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A hardware question for people who work in mac related stores
superfireydave 
15/7/08 9:51:23 PM
Titan

My girlfriends considering getting an apple. At the very least she needs a new computer by the end of the year.

I'm more than capable at building a PC from individual parts, that's easy.

My question is: is it possible to upgrade with similar ease imac hardware?

For instance: http://store.apple.com/au/configure/MB323X/A?mco=NzUzNDU1
Is it possible to upgrade that to 4 gigs of RAM and add a larger HDD in a similar way to a PC?

Or are there special screws, warranty tape and a heap of other stuff which prevents (or at least makes difficult for) your average IT guy as opposed to upgrading a PC?

I apologise for how bad this post is, I'm feeling rather out of it - so if there's information or a question you can't understand please let me know :>

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TinBane 
16/7/08 8:46:57 AM
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Okay. RAM is easy to upgrade. One screw on the bottom and it's done. Just don't push too hard on that screw when putting it back in. Make sure you go backwards on the screwdriver till it clicks in, before you drive the screw in. Simple, standard, computer screw-use is required.

The HDD on the current iMac requires you to remove the glass frontage, the aluminium bezel, and the LCD panel. There is no warranty tape, and there are arguments either way as to whether putting in a non-apple branded HDD voids the warranty. I personally believe it does not.

In any event, an authorised apple tech needs to do the disassembly. You could get them to put in a HDD when you buy the machine, or put in one you supply. I'm sure they would be happy with either. Generally if you buy an upgraded HDD with the computer, (non apple) they'll put it in for free. To avoid any complications with officious dickwads, just make sure you take the computer back to the same company to have it serviced.

The original 1TB drives with the iMac 24" seemed to cause the fans to blow harder, I'm not sure if a current 1TB will. Most imacs are pretty much silent, otherwise. Until you do some REAL hard number crunching. Even then, they are quiet.

Technically the GPU is also upgradable. There is an 8800GTS option, although I'm unsure about whether it's a good idea to shoe-horn one into a 20" if that is what you are looking at. :) I wouldn't really bother with it, but you may be able to pick one up later on the cheap.

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superfireydave 
16/7/08 9:36:07 AM
Titan

So RAM is easy to do myself, but a HDD is harder.
Cheers for the information :D

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Mreow?
http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=9&t=17306

TinBane 
16/7/08 12:03:18 PM
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Harder as in:

Requires extensive disassembly.
Requires TORX screwdriver set.
Requires equipment to remove glass.
Requires careful disassembly to prevent the computer looking like shit on reassembly.
Voids the warranty to do it yourself.

PERSONALLY, if I were a consumer, I'd buy the drive from a reseller when I got the machine, and pay the $20 difference over MSY in order to get them to install it.

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superfireydave 
16/7/08 2:07:02 PM
Titan

It's more a case of me wondering "What if she wants another drive later?" and stuff like that =P

But yeah, I understand what you're saying. It's so difficult as not be worth my time.

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Mreow?
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TinBane 
16/7/08 5:14:27 PM
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Pick a good service centre to buy from. Tell them you might want a non-Apple drive installed in the future, and buy all your apple stuff from them (unless they are totally cut-throat). In return they'll most likely charge you bugger all to swap out the HDD, especially if they don't have to do data migration (which you can do yourself).

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Linux_Inside V2 
16/7/08 9:39:56 PM
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Quote by TinBane
Requires equipment to remove glass.



What kind of equipment? those cool suction cup thingies?

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zephyr 
17/7/08 8:11:02 AM
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Quote by superfireydave
It's more a case of me wondering "What if she wants another drive later?"



External drive enclosure? Preferably one that does firewire? :-)

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TinBane 
17/7/08 8:18:26 AM
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Quote by Linux_Inside V2
What kind of equipment? those cool suction cup thingies?



Yeah, you need to get glazier's suction cups though. Other suction cups leave shit on the glass, and/or seal poorly. The entire front glass panel is 2mm glass. It has no reinforcing. Drop it and it's bye-bye panel.

You also have to get a GREAT quality micro-fibre cloth. Not cheap, not okay, not good, GREAT. Because if you leave one spec of white dust on the inside of the glass, or the surface of the LCD, it's going to shit you to tears, and I've found that unless you get a great cloth, it will 'drop' the odd spec onto the glass.

Seriously, to thoroughly clean the glass with a great vs good cloth, is about 2 minutes vs 10 minutes. It might not seem like much, but 8 extra minutes of seriously trying to clean something like that is a pain in the arse, and the more you handle it the more likely it is you'll leave a fingerprint on the inside >:(.

Oh, and if you push too hard, of break the threading on the RAM door, you are in trouble, because it's part of the logic board.

zeph: Absolutely! The advantage of dropping a bigger more modern drive internally later on, is the speed effects boot time etc. Call me old-fashioned, but I do love having an internal boot drive as primary startup.


