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  1. #1

    MrChris's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 27, 2004
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    445
    Specs:
    20" iMac | iPhone 4
    Thinking of getting an iMac in the next few months...
    Hey guys & girls,

    I'm seriously considering buying an iMac to kick start my 3rd & final year of University. The iMac I'm after is the following:



    20-inch widescreen LCD

    1680x1050 resolution

    2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor1

    4MB shared L2 cache

    1GB memory (2x512MB SO-DIMM)

    250GB Serial ATA hard drive2

    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL, DVDĪRW, CD-RW)

    ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory

    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

    Apple Remote

    & Apple wireless keyboard & Mighty Mouse

    This would cost me £913.84 with my student discount (not bad I thought).

    I'm even seriously considering selling my old iBook G4 to help cover the costs as I have thought long and hard and although I love my iBook to bits, it's just not powerful enough for me anymore .

    Anyhoo, a few questions.

    1. Boot Camp - Is this software still free to download? Also if I was to install Windows XP on my iMac how do you actually go about doing it? Is it a simple enough operation?

    2. Graphics - I noticed that the only real change between the 20" and the 24" iMac is the graphics card. Is the ATI Radeon X1600 a decent card? I have only ever really used NVIDIA and so don't have much experience with game playing on an ATI card.

    3. Front Row - It would be so nice to be able to lie back on my bed and watch my media using a remote rather than having to look through files and folders with a mouse. I have some video files that have been encoded using different codecís (i.e. XviD .avi files, DivX .avi files and so on). Now to play these on my Windows system I need to install a codec pack. Will these media files be able to play through Front Row?

    Speakers - Are the speakers of a good quality on the iMac? This is not a problem either way as I already have a Creative iTrigue 2.1 sound system that I could hook up. (I'm a bit of a sound snob)

    4. Video Editing, Photoshop, Macromedia/Adobe Suite - These are the tools of my trade so to speak, I just want opinions on weather this model iMac will be adequate to perform processor/memory intensive tasks efficiently. I have never owned a core 2 Duo computer before and so have never experienced the difference it makes over a single core processor. (for comparison purpose the main machine I work with at the moment is an AMD Athlon 64 Windows based machine with 1GB memory and an NVIDIA 6600GT 128MB Graphics Card).

    Also, will this Mac last me a good few years? I'm not too fussed about buying it then a new one coming out a few months down the line as thatís always the deal with computers. But if there are some new Mac's due to be released any time soon then I will wait and see what's new with them. What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance for opinions, info, help & advice.

    Regards,

    Chris. :mac:

  2. #2

    Say_Cheese's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location
    High Wycombe, Just outside London, England
    Posts
    385
    Specs:
    20" iMac 2.0Ghz, 2Gb RAM Early 2006, 30Gb iPod 5th Gen. 15" MacBookPro, 2.33GHz
    Quote Originally Posted by MrChris
    1. Boot Camp - Is this software still free to download? Also if I was to install Windows XP on my iMac how do you actually go about doing it? Is it a simple enough operation?
    It sure is. It is a 186Mb download available here.
    http://www.apple.com/uk/macosx/bootcamp/

    Quote Originally Posted by MrChris
    2. Graphics - I noticed that the only real change between the 20" and the 24" iMac is the graphics card. Is the ATI Radeon X1600 a decent card? I have only ever really used NVIDIA and so don't have much experience with game playing on an ATI card.
    As far as I am aware there have been no issues with this graphics card. I dont believe that Apple would put in a card that would cause problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrChris
    3. Front Row - It would be so nice to be able to lie back on my bed and watch my media using a remote rather than having to look through files and folders with a mouse. I have some video files that have been encoded using different codecís (i.e. XviD .avi files, DivX .avi files and so on). Now to play these on my Windows system I need to install a codec pack. Will these media files be able to play through Front Row?
    It is a great bonus to me to be able to lay back on the bed and watch videos with the control. I don't know about the different file formats though.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrChris
    Speakers - Are the speakers of a good quality on the iMac? This is not a problem either way as I already have a Creative iTrigue 2.1 sound system that I could hook up. (I'm a bit of a sound snob)
    I too am a bit of a sound snob so I use JBL Creature 2 setup. However the small amount of time that I have spent listening through the speakers of my iMac 20" the sound seems ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrChris
    4. Video Editing, Photoshop, Macromedia/Adobe Suite - These are the tools of my trade so to speak, I just want opinions on weather this model iMac will be adequate to perform processor/memory intensive tasks efficiently. I have never owned a core 2 Duo computer before and so have never experienced the difference it makes over a single core processor. (for comparison purpose the main machine I work with at the moment is an AMD Athlon 64 Windows based machine with 1GB memory and an NVIDIA 6600GT 128MB Graphics Card).
    Adobe applications are still running under Rosetta. Therefore they will be slightly slower than on a PC or PPC chip. However next spring we are expecting to see the release of the updated versions. Unless you are wanting everything to be open at the same time and everything to run at lightning fast speed you should be ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrChris
    Also, will this Mac last me a good few years? I'm not too fussed about buying it then a new one coming out a few months down the line as thatís always the deal with computers. But if there are some new Mac's due to be released any time soon then I will wait and see what's new with them. What do you guys think?
    Apple have only just released the new Core 2 iMac's. It is likely to be a good few months before they release anything else.

