To Get an iMac or to Not Get an iMac... that is the question!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rhyndu, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. rhyndu macrumors regular

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    #1
    A friend and client of mine needs a computer for some flash video creation (take mov files, put them in Flash, add a PowerPoint like interface to one side, put them on his corporate website) and layout/tech writing PDFs that look nice (probably in LaTex.) Also, of course, he wants to be able to run MSWord, iWork, and Photoshop/Illistrator. I think he should get an iMac.

    So...

    Needs:
    • Good enough graphics card to handle low-end Flash, Photoshop usage
    • At least 20" screen
    • Enough ram, fast enough proccesser to be able to do pro-intensive stuff quickly
    • Support for Wacom tablet (works on my MB)
    • To be under (preferably much) $1400 - not that big of deal

    Its either a low end iMac (works well enough I think) or high end Mac Mini + new monitor (prob. not Apple) + new keyboard & mouse (prob. Apple).

    Should the RAM be boosted up to 2GBs? (I run PS fine on my macbook with only 1.0?)

    Thanks!

    rhyndu
     
  2. djejrejk macrumors 6502a

    djejrejk

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    #2
    Photoshop runs well on my MBP with 2 gigs of ram, you could get by (comfortably) with 1g as long as you are working on small files. It will just be a bit slow. Since the new iMacs are faster than my MBP, I would say that it would work out very well.

    So, although you can get by with the Mac Mini, I would say go with the iMac (despite screen gripes).
     
  3. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #3
    definately not a 2ghz imac, get him a 20 inch imac, with a 2.4ghz processor, 500GB HD (flash files are big, and will add up, maybe 750gb), and 2 gigs of ram, but, thats probably the best in that budget
     
  4. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #4
    Any of the new iMac's would be great for you! But if you want one for under $1400, the base 2GHz model would be perfect. They are really great machines, and even though I don't own a Alu iMac personally, my 17" iMac has a 2GHz Core 2 Duo and it's extremely powerful. Coupled with 3GB's of RAM, the thing will damn fly. If you want to go the refurb route, Apple sells the 2GHz model for $1050. They also sell the white 20" 2.16GHz for $1099. Both are nice, but I would stick with the Alu unless you don't want a glossy screen.
     
  5. timestamp macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #5
    To get more of a powerhouse machine on that budget I would look at the refurbs.

    20" 2.0Ghz $1049
    20" 2.4Ghz $1299

    I would say go with the 2.4Ghz. You get the 320GB drive that way. Flash files aren't large enough to where you would need a 500 or 750GB drive, your money would be better spent on an external drive as opposed to paying Apples high upgrade prices.

    With that model you would be at ~$1400 with tax. That would put you in a good position. RAM would be tight, but workable.

    At that point I would put your friend on an upgrade to 2-4GB or RAM (might as well go 4GB) and an external drive for backing up.

    If you opted for the 2.0Ghz, you would be left with about ~$275 for upgrades after tax. (This is based on a tax rate of 7.5%). With that you could easily take it to 2 or 4GB of RAM and get an external drive.

    You could of course go new. That will up the price of course. For example to 2.4Ghz stock doesn't even fit in your budget and the 2.0Ghz leaves you with about $100 for upgrades.

    RAM is cheap these days here is a nice 4GB kit from newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231135

    Crucial and OWC are recommended often here as well.

    I would go for a firewire 400 external as the sustained rates are generally higher which will be a bit better since there is video involved.

    Anyhow, I think the refurbs would be a good choice for your budget. It will allow you to get a more beefed up machine from the start (2.4hz). Then you can worry about the upgrades when you get some more cash. Even so, taking it up to 4GB for $80 - $100 would give you a nice machine for $1500.

    Does your friend have access to the education discount? If so, that will give you a bit more flexibility if you wanted to go new, but even then the 2.4Ghz wouldn't even fit your budget @ $1399 + tax.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. rhyndu thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    HD space isn't that much of a problem - he has ~20TBs of free space in his server racks :)

    2GB of memory is a good idea. I hadn't realized how much memory prices had come down since I last looked on NewEgg :D

    I'm not sure how the .4Ghz boost in clock speed will help... I'm all ears!

