PC user switching to Mac...what i mac to buy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by webella, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. webella macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #1
    I am new to macs and I have always used a PC and wondered if folks could recommend which configuration for a new imac. I know I want to have the 24 inch model but need some input on what specs would serve me best. Most of my work is on XP Pro and it is simple word documents, some excel spreadsheets, and photos. I am a criminal investigator and I have some photo needs but it is more to view them, not really store them as they will go on cds. No gaming needs. Maybe download some music and watch a dvd.

    Any thoughts to which model I should buy?

    Many thanks in advance.

    -w-
     
  2. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

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    May 8, 2007
    #2
    I'm trying to sell my iMac... perhaps you are interested?
     
  3. webella thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the offer but I think I want to go new in case there's any issue.
     
  4. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

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    May 8, 2007
    #4
    Well, it is covered under AppleCare.
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    For your needs, I don't think you will need any more than the base model 24". If you need more space, you can buy a bigger hard drive after the fact. Apple's are ridiculously overpriced.

    You may also want to consider buying a refurbished model, which should save you a few hundred dollars.
     
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    For your purposes, any model would be fine, but I'd avoid the low end model with the ATI Radeon X2400, since the extra graphics power is always welcome.

    Also, the 20 inch screen models can only display 262,000 colours, while the 24 inch models can display 16.7 million.
     
  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #7
    Uh... what?
     
  8. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    20 inch models use a 6 bit TN LCD panel, 24 inch models use an 8 bit panel.
     
  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #9
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=477116

    Huh, what do you know. Well, I'm using a 20" Aluminum iMac right now, and I am blown away by the quality every time I turn it on. I'm no connoisseur, but this display is far and away the nicest-looking I've ever used.

    Pity I can also check my hair in the glossy display when my blinds are open...
     
  10. MacAgent84 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #10
    I think it is definitely worth taking a look at the refurbished previous generation iMacs. Some of them have fantastic specs for only $600 or $700! Although, you don't get the sexy aluminum finish. But, if you really want to start out with something more substantial, but nothing that exceeds your needs, then I would choose one of the 24" iMacs. It is more than enough computer for most ordinary to fairly memory intensive tasks, but it won't make your wallet hurt too much.

    _______________
    OS X Mac Tips & Tricks
     
  11. Coalman macrumors newbie

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    May 14, 2008
    #11
    Personally, I think you'd be happier getting a 20 inch model, with a second external display. I do similar reviews in my work--I work in the legal profession--and I think it is easier to have photos open on a second display. That way I can zoom and adjust photos on one screen, while reviewing related testimony and/or evidence documents on the other screen.
     
  12. akbc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #12
    I totally agree, with the $600 difference between the 20" Base and 24" Base, I would get a second very VERY nice monitor with that $600. That'll actually boost up anyone's efficiency by a lot.
    And make sure you get lots and lots of RAM for your base model, as it only comes with 1GB. 2x2GB (4GB Kit) isn't that expensive anyways. And the difference between HD2400 and HD2600 won't affect you in anyway. Same goes with the processors.
    Just be sure to grab as much RAM as possible.

    Dual Monitors FTW :D
     
  13. webella thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2009
    #13
    Thanks everyone. I called a few apple places and they told me the same thing as far as what they thought I could use and it was the base 24 inch imac. But, I like to ask those in the know that are not trying to sell me something.

    I thought I read somewhere that the 20 inch monitors were not as good as the 24 inch models? True?

    Again, thanks for all the suggestions. Very appreciated.
     
  14. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    #14
    The 20" monitors are 6bit vs the 8bit 24" monitors. You won't notice a difference, but the 6bit panel uses dithering to achieve millions of colors. The 24" monitors also often suffer from banding.

    I'm selling my 20" iMac. Perhaps you're interested?
     
  15. webella thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2009
    #15
    If I do the Mac plunge, I am going big and for broke and getting the 24 inch! Thanks for the offer, though.
     
  16. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #16
    The base model is more than enough for you. Just upgrade RAM to at least 2 GB.
     
  17. Yamcha macrumors 68000

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    Mar 6, 2008
    #17
    Don't buy 24" not worth it!!!! its already overpriced as it is. I would buy the cheapest iMac and buy ram from ncix.com should cost about $30 for 2GB
     
  18. ritzuk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #18
    I think you should wait until the end of the month, as the iMac is due for a revision very, very soon!

    If you need one before then, I would consider the baseline 24" iMac. I don't really see the need for a second display when you have such a large amount of screen real estate with the 24".

    My brother has a 24" iMac and his display is much nicer than the 20" we saw in store. Saying that, I have a three year old 20" iMac and my screen has much nicer colours than the current 20".
     
  19. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #19
    Your priorities should be memory and disk storage. GPU performance will be adequate with the entry level 24" iMac and only needs the higher spec GPU if you are playing games or running pro-level media applications, but this is not the case for you.

    Also as this will be your computer for work, I would recommend an external hard disk for time machine backups.
    So if you are concerned about cost, go for a 320Gb or 500Gb hard disk in the iMac, and an external hard disk of at least the same size - as opposed to a single large iMac hard disk only with no backup solution.

    As for RAM, I'd recommend 2Gb nowdays, or more if you would run a 'virtual Windows machine', i.e. Parallels Desktop/VMWare Fusion/VirtualBox - it may be useful in your line of business down the road.
     

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