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

Mac Pro or iMac i7?


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Phacade

 
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I've actually got cables coming out of my case, sprawling out all over my desk a funky squid with CD-ROMs attached here and there. I've got clothespins holding my RAM in, it smokes, squeals, is slow, slower than a Florida driver in the left lane; and generally has a bad attitude.

I've taken to calling my computer Cthulhu.

21" 3.6GHz Core i5 iMac "Sputnik" ■ 12GB Crucial RAM ■ Monsoon flat-panel speakers ■ HP P1006 LaserJet printer ■ Full Keyboard ■ Canoscan 9000F flatbed scanner ■ ...and then of course me (being a narcissist, I consider this to be the most important mod).
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ClockworkWorld

 
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Sounds like quite a monster!!!! Cthulhu indeed is a fitting name then (You read excellent literature!)

That is one pro to the iMac All you have to have, is one, single cable. The power cord. Of course if you use a wired keyboard or mouse, or a external drive, etc. it adds to it. But out of the box, working, it has only the power cord. That will be a fun change for you if you end up going iMac!

Late 2010 iMac 27 inch  2.93GHz i7 16GB RAM 2TB HDD
2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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Phacade

 
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"...one cable to rule them all!"

**squeals in anticipation**

Granted I probably will get the wired keyboard so I have the numeric keypad; gotta have it for bills and what-not.

21" 3.6GHz Core i5 iMac "Sputnik" ■ 12GB Crucial RAM ■ Monsoon flat-panel speakers ■ HP P1006 LaserJet printer ■ Full Keyboard ■ Canoscan 9000F flatbed scanner ■ ...and then of course me (being a narcissist, I consider this to be the most important mod).
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ClockworkWorld

 
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haha

Sure! They also (well, not Apple, but, other people ) make bluetooth numeric keypads that match the wireless keyboard in appearance, and as I recall, can even attack to it. Lots of options if you want to get away from cables, but even with the wired keyboard, two cables are better than Cthulhu, right?

Late 2010 iMac 27 inch  2.93GHz i7 16GB RAM 2TB HDD
2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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Phacade

 
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Flaming gum disease is better than Cthulhu.

How's the cooling on your iMac? Any issues there? I'm probably looking at this from a PC viewpoint, but I've got 5 case fans on Cthulhu right now and it still runs hot, hense the reason for the open case.

21" 3.6GHz Core i5 iMac "Sputnik" ■ 12GB Crucial RAM ■ Monsoon flat-panel speakers ■ HP P1006 LaserJet printer ■ Full Keyboard ■ Canoscan 9000F flatbed scanner ■ ...and then of course me (being a narcissist, I consider this to be the most important mod).
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ClockworkWorld

 
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Well... You'll read a lot of different opinions if you search for the "iMac heat/cooling" topic here, or anywhere (I'm not one of those who tells people "just google it" I'm just saying, there are many opinions on it and this is just mine, so you might want to research it before buying to be sure it's not a worry for you )

I'll tell you point blank: If you touch the case on your iMac, especially when you are doing CPU intensive tasks (gaming, HD video editing, heavy photo work, etc.) it's going to feel pretty warm. Maybe even hot in some instances. But there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First of all, Apple designed them the way they did, for good reason. The hardware inside is reliable. They test them thoroughly, and in many conditions your iMac should never find itself in

The case on the iMac is Aluminum. That makes a very good heatsink. On the bottom, you'll notice the speaker holes, but also there is a space where it draws cool air in. On the top, in the back, there is a slit that runs all the way across the width of the machine. The hot air is ejected there, and even when the iMac is silent, you will feel air moving out constantly if you hold your hand over it. (not rushing out like a jet, but moving). This brings the air through the machine, dispersing heat to the Aluminum case, which takes the heat away from the hardware inside. The aluminum soaks it up like a sponge, and then disperses it to the air outside. If you feel the Aluminum, especially towards the top, it will feel very warm. (sometimes, honestly, maybe even hot. Though personally ours never gets what I would call "hot". I find the claims of heat greatly exaggerated by paranoid owners in my personal experience, but that's just me.) But it is designed to be that way. This allows the iMac to remain virtually silent, and still get rid of the heat inside. The fans don't have to work nearly as hard because of the material and design involved, taking advantage of the fact that heat rises.

