Apple iMac: Still the Desktop Star

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot

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  2. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #2
    Bah. The iMac is fine for people who want a non-upgradeable, non-mobile high-end laptop. The internals of the iMac are pitiful, and even though it will play current games, it will struggle with next years games. If you're only going to use it for iLife, Safari, iTunes, and the occassional game, it'll be fine for 3 or 4 years. But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years.

    This is just another example of why Apple needs another computer in its lineup. CPU makers produce desktop-class chips for a reason. Yes, laptop chips are impressive compared to the "olden days" but they still don't have the power and longevity that today's desktop CPUs do. Plus, with a non-upgradeable, once it's shot, you throw it out. With a desktop, you can give it a new graphics card, a BluRay Optical drive, fast RAM(with the iMac, you're stuck with SO-DIMMs), and most importantly, a newer CPU!

    Seriously, Apple. You're missing out on a whole demographic of people who are clinging to their old machines just because they offer something an iMac never could: THE ABILITY TO DO WITH IT WHAT THEY WANT.

    Please, pundits, spare me the "Buy a Mac Pro" and "The iMac is good enough" arguments. The MacPro is entirely more than what most people need for a home PC... and it's not a career machine I need. It's a hobby machine... and my hobbies include using Photoshop, Final Cut Express, Logic, and Bryce on a fairly consistent basis. I also want a computer that will last. The iMac will not stay current for more than a couple years.

    The only reason the iMac is the "Desktop Star" is because it's the only consumer-aimed desktop Apple offers.

    Apple, give me an xMac.

    -Clive
     
  3. macrumors 68000

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    #3
    The Mac mini is also a current product that satisfies many consumer needs. You were making some good points until you misfired on this point.

    Get yourself a MacBook Pro and connect up an external monitor.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I belive the iMac will run Photoshop quite well, and by the way most people do not care about any of this. Just because a few people here and there want a cheaper desktop doesn't mean it will happen. The iMac is a perfect consuemer machine.

    You wanting a computer that stays current is impossible because theres new technology everyday so nothing stays current for more than 6 month even the mac pro something new and better will come out.
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    #5


    i think your right about the upgrading issue but the new imacs should last a few years and it would cost a fair bit to upgrade every 6months or so when the new upgrades become available(chips/drives). my point being that get the newest keep for 3-4 years then buy a new one again it will prob be cheeper than all the upgrades.

    but the choice/ability would be nice
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #6
    What? Who said anything about cheaper? I would expect such a michine to be priced in the same range as the iMac... between 1200 and 2200 or so. Instead of a built in screen, I want space to add an HDD if I see fit, or upgrade to a BluRay drive in a couple years. Add RAM. Swap out a video card. A PCI slot for eSATA or something. Certainly a desktop CPU (same prices as mobile ones, mind you), 6 - 8 internal ports/slots plus empty space cost less than a 20-some inch display. They'd make larger margins by putting the machines at the same price points as the iMac. And they would be bought, I guarantee it.

    That doesn't make any sense. Of course its possible to stay up to date if you have a machine that can be upgraded, and the money to do so. For the rest of us, intermittent upgrades will more than suffice to keep it fresh and "zippy." With an iMac, there's very little you can do to put off aging. Like I said earlier, once it's old, you throw it out. What a waste. Planned obsolescence, if you ask me.

    3-4 years. I know its the average lifespan of a computer, but I go 3 - 4 years, + a couple upgrades (*maybe* $500-worth) and get another 3 years out of it. I don't think that's more expensive than a new machine...

    -Clive
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    dwl017

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    #7
    Bravo! great post and I agree 100% this is the main reason I went the Mac Mini so at the very least I would not be stuck with a huge 20" or 24" paper weight when the thing went belly up on me. If my Intel Mini was to die tomorrow I still have my brand new Dell Ultra Sharp 24" LCD to get me through! or lets say my Dell LCD dies I can get a brand new one dirt cheap!

