Few questions before I buy an iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MKFM, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. MKFM macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010

    I'm new to this forum and Apple computers. I'm planning to replace my current laptop with a netbook and desktop. Must admit, I've never been that fond of Apple but the other day my friend dragged me into the Apple shop and I saw the latest iMac and fell in love. Seriously, I want it so much. So yeah, I'm gonna get the cheapest 27" one on the online store: http://i55.tinypic.com/2gvph1k.png

    Before I go ahead and buy I've got a few questions that I hope you can help with. I would go into an Apple Store but I'm quite easily persuaded and I want to make this decision having spoken to actual iMac owners, without being pressured into it by a salesperson.

    At work we have an Employee Purchase Programme thing with Apple and because I'm a uni student I qualify for an education discount. Can I combine my workplace and education discount to get some sort of super discount? It's a long shot, I know...

    For boot camp, shall I buy a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7? As a student I can get Windows 7 for £30 (legally) but it's not the same as a retail version which includes both and I have to choose between 32 and 64-bit.

    Does anyone run Ubuntu on an iMac, if so what's it like? Googling brings up mixed results. I'm running Ubuntu on my laptop now because I didn't much like Vista which came with my laptop and if I don't like OS X then I'll end up either running Ubuntu or 7 full-time.

    Honestly, what's iTunes like on Mac OS X? Don't mean to hate, but it's pretty awful on Windows and I have an iPod so I'm forced to use it for synching.

    Is Apple Care worth it? I have insurance, including accidental damage, on everything, including any computers -- is this a substitute?

    Lurking on the forum for a while I noticed a lot of people post about yellow tints/streaks. Is this actually a big deal or is it just a big deal on a support forum? Is it covered by Apple Care?

    Hope I haven't overwhemlmed you with questions! I just wanna be as clued up as possible before I buy, it's a lot of money to spend and I plan to stick with this iMac for four or five years at least.

    Thanks in advance,

    Michael :)
  2. MassMacFan macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2010
    Congrats on your decision making thus far - I was in the same boat as a PC user for years and years. I'll leave the technical discussion to the experts, but folks will probably want to know more about what you specifically intend to do with your system. i3 really gets good reviews for the performance gain over older processors. Agreed - it's too easy to get talked in to an i5, i7, etc. etc. so get your advice here before you go in. You may try to spend an extra $200 on an upgraded processor to 'future proof' it, but that may be much better spent on RAM, external storage, your next iMac, or a million other things you'll want to buy. :)

    Yellow happens and is subjective. Only Apple really knows the extent. We all have different experiences and strong opinions. After my first 21" was yellow enough to bother me I was hesitant to try again. Well, my second 21" was very similar. What were the odds? :mad: Some folks would blame Apple, some would blame me. :rolleyes: Going to Apple Retail and unboxing my first 27" the screen was so much superior. What were the odds? Would someone else have been unhappy with it? Don't know as no one is blaming anyone :)

    Best hedge against that being an issue is to purchase at Apple Retail and have them unbox it and set it up. Browse the web for dead pixel tests, try to listen to the HD, turn up the brightness, etc.. Schedule a personal shopper appt (if available) and go off-hours to avoid crowds and noise.

  3. Jakelshark macrumors member


    Aug 4, 2010
    Memphis, TN
    someone correct me if Im wrong here

    no super discount

    if you have a 64-bit processor you might as well get the 64-bit OS as there is no reason not too

    I don't personally run Ubuntu, but I'd imagine it would work outside maybe a few small driver issues associated with ATI GPU drivers and Linux

    it runs a bit faster in my opinion, but if you don't like it on Windows then you probably won't like it that much more on a Mac

    yeah, its worth it because Apple Care is a lot better to deal with then any insurance company would be

    The problem affected the Fall '09 models and was fixed in February '10. There is still some yellow tint on the occasional model, but it isn't as bad as it was; however, you can still return it via Apple Care if you don't like it. And yes, bear in mind you will hear a higher amount of people complaining about their screens as there aren't people coming to say their screen is perfect.
  4. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    I bought a mid-2010 21.5" iMac i3 (see below signature) and it was an immediate keeper. NO yellow screen, NO broken parts and NO other flaws. Plugged it in and its near silent. Only hear its fans when it needs cooling.

    My son told me that iTunes on our new iMac in much better then iTunes on our previous Windows xx box. He didn't go into details. Only said that iTunes on iMac is much better.

    For my Windows needs (like Tax programs, etc.), we also have an HP Win 7 laptop. It's wireless and runs our Win xx based programs with ease. IMO, Mac OS belongs on Macs and Windows belong on non-Mac products. Mix apples and oranges together and one gets "fruit cocktail". If you must run Windows, why not get a low cost Win xx system, and only run Win xx apps on it. Thus, keeping both systems separate. Works for me.

