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Possible PC to iMac transition - questions

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by JerseyJay, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. I have been thinking about jumping PC ship that I had been on for ~20 years. I put together multiple PCs with top of the line ingredients but I'm getting tired of doing that, tweaking, fixing, patching etc. I have been reading about Apple and either people are saying good things just b/c they have spent $$$$$$ or b/c they are that good. I hope its the latter.

    Here are some random questions:

    1. Is eSATA available for iMac or other Macs ? or is FireWire the quickest data transfer ?
    2. I'm assuming personal modifications such as RAM upgrade are fairly user-friendly, correct ?
    3. I'm leaning toward 24" / 2.8 Ghz iMac model. I will be using it mostly for PS/CS3; Dreamweaver; Lightroom and other small applications. Should I look into other models ? Should I wait for newer models ?
    This is all I can think for now. I will write more based on your feedback. Thanks in advance !
  2. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Unfortunately I can't answer any of your questions (too technical for me) but I switched from a PC to a MacBookPro about 2 months ago. It was a gift so I don't need to say it's great because I spent $$$$$$! I'm really happy with it - so much faster than my PC, doesn't seem to get stuck/non respond. So probably not the answer you're looking for, but my only other suggestion would be to head to an Apple store when it's quiet - maybe see if you can speak to a trainer who would probably be able to handle more complex questions. Best Regards
  3. Jarema


    Jul 21, 2007
    Hi Jay, I was in a similar boat about 3 years ago I made the leap to mac and have never looked back I also got my brother and friends to switch to. Personal modification is fairly simple and mac's them selves are very user friendly. I think imac that you are leaning toward would be a good choice or just save yourself the headache and upgrade immediately to the 24" 3.06 GHz that also has better graphics, twice the ram and a larger hard drive. The only problem with waiting for newer models is that apple is pretty tight lipped in regards to announcing new products until they are almost being released. Mac's are really that good, make the leap, enjoy and never look back.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. jamesclarke

    jamesclarke Guest

  6. My time frame and experience is the same as Paul's. There are some strange quirks about the Mac (no manual for example-some functions which were handy under Windows seem to be omitted.."not invented here?") but I spend essentially zero time with maintenance. The MBP boots very quickly as does the MacPro.

    Coming from the Windows environment I was (and still am) more comfortable with the structured interface. The Mac OSX has a different look and feel..more aimed at folks who are not too computer literate and not interested in probing any deeper than necessary than to get started quickly. But it isn't difficult to get the hang of it.

    An example of the differences is their file management application, Finder which classically reflects the Apple "intuitive" approach. Conversely a freeware package, MuCommander, an equivalent file management package is more closely aligned with Window's Total Commander; a dual paneled application which you can configure to your tastes in extreme detail. Apple relies a lot on key stroke combinations while Windows has more command buttons and tabs visible on the screen.

    As I said, I don't regret my decision to switch. Micro Center, our local geek shop hardly ever sees me anymore. I'll never go back to Windows.
  7. Thanks all ! Great responses.

    1. I watched iMac RAM upgrade video. Wow ... people should be able to do this with their eye closed. Insanely user-friendly.

    2. Thanks for greetings Paul ! Long time indeed. Thanks for those two links however I'm leaning toward iMac which obviously doesn't have PCI slots. I'm really enjoying speed of eSATA on my PC. How good is Firewire 800 ? Never used it.

    3. Any preference on iMac vs. MacPro ? Trying to stay within reasonable budget ;) 

    4. I understand that it will take some patience to get used to Mac key-strokes but I'm sure I can manage ... :) 
  8. While FW800 is the limit on the iMac, FirmTek has come out with a nice device they call the SeriTek Spyder Hub, which lets you add eSATA ports to your mac via USB or FireWire 800. I've got their eSATA expresscard/34 and dual drive enclosure and I've had good results and customer service from them, so if you have an existing eSATA setup that would be a headache to transition to FW/USB, you can always get that.
    As far as the speed of FireWire 800 goes, it's really quite snappy.

    iMac versus Mac Pro is entirely up to you. Will you:
    a) need 8 cores of processing power
    b) need more than 4GB RAM
    c) see the need to possibly upgrade your video card down the line
    d) want to have multiple internal hard drives
    e) want to upgrade your optical drive/add a second one down the line
    f) want to have one or more displays above 1920x1200 resolution attached, or want to switch your display before you upgrade your computer.
    g) want the expandability of PCIe slots

    If you answered yes to those, the Mac Pro is for you. Once you get a Mac Pro, you will want to upgrade your RAM (4GB apple certified from a 3rd party is about $200 as of May) and you will need a quality display, of course. This could drive the costs up significantly. But if you need the power, you need the power. I currently use the current model 8-core Mac Pro with 10 gigs of RAM, 2 monitors (one higher end 26", one 20" older monitor for multitasking) and I won't look back- but my needs often include bursts of high volume editing work, plus video.
  9. John, I've just been through this too and bought the 24"inch/2.8 GHz iMac with 4 GB of RAM and a 1000 GB HD. I also upgraded my Windows machine to Vista 64 with a new mother board and an Intel 9450 quad core processor, 8 GB of RAM, 9600Gt video card and a Kingwin Sata Hard drive enclosure, which allows you to add hard drives from the front of the case.