Edited by TinBane: 17/7/2008 08:20:00 AM

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zephyr 
17/7/08 8:58:46 AM
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Quote by TinBane
zeph: Absolutely! The advantage of dropping a bigger more modern drive internally later on, is the speed effects boot time etc. Call me old-fashioned, but I do love having an internal boot drive as primary startup.



Fine. You're old fashioned.

I say if you really want to add drives later on, you should just get a Mac Pro and be done with it :-p

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The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in. We're computer professionals. We cause accidents. (N. Borenstein)

TinBane 
17/7/08 10:02:22 AM
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Quote by zephyr
Fine. You're old fashioned.

I say if you really want to add drives later on, you should just get a Mac Pro and be done with it :-p



True, but if you don't need a mac pro, then it's a lot cheaper to pay a tech to put a new HDD in later, and pay for externals :P

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zephyr 
17/7/08 10:14:38 AM
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Quote by TinBane if you don't need a mac pro


Who doesn't need an 8-core Xeon based Mac?! I hear they're great for doing email, a bit of web browsing, etc...


Edited by zephyr: 17/7/2008 10:14:59 AM

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The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in. We're computer professionals. We cause accidents. (N. Borenstein)

TinBane 
17/7/08 1:09:37 PM
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No arguments here, either. What I don't need is the pricetag. Even with a staff discount, it's nasty. If you aren't going to use more than two cores, it's a waste.

Lots of design houses are buying the up-specced iMacs. If they put the quad-core as an option for new iMacs, when intel launches the mobile quad, then I'd expect that trend to go further.

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superfireydave 
17/7/08 1:28:41 PM
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Quote by zephyr
I say if you really want to add drives later on, you should just get a Mac Pro and be done with it :-p


Oh, if I wanted a mac I'd probably get one =P
My girlfriend wants one though =P and she doesn't want to spend quite that much =P

A firewire external HDD is something I hadn't even thought of though, so thanks for bringing that up =P

She does want it for video editing though, which is why I asked about upgrading RAM and HDD space =P Perhaps I might be able to convince her that it's a good idea to spend the extra and get a mac pro.


Edited by superfireydave: 17/7/2008 1:29:52 PM

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Mreow?
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TinBane 
17/7/08 3:38:06 PM
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Video editing or VIDEO EDITING?

An iMac or even a mini can do video editing, it's when you are doing a huge amount of hi-def professional finish rendering that the mac pro really comes into it's own.

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zephyr 
17/7/08 4:38:02 PM
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Quote by TinBane
No arguments here, either. What I don't need is the pricetag. Even with a staff discount, it's nasty. If you aren't going to use more than two cores, it's a waste.



Four cores for Mail.app, and four for Safari!

Seriously though, looking at today's exchange rates, what the HELL is up with the price difference between here and the US apple store? By my reckoning, it's an extra $1000 at least to buy from AU compared to the US.

That's one veeeeery expensive AU power cord you're getting there :)

edit: just checked, as of now, it's $1117.30:
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=3999aud+-+2799usd+in+aud


Edited by zephyr: 17/7/2008 4:41:04 PM

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The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in. We're computer professionals. We cause accidents. (N. Borenstein)

TinBane 
17/7/08 5:24:27 PM
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Yeah, US vs AU prices are fucked up >:(

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zephyr 
17/7/08 5:45:14 PM
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i mean, i understand the idea behind setting one price and changing the spec to suit, but jeez, cut the international customers a break on the exchange rate.

There's pretty much a 25% markup across the board comparing the US and AU stores. There's no way the currency fluctuates that much to justify that sort of margin, esp at the moment when the USD is only heading downwards.

On a related note: AppleCare - worthwhile, or waste of money?

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The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in. We're computer professionals. We cause accidents. (N. Borenstein)

TinBane 
17/7/08 11:54:12 PM
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Depends on the user and the machine. Got an example, Zeph?

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zephyr 
18/7/08 9:04:47 AM
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Quote by TinBane
Depends on the user and the machine. Got an example, Zeph?



Next rev of MacBook Pro, or possibly iMac 24" ?

I have a 24" display, but need to upgrade either my notebook or desktop in the next 6 months or so. I have been thinking about replacing my desktop with an MBP but they're mid cycle, so thinking about waiting - maybe a new rev coming in January at MacWorld? I've seen new casing pics on MacRumors ;-)

Sorry, starting to drag this thread off topic. :-)

edit: the user, obviously, is me. MBP would be travelling interstate or O/S a little, maybe every 2-3 months at most.


Edited by zephyr: 18/7/2008 9:06:08 AM

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The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in. We're computer professionals. We cause accidents. (N. Borenstein)

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