Should I move from PC to Mac and if so-what size and model?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by disneyfun1, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. disneyfun1, Dec 8, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012

    disneyfun1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2012
    I have been using a pc for years and years now. currently have a dell xps quad-core, 16 gigs ram, 1tb HDD, 1 GIG video card, etc.

    I have the iphone 5, ipad 1, ipod video and have started to think if i should switch to an imac. How hard or easy is it to go from one to the next? where do i get all the programs for it? do i have to rebuy all programs for it to make it work-i currently use word, excel 2010. i also use firefox and thunderbird.

    I mainly use my pc for email, facebook, looking things up, etc. i dont really play games or edit. i put my pics in the computer from trips, but not much more. I do keep about 12 firefox windows open at all times, with tabs on each to get to things i want to check or update all time, airfare, webboards, ebay, bank, facebook, twitter, etc. i use ms money and quicken daily for my banking records and bills as well.

    can i do all this on the mac?

    if i do go to a mac, which to buy? in the store the 27 looks really nice, but is it needed? i saw the 21.5 new model in the store and it looks really nice too, but now they dont have the 27 to compare the size any longer since the new one is on the way. i currently use a dell 23 HD monitor.

    if i did go with the 21.5 new model, is the 8gb of ram enough?? i see that i cant upgrade that myself at all, and they want 180 to order it and put it in. i also see the 21.5 has a 5400 rpm hard drive, isnt that too slow, or not?? the apple store does have in stock so i can get one soon if i wanted it. and also, get the mouse or trackpad?? is one better than the other?

    money is an issue, only in deciding to pay the difference from a 21.5 to 27, is it really worth that extra cost? My dell xps was only about 600 when i got it 2 years ago, is it really worth $2000 for a 27" imac, i only ask because i dont own one or know if its worth the cost, or thats just what they charge and if you want it you pay for it, but if so much better to get the 27, i would rather wait for it, but also dont want to waste the money if not needed. I see now also i would have to get an external drive to put my cd's in the machine on itunes now or anything else, or is it better to get a 2011 model?

    thanks for any help in all of this!!
  2. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Well, its up to you:D but for what you do, 2011 is sufficient - you can upgrade RAM yourself.. question is, do you want SSD? can you get 2011 model with SSD? I personally use computer in many ways similar to you (add some soft gaming) and I do have 2011 base 21incher, everything works fine, but I do want SSD (not because it is too needed, but because I have tasted it once and it is great).. but that is just personal preference that may differ from yours.

    2011 - pros: self upgradable ram, cheaper, firewire port, 7200 rpm (both, 21 and 27 icnher)
    2011 - cons: usb 2.0, more reflective display
    2012 - pros: usb 3.0, less reflective display, if you are willing to pay, fussion drive
    2012 - cons: for 21incher - no self upgradable ram, no FW port, 5400rpm for 21incher, expensive

    If you choose 27 incher, some 2012 cons are lost... that is why many macrumors people consider new 21incher to be worse choice than 27 incher.. but if you go for 21, if you are not dependant on usb3.0 and you dont care about reflections too much, I would choose 2011 model.
  3. Bunker macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    I am doing all the above on an mid-2007 iMac 24" with 4GB RAM and Intel C2D 2.4Ghz processor.. with 120GB SSD (OCZ Agility 3)... smooth as butter... :D

    The simplest hardware spec on all new iMac can handle all your chores with ease.

    You need to consider few programs you use are not available on Mac OS X eg. MS Money. If you are heavy on macros in your Excel, the Mac version of MS Office is rather weak in this area. If these are absolute necessary, then you need to consider VMWare Fusion or Parallels.

    In the case of Fusion / Parallels, 4-core CPU is advised with 8GB RAM to boot, on a fusion drive.
  4. mapleleafer macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    For what you use a computer for, and if money is an issue, I would just keep what you have until it dies, then come back to this question.
  5. apple-win macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    You have a very powerful Dell, fully loaded with goodies. It must be very noisy. However, if you can tolerate the PC fan noise, don't buy a new computer until it dies because you said money is an issue.

