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View Full Version : Seriously considering picking up an iMAC


TheTaz
10-26-07, 02:19 PM
To be blunt, I've never liked Macs. - Until now. ;)

In the early 80's I had an Apple //e (and other machines before that). When Macintosh first came out, they were pretty useless - limited software, and switching back to Black and White from Color was not an option to me. I switched to PC's (286) and never looked back. By the time Mac got back into color, PC's were the superior software platform, as far as market penetration. Apple basically dropped the ball - badly.

Fast forward to the first release of OSX... while Macs have always been promoted as "easier to use"... most of it appeared (to me) to be "eye candy" instead of true functionality (much like I think of Vista). The recent releases of OSX have had some neat features, but nothing to really make me consider picking up an Apple rig.

After viewing the Leopard Guided Tour movie on the Apple site, and checking out VMware Fusion's ability to run Windows applications seamlessly as if they were native Mac applications... for the first time in a little over 20 years, I've actually been impressed enough to consider buying an Apple unit. Apple's prices aren't out of line like they used to be (can pick up a mac mini pretty cheap, if you want to go low end... just make sure you max out the RAM for Fusion), so that's not much of an issue anymore.

Granted, this machine wouldn't be for gaming (Although VMWare Fusion can play some DX8.1 games, and I suspect will eventually get the ability to play all or most DX9.0c games.).

So, buying one of these doesn't mean I'd get rid of my dedicated Gaming XP box, or any of my other Linux rigs. I just think it would be a nice addition to my home network, and possibly end up being my primary "everything but gaming" rig.

Anyway... if anyone cares what sparked my interest... view the Leopard Guided Tour on the Apple site (400MB Quicktime Movie - 27 minutes), and check out VMware Fusion - http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/

Cheers!

-Taz

a12ctic
10-26-07, 02:57 PM
VMWare is pretty cool, but the coolest virtual applicance right now has to be VirtualBox. VMWare is cool, but lately I've been a lot more impressed with VirtualBox. The manager is far superior, it's a lot easier to get them set up, it's all free, it's fast, and the seemless mode is really cool and easy to use compared to what VMWare offers in linux. Their site is temporarly down right now but check it out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VirtualBox
http://www.virtualbox.org/

TheTaz
10-26-07, 07:16 PM
My MacBook Pro is my "everything but gaming" rig. I love it. You can't go wrong with an iMac.

Leopard will be here on Monday, I'm really looking forward to it. I never tried Fusion but I'm using Parallels Desktop sometimes, very useful in combination with Boot Camp (Coherence mode in OS X).

I looked at Parallels too. From the comments that I saw on the Apple Store, VMware fusion performs much better. I use VMware already to run linux on my Windows box, and visa versa on my linux box.

What has really caught my eye, is the "Unity" feature of Fusion... launching a native Windows application off the dock, as if it were a native Mac application. (Much like WINE for Linux does... but in a true windows virtual machine). It doesn't seem to need to boot the Virtual OS to run an app because (I think) the virtual OS is already booted and in a sleep state.

So basically... say you launch Photoshop for Windows (because you don't want to spend another $600+ for the Mac version right now)... the sleeping XP virtual machine is woken, the application is launched, but only the photoshop window comes on the desk (not a surrounding XP OS window with start menu, etc.). And it loads fairly quick because XP is "already booted". I'm not sure exactly how it works since I have no experience with it yet... but that's my best guess from the descriptions of the Unity feature.

The con to this, if course, is that it will eat up some RAM to have this on "at the ready"... and probably either take OSX longer to boot or logon to the desktop, since XP has to boot too. Still better than bootcamp, IMO, and for someone that has a significant investment in Windows Platform software, a real nice solution.

VMWare is pretty cool, but the coolest virtual applicance right now has to be VirtualBox. VMWare is cool, but lately I've been a lot more impressed with VirtualBox. The manager is far superior, it's a lot easier to get them set up, it's all free, it's fast, and the seemless mode is really cool and easy to use compared to what VMWare offers in linux. Their site is temporarly down right now but check it out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VirtualBox
http://www.virtualbox.org/

I'll have to check out Virtual Box. Thanks for the links. I don't see anything pertaining to the "seemless mode"... but if you are talking about dragging and dropping files between the host OS and guest OS... VMWare does that if VMWare tools are installed on the guest OS. With Fusion, I was referring more to applications "appearing" to be native to the host OS.

-Taz

Bearclaw
10-26-07, 08:56 PM
I have been thinking about picking one up also. I have been for a while now. The mac minis are awesome as well.

TheTaz
11-25-07, 10:39 PM
Well... I made the plunge. Bought the bottom end iMac for $1199, and ordered 4GB of RAM from Newegg. (Since Apple's RAM prices suck)

Very happy! Leopard is a lot of fun. Already moved Music Library over and downloaded all the cover art. Will install VMWare Fusion after the RAM arrives.

