Newbie to macs and wanting an imac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nomis78, May 8, 2010.

  1. nomis78 macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2010
    so dont eat me please but im a newbie to macs and looking at the imac (the sheen is attracting me, but heres the things i was hoping you could help me with

    1) worth buying?

    im looking at the 27 inch imac with the i7 and may upgrade to 8gb of ram

    im a photographer and will be looking at running photoshop on their in the near future so im thinking this is more then likely the best system for me all things considered would i be right, im intreste in other peoples experiances (also do i really need to splurge on the extra ram, can it be done later maybe)

    2) windows user

    i have been using winows since i was 5 and have never known any different, is the shift that severe or should i be able to pick it up in a couple of weeks?

    3) new roll outs?

    i know that apple roll out new generations of their hardware pretty often (ipods an phones for example) is that the case with the i mac and what is the likely hood of their being a new roll out within the next 2 months ? (ue to student discounts eligedbility i ask this)

    4) new roll outs making a difference?

    if there are new roll outs will they really be that large an improvement on the specs im allready looking at all?
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    You'll find varying opinions among our forum members, but here are my personal opinions:

    1. iMacs are a good deal compared to Mac Pros or Mac notebooks, as long as you don't need a portable computer.

    You can add the RAM later. If you buy 4GB to start with, Apple will populate 2 of the 4 memory slots. You can put 2GB each or even 4GB each in the other two slots later. Third-party prices beat Apple's prices. Here's compatible RAM at For now you can save your money. You'll need it for Adobe's CS5!

    Is the Core i5 worth 18% more than the Core 2 Duo? I don't know. All of the iMacs are fast compared to the lineup a couple of years ago. But I think you'll appreciate the screen space with the 27" models instead of 21.5".

    2. A few things about Mac OS X and the Finder (the desktop and file manager) will take some initial adjustment, such as where the menus are on the screen, ways to move files around, how files and subfolders are sorted in a folder, keyboard conventions, and so on. But the Adobe apps are very similar cross platform. You'll lose some conveniences (resizing a window from all sides) but gain some (Exposé, Spaces, Quick Look). Overall I think it'll be more fun than bother, and MacRumors users can answer specific questions you run into if you don't already see them answered in the forums.

    3. The MacRumors Buyer's Guide isn't foolproof, but it's based on previous intervals between the release of new models. The iMac advice is to hold off. If you don't need the computer right away, you might want to wait a bit and watch the iMac rumors. If you need it now for the work you do, it's not worthwhile to hold off on a hunch.

    4. Yes, new models are worth it if they happen to suit your purchase schedule. They are likely to have faster processors, lower prices for the same processors, or other upgraded specs. They will be incremental improvements, but still nice to have. However, incremental improvements are rarely critical.
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I switched from Windows to Mac about 5 years ago, and it only took a few days to get used to it. A number of things work differently, but it was no big deal.
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I am a photographer, heavy Photoshop user, and relatively new to mac (about 2 months). I bought a 27" iMac with the 3.06C2D as a refurb for only $1450. The monitor calibrated well with my Eye-One Display 2 Pro kit. The screen is great for photoshopping and overall I have no complaints about speed. My only complaint is the high resolution requires me to make fonts much larger to read and that often makes some websites, like B&H Photos, very difficult to view since the text then gets hidden behind the frames. So for image editing it is great but for everything else I would prefer lower resolution to avoid eye strain. A 24" 1900 x 1200 monitor is roughly the same height but fonts are about 15% larger. Also, higher resolution means that web sized images will reliably be smaller on this larger monitor which is not desired for web image viewing - bigger is better. I just bought a 13" MB for travel and find myself using that a lot at home since the pixel density is about the same as a 27" iMac but I am closer to it so it is easier on the eyes. I bought $Gb RAM (2x2GB) for the MB and placed the 2Gb from the MB into my iMac to get 6GB. Now my MB is very good for photoshop work. I do not do any movie editing or play games.

    It is important that the environment you place an iMac not have any lamps or windows behind you since glare can be a serious problem. Other than that, the glare is manageable but anti-glare is much preferred. If Apple priced their Mac Pros better then that computer with a better monitor for photography would be a much better choice but for the price I paid this is a very good deal.

    As for upgrades, the iMac has historically been updated on 11-8-11--8... month cycles so the next refresh is likely around Sept, at least a four month wait. Apple has been extending their upgrades this year as the MBP is typically 8 months and was 10 months, MacPro and MacAir are at or near record product cycles as well. That said, I do not expect imac upgrades soon but I could be wrong.
  5. Christina1971 macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2007
    I'm philosophically against buying things based on "sheen" or just because they're the newest/fastest/best (even though, I admit, I've done it myself! :) ) so the question to ask is do you really think you need it? Do you need any computer? What specifically do you want to do now that you can't do with your current setup?

    For example, one aspect that hasn't been brought up is software; if you've made an investment in several pieces of software for your Windows computer (assuming you already have one) those are items you might have to repurchase for a Mac. You should make that a part of your price consideration.

    It's hard for me to assess how difficult the shift to the Mac OS will be for you; I've always been a Mac user and I still find it difficult to do some things on Windows machines, and I use Windows machines every day at work. I can do the easy stuff. But where this comes up for me most often is trouble-shooting -- if something freezes or doesn't start working right with my work machine, it's hard for me to figure out what's going wrong. I don't know if the problem is Windows or if it's me; probably a little of both.

    So, there *is* a learning curve, so that aspect shouldn't be dismissed. You should probably play around with a friend's Mac to get a better feel for how that will affect you. And be sure to have that friend on hand, if you get a computer, because he or she will be the one helping you out in the early days.

    I don't know your financial situation but for me, that iMac would be a fairly large investment, so you don't want it to be a pretty shiny paperweight. Good luck!
  6. iMacThere4Iam macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2009
    The iMac is a big investment, true, but if you're in the market for a new computer, you absolutely cannot go wrong with it.

    Like you, I was a long time Windows user, and I found the switch to Macs to have a very brief learning curve, in fact I enjoyed it. Mac OSX really is more intuitive, and seems to make a lot more sense to me.

    So to answer what I'm sure is your biggest concern, no, you won't have any problems getting used to Mac OSX.

    Apple will probably roll out refreshed iMacs in September, after all the college kids are back at school, and after the traditional summer sale, where Apple throws in an iPod and a printer for free, after rebate, with your purchase. You may want to consider that bonus, rather than waiting, but you'd still have to wait until about mid-June for that to get underway.

    I'm certain that the refreshed iMacs will all be sporting either i5 or i7 processors, and they will not go up in price. Personally, I would wait. Enjoy all the sheen your money can buy.
  7. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    1. Yes
    2. My guess is you'd pick it up in much less than two weeks
    There is always a lot of speculation on release dates for new Macs, as Apple is very secretive about those details.
    4. If you're choosing the top-end iMac, new Macs in the near future won't offer that much more

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