    If you buy a new iMac, 21.5" base model is good enough for your applications, don't do any upgrade, because upgrade burns more power. Heat, fan noise, reliability is unknown. I won't spend a lot of money on a redesigned chasis until it has aproven track record for reliability.
  6. disneyfun1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2012
    thanks for the replies. when i said money is an issue, i didnt mean in just buying one, i meant its a big chunk of change to all of a sudden go up to the 27" new model, close to $2000, i mean if i wanted it, i can get it, but if i dont have to spend that much, then i would rather not, unless its really worth it. dont want to spend the extra money if not needed.
  7. Woyzeck macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2012
    Well, I was in a comparable situation as you are in. Had an iPhone and iPad and was very pleased with it. So I decided that my next computer will be a Mac.

    After waiting for about 6 months for the new iMac to show up "within the next three weeks" I was very disappointed from the 2012 iMac (for the obvious and often stated reasons) and bought a Mac Mini (2.6 GHz, i7, SSD).

    I'm using it now since three weeks or so and I'm somehow disappointed, though this is my personal experience with it of course.

    I have the basic installation that the machine came with, added Parallels, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Besides that it's pretty standard.

    1. The overall software package is far less stable than Windows XP/7. I had several crashes of Safari, non-responding system tools etc. That's stuff that I almost never have on my Windows machines since XP.
    2. I really don't see that the frontend is far more intuitive than Windows. To me it looks like Linux with a (much) nicer windows manager. Still, there are the same stability issues. Had a hard time getting simple things like Samba-access working (still not properly, because it's broken since ages without an update from Apple). If things don't work as expected there are far less alternatives than on Windows. It's a monopoly situation and if Apple decides that it's ok this way there are good chances that you're lost.
    3. The HDMI port on my Mini is not usable (common problem of the 2012 Mini). The 'world class' Apple Care refused to see a common problem and we went through some pretty standard do-this-with-a-stupid-user procedures. Finally it's still not usable.
    4. Even if I use TB the rendered fonts generally look awful on a Mac. I thought this might be a problem with my machine and went to a store, but there it was the same. Small Windows fonts are just much more readable than their Mac pendants. The rendering is just blurry on the Mac (except of course on the Retina displays).

    However, I really like the looks of the frontend, but personally I don't see the big step forward over Windows. What scares me sometimes is the lack of choice. There's only one vendor available and you have to take what he's offering. For example my iPad can't print because Apple wants me to buy an overpriced printer.

    What's really nice however is the integration between iPhone, iPad and my Mac. Everything works like a charm.
  8. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    As others have said, why get rid of a powerful computer now, especially if money is an issue. However, if you do decide to get a Mac, note that Intuit's support for Quicken has been abysmal. I switched to a competing product, Moneydance, last year. It hasn't been perfect, but does most of what I need.
  9. apple-win macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    I remember I used 14" CRT monitor in old days. 21.5" iMac is a "iMax" theatre to me. I won't buy 27" monitor, it's too big. Anyhow, upgrade burns money and burns power, I won't do it.

    Another thing, your Dell has more RAM than the linux workstations and LSF farm machines at my work place. Your Dell is overkill for your applications.
  10. Dduval macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2012

    You will get a lot of great advice here. I just jumped to mac after 20 years of windows. My advice...get a mac. If you don't like it or can't convert to the apple way for some reason, just sell it. They hold their value very well...

    Buy as much machine as you can afford, spend about 30 days with it. If you decide to sell it, you won't be out very much coin.

    I personally bought a 2011 Mac mini with an SSD hard drive, and I have a 2011 27" i5 3.1ghz Imac on the way...with all the other apple devices I have in my family, windows just didn't make sense anymore. :D
  11. NVRENUF! macrumors regular


    Mar 19, 2012
    PERTH, Australia
    My opinion would be go for a 27" I have been using a 27" for years now , 21.5 is so tiny. I dont know why apple made it. they should have made 24 and 27.

    As i think 24" in the average size now days and smallest working size you would want to be on.

    27inch sounds big but once you have worked on one. You will never go back amazing screens and with the 2560 x 1440 resolution its just so productive.

    my thoughts anyway.
  12. HenryDJP macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    Absolutely false. Excel 2011 delivers the same performance dealing with VB Macros as the Windows version.

