Written by a newbie for newbies... When are the new iMac's coming? Consensus is sometime between this Tuesday and the end of May, heavily leaning towards early May. Nobody knows for sure, stop asking - it drives them crazy. They don't know, the Apple store guy doesn't know, the BestBuy/FutureShop guy doesn't know, your uncle's best friend's sister in law doesn't know. Your cat might know, but won't tell you. Cats are like that. How will I know when the iMac is out? Check here. Check the apple site. It will likely be on the front page. When they are released, how long until they arrive? Should ship with 24h, aka right away. Not like the iPhone or iPad - that was painful. *edit : Some customizations and add-ons may increase your wait time up to weeks. But oh so worth it. Plus you'll have fun checking your tracking number several thousand times per day. What's new? Nothing cosmetic, she's gonna look the same. Internally, general consensus is 1) Sandybridge processor (upgrade from duos, quads and in my case a blender) and 2) Thunderbolt (doohinky to plug peripherals into - don't worry they are coming). Conjecture is that the next upgrade will have Ivybridge, and after that, Londonbridge (ok, that last part is a joke). What ISN'T likely to be there is 1) USB 3.0 2) a touch screen and 3) BluRay - the value of which will depend on your current movie collection and how sticky your fingers are. I'm watching my budget. Great! The old models are blazing fast. Go get one. *Edit - also check out the refurbs. These aren't your dropped laptops - good to go! I want a discount. Great! If you are a student/teacher go to the educational store for your discount. Free iPod promotions seem to happen every year but you will have to wait until the end of May. *Edit - This is regional (see below). Discounts also exist for discovery card users. $100 off your printer at time of purchase - is like a free printer! The ink cartridges on the other hand... get out your syringes. OS? Lions and tigers and bears - oh my! IF the puppies are released before July, they will have Snow Leopard on them. You will be able to upgrade to Lion later at an unknown cost. Got internet? There you go. IF they release isn't until after July (boooo) then they will ship with Lion. Should I wait? Looks like there have been issues with every model and OS release. If you are coming over from Windows it will feel like home. If you decide to play the waiting game, get a comfortable chair. You could wait forever for the next greatest unbuggy thingee... Which screen size? If you can afford the space and cash, the 27" is the best bang for your buck and eyeballs. RAM? Easy to upgrade. 8 seems to be the magic number for most people. Your mileage may vary. *Edit: Forgot this part! RAM is cheaper to buy elsewhere and add on later yourself! More dollars for cookies... HDD VS SSD? Yeah, this is new lingo for me too. What the heck? So there are fireworks around this one baby. In summary - SSD is expensive, but will provide some increase in speed for heavy hammer applications like graphics and video rendering. Oh, and it is quiet. It is also the next greatest thing so although the resale may be higher, you will be able to buy it cheaper in the future. The kick in the pants is that for newbies like us, it is REALLY hard to replace. Gurus do it in their sleep - with suctions cups and at least one friend (really!). Consensus - people like the split low end SSD + high end HDD combo if the price is right. Check back on the forums when the release happens for info. *Edit: I knew this would be trouble! Cut & paste time: SSD will give the most increase in speed for booting and program loading. Also tasks that involve lots of disk access. But graphics and video rendering are CPU bound and won't see much improvement with a SSD. Graphics card? Crap. You had to ask that. Stuff makes my head spin. Sometimes lower number models are better, sometimes not... Are you playing sims, rift, raft, wow, woo, goo or pong? Check back with the gurus at release time. I'm positive they'll be weighing in within seconds of the drop. *Edit: But I'm an UBER gamer! Newest games at 60 fps may not be for your iMac (and I quote again DA2 Yes, Crysis2 No Monkey Island? Definitely yes. Software? Start with the free stuff and Office if you think you need to swap files with other Office users. Then play with it and check out what you need as you go. NO YOU DO NOT NEED VIRUS SOFTWARE, or reg mechanic, or all that other crap that you have been spoon feeding into your PC dragging down the performance and making you want to take a sledgehammer and... Nevermind. Firewall not a bad idea. Use the recovery software that comes with your mac. *Edit: OS X comes with a firewall and the NAT translation in routers will also provide a firewall. If you are paranoid (you know who you are), add more. Google essential Mac software. Drink coffee. Enjoy. AppleCare? If you live in the Netherlands or UK, you probably don't need it. For interesting socioeconomic discussions on why ... search for it in the forum. Brilliant people live here. Otherwise, not a bad idea. Way cheaper than the warranties sold by FS and BB, and just like insurance. Given history of screen issues and the fact that these are new processors etc etc - check yes if you can spare the coin. *Edit: There is a standard 1 year warranty, and you can buy Applecare within a year of purchase. When I bought my iPhone, it was cheaper when checked at the time of purchase, but only by $20. But, hey - I attract disaster and I like to sleep at night. How 'bout you? Keep the box? Surprise - YES! Better for shipping, reselling and darn it, it's pretty. I want to play my XBox, PS, Wii on the monitor? You and everyone else. IF it doesn't have a direct HDMI input, or can't do through Thunderbolt, someone will sell an adapter somewhere for it. But you are better off with a dedicated HDTV. Yes yes, I know you live in a dorm room, I can smell the kraft dinner. Check back here. I want a purple one... Too bad. Silver and black. Tweak it out at a specialty shop, but it comes standard in that colour only. *Edit: Add ons- Will the new iMacs have an anti-glare option? No. I'm a professional artist/photographer yadda yadda... Go high end, get an external HD for storage (off site for cheaper) and check other posts in the forum on the subject. Maybe I should just build a hackintosh... You aren't a newbie. Move along. Nothing to see here. Don't know what a hackintosh is? Then you don't want one. When are they coming? I told you to stop asking. As far as anyone knows, they are on a ship somewhere in the south Pacific. A team of ninja hackers plus one mermaid has been dispatched to locate and confirm. A master hacker may or may not be involved. That's all I can think of for now. Feel free to add.