Help Me Choose an iMac Config.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Caitlyn, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #1
    Hey guys!
    Ok, so as some of you might know, I am in the market for a new Mac and I plan on buying an iMac to use as my "desktop machine" that will give me more of a kick than this maxed iBook. I have been thinking and I have three possible configurations I would be willing to buy. I plan on spending roughly $1299 on the computer. So here are the options:

    1. Refurbished 20" 2.1GHz iMac G5
    250GB HD
    512MB RAM (Expandable to 2.5GB)
    128MB of ATI Video
    iSight
    8x Superdrive

    2. New 17" iMac Core Duo
    160GB HD
    512MB RAM (Expandable to 2GB)
    128MB of ATI Video
    iSight
    8x Superdrive
    Ability to run Intel applications

    3. Refurbished 17" iMac Core Duo
    160GB HD
    1.5GB RAM (Expandable to 2GB; comes with 512MB, and I'd buy a 1GB stick from Crucial)
    128MB of ATI Video
    8x Superdrive
    iSight
    Ability to run Intel applications

    Which do you think I should buy? It's really a matter of if I need the screen space more than the Intel processor. And then once I decide that, it's if I should start out with 1.5GB of RAM or add on later. I will be doing Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Office, iMovie and then the rest would be the basic stuff (web browsing, email/IM, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.). I was also hoping to possibly purchase Aperture in the future.

    Any advice is appreciated! Thank you..
    -Caitlyn :)
     
  2. A is jump macrumors regular

    A is jump

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, Ca
    #2
    well, the intel version of photoshop is not out... it will probably be at least next year before you see it.
    I honestly dont know if the core duos beat out the single G5 when using rosetta... i imagine its probably a close call. so if money isnt an issue... go with the new intel imac.
    also considering that the intel imac has more of a future, its a better choice. resale might be higher too.

    -steve
     
  3. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
  4. runninmac macrumors 65816

    runninmac

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rockford MI
    #4
    Unless your a heavy photoshop user I would have to go with #3. The extra gig of ram should help reduce the effects of rosetta.
     
  5. Eduardo1971 macrumors 65816

    Eduardo1971

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    #5
    Go with number 3.

    It has 1.5 GB RAM (umm, RAM!!!) and it will also have more long term potential with the Intel processor.
     
  6. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #6
    Number 3, also when you say it can use intel apps, you know there are only a few intel only apps, as most are unviersal, meaning they can run on PPC and x86. Just putting it out there in case you go iMac G5 route, but I would say got intel refub
     
  7. designed macrumors 6502

    designed

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    I'd say #3 since you apparently have no issue about going for the refurb ones. The Universal versions of Adobe CS-suite ja MS Office are still some time away but the longer lifespan of the Intel processor will outdo the initial sluggishness. And again, it should be illegal to sell a Mac with only 512MB of RAM, you will need more especially when using Photoshop under Rosetta.
     
  8. NYmacAttack macrumors 6502

    NYmacAttack

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Location:
    NY
  9. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #9
    #3, unless you do a significant amount of photoshop
     
  10. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #10
    just chiming in on the 3rd option. the intels are much faster, so they'll probably be worth the extra in the long run, and are more likely to keep ya satisfied longer than the G5.

    HOWEVER... don't get me wrong, the G5 is certainly not going to be a sluggish machine. just because there is better technology out there does not render the capabilities of the PPC useless! i'm sure that if you decide on the G5 you'll be more than thrilled with your pick as well. also, like some already mentioned - if photoshop/adobe software in general is your main purpose, be ready to wait a while for your intel mac to run it the way it could.
     
  11. count chocula macrumors 6502a

    count chocula

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Location:
    noun. a particular place or position
    #11
    i too, will go with option 3. the intel macs are a little more future proof, and the extra ram will be nice.
     
  12. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #12
    Are all your apps universal? If so, #3 is the better choice, otherwise #1 may be for now.
     
  13. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #13
    Alright, thanks so much for the opinions guys. Well, being that the Intel Core Duo is future-proof, I think I will end up going with that. The only reason I was really considering the 20" G5 was because of the extra screen real estate. But I mean, I could always use the Intel's new mini-DVI port. The only thing I am concerned with for the Refurbished Intel Core Duo is the RAM. If I add a 1GB chip, then both slots are being used. First off, I've heard that it runs better if both slots have an equal amount of RAM...is this true? Second, if I ever want to upgrade to 2GB, I'll have to ditch the 512MB chip. I mean, I guess I could sell it, but once it's used, do people really want it? Thoughts? Thank you again guys! :)
     
  14. alexstein macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #14
    In processor heavy application you might see a slight difference in match compard to unmatched RAM. But it's very slight, with match RAM you might get 2-5% speed increase.

    You can always upgrade later RAM is getting cheaper and cheaper. I would advise that you keep the original Apple RAM unless you want to purchase all your RAM from Apple. The reason I'm saying this is that if you have any problems along the road Apple care will not help you with 3rd Vendor RAM.
     
  15. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #15
    They will not help you with RAM related problems or any problems periods if you ditch the Apple RAM?
     
  16. alexstein macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #16
    As far as I understood this. They want the original or Apple certiefied RAM in there. No third vendor stuff. I would just hang on to the original.
     
  17. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #17
    one of the most common questions that you'll be asked if you ever have to call applecare for help with a hardware issue is whether you have any third party ram installed....and if you do, they're apt to say "that's most likely your problem!" then they'll tell you to take it out and see if the problem is still there.
     
  18. Conthemon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    #18
    i need an imac config for CS:S

    if you play CS:S on high settings on an imac whats ure config? IFANY.
     
  19. Judge Fudge macrumors newbie

    Judge Fudge

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #19
    I went with the 20" iMac Dual core, and I have to say I love it so far. In your case I would consider the 17" just for Intel compatibility down the road.
     

Share This Page