Howdy...and wintel to mac switch queries

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by davrouk, May 14, 2003.

  1. davrouk Guest

    Hi there to everyone, and thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out here.

    Slowly talking my way round to jumping of the wintel wagon. However, being a total mac newbie, I am not sure what to expect from what I buy. I will get myself down to the nearest auth. retailer (rainy Manchester is my closest) for a play about, but was hoping some of you peeps could help me out.

    I am looking at around £1500 (maybe just over) to spend, and am weighing up an iMac G4 1Ghz 512Mb (custom) or a PowerMac G4 1Ghz. The superdrive is a necessity as I will use that heavily, but other than that im not sure what suits me better.

    As far as main usage goes, it will be web browsing/email/m$office-v.x for the usual uni stuff, as well as coding in java for my course. Obviously the games will come out at some point, mostly SimCity4, The Sims, Quake3, UT2003 (when its out) and CivIII - and whilst I dont expect best of the best frame rates, I want respectable peformance (30fps in UT2003 too much to ask?) All my tunes will be on there too and playing constantly (during games as well if possible). I also like my computer to be quiet, as I sleep in the same room and download lots of stuff overnight.

    Will the iMac suffice for my general needs for a year or two (bearing in mind I realise its upgrade limitations)?

    How do games work in the 16:10 screen resolution? Do they stretch across the screen, or do mac games support the 1440x900 resolution correctly?

    Anyone have a 2003 iMac and can give me some benchmark numbers from the UT2003 demo?

    Once again, thanks to any helpers and look foward to chatting to you all soon (through safari on x10.2.6 rather than m$ie on xphome) :)
  2. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2002
    bat country
    hey there davrouk, welcome to macrumors! the choice really comes down to upgradability. towers cost more, but can be upgraded while imacs are cheaper but are stuck with what they have (i'm on an imac but have no regrets, it cost half as much as my sister's compaq and works twice as well). one thing that's important to remember is that you'll get a lot more life out of any mac than you will out of a comparable pc. i know an attorney who still uses a standard 6100 (that's 60mhz and 8meg) and monochrome mac laptop for work every day (8 years after he bought them).

    the imac will handle browsing, word processing, coding, dvd burning, music, etc. forever (all the mac owners i know have never disposed of an old machine - you can always do something with a mac regardless of its age).

    as far as how games play on a widescreen, it's up to the game. games that support the 16:10 resolutions fill up the whole screen, while those that only support traditional resolutions just leave the left and right edges of the screen blank, they don't warp the game to fit (i don't own one so some of the information might be faulty). you'll have to consider how the gforce4mx performs on the games you want and whether you are willing to forego upgrades.

    for general purpose stuff, the imac will last for a long time. the tower can receive gfx card upgrades, processor upgrades, etc which will give it more life if you really want to stay current with the games. the only real choice is how important cutting edge game performance is.
  3. GulGnu macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2003
    Hi! If it's practically possible, I would wait a month or two before jumping ship. Rumors are rife about Apple adopting IBM:s kick-butt 970 processor. If so, you will get a much better computer for your buck, hardware wise, should you decide to wait. Still, welcome aboard! =)

    Regards / GulGnu

    -Stabil som fan!
  4. djtet macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    just wanted to point out the obvious...

    the powermac tower doesn't come with a monitor, so that would be extra...

    but of course like FattyMembrane mentioned, you have more options when it comes to upgrading with the powermac...
  5. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2003
    I vote for the iMac because of looks, price and because I wouldn't play games on a mac.
    I think the iMac is quieter than the PM.

    But what you really should ask yourself is: Do I want to play the newest games (and comming games) like doom3 (is that comming to mac?) and so on. Of course civ3 will work perfectly on both.

    If you want to compare the game benchmarks, you could get a comparison between the geforce4mx (in the iMac) vs. the Radeon 9000 pro (in most PMs).

    The 9000 will of course give you better performance, but if you wont play the super-new games it really doesn't matter.
    I found a comparison at

    Attached Files:

  6. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2003
  7. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2003
    No replies to my very nice helping post? :(
    Completely useless? :(
  8. Keith Purfield macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2003
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Davrouk, if you're looking for gaming, the G4 tower is what you should get. You can upgrade the video card, and processor, and you can add more hard drives to it (it supports up to 4 internal hard drives, and internal ones are cheaper than external (which you'd need with the iMac)). Plus, it supports two optical drives, which you can also upgrade. The PowerMac also uses Firewire 800, which if you're using a digital camcorder (I'm assuming you do, since you'll be using the SuperDrive a lot), is faster than the iMac's Firewire. The G4 tower also supports twice the ammount of RAM. Also, the Power Mac has dual monitor support, so you can have an extended desktop (the iMac can only mirror the desktop onto another monitor).

    So personally, I say go with the Power Mac (granted you have a monitor). I have a 15" 800MHz iMac, and I love it to death, but the Power Mac IS better.
  9. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    Just don't get the super drive. For $350 (what apple is charging for the drive, a Pioneer DVR-A03 DVD-R, which is way outdated), you're better off getting a Sony Sony DRU-500AX external. Too bad there's no option for no optical drive.
  10. davrouk thread starter Guest

    Thanx for all the replies. You guys offered some good help.

    This is me posting from my .75 day old iMac 17" 1hz! :D

    Love it to bits already! The screen is out of this world! Went the showroom, and the iMac didnt make a sound whilst running, which is great for me as I can leave it on in my bedroom and download all night long.

    Once again, big thanks.
  11. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Congrats my friend. Welcome to the party.

    You can alway come back when you have a question, and I suspect you'll have one.
  12. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2003
    Well happy happy you. I would have bought the same thing.
  13. anneleonard macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2003
    Reading, UK (a.k.a. Strongbadia)
    A big congrats - and SNAP! i have the same machine, and its a beauty. I've played unreal tournament very satisfactorily on here, i just put it at a stretched 640 X 480 i think. I love how silent mine is too, all you can hear is air rising!
    I'm not sure what someone said about the superdrive, as iMacs haven't been shipping with the pioneer for a while, mine is a sony.

Share This Page