buying an imac - am i making the right choice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by spacka, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. spacka macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    hi all.

    i would assume you get a bunch of noobs asking questions about buying macs all the time but whatever, here goes.

    i'm definitely getting an iMac, and im pretty sure i can't afford (or even need) a 24" screen one, so i was going to get the following Mac:

    http://store.apple.com/Apple/WebObjects/ukstore.woa/9154042/wo/qoUOEGIIb8f22vrpqX4zggRAIhz/2.?p=0

    i was considering customising to the following:

    this would come to £921.99

    however, the more i thought about it, the more i thought about the better version:

    this would cost £1,042.99

    my question is.

    is it worth paying the extra £121 for an extra 0.4ghz and 256mb gfx card?

    appreciate any help. cheers
     
  2. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #2
    Personally I think so as you can´t upgrade either later. Do you need it? Not sure. Depends on what you will use it for.
    You have to ask yourself (and tell us) what you will be doing with it.
    You will enjoy the machine either way, maybe the 2.4 for a bit longer?

    EDIT: I maxed out my iMac when I got it over 1.5 years ago and it still handles everything I throw at it. I use it to compliment our Mac Pro for editing TV programs shot in HDV just to give you an idea of what these babies can do
     
  3. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I think it's definitely worth the extra money to go for the faster cpu and more video ram. Good luck with your new iMac! :)
     
  4. spacka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    yeah thats cool.

    basically ive had an ibook g4 for a few years now, and i just havent completed the transition from windows to mac. partly because i think laptops aren't my thing, and another reason was because i made the mistake of buying my ibook literally a week or two before the macbooks came out. all ive ever used it for is surfing in bed, and watching dvds, but nothing major.

    my pc, however, i use for everything.

    i regularly use photoshop, dreamweaver, that sort of thing.

    i'm constantly using torrents and more recently, newsgroups for downloading everything such as music, apps, movies, etc. this also means i'm using such programs as winrar very regularly, and saving things to specific different directories is always happening (i always wondered how easy it is in mac).

    i just basically WANT to make the transition to mac, just so so long as i can do everything on one, i.e - will there be a mac equivalent of all the types of apps i use?

    also, on a side note. somebody on another forum mentioned something about the 20" screens not showing true colours or something, and i was just wondering if this is becoming a big deal with apple? i mean i dont want to buy a 20" screen when theres so many complaints going on. but then i cant afford a 24".

    cheers.
     
  5. spacka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    anyone?

    could use the best advice asap as im planning on ordering tomorrow probably.
     
  6. Tman90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bath, England
    #6
    I would say that for the £121, I think that it is worth it, if you have the money. i have a 20 inch 2.0 Ghz imac and it serves me fine, but in the long run for photoshop and dreamweaver that you're going to use, the extras that you would receive are useful.

    about the 20 inch screen issue, yes, the viewing angle is not great (i.e. if you're not sitting straight in front of the screen, the colours look a bit off). but unless you're going to be sitting side on to your imac, i dont think it's a problem.
     
  7. Tman90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bath, England
    #7
    oh and dont buy ram from apple, just buy it from crucial and install it yourself!
     
  8. TheVandit macrumors member

    TheVandit

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Strathaven, Scotland
    #8
    Apparently they dont show as many colours as the 24" screens and Apple are getting sued for it i think.

    I have the 2.0ghz 20" imac and im very happy with it. best screen i have ever had. Unless you are a pro photographer or one the many idiots who look for flaws even though they cnt be seen through normal use you'll be fine!

    No probs with mine whatsoever!

    do they come with 2gb ram as standard now?? Mind and not buy RAM from Apple. Happy purchasing!
     
  9. spacka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    wow, thanks for the tip off about the ram. i wasnt sure where you'd be able to get it for cheaper. how easy is it to install yourself?

    i just got a comment on another board saying "The 24" is worth the extra £162 almost for the quality of the screen alone. It's a much better panel regardless of the size. If it's not over-stretching you too much I'd say it's worth it."

    but your words are wise. i'm hardly a pro at graphic designing/photography or anything, so i dont know how much a 24" screen would benefit me.
     
