need help deciding between an iMac or PowerMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mackaveli, May 1, 2005.

  1. mackaveli macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #1
    Hi, i'm sort of new to mac's but i do use a PB 12" 1.33ghz.

    I am waiting for the rev B iMac's to come and hoping they come this week so i can either order the 20" iMac or get a PowerMac. But PowerMac's are pretty expensive (i live in Canada) and than i would need to get a monitor.

    I am planning on using the iMac or PowerMac to do a lot of video work and 3d images and the sorts. Should i shell out the extra cash to get the Dual PowerMac's or would the iMac do the work just fine or not as fast as the PowerMac's. Also what is the 970MP or something that the new updates to the Powermac did not have and people are mad about??? (not to sure if they are mad).

    Also could i use any PC monitor with the PowerMac if it has DVI output i'm not even sure that my PC monitor has that lol since i just use my pc to do stuff and not really into the terminology or should i get a LCD monitor for the better resolution?

    Thanks.

    edit- If i get a powermac could i connect more than one monitor? like two pc monitors and a apple cinema display? thanks
     
  2. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Hehe, I'm not a Mac user, but I can give some of my opinions based on what I've been reading and following for around 2 years now. Since these are my personal opinions, take them with a pinch or salt (and more). :D

    <snip>

    Since you've mentioned the word "lot" along with words like "3d", I would suggest that you don't look for anything less than a Power Mac (dual processor). Of course, this is not to say that the iMac is useless. People do buy iMacs to do video stuff. The point is, you can do quite a bit of video stuff with an iMac, but so can you with an eMac (or Mac Mini for that matter) - it's a matter of how much your patience for sluggish performance is. If you have a lot of patience, then the iMac would be good enough.

    The Power Macs are also quite expandable in the future, if you wish to do so. The iMac is highly limited when it comes to the upgrades you can do and the performance limits you can push it to. From a long term perspective, I feel the Power Mac provides more value for money, although the initial cost is much higher. If your budget is very tight, I would recommend one of the lower end models (or the Rev B Power Macs that have dropped in price after the recent updates).


    Don't bother about the 970MP - it's just a new processor (but dual core) that's still hiding somewhere in IBM. There were high expectations that the dual core processors would be used in the latest revision of Power Macs, considering Steve Jobs' promise nearly two years back about reaching 3GHz in a year's time and not getting anywhere close to it. The usage of the 970MP dual core processors would have resulted in a HUGE performance bump (with the lowest clock frequency being 3GHz...or even 2GHz!).

    Unfortunately, people have had to accept the limitations of how fast technology can move. :D But they'd definitely agree that the last 2 years have been a lot better, with IBM producing the chips, compared to the chip production from Motorola earlier. With the current information that people seem to have, the 970MP seems to be nearly a year away from coming into Macs. Nobody knows for sure. Apart from the long delay in not seeing a great performance upgrade in Power Macs for nearly two years, the other reason that makes people mad is the uncertainty - nobody would like to buy the latest Power Mac now and have Steve Jobs announce (in WWDC July) a new range of Power Macs based on the 970MP starting at 3GHz! :rolleyes:


    I'm not competent to comment on this one, but I presume you should be able to use your current monitor, if only with some kind of adapter. :) Not having to buy a new monitor would save you some money as well! So you could put off purchasing a good LCD flat panel for later (probably another 8 months, until the "Boxing Day sale" comes in :) ).

    Sure you can connect two displays, although I don't know about connecting three displays! You need a good display card so that the performance doesn't suffer.
     
  3. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #3
    What he said. If you can afford it, 2 G5s are better than 1... and the PowerMac has faster components in other areas too, not just the CPU(s). Maybe you can find the "old" G5 towers from last week cheaper than the new ones. Worth a look.

    An iMac is adequate for your needs, but I wouldn't get one unless you can't afford more. The PowerMac is worth the price difference. And quieter since the tower can go under your desk.

    Re displays--PowerMacs come with DVI ports but there's a VGA adapter (probably included--not sure) so any PC display should work. Then you could buy a flat screen later on--they get cheaper over time,

    Note: if you ever get an AppleCare extended warranty (which you can decide close to the end of your standard year warranty), it will ONLY conver the display if you bought the display and computer together. Otherwise the same plan for the same price covers just the computer.
     
  4. mackaveli thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #4
    hey thanks for the replies

    I'll probably get a PowerMac but i have questions about the 2.3GHZ compared to the 2.7GHZ

    The 2.3GHZ is 2899.00 Canadian and the 2.7GHZ is 3399.00 CDN

    if i have the 500 dollars to spend more should i geet the 2.7GHZ or stick with the 2.3GHZ?

    also whats the difference between ATI 9600 and ATI 9650, how much better is the ATI 9650?
    and what else am i getting other than the speed increase?

    Also powermac's if they do get upgraded by the year end thats 7 month's away and if they should become Dual Core (MP970) how much of a speed increase and performance be improved? Would it be significantly better? and do you think Apple would charge the same 3399.00 for it and than drop prices on the 2.7 and lower end models or would they increase the price?

    Because maybe i should get an Imac now and than shell out the cash for the dual core mac's?

