Help me purchase my next Mac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dark Eternal, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Dark Eternal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Katy, Tx
    #1
    Right now I am using a 7 year old Dual 2.0 G5 Tower. It has served me well however it is beyond time to upgrade.

    I program for iOS for a living and have been using an older 17" MacBook Pro for that but would like to switch over to my desktop when I buy it for obvious reasons. I would love a tower but it is just not in my budget right now.

    Things important to me:
    1) Screen real estate, the more the better.
    2) Redundancy, I need to back everything up - I have never had a major drive failure in 15+ years of heavy usage so it is only a matter of time before murphy finds me.
    3) Longevity of the system - I do not like to upgrade often as you can see. I prefer buying the max I can afford and living with it as long as feasible.

    Right now I am thinking a 2.93 quad 17 iMac. It has a 27" screen and the ability to add on another 27" Cinema Display. Its performance should be very good for the price point (looks like I would have to jump to a 8 core tower to see much of a performance jump and that doubles the cost). It does not have tons of expandability but enough for me I think?

    I would order it with the minimum ram config and then order 2x4gb chips from OWC (unless anyone has better recommendations). I would also order a 2TB external OWC Mercury drive and connect it via FW800 for time machine backup. Last but not least, a OWC 120GB internal SSD that I would use as the boot drive, and use the factory internal 1tb for music/photo storage.

    Sounds reasonable? I have not bought a mac in a long time and this will be my 1st non-tower mac so I just wanted to make sure all of this was possible before i hit the purchase button.
     
  2. jlwilsonjr macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    Murfreesboro Ar
  3. JayX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #3
    If you're a programmer, and thus not dealing with 50gb PSD files then the iMac seems to be the perfect option. I'm waiting for delivery of the same spec and will be doing similar upgrades.

    I'll buy a 2x4gb stick pack from a components shop and fit it myself (easy enough apparently) to compliment the 2x2, and if I need more in the future I can sell the 2x2 and put another pair of 2x4s in. Makes me wonder if when we start seeing larger sticks of RAM than 4gb, whether the iMac will actually support more than the listed 16gb maximum.

    I'll also be buying a 160GB SSD and a 2TB drive, and taking out the stock 1TB to put in a USB enclosure for Time Machine. Saves a lot of money compared to Apple's prices, and pushes the spec a fair chunk up if I ever want to sell it on.
     
  4. hoopster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #4
    Good luck with that. You need to open up the whole iMac and take the screen off to replace the hard drive not to mention void the warranty. If you feel comfortable doing that, fine but here's ifixits guide to replacing the iMac HD. http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-iMac-Intel-27-Inch-Hard-Drive-Replacement/1634/1
     
  5. Dark Eternal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Katy, Tx
    #5
    I read about that pretty extensively last night. I am very comfortable working inside computers (I have replaced the logic board, hard drives, screens etc... on several Apple laptops, I can not imagine this is any worse). You can buy the pressure plate to mount it like factory from aftermarket parts resellers which I will do. I also do not see why it would void the warranty. If I ever had issues I could remove it and return it to factory without breaking any of the warranty stickers as far as I am aware?


    Defiantly not working with large graphics files on a daily basis. Maybe once and a while, but by no means often enough to justify anything else. To be honest, photoshop runs fast enough for me on my G5, so this should blow my expectations away.
     
  6. hoopster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #6
    Just warning you.
     
  7. Dark Eternal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Katy, Tx
    #7
    I do appreciate it, I did not even know it was such a big deal until after this post. After hours of reading though I THINK I can handle it. I guess only one way to find out.
     
  8. SpitUK macrumors 6502

    SpitUK

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    East Yorkshire, UK
    #8
    I have the same iMac with the upgrades you have stated. Go for it!! You will not regret it, I cannot believe the speed of this machine, not just in cpu but the whole usage model.
     

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