About to buy a new iMac - need final advices

Discussion in 'iMac' started by FrenchPB, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #1
    Guys,


    I'm about to buy my 3rd Mac in the coming weeks. I currently have a MacBook (2ghz/2Go RAM) that sits on my desk at home and never goes out because I have an other laptop for work.

    As a consequence, I'm thinking about buying a new iMac that will replace the MacBook (it will go on ebay). Since my desk is small, I think the high-end 20" iMac will better fit my needs.

    I will also get the 4Go RAM directly on it, since it's not cheaper for me to get 2x2Go RAM living in Paris.

    Now, do you think I should go for the 320, 500 or 750 drive ? How reliable is it ? Has there been any problem with some iMac HD ?

    I have an external WD Studio Edition 1 To drive also, on which I backup my files and save my sports videos. I will also connect my iMac to my Sony Bravia 32" HDTV in order to watch them in my living room.

    Since I don't expect any revision on the iMac soon (it seems it's all about the notebooks for the next trimester), and since I love its design, I think I'll get it soon.

    Based on all of that, is there something else I should know before making my purchase ? Do you have any advice on how much RAM or what HD I need ? Is Apple Care a good buy for a desktop or is it reliable enough not to get it ?

    Thanks for all your advices :)
     
  2. Jacqueclaude macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Good idea going with the 20", the 24" is kind of pointless unless you really need that extra 4" space.

    I would go with the 750gb hdd, you might aswell. I got the 750 so that I don't run out of space anytime soon - and it makes your imac practically future proof.
    You won't be complaining you've run out of space on your hdd any time soon, and will have less reason to fork out on a new one.

    And do you really need the 4gb ram? I've just got the 2, and it works brilliantly.


    Jacque.
     
  3. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #3
    The 4Gig or RAM should allow me to play and edit large high resolution video that couldn't play on my previous MacBook. I have some sports games videos that are in a 1280x720 resolution. Since I want to play them on my HDTV, it requires additional memory from the computer. It's also a way to prevent myself from future needs.

    Regarding the harddrive, I'm thinking 500 Go should be enough for my needs, since I'll have a backup on my WD 1To external HD.
     
  4. Jacqueclaude macrumors member

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    England
    #4
    If you're editing high resolution video, wouldn't the 24" fit your needs? The overall quality of the screen is much better.

    Jacque.
     
  5. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #5
    The 24" would look huge on my small desk, and I would be way too close to the screen to work I think. Besides, right now I'm used to working only on 13" laptops, so the 20" would still be a big difference for me.
     
  6. tri3limited macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    London
    #6
    It's not necessarily the screen size that'll make the difference, but the actual quality of the screen.

    The 20" has a far poorer screen and for HD editing and basic colour correction the 24" is the way to go.
     
  7. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #7
    I heard there were some problems with the 24" screen, like dust behind the glass or other problems. Have those been resolved since ?
     
  8. tri3limited macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2008
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    London
    #8
    All the iMac could come with a gradient on the screen or stuck pixels as reported on these forums but remember this is still only a small percentage.

    The glass isn't sealed so it can be removed - check out youtube, most people seem to use plungers! That can get rid of any dust built up on either model.

    Ultimately get what you can afford but for video editing the 24" will give you better colour if you're looking to fiddle with the colours of your sports stuff... Helps obtains that 'TV look' or 'Film look'
     
  9. ayzee macrumors 6502a

    ayzee

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #9
    I bought my first iMac last week, so from a noob here is my advice:

    applecare - you automatically get 1 year free applecare, so you've got 11th months to decide whether to extend it.

    ram - I really wanted 4GB but listened to the forums advice and stuck with 2GB as I may find this enough and apple's ram is way overpriced. Turns out they was right on both counts, for now im perfectly happy with 2GB ram and believe me I multitask!
    If you feel that apple's ram is the best deal for you, then I guess you getting the 20" screen instead of the 24" screen will offset the price.

    hdd I decided to get the 500GB and keep all of my media on a 1TB external drive. If you are keeping your media on an external hard drive, then you shouldnt need anymore than the 500GB HDD

    hope this helps
     
  10. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #10
    I will keep all the video files on my external 1To HD. I will have all my documents, photos and music on the iMac. Besides, I'll use Time Machine for the documents folder, and do regular backup of my itunes and iphoto folders (a regular backup seems more appropriate for those two).

