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

iMac - iMac 20" and its suitability to a former PC user?


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JohnBurrows
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I have always been a PC-user. However, I'm switching to Mac. Why you ask? Well let me start the tale from a year ago. I was looking for a compact computer for netsurfing, writing word documents and for some gaming. Editing digital pics and video clips would be a secondary type of usage. Initally, I really gave Powerbook some thought but PC-Windows-combo seemed better so I went with a 17" performance PC-laptop. However, this laptop has been proofed as being flawed and I have an opportunity to get my money back. And what do you know... time has passed and now, thanks to boot camp, you can use Windows with yout Mac. Talk about 'best of both worlds'...

So I have been looking for a good computer for me and iMac 20" (with the best specs) in on the top of my list. Why? Well it's cool-looking, compact, seems to have great performance (at least spescwise) and YOU CAN USE WINDOWS with it. Don't get me wrong... I really want to use Tiger, and later Leopard, and will use it but the truth is that for gaming and MS Office I need to use Windows.

So my first question to you is do you think getting an iMac is the right step for me? I mean obviously I'm looking for a great compact desktop replacement which costs under 2500 dollars. If I got an iMac what would I do with it? Well firstly I'd use boot camp to install Windows and would use it as my primary OS for games and MS Office (and surfing and MS Messenger use) while using Tiger with audio/video-stuff and such. Oh, I have accessories such as Logitech G5 mouse, Belkin Nostromo N52-gamepad, Buffalo USB-WLAN stick, Nero 6 Reloaded, Norton Internet Security 2005, MS Office and would like to use them as well. So all of this in mind, do you think I'd be happy with an iMac?

My second question has to do with memory. I mean I've read many many messages saying that AppleStore additional memory is overpriced, and if you want 2gig of memory you should really buy the additional 1gig from somewhere else. Is this true? I mean I do want to save but it seems an awful lot of trouble... Also, do you think 2gig memory is recommended? Today 1gig is thought of as minimum so I guess it should be...

My third and final question has to do with discounts. I'm currently studying in a university and have taken some computer-related courses. So I'm eligeble to get ADC membership which would give me 10% off of iMac plus I'd get a free copy of Leopard within a couple of years. On the other hand, I'd have to fax degrees and such to abroad and pay the fee of 99 dollars (was it?). On the other hand, AppleStore does give student discounts of 6% off and I guess that's something... What do you think? Would ADC membership be wise for me?

Finally, I want to deal with a couple of issues. Firstly, you might ask why I'm not thinking of getting a desktop-PC? Well, certainly it'd give me the edge in games but my working room is kinda small and a tower would take up too much space. Secondly, I know a lot of people will comment that iMac is great but my not using OS X would be a total waste, and in that logic a Mac would be a waste for me. Well, I AM going to use Tiger, but the truth is that a lot of what I regularly do with a computer has to be done in Windows due to my owning Windows-programs I can't afford to replace or just that doing a specific thing in Windows is a whole lot easier or altogether possible. Oh, and when I talk about gaming I mean that I'd play maybe 50 minutes of CS:source a day, that's all.

So in conclusion, I'd appreciate it if you could help me with the following:
1) iMac 20" and it suitability to me - a former PC-user who wants to continue using mostly Windows as primary OS
2) Does it make sense to up the memory to 2gig when I buy iMac from Apple Store?
3) ADC discount vs. Student Discount - ADC worth the trouble?

Many thanks in advance! Cheers!
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Beemer

 
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I have a 20" iMac and made the switch. You get used to mac applications and other alternatives instead of the Win programs. I still use my PC but its slow so I barely use it enless I needed to.

I also uped to 2GB of Ram. I think its a smart choice. You won't have to worry about freezing up or slower running very much.

