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Thread: iMac Specs?

  1. #1
    iMac Specs?
    kuklachica's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2007
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    Specs:
    2.26 13" MBP, WD 7200 RPM 320GB HDD, 4GB RAM; 2 EDU iBook G4s, 4g nano, 16GB 2g Touch, shuffle
    Question iMac Specs?
    Ok, I've decided to buy an iMac pretty soon, but I'm trying to figure out what specs I need. I'm trying to save money so I am trying to go for only what I really need. I would like advice as to what I would need to do the following activities:

    -Maintain my 30GB iPod (which has only 8GB filled now and will most likely never get to 30GB)
    -Word processing (with Word)
    -Internet
    -very occassional photo printing/minimal editing (VERY minimal, like only after vacations)
    -POSSIBLE blogging (but not video podcasting or recording)
    -SimCity (that's probably the only game)

    Those are the only things I will be using it for. This is what I was thinking for specs (and I don't really know what these things mean, so feel free to explain/or suggest something different):

    17" iMac
    -2.0 GHz
    -1 GB memory (but considering 2, not sure what the benefit would be?)
    -160 GB HDD (thinking with going with the minimum because I can always buy an external drive if needed)
    -Apple Care plan?? Is it necessary??? I have friends who could trouble shoot the mac if necessary, so do I need to pay the extra $$??

    I will upgrade to Leopard a few months down the road after it comes out, so woudl it be better to have larger memory/HDD???

    I'm trying to keep it as little $$ as possible... any suggestions for upgrades or do these specs sound good for what I would be using it for?? Thanks!!

    Bethany

  2. #2
    iMac Specs?

    Member Since
    Jun 21, 2007
    Posts
    23
    Seems like you should be good to go. If anything, I would upgrade to 2gb of RAM. You can never have enough and it will make a noticeable difference. It is also nice to have if you ever plan to dual boot into Windows.

    17" iMac-Size of the monitor
    2.0 GHz-Processor Speed
    1 GB memory-RAM. 2gb is nice to have as programs these days become more memory hungry.
    160GB-Still a pretty big hard drive unless you have pretty big music files and a lot of photos.
    Apple Care plan-Ask the Apple experts. I tend not to go for care plans as the general warranty seems to be good enough.

  3. #3
    iMac Specs?
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    If you really want, the lower end model with the 1.83Ghz processor will take care of your needs. However, the one you're looking at is well worth the additional $200 - it increases the processor to the 2.0 and adds the Apple remote, dedicated video with double the memory, a DVD burner and upgrades the RAM from 512MB to 1GB.

    The 1GB memory will be fine for what you're wanting to use the system for, just quit programs rather than only closing them. More RAM is always better, but you can wait until after you've used your rig for awhile to decide if you should upgrade or not. Instead of spending $175 with Apple for the additional 1GB, you can get after market 2GB kits for much less - $110 currently, direct from Crucial and as low as $75-90 from newegg. Then turn around and sell the 1GB that came in your machine.

    Personally, I do not spend money on extended warranties for computers. But, I am willing to do my own troubleshooting and have multiple computers to research issues online if I am having trouble with one. There are many here that do recommend the extended warranty. In my experience overall, by the time I have had parts fail beyond the manufacturers warranty I have been ready to upgrade anyway rather than having the old one replaced. This will be a matter of personal preference.

    160Gb internal space is going to be plenty for probably 80%+ users. And at $75 to gain an additional 90GB from Apple seems a little on the high side when for the same $75, you can get a 250-320GB external and a 500GB for as low as $130 right now.
    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.

  4. #4
    iMac Specs?
    kuklachica's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2007
    Posts
    225
    Specs:
    2.26 13" MBP, WD 7200 RPM 320GB HDD, 4GB RAM; 2 EDU iBook G4s, 4g nano, 16GB 2g Touch, shuffle
    Thank you for the great advice. I think I'm going to go with the 1GB of RAM - possibly two, just because that seems important to me for some reason. I'd rather get it up front than have to mess with the machine after I get it. Would 1GB of RAM be enough to run Leopard?? Or should I go with the 2 GB? Also, when you say "large music files" how big do you mean? I can't see myself ever having more than 30GB worth of music/videos - at what point would it be wise to upgrade to 250GB? I was also considering the 20" model the way it is - 1GB of RAM and 250GB for HDD. thoughts??

    Thank you so much!

  5. #5
    iMac Specs?

    Member Since
    Apr 19, 2007
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    780
    Specs:
    20" iMac Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, 500GB HDD, 1GB RAM, 128MB ATI Radeon X1600
    Don't let this change your decision, but I gotta point out that, unlike a certain competing operating system, you won't have to upgrade your computer at all to run the latest version (leopard).

  6. #6
    iMac Specs?

