new around these parts...guidance needed!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Travis Bickle, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Travis Bickle macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011
    Hey all, i'm hoping you apple veterans can help me out here.

    I'm considering buying my first ever apple product in the form of an imac 27". My main use will be browsing the interweb but will from time to time do a bit of video editing and gfx work with photoshop (other products are hopefully available) as well as play the odd game via bootcamp.

    The spec i'm thinking of within the current range is:

    I'm assuming this would be powerful enough to run the in-house video editing prog (iMovie i believe) and also any photo editing i choose to do. I've always used pc's and am well versed with paint shop pro but understand it's not available for the mac so if anyone can recommend a similar prog I'd appreciate it.

    What i do notice is that the gfx card is not a recent one. Is this standard for macs? That's not mean't as a criticism but more as an observation. Will the next gen of imac come with a very recent gfx card or will that too be some months old? I guess i'm used to the pc way of life where a card can be upgraded when funds allow - should i be concerned that my hardware will become obsolete in a short space of time with no way of upgrading ? I'm assured that because OS-X is far more efficient as an OS that i shouldn't notice any slow down for a good few years.

    I've always used pc's for online gaming but don't do so much of that any more. Should i decide to give it a go and run windoze via bootcamp can i expect a decent game of BFBC2 on my 27" screen or will the gfx card suffer?

    As you can tell i'm pretty much sold on the idea of a mac, my cuz is a total fanboy of all things apple and with some justification - having suffered BSOD on a new pc costing a good few English pounds some years back i think it left him irreversibly and psychologically scarred for life from all things pertaining to old Bill! i digress, i'm sold on the idea of a mac; i like the look of them, understand they are reliable and the software is fantastic but i am concerned about the gfx card - probably more than i should be if i'm honest. I know i can upgrade the ram, the cpu seems fast enough for me and the hdd is ample but with a 27" screen crying out to be refreshed every zano-second (ok i made that up) can the current cards do it well?

    Come on guys 'n' gals, assure me that all shall be well and that my transition to the World of apple will be a good one.

    One other thing, i'm not in a rush to get one and indeed still need to allocate some funds towards it (not to mention convince the missus i desperately need one) so would i best just waiting it out for the new release of imacs? What can i realistically expect to see in the new format other than maybe a SB cpu?

    Cheers all for any feedback and if i think of anything else, i'll be right back!

    ps: it's raining here in London UK so some retail therapy right now would be great............must resist! ;)
  2. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego

    First of all, Good for you. You will not regret your decision to buy an iMac. My only recommendation is to jump the configuration to 8Gb of RAM.

    As for buying one now, my feeling is that Apple's business model is to get the Mac-o-philes in a total tizzy with rumors/speculation of a new model...which they do every 12 to 18 months which you can see from numerous posts on this forum. Will there be a better one later this year? Probably. Will the differences significantly effect your enjoyment or productivity? Probably not. I bought on 17" MacBook Pro in 2008 and sure as hell another release followed within 3 months. I was a bit pissed at the time but now, after 3 years, it has never been an issue. I just bought my wife a top of the line iMac 27" knowing fully well that sometime later this year it will be upgraded. I will worry about that in 3-5 years when I need a new computer. It really won't matter in the bigger scheme of things. Don't caught up in 'new feature creep'.

    As for running Windows, my recommendation is to buy VMWare Fusion so you can run the two operating systems at the same time but YOU MUST have that 8Gb of RAM I mentioned earlier. Windows 7 loves RAM as does OSX so give them each a big amount of it to peacefully live together. Bootcamp is really an 'old school' solution' here in 2011 and Apple created it to satisfy those that have/had windows apps they couldn't live without but that is less and less the case now with software, such as Autocad, FINALLY being ported to the Mac native-ly. Also, gamers are finally writing for he Mac which was ,for years, neglected.

    Buy one. you really will not regret it and you will wonder why it took you so long.
  3. samywamy10 macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd recommend buying the RAM third party (Google 'OWC') as it is a lot cheaper and it's easy to do (just unscrew some screws and pop it in)...if you decide you want 8gb.
  4. Buschmaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2006
    I absolutely agree with this, otherwise, you're already well on your way to finding great advice!

    As far as photo editing stuff goes, I'm not sure I know exactly what kind of stuff to recommend, I guess it depends heavily on what kind of photo stuff you do.
  5. Travis Bickle thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011
    cheers for the replies.

    I'll upgrade the ram myself; i can buy 16Gb for the same cost of upping it to 8Gb with apple. I've built my pc's in the past so am confident enough to tackle this mammoth task myself ;)

    I'll only to be doing personal video editing so nothing too taxing and the same for photo stuff; just make the odd poster for friends or wall art for home to get printed onto canvas etc.

