Question about RAM and waiting for an iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Eanair, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Eanair macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am in a small conundrum regarding getting an iMac, and was wondering if anyone had any advice, suggestions, or tips on a few questions I had? I used to have a Powerbook (1.67 GHz, 80 GB HD, 512 MB RAM, updated with Leopard OS) and it has since… passed on. As I am not in school anymore, mobility is not a factor in my choosing a computer, so I decided to go for an iMac (20 inch, 2.4 GHz, 250 GB HD, 1 GB RAM). My use is very basic – I mainly will use the computer for emails, surfing, chatting, listening to iTunes, burning CDs, photos, playing DVDs, and Office applications for presentations or research reports when I take work home with me. I don’t game or edit/make videos/music. I guess I’m just a basic user.

    My first question is regarding how much RAM I might need. I thought that 1 GB would be fine, but have been hearing other recommendations. An Apple rep told me I should upgrade to 2 GB and a 320 GB HD. I have an external 500 GB HD, so I definitely don’t need to upgrade the HD to have extra room available, but I’m still not sure about the RAM. I’ve seen recommendations that an iMac needs at least 2 GB to run Leopard smoothly, and some websites say that you need 4 GB for an iMac. I ran Leopard on my trusty little Powerbook, and it ran fine, so I don’t know where this assertion that you need 2 GB RAM to run Leopard comes from. I’m thinking that the Apple rep told me to upgrade to 2 GB RAM and a 320 HD to try and get me to finally get the next 20 inch iMac model, but I can’t say for sure. Does anyone have any suggestions for RAM?

    My second question is the age old “when to buy question.” I’ve priced the iMacs, and got a quote that includes the iMac, AppleCare, a discount I quality for, and taxes. I’ve saved up and just about cleared that quote and could theoretically go out right now and buy; however, I keep hearing rumors about the new iMacs due out sometime in Q1 2009. From what I hear, the supposed new iMacs will have NVIDIA graphics cards, quad core Intel chips, and a new cooling system. My questions/concerns that stem from this are…

    1. For the type of use I’ve described, I assume that such changes will not drastically affect my computing experience; therefore, it won’t really make a significant difference to me if I buy now or wait. Granted, if I buy now and an upgrade comes out later, I won’t have the newest, but (a) that’s the nature of the game and (b) if I won’t actually benefit from such upgrades, it’s a moot point anyway. Is this a fair assumption?

    2. As I’ve saved up according to the price of the current iMacs, what is the chance that these new upgraded iMacs will have a higher price due to the new technology they’ll come with? If the price is likely to be the same, I might as well wait to get the new iMacs for the same price. But I don’t want to be kicking myself if I wait and end up having to pay more for upgrades that don’t really benefit me all that much. I’ve heard the new iMacs could cost as much as 300 dollars more than the ones out now? It seems a bit far-fetched to me. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    * assuming that such rumors are true and that there are new iMacs that will be coming out in Q1 of 2009.

    Thank you for reading this novella of a post, and thank you in advance for your input! :)
     
  2. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    1. For your uses the current iMac will be just fine. You also shouldn't need more than 1 GB RAM, but if you want to later it's fairly easy and much cheaper than buying through Apple. However, if you do wait for the new iMacs your computer will be able to run the newest programs for a year or two longer than the current model.

    2. I highly doubt the new iMacs will have a higher price point. If anything I could see Apple keeping a low-end iMac like they did with the current white MacBook.

    Basically, if you don't need it now then I would wait for another month or so, but if you don't have anything to use since your powerbook died get an iMac now. Don't forget that you can trade-in for the new model if one comes out with 2 weeks of your purchase.
     
  3. wekes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #3
    On when to buy, there's always the Buyer's Guide section (just in case you weren't aware of it). It's not guaranteed to be foolproof of course, but it's a pretty helpful set of information to at least make an educated guess with.
     
  4. arklab macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    #4
    My wife is using a G5 iMac, and its age is really starting to show.
    If you can wait, it would be far better to get the newest hardware that may do much better with Snow Leopard, or at least scoop up the current hardware from the refurb store.
     
  5. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #5
    Really?

    That's pretty awesome. Will they give you a big hassle if you try to do that, or is it relatively easy to do so?
     
  6. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    I'm not totally sure since I've never done it myself, but I've heard that it's a pretty easy process...

    I guess it does say here that there is a 10% restocking fee.

    http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/salespolicies.html#Return Policy
     
  7. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #7
    Hmm, so if you buy a 1,200 computer and return it, you have to pay an additional 120 dollars.

    Good to know!!
     
  8. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #8
    Alright then... it appears that there's quite a bit of speculation that the new iMacs are due out on March 3rd. I can totally wait until then to see. If yes or no, not a huge deal.

    Follow up inquiry then... if the new iMacs are announced on March 3rd, how long before us consumers will be able to obtain one?
     
  9. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #9
    the new MacBooks (13" and 15") shipped immediately but the 17" had a wait before it shipped so I do not know.
     
  10. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #10
    Aha, thanks! :)

    Now I get to play the fun game of "to wait or not to wait" for the rumored upgrade(s). *sighs and smiles*
     

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