Shopping for a new iMac at this time - best options?

C Fitzgerald

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 4, 2010
8
0
Louisville, KY
Hi folks, I'm a newbie to the forums here, and have an untimely (unfortunately, it would seem) question.

Long story short: For the past many years, I've been using an iMac 20" "iLamp" G4 model that has performed flawlessly and that I have loved dearly. Just yesterday, it failed to start up, and when I got it diagnosed at the local mac repair shop, the message was that it needed a new power supply and logic board, which would come to about $600 + the diagnostic fee...you can see where this is going. For the price of the repair, I should just shop for a new iMac and get a newer faster machine. Which isn't a terrible thing in the end, as already the old one was having trouble running some of my larger programs (like Sibelius 5 & 6), and I hoped to also use it for Logic Express at some point.

So, I start looking around, only to find that the gorgeous new 27" iMacs are having all sorts of problems reported with them, and the other machines, while nice, are not that much bigger screenwise than the one I had. Everyone i know advises me to buy as powerful a machine as I can so it can last as long as possible with the new upgraded software coming out, which points me to a quadcore iMac... except for the problems being reported.

So, if you were shopping for a new iMac at the moment, what would you do?

1) Wait until the new 27" quadcores seem to have stabilized, then order one.
2) buy one anyway and hope for the best.
3) buy one of the dualcore 27" machines and live with the slower processor
4) Buy one of the smaller, more proven 21.5" machines with the slower processors
5) Say "to hell with it' and go buy a PC that I'll hate from the moment I open the box

A couple of specific questions along the way:

* Is it only the quadcore 27" machines that seem to be having problems?
* If so, are both the i5 and i7 chips reporting equal problems, or is it mostly the i7 equipped models?
* Since I don't do much in the way of video editing at all, am i worrying unnecessarily about processor speed?

Thanks!
 

FearlessFreep

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2008
632
0
Northern Virginia, USA
Buy what you want and can afford. There have been less reported problems with the 21.5" iMacs, however they have not been free of problems either. Could be that the quad-core purchasers tend to squawk more about things than others, but it does appear that the larger panels are having more issues.

It may be overkill if you've been getting along with your old machine to this point. Any of the current models will be strong for many years to come, particularly with the additional ease of memory expansion in the new units.

Bottom line, when all this dies down and is over you'll have to be happy with the machine you have, particularly since you hold onto machines for a long time. Will you kick yourself for not getting the 27" or could you be happy with the 21.5? Only you can answer that.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
Get the best you can and hope for the best. If it's defective, get a replacement or return it and get your money back
 

Libertine Lush

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
679
2
A couple of specific questions along the way:

* Is it only the quadcore 27" machines that seem to be having problems?
* If so, are both the i5 and i7 chips reporting equal problems, or is it mostly the i7 equipped models?
Answer to your question at this great site which has culled a lot of the problems into some informal data. All user submitted. According to the site, the answer to your question is "no": http://www.imac.squeaked.com/results.php
 

Milty77

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2009
74
0
Dublin
I can understand your concerns as I was in the same boat up until this morning. I too asked the question about the defects and also asked if there was any good news coming from owners. Long story short is that purchase the one you can afford or want and as more people are saying if its faulty get it replaced and worse case get a refund. I bit the bullet and ordered the 27" iMac i7 this morning. Will take two weeks so hopefully most of the problems have been sorted bye now. If not it will go back and i hear that apple's customer service is excellent. Best of luck with your decission.
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
Probably your best bet is a refurbished 27". Each mac is gone over with a fine tooth comb when refurbed.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,520
Then again, you could always pick up a refurbished 24" (previous version) iMac from the Apple Store....
 

ABG

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2003
312
0
United Kingdom
So, if you were shopping for a new iMac at the moment, what would you do?

1) Wait until the new 27" quadcores seem to have stabilized, then order one.
2) buy one anyway and hope for the best.
3) buy one of the dualcore 27" machines and live with the slower processor
4) Buy one of the smaller, more proven 21.5" machines with the slower processors
5) Say "to hell with it' and go buy a PC that I'll hate from the moment I open the box
2) plus buy Applecare

or 1) if you can hang on.

or 6) wait until the end of January to see what Apple has up their sleeve next?:D
 

danistyping

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2009
181
38
Boston, MA
Go to an apple store and get a 27" i5. You won't wait, the comp will be fast, and if there is a problem, apple will take care of it.
 

joeeey

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2009
33
0
I am in the same boat. I'm going to wait until the end of January and see if the problems with the 27" i7 are resolved before I pull the trigger.
 