    Bottom line all though the Mini is not a machine I can upgrade I still don't feel stuck like I would with the iMac all in one should something g wrong.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

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    #8
    "But for anyone looking to do Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, gaming, or anything remotely demanding, the iMac will be suffering to keep up after a couple years."



    on the demanding application scale, the programs all vary. I agree that if you use final cut, then you shouldn't be looking at an imac. in fact you really shouldn't be looking at a low-end mac pro.

    Just for the record (because i see a lot of complaining gamers out there whining about the imac) if you're a gamer, why the hell would you choose a mac in the first place?!?!?!?! Get an Xbox360, Nintendo Wii, or PS3 for cryin out loud!!! For the price of a high-en imac you can practically get all three consoles and a flat screen TV!!!

    I will use logic since that is the application i use and am most familiar with. First off, if you've followed the evolution of Logic with apple, it has barely updated (to the point of complaints from users). Logic Pro 7 was around for over 3 years before Logic Studio was released in September and still the minimum requirements were none too drastic (of course it rendered some systems obsolete but those systems were over four years old). Sure there are small upgrades every now and then but nothing that's going to render a top of the line Santa Rosa extinct for a good long time.

    Another thing to consider as well and this is why i chose the imac or, should I say, the imac chose me: If I were a professional working audio engineer with clients out the wazzoo, I'd have a Mac Pro. I could afford it. I would need something to handle all my clients' projects. I would probably have a lot of clients thus the previous statement: I could afford it. Right now I need something to get me to that point. I don't have a lot of clients. I'm looking to get them. I need something dependable I can work on and have enough space to create, enough screen space to see what i'm doing, be powerful enough so i can churn out good production value and above all else BE AFFORDABLE!!!!

    I (an I assume many others who have or are seriously considering the imac) have a limited budget and can't be blowing it on a mac pro as much as i would love to have the 10 core octodruple super hertz chips running at a billion light years a nanosecond. let's in fact break that down. If i were to get a base bare bones mac pro, I’d have a low-end quad with little else. I’d have to buy more ram, probably a better graphics card as well, up the hard drive, do this, do that and on top of that buy a monitor. After the tweaking is all done and the monitor, I’ve just spent well over three grand and WAIT one more thing...the SOFTWARE!!! In a lot of cases people are buying that as well. You've just dropped a TON of $$

    With the imac you get a dependable CPU that can handle most of your applications and can help get the struggling pro to the working pro who can then move on and afford the supercomputer. And besides, being that it's laptop like, you can add all the peripherals you could ever want via FW 800, 400and usb 2.0.


    I kind of like the little added bonus of a 3-4 year time limit as well. Helps to light a candle under some people don't ya think?

    Of course as with all things, only time will tell but i'm not going to waste this time staring into a crystal ball to see if i'm right, I've got work to do.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #9
    Empire: Total War
     
  10. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    I would estimate that maybe 2% of computer users ever upgrade their hardware, and probably a similar number buy them mainly for playing games. That 2% should definitely buy something different. The fact remains that Apple does all-in-one computers like nobody else, which is a great thing for the vast majority of computer users who just want things to work without a fuss and don't want the computer to take over their desk.

    Speaking of great things: An unabashedly positive Mac review from Businessweek.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Huh?

    1. Since the internal parts of an iMac are MB and MBP parts your saying that Apples laptops will not run professional apps? Man your out to lunch on this!

    2. I am using an iMac 2.8 Extreme, it runs all my pro apps just fine thank you.

    3. I expect this iMac to last as long as my last G4 1.25 desktop MAC, thank you.

    Let me tell you about my retail experiences selling computers:

    1. Most people are clueless when it comes to upgrading their computer. They don't even know how to add RAM or what RAM to buy, even though every machine I sold hold them what type of RAM to purchase.

