7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2008 10:15 AM by George Peters
Forrest Boughner Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
I'm trying to figure out how to go about selecting the "right" iMac to suit my current needs and means. Like many folks (I'm guessing), I don't have the money to upgrade every time a)apple comes out with ANOTHER new generation of iMac/OS b)Adobe comes out with updated versions of their software suites.

What I need to know is:
1) Do the current iMac Intel CPU's (or the newest Mac OS) support software as old as Adobe CS 2?
2) If the current iMac's no longer support my software, what is the most current generation of iMac's to do so?
3) I would like to connect an additional monitor (I have an older 17" apple cinema display) to my iMac. Can anyone suggest iMac models that would accomodate my need?
4) Any suggestions of reputable sellers of older generations of Apple products, new or refurbished? Any sellers that should be avoided?

G4 Powermac 450 (Sawtooth), Mac OS X (10.3.x), Upgraded CPU (1ghz)and RAM (768mg)
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    1) Yes and no. Yes CS2 will run on Intel based Macs but the performance may be a bit slower. The next problem is that Adobe does not fully support CS2 to run in Leopard. It will run but you might come across small glitches once in a while.
    2) To avoid the Leopard compatibility issue you would need an ALU iMac from 2007 or earlier that comes with OS X 10.4(Tiger).
    3) You would need to purchase two adapters. A mini DVI to DVI connector and the ADC Power adapter for the display which is about $100.
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/M9321G/B?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ&mco=MjE0NTg3Nw
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/M8661LL/B?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ&mco=MjE0NTg4NA
    4) I would prefer an Apple certified refurbished iMac but they may not have one old enough for what you want.

    If you don't have the money to upgrade everything including your software you might consider purchasing a used G5 tower. That way you can run Tiger and CS2 without any problems and still use your current LCD without having to buy any expensive adapters.

    George
  • Forrest Boughner Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Thanks George, for your help.

    Of course, I have a few follow-up questions:
    1) CS 2 will run slower on Intell based Macs, but how would it rate against what I am accustomed to (my system is really old...only a single 1ghz cpu, 768 mg ram on an old "Sawtooth" running OS 10.3.7).
    2) Any suggestions of re-sellers who might handle the system you are suggesting? If I go to a qualified salesperson and say that I am looking for "ALU" iMac from '07 will they know exactly what I'm talking about?

    I don't think a G5 tower is an option at this point. My old monitor has a backlighting problem and I would hope to hook it up to an iMac as an extra monitor for displaying pallettes, etc. Plus, I worry about buying used equipment...worried about lack of warranty, of how the previous owners treated the computer, other general concerns relating to not being able to get my money back if things don't work out).
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    1) It will surely still be faster than on your old G4 especially if you upgrade the RAM.

    2) I don't have any suggestions for used retailers as I purchased my iMac from eBay. If it's an Apple retailer then yes they should know the difference. ALU stands for Aluminum iMac. The first ALU iMacs came out in Aug of 2007 and the next generation ALU iMac came out in April of 2008. The 2007 iMacs came pre-installed with Tiger while the 2008 iMacs have Leopard. Another possibility would be a white CD2 iMac from 2006 but they will be difficult to find if you are looking for a new one. You can use this link to the specs for reference: http://support.apple.com/specs/#desktopcomputers

    Personally I don't think it's worth buying the power adapter for your 17" when you can easily get a new LCD for not much more than that.

    George
  • Forrest Boughner Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    The good news is that I already have the ADC to DVI adaptor for the display. All I'd need is the mini DVI to DVI adaptor.

    Thanks again for all your help!
  • Forrest Boughner Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    I take it that your ebay experience went well? I've looked at mac's on Ebay, but just couldn't bring myself to bid on anything. What do you do if problems arise? Does the seller have any responsibilities after the sale?
  • Forrest Boughner Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Here's and idea...maybe good, maybe bad:

    Since it seems that Leopard is more the problem than the cpu, could I load a new iMac with 10.4 as well as the 10.5? Could I then partition the hard drive, load and boot from Tiger on the new partition, enabling me to work with my older programs minus major glitches? The new 20" iMac's can be had for close to $1k. Older systems with lesser specs don't seem to be auctioning for much less.
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    Yes it was a good experience no problems at all. The seller is responsible to fulfill what they promise to deliver in their listing. Just make sure to check the sellers feedback to see what types of items they have sold previously and what other buyers have said about them. If a problem arises the first thing is to contact the seller. If you don't get a satisfactory response from them you can make a claim through eBay and/or PayPal.

    Take buying an iMac for example. I would search for one that still has Apple Care left. It may only have a year or so left of warranty but that's good. Otherwise if it works great for a month then dies you are stuck with the repair cost. That's the chance you take when buying a used computer.

    George