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Loving my new iMac ... #1
Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
August 30, 2012 - 5:09am

On Sunday, my venerable 24” iMac 2.16 (Late 2006) bit the dust … power supply failed … quick search on the net showed it would cost in the neighborhood of $150-$200 for a replacement and I thought since I had planned to retire the compute this fall anyway, I would just do replace it now rather than wait.

I opted for the 21.5” iMac 2.5Ghz i5 … based upon Rob Galbraith's (a fellow photojournalist and sports shooter) review he wrote shortly after it was released … I ordered one from the Apple Store refurb dept for $999 … Apple offers free ground shipping but I opted for the $38 overnight fee cause I was dead in the water until it got here …

Of course the first thing I noticed was a bit less screen real estate … though not as much as I thought … the old unit is 1920 x 1200 … the new one is 1920x1080 … only lost 120 pixels top to bottom … so far it hasn't been an issue for me … though if I find it does become a problem I can always add a Thunderbolt 27” display … or buy a 27” iMac and use this one for mundane office chores … then I will have all the screen space anyone could ever want …

The difference in performance was quite impressive … even with the stock 4GB RAM … I have 8GB on the way for now and will evaluate if I need more … because the main files I work with are NEF from Nikon D300, D200 and sometimes work with files from other shooters that are slightly larger … I probably could get by without the extra … but I always like to have room to grow …

So far the only “spinning beach ball” I have experienced was when a FW800 cable wasn't seated quite properly … other than that … it's really snappy …

Aperture is very responsive, no crashes or stutters even in full screen mode … Lightroom has never ran so smoothly … and in Photoshop … it's like when I was working on 3-4MP jpegs a decade ago on my 733Mhz G4 …

The unit came with Lion installed but there is the free retro upgrade to Mountain Lion, though I had already purchased ML to install on my laptop (the old iMac was excluded from ML) … but the new unit of course came with the latest versions of iMovie, iPhoto and Garage Band … to my pleasant surprise, after I registered the iMac … then checked for updates on my laptop … all three apps showed up in my “Purchased” list and were available for download and installation … a nice little bonus I had not expected … good to know Apple does do a few things right …

Now … all I need is for all this Thunderbolt stuff to settle in and the prices to calm down to something reasonable … :-)

If anyone would care to chip in their experiences with the 21.5 and how you optimized it for peak performance … I'm all ears …

Craig Andrews's picture
by Craig Andrews
August 30, 2012 - 2:22pm

Strange timing. I arrived home the other evening to find my my 24 i-mac off and it had been on for the previous 5 years. I tried turning it on and it just would not power up. Tried disconnecting the power supply then reconnecting which used to work but not this time. I’m fearing I have suffered the same problem as you with your i-mac. Scheduled to have it see the Doctor on Friday. I upgraded to a 27” about19 months ago and just missed the thunderbolt technology by a few months. I’ll be happy if it is only $150.00 to $200.00 to repair.

I'd much rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
August 30, 2012 - 2:47pm

Craig … the price I quoted is just for the power supply itself … does not include labor if someone else installs …

Craig Andrews's picture
by Craig Andrews
August 30, 2012 - 7:00pm

I was kinda thinking that might be the case. I basically turned that computer over to my wife so if that’s the case, if I can get even a few more years out of it for that plus whatever the labour fee is, I think I’ll go for it.

I'd much rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Craig Andrews's picture
by Craig Andrews
August 31, 2012 - 7:22pm

Apple service centre near home here in Canada confirmed the power supply had failed and the service tech told me that the unit is over 5 years old and Apple don’t even make replacement parts for it anymore, except in California where apparently it is law that they have to supply parts longer than 5 years. That sounds kind of weird to me. I guess I will have to search the internet to see what is available. Butch were you of the opinion it was going to be difficult to get a power supply had you wanted to?

I'd much rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
September 2, 2012 - 4:35am

Craig …

to answer your question: Butch were you of the opinion it was going to be difficult to get a power supply had you wanted to? … Yes, for my model, it appears they are few and far between … they show up on ebay from time to time, and the usual places that once carried such parts can be hit and miss as models become older like iFixit, etc.

Though I did find a place online of a fellow who actually repairs the power supplies himself … for my model $89 US plus shipping … not a bad deal … though the units he repairs seems to be limited … I am going to call him Tuesday for details … Keep in mind that Monday is a holiday here in the States … I’ll post what I find out after I talk to him … post your exact model specifications and I’ll ask him about it when I call …

Craig Andrews's picture
by Craig Andrews
September 2, 2012 - 1:47pm

Thanks Butch. It’s a 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo —3GB Ram and 500 GB Serial ATA Drive, purchased in June 2007 , 24 ” with the white case and matte screen.

I'd much rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

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