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    Buying an iMac

    No fanboy nonsense in here please

    Am thinking about buying a mac to replace my Windows 7 desktop.

    I do some work in Photoshop/Lightroom and would like to do more, I use my PC to stream videos and music to other devices around my house. I use newsgroups to download, burn DVDs etc.

    Obviously I use Office, Firefox etc.

    Is there anything I won't be able to do if I get a mac? Anything that will be harder/easier

    My desktop needs at the least a motherboard/cpu upgrade, new RAM will be needed soon so i'm not sure whether it will be worth spending a bit more and getting an imac. I work at an FE college and I think the 21.5 inch model is about £840 in their education store.

    Can macs be upgraded easily/cheaply?

    Any ideas/suggestions?

    Thanks

    31 Comments

    Well, here is my experience. Have you got sensitive eyes ? As those new iMac, MBP, MB they use a Glossy Led Back-lit screen, which could seriously hurt your eyes if your working condition is not well-lit. I mean like in Apple Store.

    Otherwise your eyes will be burning.

    My advice is to buy a Mac Mini with one of those decent 25" display, you will have exactly the same resolution as on the iMac display
    Edited by: "heovang" 21st Sep 2010

    Original Poster

    Umm.... don't know tbh! I never get sore eyes working at a PC

    What do you mean by your last statement?

    Sorry I meant Mac Mini..lol...I can work for hours on a normal LCD display, but not even 30 mins on my Macbook Pro/ iMac/ MB new LED display, google it about the eye strain on Mac LED display. Seriously as iMac is an expensive buy so make sure you think carefully !

    hi check out the refurb store at the apple shop
    i purchased my 3rd mac product from them a year ago an imac and i haven't looked back
    i use rivet to stream to my xbox have office sweet and parallels which lets me run any pc only software but TBH i used it for a couple of months and then found mac software that works as well

    To clarify before people swoop - i'm not a fan boy and when we swapped format i was so sceptical i wouldn't switch to a mac at work as the pc does work stuff better but i use the mac to edit photos /video and music and would never swap back

    Original Poster

    Presume it's similar to a pc when upgrading RAM ? Would it still recognise the external drives I have that are full of stuff, or do they use different file structures?

    Presume .avi files etc are universal?

    Sorry for stupid questions, I've always had a pc (and know a reasonable amount about them) but have completely ignored macs

    Presume it's similar to a pc when upgrading RAM ?



    All mac's use Laptop ram, the new iMacs use DDR3.

    Would it still recognise the external drives I have that are full of … Would it still recognise the external drives I have that are full of stuff, or do they use different file structures?



    OSX can read NTFS but cant write to it without a thrid party add on. Easy enough to track down. As for file structure, OSX uses Mac Journaled, which is not readable on a Windows Box without a third party addon. This is not as bad as it sounds, and just needs a small piece of software to be installed.

    And yes media files are universal. VLC player (which is cross platform) is by far the best I have come across and plays anything you throw at it.


    Sorry I meant Mac Mini..lol...I can work for hours on a normal LCD … Sorry I meant Mac Mini..lol...I can work for hours on a normal LCD display, but not even 30 mins on my Macbook Pro/ iMac/ MB new LED display, google it about the eye strain on Mac LED display. Seriously as iMac is an expensive buy so make sure you think carefully !



    Use my iMac for 8 hours a day, never had eye strain! Must be your eyes

    sancho1983

    Presume it's similar to a pc when upgrading RAM ? Would it still … Presume it's similar to a pc when upgrading RAM ? Would it still recognise the external drives I have that are full of stuff, or do they use different file structures? Presume .avi files etc are universal?Sorry for stupid questions, I've always had a pc (and know a reasonable amount about them) but have completely ignored macs



    Upgrading RAM is quite straightforward but that's about all you'll be able to do. The only other option is to upgrade the HD but you'd need to invalidate the warranty or seek an Apple Authorised company who could do this for you.

    You should find no major issues with opening files. Most files are quite universal but if you hit any kind of stumbling block there is usually a work around. I haven't had any issues with opening files so far.

    I got one recently with a free (thru rebate) ipod touch. Sell that and it makes it ~£100 cheaper.

    The screens are fantastic, you would pay a couple of hundred for the same quality external screen. The brightness does need turning down from default though.

    The only other option is to upgrade the HD but you'd need to invalidate … The only other option is to upgrade the HD but you'd need to invalidate the warranty or seek an Apple Authorised company who could do this for you.



    Which is why you go for a 1TB drive when you buy the machine and then get external drives for anything over this. I have a 500GB Seagate for Time Machine, and a 1TB WD for everything else.

    For avi's use vlc, RAM is supposedly quite easy to replace and it picks up all external drives I've tried, but it doesn't write to ntfs file systems by default though.

    Original Poster

    Thanks all, very useful info.

    @mumbojumbo - something I've also thought about. Any setup that just works though? Last time I looked at it there was a fair amount of messing around and some things didn't work. £600 include monitor?
    Edited by: "sancho1983" 21st Sep 2010

    Simon_G

    Use my iMac for 8 hours a day, never had eye strain! Must be your eyes



    Your one is the old display, Apple recently change to LED backlit display in their product lines. I used to work for ages on my old MB which never ever have problems. But not with these new one

    Your one is the old display, Apple recently change to LED backlit display … Your one is the old display, Apple recently change to LED backlit display in their product lines. I used to work for ages on my old MB which never ever have problems. But not with these new one



    Whyen did they do this in the iMac range?

    Simon_G

    Whyen did they do this in the iMac range?



    2009/ 2010 I think, they introduced LED back lit display in 2009 if I can remember

    Edited by: "heovang" 21st Sep 2010

    I have a late 2009 21.5" iMac so just missed out on this.

