Will a 27" iMac C2D 3.06GHz 4670 suit my needs (upgrading from G5 1.6GHz PPC)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ToTo Man, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. ToTo Man macrumors regular

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    #1
    To say I'm due for a Mac upgrade is the understatement of the century. I've been using my G5 1.6GHz tower on a daily basis since I bought it as a refurb in 2005, and while it still does what is asked of it, I would like a fresh experience.

    I was originally going to purchase a refurb'd MacBook Pro 17" C2D 2.8GHz from the online UK Apple Store, however as these are due to be updated soon, it might make more sense for me to hold off on the laptop until the summer by which time the prices of the current models will hopefully drop a little more.

    Seems like the best value Mac desktops at the moment are the 27" iMacs. I'm torn between getting a refurb'd 3.06GHz/4GB RAM/4670 256mb GPU model, or a brand new TOTL i7 2.66GHz Quad with the 4850 512MB GPU.

    I will be using this machine mainly for simple daily tasks (web browsing, Photoshop photo editing, iChat, iTunes, etc), but will also need to do some HD video capture and editing once I purchase a HD camcorder, and in the future may wish to create a home recording studio using Logic or ProTools lite, etc.

    Having read several reviews it would seem that I wouldn't get the full benefit from the i7 CPU and 4850 512MB GPU unless I'm a hardcore gamer and do a lot of video editing and need really fast turnarounds. I don't game, and the video editing would only be occasional (e.g. holiday vids), so I'm thinking that a refurb'd 3.06GHz would do the job fine. I'd also be saving myself a whopping around £625 ($950US).

    Only downside is that you can't appear to customise the refurb'd units in the online Apple store. The one that's on just now ships with 4GB RAM, so if I wanted more RAM I'd need to install it myself, and I don't want to be messing with removing the glass screen! Given that I've got 2GB RAM installed in my G5 1.6GHz running OS 10.3.9 (Panther), I'm not sure if 4GB would be enough on the iMac running Snow Leopard. What do you think?

    PS - Would I be able to take my refurb'd iMac into my local Apple store and have them install extra RAM into it for me?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    You're fine with C2D. You don't have to remove the glass or the screen when adding RAM because RAM slots are located in the bottom of the iMac so you just take one screw off and put the sticks in and that's it, very easy.
     
  3. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Wow I didn't expect such a fast response, thanks for that, and for the good news regarding RAM access. As I have a physical disability affecting my co-ordination, removing the glass screen would have been a real nightmare! :rolleyes:
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Here is a video tutorial how to add more RAM into late '09 iMacs. Very easy and fast thing to do
     
  5. xpipe macrumors regular

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    #5
    I'll take the opposing view to Hellhammer's. Certainly, the 3.06 will be huge improvement over your current iMac and will do those tasks that you need. Personally, though, I wouldn't buy any Core 2 product at this point, Mac or PC. In fact, I've been waiting for the i5 to make it down to the 21.5" iMac so I can get one for my parents! It's debatable and a matter of preference, but I'd say that if you can afford it...and it sounds like you can...just get the best one and you'll never have any "what ifs." And when you start getting into those other tasks you mention, you may wish you had more power.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    But because the difference is 625£, more than half of the price of the 27" C2D, it doesn't sounds that good. Of course i5/i7 would be faster but would he notice it? His main usage is still very light and occasional editing and music production doesn't require more than C2D offers. If the difference would be smaller, like 300£, then I would never suggest C2D but because it's almost 1000$, which is a lot money, I would save it and get the "slower" one.

    Just to remind you that i5 we'll see in 21.5" are NOT the same as in the current 27". They are dual core but support up to 4 threads. It's a nice bump but I doubt your parents will notice any difference ;)

    @OP, you could wait till i5/i7 pops up in the refurb store again and see its price. If it's less than 1500£, I'd grab one. If you have the money for i7 and are ready to spend that on it, sure, go for it
     
  7. X1Lightning macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

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    #7
    it sounds like you keep your machines for a long time, I would at least get an I5, its a few bucks more, but will be useful longer.
     
  8. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Do the i5/i7 models appear in the UK refurb store? I've looked every day for the past week but haven't seen any.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    There is a thread about i5/i7 refurbs but I think they do. Read that thread and ask if there is no answer.
     
  10. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    If I was going for a new i5 I'd probably go all out and get the new i7 because the price difference is only £163 at the moment between the two models.

    I have an overall budget for both a desktop Mac and Macbook Pro, so if I spend more on the desktop then I will probably spend less on the laptop.

    I was originally considering only buying a 17" MBP, but if I get a 27" iMac then a 13.3" MBP would probably do because I'd be using it to download photo and video media from my cameras when on holiday and would wait until I got home to transfer it from the MBP to the iMac and do the editing on the iMac.
     
