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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Just bought an iMac.. mistake?


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jackcharles

 
Member Since: Mar 21, 2010
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Hi,

I always fancied an Apple, and after receiving 2300 for my university results last year I splashed out on the basic 27 inch iMac. I'm beginning to regret it slightly, I have until the 25th of March to return it but I don't know if I should.

I love everything about it, but I am thinking that I should have got the upgraded version, with the Quad core i5 and possibly the upgrade to 8GB RAM. It has better graphics too, and I'm going to assume it will be more "future proof". If I decided to send it back and go for the upgrade, it would cost me another 230, or 370 if I got the RAM upgrade too. I recently read an article saying how quad cores will soon become the norm, and I feel like paying all that money for a dual core is silly now.

My question is, how much better would the upgraded iMac I suggested be than the basic 27 inch? I'm planning on keeping the computer for a minimum of 2 years, and I'm willing to pay the extra money if the upgrade is going to be much faster.

Sort of rambled, but you should get my gist.

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osxx

 
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The first question I would ask is it slow doing any task you give it ? As for C2D being outdated not so much would the new ones be faster yes by a small percentage on the current applications. You got to do some reading there are plenty of threads with I thought my new computer with icore 7 was going to be a lot faster or what ever other
miracle they were looking for if the app was not written to take advantage of multiple
cores and threads then the difference will be marginal. If you render video they will never have one fast enough It all depends on what you need it for. Its only outdated when it can't do the job or the job in a reasonable amount of time.
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bobtomay

 
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Personally, I wouldn't purchase less than a quad core today for myself. For the vast majority of users however, the Core2Duo is plenty enough computing power for the next 3-4 years and would never pay the extra if I was purchasing one for my wife today.

Whatever you decide, the upgrade to 8GB of RAM is a huge waste of money for the typical computer user and I would have to ask for what specific programs you are considering this upgrade.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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the8thark

 
Member Since: Jan 27, 2007
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Mac Specs: 17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3

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For basic tasks I would be looking at the computer I could afford. Even if it was Core2Duo. It's plenty fast enough for things like music, photo editing, a good selection of gaming etc etc. The difference between C2D and i5/i7 today is not that great. Most Apps can not take full use of the many cores of i5/i7 chips. Sure the future is unknown and anything can happen but today for most things the C2D will be jsut fine.

If you chose to take back the computer and get a replacement, only get the minimum amount of ram from Apple. And get the rest you want from another store. You will save a lot of money that way.

So if you replace the computer ok. You'll have a computer that will last for many years to come. But if you choose not to replace it, you'll still have a computer if looked after that will last for years to come. 5+ years. My 2006 computer is running snow leopard and doing everything just fine. And either way you go, you will have an imac that will last you for a long time to come.

I would suggest to do a little research and decide if the hassle and cost of replacing the computer is worth the little speed gain you'll get. Either choice is ok in my book.
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Jamie-Jamie

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2010
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98% of people could do 100% of their work on a computer that is 1% of what you bought. Try to keep that in perspective.

As for two years? A $1700 computer will last you for a decade if you use your head. Don't replace software unless you absolutely need to (Yes, 10.6, iWork 09 and iLife 09 will all still work perfectly well in 2020.) Upgrade RAM and things later (4GB is plenty.) And don't worry about the video card.

For cryin' out loud, just enjoy using it and stop worrying!
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the8thark

 
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Well you only need to worry about the video card if you do video/3D editing or want to play cutting edge games on ultra settings. Other then that your video card in either machine will be totally fine for years to come.
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jackcharles

 
Member Since: Mar 21, 2010
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There is no doubt that the Core 2 Duo is sufficient for what I currently use it for. The speed of the system is excellent, and a big step up from my laptop which has a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo and 4 GB RAM. My primary use is programming with Java and PHP, maybe while running Photoshop, iTunes and usually an SSH or VPN connection to various places. Recently, I have been developing Java games using OpenGL. I don't really know how much further I will be going into OpenGL, but I don't want to get to a stage where my development is limited by my graphics card.

I bought the 27 inch in anticipation of the Kanex XD Converter, so that I would be able to play PS3 games, watch blu-ray movies and Sky HD on the bigger screen. Before buying the iMac I toyed with the idea of buying a larger HDTV and a PC, which I could still do if I returned it.

One of the sales assistants in the apple store advised me only to get the quad core version if I was going to be doing resource intensive tasks like video editing or gaming. I don't do either, which is why I decided to save the £230 and get the basic version. I guess I'm just concerned that having the basic version would restrict me somewhere in the future, but I don't know where. I cannot say with certainty that I will never attempt to edit HD videos or get into mac gaming.
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neonmac

 
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I kindda had weird feeling after dropping just over a grand on my macbook.
I have spent thousands on my windows machines and all the extras like external drives and monitors so forth. That was all spread out of the space of a year though. I would not change it for the world with my mac though.

I am either buying the new Mac Pro or Imac come september. Defo for future proof go with the quad. Though as said, depends on your exact needs. But then what if ur needs change and u suddenly could do with the quad core.

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the8thark

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackcharles View Post
I don't do either, which is why I decided to save the 230 and get the basic version.
The basic version will not restrict you in any way. But in saying that you can not upgrade your imac all that much. New hard drive in ti one day and more memory and that's about it. CPU and GPU are pretty much "your stuck with the one you chose when you prchased the machine". For that reason a little mroe future proffing is nice. But not essential.

And about the 230. It's not much if you consider you can have the computer 5+ years and still have it do amny cutting edge things. But the catch is it's an upfront cost. You can't save up and slowly upgrade like with a PC. But you'd be paying a lot more than 230 over 5 years in upgrade costs with a PC.

So in short not necessary but it's nice to have.
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