i mac or tower?

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by SteveK, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK

    Mar 16, 2005
    Alaska
    It's time to buy a new desktop. My G5 tower died, and it's not worth fixing it. I'm trying to decide whether to buy an i mac or a new tower. The i mac is limited to 4 gb of RAM. Is that enough to process lots of big files? If you were looking at towers, which would you consider? Why?
     
  2. Thaddeus

    Thaddeus

    177
    Jul 24, 2008
    TX
    you're also limited to the single screen and size of said screen.
     
  3. With Apple, there is only one "tower," the Mac Pro. This machine definitely has a lot more exandability options than the iMac: one can stuff in as much as 32 GB RAM, 4 HDs, use two monitors of any size...... However, I've heard that the newest iMacs are pretty speedy and powerful in their own right and that with 4 GB RAM they can zip right along, even through large files.

    So it's down to what you need over the long term and how much expandability you need/want......
     
  4. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    Almost. You can attach an external monitor to the iMac.
     
  5. Thaddeus

    Thaddeus

    177
    Jul 24, 2008
    TX
    ahhh, i overlooked the mini-dvi output.
     
  6. SteveK

    SteveK

    Mar 16, 2005
    Alaska
    OK, I do know the differences between towers and an imac, but in actual practice, I wondered if the imac would be good enough for my purposes. I've used macs since the mac plus, and have had towers since. So, I guess I was looking for folks using imacs and wanted to hear how they feel it works for them, and whether they would prefer a tower or are satisfied with the performance of the imac.
     
  7. bozola

    bozola

    Feb 28, 2006
    Seattle WA
    I would say that unless you are doing extensive 3-D graphics work, the iMac would work just fine.

    If you detail your typical work flows, I could provide a more definitive answer.

    Other things to think about. Space requirements, Aesthetics, Upgrade-ability, and additional peripherals you might want to add.

    Personally my 4GB iMac processes pictures very well. I have not one complaint. Also, I love the form factor.

    btw. There are no wrong choices... Enjoy!
     
  8. Allan

    Allan

    Apr 21, 2006
    Nashua, NH
    I bought my first iMac - fr my wife - last week. I have always had towers since they first came out. However, the iMac is beautiful, takes up little space, and is absolutely quite. I got an external usb drive to use with Time machine. She loves it.
     
  9. deanr

    deanr Guest

    iMacs

    I'm the Apple Systems Engr. at my university. I've set up iMacs for staff in Visual Productions (photogs) and they work great. Most have a 24-inch iMac, 4GB of RAM, 500GB intl. hard drive and a 1TB external drive for Time Machine. Some evan have an external 24-inch LCD. I also recommended a 2 to 3TB SAN RAID for long term storage.

    I've heard no complaints regarding screen size or processor speed/performance.

    For myself, I use a 15-inch MacBook Pro with 4GB RAM, 200 GB intl.drive, an external HP W2007H 22-inch LCD (has HDMI for connectivity option with D300), and three external backup drives. The MacBook Pro is handy to take along and the 22-inch LCD is good for my needs, which includes video editing of my 5 year old.
     
  10. SteveK

    SteveK

    Mar 16, 2005
    Alaska
    I have a macbook pro and an ibook. I just need a new desktop. In the past, I've always bought the top of the line tower, with the thought that it's expandable. But other than adding RAM when I first started using them, I didn't do any other expansion on any of my towers, so I was sort of leaning towards purchasing an imac this time. I've always resisted putting extra HD's into a tower, as I felt a single surge from a power supply failing could kill all the drives in the case. I have chosen to use multiple external HD's (2.5 T so far), and only fire up the drives when I need to back up between drives (I keep two HD backups of every image I save plus archival DVD's).

    My main concern with an imac is it tops out at 4G of RAM, and I question if that's enough. I sometimes will have 6-8 70 MB image files open at one time. Admittedly, I only have 2G of RAM in my macbook pro, but it does sometimes bog down pretty seriously.
     
  11. bozola

    bozola

    Feb 28, 2006
    Seattle WA
  12. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  13. demosaic

    demosaic Guest

    Oh yeah, at the rate computer hardware depreciates, it never makes sense to buy the top-of-the-line super-expandable machine with the intention of upgrading it later on. By the time "later on" arrives, you could have had a newer, faster machine for less than the premium you paid.

    Definitely buy the machine you need today.
     
  14. SteveK

    SteveK

    Mar 16, 2005
    Alaska
    I finally bought a new tower, a refurbished 3.0 ghz 8 core Mac Pro. Now I get to wait for it to be delivered to a gas station 24 miles away (the closest place I can get any mail or Fed Ex or UPS delivery). It comes with 2 GB of Ram, which I will increase to at least 8 GB or perhaps more.
     
  15. Hey Steve -

    Good onya. I'm in somewhat the same boat that you were - I have a dual 1.8 GHz G5 at work that is still chugging along well, but isn't "mine" since it was acquired through a grant. It is driving an *ancient* and still serviceable Sony 20" Trinitron CRT - lol! Here's the 1995 Sony product announcement:

    "The Multiscan 20sfII, is the ultimate solution for users looking to buy a large screen display at a lower cost than traditional high-end 20-inch displays. It has a 0.30mm aperture grille pitch that offers resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 at 60 Hz. It also features horizontal scanning frequencies of 30-85 kHz and vertical scanning frequencies of 48-150 Hz.

    The sfII family of displays include a MacView universal adapter for connection to a Macintosh computer, tilt/swivel stand and AC power cord, providing the end-user with all the necessary tools to get their display up-and-running right out of the box.

    Users can now take advantage of Sony's Trinitron quality at the suggested retail price of $2,299 for the Multiscan 20sfII, $1,099 for the Multiscan 17sfII and $649 for the Multiscan 15sfII. The Multiscan 15sfII and 17sfII will be available in November and the Multiscan 20sfII in December through computer reseller and distribution channels."

    Wow! only $2,299 for a monitor with all that *and* a Mac adapter!!!!

    Anyhoo - my main photo-processing Powerbook G4 at home is getting long in the tooth. I have it hooked up to an excellent 20" Cinema Display.

    I've looked at the MacPro models - new and refurbs - along with the iMacs (although I've been put off by their glossy screens).

    With Apple's recent reference to an upcoming "product transition", I'm hopeful that there will be some type of expandable mid-tower product introduced in the not-too-distant future. I'll do something in a few months, just not sure what at this point. Enjoy!

    Eric