  11. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    I'm not one for taking financial risks. In 2007 I was minutes away from upgrading to a G5 Dual 2.7Ghz but then the discovery of the liquid cooling system timebomb scared me off that upgrade. Seems like the risks with the newer models aren't much better (e.g. yellow display of the iMac, safety of the MagSafe power cord for the MBP, etc....). Still a case of you pays your money you takes your chances I guess!.....
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    What's your total budget? MacBook or base 13" MBP is enough for your portable needs so just get the best iMac you can afford. The performance gain from i7 is much bigger compared to little faster C2D you can found in MBPs. Having one work rig with power and then light and easy laptop is better than having two nearly same specced computers
     
  13. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    My total budget would be £3000 max, but not all at the same time! :cool:

    To throw another idea into the equation, if I became serious in the future about video editing and music recording, maybe I'd be better with a MacPro instead of an iMac (more Firewire ports, additional HDD slots, etc). Can someone please explain to me the difference between this refurb'd unit (http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FB451B/A?mco=MTExNjUzMTM) and the equivalent new model (http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_pro?mco=MTAyNTQzNDQ) because the refurb'd unit seems like a really good price!
     
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    The refurb is previous gen Mac Pro. It's VERY good deal even though the new Nehalems are faster but 8 cores @3.2GHz is unbeatable. If you are serious about video editing and audio recording/mixing, that's great deal but you need a display as well. You could then grab a 2.26GHz refurb MBP for 765£. That still leaves you ~100£ for display if you don't have any yet
     
  15. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    I'm currently using a 9-month old 22" 1920x1080p LG LCD display so I'd probably just use that as the display on the MacPro. It might not be 27" but its nice and sharp and doesn't suffer from any yellow tinge :D.

    So the CPU architecture of this refurb'd MacPro beats the i7 iMac and is better value than the current line-up of MacPros? I'm seriously tempted! :)
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    The architecture ain't better it's actually slower but the fact that it has 8 cores running at 3.2GHz is unbeatable. Current gen 8-core Mac Pro would be faster in some tasks especially if Hyper-Threading is supported but then you would have to get the 2.66GHz which is way too expensive. That refurb MP is like a nuke bomb for your buck or in this case for your pound :p

    It beats the iMac easily in performance and is way more expandable so if you have your pounds, it may be the time to pull the trigger!

    Bear in mind that Mac Pro uses a lot more energy so in the long run it'll be more expensive but it's still a lot faster and bigger bang for your pound. You can buy another 22" if you want and have dual displays or more if you want
     
  17. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    I've just bought it!!! :eek: :D Should be here next week. :cool: Thanks so much for you're advice, I wouldn't have had the b*lls to buy it otherwise. I'll let you know how I get on with it.....
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Congratulations! :cool:

    Because it comes with only 2GB of RAM, I'm sure you want to bump it to at least 4GB. Here is OK deal I found on 2x1GB which would make it 4GB. You may want to upgrade it to 8GB if you start to do more Logic and video editing work but that's not too expensive. I don't know many UK retailers so that's why I only gave that one so please tell me some and I can search you some more good deals.

    Let me know how it is when you get it, either through this thread or just PM me :cool:
     
  19. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Thanks, yes I probably will upgrade to 8GB RAM, but I'll run it for a few weeks with the 2GB to make sure everything runs ok. I'll research some UK retailers for RAM tomorrow and let you know.

    Looks like I'll also need to purchase an AirPort card and upgrade to Snow Leopard??

    BTW - Bit late for me to worry about this, but does the model I bought suffer from overheating problems when iTunes is running? :confused:
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #20
    If you need wireless then you need an AirPort card i think. It comes with snow leo though but it isnt pre-installed so you just have to installed it from the DVD. AFAIK the overheating only happened in 2009 Mac Pros and it has been fixed so you should be fine
     
  21. InfoSecmgr Guest

    InfoSecmgr

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    #21
    Um. Yes. A core duo Mac Mini will run circles around that G5.
     
  22. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Wireless isn't essential just now on the MacPro, but when I get a wireless enabled MBP in the future, it would be useful if the MacPro and MBP could share info wirelessly, so I think I will require this eventually.

    Should I perform a clean install of Snow Leopard, or since the machine won't have any existing user-created files cluttering Leopard up, will a simple upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard do? (As you can tell I'm pretty rusty at this as I haven't performed an OS installation for 4 years! :rolleyes: )
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    If you connect the Mac Pro to your router which your MBP will use, I think you're able to transfer data because the network is the same, not sure though and AirPort card is only 20£ from eBay.

    I would do a clean install because it's actually faster and more error secure than upgrade.
     
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #24
    100% correct :)

    always a good idea!
     
  25. ToTo Man thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    My new Mac has arrived! :) .....

    Set it up last night, no obvious faults found so far....

    I was pleasantly surprised to find websites loading in 1/2 - 1 second vs 5-seconds on my G5! I'm running Safari and iTunes just now and CPU usage is only at 1.6%!!! :D ....

    Disappointed to find the machine shipped with Leopard pre-installed and Leopard install disks, not Snow Leopard as advertised. :( I've sent an email to Apple Support to try to resolve this.....

    In the mean time, can I ask you for advice on "essential setups" for my Mac Pro, e.g. how to configure the Firewall for best security (seems a bit different to the procedure in Panther, and I'm not sure I got them correct in Panther anyway :confused:).

    And is there a quick way to test that EVERYTHING on my Mac Pro is working properly? Does Apple Hardware Test test everything?

    Thanks!
     

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