definitive

macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
1,957
699
don't waste your time on the current imacs. wait for the next refresh, and then look into getting those. you don't get much for what you pay with the current ones.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
don't waste your time on the current imacs. wait for the next refresh, and then look into getting those. you don't get much for what you pay with the current ones.
Lol?!?! Last update was the BIGGEST iMac update for years. Next update will just be a minor spec bump and it won't come for months.
 

definitive

macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
1,957
699
Lol?!?! Last update was the BIGGEST iMac update for years. Next update will just be a minor spec bump and it won't come for months.
using outdated radeon video cards and c2d cpus, and charging close to two grand for the system isn't really considered as the biggest imac update for years.

sorry, i've been a pc user for about 15 years before i bought a mac, and where i come from, charging an arm and a leg for hardware that's close to two years old is considered highway robbery.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
using outdated radeon video cards and c2d cpus, and charging close to two grand for the system isn't really considered as the biggest imac update for years.

sorry, i've been a pc user for about 15 years before i bought a mac, and where i come from, charging an arm and a leg for hardware that's close to two years old is considered highway robbery.
There is no newer hardware other than nVidia GPUs that suits for iMac, so I wouldn't call them outdated.

If the only thing you care about is hardware, then you should go back to PC.
 

tigereat

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2009
214
2
Hi folks, I'm a newbie to the forums here, and have an untimely (unfortunately, it would seem) question.

Long story short: For the past many years, I've been using an iMac 20" "iLamp" G4 model that has performed flawlessly and that I have loved dearly. Just yesterday, it failed to start up, and when I got it diagnosed at the local mac repair shop, the message was that it needed a new power supply and logic board, which would come to about $600 + the diagnostic fee...you can see where this is going. For the price of the repair, I should just shop for a new iMac and get a newer faster machine. Which isn't a terrible thing in the end, as already the old one was having trouble running some of my larger programs (like Sibelius 5 & 6), and I hoped to also use it for Logic Express at some point.

So, I start looking around, only to find that the gorgeous new 27" iMacs are having all sorts of problems reported with them, and the other machines, while nice, are not that much bigger screenwise than the one I had. Everyone i know advises me to buy as powerful a machine as I can so it can last as long as possible with the new upgraded software coming out, which points me to a quadcore iMac... except for the problems being reported.

So, if you were shopping for a new iMac at the moment, what would you do?

1) Wait until the new 27" quadcores seem to have stabilized, then order one.
2) buy one anyway and hope for the best.
3) buy one of the dualcore 27" machines and live with the slower processor
4) Buy one of the smaller, more proven 21.5" machines with the slower processors
5) Say "to hell with it' and go buy a PC that I'll hate from the moment I open the box

A couple of specific questions along the way:

* Is it only the quadcore 27" machines that seem to be having problems?
* If so, are both the i5 and i7 chips reporting equal problems, or is it mostly the i7 equipped models?
* Since I don't do much in the way of video editing at all, am i worrying unnecessarily about processor speed?

Thanks!

I have the same situation. I have been using my new iMac 21.5 with C2D 3.33ghz with ATI GPU about 13 days for my daily software jobs () I'm software engineer) and I feel I still need more performance (I thought C2D 3.33 one would be enough for my job, but it's not). So I returned it and tell the Apple rep that I wanted to upgrade to i7 model. It's worth upgrading since I only paid $500 for the upgrade ;)

However, the initial reason I had to return my iMac was because the yellow tinge problem. So I asked them to get a replacement with i7 model instead. To be honest, if 21.5 has an i7 option, i would go for it because I have a limited space on my desk. I'm living on university's apartment (I'm a graduate student at GA Tech)

I hope my 27 imac will be alright
 

tigereat

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2009
214
2
using outdated radeon video cards and c2d cpus, and charging close to two grand for the system isn't really considered as the biggest imac update for years.

sorry, i've been a pc user for about 15 years before i bought a mac, and where i come from, charging an arm and a leg for hardware that's close to two years old is considered highway robbery.

They have i5 and i7 options, which are quad cores, don't they? I can buy i5 $1899 after rebate, no tax, free shipping, which is a Quad core not a C2D

I'm a software engineer who has a limited spac and whose daily jobs depend on a very powerful computers. So, the All-in-one computer will be suitable. I have done reserching for a while before deciding to buy this iMac.and found that there is noAll-in-one PCs that offer the same performance as iMac For example, HP, DELL, LENOVO and SONY's All-in-one PCs dont have any quad core i5 or i7 CPU and only have a limited 8GB of Ram and limited HDD. More importantly, when I tried to configure the PC to match up with the specs of iMac's C2D model, those PCs only have lower clock speed C2D options or C2 quad core option, which is inferior to core i7, and lower GPU but cost the same or more.

