View Full Version : iMac question

Pete Dorr
01-17-2006, 07:34 AM
Looking for objective comparisons of mac vs windows (hardware and software)

In the not too distant future I want to get computers for my kids. I'm pondering using them as mac ginuea pigs to see how the mac compares to the windows system I use now.

One thing I will say in strong favor of the iMac is that it's an excellent design (at least from the pictures). With a wireless keyboard & mouse it looks like a super clean setup.

That said I'm not interested in the iMac if the tradeoff for cool design is poor performance.

I always had the impression that there were fewer games for the mac and this is still true but to a lesser extent.

Opinions ?


cedar savage
01-17-2006, 07:45 AM
The Macintosh is undergoing a revolution with the new processors. The dust hasn't settled yet, and may not for some time.

The new Intel powered iMac for $1299 is just an amazing machine. I'm holding off buying one for a bit to see what happens with the limited edition investment software I need.

I think that with an Intel processor and a BSD Unix core that some pretty amazing apps should be coming along shortly.

Not sure what happens to the older G5 iMacs in inventory, but they should be moderately discounted soon.

If there aren't enough Mac games for your kids, something's wrong. But then, I don't like to see kids using supercomputers for games.

01-17-2006, 08:04 AM
As far as gaming software is concerned, there is definately more for Windows/PC than for Mac. That said, there's so much for each that you could never play it all.

Here's a comparison of mid-level gaming systems for each platform:

$1749 Dell XPS 600
2.8Ghz dual core
1Ghz RAM
256MB Video
160GB HD
16x DVD-ROM Drive + 48x CD-RW Drive
19 inch E196FP Analog Flat Panel

$1699 iMac
2 Ghz dual core
128MB Video
250GB HD
Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD+RW/CD-RW)
20-inch widescreen LCD

01-17-2006, 09:43 AM
"You're buying a machine that can reasonably be expected to suffice for two years and not much more; by that time, newer generations will obsolete the old ones." Hardly. My primary computer just turned 9. It's far from obsolete. If you buy low-end junk to begin with, your 2-year lifespan may be accurate, but not if you buy good stuff.

cedar savage
01-17-2006, 09:52 AM
Oh, hey, Pete, do your kids use Macs in school?

Do you have a spare monitor, kb, mouse? If so, take a look at the Mac Mini.

Joe (SoCal)
01-17-2006, 09:54 AM
Kids break computers, Mac's don't break. get a Mac. My daughter has had a iBook Laptop for over a year now and looks & works like new. Better designed, rock solid OS and hardware. Ease of use, hence many schools already opt for Mac's in schools. http://www.apple.com/education/ Besides other kids will think your kids are soooo cool. Mac's have kid cool factor down, ask anyone under 20. My best advice is ask your kids which one they would prefer I bet ya they will choose this:


Over this fuuuugly thing: :rolleyes:


My bet is it will be a no brainer.

As for games there are plenty of games


I like Doom 3 but I do not recomend that mature game for young kids ;)

[ 01-17-2006, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

High C
01-17-2006, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by Donn:
...My primary computer just turned 9. It's far from obsolete....My data server is 6, running Windows 2000. If someone gave me a new machine to replace it, I wouldn't bother.

Unless, as is Norman's case, you're using new and ever more demanding software, the life span of a PC oughtta be at least 5 years. Even for gamers, a vid card upgrade can usually get you another year or so of happy service. The vid card is by far the most critical component for gaming.

01-17-2006, 10:23 AM
All I'd need for gaming with this machine would be more VRAM and a bigger HD. The dual Xeons will handle any game, from a processor pov.

Joe (SoCal)
01-17-2006, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Donn:
All I'd need for gaming with this machine would be more VRAM and a bigger HD. The dual Xeons will handle any game, from a processor pov.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Clueless :eek: :rolleyes:

High C
01-17-2006, 10:37 AM
No question about it, Norman. Hardware upgrades in today's era of almost free new computers make little sense.

As you said, it all depends on the application. I've seen people who do nothing but typical office stuff abandon perfectly good computers, so they can watch "Word" open a little quicker.
:rolleyes: :D

George Roberts
01-17-2006, 01:16 PM
Cheap computers are just that cheap computers.

I know a fellow who ran an oil business using a 287 and DOS until 2002 when he died. It served his purposes.

Our notebooks cost $600 or so and do a reasonable job. Our desktops get upgraded from time to time, because they cost about $1300 to replace.

