Buying a tower

job

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 25, 2002
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Hi all. My iMac just kicked the bucket after 4 long years. The Hard Drive and the DVD Drive died just a couple of weeks ago. The cost to replace the parts with a new Hard Drive (40 GB for $110) and DVD Drive ($$$) is almost the same as an "old" 15 inch CRT iMac from the Apple Store. We have already spent $100 to have the Mac looked at, so our best shot is too salvage anything we can (i.e. Airport card) and either buy a refurbished tower or a new (CRT) iMac.

I know that the MWNY expo is coming up with new G4 hardware a major possiblity. Would it be better to hold off the purchase and wait for the current G4 towers (800/933/DP 1Ghz) to drop in price after the expo and buy one of those, instead of buying an older tower right now?

Thanks in advance.
 

Backtothemac

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2002
4,206
0
San Destin Florida
Re: Buying a tower

Originally posted by hitman
Hi all. My iMac just kicked the bucket after 4 long years. The Hard Drive and the DVD Drive died just a couple of weeks ago. The cost to replace the parts with a new Hard Drive (40 GB for $110) and DVD Drive ($$$) is almost the same as an "old" 15 inch CRT iMac from the Apple Store. We have already spent $100 to have the Mac looked at, so our best shot is too salvage anything we can (i.e. Airport card) and either buy a refurbished tower or a new (CRT) iMac.

I know that the MWNY expo is coming up with new G4 hardware a major possiblity. Would it be better to hold off the purchase and wait for the current G4 towers (800/933/DP 1Ghz) to drop in price after the expo and buy one of those, instead of buying an older tower right now?

Thanks in advance.
Seriously, if you can wait for the expo wait! It will be well worth it. There will be major upgrades that will keep X fresh for years. Don't buy one now, wait. That is the best piece of advice that I can give you my young padawan.
 

D0ct0rteeth

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2002
1,238
7
Franklin, TN
it is practically a fact that there will be a major tower announcement at the expo.

by all means wait then pick up a used dual processor 1gig quicksilver.

your wallet will be happy you did.

good times.

C-
 

Beej

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2002
2,139
0
Buffy's bedroom
Anyone who has any idea about Macs should wait until after the expo :)

Unless something dies and you can't wait that long to have it replaced.


You should be able to pick up a 40gig drive cheaper than $110... I got an 80gig for that a couple of weeks ago.
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,122
12
Lancashire
just wait till the first wednesday after the expo and go to the applestore

Click on the link that says "Apple Refurbished Store" and you should be able to get a current tower for 25 - 45% less than it's current price.

That's exactly what I'd do myself if I had the cash, I checked the prices last week just to see what they're like and there was 25% off a 667Mhz TiBook from the current range and 35% off the older 667Mhz model, they come with a warranty and everything too.

That means that if you wanted the current mid range tower, it would be £1,497, £1,297 or maybe even £1,097. That sound pretty good to me concidering it puts it below the price of an entry level tower with a superdrive as a BTO option.

Plus, being apple you can trust them not to screw you like some of the dealers might do.

Minor Rant Below. Ignore it if you can't be bothered reading

I bought my 300Mhz beige G3 as an end of life deal from a large UK dealer that was taken over by cancom a few years ago. I ordered a mac model that should have been one of the last beige G3s produced in late '97, REV C motherboard, Rage Pro, IDE slave support, 256Mb SDRAM support.

What I got was some early model from the lineup that maxed out at 266Mhz in the UK, wasted £40 on extra vram for the useless Rage II+, they didn't even mention it was a grey import model, we didn't get 300Mhz desktops in the UK till the 3rd revision of the lineup, I was expecting the 1Mb L2 and Rage Pro that the model should have had. I could have got a brand new B & W G3 tower for a little bit extra but all the magazines were saying the 512K cache made it slow and I was put off by the nasty little iMac keyboard and mouse. I do admit some stupidity on my part on assuming I was getting a UK model from a UK dealer but you only expect grey imports from a games console dealer, not a mac dealer.

End of minor rant

Anyway, I think as far as G4s are concerned, staying 1 lineup behind the cutting edge by buying a used or end of life mid range model seems to make sense from a cost point of view. Unless an entry level G4 with DDR is significantly faster than the current 933Mhz model, you might find a good deal on one in month or so and you'll have a superdrive and L3 cache aswell.
 

irmongoose

macrumors 68030
Re: the truth...

