Which system to switch to Apple?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by atcskyfox, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. atcskyfox macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2006
    I have been interested in trying OSX for about a year now and waiting for the Intel systems to be released. Currently I run WinXP on my gaming system and Suse 10.0 64-bit on my laptop. I would like to purchase a new Apple Desktop to introduce me to OSX and Apple products. I was looking to get the new IMac 20'' with 2GB of ram, 256mb video upgrade and wireless keyboard and mouse. Or Power Mac Dual-Core PowerPC G5 Processor 2.3GHz system. I realize the Power Mac does not include a monitor but I can always pick one up. Which system would you recommend? I would like to perhaps game and get the most speed and performance at this time for running OSX.
  2. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The iMac would give you the best overall bang for the buck.

    Even so, a dual core 2.3 tower offers far greater expandibility and greater choices for PCI-Express graphics expanson, dual hard drives and ease of DIY upgrades.

    You also want to figure in adding at least 2 GB third party RAM.
  3. atcskyfox thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2006
    Between the two systems which is the better performer and will the power pc based systems run all future software?
  4. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    The PowerPC is the better performer TODAY. That is because the world of PowerPC apps is mature and you can count on stability and performance today. If you get an Intel iMac, you may have similar CPU performance today, but not likely similar real world performance. Many things may or may not work properly, most software is written for the PowerPC chip. Rosetta (the software to run PowerPC software in an emulated state on an Intel Mac) may or may not work as advertised. I have heard some reports of trouble with the Intel Macs so far. Some things have been crashing, etc. If it were me I'd get the PowerMac and deal with the fact that in five years it will be obsolete. You can get many years of good use out of it until then. Macs are not gaming computers, period. Please don't think of them that way. The frames per second numbers always pale compared to similarly equipped PCs. Yes, you can play many games and it will be fine, but don't get a Mac if your primary purpose is playing games. A Mac is a "get things done" computer. You will be very productive on a Mac.
  5. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    Either system would be good, but I'd say the iMac is better value seeing as a good quality monitor is included. I also like the aesthetics of them. One drawback however, is the issue with Rosetta slowing things down. This is only a temporary problem though.
  6. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    It's hard to figure out what to recommend to someone buying a new Mac now, especially a first-time Mac buyer. On the one hand, PowerPC is much better supported software-wise right now. On the other hand, the Intel machines are new and will (theoretically) support new software longer than current PPC machines. All in all, either choice is fine. You have to decide if you want to be able to natively run all the Mac software available today with the downside of having an obsolete CPU in 3-5 years, or if you'd rather have an Intel Mac that will likely support at least one more version of OS X in the future than the current PPC machines, with the downside that there is not much in the way of Intel native software yet.

    All in all, I think I personally would rather have a PPC Mac at this point, although in the future (year or so) I plan to buy an Intel Mac.
  7. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    For you I recommend two things:

    1. Buy the iMac.

    2. Pay attention to the apps you buy: buy Universal Binaries.

    If you needed some PPC-only (non-Universal apps) right now, then I'd recommend the G5 tower. It's a great machine too and will run most apps for years to come.

    But otherwise, save some cash, save some space, save some noise, and get the FUTURE (Intel) processor line instead of the outgoing line. Plus, as a multi-platform user, maybe someday you'll like being able to run Windows and your choice of x86 Linux on your Mac, and keep your old Windows apps without having to keep 2 machines around. (You can't boot Windows on an Intel Mac yet, but people are working on it, and Vista should run when it's completed.)

    I'm thinking since you can hang onto your current PC systems as well, that you need not be in a rush for any certain apps. Therefore if a certain app is not Universal yet, you can just wait for it.

    Also, even though most apps will stay PPC-compatible for a very long time, the first apps to go Intel-only are likely to be games. There was an interview with Mac game companies at http://insidemacgames.com and some companies said they'd start making some Intel-only games in a year, some in three.

    Now, many current Mac games will NOT run well on Intel. BUT patches to make them Universal should be hitting the 'net in the coming weeks. Problem solved.

    The main reason NOT to get the iMac is that you can't upgrade the GPU. But beyond that it's a great buy.

    If you want the best of BOTH worlds, you could wait until fall or summer and get an Intel-based PowerMac. Those should REALLY fly (Conroe-based). But they'll still be big and ungainly compared to that iMac :)
  8. atcskyfox thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2006
    Thanks for all the advice....leaning towards IMac due to the space saving and intel chip.
  9. atcskyfox thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2006
    Regarding the IMac purchased through the apple store online they offer a 2gb memory upgrade for $270 using my edu. discount would that be better off than purchasing some Corsair Value Select memory for $240 such as the memory provided by apple is better than value memory. Plus are IMacs able to overclock at all?
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Apple is selling you an upgrade TO 2GB for that price.
    They are not adding 2 GB.
    They will restock the original 512MB DIMM so you're
    paying $270 for a 1.5 GB upgrade over the default RAM.

    If you were to order your iMac online with that simple RAM upgrade it would delay your shipment.

    If your local store will install 2 GB of Apple Factory RAM for that price of $270, then maybe.

    Datamem is showing guaranteed Apple compatible 1 GB DIMMS for

    $115.00 each, so $230.00

    It may not sound like a big saving, but every penny counts and you'll want other stuff too like MS Office, or other handy items.
  11. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I tend to avoid Apple's RAM prices, but in some rare instances you don't pay too much more. (In which case I like having the RAM put in by Apple because it simplifies any warranty questions: whether the RAM is the problem or not it's still Apple's problem.)

    But RAM you add yourself will (should!) have a lifetime warranty.

    RAM sources I can recommend:

    http://macsales.com (aka OWC)

    I've used both, and both make a point of knowing what RAM is compatible with what models (but for newer Mac models you may have to call and ask).

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