Some people, don't like this. They'll look at their temps and feel that one component or another is too hot, and that they know better than Apple as far as engineering and design. You'll read various studies on temperature vs. hdd life, and so on, but really, in the end these machines run under absolutely safe parameters. They are just different from Windows based towers. The All in one is like a laptop, and like many laptops, it runs a little warmer than a tower based PC design. If you feel it's too warm for you, you can find ways to control the fans via the SMC (the most common way I see is using "SMC Fan Control", a third party app (free) ) and keep the machine ice cold (though very loud) if you like.

We use our iMac for very heavy HD video and photo work. It runs daily, at bare minimum probably 9-12 hours a day. It's never had a problem, and when it starts getting hot, the fans kick up speed and keep it safe. It's a well built machine It cools perfectly fine, the temperature parameters are kept the way Apple intended them to be. If you feel it's too warm, it's very easy to keep it cool manually. (No extra fans needed ) If you kick the speeds up manually, the back will feel like a jet with all the air moving through

Late 2010 iMac 27 inch  2.93GHz i7 16GB RAM 2TB HDD
2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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Phacade

 
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Ah, great info!

Another query, if I may? I've seen a lot of "heated" debate on this. Do you shut your iMac down at the end of the day or do you let it sleep?

21" 3.6GHz Core i5 iMac "Sputnik" ■ 12GB Crucial RAM ■ Monsoon flat-panel speakers ■ HP P1006 LaserJet printer ■ Full Keyboard ■ Canoscan 9000F flatbed scanner ■ ...and then of course me (being a narcissist, I consider this to be the most important mod).
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ClockworkWorld

 
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Happy to help!

Sure! You can ask anything you want, I'll answer with my experience as best I can, especially if it helps you decide if these things are worth a dollar or two or not for you! And if you're still considering a Mac Pro, plenty of people here own those too

Personally, I do shut it down, when I think of it. A lot of times, the day will end with my wife and I playing with our daughter, or we'll go out, get busy with life, and I'll forget about it and leave it on. When I think of it though, I do turn it off. This is a personal habit I see no reason why you couldn't just let it sleep. I've never had a problem with it waking when I do forget to turn it off, I simply wiggle the mouse or push a key and it's back right away, wherever it left off If I could break my habit, I would have no qualms whatsoever with leaving it on 24/7. My wife virtually never entirely shuts her Macbook Pro down completely. It never has any trouble either.

Late 2010 iMac 27 inch  2.93GHz i7 16GB RAM 2TB HDD
2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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Phacade

 
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I am so jonesing to get it now!

Oh, since we're on the topic... I've got some Monsoon flat-panel speakers I've been using with my PC; two front, two rear, and a subwoofer slightly smaller than the state of Delaware. Admittedly its the best part of Cthulhu. Great stuff and I'd like to continue using them, but...I can't figure out how.

Everytime I look on the Apple store or when I go into the retail Apple store, I've looked. The iMac and the Mac Pro both have a speaker out, basically a headphone jack, on the rear. My speakers currently hood into an Audigy card with 2 plugs. Is there an adaptor of some kind?

Or should I look for speakers specifically for a Mac?

21" 3.6GHz Core i5 iMac "Sputnik" ■ 12GB Crucial RAM ■ Monsoon flat-panel speakers ■ HP P1006 LaserJet printer ■ Full Keyboard ■ Canoscan 9000F flatbed scanner ■ ...and then of course me (being a narcissist, I consider this to be the most important mod).
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ClockworkWorld

 
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Haha, it's pretty fun building up to the big order, isn't it?