    My video editiong is marginal at best and I am not a pro at all. Added with the price difference and the fact that I'll be watching those videos on my HDTV, the bigger iMac screen is not what I need.

    I think the more RAM the better, especially since I want my new computer to be a definite update from my current MacBook. The added video card and the RAM should help me in the long run.

    I used to take Apple Care with my laptops when they were moving around, but on a desktop I think I don't need it.

    Now my last question is about the harddrive, which I'm not quite sure about which one fits my current and future needs.
     
  11. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #11
    I now have a doubt, but when you order the standard iMac with 2Go RAM, does it come with one stick of 2Go, or two sticks of 1Go ?

    Cause if it indeed comes with only one stick, then I agree I'll be better off by getting an additional 2Go stick elsewhere.

    (I thought I had to buy 2x2Go RAM to replace the standard 2x1Go RAM shipped with the iMac)

    Can you confirm ?

    Edit : the French Apple store writes that it comes with 2x1, which means that if I want to get 4Go of RAM, I need to buy two 2go sticks, which doesn't seem to be worth it based on local and French Internet resellers.
     
  12. ayzee macrumors 6502a

    ayzee

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #12
    Im sure all 2GB ram (including mine) iMacs come with 2x1GB ram sticks. To upgrade to 4GB i would have to purchase 2 new 2GB sticks
     
  13. tri3limited macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #13
    You are able to order your RAM from http://www.crucial.com/eu/

    Only €83.41

    A far cheaper alternative and will ship to France without ridiculous rates!
    Hope that helps!

    Also i strongly suggest getting Apple Care at some point in your first year as at least you are guaranteed 3 years out of your machine. If something inside goes it will be ridiculously expensive to get it repaired! Best to be covered.

    Enjoy!!


    EDIT:
    Just checked out the French store and they charge €160 for the 4Gb RAM... That's mental. Crucial's EU store will help you out a treat!
    Follow the link and select the first drop down as Apple, the second as iMac and the third as your 2.66 20" Model... Select the 2x2Gb RAM package and order! Saved yourself the odd €75.
     
  14. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #14
    You're right, that makes sense. Is it easy to install RAM into the iMac though ? It's was very simple on the MacBook.

    Do I have to completely remove the back of the screen to do so ?
     
  15. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #15
    I also have a question about the 4gig of RAM. Does Leopard support 4Go RAM and is it able to use it all ?

    I know windows 32-bit systems can't use more than 3Go. If you have 4, u need to get Vista 64-bit to use it all ?
     
  16. gocardsfan1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #16
    Yeah, its easy, and no you don't have to remove the screen. On the bottom of the iMac is a compartment that holds the RAM. You just unscrew the compartment and remove the old RAM and put in the new RAM.
    Yep, Leopard will recognize all 4GB of RAM and will be able to use it all. In order for Vista to recognize all 4GB, you have to get the 64-bit version. Otherwise, Vista will only recognize and use 3.5GB.
     
  17. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #17
    THANKS !! The cheaper RAM is always good to have. Too bad I have to take off the two initial 1Go sticks. They won't be of any use...
     
  18. tri3limited macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #18
    I would recommend selling the 1Gb sticks but if you do take it back to an Apple store for repairs or anything, make a note of the 2x2Gb sticks and maybe take a photo... There have been the odd occasion where they swap the machine with out telling you and you end up with the 1Gb sticks again (very rare but best to be safe!)

    Theres loads of install videos... most of them contain really annoying teenage kids (im 18 so i can call them that)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb_B3K1Za5Y&feature=related
    Is a good example.

