Ready to switch to Mac, had enough of Vista!! Some questions..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ayzee, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. ayzee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    Hi all
    Ive been thinking about making the switch for a while now. As ive started using my PC more to manipulate my media, Vista has just been making me more and more frustrated. I just always seem to be "trying" to make things work.

    But my experience on my Vista PC today has made my decision for me. My external Hard drive has been corrupted!! I was changing the locations of my default folders to my external hardrive in Vista and all of a sudden, it has all been corrupted. I have most of my media backed up, except for my Photos of which ive lost about 90%.

    Im prepared to jump in the deep end with my new Mac, and am prepared to spend a fair bit of money, as I want a Mac that performs really well and something that I wont be looking to upgrade for some time to come. Have been researching but ive never really used a mac before, so I have a fair few questions that I hope you all could help me with!! Also please make suggestions on the spec I should go for.

    Just to narrow this down, ive already decided to go with the iMac :)

    1.Do macs performance get sluggish and slow over a period of time of usage

    2.How stable is the operating system? Will I regulary be doing maintenance to fix errors

    3.whats the most important piece of hardware for macs running wise? Processer or ram etc?

    4.What's is the advantage of MacPro's over iMacs

    5.What are the "must buy" pieces of software?

    6.Im a current mobilme subsriber on my PC. If I switch to mac how do I get access to all the other pieces of software that come with mobilme, etc iweb.

    7.Will i be able to upgrade to snow leopard OS when it is released, or will I have to buy a new mac?

    8.Do the current iMacs have 64bit support?

    9.Is there a guarantee with iMacs, or do I have to buy applecare?

    10.Ive heard that iMacs develop a "Vertical Lines" problem overtime, does this still happen with imacs now?

    11.How soon will the iMacs be updated, should I wait?

    12.After having a quick look at the apple store, these are the specs ive chose:
    3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    500GB Serial ATA Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS w/512MB GDDR3
    Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
    Wireless keyboard (British) & User’s Guide (English)
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    24-inch glossy widescreen LCD
    AirPort Extreme
    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

    What are your opinions? Thanks
  2. Darwin macrumors 65816


    Jun 2, 2003
    round the corner
    Hey, good to hear you considering a Mac, I'll do my best to answer these. I'm sure others can add in more details:

    1. Times where I have seen this take place is usually down to the user overloading the machine's resources. This can be fixed without the need to reinstall everything and unlike Windows, OS X is better at cleaning up after itself and lacks certain features such as the registry.

    2. OS is pretty stable and tends to look after itself most of the time, things like small scale defraging and optimizing system files are done regularly without requiring the user to take action themselves.

    3. Going with a new Intel iMac you shouldn't have much problem with power. Ram would be something to watch but with 4GB you seem to be covered there for a while. At the end of the day it depends on what tasks you intend to carry out.

    4. Extra horse power as well as better expansion capabilities. Aimed towards the Pro market hence the name.

    5. Depends on yourself, what tasks do you carry out on the PC, could you expand on manipulating media?

    6. New Macs should ship with the iLife suite (iWeb, iPhoto etc) included, once you have entered you login details into the system the iLife applications will be able to use your MobileMe account.