Originally posted by theranch
The truth has been spoken... Wait until after the show. Get a great deal on one of the current Powermacs after they unveil the new Powermac.
they're gonna unveil it?? You mean they're not gonna show us the new Powermac? :( :( :(

hehe just kidding.. that should be REveil, not UNveil... they're the opposite things...




irmongoose
 

job

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 25, 2002
3,794
3
in transit
Originally posted by mmmdreg
my old rev.b iMac is still fine..in fact, I've never had a Mac "die" on me...
Sadly my slot-loading iMac just seemed to die. I booted up. Nothing, just a flashing floppy disk icon with the occasional grinding sound coming from the Hard Drive. And I do mean grinding. Sounded like a mini-chainsaw. I tried booting off a CD, but the optical drive just ejected it. Oh well. We have no idea why this happened. Even the guy at CompUSA does not know. :(

I will probably have to wait until the end of July to get a tower anyways, so I was hoping on finding a 933Mhz. tower for a good price. Or maybe after the expo if the new base-line is decent with DDR-RAM, I might go for that.
 

topicolo

macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2002
1,672
0
Ottawa, ON
Re: Re: the truth...

Originally posted by irmongoose


they're gonna unveil it?? You mean they're not gonna show us the new Powermac? :( :( :(

hehe just kidding.. that should be REveil, not UNveil... they're the opposite things...




irmongoose
umm... Reveil isn't even a word.

from dictionary.com:

un·veil Pronunciation Key (n-vl)
v. un·veiled, un·veil·ing, un·veils
v. tr.
To remove a veil or covering from.
To disclose; reveal.

v. intr.
To take off one's veil.
To reveal oneself.


gotta cut back on the whiskey, eh? :D
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
9,591
3
serendipity
Re: Re: the truth...

Originally posted by irmongoose
they're gonna unveil it?? You mean they're not gonna show us the new Powermac? :( :( :(
hehe just kidding.. that should be REveil, not UNveil... they're the opposite things...
what? i think you're confusing "reveil" and "reveal"... i don't think the first is even a word really. unveil basically means to reveal/show... ie, to take the veil off it...


definitely wait til after. and then you can find current ones for much cheaper. and since you're torn between the pmac and the crt imac, then i'd say you could get the current low end for like 12-1500 after mwny... which ain't bad at all.


EDIT: tropicolo beat me to it.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by hitman
Sadly my slot-loading iMac just seemed to die. I booted up. Nothing, just a flashing floppy disk icon with the occasional grinding sound coming from the Hard Drive. And I do mean grinding. Sounded like a mini-chainsaw. I tried booting off a CD, but the optical drive just ejected it. Oh well. We have no idea why this happened. Even the guy at CompUSA does not know. :(

I will probably have to wait until the end of July to get a tower anyways, so I was hoping on finding a 933Mhz. tower for a good price. Or maybe after the expo if the new base-line is decent with DDR-RAM, I might go for that.
A compusa tech clueless about a Mac??? What are the chances of THAT happening?? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Things to try to get it back to the land of the living... Zap the PRAM, apple+option+p+r keys on boot. Reset the open firmware, apple+option+o+f keys on boot and type in 'reset-all'. Replace the motherboard battery (1/2 AA, 3.6v Lithium-ion battery available at most Radio Shack stores). Press the reset button on the logic/motherboard. If the system came with an Apple Hardware test cd, boot up off of that (hold down the 'c' key to get it to boot from that). Do the same with a new OS cd (like 9.2.x) to see if it will boot.

Apple offers a flat rate repair for all 'out of warranty' systems that are not in the obsolete catagory. Chances are, you can get a failed system repaired for about $300 or so.

You can pick up a brand new 40GB ATA hard drive for under $100... I am fairly certain that even compusa has one at the moment on sale. Hard drives do NOT need to be 'for a Mac' or 'a pc' any longer... ATA hard drives work in ANY system with the correct connection (like iMac's and G3 systems and newer).

