PC Weary iMac Ready

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gsgroff, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. gsgroff, Mar 9, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013

    gsgroff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    #1
    After my latest PC mess, I'm ready to go Mac. I've pretty much decided on a 21.5" iMac to replace my desktop. I was surprised at how reasonable it was @ $1300 compared to getting my daughter a Macbook for grad school last summer. My usage is mostly fairly light-duty home stuff, with some semi-pro stuff that my 6 year old Dell system can handle just fine, so I know I don't really need a "monster" system.

    Needless to say, I've had tons of questions, many answered by the folks at the Apple store, but sometimes I think they don't really know much beyond what I can read on the boxes or the Apple site. Below are some questions. I suppose I should break them out to the different parts of this forum, but thought I'd start here with them all together. Feel free to chime in on any you may have experience or opinions about. Thanks!!

    1. Which is the better wireless router (range, speed) Airport Extreme or Time Capsule? Are they the same router w/the TC having the backup drive in it or would it be better to get the Airport Extreme with a seperate hard drive?

    2. Is there an advantage of running ethernet from the router to the iMac vs. just letting it stay wireless? (router and iMac will be right beside each other, but the big blue ethernet cable would spoil the sleek lines of the iMac)

    3. Can I plug a USB hub into (either) router and use that for other peripherals besides my printer, like a USB stick, CD burner (Superdrive), card reader, etc. or do I have to plug them into the back ports of the iMac?

    4. Photoshop - I need to run Photoshop. I'm fine with the 5.5 version I've been running for years on my PC. Can I get an old Photoshop 5.5 for Mac to run on my iMac? I see it on Amazon for under $100. I can't see ponying up over $600 for the latest Photoshop.

    5. Audio - I have a recording setup in my home. I do all recording/mixing/effects on my stand-along Roland 2480 and just fly a stereo pair Via SPDIF into the PC. There, I use Soundforge for final editing and mastering, with some Waves plugins. Here's what I'm planning: ESI U24XL interface to get the SPDIF into the iMac. It comes with QbaseLE, which I've never used. I see a new Soundforge for Mac is out too..... Any advice or opinions out there for this?

    Thanks for any input any of you experienced Mac users may give!

    Gordon
     
  2. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #2
    1. They are the same except the T/C has a built in hard drive for wireless back up.
    2. Wired is always faster but really it depends on the limit of your internet. Me, if I can go wired I do.
    3. AFAIK only printers and hard drives worke with the USB port on the back of the AEBS. I have used USB hubs for multiple HDD with no problems.
    4. So long as it is made for an Intel Mac it should be fine, but some software has been known to have issues with Lion and Mountain Lion so I would confirm first.
    5. Sorry out of my area.
     
  3. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    The Real Northern California
    #3
    My late 2012 iMac is my move from Windows to Mac.

    I planned the move for over three-years, I knew the first couple of weeks were going to be tough on my patience (and they were) but I could not be happier with my move, or the timing of the move in light of Windows 8.

    My advice is that you take your time, research the hardware options since upgrades other than memory are not practical if even do-able.

    I run CS6 and have no interest in watching the 'beach-ball'. I went CTO, 3TB fusion, 3.4GHz i7, 680MX NVidia and threw in 32GB of Crucial.

    1. The TimeCapsule units having a hard drive which makes TimeMachine seamless.

    2. Wired is absolutely the way to go if you're going to be using a TC and TimeMachine and/or CarbonCopyCloner software. Even if you're not going with a TimeCapsule I would recommend wired unless it simply isn't practical.

    3. Here's the 411 on Apple devices and their USB ports: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2421?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
    The short answer is, USB support depends on the device.

    4. Sure, run an older version. Load as much memory as you can afford to install.

    5. I used a nice card in my PC and employed SoundForge Audio Studio for digitizing vinyl and other sundry tasks (nothing professional). This is where I'm outta here. Good luck.
     
  4. gsgroff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    #4
    Thanks Marc and Freeman!

    Sounds like the Time Capsule thing is the way to go for seamless backups and good wireless. Thanks for the link to USB usage on it. Looks like it will just be my printer on the TC USB, and ethernet wire to the imac. Oops. Just noticed a typo in my first post. The 21.5" is $1300, not the 27"!

    Anyway, I at least think I know what to buy to get me off the ground on this. It's surprisingly nervous-making to go Apple after years of PC use. Kind of like moving into a foreign country where you don't speak the lingo.

    Appreciate it.

    Gordon
     
  5. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #5
    You should be fine with most audio hardware too..I have a couple of 64 track boards tha have both worked perfectly with my iMacs....USB or SPDIF should be fine with the board mounting and appearing as an HDD on your desktop...I haven't used Soundforge, as I do most of my mixing using the built in SD cards, then bounce over to my Imac and final edit from there.
     
  6. oldhifi macrumors 6502a

    oldhifi

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Come on over, I just converted to Mac not too long ago, and it is great!
     
  7. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    The Real Northern California
    #7
    If you're going to purchase the 21.5" model, I would advocate that you pull the trigger on 16GB of memory with the unit since memory is NOT a field serviceable item on the 21.5". Yes, it is pricy, you will not regret it.
     
  8. gsgroff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    #8
    Thanks for the advice, Freeman and Macman. Yes, I would prefer the 21.5 over the 27", not so much for the $$ (though it IS relevant), but mostly to better fit my workspace and how close I sit to the monitor. One thing I am going to check out is the sound quality. From reading around on this board, there are indications that the 27" built-in speakers sound better than the 21.5". That would be significant to me. Another trip to the Apple Store! :)

    Gordon
     
  9. jtrainor56 macrumors regular

    jtrainor56

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
    #9
    Gordon,

    I am new to an iMac as well so you can take this advise with a grain of salt...

