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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2007
    newbie: iMac vs PC
    ***Sorry, wrong forum, I'll have it moved!***

    Hello all, I'm new to this forum, and new to Macs in general. I've recently decided to upgrade to a new system and was looking into switching over from a PC to a Mac. But I do have some concerns. First, I'm by no means the most computer savvy person, I know my way around the internals of a PC. But as for specifications of hardware, I can't seem to wrap my head around all the numbers. Anyways, I'm looking at two options.

    First: Hewlett Packard M7640N

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Dual Core Processor
    2GB DDR memory
    320GB SATA hard drive
    Dual Layer 16X DVD+/-RW with Lightscribe
    GeForce 6150 graphics with 256MB shared video memory

    Second: Apple iMac Intel Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz Computer With 20" Monitor

    Here goes nothing:

    1. Now, my main reason for upgrading is that I need to be able to do video editing. My current PC just won't cut it, it's too slow. And I don't know anyone with a Mac that has done video editing. So, would anyone be able to shed some light on just how these two machines would compare? I've seen some comparisons of Intel vs AMD with AMD coming out on top, but I also have heard that Macs are more efficient. And are the Intel chips in PCs the same ones used in the iMacs?

    2. Another concern is the lifespan of an iMac. With my PC, if I needed to upgrade, I could just buy and swap parts. I understand you can't exactly do that with a Mac. Apparently it could get pretty expensive, and I should be bringing it in to an authorized dealer/repair shop. With the tech changes so often nowadays, how long can I expect to use this particular model before I have to upgrade/buy a new one? I know this question is kinda of stupid because it all depends on how I'm going to use it, but I'm just looking for a general answer. How long has everyone used their own Macs for? 2, 3, 5 years? My current PC has lasted me about 4 years with upgrades included.

    I'd appreciate some honest feedback. Not just 'Macs are the best, you should get one!'. If the AMD performs better, let me know. If the lifespan of a Mac is only a couple years, then say so. If they're equal machines, so be it. I'm just trying to weigh the options of the extra money I'm gonna spend on a Mac. If it's justified, then I'll do it.

    But if you're just gonna flame me for asking idiot questions, give your fingers a rest please. I'm not looking for a fight.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Central New York
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    Yes, the Intel chips in the Macs are the same chips used in many PCs.

    For a Mac, if you want an upgradeable model, you need to get the Mac Pro. But otherwise, you can upgrade the RAM in the iMac.

    As for lifespan, my dad is a computer programmer, he was using a Pismo PB for about 3-4 years before he got a G4 PB. We had a G3 iMac that we used daily for 4 years before we got a new G5 iMac. And the only thing we ever upgraded hardware wise, was the RAM.
    Blog and Photo Gallery:

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  3. #3

    Alexis's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2006
    Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Why do you think your PC is too slow? It's a cracking machine! Plenty of memory, fast SATA hard drive and a very decent processor. The only thing that might not be up to scratch is the graphics card, but that is easily replaced.

    The AMD X2 is slightly slower than the Core2Duo, but to be honest you wouldn't really notice. Whether AMD or Intel are faster changes year in, year out - it just happens to be Intel at the moment with there Core2, but an AMD X2 is still very fast. Macs and PCs pretty much use the same Core2Duo chips.

    I'd say the iMac would perform slightly better at the moment, but not noticably. The advantage would be the OS (OS X Tiger is still better than Vista), but I'd only recommend changing if you had a slow PC or you really wanted to use a nicer operating system.

  4. #4

    mac57's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 29, 2006
    St. Somewhere
    iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD, 8 GB RAM
    If you are looking for upgradabilty over time, you will need to consider the Mac Pro line. They are the only truly upgradable Macs. You can upgrade SOME things on the other Mac models, but the Mac Pro is VERY upgradable across the board.
    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

  5. #5

    narf1899's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 05, 2007
    iMac 20" C2D 2.4 ghz 2gb iMac 20" C2D 2GB 256MB Graphics Macbook C2D 2GB Powermac G4 Dual 450
    alexis, i think he was looking to buy that PC, thats not his current PC.
    and to you madups, i would go with the mac. Just make sure u get at least 2gb of memory, and go for the upgraded graphics card option (its only like 75 bucks). U might even want to look into the Mac Pro if ur really serious about this video editing. Keep in mind the mac can run windows too, so if u are used to some windows program u can still run it.
    iMac Aluminum 20" 2.4 ghz 2gb RAM 300gb HD
    iMac 20" Core2duo 2gb 250gb
    Macbook White Core2duo 2gb 80gb
    Powermac G4 dual 450

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Feb 22, 2007
    For video editing it is hard to go wrong with the apple. For basic users the imovie hd is really easy and a good program. If you need more final cut with its add on's is very impressive.

    As for the life of you computer in 4 years a new imac will feel slow to the new model. However the newest models are quit fast and you should be happy with it as is for many years. The apple product in 4 years will have maybe a 40% value left in it as for a pc it will be a paper weight in 4 years. Good luck.

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Jan 27, 2007
    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    Personally, I think both are quite good machines. And both will get the jobs done you want them too. Quite efficiently in my opinion.

    But in saying that which to buy? I would recommend the imac with the better graphics card and 2GB memory. I think that'll last you for at least 4 years. Why I say that. Is I've really only 3 computers in my life. I got my first one at the age of 6 I think. And I kept each one for 4-5 years. And my last one is on it's 3rd year now I think. I only got new ones cause I got really good deals on them at the time. And honestly all of my computers still did everything I need them to do when I traded them in. Even now on my 333mhz imac I can do everything on it bar hardcore video and music editing. Even photoshop runs like a dream on it.

    So I think the mac has a longer life. And also cause apple make the hardare and OS, you'll not have to do any updating to use the new apps. Unlike in the PC world where you have to. Vista being a prime example.

    A 2nd thing is you can use OS X and windows (through bootcamp or Parallels) in any mac you choose to buy.

    My recommendation is to buy the upgraded imac I mentioned above, unless you really have to have the cutting edge technology in graphics cards etc in 3-4 years time. And you really worry about video editing speeds etc. Then a mac pro is for you. But they are quite expensive as you know.

  8. #8

    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2007
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Your input was greatly appreciated.

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