Is IMac new as fast and good as 6 year old PC (Dell)?
May 15, 2006 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Is the IMac as strong (poerful) as my Dell, some 6 years old?

My Dell desktop has blownup and I need to replace it. i don't know the gigs etc but the machine is 6 years old. The IMac, I am told, has intel this machine as fast etc as my old Dell PC?
posted by Postroad to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Hi Postroad. Without knowing the specs of either the iMac or your old Dell, it is impossible to tell.

I would assume though, that if your old computer is 6 years old, the iMac is most likely "faster" than your old machine.

6 years isn't a bad lifespan for a computer, by the way.
posted by k8t at 10:29 AM on May 15, 2006

My dual-2Ghz iMac is one of the fastest systems I've ever owned, including the semi-new Athlon64 3200+ that I use for Windows gaming. It "feels" easily twice as fast as the 1.8Ghz G5 iMac that it replaced.

If your Dell is six years old, it's most likely a sub-1Ghz Pentium-II or -III, and the iMac will blow it away in terms of performance.
posted by mrbill at 10:32 AM on May 15, 2006

Is there any computer six years old that is anywhere near as powerful as anything being made currently? I doubt it. (Assuming that the respective prices are within an order of magnitude of each other.)
posted by tiamat at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2006

posted by patr1ck at 10:51 AM on May 15, 2006

A current iMac will be faster than a 6-year old Dell. Given that, for something like web browsing or MP3s or such, you may not even notice a speed difference.
posted by smackfu at 11:06 AM on May 15, 2006

It will likely be much much faster. My friend replaced a 1 year old nicely equipped PC and couldn't get over how fast the new iMac was.

Now, if you're using Photoshop or some programs that don't have new universary binaries yet, you may have to wait to really experience some of the speed gains.

Another plus is that you can put Windows on that computer too through bootcamp or parallels and use all your old software.
posted by visual mechanic at 11:14 AM on May 15, 2006

I vote for faster.
posted by reformedjerk at 11:19 AM on May 15, 2006

The absolutely top of the line x86 processor out six years ago was the Pentium III 933MHz.

The lowest-end iMac Duo has a 1.83GHz dual core processor.

Yeah, I'm gonna go with faster.
posted by jedrek at 11:25 AM on May 15, 2006

You will have to get used to web browsing on the mac in safari or firefox, but other than that, you should be blown away by how pages load instantly from now on.
posted by mathowie at 11:32 AM on May 15, 2006

Yes, oh yes. I got to play with a friend's MacBook Pro a few weeks ago, and it made my 2004-vintage iBook look positively asthmatic in terms of its basic responsiveness. The new iMacs are comparable in speed.

If your old Dell lasted you six years, Postroad, and you're not averse to switching OS, then any current iMac should give you another six years. Everything will be faster, including graphics and hard disk speed, and it should age gracefully. Just get AppleCare.
posted by holgate at 11:51 AM on May 15, 2006

my phone is more powerful than a six year old dell :)
posted by clord at 11:56 AM on May 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

Sure why not.
posted by kcm at 1:09 PM on May 15, 2006

6 year old Dell? Dang, that's like 200 years ago in Moore's Law (nee observation) time.

Yes, it will be faster. It will have: faster memory and more memory bandwidth. Higher clock speed. More cores (assuming you get a new iMac). Faster hard drive. Bigger hard drive. More hard drive space. More memory.* Marginally faster DVD reader plus a burner, which you probably did not have. Built in wireless, which you did not have unless you bought it later. Faster ethernet (Gigabit versus 10 or 100 Mbit). Etc...

*maybe. Apple is really stingy with their memory. Upgrade a new iMac to at least 1 GB, not the paltry 512MB they give.
posted by teece at 1:30 PM on May 15, 2006

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