Which iMac should I buy?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by peacenik, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. peacenik macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #1
    I'm a switcher who waited a month for the news yesterday and now I am more confused about what I should do than ever.

    I'm hoping someone in this forum will help me out with some advice.

    Prior to the news, I was all set to buy the 15" FP Superdrive. Now, I can only get one through companies like Mac Warehouse because Apple is not offering the 15" FP with the Superdrive. I would love to have the new 17" but can't afford the $1800 since I want to buy a Canon ZR45MC MiniDV Camcorder also, and this would put me way over budget.

    Mac Warehouse offers the 15" FP Superdrive, with basically the same specs as the new 15" that only has the Combo Drive. As far as I can tell, the only difference would be in software. The new machine will have all the updates for the iLife applications, and this could be remedied with paying $12.95 (I think) for the upgrade.

    If I go the MacWarehouse route, will I really be missing out by not getting the 1Ghz G4, the extra video memory, the GeForce4 versus the GeForce2?

    Getting a 60 versus 80 gig hard drive does not bother me because I plan on getting an external drive down the road anyway. Also, I don't care about the Airport and Bluetooth stuff.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #2
    do you hope to use the dvd burner?

    I mean that is what is boils down too. If you definatily need it then go superdrive.
     
  3. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #3
    I totally want the Superdrive, thought I made that clear. Sorry. Otherwise it would be a no brainer to get the new 15" since it will have iLife already.

    I'm just wondering how badly I'll be missing out by not getting the 1Ghz G4, the extra video memory, the GeForce4 versus the GeForce2?

    There is a very slight chance that I can wait long enough to save up the extra money for the $1800 17", but only very slight.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #4
    The high end imac and wait for a sale on the camcorder!
     
  5. Freg3000 macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

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    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    Well, the new iMac does have a lot of advantages. It's really a shame that there is no 15" Superdrive model for $1499. I'd agree with Don't Hurt Me, get the 17" and wait on the camcorder. If buying it forces you to get a non-Superdrive iMac, then you are already losing a great capability in DVD burning. And why would you want a camcorder if you can't burn DVDs? (I know, to make movies and video Cds, but DVDs are nicer)

    So go for the 17" iMac. You will be happily pleased.
     
  6. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #6
    As I said, the Superdrive is not the issue. I want that, and I can get a 15" with a Superdrive and the old specs through Mac Warehouse or the like.

    It would be hard to put the camcorder on hold because the main thing I want to do with this machine, pretty much as soon as I set it up, is video editing. The camera I'm looking at has analog pass-through conversion to DV, so I can edit all the many hours of 8mm footage I have, and at the same time shoot new DV footage and stills with the camcorder.

    Thanks for the thoughts, and please, I welcome any more that anybody might want to add.
     
  7. Freg3000 macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

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    New York
    #7
    Ok then, the answer is yes-you will me missing out on a lot that the new iMacs have to offer. Especially the high-end model. About the software, it's nice to have free software-but will you use it? It's only important if it's a title that you were considering buying, or something that you think you might have a use for.
     
  8. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #8
    I just said that I will be doing video editing pretty much as soon as I set the machine up - using iMovie of course.

    But that brings up one of my concerns. I read elsewhere on this site that people were finding the new iMovie slow. If so, would I really be looking for trouble getting the older specs - particulalry if the extra 200Mhz of processing speed, the extra 32mgs of video memory, and the GeForce4 versus the GeForce2 will help significantly with video editing?
     
  9. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

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    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    The graphics card has no effect on how fast video editing is done, as long as it has at least 32MB of video RAM, the work is all done on the CPU. This is because all modern graphics cards in desktop cards have the same 2D performance. Only special cards from companies like ATI and Matrox can speed up video editing.

    However if you want to play any games on the Mac, get a PowerMac, since even the Geforce 4MX is not fast enough for the latest games.

    The extra speed will only make about 10-15% difference when editing the videos, so what you need to work out is, is the extra speed worth the extra cost. The speed will only really come to be noticed when the movie is finished and is being saved to hard disk/iDVD etc.

    Also why get an iMac at all, why not the cheaper eMac with SuperDrive or a PowerMac?
     
  10. Freg3000 macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

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    New York
    #10
    Ok, I'll post one last time, as I seem to be getting you angry (sorry). :(

    iMovie 3 is quite slow, and all of those upgrades, including the difference in the GeForce 2 and 4, as well as the 200MHz more will be better. But even on my Powermac I find it slow-it crawls compared to iMovie 2.

    So, get the 17" iMac, better specs=better video editing (or at least more enjoyable :D).
     
  11. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    The faster video board might help. Although movies aren't that much of a strain on the video subsystem.

    Where you will appreciate the 17" is the wider screen so you can have the full movie frame up and have tool palletes around it.

    The 17" not only has a faster CPU, it has a faster memory bus and a faster disk drive. All things that will help with the movies.

