Base Model 21.5" iMac - OK for the basics and a bit beyond?

gadget boy

Active Member
All,

I have a ageing Mac Mini (1.66 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 2Gb RAM, 80Gb disk) with a 1TB external drive and the opportunity has arisen to upgrade.

Main uses have been web, mail, iTunes and very minimal video editing. I now want to import loads of old miniDV camcorder tapes and perhaps make the odd compilation DVD. Although we have a large photo collection there is no image manipulation going on i.e. no need for Aperture or PhotoShop.

In addition to this my CD collection needs to be imported for streaming. Not too concerned about importing DVDs for streaming movies. I have the PS3 for games so no real need for "screamingly fast" graphics although a step up from the onboard Intel GMA950 would be nice.

Main question is does anyone have the base model iMac (i3 2.06 Ghz) and use it for similar stuff? I would plan to add a DROBO later or a couple of 2Tb drives via firewire for extra storage and backups.

I really don't have the space for a 27" model and I have a work laptop so no real desire for a Mac Book (OK that bit isn't actually true but I think a desktop would be more practical :)).

Any thoughts appreciated. The Mini has put in 4+ years of faithful service and I have resisted many hardware re-freshes.

GB
 

CamFire

Distinguished Member
Our iMac is an aging - but no means slow - 2.4Ghz C2D and will serve the purposes you mentioned well. A 3.06GHz i3 with an advanced GPU will more than satisfy your needs and make me envious...;)
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
Main uses have been web, mail, iTunes and very minimal video editing. I now want to import loads of old miniDV camcorder tapes and perhaps make the odd compilation DVD. Although we have a large photo collection there is no image manipulation going on i.e. no need for Aperture or PhotoShop.

with your basic requirements, the imac will handle it with ease and then some :thumbsup:
 

bobbytoad

Active Member
Btw have you checked out the refurb section on the apple website loads of iMacs on there?
I'm going to go that route as it will allow me to get the next model up for less than the model I was going to get. (and in theory will last longer) so win win
 

CamFire

Distinguished Member
That's a gem of an advice - for £50 more, CPU speed is upped to 3.2GHz and HDD upped to 1TB.
 

gadget boy

Active Member
Hmmm...... Any of you guys ever go refurb?

Have to confess I never considered it as "I wonder what was wrong with it?" would always be at the back of my mind.

I know Apple check them out and ship them looking like brand new but that niggling doubt would always be there.
 

keefysher

Active Member
Have to confess I never considered it as "I wonder what was wrong with it?" would always be at the back of my mind.

It won't necessarily be a refurb, it may well be a cancelled order. It'll have the latest OS too.

If I was in the market for a desktop, that will be my first stop tbh. But I'll put up with my UMBP 17" :D:D
 

bobbytoad

Active Member
I'm a geek and would never consider buying used kit….till now! The idea of Apple refurbs really has me hooked because of price, and more importantly their amazing customer service and warranty.
A read through the forums and googling has also given me the confidence to go down the refurb route with many user reporting good things
ps. If you buy from Apple Store online you can also get 3-4% cash back if you go through Quidco (close to £30 on a base iMac new or refurb'd)
Apple Store Voucher Codes, Apple Store Cashback, Apple Store Discount Codes at Quidco.
Two of several refurb threads http://www.avforums.com/forums/apple-computers-os-software/836715-apples-refurbished-store.html or http://www.avforums.com/forums/apple-computers-os-software/1296209-apple-refurbished-worthwhile.html or
 
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dc8900

Distinguished Member
It won't necessarily be a refurb, it may well be a cancelled order. It'll have the latest OS too.

If I was in the market for a desktop, that will be my first stop tbh. But I'll put up with my UMBP 17" :D:D

in my experience most stuff from the Apple refurb store are usually cancelled orders, user returns or prior generation stock, and when you do get an actual refurb like all products, it has Apple's 12 month warranty and you can take out AppleCare on it as well if needed
 

gadget boy

Active Member
I went to the Apple store and played with the base model for a while. Opened up all the apps I would normally use and a few more besides. Ran the sample videos in the background whilst surfing etc and the machine didnt seem stretched in the slightest. CPU was 85% Idle and still had over 2Gb RAM free.

Alas (for my wallet) Junior has expressed the desire for an iPad for Christmas so, as long as the economy stays on its feet until next Friday and I get paid, I will be back there with an empty boot and my flexible friend.

Many thanks to all who gave advice on this one. Much appreciated.:thumbsup:
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
an empty boot and my flexible friend.

sounds like a bloke I know in the east end of London, I think his surname is Kray ;)

anyway, let us know how you get on and when you get it, check out the simple programmes you adore thread :thumbsup:
 

gadget boy

Active Member
Went for the 3.2Ghz 21.5" model in the sale. Chuffed to bits with it.

Currently in the process of transferring my stuff from old to new and consolidating a bank of external drives into a single 1Tb volume. The lovely Mrs Gadget Boy has inherited the mini to replace an XP box. Getting along with it nicely so far. Another convert!

Also ordered Junior an ipad online with an Apple case. Looking forward to Christmas morning!

Thanks to all for the feedback. Helpful as always :thumbsup:
 

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