iTech, USM’s technical services department, has installed eight new 21-inch iMac 2015 desktop computers in the Learning Commons.
David Sliman, the chief information officer at iTech, said the decision to increase the number of Apple computers was due to requests from students on campus.
Each computer is installed with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Excel but lacks any Mac-preferred programs, such as Final Cut or Adobe Suit.
“Funding for this project was made possible by [education and general] funds, which is designated by the state to support day-to- day operations for our campus,” Sliman said.
According to Apple, the desktop computer costs around $1,300. Sliman said the iTech department paid around $1,249 for each computer.
iTech also purchased the AppleCare extended protection plan for $119 per computer. The total purchase price for all eight computers amounted to $10,944. iTech saved more than $800 standard pricing due to the University’s Apple education agreement.
Prior to this purchase, there were already iMacs in the Learning Commons. However, the pre- existing models were dated, and the performance specifications were inferior to that of the new iMacs.
Each new iMac in the Learning Commons of Cook Library has a 2.8 gigahertz Intel Core i5 processor, a one terabyte HDD for storage and eight gigabytes of onboard memory configurable up to 16 gigabytes.
The new iMacs are comparable to the older Dell Windows 7 model computers that fill the rest of the Learning Commons.
While the older Dell model has a more powerful processor — 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5 — it also dates back to 2009 and is filled with programs that use up more of the computer’s resources, resulting in slower performance.
Some students are perfectly fine with these older PC models.
Bernie Virei, a junior polymer science major, enjoyed the experience of the older Dell models.
“They’re pretty good. They are library computers, but they’re pretty good,” Virei said.
Virei does not believe he can really feel the difference between the newer iMacs and the older computers.
“I’m not prepared to feel the difference. I go there and do some paperwork like Word or Excel,” Virei said.
Currently, the 21-inch iMac computers hold a four star rating
with reviewers from CNET and PC Magazine. Reviewers say the computer has a faster processor compared to older models, but criticize the new processors for still lagging behind Intel’s latest processors.