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Just starting out... Best iMac Specs?

Discussion in 'Apple Forum:' started by LJN1650, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. LJN1650

    LJN1650 New Member

    I begin a Graphic Design course in September, and want to purchase an iMac and hard drive in advance. The thing is, I just don't know where to start - the only Apple products I have ever owned are the iPad 2 and iPhone.

    Would a 21.5 inch with 1920 x 1080 resolution, and 8GB be enough? This is obviously the cheapest option, and i am most probably going to have to invest in better for long term usage. Obviously,it will need to be enough to run Adobe creative suite etc.

    I'm also interested in whether it is worth buying refurbished from Apple?

    Any other pointers would be great.
  2. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Yep that would be more than good enough for your course and to run Adobe CS (or CC). Go for 1TB HD if possible and you're all good.

    I don't have any experience with any refurbished products, I tend to avoid them, but that is just personal preference of always wanting to buy brand new and outright.
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    You do realise that pretty much every 'standardised' graphic design program is also available on windows.... you don't HAVE to have an iMac.
  4. LJN1650

    LJN1650 New Member

    I never said I did. I was just asking for pointers that's all. Thanks for the informative, useful response though.
  5. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Well lets be honest here buying mac's aren't exactly hard. It's not like there are many options when it comes to spec's, you just pick the best you can afford from the limited number of options they have available...
  6. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I think you'd be fine with that option.
    Like @Levi says "It's not like there are many options when it comes to spec's" but that's because they're ALL top spec aimed at the more discerning user.
    There are people that use Mac's... and there are people who use PC's (cough). ;)
  7. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    It does sounds more like the op is buying an imac because he's doing graphic design and is budget restricted to it rather than because he's a discerning user, besides I wouldn't class them as top spec or their wouldn't be a mac pro :p

    EDIT:.... didn't even realise they still did a dual core cpu at that price range..... you can get quad core's for the same on windows :rolleyes:
  8. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Sorry @Levi. Too busy to post as I'm driving my Aston Martin on the roads of the Val d'Isère being chased by hot chicks in bikinis.
  9. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Personal opinion: Macs are overpriced and underspec'd.

    PC - spend the same money get a better result.
  10. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    For what it's worth - 19 years on both Mac and PC.

    I have more issues with Mac than anything else. My car doesn't even break down as much.
  11. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Up until a couple of years ago, I had PC's all my life and I definitely had far more problems on PC's than I have thus far on my iMac.

    As for specs, I pretty much customised my iMac, what's in it is exactly what I chose to be in it, so I'm not sure about that comment.

    But come on guys, let's not turn this into another Mac vs PC debate, the OP asked a simple question. And anyway, does it really matter whether you have a Mac or PC, either or is not going to make you design any better, it's just down to personal preference. With my experience of both Mac and PC, if you can afford it, I would always recommend an iMac.
  12. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    from within the limited range of options made available to you.
  13. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    If you're set on a Mac I'd opt for a Macbook Pro and an additional monitor for your desktop over an iMac. This way you can work anywhere you need to and have a decent office set-up. As for what's best, get whatever you can afford. As pointed out PC's are far superior in terms of cost to specs, and in my opinion the Mac OS has been going downhill in terms of quality in recent years.
  14. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I certainly don't want it to descend into a Mac vs PC debate.

    With the thoughts being

    "Well Apple are better because's Apple and they make superior things, and I don't know anything else except that Apple are the best and I worship everything they bring out and dismiss all other makers of devices!!!"

    However, if the debate is sensible, Mac vs PC, specs vs cost etc. And nobody slurs anyone else in a post - then I'm good with a healthy debate on which is better in terms of spec/cost.

    For what it's worth - I am getting a brand new Mac in a few weeks - it's costing €6.5k.

    I spec'd the exact same PC setup - and it only costs €2.5k.

    Why am I going Mac - reason is fonts fonts fonts. Unfortunately already in a Mac studio and everyone else has Mac fonts which don't work on a PC. However, PC fonts work on the Mac... or something like that. OTF has not taken over.

