buying a new iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by onedayhero, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. onedayhero macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2009

    after experiencing with hackintoch, to figure out what Apple's OS is all about, I decided to buy an iMac. I want an almost fully upgraded one, the 2.93 Ghz 24 inch with the GPU upgraded to 4850 whiwh almost costs around 2000 euros.

    It is obviously meant to last a little while, preferably 3 years. But since i'm an IT student, i always want the latest in technology and this is not possible with a mac. But i've settled with that. I know the OS is more fine tuned than any windows so it'll run faster anyway (well most of the time). I originally was going to wait for Snow Leopard release in September but they are planning to release it in two days. I'm having some issues buying the new Imac:

    • Are there any technologies advancements nearly out to wait for (like usb3)?
    • Will the HD 4850 (which is a mobile one...) be decent to play moderate games on Windows (Bootcamped)? I'm not expecting to play crysis in 1920p but games should be able to run on medium settings.
    • is Apple planning to release more (better) hardware upgrades? like a 4870 for example
    • Is it worth the money to buy my iMac (see configuration up here) at this specific time?
    • I'll be buying a new ram DIMM of 4 GB so I can have 6 GB of RAM. I know what i must look for, but is there any shop you can recommend in Europe (preferably Belgium or The Netherlands) which sells out-of-the-box cheap ram?
    • Is the AppleCare Protection Plan worth the extra money?

    If all of these questions are answered, you will provide me with a lot of answers and I'd appreciate it greatly.

    BTW, I'm new to this community and I might hang around =)
  2. Jabbamk1 macrumors member


    Jun 18, 2009
    London, England
    Apple have upgraded most of there line quite recently so i wouldn't expect desktop updates till 2010 when arrandale is released. Apple now supports the GTX 285 i think so if you were to get a Mac Pro you could buy that. The 4850 is a good card and should run high end games at a medium level quite well.

    To be honest with you, if you are going to upgrade this a lot just get a cheap mac pro Quad or stick with your hackintosh. Applecare is worth the extra money as macs can be very expensive to fix.

    Seriously though an iMac is a laptop and is really really hard to get inside to upgrade anything other than the ram.

    Get either a mac pro or keep your hackintosh as it will be easier to upgrade and you can keep it for a long time.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I recommend Mac Pro too. It costs more but gives you more options in future.
  4. onedayhero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2009
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    The Mac Pro is not an option for me, to make it fairly useful I'll have to pump in a lot of cash to make it worth it.

    Not that money is my biggest concern (obliously, else you wouldn't buy a mac) but i want to support Apple and get a good product.

    The imac is really beautiful and it's not like I'm going to upgrade it too much. I just want more RAM (not 900 USD ram lol). I'm settled with the GPU because the 4850 isn't bad at all, even tho it's underclocked.

    The reason i don't buy a hackintoch is because it's not legal. Even tho I own a legal copy op OSX and i can it natively on my dell (with some Ext's).

    out of your comments i have understand NOT to wait for big technology upgrades from apple, which is primary all i needed to know. then i'm ordering mine this friday with SL.

    Thanks for the comments so far
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Not really. Any Mac Pro will be faster than any iMac.

    Correct. Making your own, however, with a purchased copy of Leopard, is not.
  6. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It's still breaking EULA and Apple's terms and conditions which you agree before installation. In some countries like Finland, it may break copyright laws.
  7. Apocrathia macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2009
    University of South Alabama
    the lack of native osx support still urks me. i want to be able to use a computer with the complications that presents. hackintoshes are good for some people, but for those of us that actually have s**t to do, it seems like a massive waste of time.
    I plan on buying a refurb mac as soon as the model i want comes in to the store. to be honest, it's going to last a long time and you will get your use out of it. no matter if you buy it now, or a year from now. sure i'm going to drool over the new hardware, just as i do with the new unibody macs. but even my little 2007 black book is still hauling a** without any questions asked.
  8. onedayhero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2009
    Sure any mac pro will be better, but this iMac will be my 'fairly' affordable desktop (with notebook parts). Even the cheapest mac pro model will cut 2100 € out of my budget, without a screen. I'm sure I can create an exact copy of a well upgraded mac pro and install osx on it. But my computer is not about the power, it's about the stability and the enjoyment of not having to care for things like backups or virusses.

    And installing a hackingtosh kan be a pain in the ass. I had to replace some of my hardware on my dell XPS m1530 notebook so I could even have access to Internet.

    Not to mention that most non-apple-made drivers are rather weak, meaning I'm not using the full potiential of my hardware.

    Later on, when I'm graduating and getting my bachelor in IT, I might consider spending the money on a mac Pro, but this will be in 2 years. And I plan to keep the iMac for 3 years.
  9. onedayhero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2009
    Note that the fairly affortable is for the combination of the expensive hardware and the stable operating system. I don't mind if Apple charges too much for its hardware, the OS is worth it.
  10. parakiet macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2008
    glup! never forget backups. os x, linux, windows,... dos.. take back ups.
    a mac is still a computer, anything can go wrong :(

    just use time machine or an external disk to save a copy of your docs/important stuff!

    by the way, why not buy the basic mac? the quad 2,66 combined with your pc-knowledge ;)
  11. Blair230 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2009
    Near Philly
    I say go for it. I am in the US so unfortunately will be unable to help you with where to purchase RAM, but I can say I have the '08 imac with the 512 MB 8800 gs, and 4 GB RAM, and can play most new games in 1920 * 1200 with high or very high settings (running the Win 7 RC in Bootcamp).

    For instance: Batman Arkham Asylum is run with all settings maxed (no AA or physx enabled), runs smooth as silk.

    Fallout 3 is maxed (save for LOD distance) w/ 4x AA @ 1920 * 1200 and no hiccups either.

    With the 4850, its a better card and you should have no problems at all!!

    Definitely opt for applecare! As a student you can get it at a discount, and it is great peace of mind for your purchase :)

  12. onedayhero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2009
    If i'd do that, I'd be paying way too much for a good motherboard and a decent cpu, that's all I'd keep in there.

    Do not forget that I like the iMac because of the looks, it appeals simple and it doesn't take much room on my desk, not that is a concern.

    It's not like I'm a design freek, but the idea of a computer CASE underneath my desk is frightening me. I'm not into that, that's why I always buy decent laptops.
  13. onedayhero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2009
    Thanks for your comment about the GPU. I know the 8800 series are great GPU's and I've always been a Nvidia fanboy. But recently AMD makes more value for your price Graphical cards.

    The apple care seems nice, but I'm wondering if i couldn't remove broken parts of the iMac myself as I'm capable of replacing laptop hardware and if I have too, i can solder pretty well.

    It only costs around 150 euros for the protection plan which is about 200 USD, which is reasonable for 3 years. There are Apple stores where I'm located at so that's not the problem. I'm just wondering what an average repair at an apple center would take in time? I don't want to wait 3 week because the apple center doesn't have my broken hardware piece in supply.

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