thoughts on the emac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by neon, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. neon macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2004
    hi all

    currently a windows user
    i want to switch, and i was thinking of waiting for the g5 iMac, but of course no one knows when they will be announced, so i was considering getting an emac in the meantime, but i dont know anything about them other than the price is pretty nice (though i am in the uk and we get ripped off regardless).

    daily use is internet, im programmes, word processing (i'm studying literature), uploading/editing photos (nothing more than a hobby thats slipping by the wayside as i work longer hours and have more essays to do) so nothing too heavy. games dont bother me much, i play the sims and solitaire now and then but hardly on a regular basis.

    on windows xp right now with 128 mb ram (yeah i know) and i have aim running 24/7, soulseek 24/7 (sorry if this community is anti-sharing), and of course itunes... i'm the type who never shuts down, only reboots about twice a week when things start getting slow.

    reasons i was going to wait - well, whilst my computer use isnt anything out of the ordinary right now, i am looking to get a new camera and thus get into that hobby a little more, and perhaps a camcorder too. but if the imac IS updated inside of a year i'll feel awful if i spend £1400 on one NOW - but the emac cost i could justify, and then get an imac in about 18 months or so - but i absolutely do not trust this pc to last me that long, or even 12 months.

    any advice/opinions/suggestions very welcome.

    oh and when looking at the emac i was thinking 512 ram and 160gb hd so my total cost would be £800 and something (i would qualify for educational discount)
    and i'd be looking to purchase in about 3 weeks (will any other updates affect the cost of these etc?)
  2. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Emac is great workhorse - just encouraged my sister to 'switch' to one.

    For what you want to do, the 1Ghz will be fine, especially if you get the extra RAM (regardless of edu discount, you might want to check the price of the extra 256MB of RAM on Crucial since it may be cheaper and it's simple to install yourself).

    Depending on number of pics you have, and the additional cost, do you need the 160GB drive or would the standard 80GB do you? If you're planning on upgrading in a year or so, will you really fill the 160 in that time? Or would you be better buying a Firewire HD in a year's time which you can then take with you to a new computer?
  3. Josh macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2004
    State College, PA
    I was going to get one, but I decided not to based on this:

    I heard many rumors that every last one of them has screen flicker problems - usualy in the lower corners near the speakers.

    For some, it happens when they play music, for others, its all the time.

    There is a lot of discussion about this on the apple website too, and its not just rumor - its real.

    There are some people that don't have the problem, but they are the minority.

    There was an article once that estimated over 60% of the units had the issue.

    I couldnt believe such a thing, so I wanted to go to the mac store to find out.

    At the store, every single one of the emacs on display had a slight flicker in the bottom corner(s). It wasnt soo bad that you couldnt use it, but it would get annoying, and if you are paying nearly $1k USD for something - it shouldnt do that at all.

    Apple is also unable to fix the issue for those who have had it - people send it in, apple sends back another one doing the same thing (if Apple even says they will fix it).

    From what Ive learned, its hit or miss. You get one with the problem, or you dont. Its luck I guess.

    But I personaly feel if youre paying alot of money for something, you shouldnt have to gamble with its quality like that.

    Without the problem, it would be a great machine - but I think its just too risky.

    Naturaly, Id have to advise you to look for something different, or save up a little more and get a G4 or an iBook.
  4. neon thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2004
    thanks, good point about the hard drive - i only have a 40gb in this machine, but i do have about 15gb of stuff sat on disc that i have no room for (mostly music). i could probably cope with 80 quite comfortably (i guess i wouldnt have as much space gone on installations? and with everything on one drive i'd be able to keep it cleaner i guess?) and as my parents are a bit pc-illiterate i use their 80gb machine as back up too :p

    how easy is switching in terms of moving everything from one piece of crap to one piece of gorgeousness? (can you tell who has mac envy? i use a g5 at work ;) )

    despite using the g5 at work though i know very little about using a mac when its your own machine (the g5 is wasted - my job = open quark documents, check them against hard copies, use ****ty windows machine to update a database)
  5. neon thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2004
    oh... thanks, that makes me pause somewhat... the monitor i use right now is utter crap though, i get blurred corners if i dont let the screensaver come on (ie if i sit here for too long :p ) but yeah, its still a lot of money.

    i just dont know if i could cope with a laptop as my main machine, portability would be nice but totally unessential for what i do, and what about hard drive space? isnt it ridiculously expensive for laptops?

    i guess i have some time to consider anyway, but in a busy day i could be sat here for 12 or 14 hours on and off, i wonder if i could handle that...

    how do laptops like having speakers connected?

    pc world is selling g3 ibooks for £500...
  6. applebum macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2003
    I just got my eMac in Feb. It does have that problem, but only when playing music at a loud level from the internal speakers. My guess is that it has to do with vibration inside the unit. There is absolutely no flicker if I simply use external speakers or headphones - regardless of how loudly I play my music. This has not been an issue for me, and I use mine for all the same reasons the initial poster would be using his. Great machine - get you one.
  7. neon thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2004
    :) thanks! *prepares to raid savings* :D
  8. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Very - tho slightly more complicated if you have huge contact lists or want to bring over email.

