IMAC 24" - buy or wait

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BartZiller, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. BartZiller macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #1
    Hi folks,

    I just joined this great community! After eggenizing :) and reading a lot about Macs (still as a current PC user) I have my first questions:

    I am planning to buy a new Imac24 with 2.9 GHz, 1 TB HD, ATI HD 4850.
    I think this is a nice configuration, however I am not really sure about the following:

    a) does it make sense to buy this IMAC? I have the feeling the graphics card is really "old" and not up-to-date. I also think that this graphic card is not a state of the art for a current IMAC. Is this the BEST graphics card you can get for a desktop mac?

    b) When was the last time the IMAC models were updated? Is there an upcomign release?

    c) I am not a gamer anymore. I work mainly with the Adobe products and because they are all available for MAC I want to leave the dark - blue-screen -PC world far behind me :D. So maybe I can just go for a low end IMAC with 2.6 GHz and the lowest graphics card option. What do you gus think? If I'd play a game then probably more a driving/race simulation than a 3D shooter. But if the HD 4850 card is outstanding compared to all other MAC graphic cards I would still consider buying it.

    d) How complicated is it to exchange a hard-drive in an IMAC by myself? I have no problems building new PCs from scratch but I never touched a mac. Is it also so easy or much more complicated?


    Thank you guys. I look forward hearing your thoughts!
     
  2. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    They wont be updated anytime soon. The 4850 is a good card, but if your only using Adobe suite then its a bit of an overkill. The 2.93/1TB/4850 is probably the most common combination and therefore is probably the best bang for buck.

    I cant answer your last question, but keep in mind that the iMac's use laptop components.
     
  3. 007bond macrumors 6502a

    007bond

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    #3
    i agree its a good time to buy. get the combination above and you will be set. also here is a guide to changing the hdd in an iMac. this will show you how easy/hard it is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xs_1QCyPAg
     
  4. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Area
    #4
    A) Depending on what you're doing, it seems like a very nice machine. The 4850 is the best graphics card available in the iMac as well and isn't really "old."

    B) The iMacs were updated in March. Usually Apple updates their machines every 6-8 months but there have been times without an update for much longer than that. Currently there aren't any rumors about a desktop update, so I would say it's a good time to buy. The Buyer's Guide has more information about this.

    C) If you don't plan on gaming there really is little need for getting the 4850. If I were you, I would stick with the GT120 in the 2.93 model as with Adobe apps, I don't think you'd see much of a performance increase by getting an upgraded card. I don't think you would want the 2.66 model however, as that has the 9400m integrated graphics.

    D) The HDD is not a user accessible part in the iMac, so replacing it would void the warranty. If you still would want to change it though, it's a fairly complicated process which involves removing the glass screen and disassembling a lot of components.
     
  5. BartZiller thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #5
    I see - most common combination :) I had a good feeling about this when I was playing around on apple.com

    Well, what can be said about the Keyboard and Mouse? Is it useful to have a Wireless Mouse for the Mac and the NumKeyboard (which is not available as a wireless version - strange?). I know that mice are never as precise if you get a wirless mouse than a cable mouse.

    Any ideas in this area?

    Thank you O2xygen/07bond for your first replies. I appreciate it a lot!
     
  6. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #6
    a) The Mac Pro offers a better selection of graphics cards, but at a higher price.

    b) Look here.

    c) I don't know what the specs are like for the Nvidia 120/130 cards are; I do know that a low end GPU will choke with the 1920x1200 screen the 24" iMac has, and probably with the 1680x1050 screen as well. I would recommend the 120 at the least if you plan to play any recent games.

    d) I don't think the hard drive in the aluminum iMac is user-serviceable; it is hidden behind the screen, and trying to open it up would void your warranty.
     
  7. thatdarnfish macrumors regular

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    Sep 23, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    I'm in the market for an iMac myself, and I'm waiting. The last update to the line was quite minimal. Thus, we haven't seen a significant upgrade to the iMac's specs for two years. For that reason, I think: a. there will be an upgrade sooner, rather than later, b. the next generation will sport a substantial uptick in specs.
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    Wait until the quad core models are released.
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #9
    In 2011? Why should he wait that long?
     
  10. thatdarnfish macrumors regular

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    #10
    I think they're expected in 4Q 2009-1Q 2010.
     