    Thanks.
     
  5. Bozola macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    So close to Redmond, I can smell it!
    #5
    I would stay away from "Liquid cooled" I have read that they are having some problems with that .. (Just my 0.02$)


    Bozola

    :
     
  6. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    patience pays...if you have a lot of it though :)

    With the current lineup, I'd recommend the 2.3GHz, not just for the lower price - the Power Macs at and above 2.5GHz have a liquid cooling system. There are worries about it in certain circles because it could likely have problems in the future (like 2-3 years down the line) - it's not only that it's a complicated thing to repair/replace, it could also possibly ruin your entire computer. [don't let me scare you too much :p ] Otherwise wait for the dual cores, which would not have liquid cooling.

    Searching on the net for some benchmarks would help, but the fundamental difference is that the 9600 has 128MB RAM whereas the 9650 has 256MB RAM - when it comes to Video RAM, more is better (and future proof for longer). Since it's only an additional USD50 (maybe CAD70), the 9650 would be a better choice for these Power Macs. Both these cards are not the latest and greatest though.

    The performance bump expected is quite high because the models that are in the dreams of people right now are dual processor 970MP Power Macs - that's two 970MP processors, each being dual core - so it's like a quad processor machine, but more efficient than a (separate) 4 processor machine. Even at clock speeds of 2GHz or so, the 970MP dual processor models would be way ahead of the current highest models.

    You also have to keep in mind that dual core is completely new technology as far as Apple Macs are concerned. If you have the patience to wait for a year from now, then maybe you should not go for the current Power Macs. The last time Apple created the new line of Power Macs using the G5 chip (after the earlier models based on G4), the shipping wait itself was several months after the announcement! So even if Apple announces a new lineup it does not necessarily mean that you'd get it in a week or month. It depends on the production yields from IBM. Moreover, the demand for new Power Macs is always high - so the supply may probably struggle to meet it initially. With people being impatient for huge performance bumps for two years now, the demand for the dual cores would definitely be many times higher than historically seen.

    Since dual core is way different from the normal G5 processor architecture, only those who want the latest and greatest would go for it - most other buyers would wait for Rev B so that they don't have to go through the pains of trashing around with the cutting edge and getting frustrated with system/processor issues (if any). And if the first dual core Power Macs are expected around year end or so, then Rev B would be another 7 months off - so essentially, a lower risk 970MP Rev B Power Mac would be announced only around September 2006 (strictly my opinion and a guess that's as good as anybody else's).

    As for the pricing, your guess is pretty good - but the pricing model for the dual core systems may be higher than the current price range. I have no clue where the approximate price would be!

    Think it out! Maybe you'd like the iMac enough to settle with it. One thing you could try is visit store near you and play with the iMac and the high end Power Macs. Check the performance intensive applications like iMovie or Final Cut on the iMac (for normal web browsing/word processing you may notice very little difference). See if the difference in performance makes sense to you.
     
  7. mackaveli thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #7
    thanks for all the help one last question though

    should i get applecare? like how good do the 23" Cinema Displays hold up?

    also can i purchase applecare later on?

    thanks
    im pretty sure one of the posters said i could purchase applecare close to the end of my standard warranty but i just want to make sure.

    THANKS :)
     
  8. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    If you're planning to use the system for more than 2 years, it would be worth getting AppleCare. Check the "Learn about AppleCare products" link on http://www.apple.com/support - you can purchase AppleCare within one year of the purchase (the standard warranty period). But if you want the AppleCare to cover both the monitor and the computer, then you'd have to purchase them both in a single order. Otherwise the monitor would not be covered.

    No comments about the 23".
     
  9. mackaveli thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #9
    hey, when you mean purchase them both in a single order does that mean i have to purchase applecare right off the back to support both, or like after 6 months if i want applecare i have to make sure its for both?

    thanks.
     
  10. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #10
    Oh make sure you leave enough $$$ in your budget for 1-2 gigs of RAM. It would be a shame to starve a pmac for RAM. You can buy the RAM from another vendor to save money.
     
  11. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    You can buy AppleCare anytime within the first year - it doesn't matter when. But when you buy AppleCare, you'd have to tell Apple what you want to cover in the AppleCare plan. IF you have/had bought the monitor and the computer together (in a single order), then Apple would allow you to include coverage for the monitor in AppleCare, along with the coverage for the computer, for the same price. If you buy the monitor separately, then buying an AppleCare plan would only cover the computer (regardless of when you buy AppleCare).

    It also doesn't matter where you buy the computer and monitor - you can buy it from any authorized seller and add AppleCare (immediately or later). But I guess it'd be easier to deal with Apple if you plan to add AppleCare later on.

    Hope this is clear. :)
     
  12. mackaveli thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #12
    yup its clear, thanks a lot, i just ordered my powermac yesterday 2.3ghz, but it sucks it takes 3-5 business days to ship than 8-12 business days to arrive, kind of disappointed i want it now lol.

    Also, the prices from education link will be teh same at all universities in Canada? cause my university does not have the new powermac's yet and hasnt updated the price and i wanted to order it asap so i went through the applestore but it was under the education prices so hopefully its the same
     

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