Switch?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by queshy, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm a long time PC user, and need to buy a new desktop. I currently have a Pentium 4, 3 Ghz, but it's beginning to show its age. It has a pretty weak video card, so even if I wanted to, I couldn't play games on it. I saw the 24" iMac @ the Apple Store and loved it! It was truly gorgeous! The all-in-one design is very appealing, and I liked the OS. I also like how I can run Windows when I need to (i.e. if I wanted to play a game). Iw as thinking about getting the 24", 2 GB ram, 250 GB hard drive, and the 256 mb video card. If I were to get a PC, I would get the same core 2 duo processor, same ram, etc. The PC I currently have now is a media center, and I sometimes use it to watch/record TV. To the best of my understanding, the Mac doesn't do that. I also have a set of Logitech z5300e 5.1 speakers that I know won't work with the Mac. Is tehre an adapter or something I need?

    Although the iMac seemed great, there were a few things I'm concerned with. Does the iSight cam. work with MSN? I also HATED the mighty mouse. Maybe because I'm so used to my logitech one... I also found that Office for Mac opened up very slowly, even slower than on my current PC. I downloaded Firefox when I was at the Apple store and it was very very smooth - I liked it! I really like the attention that was paid to detail in the making of OS X. For example, I don't know what it's called, but when you press the F- keys, you can show all hte windows on the screen at once,or brush them all away to reveal the desktop. The widgets are also neat, and seemed much more stable than Yahoo widgets. I use google desktop, but spotlight seemed better. THe only thing I would absolutely need hte PC for would be synching my PPC, and sometimes some games. So, is it worth the switch? Thanks!
     
  2. polevault139 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    For the question at hand- Yes, it is worth the switch.

    The setup you showed would handle anything you throw at it.
    As for the speakers, if your concerned about the drivers the Mac somes preloaded with a ton. I have used peripherals that were not supposed to be Mac compatible but when I plugged them in, they worked.

    I bet the in store iMac had 1GB RAM so Microsoft Office opened slowly under Rosetta, with the 2GB it should open much quicker.

    Expose is what the Function keys operate, and yes I think everyone loves them they are a great tool.

    As for the TV recording thing I have no idea, but maybe iTV will solve some of your problems, but don't quote me on that, I don't know too much about the iTV rumors.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    Both are solved by Boot Camp. You can have the iMac run Windows XP natively and you would be able to sync your PocketPC (PPC means something else 'round these parts) and even run most games.

    The iSight also works great with MSN Messenger Live, but only the Windows version supports video chat. There are other third party apps that'll allow some MSN video chatting from OS X.

    And, yes it's worth having a Mac whether you switch or keep the old PC.

    B
     
  4. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a

    OwlsAndApples

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    aMSN allows video chat from Mac to PC using MSN, only done it once (one way video though when I gave it a go). It can be found here:
    http://www.cmq.qc.ca/4w/amsn/ if you want to check it out.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    There are a few products that allow you to record TV to the Mac. I've not used them but you have a choises. Office mayload slow because of Rosetta. But I always wonder about why people care about start up times, you start it only once then use it for a long time what you should care about is how it works after it is started. Answer is "well enough" if you have 2GB of RAM. Any USB mounse should work with the Mac. Keep the one you haver if you like it.

    Is it worth switching? The ONLY reason you buy a computer is to run software. So pick the software you want to run and then buy the computer that runs it best. If you like Final Cut and Aperture you pretty much have to buy a mac. It depends on what you plan to do with the new computer. Do you really need to run MS Office or just excange files with it? The Mac is really at it's best if you are someone who creates digital "content" (images, video, music,...)
     
  6. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #6
    Wow, what an incredible forum! So many quick replies!

    First off, sorry about the PPC - I suppose that also means Power PC! Power PC and Pocket PC are pretty different lol...

    The problems with the audio isn't the drivers -my speakers (5 of them) connect to my subwoofer, which has three wires which connect to the back of my PC. When I saw the iMac i nthe store, there was only 1 audio jack! That being said, my speakers wouldn't connect to the iMac (physically, anyway). I know you're not supposed to buy a computer based on what kind of speakers you have, but I already have these speakers and they work well.

    Why would the iSight work only on the windows side of messenger? Why doesn't Microsoft create an MSN messenger for Mac that runs iSight? Either way, I wouldn't have video conferences every day...but it's a nice feature (knowing it's there if you need it!)

