This is what I am about to buy - Is this what I need for my requirements

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Luvlimum, May 27, 2008.

  1. Luvlimum macrumors newbie


    May 16, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have to admit great embarrassment at my complete lack of Hardware knowledge for both PC and Mac. I teach database design, Excel and WORD, but give me hardware and my eyes glaze over! LOL! Anyway, I have managed to get a very good price (did the research) on this product below. But I just want to run it by you all, to ensure I have the right ensemble for what I do:

    What I will do with it: I will run XP (probably Home version??) with Office 2003 AND 2007 Q: Will it be better to install Office 2007 on a removable drive to keep the two versions separate - or should this not be a problem?) I have to have both versions as I have to keep up-to-date with the new version, but still work a lot (databases etc.) in 2003.

    I want to use Mac for my photography (iPhotos - am told this is a great program for what I want). I guess down the track I will look at Adobe software for Mac (as I use Photoshop 7 and CS3).

    I also design life presentations for birthdays/funerals etc. using both Photos, and video clips. (iMovie 8 and will download v6 AND down the track use Final Cut). I copy these to DVD.

    Email: I am leaning more towards using Outlook (cause I know it), but know very little about Mac's email. Q: Does Mac email have a calendar and task list like Outlook? - Can I synchronise it with my Mobile phone?)

    Internet: I will use Mac's Safari? Assuming it is just the same as any internet client?


    Apple iMac 20" Desktop 3 GHz

    PROCESSOR - Intel Core 2 Duo processor 3 GHz
    MEMORY - 4GB memory
    HARD DRIVE 320GB Serial ATA, 7200 rpm
    OPTICAL DRIVE - Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    COLOUR DISPLAY - 20-inch (viewable) glossy widescreen TFT active-matrix LCD, 1680 by 1050 pixels, millions of colours
    VIDEO mini-DVI output port with support for DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video connections via adapter
    CAMERA - Built-in iSight camera
    GRAPHICS - ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
    FIREWALL - One FireWire 400 port and one FireWire 800 port; 7 watts each
    USB Three USB 2.0 ports on computer; two USB 2.0 ports on keyboard
    AUDIO Built-in stereo speakers with 24-watt digital amplifier, built-in microphone, optical digital audio output/headphone out, optical digital audio input/audio line in
    Ethernet - Built-in 10/100/1OOOBASE-T (Gigabit)
    WIRELESS - Built-in AirPort Extreme (802.11n)2; built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
    HARDWARE ACCESSORIES - Apple Remote, Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse
    OTHER - Built-in IR receiver
    SOFTWARE - Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard - loaded with iLife 08.

    I have already asked if I should have Parallel or VM FUsion, and have read up about both packages, and at this stage I am leaning toward Parallel to start with as it does appear to be that little bit easier for a Newborn Mac gal like me. Also, Fusion does appear to have a few glitches in it's beta format which may freak me out. Down the track I will take a look at VM Fusion when they have fixed a few of the glitches.

    That's it - I am sorry it is long, but this computer is going to cost me BOOKOO BUCKS! and I want to be sure this is for me.

    Thanks so much again everyone ...

    Luvli xx
  2. LotusLord macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2008
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    I'd stick with Office 2003 in Windows for now, and just install the compatibility pack. Then you can open and save in the new file formats. You can then buy Office for Mac if you want, or just save the money for other things.

    For what you want to do, I believe this will be perfect
  3. blasto333 macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2004
    The only recommendation I have is to get the 2.8 Ghz model. You won't notice a difference in performance and will save $200.00.

    if price is not an issue, then 3.06ghz will be fine.
  4. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Mail in Apple is very easy to use, and setting up Rules seems to be easier than I remember Outlook to be. It doesn't have a calendar, but there's a separate app called iCal included in all macs which does appointments/tasks well. As for syncing with your phone, that depends on what phone you have, but most are supported (Samsung not so much) and Nokia provide plugins to allow you to sync their newer phones. It's all done neatly through an app called iSync which allows you to sync contacts and calendar items. See here for a list of supported phones (which is a bit out of date I think)

    As for internet, Safari is fine, but I use Firefox. There's also Camino, but it's really a matter of preference. The odd site doesn't render well in one, but will be fine in another, so it's handy to have a couple of browsers on your machine.
  5. Astral Cars macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    St. Paul
    Also, the computer you mentioned doesn't exist. The 3.06GHz is only on option on the 24" model iMac. The 20" maxes out at 2.66GHz. So I'd be a bit suspicious of this advertisement.
  6. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    How exactly does one get a 3.06 GHz C2D with a 20 in. iMac?:D And don't buy Apple RAM, too expensive. Go with Crucial or Other World Computing.

    Edit: I've been beaten to it.
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Reading over what you want to do with the computer, I have to say that the machine you're considering is complete and utter overkill. The tasks you intend to perform aren't going to stretch this machine that far - you really don't need a 3GHz processor to do any of the things you say you intend to.

    You also don't need 4GB RAM in my opinion - there are people on this forum who will try to convince you otherwise, but as someone who has sucessfully used Parallels and Final Cut on a 1.83GHz MacBook with just 1GB RAM, I can't see why 4GB is necessary or even desirable. It's like paying for a car which can do 170mph and then using it on roads with a 30mph speed limit - it's simply something which you're never going to see the benefit of.

    Apple's new look iMacs may not be the best looking computers ever but they do perform exceedingly well and are compact, so you've made a good choice going with this line. I strongly urge you to take a look at the lower models in the range because I think that even the baseline 20" model will satisfy your needs incredibly well.

    I hope this helps :)
  8. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    Haha, you've got to be kidding me. I can't use Safari, Mail, and Photoshop Elements without reaching the limits of my computer's 2 GBs of RAM. And with Fusion (better IMHO) there goes another 512 MB. Plus RAM is very cheap now. OP, with 4GB you will be set for a very very long.
  9. blasto333 macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2004
    I also agree. I notice a huge difference with 1gb, 2gb, and 4gb. If you tend to leave applications open or use a VM a lot, 4gb is the way to go.
  10. flinch13 macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2004
    Yeah, it's likely that this is more than enough for your needs. It's always okay to go a bit overboard though... future-proof your setup a tiny bit.
  11. Luvlimum thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 16, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    AWESOME! - Thanks so much

    You guys are totally awesome and I am grateful for your responses/advice.

    David/Astral - you are both very savvy . The iMac I am purchasing is a 20" Desktop 2.66GHz. You are right, they don't make the 3Ghz in that size -The typo was mine :rolleyes:

    I just may be overdoing the RAM but I got this setup with the extra bits I asked for, for only $100 more than retail outlet. I have checked the company and it is a legit Australian company not far from where I live.

    I will be using Final Cut Express and may go to pro down the track as I do Lifestory media presentations etc.

    As for the RAM etc and the overkill. You are all very right, but I will not be replacing this lady for quite some years so I am assuming I am forward thinking somewhat and planning ahead.

    Thank you all again. I am so impressed with your knowledge and assistance! :D

    Luvli xxx
  12. Delameko macrumors member

    May 1, 2008
    Actually the beta is for version 2. Version 1 is very stable, and v2 is a free upgrade when its ready.
  13. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I would suggest Thunderbird for your e-mail needs for both Mac and PC.

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