    7. Again with the iMac you will be able to upgrade to Snow Leopard without any issues

    8. The Core 2 Duo inside the Present iMac is 64bit, OS X also supports the running of 64bit alongside 32bit.

    9. You will get your 1 year warranty included, any time during or after you may purchase Apple Care to extend that

    10. Not aware of that problem, don't own an iMac myself and haven't heard lately about this issue.

    11. MacRumors Buying Guide should give you an idea of the product cycle.

    12. Looks like a good spec machine, you should be happy with it :)
  3. Galley macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2008
    Get the base RAM, and upgrade it yourself. It's easy and much cheaper. :)
  4. dengar169 macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2007
    Congrats on the decision to come over to the Mac. I hope in the end it is the right decision for you. Before I answer any questions, I would first have to say, do NOT buy any memory from apple, it is way over priced and you can find it much cheaper elsewhere.
    question #2: From personal experience, i find Leopard (OS) not as stable as Tiger was, however compared to anything windows, it is Night and Day.
    #4 between the 2 is speed and power, it all depends on your needs, I run an iMac and love it.
    #5 I'm not sure what you intend to use your computer for so I wouldn't say anything is a MUST BUY, for me I've purchased Aperture, CS3, Final Cut and others. I would recommend Quicksilver, it is awesome. you can visit to search for the hot software
    #6 iweb is included with a purchase of a new mac as part of the iLife suite. You can sync up your mobileme info once you get your mac up and running
    #7 You don't have to buy a new mac when it is release
    #8 Yes
    #9 limited guarantee, apple care is recommended by most, i personally did not purchase it
    #10 hasn't happened to me yet
    #11 Visit the buyers guide provided by macrumors, it helped me make decisions on my new imac, ipod, etc etc

    Best of luck to you!
  5. Olvenskol macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2008
    1. It shouldn't degrade significantly. All computers see some degradation as fragmentation occurs and as you keep loading on newer software designed for faster hardware, but the experience won't be anything like a Windows PC where registry clutter and continually added background services can really gum things up.

    2. OSX is itself quite stable. I've had occasional fussiness with the wireless connectivity, but nothing too serious.

    3. RAM is key (like it is for Windows) until you have enough, after which it doesn't help much. I've been happy myself with 2GB in an iMac, but a lot of people like more. After RAM, then processor speed or GPU performance depending on what you are doing.

    4. Mac Pro's are more expandable and generally start out a lot beefier than iMacs. An iMac is a beautiful desktop machine for moderate use, the Mac Pro is more like a traditional PC desk top in terms of design (though very nice!)

    5. You'll get a lot right out of the box, so it really depends on what you want to do with the machine. I've purchased both iWork and Office and am happy with both. The iLife package you'll get and that has most of the home-oriented things you might want (iPhoto, iWeb, iMovie, etc). Those are nicely designed, but pretty light on total functionality. For the three big media apps (photos, movies, music), there are professionally-oriented software available from Apple that seems to be well-regarded. I haven't used them since iLife is adequate for my modest needs.

    6. The desktop versions of the Mobileme apps will be on the machine when you get it. A combination of the standard software (e.g. Mail and iCal) and iLife.

    10. The display problems seem to be hit-and-miss. My machines have not developed any problems, but some have.

    11. Both iMac and Mac Pro were pretty recently refreshed, so I'd say you were safe buying now.
  6. 204467 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    I can only answer a few of these, but here you go:
    2. Very stable from what I hear; you won't have to always perform system maintenance.
    4. Mac Pro's are much more powerful, going up to eight cores. Plus, they have much more expandability than an iMac (the only upgrade that doesn't void the warranty is RAM). However, a Mac Pro is much more expensive than an iMac, and doesn't come with a display.
    5. Depends on what you're using your computer for.
    7. You'll definitely be able to upgrade to Snow Leopard, you won't need a new Mac unless you break this one.
    9. As with every Mac, there is a 1 year limited warranty and 90 days of phone service. All that Apple Care does is extend the warranty to 3 years along with 3 years of phone support.
    10. As with all hardware, the amount of complaints you read online does not accurately represent the real world; people are more likely to complain about things than to praise them. As with any purchase, you take a risk buying it; there are always faulty products, from computers to condoms. However, the iMacs' displays are excellent in the majority, especially since you seem to be after a 24".
    11. Check the Buyer's Guide. Personally, I'd say buy it now, they're excellent machines already; if you're waiting for the next big thing, you're never going to get a new computer.
    Tips on your proposed computer:
    1. Don't get the 3.06ghz model; apparently there is little difference between the two except for a $200 price tag. Now, if you want the extra hard drive space and the other graphics card, then just select the 2.8ghz model and build it with those specifications.
    2. DO NOT BUY RAM FROM APPLE! If you want four gigs of RAM, buy it third party. It's just as good and as previously stated, does not void the warranty to put it in yourself. Here is a link for a four gig kit of RAM; I am sure there are cheaper prices out there.
    3. Enjoy! I'm getting an iMac in August, I can't wait!
  7. ayzee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    This is brilliant, thanks for the quick replies!