For a kid a new cute lunchbox portable computer (about 20 pounds) from parts -

Aspire X-QPack Aluminum Mini Pack Micro ATX Computer Case,
ASUS A8V-MX Socket 939 VIA K8M800 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard,
AMD Athlon 64 3700+,
ZALMAN CNPS7000B-Cu LED (92mm) 2 Ball Blue LED Light Cooling Fan,
2GB DDR 400 (PC 3200) memory,
2 Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 hard drives (striped).

runs under $1000 and will eat anykid's lunch. Add $300 for a 19" monitor.


01-17-2006, 02:47 PM
He did say it was for a kid's computer.

Reviewers say that particular casees' handle doesn't stay on all that well.

Dave Davis
01-17-2006, 06:57 PM
This is a 6 month old Apple IBook 14in laptop. First computer ever owned, but use Windows machines at work so not totally ignorant.

It was out of the box and online at the local cafe in 5 minutes, literally. Got an Airport Express and Verizon DSL and in 15 minutes online wirelessly throughout the house. Now can hook up the stereo wirelessly too and listen to ITunes/radio/etc.

For kids--my 9yo adjusted to this machine in no time at all and has her own account on it, great parental controls built in...no worries.

No virus, no spyware, and not that much more than a Windows machine once you include all the software that Dell, et al don't provide but comes on the Apple.

Go to the store and give it a try, there's no comparison.

01-17-2006, 07:22 PM
>Get a mac.

Get a ZX81

01-17-2006, 09:13 PM
My G4 Powerbook is almost 3 years old. Still runs fine. Battery doesn't seems to last as long as it used to, but that's the only performance issue that I've noticed. I probably don't use it for the "heavy" applications that some of you have alluded to. Illustrator and Photoshop are probably the largest ones. Seems to run everything without issue.

I'm probably not the one to ask about Windows. My machine at work is 9 years old and hopelessly overworked. My desktop at home is 6 years old and only used by my wife for Quicken and internet shopping. Not the most taxing uses.

We've got a new iMac in the science dept with 1.5 gig of RAM that seems awfully speedy. The new apps (Photobooth and Front Row) are amusing and fun, but definitely not essential.

As for gaming. Yeah, definitely more games for Windows. But since Baldur's Gate is available for Mac, I'm happy. Best AD&D game ever. (I'm such a dork.)


Editted to add that the iMac we just got is the G5, not the new dual core Intel.

[ 01-17-2006, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: Beowolf ]

Phil Heffernan
01-17-2006, 09:21 PM
Listen, if coolness counts for anything, and believe me, it does among the pre-teen & tenage set, you gotta go Mac...The iPod has been the most popular item on the planet among that crowd...And it's got MAC written all over it...

My daughter absolutely loves hers, and at ten, is becoming the tech guru for my wife...Can we spell S-I-M-P-L-E?

Not to mention cool :cool:

01-17-2006, 09:26 PM
That really is cool, Phil. Nothing better than simple kids and spouses. :rolleyes:

Joe (SoCal)
01-17-2006, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by Donn:
That really is cool, Phil. Nothing better than simple kids and spouses. :rolleyes: Way to be an ass :rolleyes:


Edited to add:

Arrrg I cant hold this in. I KNOW Phil's daughter. I have read her writing, I know the books she reads. The word gifted gets bantered around a lot with children this age. Phil's daughter is the definition of a gifted child. She will achieve more and BE MORE than your drunken merlot soaked mind could ever hope to be. I also KNOW Phil's wife and she is a class act, the words glass ceiling breaking, high powered NYC female executive professional also get bantered about. She just is, She could make most men swallow their gronicals with insecurity. But not Phil he is solid like that and got the gronicals himself not to sweat it.

Phil probably wont care to entertain this snipe cause he is cool like that. But I will tell you Don[n] is being a prick to Phil over the silly 1/2 full CD thing.

Rest assured your old crap of a heart will put you in your final pine box before you will ever know the potential of his daughter and wife. I can rest easy in that truth. :mad:

[ 01-17-2006, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Phil Heffernan
01-17-2006, 10:06 PM
Uh-oh, short days and freezing temps have got us a little short..Thanks for the kind words, Joe, yer right, but I think most knew I meant the MAC is simple, not my kid...or my SO

As for Mac vs PC, most kids think a Mac is the coolest thing ever...so do I for that matter, but what do I know, I just make a living on it ;)

Just trying to answer the question of the thread tongue.gif