eMac buying dillema

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by geese, May 14, 2004.

  1. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi, I'm finally getting round to replacing my ageing Performa 5500 and am going am going to get an eMac on educational discount for £520 (GPB).

    Quick 2 questions though, is it worth shelling out extra to increase the 256mb memory to 512mb? It seems a trifle excessive.

    And what are your experience's of Hard Drive space, is 40gb enough, or should i shell out for 80gb?

    I'm mostly going to be using iTunes on it, downloading various stuff off broadband, using Dreamweaver, and general larking about really. I wanna play with Garageband alot. And Tractor DJ thingy.

    Another thing, how good is the screen? Is it a bog standard 17" crt or is it a Trinitron or whatever. I'm trying to compare it to an equivelent Dell (just for fun, y'know) and the Dell doesnt seem to compare all that well. Can someone else have a go for fun?

    Sorry about the meandering nature of this post, do help though. Wanna get new computah
     
  2. reaper macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    19th Hole
    #2
    I would definitely get more memory, just not from Apple - www.crucial.com has the cheapest around. Also, since you say you are going to be doing some downloading and using Garageband I would say go for the larger drive. Not only will it give you more space, but I think it's also faster (if not, someone please correct me) which will be better for Garageband - I have found that speed and space are the keys with this monster.

    Good luck, and enjoy your new mac!

    - reaper
     
  3. alywa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #3
    Definately get more memory!!!

    Get 512mb from apple. It isn't that expensive to do this upgrade, and you will only use one of the DIMM slots if you do it from the factory (you must specify the one dimm option). Getting an extra 256mb card later doesn't make sense, because you would then be using both slots, and would have to waste the RAM if you want to upgrade to 756 or 1G of RAM.

    I got the 512 for the emac directly from apple (when I purchased the computer), and still have one open slot. I am shopping around for another 512. However, I do a bit of digital video editing (home stuff), plus digital photography, so the extra RAM is nice for what I do.

    Good Luck,

    -alywa
     
  4. alywa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #4
    Hard drive space

    Sorry... didn't see the second part of the question. Yes, get the 80G hard drive. If you plan to use the computer as a jukebox, it's increadible how quickly you can eat up space with music. I got the 80G drive, and still have 52G left... however if I had only gotten the 40G drive, I'd be sweating about my space right now.

    -alywa
     
  5. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    If you plan on using your Mac for anything half serious, I would highly suggest you get 512mb RAM. While 256mb will cut it, it might not be as smooth of an experience as you'd like, especially when using garageband.

    As for the hard drive, it all depends on what you plan on doing. 40GB is probably more than enough for the average user, who just browses the web and sends a few emails.

    As for the screen, i'm sorry to say that its a pretty crappy shadow mask CRT. While I must admit, the screen is the brightest i've ever, with some really awesome color reproduction, its still marred by horrible dot pitch, especially around the edges. The refresh rate offerings isn't all that great either - I can't even use its max resolution of 1280x960, because its limited to 72hz refresh, which hurts my eyes too much. Turning the resolution down one notch helps a lot.

    Still, the eMac is a great bargain!
     
  6. DGFan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    #6
    I would have Apple upgrade the 256 to 512 and then grab another 512 from someone else (crucial, kingston - sometimes has better prices, transintl, and who knows what other companies in the UK...)

    You definitely need the bigger HD if you're going to be playing with media.

    As far as the monitor goes, is there any chance you can check it out in person? 72 hz works just fine for my eyes but yours may be different.
     
  7. Foxer macrumors 65816

    Foxer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    I just bought one of the new eMacs and strongly advise getting the extra memory. I picked up 2 512's to max the thing out and it works very well. I also have the 80 GB HD and highly recommend it. Of course, I've got about 30 GB in iTunes, so I really needed the larger option.

    If you'd like to buy the 256 stick that came with my eMac, let me know. It's just sitting here.
     
  8. unfaded macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    I just got an eMac with 512 and 80 gigs of HD. I would NEVER have purchased it otherwise - looking back it was an incredibly smart decision.