    2. 99% of the time they would bring the computer back to the store for RAM installs, or HD replacements. They were more than happy to pay the install fees.

    3. My experiences are that most consumers don't want to do any upgrades on their own and are willing to pay the fees to have someone else do it for them!

    4. Most PC users buy a new machine every 2 to 3 years. MAC people tend to keep their machines longer. (It isn't how long you own a machine, but what you use the machine for!)

    So I can not change out the video card, or HD? No big deal. I have an external HD big enough to hold all my files, etc.

    The only point I will agree with you on, is Apple needs a more PRO machine without a monitor. One that can be added to or upgraded to if the owner wants to do so. The MacPro is to costly for me and I do not need 4 HD bays...I have never needed more than two internal HD. My G4 had two 80GB HDs and neither were anywhere near full!
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #12
    A low-end Mac Pro won't cut it for Final Cut? ...Express?

    Listen here, I'm telling you all that I need a machine between Consumer and Pro. Since my hobbies may include using Final Cut Express, I'm willing to have the patience to deal with a slower machine, but since it's something I value, I want more speed devoted to it than, say, your average iMac user.

    And to answer this ridiculous gaming statement: Not all games are available on all platforms. PC is hands-down the most versatile. At this point in time, no Apple hardware could accurately meet my needs. However, if I could buy a capable/upgradeable Mac for ~$1700 and Windows XP for $200, then I can save myself the $1500 on buying a second machine. Literally, my only reason for having a PC is to play games and do the occasional technical tinkering. Why shouldn't I be able to consolidate my hardware as long as Apples run Windows?

    Even right now, I build my own PCs so good hardware only costs around ~$500 for the entire unit and ~$200 every few years to upgrade... Still cheaper than new consoles, plus PC software lasts for a really long time. With consoles, once there's a better console, the legacy support is weak, despite claims of backwards compatibility. Hell, I still have DOS games on my PC. DOS!

    I have made a console exception for the Wii. The Wii is so freaking cool that I had to get one. If you haven't experienced some Wii-action, you need to. Nintendo really got it right with the Wii.

    Otherwise, most console games that are worth anything make it to PC within the next year, so unless you desperately care about playing a new game right away, you don't need to waste your money on consoles. I'm not that obsessed. Therefore a PC is the best choice for me.

    Steve Jobs has openly said that gaming is not one of their priorities. IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE. How about giving people the CHOICE to put a nicer graphics card in their computer? Or the CHOICE of adding a BluRay drive? Or the CHOICE of a second internal hard drive? How is that so hard, Apple?

    Sure it's not the solution for everyone. Some people want an all-in-one simple solution. Others want room to tinker, but still want to use the excellent Apple software along with it. Why shouldn't we be able to do it?

    Apple is becoming more about limiting choice in order to fix users inside Apple's box. No longer is it about THINKING DIFFERENTLY.

    -Clive
     
  13. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    Why is it that gamers only seem to understand their priorities? This seems to be one of the great constants in computing. Gamers frequently express the view that if a computer maker isn't meeting their needs, then they aren't doing things right, period.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #14
    No, obviously you're not reading what I wrote. It'll run it today, but a MB or MBP will fail to be a useful tool after 3 or 4 years. On a desktop that you can upgrade, you can use hardware-intense software for easily 6 or more.

    Come back to me in 3 - 4 years and tell me how your iMac is doing.

    I'm afraid you'll be in for a surprise. G4s have well-proven their longevity. I'm still managing to use a 800 MHz G4 iMac that I've replaced every single part in, save the CPU.

    All generalizations. 99%? I hardly believe that. You have no idea how many people upgraded themselves because they didn't come to you to do it. A lot of consumers are computer-ignorant, yes, but that number is certainly not what you imply it to be. People who know that they are ignorant are willing to pay for upgrades because they have no choice. It's like if I have to do anything with my car other than change the fluids.

