Previous Post
Next Post

You’d think that anyone who’d been through one divorce could handle the organizational maelstrom the second time around. Wrong. It’s taken me nearly two years to get my life into some kind of order. As part of my extended GMST campaign, I’ve taken an axe to the half-dozen email addresses for this site. Anyone who wants to contact TTAG should send email to [email protected]. And . . . that’s it. Any other email address will bounce. I apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Oh and I’m buying a new iMac. Any recommendations for which one?

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. New iMAC??

    Get the largest monitor size, the most processing power and the most memory you can afford.

    I recently purchased their largest and most powerful desktop model and love it.

  2. 27 inch, 16GB (or more) RAM, i7, 3 TB fusion drive, GTX 780M,

    Buy once, cry once. The i7 & RAM will insure it’ll stay in the OS update cycle for a long time.

    Since you’re site admin, you can see my email. Ping me if you want a 15% discount on the iMac. <3 TTAG.

    • Mostly concur on specs (I’d get a 256GB SSD) and model, would suggest getting it from Apple with the base RAM and upgrading later(8GB isn’t unreasonable). Apple’s prices on memory upgrades have always been overpriced, and the RAM on the 27 is user-upgradable (the 21 isn’t).

      Stay away from that new 1.4 Ghz model. It’s basically intended for school districts that need the cheapest hardware they can get that’ll run OSX. Dunno why it’s not limited to the .edu shoppers.

    • I completely concur on 16GB or more. The sort of multi-media stuff you do RF requires programs that have large memory requirements if you want to get things done quickly.

      Mine is a 2009 2.66GHz iMac, 27″, I’ve upgraded it from 4GB to 16GB myself (pud easy). If I could stuff 32GB into mine, I would.

      • Still rockin’ a 2007 MacBook Pro with the 1st Gen DuoCore 2.13 GHZ processors running 10.6.8. Upgraded RAM to 4 GB (of maybe 2 GB – whatever the max is) and hard drive to 500 GB. It still runs like a champ – that desperately needs to retire after getting its a$$ kicked by the younger guys.

        I’ve noticed that a new computer is quite similar to the price tag on a decent scope for a .338. Bummer.

        I concur on the iMac with a shite ton of memory, processor speed, and monitor size.

        • I’m still running a late 2007 Macbook Pro w/ 4GB.

          Getting a bit long in the tooth and somewhat slow due to the need for more memory, but I’m not ready to give up the 17″ screen for even a higher-res 15″ screen.

        • My wife is on her first gen Macbook Pro with the Intel Core 2 Duo and 1 GB of RAM…at least until I pick up her grad school graduation present from Fed Ex today, a 64GB iPad Air. She’s just a teeny weeny bit excited.

    • This^^. I have a 2 year old iMac 21. Will upgrade this fall to whatever they bring out. Don’t agree with the post about buying 3rd party memory. I got bitten badly 2 models ago. The memory was from a reputable firm but the MAC wouldn’t see it. Buy the best from Apple and you’ll never look back.

  3. Get a dual monitor setup if it’s possible. I love my set-up….email on one side, content creation on the other screen. This way I don’t have to keep switching applications all the time, much more efficient.

  4. Ummm… when you say “extended GMST campaign,” of what do you speak? Greenwich Mean Sidereal Time? Global Mean Surface Temperature? General Military Subjects Test? Geometric Mean Survival Time? Oh, wait! I’ve got it! Get My Sh!t Together! Okay, sorry. Coffee still being absorbed & my wits have not yet joined the party.

    Regarding the new computer, I was going to say basically the same thing as Paul & Tom, but they beat me to it. Good luck on the campaign.

  5. How long before anti gun Google figures it out and puts the kibosh on your new e mail account? Why is TTAG in effect supporting an anti gun corporation?

    • This is a very apt question.

      I’d further add that the clowns at Google don’t respect your privacy. They’re complete sell-outs to the NSA at the very highest levels of the corporation.

      • I may not know you, and you may not know me, but I reckon the NSA knows us both. It’s really just a matter of which lists we are on, and where we are on those lists. Fortunately there are so many ah – enthusiasts – out there that affecting all of us is a daunting task.

