It's that time for me... the HP computer I bought five years ago is really showing it's age and just won't run the kind of apps I want to run on it with anything resembling speed. (I've also gotten used to apps running faster on newer computers!) It's also a loud computer... the fan and the disk drives both create a good bit of volume.
So it's time for an upgrade. And, rather than looking at another Windows computer.... yep, I'm thinking of getting an iMac!
In part this is because I'm now using a MacBook Pro on a daily basis and like so much about the operating system and how it works. I also very much like how easily Parallels lets me run Windows apps on the system. And, I enjoy having a real command-line that I can work on. For those and a bunch of other Mac-fan-boy reasons, I'm very happy with the system.
So in considering a new home desktop system, the iMac has entered into my thinking for a number of reasons beyond what I just mentioned. It also has a smaller footprint... and it's quiet! (From what I've seen, anyway.) This is a key concern for someone who does a lot of podcast recording.
At this point my major consideration is this - do I buy the 2.4 GHz model listed at $1799? Or do I go for the 2.8 GHz model at $2249? The main differences seem to be that the higher-end model has:
- a 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme versus a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
- 2 GB memory standard versus 1GB
- a 500 GB hard drive versus a 320 GB hard drive
So for $450 I get a faster processor, more RAM and a bigger hard drive. It's also a different class of processor, but I don't personally know the difference between a Core 2 Duo and a Core 2 Extreme. (And regardless of system, I'd probably upgrade it to the full 4 GB of supported RAM.)
Is it worth it? That's the question I'm asking myself now.
My general practice for a home desktop machine has been to buy a fairly high-end system and then use it for some number of years until it just doesn't work that well. That's what I'm looking to do again. However, I also don't want to waste money if the upgrade really doesn't make for a stronger system.
Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated. (Thanks in advance.)
P.S. On a side note, I find it interesting that in evaluating systems for a new desktop system, physical expandability was not one of my criteria. It used to be that I wanted to make sure I had extra bays for hard drives, etc. Today, though, between moving an increasing amount of my data into the network "cloud" and also USB/Firewire storage, the need for system expandability is less. I find it an interesting change in my thinking.