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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering finally switching from a PC to an iMac & I had some questions because I really don't know to much about Macs other than they are supposed to be a lot more stable.

I'm thinking of buying an iMac with the 15" flat panel display, 800 MHz G4 processor, SuperDrive, 512MB Ram and so on.

What I'm wondering first off is this a good system?

1. How upgradeable is a system like this? Could it take a larger processor for instance or could the SuperDrive be changed when a faster one becomes available?

2. Are components like video & audio integrated into the main board?

3. If the system is somewhat upgradeable would it be possible (when the warranty runs out) for me to upgrade or replace components myself such as a HD or a Video card or is it impossible for the average user to open a computer like this up?

4. Is it possible to hook up an external monitor to this computer if for instance the LCD display dies out of warranty?

5. What is the lifespan of a Mac.?

6. How long until a Mac computer becomes outdated (because this seems to happen to PC's pretty quickly)?

7. I understand you can put a Mac on a PC network, does this require aftermarket software if all you want to do is move office documents and MP3's back and forth? Could you just set up and FTP on the PC and upload and download files?
Also can a Mac connect to the internet through a standard linksys router?

Finally how hard is it to make the switch from a PC to a MAC.? Is it worth it?

I would really appreciate answers to any of these questions.

Thanks.
 

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Sorry I can't answer all of your questions but here goes some:

Good system? Very much, so, perfect for the normal user.

Upgradability? Not very good, I'm not sure whether you can change the drive, but I would believe you could just the compatability with say iDVD may be shot. You can up the RAM, Hard Drive, as for the video card, that can not be upgraded as its stuck in the motherboard and isn't a card by itself. It has not PCI slots, so you can't buy any upgrade cards. As for the processor, I believe you will be able to upgrade it as the people who make the processor upgrades will prob find a way to do it. (I may be wrong though, someone else here should help with that aspect)

The audio and video components are integrated so no upgradability, but they are all there.

Most likely not very hard to upgrade any portion of the iMac that is upgradable, and Apple most likely has movies to show you how.

For the iMac, you could attach an external monitor if you have a VGA adapter that would hook it up to a monitor cable.

Lifespan? Forever if you want it... Its just after maybe 6-7 years you get a distinctive urge to get a new computer in order to play with the latest software. I have a Mac that is 10 years old that runs great, just as good as when it was purchased, unfortuatly time caught up to it.

Outdated? No where near as fast as a PC... takes maybe at least 18 months to become even remotely antiquated.

Working with a PC: With Jaguar, its all there already, if you have any questions, just ask on the board, everyone will help u.

Worth it? Many, many people say so!
 

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hat I'm wondering first off is this a good system?

It's a great system! Wish I had one ;)

1. How upgradeable is a system like this?

Not very. BUT: PC 'switchers' like yourself quickly discover that upgradeability is not such an issue on the Mac platform. The iMac provides lots of "oomph", particularly the model you have chosen. The audio is built-into the motherboard, and there isn't any reason to go, for example, for a SoundBlaster card. Just plug in some good speakers and a subwoofer to check out the quality sound.

3. If the system is somewhat upgradeable would it be possible (when the warranty runs out) for me to upgrade or replace components myself such as a HD or a Video card or is it impossible for the average user to open a computer like this up?

On the iMac (Flat-Panel), you are basically limited to adding more RAM and a wireless (802.11b) card, accessible via the removal of a few screws in the base. Beyond that, e.g. upgrading a hard drive, it ain't easy. Apple's engineers went to town in cramming components into such a tiny base. You'd get it apart, but not so sure about putting it back together! That is to say, it _can_ be done, but not easily.

Here's a link to download the Service Manual for a Flat Panel iMac, which should tell you what you're getting into:

ftp://download02.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Misc/Service/servicemanuals/imac.flatpanel.pdf

5. What is the lifespan of a Mac.?

A Looooong time. Many people continue to keep at least a couple of the original "Classic" Macs around for their kids to play with, for basic word-processing, etc.

In 'real world' terms, even recent-generation macs are very capable. My main machine is a 300mhz ibook laptop, running OS X.1.5 (soon to be upgraded with the latest version of OS X.2). How many 3-year old Pentiums are able to run the latest version of Windows XP ?

7. I understand you can put a Mac on a PC network, does this require aftermarket software if all you want to do is move office documents and MP3's back and forth? Could you just set up and FTP on the PC and upload and download files?

Any new Macintosh will do this just fine, without the need for additional software (although certain situations may be made even easier with the addition of software like Thursby's DAVE). OS X.2 "Jaguar" lets you browse Windows servers out of the box.

Also can a Mac connect to the internet through a standard linksys router?

Yes!

Finally how hard is it to make the switch from a PC to a MAC.? Is it worth it?

http://www.apple.com/switch

Finally, if upgradeability is a concern for you, consider picking up a PowerMac tower, which has PCI slots, easily upgradeable hard drives / etc., and lots of other fun possibilities for people who like to get their hands dirty. If the new ones are out of your price range, you can no doubt find one in the Trading Post section here at EhMac, or from one of the many citizens here who run their own Mac-related businesses (like MacDoc, RonW, and others - apologies to those I don't remember).

