Newbie looking into IMAC

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PC2MAC2012, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. PC2MAC2012 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hi you all,

    I am currently a Windows user looking to switch to the IMAC. I was going to purchase one, but after researching and finding this board, it looks like the best thing to do right now is to make my aging Windows machine last till the update. The machine is cracked open right now with an external fan on it to keep it running. If I close the case it overheats after an hour or so and shuts down. It’s time for a new one, so I have not put much effort into finding the problem.

    I do have a few questions about the IMAC that maybe some of you can help me out with. Please forgive me if these have been answered elsewhere, but I am new to the MAC world.

    First, is the processer in the IMAC a desktop chip or is it a mobile chip used in a lot of the all-in-one form factors? I been trying to figure that one out, and I don’t see where Apple advertise the chip they put inside. Other than it’s an I5 or I7, that’s not all that much to go on.

    Second, does Apple make their own motherboards, or are they 3rd party like an ASUS or Intel? What chip sets do they use?

    And my last question for now is the IMAC noisy? In the store you cannot really get a good since of how much noise they produce (i.e. Fan noise, HDD running…). We have a Sony laptop that once you start using it hard the fan kicks in and I swear its getting ready to take off. I don’t want to get a desktop that is going to do that.

    I look forward to the answers and do hope to see the new release soon. I am sure I will have a lot more questions.
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA

    Honestly you don't need to worry about if the CPU is mobile or desktop, what I would recommend examining is the type of work you do and see which CPU best suits your needs. Many professional video editors use iMacs and video editing is some of the most demanding CPU work there is.

    Apple pretty much designs almost everything inside the computer, Apple designs the logic boards and they look nothing at all like you see in a PC. Also iMacs are almost always totally silent, many people have to sit in a quiet area just to hear them run.

    My suggestion is to visit your local Apple Store or reseller and try one out, bring some demanding work and see how it performs and listen to it.
  3. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    If your PC out-and-out dies, then you should go get your new iMac. In any other scenario, waiting would be a good plan; you'll get more computer for the same money (or the same computer for less money, if you don't want a 2012).

    Apple uses custom motherboards with primarily Intel chipsets. They use desktop CPUs and mobile GPUs. For the most part the fans don't run, and it's completely silent, unless you start stressing it. If the fans are going full blast, it's pretty noisy, but you have to try really hard to make that happen. It's even quieter with an SSD.
  4. canuckle macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2011
    FWIW I just went through this, and we went ahead and puchased ahead of the anticipated refresh. The specs are MORE than enough for what we do which is typical home/small business use. It's also the central hub for our devices and our main computer/anchor for our network.

    If you're not looking to do graphics intenstive gaming or heavy video editing, I'd bet you're fine to go now.
  5. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    Besides, the step change in the new desk-top processors is much smaller than those of the 'mobile' processors as you put it so I wouldn't think twice picking a machine up now if you need it. Particularly if you want to migrate data from your current machine, you may want it still alive whilst you do that!
  6. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England

    They are the desktop chips.

    The exact models are as follows:

    2.5 GHz Core i5 Core i5-2400S
    2.7 GHz Core i5 Core i5-2500S
    2.8 GHz Core i7 Core i7-2600S
    3.1 GHz Core i5 Core i5-2400
    3.4 GHz Core i7 Core i7-2600

    The graphic cards on the other hand are the mobile versions.

    The motherboards are custom made for Apple by Foxconn. They utilise the Z68 chipset. They also support up to 32 GB of RAM, if you use 8 GB modules.

    They are "fairly" quiet until you start doing something intensive like encoding a video and the fans come on, but still relatively quiet. My Sony Vaio's fans, on the other hand, are constantly on even when it's not doing anything. If it wasn't a corporate laptop, I would throw it away.
  7. iCFX macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2012
    Under your Desk

    Anyway iMACs are great for utilizing space (unless you start pluging in the external HDDs which clutters up your workspace). They are silent which is a great plus if you like quite work station rather then hearing fans all day (unless you have fan/noise reduction / liquid cooling).

    The starter software which Macs come with such as iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand are amazing as well as the OS in its self which is nice and tidy and you will most likely enjoy using it.

    So depending what you need your machine to do, iMacs are great all around machines although lacking GPU power which often is not needed unless you are a gamer or use programs which demand "good" GPUs.

