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Thread: iMac Reviews

  1. #1

    Chase's Avatar
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    iMac Reviews
    I am considering purchasing an Apple iMac 3.06 GHz with 4 GB of memory and a 1 TB hard drive, as well as Adobe Photoshop CS2 (for iMac) and Microsoft Word 2008 (for iMac). Now I have been researching a lot on YouTube, Google, and Apple; however, since I am willing to make such a big purchase (about $3,700), I want a lot more feedback - perhaps comparing a PC to a Mac. Telling me some cons of the Mac and not all the pros would also be a great addition to this topic I believe.

    I agree that the iMac is one of the best computers on the planet, but I have to know exactly what I'm purchasing before I purchase it. Now here are a couple questions, I am sure more will come up as we discuss through this topic.

    Does the latest OS - I believe OS X - come free with any purchase of an iMac?

    Also, is the AppleCare Protection Plan a good idea to buy, or are iMacs really that reliable and stable that I probably won't need the extended protection?



    Thanks for all feedback and links!

    Chase
    16 GB Apple iPod Touch
    Future owner of 2.4 GHz, 4 GB Memory, 200 GB Hard Drive, 15" Macbook Pro

  2. #2

    KiwiJenn's Avatar
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    Specs:
    iMac = 20-inch, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 320GB HD, Leopard. iPod Nano = 4GB, Silver
    Hi Chase

    I went from HP computer to iMac in January this year. The AppleCare Protection Plan is good to have when you have a first Mac. It gives you the more support and peace of mind. I've used Apple phone support once since I've had my iMac.

    Leopard come's on all the iMac's

  3. #3

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Specs:
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    AppleCare also extends your phone support. Which is definitely better than say Dell's phone support. If you're unsure though, you have a year from the date of purchase to buy AppleCare

    You'll likely want CS3 though as it's not a PPC based program. I would skip buying memory from Apple, it's overpriced. Around $90 should get you 4gb's delivered to you from someone like Crucial or OWC, should take less than 5 minutes and a single screw to install it.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  4. #4

    rianm7's Avatar
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    I switched to Mac and I absolutely love it. I have had a few minor problems, but solutions were always straightforward and easy. I love iLife, as it has helped me do things never before possible out-of-the-box with a Windows PC. As for reliability, my Macbook Pro is mostly reliable. It comes with OS X Leopard, which is fairly new and still has a few bugs to work out. I have also used Tiger on my Macbook Pro and I must say it was very stable and reliable (it had 11 system updates in its time, Leopard has had 2). Nevertheless I trust that you will find an iMac reliable, stable, simple but powerful, and easy to use.
    2.2 GHZ 15.4" MBP with NVIDIA GeForce GT 8600 and 2GB RAM

    8GB iPod Touch

  5. #5

    Chase's Avatar
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    Okay, is the new OS a resource HOG like Windows Vista? In other words, could I be browsing through Photoshop, a few internet windows, messenger, and other applications without much lock up?

    Probably the only other thing I am iffy about is that I can't use any software I have bought for my PC. That is going to suck. How did you all overcome that?
    16 GB Apple iPod Touch
    Future owner of 2.4 GHz, 4 GB Memory, 200 GB Hard Drive, 15" Macbook Pro

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    Here is my 2¢ worth.

    1. If you are getting a new imac. It is intel based. And you'll want photoshop CS3. I don't think Adobe even sell photoshop CS 2 anymore. CS3 is optimised to run on the intel imacs which you will be purchasing if you want a mac.

    2. On my imac I can run photoshop CS3, browse firefox with a few windows open, listen to a few songs on itunes, have some IM app running and have a basic casual game running when the rest are doing their thing and there's no slowdown what so ever. Even if I add in a little video file converting to the mix, there's still no slow down. But I would do any major music editing or video editing with not so many other apps open. But otherwise multitasking on the mac is just a breeze. Well for me anyways.

    3. You can use your old PC programs on your mac. There are a few ways in which you can do this.

    For any old dos programs. There is an app called Dos Box which you can use to run those dos programs in. Works just fine for me.

    For most windows programs, you'll need to load Windows XP (service pack 2) or vista onto your mac. And yes this in most cases will not harm the mac. And you can then access this windows 2 ways.

    While the apple system is running. In a window, through apps like fusion or parallels. This does use up a little of the system resources as your basically running both systems at the same time. But the new imacs can handle this without even breaking a sweat.

