going to Medical School soon - will my iMac G5 suffice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ero87, May 24, 2008.

  1. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    Hey friends,

    Soon I'll be going to med school (in New York City, FWIW), and I've considered the idea of getting a laptop to replace my 4-year old, 17" iMac G5. The thing is, my iMac is still awesome! It's running Leopard really fast, it has a gig of RAM, and I'm not totally sure I should replace it.

    What do you all think? Is a laptop really important for med school? And do you think I'll need an intel computer to potentially run windows or any special medical applications? Thanks so much!
  2. pliskin macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2008
    Most likely a laptop will be mandatory, most schools are that way these days. I'm almost done with 3rd year, and a mac is more than fine for what you need. I actually helped convert a large % of my class over from windows just by them seeing what a MB can do and the ease of use. The only extra program you'll need is Office, for powerpoints and stuff. Just make sure to ask if they've converted from '04 to '08, as powerpoints made on one are not compatible with the other, so if you have to do a presentation and you used the wrong program you'll be screwed. Hope this helps.
  3. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I think this question is very philosophical.

    The only reason it wouldn't suffice is if you compare it to advances that have been made since its introduction.

    But imagine a world in which those advancement hadn't been made, and your iMac were still the most current machine available.

    Would your iMac have sufficed in 1980?

    The only reason I wax philosophically is that every computer I've bought has replaced a computer that sufficed. That is to say, I've always replaced computers which didn't need replacing, which has always left a bad taste in my mouth (guilt).

    Unless a new portable has a cure for HIV or cancer, I'd say your iMac G5 will suffice.

    That isn't to say that you don't want a new computer though!
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    I don't study medicine but I do study a computing-related subject. At our University (still don't get why you guys call it school but whatever) the vast majority of people made handwritten notes in class. There would maybe be one or two people in any class with a laptop.

    Again, I have no idea what your University is like, but at mine (one of the lower ranking institutions in the UK) there is so much IT equipment provided for student use that there really is no need to have your own at all.

    I'm sure your computer will be fine.
  5. MSERMD macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2008
    When I was in med school there were special discounts that Mac gave out, usually through your institution. Just wait until you start. They will tag the overall cost of the laptop onto your student loans (What's another $1500 on top of your $200000 debt?). A laptop is very, very nice to have, as you will not want to be tied down to your apt doing the studying, which can be a bit depressing. With a laptop you can pick up and do some studying at coffee shops or even be outside when it's nice out. Take it from me, it's a big psychological advantage to take your studying with you, especially when the times get tough before your boards. I bought a 15" MBP a while back in my last few months of residency (refurb'ed from the apple website) which I love. I had an HP before that which crashed all the time and I just couldn't afford the repairs nor the down time.

    On another note, I wish you all the best in med school. It's a long, stressful road, so take time to stop and smell the roses.
  6. alexlovesmacs macrumors 6502a

    Apr 23, 2008
    just keep your imac if its awesome! and buy the macbook or macbook pro
  7. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Some of us did it with just notebooks and a Bic pen. If it is really necessary your school will tell you. Check with them.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Don't buy a thing. You're thinking too much.

    If you find that you need a Windows app regularly, then maybe think about getting a new Mac laptop. However, you seem so content on what you have now that I wouldn't bother getting one unless it was

    (1) Mandatory, or
    (2) Your iMac dies, or
    (3) You find that you need something portable.
  9. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    I'll be starting my second year in August and for this first year all I've had was the Aluminum iMac I bought last July. It's worked well because I live at home and a lot of times I don't have to go to lecture since I could stream the videos of lecture. However, I get sick of sitting in the same chair all day so I would have liked a laptop. I'm getting a MB this June.

    So look into what your requirements are. Will you be on campus most of the time/Are you living on campus? What's the state of the on campus computers?

    By the way, it's unlikely you'll need anything for windows. If they have some crazy histology program you need then use another computer like the ones on campus.
  10. MOFS macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2003
    Durham, UK
    First of all, congrats on getting into med school. As you can see from my profile, I'm a final year, so I know how hard it can be to get in. Respect :D:p

    Your iMac G5 should be absolutely fine. As a med student, all I use for class are Microsoft Office (and I run Office 2004) for PowerPoint presentations and writing essays on Word. As far as I know there aren't any absolute necessary apps - textbooks are way easier to use (and less eyesore), and any other info is easily found on the web. You don't need anything else apart from a decent broadband line and a USB pen stick for portability to carry your files around, and even that you might not need to buy. I've been given loads by drug reps! :p

    I find writing course notes (ie for revision) better by hand. No one at my university brings a laptop in to do work. TBH I would've appreciated a desktop because of its ability to play games, but I love my Gamecube and PS3, so I don't really need a gaming-spec machine. The lucky thing about Macs is that even the desktops are pretty portable. My bro had an iMac G4 and thats been uber easy to carry round.

    Overall, you don't need one now. Wait until you can't run your favourite apps. Your computer sounds ace. It'll last you a while. My iBook g3 (600MHz, 640Mb, 20GB hard disk!) has lasted me all university (apart from buying an external hard disk - my iTuness collection is 30Gb!). Your iMac G5 will last for years - its just not worthwhile to buy a laptop for portability. Believe me you won't need it. I hardly ever move mine around.

    Hope this helps

  11. pliskin macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2008
    a good resource might be to use studentdoctor.net and look in the entering class thread for your school. I'm sure there are others with the same question, and there might be a better answer there from an upperclassman at your school. That said, I would think nowadays not having a laptop would be very out of the ordinary. Perhaps more important would be to enjoy your summer this year...you'll need the memories come Nov or Dec. when you're locked in your room studying :)
  12. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Does your med school have a IT department? I know at UCSF, that have a webpage on recommend computer requirements and even telling Mac users that there will be one program that they will need to run on windows and telling users how to get pass the road block.
  13. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    Stick with your awesome G5 and save some money. If it becomes an issue later (i.e. too slow), buy one then. You will probably be fine though.


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