Questions on iMAC

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GenesisST, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. GenesisST macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live

    I am in the process of buying a new computer and I am seriously considering the Intel iMAC. This will be the first time I will be switching type since 1989, when I went from Commodore 64 to a PC... Yes, it took me 17 years to get to an enlightened level... :)

    However, I do have some questions that might be answered by MAC gurus.

    1) Memory: I want 1 GB, but is it better to have 2x512MB or 1X1GB? I would prefer 1X1GB, since it gives room for upgrading, but usually when I want to upgrade memory, the type I need becomes either unavaible or very expensive.

    2) Video output: I know the graphics are done on a x1600 from ATI, which supposedly supports HDTV via component video. Would it be possible to use the mini-DVI to DVI adapter + ATI's DVI to component adapter? Would it also be possible

    3) PC games: My wife is currently playing some games on our PC, but I want to get rid of the screen and just use it as a file server. WOuld it be possible to play it via Virtual PC. I am pretty much ruling out Remote Desktop, even if her games are pretty static adventure games.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    Unfortunately, no - for two reasons.

    Virtual PC currently does not run at all on the Intel Macs - not even under Rosetta (the PowerPC emulation software included on every IntelMac)

    Virtual PC doesn't do gaming well, since it has no support for 3D graphics, even if you have the best graphics card possible in your mac.
  3. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Firstly, it's iMac, not iMAC. ;) Now that we've covered that, I'll attempt to answer your first and third questions...

    If you use computers for that long before upgrading components, then by all means purchase whatever is cheaper, whether it be 2x512 chips or a 1x1gb chip. You can check out for prices. Although if you've got the cash, you might as well max it out if the prices of 1gb chips are cheaper than that of 2x512mb chips.

    Not at the moment. Virtual PC is PowerPC only, and running it under Rosetta with an Intel Mac would be quite painful. I'm certain Microsoft will eventually release Virtual PC or some other equivalent product to run Windows and Windows programs natively on an Intel Mac.
  4. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    I was under the impression after reading this page that VirtualPC won't work at all under Rosetta
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Knock it off...

    1) Get a 1gb stick, and upgrade with more RAM later.

    2) Don't know

    3) What games are we talking about? If anything there might be a Mac equivalent. But like they all said Virtual PC is not a promising way to go.
  6. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    Thanks for all the answers.

    I have (probably) made my choice for an iMac 17" with 1GB.
    I briefly considered the Mac mini, but the integrated graphics
    is a turn off and I also want my new computer to be relevant
    for more that 3 months!

    Anyhow, about the HDTV stuff, it was mostly as a technogeek, but I
    can live without it on my TV!

    About the PC, I will keep my current monitor and buy a KVM switch
    for the mouse/keyboard/monitor. For the MAC, it will be a dual monitor

    One last questions: are there benefits to using firewire with an iPod over USB2?

    Thanks again!
  7. Clydefrog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2006
  8. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    Actually, no I am not sure. I know, the 20" has better CPU/HD/res.

    It is just the price difference. I was more inclined towards the mini, but with
    more HD/CPU/keyboard/mouse/graphics, the slight price difference makes it an obvious choice: the iMac. With the 20", then it is a steeper difference.

    But, my wife actually told me to go for what I like and not with reason.
    I actually argue more with myself than her over my "gadgets"!
    (And if you must know, I'm keeping her, she's priceless!) :)

    I am delaying ordering (hard thing to do!) so I can think about it more!
    (I am pretty sure, with time, I will wind up with the 20").

  9. StokeLee macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2005
    Stoke-on-Trent. Midlands, UK
    Ive got the 17" iMac G5 pre isight, and at the weekend I went *whispers* pcworld with a friend as they are the closest store that have some Apple hardware in, and they had the 17" and 20" intel iMacs next to each. Ive got to say, I so wish id of got the 20" iMac. I fell in love with the screen. :(
  10. Foxer macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Washington, DC
    First, how old is your iPod? The Nanos and Video iPods won't sync via firewire. Apple opted to go only with USB to make the things just that little bit smaller.