  6. Even though it’s the most popular free option for Apple buyers don’t accept the pretentiousness upgrade.

  7. After you decide on specs, be sure to check out for deals on refurbished machines. They carry the same warranty, and often are “new” machines that got brought back, but you can save hundreds of dollars over new stock.

  8. The imacs are nice but I’ve had reliability problems with them.

    If you can afford it … I’d get a Mac Pro. Otherwise buy the second-most-expensive version in the screen size you’re looking for, then do the upgrades yourself.

    Spend the cash for dual monitors. (The monitors don’t need to be apples…)

    For the rest … RAM and hard drive access speed can buy more performance than processor speed, depending on what you’re doing.

    Consider solid state drives – faster, and quieter, than mechanical platters.

    And most important, whatever system you go for, spend the money for a good-sized external drive backup and use it. Make an image of your initial system setup so you have a known-good starting point if something goes horribly horribly wrong.

    Or … Think about a Mac Mini. I’m using a mini server as my desktop machine at home and for most of what I use it for it does just fine.

  9. as a PC guy, good luck. and since i always build my own computers, be prepared to pay a 300% markup for the shiny logos.

    But, seeing how much I hate windows 8 it its stock form, i don’t really blame you either.

  10. do you have other needs than maintaining this website? there normally isn’t too much here that’s graphic – intensive. if you wanted to go mac, which is a preference that I don’t share but understand, the base 27 inch will probably serve your purposes. Other than extreme graphical or audio rendering/output/edit, there is no reason to go above a quad core. Programs aren’t written to access more than two cores other than industry specific custom graphics and audio manipulation software. Additional cores can assist with multitasking, but very rarely are they required for general use.

    Dual core processors at 2.0ghz or higher can handle almost every consumer level task that can be generated.

    The two places you will see a massive boost in performance are changing from a physical disk to a solid state drive, and upgrading RAM, in that order.

    The last thing I want to do is begin a battle of windows vs mac, but you can build or purchase a pc for approximately 50% of the cost at 100% of the power, if not better, than any comparable mac. Have you considered a windows platform? If so, and you still feel like you want to buy a mac, than buy the cheaper one and change components yourself. Good luck!

  11. I like the iMac mini. Get the one with the fastest processor and most memory. You can run any kind/size/ number of monitors you want. If/when it ever needs service, it is easy to transport. (easy to make it disappear if required as well) Been running mine for 4 years and nary a hint of trouble.

  12. Buy a PC for half the money and double power.
    i7s are a waste if you are not rendering or editing heavy stuff. Same for RAM, 8GB DDR3 1600mhz will get you through almost everything. A basic motherboard will do just fine, same for the stock cooler. A US$30 cooler can make it way more silent. A all-in-one Hydro cooler is oh-so-nice.

    A nice mid-end graphics card will make it very versatile. Say, a R9 270X. It will cost US$200 be and more powerful than any single mobile card (like the 780M, that’s what the M stands for) in the market. A R9 280X will run the newest, heaviest games on almost max settings (as in, without the silly stuff), and the 3GB of VRAM will make playing movies (and even games) on 3 FullHD displays a breeze.

    Something like:
    -i5 4670k – $225
    -8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz – $70
    -ASRock Extreme 4 Z87 – $140
    -Corsair H80i – $85
    -Pick the prettiest card from a quality maker like Gigabyte, Sapphire, XFX, ASUS, MSi. A R9 280X will cost about $300
    -Any quality 7200rpm SATA III HD will work just fine, WD, Seagate and Samsung are some of the most popular. A 2TB Seagate Barracuda costs $85
    -Again, any quality SSD will do the trick. This is where you are going to install your OS. Samsung 840 Evo 250GB is the current favorite. – $140
    -PSU doesn’t need to be very large, a Bronze Rated Corsair, Seasonic or Rosewill with 550 watts is enough. That’s $80
    You could go for the top of the line and get a Gold or Platinum Rated, those have up to SEVEN YEARS of warranty, like a Seasonic X650. – $130
    -The case is a personal choice. $100 should get you something nice. Corsair Carbide 400R, NXZT Phantom 410 (the gun metal version is marvelous) are popular choices. A personal favorite is Fractal Desing, like the R4.