    The iMac has a very nice display, but the processing with the 2.8 GHZ processor isn't all that fast.
    I also ended up buying a powered USB hub to get more USB ports.
    No problems with external drives or networking, which works like a charm.
    Tried running dual monitors, but couldn't figure out how to adjust the resolution satisfactorily (my second monitor was smaller).

    You may find out, after the fact, that you'll need more horse power just as Harrison says so keep this in mind.
    I'm finding that I really like the enhanced performance I have with my new Windows machine!

    I've had difficulty making the switch to the Mac OS and still feel more comfortable on the Windows platform.
    My husband, on the other hand, really likes the Unix attributes of the Mac OS.
    He's more of a programmer than I am.

    There are lots of factors to weigh.

    Good luck with your decision.

    aka beaucamera
  10. Basically, the Mac Pro (Apple's tower model) is for the individual who requires more flexibility and more power. I use my Mac Pro primarily for digital imaging and that's it; I use my other Macs for everyday email, web surfing, etc. With the Mac Pro one can have one large monitor or dual monitors, one can swap sata HDs in-and-out with ease, one can add more RAM with ease. The iMac has limitations in that regard. Firewire 800 is fast and it is what I use on my Mac Pro and external G-Tech HDs for backup purposes. FW 400 is also pretty speedy as well.

    Good luck with your decision! Definitely do spend some time in an Apple store looking at and exploring all the models, talk to a store person who knows his stuff, explain what your plans for use are, etc.....
  11. Really ? Obviously I'm not as familiar with Mac technology as I'm with PCs but having that much juice under the hood and not being "all that fast" is not something I was prepared to hear ;) 

    I spoke to friend of mine (IT guy) who owns few Macs and he considers his G5 model with 4GB of RAM snappy enough to handle PS / LR D300 files. I have asked him if he ever considered 8GB of RAM and he said that there was no need, at least for now.

    I went couple times but I rather talk to people who use it for the same purpose or close to it. Sale person is just a sale person :) .
  12. Sadly I see it the way you do. I've found the happy cheerful sales personnel really can't answer significant questions. The older ones, who apparently have been there a while and are not so eager to make eye contact seem the most knowledgeable.
  13. I have to agree that much of the time this is the situation at Apple stores....

    However, I was very fortunate in that when I was getting ready to buy my Mac Pro I'd already been using Macs for a few months, had already done a lot of research on my own, plus had a good idea of exactly what I wanted and how I was planning to use the machine, what software I was going to be installing into it, etc. I was also fortunate that at that time one of the sales specialists there was also a fellow photographer -- we'd chatted about photography several imes when I was in the store on earlier occasions -- so that the day I went in to order the Mac Pro I made sure that he was there. He and I discussed everything thoroughly before I began clicking the buttons to set up the configuration that I wanted.
  14. Jeff Jarvis

    Jeff Jarvis

    Sep 10, 2007
    I was hesitant to go with a Mac since I had spent so much time with windows. Thought it might be a difficult transition.
    Piece of cake.
    East to setup and use.
  15. Another random question.

    I see people saying that they have external hard driveS attached via FireWire but iMac 24" has only 1x400 and 1x800. Do they have some sort of splitters or are they attaching one to 400 and other to 800 ?
  16. Alan.Tran


    Jun 5, 2008
    Most HDDs have extra ports on the back so you can daisy chain (attach other firewire devices) to it.
  17. I have been looking at the http://firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-spyder/ but I can't find the price. How much is this thing ?

    Also, simple question. If this gadget is connected via FW400 in iMac, I'm assuming eSATA in this gadget will not run at 3GB/s but only max out at FW400 speed. Or am I wrong ?

    Are there any other gadgets out there with similiar functionality ? I have 3x external HD with eSATA connection only that is why I'm shopping for a "gadget" instead of re-purchasing external FW enclosures. Thanks !
  18. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  19. Perfect ! I'm assuming all those daisy-chained HDs have to be powered individually and only 1st one can leverage iMac's power. Correct ?

    I have listed my eSATA enclosures for sale and searching for good FW800 enclosures as replacement for upcoming iMac. I'm liking --> THIS model.

    That is what I thought.
    I'm close to the edge my friend. Any day !!!
  20. I have been very happy with the G-Tech G-Drive firewire external hard drives. Check them out!
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