Looking to buy an iMac...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gazfocus, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    Some of you may remember a while back, I was talking about buying a Mac Pro when I move house. Well I've now moved house but I'm now thinking about an iMac instead.

    I have a 23" ACD which the AppleCare expires in September (it also has a fault where the screen flickers which I am hoping to get sorted before the AppleCare expires), but I am then considering selling the ACD to offset the cost of a 24" iMac.

    Do you guys think an iMac would suit me? (It will be my main computer, replacing a Core2Duo 2.4GHZ PC, and will be used for absolutely everything...ranging from web design to graphic design, video editing, CD duplication, large volume printing, etc).

    The reason I was originally looking at a Mac Pro is because of the expandability of it, such as adding extra hard drives, loads of RAM, etc, but I'm wondering if the iMac will be ok with a NAS drive or something similar. Also, although a maximum of 4GB, RAM for the iMac is much cheaper than for the Mac Pro.

    Please let me know your thoughts

    P.s. I will be looking to buy one of the 24" models but not sure which one yet
  2. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2006
    I agree with agl82. It really depends on what kind of video that you are going to do. Also its cost vs upgradability.

    However that being said, what are you honestly going to do that is going to require 32Gb of ram. I have 8Gb of ram in my Power Mac G5 and I don't think I ever use more that 6Gb and that is when I am really pushing that Mac to its limits.

    The iMac is a very nice machine, and you can get 4gb of ram from Newegg.com for 80 bucks:

    However that being said, you can upgrade the Mac Pro like its nobodies business.

    It really depends on you and your budget.

  3. rfruth macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2007
    A 4GB (RAM) iMac is de bomb ! Pro if you need expandability:)
  4. dyeeo macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    Stanford, CA
    Hi gazfocus,

    If I were you I would pass on the 24" imac. I, like you, also considered and even went as far as buying the imac (1 week ago) for much the same reasons.

    Have you used a glossy screen before? I've used matte screens until now and now I understand why people say glossy screens are bad for design purposes. Not only is it super annoying (like looking into a mirror) but the reflections make detail working on any dark media impossible. Of course this is subjective but just thought I would warn you.

    Also, in order to work without the reflections, I turned down all the room lights. It was then that I realized the worst backlight bleeding I have ever seen. The problem was increased due to the screens ridiculous brightness (and inability to turn it down beyond a certain point.) From what I have read, this is very common. The Apple store even argued with me saying the bleeding was "normal" and tried to refuse me a full refund. They finally caved in and gave me a full refund in the form of a gift card. (Note: this problem isn't one you can see in the Apple Store. It's very bright there so it's difficult to see the bleed.)

    In short, I returned the imac after one day. I'm biting the bullet and buying the Mac Pro now and getting a MATTE monitor (probably the NEC lcd2690wuxi.)
  5. candyman macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2007
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I personally just went through this dilemma myself. For me there was a cost issue. I sold off my old PM G5 as it was starting to have some issues. I thought about going with the base model MacPro.

    I did a ton or reading up on comparing this scenario as I am a graphic designer also and needed a very capable machine. As my sig says, you see I went with the iMac. I have had it for a week and have not regretted it at all.

    In another 1-2 years, I may have the funds to go the MacPro route if I find I need all that power and expandability. With my PM G5 I only had 2.5GB of RAM in it and never had any issues with running any of my CS3 apps with it.

    With my new iMac, I got a 24" screen included (an upgrade from my 20") and made sure to fill it up to the 4GB RAM mark. I have had no issues with screen quality at all to date. Many designers are torn on the glossy only screen, but for me, the room is evenly lit and not near any windows so I get very few reflections. I personally love the monitor myself. I will agree the lowest brightness setting is still very high, however a free download of Shades solved all of that, I can take the opacity all the way down to 0% (black).

    This machine even outperforms my old PowerPC G5, mostly due to the apps being native to the Intel chip. If you have a lot of money to spare and plan to keep a machine for 5-7 years, go with the MacPro, add a monitor, and upgrade the RAM and graphics card.

    If you want the most powerful machine for the best price, there is nothing better than the 3.06GHz model of the iMac right now IMO. I also love the all in one machine. No clutter of wires and just a beautiful design altogether.

    Hope this is of some help. Best of luck with your purchase.
  6. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    Thanks guys for all the comments.

    I have used a glossy 20" iMac before (I know the screen on the 24" is alot brighter), and I quite like the glossy screen. I also prefer laptops that have a glossy screen rather than the matte screens.

    Are the iMacs likely to be upgraded to quad core anytime this year? (especially now they are currently using desktop cpu's).
  7. omgsmith macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2008
    Hi GazFocus!

    For printing/design/video/etc I've found the iMac perfect! I picked up a 20" iMac back in November for pretty much the same purpose. I got the RAM upgraded to 2GB and left the hard drive at 320gb which has been plenty.

    My Mac handles Logic, Premiere, Illustrator, Photoshop with no after thought to speed degradation at all. I couldn't have asked for more from a desktop! It was worth the extra money just for it's reduced form factor etc. however if you think that in the future you will need the ability to upgrade then it's Mac Pro all the way, but bear in mind you can upgrade RAM at home but Hard Drive upgrades will need a trip to an Apple store!

    No matter which Mac you choose I'm sure they'll both exceed your expectations.

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