Design Company, iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by whoisdan, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. whoisdan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #1
    I just started a one-man design company and need to get a new computer. I've been using an eMac from July 2003 but that thing is slow and slower.

    I'm thinking about getting an iMac (probably 17" 2GHz) and combing screens with my eMac screen (is that possible?). I don't want to spend a ton of money on a PowerMac because I'll want to upgrade in another year or two.

    Question is, will an iMac work well for at least 2 years or should I get PB that hauls ass? What if I bump the RAM up to 1GB? That should do the trick, right?
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    The iMac G5 is an awesome value. Get the 20" if you can afford it.
    The Powerbook doesn't even begin to compare unless you need the portability.
    Forget the eMac-as-second-screen idea.
    1 Gb RAM is the minimum for design work. Better to get a third-party 1 Gb module to add to the Apple 512 for 1.5 Gb total.
     
  3. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
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    UK
    #3
    Add another vote for the iMac, and with the money you save you'll be able to buy goodies like an external hard-drive (backup), more RAM, nice keyboard and mouse etc.

    Plus a few cinema tickets, DVD's, CD's...:)

    AppleMatt
     
  4. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Yeah, I think the iMac will be a great computer for you.

    My only concerns with the iMac is the screen quality. At native resolutions, if you were to compare a 20in iMac and a 20in Cinema Display, it's disgusting. The iMac's display is not nearly as crisp and bright. That doesnt' begin to touch on color accuracy. Naturally, these are just my thoughts, but I just purchased a computer about 3 weeks ago, and I chose a 15in PB over an iMac. Personal preference.

    I'd go visit an Apple Store to determine whether or not the screen is high enough quality for serious design work for you. If it is, go for it. If not? Let us know. ;)
     
  5. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #5
    As long as you bump up the RAM, an iMac should be great.

    ::20ROGERSC::
     
  6. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #6
    My recommendation goes another way. Get a refurbished (or clearance sale) single 1.8 PowerMac with at least 1 GB RAM (i.e. get another 512 MB 3rd party RAM) and a 20" Widescreen LCD from DELL (same actual LCD as Apple use for their 20", according to another thread).

    Then in two years time you can sell the PowerMac and get a new one keeping the Screen and maybe adding another 20" for an awesome dual screen setup. It might even last you more than 2 years if you get more RAM and an extra HD in a year or two...
     
  7. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    Randy's House
    #7
    I'd get the PowerMac and a 20" display, it will last you longer in the long run.

    The dual 2.0's are at a nice price point right now.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    Good point on the colour accuracy of the screen. The iMac G5 has a good screen, but you can get better LCDs if you are willing to pay more.

    You have to ask yourself how much you will be relying on the screen to make colour decisions, and how much "mental" adjustment you are willing to make to allow for differences between the screen and the real world. One option is to use a CRT for a secondary monitor and alternate between the screens for proofing.

    For both CRTs and LCDs, check out the online reviews (including the PC magazine sites) with particular attention to colour accuracy.

    A PowerMac G5 and external monitor are ideal, but will be considerably more expensive. Cheap LCD monitors are not an option in this scenario - no point in moving backwards.
     
  9. whoisdan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #9
    Thanks for the help. Regarding screen color quality, that isn't a huge concern right now. Money is a little tight now but in 2 years (maybe sooner) I'll be able to get a Mac daddy compy. As long as the iMac will hold up I'll be fine.

    Currently I'm at 384MB RAM so anything better than that, especially 1.5GB, will make me giddy.
     
  10. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    England
    #10
  11. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    Randy's House
    #11
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #12
    :confused: Did you read the article or just look at the pictures?

    The conclusion from Barefeats was that matching RAM made no difference in real-world tests and that the XBench results were purely theoretical.

    "THE REAL WORLD VERDICT: AVERAGING 8 TESTS, NETS 0% GAIN FROM MATCHED PAIRS.
    The gains or losses shown in each application above are within the "margin of error," as they say in the political polling biz. That's why we averaged the 8 tests. As you can see, zero gain overall by using matched pairs.

    WHETHER PAIRS MATCH OR NOT, BUY AS MUCH MEMORY AS YOU CAN AFFORD
    Whether you use one stick or two, matched pair or mis-matched, the more memory in your iMac G5, the less thrashing it has to do on the virtual memory hard drive scratch area. Did you know that just booting OS X gobbles up over 500MB? If you run apps like Photoshop and Motion, both are memory hungry. In fact, unless we had 1.25GB or more in the iMac G5, it would not render all 300 frames of our Motion template."
     
  13. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #13
    Well, the real-world test was between a solo and a matched pair... Not with an unmatched pair and a matched pair. I do agree with the "buy as much as you can afford" but even Apple themselves recommend you go for a matched pair.
     
  14. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #14
    go iMac 20 inch!! It's one of the best deals apple is offering right now!
     
  15. obrien234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, MI
    #15
    Go for the PowerMac

    Ok, lets look at it price wise.

    At the refurbished store at apple.com you can get a Single 1.8 for $1299 or even a dual 1.8 for $1499. Also dell.com has a 30% off sale on their 20 inch LCD Monitors, even the wide screen 20 inch is under 550. A 20 inch iMac is $1799.

    Now if I were you I would shell out the money and get the dual 1.8 with the Dell Screen, or just buy yourself a CRT. thats just over two grand. If you get the single 1.8-which is a small processor jump down from 2.0, but the front bus size is actually higher-your still clocking in at under the price of the 20 inch iMac. Take some RAM from www.dealram.com and you're down another hundred or so.

    A dual 1.8 system will easily last you for more than two years.

    P.S. you gotta make a decision fast though because the monitor sale is over on wednesday.
     
  16. whoisdan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #16
    Hm. I have some thinking to do. What's the big difference between the single and dual 1.8 Power Macs?

    Also, will a refurbished PMac run Tiger as well as a new one? Will that matter?

    I have used that Dell monitor and it's really nice, so this new option sounds really good.

    One thing for me to consider is that AppleCare for PMacs is $249 compared to $169 for iMacs. That's pricy.
     
  17. whoisdan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #17
    I'm going to go with the refurbished PowerMac and Dell monitor. I've convinced myself to go with the Power Mac G5 DUAL 1.8GHz/ 256MB/ 80G/ SuperDrive/ PCI/ GeFr5200/ GigE/ 56K - Apple Certified Refurbished

    Dual 1.8 refurbished PowerMac
    $1499

    and the Dell UltraSharp 2005FPW 20.1-inch Wide Aspect Flat Panel LCD Monitor,

    Dell 20" Monitor
    $525

    AppleCare is $250. Should I get that? Is it worth it?

    One more thing, will Tiger have any problems running on a refurbished PMac?
     

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