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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

will the iMac dual core 3.33 suffice?


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Decophile

 
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Hello. I'm looking into replacing a dinosaur PC with a shiny new iMac. I've researched the options as much as I'm able, which has proven to be a daunting process for a noob.

I want a 27" screen, so the field is somewhat narrowed. I'm a casual computer user: word processing [Microsoft Word for work], web browsing/emailing, minimal photo work, no gaming whatsoever, no fancy genome decoding software, no video work. Although I want to buy the best and fastest, and have been impressed by the literature on the i5 & i7, I wonder if for my purposes these better performers will make any difference. I'd rather not spend an extra $500+ for fabulous speed and functionality that my pedestrian computer use will never summon. And I'm a sucker for a good deal.

I've been eyeballing the 2009 3.33Ghz, and have found what seems to be a good deal, brand new and upgraded to 12Gb RAM, plus 3 years applecare, for bundled price of $1600. That good deal will turn into a thorn in my side if the old dual core 3.33Ghz is already obsoleted by the latest and greatest iMac offerings, but only if I experience sluggishness in my day to day use.

Thoughts and advice are most welcome.
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pigoo3

 
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That sounds like a pretty good deal...especially with 12 gig of ram (which is sort of overkill when 4 gig would be fine...but hey what the heck)!

I would skip the 3 years of Applecare if that will save a little bit of $$$ up front. You get 12 months of Applecare automatically...and you can decide to extend the Applecare anytime in the first 12 months.

You should also mention what video hardware comes with this iMac...that is pretty important to the deal as well.

HTH,

- Nick

p.s. Another option is to watch the refurbished section on the Apple website for refurbished deals on quad-core iMac's. They're all sold out at the moment...but there could be some tomorrow (the inventory changes all the time). I bet a refurbished quad-core iMac would cost close to the same $1600 as the 3.33ghz iMac you're considering.

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Decophile

 
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Thanks Nick. Both the Applecare and Ram upgrade were thrown in for "free" and can't be unbundled, but as a Mac noob I was planning to buy the applecare anyway. Psychological insurance.

Video hardware is the Radeon 4670.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decophile View Post
Thanks Nick. Both the Applecare and Ram upgrade were thrown in for "free" and can't be unbundled, but as a Mac noob I was planning to buy the applecare anyway. Psychological insurance.

Video hardware is the Radeon 4670.
Most 27" iMacs come with 4 gig of ram standard...so I would find it hard to believe that someone is throwing in an extra 8 gig "for free".

You can get a similar refurbished 27" iMac from the Apple Store for $1269:

Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - Apple Store (U.S.)

...that's $331 less than $1600. Which might cover the cost of the extra/"free" Applecare & the extra/"free" 8gig of ram.

So that extra 8 gig of ram & extra Applecare probably isn't "free". But the iMac you're looking at does have the slightly faster 3.33ghz cpu (vs. the 3.06ghz cpu in the link)

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Decophile

 
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I was looking at the refurb 3.06. If you throw in sales tax, which I will have to pay to Apple but not the reseller, the 3.06 refurb is about $220 less. there was a 2.93ghz i7 on there today for $1899, and the i5s get snapped up instantly. Still, I'm willing to stalk the refurb listings daily and pay more if I know I'll be able to tell the speed difference given my light computer use. Another benefit to the 3.33ghz is that it's a bird in the hand. But will it end up frustrating me for not being "state of the art?"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decophile View Post
I was looking at the refurb 3.06. If you throw in sales tax, which I will have to pay to Apple but not the reseller, the 3.06 refurb is about $220 less. there was a 2.93ghz i7 on there today for $1899, and the i5s get snapped up instantly. Still, I'm willing to stalk the refurb listings daily and pay more if I know I'll be able to tell the speed difference given my light computer use.
Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on all of the possible purchasing options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decophile View Post
But will it end up frustrating me for not being "state of the art?"
Forget about being "state of the art"! Take it from a 25 year Mac User...in 6-9 months the Mac you buy today will be yesterday's news. Same thing goes for the "quad-core" iMacs...they will be superseded by newer models with more advanced technology as well.

If you REALLY want a quad-core iMac...then get one...and stop even looking at core-2-duo models! But in either case (core-2-duo or quad-core)...both will fit your needs very well. Just remember...iMac cpu's & gpu's cannot be upgraded...so buy as much as you can today!