    And here's another thing: just because "most people" buy new computers every 2 - 3 years doesn't mean they should. New computers are expensive (unless you buy crap) and not only do I not have the money to do that, but its wasteful! Why buy a whole new computer when you can upgrade one or two parts for less money and produce WAY less waste? Non-upgradeable computers are landfill-fodder and that's one of the last things we need.

    Wait, what? You spend all that time disagreeing with me, then you say that you agree that Apple needs a slightly expandable pro machine without a monitor. That's all I'm asking for. And so you agree with me after all that?

    Weird.

    -Clive
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #15
    You're not describing me, are you? I think Apple does a lot of things right... except the lack of an xMac. In some cases being locked into Apple's Box is a good thing. When it comes to computer hardware, it's not always a good thing. Some users need choice but not a Mac Pro.

    -Clive
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Take off your blinders, most iMac buyers are non-computer savvy people who want their iMac to just work. In 3-4 years technology will have evolved and we all will have obsolete hardware. Even if the user does do Photoshop, FinalCut, Logic and gaming, the Imac will be fine.

    Thats the great thing about Macs, in general they just keep going and going and going. I have eleven dating back to the IIcx. Make great computers for the grandparents, the kids, a person in need or just collecting and tinkering with old software.

    You want choice, choose Windows or Linux. People buy Macs because of the OS and the hardware work as a unit as opposed to the other OSs. Where the mindset is "lets slap together some hardware" load an crappy OS (Windows) and then hope it works. The "Think Different" is in how you use the computer and what you can achieve. Not in how many different configurations are available to purchase.
     
  17. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    Well, it seems you found the positive review of the iMac to be wanting (your first word, "Bah"), even though the reviewer was pretty specific about the audience for this computer. Right off, you were bringing up gaming issues, and continued to expand on them in subsequent posts. My addition to this discussion is the experience that very, very few computer owners (1) play a lot of games, or (2) will ever upgrade their hardware, even RAM, so I think those criticisms of the iMac are pretty much moot. If Apple has failed to produce the mid-range Mac box of your dreams, it might just be because the market for this product isn't as large as you think. Apple isn't a stupid company, you know.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Silencio

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    #18
    It's entirely reasonable to explain why Apple does something a certain way -- after all, they have vaults full of market research that shows both what their customers ask for and what their customers actually do in real life -- and yet express the opinion that Apple's approach might not exactly fit their own needs.

    For the record, I'm in the same position: I could probably do just fine with a 2.8GHz 24" iMac, but I can't let go of the possibility of internal expansion and upgrades since I've done it for so long, and yet the Mac Pro is overkill for my purposes. I too would love it if Apple would produce a minitower/Cube/whatever with a desktop Core 2 Duo, a couple of PCIe slots, four full-sized DIMM slots, room for two internal hard drives, and a partridge in a pear tree. I have enough self-awareness to realize that my needs are not everyone's.

    The vast majority of users -- both home users and more demanding professionals -- perform very few hardware upgrades to their machines. Why put in a bunch of RAM slots, a socketed CPU, and space for a bunch of hard drives if your typical customer will never, ever take advantage of them? Research study after research study proves that this is the exact state of things with desktop PCs: end users just don't upgrade them.

    Quite frankly, we've been hearing the argument that the iMac will fail because of its lack of internal expandability or upgradability since, oh, 1998. It hasn't come to pass yet...
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    BenRoethig

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    #19
    So, if we care about what's right for the majority of users, shouldn't we be content with windows? Apple was for the computer who wanted something more than the average PC. Apparently Apple's equivalent to the celeron crowd won out over the power users. It's sad that you now have to get something with windows on it in order to get a powerful and expandable computer. That's what they used to be best at.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    BenRoethig

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    #20
    The reviewer also has the luxury of doing the review more or less platform agnostic. If the user isn't in this segment, they have the luxury of something else. Users who have a long term vested interest in the Mac don't. For all intents and purposes, the iMac has replaced the Power Mac and not by our choice. Yes, I know there is the Mac Pro, but a lot of us can't afford to spend $2500+ to get what Apple used to give us for $1500.

