Possibly Buying an eMac???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by must have mac, May 17, 2005.

  1. must have mac macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2005
    I've been desperate to get a mac for a long time--I'm sick of running windows. I had my hopes set on an iMac g5, but (long story short) the money disappeared... So I got to looking at the emacs yesterday. Their price seems right to me because I don't have an extra monitor (have one, just its really old and crappy), or existing computer parts. I've been borrowing my family's pcs for the past while..I have a few questions though:

    1) I'm a photographer (Note: don't make any money from it :D), and I currently use elements 3. I'll be taking a Photoshop course this upcoming semester, and will purchase Photoshop for $249 @ academic superstore. Will the emac be able to handle PS and thousands of pictures easily? Most of my pictures are 10mb (tiff versions), and don't load ultra fast on the 2.8ghz P4 I'm working on at the moment (512mb of ram). Is the g4 really slow, or will it be fine? I'm pretty impatient, but with 1gb of ram would this work well? Is there any waiting time when viewing pictures in iphoto (waiting for it to focus--happens in PSE3 a lot)?

    2) How is the screen on the emac? I know it is 16" viewable, but is running it at 1280x960 flicker free? Basically, is it a good monitor for resolutions above 1024x768 (I like to see more, my wallet doesn't), and for photo work? I'm used to 1280x960 at the moment on a 15" widescreen laptop.

    3) Multitasking? I usually have itunes and elements organizer and the editor open at the same time on the current pc. I'd close itunes if necessary on the emac, but I prefer playing it all there.

    4) How does Tiger run on it? I have no experience, just curious.

    5) Is it ultra noisy and hot? The laptop I use works as a great heater--a plus in the winter, but not in the spring and summer :).

    Thank you all for helping me out with any of these questions. I'm anxious to get this emac if it works out, as it fits in my budget of <$950 USD. Few specs on the one I'll probably get:

    eMac Tilt & Swivel Stand
    eMac 1.42GHz Combo Drive (I've had DVD burners on pcs before, but I have never used them)
    160GB Ultra ATA drive
    256MB SDRAM DDR333
    Apple Keyboard & Mouse

    $838.00 (edu discount)
    For ram I found this, which I think I'll buy two of:


  2. ericssonboi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    Since your doing a lot of editing.. and possible photoshop
    I'm not really sure if eMac is the way to go.
    Finding an older G4 or maybe even dual G4 which is much more upgradable than the eMac would be better IMO. You have the choice of hard drive space, ram, video card, and of course processor. For the monitor you can always pick up a LCD or something cheap..

    Keep that in mind..

    I know some people prefer buying new.. but the piggy bank doesn't always suggest to do so. :p

    Either that or save up longer for a Single G5 or maybe get the iMac you wanted..
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    ericssonboi has some good points. Can I just add that if you go the old G4 tower route, get a dual processor machine. The single processor machines will be slower than a new eMac.

    Alternatively, look through the refurb line-up at the online Apple Store for a cheap rev A iMac. Remember, you don't have to get all that RAM at once. Upgrading the RAM later down the track can be like getting a whole new computer because of the speed difference, which would be cool.

    If you're set on the eMac, I really think it should keep up with your needs pretty easily, especially with 1GB of RAM.

    The early eMacs had screen problems but I'm pretty sure they've fixed that problem since. Of course, if you're not happy, Apple will probably fix the screen (assuming something is wrong with it).

    Macs are better at multitasking than Windows. Enough said.

    Tiger will be great on it.

    And finally, from my experience, the eMacs aren't all that loud/hot. My girlfriend has one in her room and she can easily hear/complain about my snoring over the top of any hums it may produce.

    I think the best option is an old G5 iMac, then a new eMac and then the dual G4 tower.

    You'll love the switch, OSX is the greatest! Welcome to the community. :)
  4. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    Before I say anything else, I will say that you are definatly on the right track with wanting a GB of memory. However, Macs tend to be a little wierd with some types of memory, so you may wanna check with new egg to see if it will be compatible with a Mac (or if you can at least return it if it doesn't work).