    Another humdinger, I got technical specs from a printing company who only accepted PDFs created using a Mac, PC PDFs were not 'allowed'.
    I was working on my PC and I made the PDF and I sent it and little did they know!

    I'm from a generation where the Mac was the best piece of hardware for software back in the late 90's and early 00's. The PC was a humble Office computer, they weren't designed for anything other than a bit of Word processing.

    But - the PC has taken hold within the market - at the end of the day it's the same intel processor in your Mac that's in my PC. It's the same Raedeon Graphics card, it's the same Corsair DDR3 RAM.

    The only difference is the OS.

    I've never really been a fan of the Mac OS UX. And Windows is pretty gnarly too.

    But in my mind it's 6 of 1 and half a dozen of another when it comes to the comparisons.


    Anyway - what's the best Mac to get - whatever you can afford to get.

    What's your budget?
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    what font format can't you run on windows.... I've got opentype, truetype and 'type 1' whatever that is on my pc.

    that is the most stupid thing I've ever heard, I know there can be some difference between software that creates pdfs but if they're created in acrobat then there shouldn't be an issue as you proved with the one you sent.

    even though Apple make their own 'motherboards' most of the important chipsets etc are intel stuff too. All they've been doing is custom designs to fit their own hardware which in most cases remove any form of upgrade route other than ram and storage drive even on the pro machines, on the consumer machines it's nearly impossible to change the hard drive. My biggest issue with mac's is that most of their machines are basically consumer windows machines with nice chassis, the macbook pro uses a gaming gpu which even the manufacturers say aren't for 'professional' work, that's the quadro (which isn't on mac full stop) and firepro. Then they go and nerf the mac pro with non standard fit gpu's etc just to make it look like a trash can (joke).

    I've always 'loved' this arguement about OS-X being better and I've always replied that you can be just as productive on windows if that's your primary OS. You stick a primarily windows user on os-x and they'll struggle in the same way as a primarily os-x user will struggle on windows and that's ignoring some of the things that os-x has only just added. Most of the people who use mac's won't accept this response to 'os-x is better' even when it comes from someone who can use both....
  16. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Anddddd the Mac vs PC debate has officially begun.... again... *sigh*
  17. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Out of all that was said, this is probably the most relevant to the OP.

    I'm pretty sure everyone if not most people know that PC's are cheaper than Mac's and have been for many years.

    I can't stand the new Windows OS. Windows 7 was the last fairly decent OS they had. Been downhill ever since.

    PS. I own both a PC and a Mac.
  18. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I said pretty much the same back in post number 5....
  19. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    It's all relevant as it's an open discussion - as I said as long as it doesn't derail into "Macs are better because Apple is better than everyone else for no reason" then I'm happy to discuss the differences openly.

    Levi - Mac and Windows Type 1 fonts can be different. Type 1 Windows Postscript can install on a Mac - however, a Mac Type1 Postscript font won't install on Windows. I needed to purchase a relatively cheap conversion program called TransType Pro.
    (it's not true of all fonts - some Open Type fonts require the outline file called Open Type CFF files)

    In terms of Apple making their own motherboard - so what? Asus and Gigabyte make their own motherboards. Dell spec their motherboards directly to Intel who make them on their behalf to their spec.

    I tell you thing I hate about buying a PC (or Mac for that matter) bloatware!

    I always buy without a hard drive and source that separately with the OS I need.

    Something that's quite difficult to do with Apple.
    Paul Murray likes this.
  20. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    well to be fair I don't use a lot of postscript fonts so that's likely why I've never come across that issue. I wasn't complaining about apple making their own motherboards, they all pretty much go through the same half a dozen or so factories I was commenting on their design approach more than them making their own.

    Pc bloatware... I can completely agree there, hence why I don't buy stuff that has bloatware installed (and not just on windows, android/ios is just as bad there), I'll usually build or spec my own pc anyways so it doesn't affect me to much. If I do have to have one with bloatware then it's usually a straight up reinstall or use one of the 'bloatware remover' tools out there. Luckily the MS store does bloatware free versions :)

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