Will I be happy with an emac for ilife?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by DJUTREO, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. DJUTREO macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2004
    I would like to buy an eMac, ipod (already ordered pink mini for my wife), mini-dv camcorder, isight and usb keyboard for a family of five, kids under six, to run the ilife apps. I want to take home movies and burn them onto DVD. I am sick of my windows xp system, how long it takes to boot up, how often I have to reboot it, pop ups, updates, too slow, strange programs loaded on my machine while web surfing. The eMac form factor seems ideal for my family and I think I can get all I want, including 512Gbytes RAM, airport, superdrive, ms office for students, usb keyboard, ipod, isight, camcorder for under $2600. But I worry that it will be too slow. I want a computer that is quiet enough to leave on at night and stable enough to not require rebooting, so that whenever I want to use it, it is instantly on. I want to be able to click from website to website without a wait using a cable modem. I want to run itunes, iphoto, imovies, idvd. I want to play DVDs. I'm tempted by the G5 but I think it is too expensive to justify, even the eMac plus is probably more than what is prudent, but I am obsessed to get a MAC. I want the kids to be able to make music, make movies, and play some games. For me, I'd like to be able to VPN to work and run remote desktop connection on a Windows 2003 Server.

    Do you think I'll be happy with a 1GHz G4 eMac with 512MB?

    thanks for any advise, Dave
  2. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Yes, I think you'll be happy. A 1ghz G4 eMac is more than adequate for what you want to do. With 512MB you should be in good shape.

    The only caution I have is about digital video and storage space. If you import an hour of video it will take up about 15GB of disk space. If you are going to do a lot of video editing you should think about an external drive--lots of space, no fragmenting, nno interfering with your system files.
  3. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    I'd max out the memory, and then you should be happy with it for at least 5 years.

  4. kpeterk macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2004
    $2600 budget and you're buying an eMac? Dude, you can get a G5 and everything else for that price. It'll be money better spent in the long run.

    $1400 - Power Mac G5 1.6 GHz 256MB/80GB/SuperDrive/GigE/56K (Refurb)
    $300 - 17" (LCD?) Monitor
    $249 - iPod
    $149 - iSight
    $149 - MS Office
    $350 - Mini DV Camcorder
    $2597 + tax
  5. evil macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    chicago ex-toronto
    i have a 1ghz emac and it is excellent. i use final cut on it often with no problems.

    the only time i ever have to reboot it is when there is an upgrade to the operating system.

    many people think that the emac is the best value that apple offers.

    i totally recommend an emac.
  6. bannedagain macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Re: Will I be happy with an emac for ilife?

    half a terabyte of RAM, hmm, not likley:p, but we know what you mean;).

    The emac uses a 180nm core G4 to my knowlege, however can be over clocked to around 1.33GHz (see theads on this sight)

    costs around $1899AUD for the model your looking at

    comes with the Radeon 7500 graphics card which is 4 years old.
    uses SDRAM not DDRRAM

    all in all the system is 4 years old. I wouln't stoop so low as to buy a current e mac for that price maybe $700AUD. I believe that it is an insult that apple is trying to palm off this 4 year old tech for such a high price. $1900AUD is alot of money, and as a consumer you are intitled to the best, and I assure you that the emac is far far from the best value @ $1900AUD.

    You might consider buying ann old Powermac G4 tower, at least then you can upgrade the graphics card if you want, and you can use better RAM.
    Still though the only mac worth buying at this time is a laptop of G5.

    Note: A DVD burner can be bought for $200 AUD.
  7. doubting_me macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2003

    Yes, you will be happy for life with an eMac.
  8. plasticparadox macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2003
    Yeah, I've heard eMacs are pretty good. Only drawback is the CRT display.
  9. FriarTuck macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2003
    Chicago area
    Without question, you will be able to do what you want with an eMac and the budget you've established for yourself.

    I took the plunge into the digital lifestyle thing last year and I can't believe how fortunate we are to live in an era where we can do so much cool stuff to memorialize and enhance family life.

    Your kids are going to love it, too.
  10. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I would agree that this Mac will last you. If you find that iLife is too slow, upgrading the RAM will make it run the speed you want to. The only thing that will take a long time is encoding the DVDs. Expect not being able to use your computer for 5+ hours while encoding. If you're going to be doing ALOT of this, say more than 20 videos, you might want to consider a 1.6Ghz G5. However, for most people, leaving the computer on over night isn't a problem, so they never notice the DVD encoding times.
  11. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I've heard the eMacs are noisy--never actually seen one myself. If you're keeping it in your bedroom you might not want to leave it on at night. The iMacs are much quieter and might be a better option--unfortunately to get one with a superdrive you have to buy the 17-incher--a LOT more money than an eMac, but a truly beautiful machine. If you can manage without the superdrive you might be happier with the 15-inch iMac.
  12. Quixcube macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Athens, GA
    The noise level isn't very bad. The eMac has a very large fan, so it isn't a tiny whining sound, more like a low whooshing noise. Also, remember that if it isn't busy at night, it will go to sleep too, in which case noise isn't an issue at all.

    About the age of the technology in the eMac... The eMac is full of technology that hasn't been "new" for 2 to 3 years industry wide. By Mac standards though, it isn't too old. It is most comparable to the hardware in the G4 towers made from August 2002 to Jan 2003, the first Mirror Drive Door models. Compared to G4 towers from that time period, it has half the L1 cache, and no L3 cache, so it is not the fastest implementation of a 1GHz G4 that Apple has done. Also, the video card is a bit weak, but that shouldn't surface outside of gaming.

    Remember though, Apple is charging for a *complete system*--hardware, software, support, and design. If you think the cost for the whole experience is justifiable, then you are making the right choice. The eMac is a solid performer in the tasks you want to do, and unlike the PC world, buying a Mac is about more than just the hardware. Being bleeding-edge is overrated sometimes.
  13. dbauer macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Step in the right direction

    Your going to love your emac. Its plenty fast enough for what you want to do. One note of caution though, check with your network admin at work to make sure you don't need any windows only software running to VPN in. My work requires Sygate personal firewall running on any machine that comes through the VPN; it checks the incoming PC for the Sygate service before allowing a complete connection and since Sygate doesn't make the personal firewall product for the Mac, i'm locked out and have to use a windows laptop to VPN in. I haven't figured out a way to spoof the service on a mac outside of purchasing Virtual PC from Micro$oft. On that note, I think you will have to purchase Virtual PC anyway if you want to remote control a Win2k server, so add another $250 for that.
  14. noel4r macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I've had an eMac 800 Mhz for almost 2 years now. So far so good, no problems, not even with the display. I never turn it off.
  15. DJUTREO thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2004

    Thanks for all the great advice, sorry for the typos. I've decided to go with the eMac. I can't wait to get it.
  16. evil macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    chicago ex-toronto
  17. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Re: Step in the right direction


    I've never used it, but this ought to work fine, assuming you can VPN in without using Virtual PC.

    I'm in a similar situation to dbauer - my company uses Cisco VPN (which is available for OS X) but they also require BlackIce firewall software which is Windows only. I'm sure the OS X firewall is every bit as good as BlackIce (or better??) but they don't want the hassle of supporting too many different configurations (which is understandable). Virtual PC works great for VPN, and it's easy to drag files back and forth between the Virtual PC and Mac desktops, so it's no big deal.

    Congrats on the decision, you won't regret it. I'm having a blast using iLife with my 733 MHz G4. Perfectly snappy while working interactively but the final step of encoding movies or DVDs does take a while. I'm sure a G5 would be much faster but that's ok. I just do something else while it's working (surf the web, spend time with the wife... :cool: ).

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