    I always used firwire prior to that, just beacuse I had ALWAYS used firewire going back to the days when USB wasn't an option.

    If you iPod is a Photo iPod or older (i.e., it can go either way), I'd say it is purely personal preference. Use whichever cable you have (I don't think they shipped with FireWire cables for some time). No real advantage either way.

    Not that you asked, I'd also recommend you go with the 20 inch iMac. I've had both sizes and the 20 is appreciably better.
  11. ieani macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2006
    the states for now
    But Ive heard a rev B is right around the corner! :p
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    3) You might keep an eye open for DarWINE. I'm not sure whether there is a gaming version but it would certainly be a more likely way to play Windows-based games.
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    for 2) 'm not sure if its relavent but i connect my iMac G5 up to my tv all the time, its a bit fuzzy but fine for watching movies on.... the adapter has a s-video and composite video output...
  14. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    Ok, ok! I'm will go the 20" way! :)
    I have pretty rubbery arms...

    The only option will be 1X1GB of ram.

    About my iPod, it is the 5G 60gb video. I did not know they did not support firewire anymore in those. I just wanted to use the ports on the iMac.

    Thanks for all your help!
  15. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    That sounds like a GREAT choice - I'm sure you'll be ecstatic with the 20".
    The other option you MAY want to consider is the wireless keyboard/mouse.
    I got that with my iMac & find it invaluable. However, I know there are others on these forums who detest the wireless b/c they say it chews up batteries too frequently and doesn't offer them much benefit.
    For me, the battery life has been quite acceptable (changed out the mouse batteries after 3-4 months) and I find the wireless extremely convenient.

    Have fun!
  16. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    Not sure if this is at all what you are looking for when it comes to HD content....there are several programs that I have downloaded (they are all free) that you can use to rip your DVD's that you own to your computer and format them according to where you will be watching them: on your iPod or your TV.

    Essential programs include: MacTheRipper (ripping DVD's), UnRarX (for extracting .rar files), Handbrake (also used for ripping or extracting) and iSquint (used for optimizing a ripped/extracted file for use on video iPod or HD TV).

    Hope that helps!
  17. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005
    Firewire is slower than USB 2.0. It is however faster than USB 1.0.
  18. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    incorrect. the 480Mb/s figure is a theoretical peak, it is never actually reached. in all real world applications, firewire400 is faster then usb2, because firewire can actually sustain speed near its peak, while the speed of usb will drop off considerably.
  19. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Nope, the theoretical maximum speed of Firewire 400 (400 MB/s) is slower than the theoretical USB2 maximum (480 MB/s), but in practice Firewire is much faster. If you are transferring a single large file, USB2 can approach Firewire speeds, but lots of small files slow down USB2 considerably.
  20. natness macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2005
    Since no one else has mentioned it I will... DON'T buy your ram upgrade from Apple. You'll get a better price anywhere else.

    Congratulations on your decision. I have an iMac 20", and even though it is last year's non-dually model, I fall in love with it every time I look at it.
  21. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    Mac is not an acronym for anything, it is just short for Macintosh. Therefore, only the "M" is capitalized.
  22. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    Oups, too late. I actually went for the 1X1GB. And this leaves one slot for another 1GB in the future.

    But, I know I will disapoint some: I went for the 17": I just couldn't justify the extra 500 CDN$. When I first started looking into a Mac, I was interested in the mini, so the price-quality from mini to iMac 17 was very attractive. And when comparing to my original intent (the mini), the 20" is a bit too much.

    And I figured that when I the honeymoon is over, I will still enjoy it very much and when I decide to go for a 20, it will probably be for something like an "iMac Core Hexo 4.77 THz", :)

    And I also want to buy a keyboard (the music kind), so I eill have a little more to spend there.

    Thanks for all your help!
  23. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Sounds like a well thought through decision, I would like a 20", but can´t afford it at the moment.
    Enjoy your new iMac

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