    30 minutes on amazon os enough.

  13. I’m with the PC people. Apple products are great if you’re not tech-savvy.. However they take full advantage of people that arn’t tech-savvy by offering inferior parts when compared to high end PC’s, at a far higher cost, often coming somewhere around the price of my workstation at work.. And that is a dual-processor system designed to run Photoshop flawlessly.

    • I’m tech-savvy. I’ve programmed more computers in more languages than probably any three people here at TTAG under the age of 40 put together. From mainframes down to single-board embedded systems, I’ve been there, done that, got boxes and boxed full of project T-shirts.

      When I retired from the tech industry, I built several rockin’ PC’s to do what I wanted. It seemed like fun at the time. Every one of them failed sooner or later, mostly due to cheap components, connectors, poor airflow, etc. In other words, they wanted to get their COGS down as low as possible, so they started cutting corners on the very pedestrian stuff which makes an electronic device work reliably. They became time sinks, and no no one was paying me to work on computers, so they became a money sink as well. Time is money, and uncompensated time is negative money.

      As of 2007, after having been off the Mac platform since 1994, I purchased a Macbook Pro. Within two years, my wife (who used to write Unix internals code) decided we’d have had enough of wasting time on computers without being paid. For us, it is the best of both worlds: A nice consistent GUI that works, and a BSD-like Unix machine that is instantly available simply by opening a term window. When I want to use emacs, or my wife wants to use vi, poof, there they are, just where they’re supposed to be.

      Today, we’re a Mac household. And we don’t waste any time debugging our OS, applications, the hardware, etc. It isn’t that we’re not able to do so – we’re vastly more capable of doing that job than most people. It is just that we’re not going to pay money to debug someone else’s code or hardware. If Microsoft want us to debug their crap code, they’re going to pay us, not the other way ’round.

      • Yup. And if you really want to run windows, pick your favorite VM and go for it.

        I’ve got 20 years split between tech support, system administration, and network security. My home systems are Macs- if I’m fixing a computer, I expect to be paid for my time.

        Unless it’s for mom. 😉

        • Yup, I run Win7 under VMWare.

          Finally, I have a desktop product to do what I could do all those decades ago under VM/370 on a IBM S370 mainframe: run more than one OS at a time on one physical system.

      • I have a Lenovo ThinkPad running Windows 7 that I’ve had absolutely zero problems with. My problem with Macs, and Apple products generally, is I find the OS highly obtrusive in the effort to “help”.

        If you don’t skimp on hardware, you can get a machine that’s still cheaper than a Mac, by10-15%, and get the same reliability.

  14. PC! MASTER! RACE! etc etc I have PCs for gaming, Macs for pretty much everything else. Not everyone wants to build their own computer, I’m not going to judge what kind of pickup truck TTAG wants. High end PC vs High end Mac comparisons are a dime a dozen and when you compare component by component, depending on which model you get you may come out ahead with a Mac due to Apple’s incredible volume price discounting (look at the price offered for Mac Pro video cards vs. the comparable off the shelf MSRP price.)

    I suggest the Apple RAM upgrade not because it’s necessarily price competitive but because it would then be covered by the warranty (and AppleCare). The i7 will mean a longer OS cycle. Any internal storage will be fine, I prefer the ridiculously fast SSD drives (and the fusion drives are a nice combination of speed & storage size.)

    +1 on the recommendation for an external drive to back up to (via time machine or whatever else you personally prefer to use.)

    +1 on the dual monitor suggestion. The iMac display is very nice, and you can always connect another display to the iMac, or two to a Mini, or etc. etc.

  15. Not this one, it’s junk:

    I’d say go for this refurb, maybe spring for AppleCare as well:

    It takes SO-DIMMs that are user-replaceable, so I’d max it out with this, or comparable:

    I have a refurb 17″ MacBook that’s lasted ~4 years of heavy use, though I’ve upgraded its internal drive to SSD and its RAM to 8GB.

  16. MacBook Air 11″ and don’t get tied down to the desk. You can get a Mac mini and mac air for less than a new iMac, then just use the Mac air to remote into the mini from anywhere. I haven’t sat at my computer desk in a couple of years now. Freedom!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here