The time has almost come to buy my new 24" iMac...advice..

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Xenesis, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Xenesis macrumors regular

    Xenesis

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Okay, so a while ago I set out with a mission to save up my pennies for a new mac, because my iBook went down in a blaze of glory (It crispied two hard drives...)

    So, now I've finally got AUD $3300 to play with.

    Here's the base of what I was gonna buy...

    Specifications

    2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x512
    250GB Serial ATA Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB SDRAM
    Apple Wireless Keyboard & Wireless Mighty Mouse + Mac OS X
    24-inch widescreen LCD
    AirPort Extreme
    Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

    A$ 2,964.50

    (Being a uni student can be very tasty indeed.)

    Now what should I sink that extra $330 into? The processor upgrade costs $356, 2GB of Ram will cost $244 and the 500GB Hd'll cost $289...

    Now, do you guys reckon I'll get the most bang out of my buck for what, in particular? I figure the RAM will be easy enough to upgrade in the future (especially when 2GB chips drop in price), but the HD and Processor are a bit less upgradable...

    The other option is to save my holiday paycheque for another couple of weeks and get the 2GB of Ram + 500Gb Hd for $3500...beyond that I'm not going to get a new computer this year, and using this old iMac G3 is starting to drive me insane....

    So...advice?
     
  2. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #2
    What are you planing to mainly use it for?

    If you're going to be using Aperture an extra gig of RAM would make a huge difference.

    If you're going to be doing lots of video encoding the CPU upgrade would probably be wiser.

    If it's just general usage I'd be tempted to go for the CPU upgrade, as you mentioned you can upgrade the RAM at a later date and you can always add external storage should you run out of space.

    However it's unfortunate the RAM is 2 512meg sticks as you'll have to remove one should you upgrade (IIRC)
     
  3. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #3
    Get the RAM - will save money and hassle later on. The CPU upgrade is overpriced for the performance. With FW400/800, you can get an external drive easily.
     
  4. Xenesis thread starter macrumors regular

    Xenesis

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Well, a lot of what I'll end up doing won't require much grunt at all. That being said I know that I'll definitely be playing games on it via Bootcamp (Hence the 7600GT).

    It's also going to be used when I get it to finally learn how to create music, I'm probably going to end up playing with Garageband. It'll probably also do a lot of serving of Internet wirelessly and iTunes to the other computers in the house.

    Then again, beyond that, it's hard to say as I've managed on a 7 year old computer for the past 6 months. It writes Lab Reports and runs safari, but not much else. ^_^;

    Mm. Then again, I honestly never found installing RAM a hassle. I mean I did swap the hard drives from two iBooks at one stage. <_<; I do have to admit that I like internal drives...

    My gut did tell me that the CPU upgrade isn't worth it though.
     
  5. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #5
    I didn't mean technical hassle - I meant finding the best RAM at a reasonable price then reselling/repurposing the old 2 x 512Mb sticks. You will have to buy two 1Gb sticks, not just one.

    Maybe you should just save up some more money and buy EVERYTHING.
     
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #6
    I wouldnt do anything, try it out for awhile. Use that cash for bills,games or the future upgrade. The current spec machine you are looking at is just fine. I dont see anything lacking and Ram will get cheaper so.......Go for it.
     
  7. Xenesis thread starter macrumors regular

    Xenesis

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    *shrugs*

    In order to fund this, I stripped my dead iBook, plus some bits from my older clamshell and sold it on Ebay.

    Indeed. But hey, you gotta draw a line in the sand timewise. I'm looking forward to this just so I can stop playing Musical Computers between the family iMac, my brother's wintel box and his Macbook.

    Definitely a good point. I wouldn't have set that spec as a goal otherwise. That being said, I'm a live at home student and I have no real bills. The cash is going to sit in my bank account until University starts up again next year. I guess I've ended up with just a tad more than I thought I would in the final push to reach $3000.
     
  8. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #8
  9. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #9
    Hey, wait until friday, I bet there will be a sale.
     
  10. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #10
    Of the three forget about the 2.16->2.33 upgrade, it is least worth the $$, and if that is part of your decision making, it's a no brainer.

    I would recommend getting the 500HDD simply because while you can get externals later, etc, etc, it is still nice to have a big internal drive. Space isn't what it used to be and between ripping movies to your HDD, movie and photo libraries, imovie and idvd projects, and partitioning for bootcamp, you'll be glad to have the extra space. You'll still want an external 400 or 800 drive, but as those come down in price you can get one later for backup and more storage.

    If you can do two things also get the RAM, but like you said the sticks will come down in price and the RAM can be easily upgraded later while the HDD isn't nearly as easy. Not to mention you said you had an edu discount which makes the RAM cost from Apple closer to third party in price. That said, even if you have to wait a little while, the 1GB is a nice step up from the standard 512 that was in the Core Duo iMacs, so it will run just fine.

    Definitely get the 7600 and the Wireless KB & MM.
     
  11. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #11
    Thought the sale was only in the US, I´m I wrong?
    Hope so though
     
  12. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    My Mac
    #12
    Good point. I would wait at least until tomorrow.
     
  13. speakerwizard macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #13
    get extra ram, yourll thank yaself when using rosetta
     
  14. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #14
    Also realize that while external drives are pretty cheap, add a good 400 or better yet 800 case and you will be glad to have double the storage now for about the same price as a drive and case. Then again I go for good drives and cases, I don't see the point in getting a Mac, high quality machine, and adding on poor add-ons. So I'm talking Seagate 7200.10 drives, 320, 400 or 500GB with a Firewire 400/800 drive case oxford 922 chipset. Those cases currently run $80-100 US$.
     
  15. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #15
    Back to original question.
    I have the 2.16 with 2gig of RAM and the 7600 .It´s a great set up. I would NOT spend money on the proccessor upgrade. Don´t think you´ll ever notice the difference with your use.

    I went for the RAM upgrade because I sisn´t want the hassel of reselling the 2 sticks later and Aplle stopped giving you the option of buying it with just one 1 gig stick.

    Buy it now, maybe go for RAAM uprade, but get it as soon as you can. It´s such a great machine. I love mine
     
  16. K20 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #16
    I'd say go for the extra HDD space now, then go for the 2GB RAM in a little while down the road.
     
  17. Xenesis thread starter macrumors regular

    Xenesis

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    Okay, I think the consensus is that I shouldn't bother with the CPU upgrade.

    The opinions seem split between the Ram and the HDD, which means I can't really go wrong with either of them. I think I'll go for the extra HDD and then go for RAM.

    Thanks for the help guys.
     
  18. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #18
    Please bear in mind that there are plenty of happy 24" iMac owners, but I didn't have the best experience.

    I found that with both units I sent back, there was a strange, intermittent clicking noise that could have either been a fan or a HD (but it wasn't just when acessing data). Either way it was annoying especially because it was coming from exactly where you focus your attention. Also, I found the screen to be too bright even at the lowest setting, and the backlight would buzz at anything apart from the highest one.

    The result - I'm enjoying my solid, but overkill, Mac Pro.

    David
     
  19. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #19
    The only other thing you should consider paying apple for is a bigger HD, and only if you can see yourself using it. I personally have about 350GB of ripped DVDs (waiting until I get a dual layer burner!). Sure, you can always add an external hard drive later, but the speed of even FW800 will be nothing compared to the speed of internal SATA. Plus, replacing an internal HD is a bit of a PITA.
     
  20. ascender macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #20
    Definitely the RAM. The CPU upgrades are minimal in this range of processors, with 2Gb RAM it will definitely fly.

    As for the HDD, I don't think its as much of an issue these days as fast external storage is so cheap now.
     

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