    So, what you're saying here is that we should just design all computers for the most mundane tasks and the most ordinary users. You guys may accuse us of wanting Apple to build machines that look like Dells. Deems to me you guys want Apple to exclusively build machines that perform like a dell. The iMac is a great machine for the mid to low end users its designed for. By no means is it an answer to everyone's computer needs. All in ones aren't something new, they been around since I joined the Mac community in '94. While they have gotten smaller and better looking, the have pretty much the same advantages and the same weaknesses they did back then. Same for towers. Two different types for two different classes of user.

    No, arrogant something much much worse. They think they know what the user wants better than the user.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #21
    Okay, and here's where you contradict yourself:

    You say that Macs will last a long time but only with old software. Have you not been listening to what I've been saying all along??? If you can upgrade your hardware, you can have a computer that will last twice as long as an iMac... and all the while continue to run intense programs like Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, etc. I'm not saying it's impossible to to with an iMac. It is, but only for a limited time. The non-upgradeable iMac is a ticking clock. Once it's dead, it's dead. Until then, it's fine.

    From this comment it is obvious that you simply don't understand. Clearly you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for any sort of rebuttal.

    Consider a second Hard Drive, a second Optical Drive, extra RAM, and anything that goes into a PCI slot. They all have one thing in common: They're add-ons. They don't meddle with the operation of the unit in any way but to expand its usability. It's nothing remotely similar to "slapping together hardware." If you knew anything about computers you would realize that.

    Apple custom-makes every single motherboard and every single daughter card that makes an appearance in their hardware. That's why their machines "just work." Meanwhile, the hard drives are from Samsung or Hitachi, the optical drives are from Pioneer or Sony, and the RAM is from somewhere else still. How can it be, then, that your Macintosh works with such "slapped together hardware" like a hard drive from Hitachi and a DVD burner from Pioneer? It helps to know about a topic before you bash someone regarding it.

    Also, please explain to me why my wanting to add an internal hard drive or BluRay drive means I should be forced to abandon the Mac and use Windows or Linux instead? Do you comprehend how ridiculous that sounds?

    The only thing more pathetic than that infantile comment is the fact that Apple's most inexpensive upgradeable machine retails for $2500. Undoubtedly you get what you pay for but not everyone needs that much power or 4 HDD bays. People who are hobby filmmakers or photographers, however, might require 2TB of disk space. That could take 3 external drives! If the Mac is such a clutter-free machine, why force one to fill up his or her desk with add-ons when they could go inside the case? Try to think reasonably here.

    I know 80% of the people who buy Macs won't need this much storage anytime soon. But some might, and with the millions (and growing) of Mac users out there, the number of people who do need it grows as well. Apple's product line is too simplistic for the demographics of their users. Plain and simple.

    -Clive
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    #22
    Wait, what?! I'm running Final Cut Express 3.5 on my five year old PowerBook. Christ, if my machine runs FCE at a decent rate of knots I can only imagine how speedy a 2.4 iMac would be.

    Even a base quad Mac Pro is way overkill for FCE work.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #23
    The thesis of my rant is that the iMac won by default because Apple offers no other true consumer desktop (and no, the joke otherwise known as "Mac Mini" does not count). This thread has been blown off topic by those claiming that there is no need for an upgradeable consumer Mac.

    Games are a prominent example. I actually don't play very many hardware-demanding games. Maybe an hour's worth a month. The rest of my computing is spent composing music, editing film or photoshopping. I don't need 4 HDD bays, a server-class processor, or up to 16GB of the fastest RAM on the planet.

