Buying Mac on-line vs. an Apple Rep?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Go4EVA!, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Go4EVA! macrumors newbie


    Oct 9, 2008
    I'm ready to make to switch from PC to Mac. So I went to, built myself an order and put it "on hold" in the shopping cart, just so I could think about it for another 24 hours or so. Lo and behold, this morning I received an email from an Apple Rep volunteering to answer questions, be my personal shopper, and indicated that she *might* have rebate incentives for me, etc. She gave me an 800-number contact. Does this sound legit? If so, is there any advantage to working with an Apple Rep versus just making the purchase myself on-line?

    BTW, I'm not in a big hurry, I'm shopping for a 24-inch iMac, 3.06 Ghz with 2 (or 4?) gb RAM -- Would consider a refurb if available.

    Question #2: Assuming I buy this machine, it actually looks like it's pretty easy to upgrade the RAM, but adding/swapping hard drives looks messy/scary.... So maybe I should purchase *minimum* RAM from Apple and purchase a 4gb upgrade kit elsewhere. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    Apple do sometimes contact people when orders have been put on hold so this is very likely to be legit.
    It's never good idea to buy extra RAM from Apple, it's overpriced.
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Buy however you want, both options are easy to do.
    Do not buy RAM from Apple. Its a piece of cake to install it yourself and MUCH cheaper.
  4. Go4EVA! thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 9, 2008
    Thanks much -- I saw a youtube video showing replacement of the RAM chips and I agree, it looks very easy. I also saw a detailed write-up on swapping hard drives and it looked very scary -- beyond what I feel comfortable attempting. So would you recommend buying the Apple 1TB hard drive, or just going with external devices?
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Well, given that the 1TB drive is a $300 add-on, which exceeds the cost of buying a 1TB external (which means you'd get the default drive inside plus the external for less), it all comes down to how much space you need inside. I highly recommend getting an external drive (for backups) that is larger than your internal drive. So, if it were me, I'd probably bump it to 500GB and then buy an external 1GB for use as a backup drive and external storage. - which would give you 1.5TB of total storage for less than the bump to 1TB internally.
  6. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    u will never fill it . well i dont know what u do but u prolly will not. i have a 500GB and its is plenty of space for me. but i do have an 1TB external for Time Machine
  7. Go4EVA! thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 9, 2008
    Thanks All. I can certainly understand that an external drive may be cheaper, but I've found in the PC world that external drives can be a lot slower than internal drives -- is this true for Macs as well?

    FYI, I am a photographer and I process (and store) lots of RAW photo files, video files, etc. on the computer. I'd be willing to spend a little more on a high-capacity internal drive if it gives me better speed performance.
  8. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    I think the fact that the drive that you boot from, has your OS and all your applications on, is the one that's likely to go belly-up at some stage in the next 3 or 4 years, having all your media on there as well is just too much of a gamble.

    When that internal croaks, at least you won't have to worry about whether years' worth of media files are recoverable or not - because you did the right thing and stored them on an external.

  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Just an opinion as I too work with photo files. Get the iMac with 500 gigs. Spring for an external drive unit that can handle firewire 800. You might check OWC or a similar reputable company. Sometimes its better to get the case and put a drive of your choice in it.

    My system has two external storage locations - one drive and a NAS. I do all my work local to my system then keep backing up to my external drive. I then follow up on a regular basis and back up that external drive to the NAS.

    Best thing to do is investigate firewire 800 options for the iMac if you do graphics. The only other alternative is to get a Mac Pro which might be overkill for your RAW file work but better for video than the iMac.
  10. pwn247 macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    West Virginia, USA
    Of course! Have the Apple rep help you out. :D I know sometimes they give you a discount if you shop with a rep.

    And, believe me, you won't need a 1TB drive. I've got a 500GB, and I'm no where close to filling it. If you do decide that you need some extra space, just go for an external drive from NewEgg or TigerDirect. Not only are they cheaper, but they're external- so you can take them with you, network, etc... ;)
  11. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I got a 750GB hard drive with my iMac. It wasn't too much of a price increase to the 750, but there was more than I wanted going to the 1TB.

    You might think you'll never use all the space, but you will. I have half of mine full already. I also have a 500GB external hard drive that is 3/4 the way full. I have a lot of pictures, videos, music and applications. Plus, using Time Machine is the way to go.

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