    I've always used paint shop pro (psp) though had a meddle with photoshop but found it more complicated to essentially achieve the same result as i do with psp. Is apeture a similar prog or is that just for photo editing? I'm keen to find a prog that allows me greater control over multiple layers etc. Also cost is a factor, photoshop is so pricey for an entry level chap like myself!

    Back to th gfx. I've read on other threads that the 1Gb gfx card in the current setups is limited by something or another...can't remember what exactly and i've tried to find the thread in question but no joy. Anyhow, would this be a limiting factor when it comes to gaming ? I know that if gaming is my thing i should stick to a win-pc but i'm hoping to get the best of both worlds to a degree; stability and a funky OS as well as the ability to game in a native win environment. Does vmware fusion allow most (if not all) win apps to run natively or is bootcamp the better option if for example i wish to use my psp within windows and forgo buying photoshop on the mac?

    I've had a look at the refurb store and there is a tasty quad core on there for about £300 less than retail price - that's another option.

    Cheers for the feedback, 3 replies out of about 150 views ain't bad!! ;)
  6. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego

    Definitely buy the memory from someone like Crucial...a much better deal.

    As for graphics card, again, I am seeing nothing in your thread that scream 'super graphics user'' so, I believe you are good there.

    As for Fusion (I use for two of my work apps: MS Project and MS Visio) well...
    my (and your) Mac run both OS' at the same time. Windows is, effectively, an app under OSX. Once you get your Mac you can download and test drive Fusion for free, i.e., install it, install windows and install your windows-only apps and see if you like it. You can always go to bootcamp if you really want to afterward. This may not make sense to you as you don't have a Mac yet, but I use SPACES and set up a virtual desktop with Fusion in it and when I need those apps I just switch 'spaces' and use the app and then switch back. You can drag and drop files between Windows and OSX. It really is quite cool. I bet there is a Youtube video you can find that will show you how it works.
    Good luck
  7. Drewbie macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    +1 for fusion

    The thing i love most about the new version of fusion is it can mount up my bootcamp drive and run as an app within mac osx if i need to do simple windows tasks, but i also have the option of actually rebooting to my bootcamp partition and playing a graphics intensive game if i want all the raw power of my hardware

    I have an upgraded quad core i7 imac with 8gb of ram and the 1gb video card.
    I have yet to find an application give my computer any troubles and i regularly average 50-60 fps in starcraft 2 with everything maxed out. Even though its not top of the line for graphics it will handle almost everything you can throw at it
  8. whoda macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2010
    Congratulations on your decision to buy an iMac. It took me several years to see the light.

    CAUTION: as far as the 16 GB ram upgrade, I would recommend you contact the aftermarket vendor (OWC or Crucial) before ordering the ram. There are a lot of people that have had problems when they mix ram to equal 16GB. It seems that the way to avoid problems is to replace all of the ram at once and not mix it. Any combination below 16GB can be mixed without having problems. When I increased my ram to 8GB, I just ordered 2x2 from OWC and popped them in below the factory installed ram and poof, worked like a charm. (Not really sure why the 16GB combination is so finicky, but you can search the forums and see where folks have had problems).

    I cannot comment on Fusion, however I use Parallels to run Windows XP and find it way better then needing to reboot to change operating systems.
  9. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    Parallels bs fusion

    Both are excellent products which you can test drive for free so pick the one you like best. The testing process will also aid in your learning about the Mac.

    Have fun!
  10. Travis Bickle thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011
    Cheers for the replies guys, sorry i've not responded sooner.

    I've always used pc's and more often than not for gaming though only for a select few games. In fact one game in different guises - the battlefield series (1942, vietnam, BF2 and BF2142 + all add-ons) which i enjoyed to just sit down, fire up the game and errr, die a lot!! :D

    My current pc is just not good enough to even attempt BFBC2 so was tempted to wait until BF3 was formally announced and then invest in a new pc to play i've pretty much decided to go for the imac i'll have to take my chances and hope it can handle the game.

    Things change. I'm now more inclined to get a computer that will cater to my other interests - namely photography and in the near future video editing. We plan to start a family this year so no doubt i'll become one of those parents that has a camera surgically attached to his wrist! I'll hopefully then be able to produce sickly films of my child's first steps etc that nobody else will be remotely interested in watching but that i'll be quite happy to make them endure time after time....................God knows it happens to me with my friends and family so to hell with it!!!! It's their turn! :D

    Regards my comments on the ram. I intend to get the standard 4Gb and see how i get on with it. Should i need more i'll install it myself and shall seek advice as to what amount as and when required.

    I've been to pcworld again today to have a play on the 27" and boy oh boy i'm sold. They really are a tasty bit of kit. I now intend to bide my time until A) a new spec is released and more importantly B) my budget is such that i can buy one outright.

    In the mean time i'll frequent these forums and learn what i can.....i also need to read up a little on bootcamp; fusion etc.

    Cheers again.


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