Hope this is useful!

M.
 

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man... welcome dude. I think that you'll see that you'll have lots of fun.

Anyhow, just to add my few CDN cents:

1. Hmmm. On the iMac? I've not seen much of an upgrade path since they came out. Apple has made the units quite juiced so that the chip speed will at least do you for a while (unless you plan to play your iMac against Kasparov or Bobby Fischer). A 3rd party once made an upgradefor the G3 iMac, but this went nowehere and the co. went under last I heard/recall. So, all of that to say that you will likely be forced into satisfaction with the unit that you get. So you need to go front heavy with the buy/options, or go with a quicksilver tower.

2. A/V are intergrated. That's been more that satisfactory for all of needs that I've had in the past and I have an iMac DV & a PB with what most will call antiquated VRAM (8MB).

3. HD upgrade is for sure - should be. Vid card? Likely not. I'm pretty sure that it's nicely soldered into the MB. As for the avg user to open up the FP iMac? Dude, the base is scary to me. I hear that they sell this part to help do-it-yourselfers make the changes that they want to make. The unit has to be tipped over [read upside down] from what I can tell/read. The FP is the sensitive and likely very fragile part. Try to max your ram out the box, as you may not want to make that addition yourself. Mind you, I still like this unit.

4. I would be shocked to see the monitor simply die, but another monitor can be hooked up. Pretty standard in Apple units. Some (like the TiBook) allow you to hook up a true 2nd mon for added desktop space. A nice option. You can add a 2nd vid card w/ a tower.

5. Life span? Man, all you need to do is go to MacDocto see how big the refurbished/2nd hand Mac market is. Dude, I have no problems buying a older unit. Hell, ask around and see how long a Pismo, in good shape will last when on the block? So, much that I may even suggest that you look for an older G4 Tower (quicksilver).

6. Outdated Mac?? Not sure. At this point, there is so much out on the market. What are you going to be doing? I would consider my 2000 iMac DV outdated, however, I can still run/manipulate some pretty heavy duty files on it (I'm running 512 Megs). I mean, I put her thru some serious work. But this is also a G3 unit with not much of an upgrade path. You look at a tower, and you could go for a hella long time dude. And the iMac is a G4. You should be able to sit pretty.

7. OSX will handle err-thing. Linksys can make it happen, although if you were to handle biz with another Mac later, you need to know that Linksys routers are apparently not Mac friendly (No tech support will be offered), and do not support appletalk. Go for an Asante, or a Netgear(which is what I grabbed). The SMC units are pretty good from what I've heard as well. But you can still split your internet with the Linksys.

The switch?? Was pretty smooth. But if you have both environments to play with, that's pretty cool too. I mean, there are days when I forget how to use a PC - until I go home to see my fam and use one like I'm doing right now. I'm one for short cut keys and I find myself trying to use them all the time. I would recommend getting an OSX book to read and have for reference, and just hanging out in BBs like this one. The Mac solidarity is pretty tight. You might be surprised. Is it worth it? I love it.

BTW, apologies about the length of this post. I'm on holidays with time on my hands, all while watching some NFL playoffs on a 52"... All is good. ;)
 

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sorry about the broken link. Boo... what an eyesore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really appreciate all the fast responses. Thanks.

One other quick question, would the iMac come with a copy of OS X or some kind of restore disk incase it needs to be reinstalled?
 

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CubaMark wrote:
"In 'real world' terms, even recent-generation macs are very capable. My main machine is a 300mhz ibook laptop, running OS X.1.5 (soon to be upgraded with the latest version of OS X.2). How many 3-year old Pentiums are able to run the latest version of Windows XP ?"

Most, actually, provided they have enough RAM (256MB, say, although XP will work with 128MB). I've got a four-year old Celeron that's able to run Windows XP quite well.
 

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Ohenri wrote:
"sorry about the broken link. Boo... what an eyesore."

You know that you can edit your posts, right? I do it all the time, since I tend to break links a lot :D
 

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If you buy a new Mac, it ships with Jaguar as an installer and a restore disk. There's also a tonne of excellent applications that ship with a new Mac; iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, iChat, iCal....

Make the switch. You won't regret it.

Macs also have a tremendously long useful life.

If you're looking for expandability, get a tower.
 

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bingo!! ;) Thanks.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:
Ohenri wrote:
"sorry about the broken link. Boo... what an eyesore."

You know that you can edit your posts, right? I do it all the time, since I tend to break links a lot :D
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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Hello,

Good for you: I'm sure you'll enjoy using a Mac instead of a PC as I do!

However, I would wait until after MWSF in early January to make your purchase, as I would expect there to be a slight upgrade and/or price decrease in the iMacs to be announced.

James
 
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