I used the Student Discount, it was simple and quick and free. Since you have to pay for the ADC discount and only save 10% I don't think its worht it. Not sure how much the discount was but it helped.
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Dillinger-63

 
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I orderd mine from a guy on ebay (it took a while to get it but) when the deal was the iMac Intel 20 inch, 250 gig HD, 512 meg ram, pretty much the normal stuff. The price was $1599.99 with a $150.00 rebate and free three year AppleCare. Since there was no tax, I though the deal was pretty sweet. If you do a search on eBay you will see that he has around 900 responses with a 99.5% approval. He is the only seller that offers the rebate.

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baggss

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBurrows
So my first question to you is do you think getting an iMac is the right step for me? I mean obviously I'm looking for a great compact desktop replacement which costs under 2500 dollars. If I got an iMac what would I do with it? Well firstly I'd use boot camp to install Windows and would use it as my primary OS for games and MS Office (and surfing and MS Messenger use) while using Tiger with audio/video-stuff and such. Oh, I have accessories such as Logitech G5 mouse, Belkin Nostromo N52-gamepad, Buffalo USB-WLAN stick, Nero 6 Reloaded, Norton Internet Security 2005, MS Office and would like to use them as well. So all of this in mind, do you think I'd be happy with an iMac?
It seems to me, and this is just my opinion, that getting an iMac to run windows is a waste of time. I buy Macs because I prefer OSX over XP/Win2K any day of the week. That being said, I'm hearing rave reviews of Apples hardware from the PC world now that you can run XP on it, but remember, things like graphics are not upgradable on the iMac. If your big thing is playing games, the iMac will be ok for a while, but will likely become dated rather fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBurrows
My second question has to do with memory. I mean I've read many many messages saying that AppleStore additional memory is overpriced, and if you want 2gig of memory you should really buy the additional 1gig from somewhere else. Is this true? I mean I do want to save but it seems an awful lot of trouble... Also, do you think 2gig memory is recommended? Today 1gig is thought of as minimum so I guess it should be...
I have never added RAM to the current version of the iMac, but I would buy no more than 1Gb from Apple and upgrade the rest yourself. It can't be that hard to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBurrows
My third and final question has to do with discounts. I'm currently studying in a university and have taken some computer-related courses. So I'm eligeble to get ADC membership which would give me 10% off of iMac plus I'd get a free copy of Leopard within a couple of years. On the other hand, I'd have to fax degrees and such to abroad and pay the fee of 99 dollars (was it?). On the other hand, AppleStore does give student discounts of 6% off and I guess that's something... What do you think? Would ADC membership be wise for me?
Never heard of ADC, so I can't really say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBurrows
Finally, I want to deal with a couple of issues. Firstly, you might ask why I'm not thinking of getting a desktop-PC? Well, certainly it'd give me the edge in games but my working room is kinda small and a tower would take up too much space. Secondly, I know a lot of people will comment that iMac is great but my not using OS X would be a total waste, and in that logic a Mac would be a waste for me. Well, I AM going to use Tiger, but the truth is that a lot of what I regularly do with a computer has to be done in Windows due to my owning Windows-programs I can't afford to replace or just that doing a specific thing in Windows is a whole lot easier or altogether possible. Oh, and when I talk about gaming I mean that I'd play maybe 50 minutes of CS:source a day, that's all.
As I said above, this may be a wast of your time. It sounds like you just want the nice hardware, which is OK, but OSX is what Makes Macs special IMHO. If your not willing to switch and buy new software, a rather daunting task to be sure, then you may just want to stick with a nice PC in your budget range and not bother with a Mac.


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Smartz

 
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My two pence would be go for it, but go for 2GB and do it yourself because it is an easy step for the average home user. The next bit of advise would be.....dont bother with Windows on a Mac. I was a switcher and have immersed myself with OSX. It is so superior that when i have to use a PC which i do have to thanks to programmers of websites not optomising site for anything other than IE (shame on you) i find a clunky, nasty alternative......but you will come to your own conclusions in time!
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lil
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I would offer these simple words. If you like the look of the iMac and could use one as your main Windows PC—then by all means go for it. It's good hardware, good specifications and it is a fairly beefy Windows PC in terms of speed too. I would get 2GB RAM for it—but I would upgrade it myself as it would be much cheaper.