    Your advice to the OP is to spend money on VMWare and then he/she would also have to buy a copy of Windows just to use MS Money when there are other perfectly suitable Mac alternatives? And as I mentioned earlier there's no reason to do all of that just for Excel as it runs very well with Macros against the Windows version.
  13. PaulKemp, Dec 8, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012

    PaulKemp macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    My personal input/opinion:
    I got a iMac in March after using Windows and being into tweaking and using computers since the MS DOS aera. At that time I had borrowed a MBA from work for about 6 months.

    My experience is of course 'coloured' by the fact that I learned computers using Windows. So this is where 80% of my knowledge is.

    The first thing I would do after setting up a new Windows machine was to get all the apps I used, VLC, Chrome, Thunderbird, Dropbox etc. I never used the apps that shipped with Windows. On the Mac, I use the built in apps to a higher degree, but that could be due to my relative low experience with the mac - or they just could be better. I'm actually only using, iTunes and iPhoto when I think about it.

    You also have to take into account that you have to learn to tweak and fiddle around the system (if you are that kinda guy). And that takes some time as well. You "loose" your experience when you change OS. I think this is positive, you learn new ways and see computers in another perspective.

    I prefer to use OS X in my daily routine, facebook, reading news, maybe doing some remote work. But I think Windows 7 is damn good as well, it's sexy, fluent, aero-snap etc. Very good, but on my iMac i prefer OS X. Its a hard choice between those two.

    If you have a iPad and iPhone, its better with one Mac though. One central iTunes library. That works very well. Also with one iPhoto library synced to those two devices. But the day you add a second Mac into the mix? Or your spouse also get's an iPhone? The system was not designed for that.

    This is turing into a wall-of-text, but my last point is the App Store. One, central location for updating apps is one thing Windows has been lacking for years. This is way better on OS X. In win 7 it doesnt exist, and in Win 8 - the only apps you'll be updating through the App Store are the ones that are written for Metro (or the "new interface"). So that's kinda useless.

    And as a last point, Apple is no way perfect, there are bugs, "more intuitive than windows" is subjective and they can also release crappy software. You have the general computer issues with them as well. Good luck! :)
  14. Bunker macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007

    I am running both MS Office 2011 on my Mac and VMWare with Win XP, MS Office 2007.

    VMWare is only given a single CPU core and 1GB RAM.

    Side by side, opening the same file loaded with macros and do some number crunching. You won't want to continue far with the Mac version.

    If you can live with the MS Office 2011 on Mac, then by all mean go ahead instead of shouting at others for giving wrong opinion.

    As for MS Money, please tell me if the OP don't have to use a VM to run it. Oh.. there might be Wine but that cost money too (in your own statement about spending extra money).
  15. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    For what you use your computer for, the 21.5" base model iMac should be fine for you. You can also easily add a second monitor if you want more screen real estate. No need to spend $2000 right out the gate.
  16. cat3600 macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2010
    I thought I would put in my 2 cents in this thread.

    I had everything apple for the last 6 years. IMac, iPad, iPhone 5, in fact every single iPhone since 2007, my last mac computer I sold last Thursday was a mac pro tower 2008 quad core model with the 30 inch cinema display which I had for 3 years running 24 hours 365 days without a hitch.

    I sold everything including my iPad 2 and switched over to windows 8. I bought the Dell XPS 27 inch touch all in one, Nokia Lumia 920 and Microsoft Surface. I think Microsoft did a very good job with Win 8 and the future is touch based OS.

    I was frankly bored with Apple IMHO they are stagnating big time, this coming from a mac apple user for straight 6 years. Technology move on and so do companies and Microsoft is better now. Down the road if apple decides to innovate like how they were a few years back maybe I will switch over, but for now they are extremely boring, same icons on iOS since the first version iPhone, kidding me. Once you know and use other options one understands how terrible their current products are. My Nokia 920 eats the iPhone 5 for breakfast yet I blindly went and bought the iPhone 5 when it first came out as I had the 4s. My surface is so much better than my iPad. Sure there are less apps but most that I need are there or will be coming soon.

