New Convert

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Zetas, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Zetas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #1
    So i've been a PC user (i'll say PC and not Windows, since i used Linux as my primary desktop as well for awhile) for about 20 years, i bought my first Apple product in 2007/2008, it was a 30gb ipod video and i fell in love with it; the style, the ease of use, the ingenuity, it struck me, i finally "got it". Since then i've gone through 2 versions of the iphone and pre-ordered the ipad as soon as it was available and i use it daily.

    Now the time has come to make the final switch (pull the plug so to speak) to a mac primary. My brother owns a 27" imac thats a year old and he recommended i get that, so ive built it and priced it out, i get a small discount from being a student at UoP which is nice. This is my proposed system:

    27" Screen
    2.93ghz i7 CPU
    16GB Ram
    1TB Sata HDD + 256GB SSD

    I do have a few questions for the mac masters here:

    1. I'm a single working professional and i live alone (just to say, no kids or animals.), is it worth the extra $120 for the apple care plan? I purchased this plan for my iphone and ipad, anything prone to being dropped, but this seems very unlikely for a desktop pc, i doubt the plan would protect against spilling things on the keyboard which is probably the only possible disaster.
    2. Is there a list of "Must Have" software for a mac besides what comes pre-installed? This is going to be my day to day computer, so browsing, email, the terminal, and daily gaming as well, primarily Eve and Everquest 2.
    3. When playing non-osx compatible games, do you see a loss of quality when running in a crossover type scenario, rather than booting into windows?
    4. Are there any annoyances or quirks to owning a mac that the pc world is unaware of? I know when i used macs in school (granted, they were ppc) it was very difficult to find even the most basic software, i've heard a lot of that has changed now that they have switched to the intel arch.
    5. The last thing is, do you feel there is any advice or suggestions you could give a pc-convert to ease the transition from pc to mac? I know when moving from xp to windows 7 there was a lot to relearn, and that was just a (comparatively) minor OS change.

    I want to thank everyone ahead of time for replies. I doubt anything anyone will say will sway me from this purchase, im very excited about it and ive made peace with dealing with the transition. I like to get as much information about an undertaking as possible, especially when im paying so much of my hard earned cash to initiate it.

    Thanks everyone,
    David

    p.s. i'll be making the purchase this friday, if anyone has any recommendations regarding my proposed specs, please let me know.
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    You can buy AppleCare any time in the first year of ownership, so you don't have to decide now. There is no protection against accidental damage, not even for the iPhone or iPad. Since the parts are all proprietary and expensive, all it takes is a single repair to have made it worth the cost. Having said that, I've bought maybe 9 or 10 Macs and have only used the extended AppleCare coverage on one of them, so it really is a profit center for Apple.

    I don't think anything in particular is "Must Have" although if you have some Windows or Linux software you want to run you should consider Parallels or Fusion to run a Windows or Linux "virtual machine". I've got a list of software I use, with descriptions here.

    No equivalent replacement for Windows Quicken, Microsoft One Note Viseo and Project. Virtual machines help here. Most peripheral devices work fine these days although it always pays to check.

    Check out all the videos on Apple's website. Also David Pogue's book is good.
     
  3. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the info, i think i'll wait on the apple care plan.

    I did read all the "first time mac owner" videos and FAQ's at apples site, just looking for hidden gems that may not be included there.
     
  4. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #4
    First of all congrats to going with a Mac. Even though these days iPod, iTunes, and iPhone are the money makers for Apple and the most talked about and hyped up products in the industry from Apple, it's still not a bad thing to own a Mac.

    1. Having owned both types of computers, the additional software I put on my Macs is MS Office. Somehow, I get by with a PC purchase and the bundled software it comes with but for me, I have found purchasing MS Office for the Mac has been a good thing.

    2. I don't play any games so I don't know. There are plenty of gamers here who know the answer to your question.

    3. The major annoyance of owning a Mac (only) is when I go into a big box store and find a nice piece of software that comes on both platforms but only has the PC version on the floor. The sales manager always says they can "order" the Mac version, but this takes time. Blah!

    4. You will find more to learn going from Windows 7 to OS X than from Windows XP to Windows 7, but give it time and before you know it, OS X will become second nature.

    outside of answer #2, I hope this helps
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Welcome. I "switched" (back) about 5 years ago with a similar experience as you. Mixed Windows/Linux use for the 15 years before that.

    What software do you use on a daily basis now? This might help focus the recommendations to something similar.

    For me the best thing about OS X is that it's unix, but can still run stuff like Photoshop fine.

    B
     
  6. Rogue. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Telford. UK.
    #6
    This can be anything up to 75% cheaper if you buy elsewhere, and not from Apple ;)

    It's a simple upgrade, and use the cash you save to get AppleCare :apple:
     
  7. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #7
    I actually JUST read another post where someone recommended against getting the ram from apple, i looked on crucial.com and saw that 16gb of the exact same ram is $600 cheaper.. jesus, frickin apple lol. Is it easy to install ram in the imac? I was worried that its all packed up tight so you cant get to the guts.
     
