Buying non-standard config iMac... do this in-store?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RumMunkey, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. RumMunkey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2006
    Hi all, a question about buying an iMac at the Apple Store.

    I want to get the 20" 2.4 Ghz iMac, but I want it with the 500 GB hard drive, not the off-the-shelf 320 GB.

    Can I get this at the Apple Store? Do they stock iMacs with varying configs, or will they do my upgrade in some super secret lab in the back of the store for me? I know they do RAM on-site.

    Do I have to order it? And if so, can I order it at the store (and thus pay at the store with cash - I really don't want to put this on a credit card if at all possible).
  2. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    Most stores will not carry iMacs with upgraded HDs on site, but some will order one for you. They may also refuse to allow returns on a custom-configured iMac unless it is defective (this also applies at the online store).
  3. motomac macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Well, for starters, DON'T Pay for the upgraded HDD at the apple store. Also, DON'T pay for any extra RAM while you are there as well.

    You can save some serious dough and have some extra HDD space by keeping the stock 250G HD in the machine, then order a nice "FireWire 800" 500gig, 750gig, etc, etc external HDD from a place like OWC or another online retailer. You can pick up a 500G external drive for around $219, and now for that extra $$ (since you were going to spend $100 anyway on the apple upgrade) you have 750g of storage space!! Click here for the FW800 HDD im talking about

    Also, the ram upgrade Apple charges is absurd!!! $850 for 4gigs of ram?? That is rediculous! Buy your machine with just the stock 1Gig ram chip, go to the OWC or This link that sells High Quality memory, and pick up a 4Gig (2x2gig) setup for $172.99 and install it yourself (it literally takes just a few minutes). Plug, you can send OWC your old original apple memory that you took out of the machine and they will give you a cash rebate!

    Anways, as most of the smart users / buyers would tell you on macrumors, buy as bottom basic from apple as you can (with the exception of the 2.4Ghz processor, or 2.8, etc), then get your upgrades a whole lot cheaper from any good, reputable online retailers (like the one i mentioned above), and use less than half of the money you would have spent on the apple upgrades to get your machine setup the way you really need it. Then pocket the extra dough!

    Have fun!:apple:
  4. RumMunkey thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2006
    Thanks for the advice, but much of this doesn't apply. First off, I know what RAM should cost and would never get it from Apple. I think that's pretty much common knowledge. I never even mentioned getting a RAM upgrade.

    Second, while I can get more actual storage, having it across multiple external drives doesn't really work for me. The bulk of my storage needs is due to my iTunes & iPhoto libraries. I wouldn't want to run these on an external. I want them local. I burn back up DVDs, plus I will be running Time Machine, so there's no data-saving advantage for me to keep these on an external, and I've experienced a slight, though annoying lag with large libraries like this on an external.

    I also don't want extra USB cables and extra power cables (& bricks) going to extra external drives cluttering my desktop and floor with unnecessary equipment. I'm not even keen on keeping my Time Machine drive (I've got a 500 GB external) visible. I'm thinking if there's a way I can keep it behind the desk, or in a drawer or something.

    I'm in Canada and OWC's shipping is a bit high to get products across the border. We have Apple Authorized Resellers here (ie: Creative Technologies Inc.). I can get non-Apple peripherals (that are still apple specific) for a better price than OWC.

    I've pretty much done my research, and I know what I want / need in terms of upgrades, and $110 to go from a 320 to a 500 internal drive is very suitable for me. I'll add others later if I absolutely find I need to, but I'd like to start with the larger 500 GB drive.

    Thanks anyway, if I hadn't done my homework some of that advice would have been a lot more helpful.
  5. motomac macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Glad to hear that you have done your homework.;) Of coarse not knowing that ahead of time necessitated someone to state all that important stuff. We just like taking care of each other here on MR. No dis-respect was intended.

    Well, at least others who have not done thier homework may find this post informative. Hopefully:)

    Take care!:apple:
  6. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2005
    RumMunkey, I'm in the same exact boat as you are, my friend. :)

    I'm looking to get 20" 2.4 as well and I've been planning the purchase for a while now. I've decided to upgrade to the 500GB through Apple and buy the RAM elsewhere. I've actually bought the 4GB kit from OWC for $172.99 already, and I've also bought this external hard drive enclosure from them as well. Sure it's a bit pricey but it houses two SATA drives (it's like two external drives for the price of one in terms of the equipment needed) and offers fw400/800/USB 2.0 connections. It's really well built too and if a drive ever fails just swap it out for a new one.

    All in all, my order (4GB RAM kit and the enclosure) cost me $325 CAD (includes shipping) + $44.13 for the duty. A pretty decent deal if you ask me. Now all I have to do is grab a couple SATA drives and that should be easy since the prices for them up here in Canada aren't that bad relative to RAM prices.
  7. jstad macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2007
    Do it online. Doing it in-store but a custom configuration voids you of all the "perks" of buying in-store (aka returning for repair in store) :mad: Stupid and its why I am sitting here with a "stock macbook"

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