Can you find one for me if you think i'm wrong?

Dont get me wrong. Actually, my dalily software works are under Windows-based environment. So I bought another i7 laptop form Dell. I didnt buy Macbook Pro because its specs is inferior than Dell i7 SXPS laptop at the moment.

iMac is the best value (performance/ money) of All-in-one computer, in my point of view. Prove me wrong if you can.


Here are some examples (You will see what I'm talking)

HP All-in-one 23 inch Retail price $2449, with discount = $1904

Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor T9800 [2.93GHz, 6MB L2, 1066 FSB]
Memory 6GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [2 DIMMs]
Hard drive 1TB 5400 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
Graphics card 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT230M,
Primary optical drive Slot-load SuperMulti DVD Burner

Sony All-in-one PC 24 inch $ 1799

Core™ 2 Quad Q8400S processor (2.66GHz1)
6GB DDR2.
Genuine Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium6.
500GB (7200rpm) hard disk drive.
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 240M GPU


DELL Studio one 19 inch $1359

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (3.16GHz, 1333, 6MB) PE8500
4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 2DIMMs 4GB82 Monitors 18.5” W LCD , 16:9 Aspect Ratio, WXGA (1366x768) ILCD [320-8015]
nVidia GeForce 9400
640GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive


Apple iMac 27 inch $1899 after rebate, no tax, free shipping

Configuration

2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB

See? You should have done the research like this before saying something :D I'm a big fan of best performance/money computers after all
 

C Fitzgerald

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 4, 2010
8
0
Louisville, KY
Interesting discussion! I'd be getting an educational (faculty) discount, and I just stopped into the place that was diagnosing the old G4. They could do the migration under the already paid diagnosis charge, and I could walk home with a core 2 3.06 machine tomorrow evening. Or, I could wait a while and have them do the migration on a quad core. They don't know how long it would take to get the quad core, but will call me later. I can afford either, and have marital permission for either.

The advice I'm getting from friends/colleagues is mixed on whether to go for the quad core, or to go with the core 2. Most people say that unless I'm gaming or doing a lot of HD video editing, there should be no need for me to have the quad core. Does that information at least sound correct?
 

C Fitzgerald

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 4, 2010
8
0
Louisville, KY
The advice I'm getting from friends/colleagues is mixed on whether to go for the quad core, or to go with the core 2. Most people say that unless I'm gaming or doing a lot of HD video editing, there should be no need for me to have the quad core. Does that information at least sound correct?
I suppose I should clarify what it is that I actually do with the machines I use:

1) Music notation: using Sibelius, would like to upgrade to Sib 6 but the G4 was too slow to keep up with the size of the program.

2) Audio editing: have been using Digital Performer for real audio only (I don't use VI's and don't have much use for them at the moment), 8 tracks max, a few native plugs on each track. Most common is 2 channel audio cleanup and mastering of live recordings using Peak LE and Ozone.

3) I'd like to be able to make a few short instructional videos, but don't think I'll be doing this too often.

4) No gaming at all, no real movie creation or editing as yet.

So the real question I'm pondering is whether I'm even the kind of user who would be using the power of a quadcore or not. Opinions on this issue very welcome, as I'm sort of a luddite about video/gaming issues and would just like to get back to having a machine at home to continue doing my university class preps on now that the semester has started back up!
 

tigereat

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2009
214
2
Interesting discussion! I'd be getting an educational (faculty) discount, and I just stopped into the place that was diagnosing the old G4. They could do the migration under the already paid diagnosis charge, and I could walk home with a core 2 3.06 machine tomorrow evening. Or, I could wait a while and have them do the migration on a quad core. They don't know how long it would take to get the quad core, but will call me later. I can afford either, and have marital permission for either.

The advice I'm getting from friends/colleagues is mixed on whether to go for the quad core, or to go with the core 2. Most people say that unless I'm gaming or doing a lot of HD video editing, there should be no need for me to have the quad core. Does that information at least sound correct?

Like everyone said. It depends on your daily uses. If your daily uses and jobs require a very powerful computer, go with i7, otherwise, core 2 duo.

I often run mutiple servers and required-decent-computers software applications at the same time for my jobs. So, C2D is a little bit lacking in my case.