I've decided to buy an iMac. How should I configure it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dferigmu, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. dferigmu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    The programs I'll be using will be primarily: Safari, IE, IM, MS Office, iLife, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop. I know I'm getting an Airport Extreme card for our wireless network and APP to protect it for 3 years, but what else do you guys suggest for my needs?

    1. 512MB RAM or 1GB? How much faster would it be?

    2. 80GB hard drive or 160GB? How fast does 80GB fill up, like how many songs/pictures/programs would it be?

    3. Bluetooth? What would it be good for other than a wireless keyboard and mouse?

    4. 17" or 20"?

    Thanks for your suggestions!
     
  2. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    Get more RAM but don't get it from Apple cause it's too expensive there.

    I think a bigger HD will be better, but if you want to make it cheap, 80GB should be enough for now and you can change the HD later AFAIK.

    I took Bluetooth, because I want to sync my cell phone.

    Take the 20". It's well worth the money IMO.
     
  3. jobutex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    #3
    You are making an excellent choice! Don't listen to the pundits that say the video card isn't very powerful -- it's not the MOST powerful, granted, but you still have a lot of respectable 3D computational power for OpenGL, that's for sure.

    The most exciting thing is that you're getting a 64-bit processor! The display quality, coupled with all of this processing power, means you are getting a great deal for the price! Enjoy!!!!!
     
  4. HeyMAC macrumors newbie

    HeyMAC

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    #4
    I have an iMac and your making an awesome choice.

    1. Like veldek said buy ram from crucial or newegg, or where you can find cheap ram.

    2.If you can afford it Id go with the biggest hard drive you can get, but its whatevers in your budget.

    3.Besides keyboard/mouse you can use it for pda and cell phone. I only use it for my keyboard. I bought bluetooth because its not upgradable so even if you dont plan on using it currently you may end up using it later. Its your call.

    4. I have a 20 and love the extra screen. Its whatever you can afford.

    I really reccomend putting as much money as you can without going bankrupt into the mac. You may be eating frozen dinners for a few weeks but its worth it.
     
  5. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    LOL, thanks! :D
     
  6. ec1_mac macrumors newbie

    ec1_mac

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    my 20" widescreen is amazing for dvds. i upgraded to 768 and wacked in an airport. its lovely =)
     
  7. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #7
    512MB of RAM is a tad bit skimpy IMO, and 1GB is a tad bit much IMO.

    Both my iMac and my PowerBook have 768MB of RAM, and they almost never generate a pageout, despite using Photoshop, iMovie, FCE, and more. (aka, use the swap file. aka, use the HD as virtual memory.)

    Otherwise, it seems you have all the advise you need here!
     
  8. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #8
    I'd suggest you get the memory from Apple as a BTO option -- it may cost a bit more but I've heard less about Apple RAM not working, and I think that identical RAM has an advantage in the iMac G5.
     
  9. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #9
    Prices for bt keyboard and mices will soon drop in price and many new printers and digitalphotocams are also using bt. And you can't add bt afterwards on iMacs so i would go for built-in bt. Anyway the bt module doens't cost that much, so i would get it.
     
  10. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    #10
    more ram, not from apple. bluetooth is nice. bigger harddrive for sure(photoshop files get big and you dont want to have to make compromises). 20' no question.
     
  11. jimjiminyjim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    If it was me I'd go with the 768 MB RAM, as suggested by mechcozmo, I'd get bluetooth built in for the future, skip the bigger hard drive in favor of putting the money to bluetooth keyboard and mouse (though I'd probably get a multi-button/scroll-wheel mouse), and as for the 17 inch vs. 20 inch, I'd buy the 17 inch in hopes of saving a few dollars, although If i had the extra kicking around, there's no doubt I'd be looking at 20 inches of screen instead!
     
  12. supergod macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #12
    If you can find some cheap RAM near you, go for the 17" iMac with airport express, bluetooth keyboard and mouse and 512mb of RAM. If you expect to be able to use Garageband or Final Cut than definitely buy the cheapest 512mb of RAM and add it in to the system.
     
  13. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #13
    That's kind of what I'm thinking. I just want to have it all set-to-go and under warranty. I'm kind of scared of opening it up. :eek:
     
  14. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #14
    Yeah, I think an extra $400 for 3 more sq. inches of screen space is not worth it for me. It's not like I'm editing video or anything.
     
  15. Elan0204 macrumors 65816

    Elan0204

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #15
    It's actually only $300 more for the 20 inch model. The 20 inch comes with a 160GB drive over the 17 inches 80 GB drive, which is a $100 upgrade.

    As for the RAM dillema, I'd say stick with the stock 256MB from Apple. Then buy 2 512MB of Crucial RAM (lifetime warranty) at the same time. If ordered at the same time, they will match, and you'll get a 128 bit memory bus, and nice performance boost. That is way cheaper then getting the RAM from Apple. Don't worry about opening your iMac, it is very very easy. Apple designed it so that you can easily replace every part in it.
     
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #16
    I'd definitely go for a gig of RAM. That's not even that much these days. Also, definitely get the BT built in because it's annoying to have to use an adapter later.
     
  17. Finiksa macrumors 6502a

    Finiksa

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    I wouldn't go for the 768MB option, your RAM will only work in 64 bit mode. Use matched pairs of DIMMS and the iMac will switch to 128 bit mode and you'll see a significant performance boost, So either use 2x 256MB or 2x 512MB.
     
  18. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #18
    Yeah, but I'm not sure I'll use that in the future. I'm fine with wires for now, but do you think BT will become super-popular in 2-3 years?
     
  19. osprey76 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    #19
    Or better yet 2x 1 GB RAM. It's about $220 for a 1 GB stick. I wouldn't put two 512's in when a year from now you decide you need more than 1 GB and you've already purchased 3 RAM chips. My dad is looking at the new iMac. He's also looking to upgrade his iMac G4. He put 2x 256MB chips in it when he bought it and now he has to upgrade both chips to bring the total up to 1 GB. I told him to at least buy a 1 GB chip (not at Apple's high price) if he gets an iMac G5.

    Edit: I've seen the comment about the memory addressing modes a couple of times in the forums. What is your source of information on this? I don't seen anything on the Tech Specs page on Apple's website.
     
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #20
    I think BT is the future. Soon, wires will be a thing of the past.
     
  21. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #21
    If you don't mind a dongle, you can add a USB BT device later. If you have to ask, you probably don't need it. ;) However, for only $100 extra you can have BT built in and get a kb/mouse, so it's up to you. Personally, I like the USB kb and the extra USB ports, and the 5 button mouse I got from Newegg.com for ~$20. You can also buy Crucial RAM from them, even cheaper than Crucial.com. I'd also suggest buying 2 512MB sticks. For money issues, buy the 80 gig drive now. If you need to upgrade, 250GB drives are around $150 now. The iMac is very easy to upgrade.

    Don't forget the free HP printer (after rebate) and TV-out and/or VGA-out if you need them. You should go to a CompUSA or Apple Store to test them out, and play with them. The 20" is nice, but I was happy with the 17". It was just a little slow with only 256MB of RAM, even with the 1.8GHz G5.
     
  22. Finiksa macrumors 6502a

    Finiksa

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    HardMac.com (MacBidouille) have been doing a pretty through investigation of the iMac G5 memory specs and requirements. Here are some of the news items, including an app to test if your iMac is running in 128 bit mode.

    iMac G5 and RAM: Be careful

    iMac G5 memory test: Successful!
     

Share This Page