    And the other way is through bootcamp. Basically it allows you to choose whether to boot up into OS X or windows. Then your mac (once properly set up to do so) runs just like a pc. And you need to reboot the machine to get back into OS X.

    And it's rumoured that windows runs better on a mac then on a similarly configured pc. I don't know how true this is though.

    4. OS X 10.5 comes preinstalled with every new mac purchased. And you can always download the latest update to it through the software updater app.

    5. Apple care. Some people swear by it. Others think it's not really necessary. To me Macs are all on the whole built rather well and I've never had a major issue with any of them. But you might get the rare lemon. Sure it's very very rare. But no person is perfect and things do happen. Apple Care is more a peace of mind to me. It's like insurance. Which actually brings me to another point. Some people have not chosen Apple care and instead put their mac on their insurance policy. Doing this has various benifits which some are different to apple care. You'd have to check with your insurance company to see if this is what you want.

    But I think regularly backing up your hard drive does fix most problems. Cause the files are there to be reinstalled if the original gets corrupted somehow. But if you're worried about hardware issues, then it might be worth considering.

    Well sure this sounds like doom and gloom, but most (nearly everyone) has their macs with no issues what so ever.That's why I didn't get apple care. Cause I believe it's not really worth it and my mac is built well enough to last me. But it's a personal choice.

    And if you have any other questions just feel free to ask. And good luck with your choice.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase View Post
    I want a lot more feedback - perhaps comparing a PC to a Mac. Telling me some cons of the Mac and not all the pros would also be a great addition to this topic I believe.
    First my background. IT guy in the 80's on super mini's. DOS programming since 1984. Windows programming since 1995. I bought into all the MS party line at one time and even did support for them on Excel at one point. I was writing back end server stuff in C++ and the native Windows API at the end. I also wrote stuff in ASP for clients and my self. I have a lot of experience with Oracle, SQL Server and Access. OK, enough of my pedigree...

    First off, one thing I've heard people talking about is that the Mac OS is new. It is not. It is a presentation layer that is floating on top of an operating system that was written in the 70's called Unix. Unix was created by computer scientists at Bell Labs with the intent of running on wide area networks (WAN's). Read that to mean the Internet. It was design to be secure and easy to use. Prior to Unix, programming a computer meant having an intimate relationship with a hardware device. One of the Unix mantra's was 'the world is a stream of bytes'. Anyway I digress.

    What this means is that Unix was designed to be secure. Windows, on the other hand, was designed for workgroups--a small number of computers in an office that talked to one another. In addition, Windows offered an open hardware specification that allowed vendors to easily incorporate their own code into the operating system. Finally, there was no real file security implementation on Windows. Anyone and everyone was allowed to do just about anything with your computers hard drive and configuration.

    In these beginning years, it was crucial for the personal computer paradigm to be universally accepted and creating the Volkswagen was the answer. This analogy is pretty good and just like the VW, anyone and everyone makes parts for PC's.

    Mac on the other hand, never had an open hardware specification; therefore, they didn't need to publish internal documentation on how they did stuff. This lack of knowledge makes it harder to figure out how to write viral software and in general, keeps the riff-raff out.

    There's another thing I noticed while programming Windows machines. It always felt like the interfaces were written by people trying to somehow impress someone. I suspect it was young college graduates trying to impress their bosses or justify the huge salaries they were getting or ? I'm not really sure. However, it became clear after a while, that whoever was writing their tools was both really smart and really immature at times. Take the whole MFC C++ class library. I bought into it in the beginning only to realize after a few years that it was a total POS. I ended up writing my own Windows class library based on Smalltalk and the work of this other guy (can't remember his name right now) that was way more eloquent and efficient. I was just cracking the surface when I finally had enough of them. The point is that when you work with MS products, expect your skill set to evaporate every five years.

    Unix, however, is a tried and true OS that is essentially so well written as to be virtually unchanged in 40 years. I'm sorry but I have a little bit of an axe to grind here now that I realize that the MS approach was so down and dirty. It is based on a quick fix mentality and they are so entrenched in this path that they will likely not be able to pull out of it without alienating their customers who expect plug and play, open hardware, free software etc.

    So here I am with a Mac finally and realizing that this machine, its underlying OS, its software, its tight hardware specification, its visual styling, its construction are so vastly superior to Windows that I'm dumbfounded as to why anyone would bother with Windows at all?