I wouldn't give up on your Mac so easily... BUT, if you have already given up, wait until after MWNY and get one of the current systems when places price them to move. I would NOT go for a refurbished unit, but that is just me.
 

topicolo

macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2002
1,672
0
Ottawa, ON
Originally posted by hitman


Sadly my slot-loading iMac just seemed to die. I booted up. Nothing, just a flashing floppy disk icon with the occasional grinding sound coming from the Hard Drive. And I do mean grinding. Sounded like a mini-chainsaw. I tried booting off a CD, but the optical drive just ejected it. Oh well. We have no idea why this happened. Even the guy at CompUSA does not know. :(

I will probably have to wait until the end of July to get a tower anyways, so I was hoping on finding a 933Mhz. tower for a good price. Or maybe after the expo if the new base-line is decent with DDR-RAM, I might go for that.
You know, your mac may still be working. From your explanation, it seems that your hard drive just has a crashed head; it's probably gone, but you may be able to get your mac going again if that really is just the problem. If you feel up to it, open up your mac and unplug the IDE cable from your hard drive. Now start it up with the boot cd and see if it goes through its paces. If it does, replace the hard drive and you'll be done. BTW, you can get a 40 gig hd for about $70 if you look for them in your local pc clone shops. Don't worry, they'll work in your mac (as long as they're modern IDE drives).
 

job

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 25, 2002
3,794
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in transit
Originally posted by topicolo
You know, your mac may still be working. From your explanation, it seems that your hard drive just has a crashed head; it's probably gone, but you may be able to get your mac going again if that really is just the problem. If you feel up to it, open up your mac and unplug the IDE cable from your hard drive. Now start it up with the boot cd and see if it goes through its paces. If it does, replace the hard drive and you'll be done. BTW, you can get a 40 gig hd for about $70 if you look for them in your local pc clone shops. Don't worry, they'll work in your mac (as long as they're modern IDE drives).
Sadly the optical drive is fubar as well. It just kept ejecting the CDs not matter what they were. I tried booting off the Mac OS System Restore Disk, a Mac OS X CD, a Mac OS 9.2 CD, etc. The optical drive did not even seem to read the disks at all.
 

job

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 25, 2002
3,794
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in transit
Originally posted by AlphaTech
Things to try to get it back to the land of the living... Zap the PRAM, apple+option+p+r keys on boot. Reset the open firmware, apple+option+o+f keys on boot and type in 'reset-all'. Replace the motherboard battery (1/2 AA, 3.6v Lithium-ion battery available at most Radio Shack stores). Press the reset button on the logic/motherboard. If the system came with an Apple Hardware test cd, boot up off of that (hold down the 'c' key to get it to boot from that). Do the same with a new OS cd (like 9.2.x) to see if it will boot.
We spent 3 long days (and nights :rolleyes: ) trying to salvage my Mac. We tried everything, including zapping the PRAM (think : over and over again in fits of frustration :D) Even booting from a CD was not a viable option as the optical drive was also fubar. It kept ejecting the Cds no matter what they were. The main problem was that it did not even spin the hard drive. I don't think the hard drive was ever accessed. The instant you hit the power button, a flashing floppy disk icon appeared. Along with that infernal grinding sound. At first we thought it might be the hard drive controller, since the hard drive was not even being read, but the Apple tech at CompUSA said that the hard drive is toast. He just has no idea why :D

hitman
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Hey, hitman, have you even bothered to call Apple about it?? You might be surprised as to how little they will charge to fully repair the iMac (hard drive and optical drive included).

Call them before you write it off... :rolleyes:
 

job

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 25, 2002
3,794
3
in transit
Originally posted by AlphaTech
Hey, hitman, have you even bothered to call Apple about it?? You might be surprised as to how little they will charge to fully repair the iMac (hard drive and optical drive included).

Call them before you write it off... :rolleyes:
Well, you were right alpha. My dad called Apple and they are willing to repair it for $300. However, my dad seems more willing to spend a more to get a tower. He claims in the long run, a tower would be a better investment this time around (due expansion options) rather than spend the money to repair a 4 year old iMac that is starting to show it's age. Besides, the only thing I really had on that computer that was of any importance was my MP3 collection (roughly 700 songs, two full days of music). :rolleyes: