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Why buy a new iMac (besides it being skinny)?
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Jedi Knight
Picture of artphanto
posted
I am planning on buying a new iMac, but am a bit confused.
What is the benefit, aside from it being thinner? I actually don't understand why it needs to be thinner, the fact that they got rid of the CD/DVD drive is beyond me-I use my DVD drive all the time, for creating movies, backing up things and putting them on CD etc. I know you can get an external superdrive, but it seems more of a hassle? I am a graphic designer, I love the latest in technology, but when the "technology" makes it harder for me to get my work done-is it worth it? Am I the only one that feels this way?

Natalie
 
Posts: 461 | Location: Livonia | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of James R. Cutler
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by artphanto:
<SNIP/>Am I the only one that feels this way?Natalie
No, not at all. My reaction to the ever-changing iMac is to use the same high quality separate display and an external full-size CD/DVD writer through several iterations of system unit, from tower to the latest Mac mini, keeping the same reliable external drive, screen, keyboard, and mouse. I could offer you several dead SuperDrives still in working systems (both laptop and mini) but replacing them is not cost effective for Apple or for me.

In your situation, I would get a full size external optical drive (maybe even supporting Blu-Ray) in a FireWire/USB 3 enclosure. Then it will not matter which computer or operating system you choose to use.

.
 
Posts: 1964 | Registered: January 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Past President
Picture of Terry White
posted Hide Post
I understand your frustration and please don't shoot the messenger, but if you follow the trend with Apple's Mac product line, built-in optical drives are being phased out. This started with the MacBook Air, then the Mac Mini server, then the MacBook Pro Retina (15 & 13") then the new Mac mini and now the iMac. I would bet from here on out any "new" Macs being introduced will not have optical drives built-in.

Why? you ask...
The reality is there are fewer and fewer people passing discs around these days. Cloud storage and YouTube make it easy to share files and videos. When it comes to playing back videos at home Apple lets you do so wirelessly to an Apple TV.

I remember Steve Jobs proclaiming that Apple was going to put all of its weight behind Blu-ray and then later on proclaiming that Blu-ray was "a mess" from a licensing standpoint. So Apple abandoned all Blu-ray efforts before they even started and if they aren't going to get behind Blu-ray why bother with the standards of DVD and CD-ROM of years past? Yes I know that these are still very useful formats. This is why Apple still sells an external drive for those that really need one.

I can't remember the last time I burned a disc for myself. Nor have I missed doing so (even though I still can quite easily). If I burn a disc these days it's because a client is requesting one.

Apple cut the floppy loose and there was resistance, but now we don't think twice about it. In a few years I have the feeling the same will be said about CDs/DVDs.

To answer your question about why the new iMac, it's not only thinner, but it's faster. It brings USB 3 to the iMac as well. With Thunderbolt, USB 3 and the faster processors, drives and larger RAM capacity, I'm betting that Apple will also stop selling Mac Pro towers. Yes, I know that everyone expects a new tower in 2013, but I just don't see it. At least not the traditional tower that we have now.

If I were looking to buy a desktop Mac I would absolutely consider the new iMac or the Mac mini. The Mac Pro is just not worth the money anymore (to me). Not to mention that it doesn't have any of the newer IO, not even Thunderbolt.

I hope this helps. While the new iMac lost the optical drive, it gained quite a bit in every other area.


----
You can never go wrong by doing the right thing.

http://terrywhite.com

There are two kinds of computer users: those who have lost data and those who are about to — backup your Mac!
 
Posts: 6152 | Location: Atlanta, GA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
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Natalie,

I empathize with your frustration.

Apple may be doing you a favor by not including their internal SuperDrive. I purchased an iMac earlier this year, and the internal SuperDrive is slow as molasses - especially when compared to a third-party external drive that I purchased 2-3 years ago. The internal is so slooooow that I rarely use it. You'd probably be frustrated using it to burn a Movie. It's too bad they won't be reducing the price on the new iMac because of the exclusion of the SuperDrive. As per James' suggestion, externals are the way to go. External components for desktop computer systems are much like stereo system components. The individual components are generally better quality, offer more flexibility by allowing you to use them with other computers, and when they fail you can just purchase a new component rather than paying for an expensive internal replacement.

If you haven't purchased a new Apple computer in awhile, you may be surprised that OS installation DVDs are no longer provided.

It's the sign of the times, the future and advancing technology. The arrival/implementation of the Cloud, along with the availability of faster broadband connections, allows Apple and other computer-related companies to conduct business differently. Remember when Apple and Adobe included installation disks and printed user guides/manuals? Obviously, it's more cost-effective to provide those online or in the Cloud. It also allows companies more control over licensing and updates. As you probably know, Adobe has implemented their Creative Cloud - renting as opposed to purchasing a license with disks.

The times they are A-Changing.

Have you considered the purchase of a Mac mini, as opposed to an new iMac? If you have a good monitor, keyboard and mouse - a Mac mini might be an alternate solution if it'll fit your needs. Since the price is about half of an iMac, it may offset the cost(s) and allow you purchase any additional external components.
 
Posts: 684 | Registered: February 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Gawet:

Adobe has implemented their Creative Cloud - renting as opposed to purchasing a license with disks.


Mike:

The Purchase option is still available from Adobe. Creative cloud is "Not Their Only Option", unless the "Production Premium Suite" I recently purchased was the last one sold.

Yes they want us to all go to the "Rental" mode but I for one am not sold on that idea yet.
 
Posts: 1640 | Location: Oak Park, MI, USA | Registered: January 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
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Hi Brian,

Thanks. I am aware that Adobe software can still be purchased. I only mentioned the Creative Cloud as an example of how it is all changing and moving to the Cloud. I'm not sold on the idea of renting either, for a number of reasons.
 
Posts: 684 | Registered: February 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Two random thoughts from someone with older machines:
1. Yes, I still use a LaCie external burner with Lightscribe "mostly." (purchased 2005, still works like a charm, migrated to the Mini 3 years ago with no problems.)
- Yes, don't burn often, but a "must" is a disk with files relating to our tax return each year. I have a "burn" folder active on the computer all year, and add items as they show up, in addition to the usual at tax time (pdf's of various expense reports, copies of receipts, etc.) I burn 2 or 3 copies, and label with LS. (An external drive dedicated to such storage certainly DOESN'T make sense because of the storage space it would require. CD's work just fine.)
- Also, recently had an important reason to burn an audio disk with some "live music" recordings I made for a special purpose (an arranging project in conjunction with a performing artist). Youtube just wouldn't work for that project. Also, some audition applications for musicians (college, competitions, concert applications, etc.) REQUIRE a submitted recording.
- I'm a bit concerned that Silicon Valley (read "Apple") will think everyone does things a certain way in today's advancing technology, and write off very established and still useful devices or capabiities.


2. I read somewhere that the size of the Mini is (was) determined so it could accommodate the size of an optical disk. Otherwise, the "computer" part wouldn't need as large a case as it has. My son very recently described some VERY small "computers" he acquired - much smaller than the Mini (but not Macs, of course; he manages a big software application for GM testing and is a Linux fan at home).
SO - Can we expect a "very small" Mini some day? What about the ports still in general use - to accommodate some older peripherals, if nothing else.? Interesting question.
- What does a computer normally require in externals? Printers have gone wireless. So has the keyboard and mouse. But what about backup drives, and that external CD/DVD burner? - Not to mention the monitor in the case of a Mini, or as an alternative larger screen for a laptop.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Jo Disler,


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Well, I keep thinking of relevant things here: How about the thumb drive? It requires a port. Potentially could take the place of disks for some things, but I think they are only marginally trustworthy. An early one in my experience routinely lost its data when removed or inserted, even though properly "ejected."


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Genius
Picture of Phyllis Evans
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FWIW, both of my Time Macine drives (iMac & Air) are small Hitachi USB drives. The iMac uses a USB2, and I snagged a USB3 for the MacBook Air. Have had one fail on me, but then I've also lost several FW drives and one or two flash drives. Drives fail. That's why I always preach multiple backup drives. There are 3 connected to my iMac.


"I really need a new tagline"
—P M Evans
 
Posts: 3765 | Location: Redford, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
To go back to one of your original points - an external drive is not much of a hassle at all. Plug in the USB or FireWire connector, plug in the power. Everything will recognize it just like it was internal. Some are even powered by USB only - I see one for $30 at Micro Center.

Depending on how old your current system is, getting a new iMac (or MacMini) may not be much of an upgrade. You didn't mention what you're using now, so it's hard to give a recommendation one way or the other.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Jedi Council Member
posted Hide Post
Ive been waiting for the new imac for a long time.. and now that its here.. its still not here. It says available in November (isnt it November?) I'm looking to get the 27 inch which is supposed to come out in December, and need to purchase it in 2012. I hope there wont be a problem with the production causing a delay in release.
 
Posts: 626 | Location: Farmington Hills, MI | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
Well, you can certainly buy it this year, but you may not see it until next year:http://amog.com/tech/155139-release-imacs-delayed-year/

However, it's not like the previous iMac is suddenly useless, and you can probably get them at a bit of a discount right now, if you need to upgrade. If it has been a long time, you will notice a huge increase in speed no matter which one you choose.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of artphanto
posted Hide Post
Thank you all for your insight. I currently have a mac mini, but was hoping to upgrade to a bigger, faster, better computer (which is why I was looking at the new imacs. My concern was with burning movies-I do that on the side. I guess an external drive would be the way to go. I remember a while ago imovie and idvd had issues not allowing you to burn movies to an external drive. Any recommendation as to what kind of dvd drive I could get while not breaking the bank? Obviously I would want a fast burner-what do I need to look at in buying a good quality DVD burner (USB or Firewire what speed etc)?
Thanks,
Natalie
 
Posts: 461 | Location: Livonia | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of James R. Cutler
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Natalie,

I recently upgraded from a Macmini3,1 to the latest Mini for one system I use. The improvement in performance for rendering was astonishing. If the stock 1TB drive limits system performance, it is an easy matter to plug in an fasster external USB3-connected drive. Or, if you like bleeding edge, you can order the Fusion Drive version. And, as I mentioned before, keeping the same display makes the work appear constant.