    I think there will be a surge of people switching to Macs in the future because of the "iPhone factor". If it wasn't for the iPhone i wouldn't think twice about apple. But after seeing the wonders of the iPhone OS, my head was turned and now i will be saying goodbye(& good riddance to the PC)
  8. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
  9. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    1. No, although it is a good idea to repair permissions after a 10.x.x update

    2. Nope, sometimes in rare circumstances you'll have to delete a .plist or reset something arbitrary, but it's nothing like windows.

    3. I'd say you need to have 1GB of RAM and a 2GHz processor to run leopard comfortably (however you should buy as much RAM as you can since it's sooooo cheap)

    4. Four hard drive bays, supports up to 32GB (64GB?) of RAM, choice in graphics cards, configurability.

    5. Aperture, iWork, Final Cut Express, Path Finder, Twitterific

    6. iWeb comes with all Macs, it's not a part of MobileMe it's a part of iLife.

    7. You'll have to buy a copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard and you'll be able to install it on your new machine, you'll also be able to install the next two OS upgrades afterwards (most likely)

    8. All current Macs have 64bit processors and leopard is 64bit

    9. There is 1 year of free applecare, which is basically the guarantee, you might as well buy Applecare though

    10. That sounds like a hardware issue that hopefully Apple has addressed by now.

    11. Only Steve knows. Consult the buyer's guide

    12. Looks like a nice computer, good luck
  10. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    1. So far, I have been using my MacBook for about 9 months now, and over those 9 months, the performance seems to have gotten slightly slower, but is still amazing and not all that noticeable, after these 9 months I would not regret my purchase because of the slight decrease in speed.

    2. The current 10.5.4 Leopard release is amazingly stable, and should work near-flawlessly for you. But in the future with new OS releases (like 10.5.0 and 10.5.1 in the recent past) don't be surprised if the OS is slightly unstable, just as it was a new release. You will not need to be doing regular maintenance.

    3. I would say probably the RAM or hard-drive size. In your purchase feel free to upgrade the HD size through Apple, but do not upgrade the RAM from Apple, buy it from a 3rd party and install it yourself, it is a whole lot cheaper and works the same (Apple will charge you absurd prices).

    4. Mac Pro's are for professional usage, and by that I mean people who need more than 1TB of internal Hard Drive space, more than 4GB of RAM, people who need to upgrade their GPU without needing to change the computer, and people who are regularly running applications that require extreme CPU power. This is one of those cases where if you need to ask, then you don't need it.

    5. I would recommend iWork '08 or MS Office 2008, basically an application suite that includes a word processor or something of the sort.

    6. I do not have much at all for knowledge about MobileMe, but iWeb, iPhoto, iMovie, iCal, and iTunes are all included in the iLife '08 package that is included software with your computer.

    7. Unless Apple completely changes their ways with OS releases, which they most likely will not, then any Intel based Mac (any Mac that you would buy new now) will be able to install Snow Leopard without any problems. All that you will have to do is purchase the OS DVD (which will probably be around $129).

    8. I have no idea, that is out of my expertise.:eek:

    9. There is an included 1-year of AppleCare included, and you can purchase AppleCare within a year from the purchase date which will extend your coverage to 3-years from the purchase date.

    10. I have never owned an iMac and have never encountered one with this problem, but I wouldn't be too worried about it, if there is any problem then you can let Apple know and I am sure that they will replace the machine.