    Also, the superdrive on the 17" writes DVDs at 4x. The 15" will only write at 1x, maybe 2x if you get decent blank media. [Yes, the 15" is techniclaly a 2x DVD burner, but there are times it decides it can only write 1x. This includes using 4x media.]

    Also, how much will you really be saving by getting the 15"? Since the new 17" is less expensive than the old 17" was.
     
  12. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #12
    Thanks, hvfsl!

    I thought about the eMac, but liked the space savings I'd see with the iMac - and of course, I think it is much cooler looking.

    I just thought about another thing, thinking about your comment about the slowness coming when I actually save to DVD - the new iMacs have the 4x DVD-R, while the ones they just replaced and the eMacs are 2x - yet another downer?
     
  13. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #13
    No angry at all, sorry if I gave the impression. I am REALLY grateful for any and all input/advice. I was more frustrated with my ability to express what my concerns are.

    Thanks!
     
  14. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #14
    I can get the 15" with a Superdrive for about $1500. That $300 difference would allow me to comfortably get the camcorder now.
     
  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #15
    Still think the 17 is the way to go,also the g4mx will game-i have a geforce 3 64mb and have seen reviews where the 4mx was even with it. And i wont even mention what the 3 was selling for new.But if you are going to be video editing i think a nice wide screen would make a big difference. anyways its your wallet but if you could get to a store and play with the different machines that would help you with your choice . also sometimes they will have deals where you buy a mac and get money off a dv camcorder,or digicamera or free printer so you might want to check all those mac resellers like mac connection ,warehouse,mall etc.
     
  16. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #16
    I just replaced a 700MHz G4 iMac with a DP PM. iMovie3 was unuseable on the iMac (iMovie2 was just fine). iMovie3 is fine on the PM. I personally do not think you are going to be happy with the latest iLife on the low end iMac. I'm not sure how well it will work on the 1GHZ due to the lack of any L3 cache on the iMacs.

    If you have a decent monitor on your PC (you said you are a switcher), you might want to consider either the new single processor PM or a closeout DP 867 PM. You can get a LCD display later.
     
  17. mkmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    #17
    Which iMac should I buy?

    If the Superdrive is really important, as it seems to be. Then buy the 15 inch FP from Macwarehouse, I don't think you will notice the speed difference unless you have both machines sitting side by side. Also iMovie 3 is slow, but I don't think it is that bad, and Apple will improve it in the next few months with bug fixes.
     
  18. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #18
    Well, definitely some difference of opinion here. I really appreciate the varying perspectives. I'm definitely the type of person that likes to process a decision like this.

    The last piece of advice from mkmac is making me lean toward the 15" FP from Mac Warehouse.

    Anyone else think that the slowness with iMovie3 will be addressed by bug fixes from Apple?

    If so, though I aim to do a lot of video editing, because I am a newbie at it and having no previous experience to compare, I may not be bothered by the slowness, nor even recognize it as being slow. As long as it performs the operations I desire and the finished product - a home movie DVD with flare! - is good, I will likely be a very happy camper.

    This seems to be a very supportive forum for newbies - I've tried other forums on different subjects and have not been so warmly welcome when asking for advice. Seems like some people think a newbie should do a lot of research or something to earn their place on the forum so that they can contribute, but the truth is that it takes time. Meanwhile, I will be back after I make my purchase, and at that time I hope that I can offer good support to anyone else trying to make a decision, or answer any questions based on the experiences I start to have on my new Mac!

    Thanks everyone! I will still check on this thread for a few days, so please keep the advice coming if you have something to offer. I'm not going to buy anything for probably another week or two.
     
  19. rebscb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #19
    solution...?

    I have a 17" FP imac for sale. Specs:

    800mhz G4
    17" widescreen
    512mb (single chip you add one more and you've got a gig)
    superdrive
    80 gig HD
    Geforce 4X/32mb
    etc, etc (top of the line last rev)
    And Applecare active with three years left.

    This unit is three months old. I have a new powerbook at work and do not need this machine as a result.

    I'm willing to deal....
     
  20. peacenik thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    #20
    Re: solution...?

    rebscb,

    You know, I thought about checking out a classifieds board - I've heard there is one on this site, but I can't find it. (Ebay is too much work for me.)

    I am very interested, but as you can see from my posts above, I am working with a limited budget. It would probably be best if you let me know what you were thinking of in terms of price so that I can think on it.

    A couple of questions:

    1. Did you upgrade to iLife yet?
    2. Did you install any other software, and if so what? (Hopefully Office for Mac!)
    3. What is your opinion on whether this machine will meet my needs, or if I should save up the extra money for the new one?

    I think #3 is the key question. Without that $200 version of Office that is available with a new Mac, buying your used machine will not save me money. As I mentioned, I will be buying a camcorder (about $500), and Office is regularly $500, so that's $1,000 right there.

    I'm eager to hear your price! Thanks.
     

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