iMac Advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by echoUK, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. echoUK macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    Hi all, I would be greatful if anyone could offer me some advice as I'm new to this whole Apple iMac thing...

    Anyway, getting to the point - I'm going to be buying an iMac within the week, but before I do, I need to decide what specs I want, as I'm not 100% which to get.

    Basically, I used to be interested in web design/graphic design a few years back. Nothing major, I just messed around in my spare time on my laptop creating basic web sites. I now wish to get back into it slowly and buy an iMac. Although I'll also be using the iMac for browsing the web, checking email, printing photos, etc.

    I'm not really looking to spend more than £900/roughly $1,800 on a machine, as I'm not a pro-designer or anything, so I don't want the very best. I'm after a 20" model, but I'm not sure about what size hard-drive and what size RAM to get. Well, it's mainly the hard drive really, because I plan to upgrade the RAM by 1GB or 2GB in a couple of months anyway, which I know you can do via the slot under the iMac.

    Anyway, I have been on Apple's UK website and selected the iMac I want but I'm not sure whether to get a bigger hard-drive with it, or more RAM. Everything else I'm fine with - 20" screen, 2.4GHz Intel Core Duo processor, etc. The hard-drive that comes with it is 250GB and the RAM is 1GB and I'm not sure whether to get a bigger hard-drive or increase the RAM.

    So my question is, would you recommend I get a bigger hard-drive (either 320GB or 500 GB) or increase the RAM to 2GB? Finally, if I decided to get more RAM and then in a few months decided that I wanted a big hard-drive, would it be possible to buy one of these external hard-drives that plug into a USB port and use that to save any graphic design, etc on?

    Sorry for the long topic, it's just that I'm totally new to this Apple iMac thing. I've never even used an iMac, but I've seen them in stores and watched reviews of them on Youtube and they look absolutely stunning. So I would be greatful if anyone could offer my some advice on which to focus on first - more RAM or a bigger hard-drive? Plus would I be able to use an external hard-drive later on if I decided to increase the RAM now?

    Thanks guys.
  2. SaSaSushi macrumors 601


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    This isn't the advice you were looking for but I recommend you get neither and instead put the extra cash towards a 24" iMac. As a web/graphic designer, even non-pro as you say, the LCD panel is the single most important component by far. The panels used on the 20" models are grossly inferior 6-bit screens that use dithering to simulate millions of colors. Besides the increased screen real estate you get a very good quality 8-bit H-IPS panel.

    I see that on the UK Apple Store the base 24" model is £1149 which puts it above your budget but if you can swing it I think it is definitely worth it.

    As for the HDD or the RAM never buy memory from Apple. You can get it 3rd party much cheaper. If it is down to those two definitely go with the internal HDD increase which you can't (easily) do yourself.

    Yes, you can use a USB external HDD but get a nice Firewire drive for the best performance. :D
  3. imac123 macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2008
    If your budget is strict and/or you are sure you want a 20", then I would recommend getting a larger HD (500 GB). You can always upgrade the RAM easily later on and for cheaper. Deailng w/ an external HD is more of a pain.
  4. scuzy macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2006
    Well i think he can get what he can afford now and addon later. I would personally swing for hte 24" with minimal specs and then upgrade the memory later and the hard drives can be added later as well.
  5. macabouttobe macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2007
    I have to agree with all that is said thus far... I ended up getting the 24" last christmas. It looked a little huge out of the box, but quickly got used to it. I dabble with video editing but don't do any web design. I will say I absolutely appreciate the extra real-estate when I'm dragging things around. The screen is beautiful. I bought mine for the long-haul, and wanted to break the windoze hardware upgrade cycle I was on. I didn't want any regrets 3 years down the line with screen size, and I'd say I'm good for 5 years minimum on my iMac.

    I recommend the 24" unless you have a hard budget and don't have a history of buyer's remorse (screen envy). Bought a 2 gig stick from a third party and installed it easily.

    Good luck with your decision!

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