    11. Nobody really knows, but other than slightly faster CPU speeds, then there probably won't be anything major changed (figuring they had a major change last year).

    12. In regards to the specs of the computer that you have set there, if you don't really plan on using the computer for any huge application tasks that would require a CPU speed of 3.06, or if you don't plan on using anything that would really need a GPU card like that, then I would consider the next model down with these specs to save you a few bucks (changes in bold):

    2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB (the included RAM, upgrade it yourself and save a lot of money)
    500GB Serial ATA Drive (see note below, it might help you save even more)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO w/256MB GDDR3
    Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
    Wireless keyboard (British) & User’s Guide (English)
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    24-inch glossy widescreen LCD
    AirPort Extreme
    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

    These three changes in bold will save you $550 USD from your current specs(I am not sure of the actual savings in the UK), and savings of $600 USD if you downgrade the hard drive capacity to 320 GB, only do this if you don't think you will need the 500GB drive. The change of GPU and CPU speeds will save you the most, and if you don't really need them, then it might be a good idea to do this (the difference in CPU speed won't even be all that noticeable). Good Luck with your purchase and a good choice switching to Macs!
  11. Coprolite macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    It sounds like you have done a bit of research. Macs don't slow down with age the way windows machines do. As long as you don't keep your hard drive too full. My MacBook drive was very full for a long time. When I finally cleaned off some space, it actually got faster. For some people, they think the computer gets slower, but the benchmarks haven't changed on mine. The best way to not notice that your computer is slow is to never go to the Apple store to see how blazingly fast the new Macs are....

    When it comes to software, the best bet is to buy the computer and then play with it, learning as much as you can about it. I don't recommend MSOffice, as the free alternatives are equivalent for the great majority of people and a lot of people like the Apple alternatives.

    I've installed RAM and upgraded to Leopard on my computers with no issues at all. If I were to buy a Mac right now, I wouldn't worry about HDD or RAM and then max it out by myself for much cheaper.

    Unless you notice something strange about your iMac, and you don't plan on moving it around a lot, you probably don't need Applecare. Of course, you have a year from the purchase date to get Applecare. I hear eBay/Amazon are good sources. If I were to buy a laptop, I would probably get it. I would have been eligible for a free battery if I had Applecare. Laptop are also just more prone to breaking due to their mobility. People with Applecare tend to get stuff fixed easily, even if it isn't strictly covered by the letter of the law.
  12. SkiHound macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2008
    I'm a newbie iMac switcher and won't attempt to answer your individual questions. I'm a long time Windows user. Still use Windows XP at work, but it's pretty locked down and stable. At home I was still using a system with XP Pro. Just seemed everything would try to take over the computer and every media program was completely different. I bought a 2.8mhz 24" iMac. So far, I'm pretty happy. I was online and had email within a few minutes. So far the system has been stable and feels very fast. There are certainly things I haven't figured out how to do. There is some learning curve but overall, but things just seem to work. OS-X seems real stable to me so far. A clear disadvantage of the iMac is that it has limited expandability. The Mac pro would allow greater flexibility in that regard. Windows is an open platform on which almost anything will, can, may, might, work if configured right and there are no conflicts with anything else on the system. After a couple of weeks I find myself wondering why anyone would ever buy a windows based PC. Though I think the existence of different platforms ultimately helps propel the advancement of each.
  13. ayzee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    Hi all, just want to say a big thank you for all your help.
    Purchased my new iMac on Monday, and am loving it, very happy with my purchase!

    I bought direct from the apple store, and took it home via public transport :D. As you can see by the picture, the apple clerks wrapped it up rather well with what they had! They did say they could deliver it to me the next day instead, but i couldnt wait! Didnt think it was gonna be this big or heavy but managed to get it home without getting ambushed!

    Once I got home, Twas a little frustrating playing around with the Leopard OS, just simple things I wasnt able to do.