    Also I love my new 27 inch Dell all in one touch, superb machine yes it doesn't look as good as the new iMac but in every other way superior and windows 8 is far far ahead then the boring mountain lion I last had.

    I will probably be hated here being a apple forum but I was a apple user for 6 years so this is a honest opinion!
  17. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Before investing in a $2000 mac i would try OSX first and see if you like it. Perhaps buy a second hand iMac to get used to the operating system and see if its your cup of tea. You could get a 2008 iMac for under 200 bucks. Moving from PC to Mac has a bit of a learning curve but once you learn it you will realize its much easier to use then Windows.
  18. MeFromHere macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2012
    Interesting reasoning... I believe you only mentioned one specific feature from Apple that you don't like; I highlighted it in bold.

    It think you made an excellent decision... Windows is for you!
  19. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    How bout Mac mini? You can connect all the peripherals that you already have to it (display, keyboard).
    For what you do, the basic cheapest model would be sufficient, I'd buy 8gig RAM straight away though.

    Unfortunately you will have to reinvest in all the software again but for example iWork suite from Apple (Pages, Numbers...) can all open and edit Microsoft documents and it's cheap.

    I don't know about those finance programs (I believe Quicken ran only up to Snow Leopard) but there are many (like iFinance) that can import your old database.

    Also get a Magic Trackpad along with Mac mini, the operating system is controlled by gestures which help a LOT.
  20. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    The best place to get software on the Mac, is the Mac App Store (MAS), this is a bit like the iOS APP store and allows you to purchase and download Apps direct to OS X. While the iMac might be your first Mac, if you later buy a second Mac you can use the same Apple account to download the Apps that you purchased on your iMac. You can also buy and download Mac software from 3rd Party websites like Microsoft, Adobe and others.

    If you want Mac versions of your existing software you will probably have to buy the Mac version again. Another option is to use your existing Windows applications in a virtualised windows environment using software like Parallels. This is what I did when I first switched and meant that any software that does not have a Mac version like MS Money, you can continue to use until you find a suitable alternative. Also if you have a lot of expensive Windows software it may be a cheaper option than having to run out on day one and buy lots of Mac Software. Parallels has a special mode called Coherence mode that hides the windows interface and makes it look like you are running the Windows App directly in OS X. To use Parallels you will need a full version of Windows (not a software restore disk that came with your Dell).

    Firefox has a Mac version, but I would go with Chrome or Safari.

    Yes with the exception of MS Money (unfortunately the Mac version of Quicken is not as good as the Windows Version), all the other things you can do on a Mac. Twiter and Facebook support is built into the OS, and you can tweet directly from the Notification centre, and publish movies from iMovie directly to social media websites.

    Based on your usage the 21.5" version would be fine. However if you like to have a lot of Windows open at the same time then the 27" may be a good option for you. Best advice is to go to an Apple store and take a look when the 27" come into stock. But I would say the 27" is nice to have rather than needed.

    8GB of Ram is fine for what you want to do. Do note that you can't upgrade the Ram in the 21.5" model, you can in the 27".

    One upgrade that would make a noticeable difference is the new Fusion drive, which lets you store commonly accessed programs and data on a SSD. From initial testing this gives you a significant speed increase in opening programs and will make the system more responsive. This option is BTO specification and while it is possible that some stores will stock it, it is likely you would need to order it from the Apple online store. If I was buying an iMac I would get one with a Fusion drive - It will make a bigger difference than getting more memory.

    Compared to a PC the iMac may appear more expensive, however whether it is worth it is subjective. Apple obsess over the design of a Mac, from the contour of the rear of the machine to the design of the packaging, to create something that they and hopefully the people that use them really appreciate. Not everyone values this design ethic in the same way, and some feel that it is 'not for them'. If you really have to ask this question then a Mac may not be for you. Over the years I have helped 20 people 'switch' from PC to Mac, only 1 person decided that it was not for them and switched back.

    I would get the 2012 version, and an external cd drive. Once you have installed all your programs and transferred all your music, I suspect that the CD drive will see significantly less usage over the next couple of years.

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