    That said, as 17" CRTs go, the eMac has a fairly good one. The only issue is that at 1280x960, the refresh rate tops out at 72Hz (which should be fine, unless you have sensitive eyes). As far as the eMac's performance, while it is not the fastest machine out there, it will be fine for most things. The video card just got upgraded (to a card that was standard on the top-of-the-line, $3,000 2.5Ghz Power Macs just a few weeks ago), so Tiger and Photoshop should do just fine.

    While there are two other good, economical options (a used Power Mac, which would probably not be as fast or have as good a graphics card, but would be more expandible) and (a Mac Mini, which would not have as fast a graphics card, or as fast a hard drive, and will probably not be a very good choice for photoshop, especially running on Tiger, until they get updated sometime this summer), the eMac is a great deal right now, IMO.

    If you live anywhere near an Apple Store or Apple Reseller, I would suggest dropping in and giving these machines a try before you buy....it really helped me when I made the switch 1 1/2 years ago. Go here for locations: http://www.apple.com/buy/
  5. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    This is silly, there is nothing wrong with the eMacs.

    Pre G5s the top PowerMacs were 1.25/1.47 and people recommended them "if you want to do Photoshop"... the eMacs are as good as these were, and Photoshop requirements haven't increased all that much/if at all!

    eMacs are cheap and good. You'll run photoshop on them, just as I run Photoshop on my iMac 233mhz G3... they'll just take a little longer to process stuff compared to a dual 2.7g5 thats all!
  6. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I have an emac

    I've done a lot of what you need using an older emac running at 1 GHz. Fortunately, with a gig of RAM it runs very well. I upgraded to Tiger, and it slowed down a bit, but I am very happy with the machine. I too went emac b/c of the cost, and it has worked out fine.
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    That's a very good point.

    Unfortunately our perspectives of what exactly is fast has progressed though.
  8. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2005
    Accoville, WV
    Tiger runs GREAT on my eMac. It seems noticeably faster than Panther, especially starting up.

    I've never ran Photoshop on mine, but I think it'd run it just fine. If you're seriously concerned, though, up it to a gig of RAM. I have 512mb right now and it does everything I need it to do....fast.

    I definitely recommend it! :)
  9. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    You may not be aware that you can get a 17" Rev A iMac from the Apple Store in the sale section for $899.
  10. JasonL macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2004
    Ware, MA
    The new eMac will handle that fine. I do all of that stuff on my year and a half old PB (see sig for details), and an eMac has it matched pretty well spec-wise (faster HD, CPU even). The only thing I did was up my RAM pretty substantially. Just don't order the RAM from Apple.

    As mentioned, picking up an original (now on sale) iMac G5 isn't a bad idea, either.
  11. ericssonboi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    Good points..
    I'm not bashing the eMac or anything.. just think of the future and how it'll cost you in the long run.. in terms of what you do and what you need it for.
  12. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    the 9600 is allot better than the rev a imacs 5200 btw, also with a patch you can screen span with that old crappy monitor with the emac.
  13. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2005
    I don't have a mac yet (getting PB 15" for new school year, finally making switch after Windows for 10 years), but between the two I would spend the extra couple of hundred and get an iMac. Why?

    1. Better screen (17" LCD vs 17" CRT) plus higher res.
    2. More video RAM for photo editting (128MB vs 64MB)
    3. Faster processor and bus (1.8GHz G5 600MHz Bus vs 1.42GHz G4 167MHz Bus)
    4. Faster Hard Drive (Serial ATA vs Ultra ATA/100)
    5. Faster RAM (400 Mhz vs 333Mhz)
    6. Preinstalled Bluetooth and WiFi vs Optional
    7. Better Looking

    If I had to chose between the base iMac and an eMac, the choice I would make based on the above would be the iMac. Plus down the line in a couple of years, you will probably thank yourself for putting more money down now.

Share This Page