New to Apple IMac Need Help Buying

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PenguinUnit, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. PenguinUnit macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2006
    My parents Dell is starting to slow down and I need a new system. I need to have a video editor, sound editor, internet browser, and a word processor all thru at once with no slow down. I’m thinking about the 20-inch: 2GHz Intel. I need it to last 4 years(just an average) see I’m in college so I would also use it for school work. I would max it out with 2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM, 2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM hard drive and the ATI Radeon X1600/256MB. Is this going to get me thru the years? The videos I make are up at but I plan on making longer and larger videos. How is Apples word processor or would I need to get Microsoft? I need to make DVD’s and CD’s is all that on the system or do I need to get programs? I want to be able to make some cool DVD’s with nice menus. Last thing what’s the difference between AirPort Express Base Station with AirTunes and the AirPort Extreme Base Station (with modem and antenna port)? I have a DSL connection in the other room so I just need basic wireless that will let my hook up the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Revolution when it’s released. I get the student discount and I’m paying with a credit card so I have a $2000 limit. Thanks for all the help I can’t wait to get my hands on a MAC. If this system will not make the four years could you help me with something that could? I also been looking at Sony.
  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The new Intel based Macs no longer come with a full version of any office software. You can use Apple's Pages for most word processing duties but I think buying a copy of Office:mac is a better idea.

    You will be able to use iMovie, GarageBand and iDVD to edit, score, master and burn your movies to DVD - all that comes free with the iMac.

    You can save money by purchasing the iMac with the stock amount of RAM and maxing it out with quality 3rd party RAM from a good vendor.

    The Airport Extreme Base Station offers a much larger feature set and supports up to 50 simultaneous wireless connections. The Airport Express is a much smaller device, acts as a simple wireless router (you plug it into either your wired router or into the broadband modem you are using. The Airport Express supports 10 wireless connections, allows you to plug in a compatible printer for wireless printing and has an audio output allowing you to plug in your stereo and stream music wirelessly from iTunes on your iMac to the stereo.

    Macs last a long time, the Core Duo processor is quick and with the full complement of RAM it will definitely last you a good four years. My little old iBook is going to be 2 years old this year and is as fast, if not faster due to more RAM than it was when I bought it. I'll be looking at a replacement in 2008 or thereabouts - 4 years. I'll add 1GB more RAM when 10.5 comes out and with the two combined it should last me till then.

    You should be very happy with an iMac, if you can possibly save some money and get the 20" model you can specify a 256MB version of the x1600 - that would really help with your video making along with lots of RAM. As for the HDD, you can always use external storage so it should be less of a problem. With the 20" screen you will get a much larger canvas to play around on - Macs love screen real estate, and RAM, lots of RAM.

    EDIT: As for the multi-tasking you speak of, my 1.2GHz G4 iBook is currently running iTunes, Safari, Messenger, Mail, iPhoto with 4500 photos and Microsoft Word and it's not even struggling. I think a 2.0GHz Dual-core processor should run a lot of programmes very easily, especially with 2GB of RAM.
  3. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    The iLife suite comes with the iMac and is pretty decent. iMovie 6 and iDVD 6 have quite professional looking menus, but If you do a lot of video editing, I'm sure you would get tired of them quickly and would probably look at getting some more professional software down the line.

    You're not going to get the 20" for $2000. A maxed out iMac on the Apple online store is $2200 for students. Edit: unless you get the stock 250 GB HDD.

    And check your school's computer store - the full price of Office for Students and Teachers is $150, but often colleges offer it for less.

    You don't actually save much, if any. Crucial's 1GB RAM is about $185 (although I'm sure you could get it elsewhere for less), so you'd be spending $370 and you'd have a useless 512MB RAM stick lying around. As a student you pay $270 for the 2GB upgrade from the Apple Store.
  4. PenguinUnit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2006

    Thanks for all the help guys I decided to get one in about a month or so I'm waiting for this semester to end. Yeah I'm going with the 250G hard drive for now, save myself some pennies.

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