    If you need power and want OSX then Mac Pro is the obvious choice.
  8. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Not right now. They have not been refreshed for nearly 2 years and the price is still the same as two years ago so buying one is not a good idea.
  9. iCFX macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2012
    Under your Desk
    Ah ok, though they had released up to date version with the new gen. hardware. Well lets hope Apple continues to support the Desktop market (they might be loving the tablet/mobile market ^^).
  10. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Yes. I, and many others, are waiting for Sandy Bridge-E based Mac Pros.
  11. PC2MAC2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2012
    Acronis like product for Mac?

    Thanks for the information. My plan holds, wait till the new one is out or till the desktop is dead, whichever comes first. Of course this means my desktop will die 15 days before the next release. It just the way things work.

    I use Acronis for my backups right now, is there a Mac equivalent that anyone would recommend? I know it has Time Machine, but is that equivalent Acronis? Will Time Machine Backup to a NAS Drive?

    The main purpose for this computer is for home photo/video editing. I will also need it to run a Win7 64bit VM for work. Under Windows, these VMs don’t run well unless you have at least 8Gigs and an I7. Will have to see how they run under OS X.

    We are looking at the All-In-One form factor because we want the space back in the home office and I don’t want it to wonder like a laptop would. Mac Pro once refreshed would be nice, but kind of defeats the purpose of getting office space back. Thought about a Mini too but the IMac is more appealing.

    Originally, we got the Sony All-In-One model, but the fan noise on that was horrible, just like the Sony laptop we have if not worse. It was promptly returned and I swore never to get another Sony computer. If the IMac works out for us and once the Sony laptop dies it will be replaced with a MBP.
  12. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I'm in exactly the same boat as you waiting for the new 2012 iMac whilst nursing my last ever windows machine. I think you are doing the right thing as long as you have everything backed up. Evan if the 2012 is a pile of croc you could still buy a 2011 refurb and save money. But let's be honest when was the last time apple bought out a crap new product?
    I was set on the 21" but the longer I wait the more I thing 27" is the way to go. Just have to check the specs and prices and make the decision until then. Hope your window machine holds out!
  13. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Depending on the NAS, Time Machine may or may not work. You need a NAS that says it supports Time Machine. In my case I've got a Mac mini server that backs up all the computers in the house. It has 7.5TB of drives. I also do disk cloning for backups. This is nice because the disks are bootable.

    The more cores and memory the better. I've got a 2.5 year old 27" i7 iMac with 8GB and sometimes run two or three VMs at once. My new MacBook Pro also has an i7 and 8GB and runs a VM regularly. However that mini server I mentioned has a C2D, 4GB of RAM and runs a Windows XP VM 24/7 for Quicken just fine.
  14. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    I am in a similar situation as you, and my stopgap plan if necessary is to get a 2010 Mac Mini off ebay and migrate to that to tide me over, and then migrate to the new system. The 2010 Mini has already taken its value hit last year when the 2011 model came out, and it's a cheap computer in any case, so depreciation until you can replace it should be minimal -- and might be even less if the iMac is refreshed well ahead of the Mini. thrift stores can put you into an LCD monitor for $50 or less, and you'd keep your keyboard and mouse for the iMac (or resell them on ebay or whatever). Overall this is, I think, a solid plan to ensure computing continuity even if we lose the use of our primary machines, at relatively little net cost. Of course Apple could make this easier by just refreshing the damned iMac already.
  15. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities

    The above quote was directed at the purchase of a Mac Pro. Two years is an awfully long time in technology. Capabilities rise, prices drop. So, as a curiosity, I looked up all the stuff in the 'entry level' Mac Pro on and (where indicated):

    $329.00 - 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem"
    $27.99 - 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM (Mac Pro actually comes with 3GB)
    $134.99 - 1TB 7200-RPM Serial ATA 3GB/s hard drive
    $133.99 - ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GPU
    $19.99 - 18x DVD drive
    $69.00 - :apple: Magic Mouse
    $69.00 - :apple: Wireless Keyboard
    Total parts cost - $783.96
    The Mac Pro entry level model retails for $2499.00
    That results in $1,715.04 for the case, power supply, motherboard, assembly, packaging, operating costs. Ummm . . . what? There's a price lock on two year old tech going on here that should insult any potential Mac Pro customers.

    This 'stagnation' of what should be regarded as the pinnacle of Mac OS X computing is . . . embarassing. It's neglectful on Apple's part. And as the weeks pass, especially now that all of the next 'level' of tech parts are available, and still no iMac refresh . . . :(

  16. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    You looked up the wrong RAM, but I get your point.


    Carbon Copy Cloner is the best backup app I have ever used.

Share This Page