There is no need for your Wifi stick since the iMac has wifi built in. The software you have is only relevant to Windows as Norton and Nero are redundant under OS X.

If you like OS X enough, if you are using Adobe apps, you can cross-grade them for the Macintosh version.

I can't see any harm of running Windows more than OS X on a machine badged with Apple, after all we are just talking about some well assembled and designed plastics—not some desecration of a religion...

You may also in time get used to using OS X, and wish to make the switch a more permanent one. You could also use software like Parallels Workstation or the coming Macintosh version of VMware to run a Windows session in a Mac OS X window. The only downside is you won't get the full speed enjoyed in Boot Camp when it comes to graphics, but if you are happy working in Mac OS X but need to get at some Windows software, it would save some hassle.

I'm presuming by ADC you mean Apple Developer Connection—yes it's not a bad deal and it allows you to have access to material Apple doesn't push out into the public straight away with regards to Mac OS X development (as in programming), plus in late 2006/early 2007 you would get a free copy of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).

Anyway—I can't see particularly why not to go for an iMac and run Windows mostly on it, as I say you may just find yourself using Mac OS X Tiger a bit more over time—who knows. And at least you would get the best of both worlds.

What components of Office do you use that are Windows only? (Access I presume?) Since you can get Word, Excel and Powepoint (and Entourage, the Mac equivalent to Outlook 2003) easily enough with MS Office 2004 for Mac.

Anyways—I know that would incur extra expense software wise. Either way, why not go for it. Sure I prefer Mac OS X for Adobe apps etc. but that certain does not mean everyone should :flower:

Vicky
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Logan
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Hey John, Hmm you may be mislead a bit. Having XP on a Mac system isn't going to fix the problems you may be trying to avoid. It isn't the hardware that is making your system not do what you want it to. (Unless you don't match the hardware requirements). It's the software.

Yeah, Windows XP is the problem. no matter what hardware you have, you ultimately will find the same problems when you run XP. (Slugginess after excessive usage, especially if you constantly install/uninstall items, flooded registries, other window-bugs). Probably the best solution to XP is format when it gets to be too much. It sucks, I know, but Windows XP does in the end suck even if everything is compatible with it.

So regardless if you use bootcamp or not, essentially you're buying the same machine both ways. Macintosh box may run WinXP faster or slower, but regardless it's going to probably going to do the downgrade jump as you've expected anyways. Plus ram sounds like its' more expensive, and also the mention of video card upgrading is more difficult.. makes it seem not as good of an option for a gaming machine and potentially your video editing needs.

So why buy a mac? for OSX. OSX is probably the easiest, most supported and most secure OS out there from what I see. I'd suggest buying a Mac and try to "convert" your day to day apps to run on OSX. Use OSX 90% of the time. Games are probably going to be your biggest incompatibility, so just run WinXP for games. Now that you're minimizing your XP use, the chances of slugginess decreases.

From how you speak of your problems, though, and many will probably disagree with me here (since this is a mac forum), the cheapest alternative would be to get a Unix or Linux distro (There's lots of free ones) and use that for everything you can muster. (ESPECIALLY web browsing, email, etc since these tend to be the biggest risk to your data when you're using XP). Then use XP just for gaming. Actually i do this and use cedega to get even my gaming needs done! Which is really cool in my opinion. You can use cheaper PC components, upgrade easier, and run XP in it's native architexture, and allow you to securely and safely do day to day tasks without as much failure as XP. Downside, of course, Linux and Unix has a larger tendancy for incompatibility with your components, and alternatives may not be as good as the OSX ones. Plus Linux/Unix learning curve is a lot higher. Talk to me if you are kind of interested in this alternative.

Hopefully my lengthy reply is informative to you, even if you don't agree with my words.
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