The decision comes down to (as it always has since personal computers have been available)...is how much money do you want to spend. Remember in 6 months...today's quad-core iMacs will be $200-$350 less than they are today.

Decisions...decisions...

- Nick

p.s. Also remember that whatever new iMac you get...will be a lot better than your current "Dinosaur PC"!

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Quote:
Decisions...decisions...
Nick, you may have missed your calling. Ever think about selling used autos?
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Decophile

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
If you REALLY want a quad-core iMac...then get one...and stop even looking at core-2-duo models!
Yes, I want the best, and right now the best is the quad-core. What I'm struggling with is whether that's swatting flies with a hammer. Will the glories of hyperthreading be lost on me? In which case, why would I pay the premium for it? But if loading webpages, powering up, toggling between Microsoft Word and my web-based email will be enhanced by quad-core, then it makes sense for me to be pining away for one. I don't know the answer to that.

Quote:
p.s. Also remember that whatever new iMac you get...will be a lot better than your current "Dinosaur PC"!
Amen to that
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Nick, you may have missed your calling. Ever think about selling used autos?
Ha ha! Well...not professionally...but I probably have sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 of my own personal vehicles on e-Bay & Craig's List. I got tired of "giving away" my used cars as "trade-ins" when dealing with a dealer (I haven't even dealt with a auto dealer in like 15+ years).

Ok...probably more info than needed!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decophile View Post
Yes, I want the best, and right now the best is the quad-core. What I'm struggling with is whether that's swatting flies with a hammer. Will the glories of hyperthreading be lost on me?
I'm glad you brought this up. The whole topic of "hyper-threading & turbo-boost" with the new "i" series of cpu's Apple is using can be pretty confusing...especially when it come to the quad-core i5 processor setups. Give the articles I've linked below a read...you'll see that not all of the i5 quad-core setups support hyper-threading:

The new muscle inside the new iMac, Mac Pro | Nanotech - The Circuits Blog - CNET News
Apple 21.5-inch Core i3 iMac/3.06GHz Review | Macworld
2010 iMacs compared - Core i3 v i5 v i7
Apple 27-inch Core i5 iMac/2.8GHz (quad-core) Review - PCWorld

HTH,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Decophile

 
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Thanks Nick for the links and enabling my quad-core fantasies. I will soon be the proud owner of this i7 2.8. Apple 27" iMac Desktop Computer MC507LL/A B&H Photo Video At $1650 for the base model, I think it's still a score.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decophile View Post
Thanks Nick for the links and enabling my quad-core fantasies. I will soon be the proud owner of this i7 2.8. Apple 27" iMac Desktop Computer MC507LL/A B&H Photo Video At $1650 for the base model, I think it's still a score.
Considering that you were going to spend $1600 on the 27" iMac Core-2-Duo in your 1st post...I would say $1650 isn't too bad for the i7 you linked. Always best to get as much CPU & GPU as you can afford...especially when we are talking an iMac.

Sure that 12 gig of ram sounded nice in the other iMac...but you can upgrade the ram in the i7 anytime. Plus it looks like you can get the 3 year Applecare from B&H for $119...which isn't too bad either!

Good luck,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Decophile

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Always best to get as much CPU & GPU as you can afford...especially when we are talking an iMac.

Sure that 12 gig of ram sounded nice in the other iMac...but you can upgrade the ram in the i7 anytime. Plus it looks like you can get the 3 year Applecare from B&H for $119...which isn't too bad either!
In the end there was no overcoming your point that the CPU/GPU can't be upgraded while I can always stuff more ram in. $119 for applecare is the best price I've seen so far, but I decided to wait and see whether I'll need it.

Thanks for the advice. I'm beside myself with excitement to be getting an iMac
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decophile View Post
$119 for applecare is the best price I've seen so far, but I decided to wait and see whether I'll need it.

Thanks for the advice. I'm beside myself with excitement to be getting an iMac
Yeah...there's no need to buy the extended Applecare right away. If you feel you need it...you can purchase it anytime within the first 12 months.

I would be VERY excited as well getting such a nice new shiny 27" quad-core iMac!!!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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