    At least to the HD, because you can do RAM later. Go for 160 on the HD if you can :)
     
  9. geese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    geese

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    Whats dot pitch? I am a bit anal about screen quality. The CRT on my old 5500 was crap, blurry around the edges, patchy reproduction, and it wasnt even fitted straight. I do hope Apple quality control has improved. Is it a notch above Dells 'value crt' isnt it? Am i going to be put off after using LCD's at work?

    I might get the Superdrive model now, found this special offer:
    http://promo.euro.apple.com/promo/tes/uk/
     
  10. EXV macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    #10
    You may want to consider the 160 GB drive. The 80 GB and 160 GB are both 7200 RPM drives, however the 80 GB drive has 2 MB cache and the 160 GB drive has the 8MB cache.

    The 80 GB drive appears to be a Maxtor. The 160 GB drive appears to be a Seagate.

    Good Luck.
     
  11. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Inglaterra, Europa
    #11
    Yeah - Garageband demands memory like a kid demands candy :p
     
  12. Kirk macrumors regular

    Kirk

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #12
    Just got my new eMac (today!) with 1 GB Ram and 80 GB Harddrive and after installing some off my apps and stuff, I only got 56 GB free space left so I would not even consider the 40 GB HD. Actually I kind of regret that I didn’t get the 160 GB . . .

    I don’t know if I am doing anything wrong, but the sound volume from the speakers is very very low! Especially in GarageBand. Has anyone else noticed this? I guess I only get about one third the volume on the eMac that I got with my old iMac CRT. When I use headphones the volume is fine.

    :confused:
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #13
    The advice I have is get as much machine as you can afford. 512mb RAM is a good start. I have a 40gb HDD in my PB 12" rev. B, and wish I had ordered it with a larger drive. Again I would recommend that you get a unit with the SuperDrive. Never realized how useful it would be.
     
  14. PowerMacMan macrumors 6502

    PowerMacMan

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #14
    You should get the best you can get... Even if it means paying more... It'll come in use in the future as you take more advantages of the things to come.
     
  15. Miner Willy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Bradford, UK
    #15
    eMac Rocks...honest..

    Hey dude,

    I bought my eMac last week with the stock 256 meg, 80gig drive and superdrive. It was always hitting the sctatch disk to free up RAM. Bought 1 gig of RAM 3 hours later and it rocks. Does everything I want it to including playing Unreal Tournament 2004 albeit at 800x600 in 16bit, but hey it's not for games it's for doing more productive things on; that's what m ps2 is for. :D
     
  16. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #16

    Don't get me wrong, the screen is very nice for what it is. The tube is flat (well, almost), and Apple places this very shiny glass in front of the actual CRT, which makes the screen look *very* classy. The screen is bright (even on the lowest brightness setting), and the colors are rich and vivid. The whites on this monitor are the best i've seen yet from any CRT. However, its not perfect...

    Because there are no controls other than what Apple gives you in OSX, there is no way to get rid of the moire pattern, which can sometimes be very pronounced. The dot pitch is sorta like the density of pixels on the screen. A good trinitron or diamondtron has a uniform density. However, the shadow mask has a lower density along the edges compared to the center, which makes thing look a little odd off to the sides. Its mostly noticeable with text. Also, the shadow mask itself is somewhat visible, the actual "grid" pattern of the screen. Its best seen in pictures, and these are the best I could find online.
    http://218.223.20.17/em20.html

    This compares the eMac screen to an old iMac G3 screen. Notice how the iMac is smooth, while the eMac's picture has a funny grainy pattern. Now, its not THAT noticeable in person, since those pictures are zoomed in, but it is there. I know i'm making the screen sound really bad, but overall i'm quite happy with it.

    And to the person who mentioned the volume of the built in speakers - yes, mines are VERY low too, especially compared to my iMac G3, which is easily 2 or 3 times louder. My guess is that Apple purposely lowered the max volume on these speakers, since turning them too high causes ripples along the screen.
     
  17. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #17
    It is possible. Given the updates to the eMac, I have been toying with getting a eMac with 1gb RAM, since it would only be double the cost of the 1gb memory module for my PB 12" rev. B.

    Went and looked at the eMac screen. It was nice, but did not have the crispness that I have come use to with my PB or my Windoze system with a Viewsonic VA520. If I do decide on a desktop it will probably be the next revision of the iMac (as long as they don't make it headless).
     

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