    Aside from this, you bring up the point that very few people game or photoshop or edit video or compose music. There was a story out a while back telling how these sort of hobbies were growing as a result of the inclusion of iLife on Apple's computers. Interviewees said they never thought they would care enough to want to keep photo albums, make web pages, edit home videos, etc. Once they had the ability to do so, it opened up a new world for them and they couldn't imagine their lives without it.

    It's my opinion that the same is true for a good number of consumers. They would, in fact, welcome the ability to go beyond the iMac and become "prosumers" if only the opportunity existed. You saying flat-out that "people don't want an upgradeable machine" when no such machine even exists is like saying people don't want a car with an aircraft yoke. Just because it doesn't exist doesn't mean people don't want it. If someone actually released such a car, maybe the demand would be there and conventional wheel-users might become yoke-users.

    Your assumption that people don't want an upgradeable Mac is unjustified. You may be correct, but your hypothesis remains to be proven.

    Apple has never tested such a machine in today's market. I think you would be surprised with the number of people who would buy one. Of course, neither of us could be proven right without any sort of test.

    -Clive
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

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    #24
    Hey hey, don't freak out at me. I was replying to this guy:

    I thought it was outrageous as well. I occasionally use FCE on my almost 6-year old 800MHz iMac.

    I'm with you. I think today's iMac could run FCE just fine... for a couple years.

    -Clive
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    Cloudane

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    #25
    With all the time and energy some people spend complaining over and over again about the lack of a "High end consumer Mac" between the iMac and Mac Pro, they could spend this time and energy doing something more constructive like making money, at which point they'd be able to afford a Mac Pro :) Then it'll do everything you want. Win.

    It's easy to say it's "overpowered" for some people's needs, but is there really such a thing? Power is good, it helps to make sure you have everything covered.

    Me, I'm very happy with my iMac thank you. I've done the whole upgradability thing with PCs... guess what, I very rarely actually did any upgrades. Those I did do where just for the sake of it really, like a slightly faster DVD-RW because I happened to be passing through Scan and it was on a Today Only deal.

    Because I used decent components in the first place rather than bargain basement rubbish (just like Apple do. This led to PCs that cost about as much as an equivalent Mac), by the time my PC felt slow at anything it was 4+ years later and the world had moved on... time for an entire new PC rather than spending good money patching up an old banger. Thinking back on all this, that's when I realised that upgradability really doesn't matter (my old G4 Powerbook is still standing strong too, and has been given a new lease of life with Leopard)

    My 20" 2.4 iMac handles Photoshop just fine for my hobbyist (but high end / RAW) photography needs. Eventually I may indeed upgrade to a Mac Pro because it's simply the ultimate Mac and the best solution for everything... and let's not forget you can get a huge chunk of your money back selling second hand on eBay... but right now I feel that the iMac is more than capable of what I require. Waiting an extra few seconds for a Photoshop filter is hardly going to ruin my day.

    For gaming, yeah it's not ideal. Though it handles EQ, WoW and SL just fine, which pretty much covers my desktop gaming (I have a decent PC on standby at the moment if I want the extra 5FPS that badly). Everything else is on the PS2, which I really ought to upgrade to a 360 or PS3 soon.

    Failures aren't a major concern. Most happen in the first 30 days. I'll be getting Applecare to cover 3 years though, after which I'd be starting to think about an upgrade anyway! (I tend to wait 4 years, but if it broke badly 3 years and 1 day after purchase then boohoo, VERY bad luck on my part, so be it). And even then there are several companies out there who repair Macs. It's no big deal IMO. Not to forget that Apple use decent components, so there's less chance of failure compared to the PC "Jetway motherboard" rubbish.

    I really think that if power is so important that it's worth ranting about so much, it'd be much more constructive to suck up the extra cost and invest in a Pro. Only, don't buy one right now because they're very outdated and due for an upgrade imminently :)

    For maybe 99% of consumer users, even those who were PC building geekoids, the iMac is surprisingly capable.

    Now I'm off to actually read the article and bask in a *positive* attitude for once :D
     

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