    I have been in an IT support position for at least 25 years and on the Windows side so do have a little experience with computers.

    If you are okay with the 21" then I would go with the high end and get the i7 processor and 16 gig of ram. As others have said, the 21" is not memory upgradeable. I run Adobe Lightroom and a DAZ 3D and have no problems, then again I have the high end 27" i7.

    Go wired over wireless, this past weekend my wireless printer got flaky and after fighting with it for 3 hours Friday night, I took the Ethernet cable from my iMac and plugged it into the printer. My wife and kids print to it remotely from their laptops and iPads and I won't share my iMac! Anyway, I was on call this weekend and had to VPN into my work and run Citrix to access servers, big difference with wireless and I took my cable back!

    If you do audio, then invest in external speakers no matter what you buy, the internal are okay on my 27" but most music I listen to is through my headphones.

    Good luck in whatever you decide, Joe
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    "Is there an advantage of running ethernet from the router to the iMac vs. just letting it stay wireless? (router and iMac will be right beside each other…"

    Put up with looking at the ethernet cable. Wired (eithernet) is ALWAYS better. Always.

    "Can I plug a USB hub into (either) router and use that for other peripherals besides my printer, like a USB stick, CD burner (Superdrive), card reader, etc. or do I have to plug them into the back ports of the iMac?"

    Plug the USB3 hub into the back of the Mac. Get used to the reality that there will be cables there. It's a computer, right?
    BTW, be VERY careful about what USB3 hub you buy. Many yield only USB2 speeds with the Mac, and a few don't seem to work at all.

    "Audio - I have a recording setup in my home…"

    Best input into the Mac is via USB (well, Firewire is better, but you'd have to buy a Thunderbolt-to-firewire dongle). 'Nuff said about that...
     
  11. elev8d macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #11
    I would watch YouTube videos on Cubase and comparable DAWs to see if its a tool that fits your set up. I find the LE versions of software included with hardware are never adequate and I always have to upgrade or purchase something different to meet my needs. My favorite DAW is Ableton because I work with electronic music. Live music users typically prefer Logic or ProTools.
     
  12. dkleiner macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    #12
    I have been in your shoes. I was running Cakewalk's Sonar X1 Producer's Edition alongside my VS-2480. I sold the VS, finished my song projects in Sonar and went off to to buy a Mac. I wound up with a new 27" iMac i7 3.4 with 8GB of RAM and added 16GB of Crucial RAM. I said so long! to Sonar and went with Logic Pro.

    Everything works seamlessly with all of my peripherals:

    1. Audio: Presonus Firewire Studio Project. I downloaded the drivers from Presonus, and the interface was instantly recognized; and it works. I run it via firewire to the thunderbolt input on the iMac. No issues.

    2. 7-Port Hub: Uspeed USB 3.0 from Amazon. $49.99. Works perfectly.

    3. External Optical Drive: Samsung SE-506BB/TSBD 6X USB2.0 External Slim Blu-ray Writer Drive. $89.99.

    4. External Hard Drive: LaCie 3TB Thunderbolt.

    5. Midi Controller: Akai MPK-61. Connects via USB. I could instantly play the sampled sounds in Logic Pro. Nice.

    For the first time in 17 years of computer recording, no compatibilty issues; no hangups; no crashes. EVERYTHING WORKS AS INTENDED.
     
  13. gsgroff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    #13
    Well, I'm a new iMac owner now. Cool. My PC blue-screened yesterday morning. I was able to get it up eventually, but decided to pull the trigger - NOW.

    Unfortunately, the added memory would have been a 1-2 week custom build, so I opted for the base 8gig ram since I'm such an impatient person and could walk out of the store with one. I honestly do not think our usages will be constrained in any way. Web surfing, email, Occaisonal photoshop and 2 channel audio editing....

    As has been recommended, ethernet from Time Capsule into iMac, printer only into TC. It was very cool how it saw my old HP printer and automatically updated and installed it for me! No driver searches. Very slick. Wireless network automatically set itself up. I'm still a bit confused about that since it did not have ask for any passwords or any setup questions, but my wife's netbook got on, using my Apple password. No problem and is fast. Apple really does have it on the ball for integrating and making things play nice together. Very cool.

    There are a few learning-curve things, but so far, so good!

    dkleiner - loved your summary of going full DAW. If I were still seriously into recording, I'd be looking at that too. I just want to retain the functionality of my 2480>PC production methods for the occaisional project. Am pretty sure I can pull that off on my new imac.

    Thanks again for the input, folks!

    Gordon
     
  14. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    The Real Northern California
    #14
    Congratulations on your new baby!

    Cigars all around.

    You're very quickly going to realize that Microsoft teaches people to think and be retarded with their obtuse environment.

    Just keep inhaling the breath of fresh air that is the Apple environment. :)
     
  15. dkleiner macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    #15
    Do not use the R word. That is horribly offensive.
     
  16. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #16
    So what model you bought? You stood on base 21.5" ?
     
  17. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    The Real Northern California
    #17
    Yeah, you're correct. Microsoft Operating System environments are much worse.

    My apology.
     
  18. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a

    Nyy8

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #18
    Like you, I also sit next to my router, and for this reason I use Ethernet personally. It for sure increases speeds, not make or break. But for me about 20 MBPS between wifi and Ethernet (40 MBPS on wireless, while 65-68 MBPS). (this is coming from a iMac 2011). I would say if you could, try and go Ethernet. If you can't, not too big a problem.


    Oh hey! Congrats on the new iMac. Trust me you will love it. I love mine, coming from a 6 year old Dell PC. How could I not?
     

Share This Page