The only thing that worries me about an iMac....

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I have already talked my best friends and my business partner
    into going from a PC to their first MAC. It isn't a very hard thing
    to do once you look at how beautiful the new iMac is.

    The only thing that worries me about an iMac is that it is an
    all-in-one unit. How does one replace or upgrade components
    such as hard drive or memory?
     
  2. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    Memory is easy. There's a small panel under the iMac that comes off. Once it's off, there are two memory slots.

    The hard drive is a different story. You would have to take the iMac apart to get to the hard drive. I think most people just attach an external USB/firewire drive when they need more space.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'd first ask if your friends actually do replace memory or change hard drives in their computers. Most people don't, so it may be moot.

    And external hard-drives are no more expensive now than internals and, as Todd notes, are a trivial way to add more capacity.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Actually, I should have emphasized that I am more concerned
    with hard drive failure over anything else. What happens then?
     
  5. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    It's not impossible to replace the hard drive, it's just not easy for someone to throw a new one in there, like the Mac Pro. Back up your data as normal, and replace the hard drive if needed. The only difference is the difficulty in accessing the drive.

    CJ
     
  6. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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  7. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    Inside an iMac, it's packed tight like the inside of a portable. I replaced the hard drive in an old iBook once, and would not do it again. It's not so bad if you have the service guide that tells you in what order to take things apart, but most of us don't have access to that stuff.

    Ultimately, you're best to leave those internal changes to a pro. AppleCare is cheap on an iMac -- weigh it against the cost of a replacement HD and the few hours of your life you'll spend disassembling and reassembling the thing, if you want to think about it that way. [​IMG]
     
  8. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yes, definitely buy Applecare for an iMac, it's relatively cheap (and cheaper than the "extended warranties" that places like Best Buy try to push). That protects you for 3 years. Right around year 3-4 your going to be wanting a new computer anyway. [​IMG]

    As a PC builder who has switched to Mac, I want an iMac and have been balking at the same lack of upgradability/replaceability. But I've come to terms with the fact that even though I build new PCs from scratch, right around year 3-4 I want a whole new shebang, because the CPU/Mobo has changed enough to warrant building a whole new PC. And since I've weaned myself off of gaming, video cards are no longer an issue.

    Might be pulling the trigger this Christmas to complement my MBP...
     
  9. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    There's only one screw on the new iMacs, for the memory upgrade slot. There isn't another screw on the rest of the case which is one solid block of aluminium!

    I went for the largest hard drive available on my model (750Gb) and the largest memory that was economical (2Gb). The upgrade to 4Gb from 1Gb was way too expenive. I also went for the three years AppleCare for that very reason you mentioned. I assume if it goes wrong in the first three years it'll be going back to Apple. After that, who knows?

    I'm still waiting for it to arrive - UPS say it should be here tomorrow though [​IMG]
     
  10. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I think for an iMac getting a large HD at the point of purchase is key, as it's difficult to upgrade later (and does it void your warranty?). Of course, I like to keep stuff on external HDs because of redundant backups and the cheap price of external HDs nowadays, so a large internal HD is less important to me now.

    Re: RAM, I'd buy the smallest config possible, 1GB. Then upgrade it manually, which will run you 1/4 what Apple's charging. Because it means you'll waste less RAM on the upgrade. The iMac only has 2 slots, so if you get the 2GB build, there will be 2x1GB sticks. When you upgrade to 4GB (and for sub $200 from places around the web like macsales why wouldn't you max it out?) you'll dump both 1GB sticks. For the 1GB config, it's all on one stick, so you'll only "waste" one stick.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Same thing if your laptop HD fails: pray you've got a backup and send it in for Apple service. [​IMG]

    In my humble opinion, there are good reasons not to get a Mac, but this is not one of them [​IMG] I'm more worried about getting decent Logitech mouse drivers than a failed drive in my Mac [​IMG]

    (many smilies, as everyone has their own different worry balls about major purchases, and also changing from what they know.)
     
  12. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Re the RAM issue. The external slot on the iMac only takes one module. The other RAM slot(s) are inside the case. I asked the Mac sales rep whether this external slot would be used if I upgrade the RAM at the initial order stage and she said that it would not. They would use the internal RAM slot(s) and still leave the external slot free for me to upgrade the RAM further at a later date.
     
  13. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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  14. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Hmm... Looks like I have. Never trust a sales rep!

    So, if you go for the stock memory option, you get one free slot (maybe that's where some of the confusion arose), but if you get Apple to upgrade the RAM to 2Gb they use both slots (2x1Gb) rather than using a single 2Gb stick and leaving a slot free.

    In retrospect, I would still have gone for Apple's 2Gb option as everything is all covered by the same warranty and I've only got one place to turn to if something goes wrong.

    Ron, which model of iMac is Parker thinking about going for?
     
  15. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Darren,

    I am guessing one of the 20" models with 2GB ram.
     
  16. RichP

    RichP Second Unit

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    Hard drives are user replaceable on every Apple notebook. I've replaced at least 6 with no problems whatsoever.

    There's still a lot of Apple ignorance out there in terms of what can or cannot be upgraded.
     
  17. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Macbook HDs can be easily replaced (Apple even has instructions on how to do it), but not the Macbook Pro. Check out Extreme Tech's article on it.

    Can it be done? Yes. But check out all the steps. I wouldn't recommend it unless you are a real pro at disassembling and reassembling laptops. I even called the Apple Store and they won't do a user-requested upgrade (meaning if I brought in a new HD and asked them to put it in), they would only repair my HD if it was broken.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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