Q's about iMacs needing some A's

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by RJP31484, Jun 11, 2005.

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  1. RJP31484 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Well, the time has finally come, I have saved up enough money, and will be buying my first mac after waiting a YEAR. I have been casually reading this site for at least as long and just love the amount of help the veterans give to the new guys without making them feel stupid. I am hoping now for just that kind of help. This is by far THE best Mac forum out there, and it is 100% because of the excellent regular posters here. You guys are really good at responding to a list of questions, so that is the format I will use.

    I am going to be buying a new iMac 17" 2.0ghz, but have a few questions first.

    1. The pairs of RAM sticks question: I heard using identical pairs gets you a 15% gain in performance is this true? if so, with the 512 stock, I would have to order another 512 FROM APPLE in order to see a gain correct? I would rather NOT do this, as 1GB from other sources costs the same as another 512 stick from them. 1GB of RAM is enough for me, but I would rather have 1.5 if it is the same price. IN OTHER WORDS: which will get me better performance: matched 512's from apple? or 1.5 GB unmatched(since the price diff. is negligible)? Additionally, is the rear cover removable with a screwdriver?

    2. Other than the amount of time they cover, what is the difference between the 1-year and applecare warranty? Can I purchase the applecare in the last month of my 1-year warranty? If so, what am I missing out on if I wait till the end of the warranty to purchase applecare? And will that give me an additional 3 years? or 2 more, for a total of 3?

    3. Is there ANY difference between purchasing online or in store? Can I still get it serviced at any location, including a reseller? ( want to purchase in my neighboring state of delaware in order to not be charged tax but my closest apple store without going 1.5 hours away is a reseller)

    4. I am aware of the screen spanning hack. Is this an easily installed piece of freeware? and does it work seamlessly or will I notice a performance loss visually in any way. In other words, will I notice a difference between a powermac/powerbook with two screens or an iMac running the screen spanning hack? Why is only mirroring available on a computer with a 128 Mb video card???? I suppose because it is a consumer level machine.

    5. Does anyone know of a bluetooth kb/m set that does not include a bluetooth adapter dongle? I owuld hate to pay for one when I have one built in. I think $60 for apple's set is a bit much, and I would also prefer a two button mouse.

    6. I dont hear much about iMacs in these forums. I think that the new revisions are an AMAZING value. They have near powermac performance, with a nice built in screen for a much smaller price tag. is there something im missing here? can someone who has one give me a quick testimonial to reassure my purchase?

    Thank you in advace so much! I apologize for the length of this post, but with a purchase like this, I want to make sure I am making the right choice. Im sure I will have more questions as I use my wonderful new machine, but this is it for now at least
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
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    #2
    1) 15% theoretical, 0% real life as reported by Barefeats.com. Get the minimum Apple and add a 1 Gb third party yourself. Having more RAM far outweighs having less RAM but matched pairs.

    Choose a reputable vendor who guarantees compatibility with the iMac G5 specifically. It's the most "picky" Mac made regards RAM compatibility.

    2) Yes, you can wait 'til near the end of your initial 1 year. What you lose is the free phone support after 90 days.

    3) You should get the same price from a reseller as from Apple, and the warranty coverage is the same. Establishing a relationship with a good independent reseller may get you better support and more choice of third-party accessories.

    It's a good value. There are lingering questions about the component quality, however the new Rev. presumably has addressed these.
     
  3. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    wow, thanks canadaRAM for such a super fast response. IMO, you are the person most apt to give a quick, concise, honest answer to any question. especially about RAM.. haha.

    Answers to my other questions by anyone else would be greatly appreciated! :D I am getting more and more excited about my purchase.
     
  4. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
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    #4
    To help address questions 4, 5 and 6...

    4) As i don't have an iMac myself, I cannot say how easy it is to install the firmware I can say that it'll void your warranty. 64mb is enough to do screen spanning, and you wont see much/any loss in quality (as spanning has been around way before 64mb graphics cards)

    5) Can you not buy the Keyboard and Mouse separately? Otherwise you could always sell the USB dongle on eBay for a good $25.

    6) Again, I personally don't have one, but as a forum generally asks questions about macs (i.e often problems with their mac) then take it as a good sign there aren't many posts talking about iMacs!

