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View Full Version : Which iMac is best for me?




newdeal
Jul 30, 2010, 06:35 AM
Ok I have tried researching and come up with no more answers. I am considering buying either a new or refurb iMac. I don't care if it's 21.5 or 27". I want it to be able to stream HD video with windows media center to two tvs simultaneously(via the network with the video output by xbox 360s as extenders) via vmware fusion running windows 7 in the background while also being fast enough to use for everyday tasks while this is going on. I also have about 220 movies on a hard drive, they are all either 2gb pvr files or 4gb DVD rips that I would like to encode to something iPad compatible with handbrake other than that my usage is light. I have 4gb of 1066 ddr3 from a MacBook pro sitting here so I feel a refurb would be better as I could upgrade to 8gb of ram but I am unsure of what CPU and gpu would be required



andalusia
Jul 30, 2010, 06:55 AM
Ok I have tried researching and come up with no more answers. I am considering buying either a new or refurb iMac. I don't care if it's 21.5 or 27". I want it to be able to stream HD video with windows media center to two tvs simultaneously(via the network with the video output by xbox 360s as extenders) via vmware fusion running windows 7 in the background while also being fast enough to use for everyday tasks while this is going on. I also have about 220 movies on a hard drive, they are all either 2gb pvr files or 4gb DVD rips that I would like to encode to something iPad compatible with handbrake other than that my usage is light. I have 4gb of 1066 ddr3 from a MacBook pro sitting here so I feel a refurb would be better as I could upgrade to 8gb of ram but I am unsure of what CPU and gpu would be required

Paragraphs would have been nice, but I get the general gist of your post, here's a general gist of a reply...

i5 Processor... 8GB RAM (including the 4GB from your MBP)... GPU is not that important unless you're gaming as well... Sound good?

newdeal
Jul 30, 2010, 07:04 AM
i will be doing no gaming whatsoever. the problem I have is that there is so little money between the steps that it makes me want to i7 since its only $200 more but that said if the i3 or core2duo would be adequate I would probobly be better off with the base model from either this year or last year. I know that my macbook pro base 13" will do the streaming to one xbox over fusion but I dont know if cpu is more important than gpu (I assume cpu because the video is output by the 360 not the computer) and I also dont know how cpu intensive media center is if the hardware of the hdhomerun is doing most of the decoding of the signal anyway? I really dont NEED a 27" screen but if the computer isn't adequate for my needs I will be upset

andalusia
Jul 30, 2010, 07:12 AM
i will be doing no gaming whatsoever. the problem I have is that there is so little money between the steps that it makes me want to i7 since its only $200 more but that said if the i3 or core2duo would be adequate I would probobly be better off with the base model from either this year or last year. I know that my macbook pro base 13" will do the streaming to one xbox over fusion but I dont know if cpu is more important than gpu (I assume cpu because the video is output by the 360 not the computer) and I also dont know how cpu intensive media center is if the hardware of the hdhomerun is doing most of the decoding of the signal anyway? I really dont NEED a 27" screen but if the computer isn't adequate for my needs I will be upset

Correct, it's CPU you need to be worried about. Forget about the GPU, it's not important for your needs. The better your CPU, the quicker the encodes will be for the 200+ movies you have, so that's quite important. Having said that, Core2Duo will be perfectly adequate to encode the movies, it'll just take a lot longer. I still recommend i5, as it's Quad core rather than Dual core of the i3 and C2D. The 8GB of RAM would be very useful for running the virtual machine as well as running OS X stuff behind it; plus, the quad cores will mean OS X gets plenty of power at the same time as the VM as you can assign each 2 cores (or 4 virtual cores). It's up to you how you distribute your resources to your operating system and the virtual machine, but i5 is what I recommend. 21.5 inch should also be fine.

dexthageek
Jul 30, 2010, 07:17 AM
Have you thought about the (2009) iMac i7 - $1699

The performance jump in the 2010 is minimal compared to last years model.

Getting an apple refurb does not mean it was broken. I believe Apple sells "new" (2009) models from the refurb store.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0GF0LL/A?mco=MTU0MzQ1NjE

andalusia
Jul 30, 2010, 07:23 AM
Have you thought about the (2009) iMac i7 - $1699

The performance jump in the 2010 is minimal compared to last years model.

Getting an apple refurb does not mean it was broken. I believe Apple sells "new" (2009) models from the refurb store.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0GF0LL/A?mco=MTU0MzQ1NjE

Good choice. Thanks for looking that up - That would be a great machine for the OP, and it'll last a good few years. However it's whether or not he wants the 27 inch screen or not... Shame there are no i5 21.5inchers in the refurb store atm. There is also the i5 Version (http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB953LL/A?mco=MTU3ODcyNDE) if the OP fancies saving $180~

dexthageek
Jul 30, 2010, 07:31 AM
Good choice. Thanks for looking that up - That would be a great machine for the OP, and it'll last a good few years. However it's whether or not he wants the 27 inch screen or not... Shame there are no i5 21.5inchers in the refurb store atm. There is also the i5 Version (http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB953LL/A?mco=MTU3ODcyNDE) if the OP fancies saving $180~

The only i5 from 2009 was the Quad-Core which gets to hot for the 21.5 case. And in the case of the 2010 21.5 models, I don't think the i5 (dual-core) BTO option provides enough of a performance increase over the i3 to warrant the increased price.