Buying an iMac -- some quick questions

kuu-me

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 28, 2006
6
0
Okay, so I'm going to be purchasing my first iMac soon, and I'm thinking of either:

A)
17" Screen
2.0 GHz
1 GB RAM
160GB HD

or

B)
20" Screen
2.16 GHz
2 GB RAM
250GB HD

It's my birthday gift, and I think I'll be able to negotiate my way up to the better model. I just get the feeling that those specs will hold up longer, and are worth the extra money -- but if you have any other suggestions on where I should upgrade, or think I've missed something important, please let me know, hehe.

Anyways, on to my questions.

-- Is the $120 Apple Care plan a wise investment for the iMac?

-- I've heard it's more expensive to update RAM in the Apple store then it is on their online store? Is this true?

-- Also, I've heard RAM is even cheaper elsewhere, Is it a huge hassel to get it done by someone else? Who would you recommend?

-- Is my student discount in the Apple store the same as it is online?

Basically, I'd like to go to the store and pick up my new iMac if at all possible, but if I'm going to be paying significantly more to do that then I'll just order it from their online store.

Thanks in advance!
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
kuu-me said:
Okay, so I'm going to be purchasing my first iMac soon, and I'm thinking of either:

A)
17" Screen
2.0 GHz
1 GB RAM
160GB HD

or

B)
20" Screen
2.16 GHz
2 GB RAM
250GB HD
Get the best model you can, you are right about the depreciation.


-- Is the $120 Apple Care plan a wise investment for the iMac?
I buy AppleCare if the cost of AppleCare is 10% or less the value of the computer. Since in your case it is, I would buy it. One repair and it pays for itself basically.


-- I've heard it's more expensive to update RAM in the Apple store then it is on thier online store? Is this true?
Yes.

-- Also, I've heard RAM is even cheaper elsewhere, Is it a huge hassel to get it done by someone else? Who would you recommend?
Look on Newegg for deals on RAM. I haven't popped open one of the new iMacs, but I can't imagine the RAM is very difficult to install.

-- Is my student discount in the Apple store the same as it is online?
yes. You need to bring your student ID and driver's license to prove you are a student and they will apply the discount.
 

kuu-me

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 28, 2006
6
0
Thanks so much for your input!

About the RAM though, it looks like the 1GB that comes with the new iMacs is only available in 2x512? At least, that's the only option they have in the online store. (Though the little "which RAM should you get" blurb does mention the 1x1GB option.)

If I wanted to upgrade it elsewhere would I -need- to have 1x1GB?

Or can 2x512 be replaced for 2x1GB just as easily, and cheaply? (I have a hunch it can't, heh.)

I'm going to try and make it to the store today to get a feel for their RAM prices, but any info from you guys is greatly appriciated!
 

emptyCup

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2005
1,482
1
I don't disagree with anything that Miles said. However, it is a gift. So instead of trying to "negotiate" a more expensive gift, give some thought to going with the 17" model and thanking your parents (or whomever) for being so incredibly generous. The 17" iMac is a fine machine.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,632
2,773
Bay Area
emptyCup said:
I don't disagree with anything that Miles said. However, it is a gift. So instead of trying to "negotiate" a more expensive gift, give some thought to going with the 17" model and thanking your parents (or whomever) for being so incredibly generous. The 17" iMac is a fine machine.
amen.
 

kuu-me

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 28, 2006
6
0
Ah, well, I'd be more then happy to put up the extra $500 for the 20" myself if need be.

I haven't had a chance to really talk it through with my parents yet, the only real agreement was that we'd wait for the new iMacs to come out. Sorry if I came off sounding like a spoiled princess, though. It's just that now for a price similar to the old 2.0 GHz Core Duo you can get a 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo with even more RAM -- and I'm all about getting bang for your buck, heh.

Does anyone know about my RAM stick questions though?

Thanks again in advance!
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
kuu-me said:
If I wanted to upgrade it elsewhere would I -need- to have 1x1GB?

Or can 2x512 be replaced for 2x1GB just as easily, and cheaply? (I have a hunch it can't, heh.)
It's just as easy to upgrade 2x512 as 1x1GB, but it won't be as cheap, because you'll have to buy 2 new 1 GB sticks as opposed to just one. If the pricing is the same as other Macs, the "upgrade" to 1x1GB should be free (ie. same price as 2x512GB) and is definitely the way to go.

EDIT: Looks like Apple doesn't have a 1x1GB option on the iMacs :(. A cheap 1 GB RAM stick for an iMac is $80 or $90, so upgrading from 2x512 MB to 2x1GB yourself is going to be about the same price as paying Apple for the upgrade to 2x1GB. So you may just want to go ahead and pay Apple for the 2GB RAM option, even though it is more expensive than if they gave you the option to have 1x1GB preinstalled.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
You have to know what you're doing buying RAM at NewEgg.

You can save there, but they do not offer any specific Apple compatibilty guarantee.

I would go to Datamem.com or OWC (macsales.com) if you want to be certain that your purchase is Apple compatible with a lifetime guarantee.

If you are getting an iMac as a birthday present but want to upgrade, perhaps
the most politically correct move would to suggest a trip to the Apple Store
with your parents or a gift certificate.

You can still order education pricing with your ID or special order a BTO while you're there.