New base 21.5" iMac good for wife?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rambler358, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. rambler358 macrumors member

    rambler358

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    Torrance, CA
    #1
    My wife's windows XP computer is on the fritz, and I'm thinking about getting her a new 21.5" iMac to replace it. She's never had a Mac before, and I wonder how the transition will be for her? I also haven't had a Mac before actually, but I've ordered the new rMB and plan on getting the next gen iMac.

    Anyway, she's not really a computer person, so I wonder if this would be a good option for her. She also has an iPhone and iPad. Her computer work is minimal - web, email, Word, Excel, picture viewing and video watching. Is the Intel HD5000 graphics sufficient for driving the 21.5" display and viewing video without lag or stuttering? My main concern is if she's able to adapt to OS X coming from windows, or if it's going to require significant training for her? I could just get her a decent new Windows PC for about half the price, but I'd like the both of us to move to OS X. Any advice or suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #2
    Here is what you may want to consider -

    1) how easy would it be for your wife to go from Windows XP to Windows 8.x? If you think there is a learning curve then OSX shouldn't be much harder.

    2) If you are just watching movies, depending on the application the graphics in the 21.5" iMac is quite sufficient. The stuttering and lag would more likely be caused by application and drive/RAM.

    3) I would strongly suggest 8 gigs RAM given the applications you mentioned. People often leave apps open or work in more than one at a time. This would also help with certain apps for movie playback.

    Worse case scenario - If you find that she has certain software that only runs in Windows, you could consider software like Parallels or VMWare Fusion which allows you to install an actual copy of Windows "in a window" but this would not run particularly fast on the base model 21.5" but is doable.
     
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    The base 21.5" already has 8GB of RAM as standard and that should be more than enough. The 1.4GHz is also pretty sufficient for her usage.

    What needs upgrading is the hard drive. I'd suggest at least a Fusion Drive upgrade so that the iMac doesn't feel really slow.
     
  4. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    Singapore
    #5
    My experience with my Macs is that while there are some little things which are done differently from Windows, in general, I find that I spend less time managing my OS. OS X also comes with a fair bit of functionality right out of the box. So it's not just what a Mac lets me do, it's also what a Mac doesn't need me to do.

    You really want the iris pro model. HD5000 is basically the same graphics capabilities as you find on the Macbook air laptops. They will suffice, but you will probably start wishing for more horsepower before long, especially when you do stuff you expect a desktop to be capable of.

    8 gb of ram should be enough (but take not that you cannot upgrade this later). Don't know if you want the fusion drive as well (extra cost, though the speed boost is always nice).

    Alternatively, consider getting a Mac Mini instead (make sure it's the Iris graphics), allowing you to reuse your monitors. It should pair up to a 23 or 27" display just nicely.
     
  5. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #6
    Any particular reason to choose an imac over a macbook?

    I mean, I have an iMac, but I tend to drop things, so portability is wasted on me. The mac mini is also a good choice, unless the iMac's screen would be an upgrade.
     
  6. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #7
    web, email, Word, Excel, picture viewing and video watching.

    ok, sure, that's a light load, unless...

    picture viewing is really photo editing...

    and video watching

    includes H.265 videos

    also, do you know if your wife has any hobbies that rely on windows software. Sewing, for instance...
     
  7. Notechy macrumors member

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    Surrey
    #8
    I have recently got retina iMac to replace Windows 7 laptop. I also have experience of using iPads and iPhone. Frankly, the transition has been harder than I expected. Nothing fatal, and I do not think that I will regret it, though that is still a possibility. And I have needed to phone Apple support several times, and had help from son. Main problems have been over account set up and my own rather complex email set up. But I will also soon be in touch re Photo set up, as it seems unwilling to retain my current album structure.
     
  8. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #9
    In that case, I'd recommend the base Mac Mini, same specs in terms of CPU AND GPU, but half the RAM and HDD space (but will still be more than enough for basic needs). At around 350 quid, it's much better value.
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #10
    I second the Mac Mini suggestion, but the base Mini with just a HDD is god-awful slow to the point of unusable, as many users have pointed out in the Mac Mini subforum. Meanwhile, Mac Minis with Fusion Drives run far better.

    Either way, the sweet spot for the Mini is the 2.6/8/1TB Fusion configuration.
     
