Got an iMac 24 2.8 on Sunday. My G5 tower 2 ghz dual was 3 years old. I loved that it still does Classic. But it was starting to show its age and I believe in replacing my Macs before they become completely obsolete. And I like to get new Macs at the end of the year for tax reasons.
I didn't want to pay for a new Mac Pro plus a 23" or 30" screen. Wasn't a good deal from my perspective and a high end iMac seems good enough. I considered the lower-end 24" iMac but I want something that will still seem fast for a while. Not something that is just fast enough now and will start seeming a little slow a year from now.
You pay an extra $250 for the 2.8 ghz processor compared to the 2.4 ghz version. That's a reasonable anti-obsolescence investment. Since the processor is going to give out before the screen does, I want the faster processor so that this gorgeous hunk of metal and glass will have a long life span before hitting the dump or recycling bin.
The other $250 I paid ($2299 total) included a 500 gb instead of 320 gb hard drive and 2 gb RAM instead of just 1 gb. Again, I liked the higher end configuration because it won't be easy to upgrade the hard drive later. At some point I do expect to upgrade to 4 gigs of RAM but 2 will do for a while.
I also sprung for a wireless keyboard and mouse. Because I was buying at the Apple store, I had to pay full price for the wireless gear. I forgot about that when deciding to buy locally rather than online. Oops. That cost me an extra $120. But, I do regard the extra gear as backups should the batteries go bad one day I'm in a crunch.
The 24" screen has been something I've wanted for years ever since I saw my first 23" cinema display years ago. It is huge!
I have been using a 20" cinema display (about 4 years old) and a 17" cinema display (about 6 years old). I thought maybe I could use the 24" iMac and deploy or sell the older displays elsewhere. Not quite!
I missed having a second secondary screen to put things on that I want open but want out of the way. Spaces didn't feel like it would do quite what I need. I have a habit of having that screen there. For example, today my email wasn't working. I wanted to keep the email inbox in sight but needed it out of the way so I could use the screen for other things.
I already had an adapter that let me use one of my old Apple displays with the G5's newer DVI port. All I had to add was a mini-DVI to DVI adapter and plug that into my Apple Adapter and plug the Cinema display into the adapter. Apple sells the mini-DVI adapters for $20 and the Apple-DVI adapter for $100. Luckily, I just needed the $20 item. Went over to the Corte Madera Apple store (which was rocking hard at about 5:30 pm) and picked up the mini-DVI adapter. Plugged things in and I'm set.
Now I have my 20" monitor as the secondary screen. It is about 3" lower because it doesn't have the iMac's chin, but it works. I doubt if I'll bother trying to elevate it.
Now, about this new iMac! It is a thing of beauty! It is a great, great machine. The screen is brighter than bright, so I keep it set to the minimum brightness for normal use. I can turn it up for use with photos and video. You are going to need extra ambient light if you want to work at night with this screen without blowing your eyes out.
The wired and wireless keyboards are exquisite. The touch is to die for. The look is awesome. So far, I'm using the baby-sized wireless keyboard with complete satisfaction. I'm not a numeric keypad fan, so I delight in losing the extra weight and size of the wired keyboard. Every other keyboard seems clunky compared to this.
I was not too surprised to find that Tiger was installed on the iMac. A Leopard DVD was in the box but that's it. I had to install Leopard at home. A whole extra chunk of time when I couldn't use the new machine. Bummer!
One advantage, though, is that I got to see how much better I liked the new iMac with Leopard on it. Leopard on my MacBook was one thing, but Leopard on this screamer with giant screen is fantastic! The 3D dock looks like it was made for this screen. It looks great and their's plenty of vertical space so I don't need to begrudge losing vertical room to a dock at the bottom of my screen. On the MacBook, I had to put the dock on the left to get some room.
Leopard is gorgeous. It runs blazing fast on this machine. Everything pops. Safari is wonderful. I'm hooked on Leopard now. I'll try hard to hold out till Christmas with my MacBook Pro on Tiger just in case I run into trouble. Steve was telling the truth in June when he said Leopard would be worth waiting for.
This is my first iMac. Who knew I would love the integration and simplicity? I am beginning to see things Steve's way on this. It's so easy. So elegant. Sometimes options are more trouble than they are worth. That's the religion you get with the iPhone.... I'm being corrupted but perhaps for my own good.