    As far as picture, music, pdfs, Office docs etc, it's a doddle. If your current PC has a network connecting then the easiest thing is to hook your Mac into the network and pull everything over that. Alternatively, burn the things you want onto CDs or DVDs and then copy them onto Mac. Depends how much of your current stuff you want!
  9. neon thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2004
    thanks, i only cleaned my pc around xmas so theres not even a great amount to back up, and i keep a lot of it on my parents machine anyhow...

    hmm i'm thinking make this a linux machine in the meantime... i get bored and need challenges, i know nothnig about linux, lol... can one use itunes and ipod with linux?
  10. JamesDPS macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2004
    Irvine, CA
    On paper the eMac seems okay but I would go with an iMac if possible; I work in a music media lab with about 20 eMacs and a few iMacs (and I get to use the dual 1.25 G4, of course!) and the eMacs have a few problems:

    Screen flicker: one machine suffered that flicker / distortion that another user mentioned. Otherwise, display is okay but definitely not as nice as the iMac's (granted, being a CRT, the eMac one is probably a tad better with regard to contrast / color representation, but the iMac one is easier on the eyes, I think, and the adjustability is awesome, not to mention that if you can get it, wide screen is the way to go).

    Power switch: the power buttons are poorly placed and fairly unreliable -- in the last year or so, a couple of our machines had to be sent back for new switches, and one even had a defunct power supply. Not to mention that it takes Herculean efforts to actually toggle the switch. Of course, the simple solution is just to never turn the machine off, let it sleep! :)

    Sound card: pretty weak, creates a LOT of noise when no sound is being produced, but I think the iMacs have the same problem :/ If sound matters to you, you'll probably want an outboard audio interface.

    iMac is obviously better from a design standpoint - use of desk space, etc, and generally cooler looking, however if you really do plan to upgrade soon, may as well get the eMac to "tie you over" to a better machine, but don't be too upset at Apple if you aren't 100% satisfied with the eMac! :) (It's kind of like having a C230 coupe as an example of a Benz -- just totally gives the wrong impression, sadly you have to spend the bucks to really get the power and quality).

    Also, consider leasing? Might work if you just need something for a year or so...

    [edit]: as someone might be tempted to point out, the reason for the placement and difficulty in using the power buttons is probably in order to make it impossible for kids to turn the machine on (or off, using the button), i.e. for use in schools -- any thoughts on the matter?
  11. neon thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2004
    thanks, thats interesting, so is the power switch on the back, at the side...?
    i'd love an imac but i am getting impatient, see first post, just cant spend that much right now
    any display is an improvement on what i HAVE - noise too probably, i'm on a really old machine that i've upgraded far more than it was probably ever intended for :D - but what is an outboard audio interface? :confused:

    but i really dont turn my current machine off, just reboots now and then :p

    so i have been thinking and unless anything drastically changes i'll purchase at the end of this month (payday woohoo)

    in which case i have what are probably stupid questions but i'd be grateful if anyone can answer 'cos i dont visit these forums much

    what do i do regarding connecting to the internet?
    i havent installed my isp's software because, well, it's really terrible, and windows has that lovely connection wizard which means i dont need it, i just have that little tray icon telling me my modems connected - please say i wont need the isp software on the mac? :-/

    is there an as-good-as alternative to ms word?

    are there any popular programmes which are just plain incompatible with macs? what should i expect?

    thanks again folks :D

    [edit] re: internet connection - i have a cable modem connected by usb - i think i lost the ethernet cable... :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
    [edit 2: helps if i can spell "edit"]
  12. realityisterror macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2003
    Snellville, GA
    three words (that apply if you buy an emac):
    buy a refurb

    i've contributed. farewell.

  13. evil macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    chicago ex-toronto
    i have an emac. i have had it since november.
    it is an excellent machine. i have no idea what the guy is talking about with the power button. i have actually only had to use it a few times anyway. the computer sleeps at night. i dont see the need to be constantly using the power button.
    as far as screen flicker goes it only occurs during loud noise coming from the internal speakers. external speakers would fix it if you even care to worry about it. the flicker is minimal and i do not find a problem with it.
    i use my emac for everything from surfing the net to using final cut.
    i would definately recommend the emac over the imac.
    the price for the imac is just too much.
    i prefer a crt to an lcd anyway.

    i would recommend an emac.
    it is a super cheap and good way to get into the mac world.

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