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Old May 18th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #1
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It's like I'm always finding new 'paths' on the road to purchasing a system ....

I'm trying to find a Mac for my mother and this has been a real struggle. She wants an iMac and I've recently moved her into wanting an eMac. We've decided on the SuperDrive 80GB - I'm suppose to be purchasing the system for this weekend. She's a very basic user - internet, email, iTunes. We want the SuperDrive to back-up her music collect and for the larger hard-drive (we're not purchasing a custom configured system.)

I've just stumbled across an older iMac demo model. It's a 15 inch, 800Mhz G4, SuperDrive, 256 ram, 60GB, upgraded with 10.3. I believe they're going to drop this price to about $1000 - $1200.

1) Other than the screen size (15 vs 17,) what would be the important differences to note between the systems? (I've posted each system's specs below.)

2) What do you think is the best value - considering she loves the iMac screen (would prefer a 17" though) and we want this computer to be quite zippy for years to come. The ram speed and bus speed and processor speed all worry me.

3) At what price would the 15" iMac be a no brainer?

Thanks!

------

SPECS ON OLDER IMAC
Logic Board:
Processor: MPC 7451
Processor Speed: 800 MHz
FPU: integrated
Data Path: 64 bit
Bus Speed: 100 MHz
Level 1 Cache: N/A
Level 2 Cache: 256k on-chip at processor speed
Level 3 Cache: N/A
Slots: 1 AGP (used by GeForce graphics card)

Memory:
RAM Type: 3.3-volt, 64-bit wide, 168-pin, running at 100MHz
RAM on Motherboard: none
Minimum RAM: 64 MB
Maximum RAM: 1024 MB
RAM Sizes: 64, 128, 256, 512 MB
RAM Slots: 2
Minimum RAM Speed: 100 MHz / 10 ns

Graphics:
Video RAM: 32 MB
Maximum VRAM: 32 MB
Graphics accelerator card: NVIDIA GeForce2 MX

Storage:
Floppy: none
HD: available
HD Size: 60 GB
HD Interface: Ultra ATA/66
CD-ROM: SuperDrive (DVD-R)

Ports:
Serial: none
ADB: none
SCSI: none
USB: 3
FireWire: 2
Ethernet: 1 RJ-45
Video: mini-VGA output port, video mirroring
ADC: none
Speaker: 1
Microphone: 1
Headphones: 1
Others: none

Communication:
Ethernet: 10/100 Base-Tx
Modem: 56.6 V.90
AirPort: optional
BlueTooth: N/A

Display:
built-in monitor: 15" TFT active-matrix LCD
Maximum Resolution: 1024 x 768, 24 bit

Audio:
Sound input: 16 bit Stereo; built-In PlainTalk microphone
Sound Output: 16 bit Stereo; integrated speaker; Apple Pro Speakers available on $1499 and $1799 configurations

Codename: Tessera, P80
Introduced: January 7th, 2002
Discontinued: September 8th, 2003

SPECS ON NEW EMAC
Logic Board:
Processor: MPC 7455
Processor Speed: 1.25 GHz
FPU: integrated
Data Path: 64 bit
Bus Speed: 167 MHz
Level 1 Cache: N/A
Level 2 Cache: 256k on-chip at processor speed
Level 3 Cache: N/A
Slots: 1 AGP 4x (used by Radeon graphics card)

Memory:
RAM Type: PC2700 DDR RAM
RAM on Motherboard: none
Minimum RAM: 256 MB
Maximum RAM: 1 GB
RAM Sizes: 128, 256, 512 MB
RAM Slots: 2
Minimum RAM Speed: 333 MHz

Graphics:
Video RAM: 32 MB
Maximum VRAM: 32 MB
Graphics accelerator card: ATI Radeon 9200

Storage:
Floppy: none
HD: available
HD Size: 40 / 80 GB
HD Interface: Ultra ATA
CD-ROM: DVD/CD-RW combo / SuperDrive

Ports:
Serial: none
ADB: none
SCSI: none
USB: 3 USB 2.0
FireWire: 2
Ethernet: 1 RJ-45
Video: mini-VGA
ADC: none
Speaker: 1
Microphone: 1
Headphones: 1
Others: none

Communication:
Ethernet: 10/100 Base-T
Modem: 56k V.92
AirPort: AirPort Extrem ready
BlueTooth: via external USB adapter

Display:
built-in monitor: 17" flat-CRT
Maximum Resolution: 1280 x 960 pixels, 24 bit

Audio:
Sound input: 16 bit Stereo; built-In PlainTalk microphone
Sound Output: 16 bit Stereo; integrated high-performace speakers

Codename: ?
Introduced: April 13th, 2004
Discontinued: N/A
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Old May 18th, 2004, 03:53 PM   #2
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The no-brainer is realizing that no matter how cheap the flat panel iMac become this year (if upcoming revisions ever surface), that the best bang for your buck is the eMac.
The iLamp's clock speed is less and the RAM chips used are much more expensive. (SO-DIMMs)
I just purchased a 1.25 eMac (so i am biased), but if you want something that will feel 'zippy' for a while, buy an eMac and spend extra money on upgrading the RAM.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 05:03 PM   #3
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Get the eMac, it's much faster, the graphics chip is alot better, it has USB 2, and Airport Extreme. That iMac is old. The eMac probably has a faster Superdrive too.

As they say, age before beauty! That eMac is an nice new zippy computer.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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By the way, the eMac, according to Apple's site has a 512MB on-chip L2 cache, NOT 256MB.
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