  10. rambler358 thread starter macrumors member

    rambler358

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    #11
    Thanks all, I will also start looking at the Mac Mini.
     
  11. rambler358 thread starter macrumors member

    rambler358

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    #12
    Any consensus on if the Apple's Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad would be better?
     
  12. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

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    #13
    No consensus, but my opinion: I really love the TrackPad! Very easy, powerful and flexible to use. A real struggle for me to now use a mouse on someone else's system.
     
  13. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    #14
    The trackpad just makes OS X even better to use, even more than normal. The gestures are so intuitive and easy to learn in seconds. The mouse is too shallow for my liking but I have it anyway along with a wired gaming mouse :) Every job has its tools, so I jump to what is best haha
     
  14. henry72 macrumors 65816

    henry72

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    #15
    I think the base model will definitely be fine for your wife, personally I'd go for the iMac as the all-in-one experience is unbeatable. I have a Mac mini and I'm going to get an iMac soon.

    I'm sure she will be very happy with the iMac, especially coming from Windows, XP haha
     
  15. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #16
    Just don't get it with an HDD! Macs with spinning platter drives running Yosemite is a no go. Doesn't matter what else is in it, it'll feel slow. SSD or Fusion it. Then you should be good. Also trackpad for the win. Or as someone else said, every tool has it's job, but for described usage; trackpad
     
  16. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I have the magic mouse, you can gesture with it. It takes some time getting used to, though. Keep the old mouse?
     
  17. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #18

    Oh yeah, we know it has gestures, but it doesn't have as many, and for lack of space they don't feel as good. But for instance, you can't do the tap with three fingers to look up a word.
     
  18. kenm22 macrumors newbie

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    #19
     
  19. kenm22 macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I think the entry level iMac with the 1.4 GHz processor is not a very good investment. I wouldn't consider anything less than the next model up. The performance difference is substantial for not much more money. If you really want to enhance performance get the fusion drive.
     
  20. Lankyman macrumors 68000

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    U.K.
    #21
    I am in total agreement there. If the OP wants to show his wife he loves her then he shouldn't be buying her the base iMac. I wouldn't visit that model on my enemies never mind someone I love.

    Mac Air CPU with a spinner - whatever were Apple thinking of - more profit probably. Some part of the setup needs SSD technology so in this instance I too would get the fusion drive.
     
  21. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #22
    There's a fair bit of truth to this. I mean, whilst it's perhaps sufficient for most people, the little money you pay for the next model up is very well spent. The low-end base model is a very green machine though, with an incredibly low energy footprint which is where it's niche is
     
  22. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #23
    A lot of apples imacs can be described as "nonportable laptops" with bigger screens, and conventional hard drives. Which is fine, if the laptop is something more than "the lightest, thinnest laptop in Apple's range with a spectacular battery life".
     
  23. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #24
    I don't understand why I see this continually stated.

    I have a Mac with a 5400 RPM drive. It starts up in ~25 seconds to a fully functional desktop and all of my applications load in 1 animation after a cold boot-up, and instantaneously within the session thereafter.

    I must have a super duper mechanical drive. Not picking on you personally, and while I am aware that fusion drives and SSDs provide much better of an experience - but I feel that stating it will be "slow" is just plain misinformation, and it's stated all of the time.

    My opinion is that SSDs have spoiled the population. Mechanical drives are plenty, especially for everyday tasks and general OS navigation. It won't feel slow, just slower than a SSD.
     
  24. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Remember Xbench?
    This is a fusion drive.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.20.54 PM.png
    This is a hard drive (USB 3.0 Superspeed)

    Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.22.14 PM.png

    Is 0.79 MB/sec really appropriate for today's computers?
    Anyway-- enough tech talk.

    You can say that you don't play games, so you don't need a fancy video card. You can say that you don't do number crunching, so you don't need a fast CPU. You can say that you don't... use photoshop..., so you don't need more RAM than what apple provides.

    What you can't really claim is that your computer doesn't need to read or write files, so it's not being held back by vintage technology.

    Anyway.. that's my reasoning. It's a primary bottleneck, and an fusion drive or SSD is the best way of rebalancing the system.


    Rambler358 probably wants his wife to have no complaints with the new system, and a fusion drive or SSD is a good, cost effective way to make everything just a bit snappier, a bit less creaky--more so than adding ram, or upgrading the CPU, or adding memory.
     

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