iMac question

Hello all,
I am seriously considering switching to Mac...specifically...I am considering purchasing an iMac.  I am looking at the 24"; 2.4Ghz model.  I would definitely want to up the memory from 1 gig to 2 (or more).  My question is, will there be a noticable difference between the 2.4Ghz and 2.8Ghz processor?  Obivously, I am concerned with the performance of VDL 2.5 (with Sibelius 5). 

Also, is now a good time to purchase?  I know development/release cycles can make a new computer obsolete very quickly (not as much the case on the Mac side, from what I am told).  Are we expecting anything new on the iMac front?  Any price drops? 

I would appreciate any input anyone could offer.

Clay,  I've got the 24"; 2.4 ghz with 3 gigs of ram and I've haven't noticed any problems, but then I haven't had a 2.8 to compare either.  In addition, I'm still running Sib4 on it as well, and I can still get acceptable playback even without Sibelius running natively.

I think you would be fine with the 2.4 and sufficient ram.  But I'm sure someone that has compared the two specifically could give more concrete input.

As for upcoming iMac releases, I've not heard about anything.  Anyone else?
Thanks Keith.  Per your rec, I just upgraded to Sibelius 5 and VDL 2.5.  Great stuff.  With district over I will try to get over and hear you guys.  I am off to district soon.  Good luck to you.

The current iMacs will see incremental speed improvements but there shouldn't be anything ";huge"; for awhile.  Apple loves to keep secrets, but Intel doesn't.  Their CPU roadmap is visible for years down the road.  The iMac is sort of a desktop/laptop hybrid.  It uses a laptop cpu, which means there will eventually be a quad-core model available later this year. 

You can also save $250-350 by purchasing a refurbished iMac from  I have purchased several refurbished Macs over the years and I highly recommend it.  It's a good way to save money and it still arrives in new condition and with full warranty.
Thanks Jesse.  I will consider the refurb option.  I am still wondering if the differences in cpu's will be noticable (2.4Ghz vs 2.8Ghz)
Two things...

#1 -- make sure you pick up one with a 7200rpm hard drive if possible.
#2 -- Macrumors is tossing around the idea that the MBP line will be ";refreshed"; shortly.

One more bonus...  if you are buying via AMEX, has quadruple points.  A $2000 purchase = $80 in points.

Good luck.
Hey just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in there as a long-time Mac user and employee for a [i]certain[/i] company...

If you have the money I'd definitely go for the 2.8 GHz model.�� Correct me if I'm wrong, but the processor handles all of the polyphony involved in any DAW (e.g. Kontakt and Sibelius/Finale).�� And also shoot for 4 GB of ram.�� If you're in a budget, go for the 2.4 and def. do the ram, for the money I don't think you're going to see a HUGE difference, but it's always nice to have the extra speed bump.�� The only thing to consider upgrading on the site would be the HD space.�� VDL2 and any other samples you might use start to add up after a while...

Regardless of buying refurb or new, don't upgrade the RAM on the Apple store website, we overcharge for the ram.�� Buy the computer with the minimum and upgrade the RAM on or another reseller.�� (Crucial supplies the ram to Apple...) For the price of 4GB from Apple (~$800-850) you can get the same amount of RAM from crucial for $114!

Also, if there's any way to prove that you teach, you can get $100 off a new model.�� Some other things to think about are definitely the AppleCare.�� Some people don't think it's worth it, but it really is.�� Some people walk out of the store with a new computer because of it, so think what you like, but you can really get a good ROI for the money.

In terms of product cycle, the iMac's were recently refreshed, and Jesse's right, if you see anything in the near future it'll just be speed bumps, but I would have to disagree with the Quad-core in the laptops or iMacs, at least for this year.�� The upcoming processor update will be a size decrease as well as efficiency (in terms of heat and processing power) which we'll probably see in the MBP first and then MacBook, following with the iMac.�� (But that's my very humble opinion, and I could be completely wrong).

Hope some of this helps and welcome to the Mac family.

Huge ups for Felix!
No doubt!

Thanks for all of that Felix!
i definitely have my new source for RAM!!!  Thanks Felix!
Thanks to everyone for the input.  I am definitely on board.  Just have to line up the funds:)...
Hey Felix,

What's the word on the MacBook Air?
Felix rocks!!!
Hey Ralph,

I've heard mixed things about the MBA.  If you need portability, it's awesome.  If portability isn't your need, you may want to look a different way.  The battery is pretty good.  The speed, not so much.  Nothing bad, just works.  Low on ports.

High premium for form and wow factor; well deserved kudos on design, but some shortcomings in features, by design.  Go check it out at an Apple store.  You won't appreciate it until you pick it up.  ;)
Based on just the tv commercials alone, I am afraid I would BREAK it.  How durable could it be [i]that[/i] thin?!
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