Questions before buying first iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by musiclvr, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. musiclvr macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
    I've always had PCs so this will be my first ever iMac. I'm kind of nervous about making the switch from Windows to Mac, and have a few questions before going through with it.

    I am looking at the 27" i7 version. Couple of questions about upgrade options:

    1) Thinking of leaving it at the standard 4GB it comes with and upgrading RAM myself. I would like 16GB, can someone give me some suggestions as to which RAM to buy for it? And is it easy enough to install myself? BTW why is it so much more costly on the Apple website to go from 8GB to 16GB than from 4GB to 8GB?

    2) Wish I could afford to upgrade to SSD drive but it's really not in my price range so will go with the 2 1TB drive option.

    3) As for the graphics upgrade, is it worth it to upgrade the 1GB to 2GB? I am not a gamer so don't need it for that. What other benefits would I get in upgrading that?

    Now as I've said, I have always been a Windows user and would still like to be able to use Windows often. Have many applications that are for Windows only. I know there are a couple options as to how to install Windows 7. I guess there are 2 options, install via Bootcamp or via Parallels/VMWare Fusion? This may sound like a dumb question, but performance wise does Windows 7 installed on Bootcamp/VMWare Fusion perform as well as it would on a PC? It's really important to me that Windows 7 runs smoothly just as it does on my PC since I will be using Windows a lot still. And do you recommend installing via Bootcamp or a virtual program like VMWare? I imagine Bootcamp performance is better but I'd like to be able to run both Windows and MAc OSX simultaneously.

    I know the current iMac is near the end of its life cycle and nobody knows the answer to this but do you expect a refresh this year? I prefer to get it now but can wait a month or so if the refresh is coming soon. Any rumors lately?

    Sorry for the long post, am just nervous about making the switch from Windows to Mac (and would like to be reassured of Windows performance on my iMac).
  2. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    IMac platforms tend to be upgraded "on average" every 229 days. For more details on historical patterns, surf:

    For typical homer user, default 4 Megs is more then enough memory. Suggest getting 4 Megs, use it for 1 full month, then use its included Actvity Monitor - Memory settings. If memory (of lack of it) seems to be a bottleneck, then buy more memory for it. Based on typical home user tasks, 4 Megs is more then enough.

    I hear the SSD drive from from Apple Corp is "a dog". Very slow compared to the many other SSDs on the market. As a suggestion, get the 2 TB drive model. And if you have a burning desire for SSD, get 3rd party SSD installed. Especially since SSD prices are coming down. In 2+ years, SSDs will be more affordable.

    If NOT info gaming, IMO the better video card would be a waste of dollars. Especially if you are a typical home user.

    Actually, if a typical home user, the hear the i5 model is more then enough.

    Hope this helps...

  3. Cheese macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2002
    In the refrigerated section at your grocer
    Just curious as to what is making you nervous about making the switch. For me, it was a an unjustifiably tense moment. Back then, there was NO one running Windows on a mac. I knew almost nothing about macs. I was being poked with a stick by colleagues who are still part of the M$ faithful.
    It is painless really. What I suggest is to make a list of expectations you may have for your next computer. Perhaps it may help to list some of the reasons you feel you want to make the switch, or some of the things you dislike about the current setup you are running.

    You will likely find that;
    1. There is very little learning curve, if any
    2. More programs work together seamlessly and intuitively
    3. You can be more productive
    4. you can do things with your system that you never thought possible
    5. The less you think about the new system in the same way you thought about your old system (with respect to what you had to do to get the machine to do what you needed it to do) the quicker you will have adapted to a different way of working, playing, and thinking.

    Please post your thoughts about your new system and how things are after the switch.
  4. bushman4 macrumors 68020

    Mar 22, 2011
    If you install windows in Bootcamp you will have the best of both worlds. A PC and a Mac which you can learn on in your spare time. Perhaps You'll feel more comfortable with that way, knowing that you can go to windows anytime you feel uncomfortable.
  5. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    If you intend to use Windows 7 under virtualising software, then I would upgrade the memory to at least 8GB. Both Lion and Windows 7 really could do with at least 2GB each to run smoothly, so your 4GB is already spoken for. I bought an extra 8GB for £32 to take it up to 12GB, so that upgrade is cheap at the moment.
    I have the i5 with the 6970M and it plays all the games that I have, which are not that many. I am not sure I would have paid the extra for the i7 unless I was planning to do a lot of ripping.
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    You say you are going for the 2 1TB option?
    Is that a US option only, because in europe you'll only get 1 3.5 inch HD and one SSD (2.5 inch).

    Just to be warned several uses have reported that changing HDs yourself will result in problems with fan control on the iMac. This is most likely because Apple have it's own firmware on the internal HDs.
  7. musiclvr thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies everyone!

    I meant to say the 2TB option upgrade, not the 2 1TB. :)

    I really want 16GB of RAM because I will be running Windows via VMWare pretty often and I also use Photoshop a lot when consumes a lot of memory.

    So will this work?

    Is Corsair a good brand? I'd like top quality so I don't mind paying a few extra bucks for a better brand if necessary. Would love some suggestions. Thanks! :)
  8. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    Corsair is good memory, but that particular one that you are looking at won't work. Do a search here and also go to the Apple support site, they have instructions on how to upgrade memory, and they indicate what specs you need.

    Hint: you need to go to the "laptop memory" section at NewEgg. You need 204-pin (not to be confused with 240-pin) DDR3 PC-10600, if my memory serves correctly.
  9. wilfried macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    I bought this from Newegg:

    It works in my 2011 27" iMac. Well, one stick arrived DOA, but Corsair replaced the pair, and all is well now.

    12mb is overkill for me, but at the price, I figured it couldn't hurt to go for 8gb additional (they offered a $10 rebate when I ordered; I haven't seen the money yet). I found that the iMac running Lion needed more than 4gb running even just the basic stuff. Before I added RAM, it lagged and stuttered and I got a lot of beachballs, and I had page outs in the gigabytes, but when I added another 4gb, almost all of that went away.
  10. musiclvr thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
  11. kalex macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    Both will work fine. Keep the RAM same though. So get 2 sets of either one

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