    Is Apple Care worth it? I bought my iMac without Apple Care. In my region, it costs $200 + 13% taxes. I have 11 months to decide to buy Apple Care for it. Currently, I will NOT buy Apple Care. Will run our current iMac until it blows up. And, use that $250+ for something else. If wondering, I do NOT have extended warranty on our new vehicle either. Works for me.....

    Hope this helps in your research....

  5. Hodgy1204 macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2010
    Leeds, UK
    if you buy the mac as an educational purchase the cost of apple care comes down to around £58 and i think thats worth it for piece of mind for 3 years, and many people speak highly of apple care.
  6. MKFM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    Wow thanks for all the help so far :D

    @Hodgy1204 Really? Well yeah I'll get it.

    @Spike88 Ah thanks for that about iTunes. Maybe I'll do that, I'm not dependent on Windows for anything really, I'm just worried that I already love the hardware and then I won't like Mac OS X. I'm not sure I can afford to get a new computer, although I am getting a netbook and I could keep my laptop around.

    @Jakelshark Thanks, knew a super discount was too good to be true. Is the education discount more than the employee one? I'm guessing so, I'll check on campus tomorrow.

    @MassMacFan I did notice the processor was better but my main intention for getting the model I chose is that it's the cheapest with the 27" screen. I love big screens and having all that screen space. I don't want to flip windows. As well, the other day I saw Avatar for the first time at the cinema, and at the moment I don't have a decent screen to watch it on. That display is better than HD and big enough for a bedroom so yeah, I want it.

    I may go to an Apple Store then. I've just moved to a different city because of university, and we only have an "Apple Premium Reseller" (or something) in the shopping centre, not an Apple Store like I'm used to at home. Is this just the same sorta service under a different name or should I just make a trip home and visit the real store?
  7. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    My question is I want to buy another 27" but after the first one scratched every CD I owned before I returned it . . . . well I am sticking with my 24:mad:
  8. gotanimac macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2010
  9. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    I don't think the OP is considering Ubuntu as a first choice for OS-- only in the case that Mac OS X ends up not very useful and there isn't enough money for a Win 7 license.

    Which, by the way, OP, Windows 7 is not terrible. Not great, but not terrible either. Myself, I use OS X as my primary OS, with good ol' XP on the Boot Camp side (for Cakewalk SONAR). You can set your iMac to boot from the Boot Camp partition by default, if you wish. That way, you don't have to use the Option key so much while booting.

    I will agree that iTunes for Mac OS X does indeed run more smoothly and quickly on OS X than it ever did in Windows.
  10. MKFM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    I quite like Ubuntu, if I'm honest. This is a cliche, but it does "just work" for me. Of course, that's probably because my laptop is a popular Dell that's well supported so everything works out of the box. I'm not so sure an iMac is common Ubuntu hardware. I guess this'll be a question for the Ubuntu forums, if I do decide to install it.

    The reason I installed it originally was because I wasn't happy with Vista, but as well I've always admired the open source approach. (Although, I admire it to a certain point, I'm not about to spend hours trying to get the wireless to work or whatever. I just want something that works.) I'd run it on an iMac if I didn't like OS X or Windows 7. I've been using Ubuntu for a while now and I'm pretty used to it. OS X looks kinda annoying, if I'm honest, but I'm fair game for being converted once I start using it. In fact I'll probably love it.

    @Stealthipad Really? That sucks. Hopefully that was just a one off thing :/. Another question (sorry), does anyone know if blu-ray works with a Mac? This Guardian article says it doesn't (Apple users "can't even buy an add-on drive to read Blu-ray discs because the OS won't control them") but there are blu-ray drives for sale saying they're Mac compatible.

    I'm glad everyone's saying iTunes is better on a Mac.

    Thanks for all the posts so far, much appreciated. :)
  11. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    Oh, don't get me wrong; I'm not knocking Ubuntu either. I've been playing around with the Live CD version of Ubuntu 10.4 LTS on my older XP-based PC, and it appears to be fully supported "out of the box," even though mine is self-built. I'm thinking about turning the PC into a true dual-boot system. I do like how Ubuntu works; there have been several "wow, that just works" moments, especially when my cheapo Trendnet Wifi-G adapter connected to my Airport Extreme and let me surf in Firefox with absolutely zero intervention.

    You'll find similar "just works" moments when setting up Mac OS X, too. My iMac's setup was faster than any pre-built Windows PC I've come across, before or since.
  12. MKFM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    Yeah, I was amazed when I could just plug my bluetooth dongle in and start sending files to my phone. On Windows, I plugged it in and it couldn't work out what to do and I had to download a 120MB driver to get it working. Seriously for such a tiny device (it's about 1cm big) it needed a massive download lol.

    Today I was supposed to receive my student loan but looks like it could be delayed till next week, I'll post back when it comes through and I buy it.

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