Ah. Well, this is one area of things I am not so well versed with our iMac. You are correct, it has just a headphone jack on the rear. It's not a major problem for us, as we bought some very good speakers/subwoofer that work with that well enough for our needs. But it's truly the one part of the iMac (and Macbook for that matter...) that I wish could be a little different. I have heard of people using adapters and external sound cards and stuff, but I can't personally speak to experience with them. When I'm not working later and can get at my bookmarks, I can post some links to some of the research I've been doing into that for us. But perhaps someone with actual experience will beat me to it

We bought the Logitech X-530 system. It is a surround sound system, but without some sort of adapter or something, we can only use two of the speakers, and the subwoofer. The sound quality is amazing. I'm not exaggerating, if you turn it up enough, it could literally knock things off the walls. So I can only imagine what it would sound like with the proper adapters to get full use of the speakers!

Late 2010 iMac 27 inch  2.93GHz i7 16GB RAM 2TB HDD
2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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Phacade

 
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Whoa, good call there...I never thought of hooking up just two of the speakers. Thats actually a good solution since the rear speakers were a bit far to be heard anyway. I like it!

21" 3.6GHz Core i5 iMac "Sputnik" ■ 12GB Crucial RAM ■ Monsoon flat-panel speakers ■ HP P1006 LaserJet printer ■ Full Keyboard ■ Canoscan 9000F flatbed scanner ■ ...and then of course me (being a narcissist, I consider this to be the most important mod).
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ClockworkWorld

 
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It works for us! The only reason I'm trying to get a good surround setup, is because part of my wife's home business is HD video work, often involving surround sound, and it's quite a hassle to move back and forth between testing things on the iMac and the TV. But for personal use, two speakers and the subwoofer suit us just fine

Late 2010 iMac 27 inch  2.93GHz i7 16GB RAM 2TB HDD
2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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Phacade

 
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Well I'm sure I'll have close to a billion questions when I get it, like (for example) if its possible to password protect some albums in iPhoto to keep the kiddos from looking at some albums they shouldn't? Or, if I have photos save on a portable drive, and its unplugged, do the they disappear entirely off the Mac?

(a side note, no, its not porn...I have a tattoo interest, but as anyone can tell you; a lot of tattoo pictures are not safe for viewing by 5 & 7 year olds)

21" 3.6GHz Core i5 iMac "Sputnik" ■ 12GB Crucial RAM ■ Monsoon flat-panel speakers ■ HP P1006 LaserJet printer ■ Full Keyboard ■ Canoscan 9000F flatbed scanner ■ ...and then of course me (being a narcissist, I consider this to be the most important mod).
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ClockworkWorld

 
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Questions are always welcome here!

I have read that it's possible to password protect iPhoto, but I've never tried it, so I am not certain how (or how well) it works. I do believe that one thing you could do, is create a separate account for the kids to use, and decide what is and is not available on it. I'm not certain about saving things to a portable drive, if it keeps them from being visible in any way on the Mac. I can check for you when I get home from work, if someone doesn't beat me to it I know in iTunes, if we save our library on the external drives, and open iTunes with the drives unplugged, the song names and information still show in iTunes, but they cannot be played. I'll check about if thumbnails can still be viewed in iPhoto in the same way or not, I've never tried it

(Ah, I wouldn't have assumed it was porn But of course I understand about the kiddos and tattoo images Lots of things not necessarily good for our kids' eyes or ears that we as adults might enjoy!)

Late 2010 iMac 27 inch  2.93GHz i7 16GB RAM 2TB HDD
2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phacade View Post
Well I'm sure I'll have close to a billion questions when I get it, like (for example) if its possible to password protect some albums in iPhoto to keep the kiddos from looking at some albums they shouldn't? Or, if I have photos save on a portable drive, and its unplugged, do the they disappear entirely off the Mac?

(a side note, no, its not porn...I have a tattoo interest, but as anyone can tell you; a lot of tattoo pictures are not safe for viewing by 5 & 7 year olds)
Aperture has the ability to quickly switch between libraries. You can set up an encyrpted Disk Sparse Image and put your Aperture Library containing your tattoo pics in it. When you want to use it you open the disk image file using the password and then switch to it in Aperture.

You set up the sparse image using disk utility.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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