iMac 24'' buying advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by xnus, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. xnus macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2006
    I'm set on buying a 24'' iMac (with upgraded GeForce 7600 256MB graphics card) this thursday. However, I am already hearing about the Kentsfield Core 2 Quadro, due as early as November.

    I really want the iMac, but I don't want to be boned over by an update soon after I buy it, especially something as big as a new quad core chip.

    Here's my rationing.....

    Buy it:
    1. You can never defeat Moore's Law.
    2.'' iMac.....NOW
    3. How much better will a quad-core CPU be on modern applications, when many don't take advantage of more than 2 CPUs, sometimes not even 1.
    4. Apple doesn't upgrade these often, the new one is 20 days old...seems like a good time to buy.
    5. No guaruntee that the iMac will adopt the Kentsfield, right away or at all (I havent looked into it much myself so I am not sure if it is even targeted for the iMac-class computer, or more of a xeon-esk cpu for workhorse computers/servers).
    6. I really don't want to wait.

    Don't Buy it:
    1. Possibility of a november launch of the quad core.
    2. Most likely same price points as Apple has a history of keeping their prices more or less set as upgrades roll through.
    3. Photoshop, etc aren't native right now anyway so waiting will still be a time investment anyway. I don't feel like waiting until CS3 to buy a new Mac, I don't need to, but I still think about it....

    What do you fellow Mac-heads think?

    - Matt

    p.s. I do graphic arts/design work, from the moderate to the resource-heavy, and somehow I have lived with the performance of a PowerBook G4 (with Apple cinema display of course).
  2. pbelmore macrumors member

    May 3, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    If you've been getting by with a PowerBook G4, then I think you'll be just fine buying a new iMac right now. As you said, they're brand new so you won't have to worry about an update for a while. As MacRumors' own Buyer's Guide says, there is an average of 189 days between iMac updates.

    The big question is what applications do you use? You might actually be better off waiting if you're using a bunch of applications that would have to be emulated on the Intel iMac. But again, the downside is that you might be waiting for nothing, as you said.

    If I were in your situation, I'd base it on the applications. If I wasn't worried about the slowdown from emulation I'd get the 24" now. Hope that helps!
  3. Lincoln macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2003
    I don't think Apple will use the Core 2 Quadro as it is a Desktop variant of the Core 2 processor. The current chips in the iMac are the portable variant of the Core 2 processor.

    I beleive that Apple use the portable version to keep the iMac slim and quiet, a desktop version would require a more elaborate cooling solution and probably be louder.

    In addition, a four core cpu would compete with their Mac Pro's and Apple likes to differentiate their products by selecting specific components for each product.

    However, thay doesn't mean that a portable four-core Core 2 won't come out later or Apple may decide to use it in their iMac.
  4. xnus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2006
    @pbelmore: Well my PB G4 is suped up in RAM, but even still, I do experience slow downs when working with large files, such as designing a 24'' x 36'', 300DPI poster in Photoshop. Especially when it comes to digital paintings. By surviving, I mean I can tell the G4 is an aging platform. It does me fine for most things, though. Don't get me wrong, I love my PB, I just got it a little over a year ago, and it runs amazingly fast for what it is. I just want something more.... The larger canvas is a plus too, I have a 20'' ACD currently and spanning it with the iMac's 24'' will be amazing. I found myself today doing some heavier design work away from home on my PB and I noticed how I am tending to lean in closer because the screen is only 15.2'' (I didnt have the $ to fork out for the 17'' model at the time). I personally think, even with CS2 and Studio 8 under Rosetta should be much zippier. And when CS3 comes out.....that nativity should bring a nice speed boost. If it was anything else than Photoshop, I'd wait. But I can't wait until Spring 07 to get a new Mac - based on my wants, and needs too.

    @Lincoln: your answer seems to flow nicely from pbel's answer. See, that is what I was thinking.....Apple is technically using a mobile CPU in the iMac...which makes sense. I haven't even seen too much of a mobile/low power Core 2 Quadro model in Intel's roadmap, so I should be ok in surmising that it wont be used in an iMac for some time....

    My last worry about not jumping on the Intel band wagon when I have the chance ( and college expendatures starting fall of next year taking away from my budget, at least right now I can spend and save some more) is having to live with legacy hardware. Let's face it.....PowerPC is legacy. Its only a matter of time before Apple kills it off officially (remember the funeral for OS 9?).

