Buying for longevity

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mareeder, May 3, 2011.

  1. mareeder macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #1
    Hello Mac'ers,

    I have been needing to buy a new computer for awhile but have been holding out for the refresh. Today is a happy day! I have a set amount of money to spend on a new purchase, so both of the 27' versions are out for me.

    I don't understand very much about computer architecture and processing, and I want to make sure I make the right purchase. Can anyone explain in layman's terms the meaningful differences between the two 21' models? Besides the slight increase in processor speed and the bigger hard drive? I use the computer primarily for work (internet, word, processing) and for hobbyist film editing on final cut express. I also play a lot of World of Warcraft.

    Basically, I want the computer that is affordable, but do not want to buy the base 21' if the top 21' is considerably better for what I need. Will the base 21' become "obsolete" before the top model? Or would it be better for me to buy the base model with upgraded memory?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    The difference between low-end and high-end 21.5"s is pretty small. I would save the 300$ and go with the low-end. If the low-end becomes obsolete, the high-end will become too since the difference is so small. By then, there will be something much faster available.
     
  3. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Wait for the OS Lion update to purchase. Just a few more weeks before an announcement.
     
  4. mareeder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #4
    Thanks guys.

    So the two different graphics cards on the two 21' models aren't going to make any noticeable difference on Final Cut Express or World of Warcraft?

    Same with the processor speed?

    I was slightly suprised to see what appears to be lowish processor speeds on the new models. My 2007 imac is a 2.1 ghz. I expected ghz on the new machines to be significantly higher than they are. Maybe that just comes from my misunderstanding of how the architecture and processors work, but years back, everything seemed to emphasize processor speed. Have we hit a ceiling?
     
  5. mareeder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    So the new machines will come pre-installed with Lion instead of Snow Leopard? Or will they still ship with Snow Leopard and require a purchase of Lion?

    I wonder why apple didn't wait to release them both together. Seems odd.
     
  6. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #6
    Because one of the two isn't finished yet. Simple as that.
     
  7. Orme macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Yes in the summer. But these ones currently available have Snow Leopard.
    Yes you will be required to purchase Lion if you want to upgrade your new May 2011 machine..

    I was told however, that if you purchase the iMacs with Lion Pre-Installed, theres no way of going back to Snow Leopard. Me being a new mac user, I want to experience Snow Leopard before I turn to Lion, just for the sake of it and to get a feel of what the operating system was like before to the new one being released this summer. I would rather pay just a few extra for the extra experience and to be able to downgrade back to Snow Leopard if I ever need to for any reason.

    Anyone correct me if I'm wrong, I am learning, I'm a mac noob :D
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    WoW will run better with the faster GPU but I don't think the difference is that big to be worth 300$. The 6750M will run it fine, that is for sure. You can wait for first benchmarks to appear to see how big the difference is in real life.

    Don't fall into the Megahertz Myth. Gigahertz isn't the only thing that counts. Your current CPU is dual core whereas the CPU in new iMacs is quad core. The microarchitecture is also a lot newer and better so it performs better when compared clock for clock. My rough estimate would be that the new iMac has 3-4 times faster CPU than your current.
     
  9. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    It is up to you, but I wouldn't spend extra money to experience out of date software. You could spend that money on more ram or a video card upgrade. I'd just wait for lion to come installed. That also can help resale.
     
  10. Orme macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #10

    Money isn't a problem for some and I wouldn't really call it out of date.

    You can't upgrade the video card and my RAM is maxed out.

    [Edit] If I could experience every previous operating system, the history and the differences, just out of curiosity, I would. Because it interests me :)
     
  11. ascii42 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #11
    You could do what this guy did, unfortunately it would be a lot harder for Macs, but System 1-7 is relatively easy using emulators.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPnehDhGa14
     

Share This Page