    Are all new iMacs with the LED screens then? I am getting a 27" i5 for xmas to replace this 21.5" C2D.

    Simon_G

    I have a late 2009 21.5" iMac so just missed out on this.Are all new … I have a late 2009 21.5" iMac so just missed out on this.Are all new iMacs with the LED screens then? I am getting a 27" i5 for xmas to replace this 21.5" C2D.



    Yes they are all LED back lit screen since the Early 2010, and a lot of people having the same problem with me regarding the eyestrain, unless I can make my room well-lit like Apple Store..lol

    Here is a useful post Simon, you may not be one of us..lol..LINK

    Edited by: "heovang" 21st Sep 2010

    Hmmm, seems those posts start in 2008, meaning that my late 2009 21.5" iMac I have now has the LED backlight (any way of checking this?).

    Like I said, I use mine for 8 hrs a day at least, and get no problems at all. Maybe I'm weird? lol

    I do have to add that I have had 3 (yes) 3 headaches in my entire life (im 34 now) so I am not as prone as most to these kind of things.

    Edited by: "Simon_G" 21st Sep 2010

    Simon_G

    Hmmm, seems those posts start in 2008, meaning that my late 2009 21.5" … Hmmm, seems those posts start in 2008, meaning that my late 2009 21.5" iMac I have now has the LED backlight (any way of checking this?).Like I said, I use mine for 8 hrs a day at least, and get no problems at all. Maybe I'm weird? lol



    Depends on the light conditions in your room as well, I can work fine with normal day but to work at night..very bad eye strain

    If you could read the post near the end, where ppl buying these new iMac, even the expensive option such as Anti Glare display for MBP, still does not work. It is just something to do with LED tech with people have sensitive eyes..loll

    discussions.apple.com/thr…t=0
    Edited by: "heovang" 21st Sep 2010

    Depends on the light conditions in your room as well, I can work fine … Depends on the light conditions in your room as well, I can work fine with normal day but to work at night..very bad eye strainIf you could read the post near the end, where ppl buying these new iMac, even the expensive option such as Anti Glare display for MBP, still does not work. It is just something to do with LED tech with people have sensitive eyes..loll



    Looks like I'm good to go with this 27"er then, its defo an LED backlight I have, and I have had no problems at all with it. I must be one of the lucky (or weird) ones Thanks for the info though

    Read this Simon:

    discussions.apple.com/thr…t=0

    But in the end of the day, your choice and you have 14 days return anyway..lol

    Read it. The person who posted the top post is a weirdo as I don't have those problems

    I'll make sure I check it out though before i buy it.

    Simon_G

    Which is why you go for a 1TB drive when you buy the machine and then get … Which is why you go for a 1TB drive when you buy the machine and then get external drives for anything over this. I have a 500GB Seagate for Time Machine, and a 1TB WD for everything else.



    The 2TB version is 'too' costly. I am tempted to see if I can get an SSD fitted in my 27" iMac just for applications and possibly buy a 3TB drive for storage!

    You can always buy it home, try it and then return within 14 days. As you can't tell the problem in Apple Store.

    So I can save up to buy your old iMac then..lol..

    Having a 1tb internal drive and 500gb external time machine makes no sense, surely you need an external roughly 125%-150% the size of the internal?

    Unless you never plan on filling the internal.

    Im looking for a 2tb drive to come down in price at the moment to back up my 2 1tb hard drives (1's full, the other will be retired) and my 500gb internal.

    I'm also looking at getting a Mac, I'm just amazed that nobody has mentioned bootcamp. The dealmaker for me is that I can use it as a Pc as well.

    Having a 1tb internal drive and 500gb external time machine makes no … Having a 1tb internal drive and 500gb external time machine makes no sense, surely you need an external roughly 125%-150% the size of the internal?



    Yeah, it seems stupid doesnt it? What I didnt mention is that the OS is on a 300GB partition, the other 700GB of the 1TB drive is split up for saved stuff and a small bootcamp partition. Time machine only backs up the main OS partition and anything really important goes on teh internal partition as well as the external 1TB WD.

    Original Poster

    defard

    I'm also looking at getting a Mac, I'm just amazed that nobody has … I'm also looking at getting a Mac, I'm just amazed that nobody has mentioned bootcamp. The dealmaker for me is that I can use it as a Pc as well.



    Bootcamp meaning you can dual boot presumably?
    Edited by: "sancho1983" 22nd Sep 2010

    Original Poster

    OK, change of plan, think i'm definitely going for a Hackingtosh. From reading around more most people seem to think the difference nowadays between Mac and PC is purely the OS. So it makes sense to save a little money and build one.

    I've found this guide but it's American so not sure if the hardware can be purchased here. Anybody got a good list of compatible parts? Seems to just be motherboard/CPU which is the issue

    OK, change of plan, think i'm definitely going for a Hackingtosh. From … OK, change of plan, think i'm definitely going for a Hackingtosh. From reading around more most people seem to think the difference nowadays between Mac and PC is purely the OS.



    I think the reason the OS works so well is that it is entirely tailored to the components it controls, unlike Windowz which has to work on a pretty much infinite amount of component possibilities. And herein lies the problem with the Hackintosh. OSX will never work as well as it does on a real Mac, regardless of what others may say. There are always problems with components, upgrading the OS and other issues which you have to be aware may happen and would always, for me anyway, be a problem lurking in the back of my mind.

    Original Poster

    A good point. I suppose I want a mac to have a go on one and maybe It's an impulse thing, so 'future proofing' will be less important. Going down the hackingtosh route will also (hopefully) give me a kick ass pc if I decide I can't get on with osx
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