  10. Tman90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bath, England
    #10
    you can get RAM from www.crucial.com/uk

    I would also look into refurbs if you're worried about spending extra. They are like new, and you can get some pretty good deals. I just checked, and they dont have any refurbs right now in the uk store, but they will probably have some in the morning, so check then.
     
  11. Tman90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bath, England
    #11
    i keep forgetting to write things in my replies:

    RAM is apparently a breeze to install on the new imacs. all you have to do is unscrew one screw at the bottom of the screen, pop the old ram out, put in the new, and put back the screw. there are numerous videos on youtube showing you how to do it.
     
  12. spacka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    you mean refurbs for the whole computer? how much cheaper would i expect to get a 24" for?

    also, since it seems MUCH cheaper getting memory from crucial.com/uk, what about the other updraged, like wireless mouse and keyboard?
     
  13. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #13
    0.4GHz CPU isn't important

    ATi 2600HD pro if only you are a gamer and plan to play games. Otherwise, 2400 is good enough.
     
  14. Tman90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bath, England
    #14
    refurbs are macs that people have returned for one reason or another, that have been refurbished back to original working condition, with default settings - as new.

    as there are no imacs in the refurb store at the moment, i can't say exactly how much you'd save as off the top of my head as i cant remember, but i bought a macbook from there, and saved 20% off the original price. so expect to save about that much.

    as for the other upgrades, i have a wireless mouse and keyboard, which i love, but one annoying thing about the wireless keyboard is that it's more compact, and doesnt have the number pad on the right. the wired keyboard also has two usb ports either side. but for aesthetics, and for only £20 more, i prefer the wireless keyboard
     
  15. Neuro macrumors regular

    Neuro

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #15
    I don't know if you realise, but the current iMacs are pretty old models now. Most people would agree that new models will be released very soon.

    I have an old G5 iMac and have been waiting since Jan for new models, as the gfx card in the current iMac is a bit tame. I'm hoping it will be improved so I can play my Windows games with a decent frame rate.

    The current iMac is also quite expensive for the technology you get, considering it was released in August last year and hasn't dropped in price at all.

    You probably know this already and want one now, but thought I'd say in case!...
     
  16. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #16
    There will most likely be refurbs back in the store tomorrow. Recently they have been selling the refurbs at about 18% discount. Which actually makes quite a big difference.
     
  17. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #17
    I'd say definitley hold on until the next update.
     
  18. spacka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    ugh. are there any confirmation dates regarding any new macs? my friend seems to think that since new ones were released last year there wont be new ones for a while.

    another friend mentioned that if there are newer ones, they may just be bigger screens and then perhaps the 20" screens will be discontinued and perhaps focus on 24-30" models?

    also, whats the link for the refurbished store? i think it was pointless me mentioning refurbished models because i forgot to mention i'll be buying through the apple HE store anyway which gives discount. the prices i stated are from the original store.
     
  19. jonswan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #19
    People are managing to confuse you (and me) - there are no 'new models' of iMacs coming out soon - what people mean is that the models may soon be updated and will run a little faster, maybe have more RAM. If you can wait another month, then do so. They will look exactly the same, though.

    Refurb Macs are sound - they've been returned for any number of reasons, repaired by Apple people so they are as reliable as any other, if not more so! They may not be perfect, but fundamentally they're fine. You might save yourself some serious money if you're lucky. If I was in the UK, I'd certainly consider it. I think they come in brown boxes though, rather than the Apple boxes, to signify refurbs.

    I'd go for the 2.4 20 inch - I bought the 2.0 20 inch, and although it is perfect for my needs the price difference is quite small + there is apparently a speed difference + this will come into play more as time passes, and also for resale value.

    Do NOT get Apple RAM - buy from Crucial or somewhere else + give the difference to charity. Apple RAM prices are fundamentally disgraceful, and you should make a point of telling them in the store when you buy the Mac.