    So I went to the apple store yesterday and attended a Leopard OS class, and it has helped me so much. Just makes you realise how amazing this OS is, the searching capabilities impressed me the most.

    Ill just be spending the next few weeks transfering everything from PC to Mac. The only thing im having trouble with is my outlook calendar to Mac. MobileMe calendar wont sync to iCal, and Ical wont read anything outlook exports! Im very surprised at this incompatibility!



  14. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    Congratulations and Welcome to the Brotherhood:D

    Hope you enjoy your new iMac and cherish the fact that its your first Mac and probably the turning point in your Tech life!

    Any problems or something troubling you or any help you require, the forum is all yours and we'll all try to help you out as much as we can! :)

    Do post your first ever experience with your first ever Mac!:D
  15. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    Congrats on the purchase and on officially making the switch, and as Apple Ink has said, ask any questions that you have here or do a search, we are all glad to help!:)
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    The quick answer to the question:

    "Does the Mac work better for people who blame their own stupidity on their computers?"

    The answer is generally yes. Go nuts.
  17. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I don't have a lot of experience with outlook, but I'd expect you can export your calendar through outlook and then send it over to your iMac and import it into iCal.

    (I haven't attended a Mac class, as I don't think I'd benefit from it much, but I'm curious as to what they taught you. What'd you do there?)
  18. ayzee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    It was just another woman and I who attended the 1 hour class. The apple guy had lost his script so he kinda just made it up as he went along. He was doing his demonstration on a big screen TV, and gave us Macbooks to follow the demos. He basically went through the applications that come with Leopard, with the "biggest enthusiasm". he constantly used words like amazing and was a little annoying, but was teaching me so much!

    Because he had no scipt, the lady and I just preceded to ask him random questions about Leopard, I had absolutely loads which he answered with no problem.

    A response he gave to one of my questions made me laugh. I asked him does iTunes convert avi video to a format I can play through iTunes. To which he replied that apple doesnt provide that because its illegal to rip DVDs. I said even if its my own? and he hesitated and said "yes" :D
    But apart from that bit of BS, id definitely recommend it to any new Mac users
  19. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Glad to hear your enjoying your new Mac, if you still feel you need to learn OS X in more depth which I'm sure you do this book is probably the most recommended book out there for switchers it'll help you no end
  20. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    It actually is illegal to rip DVDs, even if you own them. From the distributor's perspective (and legal I believe), you should pay for each copy of a movie that you have. But there is a handy application called Handbrake that can rip DVDs and convert them to many different formats that are compatible with iTunes and iPods/iPhones.
  21. ayzee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    Thanks ill try this

    Just a concern I have about new PC/Macs in general. Do I have to purchase anti-virus and firewall software to protect my mac? Or is this already provided by the Leopard OS?
  22. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    Dont worry about Mac OS X. It has a built in Firewall (though its features are questionable) but the end point is that no bad guy out there is interested in making bad stuff for Macs and there are hardly any viruses as compared to Win for Macs! So you really dont need some stupid horrid Antivirus software (My experience with them on my PC has been terrible). That said if you your self go out looking for some ultra shady sites......

    But of course, this doesnt change things for Win on a Mac through BC especially!:D
  23. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Nope is the simple answer to your question,at present their are no known Mac viruses in the wild,( their is a long answer but it's to do with UNIX ),you have a built in firewall which can be configured system preferences > security > firewall tab. If you want to install windows via bootcamp then the answer is it needs all the help it can get as when you install windows you basically have two completely separate OS's so your usual AV's,spyware,mailware, etc will still need installing

    Just so you don't worry if a windows virus did manage to migrate over to OS X, OS X wouldn't understand it so therefor wont harm it

    OOPs forgot about Trojans, just don't give anything you don't trust permission to install

    kick your heel's up and enjoy the Mac experience
  24. muldul macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Sussex, England, UK
    Seems that the vista experience is making many switch
  25. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Can you blame them

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