    The iMacs are stunning (IMO) and I'd love to own one. Sadly, next purchase must be a laptop for uni!

    Edit: 500th Post :D
     
  5. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    is it possible to uninstall the firmware before sending it in for repair if needed? and also, is it free?
     
  6. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    #6
    just found it for you:
    http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html

    It's very much free, and not even firmware... but an AppleScript and a little hack in the open firmware (as seen on the website)... to uninstall..

    "In case you want to return to your original configuration all you have to do is reset your nvram. This is usually done by pressing the Command-Option-P-R keys while you turn on your computer until the start sound chimes again. If you need more information on this you can search Apple's KBase (I'll add a direct link later when I have more time)."

    Pretty simple.
     
  7. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    PERFECT!! thanks spacemagic for the link! Once again, you guys are amazing. I think I am going to go get my iMac either this tues or wed, or next week. I CANT WAIT!
     
  8. sk8erboy macrumors regular

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    Apr 25, 2005
  9. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
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    #9
    no problem! that's what the MacRumors forums are all about. Keep us posted on when you buy your iMac.
     
  10. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #10
    There are even instructions in the manual on how to install RAM. I'd go for matched 1GB sticks... but the 1.5 GB unmatched shouldn't be that bad for ya.

    Online you get more options, like built-in Bluetooth. In-store you get what they have sitting there.

    Easy to install. Remember that you are splitting your VRAM across two monitors... so you can have minor eye-candy lag... but you really shouldn't worry about it. 32MB cards can screen span, you're fine.

    Well, get the internal bluetooth module. Then, you should be able to use any mouse and keyboard.

    Don't worry. As with all technology, it will be outdated, but with Macs, they tend to last quite a bit longer than you will expect. You will be happy, I predict, for a long time to come.
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #11
    1. Get the 1GB, you can always add another GB stick later. For now, it will be faster than the negligable (if that) gain from 2x 512's. I recommend Newegg, never had a problem with them. Just read the user reviews. It is very easy to install, 3 screws on the back.

    2. Applecare extends your warranty to 3 years of support from 90 days phone and 1 year service. You can purchase anytime during your 1st year. After that, you can't. You can get an education or government discount on that (as well as the iMac itself) if you qualify.

    3. You can customize online, though some resellers will also customize and some even throw in extras. You can get it serviced at any Apple authorized service place.

    4. The hack is free, DOES NOT VOID WARRANTY, and is easily reversible. It will split your RAM if you use dual displays, but if you mirror or turn it off, you'll have your whole 128MBs back.

    5. The BT is built-in along with Airport of the new iMacs. If you like the KB, buy it and a Mac compatible BT mouse from someplace else. Again, Newegg had some for around the same price with 2 buttons and a scroll wheel. BT is expensive though, so don't expect to pay $20 like you would with RF-type mice.

    6. The new iMacs must be good, because the old ones were great, and these are even better. If you want one, buy one. You only hear about the bad experiances in places like this it seems, so that must be a good thing. Don't even worry about the Intel thing, your iMac will be good for years to come.
     
  12. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #12
    They do some customizing in store, just not as much as online. Hard drives, RAM, etc. BT is already built-in to the new iMacs.


    New iMacs have 128MBs, so it would be 64 for each.
     
  13. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #13
    Last time I went into an Apple Store you couldn't BTO your Mac...


    I was actually referring to 32MB video cards, like in the Rev. B 12" PowerBook. I was attempting to nullify fears that 128MB of VRAM wasn't good enough. :)
     
  14. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #14
    Some things you can. Depends on what they have in stock. RAM is always a given.

    Ah, gotcha. Sorry, misunderstood you (thought you were talking about the previous iMacs with the 64MB cards and no BT). :eek:
     
  15. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    good question for CanadaRAM

    I am proabbaly going this tuesday to go get my iMac. I was going to get the 17" with superdrive completely stock(so I wont need them to BTO anything at the store), and getting a 1GB stick or RAM from this site: dealram ($81) or crucial ($115) or new egg ($79.87+ 4.33 shipping). WIll all these work ok in the system? should I just get the cheaapest one (from dealram) or is there a difference?
     
