Well, it was about that time. More than three years old and outside of the AppleCare warranty, getting full, getting slow, no more RAM slots to fill, my trusty iMac was ready for the bone yard. There were new machines to check out, new Vista™s to explore (over my dead body), new programs to conquer.

So, what to get. Hmm, let’s run down the basic questions:

Q. Apple or PC? 
A. Apple, duh.

Q. iMac or Mac Pro?
A. I pretty much made that decision buying my current Apple machine. There is really no reason to go to a tower anymore. I have all the power, memory and storage I need in a one piece system that sits on my desk. No more banging my knees or getting under the table to plug/unplug an external device.

Q. Screen Size?
A. Well, I have a 24″ already and stepping down to a 21″ seems silly. However, 27″ seems ridiculous, it’s the size of my previous TV for crying out loud. But since they don’t make the 24″ anymore… 27″ it is.

Q. Processor and Speed?
A. My current machine is an Intel Core 2 Duo running at 2.33GHz. The new machines sport an Core i3 (dual-core), a Core i5 (quad-core) or a Core i7 (quad-core) running at various speeds. Getting the 27″ pushes me into the latter 2 models and I always opt for the second best, being the best balance of cost vs. performance, so it looks like the Core i5 is the choice. 2.8GHz is the standard speed.

Q. Video?
A. My current machine sported a 256MB NVIDIA 7600GT. Good at the time, but I can’t run most recent Steam games on it. The iMac I chose has a 1GB ATi Radeon 5750. Sweet. Although I have moved most of my gaming to a PC running Windows 7, it’s nice to know I can fire up a game on the iMac with no trouble.

Q. Cost?
A. Seems we get more and more for the same money these days. My previous machine cost me $1,999 over three years ago. This one was $1,999 as well, but look how much more I get with it – 1TB of storage, 4GB RAM and all the other specs mentioned above. Seems like a good deal.

Q. AppleCare?
A. Oh, yes. This is not your father’s Apple. Can’t just open up the hood and poke around. With a mere $169 investment, you are protected for a 3 full years, top to bottom.

Next time we’ll what a moving experience I had porting over my existing data and getting my new iMac set up. Stay tuned.

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