    Would the iMac perform that much better than my current setup? I absolutely loved the 24" - the screen real estate was incredible, and the OS X seemed so intuitive. I had never used a Mac beforehand and I caught on within minutes. And yes, Expose, as it is called, is nice!

    I don't do picture/video editing - I do like to fix up my photos before printing though. I'm also into LaTeX (something that doesnt' rely on graphics at all, but is available for the Mac). I rely heavily on MS Office, so I would absolutely need that. I also create graphics on Microsoft Visio, I'm not sure if that's available on the Mac. The graphics are nothing special (Diagrams of lab setups, etc), but when I have word, visio, itunes, msn, etc, open, the computer crashes a lot. I also recently upgraded to 1.5 GB of ram ,and still have this problem!

    I don't use Aparture or FCP. And also, the inability to record TV isn't a huge thing for me- I think you have to make a choice - the design of the HP media centres is lightyears behind the iMac.

    ANyway, thanks for all your replies!
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/firewave/
    MS has deliberately kept the Mac version of MSN behind, as previously mentioned there are alternatives like aMSN or Mercury Messenger that will work to MSN.
    Would help if you told us what you have for a PC. :p

    LaTeX is perfectly at home on the Mac since it was born on unix. Office is a bit of a dog with minimum RAM, but at 2GB it is very useable. Visio does not exist, but there are alternatives. IMHO mutlitasking is much more stable on Macs than on XP, others might disagree.

    B
     
  8. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #8
    As you mentioned you have a Pentium 4 machine, me too, a Dell.

    My MacBook Pro (which is about 60% slower than the iMac) absolutely runs in circles around my Dell, it just screams by in comparison. The only thing which isn't as good is Office, which is very very slow. However, the only piece of software I use in Office is Excel, because I have Keynote (to replace PowerPoint) and Pages (to replace Word), both of which are very very fast and both fantastic pieces of software.

    You'll love the switch to Mac, as I did about 6/7 months ago. Believe me
     
  9. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #9
    msn video conference is dead under OSX, currently, aMSN seems only allow video, no audio.
     
  10. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #10
    I never managed to get audio to work in Windows Messenger or any version of MSN for Windows actually.

    I do webcam/audio multi-way chats all the time in iChat with AIM and .MAC etc... It's fantastic. I was amazed how fantastic the image quality etc... was when I first used iChat...
     
  11. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #11
    errrrr...u got bad luck, maybe, my msn video conference worked great under windows, after switch, i got my parents installed skype, and quit MSN, since it doesn't support osx.
     
  12. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #12
    Have you ever used iChat? It's really in a completely different league to anything else out there (including Skype)...

    MSN especially sucks when it comes to video conferencing...
     
  13. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #13
    well, i can't ignore the fact that my parents and friend around are using windows, and AIM under windows is virus, no matter how good ichat is, its bound to that virus.

    PS. I used ichat, with some of my friend who use AIM. but adium can do much more protocols than ichat. and ichat << skype+adium
     
  14. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #14
    Wow, I'm very surprised at all the feedback I'm getting! Good news about LaTeX, and the MSN thing makes sense. As for a PC, I have a P4 3 Ghz, 1.5 Ghz ram, 128 mb x300 SE video card (absolutely horrible, games are unplayable!!). I'm not a big gamer, but it bothers me because when that odd time comes that I want to play The Sims 2, or FLight Simulator, I can't!

    About the speakers...I guess I will have to go with that addon. Thanks!
     
  15. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #15
    How fast is your Dell? And in what sense does the MB run circles around it? Can you open powerpoint files in Keynote, and vice versa? I absolutely NEED office - I only found it slow to boot, but after that, it was fast. I rely heavily on Equation Editor (when I am too lazy to LaTeX!), and I use Excel a lot. Powerpoint also. I suppose for Visio, I can just run that under Windows!

    I also tried the Mac Office when I was at the Apple Store - i downloaded some old lab reports from my Gmail inbox that I send there in order to back up (Actually, whenever my word doc. gets bigger than 10 pages with lots of graphics, Word freezes every 5 minutes and I lose the last few lines of what I was doing. Whenever it crashes , I quickly press "PRINT SCREEN" to get a screenshot so I can paste it in to paint after and recopy what I lost. Terrible isn't it!). ANyways, when I loaded my reports, everything seemed in tact, except the font I used (Euclid Math type) did not render well at all, perhaps because it wasn't installed. My powerpoint presentation that I also downloaded worked perfectly. I'm a really big internet user (firefox), and I loved how easy it was to install it and start browsing!