    And like already mentioned XP will install fine in 32bit, it just won't recognize all the RAM.
     
  19. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #19
    Well, I don't want any windows OS to pollute my future iMac, but it's nice to see that Mac OS X will be able to get full advantage of the additional RAM :p

    Now, I have to admit that I'm hesitating about the 24". The higher resolution would allow me to put more apps on the screen, which is very nice since I'm multi tasking a lot, but at the same time, I know I don't really have the need for it.

    Now, I'm wondering which one I should get : either the 20" with the best specs (4Gb RAM, 2,66 Ghz, 500 Gb HD), or a 24", and if so, should I get the better graphic card ?

    I'm lost now :'(
     
  20. tri3limited macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #20
    The 24" has a far better resolution (1920x1200) than the 20" model, plus it shows 'millions of colours' where as the 20" only shows '256 thousand' colours. There is a real noticeable difference.

    Personally i'm going for the nVidia graphics card as im looking to do a lot of motion graphics in Motion 3 not to forget some stuff in After Effects.

    If you checkout comparisons between the cards there is no real difference at the moment although the larger memory could be better utilized with Snow Leopard mid '09.

    It's 50/50 and up to you.
    Personally for what you have described i recommend 24" with the ATi card unless you're a big gamer or 3D person.
     
  21. rookies macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2008
    #21

    Wont snow leopard run on the ati card?
     
  22. ayzee macrumors 6502a

    ayzee

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #22
    I was told on here that for the most part the 2 graphics cards are not that much different. But because of the way the iMac is I decided to bite the bullet and get the top end of everything that is "not really upgradable". So I went for the 24", 3.06 and the NVIDIA graphics card.
    quote from apple website
    I think it all depends on what you want to do, but because I was spending so much money on this Mac, I didn't want to be thinking later down the line "I wish I would have got the bigger screen/ I wish I would have got bigger processor"
     
  23. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #23
    I don't play games on my computer, and neither do I work with 3D. My edition is more about personal photo editing, but nothing profesisonal. And since I have a small desk, I'm afraid the 24" would look ridiculous even though it's an awesome product.

    Besides, being so close from a big screen might not be good for my bad eyes :p Well, I guess you can love a Porsche and know it's not for you :)
     
  24. tri3limited macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    London
    #24
    Fair enough point but at least you're fully aware of what you'll get and are more than happy with it, and i'm more than happy to help out.

    To answer rookies question, yes Snow Leopard will run the ATi but Snow Leopard will utilize the memory and onboard processor to work as an additional processor when not in use for graphics, thus making the nVidia a better choice in terms of Snow Leopard but the ATi will still do the job.

    I think the ATi will do everything you want and probably more so it might be worth saving the extra money toward the RAM or AppleCare (which i highly recommend).

    Whatever you decide just remember at the end of the day... It still gets dark!
     
  25. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #25
    I had all the same concerns when I bought my 24" / 2.8GHz / 2GB / 500GB about nine months ago. ALL UNFOUNDED!!! The big 24" screen is PERFECT, it sits on a very narrow desk, my eyes are maybe 14" away from the screen and again it is PERFECT! I couldn't imagine going down to the 20" from this. The standard 2GB RAM is likewise PERFECT for my needs, and I also multitask (including FCE). The 500GB drive is completely adequate for my forseeable needs; it is currently 1/3 full although I do have apx 600GB of data safe on a 1TB external HD connected via FW800 (the only way to go!)

    I was also worried about screen brightness, screen tinting, dead pixels, fan noise, the flat keyboard, the Mighty Mouse, and everything else negative I'd read on these forums in the last five years. ALL UNFOUNDED. My advice -- don't worry about it, don't worry about them, buy the best iMac you can afford, and love it! This is (IMHO) absolutely the best home computer ever designed and I feel this unbelievable pride of ownership whenever I use it. Soon you'll know what I mean. :apple:
     

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