Buying a new 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iAAPL, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. iAAPL macrumors regular

    iAAPL

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #1
    I plan on buying a new 27" iMac within the next few days. This will be my second Mac and first desktop Mac. (I currently own an early '08 15" MBP.) I decided to wait until the very end of the free iPod Touch deal before buying. You never know... maybe Steve will throw in the new iPod Touch (to be announced tomorrow) for the people who waited until the last week. Actually, school starts tomorrow, and I just want to make sure a new MBP isn't more practical.

    Anyway, before I buy, I have just a few questions. Feel free to answer as many or few as you can. Thanks in advance.

    1. Is the i7 upgrade really worth it (vs. i5)? What applications would take advantage of the added speed? Will an i7 boot much faster?

    2. What's the difference between 4x2GB ($180), and 2x4GB ($360) of RAM? I've read that having four sticks of ram can be more taxing on your system. Is this true? And will the damage be noticeable within 2 years?

    3. I really don't want to get the SSD drive built in for $675, but I was stunned by how fast "jon4lakers" i7 iMac 1TB+SSD booted up (23s!). If I wait a few months and find a good external SSD drive for a few hundred less, and attach it via Firewire, will the speed be the same as if I had the SSD built in?

    4. Is AppleCare worth it? I take really good care of my Apple products. The only time over the past 2.5 years that I could have used AC would have been with my dead TimeCapsule. I could have gotten a free replacement had I purchased AC for my MBP. Basically, are there any common problems with the iMac after the first year?

    5. Do I get to keep the iPod Touch if I have to get a replacement iMac after 9/7? If I buy my iMac w/ Free iPod Touch before next Tuesday, receive it after, and realize that I got a bad iMac (yellow screen, etc.), do I still get to keep the iPod?

    6. Which printer should I get? I don't want to go too far over $100 (before rebate). There are too many to chose from.

    7. If I order a Magic Trackpad with the iMac, does it come in its own box? I've watched unboxings where the battery charger (ordered with the iMac) comes naked inside the iMac box. I really like to collect all of my Apple boxes.

    //UPDATE


    8. Another question, what are my options as far as hooking up my iMac to a TV? I would like to watch Hulu, ABC, etc. on my TV occasionally. I have a $40 store credit for Monoprice. If I get the 15' Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable (here), will I need another cable for audio? Will a standard 3.5mm audio cable work? (My TV does support video/audio in from separate sources.) Also, what is the distance at which DisplayPort/HDMI cables lose their quality? Will 15FT be fine?

    Some of these are pretty stupid questions, but I like to be sure before I buy something. I might have a few more questions, but if you could try and answer any of these, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BreadMaster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #2
    1. i7 will futureproof it, and if you have the money, go for it, otherwise be content with an i5. All apps would be a tad bit better, and so would boot time, but if you aren't content with an i5's speed, it's only because you think an i7 would be even better.

    2. 4x2GB means you have all 4 slots in use, and no room for expansion. 2x4GB gives you an extra 2 slots for even more RAM. Having four sticks of ram may be more taxing technically, but it wouldn't be noticeable. I wouldn't worry about it.

    3. No, FireWire 800 isn't as fast as SATA, but both blow USB 2.0 out of the water. You can always install it internally later.

    4. iMac's are infamous for their screen issues - dust or hair under the screen, backlight bleed, yellow tint, dead pixels, etc. But these are all problems you'd notice immediately, and could fix with the 1-year warranty.

    5. I actually don't know, I'd guess you couldn't keep it, or at least have to pay for it, which would suck given that new iPods are coming tomorrow.

    6. The Epson Stylus NX420. Like the rest, it's a Wifi All-in-One, but it's also the cheapest.

    7. If you buy it as an iMac accessory, I think so - but, if you add it separately to the same cart, it should get it's own box.
     
  3. ias2010 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    MI
    #3
    if you want to save money i5 quad core is good enough. the bench mark test only show marginal advantage (buy apple care for the money u save, use IMAC worry free for three years, it cover all accessories for three years too).

    install memory by your self it almost $100 cheaper than apple, it takes only 5 minutes to install one. if you want to get from apple make sure leave two slot open for future. for now 8 GB is plenty.

    track pad is very good addition to imac, it does come in separate box, shipped separate from IMAC.

    buy eneloop battery, they are as good as apple but cheaper, apple charger is smaller and is only reason to buy apple rechargeable battery pack.

    monoprice MDP does not work with audio, i bought mine from amazon ($7)it worked with my MBP 2010.
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    Only very taxing apps would show any sort of difference between i5 and i7. It won't boot any faster, as that is mostly just a hard drive process. Maybe a second at most, but honestly nothing noticeable. I'd say keep the change. If you want more memory, buy it elsewhere, it's an easy upgrade and much cheaper. If you only want 8GB, I believe having it over 4 sticks actually has faster performance (if it's more taxing, that's negligible).

    Firewire SSD will not be nearly as fast as built in seeing as FW800 is limited to 800Mb/s, just over a quarter of the 3.0Gb/s that the internal SATA interface can handle. Sure, SSDs are cool and boot fast, load apps fast and all that, but in my opinion they are highly impractical at this point. Small capacities, very high prices, and I read about all sorts of complications with them on here. Not saying you shouldn't buy one, because it's your money. I'm just not going to buy one just yet myself.
     

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