New switcher - Should I get a refurb iMac 17"?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by illumin8, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. illumin8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #1
    Guys,

    I am a long time PC user ready to switch and I'm very tempted by the 17" refurb iMacs that are selling at the Apple Store for $1599. It's only $200 cheaper than retail, but it's hard to get any Apple products for less than retail unless you risk it on eBay.

    I had a couple of concerns that I was hoping for input on: First of all, I think the iMac uses laptop memory if I'm not mistaken. Can I simply add a 512MB DDR laptop stick to it and have 768MB total RAM? Also, what size of hard disks does it take. I hope they are not the 2.5" laptop size because I'd probably want to replace the internal disk with a 120GB or 200GB straight away. Is this user upgradeable (by someone who has built tons of PCs), or is this box really like a laptop in a desktop case that you aren't allowed to crack open without voiding the warranty?

    Just FYI, my main purpose for using this machine is music production. I use Logic Audio Platinum, as well as Reason and a number of Cubase VST plugins. I know not having a PCI slot is kind of limiting as far as sound card options go, but it seems that all the new sound cards for pro and pro-sumer use are Firewire or USB enabled so lack of a PCI slot isn't the biggest deal.

    Perhaps I should just go with a refurb PowerMac instead though, because for about the same price I can get a 1ghz. Dual G4.

    Thoughts anyone? Thanks for your input.
     
  2. dabirdwell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #2
    If you have a display get the PowerMac.

    You sound like someone who will be upgrading and customizing the machine all the time, and the iMac doesn't really allow for much of that. Plus, the performance increase will be more than a little apparrent, my fiance has a MDD Dual 867, and even at that speed, it is great, and the more RAM you add, the better the performance gets.

    Plus you can add a Cinema display later. :)
     
  3. andrewlandry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    i second that. the iMac is an awesome machine for most people and it looks incredible. but if you want power and expandability, i would go for the PowerMac. i also use logic and i recently got a dual gig PowerMac. you can put about half a terrabyte inside it and upgrade to 2 gigs of RAM. you get multiple display support out of the box. also, i slapped in a very fast CD burner in the 2nd drive slot which burns cds significantly faster than the built in DVD-RW. the iMac will impress your friends more, but the PowerMac will save a lot of time and allow you to have more tracks, plug-ins etc. after having used a 500Mhz iBook for a year and a half, the dual gig is like heaven when i'm using it. i won't be feeling the upgrade bug nearly as soon as if i had gotten an iMac at the same time i got my PowerMac.
     
  4. Coca-Cola macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    #4
    I would not suggest a new mac user purchase a refurbished product. This is from my personal experience. My refurbished iMac had a hardware problem which took a lot of trouble shooting to figure out. The fact that I was completely new to computers and the OS did not make my task easy. It was tough, but apple and I got the problem fixed and my mac is awesome. But....in hindsight, I would pitch in the extra 200 bucks to not have the hassle of some undetectable buggy hardware. In my case, it turned out to be a buggy mouse and keyboard, but man, what a PAIN. Just to save 200.00? nope. If I was familiar with the mac it would have been a sinch. But nope. I learned a lot.
     
  5. Wano macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #5
  6. illumin8 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #6
    Thanks so much for your help everyone! After buying my new iPod from the Apple store on Monday, and finding out they charge sales tax in my state even though they don't have a store here, I was beginning to think you'd have to pay sales tax on a Mac no matter where you bought it (CompUSA and online are my only two options).

    This should save me a couple hundred bucks.
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    Just asking about the dimensions of the HD you'll add, how much memory and PCI limitions is pointing you in the direction of getting a PowerMac and the expandability it offers.

    Basically with the iMac you're limited to 1GB memory and external expansion option. Cracking the iMac open voids the warranty and if you don't know about the thermal paste/pad locations -- you'll risk sending it into thermal shutdown.

    Sure the iMac has a nice screen, but if you're satisfied with the one you own -- it'll work fine on the Tower.
     

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