired with that machine? It is not like you can just stuff it into a small corner and have it pretend to be a centralised bit torrent client for your house, or likewise a always-on DVR recorder, or anything else that you can use an obsoleted mini for. Hence an iMac is really a machine that you get as it is, use it till you are sick of it, and either trash it or sell it away.. you probably can't use it for some low powered stuff anymore.

    Really depends on your needs, personally I wouldn't care too much about the upgradability of processors, Intel will probably change chipsets for the newer Meroms early next year (those feature a much higher FSB) and so your upgrade options for the current iMacs will be restricted to at best a 2.33Ghz (?) Merom that will be released towards the end of this year. Current iMacs ship at a 1.83Ghz and 2.0Ghz configuration, and quite frankly I really doubt a few hundred Mhz makes that much of a difference. Just put the money towards ram and a faster hard drive when you CTO it, and it should serve you pretty well for the rest of its useful life.
     
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #10
    You're probably better off just maxing out the RAM and installing a fast Seagate HD, otherwise, I'd just go for a G5 2.3 or a Quad if you like tinkering
    and upgrading.

    Max 16GB RAM and 1.5 TB internal storage and 3 PCI-Express expansion slots
    what more could you ask for?
     
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #11
    This does sound like the best option for you dwd3885. But if you need a Mac that can boot both Mac OS X and Windows XPee, then I reccomend the iMac (or wait for the Mac Pro to be released). :)

    I don't know- sounds perfect...........for now. ;) :D
     
  12. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #12
    a powermac was a great option, last september. that's why i've been buying one and selling them after i realized i spent too much money on it! :-( If money was no object, I'd have a quad and a pc, but i'm a poor ole colllege student! Which means i need something not as expensive. how long do you think this imac core duo would last? in terms of being still very productive within osx and windows? I'd like to get a computer and actually keep it for a little while!! like at least 2 years!
     
  13. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #13
    A core duo iMac should easily last you two years as long as you don't have a fetish for being on the bleeding edge of tech. all the time. In fact, it will most likely be perfectly useable for at least twice that long.
     
  14. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #14
    merom has been tested on a mini and it worked fine, intel sends out allot of engineering samples.
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #15
    Yeah, you might have a bit more "grass is greener" feeling with the Intel Macs as the upgrade cycle will be shorter. It also sounds like the OP wants to be on the bleeding edge.

    As a reformed hardware/software tinkerer (stopped with the birth of our second child) the 17" Core Duo iMac is plenty fast for what I need it for and should last me at least as long as my 2.8 GHz Dell (2.5 years so far). Before then, I was always shooting for the best bang/buck, but not the bleeding edge performance.

    I'd wait for the 20% faster and more efficient Merom based iMacs to be released if I didn't want/need one now.

    B
     
  16. dr_lha macrumors 68000

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    #16
    LINK PLEASE! Repeating this doesn't make it true.
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #17
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #18
    the demo i was talking about was on a mini, i'll look it up, i'll make a post in about half an hour i dont have the time right now i need to fix my bike, damn punctures.
     
  19. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #19
    Faster Core Duos have definitely been demonstrated in a Mini, but the article I linked to was the one I was remembering as being done on a Mini. :(

    B
     
  20. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #20
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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