New User - iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ellen, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. Ellen macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2007
    Hi - This is my first post so I apologize if it is too long or in the wrong forum. After many years I am "returning from the dark side" and will be buying an iMac, probably the 20" version as the 24" version is likely too big for my bedroom desk. I've researched various components and programs, but since my focus (sorry!!) has been Dell/Windows for a while, I would appreciate any insight into the following:

    My first question is the big one: I know that Apple upgraded the iMac 2x this year, and wondered if anything is rumored. Though waiting inevitably means I would be asking the same question in a few months....

    As to my techie questions:

    1. RAM. My plan is to upgrade the 1GB of Ram myself, given the expense of the Apple RAM. I've used Crucial in the past - are they still recommended? Also, am I right that I need not have matched pairs? I was thinking of buying 2GB to add to the 1GB that comes with the computer, rather than ditching the original 1GB.

    2. ROUTER. I don't know if my Linksys router will work with the iMac, and just need something basic (I'll have the desktop, a printer and a Dell laptop in a not terribly large apt.). Is the Airport Express a good product? The iTunes feature is interesting but I'm not sure it really matters to me - given the size of my apt. I could just as easily dock my iPod to my LR stereo as stream from the computer in the bedroom. However, my router currently does not include a printer server and that aspect of Airport Express also appealed to me - I would be able to print from my Dell laptop to the printer off the network, without the iMac being turned on?

    3. SOFTWARE. I may not initially install Windows, given that the few programs I care about I could continue to run on my laptop. If I do install Windows, am I right that if I connect through a Windows program to the Internet, I'll need to install antivirus, etc. - in other words, do Windows programs connect only through the Windows side/Internet Explorer? It's not a big deal for me to install Windows but at the same time one of the things I love about Macs are the fact that I don't need 10 antivirus/antisypware/antispam programs.

    I use the following programs that I don't think or don't know if they run on Macs - if anyone has gotten them to run could you let me know? They are: Roboform (password manager), Replay Music (records streaming music), Rhapsody (music).

    4. SOUND. Finally (for now - sorry for the long post), how is the sound quality from the iMac speakers? This is a bedroom computer, but I will listen to music and watch DVDs on it sometimes. I have a 2.1 Altec Lansing system now but it's not working well but if the built in speakers are good that would save me space. If external speakers are recommended what do people like?

    Thanks so much!!! Ellen
  2. melevittfl macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2006
    Hi, I've answered the questions I could below....

    Apple often releases new machines/models at their annual January show. Given that they just updated the iMac, I would guess they will not update it much. Perhaps a speed bump and bigger drive.

    Crucial is an excellent place to buy memory. If you go to their website, you can specify the make and model of the machine and they will show you the exact RAM for your machine. They will guarantee compatibility if you buy it that way as well.

    I believe you do not need matched pairs for the iMac so you can buy a single 2GB RAM module and add it to the existing 1GB for a total of 3.

    The Linsys router will work with the iMac.

    If you run Windows, you probably should install a Windows anti-virus program to protect Windows. However, Windows won't be able to interfere with the OS X side, so you only need to protect Windows from itself.
  3. l33r0y macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Answer to #3:

    The best solution would be to find equivilent software written for the Mac. I'm an immenent switcher as you are, currently using many utilities on Windows that I thought I'd have to continue to use on a Windows installation on the iMac. But having done a bit of digging, I've found most (if not all equivilents) for the Macintosh.

    Check out - maybe you'll find something that will be written for the Mac so you can retire your Windows apps!

    Alternatively, you could run your Windows apps without installing Windows itself. Check out
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    If you run Windows on your Mac it is just a standard PC. It does not run in emulation mode, it is exactly the same as it would be installed on a Dell or a HP machine. Therefore any precautions you would take on a PC need to be taken when running Windows on a Mac.

    Just be glad that when you boot back into Mac OS X you can forget about all the nonsense. Although I would recommend caution on the internet no matter what operating system you are running.
  5. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    I would recommend upgrading the RAM yourself as well, it'll cost much less. As for the brand, i can't really say. I've seen a lot of MacRumors users purchase Crucial.

    I'm assuming you will connect your iMac to the internet via ethernet through the router? If so then I would just keep the current router, because you seem to have one of the few Linksys ones that actually works :D I've actually read quite a few of the other MacRumors users have the Airport Express die on them, some more than once, while others have had them for years with no problems. And I do believe if you have a printer plugged directly into a router you can use it while your main computer is off.

    Yea there's no need, as you'll have your Dell to run Windows and it would be a waste on your iMac. You do need an antivirus and firewall app on Windows under Boot Camp just like you would on a normal PC, although I don't, mainly because I only use Windows when I have to and to visit sites I trust. Use precaution and you shouldn't need to spend extra for antivirus and firewall software. When using your Mac, you can access your Windows files from your Mac OS X partition but not the other way around. There is a third-party app that can allow this, but if you happened to get a virus it could also cause it to infect your OS X partition as well.

    That's fine, you shoulda seen me before I switched! I have the white Intel Core 2 Duo iMac and I love the built in speakers. Mine too is in my bedroom and I will use it to watch movies (on occasion) and about 90% of the music I listen to comes from my iMac (the other 10% is while I don't have me iMac with me). When watching a movie I usually have to turn the volume up all the way, but I like my movies pretty loud. I say try the external speakers first, and if you happen to not like them go for a set of external ones. Sorry there aren't any that I can recommend, as I've always just used what came with my computer.

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