  8. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    NC
    #8
    Don't buy the RAM or SSD from Apple. Buy it from OWC and do the upgrade yourself. It's dead easy and you will save a couple hundred bucks.
     
  9. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #9
    I use google chrome for browsing, gmail for email, putty and console2/cygwin for terminal, i have a rare need for photoshop, i do watch a lot of movies so i use vlc for that.
     
  10. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #10
    I read that doing the SSD upgrade was a non-trivial process and could void the warranty, is this not the case?
     
  11. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #11
    Well my question with the specs is exactly what you will be doing with it. If you need that much memory, definitely don't buy from apple, it's a simple install and half the cost to do it yourself. SSD is debatable, it's certainly not an easy install, but you get a better SSD for cheaper if you do it yourself. However you run the risk of voiding the warranty, so I'd probably bite the bullet on that one and buy from apple.

    Also, based on your uses stated above, i7 and 16GB is a bit overkill, so it might not be a terrible idea to scale that back a bit if you're looking to save some cash.
     
  12. Rogue. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Telford. UK.
    #12
    Yep, it has it's own access point in the bottom of the case:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1423
     
  13. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #13
    Well i got that ram for running virtual machines, i figured i would need to run a couple (linux and win7), and id rather have too much than not enough. I'll almost certainly be getting the SSD from apple after looking at the instructions for installing it, i'm by no means new to building computers or dealing with the guts, but after spending 2-3grand on a system, the last thing i want to do is go messing with the insides and void the warranty, thats exactly why i'm not buying a pc heh. The ram however, seems pretty straight forward and easily accessible.
     
  14. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #14
  15. jerry333 macrumors member

    jerry333

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    #15
    It's pretty cheap insurance and it also lets you call in and ask questions about OS X. You have a year to decide.

    Not really, but here's my list:

    Merlin -- Much better than Project
    NeoOffice -- For when you need Excel formula compatibility
    iWork -- For when you don't
    VMware Fusion -- If you just have to run that other OS
    DevonOffice -- Save (and find later) mail and other information
    Skim -- A nicer PDF viewer than the one from Adobe
    VoodooPad -- A wiki style note taker and more

    Some of these are free and some aren't. They're the ones I use most often.

    No.

    Use the Command key rather than the Ctrl key for things like search (Command F rather than Ctrl F)
     
  16. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #16
    Makes sense, I must have missed the VMs, as those do suck up RAM pretty quick.
     
  17. balamw, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #17
    Check out OWC as well. http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/iMac/2010/DDR3_21.5_27 they will buy back the stock RAM.

    EDIT:
    I think you're a good candidate for Machood. I'd recommend sticking with the Chrome/gmail combo and VLC is available for Mac.

    May I ask what you do in your terminal sessions? There was a recent thread looking for a putty equivalent for managing ssh connections and it seemed a bit lacking.

    B
     
  18. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #18
    On my personal laptop i simply use putty to connect to one of my remote servers that has a tmux(screen) session running with connections open to all my commonly used boxes, usually about 10-15. Since my primary computer is a laptop i like to use this method so my sessions stay active and are easily accessed. On my work laptop i use putty to create a ssh tunnel over the work proxy to my private proxy so i can browse my email and bank accounts without having to worry about whats being saved in their (possibly) insecure proxy server. (and yes, facebook, aim, twitter, etc as well) so that would be a nice addition for the mac, though i rarely have to do that at home and i can always do that manually on the command line if i had to. I also use console2 and cygwin on windows for when i need to access linux commands on my desktop, it helps with administrating local linux boxes to go from linux(esque)-linux instead of opening a thousand putty sessions or doing the screen method i described above.
     
  19. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #19
    All sounds perfectly in line.

    Just like cygwin, Mac OS X's flavor of unix is a bit different than linux, but I'm sure you can deal with that.

    Check out macports and fink for two repositories of unix software that can make Mac OS X more like a typical unix distro.

    B
     
  20. Zetas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #20
    Thanks for the recommendations! I already bought the ram from OWC since crucial was out of stock, i figured this way it would get here before my imac so i could put it in right away heh.
     
  21. iPostpone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    #21
    If you haven't ordered it yet, you can also have OWC install up to 3 SSD's in your 27" iMac as a turnkey solution. Their SSD's are faster and cheaper than those from Apple. For example, they can install two 120GB SSD's, configured as as RAID 0 (striped) for $700, which is $50 cheaper than a single 256GB SSD from apple, and MUCH faster. Of course, this voids the apple warranty, but OWC offers their own extended warranty that covers pretty much the same thing as AppleCare.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/iMac_2010_27
     

Share This Page