Like many others, my first Apple product was an iPod, the first style nano; having got the Apple bug, I then upgraded my iPods and eventually purchased my first MacBook. Several years ago, my black Macbook with 2.2GHz and maxed out at 2GB of RAM was one of the best purchases that I had ever made. Apple apps ran a dream, and my little computer always did what I asked of it.
However as time went by, and the Apps that I used became more demanding, my little MacBook was running out of steam; Aperture was sluggish and running EyeTV, writing an essay and having a web site open wasnt nearly as responsive as I would have liked. Sadly I couldn’t upgrade my RAM (as this would be the first step), so I upgraded to a MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo maxed out at 4GB of RAM. Now this was a perfect machine, Aperture ran like a dream and it served me well for over two years, however upon purchasing an iPad I realised something. I hadnt unplugged my laptop for a couple of months.
I had always owned a laptop, for the simple reason that when I went to school/university or went away for the weekend (and needed a computer), a laptop was the only solution. Laptops are great, they are portable and can handle most day to day tasks, however these tasks were now being fulfilled by the iPad, so was there any need to keep a laptop?
Even tho I am a student, I have am very demanding of my technology. My computer needs to be able to record programs off EyeTV, edit photos on Aperture, play music in iTunes as well as have several other programs open at the same time. This worked beautifully with my MacBook Pro; to a point. However over time I had to quit one application after another just so that I could complete one task in Aperture, a task that I had to complete without music playing. It was time to upgrade.
As mentioned previously, I had always had a laptop as I needed portability, however my portable needs were covered by the iPad, so I decided to take the plunge and look at buying a desktop.
I have always wanted a MacPro, and being the tech lover that I am, I wanted the 12-Core 2.93GHz version. However being a student I couldn’t afford £5,000+ investment, and even if I had the funds, my family would have had me sectioned under the mental health act for spending that amount on a computer.
So that left me with the Mac Mini or iMac. My brother has a Mac Mini and he loves it; it is fast, responsive and does everything that he asks from it, however his demands and my demands are slightly different. Looking forward the current Mac Mini can be maxed out at 8GB of RAM. Considering my previous Mac had 4GB of RAM, it made little sense to me to purchase a Mac that I would max out in RAM right from the off; I wanted room for expansion.
The iMac was the only choice left. We have two iMacs in our house; my sister owns one of the original white iMacs, and my mother one of the newer 24-inch aluminum iMacs. They both love theirs, however compared to the MacPro I had lusted over it seemed a poor relation. By comparing the iMacs to the basic MacPro I could receive a newer processor, and a 27-inch screen for a much lower price.
So another day dawned, where I was verging on a mid-life crisis, I wanted a new mac I just didnt want to admit it to myself. Upon confessing that I wanted to buy one, my housemates confiscated my wallet for my own safety and would only return it upon verbal confirmation from a woman who speaks sense (my mother) that it was acceptable. I rang up my mother who instantly knew why I had rung, and confirmed to my house mate Harry that buying an iMac was a much better idea than spending £5,000 on a MacPro.
Which one to choose? Well there was only really ever one choice, the biggest and the best. I rang up the Manchester Arndale store and reserved an 27-inch iMac with the upgraded i7 processor. Having paid for the Mac, and AppleCare we suddenly realized how heavy it was. The plan of getting the bus home went out the window and instead got a taxi back.
Transfer of data was a dream. I plugged in my time machine backup, selected it from the introductory setup screens, came back an hour later to find my old Mac setup on my new Mac. Data, applications and settings were all as I left them, it was a walk in the park.
Since I have purchased my iMac, I have upgraded the 4GB of RAM to 8GB with memory from Crucial, and attached my 20-inch Apple Cinema display to it, giving me a massive 47-inches of screen real-estate.
Performance is AMAZING, applications open with not even 2 bounces on the dock, photos render in Aperture within the blink of an eye, and I never get the spinning pizza wheel of death.
My total cost was £1,635.92 for the iMac and the AppleCare, it may not be the MacPro I have dreamed of but I am still very happy with my purchase and will be for some time.