-Taz

Buckeye
11-25-07, 11:35 PM
LOL I love the dog hair hahaha

Are those the dog food bowels on the right ? if so big dogs :)

I have a Dalmatian so I get white/black hair all over the place :(

TheTaz
11-26-07, 01:59 AM
Are those the dog food bowels on the right ? if so big dogs :)


Dog bowls... yes. 2 Akitas. Dander impossible to keep up with... but we love them. :)

Moo
11-26-07, 12:42 PM
Well... I made the plunge. Bought the bottom end iMac for $1199, and ordered 4GB of RAM from Newegg. (Since Apple's RAM prices suck)

Very happy! Leopard is a lot of fun. Already moved Music Library over and downloaded all the cover art. Will install VMWare Fusion after the RAM arrives.

-Taz

What's your electric bill per month? (lee)

grey_1
11-26-07, 02:12 PM
Nice setup. I'm planning something very similar with 2 linux boxes and my gaming rig. Never considered a mac tbh, due to the cost.

stevemedes
11-26-07, 02:23 PM
All that dog hair looks like a fire hazard. Imagine how bad that would smell.

TheTaz
11-26-07, 11:17 PM
What's your electric bill per month? (lee)

Heh... it actually should go down. ;)

I only fire up the Linux box on a need basis. (Usually weekend work, website prototyping, backups, etc.)

Now I'll do the same with the XP box. The iMac is basically a laptop built into a display... so it's low power consumption. And since I'll only fire up the XP box to play a game... I won't have a - 750Watt PS / Massively Overclocked / Liquid Cooled - gaming rig running nearly as often.

-Taz

nV`andrew
11-29-07, 11:27 PM
nice, i have dog hair all around my pc too :[
always have to vacuum the area. thank god the fan grill on the front helps catch most of it from reaching my components.

TheTaz
12-01-07, 01:01 PM
Not only can I make Windows Applications run seamlessly (Launch individual windows applications, keep them in the dock, Only that application window appears - no XP desktop) with VMWare Fusion, but with Style XP and a Leopard Theme, I can make the windows XP match OSX native apps (Except for button location).

Cool stuff!

-Taz

Rakeesh
12-01-07, 02:10 PM
Well... I made the plunge. Bought the bottom end iMac for $1199

My god those are way overpriced. I could build one like the base system for $600. And add an extra $850 for 4GB of DDR2-667? Since when does an extra 3 gigs cost that much? God damn. I could buy 4GB of DDR2-800 name brand for less than $150 without even trying.

TheTaz
12-01-07, 02:39 PM
My god those are way overpriced. I could build one like the base system for $600. And add an extra $850 for 4GB of DDR2-667? Since when does an extra 3 gigs cost that much? God damn. I could buy 4GB of DDR2-800 name brand for less than $150 without even trying.

Uhm... nobody computer literate buys extra RAM from Apple. I bought my 4GB from Newegg for $120. I believe Apple is stuck with some stupid contract with some memory manufacturer, much like Intel was with Rambus. That said, one obviously doesn't buy RAM upgrades from Apple.

As for "building a cheaper system"... not really. iMacs are "all in ones" with basically laptop tech built in to the display. PC versions of the "all in ones" from places like Gateway are pretty much the same price. If you are looking for a cheap Mac... the Mac mini's are about the same price as the PC versions... http://www.cappuccinopc.com/pandora.asp

So, their base unit prices are not out of line compared to other manufacturers. It's their upgrade parts that are stupidly priced. Dell is guilty of that crap too.

You have to get out of "gamer system home builder mode" and compare the models to other manufacturers similar PC models, to get a proper perspective. (Remember... we're not talking gaming rigs... which most people here build on their own from scratch... building something from scratch is always going to be cheaper than a brand name computer with the same specs)

ViN86
12-01-07, 03:32 PM
you need a KVM switch. that way you dont need three monitors, keyboards, and mice for each system.

i like the looks of Mac's, but theyre just too damn expensive for me. the price to performance ratio is just too high for me.

Rakeesh
12-01-07, 09:48 PM
Uhm... nobody computer literate buys extra RAM from Apple. I bought my 4GB from Newegg for $120. I believe Apple is stuck with some stupid contract with some memory manufacturer, much like Intel was with Rambus. That said, one obviously doesn't buy RAM upgrades from Apple.

No, they're not, they just take advantage of stupid people, (which is fine as stupid is as stupid does.) They do the same thing with the iphone. Some apple fans like to believe that apple was somehow forced to go with AT&T, but no, AT&T was just willing to go along with the "lets join forces and assrape the customer" plan more than anybody else was.

Over the life of the iphone contract, the customer pays apple, NOT AT&T, just apple, about $700 for those. They pay AT&T even more than that. And the iphone costs less than $200 to make. That is over a 300% profit margin there, completely unheard of in the tech sector, especially in embedded devices. Apple can do that though because apple fanboys love bending over for them anyways.

As for "building a cheaper system"... not really. iMacs are "all in ones" with basically laptop tech built in to the display.

Yes really. I can find cheaper laptops even. And every time I build a new gaming rig, which has much higher spec than anything apple even makes at the time I make mine (especially with a high end graphics card which apple doesn't even make available) I still build it at a lower cost than apple's lower end models. The rig in my signature for example cost me $700 to build. It would have cost $1,000 to build without the intel discount, which is about $500 cheaper than a similar mac would cost.