  3. #3
    coloradobob
    Guest
    Imac
    Quote Originally Posted by MrChris
    Hey guys & girls,

    I'm seriously considering buying an iMac to kick start my 3rd & final year of University. The iMac I'm after is the following:



    20-inch widescreen LCD

    1680x1050 resolution

    2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor1

    4MB shared L2 cache

    1GB memory (2x512MB SO-DIMM)

    250GB Serial ATA hard drive2

    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL, DVDĪRW, CD-RW)

    ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory

    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0

    Apple Remote

    & Apple wireless keyboard & Mighty Mouse

    This would cost me £913.84 with my student discount (not bad I thought).

    I'm even seriously considering selling my old iBook G4 to help cover the costs as I have thought long and hard and although I love my iBook to bits, it's just not powerful enough for me anymore .

    Anyhoo, a few questions.

    1. Boot Camp - Is this software still free to download? Also if I was to install Windows XP on my iMac how do you actually go about doing it? Is it a simple enough operation?

    2. Graphics - I noticed that the only real change between the 20" and the 24" iMac is the graphics card. Is the ATI Radeon X1600 a decent card? I have only ever really used NVIDIA and so don't have much experience with game playing on an ATI card.

    3. Front Row - It would be so nice to be able to lie back on my bed and watch my media using a remote rather than having to look through files and folders with a mouse. I have some video files that have been encoded using different codecís (i.e. XviD .avi files, DivX .avi files and so on). Now to play these on my Windows system I need to install a codec pack. Will these media files be able to play through Front Row?

    Speakers - Are the speakers of a good quality on the iMac? This is not a problem either way as I already have a Creative iTrigue 2.1 sound system that I could hook up. (I'm a bit of a sound snob)

    4. Video Editing, Photoshop, Macromedia/Adobe Suite - These are the tools of my trade so to speak, I just want opinions on weather this model iMac will be adequate to perform processor/memory intensive tasks efficiently. I have never owned a core 2 Duo computer before and so have never experienced the difference it makes over a single core processor. (for comparison purpose the main machine I work with at the moment is an AMD Athlon 64 Windows based machine with 1GB memory and an NVIDIA 6600GT 128MB Graphics Card).

    Also, will this Mac last me a good few years? I'm not too fussed about buying it then a new one coming out a few months down the line as thatís always the deal with computers. But if there are some new Mac's due to be released any time soon then I will wait and see what's new with them. What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance for opinions, info, help & advice.

    Regards,

    Chris. :mac:


    Chris ......

    In Aug. I got the 17' screen, otherwise I have everything you mentioned .... I wish I'd gotten the 24... Had to replace the super drive, but I got it at Comp USA and I was only down from Sat to Last night.

    Here's my You Tube site :

    http://www.youtube.com/coloradobob1

    Made these straight out of the box.

  4. #4

    MrChris's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 27, 2004
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    445
    Specs:
    20" iMac | iPhone 4
    Cool!

    Thanks for the input guys, it's all helping!

    The only Mac I have ever owned is my iBook G4 and although I love it to bits itís just not powerful enough for my needs. If I were to buy an iMac it would probably replace my Windows machine and take pride of place on my desk as my "main" computer :mac:

    Can anyone shed any light on the Front Row/codec issue? As this would be a big problem for me if it was not able to play my media files that are in XviD, DivX format. If Front Row uses QuickTime to play video files then I donít think it should be too big of a problem because I can already play these files in QuickTime on my iBook but either way I would like to make sure first.

    Thanks for the info, keep it coming!

    Regards,

    Chris.

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