    Yah... I have one G5 iMac (1.6ghz proc +1.5GBs of ram :eek:) and a right before Alu generation 20inch iMac sitting around as my main non portables. They are great machines. I'm amazed at how you can get 2GBs of ram now for 40USD!

    Thanks. The budget isn't really set in stone. No edu discounts for him, sadly.

    As I said above, disk space isn't that important. What is the main advantage of the extra .4ghz???

    My .8ghz MacBook, 2.0ghz Macbook, and 2.4ghz MacBook (all 1GB of ram) all felt the same to me running lots of CSSEdit, Word(PPC), Taco HTML, Gimp, Photoshop, FF, and Safari.:)
     
  7. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #7
    Thats like my idea, but he said preferably under $1400, so $1550 wouldnt make such a difference if the fellow is doing some work, and not just be checking his email and surfing the web alone. And it would be kind of you, rhyndu, to give us your state so we know your tax rate.
     
  8. rhyndu thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Texas (I know... :eek:)
     
  9. BlakTornado Guest

    BlakTornado

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    #9
    It should be perfect. I use my 20@ 2.4ghz iMac for Flash, Photoshop, etc and it's perfect.

    I think your friend would be perfect with one of these babies - but bump up the RAM to 2GB!
     
  10. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #10
    How dare you live in Bushes territory!!!!
     
  11. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #11
    Flash and Photoshop are not processor intensive. Photoshop is memory intensive when working with large images (i.e. photographics for printing).

    I'd recommend the 2.0GHz 1Gb iMac (current version) with the 500 or 750Gb HDD. Upgrade the memory at a later stage if you think the hard disk is swapping out a lot (i.e. you are really pushing Photoshop, or you are using many memory hungry applications at the same time).

    To give you an idea, I'm impressed with how my 1Gb Mac Mini 1.8GHz C2D is handling what I throw at it, video edting and lots of high end photo work, so the iMac will handle web work and flash with ease :)

    If budget is a concern, check out the refurb deals. I'd imagine most of them are virtually new, but pay close attention to the quality of the screen for defects/uneven lighting as this is a weak link of some examples out there. The actual panel on the 20" isn't the best technology out there (uses 'TN Film' vs. 'S-IPS' on the 24" - look these up on Google for more info) so if screen quality is critical, this may be a factor. But having seen them back to back, the 20" is fine for all but the semi-pro users)
     
  12. rhyndu thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Thanks. Well... that is what I'll get today.

    And yes... I don't live in Texas... I can't live in Texas... oh why did my company decide to move to Texas :D
     
  13. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #13
    so your getting a mini? i dont think you are going to get far by that. Though it may handle the tough stuff, it wont hurt to get an imac;)
     
  14. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #14
    Yeah when the Intel Mac's came out the RAM prices were around $200 for 2GB of RAM. I just payed $63 for my 2GB stick from NewEgg, and when Apple shipped my computer they put 1GB RAM stick instead of 2x512! :D 2 years ago I payed $75 for a stick of 512MB RAM for my eMac. But yeah, i think the 2GHz Alu iMac is a great machine! I hope your friend will like it!
     
  15. rhyndu thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    My friend is getting, after consulting me, a base model iMac plus 4GBs of ram for ~94USD.

    Thanks for the help, people!
     
  16. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #16
    Sounds like a plan! I hope he enjoys the machine, they are beasts! :D
     
  17. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #17
    sounds good, though i was hoping he would get a 2.4, because flash cs3 is lil slow on out 2.16 mbp laptop, but maybe desktops are different. Happy macing!:D:apple:
     
  18. rhyndu thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    My friend really loves the machine. He bought it today in the Apple store and loves it...

    I think (as a person with a PhD in CS) that clock speed doesn't matter that much - RAM and HD speed are much more important (although think about running OSX with a clockspeed of 100Mhz... that would be slow :))
     

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