    Changing the RAM is easy. Put the Mac on its screen (with a towel under it!), unscrew the compartment at the bottom of the screen + it just slides into 1 of the two slots. I added a 2GB stick, so I have the original 1GB from Apple and my 2GB in the other slot - 3GB is enough to be going on with. I multi-task with Safari, iCal, Word, Mail and Adobe Lightroom and it rarely goes above around 2GBs in usage. However, RAM prices have come down so much that 2 x 2GB sticks isn't much so that would mean replacing Apple's original RAM stick too. Also easy - it just pops out, but make sure they are firmly in place, then screw back, start her up + go to the Apple icon top left + click on 'About this Mac' and see if the RAM is in correctly. Then you have one superfast machine. The latest iMacs are a dream - and for me the 20 inch screen is way big enough. Besides, I don't have a table big enough for the 24 inch... good luck.
     
  20. Neuro macrumors regular

    Neuro

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #20
    Sorry, I don't mean to confuse anyone - as I'm waiting to buy a new iMac myself.

    The MacRumors Buyers Guide says 260 days since last update (205 average), so an update is overdue by almost 2 months.

    Also, in light of recent (well regarded) similar-design competing products from PC manufacturers, do you not think that Apple are bound to add something new to the iMac? 8 months is a long time in technology terms.

    I personally can't see the next iMac being a speed/ram-bump only update, or surely they would have done it by now??
     
  21. spacka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    i think ive made my decision.

    i can't see many reasons why i would want a 24" screen other than the fact its bigger. i think the main reason i'd want it is because im in slight fear of new models coming in, and ultimately forcing the 20" to be discontinued or something.

    other than this, im pretty sure i'd be happy with the 20". my current 19" monitor is fine, and if watching episodes and movies is anything to go by, i have my 37" HD tv to fall back on.

    also, i recalculated everything according to the HE store. turns out i could get the following:

    # 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 1GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 1x1GB
    # 320GB Serial ATA Drive
    # SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    # Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse
    # Wireless keyboard (English) + Mac OS X (English)
    # Epson Stylus DX4400 Multifunction Printer
    # ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
    # 20-inch glossy widescreen LCD
    # AirPort Extreme
    # Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

    all for £864.80. it actually costs £924.75 with the printer but apple have the current promo offer which means i can claim £60 rebate and ultimately get the printer for free. so i still have to pay the bigger total first but i'll get it back. still better than £1,042.94 (official store price), right?

    there's still something swaying me towards the 24" but i think paying an extra £163 for 4inches of screen is that bit too much. i could probably do with saving that much. i just keep thinking that maybe in the long run i might need a monitor that size.
     
  22. jciapara macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #22
    Go for 24"

    I don't know what you wil be using your iMac for, but I have a 24" iMac and I absolutely love the size, definitely worth the extra money IMO. Good Luck with your decision.
     
  23. serendip macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    #23
    After seeing them side by side at a store, I'll be getting the 20" (2.4 model, 320 gb HD, and maxing out the memory at 4GB) based on how it would be on my desk, the 24" one would be too big for me.

    With everything I've read even if new ones come out a week later, I doubt I would care. What would matter to me is if they had a matte screen option, and none of the rumors are holding out any hope for that.

    Consider your workspace as you make your decision regarding the 20" or 24".
     
  24. Lazzer R1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    Andover, Hampshire, UK
    #24
    I faced the same problem as you.

    After a lot of thought, I decided just to go all out and buy the highest spec 24". I bought the 24" 320gb, 1gb ram and upgraded to the 2.8 chip. I then bought 4gb ram from crucial. All in all, it cost me about £1300 (I bought the printer too and will get the £60 back but i also bought the wireless KB and Mouse and an 500gb external hdd).

    I figured that it will hopefully last me for at least 5 or 6 years which means that average cost is around £200 a year. I don't really care if another model comes out as there will only be another one in 8 months time anyway.

    The only thing that will really grip my sh*t is if something goes wrong with the hardware in a years time. If this happens i'll be going back to pc's.

    PS: Mine gets delivered today. I keep checking the tracking on TNT's website (Current status: 8:59 - Out For Delivery)
     
  25. spacka thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    i think im gonna quickly drive over PC world now and just have a look at both before i come back and order.

    cheers for the help. i'll still consider any further advice.
     

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