  16. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
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    #16

    dealram looks good, and so does Crucial. I don't think you chose the right kind of RAM from NewEgg-- it didn't say Macintosh compatible.

    Macs tend to be a bit more picky about their RAM than other computers. Hence, the reason you need to see it state "compatible with Macintosh computers"
     
  17. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
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    #17
    You are aware that Dealram is not a seller of RAM, they are a listing of other sellers? So you need to investigate the individual seller who is offering the price.

    I would go for the Data Memory Systems at $109. www.datamem.com because they are real Mac people and have sold Mac RAM for 17 years. They offer a lifetime warranty; their 1 Gb modules are built on Samsung and Micron chips.

    I have never dealt with Omni or Boundless, (1 and 2 on the Dealram list) although I am compelled to say I REALLY don't like Omni's eBay auction advertising and I don't have confidence in a company who goes to lengths to hide their physical location address. IMO of course.

    Solvs and others recommend saving $20 by buying non-Mac guaranteed RAM at newegg or a PC discounter. While that may be fine for a Mac-adept who doesn't mind doing the testing and sending back RAM if it doesn't work, I feel this is a false economy for a less experienced Mac user. The iMac G5 is THE most finicky Mac currently made. If the module's SPD values are not set correctly, the RAM won't work.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  18. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Thanks CanadaRAM! I knew you would come through. I am buying the RAM right now through DMS like you suggested. THis is very unlike me as I would regularly try to save every penny I can, but I accept the fact that you proabbly know what youre talking about. If I eventually do want to update to the full 2GB, will it be easy to get an exact match from the same site?
     
  19. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Sorry.. I also forgot to ask... it wont be a problem for me to getmy education discount at an apple store right? I just show them my ID? and also, how do I go about getting that $100 education rebate? Do they have to get my application by the 25th? or it needs to be in my hands by then?
     
  20. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #20
    My iMac is awesome. I went straight to 2gig though, so I couldn't tell you. I have yet to run a program, or group of programs that cause it to slow down much.
     
  21. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #21
    Don't get the one from Newegg, it only has a 2 year warranty. The next one up has a lifetime warranty, and one of the reviewers used it successfully in his iMac, but it looks kinda cheap and it's a brand I've never heard of. The DealRAM one says it's compatible with the G5, but never used them either. If you haven't bought already, I'd go with a good brand from Newegg. That's what I did for a friend's iMac and we didn't have a problem.

    Otherwise that Datamem RAM isn't bad, and it's a decent price if you get a good warranty.

    They'll know at the Apple Store what to do, but you shouldn't have a problem getting the discount with your ID.
     
  22. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    As CandaRAM said, it comes with a LIFETIME warranty, so that is the one I ordered. I should receive it a day or two after I bring my iMac home. I am going to visit some friends of mine in lovely tax-free-shopping delaware on tues, and before I come home wed, im picking up my G5!!!... these next few days, and ESPECIALLY that ride home with it in the car are going to be TORTURE!!! My only other option tho would be ordering it online, in which case id be stuck at my POS home-build PC hitting refresh on the FED-EX tracking page. Not to mention be paying an additional $84.00 in taxes!
     
  23. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    One last question before I go today... how good of a deal is the apple bluetooth wireless mouse and keyboard set? I can get one instead of the wired set for $60 more. seperately I think they are 54 each. Is $30 each a good price even though I wont get the regualr wired set? also, are they as good of quality as any other set out there? a fast response is needed as I am going to the store soon.
     
  24. RJP31484 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    I just finished setting my new baby up.. MAN this thing is gorgeous!!! now I jsut have to wait for my gig of RAM to come in the mail.
     
  25. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
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    #25

    I don't know if you got it already, but I have the apple bluetooth keyboard, and I love it. The key weight is fantastic. It looks great and performs excellent. Good on batteries too. About 6-9 months per set on average use for me. I'm not convinced by the bt mouse. I've been looking for a good replacement for ages (bluetooth mouse) but I eventually gave up and bought a Logitech MX1000 which is by far the best mouse on the market IMO.

    Try stuff out in stores before you buy. Thats the best way to figure out what you like.

    Enjoy the new imac!
     
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