  11. BartZiller thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #11
    So, if I should/would wait until 2010 (then I can save up several thousands more :D). I am not sure about that but it seems to be logical.

    What would be the choice for an other mac now if the IMAC is maybe a little bit no up-to-date.

    Should it be an AirMac? I like them a lot - especially since I just sold my IBM Laptop T61p and I am also in a need of a new Laptop.

    It should be a laptop with high mobility - no fancy graphics required at all.

    Oh man, that is really not easy ;)

    Wow what a price differece between the 1,86 and 2,13GHz versions. For 0.27GHz you pay 282 USD more. That is not worth it, is it for anyone out there?

    I like this Air design. All these endless choices we have in our world. We can be lucky!

    Thank you so far for all of your comments guys! This is just great! And please do not get me wrong: I am still undecided. More thinking and analysis required.
     
  12. guitarguy09 macrumors member

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    "The Good Land"
    #12
    I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm also in the market for an iMac and even though the current iMacs are in the middle of their product cycles, I really don't think the last updates were very substantial. I'm really hoping that they put out a new version in time for Xmas (which will be sporting Snow Leopard by that time).
     
  13. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    Jul 20, 2008
    #13
    Quad-core notebook CPUs are already here, it's a question of when Apple decides to move to quad-core. I don't think it'll happen until 2011.
     
  14. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #14
    Use the search feature. There was def. a thread on this within in the past five days. In short, buy now. new updates aren't likely soon.
     
  15. wesleyh macrumors 6502

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  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #16
    It must happen before. There's no faster dual-cores unless Apple waits for Arrandales (I doubt it). Next update will include quad-core (mobile Nehalems or Q series?) and after that, 32nm processors. Just my thinking
     
  17. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    Jul 20, 2008
    #17
    They didn't even increase the maximum CPU clock speed with this revision. Arrandale is early 2010, if Apple can wait 11 months for a tiny speed bump, they can wait another 11 months for Arrandale.
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Because faster mobile dual-cores doesn't exist (correct me if I'm wrong). Putting a quad-core to iMac in last update would have pushed iMac too close to Mac Pro, and MP gain more options to quad-core version. I just can't see iMac getting a Arrandale yet, maybe Clarksfield or some other quad-core.
     
  19. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #19
    Show me a quad core Arrandale and I'll retract my statement.

    Show me a quad core Arrandale.
     
  20. thatdarnfish macrumors regular

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    New York
    #20
    Firstly, no one said anything about a quad core Arrandale.

    Secondly, there have been quad core laptops out since last December.

    Thirdly, I said that the quad cores are expected in 4Q 2009- 1Q 2010. Notice we have not yet arrived yet at this time in history. Thus, I need not show you anything to prove my point.
     
  21. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #21
    To which I refer you to:

    Apple can't use those.

    That's Arrandale, sure.

    Then how could you possibly know that quad cores will be coming out in Q4 '09/Q1 '10?

    OH. PRESS RELEASES. Please link me to one.
     
  22. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #22
    One thing that I just don't understand. Who do we/you know that Apple will even use Arrandales in iMacs? We're just assuming that it will happen, we did the same before last update, everyone were sure that iMacs will have quad-core but it didn't happen. And if Apple use Arrandales, will they put 'em to all models or just high-end? I'm afraid that they won't use them because gigahertz and number of cores sells better for average consumers than "New Intel processors, manufactured using new 32nm technique!"
     
  23. thatdarnfish macrumors regular

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    Sep 23, 2004
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    New York
    #23
    Here's a slide from intel's latest press conference:

    http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/10329_large_2222.jpg

    And, incidentally, "think" and "expect" is not synonymous with "know."
     
  24. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #24
    Apple always uses the same chips across a line update.
    Arrandale is 25w. Clarksfield is 35w. Apple uses 25w processors.

    Not sure who "everyone" is, but I knew there wouldn't be quad core iMacs.
     
  25. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #25
    So if Apple follows the line of updates, why there were no quad-cores? And processors in iMacs are 35W and 44W at the moment. You said laptops don't get an update in WWDC but oops they did. There was a thread were people were insulting you because you were so sure that update isn't coming.

    You know more than me but when it's about Apple, we never know what is going to happen....
     

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