    Member Since
    Jan 27, 2007
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    Specs:
    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    Well you said you want to play Sim City. Well for Sim City 4 which I have, the larger cities tend to slow down the game a little with my 1GB of ram. I have the higher end 17" imac C2D. I think upgrading to the 2GB ram, yes you need 2x 1 GB sticks as your mac will ship with 2x 512 MB sticks. And i think should make Sim City 4 run great. And I think the dedicated graphics card in the upper end 17" imac will make the game a little speedier too.

    And for everything else you said the upper and lower end 17" imac will suit you fine. But I like everyone else above recommend to you the upper end imac. And I think you'll love it. I know I love mine. And just upgrade the ram later at some point. Upgrading imac ram is really easy.

    And for me specs wise the only major noteworthy difference between the upper 17" and the 20" is the extra screen real estate. I think an external firewire drives are pretty good and cheap these days. And the 160 GB is enough for most people. I have heaps of stuff in mine and a XP partition and I barely use up 1/2 of it. I think buying later an external drive is the way to go and you can always use it later with time machine on 10.5 when it's released.

    I would go down to your local apple store and checkout which screen you like more. If you're ok with the 17" one I say get that. But if the 20" one really grabs your fancy then go for that. It's not worth the money in my opinion. But it's up to you really.

    And my last word. As altrady stated above. Don't get the lower end 17" imac. Even to save money. The other 17" one is really worth the extra money.

  7. #7
    iMac Specs?
    James's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location
    Pocola, Oklahoma
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    808
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 2.66 - 4 Gig Ram, iMac G5 2 Gig ram 20"
    If you can afford the difference i would go for the 20" screen, you can always use more screen space. As far as the ram goes, there isn't a whole lot of increase in 1 gig to 2 gig that you notice, but it will make a difference if you do a lot of multitasking and is worth the extra cost. Just don't get that second gig from Apple, you will pay way to much for it and installing another gig of ram into an iMac is a simple job that only takes a few minutes.

    I am also one who never buys the extra insuranace and so far after over 30 years of buying electronics i have not regreted it... now if your the unlucky type it might be worth it, other wise i wouldn't spend the money.

    Go with the 160 gig hard drive. Later if you find you need more, external drives are fairly cheap and a snap to hook up.
    Mac Pro Intel 2.66 - 4 Gigs Ram - 10.6.1 - 30" Apple Monitor
    iMac 24" 2 gigs ram - MacBook Pro

  8. #8
    iMac Specs?

    Member Since
    Mar 10, 2007
    Posts
    16
    by large music files, he means long songs with high bitrates. I would HIGHLY reccomend getting 2GB because you can't really upgrade your iMac without voiding the warranty. If you're planning on keeping your iMac for a while, then 2GB would be vital. If you compare the iMac 17" and the iMac 20" with the 17" having 2.16Ghz processor and a 250GB HDD, you're only paying $125 for the larger screen. That may be a lot for you, and not much for someone else. It all depends on who's buying. I personally think the extra 3 inches is noticeable. You may think different though. Also, you can upgrade the graphics of the 20" if you want 256MB of Video Random Access Memory (VRAM) The unfortunate part about all current iMacs is you can't easily upgrade anything. You can't just open up the system. The processor's perfectly fine for now, the graphics are soso, but the default HDD is a bit small for the 17" model. Then again, you can just buy an external HDD. It all depends on what you want. What I'm doing is I'm waiting for the new iMacs to come out. That way, you'll get more power for (hopefully) the same price as the current iMacs. It's all up to you. Here's my reccomendation for the current iMacs:

    20" iMac
    2.16Ghz Processor
    2GB of RAM
    250GB HDD
    128MB VRAM graphics (since you aren't planning on doing powerful gaming)
    And it's all up to you with the Apple Protection plan

    Without the protection plan, the system retails for $1674

    If you think that's too expensive, and you don't want 20", then here's my 17" reccomendation:

    17" with 2.0Ghz processor
    2GB RAM
    250GB HDD
    And again, it's all up to you on the AppleCare Protection

    This 17" system runs for $1374

    About the HDD, you may be thinking: "why do I possibly need 250GB"? If you want to run Windows, or if all of a sudden you get an obsession with photos, videos, downloading, etc., then you'd want 250GB, though it's your choice. My current iMac config would be the 20" config I listed. I hope you get the right iMac for you. Good luck with your hunting :-)

  9. #9
    iMac Specs?
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Texas, where else?
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    This has been discussed many times on this forum, and upgrading your RAM does not affect your warranty.
    Only the new RAM would now be covered by the manufacturer of the RAM rather than Apple.
    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.

  10. #10
    iMac Specs?

    Member Since
    Jan 27, 2007
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    Specs:
    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    Actually you can upgrade your imac ram youraslf without voiding the warranty. Only damage caused while replacing the ram would not be covered. So you don't have to replace your ram with Apple branded ram. And atill have a good warranty.

    But this is not the same for hard drives. You can't replace the internal one at all and expect to still have a good warranty. But replacing that is really hard anyways.

    [edit]The poster above beat me to my post. SO yeah what that post says is true also.

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