    Lastly, I want a nice, big-screened, fast desktop. I can always sync it with my PB.

    Alright guys, thanks. I'm more set than ever on buying this beast. Keep the opinions coming though, always nice to hear more of them :)

  5. vrocko macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
    question about ram

    Why is this and will it ever be able to support 4 GB
    Note: If you do install a 2 GB SO-DIMM in both the bottom and top memory slots of the computer, the About This Mac window and Apple System Profiler will both show that you have 4 GB of SDRAM installed. However, Activity Monitor and other similar applications will reveal that only 3 GB of SDRAM has been addressed for use by the computer.
  6. xnus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2006
    Honestly, no clue. I even called up a buddy @ the Apple store and he wasn't sure himself. Its odd that the new iMac utilizes Dual Channel memory and yet it cant paid 2 2GB sticks. Only a 1GB and a 2GB
  7. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I don't know for certain but I believe it has to do with the motherboard. It is in the design of the mb that that is the maximum amount of ram it can address. It is strange that it is an odd number. I too am just about to jump the gun and buy a 24" iMac with 7600GT 2GB RAM 500 GB HDD and probably the 2.33 since my last new machine was my G4 450 in Feb 2000. That said I worry that the 24" is like the 20" lampshade that was not out all that long before the G4 -> G5 form transition. It could be that Apple has brought out the 24" and will revamp the design again, however the consensus is that it can't change much more with current technology and anything serious is next fall at the earliest. Reports are that the 20" and 17" and presumably 24" have 802.11n cards in them, needing just a firmware upgrade to realize the n capabilities once the new Airport Base Stations are released and of course to go with iTV.

    I could see myself upgrading on of the 1GB sticks to a 2GB in a year or two when the cost became nominal to keep performance high as the OS and other applications demand more of the machine. But I don't feel even with aspirations to move from iMovie to Final Cut Express next year that more than 2 or 3 GB of RAM is really necessary. You have to be working with some serious files or computations on a regular basis to justify the 4 to 6 GB level. And no iMac user should really fit into that category.
  8. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2006
    Consider how many applications you use which are available as Universal Binaries. These will compensate for any slowness caused by Rosetta in the few PPC apps you use.

    Processing in CS2 may not be as fast as it could be, but how about Safari? Mail? iTunes? All those prorgrams which we use without thinking about it will be orders of magnitude faster.

    Personally, I think your computing experience will even itself out during the transition to Intel apps - CS3 will be with you before you know it.
  9. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    They just released it. Buy it now. Or prepare to wait.
  10. vrocko macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
  11. AppleinJapan macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2005
    My Imac 24 inch will be arriving tomorrow !! I looked at Sony's line and the built quality is completely terrible....The screens on them are not as good as the Imac...and I have to say that I was indeed thinking of buying one (for the media centre tv tuner) so I looked at alot of different companies even a Sharp home media TV with a HD 26 inch TV/computer display/tv and the Imac looked better
  12. pjo macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2006

    well, spec wise, you can compare against the iMac line ( .. I'd be looking at the 20" since apple doesn't have a 19". Then for prices head over to .

    The only edges I can see that the Sony has over the iMac are:

    1. Inbuilt tuner (I don't live in the US though so I'd have to look for a PAL one). For mac you'd have to buy another
    2. Option of 200 CD changer

    However, the sound card won't give you 5.1 channels unlike the iMac, and you have to deal with windows. Price for price I seem to get more hard disk space on the iMac as well.
  13. carlyleholdings macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2006
    ''Don't be a hero billy! NORMAL:eek:
  14. vrocko macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
    just ordered my fully loaded 24" imac

    I just ordered my first mac and just thought I would share my excitement

    Order detailsHelp Shop the Apple Store

    Order Date: Sep 26, 2006 at 01:28 PM PDT

    Shipping Method 2 Day
    Shipping Options Items will be shipped separately as they become available. Not yet shipped Qty Product / Part No. Estimated
    Shipped By Estimated Oct 2, 2006
    Delivered By Oct 5, 2006
    1 IMAC 24/2.16 CTO
    Show Details Hide Details
    2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    3GB 667DDR2SDRAM - 1x2GB,1x1GB
    NVIDIA GEFORCE 7600 GT w/256
    250GB Serial ATA Drive
    SuperDrive 8X (DVDR-DL/CD-RW)
    Kybd, Mighty Mse & Mac OS X
    Country Kit

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