    I also plan on using Thunderbird instead of outlook, so that won't be a problem.

    Another thing - I have to ask the age old question - should I buy the iMac now or wait til MWSF?
     
  16. Ladybug macrumors 65816

    Ladybug

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    #16
    I made the switch in April and haven't looked back. The Mac version of Sims 2 runs great on my iMac. Don't rule out being able to run Windows via Boot Camp or Parallels for those one or two apps that you just can't find replacements for. Windows runs very well whichever method you choose.

    To be honest though, I found replacement Mac programs for most of what I was doing in Windows, and I haven't booted up into Windows since the summer when I was playing World of Warcraft. I've since started testing Crossover Office and find the two Windows apps (Photoshop 7 and Xenodream) I need to run work just fine without needing Windows so thats another option. I plan to purchase an upgraded version of Photoshop once it goes universal.

    My printer, MS Mouse, speakers, and router worked just fine on my iMac so there was no need to buy anything else.

    I seriously doubt you'll regret your decision to switch..btw, welcome to the forum. :D
     
  17. 4nr- macrumors regular

    4nr-

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Göteborg, Sweden
    #17
    Just as a sidenote, wait before you buy untill mwsf its in 10 days or so. After that it is likely that apple will include iLife 07 and that microsoft will release office 2007, which should run natively on the intel macs.

    As for recording and watching tv shows on your mac, go EyeTV. I can't believe it hasn't been suggested already.
     
  18. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #18
    If you don't like the mighty mouse that the iMac comes with (I don't either) just use any USB mouse. I think OS X can configure mice with 96 buttons or something.. not that anyone cares, but you can:p

    Oh, and I got the G4 mini when it came out. It was outdated when I bought it, and it's not almost 2 years old I think... and it still does everything I want it to, and I plan on upgrading it to 10.5 and iLife 07.
     
  19. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #19
    Thanks!

    I have an HP deskjet printer...I'm pretty sure it's Mac compatible. My linksys router should work, and I checked with Logitech and there are Mac drivers for my wireless mouse/keyboard. However, I saw Logitech has that cordless set that matches the iMac...:p

    4nr- - EyeTV looks neat. Watching TV isn't an essential - but it's nice to know if I want to, it's there.

    Another thing that worries me is that there are only 3 USB ports. I had an old 3 G iPod with a firewire connector, would this connector also work with my 5 G? I have a printer, a mouse/keyboard which works on USB, a camera, scanner, etc. Hopefully it's not too hard to turn the iMac around to plug in, say, a USB thumb drive. I might end up getting a USB hub with that also.

    I will have to (sadly) wait til MWSF to buy. However, if the iMac doesn't get updated, and if there's no new addons like iLife 07, I'll be pretty disappointed lol!

    How long after MWSF will I be able to get the updated version, if there is one?
     
  20. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #20
    The new iPods don't have a firewire chip in them, and you must use USB. Also, the keyboard that comes with the iMac has 2 USB 1.1 ports on it, so you can plug a mouse into there, and a USB drive, and only use the ones on the back for the iPod, a printer, and something else...
     
  21. Ladybug macrumors 65816

    Ladybug

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    #21
    Your printer should be fine. Nice that Logitech offers a cordless set to match your iMac.

    I'm fairly certain your firewire connector is pretty standard and should work just fine with the 5 g but can't say with certainty. The iMac is not heavy in the least and very easy to turn. I opted for a USB hub myself, I needed the extra ports.

    Best guess on MWSF..if they update the iMac it will likely be available for ordering immediately..with delivery end of Jan early Feb but I'm speculating. Someone with more Apple years/experience could probably give you a better guestimate.

    I have no experience with EyeTV so will refrain from comment.
     
  22. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #22
    I've actually never heard of a keyboard having usb ports - that's pretty neat! I tried the apple keyboard at the store and wasn't comfortable with it - I will most likely use my Logitech M/K, and get a USB hub.
     
  23. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #23
    End of January.....:mad: .....lol

    Maybe I should just order it now....I doubt they will update it...it was just updated in September, and from what I hear the Mini is well in need of an upgrade. I suppose the only new addition will be iLife 07.
     
  24. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #24
  25. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #25

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