    So to recap, the reason that Macs are superior is:
    1. An OS designed to be secure on a wide area network (the real reason that there aren't any viruses on the Mac)
    2. A tight hardware specification that only allows trusted players in the game.
    3. Lack of general knowledge regarding system internals.
    4. OS releases that leave behind the old problems and move forward (this means that old software won't run on new releases but frees the OS folks to concentrate on actually improving things instead of backward compatibility).


    In case I wasn't clear, the Mac/Unix marriage is a union made in heaven. It is based on sound computer science not marketing strategy. It is the way to go and offers the best path right now. It meets 99% of people's needs on a computer (maybe more since most people just need to browse, get email, and do word processing and spreadsheet stuff. It's reputation in multimedia is stellar also.)

    Hope I didn't overwhelm you here.

  8. #8

    mac57's Avatar
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    iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD, 8 GB RAM
    Nicely said eBay. Thanks for the detailed response.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  9. #9

    Michael415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase View Post
    Okay, is the new OS a resource ***** like Windows Vista? In other words, could I be browsing through Photoshop, a few internet windows, messenger, and other applications without much lock up?

    Probably the only other thing I am iffy about is that I can't use any software I have bought for my PC. That is going to suck. How did you all overcome that?
    Bootcamp or Fusion. Both let your mac play pc when needed

    You can easily have photo, windows, msgrs running, itunes, etc. Your describing my typical desktop and it handles it very well. It has only locked up on me twice, and once ironically it was due to the virtual machine running Vista.

  10. #10

    Chase's Avatar
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    Okay, wow, great feedback guys. I have a few more questions.

    1. I have been researching for a good desk for my mac, as I am long overdue for a new desk. The best one I found (http://hecklerdesign.com/) was $1100... That is ridiculous I think. Do any of you know of a good desk (around $300) for a Mac. Modern please.

    2. Do Mac's wirelesly hook up to the Wi-Fi in the house, or do they have to be on cable?
    16 GB Apple iPod Touch
    Future owner of 2.4 GHz, 4 GB Memory, 200 GB Hard Drive, 15" Macbook Pro

  11. #11

    DB2k's Avatar
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    if you really want to use photoshop have you considered a mac pro? dunno what you need it for but you know.. if its just for a bit of photo manipulation there are lots more cheaper alternatives.. even adobe make Elements which is good for that.

  12. #12

    Chase's Avatar
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    No, Mac Pros are way to expensive for me. The way I saw them, they are about 2 grand more including everything I will need with them. Way to much.
    16 GB Apple iPod Touch
    Future owner of 2.4 GHz, 4 GB Memory, 200 GB Hard Drive, 15" Macbook Pro

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2008
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    So here I am with a Mac finally and realizing that this machine, its underlying OS, its software, its tight hardware specification, its visual styling, its construction are so vastly superior to Windows that I'm dumbfounded as to why anyone would bother with Windows at all?
    Amen to that

    All new Mac's come with Airport (aka wireless) already installed except I think the Mac Pros, which you need to add on yourself.

    I bought my desk at Walmart for like $80, but it sounds like you're looking for something a little nicer. Though I have had it for like 5 years now, and it's held up rather well.

  14. #14


    Member Since
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    Specs:
    Powerbook 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4; 1.5 DDR SDRAM; 15"
    iMac
    So, I just bought an new Intel iMac about 3 weeks ago...right before the new release (which actually ticks me off..but they gave me the difference in price in the end, so now i'm fine). Anwho...I am a designer, so I use the entire CS3 creative suite.

    I seem to have no problems doing what I need to do. Everything seems to fly...before this I was working on a 15" g4 powerbook. The iMac is even significantly faster than my PowerMac at work (Daul 2 gig).

    The only hick-up I've seen was working with a really large layered photoshop file...but you'd have to have a pretty amazing MacPro set up to do it much faster than the iMac can.

    If you're wanting a desktop, iMac is the way to go for apple. Very relaible, and if you have apple care (with you should) you're covered on almost anything you're going to have problems with. It's really a beatiful and fun piece of equipment. Good luck on your decision.

  15. #15


    Member Since
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    Powerbook 1.67 GHz PowerPC G4; 1.5 DDR SDRAM; 15"
    Oh yea...as for a desk....I'm looking for a new one of those too. I'm working on an old drafting table right now, which isn't fun. Big Lots! has a few pretty nice ones for a really great price. I'd send a link, but you have to sign up on their site to see any products. There is a glass top one I'm looking into that is only $100, and has plently of space, and pretty decent style.

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