Before we offer recommendations on burners, you might talk about your longer term goals. Will you ever want to burn Blu-Ray disk? Or, how about Blu-Ray content on standard DVD media?

Using OWC (macsales.com) as an example source, you can get a USB-only DVD/CD external drive for about $50. Blu-Ray capability ups that to more like $150. I personally use Toast with my external drives as it can handle multiple copies from an image and also can format for Blu-Ray content. My DVD/CD drives, sans enclosure, have never cost over $50. I replaced one after about eight or so years of use.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: James R. Cutler,
 
Posts: 1964 | Registered: January 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
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Natalie:

Here are two DVD burners. One DVD USB2 and one Blu-Ray USB3 at considerably more cost. I have the Rosewill unit for use on my MacMini and it is a good unit. I purchased and returned two other brands before keeping the Rosewill unit.


Rosewill USB 2.0 Slim 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive Model ROD-EX003, Gloss Black
by Rosewill

Product Features
• Drive Type: External Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer; Loading Type: Tray
• Write: BD-R DL 6X, BD-RE DL 2X, DVD+R/-R 8X, DVD+RW/-RW 6X, DVD+R/-R DL 6X, DVD-RAM 5X
• Read: BD-ROM/-R/-RE DL 6X, DVD-ROM/+RW/-RW/+R/-R 8X, CD-ROM 24X
• Interface: USB 2.0, 4MB Buffer Memory
• Average Seek Time: BD-ROM - 200ms; DVD-ROM - 130ms; CD-ROM - 130ms

http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ..._details_o08_s00_i00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Samsung SE-506AB/TSBD 6X USB2.0 External Slim Blu-ray Writer Drive (Black)

Product Features
• Drive Type: External Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer; Loading Type: Tray
• Write: BD-R DL 6X, BD-RE DL 2X, DVD+R/-R 8X, DVD+RW/-RW 6X, DVD+R/-R DL 6X, DVD-RAM 5X
• Read: BD-ROM/-R/-RE DL 6X, DVD-ROM/+RW/-RW/+R/-R 8X, CD-ROM 24X
• Interface: USB 2.0, 4MB Buffer Memory
• Average Seek Time: BD-ROM - 200ms; DVD-ROM - 130ms; CD-ROM - 130ms

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-...lu-ray+drive+usb+3.0
 
Posts: 1640 | Location: Oak Park, MI, USA | Registered: January 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Rhea
posted Hide Post
I Wouldn't by a new Mac of any kind right now. Maybe never again.
 
Posts: 174 | Location: Oak Park MI USA | Registered: October 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Genius
Picture of Phyllis Evans
posted Hide Post
And some of us would consider buying nothing else. When I married my DH some 47 years ago I told him I don't do Windows. Same applies today. Apple may not always be perfect, but they beat the others by a country mile.
quote:
Originally posted by Rhea:
I Wouldn't by a new Mac of any kind right now. Maybe never again.


"I really need a new tagline"
—P M Evans
 
Posts: 3765 | Location: Redford, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Yvonne
posted Hide Post
I have a friend of mine who had windows machine. He told me that it gave him nothing but troubles I think the last thing was virus related. Currently he is using an iphone 4s and is saving money a macintosh of somekind. He could have had a windows machine a while ago. He wont touch them. Now I am a mega computer geek and have played with windows. Geez no thank you. Give me my mac any day. The ipod, the iphone, ipad and laptops all are so easy to setup and they do what you want them to. Now yes there are the occasionally hiccup ie. OS update for example. I am very cautious when I update and I make sure I got a daily and hourly backup which Cal and Terry both say to do. I guess when it comes to any computer you just have to be smart about it.


"Life begins when you leave your comfort zone"
 
Posts: 311 | Location: Redford, Mi | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Back to Artphanto's original question: If it's supposed to be a single-unit solution, then what's the point of depending on some peripherals that require being cabled to the computer? (I'm addressing Apple's logic, not any of the proposed solutions in this discussion.)

Nice to know about the improved Mini, though I have no complaints re my older one. Actually a benefit that is significant to me is that it's quiet. No fan, only some occasional awareness of the drive if it's indexing or something.

This is a valuable discussion, and may impact my own decision when I upgrade. The Mini is doing the job well. Another possibility: Apple might consider offering iMac models with OR without CD/DVD drives. (My guess: not likely)


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2066 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Genius
Picture of Phyllis Evans
posted Hide Post
Doing away with the internal CD/DVD burner is not a surprise to me. How many years has it been since you've seen a floppy? The majority of users never use the optical drove. With all of the major software available for download, it just takes up valuable space. If an internal drive goes bad, it's not a cheap repair, nor can the average user do it. Externals are inexpensive and easy to toss in a drawer when not in use. Apple's USB Superdrive is bus-powered, so no power connection needed. If it dies, toss it and buy another one.


"I really need a new tagline"
—P M Evans
 
Posts: 3765 | Location: Redford, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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