iMac wireless and OSX

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jtgotsjets, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #1
    Alright, first, I want to thank everyone that posted on my other iMac thread; my dad and I are now certain that his first computer will be one of the CRT iMacs.

    However, the current price of AirPort cards on eBay and the need for an adaptor raises a question in my mind. Would it be more prudent to just get a USB wireless network solution? Are these generally compatible with Macs and as good as AirPort cards (or are AirPorts worth the $100+ that they are selling for)? Does anyone have any suggestions on which to buy? I'm going to try to find an auction that includes the card, but that might not be feasible, and I would rather spend the $100 on a memory upgrade to keep OSX running smoothly, which brings me to my next question:

    How smoothly can I expect OSX to run on an iMac? I'm thinking that 512 mb of RAM is a minimum, is that about right?
    And how fast of a processor should I be looking for? He only emails and uses the internet, for now anyway, so would an early 233 mhz or 300 mhz be sufficient? How does processor speed affect OSX? (I'm of course wanting to get one of the late model 700 mhz computers, but if a 1st or 2nd generation processor is sufficient, I'd go for that too).

    I know this is long winded so thanks to anyone that helps.
     
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #2
    If you want to do wireless with airport. keep in mind that only slot loaders 400 mhz and above have an airport slot (there were two versions of the 350 mhz machine, one had airport, one didn't).

    As for USb adaptors, they are certainly an option, but I personally much prefer the linksys WET11 device. It doesn't require any drivers, hooks right up to the ethernet port. I got one a few weeks ago and it works great. But if you look around, maybe you can get an airport card and adaptor cheaper. Linksys also makes a game adaptor for wireless hook up of xbox and the like, but I honestly don't see why it wouldn't work with a computer as well since it operates similar to the wet11 device. no garauntees there though.

    As for OS X, processor speed is of course important, but with iMacs, the bigger deal is that the tray loaders (233-333 mhz) don't have supported graphics cards, so everything is runnin on the processor. This really slows things down. a 350 mhz slot loader should run OS X much better than a 333 mhz tray loader for instance. I would not buy a machine less than 400 mhz myself. The other advantage of a slot loader is it can take more ram (up to one gig) and it takes standard pc100 or pc133 ram, instead of the laptop style ram for the tray loaders. Slot loaders have faster processors, bigger hard drives, better ram, better optical drives, firewire, they are quieter (no fan), better speakers and will run OS X better. Its the only way to go I think if you want to run OS X.

    Be sure to check out ram prices at ramseeker.com Hope this all helps.
     
  3. jtgotsjets thread starter macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #3
    Awesome.
    I didn't realize that they made ethernet adaptors for wireless, I'll check that out.

    Also, I didn't realize that the tray-load and slot-load were so different. I was aiming for a slot load anyway... Was I about right on my estimation of RAM needed?
     
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #4
    Why not an emac (700mhz)? For $200 more (assuming you are still looking to spend $250) you get a lot faster proc, bigger monitor, and airport slot (I think). Did I mention it will run OS X?
     
  5. jtgotsjets thread starter macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #5
    Mainly because we <i>are</i> looking to spend $250, not $450. (one thing I don't understand about these forums is why people push upgrades so much. It's not as though I'm randomly rushing into buying the imac without looking into alternatives. The whole point of a cheap iMac is that we both doubt it will last long in his shop, and I'd much rather spend $250 on a computer that will break down in 2 years that $450 on a better computer that will break down in 2 years, especially when all my dad can do is email and maybe use the internet. Did I mention that this is his first computer? Ah yes, I did.)
    </bitter sarcasm>
    Sorry about that, it just annoys me that everyone on these boards suggests upgrading "for only $250 more" no matter the situation.

    Anyway, he did say he'd consider anything up to $500 dollars. So convince me of the eMac.
     
  6. m4rc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Not going to try to convince you to spend more on an eMac. Instead, going to try and save you money. Why would you need to spend money making a non-portable computer wireless? Plus the hassle of setting up - minimal as its Apple, but still more so than plugging a wire in and you have WEP security to worry about too. Just buy a long ethernet lead.

    Sorry, just can't see the point. If you must spend the money, spend it on a better computer instead rather than wireless, no need for it but you will get a benefit from a faster processor.

    As for iMac, my son has a 400Mhz (possibly 450) slot loading iMac running 10.3.5. Not blindingly fast, but faster than any other OS it has run, and no problems. I envisage this machine lasting many more years yet. It too is connected to an Airport via an Ethernet cable. There is no point resurrecting an older machine to save money then wasting it on a feature like wireless that is pointless on a static machine. If it was an iBook - sure, but not a desktop.
     

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