First time IMAC buyer...any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Pigpen, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. Pigpen macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2005
    I am planning on buying the 20 inch iMac any day now. I will use it for some video editing, garageband, internet, microsoft office applications, itunes. I am planning on getting the 400GB HD and wireless keyboard/mouse, but am undecided between the 1GB or 2GB memory? Any suggestions? Also, is there anything else I should add to the computer.

    I've heard that I should not buy memory from apple, however I've also heard that when you buy from a third party vendor the apple protection plan will not cover it. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for your help. I am very excited.
  2. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    I would suggest that you get as much RAM as you can afford. Quick question ... what software will you be using for Video Editing, will it be iMovie?

    If you search these forums, you'll see that Crucial is a popular choice for RAM upgrades. I'm not sure about the protection plan not covering 3rd party RAM. You could always buy the Samsung memory .... that's what Apple uses when they build their systems. You can get it at a website called "We Love Macs".
  3. jmsait19 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    as far as ram goes...

    if you buy from somewhere like crucial, which is where most everyone will recommend, including myself, then you get a lifetime warranty on the ram itself from crucial, so you don't need applecare to cover it. so i would say go ahead and buy from crucial and you'll be fine.

    i know people have asked before whether you need to remove the third party ram before taking it in for not sure the answer on that. maybe someone else can clarify that

    ps. lets go with iMac...
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I always recommend that undecided folk get 512 MB installed from Apple and then buy a 1-GB stick from an outside provider for a total of 1.5 GB. That costs less than getting 1GB installed from Apple and adding 1GB from an outside provider. Then if you decide later that 1.5 GB isn't enough, you just take the Apple 512 MB stick out and add another 1GB. You've still spent less total than getting 1GB from Apple +1GB from Crucial, or wherever.
  5. sbb155 macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    Consider buying a low end imac, save the money, and reinvest in an intel system when they come out A low end Imac is bascially pretty powerful
  6. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Congrats on your decision. You will be getting a great computer that will last for years.

    Your iMac comes with 512MB. If you buy add'l memory from Apple you'll be paying too much. Go to Crucial and buy a 1GB stick for $109, giving your system a total of 1.5GB, or even better, buy 2 x 1GB for $218, then sell the 512MB Apple stock stick on eBay (or here)and get some cash back.

    Crucial is the best.
  7. Alisha macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2005
    I actually called apple for the RAM question, because Im doing the same thing. The protection plan wont be voided by adding RAM from somewhere like Crucial, but the actual RAM that you do add, is not covered by it.
  8. Pigpen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2005
    Follow UP

    I will be using Imovie (that comes with the system, right?)

    Is the memory easy to install if I go with the sticks from Crucial?
  9. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    iMovie comes with every new Mac.

    The memory is easy to install. You can get it from Crucial or you can get it cheaper here.

    Edit: By the way, the PQI memory from Newegg also has a lifetime warranty. Newegg does not charge me tax whereas Crucial does, but this will vary based on your state. Read the reviews for this particular module and you will see quite a few Mac users who are happily using this memory.
  10. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
  11. Pigpen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2005
    Instructions for inserting memory

    I am a true I need instructions for how and where to place the memory?

  12. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    iMac owners should be able to answer the memory slot question, but the owner's manual should also tell you how.

    Keep in mind that the iMac supports DDR400 memory. To make use of "double data rate" you need two identical memory sticks. For a 2 GHz G5, I would recommend this configuration.


    2 X 512MB for 1 GB total
    2 x 1024MB for 2 GB total

    How much memory you need is a function of the type of editing you'll be doing. For large image and video files, I'd suggest the 2 GB configuration.

    Finally, I would NOT buy memory from Apple. If upgrading to 2x1024, sell the standard 512MB module on eBay and find PC3200 (aka DDR400) memory with CAS Latency (CL) of at most 3 on shopping sites like

    I think Crucial is overpriced as well.
  13. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    DDR RAM operates at double data rate regardless of how its installed. It just means that it allows data to be sent on the rising and falling edges of clock cycles. When you install two identical memory modules, the iMac memory will operate at 128-bit as opposed to 64-bit. According to, this only affects benchmarks but not real world use.

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